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Recent Tasting Notes
While I like this blend, I was rather disappointed by it; I like a lot of Brutaliteas blends but this one hardly tasted like a blend and more like a genmaicha (I know genmaicha is technically a blend but you know what I mean). While the genmaicha aspect is nice and cozy, I’m not getting much raspberry or rose if at all. I was super excited for this one because I love strawberry genmaicha blends like the Toast and Strawberry Jam one that Dessert by Deb had a while back. Now I’m kind of glad that I only got a sample of this one.
When it cooled completely, I faintly got the berry but still no rose, rating remains the same.
Flavors: Flat, Honey, Malt, Toasted Rice
Strange VariaTEA TTB #22
Based on the ingredients list, I was expecting this to taste like Nutella. To my surprise, chestnut comes through way more strongly than the hazelnut…and I’m not mad about it! TeaSource’s Roasted Chestnut is one of my all-time favorite blends and this is really reminding me of that one. The chestnut definitely predominates, but I also taste cinnamon and perhaps just a hint of banana. Not sure it’s really reading “crepes” for me, but it’s sweet and nutty and rich and I’m guessing it would be delicious as a latte!
Flavors: Banana, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Sweet
A fun, almost astringent, fruity black tea. I’m not actually a huge fan of tart and this doesn’t go overboard at all with it for me, so I think they did well with a pleasant balance. The raspberry is brighter than “puckery” and the almond in the background is always a nice touch to black tea when it’s not too artificial or heavy. So far have drank a few cups and will mark this one as a keeper, almost done with my one ounce order.
Strange VariaTea TTB #1
I haven’t done a TTB in ages, so it was so fun to dig into this one!
I love smoky teas and I love marshmallows, so this was an obvious first pick for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much of either flavor in this cup…it was just a smooth, slightly sweet black tea with the tiniest hint of smoke coming through in the aftertaste. A pleasant enough cup, but not quite what I was hoping for.
Flavors: Smoke, Smooth, Sweet
Sampled from the Strange VariaTea Traveling Tea Box
There is a particular nut flavoring frequently used in tea that is VERY specific, yet I can’t really describe it. I just know it when I smell/taste it. And this blend has it! It’s not bad or anything, just very… specific.
I didn’t really get crepes (or anything bready/baked) from this one. And I can’t decide whether I liked it overall! But I was glad to have tried it.
Flavors: Musty, Nutty
…as you may notice in a second, I drank a lot of teas from Brutaliteas today. They just have too many blends that are too perfect for Halloween. Honestly, that probably could have been my whole day of tea drinking.
I drank this one with my watch of Rocky Horror Picture Show. I really miss going to see the University of Regina’s yearly play of it each October so this was a bit of wish fulfillment for me. Plus, it’s just a blast to sing along with. I’m sure there’s probably somewhere in Montreal that does a showing of it in October/on Halloween – but I have yet to find it. At the very least, I’m sure on of the many drag bars probably cover some of the songs.
This tea was weird but good. The weird part was that it felt like someone was constantly toggling a switch where one sip with be bright and tangy/tart with distinct notes of cranberry jelly and crisp green apple. The next sip? The switch would get toggled and it was like red hot cinnamon with baked apple. A constant back and forth between the two. I loved the more Autumnal lean to the profile though, and the fruitier notes worked so well with the camp of this infamous musical. It was a fun pairing!
Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CzE927Gulv0/?img_index=1 (4th Pic)
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x92ccvZCzlg
Again, technically more paired with the whole musical – but I do love this song.
I expected this tea to taste a lot more intense since the dry leaf aroma is pretty potently red apple and cinnamon, but steeped I was pleasantly surprised to find a more gentle touch. Not muted/weak, but just restrained in the right kind of ways. Light to medium bodied and still pretty white tea forward, which does always make for a crisp, cool and refreshing chilled drink. The cinnamon and apple are present, but it doesn’t make this feel Autumnal which was kind of a fear of mine. The cranberry might be adding to the more “red” notes of the apple – it’s not especially tart, which is what I’d expected. I like this, overall! Still gonna have to try it hot to really get a proper read though – my instinct is that this might be one of those teas that morphs a lot depending on the steep method.
This tea is not a bad tea, but it’s not to my taste. It is tannin heavy and becomes a bit more brisk and drying the more I sipped. The sage is interesting and they did a great job with balanced fruits as backnotes – but it flirts with borderline bitterness and it’s not something I find desirable to drink again. Not a keeper, but not an awful tea – some enjoy heavy tannins compared to me.
I’m having such luck with my samplers this week!
This tea has mini marshmallows, adorable, roobios with black tea, cocoa and almond with natural chocolate. It turned out to be a very fun chocolate black tea. I have a hate relationship with Roobios but all of this blends together. Delish and will be another keeper!
What a pleasant surprise!
I have had some bad luck at times with ginger/clove/chai like mixes, and Rooibios in general, but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. A good thing too as the name is wicked cool. I brewed a heaping spoonful in a mini pot with some sugar and downed it all. Could not stop drinking. None of the flavoring overwhelms another which is unusual for this type of mix. All just complement to make a good taste. Very cozy and comforting tea experience. I brewed four minutes so will continue to do so with future brewing and hope I enjoy as well.
A definite keeper.
I guess it’s official that one of my favorite tea pots is somehow leaking when I pour. It’s a triangle small brown one and I had assumed last night was a coincidence spill, but today some tea ends on the counter with both cup pours. Oh no. :(
With work tea break today chopped up a roma tomato with some seasoning and some more Havarti cheese. All I ate before sipping the tea while it brewed.
This tea is perfectly servicable but not memorable. I would think, considering Brutalitea’s usual strength and that I went a bit over five minutes, and with the espresso beans, that it would have more oomph. It does not. It is fine and not bad but not a favorite. I have a tin to drink so will see on future thoughts with future steepings.
There are more beans and I only grabbed one in this particular tea bag, so that could have made the coffee more of a backround. I will try to steep longer later.
#SVTTB Round Two – Tea 10/???
This one was interesting and I’m not yet sure where I’ve landed on it. I think my biggest hang up is that I found the flavour more light than I would have thought this profile would be, even for BrutaliTeas which often has a more understated blending/flavouring style. I kept comparing it to ButterBotch which is similar but, IMO, better executes those sweeter caramel-y “brown/maillard” type of flavours. That said, the sweetness level overall was nice and I thought the mix of black tea and rooibos achieved a smooth, medium body that was pleasant.
I just wanted a little more, y’know? Since there’s not much of this sample left in the TTB anyway, I think I’m holding on to this one to see if I can push it to be a little more flavourful…
Pulled this from the #svttb and while I want to like these Brutalitea blends, I have to say I’m personally disappointed. They all have a lot of ingredients but nothing stands out as unique or particularly flavourful. This is nutty but not much else and seeing as it has cinnamon, apple, banana, etc. that is underwhelming.
This one is unique and almost grassy – well, grassy isn’t the right word, can’t put my finger on it. Balanced and gets better the more I sipped it. Have plenty left to keep trying and seeing if I can find the other flavor profiles it mentioned. Not sure yet if it’s a keeper, though.
Hm, didn’t notice was a “white” tea when brewed it as I would a black tea. Oops.
Didn’t hurt it though. Was very fruit punchy and a deep purple-red “bloody” color. And of course any tribute to Jaws gets bonus brownie points on its own merit.
May be good iced, not sure. Reminds me a little of Harney and Sons Ice Tea Indigo type. The hibiscus is not overwhelming so, while there is a touch of sour buried below these waters, its’ not overwhelming.
This isn’t a tea I’d drink daily or anything but it’s nice for those moments.
It seems somehow appropriate that this ended with another rooibos. I plan to spent January on the Bird & Blend advents & samples, but I am thrilled by the idea of a February where I don’t taste a single drop of wood chip tea.
There’s sweetness to this one as well as the rooibos, but it mostly seemed like a vanilla with some unknown light spices. I can’t say I’ve ever had eggnog or would know how it compares. This was a miss for me.
BrutaliTeas Advent, Day 24
In all, I enjoyed this calendar and exploring some new teas from an interesting brand. It surprised me that the calendar only duplicated one tea from my original sampler order of 18 varieties, and I still didn’t get to taste a few that I’m very curious about, so there’s a lot to explore!
I was excited for this tea both because of the candy cane flavor and because of the name joke. I’m not clear from the ingredient list what wasn’t working for me here, because there’s nothing inherently wrong with candy cane and peppermint and black tea. I love the combination, actually. But this one had a strange artificial sweetness to it with a flavor that didn’t quite work with the candy cane. My partner said it was like a butterscotch. I didn’t get that, but I definitely didn’t get just candy cane, and I couldn’t finish it.
BrutaliTeas Advent, Day 23