659 Tasting Notes
I normally quite like this blend, so I was very disappointed to read others’ reviews that the flavor seems to have changed. I finally, apprehensively, gave this year’s blend a try at work today. Honestly, it tasted the same to me. I made it in my travel mug, added rice milk, and enjoyed the sweet/spicy combo. Not sure why everyone else thinks it’s off. Maybe it just tastes the same to me because I don’t drink much black tea?
I love ginger beer (especially in a Dark & Stormy), so I was very excited to get the e-mail from DavidsTea announcing an herbal ginger beer blend. I actually schlepped out to the store to get some. Of course, I ended up buying and spending more than I intended to but je ne regrette rien. Some of the blends disappointed, but this one is on target. It’s perfectly ginger-beer-y. There’s even a hoppy note and a fizzy mouthfeel. I would play around with making a tea soda and Dark & Stormy out of this, but I am not patient enough. Also the weather and my home are too cold.
I did have a tingly-mouth allergic reaction to this blend the first time or two that I had it, but I just had a big old mug of it without a problem. I’m not sure what to make of that. I took a 24-hour Benadryl last night, so it could plausibly still be in my system countering any negative reaction.
Flavors: Ginger, Hops
Sipdown! Actually, I didn’t drink much of this one. My partner had a pretty bad cold, so I made him lots of tea with honey. I did sneak a sip before handing it over, though. This tastes like a pretty standard earl grey: slightly astringent generic black tea with a tart bergamot flavor. It does work quite nicely with the unique sweetness of manuka honey.
Sipdown! CheshireEyes included Bamboo Tea House’s very yummy Pumpkin Spice blend in my Secret Pumpkin package. Thank you! This made for several cozy bedtime mugs. I was too sleepy to take detailed notes, but I distinctly remember that this was spicy and well-balanced. The clove was prominent without being overdone. Overall, I’d happily drink this again.
I’m not sure what monkey bread is, but this tastes like cinnamon and woodsy rooibos. Maybe a cinnamon roll if I close my eyes and imagine hard enough. It gets sweeter as it cools and ends up actually tasting very cinnamon roll-y. Not bad. Thanks for sending me some of this, CheshireEyes!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Sweet
This was part of the $3 novice sampler back in March 2013. Yes, I know that green teas shouldn’t sit around for so long. But honestly? This was still delicious. It made for a perfect travel mug tea in the morning, full of roasty goodness. I added some honey when I got to work and the result was glorious. The sweetness of the honey balanced nicely with the grassiness of the green tea and roastiness of the popcorn/rice. I couldn’t really taste the matcha, but I do think it made for a nice little energy boost. This is one of those blends that proves teabags can still make good tea.
Thanks to TeaVivre for including this sample with one of my purchases. I don’t know which harvest this is – it has been a while since I placed an order with TV (mostly because I still have so many of their teas in my cabinet).
I woke up wanting a sturdy straight tea with strong bread and honey notes. In other words, I woke up cold and wanted something to warm my soul. After a bit of digging, I found this one. The dry leaf smells sweet, with a hint of breadiness. I dumped the whole sample packet in my nifty gaiwan/teapot hybrid and hoped for the best.
First steep: 194f, 1 min. A few of the smaller leaves escaped the spout, so I poured through a strainer. The brew is a lovely dark amber. It smells like Russian bread and honey, with an undercurrent that I can’t quite place. Leather maybe? The flavor has an odd astringency. It’s almost tangy. Maybe I’ve had this too long and the leaves have turned?
Second steep: 200f, 1 min 15 secs. This steep has the same lovely color as the first. The astringent leather notes are still here, though.
Third steep: 196f, 1 min 30 secs. Nope. I’m done. The astringency isn’t going anywhere and this is starting to make my stomach hurt. Somewhere under the astringency is some breadiness, but mostly it’s that leather-ish flavor.
No rating because I don’t know how old the leaf is, but definitely not sad to say this is a sipdown.
Flavors: Astringent, Leather
This note is for Wissotzky’s Honeydew Black tea, which is so old that the company doesn’t make it anymore and I can’t find it online. It doesn’t really make sense to create a separate page for it. The fruit flavors in this one are clear and identifiable but artificial-tasting. Nice enough, but not particularly entrancing. On the up side, I had this with french toast for brunch and it didn’t make my stomach hurt…plus the fruity flavor complemented the french toast nicely. This bag is pretty old, and it was in a paper wrapper, so I don’t feel right giving it a rating. Sipdown!
I tried a sample of this at the store yesterday. It’s spot-on for hot spiced apple cider. Unfortunately, it made my mouth tingle. I have had allergic reactions to real apples before but never to processed, baked, or tisaned apple. Not sure if this was a fluke, a function of how it was processed, or a fun new level in the development of my allergies…