163 Tasting Notes
I just had a latte using this chai – I have been neglectful lately at brewing a cuppa for my hubby so I decided to make up for it by making a chai latte which is his favorite tea beverage.
To be honest, I don’t often go latte with my cuppa chai because I rather like the flavor of the tea straight up (with just a pinch of raw sugar) – I grew to prefer it this way in my reviewing days. But I’m still one who does enjoy a latte every once in a while and this one makes a really nice latte – it brings out the creaminess of the eggnog notes.
I’ve been thinking over my holiday collection over the last couple of days. In truth, I needed to rush these teas and I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to to perfect the recipe because I failed to take into account how long it would take to get the Kickstarter going and to get those funds so that I could get everything rolling. That’s the best piece of advice I could give to anyone who is looking to start a Kickstarter – plan your time wisely. It will take 2 weeks after the Kickstarter is over to get your funds – so know this well in advance so that you can set your Kickstarter in good time!
Next year, I will take these lessons with me when I do the presale. I definitely will be using Kickstarter again because it’s very helpful to have the daily sales separate from the holiday pre-sales. My daily operations would have been a terrible mess if I had tried to do the presales on the website. I guess another option would be to start another website – but that would have been a tremendous amount of work and in the end it would have cost about the same – but with more work. So Kickstarter is the way to go.
I’ve also taken into account the various reviews and tasting notes that I’ve read about the teas – I do read them! If you have a blog and you’ve written a review for one of my teas , please point me in that direction!
Anyway, I do plan on doing some adjustments to the various recipes – I want to make the Hot Chocolate tea a little richer so I think I’ll blend the black tea base with some other teas, perhaps in addition to the teas from Verdant, I’ll use a rich Assam to enhance the body. The Chestnuts tea, I’ll go a little lighter on the Lapsang Souchong because it seems like most people tasted smoke and little else. Maybe I will also need to enhance that base with a Nilgiri to go along with the Malawi tea and Lapsang Souchong to add something extra to the body so that the smoke doesn’t present itself so strongly. And we’re also planning on bringing back the 12 Teas of Christmas – it will be a little different than what Frank was doing and will include the 5 Holiday teas – I’m not sure that I’ll do 12 brand new teas for the box but I’m also not nixing the idea either.
Wow – I’m chatty this evening, aren’t I?
So, I’m taste-testing this at the moment before packaging it up tomorrow.
So good. Even if I do say so myself.
After I blended this tea, I worried because I thought – what if the roasty-toasty, somwhat smoky notes of the Houjicha just don’t meld well with the gingerbread. But it works – and it works wonderfully.
I’ll be one very happy tea sipper if all my holiday teas turn out as good as this one did.
I am currently sipping on a cup of this – a reblend. This tea was requested as a reblend as part of a “You Choose the Reblend” incentive tier from the start-up Kickstarter campaign and I am taste testing it now. (It will be added on the website – in limited quantities – on Monday, November 23 after it’s been first offered to the person who ordered the reblend and to those that contributed at a certain level on our Kickstarter campaign.)
This is really good. I changed the recipe a bit because first of all, my black tea base is different. Second, I used cacao shells in the blend in addition to roasted cacao nibs and mini VEGAN chocolate chips. Third, I used crushed chili pepper flakes instead of cayenne pepper powder because it’s easier to distribute the pepper flakes throughout the chai than it is to ensure that the powder remains properly distributed.
This is really good. Spicy! Lots of chocolate flavor. It starts out more chocolate-y than spicy, with just a really warm yet gentle heat on the back of the throat. Then as i continue to sip, the heat develops, becoming spicier and warmer. By the time I finished the cup, my tongue was tingly with heat (but not so much that I felt like I needed to eat or drink something to cancel out the heat) and I could feel a burn on the throat, but not uncomfortably so.
I find this to have a perfect balance between spicy heat and sweet chocolate flavors.
Sipping on a cup of this at the moment. This is a reblend crafted for the Fruity Sampler Add-On from the Kickstarter – the samplers will be shipping out Next Friday so for all of you who ordered one, you can start stalking your postal carrier after Next Friday! For the rest of you, this tea will be added to the website after the samplers are shipped out.
I really enjoyed the original version of this tea, and I’m hoping that I do the memories of this tea justice for the others out there who also loved this tea when it was first introduced. It’s got a really strong strawberry note – sweet & tart – and a smooth, rich custard-y note. Nice.
This is this week’s tea of the week! It’s really good. It’s just banana and TieGuanYin but they make a really lovely pairing. You can read my tasting notes on my blog: http://52teas.com/blog/tea-of-the-week-for-october-12-2015-banana-tie-guan-yin/
I’m currently sipping on a reblend of this tea. It was reblended as a fulfillment of a “You Choose the Reblend” reward.
It turned out pretty darned good if I do say so myself. It’s been a while since I’ve had the original blend – and I did use a slightly different blend for a base, instead of a blend of Young Hyson & Gunpowder I used my blend of organic Chun Mee & Gunpowder teas.
It’s sweet and yummy. Blueberry is the dominant note with lots of sweet, sugary cotton candy flavor. Really good! This will be on the website on Tuesday but available in very limited supply!
Flavors: Blueberry, Cotton Candy
Our reblend of the Maple Cheesecake is finally ready to be tasted and packaged! Yay! I’ve been looking forward to this all week.
Mmm! So good! Rich and maple-y! I adjusted the recipe just a bit to increase the maple just a bit because … maple. (Hopefully that requires no additional explanation.)
I went back to recheck my notes on the first batch of Maple Cheesecake Ti Kwan Yin and I think that this batch is very similar to my experience back then: a sweet, full-flavored Oolong base with nutty notes that complement the tangy cheesecake flavor and a really lovely maple-y flavor. I really am happy with this one!
I’m taste testing this tea right now from the reblend I created for the Kickstarter Campaign incentives.
It’s good. Nice blackberry flavor – lovely cream notes. I like my great big blackberries that I found for this.
I’ve learned a lot while blending/packaging this tea: I need bigger pouches for certain teas. I can’t fit 1 1/2 ounces of this tea in a 2 ounce pouch … so everyone who ordered 1 1/2 ounces of this tea will receive a large pouch and a small pouch because there’s no getting 1 1/2 ounces in that pouch without crushing the leaves into dust. As one who respects the leaf, I just can’t do that.
I’ve also decided that while the shou mei tea is alright, for future blends (and reblends) I will be using a white peony. I like this shou mei but I like white peony better. Yeah, it costs more (quite a bit more, actually) but as someone who is a tea snob, it’s worth it.
That said, this is a good tea. The blackberry flavor is well-defined and I love the berry tingle at the finish. The cream notes soften the tart-y notes of the blackberry nicely. It’s sweet and yummy and I like this a lot.
PS: I also learned that LiberTEAS rated this tea previously and I can’t change LiberTEAS rating using my 52Teas account.