Finished off the remainder of this packet today (sipdown!!); about 1.5 tsp in 8 oz. of water. A pretty tasty cup of dragon well, for sure – a fair bit of vegetal flavour, though not as much sweetness as had it been fresher, I suspect (this is like, 4-year-old tea, though it appears I only opened the packet for the first time about 4 months ago). Unluckily for me, I just accidentally choked on a big mouthful of it, and spit it all over my bed, marking the second time THIS WEEK that I’ve had to change my bed sheet due to a tea spill, and at least the third or fourth time in a couple months (although this is the first time it was due to choking). I have really got to work on this… not only am I wasting tea, I’m making messes! Thankfully I usually have spilled straight teas that are light in colour/flavour…
1789 Tasting Notes
Wow. I made the most AMAZING cup of this last night! The aroma was absolutely amazing, 100% a strawberry crisp (rhubarb? not so sure). Oh man oh man! Hadn’t drank this one in a while.
Anyways, I ended up leaving the majority of the cup sitting overnight, and am drinking it now, and it’s just divine. Liquid strawberry crisp in a cup. Delicious light cinnamon aroma and flavour. You could convince me that there are oats in here too, although I think Frank is the only one who puts actual oats in his blends. Mmmmmmm. I can’t believe I ever didn’t care for this one! Clearly I was just doing it wrong. It’s absolutely amazing. Definitely a tea I’d repurchase (I wonder if it’s still available online?) Biiig rating bump.
This tea seriously looked exactly like water when it was steeped. Just the barest hint of colour. There’s a wonderful sweet aroma emanating from the cup. Flavourwise, the tea is so light I can hardly taste it. It’s almost a.. corn nut? corn silk? sort of flavour with a bit of tea aftertaste.
I think I’m going to try the second infusion for closer to 10 minutes. This tea’s just a bit too light for me, personally, although the flavour hints at deliciousness.
ETA: Second infusion (82C for 10:15) has more flavour, and tastes kind of like sweet peas! Like, the flowers, not edible pea pods. Interesting! I think this tea simply needs a longer infusion time for me. Delicious, and so smooth.
Delicious! Reminds me of Ginger Ale Bai Mu Dan quite a lot initially, even though it should taste quite different (I would think). There’s a light cinnamon undertone, a delicate bai mu dan flavour underneath, and citrusy notes at the forefront. This tea is marvellous. I love it!
Second infusion (4 min/82C) is definitely more lemony (like, a lemon verbena/lemongrass sort of lemony), and retains the bai mu dan flavour as well. I can’t really pick up the cinnamon this time.
Thanks so much for the sample, Momo! I’m surprised that even though this tea is nearly a year old, it’s still quite delicious!
Final tea of last evening was a sample from Stacy at Butiki! I drank a bit and fell asleep before posting a tasting note, so here it is.
There wasn’t a great deal of aroma to the cup. Unfortunately, I was getting quite a lot of astringency, which kind of tarnished my opinion of this cup. There were some interesting flavours, and I was getting a lovely “tea” aftertaste (which speaks to the quality of this tea), however, the mouth-drying sensation and bitterness weren’t making me all that happy. I think there was a bit of a light wild blueberry flavour, but unfortunately after having had 52teas’ Blueberry Zabaglione, I found it difficult to pick out (bad timing on my behalf). I tried to drink a bit of the rest in the morning, and it was possibly the most bitter cup of tea I had ever tasted :( I couldn’t pick out any of the potentially nice flavours from the night before.
I feel it’s unfair to rate this tea… I know I enjoy the straight Purple Tea, so something must have happened to cause all this bitterness. The tea was quite broken up in the sample bag, but I used a Finum filter so would be surprised if particles got through… ah well. Perhaps I’ll try it again someday.
Sorry guys… I’m so spammy late at night when I drink tea!
Anyways, two to go… this one’s a sipdown of a sample Azzrian sent me in our first of many swaps! I steeped the tea for a bit of a shorter time this attempt (although I meant to only give it 3 minutes, not 3.5). I think it definitely cut down on the astringency to some extent, but I really wish I has paid more attention and nicked off that additional 30 seconds, and there definitely is still a bit. Much like Blueberry Zabaglione, I don’t know what flavours aside from strawberry I’m supposed to be picking out, although I can get a bit of creaminess/custardy flavour.
If I had to choose, I think I’d go with Blueberry Zabaglione over this tea; I do like both strawberries and blueberries, but the base tea is nicer in BZ (less astringent), and the blueberry flavour is more potent and tasty, whereas the strawberry is a bit more drowned out by the base tea here. I also think that the blueberry flavour is much more authentic than the strawberry (though I like the fake flavours of both these fruits :D)
ETA: Second infusion (3.5 min) pretty light in flavour. Not a tea I will miss.
Oh… I am kicking myself for brewing up so many teas right now…. :S This sample is another from Azzrian – a blend I wanted to buy, but knew I shouldn’t at the time.
The aroma is pure, heavenly blueberry. My mouth is watering! I wish I had thought to grab the last of my Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish (also from Azzrian) to see how the two compare, but it’s definitely too late for that now. The flavour is simply a (very tasty) juicy blueberry black to me, though. I still don’t really know what zabaglione is, although I’ve gathered that creaminess is involved, and I can believe that there’s creaminess here taking the edge off of potential blueberry tartness, but that’s about it. The base tea here is slightly astringent and not overpowering yet present, which is just perfect.
I think I probably will still prefer DavidsTea’s Blueberry Jam for a blueberry black tea, even though the stevia sometimes tastes funny to me, but I’d have to do a comparison to be certain. Perhaps in the future!
Thanks again for (all the) sample(s), Azz!
ETA: Second infusion is pretty light on flavour, probably not worth it.
Finally getting to this one, thanks Indigobloom!
The aroma to me is a fairly standard sweet rooibos aroma. I can’t place exactly which tea it reminds me of, but perhaps it’s a creme caramel rooibos, or some truffle one. I really don’t recall. Flavourwise, there’s also a sort of familiarity. I think it’s nougat, that I’m picking up. Not toblerone, as I can’t taste any chocolate here, but kind of a tangy sort of nougat. It seems to be growing on me as I sip more of the tea…
This one’s definitely a different rooibos blend, and quite palatable given the tame version of rooibos found here, but I have to admit that it’s not my favourite, and probably not a blend I’d seek out again. However, I very much appreciate the chance to try it out, so thanks Indigobloom!
ETA: Second infusion is kind of like sweet-ish water. Not bad, but nothing too special.
What was I thinking?! Nearly all the teas I brewed up tonight are black teas! Seriously, I’m an idiot. It’s already half past 4 in the morning… Anyhow, onto a tea I had yet to review!
The aroma of the tea is lovely, reminding me of a bagged tea but without the astringency and with a fair bit of richness (again, I need to work on descriptors for this particular aroma. It’s so common and I don’t know how to describe it!)
The tea is quite a bit milder and smoother than I was expecting, and tastes like…. figs?! Whaaaat? I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m tasting. Figs, like those from fig newtons, but a touch less sweet. Fascinating! I’ll admit that I didn’t have high hopes for this tea as I’m pretty picky about blacks, but this is both intriguing and quite delicious! Definitely drinkable sans additions, which is critical for me. I’m glad I finally brought this one out to try!
ETA: Second infusion (boiling/2.5 min) doesn’t have much flavour beyond that of a weak standard black tea.
The addiction continues. I made yet another cup of this tea, this time first thing this morning (along with Mango Ice Cream). Unfortunately, I only have one travel thermos that is leakproof, and I was biking, so I had to choose which tea to take, and which to drink. So, Mango Ice Cream went into the thermos, and I attempted to gulp this one down before leaving, but one sip in, I realized that it was not going to happen. And then remembered my poor roommate upstairs studying for a midterm, and her newfound love of this tea…. and took it up to her (for which she was quite grateful!) Definitely picking up at least a couple pouches of this when it’s re-blended (yeah, I say when. It will happen if enough of us band together for it! :D)
Did I mention somewhere that second infusions of this one are pretty darn tasty too?
ETA: The third is too! But I suspect that’s it.
Had a cup of this today courtesy of Azzrian! It was actually the only thing I consumed between breakfast and a very, very late supper (I was in the lab all day), so I’m glad it was as tasty as it was! A delicious, creamy, mildly fruity black tea. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a mango flavour at all, but an ice cream sort of creaminess was definitely present, and I really did enjoy the fruitiness! I wish that the mango was more present, though; that’s really my only complaint, but I thought that the base tea was fabulous – strong enough to hold its own but without overpowering the blend or causing too much astringency. This would be a 90s tea for me if only I could actually taste the mango… this is sadly not entitled “Vaguely Fruity Ice Cream” black tea. Delicious, just the same.
The second infusion (3 min, boiling) is a fairly smooth, perhaps slightly creamy black tea. Even less true to the name, but surprisingly tasty anyhow.
Split a pot of this with my roommate tonight. If someone had told me that I was drinking steeped seaweed, I would 100% believe them – this tea tastes salty, a bit sweet and umami, and very marine. It’s a little bit bitter at the end, but there was a lot of broken leaf in the package, so that could perhaps be the cause.
Honestly, although I adore sushi, and love seaweed, I really would prefer not to be drinking a cup of tea that tastes like seaweed as well. Give me a nice genmaicha with my sushi, thanks. And I’d rather have seaweed in dried snack form as opposed to beverage form. Certainly an interesting tea, but preferably one I won’t be drinking again!
ETA: Im sure this one would have re-steeped at least once ok, but we really didn’t care for it, so just ditched it.
Indulging tonight… yummmmm. I think I overleafed again (why?!) but it’s still delicious. Need to compare directly to Watermelon Xylophone at some point, but I think this one will come out the winner.
Note to self: use only 2 level teaspoons when filling the regular-sized (10oz. ish) mugs.
Although I still have a cup’s worth of this left from Awkward Soul… I started in on my large baggie-ful from Robyn tonight! Thanks SO much for sending me so much of it… I should have at least enough for a few more cups, which makes me super happy!
I accidentally oversteeped this one a bit tonight (4.5 min), so can taste just a hint of bitterness, but it’s still delicious. I’m not sure what exactly it is with this one that works so well for me, but I love it. Absolutely wonderful. So creamy, and savoury, and sweet without being… sugary. Mmmm.
… did I seriously only drink this tea twice before gifting it to my mother? Bleh. Well, I have Sil to thank for one more cup of this before I have to order more! This is just so floral and oolongy and delicious. Love love love!
This one’s possibly the last honeybush sample I have from Momo, thanks!
The aroma of this one is familiar, possibly from another 52teas blend, and not one that I particularly am smitten with. The flavour, however, is much tastier. I’m getting citrusy notes, and possibly pineapple, mixed with a creaminess that I can only guess is banana. I’m shocked! I was dreading drinking this cup as the aroma just wasn’t quite right, but the flavour is marvellous! The honeybush is also hardly present at all, which is nice; it just provides a solid base for the star flavours without adding too much of its own flavours.
Probably not a tea I’d purchase, but one I’d happily drink again! Yum!
ETA: Again, got a nasty smell upon putting the infuser basket into the hot water, but the result is a tasty lightly citrusy cup with no weird flavour/aroma. Decent enough!
I’m thoroughly and completely addicted to this one. If I had less tea, I would seriously consider buying an entire pound of this one. Yeah, it’s that good. My roommate is so in love with it too. Just a perfect genmaicha, paired with excellent flavours. I really want Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha to come back too!
ETA: Second infusion is a lighter version of the first, still definitely worth the cup. I didn’t ask my roommate what she thought of the third infusion she drank last night… it smelled a bit weak to me.
Yep, this one’s still a great chai for drinking straight! The aroma is of a perfectly blended spiced chai, with a definite cardamom aroma being the most present, yet not overwhelming. In spite of the flavour being fairly light (although again, cardamom is the dominant flavour), this tea tastes full and rich, and deliciously creamy from the coconut, so unlike underspiced, watery chais, this one is very satisfying. Makes for a delicious evening cuppa. Thanks again Indigobloom! One of my fave chais for sure :D
ETA: Wow, I’m on the fourth infusion, and it’s more lightly spiced but still coconutilly creamy! Delicious! And wow, the fifth infusion is still creamy and coconutty! Crazy. This tea has some insane longevity.
Ok, from this tea, I was hoping for a delicious apricot-flavoured honeybush. Wish granted! That’s pretty much what this tastes like to me. Brandy? Possibly, but I don’t know what it tastes like. Upside-down cake? I don’t know, I’m not really getting any cakey flavours. Just sweet apricot, and honeybush. The honeybush is a liiiittle bit strong here IMO, but it is so much more bearable than rooibos.
Delicious delicious. Unfortunately less true to the name than some people liked, but I feel it will serve the purpose I bought it for!]
ETA: Second infusion is mildy fruity water. Surprisingly tasty, actually, but pales in comparison to the other teas I have brewed up, so I probably won’t finish the cup.
Bleh. Unfortunately, another bust with this tea, this time due to the anise. When I opened the packet, I was hit with an overwhelming licorice smell. I guess I had interpreted “a little” anise seed to mean just that, and was expecting it to be very mild (say, like in Butterbeer, where it was nearly indistinguishable). I drank this cup quickly, so can’t really remember any nuances in flavours, except that behind the overly present licorice flavour, there was a nice light spiced chai that I actually quite liked. I admit that I definitely did find this one easier to drink than Graveyard Mist, and when the licorice faded (it was more of an initial flavour), the cardamom and other spices left quite a nice aftertaste. Can’t say I’ve ever had brandy, so I have no idea if it was true in flavour to that…
Also, there was a weird smell emanating from the bag when I opened it, and the tea when freshly brewed. It was a familiar non-food aroma, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. My roommate said it reminded her of play make-up she used to use as a child, but I don’t think that’s what I’m getting.
Anyways, do not pick this one up if you have an aversion to licoricey aromas/flavours or chais (stupid Autocorrect tried to correct that to “chaos” three times!) but for those of you who do like such flavours, I imagine it’s quite good! Rating withheld because of a hated ingredient and therefore heavy bias.
Ook. I ordered this one kind of on a whim, thinking that perhaps marshmallow creaminess would make me like mint, but unfortunately no. I really, really dislike this tea; it tastes far too much like mouthwash/toothpaste for me. I tried sweetening it, and it didn’t help at all; I let it sit to chill (ok, I couldn’t face taking it to work nor bear dumping it out, so I poured it into a different mug and left it sitting on the counter while I was at work tonight) and it’s marginally better… tastes much like a liquefied spearmint candy, but with an odd flavour that I’m really not enjoying.
My roommate only tasted this post-sweetening, and it was way too sweet for her, so I’ll let her try it unsweetened before attempting to rid myself of this tea. Unfortunate purchase for me, but luckily it’s well-liked by most everyone else, so I expect someone may want it!
No rating because, well, it’s mint, and I really shouldn’t have ordered this one, it just sounded so good…
Yeeaaah, definitely made a second cup of this one tonight. Not a re-infusion though; the leaves did not have much aroma at all after the first infusion, so I just threw them out. I may try a second infusion of this set simply for curiousity tomorrow, if I have time.
The aroma is of a very caramelly, lightly spiced pumpkin pie. I don’t get pumpkin itself per se, but the spicing is right, which leads to the mental association. Flavourwise, it’s a just slightly bitter, light base, with that same spicy aftertaste, and an encompassing caramel flavour. Pretty tasty. I’d like to try it with sugar, but it’s pretty delicious without. Still no cheesecake flavour, but I’ve come to not really expect that anymore.
I’m on a roll tonight! After receiving my five new teas from 52teas, I have managed to try all of them, plus have a second cup of the Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake! So, must commence quickly with the reviews.
This one smells much more of toasted rice than I recall from the sample I had, but it’s a delicious aroma. The flavour when hot tastes mostly to me of a delicious genmaicha, however as it cooled, a vanilla-y flavour started to develop until the warm tea produces a definite marshmallow taste. Absolutely delicious. My roommate was so taken by it that she nabbed my infuser and made herself the second infusion (with my okay, of course), so I’ll have to make notes on that another day.
This tea is absolutely a winner. I love genmaicha, and I love vanilla/creamy flavours. So glad I got a pouch; I hope it holds me until the next time this one is reblended!
Oh, also, no astringency, no bitterness. The green tea was present but definitely in the background to the toasted rice and flavourings. Delish.
My order finally arrived!!! Made this one and threw it in the Timolino for work. It’s suffering a touch from thermos syndrome, but heck yes this is amazing! Pumpkin tea-wise I don’t think it beats out Della Terra or DavidsTea, but it’s caramel and cheesecake, not just pumpkin spice. Admittedly can’t taste cheesecake, but I have to assume it’s creating a bit of creaminess. The tea base here is also lighter than I expected, but it’s working really well! A definite winner. Better notes when not on my phone and in a rush to get things done.
Frank, I suggest you remove Pumpkin Pie Black from the permanent collection, and replace it with this one!!