226 Tasting Notes

drank Cinnamon Roll Honeybush by 52teas
226 tasting notes

I tried this one with my chai yesterday. It came out surprisingly well, since I was not expecting the “icing” flavor to complement the chai spices. I think if I were to do it again, I would add less of it. (Wow, that’s an astonishing statement in itself about this tea—that it’s strong enough to overpower CHAI.)

Of course, the two teas are sort of naturally complementary—the spiciness being the obvious factor, but also that they both produce a fairly dark brew (I find myself more and more basing tea blends on the color of the brew, because I’ve been finding that teas that brew close to the same color mesh really well in one cup).

Anyway, this review really doesn’t have much more to be said. I liked it, and I might be inclined to try it again. Of course, I put milk in it, before you ask, because chai without milk is like a bed without pillows, like a playground without slides, or like a window with bars but no glass. What’s the point? xD

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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I don’t often have a craving for this tea, but today, I did. I’m glad I was able to pull it out and brew it up right (because this tea done wrong is a travesty beyond words). When it’s right, it’s SO right…

The brew is very dark, typical for a pu-erh. The leaves have an almost smoky scent to them, but even in the dry leaf you can smell the caramel, which is not normally a strong scent. The almonds come out in the brew, where the smoky, woodsy flavor is kept more at bay by adding sugar (I’m not fond of having TOO strong of a pu-erh flavor, but that’s just my personal taste).

This was my first English Tea Room tea… and it will live in fame and glory for me. It was my first pu-erh, also, and thanks to its delicate but firmly convincing flavors, it will not be my last. :)

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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I got this as a sample with my Winter Sampler set. The loose leaf smelled promising, but not quite as strong as I thought it should be with a name like “Almond Indulgence.” I was more expecting to be smacked upside the head with an almond extract-like heaviness, but I didn’t get that. I actually didn’t get much almond flavor at all, and the same was true for the brew.

From the first few sips, I sort of got the “cookie” from its former name, but the almond was almost completely lost. It was an attempt at subtlety that came across as timidity. :(

The flavor wasn’t bad, though. It was a tasty black tea, although the leaves were a bit crumb-like. I don’t think I’ll order it, since I love Teavana’s Almond Biscotti and The English Tea Room’s Ciao Amaretto SO MUCH, but I’m glad I got to try it. :)

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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I got up this morning and had a Ciao Amaretto craving, BIG TIME. The cup I made was extremely satisfying, and even though I had a rather hectic day at school, I still look back on that cup with fondness. I love how the cherries and the almonds interact so seamlessly with one another, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I find I can’t steep this one longer than about 2 minutes, but that works for me because I don’t often have a lot of time in the mornings. :)

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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drank Island Mango by Todd & Holland
226 tasting notes

I made a pot of this earlier and shared it with my fiance. It was his first time tasting it, and as I was pouring, he made the comment that it was definitely the most aromatic black tea he’d ever smelled (it smells very strong in the package, and he could smell it from about three feet away as I was pouring it). He was impressed with it, and I thought it was just as yummy as usual. :) Again, you can’t steep it that long, but done just right, it is the perfect afternoon fruity pick-me-up. _

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drank Almond Biscotti by Teavana
226 tasting notes

I made a pot of this for me and a friend who was with me for breakfast. We had pancakes and scrambled eggs with it, and it was thoroughly satisfying. :)
I really think this tea is a fantastic tea, but… it is rather easy to oversteep it. And this tea oversteeped is not fun to drink, because it gets VERY bitter. But if you do it just right, with a little milk to bring out the “biscotti” flavor, it’s quite pleasant to sit and sip. _

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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I just want to note that the steeped leaves really smell like pumpkin, so you can tell there’s real bits of pumpkin in it. Just brilliant!

I agree with TeaEqualsBliss’s comment about some pumpkin teas going WAY OVERBOARD with the pumpkin flavor. Kind of like they’re sticking your head in a pumpkin and telling you you’re drinking tea. This tea blend does not do that at all—it has a subtle pumpkin flavor that is more like the sensation from eating pumpkin pie than the actual taste of the pie.

To that is added the light ethereal quality of creme brulee, in hot liquid form. I don’t know how they do it, but I totally get the texture of creme brulee from this tea. The only thing that would make it better would be that yummy layer of caramelized sugar on top. :))))

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Butiki Teas

Glad you are enjoying the tea! I did use a little bit of flavoring to create the flavor of burned sugar in creme brulee; however, it’s really only noticeable if you use some sugar in the tea particularly brown crystal sugar or sugar in the raw. I found if I used anymore flavoring than that it became too overpowering.

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drank Raspberry Truffle by Butiki Teas
226 tasting notes

I honestly wasn’t sure what to make of this tea when I first tasted it. The color is pretty normal for a black tea. I don’t really have any idea what temp. I steeped it at, because I had to heat my cup in the microwave and I don’t use a thermometer… but I’m pretty sure it was close to boiling.

Anyway, I can get the raspberries, and there’s a slightly creamy nutty flavor that might be the truffle… but beyond that, not really a chocolate note. Perhaps if I tried different temps and different steeping times I might get different results. le shrug Anyway, it has a pretty pleasant flavor, and not at all astringent (which makes me think that perhaps I didn’t get the temp as close to boiling as I thought, even though I did see little bubbles in the sides of the cup… or maybe it’s just that this tea doesn’t get bitter?). As I drink, I get this vague flavor that seems to be a mix of the raspberry and the nutty creamy flavor, but neither flavor is very identifiable or distinct. The raspberries dominate in the aftertaste.

I’m not normally a big fan of raspberries, but I’m glad I gave this one a try. :)

3 min, 45 sec

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drank Cha Yen Thai by Teavana
226 tasting notes

Had this tea tonight by itself, no cream, heavily sweetened. It’s just awesome for those late night cravings, and it seems to have less caffeine because it’s a black tea and rooibos mix. ^ w^ Just heavenly.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I very clearly remember my first experience with tea. It was in a Target near my house, and my best friend handed me a cup of chai from the Starbucks inside the store and said, “Try this.” I believe I was about 12 at the time, and from then on, I was completely hooked.

Anyway, as my increasingly weirded out family will tell you, my obsession with tea has (almost) steadily escalated since then. I discovered the world of tea slowly, first with just chai, and then with bagged teas I could get from supermarkets and specialty stores, and then with loose leaf teas. I mostly shop for tea at Teavana, but I also patronize other local shops that I’ve discovered within the last couple of years. I’ve ordered a smattering of teas from a few online places, but I’m always leery of buying tea online, since most of how I select teas in person is by smell… unless I’m at The English Tea Room.

My favorite types of tea are blacks and flavored blacks. And oolongs. Right underneath that are rooiboses and whites, and then greens and herbals, and then mates. I’m always looking for a new favorite, but I appreciate rediscovering old favorites. I like to blend teas, but I never store them that way, mostly because I like to leave myself options.

I prefer nutty/sweet/rich teas to fruity/light-flavored teas or bold/full-bodied teas, but I do try to drink some of everything to widen my palate. I’m always willing to try any tea at least once (except this one tea that Teavana mercifully discontinued… the loose leaf smelled like cheese, I swear). I do perhaps rate teas a little leniently… because I’m not very picky. I will try a tea at least three times before I pronounce that I hate it, and I will always focus on the good aspects of a tea rather than the bad. That’s just how I roll. :3


Colorado, USA

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