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Recent Tasting Notes
Got it as a free sampler from T2 when I picked up some other tea.
Pretty good spin on a black breakfast tea. I find plain black breakfast teas to be too bitter usually, but this one is quite nice without being too sweet. Its not listed and maybe my pallate isnt as developed but I get a strong chocolate note.
Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Maple Syrup, Vanilla
I was a little overwhelmed going into the T2 store for the first time, there was a lot of teas in a lot of boxes on all the walls, it looks great but just something to get used to.
I picked out this tea as well as a few other last month and I’ve tried it a couple of times. You can taste the black tea rather strongly, and has a nice chocolate, sugary undertone that I have become fond of.
My problem is that I cannot seem to always get the little caramel/toffee cubes when I take some out. I gently shake the tin, but I just think it could use more of them.
It is more of a flavored black tea than what I would consider a dessert tea. It is sweet but not a crazy amount and it still has that strong black tea flavor.
I should also note that the small 100g bags at T2 are not resealable so I ended up buying a tin for the tea, but I suppose you can always keep it in a plastic bag, and keep the plastic bag in the paper box that has the label on it.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate
This was a new purchase and one I am really loving.
It has that light natural slightly grassy green tea taste, complimented with hints of mint, rose, herbs and wood.
It is supposed to have beneficial qualities for your health and beauty. I am not an expect on all those sorts of benefits but I will try to do my best to research it some more.
This is a wonderful and light blend that I could see myself having often. It has the perfect balance of floral, grassy and mint goodness.
Flavors: Cardamon, Jasmine, Mint, Rose
Ear infection Day Two: still in a horrendous amount of pain, and didn’t sleep much because of it. However, it’s less than yesterday so I’m going to take that as a good sign. I’m still relying heavily on a hot compress to manage pain and swelling, as well as ear drops and advil. Yesterday it was unbearable to fully bite down, but today it’s doable – although highly uncomfortable…
We’ll see how productive I manage to be today.
This was a cup I had earlier in the week – and it was originally shared with me by VariaTEA. It doesn’t look like T2 carries it anymore; but reading through the product description I believe this is Australian black tea? It’s phrased in a bit of a vague way though, and I’m not 100% sure whether that means it’s “tea that is grown in Australia” or if it’s more meant to be interpreted as an Australian specialty tea, the same way that English Breakfast is a “British Tea” but isn’t really tea from Britain.
I thought this was fine – but it had a rather bland flavour, without a lot of nuance to it or any particularly striking flavour notes. Sort of a brassy/malty combo? It reminded me most closely of an average quality Ceylon black. Good for mindless drinking, and likely good with milk/sugar but not exceptional on its own.
The second matcha from T2 that I got to try!
Conceptually, I was less interested in this one that the Jaffa Cake inspired matcha. I’ve tried loads of berry matchas; so there’s definitely steep competition (pun intended) for this one. I also had the fear, after the last matcha, that this would also be oily…
Thankfully, I experienced no issues with the matcha being oily at all! Plus, it uses the same/similar beetroot/berry powders that DT uses in their Sunset Matcha blend so when you whisk it up it doing become that pretty dark maroon colour. That’s definitely cool, and would certainly be more impressive if I hadn’t seen the same effect from DT/Bird & Blend already…
However, taste wise!? This is abysmal! It tastes super chalky and gross, just like Flintstones chewable vitamins! Ewww! I don’t even know what else to say – that was the first thing that came to mind when I drank it and it was so intense that I wasn’t able to shake that comparison. Despite the oiliness, I actually finished my mug of the Jaffa Cake blend. I couldn’t finish my mug of this one…
I’ve heard good things about the flavoured matcha from T2, so I was really excited this week when I got the opportunity to try out two of their flavoured matchas – and when I smelled this one!? Man, I was in heaven!
I’ve had Jaffa cake before, although I’m blanking right now on where I actually tried it. I know it’s a chocolate orange sponge cake type thing, though – and from my memory I recall thinking it was pretty damn good. So that was promising to me, as a matcha flavour! I have to admit though, from the moment I started whisking this tea up I began having some serious doubts…
For starters, I just could not get this matcha to froth. However, it also had the absolute oiliest surface I’ve ever seen on a matcha; like, there were little droplets of oil collecting on the surface of the whisked up matcha. Gross! They translated to the taste of the matcha too; very oily. At least it wasn’t gritty though, which was actually a fear when I noticed how quickly the cocoa powder blended into this was settling on the bottom of the matcha bowl…
Taste wise!? It’s a solid B minus. The chocolate and orange both come through, and taste pretty nice – a little creamy, not overly sweet or bitter and pretty well balanced. I do get a jaffa cake vibe, which is a good thing! However, the finish is pretty chemical to me – especially the lingering orange notes. So, that lingering chemical taste combined with the general oily quality? Big no, for me.
I could see this as salvageable in a latte – but straight up like I had it? I wouldn’t try it again that way…
Ok – I’m just gonna say it, Raspberry Licky Legs is a terrible tea name. It just sounds revolting. Is that an actual thing in Australia? Like a candy or something!? I’m imaging that the ‘licky’ in ‘licky legs’ is supposed to be like licorice since I’ve seen that done by other tea companies – but it’s still unfortunate.
This was a weird tea, regardless of the name, though – the dry leaf smelled really nice: a bright raspberry note with the sweetness of licorice making it pop a little more, without being too licorice. Kind of reminded me of the smell of Red Vines, but more raspberry? However, steeped up there was a very strange savory/brothy element to the infusion that really through me for a loop – like drinking an infusion of very sweet, smooth liquid raspberry flavoured red licorice if someone had spilled just a bit of chicken noodle soup in the cup. Started off good, then just moved to a very weird place. Also some floral chamomile notes; which felt out of place too and just aren’t my thing in general.
Thanks for sharing this one VariaTEA – it was an interesting experience, and a really unique tea but I just don’t think it’s for me.
Another share from VariaTEA! Thank you for spreading the tea love!
So, I realize that the name Caramel Pop is supposed to be a play on ‘Caramel Popcorn’ but also a sort of action-y sounding word – because tea companies just love “action words” like pop/blast/burst/splash/etc. that “convey excitement and intense flavour”. However, that is 100% not going to stop my stupid monkey brain from interpreting the name of this tea as “Caramel Soda”, and while I’m sure that wouldn’t be quite as weird as what I’m picturing (I mean, Cream Soda is a thing) it still sounds… off.
Actually, this tastes pretty decent though. It’s caramel-ish and has a good overall sweetness and amount of body, with a bit of toasty notes from the Genmaicha. I do get a fruity undertone, kind of apple-y, that is a little weird but it’s not bad or unpleasant. Just unexpected, really. I think it’s very, very hard to nail a true, pure caramel flavour in tea, especially with thickness/body and the creaminess that actual caramel has; I’ve been really on the hunt for a good caramel tea in 2019 and haven’t yet found one despite trying probably close to a dozen now…
I think this falls somewhere roughly in the middle of those dozen or so caramel teas; in terms of accuracy to that rich caramel note that I’m craving deep, deep in my bones.
I may have found my perfect casual drinking chai. I enjoy the orange peel in it, and it has a spicy zing without being too peppery. (I enjoy those kinds, too, but stronger flavors require very particular moods for me.) The vanilla softens it, but there is still plenty of spice flavor – cinnamon is strongest, but I’d say definitely a bit of ginger and pepper. I think the company says there is cardamom, too, which I would believe – I’m not very good at picking it out as an individual flavor, but I always seem to enjoy teas with that as an ingredient. It’s a touch on the weak side for me, so if I want to add milk or coconut creamer (yum in this!), I have to make it extra strong.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Orange, Peppercorn, Vanilla
This one definitely needs to be brewed at a lower temperature, or it’s just nasty. Brewed correctly, it only has a mild genmaicha taste that is well balanced with the green tea and the sweeter nutty flavors. I didn’t realize it was a genmaicha tea when I bought it, or I probably wouldn’t have done so as I don’t tend to care for them. However, I like it now that I have it. It does have a strong genmaicha scent, which I don’t personally care for.
Flavors: Burnt, Nutty, Popcorn
This is a less sophisticated version of Whispering Pines’ Cocoa Amore. I always get a chocolate flavor from vanilla, so this is a nice black tea with a vanilla/chocolate flavor. It doesn’t have a ton of depth, but it’s definitely nice and enjoyable.
Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla
Sampler Sunday! This is the last of the mass discounted T2 sampler stash I bought back in January 2018. This is a strawberry-flavored green tea.
The steeped tea has a lovely sweet-yet-tangy berry aroma wafting from the cup, and it’s a very bright yellow color. The flavor is quite nice, but I think if this had been steeped any longer than the two minutes this would have gone vegetal astringent — that was probably the maximum for the amount of leaf that was in my doubin as it tastes quite bold and just verging at being pushed for a green tea. Thankfully, it is not, and also thankfully the green tea base itself isn’t overwhelmed as I am tasting a really nice grassy flavor from the tea that I think compliments the strawberry well, especially to bring out a “spring garden” sort of vibe. The strawberry in this is actually really nice and I think I prefer it to a lot of strawberry flavorings I’ve tried, because there is a nice tart bite to it! It hits the tongue with the typical candy-strawberry mellow flavor that I usually get from strawberry flavoring but very quickly turns tangy and berry-like on the back of the tongue, and since tart/tangy flavors are particular favorites of mine, I find it very appealing. I do think that if I could compare this side-by-side with Lupicia’s Tokio that the base green tea from Lupicia was better and they also had a comparable noteworthy strawberry flavor, so if I wanted to stock a strawberry green I’d go for Lupicia; Lupicia also sells in smaller sizes (50g) compared to T2 (100g). Size matters. * shifty eyes *
Nice pot for Tea-ster. I don’t celebrate myself, but wish well to my Steepster crew that does!
Flavors: Berry, Strawberry, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Tart, Vegetal
Sampler Saturday! I think I only have two of these T2 samplers left, both green teas, and I was in a green tea mood while watching some anime tonight. One was a peach green and one was a strawberry green, and I decided to start with the peach. The dry leaf had a pleasant, fruity peach aroma.
The tea steeps into a lovely soft peachy-orange color, and has a peach but subtle floral aroma. The flavor is fruity but not too overwhelming; the peach doesn’t come off as strongly as the aroma, and I’m fine with that, since I like my fruity greens to be more on the softer side. It gives me a bit of a peach rind feel, and is rather juicy and pleasant, sweet with a slight tartness on the finish. There is still a subtle sweet grassiness beneath the flavoring which I like; I prefer my fruity greens to not be so potent that the green tea gets overwhelmed and can’t shine through. There is a very soft, sweet, floral quality to the tea as well, that compliments the grassy and fruity notes well.
It’s a nice peach tea. Not as nice as the peach green teas I’ve tried from Lupicia (I think I prefer their base green and peach flavorings more) but a perfectly servicable and welcoming pot.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Peach, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Tart
Sampler Sunday! Still trying to finish off all the sampler packets from the Great Sampler Order of January 2018, and it appears I only have three left! Getting there! While spring time does evoke a bit of a “green tea” mood in me (and I have been making a lot of fruity iced green teas again!) and two of the three are green teas, it’s a rainy gray morning today, which just makes me feel like brewing up a pot of black tea, so I opted for the last black tea of the samplers. But it is a rose black, so the floral touch does add a bit of seasonality. I love rose teas so as long as this has a nice base, this should be an enjoyable pot.
The tea has a strong fruity aroma, of stonefruits and mango; in fact, I’m getting very little floral elements from the scent, so it seems the fruit flavorings added to the tea are made to dominate here (which is a bit confusing to me for a tea named “Black Rose”). I am, however, getting more of the rose present in the flavor; the black base is lighter bodied (at least at my brewing parameters) providing a bit of maltiness that is present mostly toward the back of the tongue, but the flavors are left to dominate, with a fruity peach/nectarine/mango flavor filling the mouth until a very sweet floral rose finish closes out the sip. The flavors go well together and it’s a nice cuppa. There is an element of juiciness to it, and the rose flavor is pretty strong in the cup but isn’t a strong wafting perfumy aroma coming off the cup, which can sometimes be an issue for me with my migraine head sensitivities.
This is an enjoyable cup, and honestly the only thing that holds me back from the T2 offerings that I have enjoyed is the fact that they don’t sell their teas in sizes smaller than 100 grams, which I simply won’t purchase anymore. I spent all of last week rebagging teas from such large bags of teas to gift and/or cupboard sale off. In a single-person household, I just can’t deal with such large quantities of tea. Tea shops, seriously, you need to offer smaller sizes of tea for purchase or risk losing business!
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Malt, Mango, Peach, Rose, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet
Sampler Sunday! So, I decided I would use one of the teapots I got from my grandmother today, as they are larger “British style” teapots (normally I use a little 2 cup sized Japanese doubin). The instructions on this sampler packet from T2 had a very odd tea to water ratio listed compared to how I usually make my blacks, and I didn’t trust it at all, and I wanted to make it with the ratio I usually use, but I also wanted to use up the whole packet at once, and therefore needed the larger pot to hold enough water. Basically I wanted to do the 5g packet in 700ml.
Then I went to steep, and as soon as the 205F water hit the teapot, I heard a “cracking” sound and noticed an eggshell appearance on the glaze of the teapot. WELL THEN. That couldn’t be good! So I was scrambling like a mad woman just to GET THE WATER OUT, poured everything I could into my gravity well infuser with the teabag and had to dump the overflow. That infuser only holds two cups, or about 500ml. So, I guess grandma’s teapots were “decorative only”? How was I supposed to know?! They looked like completely proper teapots to me! Either that, or they are just so old they can’t handle the shock of actually being used as teapots and taking hot water anymore… in any event, the porcelain is now warped, but not completely shattered, so into storage it goes… sad. I really wanted to use them. It was sort of a sentimental thing. And the tea went back into the doubin. I have no idea what the sudden “ditching” did to the steep, either. But it suddenly went from the original 700ml down to 500ml, with the same amount of leaf and a change of vessel in between. Let’s see how this turned out…
It smells nice, at least. The last vanilla black I tried from T2 tasted like Circus Peanuts to me, and was one of the worst teas I’d tried, so I’m hoping this isn’t the same vanilla flavoring. Anything that triggers “banana” in my head is just a no-go for me. Also getting a nice malty aroma. The malty black base is coming forward fairly strongly, with a sweet bready toast flavor, making the vanilla more subtle, so I like this more than that other vanilla tea (Blue Mountain, I think it was?) already. There is a very light astringency following the sip, and the very slightest citrus note lingering beneath the malt and vanilla. However, I still think this vanilla flavoring tastes a bit odd. A little too sweet/artificial… it isn’t striking that place that makes me think of banana (maybe because it is lighter here, or the black tea taste is more prominent) but there is still something very candy-like and I’ve certainly had other vanilla black teas I’ve liked a lot more than this, that tasted more natural and blended nicer with the base. It’s a nice enough breakfast tea, but not a favorite. I’m just not jiving with their choice of vanilla flavoring, especially compared to others I’ve had.
Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Candy, Citrus, Malt, Sweet, Toast, Vanilla
Meh. I’ve tried this one a few times and I’m just not sold. It’s a little too earthy to me and just doesn’t taste quite right. The chocolate has a little bit of a dirt feel to it, and I get an overly burnt taste from the caramel. I generally like T2, but this one is a pass for me.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Earth
Sampler Sunday! I know I haven’t posted on here in a while, and at least a few of you have messaged me asking about that… I’m around, I’ve just been overwhelmed with things right now, fighting depression, crushed under stress, and honestly as a culmination of those things, haven’t really been “into” my tea hobby much. Some days I’ve just been quietly working on my sipdowns in the background, while others I haven’t even had the energy or desire to get the kettle going. I haven’t really tried anything “new” that would necessitate having to write up a tasting note, and I am so behind on reading tasting notes on here. Pages and pages behind. I’m slowly trying to catch back up, but it’ll take a while. Have patience.
I have a migraine today, which started yesterday at work, and there was nothing I could do but continue my shift, so by the end of that shift I thought I was going to die and collapsed into my bed by the time I got home. This morning the pain is still there (and just swapped lobes of my head, a common pattern I have). It isn’t quite as bad as yesterday so I tried to Get Shit Done™ but after I finished my dishes, that just made it flare up horribly. So it’ll probably be another day resigned to bed. But I’m going to try to get a cup of tea in for breakfast first. It seems I’ve already cleared out most of my mint, but I found this ginger one, which is also quite stomach calming for me… and I’ve had an IBS flare-up now that hasn’t stopped for about two weeks straight, so if it could help that little problem at all, double-win? (I bet that is stress/depression induced as well. Yay).
This is definitely not my favorite lemon ginger tea I’ve tried, but that’s probably since it’s lemongrass-based, which is my least favorite of the citrus herbs. It’s just a little more hay-like in the flavor than having a nice citrusy flavor, but I guess on the plus side, there isn’t some weird artificial flavoring in there that tastes like furniture polish, either. I was expecting the ginger to be pretty strong and honestly, I wouldn’t even mind right now, since I know my body needs it, but it actually isn’t burning my mouth off or anything. I can certainly taste a nice gingery presence in the flavor, but it isn’t giving off any unpleasant heat.
This definitely would not be my choice of a lemon ginger tea for my cupboard, but this was just one of the mighty T2 sampler stash of 2017 that needed used up, and it’s getting the job done on a day I need some calming ginger in my tummy.
Flavors: Citrus, Ginger, Herbaceous, Hot hay, Lemongrass
There is a hint of chocolate in there, but I might not even have noticed if I was drinking this with no name or ingredient info. It’s a cinnamon/ginger heavy chai, but nicely spicy without being astringent as they can get sometimes. Super delicious with a little coconut creamer added, by the way!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cocoa, Ginger, Pepper, Toasty