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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve wanted this one for a while, especially in the sachet from for between class travel. Now, I have a tumbler.
I tried it first in the Urban Tumbler. Nutty, grassy, toasty, coconut, sweet, green and creamy. Not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, but I know this tea has more to offer.
Second time in the Xiang Fu pot. Same notes, but way more balanced. The toastiness was stronger in the first steep which was at about a minute and forty five seconds. Like a piece of toast with coconut oil slathered on it for butter. I got six solid, really long steeps out of it. The later steeps were smoother, sweeter, and more like regular coconut. But these steeps were long steeps: closer to twelve minutes at boiling.
This oolong was actually a little bit darker than I expected, but got greener in the later steeps. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, though not the best coconut blend I’ve had. This is more for drinkers looking for darker coconut teas or something closer to an Almond Joy.
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Coconut, Creamy, Grass, Green, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet, Toasty, Vegetal
Accurate name. I feel like I’m drinking a Klondike bar. Mint dominates followed by a smooth chocolate taste from the flavored black tea (which I think might be a Keemum). The black chocolate tea was the best part of it. I kinda wish that I tasted more of it. Otherwise, mint almost overwhelms it. It’s so minty that the vapors rising from the tumbler made my mom’s throat seize a little bit. It also reminded her of her massage lotions.
Bottom line: a little bit more chocolate is needed. The mint is too powerful. Good, yes. Guiltless desert tea, yes. Tempted to get Andrew’s Peppermint Nom Nom? Yes.
Flavors: Chocolate, Peppermint, Smooth
Early Christmas present! Lord, I’m spoiled.
The chai spices are great, nice and bold headed by cardamom and cinnamon. Gold old Masala. I got bare hints of the vanilla, but more of the rooibos in the back ground. The rooibos they used in this had a bit of the weird citrus taste I get from red rooibos on occasion. I know that rooibos are normally described as woody, but with the spices, there is a weird citrus note. Maybe I’m crazy, oh well. My mom liked it and she is not a chai fan. Red Hot is a good description because it tastes like a watered down fireball. I think that it might serve better as a latte, and go incredibly well with sweetened condensed milk.
This did pretty well in the Urban Tea tumbler, and it can handle a lot of water. Only problem was the flecks of leaves sneaking through the strainer. I have that issue with rooibos anyway, which is why you don’t need to worry about it being bagged.
The container it came in is also a pretty nice size. I think it’s closer to an ounce. Fairly sturdy, too.
I could drink this tea straight, just not often. I think it would be better with compliments like honey, cream, condensed milk, and or sugar. The spices are so strong that it gives me a little bit of a headache, and suppresses my appetite…if that makes sense. If I’m walking in snow, this would be great. Now, not my favorite. I’m also being picky because I prefer the Climber’s High.
Flavors: Candy, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Pepper, Spices
Drinking while I’m sick, so probably not the most accurate of tasting notes, but the vanilla and the lavender were very soothing on my sore throat. The black tea and citrus tastes were almost completely masked by the vanilla, but I didn’t mind that under the circumstances. A good, soothing tea with a wonderful scent.
Flavors: Flowers, Lavender, Sweet, Vanilla
The jasmine + chestnut combo initially made me do a double take, but wooweewow this is so good! The dry leaf smells amazing. This is exactly what I think Santa would smell like- earthy but almost cloyingly sweet. When brewed it’s creamy and sweet but still maintains the nice overarching jasmine flavor. Lovely white tea that doesn’t whimp out on the flavor.
Flavors: Chestnut, Jasmine
Hooray, December Tea Sparrow boxes came early! Wanted to try this one first since it sounded the most interesting, and its evening so didn’t want too much caffeine.
This tea is quite pleasant. It has a smooth green tea base with a slightly sweet chestnut flavour. Also reminds me somewhat of white chocolate in taste, but definitely not that sweet.
I love this glass tea tumbler! It looks very nice and modern. It is glass and stainless steel with a double lid design with the filter on the bottom. The whole unit is really sturdy and quality feeling. Leak proof! You can flip the tumbler over and remove the tea leaf from the bottom. Drinking out of this tumbler is really nice.
The only con is the filter is on the small side. If you drink big honking leafed teas (rolled oolongs, wirey blacks, whites, greens) space is dicey to be able to leaf up to the 16oz capacity, especially if you like to leaf a little harder.
Full crazy in depth review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/urban-tea-tumbler-from-the-tea-spot-teaware-review/
Red rooibos are hit or misses for me, but this one is pretty good when I get a lot of almonds and stronger flavored leaves. It is like a desert, or like the sweet smell of cherry and vanilla tobacco. I personally enjoy it, but I see why some people might not like it. For vanilla lovers who don’t want caffieine.
I wonder why this got bad reviews. I get the flavors fine. But then again, there might be something I’m missing. I taste the sencha and dragon well mingling well and sweetly, which is an awesome thing since those are the only two green teas I’d constantly drink anyway. The rhubarb and strawberry sweeten this so nicely and make it incredibly natural and fresh. I’m so glad I picked up a sample. The flowers are also a visual delight. I was able to steep it up to three times. So classic, so enjoyable.
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Ocean Breeze, Rhubarb, Strawberry
I wasn’t really in the mood for caramel but this has been sitting and calling to me. The dry leaf had a candy scent to it and did not appeal to me. But I moved ahead and made the tea any ways. Now the aroma changed to a lovely smooth caramel. The taste is lovely black tea with a smooth caramel. This was a total surprise as I didn’t really expect to like it but I am totally won over. I wish I had more. I tried a resteep and it was ok. Not really as good as the first steep.
Because of my Cashew Turtle from 52teas earlier, that got me to a very chocolate mood and I pulled this tea out!
For some reason it smelled like green tea leaves?? It was so weird. But it tasted like nice chocolate fudge! I got some hints of butter in it, as well as the lovely smooth chocolate taste :)
Flavors: Butter, Chocolate, Cream
The Everything Tea. That’s what this is. Read the ingredients: roasted yerba mate, black tea, green tea, white tea, pu’erh, ginger root, cinnamon, cardamom, licorice root, eleuthero root, saffron, black pepper, clove, fennel, safflowers, peppermint, tulsi, and vanilla flavoring. See what I mean? I’m almost surprised that there’s no rooibos and oolong.
This is a really good chai, and the smell is probably the best part of this tea and the potential health benefits of each ingredient. It was designed to give people a mild high, and before the morning, or before a workout, it encouraged me to be alert and little bit more cheery, or energetic. I smell this, and it’s like Christmas and vanilla. With so many flavors, this tea also becomes more complex as you resteep it. Again, the taste like the smell is like Christmas and vanilla, more so on the Christmas fire angle.
Considering the kitchen sink nature of this tea, you really have to put in a lot of effort to try to get each ingredient in a single cup. There were times were I had more white tea leaves with the mate than the others, but honestly, those times or when the cup had Pu-Erh where the better brews. The flavors really came out with those teas. Otherwise, one ingredient could overpower the other, like the mate quenching the saffron. Or, two flavors could accent each other and overwhelm a different flavor- not clashing at all, but silencing. That’s why I steeped it for 2 min and 45 sec. It’s also good at 3 minutes, but you get more roasted mate. I added about 45 seconds in the following brews. I wonder if the sachets version would be better if each ingredient is placed in a specific way in the bag.
This tea certainly saved my behind up in college, helping get through the day. I also admit that I convinced myself that this is the perfect tea on a budget because it has almost “everything”. My health craze was also worse at that point (not that it still isn’t bad) making me think that it is better for my whole being. I liked the Bolder Breakfast more for taste, but this one is more effective for health which is why I rated it higher. Good for me, yes, but not a panacea. Worth it anyways.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cocoa, Fennel Seed, Pepper, Peppermint, Roasted
Okay, I had less leaves this time and I needed to wake up for a workout, so I have energy bias towards this one. Also, this was like $2.75 per ounce, so it was SUPER cheap. It still tastes like cookies, but I like the Pu-Erh and Black base significantly more this time. It also has a maple syrup like sweetness that I am digging. Definitely upping my rating, and that may be because I used fewer leaves and longer soaking.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cookie, Leather, Maple Syrup, Sweet, Wet Earth
Smells and tastes like chocolate chip cookies. I was able to re-steep it a few times, and I was surprised that I liked it cold, too. The chocolate and the black teas are dominant with the Pu-Erh adding a more smoked, and earthy background. Fairly sweet and though good with sugar and maybe cream, it doesn’t need it. I’d probably exchange it for my morning coffee to be honest. Really good if you eat it with chocolate or cookies.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cookie, Creamy, Malt, Wet Earth
Since I’m rushing back out of town again in a few days I decided to make some headway on my tea samples I thought would make good iced tea. When I opened up the package I was greeted with the strong scent of mango— it smells delicious even before steeped! I tossed the full ounce in my steeping pitcher and promptly forgot about it. Over 24 hours later, while desperately in need of a cold drink, I remembered it was still sitting in the fridge.
24 hours was a little long to cold steep this tea, it ended up being more heavy on the fruit flavoring than I would have liked. It tasted strongly of passion fruit, with a hint of mango and I couldn’t really taste the black base. I ended up making a batch of unflavored black tea and combining the two. Still, I think it makes a great iced tea, although next time I’ll brew it according to the package directions since it tastes better that way.
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Flavors: Coconut, Pineapple