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Recent Tasting Notes
Happy National Popcorn Day! (For those playing along in the Sipdown Challenge Home Game, today is “drink a genmaicha” day!)
Bah, making this tea was such a comedy of errors before work… I had very little time available to boil the water/steep the tea/get tea into work thermos, and then I forgot I needed to switch the default temperature on the kettle because this is green tea and not black/oolong, so the water boiled way too hot… so I was pacing around trying to figure out just how late for work I was going to be waiting for the water to cool enough to use plus still get in my two minute steep…
Hardly a relaxing morning cuppa!
Now I have a 12 oz cuppa in the work thermos (hopefully I can more properly make another cup at lunch break) to sip on throughout the morning. This is one of my last 2017 52Teas packets I need to finish off, but it was still sealed and when I opened it, there was tons of aroma… a creamy vanilla scent plus toasty genmai.
It’s very satisfying. The green tea is maybe not as fresh as it once was, but I’m still getting a nice grassy/hot hay flavor from it. The genmai still gives it a very warm, toasty flavor of roasted rice and oats. After the flavor of the genmaicha settles a bit, I’m left with a sweeter, cream-flavored aftertaste on the back of my tongue. It is quite subtle during the sip, but there is a sweetness and a slightly creamier mouthfeel that is quite pleasant. There is something about genmaicha I’ve always found very “cozy” which I’m reminded of this morning, now that all the hecticness around the actual brewing of the tea is passed and I can just sit at my desk and drink it.
Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Hot hay, Oats, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Toasted Rice, Toasty, Vanilla, Vegetal
Dry Leaf Smell: sweet, nutty, like roasted nuts from a fair
Steeped Tea Smell: bakey, hints nutty
Flavor: bitter baked tea
Aftertaste: astringent, then nutty shells (like the taste of almond skins)
Liquor:translucent orange brown
Sad to see this one go but I’ve been hoarding on to this one for a bit and I don’t think that was a wise choice. The tea had a bit of a stale feel to it but was still delicious and I enjoyed every sip. Sweet, toasty, buttery, all the tea feels with this one.
Flavors: Butter, Sweet, Toasted Rice
Last one from the December subscription!
I was surprised by how many dried blueberries are in this! There were several in my spoonful.
I really like this one! The beginning of the sip is more blueberry, and it’s a dark and syrupy blueberry that reminds me of jam. The cinnamon and nutmeg pop out a little more toward the end for a nice sweet warmth. The honeybush base does a decent job of mimicking some form of cake or pastry (depending on your interpretation of cobbler). Overall, a fairly good representation of a blueberry and cinnamon pastry.
I am getting some cucumber notes again though, so it must be the honeybush base that gives me that impression. I had the same thing happen with the last honeybush blend, which had completely different flavors. Odd!
Flavors: Blueberry, Cinnamon, Cucumber, Jam, Nutmeg, Pastries, Spices, Sweet
Another one from the December subscription package.
I was excited to try this one, as I actually had a mont blanc at a fancy sweets buffet at a hotel in Osaka. It’s basically a pile of squiggly chestnut mousse with cream either on top or inside on a base of cake. French pastry is pretty big in Japan, so it was no surprise to find them there! They’re generally chestnut, but I tried both pumpkin and chestnut because the buffet was autumn-themed.
Anyway! I’m honestly not getting much flavoring from this unfortunately. The Chinese sencha base is very grassy and I think it’s overpowering the added flavors a bit. I do get a nice creamy sort of chestnut note in the aftertaste, which is lovely. I just wish I got more of that throughout the sip… I tried it both hot and room temperature, and it didn’t seem to make much of a difference.
It’s a shame, as the flavor combo sounded so good!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Chestnut, Cream, Dry Grass, Grass, Seaweed
I enjoyed this one! Green rooibos seems to have a much milder flavor than red, which I appreciate. This blend had a nice fresh, minty flavor that balanced well with the lemon…not much blueberry that I could detect. I enjoyed it hot, but guessing it would be even better iced!
Flavors: Lemon, Mint
Yay, making good progress on some of these subscription teas! I may have to consider culling a subscription or two, they’re a bit counterproductive when I’m trying to sip down… XD
Anyway! This one was rather yummy for a chocolate tea. Definitely a light and creamy one, reminiscent of milk chocolate. I also get some nuttiness from the base tea. As for the cranberry, to me it tastes closer to tart cherry or perhaps raspberry, but I love all three of those things, so I don’t mind one bit!
Chocolaty, creamy, malty, nutty, with a hint of tart red fruit. It makes me think of a milk chocolate bark sprinkled with roasted nuts and dried cherries!
ETA: This is my 2000th note! Huzzah!
Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Creamy, Malt, Nuts, Peanut, Raspberry, Smooth, Sweet, Tart
From the December subscription box.
I’ve only tried two out of the five teas from this box, so I’d better get cracking!
This is nice for a chocolate tea. For some reason, Anne’s chocolate flavoring doesn’t seem to bother me as much as others, or maybe there isn’t chocolate flavoring, just the cacao nibs and shells and the chocolate chips. This is reminding me quite a bit of the Clark black tea from October, it has a similar chocolate flavor profile. I’m getting a bit of nuttiness too, maybe from the base teas.
But this one is a bit more like a creamy chocolate with a hint of vanilla and perhaps raspberry or cherry. The fruit note doesn’t specifically say “cranberry” to me, but it does have a nice tartness to it.
It’s yummy! Creamy milk and dark chocolate with a hint of tart fruit.
Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Nuts, Raspberry, Smooth, Tart, Vanilla
Yay, I’m happy to be getting through some of my subscription teas! I was feeling a bit overwhelmed when I got two Bird & Blend packages at once, so it’s not to be able to finish some off.
I really like this one! Definitely my favorite of the month, and possibly one of my favorites thus far from 52teas. The kukicha base is delicious, and has a lovely blend of sweet vegetal flavors with a bit of a roasted nuts note. And I love citrus, so I’m very happy with the grapefruit-forward citrus notes here. Definitely getting grapefruit, lemon, lime, and some form of tangerine or orange.
Zingy and bright, but with a comforting base tea! But as a lover of Japanese teas, I may be a bit biased… ;D
Flavors: Citrus, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Roasted nuts, Spinach, Sweet, Tart, Umami, Vegetal
This is from the December subscription box! It’s one of the teas I was most excited to try, because I love kukicha and citrus teas.
It’s quite good. The kukicha has a lovely gentle creamy vegetal flavor with a touch of roasted grain. The grapefruit is the strongest citrus note for me, followed by lime, lemon, and sweet orange. There’s a pleasant touch of piney-ness at the end of the sip, either from the green tea or the grapefruit.
I’m enjoying my cup of this. But reading the description, I see that this was first intended to be a lemon-lime meringue kukicha but was modified. I will say, I think that meringue/cream element and a little bit more sweetness or creaminess would make this even better. Like a mixed citrus cream pie!
Flavors: Citrus, Grain, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Roasted, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal
Even though I’ve been only drinking from my 2017 stash, I exclusively drink tisanes after 6 pm, and sipped down my 2017 tisanes already… so since it’s National Apricot Day, I figured I may as well break into this new tea (when was the last time I drank a tea when it was still new?!)
Got a strong stonefruit and that peppery honeybush note from the dry leaf aroma. Oddly enough, in the bag the stonefruit aroma read more as pear to me, but after I took out my generous scoop for my teacup and sniffed that, it definitely smelled more like peach/apricot. And those are the main aroma notes I’m getting from the cooling cup, as well.
I’m getting a nice apricot flavor from the steeped tea, sweet, but juicy. The honeybush base provides a bit of a sweet grainy/nutty flavor, and I’m also getting that pepper note from it as well, as unfortunately the other spices in the tea aren’t masking it for me. I do taste the spices toward the end of the sip, particularly the nutmeg which lingers on my tongue afterwards. It’s a subtle, sweet flavor. I am not tasting cranberry at all, but admittedly tend to have troubles reading that note in many teas… shame, I love nice, tart cranberries! So, I am getting at least an apricot muffin with a light dusting of nutmeg. But not a cranberry apricot muffin.
Still a relaxing night cuppa, and I really like the juicy apricot flavor here.
Flavors: Apricot, Grain, Nutmeg, Nutty, Pepper, Spices, Stonefruits
I wish I liked this one as much as others seem to, but it just wasn’t quite gingerbread for me. It’s a perfectly pleasant mildly spiced black tea that’s heavy on the ginger, but there’s nothing really cookie-y about it. Others mentioned molasses notes, which I guess I can taste a hint of, but I wish there was much more.
Anyway, it was fun to try! :)
Flavors: Clove, Earth, Ginger, Molasses, Smooth, Spices
From the December subscription box!
This was probably the one I was most excited to try, as I saw some fairly favorable reviews for it from the 12 Teas of Christmas box. I like gingerbread and ginger molasses cookies, but have never really had a great gingerbread tea.
But I’m thinking gingerbread teas may just not be for me, as I don’t love this one either. The strongest note is definitely the ginger, and I can also taste the clove, cinnamon, and allspice. There’s a bit of molasses too, though I would like a bit more.
Overall I’m just not getting much cookie here. The blend of spices is nice, but it mostly just tastes like a plain black chai.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Malt, Molasses, Spices
Cold Brew Sipdown (1284)!
I think this was a share from *VariaTEA – so thank you!
I like 52Teas’ blackberry flavouring a lot, so I was excited to see it here and it is pretty tasty with the sweet jammy blackberry compote notes that make it so scrumptious. Unfortunately, the taste of the green tea itself far outweighs it in potency, making this brew more of a grassy green tea beverage with just a nice kiss of blackberry. It’s definitely still nice, and drinkable as a cold brew – but I’m glad that this will be the last of the sample because I don’t think I personally enjoy the taste of the green tea enough to make having a larger amount of this tea worthwhile.
And, as always, I really appreciate the balance of sweetness in the blend! If this were any other tea base, I’d probably find this to be the perfect amount of blackberry flavouring compared to the taste of the tea itself.
Cold Brew Sipdown (1288)!
I think this was a share from VariaTEA but possibly from Kittenna – regardless, thank you to whomever passed it along! I thought it was pretty nice, but overwhelming basil flavoured versus any other notes. A pretty pleasant, smooth basil that was as refreshing as it was herbaceous. Of course, I’m keeping in mind that this was an older sample and some of the flavourings may have faded overtime – versus basil, which is a pretty dominant/lasting flavour. Thankfully I like basil a lot.
Aside from that note, I got some slight fruitier undertones – maybe a crispness that could be called lemon? It was pretty hard to decipher without relying heavily on the name and ingredients list for indicators.
I enjoyed the tea a lot though, and I think I would have been more disappointed if this was just another generic strawberry lemon combination with only a hint of basil instead of the other way around. Basil is the cool ingredient here – best it get some love!
Sad Sad Sad Sipdown! I loved loved loved this blend. A little spice, a little sweet, a little sass- this tea really was one of my ultimate 52Teas favs. The black tea notes were noticeable but really the orange, ginger, and dates were the main star. Might not taste 100% like a cake but regardless, this tea was delicious and I’m sad to see it go.sipdown 2021
Flavors: Orange, Spices, Sweet
I haven’t had a cup of this in quite awhile, and it looks like I never logged a tasting note for it.
Smells of soggy pancakes drenched in butter and maple syrup. The maple flavor is there, but it’s not nearly as intense as the smell. The blend of black teas is smooth and malty, with no bitterness at all. The cup is begging for milk or cream…but I have a kitten sleeping in my lap, so I will not be getting milk or cream.
Cranberry and chocolate sounded like quite an interesting combination. Cranberries just aren’t typically a fruit I associate with chocolate. The chocolate is the dominant flavor here, with a bit of vanilla rounding out the sip. The cranberry flavor is pretty mild, with it lending more of a slight fruitiness rather than anything too tart or acidic.
Had this with some Kringle for breakfast. The pairing really worked. The black base is super malty and tastes like baked bread and brown sugar. I can’t quite taste pumpkin, but the cinnamon and nutmeg are quite present. I’m not really getting ‘praline,’ instead it’s more of a cinnamon loaf.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Cinnamon, Malt, Nutmeg