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Recent Tasting Notes
Why is this sweet?! I was hoping for a nice, straightforward tea that lives up to its name. Instead I’m tasting sweetness at the front of the sip, so much like stevia that I had to check the ingredients list. Stevia isn’t on there, so I’m guessing that the sweetness is coming from the licorice root. Unfortunately I can’t shake that stevia vibe and I really really dislike stevia. Thankfully this is a sipdown and I’m counting it towards Mastress Alita’s January 2022 sipdown challenge as paired with a favorite hobby because I drank it (or tried to) while decorating my planner for the week.
Another from TreeGal a while ago! Thank you! A single sample that looked so fancy – the package makes it seem so classy and dessert like, so the actual tea was confusing. I expected a long leaf black, with creamy peach sugar flavor. Really, it’s like a tart peach, not even a candy peach. The black tea is finely chopped – very small. I only see an occasional marigold flower, but upon steeping, I definitely taste some coconut and yep, there it is in the description too. No idea how old this is now, but I know I have had this sample for at least a year or two. The description mentions mango flavor? Not even peach flavor? I guess it could taste like mango, but then why not call it mango brulee? It isn’t brulee either. Just confusing all around. I didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. I probably would have been better blindtasting it, than relying on the name to guide me. Glad to sample, glad it’s gone. Next morning cold tea tasted like stone fruits on rich black tea — I love next morning cold tea. :D
Steep #1 // 20 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep
2022 sipdowns: 6
Flavors: Cherry, Coconut, Mango, Peach, Stonefruit
It’s a good tea for the afternoon. Not heavy on the ginger (which is good for me, because ginger and I don’t always get along) and slightly pear-fruit flavored. This is delicate, nothing to whack you in the face. Delightful in an afternoon rainstorm.
Flavors: Ginger, Honey, Pear
I wanted an early wake-up call today, but not the one I received at 5:30 a.m.: a cat doing, um, what you don’t want cats to do on the carpet. Thus, two large mugs of unleaded PG Tips and Partridges later, I’m switching to lower caffeine options early in the day. (Sorry, I always feel honor-bound to explain external tea motivators.)
With that totally unnecessary verbiage out of the way…I would never have expected peach and mango paired with peppermint. Several interruptions kept me from starting the cup fresh and hot, so at slightly above room temp, the peppermint comes through first with the fruit behind it. Two completely different streams of thought, but they play together nicely. Nothing notable about the green tea, just a light, almost invisible carrier for the main ingredients.
This was part of a Tea Forte “Warming Joy” sampler from last year and doesn’t appear to be in the 2021 lineup, nor have I found a trustworthy tea description on alternate retail sites.
So you’re stuck with my observations. Black tea base, which just serves as the pack mule for the big hunks of ginger I can see through the pyramid bag and some peppermint. Nothing sweet added to the mix, so what you get is warmth and bite. There’s one more bag in the second layer that I may hang on to for sniffles and sore throat season.
I’m down to the “I really don’t know how I’m gonna feel about this” pyramids from my Tea Forte sampler, and I hesitated to give African Solstice a go, particularly when I saw that rosehips were a key player. I was braced for a mugful of tartness, but this is surprisingly sweet. My taste buds can’t detect anything but a general “unspecified fruit” flavor, kind of like that one single good chew of Fruit Stripe gum before it goes tasteless. Same with the roses—a nice team player in this rooibos-based blend, but they don’t stand out.
None of that sounded very complimentary, did it? It’s a really nice evening cup, especially out of my new favorite hissing mug (just the favorite one that hisses, not my very favorite). Go ahead. Say I’m nuts. I think this little ceramic mug, which had been stashed in storage for ages, was from a donation center when we were trying to cobble together a kitchen after our tornado. Brown with little curlicue hearts on it. I don’t know if it’s the porous texture of the ceramic, or the shape (it tapers inward the tiniest bit at the lip) or the slight flaw in the inner glazing … but whatever it is, it hisses when it’s full of a warm cuppa. Shhh. There. Hear it?
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Wednesday, August 18th: National Pinot Noir Day Tea #2
This one is from TreeGal! Thanks very much! Another Darj for the challenge today! I’m noticing some fruit and hibiscus in this sample, along with a fragrance of strong bubblegum. uh oh. I have never had quince but apparently it should be like pear. This doesn’t seem like pear to me. The brew color is quite dark and red. It doesn’t really taste like pear or even Darjeeling. It’s very tart, and then has a very earthy flavor… maybe even a hint of grape! When cooled, definitely red wine. But yes, still bubblegum, even though the description mentions grapefruit. Second steep is even harsher, not liking it. Glad I only had one serving of this.. it was fun to try anyway!
Steep #1 // 35 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 20 min after boiling // 2 min
2021 sipdowns: 112
Being of the non-hibiscus camp, I wasn’t especially anxious to give this a try; most of the blood orange blends I’ve tried are so tart they make my eyebrows sweat. But I’m trying to sip down the remains of a Tea Forte sampler, so there they were, and I felt honor bound to sample them.
I fridge-steeped two pyramid bags overnight and was very pleasantly surprised. No tartness to speak of—just a pleasant, deep, almost grapefruity citrus peel and pith personality. Surprise!
I’ve had this sample for a few years…and it still held up. Smelling it, there was a bit of a hot grass heaviness, so I cold brewed it in my tumbler throughout the day to hold off on astringency. The florals were brought out and quite creamy after about twenty minutes sitting in the cold water, and refreshing. Like the other reviews, this is a decent jasmine that’s unassuming and easy to drink. I was afraid it might be too strong and perfumy. Luckily, it wasn’t and something I’d have again if offered. No idea how much it would cost on it’s own, but I wouldn’t overspend on it personally.
Flavors: Cream, Floral, Grass, Hot Hay, Jasmine