Magic Hour

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Recent Tasting Notes

I made this in the evening earlier this week after coming home. I was sort of looking for something relaxing, but that wouldn’t really make me feel sleepy and a lavender black tea was a pretty awesome solution to that conundrum. There was something so familiar about this profile while drinking it – and, like, past just being a combination of flavours I’ve had in many other teas. It sort of was like sipping on a warm, floral and sweet and gooey lavender marshmallow. Still some briskness and body from the black tea, but honestly really creamy and decadent. Took me most of the mug, but I think maybe what it was sort of reminding me of was Starbuck’s Lavender Frapp from this past Spring? Maybe. Still not totally sure.

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Cold Brew!

This was my cold brew this afternoon and it was fine but not really my thing. It did brew a very beautiful, rich blue colour that I know would appeal to some – but I just felt it was a smidge gimmicky. I was more investested in the coconut notes, which are smooth and a bit buttery/creamy but lacking a depth and sweetness or richness to feel… I don’t know… complete!? It’s just kinda thin, and the mouthfeel a bit oily from all the coconut fat. Thin and oily isn’t exactly winning me over.

There’s something else happening flavourwise here too that I find interesting. It’s a bit like there’s a butterscotch or maybe buttered rum sort of undertone/finish? It’s sweet and a little bit boozy, but again not quite rich enough or well fleshed out to feel satisfying. It is interesting combined with the coconut, and something about the two are vaguely ticking a memory deep, deep in the back of my head of DT’s long discontinued Gold Rush tea.

I just want more.

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drank Thai Temple by Magic Hour
16045 tasting notes

Latte!

Made this today as just a hot latte using oat milk. I’ve definitely had a lot of iced lattes lately, and hot matcha lattes but I think it’s been a moment since I made a hot latte using loose leaf tea. I’ve just been on just a large iced beverage streak…

I adore the dry leaf smell of this. It’s very, very anise forward in that sweet but heavy/dense molasses and black licorice sort of way. On top of that there’s a nice hint of clove, but otherwise in aroma I’d call this a bit of a licorice bomb.

Steeped with the added oat milk the colour is actually pretty close to the more intense orange/brown of a traditional “Thai Tea” (like, the bubble tea) but just a more natural hue. Like the smell, it’s a black licorice/anise forward profile but with a whole lot of body and maltiness from the base tea, as well as a more earthy spice undertone. I’d wager this is probably pretty darn polarizing given how mixed opinions on anise and clove can be, but I quite enjoyed it as a latte today. In fact, it was probably the best tea I had all day. I feel like it does a nice job nodding to its inspiration while still being its own distinct thing!

Daylon R Thomas

I usually don’t like anise that much, but the combo with the vanilla and other ingredients, especially the pu-erh, really works for me.

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Cold Brew!

As a Christmas present for myself I bought a bunch of new storage towers, so last night I did a giant overhaul of my tea storage. It took so long, but I feel like my drawers are significantly less over crowded now – and this is what I drank while working on that.

This was more lychee than it was dragonfruit, and more grassy green tea than it was lychee. However, the mix of gentle tropical fruits with the floral undertones and fresh green tea was pretty pleasant. Not going so far as the call this a smash hot or anything because even though I enjoyed the lychee flavours a lot I did somewhat struggle with just how oceanic and present that green tea was. It verged on lawn clipping territory.

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I got this one because Roswell liked it, and I wanted to try it anyway since I’ve really liked all of the Pu-Erh blends from Magic Hour. I decided to make it hot western twice, and it’s super creamy. It borders a little bit of artificial elements to it, almost tasting like a boozy drink, but it’s otherwise very balanced between the vanilla, lemon and pu-erh. I rebrewed it a few times and was smooth and desserty throughout. I’m going to have to make it cold once. So far, I do like it though, and actually liked it a little bit more than the coconut white iced tea.

Flavors: Alcohol, Artificial, Cream, Earth, Lemon, Meringue, Silky, Smooth, Vanilla

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Cool idea to model it after Ojai as a home town. Basically orange sangria vibes overall. IF you read the ingredients list, you know what you’ve going to taste. It’s a fruity orange hibiscus tea with elderberry and immunity fruit while giving vacation warm weather vibes. It brews up an intense pink red. Some spice, but there’s sooooo much orange. It’s not bad to have, and I like having more variety right now that isn’t just camellia sinensis based. I definitely liked Turkish Delight more. A bit expensive for a fruit tea, but one I can see newer drinkers liking very easily. I’d almost call this tea O’nge delight….there’s so much orange.

Flavors: Apple, Berry, Citrus, Elderberry, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Hibiscus, Orange, Rosehips

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October’s Wanderlust blend. Definitely not quite what I expected, but I’m into it. Heavy in the fruit and rose department. I see Turkish delight tea very often on here that use black teas. It was nice to get a herbal, and I am basic. It reminds of turkish delight that I’ve had in Egypt, and it’s sweet on its own. Good with honey. You can add cream, but I bring out the rose personally more than the fruit. The cream can otherwise overwhelm it. It does rebrew really well for a rooibos tea too. It’s got a mouthfeel too, and I feel like the fruits play really well together. It’s also not a super complex tea, and I can see it be more of a summer option or a latenight book reading kind of tea. I’ve gone through it quickly. Every once in a while it’s a little too fruity, but I like herbal teas to be a good balance of fruity, so I’m not complaining too much. It borders on artificial, yet comes close to some of the Lupicia style fruit herbals I’ve had. The Tulsi accents this one with just enough fresh herb qualities parallel to mint and basil. Well, if you know what tulsi is and tastes like, then if you know ,you know.

I hope I’m not praising this too much. I really like and dig the idea. The expense does hold me back, but I think it’s better than a lot of other herbals. Definitely ranks as a better turkish delight tea overall since it knows how to balance the fruity rosy and sweet in a more juicy texture. Turkish Delight is inherently gummy and sweet, so I like this one is a little bit more the fruit juice level.

Flavors: Candy, Floral, Juicy, Mango, Papaya, Powdered Sugar, Rooibos, Rose

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I thought I reviewed this one-maybe in a post with all 5 samples? Anyway, I’m not adding anything new here. It’s muddled and two dimensional compared to some of the other blends. The cinnamon overpowers everything, and I get some cocoa and herbs. It’s otherwise kind of flat and drying. There are other blends that I’d recommend over this one like Tulum. Most of the herbal blends I’ve had from Magic Hour are better than most I’ve had, but this one has a hard time breaking through. I’m so glad I just did the samples. Cream and sugar improves it a little, but its needs reinforcement on its own as a straight tea.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cocoa, Dirt, Herbs, Mud

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Pretty much feel spot on with Cameron’s assessment of this blend. It’s not really quite enough chocolate for a chocolate truffle profile, and the spices are way too similar to Fireside Chai. Mostly, it’s just a sort of thin and generic tasting chocolate cinnamon blend. Very forgettable – especially when Magic Hour has so many more interesting teas to pick from. For both pumpkin spice and chocolate.

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drank Libra by Magic Hour
16045 tasting notes

Another weekend cuppa that was just delightful! I feel like pistachio is having a BIG moment right now and I’m all about it. That smooth, sweet and nutty flavour is the star of this blend and with the white pearls it comes off in such a gentle and airy way that it almost makes me think of pistachio cotton candy!? The hint of floral rose is also delicious, and of course rose and pistachio are fabulously complimentary together. Very Middle Eastern kind of vibes, like Iranian or Pakistani sweets? Yummy!

Daylon R Thomas

How’d you brew this one? I found it to be particularly tricky to brew.

Roswell Strange

About three or four pearls in a 16oz mug, along with a few of the petals and a hunk of pistachio. About 90C water, and like 5 or so minutes to steep? Maybe longer? I didn’t time the infusion.

Daylon R Thomas

Okay, I’ve done 4 pearls for 8 oz and it’s overpowering. So lowering ratio is a must then!

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drank Libra by Magic Hour
16045 tasting notes

Grabbed this because the pistachio rose combo was really interesting to me and it was one of the zodiac blends I could actually have (many have mushrooms), but I’d totally forgotten that it was a white pearl base so that was a wild rediscovery when I opened up the little sample bag.

As is the case for most flavoured/pearl based blends this was hard to figure out the dosing for when making a mug – how many pearls do you go far? How much “other stuff” do you include aside from the pearls? The other stuff in this blend is also quite chunky, so it’s not as homogeneous as the standard blend. I think my cup ended up being a little light handed – even for a white tea I felt this was a little thin. However, the pistachio really came through and was a perfect balance of sweet and nutty and that more creamy side of pistachio that makes me think of the Jello brand pudding. Very nostalgic. I liked the rose and thought it complimented well, but it was very light. Probably my steeping.

Seems like there’s something promising here though – an interesting medley of decadent and sweet nutty flavours with aromatic florals.

Daylon R Thomas

How much did you use? It’s been overpowering every time I’ve tried it and I usually like foral teas.

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75
drank Sapphire by Magic Hour
4081 tasting notes

Sipdown! (41 | 402)

Last one from Magic Hour! I chose one gemstone tea to try, and this just sounded so good with the descriptors of plum and spice.

I will say though, I don’t get a lot of either of those things. There’s definitely a quite subtle plum note, that becomes a bit more prominent in the finish. I’m not sure I get spice at all, maybe a teeny hint of cinnamon. Mostly it actually tastes like oats to me, which I assume is from the silver needle. Almost like a very light oat crumble or cookie, with just a touch of butteriness. There’s a hint of a musty or chalky note, and that’s probably down to the butterfly pea flower. Also I do get a light, crisp apple note.

Overall, it’s pleasant but I don’t think I would repurchase it, as I was hoping for more of the fruity notes. Also I feel like the color in the photo is super misleading, mine always looked like some kind of murky mouthwash ha ha.

Flavors: Butter, Chalk, Cinnamon, Creamy, Hay, Musty, Oats, Plum, Silky, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Thick

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

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drank Sagittarius by Magic Hour
4081 tasting notes

Sipdown! (33 | 394)

Sad to say, another one from Magic Hour that sounded good but I didn’t end up loving…

Mostly I think it’s the orange oil – it’s quite sharp and has that “essential oil” taste to it. That plus the pomegranate reads a bit medicinal to me. It’s worth nothing though, I often have trouble with berry flavorings tasting a bit chalky to me, and I’m getting that with the pomegranate here. The cinnamon is sweet and pleasant, I’m surprised that I don’t taste much vanilla given there were large pieces of vanilla bean in the mix. It is a tiny bit spice cakey, which makes sense given the fruitcake description. Caramel though? I’m not tasting it.

So yeah, not a winner for me unfortunately. That orange essential oil just takes over and it makes me feel a bit like I’m drinking either medicine or a cleaning product. Sigh, Magic Hour and I don’t seem to be a good match so far.

Flavors: Berry, Chalk, Chemical, Cinnamon, Citrus Zest, Ginger, Medicinal, Orange, Orange Zest, Spices, Sweet

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

That might be a very good thing for your wallet lol

Cameron B.

Very true ha ha.

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Don’t ask me why I ordered this one, I don’t even like chocolate teas…

I feel like I was drawn in by the guayusa base, as I love all of those holly-based “teas”. Sadly, I feel like I can’t even tell this is guayusa. I guess there’s a hint of earthiness in the finish? Mostly it tastes like a chocolate and strawberry flavored herbal tisane. I don’t get anything from the elderberry or blueberry, I think I’m mostly just tasting the flavoring here. Also, I’m confused why they would add green rooibos to a guayusa tea that they’re calling “energizing”. A bit odd since cutting it with more caffeine-free ingredients would make it less energizing…? There’s also monk fruit in here, but thankfully I can barely taste it. I must not have noticed that ingredient when I made my order.

Anyway, this is going to the rehoming box. Tastes like a somewhat generic chocolate-covered strawberry tea to me. Hopefully someone else will like it more.

Flavors: Artificial, Chocolate, Strawberry, Sweet

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

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Just finished a mug of this and it was… just fine.

I mean, fully transparency that this type of Chai is never really my kind of tea in the first place so I was always skeptical I’d love this tea and knew it was going to be one of the least interesting (to me personally) from Magic Hour’s Pumpkin Spice collection. So, in that regard, it met my expectations.

Quality of the spices is a-okay, and they’re pretty well balanced. A little allspice heavy, perhaps. I guess that’s part of what makes it more of a pumpkin spice chai instead of just a regular rooibos chai. Really not much more for me to say on it. It does exactly what it needs to in order to convey that cozy, Autumnal sort of mood.

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72

So, I was super excited for this tea because the idea of a blueberry cheesecake on an oolong sounded so appealing to me! If it was a greener ball rolled style oolong I could picture the natural floral notes leaning into the blueberry, and if it was something more oxidized I could have seen that almost emulating some of the nuttier, toasty notes of a thick cheesecake crust…

So, all that to say I was shocked and a bit disappointed to open up the bag and see that this was mostly a green tea base with some sparse rolled green oolong throughout.

Honestly, it was fine though. The blueberry note is really nice. Kind of smooth and jammy but with just a bit of a floral undertone. Not too strong, either. It’s also creamy with a soft sort of “tang” to it, which does emulate the cheesecake component pretty well. I think it’s a pretty solid recreation of its namesake even if I didn’t love the grassier undertones from the green tea. There’s a lot of butterfly pea flower in the blend too, but it doesn’t steep out blue – more like a swampy green colour. It feels unnecessary and gimmicky.

But I don’t think I’ll have issues finishing this one off.

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Sadly this tea was a bit of a miss for me, but I don’t know if that was exactly the tea teas’ fault. I’ve been slowly seeing chocolate and passion fruit paired together more commonly – especially with more “avant garde” or experimental companies that kind of lead/push that trend curve. I remember one of the first instances was when we were in LA and visited a company who were selling a passionfruit and dark chocolate ice cream. With one exception (a cheesecake), it’s just never been a combination I’ve personally enjoyed. I was hopeful I would in this application, but I just don’t find these two flavours click together harmoniously. It’s a bit cacophonous. Add to that the extra element of floral rose, and this was just a little too busy for me.

I do think, of all the flavours, passionfruit was the strongest – so at least something was “leading the pack” so to speak. I just didn’t really love this particular passionfruit flavouring either though, so that added to the whole “not my jam” of it all.

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drank Bohemian Breakfast by Magic Hour
4081 tasting notes

Ordered this one because it sounded good and I’d heard good things about it.

Sadly, not loving it. I guess I was hoping for more fruit notes, mostly I just taste the earthy puerh paired with woody bourbon vanilla. I’m not generally a vanilla tea lover. I like vanilla in general, but plain vanilla-flavored teas aren’t really my jam. And to me, this sort of falls into that category because I’m just not tasting much of the pomegranate.

Putting the rest of the sampler pouch into my rehoming box!

Flavors: Creamy, Earthy, Musty, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla, Woody

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

I apologize if my hype train was misleading at all. I personally tasted the currant more with the vanilla and the Pu-Erh, and I very rarely see Pu-Erh blended this way. It’s been really fun to read your notes!

Cameron B.

Ha ha no worries, I’ve seen multiple people recommend this one!

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64

Was nervous about this one after seeing Cameron B’s review, but I actually didn’t mind it. I definitely have had better caramel teas (and even better caramel oolongs), but to me there wasn’t really anything super offensive about this one.

It was certainly a sweet tea, but personally I’m of the opinion that anything calling itself a caramel tea blend probably should be sweet since, well, caramel is sweet and that’s a key component to the flavour. I know monk fruit is definitely not for everyone, but I actually appreciated its usage here. Monk fruit has a very naturally “brown tasting” sweetness that makes it a much more complimentary sweetener addition for anything spiced (like this blend is) or with more of those ‘brown type flavours’ such as baked goods, maple, or in this case caramel. In fact, because Magic Hour doesn’t use things like caramel pieces in their blends, I imagine that the monk fruit in this tea is probably actually doing a lot of the heavy lifting with conveying the taste of caramel. Sure, there’s probably a caramel flavour mixed in with the natural flavour extracts but I don’t think that alone would have been enough to convey as much “richness” as I think Magic Hour was probably aiming for – especially because natural caramel flavours are already sort of “thin” tasting compared to their artificial counterparts and Magic Hour is all organic blends so they would have been restricted in the total percentage of flavouring that could have gone into the blend which maintaining that organic status…

That’s a roundabout way of saying I didn’t personally find the monk fruit cloying in this cup and thought the overall caramel profile was decently solid. What I did kind of mind was the “pumpkin spice”. The cinnamon was fine, but everything else felt like a distraction that was kind of muddying up the clarity of flavours. Also the black currants; I felt like they added a bit too much of a noticeable fruity undertone.

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80

Wanderlust from September. This one is not fully a masala chai, but the nutmeg and cinnamon give it a chai character. The flavor is pretty strong, but not overly as cakey as I’d imagine. It’s more bready than anything else underneath a healthy serving of floral tannin and light astringency of sweet spices. The black tea and green tea make it medium bodied like an oolong, but has the touch of malt and green astringency to make it more on the medium side, or first flush side. Shorter brew times makes the green tea more apparent, and the longer steeps makes the black tea more apparent.

I’m not sure how the cardamom was added, but it’s one of the biggest spices leading the overall flavor with the nutmeg and rose underneath. I can’t really taste the jasmine as strongly, but it adds a little bit of dryness to it. I personally like the spice combo and love the smell. There are certain things about this tea that are honestly muddled, but the basic part of me really enjoys it. I like it on its own after about 2-3 minutes western, and it takes sugar well. It can also handle cream, but the cream can overpower other parts of the tea and make it a little bit thinner. The sugar highlights the florals and off puts the slight astringency and dryness.

I liked this one because it was different from most other blends, and I honestly liked it better than some, but not all of the pumpkin spice blends. Definitely a good fall option. My girlfriend loooooves it, and some of my students that saw it at work were really into the smell. I personally would still add sugar to sweeten it to make it more palatable, which is the big thing against this tea for my preferences other than the astringency. It is also more pastry/candle bordering than potpouri like the other blends. If you really like rose and cardamom though, you might really like this.

Flavors: Astringent, Bread, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Floral, Nutmeg, Pastries, Rose, Spicy, Sweet, Tannic

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97

Happy to report that I loved this tea just as much the second time! Lovely notes of bright, sweet lemon curd and creamy meringue with a smooth, grounding and slightly earthy pu’erh base. It all clicks together in a super satisfying way. Probably my favourite Magic Hour blend???

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97

I don’t wanna jump the gun here, but this might be my favourite Magic Hour blend yet – which actually sort of sucks since I think this was limited edition. I was nervous that the earthy pu’erh might be unpleasant with the lemon and cream notes, but this was so smooth with a really bright, sweet lemony top note and a pleasantly creamy finish. It hit all the notes I’d want in a lemon meringue profile and was just overall so well balanced and flavourful.

Daylon R Thomas

Guess I’ll see if I can get that before it runs out. Did you drink it hot or iced?

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86

Really liked this one. I dig the flavor combo. Too expensive to own other than the sample, but it kept changing on each rebrew and it lasted very long western and tumbler style. The cardamom would actually be more prominent in the later steeps with the almond and pumpkin flavors giving off nice balanced natural sweetness with the persimmon. Really dug the persimmon almond combo personally. I feel lame, but I agree it is a bit too pricy. It’s easily a winner compared to the other fall blends. I had the highest hopes for the Pumpkin Caramel Oolong, but it was too dominated by the cinnamon to be distinct. The other two were also overpowered by cinnamon. This one was balanced.

Cameron B.

Glad I’m not the only one who wasn’t too impressed by the other teas in the collection! This one was quite nice, but yeah the price is a bit too steep for me. Honestly the others are actually not bad at $33 for 6 ounces, but this one is only 2.5 ounces, sigh…

Daylon R Thomas

Bohemian Breakfast is actually reasonable. The Astrology ones are on the border. Sometimes, whole vanilla beans are literally used. I feel bad that I’ve been the band wagon on steepster for these teas because there are some of them I’m absolutely addicted to, but others I think are overpriced. Most of them are very unique blends which is why I keep on trying them out and I’ll keep a few of them on hand for sure. Others I may cut back from. The Christmas seasonal teas were better in my opinion although I prefer fall flavors personally.

Daylon R Thomas

I agree about hte 2.5 oz though for silver needles….

Cameron B.

Yeah I’m not sure I love it quite enough to pay that ha ha, we’ll see how I feel about it after finishing my sample. :P

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85

I was planning on just reviewing the sampler pack and rating them, but people actually tried these teas! I’m not the only one either wowed by the taste and irritable about some of the prices! YAY!

I’ve already commented my thoughts on this one for a few of you, but here’s the gist. I sipped this down the quickest out of all of them for easy transport and basic white girl vibes. For whatever reason, Pu-Erh Black tea blends are easy for me to like, so I got Clove, vanilla, nutmeg, and a wi bit of pumpkin are prominent in the flavor under the malt of the black tea and pu-erh. I personally would taste the pu-erh more with more leaves, but the black tea was more prominent, though less so than the power of the flavors.

I personally really liked the eggnog custard vibes and thought this tea was the pumpkin spice version of Thai Temple. I’m not always a huge fan of cake teas, so I’m happy with a more custardy version of one. It’s good with a little bit of cream and sugar, but I liked this one more straight. Felt good on my throat and felt good with the fall vibes. I’m not sure if I would pay for the full price for a large serving of it. I wouldn’t mind having it around since I thought it was better than a lot of other pumpkin spice teas I’ve had before, but I would probably only want another sampler portion.

Flavors: Artificial, Clove, Cream, Custard, Earth, Eggnog, Nutmeg, Pumpkin, Sugar, Tea, Vanilla

Cameron B.

For some reason I just felt like I was never getting enough actual tea flavor out of this one, even with overleafing…

Daylon R Thomas

Ah. The spice must flow then…

Daylon R Thomas

It is muddled for sure.

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