696 Tasting Notes
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. :)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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