27 Tasting Notes
Prior to trying this tea I really hadn’t developed a taste for hojicha. I decided I would order this tea based on some great reviews I had seen and wow, it didn’t let me down. I should start by saying I love cinnamon raisin bread, absolutely love it! I can safely say that this tea is cinnamon raisin bread….in a cup!!!!!!!! The hojicha base gives this tea a darker quality, makes me think of when you are eating raisin bread and the crust ends are all dark and browned, this is the taste that is captured here. The raisin and cinnamon are there, I get everything! I do enjoy this one as a latte, as Deb suggests to make it as, and I think the latte aspect brings out the pudding part of the title. This tea actually was my top tea of 2020, it was that good!!!!! As someone who tries a lot of teas it take a lot to really wow me and this tea really did wow me!!
Each year Lupicia Tea, a Japanese tea company, comes out with a Sakura collection to celebrate cherry blossom season. The collection changes each year and for 2021 the theme is traditional Japanese culture that has been handed down through the generations, such as crafts and traditional Japanese patterns. The collection is well balanced and features a green tea, a decaf tea, black tea, rooibos, even a sakura matcha! The tins this year are beautiful and feature a lovely floral motive. I have wanted to try teas from Lupicia’s Sakura collection for some time so I decided this year that I would order a few.
The first one I am reviewing is Sakura & Berry. This has a black tea base with salted cherry leaf, rose petal and flavoring. The description says that this has a “sweet strawberry flavor.” The dry leaf smells amazing and actually made me think of when my mom would make me strawberries and cream oatmeal as a kid. I steeped the tea up at 212 degrees for 3 minutes.
I really love this one. The first taste is a nice fruity strawberry flavor, nothing too strong. It actually has the same strawberry flavor as strawberries and cream oatmeal but without the cream aspect. On the second taste I get a hit of the black tea base, it is smooth and mellow. I had hoped that I would get taste of the salted cherry leaf however that didn’t come through in the flavor.
Overall this is a tasty strawberry tea in a beautiful tin and certainly worth trying if you love strawberry-flavored teas. I really enjoy Lupicia tea, in fact their rooibos-based honeydew melon tea is in my top 5 favorite teas of all time! If you are interested in the Sakura collection I would not wait as fulfillment for the US comes from the online Hawaii Lupicia store and they get very limited amounts of inventory on these special edition collections.
cardamom is my favorite spice in tea so I was very excited to try this tea from Tea Drops. The tea is actually very nice. It is sweetened already but not too sweet, it was really a lovely cuppa. The cardamom was very strong and that is what I wanted and I love the ease of making this. I do find that I toss out the last sip in the bottom of the cup as I don’t enjoy the sediment at the bottom. Also, they are expensive, $1.20 for each cup. Overall I really liked this!
Flavors: Cardamom, Sugar, Tea
This is a very nice dessert tea. There are large pieces of black tea leaves, they unfurl very nicely. The tea has a perfect balance of chocolate and black tea taste. Also, they were able to get the tea to taste really like chocolate without all artificial ingredients which I like. I really enjoyed this one!
Flavors: Chocolate, Tea
another tea I bought from Amazon from ESP Tea Emporium, the now defunk tea company. They sell D and B teas so this tea shows up under various tea brands that are repackaging and selling it. There was unfortunately nothing amazing about this. A basic black tea taste with an almost smokey quality. The popcorn seems to contribute nothing to the tea and the maple syrup is a bit too much for me. I made this as a latte and it was a lot better but I am still not a fan, just an average tea blend at best.
Flavors: Maple, Maple Syrup
Smells very sweet, almost an artificial sweet smell. once steeped the black tea smell comes through more. I actually really like this one, a nice caramel flavor. I don’t get a lot of chocolate notes, mostly just a black tea with caramel. I got this as a sample. Made it with a bit of rock sugar and milk and it was really good. Probably would not buy it but glad I tried it.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel
So I recently stumbled upon ESP emporium teas on Amazon. After doing some research it appears that it was a shop based off of Michigan Avenue in Chicago (very close to me) and I was never aware of them! At any rate they look to be defunk and they have no inventory on their site, only on AmaZON. All of their teas seem to be from D and B, the big tea distributor that many small, independent tea companies get their tea from. I have seen this tea listed online being sold by various retailers. This tea is actually not bad. It opens with a pumpkin taste however that pumpkin flavor almost is borderline like canteloupe to me. the back of the taste is the cardamom, I get subtle hints of cinnamon. This is an unusual tea. It actually has real freeze-dried pumpkin so I do like there is actual pumpkin in here but taste is a cardamom canteloupe tea, LOL! It is growing on me though. I initially tested it plain but made it a latte and it is so much better that way. I purchased a large selection of ESP teas off of amazon because they had 8 ounce bags for $3!! Perhaps that was a mistake because when I went back the product I bought 6 days ago was now $22 or maybe they saw someone was actually buying the tea and jacked the price up again, LOL!! This is a good way for me to try some of D and B teas though!
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Pumpkin