42 Tasting Notes
Yum. Yay for getting more bedtime teas for me. I’m kind of backwards in that most of my tea drinking happens in the later hours of the day, but I didn’t have many non-caffeinated options.
Brian was soo nice and agreed to substitute honeybush for roobios in the things that I ordered. Even though the company specializes in custom blends, it made me feel extra special. This is one of their signature blends, but they were still able to substitute the base for me, talk about freshly blended!
This tea is lovely. The dry ‘leaf’ is honeybush (which looks like tiny wood chips) and what looks like very finely chopped mint. The green stuff is very vibrant either way and makes the blend look cheerful. The scent of the dry stuff is very warm and not too minty.
The first brew IS kind of minty, but I let it brew for a long time. The pecan flavor was a little like whole roasted pecans with the mintyness and the honeybush was there but it wasn’t overbearing or annoying or medicinal like rooibos.
The second steep is awesome. The mint is tamed a bit, and the pecan is just right, it makes the tea just lovely and warm and soft. Which sounds like a blanket, but it was just a really comforting tea. The mouthfeel was great too, but if you let it cool the after feel is a little bit dry/tight.
I cold brewed this one – about four heaping tablespoons to 2L pitcher overnight. That’s already a good hunk of the tin I got, hopefully this tea is stronger hot brewed.
The hibiscus lends a pretty red color to the tea, and a touch of tartness. I’d told that it’s a little bitter and it tastes nothing like actual sangria. I wouldn’t know about the comparison to actual sangria, but the little bitterness I hardly noticed. I didn’t sweeten and certainly didn’t use carbonated water. The instructions on the tin are a bit confusing – I THINK that it’s telling me to cold brew in seltzer water or ginger ale, but with the flavor level on that LONG cold brew in normal water, I feel like the flavor might not be able to stand up against carbonation. I might try it one day though, I do have a sodastream.
An unassuming oolong with a early peach aroma. I made a cup and my friend could immediately tell I was brewing something peachy.
The dry leaf is quite pretty, with a fair amount of decoration… how much of which contributes to the taste, I don’t know, but adds to the weight. The tea didn’t TASTE peachy, just oolong, but the oolong isn’t too roasty or dark, or even too green. I did do a very short rinse, so maybe if the oolong was flavored, that got washed away, but I tend to expect a well flavored tea’s flavor to last beyond an itty bitty rinse.
Generally a nice middle-of-the-road tea, good for everyday, or serving to (non tea enthusiast)guests tea. Plus it’s organic, so if you have some of THOSE friends over, then you can serve them something without getting lectured on the horrible unnatural chemical laden tea. Not a high profile tea though – I won’t hoard it and I wouldn’t mind leaving it out on the counter for others to try (though I won’t).The scent of the dry leaf and liquor is early peach, or peach trees, but not heavy sweet peaches like when it’s late in peach season. This is a nice change from other peach tea, I would have appreciated (because of the aroma) maybe a hint of peach blossom to round out the profile.
The leaves didn’t expand too much during steeping, even after three steeps, and the flavor didn’t change much either. The dried fruit did rehydrate though. Definitely not a tea to forget, steep with water 195F or lower, and 2 min or less. I was using a small tea cup, and half my steeper was brewing for ~4min, which was too long: yucky. I switched to a larger mug so the brew time was short and it was fine.
The tin is rather soft and already kind of falling apart. I probably wouldn’t reuse it for tea, maybe as a pencil holder or something. The tea is heavy, I think- the tin says 4oz and the same size tin from another company is 3oz. I think TeaGuys (distributor) packs by volume though, and they pack it really full. I really don’t mind this tea for the price I paid for it, but if it was at normal price, I would be more critical. I don’t find it exceptional.
p.s.- TwoGuysTea is clearancing out stuff and Donovan’s a nice guy, really courteous and prompt CS.
Those who follow me may or may not have noticed that I tend to do a new tasting note for each time I try a tea, even if I already have notes on it. Mostly this just helps me keep up to date as well as visually seeing what teas I tend to use alot. Usually the only reason I won’t do a tasting note is because of time, or just having nothing to say.
Anyways- Today I tried this one as an iced tea. It’s hot in California today! And I tend to like having drinks at hand while I’m driving. I put two teaspoons in my IngenuiTEA (3min@ 195F) and released that over half a 24oz cold cup of ice. Whoops, even diluted I think I maybe overleafed too much. Usually I double the leaf for iced tea, but this probably would have worked out fine with the usual amount.
I second steeped the leaves again into a hot thermos with half a tsp of sugar. I can definitely tell this is overleafed (for me), even though it was a shorter brew time (~1.5min@195F).
Even as potent as it was, this is still a very nice tea. The subtleties of the tea are lost quite a bit however as the black base plays in the forefront. You get the chocolate aroma still, but don’t taste it nearly as much. It may be a tad more floral, but not overwhelming. I like that it’s still quite nice iced, yet without sugar. I didn’t care too much more the second steep with the sugar, but it was nice to have the option around during the car ride.
My first order from 52teas! Really exciting! I love oranges and I love pineapples, this sounded like a good one to me.
Once you cut open the foil packet the smell is really strong. The packet didn’t smell like anything before hand though, which I like because then there wasn’t any scent contamination with the other one I ordered. The first whiff to me wasn’t entirely appetizing though. It rather reminds me of tropical flavored carbonated water, like the ones you find at the supermarket that you buy when you’re craving something fizzy but don’t have much money. AKA entirely artificial. I didn’t get individual scents of either orange or pineapple.
I’ve only ever had honeybush in a teabag before, so the visual was mildly surprising. It looks like mini-woodchips! Actually it really reminded me of saute’d lemongrass, but that’s a different story. The bag was kinda tiny for a 2oz, but it was jam packed full. I suppose these leaves don’t exactly need room to breathe. I heard that it’s similar to rooibos, which I’ve discovered is not one I’m fond of, but honeybush isn’t nearly so offensive to me.
There aren’t any brewing instructions, and for my first time I felt kind of lost. So I filled up my cup with 195 water and took it upstairs with me. Then added the tea. I figured if the temp was a little lower, I could get away with a longer steep time, cause really I didn’t know what I was doing. Honestly I have trouble steeping things for a long time. I’m impatient so those greens and such that only take a minute or so are my best friend.
I probably brewed this for maybe 7 minutes, at least 5. The liquor was like a maple syrup color… and it still smelt artificial and meh. The smell does get better as it cools though, surprisingly, as the flavors stand they start to differentiate a little bit. Mostly though it just smells like fruit punch. Probably would be a tea that benefits from making iced or cold steeped.
The taste is mildly minty, like rooibos but not as medicine/herby, so I don’t mind it. It’s not as strong as peppermint tea though. Maybe like fruit punch, diluted alot, and garnished with mint.
I’m not sure yet if I like it, it deserves another tasting, but I still find it (right now) like the artificial flavored water, just without the fizziness.
… Can I resteep this? Does one resteep honeybush?
UGh, I’m sure I need to try this one again because I kind of made it and didn’t sit to enjoy it like I do my other teas. I got not much flavor profile and mostly other sensory profile during this first impression, but I do have a whole box of this stuff so I can try it again.
This was such a miserable week for me, and I made this yesterday when I came home. I was frustrated, grumpy and sad. Mostly I needed something to calm me down, and since I had finished off the last of the Tazo Calm (and I haven’t seen a sale recently), which is my usual standby, I tried this one because I wasn’t in the mood for straight camomile and dealing with flower heads in my tea cup.
I don’t like it as much as Tazo Calm. It sleeps much more herbally, and reminds me of the Badger Sleep Balm if you’ve ever tried that. It’s also got a lot less inherent sweet than the Tazo version. BUT it is much lighter on the wallet and it did force me to calm down. I do mean force, it’s quite strong I think. I only had two small tea cups before I really didn’t want it anymore, and that wasn’t because it tasted bad. It does taste not too appealing cold.
I do know that I don’t like the packaging. I just prefer tea bags that are individually wrapped I think. Honestly I thought the tea bags stuffed in another bag and sealed with resealable glue… was a Trader Joe’s thing because I had never seen another company do it. I think it kind of takes out the portability of the teabag, which is why I still buy tea bags from time to time. This seems like it won’t keep the tea fresh for very long at all, and I don’t think I’m going to go through this THAT quickly. I suppose that’s one way of keeping the costs down though from company perspective.
I was actually really surprised not to find this on Steepster. From a Google and Amazon search, this is the first one I see, and it’s the one I can find stocked at pretty much any Asian grocery I walk into. I was also really surprised that the company says that this version is made with green tea, where from other Thai teas I expect black tea. It retains the sweet thai tea smell even without added sugar.
This is a fairly coarse ground tea, it honestly looks like coffee if you’re far enough away. The way I’ve learned to make thai tea is to boil the mix in water for awhile, as in keep it boiling, until you reach the desired strength. Usually I add half a measuring cup of mix to a 5 quarts (or 4tbp into a medium pot) of boiling water, boil for ~15min, and add sugar to the cooling mixture. For ice I’ll pour that over equal volume ice, and then refrigerate overnight. For hot tea, I’ll decant into a container, and then dilute it with hot water in a mug whenever I’m in the mood. You can just less leaf to water if you have the time to boil it. I’m just impatient and don’t like waiting/minding the stove.
This mix is special to me because it isn’t pre-mixed with sugar and creamer, which means you can customize it to your individual taste. Personally if I’m serving it to others I make it medium strength without cream and only enough sugar to taste. I like it balanced, but I think most people are used to it being super sweet, like you get at milk tea places. I like it both hot and iced.
The coloring is a bit strong though, so if you aren’t a fan, maybe rinse the leaves a bit first, but that orange color and sweet smell is characteristic of thai tea- I don’t rinse my leaves with this one, but I tend to make a strong brew and dilute it to taste.
It also makes a nice base for tea flavored cookies, because the color and taste/scent is so distinctive, but next time I’d probably grind the leaves before I add to my cookie dough, they’re a bit big for that right out of the bag.
I made two pitchers of this tea iced because I got a little too excited about my new Takeya flash-chill tea pitchers. So I’ll be drinking it for awhile.
It’s good iced, with just a hint of sugar. I like it cold, room temp, and of course warm!
Warm, the lychee flavor comes forward strongly, a little tart with just the right amount of fragrance. More like the canned version you buy to make desserts though, not as sweet as fresh lychee.
It’s a lovely everyday, anytime type of tea. I always wash the leaves first though, or the first steep is overwhelmingly strong. The leaves are good for several steepings, but oversteeping makes the lychee taste/smell much more chemical. My sister enjoys making milk tea with this one.