88

Holiday Tea-son! This was the first tea in 52Tea’s 12 Days of Tea last year. I didn’t get the 12 Days of Tea last year, but bought several of the limited overstock teas from the shop after the fact (but not all of them). To be honest, I’m a little glad I didn’t get the full set, because there were two banana blends included, and banana is pretty much the one flavor I simply can’t do. I did order the 12 Days of Tea this year, and if there are likewise that many banana teas again, I’m going to be pretty disappointed. I wasn’t going to, based on the abundance of the nanner from last year, buuuuuuut… Foggy Coconut (pretty much one of my favorite teas ever) was in the poll this year to get into the 12 Days of Tea, and I’m absolutely desperate to get more of it. If Foggy Coconut didn’t score enough votes and a bunch of banana blends made it in, I’m going to be double-upset. Just going to have to hope for some holiday luck on that one, I guess…

Anyway, onto this tea. I’m not exactly a french toast person, but I’m not particularly worried about that; the scent from the packet is amazing! There is a sort of sugary-sweet spiciness, and lovely cardamom and coconut aroma. This tea is near a year old now, but no hint of bad coconut here — I think it was on a tea-sipper review recently it was mentioned that 52Teas seemed to have magic coconut, and I’d have to agree. I have had so many teas I’ve had to throw away due to rancid coconut in as little as 4-6 months, while my 52Tea blends with coconut always have the most amazing tasting coconut, even after a bit of age.

The brewed tea is a coppery hue, and I’m really getting coconut and sweet maple/molasses aroma with a hint of spice wafting from the cup. This is a really nice flavor! That coconut that always tastes so flavorful and fresh in 52Tea’s blends is really lovely here, tasting slightly juicy/citrusy, and there is a very heavy cardamom spice note which fills out during the sip, but isn’t left creating unpleasant heat after the sip for a spice-weanie like myself. The base is quite smooth but there is some mild astringency after the sip; mostly I’m getting some citrus notes left on my tongue. The maple I was picking up in the aroma becomes a bit more subtle once the cardamom spice hits in the sip, though it looks like according to Anne’s blog notes some sugar should bring that out more. I typically drink my tea unsweetened, so I may try that on a subsequent cuppa. I do enjoy my maple. I also would like to try this as a coconut milk latte as well. All in all, an excellent blend!

Flavors: Astringent, Cardamon, Citrus, Coconut, Maple, Molasses

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
tea-sipper

I was going to try this one soon! Also, I had to smell-check Zen’s Sweet Coconut Island before adding some to the tea box and you will be happy to know it still smells AMAZING. I’m very happy about this, as I still have a ton that will hopefully last quite a while.

Mastress Alita

You always do have the best coconut luck! <3

tea-sipper

haha – don’t ask me how!

lizwykys

Oh, yum. This sounds so good! I want more (any?) cardamom teas that aren’t chai types (I’m very skittish about clove, especially, which so often seems paired with cardamom). 52Teas needs to open a European branch!

Mastress Alita

52Teas is a small-batch tea blender that just does one blend per week and it’s a two-person operation, so they are a just a small business, I don’t think they have overseas expansion anywhere in their near future. ;-) Once that weekly blend is out of stock you don’t see it again unless it just happens to get reblended again in the future, which can lead to a lot of broken tea hearts, let me tell you (I still miss Foggy Coconut!) This one may be close to that blend… both had such good coconut in them…

I still wish Bird & Blend would have an American warehouse for their teas because their shipping from the UK is robbery, but that hasn’t happened yet, and they are a proper chain, so…

tea-sipper

I asked B&B a couple years ago if they would at some point open a US shop just for US shipping, and they said probably not. But they have opened MANY more shops in the UK since then, so maybe when they have taken over the UK they will expand. I’ve participated in Steepster group orders over the years for B&B, which always helps split shipping especially if you want to sample a bunch of teas.

52Teas

I think my coconut teas work out well because I’m nuts (as in crazy nuts) so maybe that’s it?

Anyway, yeah, we’re a bit too small to be opening up an overseas branch at this time – our next goal (which is still at least a few years off) is to open an actual location in Portland. We’ll probably start off as a food cart type of location (Portland is the place for food carts!) but hopefully eventually we’ll have a brick and mortar location in Portland. I figure Portland – being kind of weird and all – is like the perfect place for the type of teas we create!

Mastress Alita

I took a tea-cation in Portland for my birthday in 2017 and had a blast! Beautiful city, I think 52Teas would be a great addition there (and I would totally visit on future tea-cations!)

Seriously though, it is magic coconut. The tastiest coconut, and while every other tea my coconut goes rancid on me, this coconut has amazing longevity and flavor. Drank this blend so fast, but now I’m hoarding my teabox Foggy Coconut like a crazy grandma hoards her favorite china for a “special occassion” hahaha!

tea-sipper

Oh cool! A brick and mortar 52Teas! Sadly it would be on the other coast to me, but I can definitely see 52Teas doing the best in Portland.

52Teas

I think that the biggest benefit to having a brick and mortar would be the additional space. The tea studio that I work out of now is quite small. And – we would also employ a pastry person to make treats inspired by the teas. :)

52Teas

Also @Mastress Alita – if you took a tea-cation, did you happen to visit Townshend’s Tea, Tea Cha Te, Smith Teamaker, Jasmine Pearl or Tea Bar? While Seattle has a crazy coffee thing going on that has definitely spread to Portland – we also have a tea movement going on too! It’s a great place for a tea-cation!

Mastress Alita

A bigger tea studio and pastries both sound like excellent reasons to me!

@Anne, I didn’t make it to the flagship of Jasmine Pearl, though I sampled their teas at a cat cafe I visited during that vacation (and want to go to the main location next time!) I spent a crazy amount of time at Tea Chai Te, loved it there and would say it’s probably a favorite among tea shops I’ve visited on tea-cations! I have had Steven Smith Teamaker since my tea-cation so it is definitely “on the list” for the next time, as well, but I hadn’t heard of them at the time. We went to Tao of Tea at the Chinese Gardens and had a tea flight, and sadly, the teahouse at the Japanese gardens was opening quite literally about 3 weeks AFTER my tea-cation when I visited last (which was quite sad for me and my friend, we are huge Japanese culture buffs). I picked up some nice tea from the Saturday Market, too, from Nil Organic Tea (also grabbed some organic catnip there from a different booth that my sister’s cat is apparently still enjoying even though it’s been two years now). Hadn’t heard of Townshend’s or Tea Bar, so I guess that is a few more for the list next time! But it was a lovely tea-cation spot and I really enjoyed myself! (Also, as a librarian, I think I spent half a day in Powell’s and have no regrets about that).

(Seriously though, the barista at Tea Chai Te did question me and my friend about why we were showing up every day that one weekend and then ordering several pots in a row, and on the last day I left 1 oz samples of a good 20 different teas… I think that is the closest I’ve ever come to feeling like I might be “kicked out” of a bar, hahaha! “Don’t cut me off man, just one more pot of tea! It’s my birthday weekend!”)

tea-sipper

you got to go to Powell’s!! awesome

52Teas

@Mastress Alita – OMG I absolutely love the Chinese Gardens! Amethyst and I had tea there – Tao of Tea has a couple of locations in Portland but their location in the Chinese Gardens is definitely the best (with the most spectacular view of all the tea spots I’ve visited!)

I’ve often called Townshend’s Tea the “starbucks” of tea, in that it has a really nice lounge area for people to just sit and enjoy their tea while browsing on their devices – although I find Townshend’s to be much nicer because it’s a much more casual atmosphere than starbucks (where it seems much more rushed because – coffee). Tea Bar – I’ve not been in years and since then they’ve expanded to New York and it’s become much more high end as a result and from what I understand it is not as relaxed as I remember it being.

Tea Chai Te is another favorite of mine. The baristas are very nice!

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tea-sipper

I was going to try this one soon! Also, I had to smell-check Zen’s Sweet Coconut Island before adding some to the tea box and you will be happy to know it still smells AMAZING. I’m very happy about this, as I still have a ton that will hopefully last quite a while.

Mastress Alita

You always do have the best coconut luck! <3

tea-sipper

haha – don’t ask me how!

lizwykys

Oh, yum. This sounds so good! I want more (any?) cardamom teas that aren’t chai types (I’m very skittish about clove, especially, which so often seems paired with cardamom). 52Teas needs to open a European branch!

Mastress Alita

52Teas is a small-batch tea blender that just does one blend per week and it’s a two-person operation, so they are a just a small business, I don’t think they have overseas expansion anywhere in their near future. ;-) Once that weekly blend is out of stock you don’t see it again unless it just happens to get reblended again in the future, which can lead to a lot of broken tea hearts, let me tell you (I still miss Foggy Coconut!) This one may be close to that blend… both had such good coconut in them…

I still wish Bird & Blend would have an American warehouse for their teas because their shipping from the UK is robbery, but that hasn’t happened yet, and they are a proper chain, so…

tea-sipper

I asked B&B a couple years ago if they would at some point open a US shop just for US shipping, and they said probably not. But they have opened MANY more shops in the UK since then, so maybe when they have taken over the UK they will expand. I’ve participated in Steepster group orders over the years for B&B, which always helps split shipping especially if you want to sample a bunch of teas.

52Teas

I think my coconut teas work out well because I’m nuts (as in crazy nuts) so maybe that’s it?

Anyway, yeah, we’re a bit too small to be opening up an overseas branch at this time – our next goal (which is still at least a few years off) is to open an actual location in Portland. We’ll probably start off as a food cart type of location (Portland is the place for food carts!) but hopefully eventually we’ll have a brick and mortar location in Portland. I figure Portland – being kind of weird and all – is like the perfect place for the type of teas we create!

Mastress Alita

I took a tea-cation in Portland for my birthday in 2017 and had a blast! Beautiful city, I think 52Teas would be a great addition there (and I would totally visit on future tea-cations!)

Seriously though, it is magic coconut. The tastiest coconut, and while every other tea my coconut goes rancid on me, this coconut has amazing longevity and flavor. Drank this blend so fast, but now I’m hoarding my teabox Foggy Coconut like a crazy grandma hoards her favorite china for a “special occassion” hahaha!

tea-sipper

Oh cool! A brick and mortar 52Teas! Sadly it would be on the other coast to me, but I can definitely see 52Teas doing the best in Portland.

52Teas

I think that the biggest benefit to having a brick and mortar would be the additional space. The tea studio that I work out of now is quite small. And – we would also employ a pastry person to make treats inspired by the teas. :)

52Teas

Also @Mastress Alita – if you took a tea-cation, did you happen to visit Townshend’s Tea, Tea Cha Te, Smith Teamaker, Jasmine Pearl or Tea Bar? While Seattle has a crazy coffee thing going on that has definitely spread to Portland – we also have a tea movement going on too! It’s a great place for a tea-cation!

Mastress Alita

A bigger tea studio and pastries both sound like excellent reasons to me!

@Anne, I didn’t make it to the flagship of Jasmine Pearl, though I sampled their teas at a cat cafe I visited during that vacation (and want to go to the main location next time!) I spent a crazy amount of time at Tea Chai Te, loved it there and would say it’s probably a favorite among tea shops I’ve visited on tea-cations! I have had Steven Smith Teamaker since my tea-cation so it is definitely “on the list” for the next time, as well, but I hadn’t heard of them at the time. We went to Tao of Tea at the Chinese Gardens and had a tea flight, and sadly, the teahouse at the Japanese gardens was opening quite literally about 3 weeks AFTER my tea-cation when I visited last (which was quite sad for me and my friend, we are huge Japanese culture buffs). I picked up some nice tea from the Saturday Market, too, from Nil Organic Tea (also grabbed some organic catnip there from a different booth that my sister’s cat is apparently still enjoying even though it’s been two years now). Hadn’t heard of Townshend’s or Tea Bar, so I guess that is a few more for the list next time! But it was a lovely tea-cation spot and I really enjoyed myself! (Also, as a librarian, I think I spent half a day in Powell’s and have no regrets about that).

(Seriously though, the barista at Tea Chai Te did question me and my friend about why we were showing up every day that one weekend and then ordering several pots in a row, and on the last day I left 1 oz samples of a good 20 different teas… I think that is the closest I’ve ever come to feeling like I might be “kicked out” of a bar, hahaha! “Don’t cut me off man, just one more pot of tea! It’s my birthday weekend!”)

tea-sipper

you got to go to Powell’s!! awesome

52Teas

@Mastress Alita – OMG I absolutely love the Chinese Gardens! Amethyst and I had tea there – Tao of Tea has a couple of locations in Portland but their location in the Chinese Gardens is definitely the best (with the most spectacular view of all the tea spots I’ve visited!)

I’ve often called Townshend’s Tea the “starbucks” of tea, in that it has a really nice lounge area for people to just sit and enjoy their tea while browsing on their devices – although I find Townshend’s to be much nicer because it’s a much more casual atmosphere than starbucks (where it seems much more rushed because – coffee). Tea Bar – I’ve not been in years and since then they’ve expanded to New York and it’s become much more high end as a result and from what I understand it is not as relaxed as I remember it being.

Tea Chai Te is another favorite of mine. The baristas are very nice!

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Bio

Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, RuPaul’s Drag Race, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud asexual and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little apartment!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Dessert/chocolate/vanilla/caramel/cream/toffee/maple
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Vegetal/grassy
-Floral/lavender/rose
-Spices/chais
-Fruity
-Tropical/pineapple/coconut
-Bergamot (in moderation)
-Roasted/nutty
-Tart/tangy/hibiscus/rosehip

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Grapefruit (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Currently Sipping Down: TeaSource’s Raspberry Lemonade, ITI’s Tropical White, ITI’s Kalahari

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating.

New Teas Tried for 2019: 66
Sipdown Count for 2019: 92

Inventory:

My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AvGT1XwgJUTErt3zhjpHbXf6HNS3k_Ym85zoHJPmhX4/edit?usp=sharing . A downloadable spreadsheet version with more detailed information can be acquired here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2J0sUMNItRsf0jBRBR6XDFUimm60f0o/view?usp=sharing . I am currently on a tea trading/ordering hiatus to get my collection under control! I cannot participate in any tea boxes, group orders, tea exchanges, or accept any tea gifts at this point in time. If there is something on my spreadsheet that I have in large quantity (50g or higher) that you would like to sample, feel free to contact me about it, as I am open to limited gifting (USA only!)

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Idaho, United States

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