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Recent Tasting Notes
I love this blend. Who knew blueberries and lime would work so well together? A big ole plump blueberry is floating in the infuser. And then spearmint! I love them all paired with a fresh green tea as well. I guess there should be rum flavor here? But I don’t notice that as much. I love the combination for what IS here though. Equal parts lime, mint, blueberry. Love a fruity green tea. I have plenty on standby for summer…
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 30 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 27 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Flavors: Blueberry, Lime, Spearmint
I feel like I’m working through these quite quickly, but they are delicious…
I used 1 tsp of leaf for today’s cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. It brews up pretty dark (and pretty quickly), but I didn’t add any milk…mostly just to see. Some caramel flavours are drowned out pretty easily, and I generally go with whole milk, so I feel like I should see how things stand first.
To taste, it’s pretty good. The caramel flavour is fairly strong, not overpowering, but immediately identifiable as caramel. There’s a creaminess to it, and a burnt sugar-like flavour in the aftertaste. The black tea base is smooth and malty, but a touch more prominent than I’d have liked. Maybe a shorter brew time, or a little less leaf (or a splash of milk…) would help to round things out a touch better.
On the whole, though, I’m pretty pleased with this one. It’s sweet, caramelly, and it contains caffeine. There’s certainly nothing in any of that to dislike.
I think this might actually be my first savoury tea, which is exciting enough on its own, but what’s more exciting is that it’s composed of three of my favourite flavours – tomato, basil, and black pepper are some of my favourite things in life. I’m really glad Anne decided to reblend this one, otherwise I’d have been forever wondering…
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water as per the recommended parameters. Brewed, the scent is soup-like and a touch smoky. The taste is similar – there’s an initial note of tomato – sundried rather than fresh – that’s almost sweet in its intensity. The mid-sip is dominated mostly by the basil – which is really clear and well defined (yay!), and which cuts through some of the sweet tomato, adding an almost-vegetal, herby freshness. The pepper comes out at the end of the sip and lingers a little in the aftertaste, adding a touch of welcome spiciness. All in all, pretty perfect for a savoury tea! I can taste a hint of smoke, but it’s not overwhelming and it doesn’t drown out the other flavours – it was unexpected, at first, but it fades at the cup cools so there’s no fear if smoke isn’t your thing.
As a first experience with a savoury tea, this was a good ‘un! Another I’d happily repurchase if it became available again in the future. I’d really like to experiment with some more savoury teas now…
finished this sample up today as well – thanks VariaTEA. This one was rather meh for me. I think i prefer 52 teas others genmaicha’s as the spice in this just kinda ruined it for me. It just didn’t mesh the way i wanted it to with the genmaicha. Oh well..not like i needed another one from 52 teas that i was in love with haha
Sample from VariaTEA.. I could use a little more cardamom in this one, but that might just be the result of the sample ratio that i received. This has a hint of smokiness – it smelled smokier than it tasted. It does evoke memories of a winter cabin – some days i really miss being able to go up north to my husbands family home. thanks for this Variatea!
I was clearly on a raspberry kick last time I ordered from 52Teas, and here’s another one. When raspberry flavour is well done, though, it does make for great tea! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. It was nice to see a whole raspberry and blueberry in my scoop, plus a large coconut flake – all ingredients represented!
To taste, this one is heavier on the coconut than I expected, but I think that’s a good thing. It’s rare to find a coconut tea, or at least, I’ve not come across many in my 5 years of loose leaf tea obsession. The fruit flavours are definitely secondary, although there are well-defined blueberry and raspberry notes towards the end of the sip. The blueberry is a touch more prominent than the raspberry, I think.
All in all, I’m really enjoying this one. Lots of coconut, and some (very) complimentary fruits, and on a black tea base as well. It was always going to be a win with me!
Today’s “new start” is the Anne version of this one. I loved the original 52Teas Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish, so I’m hoping this one will be equally good…
I used 1.5tsp for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. No additions. It’s sweet, with a pleasant amount of raspberry, and quite a lot of background woodiness from the honeybush base. There is a kind of smooth, creamy, cream cheese like note towards the end of the sip, but it’s not quite as defined as I perhaps would have liked it to be. The sweetness does put me in mind of glace icing, though, so it’s pretty much got everything I’d want – not so much in the way of pastry, but this is tea, not food.
As a tea, I’m more than happy with it. It’s true enough to its name, and it tastes great. Nothing to complain about here! I’ll certainly have no problems finishing off my taster pouch :)
I brought so many 52Teas blends to work today, I feel spoilt for choice at the moment! It was a hard decision, but I eventually settled on this one for my mid-afternoon cup. Out of the bag, it smells candy-like and fairly delicious, although not entirely natural. I’m really hoping for a good shortcake flavour with this one – if it has that, I’m sure it’ll pretty much be perfection in my book.
I used 1.5 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. To taste, it’s pretty good. The strawberry seems to settle down once brewed, and it’s not nearly as strong as you’d expect from the dry leaf alone. There’s also a really nice cake/biscuit element that’s light, airy, and deliciously buttery. I was so pleased that the shortcake element was accounted for!
The white tea base is a great choice here. It tastes just a touch dusty, perhaps, in the way that some white peony blends do. Nothing to really complain about, though. Mostly, it just allows the flavours to show to best advantage, and when it comes to flavoured tea that’s surely one of the major considerations.
The strawberry is natural tasting, although it’s not quite as strawberry-ish as I might have liked. That’s a minor issue, though, and one I’m more than willing to overlook purely because it’s just so damn tasty. There’s even a lingering aftertaste that really more scent than flavour – it’s just pure, unalloyed deliciousness that more than lives up to its name.
I’d like to try this one cold brewed in the summer, but I can’t see my sample bag lasting until then, so that likely won’t be happening!
I’m back at work this week, so I brought some new teas with me (or I suppose what I really mean is “untried” teas…) to ease the pain. Not that my week off was so great – I’m trying to buy a flat (with the emphasis very much on trying), and so in some ways it was a lot more stressful than being at work.
Anyway, the tea. I still gravitate towards black tea and milk when I’m in need of comfort, so that’s what I did today. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk (partly to help with the “zabaglione” effect…) but in all honesty, it would have been fine without. It smells delicious – creamy candy raspberry. There was at least one whole (large!) raspberry in my cup, so that gives me hope. I have memories of my beloved 52Teas Raspberry Cream…
My verdict is that it’s pretty good. I can definitely taste raspberry, and it’s not as artificial/candy-like as the scent would suggest. There’s a tartness alongside the sweetness that’s very much reminiscent of fresh raspberries. There’s also a creaminess, although it’s not as well defined as the raspberry. It’s not making me think custard, and it’s not super dessert-like, but it’s pretty good. Raspberries and cream is what I’m getting from this one, and since that’s what I was hoping for, I consider myself satisfied.
The black tea base works well, maybe better than I thought it would. It doesn’t overpower either of the flavourings, and even though I left it quite a long time, there’s absolutely no bitterness or astringency. It’s a definite contender for Raspberry Cream’s crown!
I’d buy more of this one if I could, but (alas) the nature of 52Teas is such that I don’t think it’s currently possible. If it was to make a return, though, I’d definitely be there!
So most vanilla teas that I try are kinda lastlustre. I guess I didn’t realize that what I was looking for in a nilla cup would be matched by a marshmallow version! I find that marshmallow has more depth and maltiness to it. Perfect pairing for Assam.
I guess that means I’ve found my ideal version of a “vanilla” tea!
The malt factor really does it for me. So happy to have this in my cupboard :D
Thank you Kittenna for tea muling this!!
This week’s Tea of the Week!
My daughter’s favorite tea (that I don’t make) is a certain decaffeinated vanilla tea that is pretty popular here on Steepster. She wanted me to make her a similar tea – strong on the vanilla – but the caffeine part didn’t really concern her. She just liked the strong vanilla tone of that tea.
Well, I certainly couldn’t make a tea JUST like that because, well, I don’t really like the idea of copying another company’s tea. In addition to my aversion to copying another tea – I also have yet to find a suitable decaffeinated black tea. I simply cannot find a pure decaffeinated black tea that I enjoy enough to use as a base for my blends.
So, instead, I did the next best thing, I made her the best vanilla tea that I could craft using some of the very best teas that I could locate and added lots and lots of vanilla.
If you liked Frank’s French Vanilla Assam – I think that this one will appeal to you. It’s quite lovely – the tea is rich – bold – and yet smooth. Not overly astringent. The vanilla is sweet and creamy.
I received a sample of this tea with a recent order. To be honest, I wasn’t terribly jazzed about it because root beer isn’t really my jam. But a free sample is better than no sample, right? Beggars can’t be choosers and so forth.
This is another solid flavored black tea blend from 52Teas. Beautiful (lighter) black tea base that doesn’t compete with the other flavors. The smell of the dried leaf is spot on. On its own and hot, I don’t get much of the “float.” The vanilla is very subtle. It tastes like hot flat root beer. LOL! I had no intention of drinking it hot, though. I poured it over ice and added a splash of half & half, and it’s absolutely magical. I never thought I’d say this about a root beer flavored tea, but it’s one of the best teas I’ve tasted so far this year.
Flavors: Root Beer, Vanilla
Snow is falling here. Predictions are that there will be a lot of snow falling overnight. I wonder whether I’ll be getting out the front door in the morning.
I really like this one: a nice feisty Assam with a pillow of marshmallow softness and sweetness. Some days, it is just perfection just as is. Other days, I’d like more of this plus something else added to it, chocolate maybe, more vanilla maybe, perhaps torrone, perhaps roasted almonds, or maybe the slightest bit of lemon.
Either way, I would be delighted if 52teas kept this one as is around AND perhaps played with possible additions from time to time to riff on perfection.
Flavors: Marshmallow, Vanilla
This week’s tea of the week! I enjoyed January’s Fruit Salad blend, but it was just a wee bit sweet for the spicy side of me so I thought – what would happen if I made a fruit salad green tea and added just a little bit of spice (with some black peppercorns, long peppercorns and cayenne pepper)? Of course, with the heat of these spices, I figured that some warm, herbaceous tulsi would add some interest to the overall cup.
And YUM! I love this blend! The green tea is a blend of Fair Trade, single estate Zomba Steamed green tea from the Satemwa estate in Malawi and organic Chinese Sencha and Gunpowder teas and the tulsi is a blend of green, purple and wild leaf holy basil. I added strawberries, pineapple, limes and some melon essence. Then I added some crushed black peppercorns, long pepper and cayenne pepper to spice things up and some juniper berries because – why not?
This has a sweet, fruity background with an distinct peppery note. I find that the first few sips tend to strongly introduce the pepper, but after those first few sips, the palate becomes accustomed to these peppery tones and the fruit flavors begin to really shine through. I don’t find the heat to be overpowering or too assertive – but if you’re one who tends to be sensitive to peppery flavors, this may not be the tea for you.
But if you like the combination of spicy and sweet – I think you’ll like thi one!
I suspect that I have a sample packet of this around somewhere in the multiple places I keep tea. You know, multiple tea places to convince myself that I may not really have all that much tea. To convince myself that perhaps it might be ok to place a wee tea order when the next fab tea thing pops up. To convince myself that I don’t really have a problem.
There was enough leaf for two cups of this in the box. I am trying this tea for the first time.
Ahem, yes. So. This tea is a bit of an enigma. It’s as if my tastebuds are on a strobe light. Each sip alternates between smoke and peach and butterscotch and smoke and back around again. Occasionally, I get a mouthful that combines the flavours all at once. And then again, my tastebuds get confused. I don’t know what all that is about because I get the impression that the flavours are balanced and the tea is delicious. It is just a bit odd. I am wondering whether adding marshmallow—because who can argue with marshmallow—would buffer this a bit. Or perhaps a bit more of one particular tea base to gentle things up a bit here. I like the intensity of each of the flavours—that is to say, I don’t find that any of the flavours are too much, so I wouldn’t suggest reducing the amount added, but what can be done about the strobe light effect? Or is that a desirable thing? Or is that just me?
The next cup of this will determine how speedily I try to hunt down the packet that I most likely have. Yes, yes, Sil is going to remind me yet again to keep an excel chart.
Thank you, VariaTEA, for adding this to the box.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Peach, Smoke