696 Tasting Notes

90

Advent Calendar Day 1

So excited to FINALLY dig into this! I was happy to find that today’s tea was not only a new blend for me but a new company I hadn’t even heard of! Also excited that it’s a banana tea. Weirdly enough, I’m not the biggest fan of fresh bananas, but I love banana bread and banana-flavored tea blends. And this particular one is excellent: a nice blend of banana and caramel with the black tea adding some depth and the honeybush bringing some sweetness. A great start to a fun month of sampling new things! A big thank you to Shae for organizing this year and to Amanda for the cute calendar and extra Lush goodies she included. :)

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

So I have a different tea for today. It seems like there is no designated tea per day, at least I don’t think.

gmathis

Mine didn’t come numbered…the proper procedure appears to be “pick one and be surprised!” I’m with you … I despise banana texture, but the flavor itself is OK.

Mastress Alita

I think I’m the only person with a strong aversion to both banana texture and flavor… heck, even the scent of the stuff triggers my gag reflex. It’s the only food I have that kind of an aversion! So even “artificial banana flavorings” I can’t handle.

AJRimmer

Mine aren’t numbered either so I wasn’t sure what to do. I guess I’ll just pick one!

amandastory516

Glad you liked the first day’s offering!

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55
drank Chocolate Macaron by Fava Tea Co.
696 tasting notes

Another free sample in my latest Fava purchase. I’m generally not a fan of chocolate teas and this one is unfortunately no exception. (The only ones I remember really enjoying had either a puerh or yerba mate base…I think my palate needs the earthiness of those teas to keep the chocolate flavoring from tasting thin.) This one does smell really nice (like brownies baking!) but the flavor is light and watery, not the rich, sweet chocolate goodness promised by the aroma. I’ll try adding milk to the second half of my sample to see if that improves matters, but probably won’t ever be purchasing this one.

Flavors: Chocolate, Smooth

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

I received a free sample of this blend with my recent purchase at Fava and was excited to discover that it’s a dead ringer for TeaSource’s Pistachio Shortbread, which has unfortunately been out of stock for months. Like that one, this blend tastes more of marzipan than pistachio, but it has a nice buttery smoothness that definitely reminds me of shortbread. A lovely dessert-like treat!

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Marzipan, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Courtney

Yum! I’ve always wanted to do an order from Fava and it all started from a Pumpkin tea I had many years ago. I’ll have to add this one to my wishlist.

Inkling

This is my local tea shop and I definitely recommend them! While there have been a few misses here and there, almost everything I’ve ever tried from them has been delicious, high quality, and reasonably priced.

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75

I’m not generally a fan of floral teas because they can feel like I’m drinking perfume. But this one was such an intriguing concept that I just had to buy an ounce to try the last time I was at Fava. I’m glad I did, because it’s such a unique and interesting blend! It smells like a bakery when it’s brewing and the flavor is rich and sweet with notes of cream, vanilla, and marzipan. The violet mostly comes through in the aftertaste and I find I don’t mind it as the overall vibe is definitely more “dessert” than “perfume”. Not sure if I’ll be repurchasing, but definitely happy I gave it a try!

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Creamy, Marzipan, Vanilla, Violet

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

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85

I’ve had a London Tea Room gift card burning a hole in my wallet since Christmas and finally made it back down to St Louis last week to spend it! I love this little shop so much and had the hardest time deciding what to purchase. But I did want to try something new and I love mango, so I finally decided on this one. So glad I did! Both the mango and pear come through beautifully and it’s so fresh and juicy and refreshing! I’ve been drinking it hot (because it is COLD in Wisconsin right now…had our first snowfall on Monday!) but I’m guessing this would make a wonderful iced tea as well. So glad this company is surviving covid so far!

Flavors: Fruity, Mango, Pear, Smooth

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
tea-sipper

I wonder if they still have their Ancient Golden Yunnan? That was so good, at least it was years ago. I’ll have to unearth this tea too. Now it’s just more “ancient”. haha

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90
drank Churchill by The London Tea Room
696 tasting notes

Smoky Earl Grey is not a flavor combination I would have come up with, but the cute tin on this one suckered me in and I don’t regret it a bit! Bergamot is definitely the main note here, with the smokiness just adding a bit of depth and complexity to the blend. It’s a bit assertive if you drink it straight, but with a dash of milk, it’s a wonderfully rich and flavorful morning tea. I’ve found myself reaching for it 5 out of the 7 days since I bought it, so I’d say this purchase was a success!

Flavors: Bergamot, Smoke

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

Yay, smoky EG… that’s something for me!

Devon Bartholomew

I’m totally a sucker for cute packaging, myself!

Cameron B.

@Devon – Aren’t we all? ;)

Inkling

In general I’d say “don’t judge a tea by its tin”, but it worked out for me this time! :)

tea-sipper

I’ll have to find this tea to drink soon…it’s around here somewhere.

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60
drank Detox by Golden Moon Tea
696 tasting notes

I drink tea for the flavor, not the health benefits, so this isn’t a blend I would have chosen on my own. But it was included in the Golden Moon sampler I received this summer and I finally got around to trying it today. It has a fresh, leafy flavor, mainly composed of lemon and mint with just a bit of depth from the dandelion root. Not too savory or herbaceous, which I appreciate! I don’t think I’d repurchase this one, but I won’t have a problem finishing my sample.

Flavors: Lemon, Mint

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

In general, I’m not picky about my English Breakfast blends, as I usually load them with milk and drink them first thing in the morning when I’m still half-asleep. But today I’m sipping this at my desk at work, where I don’t have any milk to add, and I’m impressed by how well this stands up on its own! It’s much more complex than I would have expected, sipping in fruity and sweet but rounding out with hints of malt and smoke in the aftertaste. The flavor is robust, but still smooth with no bitterness or astringency. This Golden Moon sampler continues to impress me!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70
drank Raspberry Beret by TeaSource
696 tasting notes

This tea is…fine. It has a pleasant, mild, fairly natural raspberry flavor on a generic black tea base. Definitely nothing to dislike, but also nothing that makes it stand out from other berry-flavored black teas I’ve tried. I’d drink this again, but probably won’t repurchase, as I prefer Indigo Tea Co’s Raspberry Black or Fava’s Triple Berry Suite over this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

I still consider myself a novice when it comes to oolongs, so I’m not really sure what the flavor profile for Iron Goddess of Mercy “should” be. The description mentioned almonds, honey, and flowers, but I’m not really getting any of that from my first cup! It is a bit nutty, but more like walnuts than almonds (there’s an almost woodsy tang to it) and has hints of smokiness along with that distinctive buttery-smooth texture I expect from an oolong. Overall, I liked this one much better than the “Golden Dawn” oolong I purchased in the same order and am curious to play around with the steeping parameters to see if I can bring out some different notes in the flavor.

Flavors: Butter, Nuts, Smoke, Smooth, Walnut, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Profile

Bio

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ~ C.S. Lewis

I was introduced to loose leaf tea by a roommate in 2012, but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon Steepster in 2014 that I discovered a world of tea that went beyond Teavana and the grocery store.

My tastes continue to evolve, but black tea is currently my favorite. I am especially drawn to strong, malty breakfast blends to wake me up in the morning and flavored dessert teas to sip throughout the day.

Just about everything in my cupboard is available to swap, so feel free to ask!

Location

Milwaukee, WI

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