820 Tasting Notes
This one brews up a moderate and mellow cup, with nothing too attention-grabbing. It’s a quite fruity, with a seasoning of herbal grasses and spices (basil, thyme, parsley, etc.).
If Darjeeling tea is like wine, this is the one you have because someone, who probably mainly drinks beer, picked it up last minute for that light house party. It’s your low budget, “promotion without endorsement from any of the staff” wine, and it’s alright- just not amazing! It may pair well with a crockpot chicken though (cooking currently in progress).
This sample was generously provided by Camelia Sinensis and, if anything, it’s a reminder that I need to get back to exploring Darjeelings. I had some really intriguing samples a few years back, but this kind of tea is an acquired taste.
Flavors: Blueberry, Dandelion, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Hay, Herbs, Parsley, Thyme
Bai mu dan is an interesting choice to blend with ceylon but it works to create a nice blueberry-citrus base, which enhances the ginger and pear flavours. The hot spices remind me a little of a night cap or a spiced wine. I think it could be slightly more “cakey” with a baked goods vibe, but maybe that’s what sugar and milk are for. There’s already a bit of jam and cream seeping through the fruit notes, so 120% dessert effect can’t be far away!
Looking forward to playing with this one during the holiday season! For now, it makes a nice sipping companion while I finish off another Vorokosigan book (I’m on A Civil Campaign, and the butter bugs have won me over).
Flavors: Berries, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Cream, Ginger, Jam, Pear, Spices
The blackberry flavouring in this is delicious- like some fresh creamy pastry bought and eaten right at the berry farm. A possible downside of this is it makes me wish it was one of 52teas’ full blown “Danish” blends instead of “just” a berry green tea. It tastes so close.
The Zomba works really well here by not intruding into the berry deliciousness with any strong veggie notes. This base does seem to pair deliciously with fruit flavours; I’m down for liking 2/2 of 52teas’ Zomba blends I’ve tried so far (more on the way)!
Thank you, Arby, for sending me this! I’m definitely enjoying it.
Flavors: Blackberry, Butter, Citrus, Cream, Tart
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Keemun, Laoshan Black, or any other non- What-cha Golden Snail black tea (so good). I’ve forgotten how comforting they are in their cocoa-malt predictability, and subtle but rich profiles. I thought I was over Chinese black teas; it’s probably the time of year? Oolong is out, black tea and white tea are in- I need to draw a better year plan for my tea drinking habits so I’m not struggling at the height of tea-drinking season.
Anyways, this one is really red. Red is good. Red is warm. Red is Christmas. I’m drinking this in a festive red cup too. Lots of red happening.
I’ll write a more thoughtful note later.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Fruity, Malt, Muscatel, Red Wine, Stonefruits
I am designating this Sipdown Priority No. 4. It’s going to take a few days but it’s time overdue.
Drinking floral cream candle tea after honey cough drop tea is probably ill advised; I think the aftertaste of the honey cough drop is winning! Argh, my life choices!
Flavors: Cream, Custard, Eucalyptus, Jasmine, Mineral
Smells like grapefruit and honey. There’s a flavour in here that is like neither of those notes, and is quite medicinal- like sweet mint (freshening) and powdery bee pollen, as opposed to liquid honey. It’s an interesting effect, on top of that very dry/vegetal green base. The outcome is like one of those Halls Honey drops, or some other cough candy! I’d place this tea in the category of ‘when I’m sick and want something hot, medicinal, a little sweet, and not fancy.’
Thank you, Arby, for sending me this! I was curious about this one and now I know.
Flavors: Citrus, Honey, Medicinal, Menthol, Vegetal
The florals add dimensions to what is actually more of a honey green tea. We have jasmine, rose, elderflower, and some other florals I’m not too familiar with, but nevertheless add a bit of something to the mix! Mallow is a pretty indisinctive flavour but it’s here too. The Young Hyson (chun mee?) base isn’t too exciting but it isn’t unpleasant either; sweet grassy notes reaffirm this tea’s alliance with late spring/early summer.
I thought this was mainly a jasmine flower tea when I picked some up; the honey was a pleasant surprise and exactly what I needed tonight.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Jasmine, Rose, Sweet, warm grass
At first glance, this is your typical AQ2T sweet dessert tea, with a dash of fall scent and spice. Salty-sweet caramel brittle flavour is delivered (strongly) as promised, followed by the oily-nut quality of pumpkin seeds. The spices remind me of those fall candles or what you’d find in one of those pumpkin muffins- something cinnamon-nutmegy, mixed into icing, that lingers as an aftertaste.
My main complaint is some of that spicing/flavouring comes across as a bitter powdery texture midsip.
Not sure that I love it, but it is a tasty seasonal cup! The loose blend is also delightfully festive, with green pumpkin seeds and orange pumpkin sprinkles.
Flavors: Caramel, Nuts, Pumpkin, Spices, Vanilla
Smoky black teas are not something I reach for regularly, but they have some sort of allure that keeps me coming back (albeit irregularly). Outlaw has a little more allure than most and kept me amused all last night (erm, unintentional Tobias moment).
Honestly though, I think I like this one. It’s something to do with the flat cherry vanilla coke vibe I’m picking up (I mean that in the most flattering way). It also reminds me of the time I got to lick a cave in Poland (mineral notes, kay). It’s a lot of fun, and I’m sitting somewhere in the 80’s on it. I’m going to hold off rating for a bit because I’m not having as strong a reaction to it as I did with the Black Lodge (I think someone thought that name to be nostalgic and homey, but all it makes me think of is some horror story).
And just look at all the parentheses it inspired me to use!
Flavors: Cherry, Mineral, Smoke