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267 Tasting Notes

52

Don’t judge me, this is another free tea from my school’s health services, and tea help me, I like it. This means that I should probably seek out some peach tea that isn’t just sawdust. Mangosteen and peach are such similar tastes to me that it really doesn’t matter if there’s mangosteen in here. And quite frankly, I’m not kidding myself that I’m gaining any superfruit health benefits from this.

Lipton’s superfruit tea blends actually (almost all) look really tasty though. I can see buying a few of them and hiding them in the back of my cabinet where nobody will ever know. Except, I guess my husband would know. And he’d laugh.
This tastes better than the Republic of Tea bags have lately; those are too weak. Every so often one is super tasty and then they suck me in again… but I have this theory about bagged tea in general- the bag you try somewhere randomly, on a whim is delicious. So you buy a box. And then nothing that comes out of that box is ever as delicious as the teaser-bag you got. Since my Whole Foods often has random free tea bags out by the coffee, this happens to me a lot.
(But the employees like it when you return tea to the store because they get to divide up returned items like that. Or, that’s what a friend who works at WF told me.)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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34

My university wellness center stocks this in their lounge area/waiting room. It’s a sweet kind of spicy and reminds me of essentially every lotion I’ve ever worn in the fall, and every candle I’ve ever gravitated towards in the fall. It’s a really sweet cinnamon chai- and I’m not a huge fan of sweet cinnamon. You could probably just steep cinnamon in a tea strainer and get a similar cuppa.

Still, free tea, right? Yeah, ho hum. It did help my throat feel a little less congested.

Bonnie

Aha I like this too. If you ever get to Colorado (I know you have an Uncle who lives close to me because your husband told me!) I should take you on a tour of Celestial Seasonings!

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82
drank Chai Mate by urbane tea company
267 tasting notes

I’ve had this for as long as I’ve had the rooibos and black tea chais that came in this present from my mother, but been drinking it less because I didn’t think I wanted the stimulation of mate. Well, now that I have “donated” the black tea version to my department and am almost done the delicious rooibos chai I am turning my attention to this.

Aaaaaannnnd it’s pretty good, actually. I still don’t need the stimulation, but I enjoy the taste of this enough to drink it anyway. The cinnamon isn’t overblown in this version of their chai- and it actually does taste a bit like a chai I’ve had at an Indian restaurant near me. I’m digging the fennel and anise in this. And for those who don’t like mate, but DO like how it makes them zip, the mate is definitely taking a backseat to the spices here. I don’t know how common mate chais are, but this is a good one so worth giving this little startup tea company some business, I’m thinking.

Alas, drinking chai has failed to make it feel more like winter here in perpetually-hot Houston.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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47
drank Simply Chai by urbane tea company
267 tasting notes

I think this one might be a bit too heavy on the “spicy cinnamon”, which is the first ingredient listed on my canister- even before the black tea. When I open this container I am immediately hit with a blast of the stuff- sadly, it didn’t make my allergies go away and reminded me of walking into a crafts store.

I think with some little candy hearts in here this could easily be re-branded as a Valentines Day “red hots” tea. As for me, I’m not particularly into it. The cinnamon is so strong that it overpowers the rest of the ingredients, so I don’t get any of the typical complexity of a good chai. I particularly am sad to be missing the taste of the orange peel.

Because of the heavy cinnamon I’m not quite sure what to do with the rest of this- dilute it by mixing it with another chai and risk ruining that chai? Bring it to my department and leave it by the hot water cooler (am thinking yes)? Making it into a bath tea and soaking in it? Cinnamon is stimulating and warming after all, and helps with muscle aches.

Er, maybe I’ll just bring it to my department. Unless someone out there wants to swap me some pu-ehr or nifty oolong blend for this. I know some of you really like strong cinnamon and the “red hots” tea blends out there.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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34
drank Weight To Go! by Teavana
267 tasting notes

I’m not trying to lose weight, but this sounded delicious so I was excited to try it. This one definitely is rocking the fruits at the expense of the tea taste. I’m getting that annoying tartness that berries and hibiscus (my arch-nemesis) bring, and that I so deeply hate. And then there’s the spearmint underneath it, making the whole thing a bit like berry gum.*
But, oddly I don’t hate the overall taste (just… some of it?) I simply don’t really care if I ever drink it again. I mean, if it melted my stomach chub into oblivion as I sipped that’d be one thing. But on the basis of flavor? Not a winner.
Sad to not find any pu-ehr or oolong in this at all. I think the hibiscus and mint stomped them into oblivion. I’ll have to have some pu-ehr later to make up for this one.

*Ha- I never read other reviews before posting my own and am amused to see that others got the “berry gum” thing from this too. Spearmint = gum.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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96

Jim shared this one with me, as I’m currently on a pu-ehr kick. I can’t pretend that I have an amazing palette for pu-ehrs though; mostly they either taste properly rich and dark, or stale and light to me. This one is in the “deliciously rich” category. It’s cold and rainy here in Houston today, and this one really hits the spot. It’s definitely got more depth to it than some of the flavored pu-ehrs I’ve been drinking lately. When I hear people haven’t tried pu-ehr, I’m tempted to point them toward ones like this, that are just great teas without anything risky going on in them.
Yum yum. Cavey. (This is the 3rd steeping of this)

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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70

I love flavored pu-ehrs, but I keep going back and forth on this one. Slenderness aside, the dark musty taste of the pu-ehr is an interesting pairing with the tart sweetness of strawberry. I’m currently drinking this in a tea travel mug, so it’s getting the longest steeping of its life, and this is magnifying both tastes to an intensity that I’m not sure I find appealing. The pu-ehr in this blend also verges on tasting a bit darker than most I’ve tried.

I’ve decided that the strawberry in here tastes strongly like freeze-dried strawberries usually taste; have you ever tried those “Just Strawberries” in the plastic containers, sold at many grocery stores? Or, Trader Joe’s used to have freeze-dried strawberries. It’s a little tarter and less sweet than a fresh strawberry.

Pu-ehr is a relaxing taste to me in general, but the strawberry almost turns it into a dessert tea. I think I’d like to try this at a Teavana store, brewed freshly and fresh from the bin so I could really decide whether I think this combo works. I’d consider buying this one, as I got it in a swap.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Ninavampi

My impression was also that the flavor completely covered up the pu-erh.

Bonnie

I have 2 favorite flavored Pu-erhs…DavidsTea Chocolate Orange and The Tea and Spice Exchange (which is in Dallas and online) Strawberry Chocolate Puerh and both are fantastic! Love Love Love! Shipping from Davids in Canada is $5.00 for whatever you order which is not bad. Let me know if you want a sample. Blessed Pascha!

Lisbet

I would absolutely love a sample! That would be amazing! We’re saving up for some stuff right now so I haven’t been ordering tea, but I miss my pu-ehr.

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75
drank Sencha Claus by TeaGschwendner
267 tasting notes

I first tried this tea about 5 years ago, when living in Chicago. Now, my brother-in-law regularly brings it to Christmas gatherings because he knows I like it.
And I do like it- the almondy sweetness complements the sencha well. But today I am getting something soapy in here too. It’s strong enough that I am wondering if I somehow got soap on my cup rim. Or perfume.

Am trying to push past this to the delicious almond. I’m even having this with almond biscotti-like cookies. Could it be the orange blossom that can get perfumey?

As you may be able to tell, this one is very inconsistent for me. I wouldn’t pounce on the pouch every year in December if it always tasted perfumey/soapy.
All of this said, when this one’s good it’s absolutely wonderful- the perfect holiday dessert tea. So I still recommend it.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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84
drank Vanilla Mint Mate by 52teas
267 tasting notes

I actually really like this one!
I’m not always the biggest fan of mate- I don’t think it tastes like coffee and tend not to appreciate blends that try to convince me that it does. I’ve been confused about the whole “mate latte” trend at coffee/tea houses.

But now I want someone who’s good at making lattes to make me one with this- because it’s just screaming for foamed milk.
My first cup I just had with water, but I’m trying it now with some steamed vanilla soy milk (I think I used too much and made it too weak- oops)
Anyway, vanilla and mint are a great combination, and while mate doesn’t have a stimulating affect on me, it’s pleasant enough in this blend that, well, I don’t mind that it’s there. Keeps this from being an (after dinner) dessert tea though- I don’t want to risk being stimulated right before bedtime.

I think all tea shops should stock this one to make me lattes with. Yumyum.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Ninavampi

I am glad you liked it much more than I did! : )

Lisbet

Me too!! I hope I continue to like it a lot.

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Profile

Bio

Grad student in sociocultural anthropology. I drink tea while reading for my courses, and it makes the books go down easier. I genuinely like most kinds of tea – although fruit tisanes kind of scare me.

Location

Houston, Texas, United States

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