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Recent Tasting Notes
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