69 Tasting Notes

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
69 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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81
drank Cashew Turtle by 52teas
69 tasting notes

What a perfect christmas tea! Unfortunately I didn’t read any of the caveats about oversteeping until after I committed the same sin. I typically like my flavored black teas a little stronger, and disregard steeping instructions, but this delicate blend would have none of that! Despite the bitterness, there was excellent deep, dark chocolately flavor mixed with caramel and a hint of nuttiness that made for a decadent indulgence, which helped get through today at work! After all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Preparation
6 min, 30 sec

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70

WOW! The berries in this are unreal! It brews to an appealing ruby-red. This enticing cuppan did not disappoint. So much sweet, juicy and tangy flavor, I was pleasantly surprised!! I bet it would make a wonderful iced tea- who am I kidding- I’d just add some ice and wine and use it to make sangria!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 15 sec

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60

My least favorite Harney & Sons tea I’ve had this far, which saddens me because it sounded so promising. Making iced tea as we speak to see if it’s any more promising. Will update later. In the meantime if anyone is dying to try this let me know, i’ll send along a teabag!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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74

Picked this up on my first official visit to the Harney & Sons Soho store. I told the salesperson that two of my favorites were Paris and Winter Earl Grey, and this was her recommendation. She said that instead of the vanilla hints found in Paris, this one had honey. One whiff of the canister, and I knew this would be right up my alley! Its a tough call whether I prefer this or the Paris, but both are simply lovely black teas with a little something sweet, and I can detect the berry tinge that some of the other tasters were commenting on. Mellow, full-bodied and wonderful anytime!!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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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.

Location

West Village, NYC

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