Featured & New Tasting Notes

drank Ginger Peach by Turyaga
2590 tasting notes

A July scavenger hunt checkoff and I wasn’t even trying! This has been hanging around in my kitchen so long I had to check to see if Turyaga was still around (it is). Not all the varieties in the gift assortment from which this came were notable, but I think the Ginger Peach was the best of the bunch. Nondescript black tea base holds up the flavoring, a nice even 50-50 on the peach and the spice. Very good iced.

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75

Still in my cold foam kick and the best pairing is mint tea and white chocolate cold foam. Thanks Roswell Strange for the suggestion!

I’m running low on Candy Cane Crush but i have this tea which fits the profile. This is a touch too medicinal/strong so CCC is better but it still works really nicely.

Shae

I know you must have mentioned it somewhere, but do you have a recipe for your cold foam? Some of the flavors sounds so good but I would have no clue where to begin.

VariaTEA

I do!

1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbsps milk
2 tbsps flavoured syrup – I bought Torani syrups off Amazon
I toss all ingredients into a mason jar and shake vigorously for 30 secs – 1 min and then just combine with a regularly made iced tea

Shae

Thank you!!!

ashmanra

All this time I thought cold foam was something you all were buying at fancy groceries! Now I know…will have to try it.

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90
drank Sweet Smoke by Flavor Purveyor
1536 tasting notes

I thought I would hate this since I don’t love smoky teas, but actually, I’m finding this to be quite delicious. The flavor is mild, but also complex. I wouldn’t necessarily even call this flavor smoky…I wouldn’t know what to call it! It’s almost lightly desserty, but it’s difficult to describe. I may taste a hint of mint? The black tea doesn’t show up too much. I enjoy it sweetened with a little milk. I left this to steep for almost an hour by accident, and it was super forgiving. Probably my favorite find from the most recent TTB. The resteep is lighter, but still worth it.

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72

[Spring 2016 harvest]

A good yan cha whose aftertaste is the most intense and memorable aspect. Unfortunately, it only lasts for 6 infusions.

It has an aroma with notes of vanilla pudding, chocolate cookies, and cherries. Taste-wise it reminds me of tobacco, sweet wood, blood, and black currants. The finish is savoury at first, then turning more sweet and woody with a buttery flavour. The body is light and the cha qi mild and warming.

Flavors: Black Currant, Butter, Cherry, Chocolate, Cookie, Metallic, Sweet, Tobacco, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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73

I mostly just taste oolong, which isn’t my preferred tea base. After refrigerating this, more fruit flavor comes out, and I like it a little more. I’m not sure it’s distinctly cranberry, but it’s close enough. I don’t really taste any chestnut. I prefer fruity teas on an herbal or green base, so this one isn’t really for me, but it’s not bad. If you go in expecting an oolong with some subtle fruitiness, you won’t be too disappointed.

52Teas

I cold brewed some of this last night and am sipping it now. I don’t generally cold brew oolong, but this one turned our pretty good.

AJRimmer

Oh good to know! I have enough left to give that a try!

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81
drank Matcha Genmaicha by Adagio
827 tasting notes

Genmai = love. Perfect for anytime of day on any day. Today the high will be 32 C. Iced tea afternoon. This makes quite a pleasant tea when iced. Okay I lie. It’s not iced. I just put cold tap water in the cup and off we went. The umami and grassiness perfectly compliments the brown rice. The dusting of matcha on the rice and tea was the right amount and the coloring was an eye pleaser. Now I’m going to sit here on the grass and enjoy it while reading Infused by Henrietta Lovell. I’d love to drink tea with her someday.

gmathis

I never thought about chilled genmaicha! We’ve got another hot stretch ahead…just may have to try it.

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1
drank Cream Soda Float by Dessert by Deb
5948 tasting notes

Has anyone else ever left fruit teas sitting in an infuser after steeping, for so long that they go moldy? (2 days is all it takes in the summer.) It gets this unmistakeable, rotty smell. Quite gross. Same smell happens if you have a matcha latte in your travel mug and forget to wash it for a day or so. All this to say… this tea very very unfortunately smells exactly like the aforementioned smell. Immediately when opening the packet, I was hit with it and it made me quite sad. I think it’s the sarsaparilla root? And I think I’ve had 1 or 2 DavidsTeas with a similar resulting aroma (and gave them very negative ratings).

Decided to be brave and brew it up. Now my house house smells gross :/ Also braved a sample, and while it does taste better than it smells – kind of creamy with the same flavour, though muted – I cannot get over the fact that it smells like decomposition to me. Blech.

Skysamurai

_ oh my word. Aroma is one of my favorite parts of tea. Good on you for still trying it!

Courtney

I haven’t actually had this happen, but I’ve been forgetting cold steeping teas in the fridge for a week at a time and have been worried — but so far, so good!

Leafhopper

Yuck! I’d be very disappointed if a tea smelled like that.

Kittenna

Skysamurai – Yep, aromas are big for me too. I was just really curious whether the taste would have any redeeming qualities – and it did, but definitely not enough to overcome that smell.

Courtney – I don’t think I’ve ever had a tea go bad in the fridge, surprisingly. However, sometimes cold-brewing for too long brings out unpleasant flavours/too much hibiscus or pithy citrus.

Leafhopper – Definitely disappointed. The two other reviews on here are much favourable, so I would guess that this is just a strong aversion to sarsaparilla as opposed to an issue with the tea. Now, how to rid myself of it…

Roswell Strange

Out of curiosity, do you like rootbeer or other drinks that contain sarsaparilla?

Kittenna

Roswell – I enjoy regular root beer (and cream soda) and 52teas’ root beer teas. I also enjoy wintergreen (gum, lifesavers). I don’t know that I’ve ever tried sarsaparilla specifically, or noted it as an ingredient in teas before, but I wouldn’t have expected to hate it so much!

Also, I looked back and apparently it was DT’s Cherry Cola that I hated; I actually liked Root Beer Float. Neither contained sarsaparilla though.

Also also, I put my (finum) infuser through the dishwasher after this tea, and it still smelled bad so it’s back in for round two. I’m starting to question if there’s not something wrong with my batch (although I think I’ve had some particularly pervasive mint flavours in my infusers previously too).

Roswell Strange

Hmm, interesting. Most modern rootbeer is still made using either sassafras or sarsaparilla, which is why I asked. Why knows though; taste is weird sometimes. shrug

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74

This can be a little tart and bitter, but with enough sugar it’s decent. The orange is pretty authentic, but it’s not really something I would reach for over an herbal orange tea. This just doesn’t have a place in my cupboard. I shared it with someone, who wasn’t able to taste the orange and found the floral flavors to be much too strong. I shared it with someone else who loved the orange flavor and didn’t notice the bergamot. My final cup of this I drank cold, and I thought the orange and bergamot complemented each other very well. The bergamot definitely shows up in a very floral way, but it sort of works. I guess my opinions have evolved slightly over the course of my 2 oz bag.

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83

Wonder why they decided to call this faintly roasted instead of lightly roasted… My guess is that there is a percentage of roastedness. A percentage of roast that made this below lightly. Then again their website does say lightly roasted so…. marketing. The roast is indeed light. You can barely perceive the charcoal. At least at first; it comes more in the aftertaste. STOP! If you are drinking oolong and you have yet to pull apart your leaves do it now. How many leaves are on the stem? Is it twisted, curled, rolled? What colors? Okay. Continue your steep. The aroma is slightly buttered biscuit. The flavor is delicate. It has a small amount of minerality, a bit of grassiness when it oversteeps, floral notes.

gmathis

You had me at roasted, and then you really had me at “buttered biscuit!”

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Iced tea with salted caramel cold foam sipdown (215)

The cold foam really highlighted the caramel element here and of course boosted the creaminess to sell custard. Otherwise, the rooibos in this unsettled me as it seemed to be strong in scent. I’m glad it didn’t come through strongly in taste. I don’t know if I would have liked this without the cold foam but with it, it was a lovely way to send this off.

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51

Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge – June Tea #1: – An orange tea

This tea, bleh, glad it’s gone now.
2022 sipdowns: 70
I’m back from visiting family. It was… rough. The most bizarre thing happened. My aunt is around my grandmother all the time so she would know… my aunt thinks something happened to my grandmother and it seems she had overnight Alzheimer’s and the sad part is, it seems to be focused on her direct family members. Like she has no map of her family tree at this point. She asked who my aunt was the day before we went for the visit, her main caregiver, then she didn’t recognize three others of her closest family, including me. The last time I saw her I distinctly remember her saying to me “I’ll never forget this lady.” She thinks we are all hired caregivers or long lost children she didn’t know she had. It’s terrible and hard to process. Not sure if it was consistent the entire time we were there for three weeks. She might have been embarrassed to say she didn’t know who we were, so she could have been pretending to know most of the time. I just kept pointing to the quick dial numbers on her phone. It was all of us on the top row. :( She did just recently survive covid so we are all hoping it is a temporary covid fog. I have heard covid ages everyone 20 years, so there you go. But to survive covid and then a month or two later this happens? uh. So sad. Watching someone go through memory loss has always been one of my greatest dreaded fears.

Maddy Barone

My mom had dementia. I would call her and I could tell she didn’t know who I was even though I identified myself at the start of the call. Then, ten minutes later, she suddenly realized who I was. It was so hard for me to lose my mom that way. So I have some idea of how this visit was for you. Hugs.

Michelle

Hopefully she realizes that she is loved by her caretakers, even if she doesn’t quite know who they are. There are some things we can’t help our loved ones go through, we just have to be there for them, and it seems you have a supportive family to help you all cope!

tea-sipper

@Maddy Barone – I’m sorry you had to experience that. I’m working up to my first phone call with her soon. We are all hoping she knows us over the phone as none of us live around her except my aunt…

@Michelle – thanks for your words. She said many times while we were there “I’m not sure who you are, but you are all wonderful people.” ah.

Mastress Alita

My grandma just passed last month after years of bad dementia. It’s one of the hardest things to go through. My condolenses.

tea-sipper

I’m so sorry Mastress Alita. If you have mentioned her passing, I missed it, as I have lots of catching up on notes to do.

Skysamurai

=( Oh gosh. I’m so sorry. This is no easy thing to go through and I truly hope someday we find something that helps correct it.

tea-sipper

Thanks, skysamurai

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78
drank Candy Cane Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
6307 tasting notes

Made this iced and topped it with a white chocolate cold foam. It is delicious. A candy cane and white chocolate cold foam really is the perfect Christmas drink for those celebrating Christmas in July…or in my case, June. Just a classic Christmas flavor profile but cold and refreshing.

Check out the pic here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CfUh5RouNu-/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

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85

The flavor is mostly a pleasant rooibos, but I get some strawberry in there too. It’s good warm or cold with sugar and milk. It doesn’t really remind me of a milkshake, but it’s probably the best strawberry rooibos I’ve had. The flavors go together really nicely. I had a quite milky last cold resteep of this and finally saw the milkshake idea. This is another one I wouldn’t mind a bigger bag of.

Skysamurai

Do you have enough to try it cold steeped in milk or maybe make it like a Masala?

AJRimmer

Nah, the advent calendar amount only made two servings (plus resteeps) for me, and I already drank them ): if it comes back, I’ll try some other methods!

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86
drank Black Oolong by Cultivate Tea
827 tasting notes

Putting a QR code on a tea package is an awesome idea! The initial aroma was bursting with longgon and woody notes. Bits of lychee too. Now I really want a longgon. The first steep started with minerality and fruity longgon notes but as the steep went on it changed to heavier wood notes with the longgon taking a back seat. Second steep held up nicely. There is a flavor in there I can’t quite pin down. I find it in other oolongs from China the mix of fruity, woody, and minerality brings it on and my palate doesn’t quite know where to put it. I brought this one to Greece with me but I think I brought too much tea with. Just didn’t have the time to get to all of it and there were some mornings we woke up too enjoy a good gong fu session. You don’t rush gong fu. Third steep is losing flavor but if steeped longer than five minutes it gains some nice dry wood flavors.

Michelle

Better to travel with too much tea than run out! It’s light anyway.

Skysamurai

So true. I got lazy at a few points and started using the tea bags provided by the hotel and I only had one, from Apanemo, that was actually quite good. But definitely made me glad I brought my own.

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drank Beach Reads by Call Me Sweetea
102 tasting notes

Preparation: Western
Tasting Note: Waited for this one to cool off before I started sipping. The oolong has a little tiny bit of roasty notes but it is mostly pretty mild. It almost reminds me of a light black tea but without the astringency or heavy body. There isn’t a significant amount of creaminess or mango, I am getting as a flavor so I think this tea is stronger than those flavors and they may be doing more to mild out the base.

I think I will have to try some different brew methods and see what I get.

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73
drank Raspberry Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
1535 tasting notes

This had a subtle candy raspberry flavor in the first sip or two. Later, it faded and I really only tasted mild, sweet matcha. It was pleasant, but it didn’t have much character beside some other delicious matchas I’ve had recently. The flavoring needs to be much stronger, but it’s not a bad matcha.

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Thank you Adhara! This is a gooood Tie Guanyin. Heavy into orchid florals, some honeysuckle, and hints of other flowers like lilac and hyacinth. It’s also more floral than grassy, but green and fresh. It’s a softer green bean overall in flavor, and continues to be floral after each steep. Definitely better than some Taiwanese oolongs I’ve had of late, and somewhat similar to a Baozhong.

5 oz, 5 grams 10 sec, 15, 20, 35, 45 175-195 F.

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Green, Green Beans, Honeysuckle, Lilac, Orchids

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73
drank Kumquat Cheesecake by 52teas
1082 tasting notes

Using this for the prompt “an African tea” (for the honeybush base).

I’ve never had a kumquat, so I don’t really have any knowledge to compare the flavor to… but what I got was a citrusy flavor that was also slightly melony? Like a cross between an orange and honeydew, with a touch of citric sharpness. The honeybush itself was very smooth for me… Usually I get strong peppery notes from it, but there were none this time, instead it was quite woody with a cinnamon sort of edge to it.

A nice cuppa on a (surprising!) rainy evening. I have hardly touched a hot cup of tea in weeks, as coldbrew season has fallen upon me, and it was warm and comforting and hit the spot as I provided my lap as a heated bed for the Chiya cat.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Honey, Honeydew, Melon, Orange, Smooth, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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I was reaaaalllyyyyy craving this tea tonight but now that I’m sipping on it I’m finding it’s not totally agreeing with me tonight. The nuttier dark roast notes of the oolong are quite nice and there’s an almost maple tasting pecan finish that’s quite delicious too, but the flavours of the various fruits are building on my palate in a sort of aggressive way. They started out fine; a bit of a boozier lean to them with cherry and orange coming through the most clear. However, as I sip it just feels like coat after coat of some kind of intense brandy been lacquered over my tongue, and it’s just unfortunately pretty artificial.

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My first take of kombucha, or at least the bottled one… but I really think I haven’t got any before.

I saw the bottles, and I knew right away I need to bring some home to try it. I wasn’t paying much attention to the ingredients, just picked original flavour and raspberry one. The last one was ginger/lemon which I wasn’t looking forward as it’s quite hot today and I prefer refreshing flavours.

When I arrived home with those two bottles (0.4 L each) I put them in fridge to cool them down a bit. They weren’t in fridges in the store!

When I have opened the bottle not so long ago, a strong vinegar aroma popped out. I spilled it to my favourite glass cup and I got nice golden fizzy drink. I started to read the ingredients, where among tea stuff were bacteria listed and cane sugar. And sadly, stevia! However, I took a sip, because I never spill the tea based on the ingredients only and I have to say it is quite pleasant. Sweet? Yes, quite a lot. Floral somehow. Stevia isn’t noticeable in taste. And in the end there is some flavour which I know, but can’t put my finger on. Something that reminds me Villa drink from Norway?

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75
drank Cranberry Lemonade by 52teas
102 tasting notes

So I have decided to renew my quarterly subscription for 52 teas. I have really enjoyed what I have gotten so far and I think 15 g for me is enough to enjoy a tea but also not be struggling to keep up and sip it down. :) Plus, lots of variety and delicious blends.

Preparation: Western
Tasting note: First opening the bag of the tea, it smelled very lemonade-y which was a nice surprise. Sipping it after it has cooled down, it is a pretty mild green. It has a light bit of citrus but not enough to be considered strongly tart or pithy.

Kittenna

I definitely love the package size in the 52teas subscription! I get about 4 or so cups for most teas, which is great for sampling, and doesn’t really clutter up the cupboard!

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78

The tea with the marshmallow root is pretty soft and pillowy. It’s not strong or malty or anything, just sort of a mild background presence. There’s a bit of a citrus flavor, but it’s not too tart. This one is best overleafed. The marshmallow is a really nice note. I could imagine this as a citrus cupcake. I was neutral toward this one at first, but I’m glad I waited to review it until I’d had the chance to try it a second time.

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87

Makes a fantastic, rosy coldbrew. It got a little bitter in a floral kind of way. The flavor was still pronounced and refreshing.

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drank Celebration Tea by Harney & Sons
2757 tasting notes

Reviews for this one are all over the place. I only bought it because it was on sale for $4.40 a tin and the tin is pretty, plus it would be something new to try that I thought both Ashman and I would like.

These are sachets and Harney recommends 12 ounces water for their sachets, and I resteeped and combined. I had the first cup as a hot tea with breakfast, no additions. I was having oatmeal with a pinch of brown sugar and some freshly ground cardamom. The first sip was like a burst of fruity sunshine. The apricot flavor really was the star of the show and it was quite enjoyable.

I put the remaining tea in the fridge and had it unsweetened with lunch. Again, this was a really good, really fruity tea. I have their plain apricot tea and this isn’t terribly different to me so far, but perhaps when I am paying more attention I will pick up more hazelnut.

All in all, this was a good investment. I didn’t get any of the astringency that some people mentioned.

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