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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks Sil for unknowingly convincing me to buy this one. It’s really fucking good – and not even “good for a green tea” good, just straight up delicious!
It’s really, really banana heavy but that’s not a bad thing. I fucking ADORE banana teas and I’ve always had a soft spot for 52Tea’s banana teas whether that be under Frank’s ownership or Anne’s. I initially ignored this one ‘cause green tea base – but it actually works very well because it just adds that grassy sharpness that you get with slightly underripe bananas anyway. So that’s basically what this tastes like: sweet, delectable bananas that are maybe just a pinch away from being perfectly ripe. It’s really, really silky smooth too!
Also – eating the banana bits out of the steeped up leaf? Hell to the yes! 100% recommend doing that – it was a fucking delicious treat.
I had an appointment with my doctor today and brought this tea with me for that little bit of pampering and all is right with the world-ness. My doctor is lovely, but one never knows what kind of stressful thing is going to come up in these visits.
Tea helps, of course, for fortification in the midst of too much reality.
This tea is gentle and delicious. Subtle chocolate and a bit of pastry.
From a recent 52Teas order.
I almost didn’t get this one because of the ginger, but ultimately I’m glad I did because it was really delightful! I’ll be perfectly honest though, ever since I cracked the code of ingredients generally used to recreate this ‘cola’ flavour in teas I’ve found that cola teas are a lot less magical tasting for me. It’s just citrus (lemon or lime) paired with a mix of chai spices – generally cinnamon, black pepper, and anise. And boom – cola!
The flavour is really strong in this one though, and quite smooth! Even now that I know the magic combo often used, I had a hard time mentally separating the ingredients in this one. Even the ginger just melded with everything else so smoothly! Though there were a few sips that brought me back to ‘Drink, Don’t Eat Grapefruit Sugar Scrub’ – probably because of the use of the candied ginger.
It’s actually probably the best cola flavoured tea I’ve had all year – and surprisingly I’ve had quite a few this year – like, probably at least ten? If you’re down with cola flavoured teas, I totally recommend this one!
Steeping this at a lower temperature, I am loving this far more than I have been. The marshmallow is happier this way and the vanilla more cheery. The flavouring shifts forward. The sourness and astringency subside and the base becomes smoother, still slightly sour, but smoother.. The base combination is likely still not my first choice, but much better now.
Thank you, Sil and and 52Teas, for the steeping suggestions/corrections/reminders. I seem to wobble with steeping blacks, from lower to boiling to back again. Here, lower is most definitely better.
On my seventh cup now because I really need to get it right, but I am finding that my cups are often astringent, at least for a good part of my drinking. I am wondering whether I should be steeping this at lower than boiling.
The flavouring is tasty, but the leaf appears to be a bit finicky. I am wondering whether the problem here is the base. Either that, or my tastebuds are just not loving this proportion of this and that which, for me, is moving towards a more acidic sour astringent combination. I tend to favour darker richer maltier happenings.
The tasting continues. I am determined to love this tea.
This is my first experience with this blend, so this tea and I are just getting to know each other.
I will also say that vanilla teas are one of my most favourite things and that being the case, I take every opportunity to drink the ones which I find to be delicious. So yes, I have high hopes that this one is one that I start the day thinking about.
One of my favourite vanilla teas has big hunks of Tahitian vanilla bean in the leaf and this is the scent that I inhale when I plunge my face into that bag and inhale.
This leaf is a far more gentle delicate beast and the scent is more that of vanilla extract. Delicate and thin rather than the deep sensuality of the bean.
My first few sips were quite astringent, but thankfully, the tea mellows as it cools a bit.
Delicious. Not what I had expected or had hoped for, but delicious.
Maybe I have mentioned that I do mindfulness meditation. One of the things is to check into what is rather than what you expect or what you hope for, ie. to let go of the judging mind. It’s been many many many months of practice and it’s hard to shake that habit of well, it’s just not what I thought it was going to be.
Hurray for blenders who experiment with standards that people have pretty fixed ideas about.
And hurray for tea drinkers who experiment and stay open-minded. Flexibility is, after all, good for the brain. And probably good for the rest of us too.
Evol climbs down from soapbox.
Ok, that’s what I’ve got so far. To be continued.
More like November Siesta. I don’t know if it’s psychological but I swear this is relaxing the bejesus out of me, and normally chamomile or other BS sleepy-time blends do absolutely nothing for me. Yet, not long after I started drinking this, it hit me and I really want to go to bed. Granted, I had a long, mentally exhausting day filled with an absurdly high percentage of difficult, rude, entitled, and bizarre people/interactions. Constant, non-freaking-stop. The kind of day that really questions how some people, actually, how so many people come to be the way they are, and how they sleep at night.
So here I am past midnight waiting for my dishwasher to finish up while I allow my nails to dry and I wanted some tea to keep me company and warm me up. The mere look of the dry leaf automatically wins given the fact that there is whole star anise in here. So beautiful!
I’m a little all over the place with chamomile. I appreciate its fragrance and skincare benefits, and in tea, it depends on what it’s paired with, my mood, etc. Can be a little overpowering, but I do like it here. I know many aren’t into licorice root either, and I too, while loving licorice flavours (especially star anise), find that the root can be a little tricky.
The licorice root is a tad cloying here but this is still pleasant to drink under these circumstances. I’m not tasting the star anise so much, though. To my palate, this is equal parts chamomile and licorice with a shot of citrus. There’s something cooling and refreshing about this too, in the background behind the licorice and chamomile.
Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating this weekend!
We here, of course, had our Thanksgiving quite some time ago.
Pumpkin season continues for me still.
A lovely blend, this one. A beautiful pumpkin spice medley. This cup tastes heavily of allspice as there was one whole one in my spoon of leaf. And a bit of cookie too if I squint.
Another example of have a few cups of this before actually bothering to log this. The dry leaf doesn’t smell nearly as smoky as I expected. I can’t really even detect any smoke, actually. This smells sweet and spicy more than anything, like candied ginger mixed with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. I would have even expected there to be some licorice in here based on its sweetness in the pouch, but there isn’t.
In terms of flavour, the black pepper comes through. The ginger and cinnamon are the main spices in this, with a touch of nutmeg, which is faint. I can’t get any cardamom or clove, unfortunately, and those are my two favourite spices (ok, and star anise too). The vanilla is present, for sure. Can’t taste the honeybush in here, and rather taste a slightly tannic black tea base, with the mildest whisper of smoke. I normally detest any smoke in tea, even the slightest bit, but it’s not bad since it seems to blend effortlessly into the spices.
Thank you to 52Teas for including a sample of this in my recent order. I very much enjoy it, especially because the cold weather has me wanting hot teas that don’t oversteep (ie rooibos).
It reminds me of blood orange rooibos from Granville Island, but with some dark chocolate/cocoa flavour in there. While the chocolate is mild, I still enjoy this blend. The orange is delicious (there are actual dried orange slices in it!), and the rooibos is the best base I can think of for a blend like this. It is flavourful and sweet, but it doesn’t overpower the orange and chocolate.
LPT: Try this as a chocolate milk latte or add a bit of sweetener. It really completes the dessert aspect of this tea.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Orange, Orange Zest, Rooibos, Sweet
This is like my fifth cup of it already so perhaps it would be a good idea to report on this. The scent of the dry leaf is chocolate, alright. There is a generous amount of cacao shells in here so you better believe this smells like a bar of dark chocolate.
In terms of flavour, I am getting the cacao notes first and foremost, followed by some honeyed and mineral notes from the base. There is a little creaminess there, just a hint. The base also becomes slightly astringent once cooled after half an hour (TWD is distracting me!) but not in a bad way.
My second favourite of the three FUNdraiser blends.
Love the scent of the dry leaf. It’s bursting with juicy blackberry, and it’s nice to experience real blackberry and not artificial juice crystals I get from a lot of fruit-flavoured teas. The tea leaves are an unusual, beautiful dark green, twisted and fluffy.
Steeped, this is absolutely lovely. The base is sweet, mellow, with no trace of vegetal notes whatsoever. And that blackberry flavour is consistent with the scent of the dry leaf. There is a layer of cream going on too, I swear. Like a heaping bowl of berries ‘n’ cream . Not sure whether that was intentional or not.
Great work, 52teas!
Thank you Kittenna for the share. I think I have had this double-bagged in a box in a drawer for over a year. It maybe wasn’t the best to leave this sample for so long since it is really a bit bland. It is smooth and maybe a touch creamy but not much else going on. No chai spices. No eggnog. My guess is that could be just flavor deterioration from age and especially next to the very flavorful Gingerbread Chai latte, this felt flat.
Apparently I was in the mood for 52 Teas holiday chais this morning because I ended up brewing this as a chocolate milk latte, and Eggnog Chai plain. This sample came to me courtesy of Evol Ving Ness and since Gingerbread is one of those flavors I gravitate towards, I was more than happy to see this in the shoe box full of teas she shared.
So here’s the thing, with the chocolate milk component, this tastes like chocolate gingerbread…heavy on the ginger. It’s certainly a chai but also captures the molasses-rich baked good. I enjoyed it quite a bit so thank you Evol Ving Ness for the share.
The honeybush was a great choice for this blend. It almost tastes like maple syrup or brown sugar. The cinnamon in it is well balanced with the creamy vanilla. I was hoping for more sugar cookie/cake flavour, but this is still a great blend. I might have gone with cinnamon & Brown Sugar Oatmeal or Granola Muffin. I do get some oat (like those oat bars that are deliciously crisp, yet buttery soft) and some baked goods/granola flavour.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Oats, Rooibos, Spices
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Flavors: Citrus Fruits, Dark Chocolate, Orange, Rooibos, Yams
I snuck this one out of VariaTEA’s bag of goodies because she encouraged me to drink her teas! I really wanted to see how this one turned out. I still very much miss Stacy’s pineapple oolong, as it’s one of the best pairings with a green oolong that i can imagine. Lucipicia’s version is also nice but not as “juicy” from what i remember. This one is mostly pineapple – which suits me just fine, but i do get a sense of the mango coming through. Really enjoyed this one today while spending some time relaxing and reading.