96 Tasting Notes
Just a note right off the bat – this is an unfair review, since I finally got around to opening this baby up almost 2 years after buying it, and I disobeyed my own advice about not burning scented candles while eating/drinking anything. So, this tea is probably too old, and my tasting could be influenced by the scent of the candle that was burning in the room while I drank it. Rather than wait until I could do a completely fair review, I’m forging ahead anyway, since the tea will just get older, and not better, I’m afraid.
I love macarons. Love them. I’ve actually made them myself on a few occasions, and they are VERY difficult to make – that’s how much I love them. But, macarons come in all different kinds of flavors – vanilla, caramel, pistachio, raspberry, chocolate, champagne, you name it. So how can a tea be named “macaron”? What does that even mean? I’ll hazard a guess and say that it just means kind of dessert-y.
Dry leaf and brew smelled faintly like Crunch Berries cereal – I think I may have observed the very same thing about another tea that I reviewed, although I can’t remember which one. But yes, Crunch Berries for sure. No apple to speak of. A bit floral on the finish – but was that from the tea or from the candle? Other than a general faint, sweet fruitiness, with a tinge of floral, that was it. Final impression was, meh. I did have it with milk, maybe that was a mistake. I may have underleafed a little bit, but I don’t think so. Since I have a whole tin of the stuff, I’ll have ample opportunity to try this again, no candles, no milk, more leaves, etc. and if I change my mind about it I can always write another review saying so. Until then, “meh” is the bottom line on this one for me.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Sweet
Excellent – thoroughly enjoyable. Always remember to mix up the tea before measuring out the leaves or the vanilla flavor will be very weak. Very generous with the vanilla bean – there was so much of it! All of the main flavors others have mentioned were there: cocoa, vanilla, malt. Also a tiny bit of what I call “pavilion campfire” – just a touch of smoke. You can overleaf it a little, especially if you do multiple steepings. I’ll be back for more. Hopefully they aren’t out of stock completely, but I know chances are pretty good they are!
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Smoke, Vanilla
This is a standard for me, one I will usually have on hand. Ridiculously over the top, luscious, fruity with lots of chocolate flavor. Like drinking chocolate-covered strawberries. Seriously. If you love puerh, you may be disappointed, as there is only a subtle earthiness coming through from the tea, almost obliterated by the chocolate and strawberry flavors. Works for me, though! One of my favorite dessert teas, wonderful with milk.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Strawberry
Picked this up at an adorable home goods store in Amsterdam. They actually had an entire section devoted to teas and tea accessories, which was impressive since the store itself, although of a generous size, was far from huge. Anyway, the tea was quite inexpensive so I figured I’d give it a shot. I honestly don’t care that it was flavored, rather than being naturally creamy, because this stuff was great! Very tasty, with a definite creamy/milky flavor that comes across in the scent of the tea as well. I’m really enjoying it for as long as it lasts, and since this shop doesn’t ship to the US, it will be a really long time before I’m able to get it again, if ever.
Flavors: Cream, Fruity, Milk, Mineral
I’ve been trying to finish many of the teas in my overcrowded tea shelf so haven’t been in much of a buying mode. However, I was curious about this one. Curious enough to go to the local David’s Tea to get some. As is always the case with me, I go in for one thing and leave with six things. I’ll get around to writing about those other teas eventually, but need to write about this one now, since I just polished off the last of a 4 ounce bag. I really love cardamom, it’s my favorite spice when I make my own chai, so that was a slam dunk. That said, this isn’t really chai but more of a spiced black. Very pleasant, sweet and great with milk. Perfect for colder weather. Not happy about sugar being in there, though. I would much rather add my own if I choose. It’s a solid flavored black and I enjoyed it a lot, but I’m not looking to replenish anytime soon. Too many other spiced blacks to get to in my stash!
Flavors: Pastries, Spices, Sugar
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One day I thought it would be really great if there was a banana flavored black tea I could drink. Not banana-coconut, not banana-walnut, not bananas foster, just banana. I decided to try T2’s Banana Bake, even though it supposedly has a hazelnuts in it. Luckily, I detected nothing but banana and black tea, with a bit of creaminess to it. Looking back on all this, I realized what I was actually pining for was probably Butiki’s Hello Sweetie, a tea I was only able purchase once, and immediately fell in love with. A tea, also, that will most likely never be replicated. But that’s unfair to compare T2 to, a nice, but much lesser tea, more akin I think to David’s Tea. I very much enjoy this hot, really don’t want to have it iced, and I think it may just carry me into the Fall season with no problem. Just a nice, banana-y black, good with breakfast or if you’ve got a craving for a dessert type tea. It will have to do.
Flavors: Banana, Creamy
Basically the closest that tea can get to hot chocolate. Almost (only almost!) could take care of my chocolate cravings. It’s downright cocoa-y. I did not try this without milk, so of course that could have added quite a bit of creaminess to it. I’m really enjoying it – definitely a successful chocolate-flavored black.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Cream
My favorite flower? Sakura. Judging by my screen name, I’ve kinda got a thing for just about anything sakura. I’ve been wanting to try this tea for awhile and finally splurged. I understand that the salted blossom tea is the traditional, accepted version, but I’ve had salted cherry blossoms in pastries and Japanese dishes, and it doesn’t thrill me. More beautiful to look at than to eat. Besides, I’m watching my salt intake these days. Sugar’s not healthy, either, but hey, YOLO.
Faintly sweet and almost fruity, this is nuanced on the palate, but a feast for the eyes. The blossoms looked so beautiful floating in the cup, I had to take photos. Because you only need a few blossoms to make a cup of this tea, it’s not overly flavorful, but very contemplative. I found it rather soothing. A beautiful, subtle tea that welcomes spring. Glad I purchased it!
Flavors: Fruity, Sweet
I usually go for Assams that are extremely malty, and this one doesn’t have much maltiness at all. That being said, this is such a good, solid, robust tea, the lack of malt doesn’t affect my enjoyment of it. Don’t overleaf, unless you want a VERY strong tea with a very small amount of bitterness. It’s pretty forgiving about oversteeping, but I wouldn’t push it too much. Otherwise, a pleasant, flavorful, smooth tea with a hint of sweetness. One of my go-to teas to start my day.