Featured & New Tasting Notes
Sip down. Ech, I’m kind of glad, too. These last couple cups were rather dicey. I got the exact same scratchy feeling in the throat that others have mentioned.I think the main reason why my first cup was pretty good was because it contained more orange slices in it (first cup = two slices, second = one, third = none). I think that gave this more oomph, and the orange was more harmonious with the creamy vanilla. Without the orange slice, this is a muted orange creamsicle with scratchy, peppery lapacho.
So that said, no reordering for me. If only this orange creamsicle were combined with a different, delicate base, it would be a winner.
I love music. All kind of music. I can start the day with The Black Keys and end it with Nina Simone. But my universe on Sunday morning usually gravitates torwards classical music. This morning, I chose Erik Satie. I love the odd atmosphere found in his pieces, Gnossienne no. 1, one of my favourite piano number ever. This slow movement version is the best in my opinion:
This tea has put a spell on me, I’ve been enamoured with it since I’ve tasted it for the first time. Sadly, I’m almost done with the year 2009 pouch I’ve ordered. But Garret also sent a generous sample of year 2013 to try so it will be interesting to compare the two.
I know I’ve reviewed it only 9 days ago, but it’s so special, I feel compelled to review it again.
This morning, what’s in my cup still reminds me of spring maple water and it’s even more appropriate with the bright sunny day we’re having so far. This beautiful tea helps me believe that spring might be on its way after all…As I look through the window, even the birds and the squirrels look happier today!
First sip and my mouth is invaded with sweetness and roundness that feel almost like pudding! But I’m immediately getting a faint woodsy earthiness, which reminds me I’m actually drinking pu’erh. Floral notes emerged today, more than I’ve tasted before, reminiscent of a light fragrant rose water. It’s very subtle though, I would never qualify this tea as being “floral”.
I like how this is complex but yet so accessible. I think any tea lover would enjoy this cup, whether they are white and pu’erh tea lovers or not.
Thank you Mandala for such a wonderful experience, it delivers time after time. I will have no choice but to restock on this :-)
I’m packaging some of this to send off to sil, and figured I might as well try it myself. I actually got this at the Balzac’s cafe (guffaw guffaw balzacs omg), and it came in the most adorable tin with a really tight lid and this vacuum sealed under-lid thing. Wow that was articulate.
Anyway, the dry leaf smells quite strongly of ginger and cloves, and you know instantly that it’s a fairly spicy tea. You’re encouraged to add milk and sugar to this, which I took liberties to do.
The spice profile definitely holds true for the taste as well. It’s a chai that’s heavier on the cloves and ginger, with sweet cinnamon and a hearty dose of pepper rounding out the sip and warming your throat. In fact, I can imagine this being a really good “sick” tea, because of the throat-warming effect and also the ginger. This is no delicate, sweet cinnamon chai, and as such, might not appeal to those who avoid spicy chais, but for chai-lovers, I think it should definitely be on the to-try list. And given that I don’t currently have a chai in my collection, I don’t feel at all bad adding what I consider to be generally a ‘winter’ tea to it.
Hmmm app automatically flags tea as recommended. Also, hate nt being able to caress my cupboard since I know what I drank but not the company.
Had a cup of this one and the other tea before leaving the house to pick up my other half for a nerd store trip. Gotta love a lazy weekend where I got a few thigs done but did NO WORK! That’s right….no work. Best weekend in a long time :)Ow I’m busy trying to see if I can manage a short trip to Paris in April along with the other trips we need to take this year.
I realized tonight that I’m soon to be in a very unbalanced tea situation. I have way more true teas than I do herbals/fruit blends. At the rate I’m going, I predict I’ll run completely out of herbals/fruit blends in a month or six weeks. Maybe two months at the most. So it is looking like I will escape from lockdown (in part).
The problem is, there are decafs and herbals I want from a lot of places, but I also want teas from those places, too. I know that if I order from a place that has teas I want, like Harney & Sons, I’ll be tempted to justify the purchase because I’ll be over the limit for free shipping or whatever. Ugh. File under first world problems.
In any case, Teavana is one of the places that has a lot of selection in terms of herbals and fruit blends. I’m not really interested in any of their true teas at this point, so perhaps they’re a safe bet. I really like this as a peppermint, but I doubt it would be a reorder assuming they still offer it. I’ve decided that Tazo Refresh is my go to mint.
I’m also eyeing a lot of the herbals and rooibos blends at DAVIDSTea.
I would buy rooibos, provided that it sits in the background in the blend. Same with honeybush. I don’t like savory blends that much.
With that in mind, I thought I’d ask—what are your top three decaf or herbal or fruit blends that aren’t savory, aren’t overly tart or egregiously sweet, don’t have pronounced rooibos or honeybush flavors, aren’t lemon myrtle, and can be found at a place that has a healthy selection of decaf options? (Thanks in advance.)
mmmmm i like this tea a bunch, though i’ve found picking the flowers out makes it a more enjoyable cup. It’s not that it’s a floral tea persay, but something about the blossoms adds just a little of something i dont enjoy AS much. Over all though, this is a lovely tea and i’m glad winners had it when they had their fauchon teas. I did swing by the other day and their shelves were nearly BARE of coffee and tea…so i’m hoping that means more will be coming in soon….i hope lol
My laptop was reset to default settings when I got it back today (new hard drive), and that stupid “tap to click” function is enabled and I can’t figure out how to turn it off, so I just lost a long and detailed tasting note because I accidentally tapped near the “X” button and cancelled out of my own tasting note. I’ve also been inadvertently highlighting and deleting paragraphs all day. ERGH!
Tre brought me back a single bag of this from Regina (he got back today) – and I kind of didn’t want it, so I just got the sipdown out of the way. I feel bad when he gets me tea because he tries really hard, but often is really egotistical about it/pretends to know way more than he does or he just gets things completely outside of my personal taste – and if he payed attention to what I say about my tea he wouldn’t have either of those issues.
Take this one for example: he gave it to me and was really trying to play up the tea brand, and I just totally shut him down with what I know about Tazo (which he was mispronouncing horribly, and I was quick to point out). I don’t really drink Tazo not because I ’don’t know it exists’ but because I’ve been less than impressed with the few teas I’ve tried from them.
This isn’t an exception: it’s pretty weak in flavour and is underlying bitter – though there is a subtle fruitiness to it which I’ll admit tastes natural (a win), albeit also kinda generic. Personally, I don’t think I’d drink it again though and I sort of feel like I’ve wasted a bit of my time in trying it.
Also, speaking of mispronouncing things it really amuses me how much the three isolated potential houseguests are butchering the contestants names. I mean, they don’t know any better – but it is a little amusing. My favourite is the pronounciation of “Adel”. It’s supposed to be like the singer “Adele” but they’re saying it like “Ladle” without the L. With a hard A. Heh.
What an interesting flavour. The scent and flavour profile is simultaneously intriguing me and making me feel ill. I have a weird relationship with berries. I love them individually, but any sort of berry mixture never goes over well. The cinnamon here seems to create the pie effect, at least in my cold shaken milk, and I think that’s what is allowing this flavour to work for me. I’ve also never had a berry pie, so perhaps this is what it’s supposed to taste like? Perhaps a warm latte would work better?
Sometimes just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD . For instance, just because you CAN eat four Krispy Kreme donuts in one car ride does not mean you should eat them. Or just because you CAN chug two bottles of water in under a minute, does not mean you should. I, of course, am speaking in the hypothetical here however should you decide to do those things and just happen to feel quite nauseous, you may want to drink a mint tea. Perhaps one like this tea. Just a thought.
Oh, this is really good! And it’s perfect in my whales cup! Whaaaaaales!
It’s all melon! Honeydew melon! And I get something that makes me think of cucumber in it. It’s quite light and refreshing, even though I steeped it for 7 minutes – I may have got distracted taking pictures of my pretty whales. :D I took the leaves and popped it in the fridge with my other nordic mug so I can compare the cold-steeped version later!
I really like this though. It’s light on tea, and heavier on fruit so it might be expensive if you want a lot of black leaf in it, but I don’t mind that either. This way I can share with the toddler and not worry about it. I do get a spearminty after-taste too, although I don’t know if there is mint in it or not. Maybe in the added flavours?
I’d want to rate this 90 and go out and buy a tin, but I know that’s just new-tea-fever! I’ve got a 25g pouch so I’ll rate it after I try it again.
Sipdown no. 116 of the year 2014. Just enough left for me and the BF this morning.
An enjoyable sipdown. I hope for more like this, where I’m not dreading having to make the tea go away (and arranging it so the BF’s cup is much bigger than mine each time I steep it).
I should find/drink more orange flavored tea that I like. I’m sure I have some in the stash somewhere. I really do like orange flavor. I have an orange from our tree in my refrigerator at the moment. I didn’t even know we had an orange tree until the BF and kids came in with three huge oranges. I think what happened was: we had a crazy neighbor who we couldn’t work with on a fence repair so the deer had been eating the little trees and the fruit. The crazy neighbor died, and a couple with kids bought her house and completely gutted it and made it look very nice. They also, of course, worked with us to put in a new fence. I think the tree has recovered! I’m pretty sure we have a tiny lemon tree out there somewhere too.
Lest you think it is weird that I don’t even know what sort of trees I have in the backyard, our house is on a hill, and it’s a pretty steep slope. The backyard is terraced but not very easy to get to and not overly usable, so we don’t go down there a lot. I’d like to change that—would really like to completely redo it and make it kid play friendly but landscaping is so incredibly expensive.
Time to buy a megabucks ticket.
Ironically, & purely by coincidence (although there are no coincidences), I drank this one the last time I woke up ridiculously early. Anyway, this one is, without a doubt, my favorite black tea from Garret! It is absolutely delicious, & deliciously complex, with a rich sweet dark chocolate quality that so many of us love.
I decided to do short steeps of this lovely tea and I’m still drinking it. 11 steeps afterwards though it’s now lost its lovely fruitiness it still is full of flavour with malt mixed with a lovely sweetness. I have no idea what harvest this is from as this was a nice surprise in a giveaway from CrowKettle, but this one steeped in the fashion I steeped it is really fruity. It really tastes like a flavoured tea without actually having flavouring. The flavour notes I got were strawberry, banana, burnt caramel or sugar, a hint of waffle or other baked good, cinnamon and malt for the most part. Really good. This is on my shopping list!
10s after rinse. Scent fruit, strawberry, banana like, malt, hint of floral.
Taste fruit, strawberry, banana,malt, waffle, caramelized sugar undertone.
Really fruity with the malt and astringency creating a sense of density.
15s strawberry, malt
Higher malt, waffle tone, caramelised sugar, strawberries, less astringent and richer in taste and body quite sweet.
20s. Colour light maple scent similar to above
Taste same but texture is both denser and silkier than previous steep except for faint floral note.
20s similar scent
Taste higher malt, hint of floral and touch of cinnamon, waffle note, sweet syrupynote, strawberry . Texture slightly rougher body.
Same fruity malty taste with an aftertaste of sweetness followed by darker burnt sugar and very smooth.
25s. Scent and Tate more malty, less sweet but still quite fruity.
30s spice, biscuit, fruit, malt
Heavy floral/fruity sweet tone over malt with thicker baked good referencing texture.
35s malt with hints of fruit and a sweet aftertaste.
45s. Same as above.
60s malt, still indistinct sweet notes.
120s same as above.
courtney both rocks my world and may have ruined LB for me for a little while. heh. She sent along some cacao for me since HI is annoying me in their lack of consistency with their service…so that i could try her receipe of adding this to LB.
So this morning i did a 1-1 ratio of this + LB in my travel mug for work…fogot about it…and sometime this afternoon took my first sip. dear.god. SOOOOO good! it enhances the deliciousness of LB and makes it a totally decadent treat tea… I may need to keep this in my back pocket for when i’m having a really bad day…though i’d have to get lots more cacao tea.
thanks a bunch courtney!
Another long ago 52teas purchase that was never opened. I’m breaking this one out in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day. I’m only just the tiniest bit Irish, but hey it’s an excuse. I can see the St. Patrick’s Day menu now. This, Irish Breakfast, some green tea later in the day. Maybe some corned beefy lapsang, or something with a potato note. Who knows what else I might have in my stash that’s appropriate. Heh.
The packet has a creamy vanilla fragrance with a darker undertone, and this also comes through in the aroma of the steeped tea. It has a reddish-maple colored liquor.
There’s something dark-ish about the cream flavor in the tea that’s almost got a chocolate tone to it. Not so much a whisky flavor, but I “get it.” It’s a nice approximation of an Irish Cream like Bailey’s in tea form. The BF said he “got it” right away, too.
It gets high marks for flavor replication and pretty high marks so far for drinking pleasure. I don’t think I’ll have a “food tea” problem with this, but the flavor is a bit heavier than some of the other 52teas blacks I’ve had recently so it may not be something I can drink easily every day. We’ll see.
I suddenly found myself in the mood for a chai.
I’d like to publicly thank the Devotea for setting me straight on chai making.
I poured some vanilla almond milk into a pot, turned in on low, added probably way more tea than would be recommended (basically, the rest of the contents of the envelope), & just let it sit there for awhile, checking to stir occasionally. You can disregard any lame reviews I’ve written about this chai in the past, because what I’m drinking now is f*@}!&g awesome!
And it’s a sipdown…uh…326, I think.
I’m drinking this tea out of my new birthday mug, and it’s been poured from my new birthday teapot. I have named the latter Freddie, after the character Freddie Miles in The Talented Mr. Ripley, because it’s fat-yet-elegant, showy and has weird colouring. Birthdays aren’t very gifty to me, unlike Christmas – I’d rather get together with friends and chosen family for activities and Symbolic Things. I prefer getting myself birthday gifts – small things I don’t really need, but that make me happy. So on Monday I was out all day on a magpie spree with my special sweetface Em. When I got this, they offered to deliver it for me. I mean. It’s a tiny teapot. It was hilarious. When it had been settled that it did, in fact, fit quite easily into my bag, they knocked €2 off. It really cracked me up.
My friend T. inspired me to pick this up (Hey T. – good news, I have enough to share!) She’s been ogling it for a while and I figured I’d do us both a service and act as a test subject. I wanted something fit for spring – complex, floral, but yet light and not too overwhelming. Mariage Frères definitely delivered on all accounts. First of all, this is a beautiful tea. Long, thin, needly leaves in various dark shades of green, the occasional light leaf breaking it up nicely, and an absolute abundance of lovely petals.
Scent wise, it excites me a lot, because to me, this is the spring counterpart of Marco Polo Vert – and that, to me, is the ultimate green tea for autumn, with its thick fruity ripeness. This has the same boozy character, but it’s a light, floral booziness. A perfect spring tea party tea – when I close my eyes I see tiers and tiers of dainty sandwiches and cakes.
I’m sometimes frustrated by teas that have no discernible, individual flavours, but in this case the multifaceted florality present in each sip is like a lovely, delicate veil of tea. It’s perfectly achieved, and I’m very pleased with this one. Like most Mariage Frères teas in my collection, it has a very clearly defined personality that grows on me with each sip.
Anyway, one of the Symbolic Things I did yesterday was to dye my hair for the first time in… well, forever. I have never altered my hair colour, ever, in any manner whatsoever, during my 34 years. We went with chocolate, tobacco and a dash of gold. In other words, just like my own hair, only without the greys that emerged overnight some time in late November. http://tinyurl.com/qe7jd58
I love my pervy old uncle Rick.
[Purchased at Dagnino in Rome, March 2014.]
-one spring tea sampler set
-one matte white Nordic mug with shellfish and pale green interior.
-I can’t believe that was all. I just can’t. I saw and fell in love with the lime green timolino, and think it will be mine very very soon, just not yet.
I also saw their new travel mug, which is said to be leak-proof. It seemed nice, although for some reason I wasn’t crazy about its esthetics, or maybe it was just the way it felt in my hand. It’s a rubberized textured type of metal, and it just feels wide and clunky, and I’m not sure how I feel about the handle on the lid yet.
But yeah, this tea, sorry!
I got it to go as a soy latte with agave. This tastes pretty comparable to what a peaches and cream flavoured oatmeal tastes like, minus the grainy taste of oats. The peach is a soft, rounded peach as opposed to the fresh juicy variety, and is not even remotely tart or tangy, although this could be due to the vanilla, which gives more of a cream note than a distinctly vanilla one. I also didn’t get any apple at all, which whatever, fine by me.
This is a solid tea, and makes a fine latte. I’m pretty excited to play around with the sample I have!
First tasting note! I went in to the store early today, mainly to pick up the awesome whale perfect mug. I still have an unopened perfect mug from last spring (the elephants), but whales are the love of my life (shh don’t tell J :P). I was really only interested in this tea and Blue Lagoon, but Blue Lagoon was shipped to the wrong store, so I only grabbed this one.
This smells amazing. It smells just like a body cream I ran out of ages ago, that was my favourite. Something about cucumber melon is awesome. The steeped scent is (mint?) all cucumber melon. The flavours are light here and don’t come through too strongly. But the base also isn’t overwhelming. Overall a light tea. The scent is definitely what makes this tea amazing. Every time I bring it for a sip, the smell is just delicious.
P.S. I’m not supposed to tell you guys, but apparently Coconut Oolong is making a reappearance in April. They said it has lemongrass this time around though.
mmm perfect mid morning tea to go along with getting tons of work done at home today. I really needed this day to just relax and focus on catching up with work. Hopefully by the time the weekend rolls around i’ll be ready for daylight savings, and being back in to the full swing of things with work :)
Oh wow! exam tomorrow…. how do i do this quickly?
gong show week.
nevermind, gong show semester.
bought some zen teas because i’ve had to drop my caffeine… tried a chamomile blend? baaaaaaaaad call!
but they threw this is as a sample.
if my exam is half as amazing i’ll be very very happy!
This white should be lo-caf enough for the evening. Lupicia are just too good – whenever I open this bag, I have an instant, irrational, want-to-turn-around-and-check, ‘But where is the melon hiding?’ type reaction. It’s just that melony. I honestly can’t think of anything that could make this better or more melon-esque.
And to continue my general praise of Lupicia, I think I could probably pour 300C water on their most delicate teas and let them steep for five minutes and they would still taste good. I mean – every single tea I love of theirs have boiling/1.5-minute steeping instructions. And they taste fresh, natural and amazing.
I swear they’re not paying me to say this. It’s more like I’m paying them, and I still say this.
(Lupicia, I love you.)
Once upon a time, we used to cherish a month called March. After a long and cold winter, we’d get all excited to see March arrive and bring along the promise that spring was well on its way.
Yes, spring, remember that? Used to be one of our four seasons…but nowadays, winter seems to be the only season left…On March 4th today, it’s freakin MINUS 20 CELSIUS!!!
Thank god I have this tea to remind me what spring season is like.
Mmmm, Darjeeling, with its fresh citrusy notes. A beautiful first flush this tea. Sweet but slightly astringent and very juicy. It’s what I call a sunny tea :-)
Thank you so much for sharing this “sunshine in a cup” with me Sil. Such a good pick me up on this cold winter day!