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Recent Tasting Notes
Strange VariaTEA TTB – Tea #7
The name of this tisane made me giggle. There are actually a disproportionate number of chamomile-based tisanes in the TTB, so I figured I should try to reduce them down since I assume that means a lot of people don’t like chamomile. So this is the first of several!
It’s definitely mostly chamomile. It has a nice natural sweetness and a soft, honeyed chamomile flavor. I do taste just a little bit of lavender and perhaps a tiny hint of lemongrass?
It’s pleasant and relaxing, but nothing special. It does the job well, though.
Result: Finished Off
Flavors: Chamomile, Citrus, Honey, Lavender, Lemongrass, Smooth, Sweet, Viscous
Backlog from two years ago:
Surprised how much I liked it. I actually got it twice on request. It is artificial, but I like the raspberry flavor and enjoy that the green tea wasn’t too prominent. My basicness enjoyed it well enough, though I would not want to own a lot of it. I enjoyed trying it out a local cafe.
When I had this one at the coffee shop, I was surprised how smooth and well rounded the black was. I thought it might have been a Chinese tea for the base other than the usual ceylon, but I could be wrong. I had a large cup in 16 oz, so it didn’t oversteep. The rose can be a bit overpowering, yet I really liked it. Then again, that was two years ago. This tea does have something cloying in the finish. I don’t know if it has bergamot-I didn’t taste it personally last time, though Snarky Tea does mention a chai like aftertaste? Either way, I will try it again after I gift it.
Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Rose, Smooth
I’ve had this one close to two years ago at a local cafe for a short time, and was surprised it was a coconut pineapple rooibos blend that works. Actually, it works really, really well. I decided to get this one for myself online in combo with Fierce B**ch, the latter being a gift for a beloved no-nonsense co-worker.
Roswell already nailed it, but like she writes, the smell of flavoring is a little bit off putting. Then drinking it, it’s extremely naturalistic and naturally sweet. It leans more into the pineapple than the coconut, but it’s still there and personally satisfying. I’m just happy that it’s a successful green rooibos blend that can replace the Republic of Teas coconut plaintain blend I used to love. Rooibos can make teas too woody, so I’m happy that was not the case here. The honeybush may have had something to do with that with the flavouring. I might rate it more in the 90s if it weren’t for price, but it hits most of my check marks for what makes a good pineapple coconut blend.
In the meantime, I’m gonna back log the other Snarky Teas I’ve had.
Flavors: Coconut, Fruity, Pineapple, Sweet
Sipdown! (64 | 268)
Another single swap teabag! The name makes me chuckle every time.
This sounds good to me in concept – a raspberry and orange green tea. But I’m not enjoying the flavoring, it’s very chalky and candylike, almost like a raspberry Tums or something. I only get a hint of orange, but it seems pleasant enough. The green tea is very mild and I also kept the steep short to minimize any bitterness, so possibly understeeped.
But mostly it’s berry chalk to me. >.<
Flavors: Artificial, Berry, Candy, Chalk, Orange, Raspberry
For a tea that’s supposed to be a rose flavoured black tea I found that this tasted an awfully lot like bergamot. I mean, rose too – but more of a bergamot than anything else. I was really disappointed because I love rose teas, and especially with black tea as the base but this was so incredibly different than what I’d expected. It also had a metallic kind of finish to it that was very weird.
Whatever was happening here was just not what I would have expected given the branding. I mean, there’s roses EVERYWHERE on all of the packaging – so that should be the main flavour, surely. I guess if I’m evaluating as an Earl Grey with rose then it’s pretty nice – good body, solid aromatics. That’s just simply not what I wanted. I also don’t know definitively that this does have bergamot in it – but if it doesn’t then the quality of the rose flavouring must just be really low…
Finished off with honey because it complimented quite well. However, ultimately this is just a lemon and ginger green tea. Is it a bad one? No. However, there wasn’t anything very memorable or distinct about it and similarly to Snarky Tea’s Namaste Motherf**ker blend I thought the quality of the green tea itself was pretty choppy/low quality grass clipping tasting. I’d drink this again – but it’s not worthy of seeking out.
Finishing this tea off right now while I catch up on some TV shows from the week. Of the different teas carried by Snarky Tea, I think this is actually the most interesting conceptually. It’s got a couple interesting ingredients in it, like the Gotu Kola, and having part of the mix of base teas be Yerba Mate seems very smart to me. I like the idea of an “early morning kick in the ass” kind of Chai a lot.
Taste wise, it’s basically just a standard type of chai profile – ginger, cardamom, clove are prominent spices and I get cinnamon warmth as well. There’s even almost a citrus type note, which I suppose is likely the cardamom!? It’s smooth and warming, and has a pleasant but mild sweetness. Nothing here is exceptionally unique or out of the ordinary which is fine considering how well balanced the profile is.
Good execution – and I’m enjoying this cup a lot!
Iced Tea Sipdown (719)!
Had this one iced on like Thursday? Which was this MASSIVE storm/rainfall in the city where it rained for like nine straight hours – I don’t own an umbrella so between walking to the metro and then walking from the metro to the office I arrive just drenched! I normally wouldn’t mind being caught out in the rain – I fucking love the rain. That’s a huge part of why I don’t own an umbrella – but I’m not used to being able to change into fresh clothing after spending my glorious moments in the middle of a storm, spinning around in the rain like a lunatic…
So the work day kind of sucked, until I dried out anyway.
So why did I choose to make an iced tea then? And of such a tropical flavour? Because I though I’d initially grabbed a different Snarky Tea sample flavour from my stash in the morning to try out, but since I only took like two samples to work that day I just rolled with it anyway despite it feeling like a weird pick for the day. I mean, it feels like a weird flavor to fit the name of the tea regardless, right? Pineapple/Coconut for something that comes off as a sort of “Hey, don’t stress out!” type of blend/usage!? That’s weird. Until you read the copy writing anyway – which is more ‘Rest, relax w/ a cocktain on the beach!" kind of vibes. It’s still a stretch, but less of one… I guess…
The dry aroma smells very good – really sweet/juicy pineapple and hints of coconut. It’s like an overripe pineapple kind of pineapple smell. The coconut smells like it might be a bit of that lotiony coconut, but not so strongly to think it couldn’t be fine when steeped. And it is fine – brewed up I don’t find this lotion-y tasting at all and that’s a huge relief. In fact, it’s pretty great! It’s not overly sweet, which is good, more just the natural sweetness of the coconut in combination with that really fresh pineapple taste, which I’m sure is actually coming from flavouring and not the pineapple itself. It’s bright though, and very lively like the tangy/fresh taste you would get from just slightly overripe pineapple. With the coconut it’s incredible pina colada like in terms of taste – but doesn’t have the more dense creaminess I would typically associate with something pina colada flavoured.
Overall, this is a winner in my books!
Sadly the most interesting this about this particular blend is it’s highly memorable name. As far as the tea goes, it’s a mix of lemongrass/lavender/chamomile and while that pairing doesn’t taste bad generally speaking – I don’t love it in particular because I hate chamomile, but that’s a personal thing, it’s very played out and this blend does nothing to differentiate itself from the probably half a dozen (if not more) tisanes I’ve had with the exact same ingredient list. It’s boring/bland.
Picked up this sampler from Snarky Tea because I had a coupon code for a free one – just had to pay shipping. It seemed like a good excuse to quickly sample some new teas from a new company, and I’m admittedly a sucker for this company’s branding/marketing! The concepts of the teas themselves don’t seem wildly unique, so I’m hoping the execution of the flavours is – but we’ll see!
This one is a raspberry/orange green tea – right now my golden standard for that flavour combination is the Raspberry Mimosa from Camellia Sinensis, so that was what I was mentally comparing this blend to. I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed this tea – the intensity and juiciness of the flavours was so much richer than I’d have expected from the dry leaf aroma. I think the green tea itself is lower quality than what CS is using since this was more noticeably astringent and had hints of that “lawn clipping green tea” quality, but the raspberry flavour is sweet, juicy and divine! The little burst of citrus is nice too, and really compliments everything else happening with this one.
Would I buy this? No – I have easier/cheaper access to CS’s Raspberry Mimosa blend which is very similar. However, I liked this a lot and would very happily drink it again.