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Recent Tasting Notes
This came out a little strange for me. It’s an unremarkable light black tea with artificial-tasting berry. Not peachy enough. Oh wait, I totally forgot this had rose in it. For some reason, rose sometimes tastes weirdly sour to me in tea. So I’ll blame the weirdness on the rose since I like Cuppa Geek’s flavoring in general and haven’t really had these problems before.
This is one of those times where a black/honeybush mix really makes sense. I feel like the honeybush lightens up the black tea and keeps it from taking over, and the black tea adds nice depth and holds up the flavorings well. I get a clear, sparkly peach flavor, and maybe something desserty like vanilla. It reminds me sort of like a peach sparkling water? I’m drinking this cooled to room temperature, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a new take on peach, or at least not one I’ve seen before. Very refreshing and delicious.
I had to order this one because the combination of flavor profiles sounded so interesting. The main flavor seems to be cardamom, but that’s as far as it goes in the chai direction. Other than that, there’s plenty of mint and the mildest chocolate. I added a little milk to the cup and found it to be pretty pleasant, though I think the cardamom flavor is too strong and the chocolate not strong enough. I would have enjoyed some other chai spices peeking through.
This flavor reminds me so much of a different lemon tea that I love, but I can’t remember which one. I’m having it slightly warm, and it tastes pretty great. The lemon is gentle, and the green base complements it well. The marshmallow root softens and brings everything together wonderfully. It’s not sour or tangy at all, just gentle and delicious. The second steep was great as well. I wish all lemon teas were like this!
This one is currently out of stock and I am not sure if it was seasonal for Easter or if it is coming back.
Since it lists black tea first, I expected it to be very black tea-ish, but my first taste of this was as a hot tea with no additions for breakfast one morning and it tasted like a lovely and light sweet herbal instead of a flavored black tea. With tons of ingredients like this tea has, that could have been the draw of the scoop.
I made it next (twice) as a pitcher of sweet iced tea. I can not emphasize enough how strongly I feel that ALL iced tea needs a day in the fridge to meld! (At least that is what my mother called it, and she made sure her iced tea was made well in advance of being served.)
After a day in the fridge, this was a really nice fresh and fruity tea with hints of candy taste. It seems much more like black tea now, too. After TWO days in the fridge, this had really come together as a special sweet treat for the hot hot days we have been having. (We are hitting the mid-80’s already but since the mosquitos are not bad yet I am outside doing lots of yard work and getting hot and tired!) The flavors have mixed with each other and settled in comfortably and the cream and vanilla are coming out more. It really does have a fluffy lightness!
This one will be iced for me from here on out!
Plain, Iced and Cold Brew Sipdown (262)
J is for… Jane Austen’s Tea Party…again
I opened this sample package from Nichole this “morning” (I wake up late so it was my morning but not technically morning hours) and made a hot cup and set up a cold brew. When I filtered the cold brew, I decided to make an iced cup to compare the two at the same time. Then I realized there was one serving left and just decided to go for the Sipdown and make another hot cup.
This tea isn’t exciting to me because of the lavender. It stands out and makes things soapy when it’s in tea so I don’t think I’m the target audience for this one. That said, I’ll work my way through the different prep methods and share my thoughts anyways.
Cold brew: lavender comes through at the end of the sip and leaves a soapiness on the tongue. Until then it’s a subtle mix of berry and lemongrass. That berry acts as a bridge between the lemon and lavender which could be good but also highlights the various flavors, even the ones I enjoy less.
Iced: This is so much lemongrass. I don’t know what happened but I feel like I’m drinking a cold cup of straight lemongrass. I get pops of berry as I keep drinking, and the lingering soap of lavender, though less noticeable here than in the cold brew.
Hot: I think I prefer this tea hot the most. Lavender is least noticeable and I think the berry comes out the most this way.
Thank you for the sample, Nichole!
J is for…Jane Austen’s Tea Party
I made this cup hot but also set up a cold brew for later since I don’t have many “J” teas to explore. This one is alright. I get some berry and traces of the lavender, which I think is stronger in smell than taste – preferable for my tastes but likely not everyone will agree.
Mercy, you all have been busy drinkers! I am far behind, but I love reading what you write!
If I have not already done so, I hereby nominate CuppaGeek’s Nichole as the Maven of Marshmallow Root. I think she could combine it with spinach and salsa and come up with something I would love.
The marshmallow is an especially nice touch in this ooooh(it’s so good)long blend. It smells like a piece of spice cake, and as I mentioned in a former review, the sarsaparilla adds just a nifty little twist that keeps this from tasting like conventional chai. I had mine with milk this afternoon—and that just added frosting to the cake.
There is a lot going on in this blend—oolong, conventional chai spices, marshmallow root and—yep—sarsaparilla. It leads with the sweetness, with a pleasantly spicy, sparkly follow-up—I’m not sure if I really sensed carbonation, or if it was just the root beer flavor dropping hints. I intend to try the next batch with some milk, and expect further positive results.
Sweet cinnamon waffle goodness. If you aren’t eating waffles with syrup you can drink a sip of this and pretend that you are. If you don’t like the sweet maple taste, this one’s not for you. For me, I’d drink this occasionally or add something savory to eat like feta or goat cheese. This is a tasty sweet tea that I’ll need a bit more of in my cupboard.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Maple Syrup, Sweet
It is always a treat to find an herbal tea that leads with something other than lemon or mint. Nary a trace of either in this lovely little nightcap. I am learning to love green rooibos, and it makes a very pleasant base for the marshmallows and fruit. None of the fruit flavors stand out individually—-or at least in my small Advent-sized sample—-just gently and pleasantly fruity and sweet. Another review recommend overleafing a bit; I believe I’d agree with that.
Sipped on this during a meeting today so it didn’t get full attention, but definitely enough to realize that it was really smooth and tasty – all the boxes that I’d want in a Creamsicle blend were checked from the sherbet orange to the creamy vanilla, and I personally love a nice honeybush base! The black tea feels a bit redundant since there’s so much more honeybush and you don’t taste it at all – but I suppose that it’s likely contributing some of the body here.
The main flavor here is the pillowy soft green rooibos and marshmallow root. There’s also some lovely fruitiness that I can’t quite name. This one does better overleafed so you can really taste the flavors. It’s the tastiest, most cohesive green rooibos blend I’ve had in a while. The flavor is light, but perfect.
My friend who brought me Shamrock Shenanigans and I both ordered this but we didn’t get to drink it together. We did, however, compare notes on the goodies and both agree that the tiny Stoopwaffels that came with it were DA BOMB. I already like Stroopwaffels okay and mini Stroopwaffels better, but these were the best! I even looked for them at the grocery last night but it was a no go. There were so many little squeal worthy goodies in the package!
The tea is the main feature of the package, though! If you have read my many of my notes you know I like only a smidge of ginger, and a minimum of black pepper, so what most people consider REAL chai isn’t my bag. I had a really authentic one with turmeric, ginger, and lots of black pepper from an Indian acquaintance long ago and…not my thing.
I discovered that I really prefer chai with little pepper and ginger, some nice sweet things like cinnamon and cardamom, made in all milk with some sugar added. I do realize that traditional prep is usually half water and half milk with some sugar added.
Until this one.
It smells really unusual, and my friend said she smelled lots of black pepper but I didn’t. I am guessing the mystery smell was sarsaparilla, because it was akin to root beer, but definitely not the same. Since I am familiar with all the other ingredients it must be that.
I have had this three ways and for the first time ever I prefer a chai prepared like a chai. Milk alone took away its “chai-ness” too much and I really wanted the full flavor. The ginger did not need any calming down for me. The black pepper was not too much for me. I guess like Baby Bear said, as a chai this was “just right” for me.
And HOORAY! I can also taste the base tea with this one, which is great because my big complaint with the last chai I had (Holiday Chai by Stash) was that it tastes like water with chai spices added. I only drink it as a full milk latte with whipped cream on top or I make a “root beer” type syrup out of it to add to sparkling water.
I am eager for my friend to try it so I can find out what she thinks of it!
My best friend came over today for some socially distanced rocking chair time on the patio and brought this tea as a gift for me! I had planned to make some special tea for her as her mom just passed away but she provided the tea instead because she is the sweetest.
I like mint. I enjoy it while I am eating it or drinking it but somehow I seldom reach for it and I don’t know why. Just yesterday I ate two York Peppermint Patties because I was tired of seeing them sitting in the fridge. I didn’t buy them, they came with a snack bag we bought several times to support our local art house theater while they were closed for Covid. My mother adored mint and two of my kids do, too. And as I said, I like it, but I don’t usually reach for it.
So I made a huge pot of this and I have to say I think it is the best mint black tea I have tried. My friend loved it, too.
I prefer spearmint to peppermint, and this had a nice balance of both. Peppermint can be….bitey….peppery? As my friend put it, this is good black tea and the mint gives just a tingle and then comes through in the aftertaste. It is a smooth mint with less of the Wrigley’s vibe because of the peppermint. The marshmallow adds a dash of sweetness but without making me feel like sweetener has been added to the tea. My mouth feels fresh but not spicy cool.
This is a winner! My friend said since Ashman and I like lattes I should try it that way, too, and since it is modeled after the shamrock shake I think we should, too! I have never actually had the shamrock shake so I may try it as both a hot and cold latte.
When this is overleafed, it’s absolutely perfect. There’s a nice, light orange flavor and some marshmallow root softness. It’s not too tart at all. There might be some berry in there too, but it’s hard to say. It does somehow give me a smoothie vibe! Like an ice-based summer smoothie. It’s a fun and unique blend I’d consider getting again.
Last night late I got a craving. It was a bad one. I wanted a cold, sweet, matcha latte. But like I said, it was late. I started bargaining with myself. “Maybe it won’t keep you up til 5 am! Maybe the L-theanine will help you sleep instead!” All hogwash, I know. But I couldn’t shake the craving.
I thought about steeping something in hot milk and adding ice and making a smoothie but I didn’t want to take that long as this was a really bad craving. I wanted it five minutes ago.
That’s when it hit me. I had this blend. This has smoothie in the name. Why do I have to steep it at all? I have a Vitamix. Isn’t it supposed to be powerful and decimate whatever I put in? And really, this is mostly dried fruits and flavorings, so why not?
So I did it. I put in some homemade mesophilic yogurt, a little raw sugar, some ice and a teaspoon of this blend. But it was too much ice, and basically I had made ice cream so I added more yogurt and a little milk but the color was so nice I decided I didn’t need to add more tea blend. I gave it an extra 30 seconds to make sure I had blended the tea in really well. I ended up with about 28 ounces of smoothie so I divided it and gave half to Ashman.
We loved it! It was so fruity and sweet and good, and it hit the spot and satisfied that smoothie craving that had hold of me, plus it was caffeine free and wouldn’t keep me up all night. It had lots of berry flavor. And all that with a single teaspoon of Parker’s Berry Orange Smoothie! I am definitely doing this again. Maybe tonight. Maybe sooner.
Has anyone else ever just put tea (other than matcha powder) or tisane blends in a smoothie?