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185 Tasting Notes
This is another unique gem from the Tropical Tea Co (TTC) March Madness sale. I’m a little bit behind on my logging… we had another box from them waiting when we got home from shopping earlier. We tried three, all good, and I’m just now getting around to posting a tasting note, with just a teensy tiny bit of tea left in my cup!
This tea is very, very good. Though, the green tea is completely hidden by the vanilla. I absolutely love vanilla. I could have a vanilla house, with a vanilla door, and a little vanilla puppy laying next to my vanilla slippers. And in said vanilla-villa, this tea would fit perfectly.
What’s interestingly lacking in this tea… is the green tea. I don’t necessarily find that bad, I just find it odd. The vanilla flavoring is smooth, it doesn’t taste fake, it doesn’t taste forced, but it is really the only taste that I discern. I’d expect this from a vanilla white tea, not from a green.
At any rate… this is a very smooth, very enjoyable, creamy, luscious vanilla tea, that I am going to very much savor. I only wish we would have tried this with our first box from TTC, so that we would have bought more of it from our second. But seeing as how I’ve received roughly five pounds of tea from them in the past three weeks, it will probably be a little while before i order any more. I haven’t tried others teas with this flavor combination (or flavor obfuscation, more like!), but I’d be happy to continue purchasing this from TTC for… well… ever. Missy wouldn’t let me stop ordering it if I tried.
For the right audience, this is probably an inspiring, amazing tea. However, this tea and my expectation of this tea are kind of in two different rooms, not talking to each other.
This is an amazingly deep and flavorful blend. The base teas are very smooth and enjoyable. The most abundant flavor to me is a variety of floral notes. I’m not a fan of floral tea, and my experience with them is relatively small (due in no small part to my general dislike). However, this tea pulls floral off extremely well. The floral is apparent, but not too aggressive. It’s there as part of the tea, not an overpowering perfume above it. Its very well done, and I applaud Sweden (yes, all of Sweden) for this blend actually being a obviously floral blend that I truly, deeply enjoy.
The fruit flavors take a much more subdued backseat with the floral notes. It’s probably a feat of magic to have orange peel in the background of a blend, I can taste it… but somehow it’s an aftertaste. The fruitiness of this tea lingers in your mouth a little while after the floral tastes have departed. I think I taste something more tropical, possibly pineapple, in the blend as well.
Like I said, this tea is very complex and a very enjoyable blend. Overall, the price wasn’t too expensive. I ordered 250g (total) in two cute, decorative tins for approximately $30 (including shipping from Sweden, mind you). However, it doesn’t blow my not-currently-equipped socks off.
I would highly recommend this tea to anyone who enjoys floral teas, it’s just that floral teas aren’t my ‘thing’. I will definitely enjoy this while I have it, but I don’t know that I’ll buy it again.
It will just be some tea blend that I used to drink ;)
This is a fantastic but simple masala chai. In my head, the basics are cinnamon (cassia), cardamom, and a little clove. Ginger is a good addition, but not absolutely necessary. This tea covers the basics, is very flavorful, and holds up to at least one good resteeping. Though, we only tend to brew the first steeping for about two minutes (and by we, I mean Missy).
A few years ago, when working on our new payment system, I got to sit down several times for tea with a man named Amarjit. Brilliant man, excellent system designer, very entertaining conversationalist.
Anyway. Had Chai Tea with him one day. He told me to stop repeating myself.
He had the good graces to explain to me that Chai is actually the word for Tea, not the spices themselves (masala). It was fairly amusing. Now I feel like I’m in on a joke, when ever I see something/someone/somewhere offering Chai Tea. MarketSpice calls it Indian tea. Two points for not repeating themselves :).
I’ll probably find other teas that might edge out this one, but I’ll probably keep it around for blending. We blend it with Serendipitea’s Colonille (vanilla), and it..is…SUPERB!
Ah mint, such a glorious thing. Anyone have a favorite mint tea?
In all honesty I can’t give this a proper tasting note right now. I’m still fighting this darn cold, and mint is one of the few things that hasn’t shapeshifted into some unholy flavor combination from the dark bad place.
I’ve drank this a few times before, and it’s a very solid mint green tea. I’m always very impressed with the flavorings that they use on their teas. This mint tea also holds up to resteeping better than, say, their Orange Sickle (sic).
I’ll give both of those teas a proper tasting note when I have proper taste.
Missy was sleeping, so I had to steep this pot all by myself!
This is easily my favorite tea, roughly ever. It has such an amazing smell, the cinnamon fills the room. Plus the orange taste just makes it perfect. I see so many versions of this Cinnamon-Orange tea labelled as a ‘Christmas’ tea. It doesn’t taste Christmas-y though, it’s definitely a year round flavor.
At the recommendation of Teresa Souza, I ordered a batch of Söderblandning from the Tea Center of Stockholm because of my love of Cinnamon-Orange flavor. I’m not sure if it will be a replacement to MarketSpice, more likely a close cousin companion.
It’s left me with a bunch of silly inter-cultural exchange questions though. Let’s just say that my curiousity about the domestic and international shipping customs of Sweden is a little bit of a surprise. Though I have to say their customer service is a clear winner… had an answer to my email within something like 30 minutes.
So yes. Cinnamon-Orange good. MarketSpice good. Impatience bad. This is all true.
I’m not a particularly sophisticated guy. I like movies with things that blow up. Crude jokes make me laugh. I lounge around in athletic wear on the weekends with no intention to do anything athletic whatsoever.
I either lack the imagination or vocabulary to describe a perfectly innocent, stoic, pure black tea like this one. It has the earthy flavor that I love in black tea, the slight crispness, the lingering taste that reminds you that your mouth hasn’t completely purged itself of your last drink.
But that’s it, it’s just a good staple black tea. It’s like the tea you’d serve if the cops came over. You don’t want to serve bad tea, because you’d look like a schmuck. You don’t want to serve AMAZING tea, because you don’t want to seem like you’re trying to distract them. So you brew middle-of-the-road, English Breakfast. And here we are.
The cold that has slowly set upon me has really rallied my tastebuds into a level of noncooperation that I would have previously imagined beyond their grasp. Vanilla tastes like varnish, and pear tastes like soap. Straight tea it is!
I get caught up, sometimes, in how good black tea tastes with different flavors added. I forget that a straight, unblemished black tea all on its own still tastes divine. Call it a little silent blessing that this cold has provided me.
This Texas Iced Tea blend is amazingly rich. There is a depth to this orange pekoe that I haven’t tasted in quite some time, or at least haven’t noticed pushing it’s way past the orange/vanilla/coconut/cinnamon flavors that are in 90% of my tea. It has a layer of almost-spiciness underneath the body of the tea that is quite pleasant.
Definitely a very satisfying black tea to drink, and despite it’s name, preparing this warm proves to be very enjoyable. Come a little later in the spring, when sweet iced tea is more in season, I have no doubt that this will make a delectable iced tea. But for now, I’m quite happy to have it in a nice steaming brew.
This is currently one of the teas on TropicalTeaCo.com’s $1.00 an ounce sale (plus the March coupon), which makes the price unbeatable. I’ll probably put in another order on this and buy enough tea to last us through the iced tea season. The price really cannot be beat, and the flavor is amazing.
This feels like a bad breakup. “It’s not you, it’s me…”
Second tea for the night, and second time I just kind of cock my head to the side and go “hrmm… this… something not right…”
I think I’m going to stop this review here and assume I need some time to get my house in order, so to speak.
I’ve been looking for a good vanilla chai for a while now, partially because the Spicy Seattle chai that I bought from MarketSpice was way too peppery for my dearly beloved next to me (typing her own review at the same time!). When the TropicalTeaCo sale came to my attention, I couldn’t resist. I mean really, at $0.65 an ounce, the tea would have to be really bad to not be worth it.
This tea is a bit of an enigma. The vanilla is aromatic, but almost lost in the taste. It’s there, but subdued. Could be good for some people, but I could be swimming in a vanilla lake and probably want to add more.
Overpoweringly, I taste something floral. Scanning over the list of ingredients, the only thing I think I could attribute it to is the Sunflower Petals. Though, Missy says she doesn’t notice the petals in the tea like the picture shows. But something is there that’s floral, and not the vanilla spiciness that I’m looking for.
Interestingly, the cardamom and nutmeg are the tastes that seem to linger the most. Neither of which are unpleasant flavors.
This tea deserves another shot, because it seems like there’s a lot to love in this blend. It just doesn’t seem to be hitting my tongue right. Maybe a different steeping will be worth it.
I often refer to Stash’s Orange Spice tea as my ‘first love’ when it comes to tea. Tea has always been good, but the pairing of the cinnamon and orange with black tea was the first tea that I ever really wanted. Like deep-seeded cravings kind of want. I moved on to the more bitter bergamot flavor of an Earl Grey later on in life, and it has always felt more of a staple than the Orange Spice. Orange Spice isn’t something you drink every day… it’s a treat. It’s special.
Years go by, and here I am getting all excited about loose tea. A coworker mentions something about MarketSpice, and I kind of dismiss it… because I think I knew what she was talking about, and it wasn’t what I was looking for.
I had no idea what she was talking about, and it was exactly what I was looking for. I apologized to her later.
The MarketSpice tea is similar to the Orange Spice tea in it’s flavor combination, but completely different in it’s execution. It’s like everything I love about Orange Spice, but notched up to 11.
The MarketSpice has very powerful flavoring of cinnamon (cassia), and it’s wonderful. The strength of the cinnamon is worth calling out specifically. The potency is such that when I first start drinking a new pot of this tea, my tongue goes a little tingly from the stimulation.
The orange is a much more solid flavor in this tea than most others (sorry, Stash!). It’s so far been consistently sweet as well, without a trace of that rind-y flavor that I’ve had in other teas. Another gold star for MarketSpice.
I’m also very impressed with pricing from MarketSpice the company. Most of their black teas run just above $1/oz, which is very reasonable. It’s an easy store to make a staple.
I absolutely love this tea, and will always have it handy. However, there are a few warnings that I would give others regarding this tea.
1) It is very sweet. Cinnamon and Orange both lend themselves to a dessert-level of sweetness, and the sheer power of these flavors in this blend lead to a very sweet tea.
2) With all that sweetness and flavor, the black tea really doesn’t have much room to shine. It’s there, somewhere, but man is it subtle. For people that prefer their black tea a little more prevalent, I wouldn’t be able to honestly recommend this tea.
But I recommend it to everyone else. I even recommended it to myself for a second steeping in a second pot tonight. Nom nom nom.
I consider myself quite lucky to have this tea. After finishing quite a bit of the the tea from our first foray into Teavana, truly our first trip into a loose tea store, we were looking around on the website.
Lo and behold, things are on sale!
My fiancé and I look at quite a few things, and add a couple to the cart, but we can’t make a decision as to what exactly all we want to try. We were really indecisive at this point, we hadn’t quite reached our ‘MUST BUY EVERYTHING’ tea frenzy. However, compared to most of the other teas on the site, this was really quite cheap (on sale for $10 a tin). So I added two of them to my cart. But I don’t pull the trigger.
The next day, I browse around Teavana, and these are now out of stock. Bummer! But… what’s that… my shopping cart isn’t empty? I quickly hit the checkout button, and pray for the best.
I’m fairly impressed with this tea, for a number of reasons.
For one, the rosettes really are quite cute. My sister, while simultaneously enjoying and mocking my tea collection at work, referred to them as ‘little tarantulas’, and the description has kind of stuck. The variations between the gold and brown needles give an almost alive look to the beasties. That is, if you don’t notice the string around their middles!
The tea itself brews into a dark, smooth tea. The flavor is rich, but very mellow. It’s just a simple, perfect black tea. It’s a very comforting tea that can truly tie a bow around a long day.
It’s an amazing feat of alchemy to drop three tarantulas into a pot of boiling water and pull out a trio of sea anenomies. Another feature I really like about this tea is that it holds up very well to resteeping, which I don’t find to be true with most black teas. The flavor doesn’t change, the color is just as dark, and the brew is as smooth as ever.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the sale price of this tea was the majority factor in my purchase, followed by the instinctual need to hoard something that you may never see again. At $10, I consider this tin of tea to be an amazing purchase. At $20 a tin, it would have made a cute gift, or a novelty to keep around to serve to people new to loose leaf tea. Higher than that though, I can’t say the novelty would have been able to overpower my ancestral money-guilt.
This came to me from a coworker who found it cleaning out her kitchen. She wasn’t entirely sure when she got it, but she found it in her kitchen and figured I’d use it before she would. However, there’s very little information about this blend… the bag doesn’t list contents (other than a note that it contains stevia), and this specific combination doesn’t appear on Cup & Kettle’s website.
I decided this was going to be an adventure!
Opening the little foil 2 oz bag, I was immediately greeted by the scent of the strawberries, this blend’s most apparent aroma. I shook it around in the bag to admire the contents, and could definitely pick out the lemongrass and chamomile, but nothing else was registering to either my nose or my eyes.
The lemongrass and chamomile made me conclude that this was going to be a close relative to Missy’s favorite nighttime tisane, a lemongrass/chamomile/mint blend. Which, we’ll probably blend the two at some point. So tonight, as we’re getting ready to wind down and hop in bed, she brewed this sample.
All I can say is wow. This is a really well done blend. The tartness of the strawberry mellows with the lemongrass, with the sweetness of the stevia, and the more floral tones of the chamomile. Plus, there seems to be another flavor or two in the background that I can’t place my finger on. It almost has a cinnamon like spice to it, but it asuredly isn’t cinnamon (cassia). It would have to be the most mellow cinnamon ever shaved off a tree.
I have two negative things to say about this tea.
1) There’s a weird, almost waxy aftertaste. I don’t know if this is from the stevia, which I’m not used to using as a sweetener, or maybe part of the strawberry flavoring that I assume they use (because I don’t think the strawberries by themselves would be quite this aromatic). But yeah, a little waxy. Almost strawberry lip-gloss. Nowhere near strong enough to stop me from drinking it, or buying it again. Maybe just strong enough to make me look for it’s less waxy cousin from a different retailer.
2) cupandkettle.com makes my eyes bleed. You can’t order anything from the website anyway, you have to call them to set up an order… but dear lord. It really makes me feel like I accidentally switched my desktop settings to “high contrast” mode.
I need more of this tea. I don’t know how much it costs, because I was given a free sample. Given that the tea shop exists in Leavenworth, a total tourist trap of a town, I’m imagining it’s pretty pricey.
The Cacao Mint black tea from Teavana is definitely a pleasing flavor combination. Though, I feel it would be hard to go ‘wrong’ with a simple chocolate and mint black tea.
My fiancé prepared this with dinner tonight, and while the mint aroma is definitely not as strong as the Moroccan Mint tea from MarketSpice, it still manages to overthrow any competing fragrances from, say, a savory ravioli dinner.
I enjoy this tea, it is one of the black teas from Teavana that I am happiest with. The mint is the most apparent flavoring, with just a hint of chocolate in the background, less noticeable than the black tea itself. It’s soothing and mellow, as any self-respecting mint tea should be.
It does taste a little on the extract-y side, as opposed to tasting more like a natural mint addition to the tea. It’s funny that I didn’t experience this with our first few pots of this tea, several weeks ago. Whether it’s a change in the tea itself, or a change in my own personal tastes, I couldn’t say. I could be growing into more of a tea-snob by the minute ;)
At any rate, this is a solid tea, one that I could see adorning anyone’s tea cabinet as a standby crowd pleaser. However, I think I have some additional Chocolate Mint teas to buy before I decide that the Teavana premium on this tea is worth it. Teavana sells this for $6.80/2 oz, while MarketSpice runs it at about $2.40/2 oz, for example. Though I can’t offer a comparative review the one from MarketSpice… yet!
Let me say that I am impressed with Teavana’s ability to mask the typically quite-grassy flavor of mate. They have a Samurai Chai Mate that is hands down the best mate I’ve ever tasted, and easily up there as one of my favorite drinks.
Knowing that, we did some more research on the different mates that Teavana had, and decided to take some of this home.
This brews into a very mellow tea, but the flavors didn’t come together very well to me. The hint of chocolate, the rooibos, the earthy mate… it just wasn’t very appealing. It wasn’t necessarily offensive, it was just far from pleasurable. I’m still a little bit shocked about it… because it all sounds like it should work so well.
I couldn’t convince myself that it was anything I’d ever choose to drink again, so I gave the tea to my boss at work. She loved it.
This tea is intense.
I should let you know that I enjoy spicy food to a degree that is likely unhealthy. My enjoyment of this tea hits the same pleasure centers as tastebud-abusing Thai and Indian food.
The name of this tea begins with “Spicy”, and the description says “Our spiciest chai”. They do not kid. The Tellicherry pepper is apparent, intense, and SPICY.
If you make it past the rich peppery bite (as your tastebuds admit defeat), the ginger and clove become more apparent, with just a hint of cardamom lingering in the background.
This tea will wake you up with a start, clear your sinuses, and probably sterilize the back of your throat. It will also accompany you to work tomorrow, because your fiance won’t ever drink it again.
And by you, I mean me.
Reading tea reviews always exhilarates me. Loose leaf tea is a uniquely subjective experience. There are differences to each person’s palette, and presumably variations in the individual blends that get packaged and shipped to each person.
Let me say that I enjoy this tea, and will probably by more. But my batch wasn’t mysterious or subtle. It didn’t hint at anything.
It was cloves. It was fill-up-the-room, make your tongue numb cloves.
I sit here today slightly amazed at how clove-y this tea truly is. The clove taste overpowered the tea flavor (not to mention the other spices). If you’ve ever found yourself smoking a clove cigarette, or chewing on a clove just for the flavor, you will absolutely fall in love with this tea.
I like cloves, I truly do. However, in order to turn this into a truly fantastic pot of tea, I cut the tea with some Colonille Vanilla tea, also from Serendipitea. The clove/vanilla mix is absolutely amazing, and I would highly recommend it.
I would, however, avoid recommending this as a standalone tea under most circumstances.