Dessert by Deb

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76
drank Thai Banana Cake by Dessert by Deb
1719 tasting notes

Inkling Advent Day 3 (actually this was day 2 and I accidentally drank day 7 yesterday, thinking it said 2 – whoops!) I’ve considered making orders from Dessert by Deb, but I never have, so I’m excited to try this! The flavor is mostly just plain black tea. A lot of coconut and other things are in the blend, but I don’t taste them. Maybe with different steeping parameters more of the other flavors would come out. Luckily Inkling provided enough for a second cup, so I’m eager to test! Even though I only taste the black tea, it’s a nice one, so I don’t mind.

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57

I placed an order with Deb, as I wanted to buy some of her blends for gifts…of course I couldn’t resist buying myself a few new-to-me blends. This was one of them. It’s okay. Very very anise forward, so it’s more of a coconut anise chai?

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Fun concept, but the cup was a little bit flat/dull and the fruity notes lacked clarity. It sort of just tasted like you took a generic tart fruit tea and poured it into a cup of straight rooibos. I think more care could have been taken to find ways to blend the base and the additional flavours together more harmoniously.

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Had this one last night – thank you to tiffanydrinkstea for the very generous tin of it!

The dry leaf smells interesting. It’s got whiffs of cinnamon and some kind of fruity note that is plum-ish but not quite plum. That holds very true for how it tastes steeped as well. Definitely a full bodied, rich black tea base with a nice addition of cinnamon – not heavy handed but not exactly gentle either. Very, very warming. It’s like the perfect ratio of cinnamon to black tea to hit that festive and wintery sweet spot. In addition, there’s a sort of mild “sweet brown” flavour that puts the final nail in the coffee cake comparison when you factor the base and mild spices in. The variable is the “sugar plum”. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it again but plum is a SUPER hard flavour to convey in tea. This blend definitely tastes fruity and the overall balance of fruit to everything else is really enjoyable to me, but I don’t think it’s plum. Maybe some kind of darker berry note that is a bit “passably” stonefruit in a wishy washy sort of way.

Even still, it’s a nice cuppa and it will do me well in the cold upcoming months.

Cameron B.

I agree, plum teas are generally disappointing to me because they don’t really taste like plum. HOWEVER, I recently ordered Thé de l’Abbaye from Dammann and was so happy to find it super plummy!

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Sipdown! (19 | 293)

I don’t know why I ordered this, I don’t even like almond flavoring in tea these days. I guess I was probably sucked in by the thought of the namesake dessert, that gooey peach center surrounded by golden flaky crust and sprinkled with coarse sugar and sliced almonds…

Well, now I’m just hungry.

It’s not bad though. The peach is the stronger of the two flavors to me, which helps. I do like Deb’s peach too, it’s not overly candylike. But I’m still not a fan of that marzipan-y almond note, to me it takes it to a medicinal place that I don’t love. The base tea is actually rather brisk, which is interesting. Not getting a ton of flavor from it otherwise though. I bet this would be yummy with milk!

Anyway, not for me, but I should’ve known better anyway, heh…

Flavors: Amaretto, Astringent, Cherry, Marzipan, Medicinal, Peach, Sweet, Tannic

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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54

This wasn’t bad but I definitely wanted to like it more than I did. It did taste like chocolate and it did taste like banana but everything was so muted and also level in terms of flavour balance that it really created this very flat and unexciting profile despite the presence of multuple distinct flavour notes. The black tea itself was also really bakey. Not in the sense of, like, “baked goods” either but in the industry terms where it tasted over fired. The whole time I drank the tea I just had this sense that it was incomplete; I think it just needed more of like any one flavour direction to just create dimension: bitterness of the chocolate, sweetness of the banana…

Anything like that would have helped.

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62

This smells like cinnamon sugar toast.
The flavor is more muted than I would have expected based on the scent. But, the cinnamon is still present.
I’m honestly not tasting any matcha. Just cinnamon, sugar, and coconut. I really wish Deb would use less coconut and maple in her blends. Many great blends have been ruined with the addition of those 2 ingredients.

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72

Sipdown! (58 | 274)

This was fine. It’s basically the exact same as every other strawberry green tea I’ve ever had from Deb, with the addition of rose petals. There is a subtle rose note, happily not enough to put me off. But I have a whole tin of Strawberry Roll Cake, and the ingredients are essentially the same. So not sure I understand the point of this blend, and they’re both in the same collection even (Asian Patisserie).

Also this tastes nothing like sakura… It tastes like strawberry and rose with a touch of honey. (shrugs)

Flavors: Candy, Dry Grass, Floral, Grass, Honey, Rose, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Panettone Cake by Dessert by Deb
6387 tasting notes

This is tasting very astringent and raisin-y and I’m wondering if that was just user error so holding off on rating.

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Big thank you to tiffanydrinkstea for gifting me a very large bag of this tea, along with several others! I was so, so curious about this tea when it came out and the dry leaf smells incredible! Very much like pineapple soda pop but with a bit of a pina colada coconut twist to it. Creamy, sweet and wonderful…

Steeped up, the biggest thing is just that you can tell the coconut isn’t quite fresh. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s at the point of being rancid, but it’s got a slightly unpleasant lotion-y kind of thing going on – in mouthfeel too. It strongly detracts from an otherwise really pleasant pineapple flavour and the nice sweet honey notes from the rooibos, along with a VERY LIGHT hint of papaya. I want to enjoy this one so badly, but it’s hard to get past that coconut…

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70

Preparation: Western with oatmilk
Tasting Note: Didn’t drink a lot of the tea without the oatly. With oatly (oatmilk) it reminded me of a rye bread sort of. It had a roasty toasty spiced notes and was interesting. To be steeped again for more detail or maybe just more certainty.

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Pot of tea!

It’s been interesting reading some of the recent tasting notes for this and Deb’s other EG blends because it’s pretttyyyy apparent to me that I’m in the minority for actually really enjoying the more “raw and earthy” notes that are present in this tea blend. Now, mind you, I don’t usually like bergamot that much and on top of that I really like more resinous/pine or earthy flavours in tea. So, the lighter touch of bergamot and the earthiness is something that verrrryyy specifically appeals to my own preferences. That said, I could maybe do without the hibiscus in this blend. But the trio of blueberry, currant, and elderberry is pretty perfect in my mind!

Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CiDu-4hOx5j/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjBKTkITyRo

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70

Sipdown Theme #1: a Chai

I have so many chai tea variants in my tea cabinet right now that I will definitely need to work on some sipdown for this one this month. Other than that, on my breaks, I have been playing a new game that came out on switch today called ooblets. It is really cozy and great. Kind of like animal crossing or stardew Valley but with a simple card game thrown in the mix. Would highly recommend if you are into cozy switch games.

Preparation: Western
Tasting Note: I got this as a sample from deb. It surprised me. I didn’t think I would like a christmas, thanksgiving cranberry salad chai type tea and I was really wrong. It isn’t very strong hibiscus or cranberry so if that sort of tartness throws you off this will be ok. The spicing is good and isn’t overpowering but is still there. It smells like this cranberry christmas mead I bought from a local meadery in MN not too long ago and it really scratches that itch of having that again. I might change my mind on this tea in the future but I think it is certainly worth a try if you want some lighter christmas vibes in September.

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55

I don’t know why I ordered this one.

It was stupid of me, really, because I’ve never liked a single one of Deb’s Earl Grey blends. At first I thought it was the lavender, but they don’t all have lavender in them. So I guess it’s either the bergamot or the base tea, but something tastes super earthy, like I’m licking potting soil. And combined with the candylike blueberry flavoring here, it’s very weird. Adding oat milk doesn’t help either, then it’s creamy blueberry dirt.

Sigh. It’s my own fault for ordering this tea, I guess I was just too intrigued by the bergamot & blueberry combo, since I don’t think I’ve had it before. Oh well, into the swap box it goes…

Flavors: Artificial, Blueberry, Candy, Dirt, Earth, Lavender, Musty, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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40

This is a strange one.

The concept sounds feasible to me, but I’m not a fan of the execution. There is way too much tartness going on here from the hibiscus, and it doesn’t mesh well with the roasty hojicha and especially the coconut. The result tastes very acidic and the hibiscus sort of dominates the other flavors. I can taste some roastiness and a hint of coconut, but the whole thing just tastes acrid to me, and it’s turning my stomach as I continue to sip it.

I think a hojicha berry shortcake tea could make sense, but definitely without the hibiscus part, focusing more on the creamy and cakey elements and with more of a jammy berry versus a tart one.

Putting this into the rehoming box, though I’m not sure who would enjoy this. Maybe it would be more palatable as a cold brew? She suggests to prepare it as a latte, wouldn’t it curdle like crazy with all of the hibiscus…? O.o

Flavors: Acidic, Coconut, Hibiscus, Roasted, Sour, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Elodie

I’ve not had hibiscus curdle my milk just yet, but maybe i’ve just been lucky! if it seems particularly acidic…maybe a plant based milk would work?

AJRimmer

Ha, I put milk into acidic teas all the time and just drink it quickly before it becomes too solid :P

Kaylee

When I first read the name of this I thought “ooh that’s an interesting concept,” but it’s disappointing that the execution is so hibiscus-heavy/went for a tart vs a jammy berry. I definitely immediately imagined it more as like the syrupy strawberries they top cheesecakes with. Maybe it would work better as a cold brew?

Cameron B.

Yeah I was thinking someone else might enjoy it cold, I personally don’t ever drink iced/cold brew tea or make lattes, so definitely not for me ha ha.

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75

Preparation: Western with oatley
Tasting Note: I added some oat milk to this blend this time and had a pretty different experience than last time. This time I get strong pastry and almond notes with a slight bit of peachiness. Like last time the black tea is strong enough to stand up to some oatmilk and doesn’t feel overly watered down. I am enjoying this as a nutty tea for this month’s sipdown theme.

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75

Preparation: Western
Tasting Note: I was surprised by the robustness of this base. I kind of went in thinking “3 tsps for an 8-10 oz mug is good, right?” since my last few DBD blacks are light tasting. It was much bolder than expected, almost enough to overwhelm the other notes of the tea. I still got a little sweet peach and a slightly different sweetness from the almond (an aftertaste or maybe I am imagining it? haha).

In short, I am glad this isn’t overwhelmingly peachy or perfumey. It is a nice brisk cuppa.

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75

Sipdown! (114 | 211)

Deb was kind enough to include a sample of this one at my request, since it only comes in 75g bags and I’m not willing to blind order that much.

It’s tasty, but mostly it’s just a watermelon oolong. I only taste a tiny hint of grassiness from the green tea, and no jasmine at all. The watermelon is very candylike, like a watermelon Jolly Rancher. Based on the taste and the distinctive flower petals in this blend, I think this is the same wholesale watermelon oolong that I’ve had from another company previously.

It’s enjoyable, and I’m sure it would be yummy cold brewed as well, but not something I would order. Still interested in trying the lime version though!

Flavors: Artificial, Candy, Dry Grass, Floral, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Watermelon

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
vallhallow

I should ask her to do this next time an interesting 75g exclusive comes out from DBD. I am slowly getting through this one but I just got the lime slush too. Its really good cold brewed though.

Cameron B.

Ooh, interested to hear how the lime one is!

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68

Sipdown! (110 | 207)

Another free sample from Deb. ❤

This one looks pretty and smells amazing. However, it steeps up quite weak IMO. I always use extra leaf for Deb’s teas, because they often need it, but even with 4+ teaspoons (compared to my usual 3) for a 16-ounce pot, this still tastes a bit watery. The peach flavor is nice, it reminds me of dried peaches and tastes quite natural, but it doesn’t really pop out the way I would like it to. The green base is mellow and grassy, and I don’t taste the hibiscus at all.

So I like the flavors here, but I feel like the volume needs to be turned up, so to speak. And it’s probably because there are quite a few added ingredients, while the flavoring is only applied to the green tea?

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Dry Grass, Hay, Peach, Smooth, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Sipdown! (108 | 205)

Deb sent this as one of the samples in my recent order, and it smells amazing! Pineapple gummy bears meets piña colada.

Unfortunately, the coconut really takes over in the steeped tea. It tastes like a pile of coconut and a bit of rooibos, with a tiny hint of pineapple peeking in in the background. I hate how almost every time something has pineapple, it has coconut as well, and coconut is always the stronger flavor. As a pineapple lover, it makes me sad. Plus all of the coconut makes this super oily, which is always unappetizing for me…

Oh well, glad to try it, and for free! :)

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Oily, Rooibos, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
AJRimmer

I don’t love coconut, so I agree 100%

Cameron B.

Stupid coconut, such a bully! :P

Skysamurai

XD I love coconut but I know what you mean. It’s a difficult one to blend corrctly

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65

Sipdown! (94 | 191)

This one was just okay. It mostly tasted like peppermint and rooibos with a mild sweetness from the maple. Fine but certainly nothing cookie-like, and the peppermint is a bit little wet raggish. The package says to drink it as a latte, but if I did that with every Deb tea that recommends it, I think I would only ever have her teas as lattes lol. If it can’t stand on its own without adding milk and sugar, I’m not interested.

This was my last tea left from the subscription box last year, and good thing too, because I just got an order in of samples of her spring collection. Well, it was supposed to be samples, but apparently she had a label issue with a couple of the teas, so she sent me 50g tins of those instead of 25g pouches. Which, don’t get me wrong, is incredibly sweet of her! But I would’ve preferred the 25g pouches ha ha, I have too much tea! x.x

She also sent me samples of a couple of the new summer teas, which was so sweet. I’m very interested in trying the milk bread hojicha and watermelon lime slush oolong (both 75g minimum size), so if anyone has those and would be willing to swap samples, let me know!

Flavors: Creamy, Herbaceous, Mint, Peppermint, Rooibos, Sweet, Woody

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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60

Sipdown theme: Ingredient of a trail mix: Raisin
Been a little while since I have wrote a tasting note. Wedding crunch time

Preparation: Western
Tasting note: I have a sample of this one so I don’t have brewing instructions readily available on the package. I brewed at 209F for about 3-4 minutes. Tastes lightly of vanilla and delicate sweetness. I have never had a Panettone cake so I am not a good judge whether there is a likeness to the real thing. I didn’t get a lot of raisiny taste from this tea so I am not sure this is accurate. It’s not bad just not enough distinct flavors to be great.

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