107 Tasting Notes
I just got back from the Tea Studio and decided to brew a cup of this – and I’m hoping that the caffeine won’t affect my sleep. Caffeine from tea doesn’t usually affect my sleep, the only real effect I get from caffeine is a severe withdrawal headache when I don’t have caffeine for 12 hours or so. In other words, I quite often wake up with a caffeine withdrawal headache that is soothed by my morning cuppa.
While in the tea studio, I managed to do restock the root beer float (November’s Featured Reblend) – I know that somebody had asked be about it – but I’m not sure who (or even where) so if YOU are the one who wanted some of that tea – please stop by the website and grab some before it sells out again because I won’t be restocking this one again for a while (unless it happens to get reblended for the Holiday box this year).
Anyway, back to this tea! This was the first tea that I grabbed from my pantry. I am still loving this tea – I love the sage with the apple and spices. Everything works really well for me.
This tea was a tea of the week for November, but since I was so behind, it’s one that was only recently released. I am slowly getting caught up – all of December’s teas are now up on the website (except for those that have sold out already!) and I’m working to get January’s teas finished. It’s still astonishing to me how far behind that stay in the hospital put me. But I will get caught up!
I like this – the carrot spice muffin element is definitely there, and the cranberry adds a pop of bright flavor to the cup that I pick up on towards the end of the sip and the tartness of cranberry lingers in the aftertaste.
I just finished adding all the teas from the 12Teas of Christmas box to the website, so I decided I deserved a tea break. Well, I don’t know if I actually deserve one but I’m taking one nonetheless.
And this is the tea I grabbed. This was the 4th Tea of Christmas and I was really glad that it got the votes to make it into the box because it’s one of my favorites. Actually, a couple of my all-time favorites made it into the box this year (Foggy Coconut and this one) so it was a happy way to finish up this year in tea.
This tea is a little different from the original because I wasn’t able to get a shipment from China in time, so I had to go with my distributors in the states and they didn’t have the same teas that I used in that original batch. To make up for that, I added a little more Assam to the mix, deciding that the Assam would deliver some malty notes that would work well in the cola’s favor.
And despite the changes, I think that this is still quite good – I’m drinking it warm now but I think this one is much better iced because – cola. I still like it warm but I think I’ll save the remaining amount that I have for my pantry to use as iced tea.
Nice ginger notes – I tried to go a little heavier on the ginger this time but I didn’t want to go too heavy because the cola that I loved so much (that inspired this tea) wasn’t all that heavy on ginger, there was a balance between the two elements of cola and ginger – so I still wanted some sort of balance between the two – but I did hear a few comments saying that there should be more ginger so I also tried to accommodate that.
Overall, I’m very happy with how this turned out. And it’s now on the website!
This is our 2nd Tea of Christmas and it’s a brand new blend! Last year, I crafted a Candy Cane White tea, and this year, I wanted another candy cane blend – so I decided to combine candy cane with a tried and true favorite – the Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha.
This has a nice minty note to it without being TOO minty – the vanilla and marshmallow notes curb the pepperminty edge to it just enough so that it doesn’t take over. It’s sweet, it’s cool and crisp – and I love the roasty-toasty notes of the genmaicha. YUM!
Today is the first day of our 12 Teas of Christmas countdown – and this tea is our 1st Tea of Christmas! This tea won it’s way into our box with a very comfortable number of votes which made me quite happy because in October, I happened to finish off the last of my stash of this tea – so I was ready for more!
This tea is definitely one of my favorites that I’ve ever created – and it was inspired by a London Fog made with coconut milk – a favorite coffee shop drink of mine … and we have a lot of coffee shops up here in the Pacific NorthWET!
So this isn’t exactly like a London Fog made with Coconut milk, because I decided a few tweaks were in order: I wanted a stronger coconut flavor and I wanted the vanilla a little softer. I wanted the bergamot to be more of an accent, something that peeks through – but doesn’t overwhelm the cup (which bergamot can do if it’s overdone). I wanted the coconut to be the star of the show but not the only thing going on with the tea.
And I think I managed to achieve that. The coconut is sweet and smooth – as is the vanilla. The bergamot adds a tangy note for some contrast. The black tea is strong enough for a morning cuppa when you need something that will shake you gently awake (I’m not into a coffee jolt) but it would also be good for afternoon too. As it’s 1 am now, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it NOW for just anybody, but as this is kind of my afternoon right now – I think I’m alright with it. That’s the story I’m sticking to, anyway. I might regret it in a couple of hours though, when I want to sleep. We shall see.
Anyway – this tea – it’s delightful . . . and for those of you who did not order our 12 Teas of Christmas box, there will be some of these available posted on the website at some point on the 26th of December. If you want it sooner than that, there are still 2 Christmas boxes available. PM me if you’re interested!
This was a tea from last month. My inspiration behind it was apple cider with sage. I am not sure exactly where I got the idea, but I think I found a recipe for Sage Apple Cider somewhere and it sounded interesting to me because I love sage and while I hadn’t thought of adding it to apple cider prior to seeing the recipe, the idea was certainly intriguing to me and I decided that if it makes for a good apple cider, it should also make for a good apple cider-ish tea.
And I love it. Depending upon how much sage leaf is in scoop when you’re scooping it out, it can be quite sage-y to not very sage-y at all. To make this pot of tea, there ended up being quite a bit of sage so this is quite sage-y – not because I didn’t shake the pouch (I did) but because I actually went in there and fished out some more sage because I wanted it sage-y. Although, now that I’ve just said that – I realize that I shared this pot with Mat and he’s probably going to mention the sage. He’ll say it’s weird. Oh well.
Then again, I like sage much more than he does. He does like my chicken saltimbocca which uses sage – it’s one of his favorites – but he does pick out the sage leaves.
Anyway, back to this tea.
This tea needs some time to cool a bit before you start sipping. I started sipping right away because I’m impatient. The flavor is definitely better as it cools a bit. Now, after cooling a bit, the tea is still hot but it’s reached a drinkable temperature . . . and the flavor is much better now. The sage has softened just a bit and the apple-y notes have emerged. As have the notes of allspice and cinnamon. I didn’t go all out on the spices here because I wanted the sage to be a flavor that stood out. (I really like the flavors of apple and sage together).
This is really nice – warm and inviting – not unlike a cup of apple cider but even better because TEA.
This was the tea of the week a couple of weeks ago. I was in the mood for a chai so I grabbed this one. It might be a bit late for a chai since I’m trying to adjust my sleep schedule but my internal clock doesn’t seem to be cooperating with me.
I was inspired to create this tea a couple of years ago, actually – on “Talk like a Pirate day” – I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be cool to have a pirate inspired tea? So I wrote the idea down along with the flavors that I envisioned for a pirate chai blend. I had planned on blending this last year for Talk Like a Pirate day, but I needed to change the menu for whatever reason so I docked it until this year.
This is really tasty – the rum & coconut give this an interesting twist to the classic chai flavors. It still has a chai flavor – not overly spicy though – but the flavor I pick up the most is the rum. The coconut softens the overall cup a bit (along with the vanilla) – to give this a creaminess which is nice because this is one that I don’t recommend going latte with because the dairy (or non-dairy milk) doesn’t meld very well with the rum notes – and it’s just not the same experience. If you do decide to go with a latte, be sure to brew this extra strong.
Nice – unusual – tasty!
Edited to add: the smoke is pretty subtle with this one. I start to pick up on it more as I reach mid-cup but really, what I notice is that the smoky notes meld with the rum a bit to give the rum a little bit of something. Like I said – very unusual, but I really like it.
This was the Tea of the Week for August 6. It’s become one of my favorite morning teas lately – but my day started a bit late today – so I’m having it at 9 pm. I suppose that will work out OK though because I have quite a bit to get done tonight so it’s good to get some caffeine.
The first time I tried this one, I tried it with no additions and I liked it alright that way, but with a teensy bit of sugar, the flavors pop a little more and the scone notes tasted sweeter, more like what I’d get from my favorite tea room (which is no longer – Myrtle’s CLOSED. sad)
Raisin and orange are not typical scone flavors – at least, I can’t recall when I’ve ever had a raisin orange scone – but when I originally blended this, I was envisioning more along the lines of a tea cake or a panettone type flavor – but when I first tasted it – it reminded me so much of the overall experience of tea and scones so I decided to call it that.
The black tea base has a strong Yunnan flavor which is intentional, I went heavy on the Yunnan because I wanted some of the bready and the honey-esque tones that the Yunnan that I use to be a main focus from the black tea base. I thought that the honey-like flavors would tie in nicely with the scone-like flavors.
A really nice tea that reminds me of my favorite part of afternoon tea – after the sandwiches are gone and the sweet tray arrives! YUM!
This is the Featured Reblend for August – and even though it may have appeared to be sold out for a good part of the day yesterday, there is – in fact – a few pouches of this one left.
This was one of the biggest vote-getters in this year’s 12 Teas of Christmas poll, and I decided that rather than add it to the holiday box, that I’d instead reblend it right now – why? Why not?
This is as good as I remember it being – smooth rum background with a creamy, lightly cinnamon-y, rice note. When I first start sipping on this one (hot) – the flavors don’t exactly pop right away. I taste notes of rum, notes of cinnamon and a hint of cream. But as I continue to sip, the flavors develop – and as the tea gets to a comfortable temperature, the flavor really pops at that point. That is to say – you need to let it cool a bit to fully enjoy the Rum & Horchata flavors.
Nice – I’m glad to have this in my cupboard again!