Retro Leaf Tea

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drank Night Trap by Retro Leaf Tea
11557 tasting notes

N is for… Night Trap!

I’m not sure what flavour I would expect a “Five Night’s at Freddy’s” inspired tea blend to taste taste, but chocolate and orange probably isn’t it – still, curiosity and all that…

I finished my mug of this one not too long ago tonight, and I find myself perplexed by the flavour and yet intrigued. To start, I enjoyed it – it was a tasty cup and I think I’m going to have fun playing with slightly tweaking the steep time, leaf amount and trying different addition types to it, like milk. However – it kind of doesn’t taste like chocolate or orange!? I mean, in the finish a bit – definitely a lingering chocolate note and some undertones of orange. However, overall the flavour is just much lighter than I’d have expected and more of a generic “sweet brown” – like caramelized sugar, maybe? I was reminded, actually, of Della Terra’s (wow, that’s a throwback tea reference!) Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which had a similar sweet brown sugar/cake kind of vibe about it.

Yeah. I think that’s where my brain is going with this one.

Mastress Alita

Wait, this isn’t based on the famous Night Trap video game from the 90s that (along with Mortal Kombat) caused the ESRB rating system to be formed?! Cause that’s immediately the video game I thought of…

Roswell Strange

Hmmm – I suppose it could be! I’ve noticed that sometimes Retro Leaf seems to merge multiple video game references into their blends, like with Blue Shadow. I just remember when they were doing their IG advertising for this one and the graphics had the same “security camera” footage style as FNAF

I like the idea of multiple video game interpretations, though!

Mastress Alita

Well, security camera footage was also a thing in Night Trap! (So ahead of its time…)

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drank Mango Man by Retro Leaf Tea
11557 tasting notes

M is for… Mango Man!

It’s been such an incredibly long time since I last thought about Mega Man, but I really appreciate the pun and video game reference of this blend – and it makes me want to rewatch the anime or play one of the video games.

I think this is the same base oolong as Applevania, which is a blend from Retro Leaf Tea that I enjoy quite a lot – very warm and nutty oolong with some good baked notes to it. However, that nuttier base oolong doesn’t work at well in my opinion with this mango. The flavouring is a bit more subtle, and because of that a more oxidized oolong with nuttier notes doesn’t bring a lot of life/juiciness to the profile – mango just isn’t one of those flavours that you enjoy “baked” like other fruits. It can be tangy/sour, juicy, and creamy – even spiced. However, nutty/cooked/baked just feels weird.

Not an unpleasant tea/doesn’t seem like the quality is especially bad or anything like that – but just a disconnect of flavours. Maybe if the mango flavouring was more heavy handed and could mask some of the oolong flavours, or if the oolong base was just a different style (ala Lupicia’s Ripe Mango Oolong) – but not my jam as is.

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drank Princess Peach by Retro Leaf Tea
12697 tasting notes

Sample from VariaTEA. This one was kinda weird..just “meh” more than anything. overall just kinda there. Light peach taste, but not strong

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drank Applevania by Retro Leaf Tea
6031 tasting notes

A is for…Applevania

Will starting my notes like that get annoying? Perhaps. But so far having a day devoted to a letter of the alphabet seems like a fun way to pick teas.

Grabbed this one out because the other A options were another almond rooibos, assams, or a more recent blend. This just worked for what I wanted at the time.

This tea throws me because it’s distinctly apple but not green apple like I expect it to be. Instead it’s a sweeter apple, though not overly sweet. The base oolong isn’t overly floral but does come off slightly that way when paired with the apple. It also gives it a baked apple sort of vibe but as if someone did that without adding sugar. It can also be slightly metallic at times but not consistently.

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Sipdown (1387)!

Had this one today around lunchtime and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked the cup. It was thick and nutty overall, with notes of sweet almond/amaretto as well and complimentary notes of chocolate and maple. Not overly complex, but just a nice full bodied and sweeter black that still had some nice astringency and a clear and present black tea base.

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This was a free sample in my last order…

Honestly, it’s okay but it’s not really exciting either. I need to go back and check the ingredients, but it tasted like a very simple/basic chocolate and almond combination to me. Quite flat/lifeless though in term of flavour, although the body/thickness of the black tea and overall liquor was enjoyable.

Maybe this is more of a milk and sugar tea.

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drank Punch Out by Retro Leaf Tea
11557 tasting notes

Cold Brew!

I had this one a little while ago and so it’s not super fresh in my mind, but I did really like it! I remember, when I ordered it, feeling like it was a bit of a gamble because while I was pretty sure it wouldn’t taste bad it didn’t seem like there was a lot going for it that would make it stand out either. It is a pretty typical hibiscus forward red fruit/fruit punch type of flavour but of course those types of teas do tend to taste really good cold brewed.

The thing, actually, that does give it a tiny bit of edge and interest is the use of tropical flavour notes to break up some of that standard hibby/red fruit. The guava comes through lightly, but enough to be detectable, and there was also a pineapple note that gave this a little more of a Hawaiian twist.

I was pretty pleased with the brew all in all!

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#2021SteepsterSipdown

I had a pretty miserable day today since a persistent migraine rendered me all but useless for the mass amount of the day – even now the dull pressure and pain is eating away at my energy and enthusiasm. As such, I didn’t drink much tea today – but I did dig into my stash to pull out this tea for the Sipdown challenge. The “theme” was a geeky tea for National Science Fiction Day…

It’s not actually a sipdown in the sense that I still have pretty much a full bag of it to drink through – but it’s a tea I ordered in the summer and then never got around to trying so this was a good motivation to finally try it out.

It’s a lot nicer than I expected. One of the reasons that I hadn’t tried it was because the aroma of the dry leaf was so off putting to me – very sharp and almost sour, like coconut that had gone rancid. It was disconcerting, since it was a new tea. It doesn’t taste rancid now though – although there is a bit more of an acidic top note than what I’m used to in nutty/almond teas. It reminds me of roasted chicory, more than anything. Aside from that this is sweet, nutty and smooth with an earthiness from the pu’erh and a almond note that combines elements of roasted almonds and boozier Amaretto.

I think it would steep well with milk, so I’m noting that for the next mug.

Mastress Alita

Feel better!

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drank Princess Peach by Retro Leaf Tea
6031 tasting notes

I’m having this iced because Roswell Strange was kind enough to randomly pick it while I was was being indecisive earlier. It’s got a slight peach flavor but there is a bitterness at the front of the sip that’s hard to get passed. I want to like it but it just isn’t my favourite.

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drank Princess Peach by Retro Leaf Tea
6031 tasting notes

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Currant cuppa – last of the night.

In my head I remembered this having a lot more of a strong, hot cinnamon flavour and as I’m sipping on it now it’s a lot more of a baked apple flavour with cinnamon undertones and supporting notes. I like this better than what I was remembering, so I hope this cup sticks in my head for future brews. It’s cozy and comforting and a nice way to wrap up a very long feeling day.

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Sipped on late last week.

Unlike the other Applevania tea I ordered, this one was much more what I was expecting. Very sweet “red hot” style cinnamon/cassia flavour with accents of apple. Not very complex or unusual/out of the box in terms of blending, but deliciously predictable and consistent. Made for a relaxing cup on a chillier afternoon.

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drank Applevania by Retro Leaf Tea
11557 tasting notes

March Sipdown Madness

Time for the second face off in my March Sipdown tournament – inspired by Mastress Alita! This time, by random draw, I have two oolongs facing off against each other. This one is going up against Adagio’s Fujian Rain…

I think I mentioned it in my last tasting note for this tea, but when I purchased this I was really expecting more of a bright green apple note. Instead, this is a strongly baked apple tasting flavour – but honestly I think that actually compliments the toastier nutty and slight honey notes of its oolong base. It’s a super simple blend, but in its simplicity I find a lot of comfort. It makes for a really good “daily drinker” or more casual cuppa to reach for because, y’know, you don’t always need something fancy or punchy.

However, for reasons I’ll elaborate on in the Fujian Rain tasting note, I ultimately crowned Fujian Rain the winner of this match up. It was a verrrrryyy hard choice to make though!

Daylon R Thomas

I was so tempted to get some of this one. I like apples, oolongs, and Castlevania.

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drank Applevania by Retro Leaf Tea
11557 tasting notes

I picked up this tea, and two others, recently because I wanted more “nerdy” themed teas in my cupboard to have as options for the Podcast I’m doing with my friend Marika. I talked a bit about the podcast in a prior tasting note, and I will eventually post a discussion topic with more information – but I want to wait until Steepster is more stable to do so…

Anyway, I’m not sure why exactly I assumed that this would be more of a green apple type of flavour profile but it’s definitely not. I mean, it is very apple forward but it’s more of a cozy, warm and inviting baked apple than a crisp/fresh apple profile. That’s probably for the best, that baked apple flavour works a lot more with the nutty notes of the TKY oolong base in the blend. It’s super simple overall, as a blend, but I enjoyed it and the quirky name and nerdy reference to Castlevania only make it better.

Daylon R Thomas

That one had me sold on oolong and castlevania.

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