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Recent Tasting Notes
Sipdown #6 (Backlog from earlier this week )
This was a pretty decent flavored tea. You get all of the flavors and it tastes exactly like the name- spiced black tea with caramel apple flavoring. Can’t say I was wowed by the blend but I could see this one being amazing as a latte and enjoyed when the leaves start to turn and there is that crisp fall breeze whirling around.
Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Spices
Advent day 14
I was intrigued when I opened the gift bag this morning – maple rooibos – oh yay I love maple! What in the heck is that yellow powder all about, is it turmeric? Saffron? Lol I never figured it out – we looked it up and was glad to find it was caffeine free so we would down with it last night. I liked it but would have enjoyed it more without the added stevia.
ADVENT CALENDAR DAY 7
I ended up brewing this today on December 8th, I’m a day late! I had an oops – I took a tablespoon and brewed a pot and poured it in my carafe, and ran out of water for my resteep, so stuck it under the keurig and hit the brew button to fill the rest of the pot with hot water and freaking coffee came out, not hot water! ARGH – so I shorted myself 27 ounces of this yummy chai! I got excited about it, just by the name alone :) My roommate is trying the coffee flavored tea tomorrow, as she says there is something called a dirty chai, which is chai tea and coffee – I’ll update it in the morning!
Day 2 – 2020 tea advent swap – Vanilla Chai black tea by Fava – loose leaf
Inkling sent this to me! I made a first steep, then immediately poured it in my tea pot and steeped a second brew, and mixed them, so I can make one giant pot of tea to sip on on this cold day. I’m even burning a spicy candle to enhance the comforting ambiance :)
I tried it without sweetener first, just out of curiosity, even though I know Chai is prepared with milk in it. It is a Chai I like – you can even see the whole cardamom pods floating in there! I like the spices they use in this blend, I’d definitely buy a small bag of this!
To put a twist on things, I thought this would be well paired with eggnog instead of milk – and I was right, it’s fabulous – the flavors of the eggnog marry so well with the flavors of the chai tea! I added some erythritol monk fruit blend.
It says to steep this at 212 for three minutes, which I did, but maybe add more than a teaspoon per 8 ounces? It seemed a little weak the way I prepared it.
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 received a free sample of this tea with my last purchase at Fava. They do fruit-flavored black teas really well, so I was excited to give it a try. The aroma was AMAZING…lots of tropical fruit!…but the flavor turned out to be just so-so. I think it’s the blackberry that brought it down for me. Somehow, it tasted more like blackberry leaves than actual blackberries and even though there were brighter notes from the other fruits popping through, it wasn’t the smooth, summery beverage I was looking for.
Flavors: Blackberry, Fruity, Mango, Pineapple, Tropical
The story of my life seems to be having favorite teas discontinued and spending years searching for replacements. Does anyone else relate? Years ago, TeaSource in Minneapolis had a chai blend they called “Reena’s Chai” that was probably one of the top 10 teas I’ve ever had. From what I recall, it was heavier on the nutmeg than most chai blends I’ve tried and just seemed to hit the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. Since then, I’ve tried dozens of chai blends from all my favorite tea companies trying to find a suitable replacement. Fava has an herbal chai that I LOVE (their Roasted Almond Chai, if you’re curious) so I decided to give this more traditional blend a shot. It was…fine. Pretty much the basic spice blend I would expect from a Masala Chai on a CTC base. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, but also nothing to make it special or memorable in any way. The search continues!
Flavors: Anise, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Spices
I was so excited to find this blend on Fava’s site! I recently tried a lemon basil oolong blend from The Cultured Cup in Dallas, which was delicious but pretty pricey. This one was about half the price and just as good! (Plus it’s from my local teashop, which I always want to support when I can.) The oolong is smooth and sweet, the lemon flavor is bright and natural, and the basil is mild and adds just a nice hint of depth to the blend. I’ve been enjoying it hot, but can’t wait to try it iced now that the weather is FINALLY warming up around here! I foresee this becoming one of my staple teas from Fava that I always keep on hand, along with their Coconut Souffle and Banana Walnut Bread.
Flavors: Citrus, Herbs, Lemon, Smooth
This is a good basic, well-balanced Earl Grey. Too sharp and bitter to drink straight, but very pleasant with milk. It doesn’t beat out my favorite (Piccadilly from Letterbox Tea, if you’re wondering) but I’m enjoying it!
Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Citrus
The flavor on this one seems more lemon than lime and I don’t really get anything that screams “pie”. That being said, it’s a nice natural citrus flavor (it doesn’t remind me of cleaning fluid like some artificial lemon teas do!) and balances well with the base. Nothing amazing, but I’d drink it again!
Flavors: Citrus, Lemon
I recently placed a curbside pickup order with Fava to support them during this difficult time and tried a bunch of new-to-me teas. I enjoyed most of them, but this one is definitely my favorite of the bunch! I use 2-3 “pearls” for a 12oz mug of tea and get a rich, reddish-brown brew with delicious notes of chocolate and caramel that sips down super-smooth. I can get at least 2 more equally delightful steepings out of the same leaves! Though it’s a bit pricier than some of Fava’s other options, I will definitely be re-purchasing this one next time I want a special treat!
Despite the name, this tea isn’t super “golden” in appearance. There is a random scattering of gold tips, but it’s mostly curly, tightly twisted black leaves. That being said, the flavor is exactly what I was hoping for! Sweet, smooth, malty deliciousness that hangs on for multiple re-steepings. At such a great price and supporting a local tea shop, this one may become a staple in my cupboard!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Smooth, Sweet
From the TTB
Yum, this tastes like a bit of banana bread with chocolate as an aftertaste. It smells like banana, and I get some creamy butter in there too. Thanks Inkling for including this in the TTB! I loved Butiki’s banana walnut butterscotch, and this tea reminds me of that one. I like that this tea has different layers, though I’m not getting much walnut. It’s buttered banana bread to start and dusted cocoa to finish.
Flavors: banana, Butter, Cocoa
Finishing this up from the advent that Inkling made for me. I really enjoyed this one, and I was particularly craving a coconut tea the other day. Very nice, authentic coconut flavor. No bitterness at all, but a very dry mouthfeel. Had sweetened and hot, but I’d imagine it would be excellent either with the addition of cream, or iced as well.
Another SipsBy offering for the month of January. I was surprised to see another pistachio tea from Fava in my box so soon, but I love pistachio, so can’t complain. This tea has loads of ingredients that I love (marzipan drops and almonds in particular), but there was just something off about this blend. It’s not nearly as bad as the other Fava pistachio blend that I tried, but I’m still not loving it. It’s missing that marzipan favor, and is instead reading as a bag of mixed nuts.
What I smell: marzipan (strong)
What I taste: pistachio butter
Notes: This tea reminds me of the almond-paste-filled Danish Kringle pastry that’s occasionally available at Trader Joe’s. Fairly light, but in a pleasant way. Might try steeping a minute longer next time. Found via Sips by subscription box.