1048 Tasting Notes
Had this too tonight because it’s tradition (not really, but just got my replenishment in mail + Mom’s Apple Pie took me back to 2011! All I’m missing is Carrot Cake for the complete set).
No, the real reason I’m drinking this is because it’s probably the No.1 most requested tea by family and friends. Anyone comes over wanting tea and sees it in the cupboards instantly wants it. Pumpkin Spice Law. Oh, well. I’m not complaining and it makes a good latte.
Bumping the rating up to 85, because despite my snobbish protests, I, umm… instantly restock this when I run out whenever possible.
Flavors: Allspice, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coconut, Nutmeg, Pumpkin Spice
Buying this was a pure act of nostalgia. This was my first loose leaf tea (along with Pumpkin Chai) back in Fall 2011! I used to own really fancy tins for both that have since gone the way of the dinosaur.. but the memories linger. Like the mistaken belief that maybe I didn’t need to buy so much food in undergrad afterall because tea was actually more satisfying, thank you (poor budget choices which still persist today). 100g of artificial candy green apple tea tin will sustain thee for 3 seconds!
Ok, so I didn’t originally love this one as I had yet to crack the “secret” of green tea in 2011 (don’t steep it in boiling temps or for long times). Years later, I’ve figured out my preferences (and kettles), and decided to steep under DT recommendations. Now, I too love this tea. Artificial apple candy aroma steeps into a wonderful baked green apple with vanilla/brown sugar and (non-barky) cinnamon notes. I remember this tea being dry, but not anymore apparently (I’m not using the m-word, but it’s a pie flavour so really it’s a bonus).
I’d get more of this (in all it’s artificial glory), actually. I also don’t understand why this wasn’t a seasonal fall staple after 2011, like Pumpkin Chai (but that’s probably the nostalgia talking).
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Cinnamon, Green Apple, Pastries, Spices, Vanilla
September 2021 Bonus/Reblend Tea
This is the bomb, and it resteeps well too. I enjoyed the original (waaaay back when), but I believe this re-blend tastes richer and smoother. Might do a more detailed note later; for now I only want to express my deep affection for Butterbeer (like butterscotch, cream soda, root beer, malty cream, and magic in a cup).
Steep Count: 3
Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Cream, Malt, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla
Oat milk makes everything better but this is still an odd and rough tea! The cardamom flavour morphs into musky, floral tobacco and back again. With a hint of pine, it’s pretty drying/astringent. The flavour combo definitely reminds me of a mix of essential oils (the ones that are usually marketed as “woodsy fresh” and “sweet manly musk”).
It’s a pretty neat and novel blend but I don’t love it.
Flavors: Astringent, Cardamom, Earth, Floral, Herbaceous, Maple, Pine, Pleasantly Sour, Smoke, Tobacco, Wood
July 2021 Bonus Tea
I’ve been hoarding this one but decided to bring it out so I could call it my second citrus flavoured Bai Mudan (White Peony) dessert tea blend for the day! While I’m starting to think this combo can’t go wrong, I do prefer this blend to August Uncommon’s more temperamental Know My Heart. This one kind of tastes like creamy lemon custard today (yes, it’s both silky and juicy enough) and that’s always a win in my book.
I don’t know whether I prefer this or Sun and Cloud Mist; both are wonderfully crafted teas with bases I enjoy. Either is welcome in my cupboard anytime!
Flavors: Citrus, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Hay, Honey, Lemon, Marshmallow
This smells like a type of almond cookie we get a lot around Christmas and sort of tastes like it too. While the cup was still hot the honey flavour came on very thick but as it has cooled it toned down enough to let the almond cookies (with orange blossom highlights) shine through a bit.
The white peony (bai mudan) works really well here as a base, emphasizing those sweet, floral flavours of blossom and rich, fruity amber honey. I think I taste a hint of natural hay, stonefruit, and cucumber notes, which I didn’t expect when I smelled such a flavourful tea. Good combo.
Steep Count: 2 – Yep, it’s mellow. Barley malt comes through more on 2nd steep (interesting ingredient – builds both the almond cookie and honey imo).
Flavors: Almond, Cookie, Cucumber, Floral, Hay, Honey, Orange Blossom, Powdered Sugar, Roasted Barley, Stonefruit
Drinking this straight up for a change and now remember why I didn’t love it. The smoke and mineral notes are fantastic here, but the cherry is a mixed bag. Sometimes it’s alright (cherry wood is a nice combo with smoke and mineral notes); on other “fruitier” sips it’s definitely in Halls/cough medicine territory. This effect isn’t as apparent with milk, which cuts the the bitterness that gives fruity cherry that distinctive menthol trait.
So bumping the rating down again a tad. Definitely recommend the milk.
Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Wood, Limestone, Malt, Medicinal, Mineral, Smoke
August 2021 tea
One of my greatest loves (Anne’s banana teas) meets one of my biggest dislikes (cinnamon forward teas). Needless to say I have mixed feelings on this one. I’m pretty happy with it as long as I’m able to bask in the glory of a lightly spiced baked banana. The black gunpowder base is kind of a fun robust, slightly smoky base too. It pairs in a interesting way with banana goodness – making it a good morning tea (it all reminds me of banana cinnamon oat porridge which is both a blessing and a curse) !
Cinnamon though.. well, that’s a me thing.
Flavors: Baked Bread, banana, Bark, Cinnamon, Malt, Smoke, Vanilla
Didn’t have enough leaf left to make a full pot so added some old Irish Breakfast from New Mexico Tea Company (they have the coolest tin labels btw; also IB is 9 years old, omg). This was a success. Contrary to my fears, the maple syrup flavouring was not drowned out by old robust tea but made stronger by it, somehow.
I of course added oat milk to it (it’s about to expire so it’s going in everything, folks). 150% creamy buttery maple syrup malt tea. I’m sad to see it go; there’s a syrup tea void in my cupboard once again.
Flavors: Butter, Cake, Malt, Maple Syrup