Featured & New Tasting Notes
Definitely a blend on the lighter and more delicate side, but I really appreciated this softer and more gentle take on a sweet cherry profile. Not that I dislike a cherry that punches me in the face with flavour, but cherry is one of those fruits that actually has a shocking range to it so it’s nice to see that explored a bit more! Plus, it complimented the naturally floral white tea and the undertones of smooth, silky vanilla. Though “sweet” is not necessarily one of the first words that come to mind to describe this tea, it does have that sort of airy type of delicate sweetness to it that made me think a little bit of icing sugar as I was sipping…
Overall, just an ultra pleasant cup with a cute pinkish red cup colour to go alongside it!
This one smells and tastes like pineapple gummy bears to me. Which, in my somewhat limited experience, is not what dragonfruit tastes like. To be fair though, I found dragonfruit to have a somewhat subtle flavor, so maybe it’s a bit difficult to reproduce in tea.
So in short, this isn’t bad, but it tastes very artificial to me, just like pineapple gummy bears. And I think it could use a bit more tartness to add some dimension. There’s also a hint of bitterness that I’m not loving.
Flavors: Artificial, Bitter, Candy, Fruity, Herbaceous, Pineapple, Sweet, Thin, Tropical, Watery
This is a “share-down.” I gave my last sachets to my neighbor and suggested he share it with his mom. He had really serious surgery and is out of work for three months and she has been visiting a lot. I had her over for tea once and we drank Carrot Cake Cupcake from S&V, which is definitely a repurchase for me when it runs out. She loved it, so I told him to try this one with her to see if she likes it, and that might be his Mother’s Day gift for next year all planned.
Harney is not listing butterfly pea flower as an ingredient, but I cannot remember this turning blue years ago when I first tried it. Now one sachet will give a gold colored tea and the next purplish blue. They only list one blue ingredient and that is cornflower, but I have never seen cornflower turn a tea this blue. It is a mystery.
It is chamomile forward, but isn’t almost every tea with chamomile that way? I get a little tired of chamomile when it is my only caffeine free option but I have several others on hand right now as well as other good decaf teas, so it made sense to share this one.
Another tea bag from lovely Canadian Postcrossing member. Two bags remaining I guess?
Anyway, I have been doing “a little” family ancestry reseach, ending up with doing it all day with lunch break and tea break at 3 pm. Whoops. Also, this part of my family tree is about “10 steps away” and more, but it is all located in one small village and around, so only one church book is needed. Also, the writing is so nice, so it is super easy.
Ahh, digressed a far away as much as those people are far from me.
It is really hot here today, and there is absolutely no wind. Awful weather so I wanted something refreshing. This sounded very nice and I never had a peppermint with vanilla, so here it comes.
Honestly, for some reason when I was drinking it, it was like a Winter festive season. I never had a candy cane, but I in my mind it was like eating one? What is candy cane flavour actually?
It was refreshing and it was creamy. If vanilla? Not that much sure… but mouthfeel was very nice and it doesn’t made me sweat even more, so plus points.
But still it was somehow flat. Like expecting more longer feeling and overall it was “just fine”.
This was a gift from derk, thank you so much!
Some rain has finally pushed in this morning, causing me to brew my first cup of hot tea in months. I enjoy plain mugicha, so I’ve been looking forward to this!
I’m surprised how strongly I can smell the cocoa on the nose. It’s sweet, like chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack. It really comes through in the taste, too! I was expecting that strong, roasty, coffee-esque flavor of the barley with maybe a chocolately background hint, but instead I’m getting gooey chocolate chips and sweet dough with crispy cooked edges. There is something a little peanutty about the flavor too, reminding me of soba tea.
It’s not what my brain was expecting, but it’s delicious! Tastes more like chocolate chip cookies than any tea I’ve ever had before specifically titled as such.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cookie, Grain, Nutty, Peanut, Sweet
Not a sipdown but a good time to revisit this lemony green. Of the 26 teas in the alphabet challenge, 15 were actual sipdowns. I think that’s… pretty good I guess. At least it is nice to know that there are at least three letters that still only have ONE tea representing it.
Sipdown! (35 | 287)
This was a nice enough tea, but I wanted more pear from it. There is a soft fruity note here, definitely more of a cooked pear, and I found the ginger overpowered it and made it difficult to taste. Not that the ginger is incredibly strong or anything, the pear is just a bit too subtle IMO.
Still a tasty tea, but more of a ginger-focused black tea with a hint of pear in the background.
Flavors: Earthy, Fruity, Ginger, Honey, Malty, Pear, Smooth, Sweet, Woody
I mean… if this started out “vintage”… it is now ancient. haha. I’m not sure what exactly made it vintage? But it’s tasty! I think this was one of the Earls from Tiffany? Thank you! I enjoyed two steeps of this very much. A satchet that didn’t fall apart! An acceptable strong bergamot on what is described on the lovely wrap as assam and Darjeeling but I mostly taste a robust, brassy assam. I’m happy to try this tea that has no other Steepster notes! What a rare tea it must be. Gets a Good Earl pass from me!
ashmanra’s Sipdown Challenge – “Lazy Day – make an easy peasy tea!”
Behind again on these prompts, oopsies lol. I figured I would make a teabag for this one, and I thought I hadn’t written about this one yet. Apparently I have, though it was 9 (?!) years ago, which hardly counts.
I quite like this tea actually. It starts out tasting quite fruity, mostly stonefruits like plum and apricot. Then the cinnamon comes out more at the end of the sip, adding sweetness and a festive feel. The hazelnut sort of mingles in the background and gives some richness and a slight creamy note. Even drinking it stone cold (busy day at work), I’m still quite enjoying it.
I’ll be happy to have this one in my cupboard when the holiday season rolls around. :) I do wish they sold it in loose leaf (in a size other than sample or a pound).
Flavors: Apricot, Cinnamon, Earthy, Fruity, Hay, Hazelnut, Musty, Nutty, Plum, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Tart
From Daylon R Thomas! Thanks so much! I misspoke the other day when I thought the Charleston Tea Garden was the only American tea grower. NOPE. Here is a lovely leaf grown in Michigan — it looks plenty gold in color, yet looks more crumbly than I usually see. The appearance almost reminds me of Zhen Qu (which I dearly miss.) I first tried this tea a week ago, using a teaspoon and a half in a mug, but I just didn’t think that was enough leaf. So here is a note for two teaspoons. I don’t love using two teaspoons, as this is a pricey leaf (that I’m very grateful Daylon decided to share!) but sometimes two teaspoons is necessary and I think there IS a huge difference in just that 1/2 teaspoon of leaves. It’s richer this time around, while never being astringent, even with a ten minute steep on the third: starchy, with a bit of cocoa, malty, sweet and light in flavor while still having a deep colored brew. Though it’s hard for me to describe, I would say it DOES taste like a tea grown somewhere atypical, not a typical terroir that I would be drinking, so it’s interesting the flavor is different from a Michigan tea! Very glad I was able to try this.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 2 min after boiling // 3 min steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 10 min steep
Flavors: Cocoa, Malty, Sweet
Sipdown! (28 | 280) (added 19 ship-downs!)
I’m not big on plain Earl Grey. I don’t know why, I like bergamot, but I tend to enjoy it much more when there’s some other element, be it cream, extra citrus, or other fruits. But I do love this one plain. I think it must be the smooth Chinese black tea base combined with the relatively subdued bergamot. I can still taste plenty of bergamot, but it doesn’t hit me over the head. And it’s also a very citrusy bergamot (yes, I know bergamot is a citrus, but sometimes it tastes more floral or sweet or fruity), which helps its case.
So anyway, I found myself enjoying this more and more as I sipped through it, and now I’m a bit sad it’s gone. Happily, A&D seems to have this one in stock almost all the time, so I should be able to restock easily when I get to that point. :)
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Earthy, Lemon, Musty, Smooth, Woody
I have been so tempted by this tea ever since reading tasting notes from CameronB and other folks. I didn’t buy it partly because of my sipdown goals and partly because I am not a big fan of ginger or clove when they are too strong and they will put me right off a tea. If the pieces are big enough and the tea is good enough, I will pick out these ingredients as best I can.
I saw an ad for a new-to-me Harney tea and went to the website to check it out. Definitely not going to buy anything! I noticed that the large Royal Palaces style tin of this was on sale for 8.95 but told myself “no” and moved on. I didn’t buy anything!
The next day I had an email from Harney and Sons with a picture of this tea and a coupon to come back and try it with an additional $5 off, which I could instead apply to a different product if I wished. Believing that this was a tea Ashman would love, and in view of the fact that he has just started having tea instead of milk in the mornings on workdays, I reasoned that I should buy it because the sachets would be and easy for him to make so early in the morning.
My total was $3.95 for a tin of 30 sachets. Free shipping always with Harney and Sons in the US. It would be almost criminal not to use that coupon, right?
The aroma is worth $5 at least. I had braced myself for a clove assault, but all I got was sweet molasses cookie. Worth it.
Drinking it sans additions, it is not at all cloying or super sweet. Molasses leads the flavor and after lots of sipping the clove and ginger are building up in the aftertaste but they are mostly just warming and not hitting assault levels. This will be really nice in cold weather.
With a heat index of 110F (43.3C) today, I decided we should finish the rest of the pot as a cold latte. I added a little sugar and milk to the now cooled tea. Awwwww yiss. This is absolutely delicious. I think this is how it will go, hot or cold, from now on. Ashman loved it.
Acquired through the generosity of Martin! Thank you, tea friend.
I got this because of the ingredients (I love Sonnentor herbal teas for their creative blends):
blackberry leaves sweet org, hibisucs org, black carrots org (10%), mango org (10%), buckwheat herb org, lemon balm org, pineapple org (7%), bananas org, aronia org, orange peel org, lemon peel org, liquorice org, chili ground org (1%)
Blackberry leaf sweetness up front, followed by muddled, earthy fruitiness and a hint of chile pepper heat in the back that’s too mild for me, but probably perfect for others.
I’ve nearly finished the entire box but can’t seem to articulate my impression beyond “strange” mostly due to that front-loaded sweetness. My past Love Story was spicier and punctuated by plenty of acidity — not so sweet and smooth and down to earth :P It might be fun to conceptualize my current relationship in tea form. What kind of ingredients bring to mind love? And goofiness. Lots and lots of goofiness!
Flavors: Chili, Earthy, Fruity, Herbaceous, Sweet
Martin, is this the one I’m drinking? If so, I’m enjoying it greatly! For a Ceylon tea, this is surprisingly smooth with very little of the coppery-brassy notes I usually associate with the variety. It’s a little bit sweet, but still has enough bite to get your eyes open—two qualities I value highly.
So, my reentry to Montreal after my vacation was pretty rough
A few days before I was supposed to fly back I noticed my ear was a little sore. So, we picked up some drops from the pharmacy and hoped that would help. It didn’t. In fact, my ear very rapidly started to get worse and worse to the point where I ended up missing my flight on Sunday because I was in the ER. Turns out that was maybe a good thing because the doctor (after six hours of waiting to be seen) said the pressure build up from all the swelling was so bad my eardrum could have ruptured mid flight. Yikes.
I ended up getting put on some antibiotics, and for the next few days I just waited in pain and misery for them to kick in enough to be able to fly home. Eventually I flew home on Tuesday. The most painful flight I’ve ever been on. Mind you, this was after spraining my ankle and getting Covid at the start of the vacation. After all of that I come home and find out that my hamster, Gorilla, had died while I was away. It was a fucking lot, and I’m still kind of in a place of rest and recovery just processing all of it. Like, just too many fucked up and awful things in too short a time span. I actually ended up not drinking any tea for three days in a row. I was just miserable.
I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to start moving forward.
Anyway, when I eventually started making myself tea again this was the first thing I steeped up. Sachet format was crucial as I just wasn’t in a place where I could mentally handle anything else, and a stress relief blend felt pretty… well, on the nose. It was pretty good. As I said in my last review of this, I actually think this tea tastes pretty solid (especially when it’s your first cuppa in three days). Lots of red fruit notes.
August Sipdown Prompt – an impulse buy tea
I threw this in the cart a couple of years ago when I was buying Stash White Christmas for some friends and family who love it.
This tastes like those banana flavored Circus Peanut candies. Not bad, and certainly a fun tea to have explored, but I just don’t reach for it and I find it a little difficult to pair with anything, plus Ashman wouldn’t like it so I end up drinking it by myself.
Probably not a repurchase unless it is on impulse again!
I’ve been wanting to place a Dessert by Deb order for a while, but kept putting it off because shipping from Canada is pricey, I’d have to buy a lot of tea to justify it, and I don’t really have the space in my tea drawers to stash a large order. But! She had a big shop re-opening a few weeks ago and it finally drew me in. As I sip on this blend, I regret nothing. This is actually the only blend that I got a large quantity of, and it’s the first one I opened. The name of it isn’t that enticing, honestly. I don’t like bread pudding, so I almost passed right by it. But! The ingredients list is absolutely killer. Just… all things I super enjoy.
I made this hot as an oat milk latte. It tastes like cinnamon-sugar french toast: sweet, cinnamon, roasty, creamy (possibly that’s the oat milk). Sort of like the milk left over after you finish a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch, in a good way. Absolutely starting this shipment off on a high note.
I have received again a bunch of postcards thanks to postcrossing; and one envelope with tea bag in. It came from Russia, surprisingly not opened by customs and this tea bag was in.
When I have opened the outer wrapping (which I am not sure if I have in my collection), I was astnoished how real the aroma was. Or, at least it was distinctly blueberry — reminding me a bit Blueberry Jam by DAVIDsTEA. So, I put the bag in my glass mug, steeped for 4 minutes and…
Blueberries were gone. Not totally, there were still hints of them, some fruitiness (probably as mentioned before, it’s hibiscus) and pretty much plain and boring black tea base, distinctly Ceylon.
Sadly, it’s just below average for me, though I generally like Greenfield blends.
Ashmanra’s Sipdown Challenge | August 2023 | A tea with orange flavor
Well, darn! I just looked at my older note for this one and realized I’d intended to cold-brew the last of it. I completely forgot, alas. Instead I made it strong and poured it over ice for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Anyway, it’s delicious and I’ll miss it. :(
2023 sipdown count: 45