1528 Tasting Notes
Swap Sample Sipdown! (6 | 75)
Oh no, not another 52teas banana tea that I can’t buy! Anne sure is a cruel mistress…
Luckily, this one doesn’t make my skirt fly up quite as much as the pancake version. Phew…
It is really good though! The banana flavor is somewhat green-tasting, probably from the white tea. And I happen to prefer greener bananas, so I’m all for it! Lovely natural and authentic banana taste, with nary a Runt in sight!
Reminds me of a banana smoothie. It’s not quite rich enough to qualify for milkshake, but I like the fresher territory it’s in!
Flavors: Banana, Creamy, Grass, Hay, Oats, Smooth
Sample Sipdown! (5 | 74)
I think this may have been left over from a past Sips By box? Unsure though…
Anyway, it’s a very robust Chinese green tea. It has strong vegetal and umami notes that rival sencha, as well as a hint of seaweed. But there’s also the harsher mineral and smoke flavors that are also found in gunpowder green tea. And at the end of the sip, a dry apricot note that I often find among Chinese greens.
It’s a bit too heavy for me, as while I do enjoy vegetal green teas, I don’t often love the ones with smokier flavor profiles.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Mineral, Seaweed, Smoke, Spinach, Stonefruits, Thick, Umami, Vegetal
365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 33
Yum, sticky rice!
Of course, now that I’ve tried What-Cha’s version of this, there’s no comparison. But this is still very tasty and enjoyable, with a lovely strong sticky rice flavor. The base is definitely lacking and has a sort of nondescript grassy flavor with a hint of roast.
So now I’ll most likely sip through the remainder of this pouch as quickly as possible so that I’ll have an excuse to order the What-cha version… XD
But I’ll definitely enjoy this tea while doing so!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Grass, Rice, Smooth, Sweet
Swap Sample Sipdown! (4 | 73)
Finishing off this sample from VariaTEA with a Western steep.
Nom, it’s super delicious this way as well. It’s all warm freshly baked bread spread with creamed cinnamon honey and plum preserves. Nicely malty and satisfying, with a rich and deep brown sugar sweetness. There’s a light floral hint in the aftertaste, alongside a lasting rich and sweet honey note.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Malt, Plums, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tart
VariaTEA was kind enough to send me a sample of this one, along with several other teabento blacks. I had a nice, relaxed session with it while watching The Office with my boyfriend.
I didn’t take detailed notes, as I didn’t expect the flavor to change much over time, which it didn’t. Honestly I’m not sure which types of red tea are most suitable for gongfu cha, but since I’m enjoying familiarizing myself with the ritual and exploring different steep times, I don’t really mind if the tea tastes similar throughout the steeps.
Anyway, this one was quite delicious. It has amazing brown sugar notes along with rich malt and deep dried fruit flavors. The rather small leaves are so flavorful! I found the sugary notes to be very sweet and decadent in the early steeps, and they became deeper, like dark burnt sugar, in the later ones. There was also a light musty hay flavor that began to crop up towards the end, and it reminded me a bit of white tea. The last steep had a lovely lasting sweet flavor, and I thought that was a perfect cup to end on.
Overall, very yummy. Smooth, malty, sweet, rich, and slightly fruity. Happily, I have a little bit left over, so I can try it as a Western-style cup next time!
5g – 110ml – 200°F – rinse/10/15/20/30/40/60/120/240s
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Dried Fruit, Hay, Malt, Musty, Plums, Raisins, Smooth, Sweet
365 Days of Tea Challenge – Day 32
I added a canister of this to an Amazon order to reach the $35 free same-day shipping threshold. So I decided to have some today, since it’s been chilly everywhere lately and a cozy latte sounded nice! I actually prepared mine with vanilla oat milk, which I haven’t tried before and bought to try out. (I really don’t enjoy dairy milk, so I like to try different alternatives. But honestly I don’t use milk for anything other than tea and matcha lattes…)
So this is a delicious sugar bomb. But I’m okay with that, because it’s exactly what I was expecting. Plus if I’m going to have a decadent chai latte, I want it to be sweet.
As far as the spices go, I would say there’s definitely cinnamon and clove here, and perhaps also some anise? There’s definitely a rich, creamy vanilla flavor as well.
Overall, it’s exactly what I was expecting – sweet and rich and not too spicy. Definitely hits the spot as a decadent and cozy latte! :)
Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Clove, Creamy, Spices, Sugar, Sweet, Vanilla
Swap Sample Sipdown! (3 | 72)
This one is a little too mild for me. I really do love the idea, and I think a white base is the perfect foil for it.
But both the base and the added flavors are super light, so overall it just tastes a bit watery. Which is shame because I do really like the sharp, fresh pineapple and sugary cake notes that I can slightly taste…
Flavors: Apricot, Cake, Hay, Pineapple, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet, Tart
Swap Sample Sipdown! (2 | 71)
Swap from VariaTEA!
This one is Adagio fandom blend by another name.
It’s not bad. The rooibos isn’t too overpowering, and there’s a somewhat tart lemon flavor. I see that there is cream-flavored black tea in this, but I don’t really pick up on that. It is interesting how the fruit and hibiscus tisane does makes the lemon more realistic. I do taste a bit of strawberry as well, so it sort of reminds me of a strawberry lemonade rooibos.
But it’s definitely nothing special IMO.
Flavors: Hibiscus, Lemon, Strawberry, Tart, Wood
Swap Sample Sipdown! (1 | 70)
Hmm, this is very underwhelming to me.
There’s some sharp orange peel sort of flavor that reminds me of cleaning products. I don’t really get any cranberry or scone.
Flavors: Artificial, Orange Zest
Swap Sample Sipdown! (69)
This one came from Kawaii433! I actually have a taster pouch of this as well.
I’m following Anne’s advice for this one and steeping it at a lower temperature to try to reduce the pepperiness that honeybush sometimes has.
I will say, it came out pretty tasty! The raspberry is the dominant flavor here for me, and it’s a nice fresh and tart raspberry note. But there is something a little medicinal – I’m not sure if it’s the almond or the honeybush? It’s not terribly strong, and melds somewhat with the raspberry as well.
I do get a little bit of a cookie-esque flavor here. I will say that overall this tea is very mild, I could do with a little bit more of everything!
Flavors: Almond, Cookie, Medicinal, Raspberry, Smooth, Sweet, Tart, Wood