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Tea Review: Son of Coul Blend

coulson_tea2

son of coul

created by: Cara McGee

Strong, Reliable, motivating, and loyal to the end. A cup of tea worth Avenging.
Inspired by the Marvel Comics/Disney character Phil Coulson. I have no affiliation with Marvel or Disney or any of those related companies. This blend is made for my own enjoyment.

 

My Review

All the Pheels….
Well, as with the Thor tea (snerk) the toasted mate is kind of the prevalent scent, though the tiger eye – particularly the caramel – rises up and sticks with you. The chestnut adds its roasty goodness to the overall scent of toastiness. Someone else mentioned that it kind of smells like raisins? Yeah, it kinda does. And another person noted that it smelled like trail mix. I can certainly agree with that; the aroma is definitely evocative of trail mix with the roasty-toasty goodness and sweet notes. I wasn’t entirely sure how it was going to taste, given this blend of smells.

I used one heaping teaspoon for about 12 oz of water. I stirred it up in the tin a bit to get a nice mix of tea leaves and mate (note picture above!) and let it steep about 4 minutes (I seriously love the ingenuitea.)

coulson_tea1

This hearty, nutty tea is so comforting to me. It’s got a nice, full body that rolls around smoothly in your mouth (releasing more caramel and nutty notes) but doesn’t leave a weird aftertaste. Though it smells sweet, that doesn’t transfer to the flavor at all like how a fruit tea can be very sweet. It’s really just a nice, soothing cup.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars. You can get it here.

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Tea Review: Thor Blend

Thor Tea (sounds really funny to me)
Thor Tea (sounds really funny to me)

thor blend

created by: Cara McGee

A deep, strong flavor, incredibly masculine, with bright notes of apricot.
Inspired by the Marvel Comics character Thor. I have no affiliation with Marvel or Disney or any of those related companies. This blend is made for my own enjoyment.

My Review

So, right off the bat, I know I’m going to have to brew this a couple more times to really get a feel for the blend. Like the description says, it has a deep flavor. You can certainly smell the sweetness of the apricot, but the taste of it is much more subdued. The toasted mate (as with the Coulson blend) really, really comes through.

The deeper tones of the ceylon and mate are kind of defying my description at the moment – I’m just not sure how to describe it. I think it must be the slight tang of the ceylon sonata I’m noticing? It is pleasant, though.

However, I think I messed up on my first cup and didn’t steep it for long enough and that is probably why I couldn’t quite get a handle on the flavors.

I’ve brewed a second cup: 200 degrees Fahrenheit, 1 heaping teaspoon, around 12 oz of water, steeped for 5 minutes. Opening the tin (as with the original bag) the first thing you smell is the sweetness of the apricot. It’s really quite fruity.

Once brewed, the apricot scent diminishes significantly, though you can still detect it (of course, this could be because I steeped mine for 5 minutes. I got distracted by a game.) It’s not as strong in flavor as I thought it would be; at least, I don’t find it quite as hearty as the Son of Coul blend. Thor is (surprisingly) kind of mellow. Having said that, it still maintains the toasted mate flavor very well, with hints of the sweet taste of apricot that lingers on the tongue.

I enjoy teas that I don’t have to add anything to, and Thor is one of those.

After the second cup, which was about a million times better than the first time round, I give this 4 of 5 stars. You can buy it here.

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Tea Review: The Woman Blend

tumblr_m7soerl98X1r4j4yzo1_1280
the woman
Incredibly seductive to any man (or woman): the scent of fresh cookies, hints of cherry, and just a whiff of smoke. created by: Cara McGee

Inspired by BBC’s Sherlock, which I am in no way affiliated with. This is created purely for my own enjoyment.

My Review

This tea smells so, so sweet and fruity at first, you can barely catch the smoky hint of lapsang souchong in there. I mean, really, that honeybush vanilla is fragrant beyond imagination. I steeped my first cup at 212 degrees for four minutes, watching it turn a lovely sort of ochre-ombre color. The sweet vanilla scent remained, though not as pungent as when I first opened the bag to transfer it to my tin. (And even opening the tin packs a powerfully sweet punch to the senses.) It kind of reminded me of Jell-O when you first make it, before setting it to chill in the refrigerator; just nowhere near as strong a scent. The steeping also brought the lapsang a bit more to the forefront. Honestly, I was a little worried that it would be overpoweringly sweet. Don’t misunderstand; I enjoy fruity, sweet teas, but I wasn’t quite in the mood for that just then. Lucky for me, though the blend is sweet and fruity, it wasn’t off-puttingly so (Teavana white peach blend, I’m looking at you.)woman2

The dewy cherry supplies a vague cherry essence to the tea with only the tiniest tarty bite I often associate with cherries (though perhaps the vanilla is a mitigating factor?) To be perfectly candid, I was a little reminded of sugar-free Kool-Aid (I drank that stuff like an alcoholic when I was a child.) The lapsang lends a gravity to the sweetness, however, making this a blend with a duality that can be enjoyed down to the dregs.

I’ve already had two cups since starting this review, so there you have it….

I give this tea 5 out of 5 stars. You can purchase it here.

 

(Reviewer’s note: I will be reposting all of my tea reviews from the previous version of GGW since they were lost in the transfer. I’ll try to get the original posting dates correct, but I cannot guarantee anything.)

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Tea Review: Clint Barton Blend

barton_tea2

Clint Barton

CREATED BY: CARA MCGEE

A slightly playful blend that may be hard to take very seriously, but will prove to be strictly business when under fire.

Based on characters owned by Marvel/Disney. This tea blend is created purely for my own enjoyment.

My Review

It is difficult to define the initial aromatic impressions of this tea upon first opening the bag (and even upon the second time, when I opened the tin.) The freshness of the lemongrass is the most immediately dominant feature of this tea, with some traces of ginger. The assam melody and gunpowder lend a subtle depth to the scent, but it is the lemongrass that impresses the most heavily.

I have had two cups of this tea now, trying to formulate my thoughts on it. I steeped a heaping teaspoonful of the blend at 212 degrees for four minutes the first time, five the second. I did not notice a difference in intensity, so perhaps I should try longer and shorter times to see if that affects anything. barton_tea1

The flavors are clean and crisp and somewhat invigorating, the bite of ginger tempered to a fractional sharpness. I know the Thai Chai descriptions states that there are two different coconut elements in the mix, but I fear they may be eluding me. Of course, on the second cup I had the brilliant idea of aerating mouthfuls of tea to see if I could better differentiate the flavors, but that resulted in a burnt tongue which undoubtedly impeding my tasting abilities. Still, as I sit and take deep inhales of the steaming cup, I can just perceive the coconut notes, which add an almost milky smoothness when drinking. Though there is no aftertaste to speak of, the potency of the ginger and cardamom builds over time, leaving a rather refreshing sense on the palate.

Overall, I cannot escape the impression of crispness. It smells like it should be much more herbal, which I think is the lemongrass’ influence. As the tea cools, it does not get bitter, and the ginger notes really come to the forefront. It makes me wonder how this blend will fare iced. I have the feeling that the lemongrass, ginger, and coconut flavors will really shine through.

Even with the inclusion of assam melody and gunpowder (which can honestly overpower other flavors if the balance isn’t right, such is its flavorful strength,) this is a surprisingly light, refreshing tea, great for a summer afternoon.

barton_tea3

I give it 4 out of 5 stars. You can purchase it here.

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Tea Review: Irish Breakfast Blend

Official Description:

Irish Breakfast

A combination of hearty black teas from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Assam (India) to get your morning off to a bright start. As its name implies, Irish Breakfast tea is an ideal accompaniment to a morning meal. It seamlessly blends the citrusy notes of a high-grown Ceylon with the malty underscore of a pungent Assam. Spicy and jammy aroma on the leaf, malty and deep flavor with a brisk and ‘buzzy’ mouthfeel. Rounded sweetness in the finish. May be enjoyed plain or with a drop of milk. Irish Breakfast is one of Adagio’s most popular teas.

BLENDED WITH CEYLON SONATA TEA AND ASSAM MELODY TEA

ib1

My Review

The Ceylon Sonata proves the strongest notes upon first exposure, though the Assam Melody is inextricably woven in, a bold one-two punch of black tea. Quite a bit of headiness remains in the scent even after steeping, but it is a nice, strong, wake-me-up kind of thing. Likely my own predilections, but the most immediate thought upon breathing in the aroma was, “I bet this would be awesome with milk.”

As with other Irish Breakfast blends I have tried, the flavor is quite robust when taken black. As I have mentioned before, I am a fan of hefty black teas, and this Irish Breakfast blend absolutely fits the bill. The heartiness of this tea really does bring to mind the urge to add milk and a little sugar, I don’t know why. The blend is smooth, though this is an old bag that had been opened ages ago so it is very possible that the potency might be reduced a bit, but still enjoyable, nonetheless. However, there isn’t really anything that stands out to me about this blend; while I would enjoy it at any given time or inclination, I imagine I would rather go for the English Breakfast or Afternoon blends first. Still, it is an excellent cup and my opinion may improve when I next try it with milk and sugar (I am most likely going to do that this evening, actually. Or….maybe tomorrow….)

I gave this 4 out of 5 stars, because I really wouldn’t say no to a cup if you offered it to me.You can purchase it here.

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Tea Review: Earl Grey Bravo

eg1

Earl Grey Bravo

A classic blend of premium black tea from Sri Lanka, flavored with bergamot (a citrus fruit). The perfect afternoon tea: zesty and exhilarating fresh citrus aroma, slightly dry to the nose, with a rounded and balanced orange rind flavor to match the tang of the Ceylon. Pleasantly dry finish with lingering citrus sweetness.

BLENDED WITH BLACK TEA, ORANGE PEELS, NATURAL BERGAMOT FLAVOR AND BLUE CORNFLOWERS

My Review

This Earl Grey Bravo really zings you with the citrusy tang when you first inhale its aroma. The addition of orange peels increases the zest, I am sure. Earl Grey has always been very distinctive and strong to me in terms of scent and taste, so I am always careful about steeping times. The bergamot can end up especially overpowering, and if oversteeped I find the tea in turns bitter and astringent.

Right when the electric kettle got to boiling, I turned it off and poured the water into my ingenuiTEA containing one teaspoon of Earl Grey Bravo. I let the approximately 14 ounces of water steep for just about 3 minutes before pouring my cup. The citrus aroma decreases considerably, though the taste is still quite distinct from any other tea. The flavor is eg2smooth and rich but still strong. For me, I am not certain that this is a tea that I would indulge in every day. I found this blend to be far less astringent than others, but perhaps that is more due to my careful preparation than how I usually am with bagged versions. I will admit that I can get awfully lazy about that.

I do feel like I need to find and eat (or just….inhale a lot of) some blue cornflowers so I can figure out exactly what flavoring it adds. Has anyone ever seen French Kiss? I’ve always wanted to make a box like the one Kevin Kline had, full of bottles containing different herbs and berries and other natural things that influence the growth of grapes in vineyards. I rather think it’d be the same for tea – knowing the different flowers and leaves that are added to tea blends to create such unique flavors. Perhaps when I have more time, and some disposable income to buy a box and a ton of bottles.

I gave this blend 4 out of 5 stars. You can purchase it here.

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Tea Review: Birthday Blend

birthday_tea2

Birthday Tea

CREATED BY: CHRISTINE RILLO

A treat for any day of the year! A tasty blend of vanilla, cream, and a touch of caramel. The inclusion of rainbow sugar sprinkles adds a festive note and makes this tea perfect for celebrating your special day.

I remember back in elementary school, when it was your birthday you could treat your fellow classmates to a snack. There were doughnuts, candy, cookies, and of course cupcakes. You were everyone’s favorite person in the world if you brought cupcakes in for your birthday! This blend harkens back to those simpler birthdays- great with a little sugar or alongside a cupcake :) Enjoy!

ingredients:
vanillacreamcaramel

birthday_tea1

My Review


The vanilla strikes first when you open the bag, with an undertone of cream and faint notes of caramel adding some depth to the aroma. I kept sniffing the bag (wow, that could be taken out of context right there) because I couldn’t quite figure out how best to describe the layering of scents. This same complexity is present in the tea once you brew it.

I steeped a heaping teaspoonful at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for four minutes. The creaminess really complements the flavors of the black tea and enhances the vanilla and caramel without over-sweetness. It’s almost like I added milk and sugar, except that I didn’t. I was pleasantly surprised that this tea wasn’t too sweet, and I really enjoyed it.

I ought to try a few more cups, but so far, I quite like it, and I don’t think I’ll need to add milk or sugar at all (but I will most likely try it, just to see.)

I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars. You can purchase it here.

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Tea Review: Moriarty Blend

moriartea1

moriarty blend

created by: Cara McGee

Spicy Chai backed by more ginger. Guaranteed to burn the heart out of you. Because that’s what people BREW.

Inspired by BBC’s Sherlock, which I am in no way affiliated with. This is created purely for my own enjoyment.

ingredients:
gingermasala chai

My Review

The first thing I noticed upon opening the bag was the spicy cloves. I love the warm, peaceful nostalgia the scent of cloves evokes. As with all initial tastings, I tried the first cup plain. I steeped a heaping teaspoonful at 212 degrees for about four minutes. I watched the color deepen in my ingenuiTEA until it tea reached an aesthetically pleasing rich cinnamon shade. Pouring it into my cup, the scent of cloves diminished significantly.

The first mouthful was replete with the spicy bite of the cloves, cardamom, and ginger, followed by the warmth of cinnamon, and lastly, a mild aftertaste. The spice of this tea burns pleasantly, lingering, an almost physical feeling of having bitten into ginger. (I must confess I rather adore ginger, so I quite enjoy this.) I tend to inhale deeply before each drink, sort of wakening my olfactory senses and tastebuds. I really do love the spicy warmth of this tea.

As mentioned before, I tried the first cup plain. The second cup I brewed in the same manner, and then added one packet of stevia and a healthy splash of milk. As it ought to, with masala chai as a main component, the blend does fantastically with the additions and the cloves seem to be kicked up a notch in potency. I feel this would be an excellent tea for winter holidays and festivities.

I give it five out of five stars. You can purchase it here.

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Tea Review: TARDIS Blend

tardis_tea2

tardis blend

created by: Cara McGee

Tastes bigger inside the cup [Ethereal earl grey and enchanting black berry with notes of vanilla]

Inspired by BBC’s Doctor Who, which I am in no way affiliated with. This is created purely for my own enjoyment.

My Review

When you open the bag (or tin, as the case may be,) this blend smells just like a blueberry muffin. I’ve made muffins using the Duncan Hines Blueberry Muffin mix (when feeling too lazy to make them from scratch,) and the tea reminds me of that. Which I suppose is kind of funny as there aren’t any blueberries in the ingredients, so… Hmmm.

tardis_tea1

This is an excellent, fruity tea without being too sweet. As I mentioned above, this first cup I’ve tried plain, and it is absolutely fantastic as is. I steeped a heaping teaspoon in my ingenuiTEA at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4 minutes (again, I enjoy my teas strong.) The scent diminishes noticeably after brewing, so I was wondering if it would taste as sweet as its unsteeped aroma promised.

The Earl Grey Bravo proves the strongest initial flavor (you can taste the citrusy tang of the bergamot and orange rind,) with a pleasant blackberry undercurrent throughout, and a mild vanilla finish that leaves a faintly sweet essence in the mouth without any aftertaste. That zesty bravo creates a rather fresh, expansive feeling, and I could easily drink quite a lot of this tea without any qualms.

I give this blend 5 out of 5 stars. You can purchase it here.

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Tea Review: Bruce Banner Blend

banner_tea1

bruce banner

created by: Cara McGee

A calming tea on the surface, but with an overwhelming green force brewing below.

Based on characters owned by Marvel/Disney. This tea blend is created purely for my own enjoyment.

My Review

So I had a rather stressful afternoon dealing with the frankly terrible writing of a ridiculous client and I thought I needed something calming.

Right out of the bag the scent is soothing, and I really enjoyed the blooms opening up while brewing in my ingenuiTEA. banner_tea2Visually appealing: check. I let it steep for about 5 minutes.

What can I say about this tea? No one flavor particularly stands out; rather, it’s a nice, mellow blend of the greens and chamomile and it is just such a relaxing thing. I had many a cup after that particular afternoon dealing with that client, and my internal ragemonster was pacified.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

You can buy it here.

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