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Recent Tasting Notes
From Gmathis, thanks!
This is savory and salty and charcoal all rounded into one. The lingering aftertaste is nutty hay like hojicha. What is not to like here. Why don’t I drink more oolongs?
Flavors: Charcoal, Hay, Nutty, Salty, Savory
I’m almost hesitant to add yet another semi-anonymous Dong Ding to the lineup here, but it is definitely noteworthy—hands down, my husband’s favorite oolong. And, unfortunately, no longer in the TeaMaze lineup, so we are using it judiciously.
But the afternoon atmosphere was perfect for it: it’s the damp, just-above-freezing cold that soaks into your bones and makes you want to light candles and change into your jammies and watch the cats snooze while you sip earthenware cups of quality oolong. (Which we did, as well as watching the first installment of the old Shogun miniseries from the 70’s.)
What’s notable, as far as my sweetie is concerned, about this Dong Ding is its roastiness. It hits the savory/umami zones, with almost no floral hints whatsoever. You can almost feel the warmth from the charcoal.
I have heard good reports of Shogun but never saw it. We did watch the first episode of No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency today! Have you seen it?
My mom and I watched Shogun together when miniseries were a big deal. She had a thing for Richard Chamberlain. And I for John Rhys-Davies.
Haven’t seen any of the No. 1’s … I had a feeling they might be terrible. Your review?
When I originally reviewed it, Black Cherry wasn’t on TeaMaze’s online lineup, but it’s back in time for spring and summer. Just a sweet, fluffy green/white blend with a pleasant syrupy vibe—not artificial cough syrup or candy cherry; more like the goopy non-cherry part of your cherry pie filling. A little more special than my usual evening rocking chair fare, but it’s been a crazy workweek, the end of which is worth celebrating a little.
I guess “dopamine dressing” is a relatively new and trendy term. I’ve been doing it for years, particularly during the winter months, which is why I have a collection of obnoxiously brightly colored sweaters and scarves that I trot out to fight the glums.
This is a perfect, perky, cheerful little blend for dopamine sipping. It’s already disappeared from, or never made, the TeaMaze website—we picked this up in the storefront before Christmas. (I’ll update the description when I’m not too lazy to go capture what’s on the label.)
The packet is full of loose, fluffy green and white leaves, with (I think) a little calendula and fruit bits. One of you mentioned a tea the other day that reminded you more of maraschino cherries than cherry cough syrup. That’s a good analogy, and the quality of the base cuts a little of the sweetness as well.
Drinking it from a favorite hobnail mug (I love to run my hand over the warm bumps) with Minnie (imagine a furry, heated concrete block) warming my feet. Not a bad way to end a very long day.
I’m about three cups into my sample pack of this herbal concoction, and although I have concluded more leaf, more time, and more cowbell helps boost the flavor, it still seems a little thin to me. The carrot is a nice touch and makes me feel exceedingly healthy. Tonight’s cup was accompanied by a slice of candied ginger, and it paired so nicely, next time, the ginger may just go into the cup from the get-go.
Been a bit of a drudgey week, and as citrus is supposed to be a mood-boosting superstar, I broke open my packet of this fruity little treat to evoke a little celebration for making it until quittin’ time Friday.
Dry, the fresh orange scent is nothing but natural. I steeped the first cuppa at four minutes, maybe a bit warmer than the recommended 175 degrees. While it was still hot, I was a little bit underwhelmed—-flavor didn’t catch up to the scent. However, as it cooled, I picked up the “freshly squeezed juice vibe” as advertised.
I think this will be a nice nightcap after a little twiddling with the parameters.
I don’t choose chai unless it’s freezing. It is. A balmy 32 F outside today thanks to a two-day freezer express from the Great North. (Thanks, Canada friends—it feels great! Now, at least. I will ask you to take it back in January.)
This chai variety smells like a pack of Big Red or Beeman’s Clove chewing gum in the pouch. Straight up at a five minute steep (my little drawstring filter bags are kind of thick, so they take more time than the seller’s recommendation), it leads with cinnamon and clove, but you don’t have to strain too hard to catch some orange essence.
Reminds me of an upscale version of Constant Comment, with the added benefit of not getting bitter when it cools—sometimes CC wants you to comment very quickly. A nicely done departure from the chai-dentical stuff that comes out this time of year.
Lifting some text from the label: A long steep is worth the wait for this classy and unique dessert tea! Tart apples, rich walnuts, and sweet marshmallows combine to create a flavor reminiscent of apple cake. Guess how long the recommended steep is: 25 minutes! I thought it might be a misprint, but after checking out the packet contents, which look exactly like the photo, I decided to give it a long bath while I was taking one myself.
It performed exactly as advertised: tart, juicy apple tempered by marshmallow and nuts. We’re still doing the summer-autumn temperature teeter-totter and today tilted toward summer, so a slightly cooler evening cuppa didn’t hurt.
This is going to be a lovely autumn evening beverage, but only for those rare ones when you’re not in a hurry.
I’ve been enjoying this one sporadically as a welcome departure from conventional herbal nightcaps. Not much new to say about it, other than it’s a lovely, fragrant, creamy rooibos/orange blend that doesn’t taste medicinal at all—I forget more often than not to let it steep, but it does well with an insanely long steep (8-10 minutes if you can stand the wait.)
The last time we were in the TeaMaze shop, the lady in line ahead of me was buying a large tin of Golden Orange and said it her favorite of the TeaMaze lineup. It’s a good one from this little purveyor of nicely flavored tea.
Forgot I had stashed away a few little TeaMaze treats to tide me over until the next run. I should have been drinking this all summer. It’s a very sweet orange-roo combination that the packet (not the website) says is reminiscent of candy. It is. Remember Creme Savers?
There’s also a discrepancy between the prescribed steep times on the website (3-5 minutes) and my physical packet (8-10). I went 8:30 and it is indeed a cup of creamy goodness that leaves sweetness in your mouth after you swallow.
Thanks to gmathis again for the sweet little package! Wow, this flavor gave me such a blast of nostalgia. When we were kids, on long car trips, we’d sometimes stop at gas stations and mix together all the various cappuccino and hot chocolate flavors they had to create delicious concoctions. This tea is that flavor! I haven’t really had any coffee in the intervening decades, but I remember that flavor well. I taste coffee and cream and maybe some chocolate? This is great. I’d totally drink this again.
Thanks to gmathis for the sweetest little surprise tea package! I’ve never tried TeaMaze before, so this was really fun! The main flavors I taste are black tea and coconut. I shared this sample with my dad, and he enjoyed the coconut flavor and said he tasted a bit of berry as well. I mostly just taste coconut, and it’s not the #1 freshest coconut, but coconut just isn’t my favorite. Thank you, gmathis!
Happy fall! It arrived bang on time here with a cold front and welcome gray skies with some much-needed moisture, even if it was barely a drizzle.
I think excitement over the relief from a relentlessly hot summer made the last of this bag taste better—rooibos laced with orange, ginger, and a little vanilla, steeped far longer than recommended—close to 10 minutes instead of four. When it was new last winter, I couldn’t coax any pastry aspect out of it at all, and I couldn’t this time, either, but it was still gently sweet and spicy on a cool evening.
For a two-month stretch in September and October, I crave rain and fog. That will end promptly after Christmas.
Normally, by the first week in January I am absolutely done with chai, mint, and spiced concoctions and crave just plain strong black tea—but after four days of clogged nasal plumbing, I can’t seem to get enough. I killed off multiple bags of Twinings Gingerbread Joy at work, and have settled down for a nighty-night with this loose leaf blend from TeaMaze.
As I mentioned in a previous review, I’m still not getting a lot of ginger bread vibes, but I’ve discovered that with the leaves in a DIY paper teabag, the longer you leave it, it starts tasting like a cookie with a little ginger in it. The citrus hasn’t gone bitter, and there’s enough spice to open the sinuses and burn out the throat gunk. Without the Christmas-y label on the packet and more accurately renamed Ginger Citrus Rooibos, I think this would still sell well.
Well, friends, it’s winter. Clammy gray sky, temperature 30 degrees with 20 to go before we bottom out tonight, we are de-treed, de-decorated, and de-flated at the prospect of returning to work Monday.
A little spice sounded just like what the afternoon needs. TeaMaze’s take on gingerbread fits the spice category, but I’m not sure it conveys “baked goods” very strongly. The ingredient list on the website says that there’s lemon peel, but what’s in my packet looks like orange. So instead of gingerbread with a little lemon zest, we’ve got a pleasantly juicy citrus-and-spice melange to take the chill off.
I’m thinking the results might be a little different with milk and sweetener, but now that I just got warm, I’m reluctant to throw off the blanket to make another cup. Can you take care of that for me?
The only gingerbread tea I’ve been happy with is Gingerbread Festival from Harney. Only available in a tin of sachets unfortunately… eyeroll
We are also de-treed and de-decorated. 75F and balmy at 7:30 pm with a chance of snow Monday. Really? Really…And schools just announced a return to virtual starting Monday.
I am bringing home gingerbread from Poland gingerbread museum in Torun. With black Ceylon base and honestly I am very curious.
Hopefully good as yours, even with orange :)
Come on over! Of course, you’ll have to put up with my binge-watching subtitled episodes of “Emma: A Victorian Romance” … first season ended with a cliffhanger, confound it, and I’ve got to get some resolution before I get back to work tomorrow!
Gmathis sent a tea mail with this tea, thanks! It’s definitely chocolate orange, but a bit weak. The base is very smooth black tea with no astringency, so it’s quite an enjoyable cup. The aftertaste is not chalky or artificial, just a light lingering chocolate orange candy taste. A nice cup for holiday season.
Flavors: Chocolate, Orange
We were gifted with a sunshiny Christmas with temps in the upper 60’s—windows are open and my husband used part of our quiet day to clean out the backyard shed (a gift almost as as good as the ones I opened)! The surprisingly springy weather, however, made heavier, sweeter, spicier Christmas teas a bit less appealing—plenty of winter ahead to enjoy them!
TeaMaze’s light, Christmasy green tea with coconut and walnuts fit the bill precisely. A crisp, light base balances offsets the heavier flavors and were perfect for sitting in my sunny spot and feeling grateful. Comfort and joy to all of you today!
My Mom said the same of the weather where she is… while I got 6" of snow! I wouldn’t mind trading, hahaha.
Break time: trying to make order out of domestic chaos is a weary job! This afternoon’s treat was sponsored in part by my husband, who braved the mall long enough to pick up some fresh Great American Cookie gingerbread peoples, and in part by this nice little seasonal tea that appears to be storefront only—I don’t see it on the website.
I think the green tea base is sencha, which provides a nice little almost citrusy counterpoint to the creamy, sweet coconut and nuts. It smells like a sugar cookie, and now that I’ve downed the first cup, I’m self-administering some aromatherapy by smelling the mug!
The description on the packet recommends enjoying it along with an enduring holiday classic—I don’t know that “The Incredible Mr. Limpet” quite counts, but close enough!
I decided to “rebrand” this for myself—had just enough to make a double-strength cup of this white tea with white chocolate flakes, added some milk, and ate a handful of jelly beans alongside…Voila! Cottontails. A timely sipdown for the last official days of winter (but how lovely it is to have the windows thrown open this evening and listen to the peeper frogs on Turkey Creek.)
Watching back-lit snowflakes waft down quietly among the lights in December is one thing; listening to two hours of sleet whacking against your window in late February is another. But I’m safely indoors and able to burn a little discretionary time off work, so I suppose I shouldn’t bellyache much.
I did have to drive home at noon in this stuff after uncovering the windshield and ducking icy precipitation coming in sideways and got so chilled that I’m still working on warming up. This nice little tea is helping. The white tea base is a little creamy and buttery, accented by some white chocolate chips. I compared it to Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride in a previous review and I’ll stick with that up to a point. It’s not as sweet. More delicate and refined.
Clouds and clouds and rain and clouds here. Hope you warm up and the sun comes out soon! Monday is supposed to be our first clear day. I can hardly wait. Grab a kitty and curl up!