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Recent Tasting Notes
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
I’m alive! Been busy packing for my move, and just not ordering any new tea until the move is completed.
I like this one. Not artificially sweet, but sugary sweet. The clove, orange, and cinnamon just mesh together really well for me and I’d like to try similar blends in the future.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Orange
#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #100 overall / Tea #16 for March
Friday 3/12 (WRITTEN 3/16/21) — Tea Forte Mango Melange. YAY A TIN IS FINISHED!! I made this a week or so ago as full cold-brew pitcher I think but then had 3-4 PS left in bottom of tin, so I put them in a 20 oz glass jar with water for cold-brew in fridge & sipped it down 3/12. I had gotten this when I made my only ever (and large with a ton of different teas) order with Tea Forte, I think in 2019? (maybe 2018?) I can’t remember to be honest. I know my boyfriend love mango (the fresh fruit) so I remember this being one I picked up for him but he must not have enjoyed it or I wouldn’t still have the tea around. It was okay, not anything memorable writing this note a few days later. I’ll have to figure out something nice to reuse the tin for, I do like the tea forte tins.
#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown #sipdownchallenge
A tea with such a tantalizing title shouldn’t oughtta taste chemically…but I was picking up some kind of metallic tang with this blend straight-up. Wasn’t sweet enough to register as caramel on my taste bud spectrum. Milk helped a little, but not enough for me to seek this out again.
Your results may differ. Other reviewers had very kind things to say.
I’m motivated to get through a lot of old teas since I’m moving apartments next month. I know tea doesn’t take up much space but it just feels good to get rid of things for a move. Especially since I’ve held onto this for a whopping 7 years.
I don’t like this. I think the worst part is that it smells like vomit more than it does chocolate and that’s all that I’m thinking about as I sip it. Not nearly chocolatey or nutty enough. But not so bad that I won’t finish a cup. It’s just blergh. And it’s been blergh since I first tried it in 2014.
Edit: Reading other reviews, I realized I must have gotten a bad batch. Only one other person seems to have an experience similar to mine.
Last traveling tea box sample from 2020. Hmm this is much more mildly flavored than I expected. Hot, it tastes like rather plain black tea. I’m not really getting caramelized sweetness here. I imagined it being much richer than this. Once it had cooled, the base was a bit more metallic than I prefer, but I also got some burnt caramel hints, which were pleasant. I feel like I did get some nougat in the end, but I wish the flavors were stronger.
18 below (F) when we got up this morning! After that, the balmy 12 degrees we’re expecting tonight calls for beach party drinks.
But instead, I’m capping off a long day with Spiced Ginger Plum. While we’re still frozen sounds like a good opportunity to knock out all the chai stuff I didn’t get to around Christmas.
It leads with too much hibiscus, but there is something plummy and fruitcakey once you get the hibby out of the way. It might be better sweetened, but I’m near the bottom of the cup and I’m just too (spiced ginger) plumb tired to get up.
Bundle up, y’all.
Sipdown #2! Glad to finish this one off. I loved this blend as part of a sampler I got waaaay back in college, so I got a tin of it a little while later. Definitely got a worse batch of it as this time it felt way too fruity, artificial, and kinda thin. The sample on the other hand was creamier, earthier, and rich with that vanilla rooibos flavor I’m usually so in love with.
Flavors: Artificial, Blueberry, Fruity, Rooibos, Rose, Sweet, Tart
From the sampler box. There is chocolate (not quite enough for me); there is rose (a little too much for me), but it performs exactly as advertised. Tea Forte recommends it with milk. I recommend it with a Russell Stover chocolate cream. Adds a little elegance to a glumpy afternoon, the highlight of which has been vacuuming cat hair and folding far too many loads of laundry.
Could’ve been the sheer pleasure of sitting down after a full-press curriculum writing day and not having to think, but the scent of the both the tea pyramid and the steeped cup was so crisp and delightful, my eyes rolled back in my head.The flavor reminded me of crisp Granny Smith slices, and neither the rooibos nor the spices interfered with the apple-y goodness. Just had one pyramid from a sampler box, and I’m regretting drinking it so quickly.
DO NOT under any circumstance stick your nose in the tin. Let me save you the pain of having ginger straight up the nose. It is not the most pleasant experience but with how COVID can rid one of their sinus ability maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Take a look and you’ll first notice how very broken the leaf is. Sad to see for a white tea. But seeing as how it’s organic one doesn’t have to worry about them using a pesticide-induced leaf on the bottom of the bush. The flavor is very interesting. The ginger adds a nice spicy kick, but not too spicy, it doesn’t make your mouth pucker like ginger sometimes does. The pear adds a lot of sweetness. There is a bit of earthy flavor when you first take a sip but the lemon immediately follows with a wham of pear and the flavors. Suddenly I am reminded of the green sour gumballs. It’s not bad but I honestly don’t think I could have another cup. It’s a bit too much in my mouth. Unfortunately, the white tea is too muted.
Well, hello there! Long time no steep.
It doesn’t look like this blend is available loose yet; it was an entry in the little pyramid gift box I received for Christmas. (I am in love with the little triangular Tea Forte boxes and refuse to pitch them until I can figure out how to recycle them into a game or craft for my Sunday kids). But I digress.
I approached with great caution, since the ingredients consist largely of two things I don’t like—hibiscus and licorice. Strangely, they cancel each other out, and what is left is a reasonably neutral fruit tea. I am not sure I completely got “cherry” out of it; if I did, it was fruit-cherry and not candy-cherry. Not bad for something I probably wouldn’t have selected on my own.
The dry leaves had a nice apricot scent which translated nicely into fruit flavor that lasted throughout the whole cup. The almond/amaretto was secondary, but detectable. That’s OK; I have terrible luck with almond stuff getting bitter, so less was more.
Good for a bedtime that I’m going to have to adjust to accommodate going back to work come Monday.
I couldn’t pick up much scent from the little Tea Forte pyramid sachet. (But they are so cute and I am in love with the little triangular boxes…) So I went overboard and started the cup bag-in. You pick up the raspberry first; sweet, not tart, with the chocolate following very subtly in the background.
Then I got distracted (imagine that!) watching “25 Words or Less,” my vacation game show addiction, and it started heading toward bitterness. So between rounds, I removed the sachet, added some milk and reheated. With a little creaminess added to the mix, I think the bottom of the cup was better than the top.