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Recent Tasting Notes
Cold Brew (460)!
Actually a little sad to be out of this one; one less pear tea on hand! It was a nice enough cold brew; very smooth dewy pear notes but quite a bit of grassy undertone too. I’d have liked just a little bit more sweetness but it was a nice representation of both the added flavour and the base tea.
Thanks again VariaTEA for the subscription that I got this one in!
To be completely honest, I had kind of forgotten about this tea. However, I was looking for something I could make in the tea press to bring with to work and I found the sample bag of this one and figured, why not?
It tasted really nice, but was quite light as well. I think this might just be one of those teas that’s a little too delicate overall to really be well executed in the tea press. However, I appreciated the mild, gentle smoothness of the grassy green tea, and the nuanced floral and dewy pear notes! I really, really like pear teas and this one feels like pear tea that’s been stripped down to the bare minimum. Not in a bad way, but it’s just a very light/pure ‘essence of pear’ kind of flavour.
Good for quite, peaceful tea drinking and reflection.
Very light, fresh and dewy pear flavour with the same hints of creaminess you’d get in the flesh of a Bartlett pear. There was some floral notes, probably a combination of the pear itself and the green tea matched with it. Sadly, all of these brilliant tasting notes were masked by a very choppy, grassy green tea with an astringent edge to it.
This could be so good if the base was better; but as is it’s just pretty average.
Thanks for it regardless, VariaTea! I’m always up for a pear tea.
Admittedly, I was pretty fascinated by this tea despite the green base. I’ve actually been finding myself craving DAVIDsTEA’s “Grape Freeze” blend from a few years back, and this sounds pretty similar. Also, any tea that tastes particularly grapey is pretty good in my books, regardless of whether it’s candy grape or natural grape.
I think this brews up with a really strong, solid grape flavour which is definitely the most important aspect of it. I’m confidant, that even if I hadn’t read the tea description prior to drinking it that I’d know this is intended to be grape. As well, I taste the currant as secondary fruit flavours too; they’re a TINY little bit medicinal, but not overwhelmingly or to a point where I feel it detracts from the blend.
The green base is pretty present and grassy; it reminds me a bit of lawn clippings or the smell of grass on a really hot day. Do other people notice that too? That there’s definitely a distinct smell to hot grass, that is? It’s not exactly fresh smelling, but it doesn’t smell bad either. The finish comes through a bit floral, as well. Not in any sort of way that reminds me of a particular flower though.
Also, just a touch artificial as an entire brew.
I still liked it overall, though.
I really enjoyed this one. I got this in my tea sparrow subscription box but decided to order more. It’s a light tasting tea with the pear very much present. I have done this hot and also cold brewed. Both were very good for me it just depends on my mood which I do. It’s a perfect simple light and beautiful tea.
So, the boyfriend nailed his interview! I knew he would; but I’m incredibly happy for him regardless. He had a bad start to his week, so this was the perfect mood boost for him! Plus, I got to be the incredibly proud, supportive girlfriend.
This one wasn’t bad – I finished it off as a hot cup, which did make for a more tart flavour but despite there being some really obvious hibiscus flavours and a pretty sour top note it was still really good, and sweet. It definitely channeled some of DAVIDsTEA’s Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait notes, both in creaminess and juicy strawberry flavour. No rhubarb. I was surprised by the cream though; normally I don’t find this one to be a creamy tasting tea.
Anyway; glad this was a sipdown! It’s not a bad tea, but nothing to hold onto either.
Another cold brew.
Basically, I just want to echo my initial impression and reinforce the fact that this has been very consistent across multiple brews: the flavour of this tea is really sweet and smooth and borderline juice like. It’s got a great, well defined strawberry flavour however lacks a lot in the cream department.
Also, just a personal pet peeve but I hate when companies use the word cream in the name of the blend but use ingredients that prevent me from actually adding cream. Like, I could never add milk to this because it would curdle so badly. DT’s Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait is another that bugs me: a parfait is a yogurt dish, but if I added dairy to that tea it would curdle SOOOO badly. If I can’t add dairy, don’t name the tea after dairy…
I was a little nervous about this one if I’m being honest – so more tisanes have promised to deliver me creamy berry flavours: strawberry cream, blueberry cream, raspberry cream, and you get the point. However, time and time again they just end up tart and soured by the hibiscus in the blend. Since this blend also has hibiscus (as the first ingredient, even!) I was sure that was the route we were going to be taking…
However, this is pretty enjoyable. I mean, point blank it’s not exactly creamy. However, it is pretty juicy and has a really nice realistic strawberry flavour that’s not muddled by other ingredients or overly sour/tart. In fact, I hardly taste the hibiscus at all! Through and through, this is a straight up pleasant strawberry tea. It’s even almost sort of juice like! Yeah, I wish it had creamyness to it like the name says it should but at least it’s not sour and gross and that does distinguish it from all the other “generic berry and cream” teas of the past.
I’ll take that compromise.
My first tea from my first Tea Sparrow subscription!
(Also, I made this entry since it wasn’t in yet, and it wouldn’t let me add “natural grape flavor” as an ingredient. It’s an ingredient!)
This kind of reminds me of the grape wulong Teavana had forever ago, but doesn’t smell like cough syrup as much. The leaves smell really pleasant.
Steeped for three minutes, per package instructions. This is tasty, and definitely less grapey than the Teavana one. I’d consider buying this.
Flavors: Astringent, Grapes, Green, Sweet
I didn’t really get blueberry from this but it is fruity. I was leery because of the hibiscus, it can quickly take over the tea but it didn’t in this blend. It was a nice mixture. I only was able to get one steep from this though. The second steeping was wayyyyyy weaker. Definitely a juicy tasting tea. Overall one that I liked but not one that I think I will purchase more it.
I still think this is a really weird combination of ingredients, and that there’s a lot going on in general with this tea – but that said, when I picked it out to sip on while I had a nice soak in the tub I actually found the strong combination of tulsi and lavender to be really peaceful and relaxing. I also greatly enjoyed the earthy undertones from the mix of different tea types in this one – particularly the Pu’erh and the rooibos.
This tea is… weird.
It’s the last one from the first Tea Sparrow box that VariaTEA sent my way, and I have to admit that I messed up here. Since that March box was honey themed I’ve been drinking the teas from it with honey, but I forgot to do that with this tea. So my bad.
The flavour for this is so all over the place! I mean, there are A LOT of ingredients and they’re all very clearly competing here for what’s most noticeable. I think in the end the lavender and the rosemary win out: very floral, very savory/herbaceous. I don’t taste the pu’erh a lot or most of the other ingredients in more than a ‘muddled’ background note kind of sense. I wonder if the honey would have changed that a bit?
I need to try this again before I can come to any sort of overall consensus. Just based on this mug of it, though. I didn’t love or hate it. The rosemary was a nice touch; but the lavender was a bit much for me.
Very tart, with lots of juicy but slightly sour/hibiscus saturated blueberry flavour. Something about it was a little off though and it took a while to place, but finally I was able to put my finger on the fact that this was giving off herbaceous vibes? I think it was just one of those weird palate days because where would a herby flavour even be coming from in this tea? Like jeezus, I don’t ever know…
Regardless, it was really refreshing/satisfying.
This one was really good! I thought it had a clear, well defined blueberry flavour overall with maybe hints of apple or other berry undertones. It was sweet, and a little tangy but not tart or overly strong hibiscus-wise. And, that last part was surprising because the steeped colour is really hibby-like in nature. You’d expect this one to be gross, but it was just nice.
Admittedly I do not usually like most strong black teas. Admitting that straight out. I got this as a sample with my Tea Sparrow order. For a black tea with ginger I just didn’t like it. The black base was so strong for me. I gave it to a coworker who does like black tea and she loved the sample. So if you like straight black tea I bet you will like it. I do like some black teas but they are usually blended or flavored.
It was ok, not great for me. Had a very strong floral fruity smell. Really smelled like candy and sweet. It tastes much different then it smells though. Those elements are still there but very minor compared to the grassy flavor of the various green teas in it. I tried this on two different occasions and both times thought it was fine but not a winner for me. I used up my sample from TeaSparrow but I don’t think I’ll buy more it.
Well, I think I’ve got my Black Friday/Cyber Monday ordering done! I actually started it a few days ago, and I’ve just been slowly checking things off the list since. There’s only two more companies I’m looking at, but it looks like neither are likely doing stuff this year. In total I ended up ordering from:
- Healthy Leaf
- A Quarter To Tea
- Sloane Tea
- Wize Monkey
- Crimson Lotus Tea
- Mandala Tea
This was deliciously sipped down while plotting some of those orders. I really love the juicy floral lychee flavours and I’m actually pleasantly surprised how consistent they were with every single cup I had of this – even this last one, which was largely broken up tea leaf! I honestly would not have expected to enjoy this so much when I received it but it’s been a real favourite of mine this year.
I mean, I certainly am not going to do it now that I’ve just ordered a ton of stuff and my cupboard is 400+ teas, BUT I’d definitely be REALLY open to trying other Octet blends in the future!
I’m getting a cold, so I’ve been drinking a lot of tea with honey.
It’s not a full blown cold yet though so I haven’t switched to pure mint/Cold 911 mode yet though. So, I’m drinking teas that I enjoy but that I wouldn’t be heartbroken about if they tasted a little off or were spoiled a bit by a messed up palate.
This didn’t taste bad though! Just very light and sweet, with smooth floral notes of rose and jasmine and a brighter, juicy mid note of lychee. All accompanied by the flavour of honey, of course. Very peaceful/relaxing and not even remotely off. Maybe I’ll luck out and this is the worst this cold will get…
Not bad as a cold brew, honestly. It tastes A LOT like the hot cup does, which is to say that it’s very fresh and natural with sweet notes of balanced mango and lychee with strong floral undertones; both from the lychee which is floral in and of itself and from the rose. It’s a little grassy and has a bit of a biting finish but very enjoyable on the whole.
It tastes like Spring!
Thank you VariaTEA for the tea!
This is another one from March’s ‘Honey’ themed Tea Sparrow box so I brewed this one up how with some added honey since I’m drinking all these teas with honey for the first tasting. Here are the notes from the tasting:
- I’ve had “Eight Treasures” styled teas before, but it’s been a LONG time
- Can’t remember if I liked ’em overall
- Dry leaf smelled a little like sun tan lotion
- But this was very smooth and fruity, and pleasantly sweet
- Strong dual notes of mango and lychee
- Obviously floral, both from the lychee, rose and base tea(s)
- Had some peachy undertones from the green tea too
- And fairly grassy
I was pretty surprised overall how much I enjoyed this, and I have to wonder just how much of that was due to the honey. It’ll definitely be interesting to try it again without to compare!
Honestly? I’m kind of surprised just how many cups I managed to stretch this tea out into…
Plus, it actually grew on me A LOT since having it in my stash. I’m not a ginger tea person, but this one was actually really smooth with light, almost honeyed/candied ginger notes and both malt and cocoa from the black base. It worked well for me! I mean, I wouldn’t want to order any/stock up on it or anything but it wasn’t bad at all.