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Recent Tasting Notes
This is one of this teas where I feel like you have to be in the exact right kind of mood to enjoy a cup of it, and thankfully that was the case a few nights ago when I brewed up a cup of it to break up some of the mint I’d been gravitating towards. It was just intense full throttle tangy tart hibiscus matched with coating, sweet anise/black licorice in the finish. So much flavour!
This is what I’m currently drinking while I work on these tasting notes, and I feel mixed about it to be honest. The dry leaf aroma was so deliciously enticing to me – very sweet and deep black licorice/anise in a way that reminded me of the bowl of black licorice jelly beans that my Grandpa used to keep next to his recliner to nibble on when he watched the Jays game. I swear, I was his only grand child that actually enjoyed them – black licorice is just good! Point blank.
The taste of this is a lot. to take in. The different flavours are just so packed in that from the first flicker of flavour to the aftertaste there’s no respite from the whiplash of contrasting flavours. At first, it’s sweet and sticky black licorice with a hint of cinnamon in the undertones – delicious, divine, and distinct. From there, it’s an assault of abrasively sharp and sour hibiscus. The contrast from that sweet anise to the highly acidic hibiscus is cacophonous without some sort of bridge flavour or smooth transition in sip. I don’t enjoy the two combined, and it makes me long to return to the anise top notes. Thankfully, the finish is a shadow of lingering sweetness that taunts you back into another sip…
And then the rollercoaster ride repeats.
L is for… London Fog!
I had a lot of options for L tea and at first it was overwhelming, but I tried to fit in as many as possible during my day as I could – including this one.
The bergamot in this EG blend is very bright with a lot more top note citrus than I’m used to seeing in Vanilla/Cream Earl Grey blends – but in a way that kind of makes it refreshingly different within that catagory. I did add some vanilla agave to my cup – I don’t think the mug necessarily needed the sweetness but I wanted more vanilla overall as I found it present but thin prior to the agave addition. However, worth noting that I am I total sucker for very creamy teas and I don’t much care for bergamot – so the reverse of the profile here.
If you wanted a nice Earl Grey with a more delicate kiss of vanilla, then I think this would be a very good option!
Cold Brew Sipdown
I actually drank this about a week ago at bedtime. It was good – classic pina colada taste with a lean on the sweet pineapple more than anything. It was good but also the typical flavor profile so I don’t necessarily need to get more from HotCups as opposed to another company offering this.
This was such a good cold brew. Not overly sweet or sour but still plenty flavourful and refreshing. It really, really reminded me a lot of Sour Cherry Blasters gummy candy. That almond flavour just totally blended in seamlessly with the cherry, creating such a well rounded and lush sweet cherry flavour.
I thought this was the nicest of the teas I tried from Hotcups yesterday, and also the most interesting/unique. Cherry and almond are such complimentary flavours and this is an intense and juicy take on both of them – robust and sweet with this tangy candied cherry and boozy amaretto profile that loosely makes me think of an Amaretto Sour. I believe this is the best selling flavour from Hotcups and I can understand why. It was great hot, but it’d obviously ice very well too – just punchy and straight forward without sacrificing having some layers to the flavour to make it a bit more dynamic.
A hair over steeped so there was a smidge of astringency and bitterness to this cup from the more delicate white tea that is used in the blend, but the taste aside from that was still very decadent and sweet rich creamy white chocolate/marshmallow fluff goodness. I don’t think I’ll be forgetting this tea any time soon – it’s one of the best white chocolate blends I’ve ever come across!
Hot cuppa with some oat milk splashed in and it was simply divine! Very decadent, creamy and rich with some truly standout white chocolate notes. I was thinking about it as I was drinking the tea a few nights ago and I really think this is one of the best white chocolate teas I’ve ever had – certainly the nicest in recent memory. It’s very trick to make a white chocolate blend without it just tasting like a generic “sweetness” or “creaminess” and this blend manages to do that.
I only have one cup left – but I’m looking forward to it!
W is for… White Tea White Chocolate!
When Hotcups sent this and the other teas for me to try and review, they also sent a White Chocolate hot chocolate mix – I didn’t add that to Steepster for obvious reasons but as I sipped on this tea I could help but think that it tasted very, very similar! Definitely way richer and creamier than I felt like it had any business being, but in a really lovely way. I got white chocolate, but milk chocolate too.
Honestly just a nice chocolate tea – not something I have too terribly often but I enjoyed this one a lot.
This one is gonna need a do over because, among the chaos of hard good testing that I was doing yesterday afternoon while trying this teas, I badly over steeped the cup. It was quite bitter and astringent, but I could see the backbone of a sweet and creamy white chocolate note underneath that roughness from my brewing. Making a note to be better with my steeping when I have this next…
Cold Brew Sipdown (1409)!
Thanks again to Hot Cups for sending this sample my way – it made for a really good, refreshing and summery cold brew! More of a dark fruit/berry and hibiscus forward flavour with minimal pineapple, but the wave of sweet and creamy coconut that comes through in the finish of each sip really pushes the Colada profile forward and it was a nice juxtaposition to all those tart and tangy berry/hibby flavours.
Ultimately this isn’t something I’d feel compelled to stock up over other colada inspired teas, but I was really happy with the sample and it made for some tasty brews!
Another one that was quite tasty but very run of the mill/predictable for me. Quite a classic Pina Colada taste, but with a bit more emphasis on the tropical and sweet pineapple bolstered by the tartness of hibiscus. The refreshing and sweet coconut balances out those tart and tangy fruit notes pretty well though. It’ll cold brew super well, so I’m excited to go through it this summer as a super refreshing and tasty cold brew!
Cold Brew Sipdown (1544)!
This is my cold brew today and I’m actually just finishing it off right now. It’s hibiscus heavy and tart but also balanced out by some more syrupy and dense notes of black currant and blueberry. Gives me some jammy elements alongside the tangy tart punch to the top of the sip.
I kind of fried a small patch of tastebuds on my tongue while making supper last night and experimenting with a new hot sauce, so the tartness isn’t awesome on that part of my mouth – not painful or anything but just… weird? However, the rest of the sip is still delicious and I’m enjoying the overall brew a lot.
And the cool temperature is refreshing.
F is for… Fruit Thirsty Crow!
It doesn’t matter how many time I look at the name of this tea, I always read & type it out as “Fruity Thirsty Cow” the first time – I don’t know why, but it wont stick correctly in my brain…
This was pretty good though – I had it hot, and it does verge on this pretty run of the mill and Euro feeling “fruit blend” with the abundance of syrupy and tart hibiscus and elderberry. However, there’s a black currant note with some underlying depth and jamminess that helps this stand out a little bit more than it might otherwise. I enjoyed it a lot day of, and really appreciated the thickness of those deep purple berry tones.
Doesn’t always have to be complex to be good!
Another gifted tea from Hotcups!
I like the name of this blend – it’s quite fun! The taste is nice, but a bit run of the mill for me in all honesty. It’s a tart berry profile, without a ton of complexity. However it’s a good balance of tang and sweetness and I could see it icing or cold brewing really well. Hard to put a finger on exactly what the berry flavour is meant to be though.
Flavors: Berry, Hibiscus, Sweet, Tangy, Tart
Iced Tea Sipdown (1422)!
As I said in a tasting note earlier this week, it’s been pretty hot in Montreal aside from the few storms we’ve had scattered throughout the week – I’ve been having lots of iced tea when at the office. I picked this one because it was the perfect amount to ice and finish off – I’m still trying to push myself to sipdown!!
I added a bit of agave to give the mango flavour just a tiny little lift, and the result was very good! I love that the brisk malty and floral black tea comes through really clearly in the cup – making this feel like quite a classic and traditional iced tea. The mango is sweet and fresh, but not syrupy – leans a bit into that pine-y mango note I like without going full blown turpentine. It’s very clearly mango, and just a nice direct flavour.
Thanks again to Hotcups for sending this one my way – I liked getting to taste through the sample! It was really nice.
Two summers back I went to Winnipeg for a work/vacation trip, and I picked up a tea from this company at one of the shops I visited – it was called Death by Cocoa. I’ve been following this on instagram basically since then, and at the start of the year they reached out and asked if they could send me some tea to review! I said “Absolutely!” and, well, here we are…
They actually sent an incredibly generous amount of tea! I started exploring through it yesterday afternoon at work – and I’ve been pretty happy with all the teas I’ve tried so far. This one is advertised as an iced tea, but I tried it hot this time. It was a nice simple and straight forward mango flavour – juicy with a tinge of that pine-y undertone that I personally really love in mango flavoured things. Just a little bit creamy, as well. They recommend trying it as a latte, and I can totally see that tasting incredible. Liike a mango lassi!
Flavors: Creamy, Mango, Pine
Hot Tea and Cold Brew Sipdown (267)
I divided the sample in half and made one as a cold brew and the other as a hot tea. The hot tea is a little bit waxy but has nice cranberry flavor. A little tart, a little sweet, and then the nuttiness of the almond comes through at the end of the sip. It’s nice enough that I wouldn’t turn down a cup if offered, though not something I’d seek out again.
The cold brew is actually sort of bland. I get less of the cranberry flavor which was what I liked in the hot tea. Instead it’s like a muted Forever Nuts with some fruit.
Iced Latte Sipdown (268)
I wanted an iced latte and this seemed like the perfect tea for it. When I got to prepping everything, I quickly realized that I didn’t quite have enough of this left so I added two spoons of DAVIDsTEA’s Stormy Nights.
It. Came. Out. Awesome!
This was fudgey and thick while still being creamy and smooth. Plus, with the Stormy Nights included, it was like what I’d imagine Mexican hot chocolate fudge to be like. I was happy.
Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing!