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Recent Tasting Notes
Overall, Exotic Berries Oolong by Citizen Tea is a solid cup of tea. If fruit flavour is what you’re after, I highly recommend going for a hot cup rather than an iced cup to maximize the flavour profile. This is a great cup to try if you’re a fellow Oolong lover, constantly searching for that vegetale, earthy taste. It’s also a great cup if you’re trying to diversify your tea palette, or looking for a tea that is flavourful but not flavourful to the point of over powering the tea plant.
Flavors: Berries, Berry, Earth, Floral
After the delicious scent, I was quite confident that Creamy Nut Oolong would taste just as good. I’ve had an up and down relationship with nutty teas in the past there have been many that I have enjoyed, but also many that are not even close to my cup of tea. After tasting this tea, I must say that the ingredients blend smoothly. The overall flavour is sweet, and nutty in the perfect amount. The flavour isn’t overwhelming and doesn’t mask the delicious oolong leaves, rather it matches perfectly, making sip after sip a delicious guilt-free dessert that oolong and nut lovers can enjoy.
Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Nutty, Sweet
I don’t drink a lot of white tea, and when I do, it’s usually flavored blends that I enjoy cold-brewing as iced tea. This is a warm cuppa steeped western-style with a teaspoon of pearls at lunchtime while my stomach doesn’t really feel like taking food yet. It steeped a deep yellow and is very smooth with a strong nutty/popcorn note to it, but also has notes of hay, sweet grass, honeysuckle, and a vegetal bean taste. It’s very nice, and reminding me a lot of some Chinese greens I’ve had in the past.
Flavors: Beany, Hay, Honeysuckle, Nutty, Popcorn, Smooth, Sweet, warm grass, Vegetal
One of my older sampler tins, I decided to make a warm cuppa of this for my morning tea. I’m actually enjoying this one more than the Chocolate Hazelnut and Rooibos Chocolate Chai, as both of those I found a bit weak on flavor unless I really upped the leaf content, but I’m getting a pretty sweet, marshmallowy note from this cup with just my teaspoon. I do still feel that, like the others, the chocolate note is a bit weak — I can tell it is there, but it is coming out more like a chocolate sweetness than a chocolately flavor to me? At least that’s the impression I’m getting, while I’m really tasting a marshmallow flavor, and I can’t think of many teas I’ve had that flavor note from before. Especially without trying to add lapsang souchong to the blend (which is a migraine trigger for me so I have to avoid it), so I’m really enjoying this. I’m getting a hint of a biscuity note too, which is nice, and making me wish I had some biscuits or grahams to eat with this cuppa. I just wish the chocolate was popping a bit more, but I tend to feel that way about a lot of teas. If I had some chocolate almond milk I’d be curious how this would fare as a latte, and if the marshmallow flavor would still hold up against the milk… if I end up making a grocery run I may have to try that out while I still have some of the sampler leaf.
Flavors: Chocolate, Graham, Honey, Marshmallow, Smooth, Sweet
I found this old sampler tin and have been in a chai mood lately as the cold (and very windy!) fall weather sets in here, so I decided to finally try a cup of this tonight. The aroma of the dry leaf does remind me a bit of Mexican cocoa, as I do pick up a faint chocolate aroma, with a much stronger spice smell, namely cinnamon and cardamom.
The flavor is a little flat for me… I’m not sure if it’s the age, or if maybe I should’ve overleafed this just a little. The spices have a nice flavor and are very warming, but the base feels very weak to me, somehow, like the rooibos itself doesn’t have any fullness to it, and the chocolate is getting completely overwhelmed. The cinnamon, clove, and cardamom notes are very bold but I’m a bit let down that the rooibos itself, cocoa, and fruity goji berry notes are pretty much missing… right now I sort of feel like I’m drinking spices in a cup of water.
This was a pretty large sampler so as I work through it I’ll try upping the leaf and seeing if that creates an improvement, but I’m pretty disappointed at the moment. But considering the age of the sampler by the time I’ve finally gotten around to trying it, I feel some of the blame has to be on me and I can’t judge it too harshly.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Spices
When I realized I had an English Breakfast that wasn’t just a sampler, I was like, “Oh hey! More black tea for my hair rinses!” Because yes, that is a thing I do. I brew up black tea with pure sage leaf and a bit of apple cider vinegar and dump it on my head. So this is likely going to be a… uh… rinse down? once I’ve used up the leaf taking showers. But then I realized I hadn’t logged this, so I was like, “Oh, I suppose I should make a cuppa while I still have the leaf and do that.” So I’m doing that.
This is a CTC English Breakfast blend that is Assam, Ceylon, and Sumatran teas. My favorite breakfast blends always include a bit of Chinese black in the mix, so I already know this isn’t going to be one I want to “hang onto” (I’m pretty sure it’s between Steven Smith Teamaker’s “British Brunch” and Bird & Blend’s “Great British Cuppa” for the English Breakfast blend I plan to eventually permanently stock in my cupboard of all the ones I’ve sampled that best match my personal tastes), but I’m still willing to give it a sample. I used 2.8g for 350ml of water and a 2 min. steep. The aroma is malty but has some strong citrusy notes, a bit moreso than many other breakfast blends I’ve tried.
This is a strong tea, maybe the strongest I’ve had other than the Whittards of Chelsea blend I sampled… it is at least tied with it. Is it from the Sumatran black tea? I don’t think I’ve ever had a breakfast blend that included that type of black tea in it before. But this is definitely more robust than my particular preferences. It has a quite bitter taste to it, and is very astringent. I get notes of malt, burnt toast, lemon citrus, and black pepper.
I definitely had to finish off this cuppa British style, with a bit of honey and some almond milk. It was too dark and bitter for me otherwise. And I’ll definitely be finishing off the rest of the bag as a “rinse down.” Black tea is great for shedding issues!
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Black Pepper, Burnt, Citrus, Lemon, Malt, Toast
Holiday Tea-son! Saving my Bird & Blend advent tea for this evening, so I brought this tea with me in my work thermos today. I got it as a freebie with a Citizen Tea order back in January of 2018, and have just been saving it since then.
It smells quite spicy, but the flavor actually has a pine sort of flavor to me. I’m not sure what is giving me that sort of flavor, though. I do get a sort of orange citrus, but mostly there is this strong pine note, and then a bite of a sweet spice toward the end of the sip. I’m not picking up on any of the vanilla or nut notes that should be in the blend, but for what it is, I don’t mind it; the pine and spice flavor at least does make me think of the winter season. Could it be the bourbon alcohol flavoring causing that taste to me, since I don’t really drink alcohol? Who knows! I wish I was getting some of the vanilla, but it’s alright otherwise. I like that the black tea itself is coming out very smooth, since my last few blacks have turned out on the bitter side.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Orange, Pine, Smooth
Trick or Treat!
Augh, so exhausted tonight. For the last several days I’ve had to wake early to be able to call a pharmaceutical company right when they turn their phones on before my shift at the library starts, just to be transferred around, disconnected, and get no answers. My lunch breaks have been more of the same, with lots of sitting on hold and pretty much starving myself. But today, finally, after first being denied by my insurance, I now have pre-auth approved insurance for Aimovig and have Aimovig approval for two free auto-injectors and co-pay assistance to follow, which should lower the $100 co-pay from my insurance to $5 a month. This is a brand-new treatment for chronic migraine, a once-a-month injectable antibody that bonds to the CGRP receptors in the brain to help with migraine prevention, and I’ve been following the studies on it since 2005. It just now got FDA approval this year. It has been such an exhausting battle, but I’m just so happy to finally get to try this stuff…
And now that I’ve bored everyone with personal details, tea! I got this sampler from a Citizen Tea order last January and just felt like trying it as my nightly herbal. It brews up a bright yellow, which makes me a little surprised that I’m actually getting a coffee liquor aroma from the brew. I’m also noticing some bittersweet, dark chocolate and tart green apple from the warm scent coming off the cup.
Oh! The aroma had me expecting something on the bittersweet side, but this tea is surprisingly sweet. It’s actually very caramelly, which I was not expecting at all! The base is making me think of a light caramel/toffee that has a sweet apple note to it, and the mid-sip pulls in some subtle hints of a lighter milk chocolate/cocoa flavor and coffee, but they are more subdued than the aroma lets on. The flavor that lingers on my tongue is more of a caramel/butterscotch flavor.
I wouldn’t say it reminds me in a major way of tiramisu, but I can see what they were going for, and even though subtle, the flavor notes are there. Love that slight coffee aroma from the cup every time I take a sip. And as a dessert tea, it is very tasty; I do tend to be generous with my leaf with chunky herbals like this, but the flavor here is very good, and is really hitting the spot as a sweet-tooth indulgement before bed. And there are just days where one really needs that. Today was definitely one of those days for me.
Flavors: Apple, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cocoa, Coffee, Sweet, Toffee
Sampler Sipdown September! Had more water in the kettle to use up after the gong fu session but definitely wanted to switch to herbals, so found this sampler. I actually had two Rooibos Earl Greys tucked away, so I grabbed the older of the two.
This tastes really odd to me. Bergamot is one of those flavors I used to hate and it took a lot of coaxing of my palate to adapt to it, so it just feels really forefront and dominant here, and I’m just not sure how I feel about that. I’m okay with it when it’s a bit more subdued, or mixed with other flavors. But I feel a bit like I’m drinking straight bergamot because the rooibos doesn’t really have enough body and flavor to provide much else; at least not against how much they included in this. The tea is a bit sweeter than a black Earl Grey, but doesn’t really taste of rooibos, just staggering, blunt, citrusy bergamot. Not really my thing.
I quickly realized I was going to have to London Fog this to make it palatable for me, but I’m currently out of vanilla almond milk. But… I do have coconut milk, and my favorite Earl Grey blend is still 52Teas Foggy Coconut! Yes. Added a bit of sweet coconut milk to this just to take a little bit of the edge off the staggering bergamot and give it a little something else tastewise and it was actually great after that.
I don’t think I can rate it very high considering the base flavor wasn’t really my thing, but I’ll have no problem finishing off the remainder of the sampler making coconut milk lattes with the stuff, which are quite fantastic.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Sweet, Tart
Alright – I’ve been putting off writing tasting notes that were sipdowns all week because there’s still a handful of teas that I got from VariaTEA last Tuesday that I haven’t been able to add to my cupboard yet because their Steepster pages are stuck on the mobile view/they’re experiencing that ‘cacheing glitch’ but I’ve got all of them but two added in now so… fuck it!
Just know that my cupboard number right now isn’t perfectly reflective of the number of teas I own – it’s two teas off. (I’m sure this bugs ME more than anyone else)
Anyway, I received this one a while back from Kittenna – I was storing it in a little box of other samples wrapped in tin foil because they all have REALLY strong aromas and because I was storing it in that box away from the rest of my samples I forgot about it for a long while. It’s quite nice, though! I don’t know that it’s the kind of thing that I would personally end up buying from Citizen because the chocolate notes are really strong and I don’t tend to lean towards chocolate teas in a way that warrants me having them around in larger quantities, but it’s a very nice rich milk chocolate note accented by sweet, toasted hazelnuts. It gives off this decadent chocolatey ‘brittle’ sort of taste! Very full bodied and robust, and the mouthfeel almost seems thicker and more velvety too. There is just a hint of astringency in the finish, but it’s light enough that to me it just reminds me of the natural dryness that you get from the ‘skins’ on most nuts.
I like this one! It’s a nice dessert tea.
I really need a pick me up. I started feeling sick this morning and I still do this evening. I blame my sick co-workers who came into work yesterday. I figured this would be a good time to break out this tea to try. I can smell the licorice upon opening the package. The taste is so similar to Davidstea Organic Throat Rescue tea. I like it and it is very soothing.
Pre-birthday cuppa. My long-time friend who is now also a coworker makes the best cookies, and he knows my love affair with Nutella, and always uses it as an ingredient in the batch of birthday cookies he makes me and brings me at work. Today is birthday cookie day (this year are some yin-yang peanut butter-Nutella cookies! Mmmm!), since this Saturday (St. Patrick’s Day) didn’t fall on my Saturday schedule. So I grabbed this chocolate hazelnut sampler I picked up from Citizen Tea to accompany!
It’s good! The base is chocolately, but has a warm nuttiness to it, too. It’s very smooth and sweet. I think my only issue is it that I wish the tea felt a little fuller and the flavor a little richer; I’m getting the impression that I’m going to have to double-leaf this to get the kind of experience that I’m currently craving out of this, based on my initial cup. Some decent flavor notes are there, they just aren’t popping enough to really wow me, and the base feels a little weak. I’m of the personal opinion one shouldn’t need to use extra leaf for an average cup, so I’d say that’s my one complaint with this otherwise tasty tea.
Flavors: Chocolate, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet
Green March! Since this mate isn’t roasted… eh, I say it counts! (May not be green tea, but it is most certainly a very green leaf!) Honestly I’ve always been too sissy to try plain yerba mate, because I’ve read everywhere that it tastes terrible and is very much an acquired taste, so I’ve strictly stuck to roasted mates and flavored mate blends, but this little sampler came with my Citizen Tea order, and I decided to make a large cup this morning and do a quick sipdown.
Honestly, it wasn’t at all what I was expecting (to be fair, from everything I’d read about the taste being terrible, I was expecting it to be unpalatable, and it wasn’t at all). Perhaps there are much stronger mates out there, but this was a quite easy drink for me, and I didn’t find it unpleasant at all. I’ve heard the word “bitter” used to describe it often, like coffee, and while I can kind of see the coffee comparisons (especially from what I’ve had of the roasted variety) it was far too vegetal for me to really get my head around that from this plain green variety. Really all I was tasting was a very mild astringency in the finish, but I’d say it was far less than I get from a really strong black tea breakfast blend, and didn’t really come off to me as particularly bitter. What I was getting was a strong resemblance to gunpowder green tea. It had a very similar body and mouthfeel, and the flavor had this vegetal, grassy/hay taste with hints of tobacco and smoke, which is the same sort of taste I get when I’m drinking gunpowder greens. There was also a sort of minty flavor to it, but less of a brisk, pepperminty taste and more of the menthol, and far more subdued.
All in all it was a pleasant cup, but smoky flavors aren’t my favorite, so I think I’ll stick to roasted mates and flavored blends after all. Still glad I got to try a plain mate, since it is something I’ve been curious about, but not the sort of thing I’d be inclined to spend my own money on.
Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Hay, Menthol, Smoke, Tobacco