63 Tasting Notes

58

It’s the first day of autumn, so I picked this for that reason, and also since it doesn’t have caffeine. It’s a rooibos tea, I don’t really taste that. Its mouthfeel is a trifle dry, but it’s not overly acidic. Hard for me to differentiate the hibiscus and cranberry flavors—there’s just a nice deep note. The citrus is mildly above that. Smelling the tea, there’s a subtle sour note, but I didn’t find that when I was drinking it. A nice, mild tea, especially if you don’t want to drink something caffeinated in the evening. The tea itself is a lovely coppery color liquid—and the tin it comes in is a nice coppery color, too!

Flavors: Citrus, Cranberry, Hibiscus, Rosehips

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 45 sec 6 tsp 60 OZ / 1774 ML

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72

This, for me, is a summertime tea. It’s excellent chilled, whether sweetened or not. I can’t really taste the sage. I always let RoT steep for a longer time than recommended, as I personally feel their teabags could use a bit more tea than they actually put in. It’s late August now, and I’ll be finishing my tin soon, as I’m not too keen on this one during the cold months.

Flavors: Blackberry, Fruity, Summer

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 min, 0 sec 7 tsp 60 OZ / 1774 ML

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92

I mostly make decaf teas in the afternoon or evening, since too much caffeine will have the usual unpleasant fidgety results at night. I also love fruit/tea blends in the summer. So I was very happy to find Harney & Sons blends this marvelous Midsummer’s Peach, which features decaffeinated black tea.
Since this is a decaf tea, it’s definitely milder. For more flavor, I simply steep it longer. I love peach teas, especially in the warmer months, so by definition, this smells and tastes like summer to me. There’s a little creaminess to the flavor, as well as a note of nectarine peel. It’s not as strong as 52Teas “Mom’s Spiced Peach Preserves” tea, which I rated a few months back. But this one’s a decaf, nor does it have any spices added to it—so it’s a different kettle of tea!
This is a very easy tea to like, whether hot or chilled/iced. It’s perfect for summer, and I highly recommend it, especially if, like me, you’re sensitive to too much caffeine.

Flavors: Creamy, Nectarine, Peach, Summer, Tea

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 6 tsp 60 OZ / 1774 ML

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68

I bought this tea based on the autumnal description. I agree with the creator’s love of fall and the smells and flavors evoked. I can say yes, I liked this tea—tho it smells rather different than it tastes.
Sniffing the packet of tea, it’s quite perfumy. It took me awhile, tasting it, trying to determine just what it reminded me of. Then I realized it was light and sweet, like…baby powder! No doubt that’s the honey flavor. The spices are definitely next in the taste sensation. There is a slight whiff of cider vinegar.
It is definitely a group of flavors which evoke the beginning of autumn. It’s early August right now, when the ripeness of summer is hinting at the changes to come. I liked this tea because it did remind me of autumn coming. But I’m ambivalent; I didn’t like it enough to recommend it strongly. So I recommend it gently.
Do try it; make up your own mind. It is enjoyable, but very mild.

Flavors: Allspice, Apple Skins, Autumn Leaf Pile, Baby Powder, Campfire, Cinnamon, Perfume, Spices, Winter Honey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 30 sec 15 g 34 OZ / 1005 ML

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60

This is a decent, refreshing green tea. I enjoyed its lightness. I’m afraid I don’t find it particularly memorable. I like Tazo products, so I wasn’t disappointed by this tea, but neither would I look for it, unless there were other less drinkable choices at the time.
It’s good, but I would neither say ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ to it. If I’m in the mood for green tea, it would work.

Flavors: Grassy, Green, Wheat

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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65

DECAF! This is a mild tea, which like any, gets stronger the more it is steeped. Bigelow’s package describes it as “A gentle blend with a lovely lemon finish”. That’s accurate enough. It’s not particularly distinguished as a flavored tea. The lemon predominates. It does blend well with other teas, which is how I primarily use it. I’m only sampling it individually now, so I have a record of it here at Steepster.
As it cools, I can see it would be a good tea to chill for a hot day. Do I like it? Yes. But I will still use it to blend with other, stronger teas, to make a milder pot. I like lemon, so this works for me—especially if I happen to be out of lemons, this will work to fill out that flavor.
I neither recommend ‘yea’ or ‘nay’. It’s decent; one can enjoy it.

Flavors: Green, Lemon Zest, Lemongrass, Tannin, Tea

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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93

This was the new Mother’s Day tea offered early (week of April 11, 2022) by 52Teas. I was attracted by both the tasty name, and my sister’s birthday, so I looked closer. The description was absolutely inviting. Creator Anne wrote: “I created this tea for my mom who requested more spiced tea—could I make a tea that tasted like peach preserves with spices in it like her gramma used to make for her when she was young?” I was hooked. I got visions of sitting at a table with a checked tablecloth, maybe on an enclosed back porch on a summer’s morning with a light breeze wafting in through the screen, while a beloved grandma made a special tea just for her and her granddaughter to share.
Okay, so I’m over-romanticizing. But that’s what the description alone did for me. I had to order it.
The result was just as good as the description. “Not too spicy: just warm and cozy. Sweet, juicy and delicious!” I was only able to get the 12 gram sample packets, but that was okay. Now that I know I like this tea, I will definitely go for the 36 gram package next time!
This is the perfect summer tea!

Flavors: Peach, Spicy, Summer

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 12 g 36 OZ / 1064 ML
52Teas

I just found this note. Thank you for the lovely words. My mom told me about when she was young – that her grandmother would brew a cup of black tea and sweeten it with peach preserves (they didn’t use sugar) and used her spices to flavor the tea. I loved the story – I guess I was kind of romanticizing it too, but it seemed like a sweet memory of my mother’s and I didn’t really hear a lot of stories about my mom’s youth so I really enjoyed hearing about it. I’m glad you enjoyed the tea too.

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78

Apparently I’m a lone voice in the wilderness here, but I liked this tea. Normally I find most pre-made chai blends not entirely to my liking. But I found this one a well-balanced delight. It does seem to have an essence of pumpkin about it, as another reviewer here noted. It has a nice initial warmth, and the cool aftertaste of licorice, with a nice shunting between the different spices in between. I particularly enjoyed it with a bit of honey. I liked using a bag or two of this when blending a pot of mixed chai blends. I do hope TAZO brings it back this fall so I can enjoy it again! ((ALSO: Please note that the list of flavors under “What flavors and scents do you notice?” was automatically ALPHABETIZED, which is NOT as I originally ordered the flavors. I had put them in order as I tasted them: Pumpkin-Spicy-Cinnamon-Anise. The alphabetized list makes it seem as if anise is the strongest note to me. It was LAST.))

Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Pumpkin, Spicy

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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64

I bought this tea on the basis of it coming from the only American tea plantation: Oliver Pluff & Company, in Charleston, South Carolina. I was intrigued by their slogan “A leaf from America’s tea heritage”. I would like to know how they determined this to be like the tea drunk in Colonial America. Whence came the recipe(s) for curing the tea to produce this flavor? I don’t know, but here are my impressions, from my first two cups, today:

It seems a bit weak. I used three teaspoons, had the water to the suggested 195 degrees, and steeped it 4-1/2 minutes. I’m glad it’s not too strong, as it’s not bitter. There’s a subtle smokiness, much lighter than the Lapsang Souchongs I’ve experienced. It’s an all right cup of tea, but not as distinctive as I would have liked, considering its presumed heritage of “America’s” tea. Perhaps it’s simply that American soil is not the right place to grow tea. I shall try to use a bit more the next time I try it.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Fireplace, Smoke, Smooth, Tannic

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 30 OZ / 887 ML

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55

I have mixed feelings about this tea. While I enjoyed the bright, deep cranberry color and flavor of this tea, I didn’t like the stevia. I don’t care how ‘natural’ stevia leaf may be, I just don’t like that flavor—it’s artificial-tasting to me. Its taste represents artificial sweetener to me, and I can’t get past that. And I enjoy hibiscus-heavy teas. My favorite is Celestial Seasonings’ classic, original Red Zinger. That’s the tea that made me fall in love with hibiscus tea in the first place.
I ended up mixing a teabag of this into different combination teas I brewed. I can only recommend RoT Natural Hibiscus with reservations. If you would ordinarily add stevia or other artificial sweetener to your tea, then you’ll probably like this. If you like to add some extra color and flavor when you improvise a mixed tea blend, this works well. But it isn’t among my favorites.

Flavors: Artificial, Berries, Cranberry, Hay, Hibiscus

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 45 OZ / 1330 ML

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Seems to me there’s a thin line between true discernment and pretentious twaddle. I’ll write what teas work for me, why I like them or not. I’m not the connoisseur some folks here are, but I think you will get a fair assessment of whatever tea I write about.

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