96 Tasting Notes
This is the upcoming Tea of the Week (for the week of April 10th) that I just posted because 1) this upcoming week, especially the first couple days of the week, are going to be very hectic on the personal front and I won’t have a lot of time to sit in front of the computer and do everything that needs to be done to post the tea to the website and on social media sites; and 2) because Mat asked me to make some tea because he needed some caffeine so I decided to grab this because I actually DO have some time to sit in front of the computer and write a tasting note tonight – so why not enjoy a cuppa now?
This is so good. I was inspired to create it after coming across a banana pancake recipe online that required just 2 ingredients: bananas and eggs. Now, I haven’t actually tried this recipe but when I discovered the recipe, immediately my thought was “Hey! Banana Pancakes would make a great tea flavor!” (This happens frequently – I come across a recipe for something that sounds tasty and I think ‘I want to try that as a tea!’)
And so it was that I made the tea. There is a very forward banana flavor with a strong maple presence. A barely there hint of butter (which is intended, I didn’t want too much of a buttery taste because I didn’t want to interfere with the banana, pancake and maple flavors) – and a delightful kiss of nutmeg along with a nice background of pancake. This is a satisfying, distinctly starchy pancake flavor – not like the aforementioned banana and egg pancake recipe. I can taste the pancake part of this – right down to the crispy fried edges.
A really tasty, cozy kind of blend.
Flavors: banana, Butter, Maple, Nutmeg
This week’s Tea of the Week – I love this Zomba Steamed Green Tea from the Satemwa estate in Malawi – it has a natural fruit tone that is somewhat citrus-y to it and so I like to play to that as you probably have noticed with some of my blends with this base. I realize that neither fruit flavor featured in this tea is actually a citrus fruit but pineapple kinda reminds me of a citrus fruit because it has a juicy, bright flavor that is sweet and tangy.
And I thought that pineapple would work fantastically well with this base so I decided to blend it – but what flavor to go with? I wanted something smooth and sweet – so I went with peach.
This combination is absolutely delicious.
Ugh – I just finished writing a tasting note for this and the interweb gods decided to destroy it and it just feels weird writing the same thing all over again. So I’ll try to summarize without getting all flowery or magniloquent.
I’ll just say this: This was last week’s Tea of the Week – it’s simple yet delicious. Bright strawberry flavor, warm, roasty-toasty genmaicha with a hint of creaminess from the Matcha (I use Matcha infused Genmaicha). A really nice cuppa that’s almost sold out.
This is the featured reblend for March. I just announced this tea in the wee hours of yesterday morning and it’s already nearly sold out with just a few taster pouches remaining. (I have a couple of people out there who absolutely love this tea!) This tea had a lot of votes during last year’s poll for the 12 Teas of Christmas box – a lot but not quite enough to make it into the Christmas box – so I decided to reblend it now. Besides, summer is coming up and this tea tastes amazing iced! (It’s good hot too, which is how I’m drinking it now – but it’s spectacular iced!)
When its piping hot, I pick up on a lot of creamy vanilla notes. The fruit flavors are more like a fruit medley rather than specific fruit flavors. I can definitely taste fruit but does it taste specifically like raspberry, lime and orange? I can’t say. However, the creaminess of the vanilla along with these fruit notes is absolutely delightful so I’m not complaining that I can’t distinguish the fruit flavors.
The black tea is a solid, well-rounded flavor that isn’t too aggressive – but it’s strong enough to be noticed.
As it cools, more of the fruit notes begin to pop. I still get a nice hint of vanilla but as the fruit emerges more, the vanilla seems content to soften a bit and let the fruit shine. The lime and orange are bright and those are the two fruit flavors I notice first. The raspberry weaves it’s way in and out.
As it continues to cool, I sometimes notice more raspberry than orange or lime. Sometimes it’s more lime than the other two – and sometimes it’s more orange. It’s kinda like if I were actually eating a bowl of rainbow sherbet – sometimes there’s a bit more raspberry in the spoonful than the other two flavors, and other times the other flavors are more prominent. They aren’t competing with each other – they just seem to pop at different intervals.
I did inventory last night and came across 2 pouches of this tea that had not been added to the website – so I have this tea in stock again (temporarily) – and while finishing up inventory, I came across my little stash of this tea so I decided I should start steeping! I love this tea – the coconut, the custardy ‘flan’ notes – and the way they play with the toasty flavor of the genmaicha. So delightful!
This week’s tea of the week! I enjoyed January’s Fruit Salad blend, but it was just a wee bit sweet for the spicy side of me so I thought – what would happen if I made a fruit salad green tea and added just a little bit of spice (with some black peppercorns, long peppercorns and cayenne pepper)? Of course, with the heat of these spices, I figured that some warm, herbaceous tulsi would add some interest to the overall cup.
And YUM! I love this blend! The green tea is a blend of Fair Trade, single estate Zomba Steamed green tea from the Satemwa estate in Malawi and organic Chinese Sencha and Gunpowder teas and the tulsi is a blend of green, purple and wild leaf holy basil. I added strawberries, pineapple, limes and some melon essence. Then I added some crushed black peppercorns, long pepper and cayenne pepper to spice things up and some juniper berries because – why not?
This has a sweet, fruity background with an distinct peppery note. I find that the first few sips tend to strongly introduce the pepper, but after those first few sips, the palate becomes accustomed to these peppery tones and the fruit flavors begin to really shine through. I don’t find the heat to be overpowering or too assertive – but if you’re one who tends to be sensitive to peppery flavors, this may not be the tea for you.
But if you like the combination of spicy and sweet – I think you’ll like thi one!
Last week’s tea of the week! I love this tea! The maple is sweet but it isn’t too sugary-sweet thanks to the nutty, roasty-toasty notes from the Houjicha and the soft, earthy notes of the Shou Mei – which in turn softens the rather assertive roasted flavor from the Houjicha. I think that these two teas in the base work really well together and the maple flavor seems to naturally go with these two teas.
Really lovely – it’s dessert-y but not so sweet that it’s something you’d feel like you can only enjoy as a dessert-y tea! The lighter body makes this a nice late afternoon/early evening tea or if you’re like me and stay up all hours of the night, it works well as a “it’s 2:58am so now is as good a time as any for a cuppa!” too.
Last week’s tea of the week!
Now that I’m feeling comfortable with finally getting caught up after numerous delays – I also feel comfortable in sitting back and enjoying a cup of tea and writing about it! The delays over the last two months have been crazy – but as I’ve said – I’ve learned that anything that can happen will most likely happen and really, there’s just not a lot you can do about it – no way of even foreseeing some of those things that happen to delay things – so the key is just learning how to roll with the punches I suppose.
On to this tea! I do love it! Rocky Road ice cream is my favorite and has been my favorite since I was a kid. I occasionally find a ‘new’ favorite that surpasses my craving for Rocky Road – like Cherry Garcia or Praline Pecan – but Rocky Road holds that special place in my heart. So when I saw in the archives some years ago that Frank had actually created a Rocky Road blend once upon a time – I asked him to reblend it. He never did.
So I decided that I would take it upon myself to recreate it and when I did, I did some searching for the tea here on Steepster only to come up empty handed – it was never entered into the database here so it’s as if it never actually existed. So I’m reclaiming the blend for myself.
The base is really nice – it’s Yunnan and Assamica teas blended with Laoshan teas from Verdant. Together, these teas create a pleasantly rich and remarkably smooth flavor that carries the notes of chocolate, nut and marshmallow well.
As I mentioned on my blog post for this blend – http://52teas.com/blog/tea-of-the-week-for-february-6-2017-rocky-road-black-tea/ – the first time I tasted it, I thought something was a bit off. Not because it wasn’t delicious because it was – it took me a while to determine what the problem with it was and I realized that this doesn’t have the texture of Rocky Road ice cream (because it is, as I’ve said before – a tea and therefore shouldn’t have the texture of a ice cream laden with nuts and marshmallows) and while I absolutely love the flavor of Rocky Road Ice Cream, I also love the texture: cool, creamy chocolate ice cream with chunks of crunchy nuts and pillow-y marshmallows. And this tea doesn’t have the crunchy, chunky nuts or the soft, fluffy marshmallows to bite into – but it does have the flavor of those things as well as a smooth, creamy chocolate-y taste.
This was the tea of the week for January 2 – yep, I’m a little behind this month! This tea starts with a blend of black teas – a golden Yunnan and an Assamica tea from the Jingmai Mountains. I really like this combination of teas so expect to see it in future blends from me. It’s rich and hearty and flavorful.
To that base, I added a bunch of freeze-dried blueberries, organic vanilla beans and bourbon essence (don’t worry, it’s non-alcoholic!) for a flavor that is reminiscent of the jam that inspired it (this jam: https://thej.am/products/youre-my-boy-blue-berry-bourbon-jam ) It’s a little less ‘boozy’ than I remember the jam tasting – the bourbon here is more of a subtle hint that is softened by the creamy notes of vanilla and the sweetness of the blueberry.
This is really good! It exceeded my expectations – and my expectations were high!
On the 12th Day of Christmas – MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! Or if Christmas isn’t your thing – Happy Holidays and I hope that it’s been a wonderful season for you and yours!
This tea is a little bit of a twist to the Bananas Foster tea although I must tell you that it wasn’t intended that way – when I came up with this tea idea, I wasn’t thinking “Bananas Foster” as much as I was thinking, “hey, I’ve got some amazing Charcoal Baked TieGuanYin in stock right now and I’m wondering how amazing that would taste with banana and marshmallow.” Actually, I think I may have come up with this idea when I was blending the Banana Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha – because I really loved the combination of banana and marshmallow. So that may have been the nucleus – the seed – that grew into this amazing tea.
To the combination of banana and marshmallow, I added some cinnamon because it’s a Winter’s Treat, after all and cinnamon seems to go with all things winter-ish. And then I added a splash of Buttered Rum essence because – well, do we really ever need a reason to add buttered rum?
This is really good. Really, really good!