Retro Leaf TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve been craving lavender a lot lately so I steeped this up to sip on over the coarse of the morning while working from home. It’s nice and soft with just the right amount of lavender to come through clearly without being soapy or too heavy floral to drink a lot of in one sitting. I don’t get vanilla so much as I get cream but I like the silky way it combined with the lavender. It was a relaxing and straight forward cuppa overall.
Strange VariaTEA TTB: Tea 9
Thanks Roswell Strange for adding this fun tea into the box. The Valentine’s Bingo wanted a tea that warms your heart and this tea made for a lot of nostalgia and thus fit the bill. Check out the pic here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZpmdPNODmV/?utm_medium=copy_link
This tea is nice. A touch brisk and astringent but that could be due to the recommended 5 min steep time. I feel it may benefit from slightly less steeping because of that.
Getting past the astringency, the tea tastes like almond brittle. Sweet caramel, warm almond and a touch of almost-burnt sugar. There is one serving left and while I thought about taking it for myself, I decided to leave it for the next person who gets the box and has an interest.
I was drinking this one at work yesterday and it was honestly really good. The perfect balance of sweet ripe banana and creamy milk chocolate. Of course, I had to go and ruin the mug by knocking it off the edge of my desk with my elbow. I spilled about two thirds of it and created a MASSIVE splash on the ground. Thankfully, I was fast enough to catch the actual mug itself and prevent getting glass everywhere. Still, not my proudest in office moment.
Simple but very rich and flavourful – I steeped this one up last night and kind of forgot about it as I was drinking, meaning I got to the last three quarters of the mug when it was cold. However, that naturally chilled thick milk chocolate/fudge sauce note paired with sweet candy banana was so scrumptious! I need to try this as a latte – I’m sure it would be very decadent but surely delicious.
I picked this one out for the evening a few days ago because I was uncharacteristically craving the combo of chocolate and orange a lot but it was very weird because both the dry leaf aroma and steeped tea taste were almost indistinguishable to me as anything other than a candy-style peach. No tartness/tang or anything – but just very peachy with the faintest finish of chocolate. So, so strange.
Y’know, I’m not usually the most into chocolate teas but as I was sipping on this blend earlier this morning I kept thinking over and over how it just felt like it was missing the chocolate. The orange was really lovely with a nice bright sweetness, but with such a neutral black tea base I think the taste kind of comes off as really flat/lacking dimension with more of a deep/weighty chocolate note to offset that orange. Like, it’s just kinda unbalanced. Or at least that’s how I felt today…
N is for… Night Trap!
I’m not sure what flavour I would expect a “Five Night’s at Freddy’s” inspired tea blend to taste taste, but chocolate and orange probably isn’t it – still, curiosity and all that…
I finished my mug of this one not too long ago tonight, and I find myself perplexed by the flavour and yet intrigued. To start, I enjoyed it – it was a tasty cup and I think I’m going to have fun playing with slightly tweaking the steep time, leaf amount and trying different addition types to it, like milk. However – it kind of doesn’t taste like chocolate or orange!? I mean, in the finish a bit – definitely a lingering chocolate note and some undertones of orange. However, overall the flavour is just much lighter than I’d have expected and more of a generic “sweet brown” – like caramelized sugar, maybe? I was reminded, actually, of Della Terra’s (wow, that’s a throwback tea reference!) Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which had a similar sweet brown sugar/cake kind of vibe about it.
Yeah. I think that’s where my brain is going with this one.
This was super different from Mango Lemonade, which I had on the same day. It’s more oolong than anything else and, while you can tell the base oolong isn’t super high quality, it’s still pretty good. Very buttery and floral. Not a lot of mango until the finish, and then a hint of mellow mango lingers in the aftertaste. It’s nice but gives an almost “blink and you’ll miss it” feeling. Mango becomes more prominent as it cools, however.
M is for… Mango Man!
It’s been such an incredibly long time since I last thought about Mega Man, but I really appreciate the pun and video game reference of this blend – and it makes me want to rewatch the anime or play one of the video games.
I think this is the same base oolong as Applevania, which is a blend from Retro Leaf Tea that I enjoy quite a lot – very warm and nutty oolong with some good baked notes to it. However, that nuttier base oolong doesn’t work at well in my opinion with this mango. The flavouring is a bit more subtle, and because of that a more oxidized oolong with nuttier notes doesn’t bring a lot of life/juiciness to the profile – mango just isn’t one of those flavours that you enjoy “baked” like other fruits. It can be tangy/sour, juicy, and creamy – even spiced. However, nutty/cooked/baked just feels weird.
Not an unpleasant tea/doesn’t seem like the quality is especially bad or anything like that – but just a disconnect of flavours. Maybe if the mango flavouring was more heavy handed and could mask some of the oolong flavours, or if the oolong base was just a different style (ala Lupicia’s Ripe Mango Oolong) – but not my jam as is.
A is for…Applevania
Will starting my notes like that get annoying? Perhaps. But so far having a day devoted to a letter of the alphabet seems like a fun way to pick teas.
Grabbed this one out because the other A options were another almond rooibos, assams, or a more recent blend. This just worked for what I wanted at the time.
This tea throws me because it’s distinctly apple but not green apple like I expect it to be. Instead it’s a sweeter apple, though not overly sweet. The base oolong isn’t overly floral but does come off slightly that way when paired with the apple. It also gives it a baked apple sort of vibe but as if someone did that without adding sugar. It can also be slightly metallic at times but not consistently.
Had this one today around lunchtime and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked the cup. It was thick and nutty overall, with notes of sweet almond/amaretto as well and complimentary notes of chocolate and maple. Not overly complex, but just a nice full bodied and sweeter black that still had some nice astringency and a clear and present black tea base.
This was a free sample in my last order…
Honestly, it’s okay but it’s not really exciting either. I need to go back and check the ingredients, but it tasted like a very simple/basic chocolate and almond combination to me. Quite flat/lifeless though in term of flavour, although the body/thickness of the black tea and overall liquor was enjoyable.
Maybe this is more of a milk and sugar tea.
Made this one as a hot cup of tea, but then I forgot about my mug so I ended up drinking it when it was cold. It was very enjoyable that way though, and maybe potentially even more refreshing. Definitely has that generic “red fruit” kind of sweetness to it that is hard to nail down but I also definitely distinctly tasted guava this go ‘round too and, I swear, a cream flavouring as well! I would actually be shocked if there wasn’t cream flavouring in the blend because it was soooo apparent. I guess you could call this like a Redberry Cream Soda, maybe? Anyway, it was a surprising delight!
I had this one a little while ago and so it’s not super fresh in my mind, but I did really like it! I remember, when I ordered it, feeling like it was a bit of a gamble because while I was pretty sure it wouldn’t taste bad it didn’t seem like there was a lot going for it that would make it stand out either. It is a pretty typical hibiscus forward red fruit/fruit punch type of flavour but of course those types of teas do tend to taste really good cold brewed.
The thing, actually, that does give it a tiny bit of edge and interest is the use of tropical flavour notes to break up some of that standard hibby/red fruit. The guava comes through lightly, but enough to be detectable, and there was also a pineapple note that gave this a little more of a Hawaiian twist.
I was pretty pleased with the brew all in all!
I had a pretty miserable day today since a persistent migraine rendered me all but useless for the mass amount of the day – even now the dull pressure and pain is eating away at my energy and enthusiasm. As such, I didn’t drink much tea today – but I did dig into my stash to pull out this tea for the Sipdown challenge. The “theme” was a geeky tea for National Science Fiction Day…
It’s not actually a sipdown in the sense that I still have pretty much a full bag of it to drink through – but it’s a tea I ordered in the summer and then never got around to trying so this was a good motivation to finally try it out.
It’s a lot nicer than I expected. One of the reasons that I hadn’t tried it was because the aroma of the dry leaf was so off putting to me – very sharp and almost sour, like coconut that had gone rancid. It was disconcerting, since it was a new tea. It doesn’t taste rancid now though – although there is a bit more of an acidic top note than what I’m used to in nutty/almond teas. It reminds me of roasted chicory, more than anything. Aside from that this is sweet, nutty and smooth with an earthiness from the pu’erh and a almond note that combines elements of roasted almonds and boozier Amaretto.
I think it would steep well with milk, so I’m noting that for the next mug.
I couldn’t think of an apricot tea for Mastress Alita’s scavenger hunt so I made a peach tea instead. This one was never a favourite and today it is coming off a bit soapy. So ultimately it is one I am completely okay with saying goodbye too. Sweet peaches and cream vibe…but with soap today.
In my head I was remembering this tea as pretty intensely cinnamon flavoured, but steeping up a mug of it earlier this weekend I found the flavour softer than I had been recalling. That’s not to say it’s a soft flavour though, as this tisane still packs a significant cinnamon apple punch. It’s just a little more of a baked apple and woody/warming kind of cinnamon over the almost cloying red hot style cinnamon that had been in my memory. Revisiting this tea was a good choice – I’m glad I could sort of “reset” my impression of it…
Currant cuppa – last of the night.
In my head I remembered this having a lot more of a strong, hot cinnamon flavour and as I’m sipping on it now it’s a lot more of a baked apple flavour with cinnamon undertones and supporting notes. I like this better than what I was remembering, so I hope this cup sticks in my head for future brews. It’s cozy and comforting and a nice way to wrap up a very long feeling day.
Sipped on late last week.
Unlike the other Applevania tea I ordered, this one was much more what I was expecting. Very sweet “red hot” style cinnamon/cassia flavour with accents of apple. Not very complex or unusual/out of the box in terms of blending, but deliciously predictable and consistent. Made for a relaxing cup on a chillier afternoon.
March Sipdown Madness
Time for the second face off in my March Sipdown tournament – inspired by Mastress Alita! This time, by random draw, I have two oolongs facing off against each other. This one is going up against Adagio’s Fujian Rain…
I think I mentioned it in my last tasting note for this tea, but when I purchased this I was really expecting more of a bright green apple note. Instead, this is a strongly baked apple tasting flavour – but honestly I think that actually compliments the toastier nutty and slight honey notes of its oolong base. It’s a super simple blend, but in its simplicity I find a lot of comfort. It makes for a really good “daily drinker” or more casual cuppa to reach for because, y’know, you don’t always need something fancy or punchy.
However, for reasons I’ll elaborate on in the Fujian Rain tasting note, I ultimately crowned Fujian Rain the winner of this match up. It was a verrrrryyy hard choice to make though!
I picked up this tea, and two others, recently because I wanted more “nerdy” themed teas in my cupboard to have as options for the Podcast I’m doing with my friend Marika. I talked a bit about the podcast in a prior tasting note, and I will eventually post a discussion topic with more information – but I want to wait until Steepster is more stable to do so…
Anyway, I’m not sure why exactly I assumed that this would be more of a green apple type of flavour profile but it’s definitely not. I mean, it is very apple forward but it’s more of a cozy, warm and inviting baked apple than a crisp/fresh apple profile. That’s probably for the best, that baked apple flavour works a lot more with the nutty notes of the TKY oolong base in the blend. It’s super simple overall, as a blend, but I enjoyed it and the quirky name and nerdy reference to Castlevania only make it better.