Friday Afternoon

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Recent Tasting Notes

64
drank Berry Juice by Friday Afternoon
1648 tasting notes

Another one from the TTB. There was a ton of fruit in the leaf, but I mostly taste sort of musty black tea. I would have almost guessed it had chocolate in it, but that quality must just be coming from the tea. I don’t get very much fruitiness, which was surprising.

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70

Some time ago, I decided I wanted a sample pack from Friday Afternoon. (They do that. It’s lovely. You tell them, “Give me a bunch of teas of type [x]” where X is things like Green, or Black, or whatever, and they send them.

I wasn’t expecting to like this one. I did. :-) Bergamot and I are not on speaking terms (my annoyance with Earl Gray and the fact that it’s often all I can get at conferences is a subject of some hilarity amongst my friends) but in this case, it’s subtle enough that I didn’t automatically go, “Ewwww.”

I’m sure the pomegranate helps. One of my favorite teas that I can no longer get was the Tealuxe Monk’s Blend, which included both pomegranate and bergamot.

This is not a tea that I feel the need to keep large amounts of on hand, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. It is neither excessively floral, nor excessively fruity, and I can taste the tea in it without difficulty. Said tea is also unobjectionable – not strongly acidic, nor does it leave my mouth puckered and angry. I can’t tell which black tea they used, but it’s not one that makes me go, “Nope,” and dump my mug down the drain.

The leaves also handled a second brewing just fine, which was a nice surprise. I will possibly get a small tin of this to keep on hand, for days when I want a tea that’s mostly just tea. It won’t be a huge tin – this isn’t going to be one of my go-to teas – but that’s fine. It’s why I bought the sample pack, after all – to broaden my taste buds.

I’m pleased by this particular broadening.

Flavors: Tea

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I got this sample in a recent TTB, and it must be old because it really doesn’t taste like anything. I taste sort of musty green tea and barely anything else. There were lots of rose petals, and I’m relieved they didn’t come through strongly at least!

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94

Such a treat out of the TTB! Easily one of my favorites. It’s like a forest cookie, but… not gross like that sounds. It’s got a spicy, cookie vibe that evokes fall, walks through the trees, and the changing colors of the leaves. So more “cookie one might eat before/after/while spending time in the woods in the fall” than “cookie made out of forest materials.” If this was an actual cookie, I can totally picture pairing it with a mug of hot apple cider.

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92
drank WTF by Friday Afternoon
739 tasting notes

Was feeling indulgent today after a late summer swim, so this was a particularly appealing choice as I keep making my way through the TTB. The flavors are a bit muted without any fixins, but a touch of sugar really brings them out. I’m getting toffee and caramel, not so much fudge, but it’s a mellow and enjoyable dessert cuppa. I added oat milk to a long second steep, and the creamy element was a nice complement to the flavors too. I really appreciate that this uses a white tea base for this flavor profile rather than a black tea, as so often happens. It supports and complements the flavors without overpowering them, and I don’t have the same stomach issues with white teas that I often have with black teas so I can drink this without worry. Win!

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80
drank Baby's Blend by Friday Afternoon
739 tasting notes

This one is really growing on me. I keep coming back to it from the TTB because it’s just mellow and soothing, particularly as a latte. Its mild milk chocolatey goodness and the roasted notes from the hojicha really hit the spot for a dessert/chocolate craving. While not a strong flavor, it is a consistently pleasing one that apparently I’m getting hooked on.

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80
drank Baby's Blend by Friday Afternoon
739 tasting notes

Had this a couple of times over the weekend from the TTB. The first time, I made it straight and it was a fine roasty chocolate hojicha blend. The second time, I added oat milk and a touch of honey for an evening latte. It tasted like hot chocolate milk, with roasty undertones that linger after the sip, along with the chocolate note. It’s good, it’s enjoyable enough, but it’s not great.

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65
drank True Love by Friday Afternoon
2932 tasting notes

Strange VariaTEA TTB – Tea #15

So, this one mostly tastes like plain rooibos.

I do feel like I get a little hint of the apple or maybe the strawberry? There’s a tiny bit of fruitiness. But I certainly don’t get caramel, which is the added flavor.

It’s not bad, the rooibos isn’t overall medicinal or anything. But I feel like I’m drinking straight rooibos, which isn’t something I’d choose to do ha ha. Not sure if this tea is just old or if it always tasted this way.

Result: Tried

Flavors: Fruity, Rooibos, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet, Wood

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

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drank ROFL by Friday Afternoon
1851 tasting notes

Friday Afternoon is a company I’ve been wanting to try, and thanks to vallhallow I finally can! This is such a unique blend – I can absolutely smell the vanilla and lemon in the dry blend. I look forward to having more cups of this one later on. It’s probably one of my favorites in our swap.

Flavors: Lemon, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Shadow Self by Friday Afternoon
287 tasting notes

TTB 2022
Well this is interesting, mostly rosemary notes. It doesn’t seem that this mixes very well, the raspberry leaves are very light and float to the top of the mixture. I shook the bag to try and distribute, but I still don’t think I scooped a good mix. It brews up dark, and I can distinguish the underlying puerh, but mostly this is smoky rosemary. Typically I like to mix my shou with peppermint, but I might try throwing a tiny tiny bit of rosemary in there too.

Flavors: Earthy, Rosemary, Smoked

Aiko

Wow, that sounds really interesting. I’m looking at this vendor now; I have never heard of them previously but there’s some really intriguing blends here here.

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65

I got a tasting packet of teas from Friday Afternoon because I was in the mood to try a bunch of new stuff, and said, “Send me random teas.” So they did.

It’s an Earl Grey I don’t instantly loathe! This is saying something positive for me, but not necessarily for anyone else? It is, however, still discerneably an Earl Grey – I can taste the bergamot pretty clearly, and as usual, my reaction to bergamot is “nope nope nope nope.” So, not for me, but nothing wrong with it if you like Earl Grey. Otherwise, the chocolate is definitely there, and I can’t taste the orange or vanilla at all.

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64
drank Peachy Dream by Friday Afternoon
48 tasting notes

I can smell the peach and strawberry, but the hazelnut that is hypothetically in there eludes me. It didn’t do anything in particular for me? Nothing wrong with it, it was simply “there.” For someone who’s big on peach tea, definitely worth a try.

(I got a sample pack for the fun of it, this was one of the ones in it. Hence trying it and going, “Yup, tea, that’s fine.”)

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drank Pumpkin Chai by Friday Afternoon
287 tasting notes

TTB 2022
This is a pleasant chai with maybe a hint of pumpkin(?). An unremarkable chai without bitterness, I’d put some more ginger in it if it was in my cupboard for a sipdown. Thanks for the opportunity to try a new tea vendor!

Flavors: Cardamom, Clove

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40

Just going through some of the Friday Afternoon tea blends today and I haven’t been overly impressed so far. So far I have had the Pomegrante black, Star dust and now A-L’s for teas. I have had a few herbal blends in the past that I have tried as well. Overall, so far I haven’t been really enjoyed anything enough from them to hold on to them or finish them which makes me sort of sad. I still have a few black blends and an oolong and hojicha blend left to try but hopefully I find one that clicks with me.

Prep: Western
Tasting Note: Oolong has some roasted notes but not very strong. There is some light amount of cinnamon and citrus. But mostly tastes pretty thin. I put probably 3 tsps in 12 oz so i just dont think its my cup of tea.

Preparation
3 tsp

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70
drank Memory Booster by Friday Afternoon
1648 tasting notes

I almost didn’t try this one from the TTB, but it’s been okay! Maybe I’m mostly tasting all the sugar I added, but this cup tasted sweet with no negative flavors. I can taste the berry, and there’s nothing complex or super interesting here, but it’s not unpleasant. The green tea doesn’t have much character, but it’s okay.

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44
drank ROFL by Friday Afternoon
125 tasting notes

Had this one late last night, while winding down for the night. I have been working on spreadsheet to organize all my tea beyond just tea category (black, puehr, oolong, green, white, herbal, etc) and tea type (straight, blended). I have been specifying what is in the blend more specifically and what tasting notes are in the straight tea.

Preparation: Western
Tasting Note: This tea is a heavy rose flavor with some vanilla. I don’t get a lot of lemon or any osmanthus flavor but it is possible those ingredients have mostly settled to the bottom of the bag. The rose used is a bit cloying which, isn’t my favorite but the vanilla is interesting. I think this tea is best served hot. I would not purchase again probably.

Flavors: Rose, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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71

Watching some It Crowd and coloring tonight. Decided to take a little hiatus from instagram and some well liked tea stores. Trying to curb the tea and stationary buying compulsions for awhile and enjoy what I have. Still drinking tea and crafting planner layouts though.

Preparation: Western
Tasting Note: Light soothing herbal. The sage is a nice change from mint. Its very calming without taking over. Lemongrass is refreshing and tangy. Apple is giving a little bit of sweetness. I don’t really taste the rose in this blend bit that is ok with me. I think that this is really refreshing and gives that “Haku/river spirit” vibes.

Flavors: Herbaceous, Lemongrass, Sage, Tangy

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
ashmanra

Soooo….not trying to be a bad influence here and do any enabling, but which stationery stores do you like? I could easily have a problem in that direction.

vallhallow

Haha. Instagram is surprisingly dangerous because it is easy to follow so many artists and tea companies are always posting in their stories about their next launch and easily link their store in their bios. That being said to mitigate that (for stationary at least), I am just trying to keep to just the one patreon I support and one sticker subscription service and it has evened things out.

So I think it depends what you want your journal to look like. I typically go the route of stickers and washi tape to decorate my pages but your I have seen a lot of people decorate with pens, pencils, markers, stamps, paper etc (and you get these things at art supply stores, craft stores and even dollar store sometimes). For stickers, I like stickii club (Stickiiclub.com) because they ask different artists to collaborate with them every month and the subscription is relatively cheap ($11/pack/month) or you can choose to buy sticker sheets individually (not the most cost effective method but good if you don’t know if stickers are your thing). Other than that, there is washi station (on instagram) that does some really cute washi tape designs by Canadian artists. Journals you can get anywhere though, from etsy to the dollar store, target or notebooktherapy.com has some cute ones.

ashmanra

Thanks! I have an embarrassingly large paper supply and a bit of washi tape – enough washi tape that I shouldn’t be looking at more washi tape.

I mostly make cards and enjoy sending letters and postcards. It is getting harder and harder to find high quality, pretty writing paper sets, but mostly I decorate my own for letters. And I make all my own envelopes.

I have wax seals and different types of sealing wax, but I don’t use them nearly enough.

Just a couple of years ago I started using washi tape to add bits to my family journal. Mostly I have just written about what is happening/what we did. But I LOVE how creative some people are with their journals, and one of my students made a gorgeous junk journal and has given me her artwork for Christmas the past two years! The newest one will become my gardening journal this spring.

vallhallow

Oo a gardening journal sounds both super functional and pretty. Other than my planner I have an inconsistent memory journal I am making for my baby niece and a family journal. Maybe I should start a tea one too…

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38

Thanks again Tiffany :) !  Forgive my high hopes for this one – a DOUBLE CREAM Earl from a small shop.  Couldn’t wait to try it.  Sadly, now I’m thankful it was only a sample because it’s not the best bergamot for me.  It’s the one that tastes much like a bug spray, darn it, and I can’t get past it.  And I couldn’t tell there was ANY cream here.  Ouch.  Those unbloomed tiny flowers in the blend are also a little weird.  The black tea was strong enough for me anyway.  Happy to try this, but it wouldn’t be a tea I would want in the cupboard.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons // 28 minutes after boiling// 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled  // 3-4 min

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drank Pumpkin Chai by Friday Afternoon
1555 tasting notes

Sipped down!
This smells a little pumpkiny, but I really have to think about it when I smell the cup. I don’t get pumpkin in the flavor. There is a light chai flavor, but it’s really light. I added honey and creamer in this cup and it diluted the chai quite a bit. The cup was really bland and with chai I expect the flavor to be strong enough to withstand the addition of cream. I had several other cups plain since I got this, but none of them really caught my attention. I was hoping I’d really like Friday teas, but so far I feel kinda eh about them.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Darcy's Delight by Friday Afternoon
1555 tasting notes

Got this as a sample with my order! I’m not into oolongs, or maybe I should say I’m rarely into oolongs, so I never feel like my thoughts on an oolong are a fair reflection. This tastes… oolongy. It has that flat cardboard flavor that I associate with most oolongs. I really don’t notice any added flavor at all. shrug

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank French Cookie by Friday Afternoon
1555 tasting notes

I was really hoping to find the next Teavana’s Almond Biscotti or Butiki’s Almond Indulgence or ATR’s Brioche in this cup and it’s just not happening. It smells hopeful when the tea is dry, but it’s not even close to the others when steeped. It has a nice malty flavor and I totally get the French cookie part. It’s sort of a buttery malt with a little almond mixed in at the end of the sip, but it’s bland. It’s okay if I’m not comparing it to long lost favorites, but it’s just okay. It doesn’t have anything that grabs me and makes me want more. I’ve tried steeping a few cups and keep coming to the same conclusion. To the reject pile it goes while my search for a new favorite almond black continues.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

I love S&V’s Almond Sugar Cookie. :3

Martin Bednář

Hmm. I thought that almond tea won’t be hard to find. But I was wrong. This is only one I have found: https://tipsontea.com/products/almond-thai-tea

Shae

It looks like Adagio has an almond black tea, but I couldn’t say if it’s any good or not.

Dustin

I got a bag of S&V’s Almond Sugar Cookie years ago and recall it not being as amazing as the other three favorite almond teas. I might have to give it another go anyways.
I’ve never heard of that brand, Martin! There are a ton of almond teas out there, but there is a certain flavor profile that I’m looking for. I can’t quite describe it, but it’s one of those things that I’ll know it when I taste it.
Adagio has a ton of almond fandom blends, so much so that I don’t know which might possibly be a match. Maybe I can hunt down reviews here and narrow it down.

Martin Bednář

I believe they are a sister company to Basilur. This one seems to be chai-like with some almond flavour. I never had it, so I can’t tell. But it seems they are quite cheap, so you can give them a try :)

Mastress Alita

“Brioche” was a catalog blend from Wallenhaupt (original name: Candied Almond) that is purchased wholesale by other, smaller teasellers. I’ve found it (exact ingredient match) under the name “Almond Biscotti” by The Tea Smith, as well as others. Search “Black Tea, almonds, cinnamon, safflower, flavoring” to find different tea shops offering it under varied names/sizes/price points.

Dustin

You are the best tea sleuth ever! I just ordered it from Tea Smith since the price seemed good. HUGE thank you!

Evol Ving Ness

Dustin, we look forward to your reviews. Thank you, Mastress Alita.

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59

This certainly smells like a health blend. It’s pretty savory and not that great. I’m trying to drink it quickly, but this cup is neverending. It’s just so herbaceous I find it difficult to imagine the person who would love this.

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drank Witch's Brew by Friday Afternoon
1555 tasting notes

This tea smells really good dry. Rich heavy raspberry with chocolate notes. When I steeped it the cup ended up way too strong with a layer of oil on top and so concentrated that didn’t taste good. Adding cream diluted it a bit to where I could enjoy the taste. When I go in to take a sip I get this quick flash of what I can only describe as the smell of iodine. I don’t taste it, it’s just a quick impression. The sip has a little raspberry at the front, but is a little bland after that. The finish is where the chocolate raspberry come out and lingers. I’m not sure how I feel about a tea being all finish. I think me not saying I’m sure about something is a thinly veiled way to say no me gusta. So far this is the best flavor out of all four teas I got from Friday Afternoon, but I’m not feeling this company overall. I really want a new independent blender who works with unique flavor combos, a Butiki or Quarter to Tea replacement and this isn’t it. This is similar enough to Lupicia’s Chocolat Framboise that has a near permanent place in my cupboard that I don’t think I’d restock this even though it has a badass name.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Maple Hojicha by Friday Afternoon
1555 tasting notes

I was super excited to try a flavored hojicha. I think I’ve only tried one other and really liked it. This one is just okay. The sip is a little flat. I don’t get any maple in the sip, just a roasted cardboard taste that slowly changes to a roasted hojicha flavor. The finish is more complex with some maple. Sweetening this didn’t change the flavors at all. I’m going to have to play with the steeping parameters because I want to believe there is a better cup in there.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Kawaii433

I have never had a flavored hojicha. Interesting ^^

Dustin

There is one I found from Lupicia called Hatsune and it was really good. It had a nice apricot cinnamon taste. I’ve only ever seen it at the Paris Lupicia store. :(

Mastress Alita

TeaSource had a maple houjicha loooooooooong ago… that they only carried for a year, and never again. It was great though! Since the tea aged pretty harshly from me trying to “horde” it, in the end I had to make it as a latte with added maple syrup since the flavors had faded a lot.

Dustin

I hate it when hoarding goes bad!

Tiffany :)

I love this tea – it was the first tea I tried from them, and they are one of my top 5 most regularly purchased from tea companies. Sorry to hear this didn’t hit the spot!

Dustin

Am I using the same steeping parameters that you are, Tiffany?

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