Hella Tea

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75
drank Blue Jeans & White Teas by Hella Tea
2872 tasting notes

STTB Tea

I drank this a few days ago but didn’t post a review. Tasty as a latte. The blueberry is quite tasty (and juicy). Overall, I enjoyed my cup, however I wasn’t really big into the base. I found it a bit too vegetal when I was looking for…I don’t even know. It was a good cup but lacked a certain something (I’m not sure what that was, though). This is why you write a review right after you drink it instead of days later.

Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Smooth

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drank M. Tea. Hammer by Hella Tea
10154 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

This is the last of the blends I ordered from Hella Tea – I ended up tasting it last because I realized, in a roundabout way, that I’d already tasted it before. Unfortunately this is one of a couple teas in my order that had an incomplete ingredients list – but I’m pretty damn good at visually identifying ingredients and when I realized it looked super familiar I did a little bit of digging and was able to match it perfectly to Adagio’s Watermelon Cooler blend…

So there are two options there – either Hella Tea is buying from Adagio as a wholesaler or Adagio and Hella Tea are purchasing the exact same tea independently of one another from the same wholesaler. Ultimately it doesn’t matter – I enjoyed Watermelon Cooler and I enjoy this blend as well. It’s refreshing, smooth, and surprisingly creamy with a mellow watermelon type of note. As I said in my tasting note for Watermelon Cooler, I do usually gravitate towards a juicier watermelon profile but this is something that I think you can drink a larger amount of at a time because it’s not as sweet and intensely flavoured – it’s more refreshing.

Happy to have it in my cupboard again!

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84

Had this one today at the office – it was a very busy day for me so I didn’t get to drink as much tea as I wanted and between entering new teas into my personal spreadsheet tonight and catching up on tasting notes I didn’t do much in the evening either…

I’m still loving this tea though! It’s such a nice sweet, syrupy blueberry and I enjoy the white tea base a lot as well. It was nice to have confirmation that my first steep of it wasn’t a fluke.

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84

Cold Brew!

Of the five teas I ordered from Hella Tea this was the one, that upon smelling the dry leaf, I was most worried about – the visual of the white tea looks pretty broken up/not the highest grade and there was something about the aroma that smelled a little dusty to me. However, once I took my first sip of the cold brew any reservations melted away. It was so refreshing and smooth, with a mild and crisp white tea flavour underneath a deeper and jammy blueberry. I think a lot of you know that I have a big soft spot for blueberry teas, so this jammy blueberry compote type of flavour really made my tastebuds sing! I drank it on the way in to work, and it has been such a heat wave this last week that having something cold and refreshing with this flavour profile was like finding an oasis in the middle of a dry, barren dessert.

Enjoyed this one a lot.

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drank Steep Curry by Hella Tea
10154 tasting notes

Feeling a wave of emotions, some positive and some negative, about the recent news of Adagio taking over Steepster…

Initial thoughts:

1. I’m very thankful that Jason/Mike didn’t just spontaneously shut the site down, which it looks like is something that was considered.

2. I worry that Steepster will look like a carbon copy of the other Adagio owned websites or that the impartiality of the review platform will be compromised because of potential bias that Adagio may have given that this platform obviously hosts reviews for their competitors. I think it’s important for Steepster to maintain a separation from Adagio (perhaps not entirely, but there needs to be distinction) and have its own visible identity and maintain impartiality.

3. I believe I am the second highest contributor of tasting notes/reviews on the platform, right after Sil, and I have invested hundreds if not thousands of hours into writing often very thorough and detailed tasting notes spanning nearly seven years now – it terrifies me on a personal (and obviously biased) level that this living journal of tasting notes might be lost.

4. On a non-personal level, losing any of the tasting notes/discussion board conversations would be a devastating loss; the thing that even gives Steepster value at all (aside from its community) is the mass accumulation of information and reviews – which have been largely self moderated by the community – and quite strictly. I include myself in that; no one forces me to disclose so often/consistently my DAVIDsTEA affiliation but I make every effort to maintain that transparency and hold myself to a standard of being as impartial and open about it as possible for that sake of keeping an ethical balance to the content I generate for myself and others who may find it and I have always taken the comfort level of my other community members here into consideration in how I have approached writing tasting notes since becoming a DT employee three years ago…

That said, I’m cautiously optimistic about new life coming to the site, so I’m going to try to continue to write my tasting notes as if nothing had changed – because that’s just what I do , and damnit I’m going to hit that 10,000 mark!

REVIEW STARTS HERE:

This is my favourite from Hella Tea so far – I had it iced on Monday, and it was just so refreshing. It’s a very simple blend, basically just black tea, lemon flavouring, and some floral accents (hooray for it having an accurate ingredient list) but it’s just so well executed and balanced/refined. Brisk, bold and clean/smooth tasting lemon where you can still taste that malty and tannic black tea. It’s that classic, quintessential lemon black tea that can either by so good or so wrong. I think this is the former!

I picture this as an incredible base for a Southern Sweet Tea or even making killer kombucha. Is it unique? No – but not everything has to be unique. The classics are classics for a reason; and this would make a killer cupboard staple for anyone seeking that traditional lemon black tea type of profile!

eastkyteaguy

This is all news to me. When did this happen?

eastkyteaguy

Oh wait, never mind. I’m catching up now.

Martin Bednář

I am completely with you. Although I am nonewhere near you with number of tasting notes, it is quite personal and quite a diary as well. I know I can download .rss file; which is kinda nice, but it is nonewhere near to real feeling of website.

Let’s hope that much won’t change. But ownership by tea company isn’t that great.

OMGsrsly

I really appreciate your comments on this in the discussion thread, Roswell! I’m so glad they didn’t bin the site, especially since I’ve just come back and am enjoying connecting with everyone again.

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drank S.TEA.U.P.I.D by Hella Tea
10154 tasting notes

Second tea of the day!

I’ve been liking the lemon mint flavour combination so much this summer that I just had to make this one to enjoy this morning while writing – and I hoped the yerba mate would help me channel some focus too (it’s working so far)!

This is more lemon forward than lemon/mint, but I probably could have done a better job to shake up the bag before measuring my tea leaf. Regardless, it’s such a nice bright and clean tasting lemon that it’s hard to be disappointed at all by the absence of mint in the mug. I’ll be finished it before I know it, and then on to something else…

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drank S.TEA.U.P.I.D by Hella Tea
10154 tasting notes

Second tea that I tried from this order – I’ve been seeing VariaTea posting about the lemon and mint tea that she’s been enjoying from Cup of Te a lot recently and even though I’m mostly over my lemon tea binge, I admit that I saw this in my order and immediately craved that classic combination…

This is one of the blends I’ve noticed inaccurate ingredients for on the packaging. It’s labelled on the website as a herbal tea, but when I opened up the package I was able to very clearly see that it contained a relatively large about of green/unroasted yerba mate; something that is not listed on the ingredients list printed on the package. Now, yerba mate is technically a herbal ingredient – but not labeling it is more than a little concerning because it’s also a stimulant/caffeinated. Definitely not ideal for anyone who might be purchasing this with the intention of having it as an evening/nighttime blend…

Now, I don’t personally mind the yerba mate at all – in fact, that sort of makes it more interesting to me than a straight up lemon/mint herbal tea. I enjoy the taste of yerba mate, and that subtle grassy and rainforest type of herbal/earthy note combined with a bright, clean tasting lemon and slightly cooling, crisp mint (and a hint of gotu kola) was very refreshing to me. I thought the was well balanced, and a good and classic feeling take on this flavour profile. It’s another tea that I feel like makes a really solid “daily drinker”/cupboard staple type profile – classic in a way where it’s unlikely you’d get sick of it with frequent drinking.

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78
drank Tea Short by Hella Tea
10154 tasting notes

Geek Steep S1E2 – Homestuck

So, the format of our podcast is a rotation of four episodes starting with something we’re both fans of, then something I know and Marika doesn’t, the reverse of that, and then something that’s new for us both. That means this week’s episode was a fandom that I selected to introduce Marika to! And what a fandom!

Homestuck is this massive, beast of a webcomic – it’s the fifth longest piece of English language literature in the world (and still ongoing, technically) and rings in at a whopping 1.4 million words – not counting the words on the visual panels that accompany the text that makes up each page. It’s also super complicated, with all sorts of weird time shenanigans, a dozen different themes, and several hundred characters.

This is the tea that I chose to drink while recording the episode – and I had it cold brewed. Unlike the week prior, I didn’t put a great deal of thought into this choice; I just knew it was stupid hot (we record in my apartment, and turn off the AC while recording to cut off the ambient noise, so it gets up to about 30c while recording) and I already had this cold brew in the fridge and ready to go! Sometimes your tea pairing is simply a pairing of necessity! I enjoyed this one though – I got more strawberry from it this time around, but it was still really grenadine like in terms of flavour!

The tea I chose to drink during my reread was Bitterleaf’s “8 Ball” Banpen Raw Puer. I’ve started holding back reviews for the teas from podcast episodes and am going to keep doing so – because no spoilers! However this was actually the first tea/rewatch that I did when we started planning out the podcast/deciding on episodes so I actually have already posted that tea review on Steepster and IG:

https://steepster.com/roswellstrange/posts/405997#likes
https://www.instagram.com/p/CDZe24DgGQx/

I did allude to why I chose 8 Ball in my tasting note, but if you want more of an explanation and my thoughts on whether or not that pairing worked with the Geek of The Week then you need to listen to the episode!

Our Website: https://www.geeksteep.com/
Our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/geeksteep/

Listen to us on Buzzsprout:
https://www.buzzsprout.com/1286036/podcast/website

DB topic:
https://steepster.com/discuss/42133-geek-steep-a-new-tea-and-fandom-podcast

There’s also a Sneak Peek for next week’s episode on the Discussion Board :)

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78
drank Tea Short by Hella Tea
10154 tasting notes

I ordered from a bunch of different Black owned tea companies over the last month as a way of supporting both small businesses and Black business owners; I was going to order from one each pay period for the summer, but I’ve ended up ordering from more than that in the last month (and will continue doing a minimum of one per pay period this summer). I figure I’ve got the means right now – there’s no such thing as too much support…

This was the first one that I ordered from, and the first to arrive as well – I ordered five teas but to be completely honest I only had a vague idea of what I might be getting; this company doesn’t actually list the blend ingredients on their website so I had to guess what I might like based on the tea descriptions and cute little cassette art on each tea’s page. I’ve made it through 4/5 of the teas I ordered so far, and I think I did an alright job at guessing what I would enjoy.

Thankfully, most of the teas do have ingredients lists on the backs of the packages – but they’re not complete/accurate for all the teas (more on that in other tasting notes). This was the only one that doesn’t have an ingredients list at all, but on the website it’s described as strawberry, hibiscus, lemongrass and rosehip…

I will say that I did enjoy the flavour – I thought it definitely had that slightly more generic “red fruit” type of flavour but, interestingly, if I had to blind pin point a fruit the one that I really strongly feel like it more resembles is actually cherry and not strawberry. It’s a good, somewhat sweet and somewhat tart cherry flavour with a bit of hibiscus and a bit of lemongrass. There’s nothing innovative here, but in terms of flavour execution it’s smooth and enjoyable – and I could see this being a good “cupboard staple” type of tea for daily drinking, especially as an iced tea or cold brew. I will easily work my way through this tea – it’ll be a good one to have on hand for the summer.

Honestly, so far (speaking of all four teas I’ve had so far) I only really have the criticism that the lack of ingredient clarity on the website and inaccuracies on packaging are a concern – especially from the perspective of allergies/food sensitivities. Great company otherwise, though!

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