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Recent Tasting Notes
AJRimmer Advent Day 1
So excited to have another homemade advent calendar to dig into this year! AJRimmer was so thoughtful and really seems to have kept my preferences in mind while putting this calendar together. I shared that I love caramel and coconut flavors in tea and this one has both! I let it cool 10 minutes as instructed, but didn’t add sugar since I almost never sweeten my tea. The resulting flavor was a bit lighter than I would have preferred, so I may try a touch of sugar in my second cup to see if I can coax out more of those caramel notes. But this was still a smooth, yummy cuppa!
Flavors: Caramel, Coconut, Smooth
This is a lovely tea and I am often reminded by these blends how much I like honeybush. It should be more common in tea blends. It tastes a bit like a graham cracker but in dried plant form.
I can taste the fruit although I wouldn’t immediately say “kumquat”. My teas are getting a bit older and I’m also not someone who eats a lot of kumquats. It does remind me of apricot and marmalade. I think this in on par with what I should expect from a citrus-type fruit like the kumquat but I think the flavour could have been a bit more distinct. I found it blended in a lot with the base (although, this is not always a bad thing).The honeybush is, of course, quite sweet, but also has a flavour similar to bran and woodchips. It is Earthy and a bit woody in a good way. I’m drinking this cup with some vanilla soy milk because the tea itself doesn’t have a lot of creaminess to it. I would have liked more vanilla and something to make it creamy like oats.
Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Graham, Honey, Woody
The green rooibos here is lovely, as ever. It’s mildly fruity, but mostly just green rooibos. I’m certainly enjoying it, but it’s not as amazing as some other green rooibos blends from 52teas. Still very refreshing and pleasant cold! I enjoy the cranberry flavor, but it makes me wish I were drinking crisp cranberry soda, which I keep at work.
I randomly spotted this packet under my old desk at work six months after I’d moved to my own office – I’m so glad no one decided to throw it away! The maple is a bit woody (in a good way). That’s the main flavor I taste…and perhaps some apple. The green base is perfect for this tea. I added some milk, which goes really well with the maple. This has to be one of the best green teas I’ve had – the maple is so authentic and delicious!
In tea I like roses. In tea I like chai. But do I like both together? The dry aroma says yes. The wet aroma has a nice spicy tang to it. Quite nice, that first sip was. Maybe a little heavy on the cardamom though. Also don’t like the aftertaste much but despite that it’s drinkable. After letting it cool down the flavors have mellowed out a bit but the cardamom is still just a bit too overwhelming for me.
The flavors here are definitely mild when it’s hot. I taste oolong, which isn’t my favorite sort of tea. I taste very little caramel or apple, just hints. I mixed this with a coconut oolong, and I felt like that was pretty nice. It’s slightly more flavorful cold. Now I taste a bit of fruitiness, but still mostly oolong.
For the sipdown prompt, “a tea from a small company.”
The dry leaf has a very sweet “candy grape” sort of aroma. Steeped, the flavor is more of a sweet berry note, though I do still taste a little grape toward the end of the sip. The base black tea has a slight florality coming through for me, which is likely adding to the sweetness of the tea. The flavor pops a lot more as the tea cools, as well.
Flavors: Berry, Candy, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Sweet
This tea gets incredible reviews, so when I didn’t really enjoy my first cup of it, I knew I should try it again before reviewing it. It tastes strongly of bittersweet chocolate, like a hot chocolate without any sugar. The black tea is very strong, almost bitter, but not bitter. You can tell that it tastes the way it means to taste. I added some spray cream to the last of my cup, which made it pretty decadent. I underleafed my second cup of it and was super careful with the steep time, and I enjoyed it a lot like that. It tastes so high quality and different from other black teas I’ve tried. The resteep tastes excellent too. The hype was justified with this one.
The flavor here was super subtle the first time I tried it, but stronger the next time. The first time I tasted orange, and the second time I tasted some banana too. The fruit and green tea go together well. It’s pleasant and refreshing cold, though it doesn’t really stand out among the many excellent green teas from 52teas. I had one cup of this mixed with Sun, Cloud, & Mist because I only had a teaspoon left of that one, and they went together really well.
The coconut here is pretty pleasant, even though I’m not a huge coconut fan. I don’t really like white tea either, but it complements the coconut well. This one ends up pretty simple to me – just the tea base and coconut – but the flavor is quite high quality. I didn’t really notice the hojicha, but I suppose I could see it in retrospect.
The pineapple scent here is so fresh!! When I tried this hot, the pineapple was juicy and zingy and fresh in just the right way. When it cooled to room temperature, the honeybush took over, and there was only a hint of pineapple. I put it in the fridge, and I like it more than at room temperature, but the pineapple still isn’t as strong as when I had it hot. I also don’t really get any cakey elements? I added some milk to try to get some of that sort of element, and I think that might also be helping the pineapple come out. You know, I really really like this one. The resteep was great too. I vote for more pineapple teas (with little to no coconut presence)!!
For the sipdown prompt, “a cranberry tea.”
The smell of the dry leaf is really lovely; it smells like creamsicle, with a slightly sharper edge to it that does read closer to tangerine than orange. That aroma also comes through in the steeped tea… sharp citrus and a pillowy, creamy vanilla.
I’m one of the few (it seems) that just can’t seem to taste/detect cranberry in teas (I have had this problem across the board with cranberry teas in general). I really just get a lovely creamsicle flavor, with a bit more of a tart edge to the citrus than you would get from the ice cream, though it still has that creamy vanilla/marshmallow tone to it. I got a bit more of a cranberry note as my cup cooled, but it was still pretty subtle. Though I did recall that I had better luck with “Crisp Cranberry Soda” when prepared cold, so I decided to start coldbrewing this tea, and it is a very satisfying cold, thirst-quenching tea. I still don’t really taste the cranberry, though… but that isn’t really a complaint. This is reminding me of an orange version of “Sun and Cloud Mist.” I really like the citrus/marshmallow combo Anne does in teas… lemon, lime, tangerine, they are all great! It just works so well with that creamy sweet vanilla-esque flavor.
Looking back at my notes, it looks like the cranberry popped the most in flavor for me when I actually added carbonation to “Crisp Cranberry Soda,” so I think I’ll try my next coldbrew batch as tea pop.
Flavors: Citrus, Creamy, Herbaceous, Sweet, Tangerine, Tangy, Vanilla
Brewed up a nice pot of this minty green tea on a strange sort of Sunday: It’s 75˚F, but cloudy and humid, with occasional sprinkles. The wind is a-gusting, sending leaves and pine needles skittering across my yard. It’s like… steamy-spooky. Which might explain why this name of this tea appealed to me! :D
I never find myself reaching for the few straight mint teas I have in my cupboard. I love mint in general, but I find mint tea very one-note, and it tends to bore me after a while. There’s only so much mint flavor you can take in a sitting, y’know? But because this blend has more going on, it’s working for me, big time! It’s like a minty, creamy, marshmallow… or maybe one of those melt-in-your-mouth mints? Butter mints? Yeah, that’s exactly what this tea is evoking for me. Butter mints! It’s like an elevated version of Twinings’ Buttermint. I love that it gives a sensation of sweetness without actually being sweetened. And the sharp spearmint is a great foil to the rich, creamy mouthfeel of the marshmallow root.
It smells and tastes delightful and screams “winter holiday” to me, which is no bad thing this time of year. I’m really enjoying it and could see it becoming my go-to mint tea.
Flavors: Creamy, Marshmallow, Mint, Soft, Spearmint, Sweet
Last Wednesday I woke up excited for Starbucks holiday drinks…except they didn’t come out until Thursday. So in my disappointment I decided to make an iced latte that I thought would sorta resemble the caramel brûlée latte. I made this with salted caramel cold foam and while it wasn’t the same, this was very good.
The cranberry flavor here was lovely, as it always is with 52teas. It definitely reminds me of the crisp cranberry soda flavor, which is a very good thing! This tastes really fresh and lovely cold. It has just the right amount of tartness to hint toward lemonade, but I usually find lemonade too sour, so this is perfect.
Mastress Alita’s Monthly Sipdown Challenge
November 2022 → A cranberry tea
I’m so sad I waited so long to try this one! It came as a sample with an order I place last year, but I never opened it until now. I’ve since learned my lesson with 52Teas blends – if the tea is still available by the time my order arrives, I’m trying it right away so I can decide if I need to place another order immediately. This is one I certainly missed out on purchasing.
Flavors: Berries, Chocolate
One of the most unusual teas I own. I bought this from 52teas when I was ordering Mom’s Spiced Peach Preserves Black Tea a few months ago. With a name of “Graveyard Mist”, I’d deliberately saved this one to try on Hallowe’en. So here it is!
Others here are more familiar than I with marshmallow root. If I remember the essence of marshmallow—that light sweetness—then that is what I taste. Strange how it’s such a strong yet subtle a flavor all at once. In combination with the spearmint, however, the predominant flavor tastes to me like…wintergreen, of all things.
If you like wintergreen, then you will definitely like this tea. I enjoy a good toasted marshmallow about once every five to ten years. That should tell you why I have to work a bit when trying to remember what marshmallow tastes like. They’re normally too sweet for me. It’s an interesting taste juxtaposition, with the green tea, malt, and spearmint.
I made it as hot tea, but it’s also cooled quite a bit, so I have literally enjoyed it both hot and cool tonight. This tea is for when you want a cup of something out of the ordinary. This is the tea to drink when you want to look up at the moon and just dream.
Flavors: Malt, Marshmallow, Spearmint, Wintergreen
I get some candylike pear and some mild spices. Everything tastes nice together. I taste some ginger and other flavors. I was craving this tea the other day and was happy to find I had one last serving left in the bag. It’s pleasant cold and is one of those rare fruity spiced teas that really works.
I’m never gonna love an Earl Grey — bergamot just isn’t my jam! But this is a nice enough one, with tart berries to balance out the floral bergamot. My EG-loving partner will appreciate it far more than me, though, so perhaps I should save it for him!
I’m not going to rate it because that feels unfair, given my personal tastes.
Flavors: Bergamot, Drying, Floral, Jam, Juicy