Tea & AbsintheEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a perfectly acceptable masala-chai style tea, done with Pu’er instead of standard black assam which made it rather more mellow. The cinnamon was the most noticeable flavor, but all of the flavors melded together well, with no notes sharper than the others.
I have other chais that I like better, so I feel no need to buy more of this one, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.
I got this tea as part of the Four Nations pack, and as it’s an herbal, I went in with zero expectations of anything.
It is a naturally sweet tea (that would be the date pieces) and it is VERY lemony (that would be the lemongrass). The other flavors blend nicely together in the background, but I found them somewhat overpowered by the lemon.
As a hot brew, this would be a very good tea for a day when I had a sore throat (I did not have a sore throat when drinking it) and it doesn’t need additional honey at all. I suspect I’d also enjoy it as a sun-brew on a hot day?
It’s not one I need to drink again, but it’s a good herbal if herbals are your brew of choice! :-)
Flavors: Lemon, Sweet
I do NOT like the taste of rooibus. At all. I have never quite forgiven it for not being actual tea, and so when I was stranded at a location where I could not get my hands on decaf black, but where I desperately needed a cuppa for the evening before bed, I grudgingly said, “OK, fine, I’ll try it. It’s better than nothing, after all.”
Friends, it was way better than nothing, and better than something, and while I will probably not keep a large stock of this tea in my house at all times (because I can’t forgive the rooibus) – it was a rooibus where I drank it and I did not instantly hate it.
I actually liked it.
Joking with a friend, I said, “It’s the Fire Nation, it’s sure to be a disaster.” And the friend replied later, after also trying the tea, “Wow, the Fire Nation really has it together – wait, did I just say that?”
So, shockingly, it’s a rooibus I recommend. But do give it a splash of milk, or the peppercorns will probably go after your mouth like an Angry Fire Nation Person.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Pepper
Finished off this sad little packet that was hidden in my cabinet. Looks like Tea and Absinthe doesn’t carry this any more and I honestly have no idea how old this packet was. It’s quite pepperminty but not the faux peppermint. The tea leaves definitely have peppermint leaves mixed in. I wasn’t wowed by this one which is why it took so long for me to finish the bag but I would definitely drink it again if offered.
Yesterday, we dipped our toes into our first Comicon (a small one, so that it wasn’t overwhelming). So in honor of that, I pulled out the geekiest tea in my closet (right now). I do like this one. The vanilla “custard” sweetens the tea just enough and adds a bit of interest. Sadly, I just used up the end of this package but as an upside I just learned this is a local company.
I forgot that I’d already tried Ohana, so when asked, I tried it again. I ended up brewing this particular batch rather weaker than the first, because I didn’t have quite enough of the sample left to brew a full mug. It actually was better weaker! The passionfruit was able to get past the nose/taste of the pineapple, and made things rather more balanced. I could even taste the jasmine and rose.
I think I actually brewed it a little too weakly this time, but now I know it’s something to remember. It does still have a distinctly acidic mouthfeel, so it’s not a tea I will be seeking out (the fact that I am allergic to fresh pineapple may simply be making me more aware of the pineapple acidity) but it’s definitely better than my previous rating.
So. Brew slightly weaker than you think you want, and you’ll get more flavors out of it. :-)
The pineapple is very pronounced in this one, and there are heavy overtones of citrusy-flavor in here – I expect that’s the passion-fruit. I find I’m not enjoying this one particularly, though I’m sure that someone who likes the more tropical fruits would likely do so. The acidic mouth-feel of it is not to my taste, and while it didn’t curdle with my usual splash of milk in it, I suspect this is a tea that would do better with a little bit of lemon and perhaps a touch of honey. Since I got it as a free sample along with a bunch of my usual favorites from T&A, I’m not going to test this hypothesis, however.
No recommendation on this one – if you like tropical, you’ll probably like it? But if you don’t, you probably won’t.
Flavors: Citrus, Pineapple
I love rose tea, I love almond tea, I thought the two together would be excellent – and they were fine, but didn’t manage to transport me to the flights of happiness I was expecting. Perhaps I was expecting too much of this tea? :-) I did not regret buying a tin of this at all, and it was thoroughly enjoyable while I had it, but I don’t feel the need to purchase more.
(I drink T&A’s Starry Night for my coconut/almond tea addiction, and I mix my own rose tea at this point, so yes, I was probably expecting too much of this tea.)
I like coffee, do not get me wrong, but when I want to drink tea, I want tea, not coffee. I found the coffee beans in this tea completely overpowered all the other flavors in there. I kept trying it, hoping milk or different brewing times would change it, but I couldn’t ever find the other notes that were supposed to be in there, except possibly the occasional hint of cocoa. The tea was completely lost. I will not be buying this one again.
This tea brews up extremely pink. To a degree that I found quite startling, given the lack of hibiscus. I like to drink this tea in front of a fireplace with a book, but I have to be in the right mood to do so, and I absolutely have to have a splash of milk in it to cut the sweetness of it, because the candied fruits make it very sweet indeed. (At one point, I had a tin of it in my luggage while traveling and it exploded, and the inside of my suitcase pocket was sticky and had bits of popcorn in it for quite a while afterward.)
I am not a huge fan of tisaines in general; I will often mix them with decaf black tea to get the “tea” flavor in them, but this one doesn’t need it. It does, however, need the correct mood. It’s supposed to evoke the feeling of being in a subterranean common near the kitchens of a fictional school, and it does that well – but you have to be in the correct mood to want to be there, and it’s not a great drink if you’re not in that mood.
Flavors: Fruity, Sweet
I don’t like mint tea. I’m super picky about my green tea. I’m on my third tin of this tea. This tea is really, really good for a hot summer afternoon over ice. I also have been known to drink it on an early spring afternoon when I’m looking for a palate cleanser after thinking really hard and I need a break.
The mint is not punch-you-in-the-mouth strong; it compliments the green tea well, and the green is not grassy tasting the way some of my less-favored teas have come out. This one is on the shelf of “keep on hand for regular use.”
I quite enjoyed this tea; it is very fruity and sweet without requiring any additional sugar. I drank it with a splash of milk, and brewed according to instructions. I’m glad I tried it. (It didn’t end up meriting a space on my “keep on hand at all times” shelf the way T&A’s Elixer of Wisdom or Starry Night have, but that’s a very high bar to reach and should in no way be construed as disparagement of this fine tea.)
Last night, I dropped 5 teaspoons of Starry Night into my Hario Filter-in Cold Brew Tea Bottle, and left it to steep on the counter overnight, because it’s too blasted hot where I am right now, and I really wanted to be sure I had tea in the morning. (Jetlag is a horrible thing, and tea is a partial solution.)
In retrospect, I needed to put a bit more in the bottle; 5 tsp is not sufficient for 750ml of water when brewed cold, though it definitely is for a hot brew. Still plenty delicious though. Still a favorite. Not changing my rating at all. :-)
I love this tea. It tastes like all the best parts of Marzipan to me, without being cloyingly sweet. I drink it with just a tiny trace of milk, and brew it slightly stronger than recommended. Do not underbrew, or you will be sad.
Sadly, the leaves do not rebrew to anything like the strength of the first brew, so I often have to adulterate them with a bit of assam to make a second pot. Still worth it.
TARDIS 10 is a blend of black tea flavored with coconut and banana. I was dubious about banana in tea, but you know what? It really really works. It shouldn’t work. But it does, it really does. I drank it iced because it’s dreadfully hot out in NJ right now, and I think it’s probably best iced instead of hot. The coconut is the strongest flavor element, followed by the tea flavors, with the banana lurking in the background waving insouciantly. It’s like a black tea daiquiri and I mean that in the best way possible.
I’d be careful with over-steeping this one. Two to 2.5 minutes was enough, even for icing. More than that and the tea notes are likely to get a little bitter.
I imagine this tea would work really well sweetened. I’m going to try it tomorrow with the amber sugar so that I get the brown sugar/molasses notes. I also imagine that this iced tea would work astoundingly well with rum, but someone else will have to try that experiment.
Addendum: Yep, amber sugar works amazingly well, and I don’t even like sweet tea most of the time. I imagine Sugar in the Raw would get the same flavor.
I approve of this tea, with just a few caveats.
First of all, believe the steeping time on this one. You want to steep it for 5 minutes to get the proper flavor. Otherwise the coconut and almond flavors don’t come out strongly enough to distinguish it from any other good quality black.
Second of all, if you’re going to use it for iced tea, either think again or double the amount of tea and triple the steep time. It doesn’t hold up to icing otherwise.
Honestly, I think this one is best used for hot tea anyway. Fortunately, the weather here turned gray and cool and rainy enough that hot tea seemed like a good idea today and I was finally able to get this tea at its best. The almond and coconut flavors aren’t strong. They build up and enhance the tones of the black tea. This quality comes out best when the tea is hot. (People who don’t like coconut still won’t like this tea, though).
This is a solid B+ tea, definitely will buy some when I finish working through the many generous tea samples people have sent me.
Flavors: Almond, Coconut
As a huge fan of Lilo & Stitch, I had to pick this tea up when I ran across the T&A booth at a comic con I was attending. In the canister it has an intensely fruity, floral aroma and you can clearly see large flowers and rose petals generously intermixed into the black tea base.
After a standard black tea brew it provided me with a rich amber liquid that still smells strongly tropical – I swear I’m picking up pineapple, though I can’t imagine why – but sadly it’s all a bit overwhelmed by the strong black tea base, to the point where none of the flavors actually come through.
I’m quite disappointed, as my nose was promising me many fruity delights and my palate can’t find a single one. :/