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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve been working through a bad chest cold all week (I’m suspecting a bad case of bronchitis, but I haven’t had the time or money to get that confirmed) so I’ve been drinking TONS of tea. I went through my entire 100g tin of T2’s “Mulled Wine Magic” over the week and have instant regrets, because they are gone now and I’m too tired and out of it to go looking for a hibiscus chai spice blend replacement that ships from the US. So then I decided to turn to this tea, only to discover I only had a single teabag left. Siiiiiiiigh. Where did all the tea go?!
I always expect elderberry teas to be more like hibiscus teas for some reason… dark and syrupy berry. They never are and then I have to reassess my expectations. I do like this though. The echinacea is the main flavor and it’s such a hard one for me to describe… It’s a little floral, but leans more on the herbaceous side than the flowery side. There is a bit of a minty flavor to the tea but it is not strongly menthol and doesn’t overpower the other flavors. I don’t actually taste anything I’d attribute to “berry” or get any fruity notes from it. It is very licorice root sweet, which I know would be a turn-off for many, but I like licorice root and it is greatly appreciated now while by body is trying to cough my lungs straight out of my ribcage. Sweet, minty, floral, could do a lot worse for a sick tea, but the flavor is probably not for everyone.
Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Licorice Root, Mint, Sweet
January 2024 Steepster Sipdown Challenge — A grocery store tea
Sipdown! (22 for January | 22 for 2024)
I grabbed two teabags of this from the recent round of TeaTiff TTB and steeped with 13-14 oz of boiling water in my Nordic Mug at work. Sat steeping on my work desk for about an hour.
Was hoping for a very fruit forward tea – instead I am tasting licorice? I don’t know, maybe the echinacea? It does have this weird taste similar to DT Pomegranate Echinacea tea which again was a tea I was hoping was fruity but just tasted weird. Echinacea is not an ingredient I have experience with so I suppose I need to taste on its own to isolate if that what I don’t like?
Anyway, it’s not a bad tea I suppose for being a bagged grocery store tea. Wasn’t what I was expecting.
Matcha does not belong in a tea bag. This is most likely a culinary matcha. I wonder if there’s much in there as I don’t really see it. There’s some dust on the bottom but after touching it I don’t believe it is matcha as the texture is too tough. Either that or this is a very poorly ground matcha. And the coloring is fiercely terrible. The liquor color is more akin to black tea. When it first hits your palate it’s not too bad. Grassy notes and wet leaves and some slight vegetal notes. But it changes so quickly. The astringency kicks in like a bucking bronco and before you know it your face first in the wall with a leftover palate of bitterness. The wet leaf has stems and leaves and some of them are so very tiny…
I have a lot of GI issues related to my chronic migraine condition, so having a ginger tea around is a must. Grabbed this blend from my local grocery and actually preferred it to the brand I’d been buying, Twinings of London’s Lemon Ginger. The lemon flavor doesn’t taste as artificial/cleaner-esque in this tea compared to the Twinings, and while I know most people abhor licorice root, I’m not one of them, and I like the inclusion here because it takes a little bit of edge off ginger spiciness while still allowing a nice amount of healing ginger. Sadly it has been perpetually sold out on every subsequent trip I’ve made to the store, so I had to restock the Twinings that I don’t like as much. This was definitely my first choice, though.
Flavors: Earthy, Ginger, Lemon, Licorice Root, Sweet
Sipdown! (13 | 360)
I’m not sure when or why I bought this one, but it was a terrible idea. I don’t generally like honey-flavored teas (even though I like honey) and this also has licorice root…
Given all of that though, it’s not bad. I sipped through the whole box without complaining, if that tells you anything. Mostly it tastes like chamomile with some extra sweetness. I do get a touch of that licorice note in the background, and the accompanying sweetness at the end of the sip, but it’s pretty minimal. The honey is quite mild as well, and it’s contributing more of a light clover-y floral note than anything?
So overall, mostly chamomile with a touch of licorice root. Not something I would buy again, but it was fine to sip on as my last tea of the evening each day.
Flavors: Anise, Chamomile, Clover, Floral, Honey, Licorice, Licorice Root, Nectar, Pollen, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Wildflowers
Strange VariaTEA TTB: Tea 24
The box returned and it’s huge. I really wanted to have something from it but it’s late and I’m super tired after leaving the house before 6 am. Plus, I developed a subtle cough at work and now my throat is feeling slightly off which could just be because I’m tired. That said, when my throat feels like this, I don’t necessarily pick up on more nuanced flavours so this tea seemed like the right call. Mint tea. Warm and soothing and I know what to expect. It’s not overwhelming mint, but it’s clearly mint and it’s helping my throat.
The lemon and honey combine to make a nice gentle tea. It’s not sour at all, and I also don’t taste any ginger. There’s some sweetness from the licorice. It all combines in a really soft, pleasant way. I’m drinking this cold, and I really wouldn’t mind some more if I come across this one again. The reviews for this one are brutal and in my opinion undeserved.
Thought I’d have a nice caffeine-free chai in bed tonight, but this was not nice at all. It smells of cinnamon and tastes like licorice. Way too much licorice root. There is a faint cinnamon flavor, but that cloyingly sweet licorice aftertaste is too much. The liquid itself is also very light. Not a fan of this one at all.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Licorice Root
This has a nice strong ginger flavor. It’s good sweetened, but nothing special. I think I still prefer straight ginger, but I am enjoying the little extra something that’s here. It’s not that spicy. I like it cold and sweetened. I wouldn’t have minded grabbing another bag or two of this from the TTB!
A comforting, fruity tea, like a bowl of warm, tart berry jelly you can eat with a spoon. Well maybe not quite that sweet. I do tend to grab this when I see it in a store because I know it is a soothing cup, even if it is pricey for a bagged tea. I can use one bag in 12-16 oz of water and not be disappointed with a weak tea.
Flavors: Berry, Smooth, Tart