3320 Tasting Notes
An Ode to Tea challenge – V
I honestly believed this would be a sipdown when I scooped it out of the package. Nope, next time. It was a perfect tea for a cloudy, blustery day anyway. I guess I never realized a “london fog” requires milk which I never tried. So I tried it. Must have added too much milk, as then I was only tasting milk and this is actually a stronger tea for the milk to take it over. I prefer it without milk – strong lavender and bergamot.
Thanks very much, AJRimmer! Seemed a good day for a chai. However, this seems much more like one of those cinnamon orange blends. The orange is most apparent, and then the cinnamon takes over, which is also very sweet because of the sugary bits here. The especially lovely sweetening ingredients in the description say “brown sugar pieces” and “golden caramel pieces”. YES to those. I wouldn’t say the glitter was very glittery… more like murky. I saw plenty of coriander in the blend and some fennel, but wasn’t really tasting them. I really wish more of these unique spices made a presence in the flavor. It was Cinnamon and Orange all the way.I do like a cinnamon orange tea but was expecting chai. Possibly this should have been named differently. Not bad though!
Steep #1 // 1 1/4 teaspoons for a full mug // 28 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 minute steep
March Mad(Hatter) Tea Tournament! Round #4
This is honestly not really the teas I thought I’d end up with. I guess it’s good to have a reminder to revisit teas. And fun to compare teas. Much like one of my favorite things, the arbitrary Tournament of Books, is about comparing two random books.
Match #1 52Teas – Spiced Cucumber Melon VS. Teavivre – High Mountain oolong
A perfect blend up against an oolong that was never really a favorite and lacked distinctive notes. Winner: Spiced Cucumber Melon
Match #2 Octavia – Berry Mocha Truffle VS. Tealyra – Parisian Sparkling Wine
Another tough one. Both great blends! But the lovely black tea that accomplishes what it’s trying to do perfectly wins over the herbal that accomplishes what it’s trying to do perfectly. Winner: Berry Mocha Truffle
-————————————————————FINAL MATCH -—————————————————
52 Teas – Spiced Cucumber Melon VS. Octavia – Berry Mocha Truffle
I didn’t see this final coming! This has been so fun. Of course two flavored teas make it. What can I say, I like what I like. Both the ultimate of flavor combinations. One a green tea base! One a black tea base! The Berry Mocha Truffle is a lovely chocolate berry blend, but is it the best of its kind? I don’t think so. The 52Teas might be a bit faded now (I just noticed it’s five years old) but when fresh this is unbeatable! It’s magic! Some ingredients here shouldn’t even work for me! My original note mentioned a tea magician created it. It’s a unique one and memories of these teas also help. Winner: 52 TEAS - SPICED CUCUMBER MELON!!!!!!
An Ode to Tea challenge – W
Sipdown! About time. It was a good one while it lasted (for years and years). Rooibos, tulsi, chocolate and peppermint. Mostly tulsi now. Not a bad thing. This isn’t very hard to find sipdowns with letters, as I have an email draft containing last-session-sipdowns.
2021 sipdowns: 46
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Wednesday, April 13th: National Peach Cobbler Day #3
The no caff option for Peach Cobbler day! Opening a fresh pouch of this guy. Has a very large fragrance and taste of almond / marzipan now which is VERY out of place for this blend. Very weird and can’t say I’m happy about it.
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Wednesday, April 13th: National Peach Cobbler Day #2
I bought this during the Boxing Day sale and it seemed like a good day to write about it! Honestly, never had a peach julip before so you can’t trust me on the accuracy with this one. Here we have a green tea base with peaches, sage and osmanthus. An interesting combination anyway! The peach flavor itself seems very different from the peach flavor in their Peach Cobbler blend. I love the flavor in Peach Cobbler. It seems more like a fresh ripe peach, while the flavor here is more like a peach ring candy. Personally, the couple times I have had osmanthus reminded me of peach anyway, so I’m not sure how much that is contributing here. The sage would be very interesting! However, I’m not sure I would even notice that it’s here without actually knowing it’s in the ingredients already. Second steep a bit bland – maybe the parameters weren’t great. Not the most fantastic blend from B&B but I bought it at a deep discount anyway.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon // 32 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 2 min
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Wednesday, April 13th: National Peach Cobbler Day #1
I thought I would be going for actual Bird & Blend’s Peach Cobbler tea for peach day! But other teas were calling me, including this one, which is now a sipdown. I really grew to love it. It’s one of those teas that won me over the few times I drank the sample. It’s a bit faded now, but really the flavors were fairly subtle when I had it the first time (from a grab bag sale.) I will miss its uniqueness though! I AM glad I didn’t miss that smooth third steep though.
Steep #1 // 1 3/4 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 15 minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min
2021 Sipdowns: 45
March Mad(Hatter) Tea Tournament! Round #3
Mostly Butiki, Teavivre, oolong and fancy white making it to the end! Only one black tea! Surprising, because I consider black tea a major favorite. Onward!
Match #1 Butiki – White Rhino VS. 52Teas – Spiced Cucumber Melon
I did have these side by side again. I knew both of these would be the teas to beat, while looking at my brackets. I’d say this is the closest decision! Drinking the remainder of the cups the next day, I still can’t decide. The White Rhino is supposed to last many years, but I’m not sure if is intended to last THIS many years. The flavor is quite faded now. The Spiced Cucumber Melon is just a Perfectly Crafted, Thoughtful blend. Anne deserves an award for this one. Anne, you better be signing up for tea awards! However that works. Winner: Spiced Cucumber Melon
Match #2 Butiki – Taiwanese Bi Luo Chun VS. Teavivre – Taiwan High Mountain oolong
The ultimate of greens up against a lovely oolong. Another very tough decision. Winner: High Mountain oolong
Match #3 Teavivre – Moonlight Dragon Ball White VS. Octavia – Berry Mocha Truffle
Really what could beat possibly my favorite flavor combination? Berry and chocolate. I’m a sucker for anything berry and chocolate. Winner: Berry Mocha Truffle
Match #4 Yunnan Sourcing – Premium Grade Anxi Ben Shan oolong Spr 17 VS. Tealyra – Parisian Sparkling Wine
A decent oolong, the second session I had yesterday was less spectacular than the other day, I’m not sure what I did differently. (I swear every time a package of tea is opened it just depletes the leaf flavor from hitting the air – even if it’s only a few days later.) The Parisian Sparkling Wine just does what it’s supposed to and does it well. An excellent herbal. Winner: Parisian Sparkling Wine
An Ode to Tea challenge – X
Oh whoops, forgot about my rule of the tea needing to be sipdown or new, but I figured I didn’t have too many other teas for X. Also, next time is a sipdown anyway… I will finish it soon. I’m mostly noticing a smoky quality. My past note (from six years ago cough) said it tasted like BBQ sauce. But also creamed corn which I’m not noticing anymore. Not the fault of the neglected tea!
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Friday, April 9th: National Unicorn Day Tea #2
Had this yesterday and today! I went with actual Unicorn tea for actual Unicorn Day. Thanks very much AJRimmer! Such a plethora of ingredients here. Various sprinkles! The blend is sweet, though it’s from the sprinkles, so I love it. At least any of the stevia sweetness is drowned out by the sprinkle sweetness. It has blue pea flower so the cup turns purple! Flavor wise, I’m not really sure what it’s trying to do. It tastes a bit like marshmallow, it tastes a bit fruity, possibly a hint of almond? Description says citrus and cotton candy. The fruit I was tasting was definitely not citrus. This blend was okay. Not great, not bad. I’m sure it’s one of those blends that really depends on what you scoop up in the scoop.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 6 min
Flavors: Almond, Fruity, Marshmallow