Black Lotus TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Cold Brew Sipdown (2366)!
Somewhat bitter sweet to be finishing off some of this Critical Role inspired blends because they’re so fun to drink while watching the livestreams each Thursday, but this past brew really just tasted kind of generically fruity without a lot of clarity of flavour so it does feel like it’s time to put this one in the past.
It was so fun, though! And I think it captures a lot of the essence of the character.
Geek Steep S3E5 – The Music of Disney
So this is the tea that I paired with “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin.
Every song I picked was from a favourite Disney movie of mine, but this one was a bit of an extra gut punch because it’s sung by the late Robin Williams. If I’m being honest, this pairing was as much about pairing a tea to the memory of the actor as it was to the song itself.
A lot of celebrity deaths have impacted and shocked me, but Robin Williams was the first one that literally stopped me in my tracks. I still clearly remember the moment I found out he had passed and I can almost replay it in my head in slow motion. I was working at Dollarama and I was in the hardware and tools aisle restocking lightbulbs when it was announced on the radio. He was just such a constant in my childhood and the amount of joy and laughter he brought to so many… his death was crushing.
I put a lot of pressure on myself to do this pairing right, and to understand the thought process I think you have to understand the character that this tea is inspired by because it is a fandom blend inspired by the character Jester from Critical Role’s second campaign. Jester was very much the heart of the second campaign; she was notoriously goofy and kind of childish and she liked to pull pranks on people and just get into all kinds of whacky shenanigans, but she was also this emotional bedrock for her friends to turn to for support and reassurance. Under all of that, though, she was deeply insecure and depressed. Her pranks, her drive to make her friends laugh, and her deep empathy came from a lot of internalized sadness and avoidance of her own emotions. Sound familiar? Basically, I paired the character this tea is inspired by to Robin himself.
Here’s the thing, though. This tea is fun and kind of crazy and goofy. Like, it’s called “Fancypants Tea” because that was Jester’s joking persona she would take on to when pranking people or to improvise herself out of the bad situations her comedy would get her in. It’s packed full of different fruits and colourful ingredients. So, the tea itself is a pretty good pairing to the upbeat ruckus of this highly comedic and bombastic song.
Bonus points tea: The tea steeps blue, Jester was a blue tiefling, and the genie is blue.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx91ff77yzM
I want to love this tea because I love the character it’s inspired by. Plus, conceptually, the ideas behind the dry leaf aesthetic and the flavours are both as appealing sounding as they are fitting for this tricky blue tiefling. However, steeped I just feel like this is pretty bland tasting. I do taste berries but it’s in a generic and hard to identify way and the flavour feels really watered down/stripped. No watermelon at all. I think it’s just because the blend is SUPER busy and there are a ton of ingredients. The result is that everything is a little too stretched thin and nothing is used in a high enough percentage to actually impart a distinct taste.
Oh boy, there are a lot of flavours happening in this tea! Like, the ingredient list is mad busy. However, the somehow feels appropriate for a blend inspired by Caleb Widowgast – my beloved arsonist dirty murder hobo wizard from Critical Role’s second campaign…
Despite how much is happening here in terms of ingredients, they all come together really cohesively. I see that there seem to be some similarities in terms of flavour/ingredient direction compared to the other Caleb inspired blend I own (the one from HelloSweetea that I helped create) – namely orange and Lapsang souchong. Both of those notes come through in the steeped cup but they’re not center stage flavours; more gentle undertones. Instead this is more of a full bodied and rich profile of spiced chocolate. Ginger, cinnamon – those sort of warming spices. It’s nice.
I like the one I helped make better (for probably very biased reasons) but I see the direction and intent here and it does make for a very pleasant cuppa!
Cold Brew Sipdown (1707)!
Oh, what’s this? Another Critical Role/Caleb Widowgast themed tea that I sipped on while watching Critical Role this week? It’s almost like there’s been a theme…
I find this one a bit more bland as a cold brew than it was hot, but the main flavours are definitely all still there. It’s got that soft mintiness that reminds me a little bit of a candy cane but married with some silky vanilla notes, a little fleeting butteriness, the semi-sweet nutty notes of both the rooibod and the almond flavouring, and just a tiny hint of something floral in the undertones.
Reflecting on it… this doesn’t really seem like the most thematically appropriate blend for Frumpkin who, in my mind, should be a ginger honey tea with maybe just a hint of maple. However, it’s definitely a very nice tasting tea and I love the way all the different flavours click together so harmoniously.
Been trying to catch up on the second Critical Role campaign, though that’s really been the case for the last year. I’m getting fairly close now though; I have about thirty episodes left of the 141 in the second campaign.
So, y’know, only around 120 or 130 hours left to go…
I don’t always drink a Critical Role inspired tea while I watch or use either of the two DnD themed mugs that I own – but whenever I do, like in this case, it just feels more magical and immersive. This blend is inspired by my favourite character’s familiar, and it’s just a nice cozy composition. Like a peppermint cream type of flavour, but with the extra buttery flavours of the milk oolong and a nice woody minerality and toasted nutty quality from the rooibos. Peppermint cream but more is, I suppose, how I might sum it up.
I don’t think my tasting notes are going to be great tonight because literally all day my mind has felt like a weird, blurry combination of a pinball machine and a hamster running on a wheel. I’m feeling so spacey and having such a hard time focusing…
I had this one, I think, last weekend? It’s been a while – I’ve put off writing the tasting note because I wanted to take time to really explain what I would do for a Caleb inspired tea blend (because it’s SUPER different from this one) but I think I’m just gonna have to do that at a later date. I want to do the description justice since he’s my favourite character…
This tea, while not what I’d picture for either the character of Caleb or Frumpkin, is really nice! I think it’s my favourite of the Critical Role teas yet, actually. The taste is a little bit softer but the liquor is really thick and creamy – with a coating sensation on the palate. It tastes primarily of silky peppermint and cream with more nutty and woody body flavours from the rooibos. I know there’s oolong in the blend, but I don’t know if I necessarily picked up on a lot of “oolong type” flavours other than the creaminess.
I’ll try to write a better tasting note in the future.
I did not enjoy this tea because I don’t really enjoy sencha and this is very literally just straight sencha dusted in matcha. It was just a tiny bit buttery, but mostly wildly oceanic/marine tasting with some grassier undertones. Just not my preference/ideal cup.
That said, I feel like it’s a pretty perfectly spot on tea for Fjord (the Critical Role character this is inspired by) – those greener and oceanic notes are perfect for this half orc sailor, and I really can’t think of much else that I would have done different for him myself. Great character interpretation overall, even if it’s not my jam.
For a while I’ve been a little bit too busy to watch as much of Critical Role’s second campaign as I’d like to, but I’ve been watching a little bit more over the last two weeks in my attempt to finally finish it. I only have just shy of 20 episodes to go, and then I’ll have finished it! I was drinking this during one of my most recent times watching, and it felt fun and appropriate because I was combining a fandom tea with it’s fandom. However, the tea itself is probably one of my least favourite of these character inspired blends. It’s just sort of a generic-y tasting chai mix which is really not my thing and also just doesn’t feel appropriate for the character either.
Continuing the tradition of drinking my Critical Role inspired teas whilst watching Critical Role. This is definitely one of the less creative/fun ones in my opinion – it tastes like your very basic and standard black tea chai. Not unpleasant, but not my thing either and honestly just a little bit boring. I know it’s supposed to have chestnut in it, which is the “twist” on the chai profile but I didn’t feel like it translated into the cup at all.
That said, there’s still something fun and engaging about drinking a fandom blend while you engage with the fandom – even if the tea is just sort of okay.
I definitely think I’d have taken a different approach with my own “Nott/Veth” inspired blend were I to make one – something boozier for sure. Maybe a sweet cherry blend with a whiskey undertone to it? I know it’s canon that Nott likes Cherry Wine so that could be a fun nod to the character.
This sipdown sucks just a little bit more than finishing off the Jester inspired blend from Black Lotus because, Critical Role inspiration aside, I actually just really enjoy the taste of the tea. Bright, tart and juicy blueberry with cooling crisp mind and that soft, soothing bergamot undertone that weirdly ties them both together.
I haven’t checked to see if Black Lotus has created character blends for Bell’s Hells/Campaign 3 but since this is a tea that I was legitimately buy more of in a larger quantity I may end up checking sooner rather than later. It would be hard to justify an order for one tea, but if I’m scooping up this tea and all the C3 characters that would be worthwhile to me…
Y’know, this tea doesn’t hit as hard chilled… pun intended. Y’know, ‘cause it’s inspired by a Monk. The DnD class that literally punches people. I’ll see myself out.
Seriously though. It’s still tasty and I feel like the three key components of the blend are still present – Earl Grey, mint, and dark berries. They’re just not nearly as sharp and punchy. Also the bergamot note is now the strongest flavour, which I think feels a bit like a downgrade. That’s heavily biased, though.
One more cup of this left – it’s probably my favourite of these Critical Role inspired teas, so I’ll be sad to finish it off.
I have to up my rating up from a 76 for this tea because it’s been reliably and consistently growing on me with each cup. Delicious, sweet and syrupy blueberry with deep menthol and cooling undertones and just that little flirt of citrus from the Earl Grey. Plus, as I continue watching Campaign 2 I’m kind of starting to be more and more on board with this as a Beau inspired blend too! It’s just so solid!
Made myself a very big mug of this a few days ago and I liked it more than I remembered. It’s got such a deep and cooling distinct mint to it but then the body is really juicy dense blackberries and currant and the combo of that jammy dark berry mixed with the crisp mint is so distinct. I felt really alert and refreshed finishing off the mug. Mmm!
More Critical Role inspired teas!
I haven’t really thought about what a Beauregard tea might look like, but without putting a lot of thought into it I feel like maybe a “Blueberry Fruit Punch” would be a good vibe? Blueberry for the blue colour of the Cobalt Soul and Fruit Punch both for the pun (since she’s a Monk/fights with her fists) and for that more vibrant/intense and colourful flavour to match her attitude and level of sarcasm. Idk.
This was definitely interesting and it didn’t immediately scream “Beau” to me, but I enjoyed the cup a lot. I’ll need to look at the ingredients again, but it was like a sweet blue/purple berry forward cup of black tea with undertones of bergamot and a cooling minty finish. A lot going on, but surprisingly works? I guess you could call that fitting for her character, even though bergamot/Earl Grey seems wildly out of place to me. I also am not sure if I’ve had a minty EG before and the prospect leaves me feeling… weirded out.
Honestly it was really that yummy fruit flavour that pulled everything together/made me enjoy this cuppa.
I must really be craving florals today because this is my third floral teas of the day. It was a delicious and highly sippable mug though; I didn’t get much from the oolong base aside from body and a little bit of a mineral undertone but the mixture of chamomile, lavender, and a lot of rose. God, I love rose so much!
Okay – this is pretty close to being the perfect blend composition for the character it’s inspired by. I absolutely would have gone with the exact same floral approach, and the level of florals is actually really balanced here: I taste rose, lavender, and chamomile without this being aggressively floral/perfumey. Rose is probably the strongest of that trio, but not by a whole lot.
I think the only change I may have made was using something like a mix of more neutral black tea and then some smoky Lapsang Souchong as the tea base. That burly aggressive smoke would have felt appropriate to me for this gothic looking barbarian, but I wouldn’t have wanted it to drown out the soft floral sweetness. That said, I like the Phoenix Oolong base a lot in terms of blend composition/flavour – it’s honey sweetness and light roast give a really nice complimentary body and depth to the florals.
Kind of just a so-so cuppa. The pu’erh base here is a little bit dull in flavour but the muted earthy notes are pleasant and feel really appropriate for the character this is inspired by. The best part was the strawberry note which is very simple. However, I like that it’s not very intense overall and it also contrasts the base nicely.
More Critical Role themed teas! (This is one I drank pre-fucked up tooth)
At the point of Critical Role that I’m at right now, we don’t know a ton about the character who inspired this blend – Caduceus Clay. However, there’s enough that I feel like I know him well enough to feel like this blend is a bit of a weird character fit. He’s a Cleric and tender of a generational graveyard, who happens to make make tea out of the plants that grow over the decomposing graves – all while being an incredibly wise and gentle soul. So a Hazelnut Strawberry blend!? Idk, doesn’t feel right…
I do like the deeply complex and earthy shou pu’erh tea base though – that seems appropriate for both the character and the environment he hails from. Something fermented/aged and connected to nature in terms of taste/flavour direction. I feel like I probably would have personally gone for more of a herbaceous direction and used things like nettle leaf, assorted roots like chicory, or more calming ingredients like chamomile or jasmine as part of the blend composition if I was making a blend for Caduceus. Also probably a handful of spices – within the group he often takes on the role of party cook and has a penchant for creating flavourful spiced dishes. So an herbal and root forward shou chai!? Idk – he’s a hard character to pin down.
All of that said, I did enjoy this blend a lot. The strawberry is pretty sweet and sticky, with a bit of that “soda style” strawberry syrup flavour, but the hazelnut is rich and compliments the earthiness of the shou pu’erh base very well. Not overly complex, but in that way it seems appropriate for this gentle and wise soul who is, for the most part, satisfied with a simple life.
Critical Role’s third campaign started last Thursday so I decided to steep up a Critical Role themed tea blend while watching the livestream that night on Twitch! It was a late night since the stream started at 10PM and ended around 2PM, so I’m glad I opted for something with caffeine…
Ultimately, this is a fun and colourful blend with a really gorgeous distinct blue colour to it. It feels right for Mollymauk’s tea so be so colourful and vibrant – but it makes me sad that the flavour doesn’t really match. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s just very soft and floral without a clear direction to the few vague fruity elements. I see, in the ingredients, mango flavouring but I don’t taste it at all along with any of the other flavourings used. I just wanted more punch from this blend.
So, for that reason, I’m glad it’s a sipdown. Still, it was so much fun to be drinking a Critical Role blend while watching the campaign premiere! I can’t wait to see what other kinds of teas the new player characters inspire.
I absolutely have a Critical Role obsession problem right now, so you best bet that I went and ordered myself a bunch of Critical Role inspired teas. This one takes inspiration from the ever colorful and flamboyant tiefling Mollymauk Tealeaf.
I think it’s just wayyyyy too perfect for a Molly inspired tea to used something colourful like Butterfly Pea Flower. As such, this tea steeps up a brilliant blue colour. However, the taste is very soft – just a gentle berry and apple note alongside the more off putting taste of the butterfly pea flower itself. It’s nice visually, but just doesn’t have the right punch of flavour for this character.
I think my version of a Mollymauk tea would have some similarities – like I would keep the vibrant colour. However, I would probably do a really punchy and flavourful Blueberry Lemonade taste profile – combined with the pea flower the acid of the lemon would result in a purple liquor colour, which is just perfect for this purple tiefling. I’d probably add just a bit of lavender as well, as a nod to the lavender perfume that Molly wore.
Yup – that sounds right.