1904 Tasting Notes
I received this tea as part of a Christmas gift basket. I agree with other reviewers that calling it a herbal tea is deceptive as the yerba maté in the blend does contain caffeine even if it isn’t from the camellia sinensis plant. The tea smells like maple but the flavour is more like the sarsaparilla which is the first ingredient listed. Sarsaparilla has a sort of herbal rootbeer flavour which isn’t terrible on it’s own, but it really shouldn’t be trying to pass itself off as anything maple.
I had about a spoonful’s worth of this tea saved because I wanted to run a comparison analysis between it and the similarly-named Davids Tea Cardamom French Toast (which I will call CaFT for simplicity’s sake).
Both teas were steeped in 100C water for 4 minutes and immediately one difference became apparent as the DT was much lighter in colour than the 52Teas version (let’s call it COFT – I’m a scientists, we love our acronyms). Taste-wise COFT has a much more robust base which drunk plain is maybe a touch too strong initially compared to the milder CaFT. After they both had a few minutes to cool, more flavours became apparent. One interesting difference between the two is that CaFT has a slight sugary sweetness while COFT tastes like maple. When drank in between bites of something sweet (hey, calories don’t count between Xmas and new years!) other difference became apparent, CaFT has a stronger cardamom flavour while COFT has a more substantial baked/bread- like flavour.
For the next test I added a small splash of skim milk to each cup (this is very scientific, you see) the results were that COFT had its robust base soothed, allowing the background flavours to come out and I could tastes the cardamom and for the first time a bit of coconut as well. CaFT fell a little flat as I find with most DT black tea blends the bases just aren’t very robust and adding milk just makes them taste watery.
The final test was a resteep of both teas at 5 minutes. CaFT unfortunately just tasted like weak tea. COFT on the other hand stood up well to the resteep, courtesy of its stronger bases, it’s milder-tasting but I can still taste the cardamom and the maple in the blend.
Honestly I love both teas, and they both have their strengths and weaknesses. I do lean in favour of 52Teas’ blend however as with a bit of tweaking it had the better combination of flavour and quality and character of the tea base. I can always reduce the steeping time to make a robust tea less stronger but it’s hard to make a tea with a weak base stronger. I also like how the maple syrup came across in the COFT as opposed to the CaFT as it tasted more natural. Please reblend this one at some point LiberTeas!
This tea came as part of a sampler I got for my birthday and honestly it’s extremely underwhelming. I don’t know why they bothered calling in a green tea when just looking at it you can see that it’s 90% cinnamon chips with a few sad little tea leaves hiding among them. It tastes like cinnamon bark tea and not much else. Meh.
I wanted a holiday tea but I didn’t really care for any of Davids Teas holiday offerings this year. Luckily I found this tea at my Chapters bookstore. Because you have to have a proper festive tea to ring in the holidays. ;)
I love the smell of this tea it’s alike a cross between eggnog and fruit cake with almond and citrus. The flavour has a strong sweet orange taste with a slightly hint of nuttiness. The spices are present but muted which I appreciate as I’ve had enough of teas that try to knock you over with cinnamon or cloves.
This is the first tea that I’ve tried from this company, it came my way via the GCTTB. This tea smells more like a dark oolong than a black tea to me. It has the dried fruit flavour that reminds me of some of the darker Wuyi oolongs that I’ve tried. There’s some of the dried fruit notes in the flavour as well but overall the dominant flavour is more malty with a slight hint of cocoa.
Another sipdown. I actually used the last tea bag to make chai-spiced quinoa cereal for breakfast. I have to get up very early for work so the night before I whip up a batch which usually lasts me two or three breakfasts. It’s quite simple to prepared; the recipes calls for using almond milk but I’ve used cow or coconut milk and had it turn out nicely.
Here’s a link to the recipe: http://cupofjo.com/2016/01/quinoa-with-chai-spiced-almond-milk/
You know how tastes change over time? This tea is a prime example. I loved it when I first tried it years ago, when I was new to world of loose-leaf tea. But now that I’ve had a chance to try a wider variety of teas and develop my palate, |I’m realizing that it’s actually not-so-great. Drinking it now I found the spices quite harsh and overpowering, even with the addition of some milk and sweetener. So I’m adjusting my rating to go with this sipdown.