735 Tasting Notes

80

Method: Loose leaf, scooped into a paper sachet
Steep Time: Entire duration of experience
Water temp: Boiling
Brew Style: Mug/ Western

My knees do NOT like it when thunderstorms are coming. My usual dose of CBD oil tincture isn’t even touching the weirdness I feel in them today. It’s not pain, per se, but it’s like a really annoying weak feeling. Hoping this rooibos will help with any inflammation and make the weird weakness go away.

Dry leaf smells earthy and sweet. This bag of dry leaf is very very VERY old, so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that scent-wise, it hasn’t lost much potency.

Steeps a muddy reddish color.

Liquor smells of earth, metal, clay.

Liquor has a drying mouthfeel. Notes of metal (iron), vanilla bean, and hay. I overscooped the leaf in anticipation that it would not be as potent, since it is so very old. This was a good call; the flavor strength of the infusion is just right.

Stay hydrated and cool, friends!

Flavors: Earthy, Hay, Metallic, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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75

Method: Teabag
Steep Time: Entire duration of experience
Water Temp: Boiling
Brew style: Mug/ Western

Dry leaf smells spicy.

Steeps up beige-y yellowish brown, the exact color of fresh gingerroot.

Liquor smells of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper.

Liquor has a brothlike, extremely warming mouthfeel. Sharp ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper notes are most prominent, rounded out by a sweet, haylike aftertaste from the licorice, star anise, and turmeric. It’s medicinal, good for when you feel under the weather.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger, Hay, Licorice Root, Spicy, Star Anise, Sweet, Turmeric

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 12 OZ / 354 ML

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73
drank Bee's Knees by Harney & Sons
735 tasting notes

Method: Loose leaf
Steep Time: 1.5 – 2 mins
Water Temp: 65 F
Brew Style: Western, in my Kati mug

Let me preface this review by mentioning that I have had (and enjoyed) an actual Bee’s Knees cocktail before, at a speakeasy-style theme bar. So I went into this with that experience in mind. I also do not generally like white tea, but this flavor intrigued me enough that I decided to overlook my prejudice of its base and give it a go anyway.

The dry leaf does not have a strong scent, which surprised me, as this is an alcohol-flavored blend. It smells mostly of juniper, dry hay, a bit of a chamomile-esque note, and maybe a hint of vanilla.

The tea steeps a pleasant yellow color; cheerful. The liquor’s perfume has notes of juniper, spice, honeysuckle, clover honey, and a hint of alcohol. There’s also a faint delicate fruity quality to it that must be from the lemon peel.

Upon the first few sips, I get mostly hot, medicinal, boozy juniper, as if I’d heated a shot of gin. Very herbaceous and fairly bitter. As the tea cooled though, the alcoholic edge wore down and I got delicious sweeter notes of honey, vanilla, lemon, and some of the floral, fruity white tea base.

This isn’t an everyday tea for me— much like actual gin, I’ll need to be in a very specific mood for it— but I’m glad I tried this. I’d say Harney definitely captured the essence of drinking a Bee’s Knees cocktail. It’s whimsical, delicate, quirky, and grows on you the more you drink it.

Flavors: Alcohol, Bitter, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Lemon, Pleasantly Sour, Spicy, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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65
drank Support by Twinings
735 tasting notes

Method: Teabag
Steep Time: Entire duration of the experience
Water temp: Boiling
Brew style: Western, in a glass mug

Finishing this box off. It’s good to clear some tea shelf space!

Teabag/ dry leaf doesn’t give off much of a scent. Mostly just the paper.

Liquor is a pale translucent yellowish color. It’s not really possible to oversteep this, so I just let the teabag stay in the water the whole time. Steeped, it gives off strong lime and ginger notes, with a hint of sweetness.

In an older note of mine on this blend, I mentioned a note of coconut on the sip. Not sure where that came from, as I’m not getting anything like that today. I taste predominantly lime. I’m still reminded of Coca-Cola, even though I’m not tasting any of the sweetness that I smell. The ginger has definitely faded in potency over time; however, I still get a pleasant tingling sensation from it in the aftertaste. I can feel this tisane settling warmly in my chest, similar to the way a good homemade broth does.

Normally, I’m not a huge hibiscus fan, but I think this white hibiscus is much less tart than the regular red type. It’s a nice vehicle for the lime and ginger. This is a great, low-maintenance blend for chasing away the sniffles and chest congestion, or for those times when you simply crave a warming, spicy herbal blend.

Probably won’t repurchase unless I’m sick, but this is definitely a solid grocery-store option in the event that that happens. It’s pleasantly medicinal, if that’s a thing.

Flavors: Ginger, Lime, Medicinal, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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75

Method: Loose leaf
Steep time: 4 mins
Water temp: Boiling
Brew style: Western, in my Kati mug

Dry leaf doesn’t really have much of a scent, which is unsurprising, because I’ve had this for a few years now. Steeps up a cool-toned muddy brown color. The liquor smells exactly like yerba mate— earthy, smoky, and pleasantly sour.

The flavor profile for this medium roast Lost Maples is more delicate, complex, and green than the dark-roasted Marfa variety by the same company. I’m getting notes of hay, grass, toasted barley, very slight caramel (really more like burnt sugar), and then a bitter little punch of an aftertaste that quickly dissipates.

Personally, I prefer the more full-bodied and bready Marfa blend for breakfast, but this makes for a fairly pleasurable mid-morning pick-me-up. Re-steeps well, too.

Flavors: Bitter, Burnt Sugar, Grass, Green, Hay, Pleasantly Sour, Roasted Barley, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

Method: Sachet
Steep time: 5 mins
Water temp: Boiling
Brew Style: Mug/ Western

The dry leaf smells exactly like smoky bourbon, complete with an alcoholic bite. I also smell pine tar and a hint of vanilla bean. Once steeped, the liquor is a golden/ amber brownish color (looks like bourbon). The steeped liquor smells strongly of smoke, alcohol, and peat.

Surprisingly, the flavor is not as smoke-forward as the dry leaf and the ingredients list suggest. It’s smooth, slightly sweet, with notes of honey, caramel, cocoa, pine, and earth, with a very light touch on the smoke. In the aftertaste, I get the same delicate earthy vanilla bean I detected in the dry leaf.

I agree with what another reviewer said— this can’t be a pure lapsang souchong base, given how mild the smoke is in its flavor. It most likely does have another, milder black tea blended in, to take the edge off the smoke and allow the other notes some room to shine. However, I disagree with that same reviewer when he says that this tea is not well-balanced. I think H&S did an amazing job capturing the essences of both bourbon and tea (two very different worlds that often intersect at the points of relaxation and contemplation). This was indeed a relaxing and contemplative experience, with plenty of pleasant surprises to stimulate both bourbon and tea drinkers equally.

Flavors: Alcohol, Caramel, Cocoa, Earth, Honey, Peat, Pine, Smoke, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Organic Raspberry Leaf by FGO
735 tasting notes

Raspberry leaf is so nice. Mild, fruity, satisfies like a cup of regular tea, but without caffeine, virtually impossible to oversteep. I ignore the pregnancy marketing angles and just drink it for the flavor.

Flavors: Fruity, Green, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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85
drank Decaffeinated Chai by Twinings
735 tasting notes

Head fuzzies this morning. Hoping it’s not the onset of a migraine, although it feels that way. Advil and tea is how I choose to stave this off, whatever it is (the result of too much craft beer and Spanish wine this weekend, probably).

As far as bagged options go, Twinings is hard to argue with. This chai is well-balanced, tastes exactly how you’d want and expect it to, is low-maintenance, and takes milk and honey well. Twinings’s decaf black tea base is also done very well with this blend; it doesn’t have that horrible flat chemical aftertaste that so many other grocery store decaf options do. I’m sure it’s the wonderful, warming spices that are helping hide it, but whatever gets the job done is fine.

Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Nutmeg, Spices

Shae

I hope the tea and Advil get the job done. Feel better!

gmathis

I haven’t tried the decaf version, but you can almost always find the regular version in somebody’s stash at work. It’s absolutely acceptable!

teaqueen

Thanks… I decided to just take a half day off work and go back to bed. I woke up feeling much better today. Although I may make more of this decaf chai anyway (it really hit the spot yesterday!).

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100

Earthy. Solid. Energizing. Self-Reliant. Perfection.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Earthy, Roasted, Smoked, Woody

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100
drank Dandelion Dark Roast by Teeccino
735 tasting notes

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been two years since I discovered this one. Pandemic time has passed so strangely… like, the days and weeks drag, but then the years get swallowed up in a black hole.

I think I picked up the dandelion tea habit in order to reduce caffeine intake (and therefore decrease stress). Today, I’m just enjoying the delicious roasted flavor. Good with a splash of skim milk. Also good for the liver, good for the heart, good for the blood pressure… I’m not even 30 yet, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about these things, in my opinion.

Courtney

Pandemic time is such a thing.

gmathis

I love their straight-up flavors—definitely need to check out the dandelion line. (Now, where did I put my Natural Grocers Coupon….?"

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Profile

Bio

Favorite tea types: Black, pu’erh, oolong, kombucha, genmaicha, floral greens, matcha, yaupon, mate, rooibos, and honeybush.

Favorite flavor notes: Roasted, fermented, earthy, floral, nutty, bread-y, umami; dessert-inspired flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and maple.

Picky about, but not opposed to: chai, spice/ spicy, fruit flavors, and herbal tisanes.

Flat-out dislike: White tea, most unflavored green teas, hibiscus, plain peppermint.

90-100: Perfection and heaven and magic, all in one cup.

70-89: Good.

50-69: Meh.

49 and below: Blerg.

Location

United States

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