53 Tasting Notes

74

I was excited to try this new tea by Harney, probably because the description sounded so elusive and mystical. It did not disappoint. It’s subtlety is evident in aroma and taste. It smells like the first day of summer. It has a young and grassy taste that is very delicate, and true to the description, a little sweet. This is a very nice cup of tea.

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

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77

I don’t know what originally possessed me to put this tea on my Christmas wishlist, but boy am I glad I did! It’s not typically my cup of tea (pun intended) I don’t usually go for herbals, but have been trying to expand and explore more Rooibos. The no-caffeine factor won out and I decided to brew some up since it’s getting pretty late. It has a luscious tangy cranberry, that isn’t too overpoweringly fruity, and is a welcome departure from all the heavy, flavored black teas I’ve been on a kick with lately.

Reminds me why I went through my original tin of Cranberry Autumn by Harney and Sons so quickly this past fall.

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70

This is very close to the Mint Chocolate Rooibos by David’s tea, but the flavor isn’t as intense. It isn’t as minty or as chocolatey (this is shaping up to be a very sophisticated analysis, eh?) But it IS caffeinated, so I guess that will be the determining factor on which one I’ll reach for in the future.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

I thought this tea would have gotten a higher rating. Bought it for my sister a couple years ago and she raved about it.

teaNsympathy

It’s a solid tea, that’s fairly straight forward. However, I think having recently enjoyed the DT rooibos version, this one was less impressive by comparison. I’m a huge fan of Harney and this is a nice tea, just nothing extraordinary :)

ScottTeaMan

Have you ever tried Harney’s Tokyo Blend?. I really enjoy it. Bancha green tea, toasted sesame seeds, & caramel flavors.

teaNsympathy

I have not! I am headed there later in the week, and might need to add it to my shopping list though, it sounds amazing!

ScottTeaMan

I also have some of their Bangkok Blend, I have yet to sample. I’ll do it in the next day or two & post a review for you.

ScottTeaMan

You have got to read my review of this tea from Harney’s…….It is ssooo delicious!

http://steepster.com/ScottTeaMan/posts/94626#comments

Cup it there or at least buy a sample. I couldn’t believe my tasts buds. :))

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83
drank Milk & Cookies by 52teas
53 tasting notes

Backlogging from Christmas: What a lovely and apropos finale to an amazing 12 teas of Christmas!!! This black tea is interesting to say the least. It’s sweet, and creamy but also has an almost floral-y element to it. I used a shorter steep time (thanks for the tip, Uniquity!) and I think I finally got a hang of it. It was a lovely christmas treat!!!

Moral of the story: 12 teas of christmas made the holiday season festive and bright!

Preparation
3 min, 15 sec

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73

Tragedy Strikes!!

Previous installments of my 12 teas of christmas set have had significant holes in the bottom, where portions of tea have escaped, but previously I’d been able to salvage enough to make a cup.

That all changed today! The ENTIRE (and I mean every last particle) of today’s sample had disappeared through an entirely open bottom, leaving only the sticker left to taunt me about an amazing-sounding tea I won’t get the chance to try :(

KeenTeaThyme

I had this happen with the first tea – Buttered Popcorn. I opened the box and found the entire packet had emptied into the bottom of the box. Email Frank and he’ll make things right. :)

52teas

Please send me a message with your name and address and I will get a replacement out to you right away. Sorry about that. We actually killed one of our bag sealers with this project and although I thought we managed to catch the ones that didn’t seal after we realized it was toast, apparently we failed. We did 265 of these samplers. That’s 3180 sample pouches. I guess the sealer was just not up to the task. Again I apologize. We’ll make it right with you.

aisling of tea

Booo, that sucks :(. Glad I went with the DT calendar, it sounds like there were a lot of issues with the 52teas one.

Frolic

Frank what e-mail should I use? I tried to send you one about what happened to two of my packets a few days ago but never got reply.

teaNsympathy

Despite the issues this was a wonderfully curated edition of teas. It was a great selection of amazing creations. This was my first experience with 52teas and I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on!! I also can’t wait to see what awaits us in the new year! How was the DT calendar???

aisling of tea

Amazing. Definitely will be a Christmas tradition with us.

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89

I just can’t say enough good things about this tea! Had a rough night, and am exhausted on every level. I needed an emotional pick-me-up that wouldn’t bring on a caffeine-induced pick-me-up. This never fails to do the trick.

ScottTeaMan

I like vanilla teas, but not if they taste artificial, or overpower the base tea. How does this blend do in those areas?

teaNsympathy

I agree, and neither of those aspects are the case with this one, I’m happy to report! The vanilla is well balanced (I think this must have something to do with the almost caramel-y Comoro element) and despite that it originally reminded me of candy corn, I would say it ’s not an artificial taste.

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72

I was very excited when today’s christmas sampler revealed this little number. I was even more enticed when I caught a whiff of the creamy vanilla scent. However, with all this anticipation, I must admit I was a little let down. It was a little too astringent for my liking, a sort of bitterness I could not get over. The vanilla flavor was nice, so I broke down and did something I hardly ever do. I added a pinch of sugar and some almond milk. It seemed blasphemous to contaminate the tea with these accoutrements, but after a cup it just seemed too underwhelming without anything, plus I enjoyed it so much more!

Bottom line: When it comes to vanilla-y flavored black teas I’d stick with Paris by Harney and Sons (even though it only has a hint of vanilla) I think it’s more satisfyingly vanilla than this.

Uniquity

I don’t know how many 52Teas you’ve experienced prior to this, but I suggest using a shorter steep time or lower steep temp (or both!) There seems to be a general consensus that Frank’s teas can get a little bitter, so I like to start out low so I don’t waste a good cuppa. Happy tea!

teaNsympathy

Thanks for the tip! These have been my first experiences with 52teas and although they’ve been wonderful, I know I’ve at least over-steeped one so far, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case once again! Thanks for the information, I’ll definitely be tweaking my approach!

Uniquity

I totally meant to point out that Frank’s black tea base is the one that can get bitter, hopefully you understood where I was going with it. :) Best of luck!!

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82

MMmm this is the ideal after-dinner tea! I just had it along with a christmas red velvet cupcake from Magnolia Bakery and it was a match made in heaven! The best of everything all at once and only a few days until christmas!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 15 sec
daydrm_believer

Red velvet + mint chocolate sounds like the best Christmas combo ever. Cannot wait to do that when Christmas rolls around again (which is usually does before we know it). :)

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84

Delicious! Today (although it’s only Monday) was my Friday, since I have the next two days off. Usually that makes for an especially long and tedious day, however, this was the perfect tea to energize me and calm my nerves with it’s perfectly-balanced sweet demeanor. It cheered me up and allowed me make it through! It has a toasted quality that I assume is because of the Genmaicha, and the marshmallows complement divinely. A most intriguing concoction and wonderful addition to the 12 days of christmas lineup! So far they’ve all been a hit!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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91
drank Glitter & Gold by DAVIDsTEA
53 tasting notes

I can’t say enough great things about this tea! It was such a pleasant surprise! I stopped by the David’s tea on Bleecker Street and was going to get a sample of it to try, because although the description was alluring, I am skeptical of overtly cinnamon-flavored teas. However, all that hesitation melted away once the salesperson lined up some flavored black teas for me to smell. I instantly swapped the sample packet for a large pouch, and it is easily one of the best decisions I’ve made! The cinnamon is so subtle, its just a warming hint of sweetness that is capable of melting away the harsh winter days!!

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“The heaven of modern humanity is indeed shattered in the Cyclopean struggle for wealth and power. The world is groping in the shadow of egotism and vulgarity. Knowledge is bought through a bad conscience, benevolence practised for the sake of utility. The East and West, like two dragons tossed in a sea of ferment, in vain strive to regain the jewel of life…Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.” – Kakuzo Okakura, “The Book of Tea”

I am happiest at a tea room, or snuggled up at home with a freshly brewed cup.

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