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Recent Tasting Notes
This was from SkySamurai a while ago – thank you! New note for it, but also a sipdown. If I wake up with a headache, my go-to is a mint tea. This is a gunpowder green… with plenty of mint flavoring…. organic flavoring. It seems like mint oil though, it’s so strong. I’m not sure what deems it “Swedish Mint” though. It’s green tea! It’s minty! It’s good! Also a very strong minty second steep. I had this yesterday and the headache seemed to disappear midday — not sure if that was this due to the helping minty properties of this tea!
Steep #1 // 1 1/4 teaspoons for a full mug // 31 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 minutes after boiling // 3 min
2023 sipdowns: 3
Sample from the last TTB. The black tea here is a little bitter and not high quality. The pineapple is pretty pleasant, but I don’t really taste any coconut. I shared this tea with someone else who really enjoyed it. It was pleasant cold, but not my favorite pina colada tea I’ve tried recently.
On the up side, this is a sipdown and, since it’s caffeine free, also counts for Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge this month. Which is great, because I’m really not a fan of this blend, especially hot. I guess it’s supposed to taste like marzipan? Which is a flavor I love, because it’s a candy I love. But the hot brew just short-circuits my brain and makes me think "why? what is this? what is this supposed to be?’ Once it cools, especially as it gets cold, the sweetness coalesces into something like marzipan and it’s not unpleasant to drink – but I won’t be reordering this one any time soon. The snowflake sprinkles in the blend are cute though.
Lagniappe sipdown today, as a latte. Like others, I found the caramel flavor on this one a bit lacking even though I was generous with the leaf. Certainly I wouldn’t call this a creamy blend, absent the contributions from the oat milk – which is basically a necessary addition to spruce this up from being a perhaps faintly sweet rooibos.
Strange VariaTEA TTB – Tea #33
Wasn’t sure exactly what this was, it smelled a bit floral or something in the pouch. But it seems to be a plain white tea. The leaves were very broken so I shortened my steep a bit.
It doesn’t seem to have been short enough, because there’s quite a lot of bitterness going on. It actually sort of tastes slightly like jasmine or some floral as well, even though there’s no jasmine. Otherwise very hay-like, as I would expect. Now what was jasmine is tasting like bubblegum, which is odd. I doubt there was any contamination, since this was in a well-insulated kraft paper pouch. There’s a touch of stonefruit at the end of the sip.
Certainly not a good quality white tea, but it’s gone now! :P
Result: Finished Off
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Bubblegum, Floral, Grain, Hay, Jasmine, Musty, Stonefruit
Strange VariaTEA TTB – Tea #27
Hmm this doesn’t smell or taste anything like cake. It tastes like a mediocre black tea. There are some slight raisin and caramel notes going on, otherwise it’s a little earthy but mostly just tea-ish.
I thought I was missing something, but Roswell and VariaTEA’s notes say basically the same thing so now I feel better ha ha.
Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Raisins, Smooth, Tea
Strange VariaTEA TTB – Tea #6
So full disclosure, I wasn’t planning on trying this tea. Pumpkin spice isn’t generally my thing. But I saw there was only a tiny bit left in the packet, and I felt bad for it. Yep, I felt bad for a tea. Not sure what’s wrong with me lol…
Anyway, it’s not terrible. The base is slightly bitter, but it was also the bottom of the bag so there was probably some dust in there. I’m not sure I get pumpkin. In fact, I don’t get much of anything in terms of added flavors. A bit of cinnamon maybe? There’s also apparently apple and orange, but I don’t taste that either. If anything I would guess a hint of chocolate or caramel flavor.
Bye-bye, tea! Glad to have made room to add a tastier tea, he he. :)
Result: Finished Off
Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Bitter, Cinnamon, Sweet, Tannic
Ruby Hot Chocolate Sipdown (216)
I don’t love Earl Greys usually but they find their way into my stash. And Mastress Alita prompted us to drink an Earl Grey as part of her January Sipdown challenge. So…I figured it out. I used this whole sample and made a ruby hot chocolate infused with Earl grey. This is creamy and sweet and definitely has a strong bergamot note. It’s brisk but not bitter or astringent and I think that’s because it’s calmed by the milk and the sweetness of the hot chocolate mix. I am happy for the bergamot note because there isn’t much ruby flavour in this ruby hot chocolate mix. It’s mostly like a white hot chocolate with bergamot. Not bad but could have been better. That said, this is probably the best way to enjoy this tea.
Eggnog Latte Sipdown (199)
Advent Season 2021 Day 19
Work is kicking my ass because an entire team quit and I happen to be the only person trained in their work in the 120 person office. So on top of my already overloaded workload, I have been asked to pick up their work and I’m sad and drowning. I go on vacation next week though so hopefully I survive and to help with that survival plan, I’m breaking and drinking tea.
This seemed like it could make a good eggnog latte…and it does, but mostly because it doesn’t impact the eggnog flavour much. Slight maple, but mostly it’s the green tea base that is sort of a darker green tea note that comes through. It just keeps the sweetness from being too much. Nice but not something I need again.
There is no easy way to say this. Actually, there is. I’m not looking forward to trying this tea out. Maybe I feel bad saying so because it was a gift. But I’ve had my share of loose leaf whites and this is…. the bottom of the pile. It literally looks like the bottom of the tea leaf pile. Everything else was harvested but they didn’t want to just toss this. Harvesting and processing is hard work you know! But still, the coloring is dull. It’s so broken. Might as well be in a bag.
Sorry. Let’s taste.
The aroma doesn’t do it any justice either. Dull. Though with slight orchard notes. So not a complete waste. The wet aroma is very earthy. Compost, wet leaves, musty wet wood. But you really, I am really, have to stick your nose in the leaves to get the aroma.
Let me clean my nose off.
So now we taste. The liquor is much darker than I would expect for a white but considering the color of the leaves, it doesn’t surprise me. Clear, dark, amber. The taste is not pleasant. Drinkable but I am not enjoying this session. It is bland. Medicinal. Meh…
Sounds like a shou mei. The first one I got was a gift and I literally wondered if it was a prank at first! It was actually pretty good, though, for something that looked like the pile left after you rake the yard and there are still bits on the ground that you can’t get up.
Cold Brew Sipdown (215)
S was for…Summer Pie
Set this cold brew up yesterday when drinking “S” teas and then got super busy with work. Today we went to a photo place outdoors and it’s creamy hot so I was super happy to come home to this refreshing cold brew. It’s cold with a lot of dark berry flavour. Nothing special but good. And despite the heat, the pics turned out cute: https://www.instagram.com/p/CTKt2yKrAGw/?utm_medium=copy_link
J is for…Japanese Genmaicha
I had no “I” teas and no “I” company so I skipped ahead to “J” teas. This is the only J tea I have.
Also, weird that Roswell Strange thanked me for this because I don’t recall ever having it. Did I have 2 packages and send you one? Did I have this and never record it? I don’t know.
This is an alright Genmaicha. I’m getting a touch too much umami from the green tea base. It’s also got a slight drying twang at the end of the sip. The rice is nice and roasty though, which is appreciated.
H is for…Hot Tamales
I went through a hot tamales phase as a teenager where I was obsessed with them. Then I got over them and don’t think I’ve had them since.
This has the right cinnamon to capture hot tamales – that hot but sweet cinnamon flavour. However, the other flavors like Rose and the base green make this a bit bitter and thus take away from the tea overall. It’s fine but I’ve seen it done better by other companies.
Latte Sipdown (197)
G is for…Green Meadows
I didn’t expect this to be a bergamot tea until I opened the package and smelled it and really looked at what’s in it. Given the bergamot, I decided to make this as a latte.
This is super flat though. And basically just had a hint of bergamot among milk. So I am not a fan.
F is for…Forever Nuts
I don’t love the DAVIDsTEA version of this and this is like a worse version of the DAVIDsTEA tea so…
It’s heavy hibiscus. Heavy nut. And then a dusty cocoa. I wanted to like it but honestly i did not and I’m happy it’s gone.
C is for…Caramel Corn
I’m enjoying this one. It looked a bit like a Genmaicha on a black tea base but the apple in it really sweetens everything up. It’s also got a lot of caramel notes which is giving me the caramel corn vibes it’s supposed to – just caramel corn with a lot of apple.
ETA: If this cools, even a little, it starts getting astringent, which really detracts from it as a whole. That’s sad because at its hottest, too hot to drink really, it was nice.