84 Tasting Notes

77

My summer tea-drinking has officially picked up again now that I’ve realized I can point a fan at myself to cool off while I work… thus allowing me to enjoy hot tea. :D

I’m currently taking a wee break from a busy work day and made myself a cup of this extremely fruity blend to drink alongside a little afternoon snack plate. This blend is CHOCK FREAKING FULL of ingredients, primarily dried fruit. Dry, it smells really lovely, like POG juice or some other multi-fruit juice blend. It’s visually quite busy, with giant pieces of freeze-dried starfruit, pink peppercorns, bright cornflower petals, and much more. As you might expect, the brewed tea is similarly busy. I can’t really identify any single flavor above the general cacophony, but maybe that’s a good thing. Instead, I get a mild, lightly fruity liquor with just a tiiiny hint of peppercorn at the end and a gentle creaminess, maybe from one of the flowers.

It’s pretty nice! I might try it cold brewed next, but the hot version is very pleasant.

Flavors: Creamy, Fruity, Pepper, Sweet

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87

Another winner from my first 52Teas subscription box! This is absolutely evocative of chocolate cake batter: It’s creamy and rich, and the cacao nibs and shells add a really lovely, mild chocolate flavor. The coconut flavor is juuust there, but not at all overpowering — instead it adds a full-bodied creaminess I’ve come to associate with 52Teas’ coconut blends.

I find myself wishing the black tea base were a littttle bit stronger, but that would probably mess with the delicate alchemy of these flavors.

This is a sophisticated dessert tea that I plan to savor. :)

Flavors: Cacao, Cake, Chocolate, Coconut, Creamy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

Aww I just ordered from Anne a few days ago, and I didn’t include this one because I assumed it was regular cake batter. But chocolate cake batter sounds amazing!

Maybe next time, ha ha…

Kelmishka

Next time! And all this talk of cake batter makes me want actual cake batter!

Cameron B.

Or even better, brownie batter! :O

Kelmishka

Oh yes — the best!

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80
drank Blackberry Parfait by 52teas
84 tasting notes

This tea is delightful in all senses—appearance, scent, taste—and it reminds me why I was so excited when I first discovered 52Teas (y’know, like eight months ago… yes, I’m a latecomer). It’s flavorful without tasting artificial, and it just makes me smile. Yum!

Flavors: Berries, Creamy

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80
drank Blackberry Parfait by 52teas
84 tasting notes

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75

I finally signed up for a 52Teas subscription box because why the hell not. XD This one came in the June box (which arrived in early July), and then I was on vacation, and I’m only getting around to trying it now.

So, it smells delightful. After being burned (not literally) by the horrifying, cloying nature of that one Strawberry Shortcake tea from Murchie’s, I got a little twitchy when I saw the label. Happily, the scent here is much less “strawberry car freshener someone bought at the dollar store and then ripped completely open and hung up, filling the car with noxious fumes” and more “sweet strawberry candy, but in a good way.”

Steeped, the strawberry loses some of its strength, but that’s OK. I’m still getting a light, buttery creaminess layered over a bit of strawberry, plus the nice toastiness of the rice. The green tea comes in at the end as a gentle grassiness; it’s definitely present, but not overpoweringly bitter or anything.

Overall, it’s very nice and quite fun. I’m not totally sure I’d be able to identify the flavor profile/inspiration if I’d gone in cold, but I’m enjoying it (y’know, judging by the fact that I’m drinking it on a 90˚+ day). Cold-brewing it might be good too.

Flavors: Butter, Candy, Creamy, Grassy, Strawberry, Toasted Rice

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
52Teas

Welcome to my list of subscribers! I’m very happy to have you with us!

Kelmishka

I’m thrilled to be here!

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75

This green tea was included in the final installment of my six-month Whistling Kettle gift subscription. I’ve been pretty ambivalent about the WK boxes—there have been a few really tasty blends, but there’ve been more duds.

This one, however, is not a dud! It’s a gorgeously light green tea with delicate, almost buttery soft and smooth flavor. It’s mildly vegetal, but pretty unobjectionably so. I’m getting the tiniest hint of asparagus in the aroma, but I have to really sniff deeply to find it.

There’s not a whole lot to this one, but what’s there is good. I haven’t been drinking much tea in this hottt weather, but I’m glad I made time for a cup today. :)

Flavors: Asparagus, Smooth, Soft, Vegetal

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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55

Snagged a small pouch from the TTB and am just getting around to trying it. I kept it because the dry leaf smelled so interesting—the ginger made it almost effervescent, like cola. I’m not much of a soda drinker (it’s far too sweet) but I do like the spice blends and flavors in some craft sodas.

The steeped blend, though, is just odd. It smells oddly vegetal, and the taste is quite muddy and muddled. The ginger only comes through at the end, and on top of it is something more reminiscent of asparagus or savory herbs! I’m not getting any sweetness at all, or really anything evocative of cola. The Yunomi website suggests cold brewing it and adding sparkling water, so I might try that with the remainder of the package.

Flavors: Asparagus, Ginger, Grassy, Herbs, Mud, Savory, Vegetal

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70

I’m a total sucker for anything peach, so I was looking forward to this one! The dry leaf definitely smells very cobbler-y, with creamy pastry notes layered on top of the peach.

The brewed cup is a bit of a letdown, though. Hot, I’m just not getting much of anything beyond the Ceylon base. Once it cools, it reads as more of a peaches and cream flavor than peach cobbler. That base is super astringent, though! It nearly overwhelms all the other flavors.

Reading through the other reviews, it seems like this might be a fairly temperamental tea—others seem to have coaxed more flavor out of it. I could see it being quite tasty cold-brewed.

I won’t be keeping this from the TTB, but I’m glad I tried it.

Flavors: Astringent, Creamy, Pastries, Peach

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57

Yeahhh, no. This is like buttery mineral water.

Flavors: Artificial, Butter, Mineral

Shae

Well that stinks, I just bought some of this one. :/

Kelmishka

Maybe you can finagle some flavor out of it…!

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77

I enjoyed the the teabag version of Mince Pie in Bird & Blend’s advent calendar last year, so I figured I’d give the loose-leaf version a shot when I saw it in the TTB. I brewed it up and had it ready to go in KeepCup to enjoy while running errands, and then… completely forgot about it until I returned home. Oops!

I’m drinking it cool now and it’s still tasty. I’m getting gently spiced marzipan. Yep, this is pretty much how I remember it from last December, although the pastry notes are missing. Still, not bad. I’ll keep my rating the same. :)

Flavors: Almond, Drying, Marzipan, Spices

Shae

The KeepCup is so cute!

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Profile

Bio

I was an anxious child who didn’t like change, so when my parents flew across the country for my grandfather’s wedding and left us kids with my aunt and uncle, I was a nervous wreck. Our first night at their house was tough. I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and padded into the kitchen, where my aunt was puttering around. She could tell I was distressed and offered to make me a cup of tea. It was just Celestial Seasonings’ peppermint tea, but it was exactly what I needed. The tea itself, the comfort it represented, the ritual of making it… I was enchanted. I’ve loved tea ever since.

I’m partial to strong, intense flavors and prefer loose-leaf to bagged, but I’m also no snob. I just know what I enjoy and like trying new blends. I mostly drink my tea straight but once in a blue moon I’ll add a little plant-based milk, generally oat.

I live in Maryland, USA, with my partner, two dogs, and one cat, and I’m an editor at an animal welfare nonprofit. I use she/her pronouns. I’ve actually been a Steepster reader for years and years, but only started posting in late 2021. :)

When I’m not drinking tea (or sometimes WHILE I’m drinking tea!) I’m reading, rewatching comfort shows on Netflix, going for a jog, knitting, hiking, or puttering in the garden. You can find me on Instagram at @kelmishka.

Favorite ingredients, flavors, etc.

Maple (all-time fave flavor!), vanilla, caramel, and all that dessert-y warming goodness

Jasmine, lavender, and most floral flavors

Most spices, although I go through phases and sometimes get bored of generic-feeling winter spice blends

Most fruity flavors

Matcha and other vegetal flavors

Not-so-favorite ingredients, flavors, etc.

Bergamot (I tolerate it, but it just doesn’t do it for me)

Hibiscus

Overly artificial flavors (banana, coconut, mango)

Stevia, monkfruit, and other sugar-alternative sweeteners — blech

Chocolate — it’s hard to get it right in tea, though I love real chocolate!

Animal products, including honey (long-time vegan checking in!)

My ratings

90-100: The best! Will almost definitely repurchase.

75-90: Really good, and potentially worthy of a restock.

60-75: Decent, if not terribly memorable.

50-60: In the “meh” range, but possibly for personal taste reasons.

35-50: I’m not a fan, and this is not very good tea.

20-35: Varying degrees of bad.

1-20: Actively bad. Like really bad. I can’t imagine anyone disagreeing.

Location

Maryland, USA

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