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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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Tea Review: Sherlock Blend

sherlock_tea1

sherlock blend

created by: Cara McGee

All at once exotic and mysterious and perhaps a little bit insane, with a lingering hint of smoke.

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

My Review
The smokiness is the first thing you notice when you open the bag, thanks to the Lapsang Souchong. You can detect the Oriental Spice in there, riding noticeably underneath like a current. Still, it’s a very smooth, eloquent blend.
The golden-coppery color of the Lapsang when brewed fuses beautifully with the burgundy-red of the assam melody to make a burnt copper color kind of like ochre in your cup (well, in my white cup, anyway.) I know it seems weird, but the smokiness of the Lapsang really gives this blend some heft and strength without any bitterness. If you don’t like strong black teas then this most likely isn’t for you…. but it’s delicious! If you’re a coffee drinker like I am, then you will probably enjoy this blend a great deal.
I gave this tea 5 out of 5 stars. You can purchase it here.
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Tea Review: The Consultants Blend

So, it’s been taking me a while to sort my thoughts on this blend. Here’s the official description:

The Consultants

CREATED BY: CARA MCGEE

Harsh, alarming, and frustratingly alluring with flavors that circle each other like predators. Genius.

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

consultant_tea1

My Review

Well… first and foremost the lapsang takes charge and never relinquishes olfactory control. There is the barest sting of ginger and spices with the slightest hint of sweetness from the apple chai.

My first cup I brewed at 212 degrees and let it steep for five minutes. After I poured it into my cup, the lapsang was still the strongest scent, but the spice of the chai was far more noticeable than before. I seemed to have lost the sweetness from the apple, however.

Initial tasting was inconclusive; I could not decide right away whether or not I liked it, and that is always an interesting result. At first, I wondered if I found the lapsang too smoky; but no, I like strong flavors, so that should not have been the issue. Then I wondered if perhaps the gingery sting was not enough, or if it was too much. Was the spiced apple chai overpowered by the strength of the lapsang and ginger? I knew before I’d even finished the cup that I would have to keep trying.

The second time around I let the tea steep for four minutes. Not much of a noticeable difference there; the discordant smoke and burn of the competing flavors still defied my ability to determine if I liked this tea or not. I was definitely more aware of the ginger influence, though. I wondered if the slight sweetness of the spiced apple chai diminished the burn that ginger would normally produce. There is the slightest smoky aftertaste that haunts the mouth, but it is neither unpleasant nor immediately noticeable.

The third time around I let it steep for at least seven minutes, mostly because I forgot it was steeping as I was in another room working on something. Surprisingly, it was not noticeably more intense than before with the previous steepings. While hot, I still could not quite formulate my feelings on this blend. However, I allowed the half cup left to get cold while I worked (on this tumblr layout and reblogging posts, actually,) and discovered that I quite preferred the tea cool. I don’t know that it gave the ginger and spiced apple chai time to fully permeate the lapsang’s smokiness and rise to prominence. My empty cup still smells strongly of smoke.

Overall, after three cups, I can see that this blend will require more tastings to fully understand its complexity. Also, I have the sneaking suspicion that it might be fantastic iced.

I give it a tentative 3 out of 5 stars.

You can purchase it here.

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Tea Review: Peeta Blend

peeta_tea1

peeta blend

created by: Cara McGee

“I do the cakes,” he admits to me. “The cakes?” I ask. I’ve been preoccupied with watching the boy from District 2 send a spear through a dummy’s heart from fifteen yards. “What cakes?” “At home. The iced ones, for the bakery,” he says…. “It’s lovely. If only you could frost someone to death,” I say.

Inspired by The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins which I am in no way affiliated with. This is created purely for my own enjoyment.

My Review:

The Peeta blend smells deliciously sweet in the bag (in this case, the tin) with the vanilla green and almonds at the forefront of the fragrance. I let it steep for about 5 minutes. In the cup, the vanilla and almond are still quite strong, but the chocolate chai scent complements nicely.

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Upon the first mouthful, this blend is quite mellow to me, maintaining its sweetness without being overpowering, the almond and chai giving it just the tiniest bite afterward. I plan on brewing another cup and adding milk and sugar to see how it goes. I think this could also be quite good iced.

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