Happy Turtle Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

Thank you VariaTEA for this tea!

Truthfully I’ve put off trying this one because the ingredients list is very, very busy and I was having a hard time gauging just by looking at it what it was supposed to taste like. I felt like I had to be in a particular kind of mood to want to just go for it…

I guess I was today though because when I grabbed my teas to bring to work today this one jumped out at me. Honestly it was fine. The dry leaf visual is very, very pretty though! Lovely needle shaped green teas, small elderberries, and rather plump goji berries all jump out to me and everything is coated in a fine shimmery pink tinted luster dust that gives a very ethereal “pixie like” feeling. Sadly, once steeped, the shimmer doesn’t particularly carry to the steeped tea – I think there’s probably just not enough of it to make a noticeable enough impact.

The taste is light and sort of vaguely “red berry” in direction but it’s so soft/watery and muddled that it’s near impossible to distinctly call out anything more specific than that. Despite being a mix of green and black teas, it’s the green that wins out here: light and grassy and complimentary to the soft berry notes even if I don’t love it overall.

I think this will be easy to finish off overall, but I feel like for an Avatar The Last Airbender inspired tea I just wanted something more… impactful!?

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54

Sipdown 162-2021
I didn’t care for this. It didn’t read as chestnut, but rather a an artificial chocolate flavor. Not undrinkable, just not great.

tea-sipper

A Grimm tea! A fun show for this time of year if anyone missed it.

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64

Sipdown 161- 2021

I was expecting the chocolate in this to taste much more synthetic than it does, based on the smell. Not really getting a nuttiness, but more of a maple chocolate. I’m guessing the caramel flavoring is reading as maple to me.

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I wanted to like this tea. I wanted to like it so badly.

However, I think it’s one of those blends that’s unfortunately committed the crime of having too much going on. I mean, the ingredient list is long and it’s full of a bunch of competing flavours. Coconut and yerba mate sounds so nice, light and refreshing with subtle greener topical vibes – and some of that does come through! But there’s also A LOT of very herbaceous basil that seems diametrically opposed to the other flavours. Now, don’t get me wrong – I like basil in tea. A lot, actually. However basil and coconut!?

I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t work.

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Sipdown (1456)!

Decided to just push through the rest of this simple and clear it out. It’s really not a bad chocolate tea, it’s just that I’m only getting that kind of plain chocolate note and the simplicity focused around a flavour I’m not super interested in combined with the really oily mouthfeel from all the melted sprinkles just… isn’t doing it for me.

However, like I said in my last note, the fandom connection is really fun and I do think the sprinkles add a cool Captain America inspired visual! I know other people will enjoy this tea because it’s a solid chocolate flavour – I’m just not a chocolate tea person.

(And, blasphemous to say I know, I’m also just not a big fan of Captain American either.)

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The fandom reference here is really fun but the tea kind of just tastes like chocolate in a pretty average way and I didn’t love the thick ring of blue around the waterline of my tea from all the melted sprinkles. It’s fun, but kind of just… fine.

VariaTEA

Hahaha I think I only ever had this as a latte, which hides the oil

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63

Sipdown 148-2021
The bergamot is pretty intense here, and the chocolate is a bit too artificial for my liking. But, overall a fine cup of tea. I over-steeped it a bit and it came out a bit bitter, which softened as the cup cooled.

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71

Sipdown 147-2021
I love a spooky themed tea. Particularly a spooky themed tea with marshmallows and sprinkles.
This is nice, but not something I would particularly need to purchase again. Very much a berry cereal flavor. It actually tastes quite a bit like Brutalitea’s Assam A Go Go, but the puerh here is a bit more intense.

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71
drank Most Ardently by Happy Turtle Tea
6097 tasting notes

Salted Caramel/Gingerbread Sweet Cream Latte (193)

M is for…Most Ardently

This made for a yummy latte with salted caramel/gingerbread sweet cream. Granted, it was slightly oily (from the chocolate I’m guessing), but I just kept a spoon in my cup and stirred it so I couldn’t see the oil. It also was mostly just a generically sweet which made for a good platform for the sweet cream but probably wouldn’t make for a very interesting plain tea.

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Sipdown (1407)!

Something about this last cup reminded me a little bit of “Runtz” candies – I think it was that sweet candied banana and strawberry flavour combination!? I enjoyed it, and even thought it still complimented the walnut flavours in the blend as well. Nothing was too much in terms of sweetness or competitiveness with the other flavours.

I would definitely order this one again!

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Thank you VariaTEA for the share!

I pulled this one out on the weekend to sip while watching some late night streams and the smell really spoke to me even though I couldn’t entirely figure out what it was supposed to be. Steeped up I was a bit weirded out because it had that “banana candy” style banana flavour along with some other fruitiness to the undertones while also tasting pleasantly of walnuts. That seems like such a strange combination of flavours to me that, even though I liked it a lot, I was worried that my palate was completely off and misinterpreting whatever was actually in the blend. I take a lot of pride in my ability to name flavours blindly – and this mix was leaving me confused.

However, I just looked up the ingredients before writing my tasting note and… I kind of nailed it!? So now I’m just feeling proud of myself for putting together all of those flavours despite the fact they felt so discombobulated when I was tasting.

I look forward to the last cup of this soon – if it’s good too then I’ll definitely be adding this to my growing list of blends from Happy Turtle that I need to order larger amounts of.

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55

Sipdown (202)

E is for…Everyone Loves a Yule Ball

Coffee and cinnamon is strong here and it’s the sweet cinnamon and I’m not loving it. Not liking it at all tbh. It’s just too sweet and I don’t really like coffee and get that.

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62
drank DeadpOolong by Happy Turtle Tea
6097 tasting notes

Sipdown (204)

D is for…DeadpOolong

Deadpool tea in a unicorn mug seemed right.

The tea is just meh though if I’m being honest. It’s mostly just cinnamon and not much else. Also a bit bland. I wanted to like it because I like the name but mostly I’m just bored.

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Sipdown (1405)!

This is a melancholic sipdown – it’s delicious and flavourful but it also sucks to have now finished it off. Those syrupy soda-type strawberry notes reminded me a lot of Dammann Frere’s Carcadet Fraise Pistache with this last cup. Very, very similar sticky sweet strawberry that feels a little more dessert-y than fruity. I got some chocolate, but it was also more of a sweet and sticky chocolate – clearly from a flavouring and not “actual” chocolate. The whole candy style of the flavour really feels appropriate for something Wonka inspired though, and I enjoyed the flavour interactions so much.

I want to finish trying the other Happy Turtle samples I own to see if there are any other that really jump out to me as worthy of ordering in a bigger quantity – but I have a few on my list so far, and I’m adding this one as well.

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This was really different from what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot!

I felt like it was going to be very chocolate forward with hints of berry but instead it was super sweet with syrupy notes of candied strawberries and grenadine. Felt like a cocktail syrup in tea form! I didn’t really get much chocolate at all, so I’m a bit confused by the name!? However, I loved the tea and now that I know what to expect from it I’m really looking forward to finishing off the sample.

Thanks VariaTEA for gifting the subscription that this super fun Wonka inspired blend came from!

tea-sipper

Wonka teas! However are there not MORE Wonka teas?!

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75

This one tasted a bit watery hot, but I’m enjoying it much more now that it’s cooled. I’m having it with milk, and I get plenty of lavender. The black base is pretty unremarkable. Basically, it tastes like a mild black tea with lavender, but I like it. It wasn’t strong enough for a second steep.

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Had this one in the morning – it’s been a long time since I last watched Psych but I remember it being a very fun show and the reoccurring pineapple gag was such a fun part so I was stoked when I saw this in the sub box this month!

The dry leaf smell is really nice – sweet and syrupy pineapple to the extreme! I’m a bit let down by the taste, but it’s not really from the pineapple itself as much as it’s from the tea base. I think it’s really cool and interesting that Happy Turtle has so many teas on a pu’erh base, but the really earthy and dank taste of the shou does not mesh well with this super sweet and tropical candied pineapple note. It’s just a super bad disconnect, which is a shame because either flavour isolated would probably be really damn good!

Yeah – not sure what to do about that. It’s a bummer.

teepland

Psych was such a good show! I didn’t realize how much I missed it until reading your review! :(

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87

Sipdown (1408)!

This was delicious! I have a longtime affinity for “forest berry” inspired teas and this is just such a great execution of that profile – it’s got that initial herbaceous punch from the eucalyptus and all of those woodsy pine notes from the pine nuts to convery the feeling of being in a forest, but then it’s balanced with sweetness from this jumble of assorted wild berries – blueberry, raspberry, and even more. It honestly doesn’t matter that you can’t taste the berries as distinct flavours because the way they come together into one “super berry” with this jammy and sweet kind of ‘vaguely purple’ taste is still really dead on for the wide assortment of forest appropriate berries.

Like, it doesn’t matter that I don’t really know the fandom this is inspired by – it’s just a damn tasty tea!

Shae

What an interesting mix of ingredients! I didn’t even know mistletoe was edible.

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77

Sipdown (1420)!

I still didn’t get any vanilla/cream in taste from this cup although when I opened up the little sample packet I caught a surprising whiff of vanilla in the nose – that almost made the absence in taste even more disappointing though. Despite that, it’s still a pleasant raspberry matcha. Sweet but not cloying. Smooth, bright, and distinctly raspberry versus general red fruit or general berry. It bugs me a bit that I couldn’t get it to froth up at all but ultimately the froth isn’t a taste factor so much as it’s an aesthetic one so not a deal breaker for me.

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77

Thank you VariaTEA for the subscription – this month’s box arrived on Tuesday so I’ve been slowly digging into some of the new teas! This one was a surprise because I didn’t even realize that Happy Turtle Tea carried matcha – as such, it’s the one I started with.

It’s nice smelling – sweet but fresh raspberries. The powder looks very granular, with visable cane sugar throughout – I’m not opposed to sweetened matcha but I do prefer having the control over the level of sweetness. This looks pretty on par with the sugar level in DT’s cane sugar matchas, though! It whisked well, though didn’t froth up much at all – but the colour was good!

The taste is definitely sweet – but not anything really different from the other sweetened matcha out there on the market. I like how bright the raspberry comes out – it’s somewhere between just underripe raspberries with a bit of that sharpness to them and sweet raspberry candies like Starbursts!? I definitely taste zero vanilla or creaminess at all so I would have for sure though this was just raspberry matcha without aid from the packaging. However, it’s pretty good overall!

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90

Cold Brew Sipdown (1424)!

This was actually a bit of an upsetting sipdown. Even though this tea tastes nothing at all like what I thought it would the first time I saw it, it’s a really simple and delicious blend of soft creamy lemon, sweet and cooling spearmint, and rich decadent coconut. Basically exactly the same as the hot cup I had not too long ago, but much more refreshing and cooling feeling as a cold brew. I really, really like this combination of flavours and I think I would wholeheartedly buy this again in a larger amount. It’s soooo good!

Todd

Ooh, sounds like a good iced tea for hot (or any) weather!

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90

When I smelled the dry leaf for this tea, I knew I was going to like it! It reminds me a little but of the long retired DT blend “Coconut Mint Cream” but a little smoother and more seamlessly intigrated in terms of flavour.

The main ones are this rich and silky coconut and a sweet and fresh speamint that coats the palate. It feels a little bit boozy, like some kind of fun liqueur based shot – but definitely not that cloying and sweet. The lemon is very in that “Lemon Chiffon” sweet lemon pastry style – anyone familiar with the Della Terra blend will know what I mean. The honeyed rooibos notes that provide some flavour foundation lean into that comparison, too. It’s unique, and I like the balance of flavours and how it’s sweet yet not sugary. Pretty impressed, right out of the gate!

All that said, I am very confused how a mix of spearmint, creamy coconut, and lemon make a “punch”. I suppose you could probably make an argument for how coconut is a punch type of flavour, but this was very much a “coconut cream” and not that style of tropical coconut I would think you’d see in punch…

teaqueen

Any tea inspired by Animal Crossing is an instant winner in my book! I agree though that the flavor profile, while yummy-sounding, doesn’t seem very fruit-punch-like.

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I’ve had this hot a couple of times and don’t recall being taken by it. It seemed okay, but not super exciting. I decided to sip this down by way of cold steeping, so I dumped the rest of the bag into my pitcher and let it steep in the fridge overnight. At first it tasted bitter, maybe the walnuts were the culprit. I put some soy milk in with it and it was much more enjoyable. I get a hint of banana with some nuttiness to it. Like faint banana bread. It’s not incredible, but it is drinkable and between me and the other people in the house it’s getting drunk down. Would not buy again, however.

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Sipdown (1409)!

Thank you VariaTEA for sharing this one – it’s probably something I would have picked up for myself so I’m glad I got the chance to sample before purchasing. Always a win!

I feel… very conflicted about whether I like this tea or not. There’s elements that are good; it’s sweet with a sort of caramel marshmallow-y quality and a pleasant enough nutty pistachio note. VariaTEA called this Happy Turtle’s “Forever Nuts” and I can kind of sweet the comparison, though different style of nut profile IMO. I’m not really sure that I can say I expected something so nutty for what is, essentially, waffles in tea form. It definitely threw me off. As did, in all honestly, the fact there’s a super “doughy” kind of taste to this – like Play Doh but without all the salt. Part of me feel like it’s appropriate because what is a waffle if not a sweet baked dough. The other part of me? Well, that part doesn’t like drinking dough in a mug.

Yeah… I’m kind of right down the middle on this one I think.

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