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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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.
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!
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
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!
When making the last batch of cupcakes, my sister and I made a mistake with our buttercream frosting when we added raspberry purée that was too cold to the mixer and it caused the butter to seize and our buttercream for lumpy. I didn’t think it was that bad until I iced the cupcakes and saw all the bits but at that point it was too late to fix. However, I was mad so my sister suggested we make other cupcakes to redeem ourselves.
Today, we decided to make chocolate cream cheese frosted banana cupcakes filled with dulce de leche. The recipe was a lot less involved than the other ones we made and ended up tasting and looking much better. And we didn’t mess up the frosting so yay! The only issue with these is they are chocolate frosting and I don’t have my usual decorating stuff so with my limited options, the frosting does look slightly poop-like. Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CATWYSBA3S-/?igshid=1fkchah2zoa2s
Anyways, as per usual, I had to find the right tea to go with the cupcakes and this sample from Roswell Strange called to me. It’s very chocolate-y which is what you’d want from a tea called death by cocoa but I think next to the super rich chocolate cream cheese frosting, this is a little meh. Could be nice when you want chocolate and don’t have it though.
A surprise sipdown – the amount of tea left in the tin looked deceptively larger than what there ended up being. Not mad at this sipdown though because finishing off a tin is always a really nice feeling and reclamation of space.
This was a really good chocolate black tea, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t much love chocolate in tea. It was rich and cakey, and not a lot of other chocolate teas make me feel that type of way. However, I recently had some pretty darn good hot chocolate from this company that they kindly gifted me, so with that in mind it’s not a surprise they pulled off a chocolate tea so well.
From a #SeptemberSipdown prompt last week…
The prompt was a tea you bought on vacation, and while I have many teas that could have fit that prompt (because I am a total addict who has to buy tea EVERY time I travel) I chose this one because it’s from what is essentially my most “recent” vacation and it meant getting to highlight a small/local tea shop!!
I bought this one during my Winnipeg trip last summer, and bought it at The Forks during a day spent there w/ family after doing store visits/tours. I don’t normally gravitate towards chocolate teas, but something about this one called to me and I’m glad that it did because it’s actually one of the better chocolate black blends I’ve had. It’s simple in ingredients, but quite rich and decadent and something about it reminds me of very good chocolate cake. I like it hot and plain, but it’s also bomb AF with milk!
I’m trying to drink more sweet/decadent teas in place of actually eating sweets, and this helped a lot in curbing this afternoon’s sugar cravings. It’s basically like drinking a slice of very rich, decadent chocolate cake. Not a complex tea; but a really nice take on simple chocolate flavour.
This is a tea that I picked up while I was in Winnipeg this summer – it’s from a local tea shop but I don’t know if it’s something they’re blending in house of if it’s being purchased from a catalog/wholesaler. Regardless, I steeped it up for the first time this week and I was actually surprised by how nice I found it. It’s a nice and deeply smooth chocolate note – kind of like a chocolate cake flavour? It has the denseness and rich milk chocolate note of a very good chocolate cake or brownie, but there’s weirdly almost a powdery kind of vibe to the mouthfeel that makes me think more chocolate powdered donut? I’m into it though! It’s just the right amount of chocolate for someone who isn’t really into chocolate.