1116 Tasting Notes
Dry, this seems like a pretty unassuming tea — not surprising, since I tend to think of Ceylon as “normal” black tea. Steeping gets you a nice dark cup with a fairly strong smell, woodsy and almost smoky. I wasn’t expecting much based on the dry leaf, but this is getting exciting!
As I sip, I immediately notice that this isn’t the least bit subtle in flavor, which is, as usual, a plus in my book. Toasty is definitely a good way to describe it, and I think my earlier declaration of woodsy still applies. It’s somewhat astringent, more than I’m personally used to tasting, and almost sour. I’m not getting any of the sweet or berry-ish notes that others apparently are, and in fact it’s more bitter than I’d like.
Taking this one for a second steeping, I’m getting a similar albiet milder taste. The bitterness is mostly gone now, but it seems to have taken a lot of the tea’s character with it. This time I tried a pinch of artificial sweetener (I don’t have the recommended raw sugar and milk), but it seems to mellow out the flavor some more more than anything else. Not a bad cup, though; it reminds me a lot of Twinnings’ very basic ceylon.
A very nice choice if you’re a fan of strong, full-bodied black tea, especially if you might like to finish off with a milder second steep! I might choose this as a coffee substitute if I needed one, as while it doesn’t taste like coffee at all, it offers a similar experience. On a personal level, it’s not a favorite due to the bitter and woodlike qualities, but it’s lovely for what it is and I might consider getting it again if I wanted a more permanent ceylon in my stash.
This is a very pretty and colorful pre-steep and has a smell and taste that’s a good balance of white tea and coconut. It definitely achieves what it sets out to do! Unfortunately, even though I’ve started really liking coconut as of late, I’m really not very into this particular iteration of it for some reason. Not rating because I feel as though my lukewarm opinion expresses too strong of a personal bias.
I’m usually good at resisting 52teas’ quirky new flavors, but I had to buy this one the moment I found out about it — cherry and almond are some of my favorite flavors, and gunpowder is one of my favorite teas.
It’s a really lovely tea, full of almond slivers and entire dried cherries (although I’ve been pulling those apart so that I can get a bit of cherry in every cup — I wish they’d have come cut up!). The scent is also fantastic, a blend of each of the flavors that reminds me of almond extract to the point of being kind of overwhelming. I don’t mind, but people who aren’t fans of the way almonds smell will probably not want to indulge in the scent of this.
In taste, the almond isn’t overwhelming at all. The flavors really blend together well, and unless you understeep it, the gunpowder is the primary taste. It’s a lovely base, green and smoky and something that I’d happily drink on its own. Too bad this is a flavored tea — and the added flavoring is very subtle! I still enjoy it quite a bit, but I expected something a little bit stronger in flavor from a company like 52teas.