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Recent Tasting Notes
V is for…Vanilla Horchata…except I am pretty sure my sample is actually of Pineapple Upside Down Cake
The sample had black tea instead of rooibos, which was my first sign. Then I opened the package and smelled pineapple. And saw pineapple. And I double checked with Roswell Strange who said her sample of Vanilla Horchata definitely looked more like the website’s photo. So I think it is safe to say that this is not vanilla horchata. I guess I have had a lot of vanilla teas today though so pineapple is a welcome change.
O is for…Orange Cookie
Between this and Orange Dreamsicle, I think I finished both “O” teas I own. The other “O” teas are because the company put “Organic” first as part of the title but that feels like it counts less.
Anyways, I used the whole sample of this tea to make a large hot cup of tea. I noticed a lot of almond and peppercorn in the rooibos when I poured this out. Honestly, I get a touch of both those flavors and maybe the slightest bit of citrus. It is cookie-ish but I wouldn’t have called this an Orange Cookie. That said, it does have a Christmas tea sort of vibe to it – that classic orange/spice profile so maybe it is Orange Cookie. I don’t know. It’s better than expected but likely not a restock for me.
Latte Sipdown (321)
I made a small latte using my sample of this because I wanted sweet. This isn’t sweet. This is more spiced chocolate liqueur. I can sort of see where the idea of dark chocolate could be picked up on but it’s not quite that for me. Or if it is dark chocolate, it’s not a great quality dark chocolate, which I guess is what I wanted. It’s not a bad tea but it’s also not one I need more of following this sample.
Made this as a plain tea and while the rooibos is not really offensive in any way, it is also the main flavor here. Sort of a vanilla-ish rooibos I guess. It’s smooth and has that honey rooibos quality which is nicer than medicinal or coppery or woody rooibos. However, there is only a touch of vanilla, no cream, and no pie. So this was a nice enough caffeine free option for one cup but not something I would need or want again.
Enjoyed this a surprising amount – especially because at the start of the cup I found the flavour of the cinnamon a bit strong, and the tea a little harsh and astringent. Letting it cool down helped immensely though, and the tea seemed to ‘level out’ a bit more with the cinnamon softening and the black tea taking on more of a bake-y and bready note quite fitting of pastry. I realllyyyyy got that cinnamon bread vibe from the cup in an impressively delicious way. It was missing the hint of vanilla or cream for the icing, but regardless this was a lot more accurate to my expectations of a cinnamon roll type of flavour than other comparable concepts I’ve tried this year…
Ever make a latte or just a tea and in your head you just know it’s going to be amazing and then you take your first sip and the thought that comes to mind is “oh…that’s it?!” Yes? No? Just me? Because that’s what happened here. Made this as an iced latte and expected just more. More chocolate. More berry. More creamy. More yum. It’s chocolatey but in a semi-sweet/cocoa sort of way. It’s got some berry flavor but not as much as the scent implies. It all just fell a little short for me.
This smelled awesome but I made it as a latte with the vanilla oat milk and that flavor just took over. The oat reads cardboard to me and that just ruins it. This got dumped but I’ll be trying the tea again.
At least it looked pretty: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGwIzVqgymK/?igshid=1aey0i01oeui5
I think I’ll make a matcha milk with the oat milk and that’ll be my last ditch effort to see if I like it. Otherwise the rest will likely be dumped.
When I was steeping this, my brother-in-law walked into the kitchen and asked who was making hot chocolate. He then realized it was tea that just smelled like chocolate. Unfortunately, the rooibos comes through and drowns the chocolate slightly. Not completely but a fair bit. Like Roswell Strange said, it’s got a bit of a rum ball vibe to it but I wish it was more chocolate and less rooibos.
Like Roswell Strange said, this is Forever Nuts! As soon as the water hit this, that became clear.
I loved Forever Nuts the first time I tried it and the next time something about the smell was just so off putting to me. I haven’t really enjoyed it, or any of the other many variations by other companies since. Unfortunately, this tea is among those variations that just isn’t for me.
This one was so weird. Good but weird. Because if I am being honest, I think I expected this to taste like Forever Nuts. Instead, it tasted like a fruity hard candy. I was genuinely confused the first couple sips because of that. I double checked the packaging and after confirming it was in fact Candied Almonds that I brewed, I checked out steepster and was happy to find Roswell Strange had the same experience.
The first sips were all red fruit candy…like strawberry hard candies. The more I drink, the more it tastes like apple candy. Still a fruit candy and not nuts. I don’t know if I need more of this but it’s nice enough and certainly took me by surprise.
This is another from #SeptemberSipdown – the prompt was to drink a tea that you purchased but hadn’t tried yet…
This tisane is a very sweet and creamy/nutty pistachio blend that reminds me heavily of DT’s Pistachio Ice Cream blend! It was overall quite nice, but something about the aroma reminded me of Play Doh, even though that didn’t translate into the taste. It had a lot of date sweetness which complimented the nutty flavours, while also making it a little bit cookie/pastry sort of tasting.
I feel like I always get my hopes up too much for Horchata blends because Horchacha from DT was so good and I want to force myself to believe that I’ll find another Horchata blend that comes close to tasting as amazing as that one.
However, that is NOT the case here and I am feeling really disappointed with this cup. It’s not unpleasant, but it doesn’t at all resember Horchata to me and it really only tastes like very strong almond extract/flavouring. So, sweet and amaretto type flavours…
Ooh – I really liked this one! In fact, of the small samples I ordered, I think this is the first one I’ve come across where I would order a full bag of it. It definitely doesn’t taste like Pineapple Upside Down Cake to me, but it DOES taste very heavily of sweet pineapple. A combination between a more candied pineapple (like Pineapple Crush/soda) and also a sweet, syrupy “overripe pineapple” flavour. There was something to it that tasted almost waxy to me, but in a weirdly good and nostalgic way. I’ve had this pineapple flavour in tea before, but not in a long time and having it in this cup felt very nostalgic to me…
Thanks for the sample variaTEA! While this isn’t my favourite pineapple black, it’s an interesting one. The smokiness of the tea makes it a little different than others but probably also makes it a little less appealing because of the way it jives with the pineapple (I like Smokey black teas solo). Might add a little sugar and see what happens.
Sample from VariaTEA (or roswell?) and i was actually pleasantly surprised by this one. Not sure that i really got any blueberry taste from it but i did get raspberry cocoa. Probably would expect more berry flavour in this one given the name but i was good with the cup the way it was :) Thanks guys!
This was very good, and I’m happy to report that it tasted a lot like what I expected and wanted it to. I have a tea from Tealyra, called Lemon Lollipop, that I really adore and when I ordered this tea I was like 90% sure it was the same tea but I just wanted more of it, and was happy to support another black owned business through that restock. My thought now, though, is that there’s not the same tea but that they’re coming from the same supplier. The lemon flavouring is near identical and the ingredient cut sizes/visuals overlap too – but not perfectly. There’s little clusters of citric acid in this tea (similar to Lemon Smash from DT) and much large slices of lemon peel, and not nearly the same amount of candied fruit.
Basically, it’s a sweet lemonade/candied lemon type of flavour but also just slightly bitter/pithy which adds a nice layer to keep it from being too sweet/candied tasting or flat and one dimensional. VariaTEA wanted to know if it reminds me of anything specific, and I think the closest I could describe it to is probably a stereotypical Lemon Lollipop – like what the Tealyra blend is named after. There is something nostalgic to this profile though that feels more specific than that, but I can’t put my finger on it right now.
Anyway, happy to have lots of this on hand now! It’s a very nice lemon profile.
Strange VariaTEA TTB: Tea #5
I’ve had this tea once prior, but it was in a preportioned out sample that was only enough for a single cup – so when I saw that VariaTEA had included it in the TTB I wanted to take the chance to try it again since I now had more control over my ingredient proportions.
I think that this actually helped because I found myself enjoying this second cup just a little bit more than what I remember my first tasting like. It certainly had less of a bitter edge, and while I still find the chocolate flavour a little strange (waxy milk chocolate/chocolate liqueur vibes) the berry came through in a way I liked more. Very mixed berry overall but leaning heavier into that red berry territory – I felt like I got cranberry/cherry vibes most of all though. Reminded me of a 52Teas blend I’ve had recently, actually…
Glad I gave this one a second chance!
I had this one on Monday or Tuesday – I can’t honestly remember which day because the week has blurred together so much. It was good, but not as good as I wanted it to be. I didn’t get any of the fun large cut ingredients in my sample that are in the product phone, and while I don’t know that the large dehydrated berry pieces would have made a big impact on the giant cinnamon stick might have.
It was pretty full bodied, with a more bitter dark chocolate note. I actually liked the slight bitterness because it differentiates this from the overly rich/sweet and sometimes waxy chocolate teas out there – it somehow also feels more authentic with the bitterness. Also means that it’s got the legs to stand up to milk! The undertone was more jammy blueberry, and it was okay but I expected the berry to have a stronger presence in the blend overall given the tea’s name…