74 Tasting Notes
This is a delightful, fruity tea. I had never had honeybush tea before, so I can’t add it as a flavor to the description. But it’s lightly sweet even when unsweetened, and while the pineapple flavor is predominant, it’s not heavy or overbearing. When first opening the packet, the aroma was sweetly pleasing, and since I love pineapple, it invited me to partake. The coconut flavor was understated, and since this was NOT “Pina Colada” tea, that made me glad. It’s tropical in feel, but not in an ordinary way. This is one which definitely belongs in the “12 Teas of Christmas” pack—I want this one again! And soon!
Flavors: Apple Skins, Coconut, Fruity, Pecan, Pineapple, Summer, Sweet
I confess I was disappointed by this one. I let it cool, having learned from other 52Teas’ blends that when advised to “allow to cool”, it meant more flavors would be coming out. But while more richness of lime flavor developed, alas, so did some bitterness. Perhaps if it had just been dehydrated ime zest instead of dehydrated thin lime quarter-slices, the pith of the segments wouldn’t have lent so much bitterness into the blend. I think vanilla was used to help counteract that. But instead of melding together, it seemed more an odd juxtaposition of bitterness-with-sweetness, which didn’t work for me.
I even tried chilling it, adding some sugar, but this tea just wasn’t for me. A rare ‘miss’ rather than a ‘hit’.
Flavors: Bitter, Flat, Lime, Vanilla
Had half the little 15 g sample bag left from last year. The packet says “3-1/2 g to 12 oz near boiling water (205 F) steep 2-12 minutes, strain, cool 10 minutes.” When Anne of 52Teas tells you “allow to cool”—follow that instruction, it really makes a difference. Don’t drink this when hot—wait until it cools to room temp. More flavor notes come out after cooling.
This could be considered autumn in a cup. The black tea and ginger notes are predominant, but the pumpkin is very much in the background. There’s a light sweetness to it when hot, but once cool, there are deep leather and even tobacco or autumn leaves flavor notes that weren’t there before. An enjoyable cup, especially as the season approaches the autumnal equinox.
It’ll be interesting to compare it (soon, I hope) to 52 Teas’ Another Pumpkin Spice Latte Black Tea.
Flavors: Ginger, Leather, Spices, Tobacco, Vanilla
I really enjoyed this tea. The peppermint is very rich, deep and pure. This one can be either a refreshing pick me up when chilled, or nicely relaxing and soothing when hot. The best all-round peppermint tea I’ve found to date. I highly recommend it!
Flavors: Clean, Menthol, Mint, Peppermint
This is my first time trying this tea. My first sips, hot and unsweetened, have a lightness, and a bit of astringency, not much apple, though it’s there in the background. Pleasant, but unremarkable.
Having added a teaspoon of sugar to the cup, the apple is now pronounced! The sweetness heightens the fruitiness, brings it to the forefront. I had bought this box of tea because apples are everywhere, it being harvest time in autumn. But for now, drinking this hot, it seems like more of a springtime, light refreshing tea.
I shall have to try it iced, to see what my response will be then. For now, it is a pleasant, enjoyable light tea, only mildly apple flavored—until it’s sweetened, and then one really tastes the apple. A nice choice for an afternoon pick-me-up. Just not a cup for something more bracing; look elsewhere for autumn!
Flavors: Apple, Astringent
This is the third of three Camomile-Honey-Vanilla teas I am comparing tonight. CS is the one which puts Honey first in its description. This is evident in its taste.
Of the three teas I compared tonight: Ahmad, Twinings and Celestial Seasonings, this was both the darkest and most flavorful for the single cup. For that alone it deserved the highest rating of the three, since to me that means one gets more oomph for the money. I haven’t looked to see whether the teabags themselves weigh more or not—they all seemed to be of the same quantity per bag. After all three cups had steeped for 5 minutes, I sampled them in order of mildest to strongest, out of fear the weaker-looking ones wouldn’t have the same olfactory overtones if I waited for them to cool.
I have to say that of the three, the Celestial Seasonings one has the best ‘stand alone’ quality. The one aspect I didn’t like as well was its aroma: I found the predominant honey just a bit cloying. However, that was not evident in the cup.
While I prefer the aroma of the Twinings, I have to admit that to drink alone, the Celestial Seasonings wins this particular taste test. I can still mix them with White Tea for a special nighttime blend, but now I know which one to go to if I want just one cup by itself!
Flavors: Apple, Chamomile, Honey, Sweet, Vanilla
This is the second of the three Camomile-Honey-Vanilla teas I’m comparing tonight. (The others are Ahmad and Celestial Seasonings.) I brewed each at the same time, individual cups, poured quickly, consecutively, one bag to one cup.
This, the Twinings, was the middle one in color and strength. Of the three, I have to say I like the perfume of this one the best. The accent is on the camomile, not the honey, so it has a more delicate, perfumy quality, which I like. The honey and vanilla are there as pleasant undertones in the background, but not vying for attention.
This one, too, is a bit weaker than I’d like, but not disappointing. It seems delicate rather than outright watery.
At night I like to mix the flavor of this combo with white tea, for a perfect night time blend.
This is not as robust as the Celestial Seasonings, but it is a lovely blend, and I like it.
Flavors: Chamomile, Honey, Perfume, Sweet, Warm Grass, Vanilla
Tonight I’m comparing this and two other Camomile-Honey-Vanilla combo teas. I’ve poured all three cups separately at the same time (quickly, consecutively). I’ve used one teabag per one 10 oz cup apiece, steeping for 5 minutes, the recommended time.
This one, the Ahmad was the lightest in color of the three cups, also the weakest tasting. I hate to say this, since I love various Ahmad teas, but this one is insipid. The perfume of it is lovely and light—but sadly, it doesn’t translate to the cup, at least not with only one teabag.
I can taste the camomile, and maybe a little vanilla, but I’m missing the honey. Quite frankly, I’m disappointed.
I’m also comparing the Twinings and Celestial Seasonings versions. But just looking and sniffing, then tasting, this seems to be the least satisfying of the three.
I shall use this one for mixing with other teas to blend in a mixed pot—it should work well for that, especially if I pair it with something I want toned down.
Flavors: Chamomile, Flat, Vanilla, Watery
One of the most unusual teas I own. I bought this from 52teas when I was ordering Mom’s Spiced Peach Preserves Black Tea a few months ago. With a name of “Graveyard Mist”, I’d deliberately saved this one to try on Hallowe’en. So here it is!
Others here are more familiar than I with marshmallow root. If I remember the essence of marshmallow—that light sweetness—then that is what I taste. Strange how it’s such a strong yet subtle a flavor all at once. In combination with the spearmint, however, the predominant flavor tastes to me like…wintergreen, of all things.
If you like wintergreen, then you will definitely like this tea. I enjoy a good toasted marshmallow about once every five to ten years. That should tell you why I have to work a bit when trying to remember what marshmallow tastes like. They’re normally too sweet for me. It’s an interesting taste juxtaposition, with the green tea, malt, and spearmint.
I made it as hot tea, but it’s also cooled quite a bit, so I have literally enjoyed it both hot and cool tonight. This tea is for when you want a cup of something out of the ordinary. This is the tea to drink when you want to look up at the moon and just dream.
Flavors: Malt, Marshmallow, Spearmint, Wintergreen
This is one of my go-to teas. I grew up with my Grandpa and Mother teaching me to drink black tea with lemon and sugar, so that’s how I prefer it. But tonight I’m drinking it black, to taste the tea itself. When it comes to a plain, satisfying black tea, Twinings Irish Breakfast is strong without being overwhelming, and it stands up nicely to whatever one chooses to put into it.
Tonight I’m comparing it to its sister, Twinings Irish Breakfast Decaf. Tastewise, this one is definitely fuller, deeper, and more complete. This is hardly surprising, since caffeine by itself is naturally bitter. So there are bound to be flavor notes in this regular cup that are missing in the decaffeinated version.
So grab this one in the morning, when that caffeine jolt is needed, with a thicker mouthfeel for a brisk beginning to your day. At night, you can still have that flavor, but in a more delicate fashion, when you’re trying to rest before bed. I usually make a pot of half & half. It’s the best of both worlds!
Flavors: Malt, Tea, Thick