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Recent Tasting Notes
Tea Advent Calendar – Day 6
This blend is such an interesting concept! I never would have thought of adding rooibos or caramel flavors to Earl Grey. Though I love caramel flavors in tea, I don’t love how it combines with bergamot. Honestly, I think I prefer just a normal Earl Grey tea, but I enjoyed giving this one a try!
Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Rooibos, Vanilla
This was very boring-tasting, but it also may have been brewed incorrectly (and is old). Alphakitty’s description sounds good though, so that inspires me to try it again soon – I didn’t brew it up myself, and had it in a travel mug, both factors that could have caused it to be a little off (leaning towards the travel mug though, since my mom knows how to brew greens and probably even timed it!), but who knows.
It seems weird that I have no tasting note for this tea, but maybe I discovered/rediscovered it while I wasn’t logging things.
Anyhow, I adore this tea, one I received in an Amoda box years ago. Black/rooibos blend, cream earl grey, caramel. Dessert in a cup. The flavouring is just the right amount, and very smooth; it probably wouldn’t be offensive to bergamot-haters. It’s another I’d pick up again in a heartbeat.
Delicious! Usually I dislike rooibos, but while trying to get a handle on my massive tea collection, I ran across this and saw lavender was an ingredient, and immediately wanted to drink it. Haha. Turns out – the rooibos didn’t bother me for some reason this time, so all I got was delicious, lavender-heavy delicious tea. I could do without the rose, which I find cloying, but it wasn’t too annoying. Glad I tried this one, and have a couple cups left!
Finished this one off on the way home from work today. I got off after buses stopped running for the day, so I actually carpooled with a coworker. It was a touch awkward ’cause like a few blocks from my house we got pulled over and she got ticketed for driving without her lights on at night. I have a feeling she felt super embarrassed; it was such a silly thing and neither of us caught it…
The most awkward part was having to sit in the car with her for nearly twenty minutes, literally three blocks from my house, while the cop took down her license and registration and the filled out all the stupid stuff for the ticket. Like, I definitely could have just gotten out and walked home, but I have a feeling that probably would have looked shady as fuck, no? At least I had tea to sip on in the meantime.
Honestly, this was a very painless sipdown in regard to everything but the situation in which I was drinking it. It’s a nice enough tea flavour though that it was a really pleasant and satisfying cup, but not so nice that I feel upset about having now finished it off and not having any more of it around. That’s the best way to do a sipdown! No bad feelings either way!
Flavour wise, it’s very much a Monk’s Blend sort of taste but without the same degree of sweetness that I’d associate with Monk’s Blend. More of a soft, natural pomegranate than syrupy pomegranate, really. Not much to get really excited about, but nothing unpleasant! I highly doubt I’d seek this out again in any shape/form but I’d definitely happily drink it if offered.
I’m currently sipping on this one right now, while talking to the boyfriend on the phone. He has an important interview later this afternoon – so I’m crossing my fingers for him. I think he’s gonna kill it, but he’s definitely psyching himself out a little bit.
The tea is kind of boring, honestly. It’s very Monk’s blend like, though with a bit more of a bold/vibrant fruit flavour than typically in a Monk’s blend. Very pomegranate/strawberry tasting to me. It also has malty/cocoa undertones from the black tea. Even though there’s no actual cocoa in the blend the intensity of those notes in the black base mixed with the strawberry notes is making me think a little of DAVIDsTEA’s now retired Love Tea #7 blend. So, like a Monk’s Blend/Love tea #7 cross.
It’s not bad. Actually, it’s pretty smooth/refreshing. It’s also just not exciting, either.
Earl Grey and rose, not my favorite flavors but even I can appreciate that this was a pretty high quality tea. For those that enjoy these flavors, it is worth a try. Check out my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/07/24/persian-rose-from-tay-tea-2/
Pu-erh tea can be a bit tricky for the average tea drinker. Unflavored pu-erh has its own particular traditions and processes, and I’ll let the experts handle those reviews for now. Flavored pu-erh tends to be more approachable, but the brew times should definitely be followed. For one of my brews, I let the tea sit a tad too long and I started to get more sour, fishy notes that weren’t too appealing.
When I’m more careful with the brew times and temperatures, this blend takes on the full-bodied smoothness that pu-erh drinkers rave about. There’s a strong vanilla creaminess, and even notes of almond-marzipan, surprisingly sweet and smooth, very much like dessert. The creamy flavors pair well with the more rich and earthy coffee and chicory tones.
I’m not sure that coffee drinkers would use this tea as a replacement, but it may serve as a nice alternative for the rich, warm, after-dinner brew.
Flavors: Almond, Coffee, Earth, Marzipan, Vanilla
I’m not familiar with Tay Tea; instead, I bought this packet through Amoda Tea’s Black Friday sale last year. It’s been sitting in my cupboard for a while, so honestly I just wanted to say that I used this tea up. This blend contains Ceylon black tea, blueberries, blackcurrants, blue cornflower petals, hibiscus and elderberries.
Looking at the dry leaf, it’s easy to see the blue flecks of cornflowers among the small, gnarly black leaves, as well as the occasional dried berry. I also saw small bits of red that could have been hibiscus. The smell is overwhelmingly of blueberries, to the point of it being kind of artificial – I like my blueberries on the tart side, while the smell here was reminiscent of pancakes and jam.
I took the entire sample of tea (about 10 grams) and cold-steeped it in about 5-6 cups of cold water overnight. I just eyeballed the amounts here, instead of doing something a bit more measured and scientific. I also added some sweetener to the pitcher to counteract the potential tartness of the hibiscus.
However, I have to admit that taste-wise, this didn’t really work for me. The blueberry/blackcurrant flavour was too strong, bordering on medicinal. I just chugged it in order to get the pitcher overwith.
I first discovered this tea in an Amoda Valentine’s Day box back in 2015. I enjoyed it so much at the time that I ordered the four-oz tin from Tay Tea. Looking back now, I believe it was the name of the tea coupled with the promise of rooibos blended with my two favorite things (chocolate and mint) that got me to spring for the tea after enjoying the taster sized sampler. Although the tea smells divine, and I’m able to pick up on a pleasing minty flavor and cool tingle, the chocolate flavor for me was a bit lacking. I can smell it just fine, but I don’t get as much cocoa in the cup as I would like. It’s certainly a solid tisane perfect for relaxing with after dinner, but I won’t be jumping to grab it if I come across it again.
Flavors: Cocoa, Peppermint
Don’t get your hopes up too much for this one, especially considering its name, because it’s not that good. Whenever I try a chocolate mint rooibos, I always wonder how strong the rooibos is going to be. They managed to keep the base at bay, but the peppermint is so strong that I can’t taste much else. A hint of chocolate but the two flavours are simply too imbalanced. If I did a blind taste test, I would have thought that this was a straight up peppermint tea with a hint of sweetness.
As always, Zen’s chocolate mint rooibos remains in first place. Come to think of it, taking the very last sip, this reminds me a little bit of Della Terra’s chocolate mint blends. I loved Shamrocks and Shenanigans when it was fresh because it had that smooth vanilla addition. This is kind of like that, but much thinner, yet sharper with the peppermint.
I love the idea of mixing rooibos and caramel, and I can smell both here. It’s quite a fragrant dry blend. I’m not sure how well this one will resteep with the rooibos but I plan to try it.
8 ounces water + 212 degrees + 18 minutes
I left this on my desk for a while but it didn’t seem to do any harm. It’s a good strength and a good temperature. The flavors are still there.
Flavors: Caramel, Rooibos
Thanks for the sample VariaTEA! Which month’s Amoda box is this one from?
Out of the blends from VariaTea’s latest ‘care package’ this is a tea I was looking forward to a fair bit; despite the hibiscus in the blend which I personally think it completely unnecessary to include in most blends but especially in berry ones.
When I first started drinking teas I was actually rather hesitant about trying blueberry teas because I don’t actually like the fruit a whole lot, and I definitely don’t like the taste of anything artificially blueberry flavoured but when I finally did try out a couple blueberry blends I learned that it’s a flavour I surprisingly quite enjoy – especially when paired with a black base like this one is. In fact, my most logged tea on Steepster happens to currently be DT’s Blueberry Jam tea – it makes a great everyday sort of tea and brews up very consistently, so when I tried this one I was kind of internally measuring it against that blend.
Dry, the leaf smells mildly of blueberries and black currants with the faintest scent of something sweet and almost black licorice like – which is odd given that none of the listed ingredients are ones I’d associate with that sort of flavour or scent. Visually, I don’t see much (if any, really) hibiscus in the leaf I’ve measured out. I’m slightly relieved about that, though I wonder if it’s going to make for a skewed sampling.
Taste wise, the blueberry is definitely the first flavour here though it’s quickly followed by a little bit of elderberry and the sweeter side of black currant. I don’t actually know how much black currant is blended in here, but for people who dislike the medicinal taste black currant sometimes has I don’t really see that ever being a problem with this blend; it’s all sweet and jammy, and faint in contrast to the blueberry anyway. I will say that compared to Blueberry Jam, this has the same level of berry flavour with the same accuracy when it comes to how realistic it is.
The downside is the base. This had a recommended steep time of three to five minutes and I steeped on the lower end of the spectrum – three and a half minutes in total. Even with a steep on the low end of Tay Tea’s suggested spectrum it brewed up quite bitter, and sadly that bitterness is the finishing note which lingers well after you’ve finished the sip. It greatly detracts from what would otherwise be a very well done blueberry tea.
For that reason, I don’t think I’d order it for myself though I do think it’d be worthwhile to try it again with a steep time closer to two and a half minutes to see if the bitterness could be lessened without losing out on the robust blueberry notes.
Flavors: Bitter, Blueberry