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handblended tea

52Teas Sipdown -cuppageek

PhotoCredit: 52Teas

As some of you may know, I’ve taken a step back from my tea shop to get myself back on track health wise.  What some of you might not know- I literally stopped drinking tea all together.  I think between being such a huge tea fan and blending my own blends- my taste buds just weren’t feeling tea anymore.  So I sadly packed up what tea I had (which was a lot), knowing that one day I would be back at it. . . and I’m happy to say after taking a couple months off- my taste buds are back where they should be.

I wanted to greet my tastebuds with something amazing right from the start and knowing that I had a lot of 52Teas in my stash, I  knew Anne’s blends would be exactly where I needed to start my journey back into tea with.

If you aren’t familiar with Anne/52Teas, I implore to check her site out.  She literally makes some of the most amazing blends that I’ve ever had and beyond that, she is just an amazing person.  I’m quite honored to call her a personal friend as well, tho I never let that cloud my reviews of her blends and she knows that as well :).

Anyway, back to the tea goodness. . .

So over the last few days, I have enjoyed a TON of 52 Teas blends and was able to sipdown a few. Below are my thoughts on these blends that are sipdowns. . .

Blood Orange Butterscotch Black Tea– A blend with Black Tea, Blood Oranges, Calendula Petals & Natural Flavors- This blend, I have to say, was amazing however, I didn’t really pick up on the blood orange or the butterscotch.  What I loved was the black tea that Anne used in this blend. The flavor was rich and smooth and even tho I didn’t really pick up any of the flavors, the black tea notes were more than enough for me to call this blend a winner.

Boy! Oh! Boy! Black Tea– A blend with Black Teas, Watermelon and Natural Flavors- To me, watermelon is a flavor best enjoyed cold so I cold brewed this one.  That may have been a mistake. I didn’t love the blend and now I’m wondering if I would have enjoyed this one hot- would some of the flavors popped a bit more. . All I really could pick up was watermelon and being not one of my favorite flavors. . this one wasn’t my favorite. Still good.

Michola Chai Black Tea w/Honeybush– I would list the ingredients for this one but there is a laundry list of delights used to make this blend so I will some this one up with saying the normal chai ingredients with marshmallow root, vanilla bean, and honeybush.  Let’s just start this note by saying sorry, not sorry.  I literally gobbled up all the remaining inventory for this blend earlier this week (I believe and if there is more- I call dibs).  This blend is one if not the BEST chai blend I have ever had, and I am not a fan of chais.  Brewed up with hot- this blend had notes of chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg. . but want I literally searched for in each and every sip was the awesome ginger notes that stole the show.  Not being a huge ginger fan- the amount of love I have for this blend is really interesting. So many flavors that normally I am not all about.   I greedily drank/gulped this tea down in no time flat and have to say it is simply amazing.  All the ingredients mingle so well.  If you have this one in your stash, check it out.  You won’t be sorry.

Gooey Butter Cake Black Tea– Black teas, lemon myrtle, calendula petals & natural flavors- Brewed up hot, this tea is literally like sipping on a cake.  The cake notes are perfect in the spotlight with the tail end of the sip reminding you this is a black tea.  Really delightful and one that I was happy to enjoy.  Where I went wrong with this blend was brewing this one cold.  Sadly the lemon myrtle took over and I didn’t enjoy the cold brew as much as the hot.  Was still good, just not as good as the hot brew.

Walking on Sunshine White Tea– White Tea, lemons, marshmallow root & natural flavor- This white tea blend calls my name over and over.  Marshmallow Root, white tea, and lemon are one of my favorite combinations and this tea was no exception.  I truly enjoyed this blend hot as well as cold.  This blend is currently available on the site and if I was enjoying white teas more, I would have gobbled up all of this blend too.

Ginger Lime Butterfly Tea– Butterfly Pea Flower, Lemongrass, ginger root, limes & natural flavors- Oh this blend.  I truly truly love this blend.  This blend has been my companion for a while since I cold brewed this delight and just keep adding water.  The blend reminds me of a slightly floral, slightly spiced, limeade with chunks of lemon.  I don’t really know how else to describe this one.  I still have to hot brew the remaining bit I have left over, but cold brewed, this one is a winner.

Grapefruit Creme Brulee Green Tea– Green tea grapefruit, calendula petals, vanilla bean & natural flavors- This one is another sorry not sorry.  I also nabbed the remaining inventory of this blend earlier this week because this is the blend that truly sang my name and prompted me to even buy a new tea kettle.  This blend has it all- the lovely sweet notes of the vanilla bean, the semi tartness of the grapefruit with the vegetal background of the green tea.  I can’t express how much I love this one and I have a feeling this one might be one I beg Anne to reblend for me as a custom order.  It truly is that good.

Sipdowns are amazing but can also be sad.  It is always nice to make room for new blends but sometimes it is sad to say goodbye. . .especially to blends from 52Teas because once some of these teas are gone. . .they are gone for good. Lucky for me, I have myself a pretty good sized 52Teas order on its way to me.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Herbal/Chai/Black/Green

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Creamsicle Oolong/Little Woods Herbs & Teas -VariaTEA-

Advent season 2020 sort of got away from me. My original intention was to make my own advent calendar using teas I already owned so that it would force me to drink my own stash. I did that. I also bought 6 other advent calendars. Oops.

This particular tea, Creamsicle Oolong by Little Woods, was part of my DIY advent calendar. It is a tea that was shared with me by one of the sisters, Nichole/CuppaGeek, that I had not tried by the time I was making my own calendar. As such, it found its way into the calendar and was a pleasant surprise the day I pulled it out.

Citrus is not actually one of my favorite flavors in teas. It’s one of those flavors that my reaction will depend on my mood. Sometimes I crave citrus and other times I am just tired of it. As far as citrus goes, however, creamsicle tends to be one I like. I think that is because its not just citrus but instead citrus and vanilla/cream. These flavors combined are dessert-like and anyone who knows me knows that I like dessert teas.

When I steeped this up, I was taken aback by an almost-roasted scent that was coming from the tea. I know there are roasted oolongs or oolongs that have that flavor, but I did not expect that in a creamsicle tea. Creamsicles are frozen and sweet and bright and “roasted” doesn’t fit into that picture. Plus, this uses a milk oolong which are typically creamy, not roasted. With that said, my nose did not deceive me because there is definitely a roasted flavor in this tea.

I would describe the flavor as orange and roasted oolong with an aftertaste of vanilla creaminess. I want to like it but the roasted quality really takes me out of the idea of creamsicle. It’s also more tart and savory than it is sweet and that seems off for me. Perhaps if it were branded differently I would be less disappointed and more accepting of the overall flavor. While personally I am more likely to purchase a creamsicle blend, I find it a lot worse when I expect creamsicle and instead get roasted orange, than if I were just given a blend called roasted orange and that’s what is delivered. As it is, I am disappointed with this blend – which is not a bad blend, but also not creamsicle.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Little Woods Herbs & Teas

Description

A special blend using a Taiwanese Milk Oolong as the tea base. It is creamy, tart, and great with milk and honey.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bubblegum/The NecessiTeas – Ashmanra-

It is hot and humid and hasn’t been a very fun day. Harrumph. I looked to my samples stash to find something light to cheer me up. Bubblegum sounded perfect!

This is a green tea with long, lightweight leaves and my second teaspoonful had a REAL GUMBALL in it! Be sure you scoop enough leaf for this one or go by weight instead of spoonfuls, leaving the gumball off the scale!

The instructions says to use water “just under boiling” but I went with my usual green tea temp and used 175F water for three minutes. Of course when I retrieved the infuser basket from the pot, I had to check to see what happened to the gumball! The color and hard coating were gone and a smaller sticky globe was there. Perhaps hotter water would have melted it entirely.

I drank a cup of this hot, and it was good, fruity, but not really screaming GUMBALL at me. It was just a pleasantly fruity green tea with a very light sour or brisk edge barely there. I didn’t add anything to it.

I put the rest of the tea in the fridge to chill for supper. I think I like it even better this way. The edge I tasted when it was hot is gone, and I am left with a light, refreshing, fruity green tea. I have enough leaf left for one more pot, and I will go unsweetened iced tea all the way with the balance of it.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas

Description

We all remember that sweet pink bubblegum flavor as a kid. Contests with your best friend to see who could blow the biggest bubble and then having it pop and stick to your entire face. Chewing it for hours until our jaws ached or falling asleep with it in our mouth which meant waking up with a big sticky mess in our hair! This blend takes me back to all those childhood memories and will be loved by adults and children of all ages. Feel free to steep the actual gum balls or pop one in your mouth and work on your bubble blowing skills while your tea is steeping!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

*gifted in exchange for review*

Strawberry Crepes with Cilantro Cream/A Quarter To Tea

There is a new craziness in my life and it is called law school. Yay! But also boo! One step closer to my dreams but a whole lot of miles farther from my friends and family. I do have one great comfort from home though and that is my tea. My tea and (almost) all my teaware which is now proudly displayed on a bookshelf for all to see.

With this new chapter of my life beginning, I have been thinking about the past chapters and I think that’s what made this tea, A Quarter to Tea’s Strawberry Crepes with Cilantro Cream, stand out to me. Crepes have always said Montreal to me, my home for so many years during one of the best times in my life…my undergrad. Here’s hoping this tea is as delightful as the crepes I remember…and also that law school ends up being as amazing as my undergrad.

Drinking the tea, it is definitely a tasty tea however it is hard to discern any particular flavor at first. As I continue to drink, I am picking up some of the strawberry, sweet like a puree you’d find in/on a crepe. Though cilantro isn’t fully clear, there is a savory note at the end of the sip that is different but I can’t decide if I like it or not. The oolong seems to be bridging the gap between the sweet strawberry and the savory end note. At the top of the flavor is baked goods that is light and could be crepes but it could also be a puff or a bun or whatever bakery concoction I am told to look for by A Quarter to Tea.

This is a good tea but I don’t know if this stands out. A Quarter to Tea has made some outstanding blends but this seems to be more middle-of-the-pack. I am enjoying what I have and I am glad I have another cup worth of leaf remaining but at the end of the day, I don’t think I would reach for this tea over another tea.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea

Description

It appears A Quarter To Tea is taking a short break but check out their FB page for updates.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Raspberry Kissed Coconut Green Tea/52Teas

Raspberry and coconut is a tea combination I overlooked for a very long time but one that I loved when I finally tried it. My tea journey started with DAVIDsTEA and I quickly made my way through most of the teas on their wall. One that I always seemed to skip over was Fantasy Island. For whatever reason, it just never appealed to me until a friend sent a sample over in a swap. One taste was all I needed to get hooked. The combination of raspberry and coconut was magical and it left me all the more heartbroken when the blend was discontinued.

Thankfully Anne, the genius behind 52 Teas, blended up a raspberry coconut tea, Raspberry Kissed Coconut Green Tea. The tea combined fair trade single estate zomba green tea, organic coconut, organic raspberries, and organic natural flavors.

Unlike Fantasy Island which was a black tea, this has a green tea base and that green tea is imparting a vegetal flavor. This is a coconut green tea through and through. The raspberry is present but a secondary note to the coconut, adding some brightness to the drink. For a raspberry coconut tea, it is not as sweet as you might expect. It’s a rather mellow tea which makes it nice in the warmer months when you want something light.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas 

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below to see the current green tea lineup.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!