158 Tasting Notes

92

This is essentially a vanilla coconut black tea, but it is awesome. The only place I can get this is a coffee (!) place about 45 minutes away, so when I’m in the neighborhood, I make sure to pick up some. The vanilla is very mellow and smooth, more like baked goods than straight up vanilla, and the coconut is mellow as well – a perfect compliment to the vanilla. Neither one obscures the tea taste; it all works very harmoniously. Comforting and delicious, it’s a definite favorite of mine.

Flavors: Coconut, Pastries, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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77

Picked this up at this year’s NYC Coffee and Tea Festival this past March and have been making iced tea with it. Although I tasted it hot at the festival, it calls to me to make it iced. Really tasty, solid, flavored oolong that makes a very refreshing iced tea. Been drinking it all summer, in fact. Very enjoyable.

Flavors: Fruity, Passion Fruit

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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40

I tried. I really did. This is just not working for me. Although it starts out all Cap’n Crunch Crunchberries (yum!) there’s this weird floral thing that happens immediately after that just kills it for me. I wish I could describe it more specifically, but the best I can do is this: a perfume-y, floral taste that comes midway through the sip and insists on staying until the next Crunchberry sip overwhelms it. Then, there it is again. No apple, nothing that even resembles a macaron, other than a strange, sickening sweetness. I love, love, love macarons. Not sure how they came upon the name, but there is no connection for me. Out this sucker goes – I just hate it when a tea doesn’t work out, but that’s life, right?

Flavors: Berry, Floral, Perfume, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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40

Just a note right off the bat – this is an unfair review, since I finally got around to opening this baby up almost 2 years after buying it, and I disobeyed my own advice about not burning scented candles while eating/drinking anything. So, this tea is probably too old, and my tasting could be influenced by the scent of the candle that was burning in the room while I drank it. Rather than wait until I could do a completely fair review, I’m forging ahead anyway, since the tea will just get older, and not better, I’m afraid.

I love macarons. Love them. I’ve actually made them myself on a few occasions, and they are VERY difficult to make – that’s how much I love them. But, macarons come in all different kinds of flavors – vanilla, caramel, pistachio, raspberry, chocolate, champagne, you name it. So how can a tea be named “macaron”? What does that even mean? I’ll hazard a guess and say that it just means kind of dessert-y.

Dry leaf and brew smelled faintly like Crunch Berries cereal – I think I may have observed the very same thing about another tea that I reviewed, although I can’t remember which one. But yes, Crunch Berries for sure. No apple to speak of. A bit floral on the finish – but was that from the tea or from the candle? Other than a general faint, sweet fruitiness, with a tinge of floral, that was it. Final impression was, meh. I did have it with milk, maybe that was a mistake. I may have underleafed a little bit, but I don’t think so. Since I have a whole tin of the stuff, I’ll have ample opportunity to try this again, no candles, no milk, more leaves, etc. and if I change my mind about it I can always write another review saying so. Until then, “meh” is the bottom line on this one for me.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

Excellent – thoroughly enjoyable. Always remember to mix up the tea before measuring out the leaves or the vanilla flavor will be very weak. Very generous with the vanilla bean – there was so much of it! All of the main flavors others have mentioned were there: cocoa, vanilla, malt. Also a tiny bit of what I call “pavilion campfire” – just a touch of smoke. You can overleaf it a little, especially if you do multiple steepings. I’ll be back for more. Hopefully they aren’t out of stock completely, but I know chances are pretty good they are!

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Smoke, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

This is a standard for me, one I will usually have on hand. Ridiculously over the top, luscious, fruity with lots of chocolate flavor. Like drinking chocolate-covered strawberries. Seriously. If you love puerh, you may be disappointed, as there is only a subtle earthiness coming through from the tea, almost obliterated by the chocolate and strawberry flavors. Works for me, though! One of my favorite dessert teas, wonderful with milk.

Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Strawberry

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81

Picked this up at an adorable home goods store in Amsterdam. They actually had an entire section devoted to teas and tea accessories, which was impressive since the store itself, although of a generous size, was far from huge. Anyway, the tea was quite inexpensive so I figured I’d give it a shot. I honestly don’t care that it was flavored, rather than being naturally creamy, because this stuff was great! Very tasty, with a definite creamy/milky flavor that comes across in the scent of the tea as well. I’m really enjoying it for as long as it lasts, and since this shop doesn’t ship to the US, it will be a really long time before I’m able to get it again, if ever.

Flavors: Cream, Fruity, Milk, Mineral

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79

I’ve been trying to finish many of the teas in my overcrowded tea shelf so haven’t been in much of a buying mode. However, I was curious about this one. Curious enough to go to the local David’s Tea to get some. As is always the case with me, I go in for one thing and leave with six things. I’ll get around to writing about those other teas eventually, but need to write about this one now, since I just polished off the last of a 4 ounce bag. I really love cardamom, it’s my favorite spice when I make my own chai, so that was a slam dunk. That said, this isn’t really chai but more of a spiced black. Very pleasant, sweet and great with milk. Perfect for colder weather. Not happy about sugar being in there, though. I would much rather add my own if I choose. It’s a solid flavored black and I enjoyed it a lot, but I’m not looking to replenish anytime soon. Too many other spiced blacks to get to in my stash!

Flavors: Pastries, Spices, Sugar

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79

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70
drank Banana Bake by T2
158 tasting notes

One day I thought it would be really great if there was a banana flavored black tea I could drink. Not banana-coconut, not banana-walnut, not bananas foster, just banana. I decided to try T2’s Banana Bake, even though it supposedly has a hazelnuts in it. Luckily, I detected nothing but banana and black tea, with a bit of creaminess to it. Looking back on all this, I realized what I was actually pining for was probably Butiki’s Hello Sweetie, a tea I was only able purchase once, and immediately fell in love with. A tea, also, that will most likely never be replicated. But that’s unfair to compare T2 to, a nice, but much lesser tea, more akin I think to David’s Tea. I very much enjoy this hot, really don’t want to have it iced, and I think it may just carry me into the Fall season with no problem. Just a nice, banana-y black, good with breakfast or if you’ve got a craving for a dessert type tea. It will have to do.

Flavors: Banana, Creamy

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 1 OZ / 29 ML

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