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Recent Tasting Notes
Sample from one of my 52 tea orders. Nope nope nope nope. I will always try teas in case…because there have been things I didn’t think I’d like that I have. However now that I’m reading this used to be called potpourri, I’m not shocked that it’s not a tea for me. That’s not to say that others wouldn’t love this, but I am not a fan of floral teas. :)
I guess I mentioned elsewhere how this tasted, since I’ve written no note – but this was very reminiscent of the flavouring that old 52teas used to use liberally (and that I rather enjoyed), so this tea was very much kind of a trip down memory lane. Was it brulee? I’m not sure, maybe it there was some sugar, but I did enjoy it. Kind of a rich, caramelly black.
There are two listing for this tea so I’m just using the first one.
I’ve been really excited to try this tea since I saw the description go up on 52teas. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.
First I want to acknowledge something—this tea sounds weird. Like seriously strange! I’m guessing most people would be a little dubious if not turned off by the flavor combo. I actually would have been one of those people a week ago. But universe works in strange ways I guess.Last Wednesday afternoon I was in the Portland airport to fly back to California after spending a couple weeks in Oregon to visit friends and family. It’s a really nice airport with lots of yummy food options so I got there in time to grab an early dinner. There’s a number of nice shops and restaurants before and after security and since I had time I wandered down to check Powell’s Bookstores little annex store before getting in the security line. I’d already bought a few books from the main downtown store so I didn’t let my self look for long, my bags were already heavy enough.
Across the hallway from the little Powell’s shop is a Blue Star Donut. I’d tried them out last time I was in Portland and was mildly disappointed. The Blueberry Bourbon Basil donut is one of their specialities and while the donut itself was a good texture the flavors just didn’t do it for me. I decided I’d just stick to Voodoo as my weird Portland donut shop(the mango one and the chocolate frosted voodoo doll shaped ones with raspberry filling and pretzel “needles” are my favorites).But I’m in PDX with a sugar craving and there’s only one donut shop so I decide to give Blue Star another go. I ordered the Passion Fruit Cocoa Nib Donut(the fluffy brioche kind not the cake one Anne mentioned in the tea description but they use the same flavors) to eat there and an Apple Brandy Crumble cake one to stash in my bag for a mid flight treat. Maybe it was because I was coming in with fewer expectations than my first try but those donuts just blew me away! While the Apple Brandy was perfection it was a more typical desert flavor combo. The Passion Fruit Cocoa was pure genius. The combo of spicy and sweet, chocolate and fruit with a little crunch was unique and delicious. I was so sad that I only discovered them as I was literally leaving town.
Then I see this tea go up a few days later! I was a bit scared going in with such high expectations but I wasn’t disappointed. Anne captures the balance of the flavors so well and they do go excellently with the base tea. The passion fruit tastes really natural but the tea it self isn’t stick from the powder like Anne was worried about. The spice level was nice, not overwhelming but it makes the other flavors pop nicely. It was great hot and the little bit I accidentally left in my cup and drank a few hours later cold was just as good.
Happy Halloween! It’s my mom’s birthday today (I got her a birthday advent with coffee samplers; I never could convert her to tea but respect our differences!) When I moved into this condo last summer I rescued a completely black cat with Granny Smith apple green eyes (I named her Chiya, the Nepalese word for tea!) and she seems to be full of the “Halloween black cat” spirit today as she’s a huge ball of energy this morning; last night the wire snapped clean in half on her favorite chaser toy, so we are having to make due with an older chaser until the replacement shows up. (Obligatory Halloween kitty photo for those that like cat pictures: http://bl.canadia.info/photos/Chiya%2001.jpg )
I decided to brew this one because it is one of my oldest teas, ergo a good sipdown candidate, and the title seemed appropriate. I measured out 2.5g of green tea leaf and then added in several blueberries to the leaf separately, and steeped for 2 minutes in 175F water for my work thermos. The tea is quite nice; I can actually get a lot of the base green tea notes shining through, with a slight vegetal note that is a bit beany. I actually do taste a bit of a cotton candy vibe, as the tea is quite sweet, and leaves a sweet/fruity aftertaste on the tongue. A lot of teas with blueberry notes taste very thick, syrupy, or artificial; the blueberry here is present but doesn’t have that “blueberry pancake syrup” vibe I get from other blueberry teas, it tastes a bit more on the fruitier side and a little more subdued so I’m getting more of the base tea notes pulling through. I also feel a little tang of tart berry at the back of my tongue balancing the sweet candy-like flavors that is really pleasant.
I’m really enjoying this tea, and finding I like how the flavors seem to pop even more as my thermos cools, so I think I may like this even more as a cold brew; I may try that out with some of my leftover leaf (I do love flavored greens as iced teas). I think it hit the mark well though, and is a satisfying warm cup on a cold Halloween morning.
Flavors: Beany, Blueberry, Cotton Candy, Fruity, Sweet, Tangy, Vegetal
I am bingeing the new Netflix Halloween series, Daybreak, and randomly thought about the 52 Teas Christmas teas from last year. This one specifically. I have no idea how one thing so clearly connected to Halloween triggered the craving for a Christmas tea but here we are.
The tea is simultaneously quite good but also quite subtle flavorwise (despite two large blackberries being in the filter). Perhaps it is age? I like what I am tasting but I just wish I was tasting more because I get the base and some faint blackberry. Maybe a hint of pastry. Mostly it is just warm.
Tea and Cards TTB
Backlog and sipdown.
Needed a tea that had no caffeine and this is one that I found in my stash. Legit all my tea is probs so old I really should toss it all… I’m determined to get through them all though! My boyfriend works in an African themed resort and he’s super into African everything when it comes to Food and Beverage. I told him about this tea and he automatically goes “Rooibos?” and I go “NOPE Honeybush” and he got v excited. Something new, something different, still drinks somewhat similarly to a rooibos though.
Flavors: Wet wood, Wood
The main flavor I taste is ginger with a decent black base underneath. You know, this really reminds me of a Teavana flavor. Maybe it was their gingerbread tea. It’s been too long. Anyway, the flavors are decent, but I do wish the brulee from the title were present in some way. When there are gingerbread teas that are so good, like B&B’s gingerbread chai, I don’t find myself craving this too much. It’s a perfectly fine tea. I don’t mind drinking it, it’s just not #1 in its category.
This is the tea of the week for October 14 & I’m sipping on it right now. I cold-brewed it overnight and it is SO GOOD cold brewed! It’s good – you know – brewed traditionally (hot) but the flavors really come to life when the tea cools a bit (whether hot brewed or cold brewed, I tend to prefer this one when it’s cold. Good hot – awesome cold.)
For those of you unfamiliar with Salt & Straw – it’s a really unique ice cream joint that makes handcrafted ice cream using not-so-ordinary flavors. Like Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper … or Pear & Bleu Cheese – which are two of my go-to flavors on the rare occasion that I do go there. But if you’re in the Portland area (I know there are some Southern California locations too!) be sure to check to see if they have any limited edition flavors (like chocolate caramel potato chip cupcake – yes. It’s a real thing.)
Anyway, my go to is usually a scoop each of the two aforementioned flavors – strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper and pear & bleu cheese. These two taste amazing together.
So I decided to go with that as an inspiration – using some of these flavors and reimagining the others. I started with Chinese Sencha for it’s creamy, buttery taste and texture and added some Green Rooibos for a little bit of lightness and to enhance the fruity flavors of the blend. Then I added strawberries & pears. Instead of honey balsamic, I added honey essence & brandy essence. Instead of bleu cheese I added cheesecake essence.
I love the result. It is sweet, fruity, creamy, and there’s just a hint of pepper and brandy. A bit of tang from the cream cheese. A really unique and interesting set of flavors that just – work. I love this.
This is one of those teas that I need to have one hand (in case of, ya know, a marshmallow emergency). Such a creamy smooth cup, with the genmaicha and marshmallow flavors being equals and not fighting with each sip. Every mouthful is creamy and smooth. Absolutely excellent.
Thank you for sharing, Sil. I pulled this out because it seems like my focus box is getting empty so I am adding all the 2018 teas to it.
This is ok. A lot of cacao. Honey. And honeybush. It’s nice enough but not anything special and I am fine saying goodbye after just this sample. There are better chocolate honeybush teas in the 52 Teas inventory.
It didn’t taste quite like bread pudding to me but it was a nice warm, comforting tea especially now that it’s chilly out. It is balanced, very smooth and spiced just right with raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves notes. I liked it much better when I used twice the amount as directed. It was fuller, richer and was a nice dessert tea. I can taste the bread notes more with double the amount.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Cloves, Creamy, Nutmeg, Raisins
Love when a tea is true to its name – this is a blueberry coconut black. Lots of blueberry, not so much coconut, and a moderately astringent black base. I could probably do with a slightly different base (like AQ2T’s rolled yunnan?!), but I found this tea to be pretty tasty. I feel like bergamot and vanilla would make it better – can you imagine a blueberry coconut EG cream? Yummmmm. (But I know a bunch of people would disagree.)
From the ingredient list, this blend sounds like a great flavour combo (aside from the honeybush/rooibos base, since I’m just not a big fan). Bananas, coconut, marshmallow root – sounds like a dream combination! However, there’s something very strongly-flavoured in it that I’m not enjoying – it’s kind of an alcoholic flavour? It could be in part the rooibos, or maybe a flavouring that’s just rubbing me the wrong way. I think I might try it brewed a little more weakly to see if that can improve the flavour, but I had trouble finishing my cup (it didn’t help that I was drinking Bread Pudding Oolong beside it, which I was absolutely in love with). Current rating would be around a 58, but maybe I can coax it up a little higher!
The main flavor here is from the woody base, which isn’t the tastiest. There’s a little bit of red fruitiness in there as well, though in some steeps, it’s difficult to detect. This would have been better as a green rooibos blend. Then the fruit could shine more. As it is, it just tastes like an okay rooibos/honeybush with a hint of fruit. It’s really not that flavorful at all no matter how I steep it. That’s a shame because the name sounds so good.
Oolong is a smooth, understated tea and this blend was designed to be smooth and restrained as well. It requires concentration and full attention to appreciate. The bread component is the most prominent on the nose, while on the tongue it mostly spices (nutmeg and allspice) on the backdrop of mild oolong and baked bread.
The taste profile is not especially complex and the spices take a bit more prominence that I would have liked. Also, there is no interesting lingering aftertaste. Overall, it is a solid blend but it’s not something I will look forward to drinking again.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Nutmeg, Smooth, Spicy
Getting very far behind on tea reviews due to working and being sick. Twice. Ugh, daycare!
Anyhow, had this tea a couple days ago. It reminded me a surprising amount of “Explore the World With Us”, but it must have been the jasmine giving me that vibe, since I don’t think they are overly similar otherwise? In general, it didn’t quite work for me though. I wanted more apricot/orange/cardamom and less jasmine. Tentative rating because I think this one needs another try.
Sipdown. Well mostly, I finished this off the other day but there is still some left for variaTEA to try whenever we get a chance to get together :) I don’t love this one as far as teas go from 52 teas but that’s because it’s basically a sweet black tea. I mean in all fairness that’s kinda what cotton candy is haha. So I’m ok with the tea, but I’d rather have other flavours :)