1018 Tasting Notes
First off, this tea smells amazing. It has cracked the code for tart berry, meringue cream aroma. Steeping up a cup is the best room diffuser ever. It smells like lush sweet summer: picnics in the park, fairs and carnivals, grandma’s berry pie in the garden, cream soda on a porch kind of good vibes.
The flavour is pretty on par with the aroma, but regardless of whether or not I cold steeped or had a hot cuppa I was never left fully satisfied. This tea is pretty thin and veers on tart over cream (still good cream though); I just want it to be thicker and maybe sweeter!
So tonight for my last cup I decided to have it hot, then changed my mind and poured that hot steeped cup over ice, and… then came the Eureka moment! I can’t add milk because the hibiscus will curdle it, but whip cream sits on top of the liquid so minimal curdle. This turned out to be a wonderful idea and made the abstract meringue a physical reality. Now I’m sad this is gone so I can’t do this again. And again. Forever.
Also, I’ve never had Eton Mess or heard of it before so every time I see that I unfortunately think of Elon Musk. Thank you, brain. (Edit: Turns out Eton Mess is essentially strawberries, meringue and whipped cream? Nailed it).
Flavors: Berry, Cream, Hibiscus, Meringue, Rosehips, Strawberry
Five Year Anniversary Tea || June 2020 VIT (at least, I think it was June)
I may have been a little apprehensive about this one. Cinnamon has really dropped to the bottom of my preferred ingredients as of late.Thankfully, the pearls themselves, and possibly the additional flavours, prevent this one from becoming a one note tea! The Yunnan Pearls have delicious honey and malt notes, which gives this tea both a thick “bready” and vibrant sugar liquid quality. There’s something buttery happening too which means.. pancakes. Yep, this tastes like pancakes, or its french toast namesake. Syrupy breakfast “bread stuffs” that are so soggy with butter and sugar that they’re nearing a liquid state.
I had a cup today without milk and another with milk after I accidentally let it steep for +10 minutes ( it didn’t get bitter and stayed super smooth, like the good Yunnan Black tea that it is). Both cups were great, although the latte was extra rich!
Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Honey, Malt, Pancake Syrup
I think the coconut and the honey are my biggest issues with this tea. When these two ingredients are at their strongest they dominate the blend. The latter in particular accentuates the rooibos in a way I do not enjoy and that makes me think of honey cough drops (also, why not just use the less medicinal, sweeter honeybush instead of rooibos + honey?). Bee pollen, which I generally like, also adds a sweet floral quality that exacerbates the medicinal quality for me today.
There are moments when this blend works. The aftertaste is creamy, with hints of vanilla, and the cup smells pleasantly buttery. It’s not a terrible latte or cold brew either! I’m just not terribly into coconut as a sub/filler ingredient at this point, and I’ve never been fond of rooibos/black tea blends (I don’t get it), or teas with added sweeteners. This blend has brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey and it’s quite sweet but also thinner than I’d like a “toffee” tea.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Coconut, Cream, Honey, Maple Syrup, Medicinal, Vanilla
July 2020 Blend
This did not last long enough.
52Teas does delicious “Danish” flavoured teas, as well as lovely lemon flavours. Combined, the flavouring is sublime (best of both worlds)! The cream cheese is pretty vivid here too and it’s just wonderful. Yeah… this is hands down one of my favourite flavoured honeybush teas; it hits all of my sweet spots.
Flavors: Cheesecake, Cream, Lemon, Lemongrass, Pastries
2020 Spring Harvest
Aroma: Creamy, floral, with the touch of sugar
I had not planned to order this one. Like I actually thought I’d selected an Ali Shan oolong up to the point that it arrived and was like “oh yeah, I went with this Mei Shan oolong for some reason.” I didn’t even register (read) that this was a Jin Xuan either… and this is all just my way of saying that I’m not always the most discerning or detail-oriented consumer.
This definitely tastes like a nice, creamy Jin Xuan. It’s light, smooth, and almost watery (think cucumber) until the creaminess sinks in (cucumber and cream makes me think of raita or taziki, but this is much more mild and buttery.. It also does not taste of onions, thankfully!). There is a kind of tangy but equally mild sweetness to finish in the second steep. It reminds me of apples, believe it or not. Some of this might be attributed to the intense amount of coffee that is being ground in the kitchen right now, which has since permeated through the whole house.
Steep Count: 3 so far. This is a sipdown though so I’m going to try and drink this until the sun goes down!
Flavors: Apple, Butter, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Sugarcane
Breakfasts will not be the same.
It doesn’t do anything too different from other decent Assam teas, but that’s ok because Assam teas rock in general. Here’s some good raisin and malt flavours, with a robust profile that’s perfect for sleepy mornings, milk & cookies, and appeasing my father who doesn’t see much appeal beyond Red Rose (but he’s out and no one is restocking because.. so much tea).
Final Rating: 78 It was good and easy to drink while it lasted and I’d pick up another good Assam like this in the future. It’s not a top priority, however.
Flavors: Hay, Malt, Raisins
Like an off-brand version of a Strawberry Patch Doll, the aroma of this tea is sooo close to original but goes for the generic “berry” aroma and flavour.
Two types of coconut ingredients and maple give this a “trademark” Dessert by Deb profile, which I find satisfying and generally convincing as in-built “creamers” and sweeteners”. The hibiscus, elderberry, and currants create the generic “mystery red berry” flavour here. The vegetal green base sometimes works ok and sometimes distracts, depending on the cup and my head space.I know vanilla is expensive right now but I kind of wonder how this blend would’ve turned out if that were used in lieu of some or all of the coconut. Turns out I have a coconut cap when it’s used as a flavouring tool.
I didn’t really care for it iced or with milk (don’t use real milk. It’s bad).
Rating: 68 A fun concept, but at times the coconut/hibby gives it an almost metallic quality. Elderberries and other ingredients can also come across as a little “soapy.”
Flavors: Berry, Cake, Coconut, Cream, Hibiscus, Maple Syrup, Vegetal
1,000 Tea Note!!!!! Yay! Of, course it’s during Interesting Times. lol (Edit: “‘And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head.’” – Terry Pratchett in “Maskerade”)
Spring 2020 Harvest
This is currently one of my favourite teas of all time. I don’t know a lot about this type of tea or Japanese teas in general, and have only had a couple Kabuse Senchas in the past (I’ve loved them all). If anyone has recommendations of their favourites give me a shout!I have yet to get anyone I know to hop on my Kabuse Sencha hype train; most people I’ve shared this with don’t find the appeal in the marine seaweed, sweet grass, and moss notes. There is a buttery umami quality as well, that when coupled with the former grassy marine aspects, taste of and also compliment most Japanese cuisine and seasonings (primarily miso and furikake).
There is a hint of citrus on third steep, after the marine has become diluted and the citric and sweet qualities of the green peaks through (comes across as mostly yuzu or kumquat, or citrus leaves). Its profile also often overlaps with matcha, which is how this tea variety hooked me in the first place. I had a cup with Chinese food the other day and it sure cut the grease.
I love how clean and savoury this tea is. While the beach isn’t really advisable right now, these verdant leaves provide similar sensory input and make me feel relaxed and at peace. It may be sappy, but it’s true and a reliable effect!
Rating: 95 Love, love, love. Essential repurchase with same or similar tea.
Steep Count: 3, at aprox. 30s each
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Grass, Marine, Seaweed, Umami
This one reminds me of the now defunct Della Terra’s Lemon Chiffon, especially the aroma of the steeped cup and the finish. There’s a hint of floral cream (lavender) and some citrus zest, sweetened with apple. There’s also something that pops a bit (like a mostly but not quite flat fizzy soda). The (floral) tobacco-sweet rooibos base is pretty prevalent too. All in all, it’s a pleasant way to wrap things up for the evening.
Rating: 85 I’d pick up more of this in a 25-50g capacity when I’m running low on other favoured B&B teas. I also like this better than most rooibos blends.
Flavors: Apple, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Honey, Lavender, Lemon, Orange