Friday Afternoon

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Recent Tasting Notes

77

Grabbed this sample from the last TTB. It tastes like a pretty typical gunpowder green, but very high quality. I don’t really notice any other flavors except maybe some mild fruitiness. I like this better than most gunpowder greens. I shared this cup with my partner, who doesn’t usually like green tea. He said, “I like this one because it doesn’t taste like dirt.” So I guess that’s some high praise.

Kaylee

LOL I read this review out loud to my tea-hating partner, who got a good chuckle out of it.

AJRimmer

Ha I’m glad he was amused! My partner usually says my teas taste like sweet water or for some reason cantaloupe. I keep trying though!

Kaylee

Mine says “hot leaf juice” a lot, by which he means it all mostly tastes the same to him.

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84

Grabbed this sample from the last TTB. I usually feel neutral toward fruity black teas, but this one is surprisingly delicious! It has a candy-like fruit flavor, and it’s so smooth. There’s no tartness or weirdness, just a perfect cold cup of tea. I wish I had grabbed a few more servings!

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71
drank Snow Day by Friday Afternoon
84 tasting notes

Oh wow, it’s a tea I don’t have to input to Steepster because I’m not the only one drinking it! Neat!

I liked this one, but not enough to want to buy it. It’s a cheerfully chocolate tea, strong in the nose, but when I drink it, the chocolate somehow got muddled in with everything else and I lost it somehow. This doesn’t make any sense at all, but it’s what my tastebuds did with it.

(Also, because it’s got real chocolate in it, it left a glaze of chocolate on the walls of my teapot and I had to wash it rather more thoroughly. Fair warning.)

Anyway. If a friend offered it to me, I would cheerfully drink it and be happy about it, but I don’t need to keep it in my cabinet.

Flavors: Chocolate

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65
drank Darkest Chai by Friday Afternoon
84 tasting notes

This particular masala chai doesn’t do anything in particular for me. There’s nothing wrong with it? But it’s a fairly standard masala chai. It’s a little more mellow, a little more malty than the ones I usually drink – I suspect that’s because the tea itself is aged. The peppercorns aren’t particularly strong (nothing like Prepare For Trouble) and I can’t taste the cardamon at all.

Nothing wrong with it, but not one I need to keep around. It came as part of a sampler from bigger order we got from Friday, so when I finish off the last of my advent teas, I’ll be on to those, but it’s dark and gloomy here this afternoon, so I figured a dark chai might be the way to go.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Malt

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74
drank Impenetrable by Friday Afternoon
84 tasting notes

This tea scratches the same itch that Tea & Absinthe’s “Elixer of Wisdom” does – namely, a black(ish) tea with floral notes. I don’t think I like it quite as much as I like Wisdom, but that’s a bit like saying I don’t like vegetarian masala burgers from Trader Joe’s as much as I like a gourmet hamburger from a specialty restaurant.

This is a fine floral tea. The aftertaste has a pleasantly minty feel to it, for all that it’s not mint at all. (I think that’s probably the green tea that my tastebuds strongly associate with mint.) The aroma is good, also. I can slightly make out the flavor of apple, but I’m not sure I’d know what an osmanthus flower tastes like, so I can’t tell if I can taste it. (I can definitely taste the linden. I’ve had linden honey. It’s yummy.)

My spouse wanted to know if I would drink this – he’s the one who bought it, as he’s more of an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan than I am. I will drink it! But I’m not going to be seeking it out, so it’s getting the top rating for something I’m not actively looking to put in my cabinet on the regular.

Good tea, definitely glad I drank it.

Flavors: Apple, Floral, Green, Linden

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drank Leo by Friday Afternoon
84 tasting notes

LEMON. Wow, that’s a lot of lemon. Possibly I’m not used to it anymore?

Spouse bought this one, and quite likes it, but wanted to know if I would drink it with him. (He’s not sure he can go through it regularly.) So he asked me to try it.

It brewed up relatively weak-looking by my standards (4 tsp. leaves in my 3 cup pot) and when I took a sip, the lemon punched me in the nose. It’s drowning out most (not all) of the other flavors – about the only thing I could taste in addition was the rose. Not the tea, and not the ginger.

This one is definitely not for me. Oh well!

Flavors: Lemon

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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40

Okay. Honestly not excited to try this because I’m not a huge fan of gunpowder green and the aroma from the dry leaf makes me think this has been defiled by other tea. The dry aroma is weird. Kinda smokey. Kinda cigarettey…. nose scrunch The green of the gunpowder is very apparent. Instead of Imperial soldier, I would have named this Civil War soldier. The taste is kind of bland. A little woodsy a little grassy, a little hay.

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52
drank Peachy Dream by Friday Afternoon
1022 tasting notes

Always a bit disappointed when I see a delightfully twisted dark brown leaf like this but the flavor does not match. At least when consumed hot. I will let it cool in hopes of better flavors. Nope… still nothing that piques my interest…

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86
drank Shadow Self by Friday Afternoon
1022 tasting notes

Twilight Princess. I cannot think of anything else but that game when I see the name of this tea. This is a very herbaceous tea. The wet lead aroma is incredibly complex. The rosemary is easy to pick out (especially because I love it) but the rest merge into an amalgamation of herby goodness. The flavor kind of knocks your socks off too. So much going on in my mouth. Herbs, herbs, herbs. Rosemary, sage, slight oregano, and thyme. The pu er is a great base for this but the earthy base remains cautiously hidden.

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Meh. Not bad but not one I’d buy. But maybe the sample has been corrupted. It has potential. The liquor and the dry leaf smell remind me of maraschino cherry syrup. But the base is kind of blandish. I’m honestly not sure I’m getting the whole story for this one so I’m not going to rate it for now.

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63
drank A-L's Blend by Friday Afternoon
1022 tasting notes

Well, this should be interesting. I dislike coriander as much as I do cilantro. But I will tolerate it when it mixes well into salsa or curry… etc. OH. MY Covers and squishes face I smell it. Big NOPE face. Do not like the wet/steeping smell. I mean, it’s not a bad taste. I could see it working in some recipes. Maybe tilapia. But Do I want to just drink this? It’s sippable. I’m still drinking it. It’s smooth. Maybe would mix well with bourbon. But it shouldn’t be just tea. That’s the problem.

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37
drank Berry Juice by Friday Afternoon
1022 tasting notes

Berry…. Juice? I feel like I’m missing something. Maybe this sample is too old? Got corrupted by other smelly teas? I get a vague sense of what they’re going for but it’s so weak that I don’t know if naming it as such is worth it. It is a little stronger if you let it sit on your palate but has a bitterness that is not so plesent. Kind of like licking an orange peel.

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71
drank Peachy Dream by Friday Afternoon
1807 tasting notes

This just tastes like lightly flavored black tea, which is a shame because it smells so good. I didn’t taste any of the flavors I was supposed to, but it was still pleasant warm. Thanks to the TTB for the opportunity to try it!

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74
drank Rue the Day by Friday Afternoon
1807 tasting notes

The scent when I opened the bag smelled so strongly of anise that I was a little afraid…I tried to include as little anise as possible in my basket, but the flavor still shows up pretty strongly in the tea. I can taste a little black tea underneath, but it’s really mostly anise. I don’t find myself minding the flavor though. I wish I tasted the sour cherry, but nothing can overcome the anise. This is one of the better Friday Afternoon teas I’ve tried from the TTB surprisingly! It was satisfying with some milk.

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68
drank Moon Princess by Friday Afternoon
1807 tasting notes

Unfortunately, these Friday Afternoon teas from the TTB aren’t working that well for me. This one was mildly fruity oolong, and that’s all there was to it. The oolong was too floral for my preference, and the fruit wasn’t strong enough. If you’re a fan of floral teas, a cold cup of this might be exactly your thing, but unfortunately, it’s not for me.

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69

This tea from the TTB has absolutely huge slices of guava in it that I really just want to eat. It brewed up quite light. The black tea is a little weak and unsatisfying warm, but the fruit flavor comes out a bit better when it’s cold. The fruit flavor isn’t clearly guava, and it could have been much stronger. I think this tea would do better if it focused on adding flavoring instead of huge slices of fruit, which don’t impart much flavor. Overall, I didn’t find this very exciting, and the quality of the black tea really wasn’t great.

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76

I got a tiny packet of this as a sample along with another bulk order of tea from Friday Afternoon, and it sat in my cupboard for a while – until I had a morning where I was doing a bunch of writing. At which point I thought, “OK, this is probably when I should crack that sample.” I wasn’t expecting to like it – I’m not generally a fan of smoky teas, and although this one doesn’t officially list “smoke” as a component on the webpage, the package does.

I was very pleasantly surprised. This is a very good non-distracting tasty tea. I can see why it’s considered writer’s fuel – it’s the sort of tea one drinks all morning and enjoys the mouth feel and taste, while not being distracted from the task at hand. It is definitely a cooler weather tea, however – I don’t imagine this one would work particularly well over ice.

I will probably keep a smallish (2 ounce) tin in the cupboard for marathon writing sessions. It’s not a tea I’ll be going for regularly, but it’s definitely a keeper.

Flavors: Malt, Smoke, Smooth

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45
drank Flamed Family by Friday Afternoon
1807 tasting notes

From the TTB. This chai had sort of a weird, almost weed-like flavor? The chili pepper in here was quite spicy, but a little too savory and one-dimensional. I also didn’t love the rooibos base. It was just sort of murky and unpleasant. I didn’t notice any other flavors. I had this with milk, and it sadly wasn’t a great chai for my tastes.

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64
drank Berry Juice by Friday Afternoon
1807 tasting notes

Another one from the TTB. There was a ton of fruit in the leaf, but I mostly taste sort of musty black tea. I would have almost guessed it had chocolate in it, but that quality must just be coming from the tea. I don’t get very much fruitiness, which was surprising.

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70

Some time ago, I decided I wanted a sample pack from Friday Afternoon. (They do that. It’s lovely. You tell them, “Give me a bunch of teas of type [x]” where X is things like Green, or Black, or whatever, and they send them.

I wasn’t expecting to like this one. I did. :-) Bergamot and I are not on speaking terms (my annoyance with Earl Gray and the fact that it’s often all I can get at conferences is a subject of some hilarity amongst my friends) but in this case, it’s subtle enough that I didn’t automatically go, “Ewwww.”

I’m sure the pomegranate helps. One of my favorite teas that I can no longer get was the Tealuxe Monk’s Blend, which included both pomegranate and bergamot.

This is not a tea that I feel the need to keep large amounts of on hand, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. It is neither excessively floral, nor excessively fruity, and I can taste the tea in it without difficulty. Said tea is also unobjectionable – not strongly acidic, nor does it leave my mouth puckered and angry. I can’t tell which black tea they used, but it’s not one that makes me go, “Nope,” and dump my mug down the drain.

The leaves also handled a second brewing just fine, which was a nice surprise. I will possibly get a small tin of this to keep on hand, for days when I want a tea that’s mostly just tea. It won’t be a huge tin – this isn’t going to be one of my go-to teas – but that’s fine. It’s why I bought the sample pack, after all – to broaden my taste buds.

I’m pleased by this particular broadening.

Flavors: Tea

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I got this sample in a recent TTB, and it must be old because it really doesn’t taste like anything. I taste sort of musty green tea and barely anything else. There were lots of rose petals, and I’m relieved they didn’t come through strongly at least!

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94

Such a treat out of the TTB! Easily one of my favorites. It’s like a forest cookie, but… not gross like that sounds. It’s got a spicy, cookie vibe that evokes fall, walks through the trees, and the changing colors of the leaves. So more “cookie one might eat before/after/while spending time in the woods in the fall” than “cookie made out of forest materials.” If this was an actual cookie, I can totally picture pairing it with a mug of hot apple cider.

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92
drank WTF by Friday Afternoon
880 tasting notes

Was feeling indulgent today after a late summer swim, so this was a particularly appealing choice as I keep making my way through the TTB. The flavors are a bit muted without any fixins, but a touch of sugar really brings them out. I’m getting toffee and caramel, not so much fudge, but it’s a mellow and enjoyable dessert cuppa. I added oat milk to a long second steep, and the creamy element was a nice complement to the flavors too. I really appreciate that this uses a white tea base for this flavor profile rather than a black tea, as so often happens. It supports and complements the flavors without overpowering them, and I don’t have the same stomach issues with white teas that I often have with black teas so I can drink this without worry. Win!

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