251 Tasting Notes
This was a letdown. The ingredients list has so much going on – pomegranate, raspberry, vanilla, caramel, bergamot – and yet I couldn’t pick out almost any of it in the flavor. I wouldn’t have even recognized it as an earl grey if not for the name. There is a subtle generic berry aftertaste, but I’m not getting anything else. The tea itself is fine. Just not anywhere near what I expected.
(This was part of the 2023 advent calendar that yes, I am still finishing, after basically neglecting advent season).
The sampler in my subscription packet this month (Plum Deluxe being the final remaining tea subscription I just can’t bring myself to end, despite my stash).
A pleasant enough black tea, with some of the bitterness I expect of a breakfast tea and a clear scent of hazelnut. The hazelnut flavoring is more forward when the cup is hot. As I’m down to the last colder sips, I get almost none of it, with a light berry flavor underneath the tea itself showing up instead.
Nice to drink, but not something I’d need to have.
Flavors: Berry, Bitter, Hazelnut
BrutaliTeas advent, day 8
This was a wild experience.
I notice the lime first in the scent. In the taste, the green tea is up front, followed by a slam of chili pepper that bites my lip. Then it settles into mostly coconut. Not really getting any lime, but this ingredient list suggests an awful lot going on. Spicy sour might be a great flavor profile; I don’t know about it in tea though!
Flavors: Chili, Coconut, Spicy
BrutaliTeas advent, day 7
I wish I liked red rooibos so I could really enjoy this blend. It’s Nilla Wafers in a cup! Unfortunately for me, it’s a little like the Nilla Wafers have been sitting on a wet wood plank, absorbing the flavor.
I don’t know if I’ve ever had such a strong desire to eat those cookies as I do now.
Flavors: Cookie, Vanilla, Wet Wood
BrutaliTeas advent, day 6
I came into this one skeptical. The name is fabulous, and now the song is stuck firmly in my head. I love smoke and love watermelon, but together in tea seemed… unlikely to work.
I like this a lot. The smoke is subtle, which helps it avoid overpowering the watermelon. I do actually get watermelon notes, and the fresh kind rather than the tart candy. Hibiscus and apple are both clear flavors as well, but whether it’s the lighter steep or the blend, they really let the namesake shine. As a huge fan of both fruit and smoky flavor, this is a winner I’m going to repurchase.
Flavors: Apple, Hibiscus, Smoke, Watermelon
nerdfelt advent, day 9
This has easily been my favorite of the teas in this calendar. The pumpkin flavor is present without overpowering the tea; it adds a richness that is appealing. The spice is clear and fits what I would think of as a truly spiced pumpkin pie. It reminds me a bit of the Bird & Blend pumpkin pie, though subtler.
BrutaliTeas advent, day 5
Apparently also day 5 last year, I actually put this off when I got behind because I remembered finding it unpleasant. The review is much more positive than my memory allowed, but I’m not sure it’s warranted. The oversteep of last time resulted in a strong almond floral. This time, I felt more like I was getting an almond flavored sugar cookie (heavy emphasis on the sugar cookie) with the lightest aftertaste of rose, with the former stronger when cold and the latter stronger when hot. Not something I’d return to, and moving down this rating.
Flavors: Almond, Cookie, Rose, Sugar
BrutaliTeas advent, day 4
I have this lovely spreadsheet with all the notes I’m going to post here and now I really and truly need to sit down and put them in.
I’m taking this rating down a notch from my last round, but not too much. It’s definitely more scent-forward than flavored. I would agree with my earlier note that it’s more of a wintry Christmas cinnamon orange scent. In the flavor I actually got more of the tea this time, with hibiscus mostly and just a hint of cinnamon orange. I wonder if it was just this particular small container, since I loved the larger bag so much.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Hibiscus, Orange
nerdfelt advent, day 8
A cute concept, but I think I ruined my own cup for myself by missing the timer. It’s a little too bitter (probably my fault) despite the sprinkles. The scent of berry was as strong as the earlier Tea-2SO, but the flavor was muted in comparison to the tea. Kind of plain overall.