141 Tasting Notes

From the Here’s Hoping TTB, Round 4

Well… I didn’t look it up before I brewed it, and it was in the flavored blacks bag so I brewed it as a black. I didn’t really make the realization until I was emptying out my teaball. Even the dry leaf looked like black tea, but the wet leaf is green.

So 212F for 3 minutes, and surprisingly not entirely bitter. When greens are brewed like this some of them gain that utterly baffling in-between phase where it’s like a green, but like a black. It does taste a little burnt, but clearly that’s my fault.

It smells like a cross between a chocolate chip cookie base and a gingerbread cookie base. There’s too much vanilla and cream notes for me to think of it as purely gingerbread, but maybe that’s where the ‘coffeecake’ bit comes in.

I sure would like a recipe for gingerbread coffeecake. That sounds lovely.
The smell of this tea is also making me sleepy… interesting.

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From the Here’s Hoping TTB, round 4

From the dry scent alone I got roses and cinnamon. The leaves dry are quite small and brittle. There are rose petals scattered in the sample, small pieces though, less than a cm square.

Brewed the liquor is the color of light maple syrup and it smells of chocolate and ginger.

The base tea is light, but distinct. It’s smooth and full-bodied. Not astringent or bitter.

The taste doesn’t linger, or intrude on the room. I can only really smell it when I’m trying to, but it doesn’t really interfere with food or anything else.

I would drink this again. It’s more of a dessert tea in my book though. Something light but indulgent.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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My friend took me out for Sweet Tomatoes for my birthday and they had this tea (among others from RoT that I hadn’t tried before. Then we went to watch Big Hero 6, which I would totally recommend.

Even with cooler water this tea turned bitter on me. It did smell amazing, but it most certainly did not taste amazing. The peach scent on this tea was quite juicy and the ginger… what ginger? But that all means nothing when it bitter so quickly. I thought I had overbrewed it at first, but I tried again… and even just cold steeping the bag it turned out yucky.

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From the Santea Clause TTB

This tea really does taste/smell like cooked apples! There’s a slight bakery note, but that fades as the tea cools. The effect overall is sweet. I would have expected the tea itself to be a bit tart, as it seems like the type of tea I usually find hibiscus in, but the black base is quite alright. It’s not the most amazing thing ever, but it’s all about the flavoring in this tea.

There are some red pieces of something scattered in the black tea, but I’m not exactly sure what those are. I don’t think they’re apple?

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I can’t say I’ve ever had brandy, so I can’t really compare.

It’s creamy, sooo creamy and smooth. There’s a maltiness there that makes it taste close to a black tea, but without the bam in the face that blacks can give you. Like a gentle wake up call to the soul.

It’s not at all astringent when brewed according to directions, but there’s a drying aspect to it that makes my throat hurt. It’s nice, but at this point not particularly memorable (yet). I’m not sure I’ll repurchase, but it was a lovely experience.

The Cookie Lady

I’ve been going back and forth about whether or not to try this one.

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TeaLux is now TeaLyra. I wonder if I will remember that next time I brew up one of their teas.

For some reason, while I was perfectly aware that it was a black tea when I was ordering, I was expecting a green base when I brewed it up. The fault of this is that the dry leaf don’t really smell deep and cocoa-y as I tend to look for in black teas. Not much of this shows up in the brewed tea either. Is this what they call a China Black?

It just tastes like tea to me. Like that sweet mild familiar taste of tea with a hit of lychee on it. I guess this would be the closest to the type of teas I grew up on, because I can’t think that it’s anything but Tea, and why mess with such a wonderful descriptor like that? It also makes it a great tea to pair with food, because it doesn’t overwhelm my sense of the food, but it’s strong enough to cleanse the palate.

It’s mild, sweet, comforting.

The first brew was mildly artificial though, I might have to do a initial rinse with this tea from now on. It used to be a habit, but as I tried more and more flavored teas I dropped the habit. The second brew was wonderful and perfect. I used 1 tsp for a small teapot (12oz). The pearls were quite large to my eye, perhaps .7mm in diameter.

I can see myself drinking this alot and wonder how it’ll stand up to grandpa style brewing.

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drank Blood Orange by Adagio Teas
141 tasting notes

Catching up on some notes.

I admit that when I requested this sample with my last Adagio order I was NOT expecting an herbal blend. It seems to me that alot of companies do their variation on Blood Orange on a black base, so this caught me by surprise.

The result is characteristic of that blood orange flavor, and had I added sweetener I’m sure that resemblance would increase. Straight, this was fairly tart to the taste, but not overwhelmingly so.

Cheri

I was surprised to find how much I liked this one when I had it. They do a surprisingly good job with the blood orange flavor. It is really much more like a real blood orange than a regular orange, which is how every other blood orange I have had is.

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drank Spring Fest by RiverTea
141 tasting notes

I took a tsp of this when I had the Marco Polo TTB. It was rather cold today and when I got out of work it was super dark outside so I really wanted to be reminded of spring. Also- my first try of RiverTeas!

Maybe because the sample was old- I was trying to drink a spring tea in late autumn. I didn’t get very much in the way of strong flavor from my brew. I also may have underleafed, but I followed the package directions! There were LOTS of jasmine flowers and other things scattered in with the green tea leaves. In the end though it only tasted like a vaguely floral and vaguely sweet green tea. I was really hoping for something similar to Sakurabo (sp?) from Lupicia. That’s one really cherry tea! I think that cherry-ness plus jasmine on a green base would be really pretty.

A plus at least for RiverTea, they use fairly large and intact jasmine flowers in this. I was expecting more from the tea because of that, but I guess they are mostly decorative. I’ve had jasmine teas in many forms, and this is among the most pretty (excepting blooming teas, of course).

Cheri

I think that jasmine flowers really are very light in flavor at best. They are pretty, though.

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drank Pumpkin Chai by DAVIDsTEA
141 tasting notes

Oh! This is soo good!

I got this via my sweet Secret Pumpkin Michelle. Thank you!

Usually I steer away from chai teas, too much milk and heaviness for me to handle. But this was perfect! From the sprinkles I was afraid it might have other sweeteners in it, but I didn’t really detect any after brewing. Another thing- I tend to steer away from DavidsTea, mostly because of the three I tried before, two were overwhelmingly sweet and I passed the rest of the sample on to someone else.

Pumpkins though, I’m a big fan of pumpkin. Yesterday, the first day of November, I went and got myself three lovely medium sized pumpkins that I can save and bake up it delightful things until they all run out. The pumpkin in this tea makes reminds me when I’m actually prepping my pumpkins, that slight bit between having completely raw pumpkin and completely cooked pumpkin where it’s just on the edge of sweet and juicy and a little savory.

There’s something about this base too. I set a timer! I did! But my sisters distracted me and when I got back my timer told me I was 10 min overdue. So this steeped for about 13 min. Not bitterness or astringency at all. Best of all, although all the sprinkles were dissolved, it didn’t taste that much different in the 2nd or 3rd steep! This is a thing I can definitely see myself finishing off and getting more of. I’ve already looked at the site to see how much it would cost me!

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Bio

I get easily excited and tend to get into the habit of collecting things I get really really excited about- books, fountain pens, fragrance, tea and any number of things. Mostly I’m just really excitable.

I started really branching out into the world of different teas recently. Grew up with greens and oolongs, but am dipping into others slowly but surely.

My name is Christina, but there’s also another Christina with a cat as a profile picture, so I go by Flyawaybirdie.

Feel free to drop me a message anytime. I love messages/letters/etc.

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