New Tasting Notes
Adagio Advent Calendar – Day 11
Advent tea & chocolate time! :D
So first, the tea. This is a chocolate mint green tea from Adagio. At first, I thought it was going to be coconut, and was very happy when it wasn’t. The dry leaf had a very powerful menthol aroma. The mint is quite sharp in flavor as well, reminding me of strong peppermint gum or the peppermint oil used for making candies. The chocolate is there as well, and honestly it’s not half bad for chocolate flavoring. Still tastes a bit waxy, but not over-the-top artificial. The base is fairly mild, though I do get some roasted seaweed notes and a touch of bitterness. I certainly wouldn’t order this tea, but it was fine. It reminds me slightly of Andes mints, which also have a strong mint flavor.
So I ended up having two advent chocolates today, the first being a DAVIDsTEA blueberry matcha-infused chocolate star. Honestly, these mostly just taste like white chocolate with very little matcha flavor. The blueberry was also quite light in this one. It was okay, but I don’t generally just eat white chocolate plain, so I certainly wouldn’t buy these.
The second is a La Maison du Chocolat mini Cavale Fruits bar. I don’t get the name, as this has no fruit and is in fact a dark chocolate base with bits of almond, hazelnut, and pistachio sprinkled all over the top. Yum, it’s really good! It’s nice to get a dark chocolate as a lot of them have been milk so far. The nuts are very roasted which adds an amazing depth of flavor. I definitely taste the almond and the pistachio, not sure about hazelnut specifically. But overall, very delicious, and it has a great texture too!
(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIqcseIBxFX/)
Flavors: Artificial, Bitter, Chocolate, Dry Grass, Menthol, Mint, Peppermint, Seaweed, Umami
DAVIDsTEA Matcha Advent Calendar – Day 11
This is for the matcha white chocolate star that was in the advent today. The flavor was not as prominent as the salted caramel white chocolate star was. It was mostly just sort of fruity. Also, the matcha makes these a bit gritty, which I attributed to the salt last time but it happened here as well. Both were similar in taste too which means the white chocolate is contributing a fair bit of flavor and because of that I am sort of indifferent to the stars I have had so far.
AJ Rimmer sent me a ton more samples to try, so THANK YOU VERY MUCH. And don’t forget I owe you teas in the future! Let’s try this one before it disappears from B&B’s site. Honestly, I don’t really expect much from this blend. I didn’t really envision how the flavors would fit together when it was first released. Blueberry with lime? I guess there is a blueberry mojito blend I like from 52Teas…. I also wasn’t as thrilled with B&B’s previous Key Lime Pie tea as I thought I would be. This is… not great. It mostly seems like light hibiscus to me. Or maybe the lime or blueberry is coming across as hibiscus? The second steep just tasted like muted muddled hibiscus water to me, but that’s probably my fault. I can’t expect every tea to have a decent second steep ALL the time.
As for recent holiday teas, I’m also drinking Angry’s Peppermint Patty and Tea Revv’s Chilly Willy Chai.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 21 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 2 minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep
I think this is (or was) my oldest Lupicia tea – it had a “best by” date in 2017. So I’ve been focusing on sipping it down by having a cup every day.
This was never one of my favorites, hence why it lingered around for so long. It does have a pleasant smooth and creamy peach flavor with a mellow sweetness. The base is their usual green one, with soft dry grassy notes.
I think the issue is I’m just not that into peach teas, and I like Lupicia’s Momo Vert and Momo Oolong Super Grade much better than this one. This is a bit candy-like while the others have more authentic peach flavors.
So not one I would reorder, since peach just generally isn’t my thing and I have other options.
Flavors: Candy, Creamy, Dry Grass, Peach, Smooth, Sweet
DIY Advent Calendar – Day 11
Gong Fu Sipdown (257)
This is dirt to me. I feel bad because it’s appeal is quite genuinely lost on me. I steeped it according to the company recommendations and I just got cup after cup of dirt. And if it wasn’t dirt, it was wet leaves. Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing but this is a no for me.
I was able to get one more steeping out of this sample! Not sure how many days it was steeping in a mason jar, lost in the mess of tea related things on my counter. Maybe since the day it was the advent tea. Added maple syrup as a sweetener and got a really good cup! So far I think this has been the tea I’ve been most excited about from this advent calendar. I don’t recall running into too many pecan flavored teas. Pecans have a slight sweetness to them and the maple really enhances the pecan flavoring as a whole. Also probably helps that I have a maple association with pecan pie. There was one year Crown Royal put out a maple flavored bourbon and a ton of places that sold pies around Austin advertised their pies were made with that CR. It was seasonal and I don’t know that they ever brought it back, but I still have a bottle. I added some to a prebaked (as in not yet baked vs. baked before she brought it over) pecan pie my neighbor brought me the other day and it was SO delicious! Just like this tea.
Advent Calendar Day 11
I was excited to see a pear-flavored tea today, as there don’t seem to be too many of those out there and I’ve really enjoyed some of the ones I’ve found (e.g. Trader Joe’s White Ginger Pear and The London Tea Room’s Mango Pear White). Interestingly, even though it isn’t listed in the ingredients list, the main thing I’m tasting in this tea is walnut! This is another one that I don’t know how to rate. It actually has a very pleasant smooth, nutty flavor that mingles well with the hay-like notes of the white tea and if the blend were called “toasted walnut” or something, I’d probably give it a high rating. But it’s apparently supposed to be a caramel pear tea and I don’t taste either of those flavors. So not going to rate this, but glad I got to try it!
Flavors: Hay, Nutty, Smooth, Walnut
CuppaGeek Advent Calendar – Day 10
Yesterday we had our Hanukkah celebrations for the first night of Hanukkah. Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating! Then the night ended with a studying session for my first exam this morning. I drank this tea during the study session but as can be expected, my mind was distracted. I did like it though.
AJRimmer Advent Day 11
It’s been a long time since I’ve tried a new 52teas! In my eagerness to taste it I’m sipping it way too hot. Had to walk away to let it cool. I was having a hard time picking out the flavors, so I added a little sugar which made the fruits stand out more. It doesn’t have the tartness of a cranberry, but it does have a nice berry flavor that the term blush seems fitting for. The tea base is very subtle and buttery, but I can just pick it out. I seem to have finished my cup already! I’d like to try this cold steeped next time!
I really, really want to like this tea. Tea Guys is pretty local as a brand to me, and they’ve been putting up a real decent Creme Earl Grey in stores. That being said, I’m just not excited about this particular chai. The spice is quite muted, and the base black tea really isn’t anything to write home about. The cinnamon is nice, the vanilla comes through and adds a nice roundness to the flavor, and there’s subtle anise and ginger notes. There’s even a slight acidity which I can’t quite place, but other than that, nothing really grabs me one way or the other. It’s probably good as an introductory chai, or if you don’t like a tea being heavy on the spice, but it’s just not for me.
Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Vanilla
This is a favorite in our household. It has a nice earthy taste along with a maple flavor accompanied by hints cocoa. It’s a Hojicha, which means the green tea is roasted. The earthiness/nuttiness of the roasted leaves matches great with the slight sweetness. It’s very delicious and flavorful without being overwhelming.
I definitely recommend this one.
Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Maple, Nuts
I was very distracted both while steeping this tea and while drinking it. I can say for sure that it was very chocolaty, a deep and dark chocolate flavor. Chocolate-flavored teas so often taste watery and bland, but this one was quite rich. I enjoyed it!
Flavors: Dark Chocolate
Bird & Blend Advent Day 11 (11-December 2020)
This one smells so good in the dry sachet. Extraordinarily buttery. The steeped scent is also very buttery with a hint of old school puffed rice cereal.
There is a warming sweetness and at the very end of the tip I get a hint of toffee amongst the puffed rice. I am really enjoying this one and so is Lex! Woot. B&B just gets the rooibos blends.
We would consider ordering this one for sure. Also, I have so much going on caffeine seems to be affecting me and it never has before, so I may just need more delicious rooibos blends for the late night.
Advent Day 11
Light, citrusy, bergamoty. I like it, but the more frequently I sip the more the citrus builds up and becomes a little bitter. This is one I should drink more slowly!
Flavored white tea seems to be kinda rare. There are a couple of AQ2T blends that were based on white that I really liked. I’m thinking of exploring that category some more. Any favorites?
Palais des Thés Advent Calendar – Day 11 (from November backlog)
Meh, this is okay.
I’m pleased that it isn’t at all bitter after the recommended 4-minute steep. It’s definitely very drinkable with malt, bread, and dried fruit notes, perhaps a bit of honey. There’s also wood and a little touch of astringency. But mostly it tastes tea-ish, hah.
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Tannic, Wood
Advent from Dustin Day 11
Another new to me brand and blend. I’d actually never heard of Curtis, so I’m even more excited to brew this up. Also…Banana Flambe?? Sounds incredible.
The dry leaf doesn’t have much of a scent, but once the water hits it, I’m blasted with a burst of banana deliciousness.
Absolutely incredible! A mild, malty flavor in the black base. Tastes like a fresh banana drizzled in caramel. Would be delicious with a bit of cream/milk.
Flavors: banana, Caramel, Malt
2020 Advent Calendar, Day 3 This is another tea I picked up on my last trip to Paris. It sounded so good with its apples, pears, and mirabelle plums. And it promised some hazelnuts and chestnuts too. But I have been a little back and forth with this one. It is definitely very good, but it’s now “WOW” for me. I love the pears and mirabelles (which I miss so much), but I don’t get much chestnuts, hazelnuts or peach. It’s a little muted maybe? Especially compared to Noel a Venise which is very extroverted (can a tea be extroverted???). And that might be due to the nature of pears and plums, versus lemons. Ultimately, I didn’t end up rebuying it the last time I ordered because there were so many others I wanted to try out. But the calendar prompted me to give it another chance and it was better than I remembered. It’s all about those mirabelles…
Flavors: Pear, Plums, Sweet
2020 Advent Calendar, Day 10 – Oh how I love this one! The lemon, the caramel, the vanilla custard, the pastry… All of it is totally up my alley. Such a delicious dessert tea. Initially, I had bought it for my husband who loves Lemon Meringue Pie. Little did I know that a few months later, I would be one drinking it most of the time. After a few cups, it grew on me and it has become a staple in my stash. That’s one tea that is so easy to give as a gift to anyone with a sweet tooth. A bit like Coquelicot Gourmand or Paul and Virginie. Yum!
Flavors: Caramel, Custard, Lemon, Pastries, Sweet
So it’s Day 11 of advent calendars! Unfortunately, the DAVIDsTEA matcha advent has a matcha-infused chocolate again, so I’m cracking open one of my old mini tins from the Bird & Blend matcha advent that I did a couple of years ago. Hopefully they’re still decently flavored!
This sounded delicious and like a good candidate to drink straight, plus the ombre label is super cute. So it was chosen! Used a teaspoon of matcha for 8 ounces (ish) of warm water. I normally don’t bother sifting, but this had some ginormous clumps so I took the time today.
Wow, what an unattractive color this has – a weird muddy sort of reddish-grey-brown. I see now that there’s beetroot powder in here, so that explains it. I also had a very hard time getting any foam, luckily I don’t really care about it. :P I do enjoy the flavor, it’s a very crisp and tart green apple, but it doesn’t quite come off as candy which is nice. I do think I get some of the pear as well with its slightly more floral and sweet crispness. The matcha itself is quite grassy, and if I remember right B&B’s matcha base contains white tea as well, which I also taste. Not really getting vegetal notes here, just grass and a bit of hay. It’s also quite bitter, which doesn’t bother me as much when there’s not sugar mixed in… There’s also a slight grittiness as I get to the bottom of the bowl.
Anyway, I like it! Aside from the very odd color. It looks like this flavor isn’t around anymore anyway.
From Bonne Maman, today it’s Apricot-Mango Spread. Apricot is one of my favorites, and I really enjoy their “Intense” apricot jam, so I’m happy to see this one. Yum, it’s really good. The apricot is the starring flavor, but the mango is there as well, adding more tartness and a luscious tropical note. I’m not sure I would know it’s mango if I wasn’t told, it just tastes like a really delicious apricot jam with extra dimension. NOM.
(today’s advent teas: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIqcseIBxFX/)
Flavors: Apple, Bitter, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Green Apple, Hay, Pear