Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up


Discuss some of the favorite customer-created Signature Blends.

Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby Aphroditea » Feb 20th, '10, 11:32

the box is away!

I have two more (possible 3 by the time I have time to post) reviews in the pipe - so keep your eyes peeled ;)

Cheere!
Aphy
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby Aphroditea » Feb 22nd, '10, 14:03

I need a planet with longer days.....

3 reviews today:

Earth That Was by Austin Browncoats. This is a Sereniteas blend that I created about a year ago - but I never tried the final product until just now (only my test kitchen versions). This blend is in the box now, but was not before. One of my Browncoat friends requested a blend called "Earth That Was". This was an interesting prospect because the other blends we based on characters and places we knew, but Earth That Was is only a memory to those living in the Fireflyuniverse. I chose ginseng green tea as the base because nothing tastes quite so much like dirt to me than ginseng. :wink: Then I opted to blend in kukicha because it has such a lively flavor that is reminscent of both veggies and nuts, and this seemed appropriate. Of course, what would an idealised pass Earth be without flowers? So, the blend is finished off with chamomille. For one, it blends nicely with both ginseng and kukicha and it has a slightly appley flavor which I felt was also appropriate given the Judeo-Christian creation story.

This is a tricky blend to brew - I won't lie. It really does have to be balanced well or you end up losing a lot of the subtly. I have found that 2tsp per 6oz at 160-180 for approximately 2 mins gives the best results. If you are one who is okay with putting honey in green teas (I am not, but to each their own), this is one of those green teas which will handle a dollop of honey quite well. The blend has a very rich, dark almost loamy undertone (a taste some of you may be familiar with in some other teas like some pu-ers and yunnan noir). Over this, however, are fruity, spicey and vegetal notes that complete and complement that sumptuous, earthy base. I really like this tea, even though it is fussy. For a green, it is quite bold, so perhaps not to everyone's liking, but I hope you give it a try. Note: points for this tea do not go directly to me, but to the Austin Browncoats, we use them to purchase teas and wares to put together baskets that we auction off for charity!

Black Dove by Tanya Laird. Okay, yes, this is one of my teas, but I wanted to review it anyway because it was not really a blend I created for my tastes (in fact, it contains Earl Grey which I typically despise). This blend is part of a group I did based on titles to Tori Amos songs. Black Dove the song is one I like because it is about a girl born in January, just like me, and it is very apt to my life. One of the lines in the song that I love (and I had written in calligraphy as a piece of art as a bit of a reminder) is "you're not a helicopter, you're not a cop-out either". I love this because it says, sure you can't do it all, but that doesn't mean you don't GIVE it your all. So, I wanted a tea that reflected this feeling of having your head in the clouds which at the same time staying grounded. I chose Mambo as the base, because it is smoky and dark and full-bodied as really fullfills that need for an 'anchor'. Other that I layed in caramel. This acts as that smooth transtition from earth to sky - I love caramels because they are sweet, but in such an elegant way that I don't get that sugar-overload feeling I might with other candy. I thought and thought and thought about what I wanted to express that 'head in the clouds' feeling and ultimately, Earl Grey just felt right. There is not a lot in it, but enough to brighten and enliven the blend. The caramel really helps to offset the bergomot - they play well together. :wink: This is, honestly, not one of the blacks I most often reach for, because I really have to be in a particular mood for anything containing Earl Grey.....but whenever my spirits are down and my day is just not starting off on a good foot, this blend never fails to set me to rights again. This blend holds sweetner and/or milk well if you would prefer a sweeter or creamier taste. But, I drink it straight up - like a helicopter :wink:

Sugar & Spice...Oh! So Nice by Rachana Carter. Okay, as usually, I did this one a few different ways. Ultimately, I liked it best using 1.5tsp to 6oz and without any additives. This is a pretty good blend. For my tastes, I think it could go a little more toward the spice and a little less toward the sugar (which is why I did not really like adding sweetner to it). I love the concept for this blend and the name was so playful (not to mentionn the very adorable label!). It is not an overpoweringly flavored tea - for me, this was neither a bonus or a detractor, but I know some folks like more subtlety and others like more robust flavor. I think there are a lot of folks out there who would like this tea more than I did (I would give it about a 3.5 out of 5). Me, I would swap out the vanilla for some cinnamon - but, I lean toward spice more than sweetness (as I said before). Gingerbread is, I have found, an interesting flavor to blend with because it always seems like it should be more potent than it really is, and in this case I think the vanilla and the caramel steamroller over it. But, that is just my take. Still, another good blend by RachelC :D
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby RachelC » Feb 22nd, '10, 16:52

Once again great reviews. I love how detailed everything is. It keeps my interest and what can I say I am excited I have been doing so well with my blends. In additon, I agree I think I could have used more spice in my Sugar and Spice Oh! So Nice...blend but those I had sample it here enjoyed it more the way it is so who am I to change it. However as you said it still tastes good :D
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby RachelC » Feb 22nd, '10, 18:27

Well, here we go my first official review starts with...

A Bite of Peach PieBy: Sarah Almon
Perimeters: 1 heaping tsp. steeped for 5mins at 208 degrees
Overall Opinion: 4 of 5 stars
Pros: The bouquet was very appealing. Instantly I could smell the spice in the tea. I felt that the spice was a major focal point and I could sense the peach as a light footnote at the end. It was quite delicious with the addition of Acacia Wild Flower Honey, I used just a touch. Usually, I am not much of a honey person but I felt this tea would be complemented by honey and it most certainly was. Normally, I drink tea straight up as it were but I do make exceptions to the rule when appropriate as was this tea. I will drink it again.
Opportunities: As a black tea with no additives I felt this tea did not have a lot of flavor on its own, it felt a bit bland and it is in all possibility this way because it could have lost some flavor during the time it was in the pass. I also tried this tea with Splenda but there was a huge change in flavor to the tea it almost tasted artificial so I had to scrap it. What a shame, tea abuse. :wink: Also, there was no "Bite" to this tea and I did not taste the "Mango Melange" at all before or after trying it with honey or Splenda. I feel with more Masala Chai and Peach Ceylon this tea would taste better black with no additives and just drop the Mango Melange all together.
Summary: Nevertheless, it was still a great tasting tea with the addition of honey. I did get the warm cozy feeling when I got it just right and that is where it counts. "Yummy Good" as my 3 year daughter would say and I would suggest a try especially a fresh tin. Way to go Sarah Almon.

Sincerely,
Rachel C. (A.K.A. Rachana Carter)
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby charizzi » Feb 22nd, '10, 23:15

I just received the package today! Wow such goodies in there and it was organized as well! Who has the package next? I would like to get the package out by this weekend.

My boyfriend and I tried Leo today. It smelled and tasted so floral and sweet. He usually puts sugar in his teas, but with Leo, he didn't add any! It tasted like slightly sweet juice. It was natural as well. I'm usually turned off by chamomile, but it's great in this blend. :)
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby cls46 » Feb 28th, '10, 11:57

Oh man I miss all the tea reviews :( Is silverdoves getting the box next or is skipping to keensense?
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby msmeghann82 » Mar 3rd, '10, 21:27

This such an amazing idea! I like reading all your reviews. Helps me to narrow down some blends I may soon enjoy. I know I'm too new to receive, but maybe after a few more months of activity:)
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby charizzi » Mar 5th, '10, 00:10

I am posting all of my tea reviews on steepster, but I can put them here too. cls46, you're next! :) I sent you a PM since I haven't received a response from keensense or silverdoves.
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby Sojourne » Mar 14th, '10, 21:27

I'm definitely a teachat newb, but one would like to know how much time/posts/lurking must I do before I lose that title and can join? I'm loving this idea! :shock:
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby RachelC » Mar 14th, '10, 22:49

charizzi wrote:I am posting all of my tea reviews on steepster, but I can put them here too. cls46, you're next! :) I sent you a PM since I haven't received a response from keensense or silverdoves.


If you can I would love to see your reviews here too. Thanks :D
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby Schrammy » Mar 14th, '10, 22:54

I think I'm starting up a blog about reviewing their base teas (stuff that's longer than the review on the website), but every once in a while, I would love to do blends. :)
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby boywoodhe » Mar 14th, '10, 23:55

Vanilla spicy Chai[/color][/b][/size] by Jeffrey McWirter. I LOVE chai, so I had high hopes for this blend. (Although adding the word 'spicy' to the title seems redundant) It seemed a very natural paring - chai and vanilla. I have made my stovetop chais with Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk before, so, in theory it seemed this should achieve a similar effect. My first cup I steeped at 1.5 tsp for 6 oz water (as I find chais to work best when more tea is added). The tea smelled quite good, sadly, I cannot say the same for the taste. At first sip I was very excited because there was a nice bite of clove right at the front. However, it went away very quickly and then the flavor was totally flat, somewhat sweet, but with no body to hold my mouth's attention. I attempted a steeping with 2 tsp and ended up with exactly the same effect. My third cup (actually I made 2x this amount so that my husband could try) I did 3 tsp to 6oz and steeped it as a semi-stovetop chai with honey and milk. This was definately the worse of the attempts. Without conferring, my husband and I wrote down almost exactly the same notes. It was basically like drinking sweetened milk with no spice at all. There was only the barest hint of clove up front and after finishing the cup the back of my tongue had a very vague clovey taste, as if I had drank chai hours ago, not just seconds earlier. Either this tea is quite stale at this point or it should be reblended so that the chai has a larger percentage.

Cheers, Cheerio and Ciao,
Aphy[/quote]

I remember I was going to buy you /send you a tin of vanilla spicy chai and you told me, you dont care for vanilla and I send you my personal double chocolate chai and you loved it.
The vanilla spicy chai was very good to me. I dont know what you were tasting but mine was a bit spicy and I guess you should try a full tin with being tainted buy others, get all the good stuff.lol :lol: I talk to jeffrey and he told me it was 60% chai. So if you didnt get the chai you wanted, i guess you need just buy a tin/bag of chai tea to drink. (only joking)_ :D The chai is very creamy and I have to say it again it was delicious and you can look at jeffrey's ratings...he has
very good ratings.
We all have opinions...we all have to respect them.
hugs
woodie
Last edited by boywoodhe on Mar 15th, '10, 11:27, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby boywoodhe » Mar 15th, '10, 00:43

My review on Silk Rose or Road by Tanya Laird
I'm sorry tanya...i forgot the name. It has been a long time, because i was the very first one with the box.

Whe I first saw silk tea it was in the cutest bottle and then I tasted silk rose because it was made from a good friend of mine by T. Laird. The blend was very close to my A.M. Wake-Up! but silk tea had a strong amount of ceylon sonata.(in my opinion) Overall it was a fantastic tea. I wish it could be more different tea then my wake up tea. I feel guilty.... i had some for my morning tea for a few days, but i made sure others had a try at it also. I wanted it all to myself. :lol:
overall very good tea! :D
Good job TL!
hugs
woodie :D
Last edited by boywoodhe on Mar 15th, '10, 11:10, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby boywoodhe » Mar 15th, '10, 00:50

Kymidwife

i was wondering if we are going to pass the box around again... i have many other teas for members to try.
let me know if we are going to do it again.
hugs
woodie ;)
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Re: Signature Blends Box Pass Sign-Up

Postby Aphroditea » Mar 16th, '10, 11:57

boywoodhe wrote:Vanilla spicy Chai[/color][/b][/size] by Jeffrey McWirter. I LOVE chai, so I had high hopes for this blend. (Although adding the word 'spicy' to the title seems redundant) It seemed a very natural paring - chai and vanilla. I have made my stovetop chais with Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk before, so, in theory it seemed this should achieve a similar effect. My first cup I steeped at 1.5 tsp for 6 oz water (as I find chais to work best when more tea is added). The tea smelled quite good, sadly, I cannot say the same for the taste. At first sip I was very excited because there was a nice bite of clove right at the front. However, it went away very quickly and then the flavor was totally flat, somewhat sweet, but with no body to hold my mouth's attention. I attempted a steeping with 2 tsp and ended up with exactly the same effect. My third cup (actually I made 2x this amount so that my husband could try) I did 3 tsp to 6oz and steeped it as a semi-stovetop chai with honey and milk. This was definately the worse of the attempts. Without conferring, my husband and I wrote down almost exactly the same notes. It was basically like drinking sweetened milk with no spice at all. There was only the barest hint of clove up front and after finishing the cup the back of my tongue had a very vague clovey taste, as if I had drank chai hours ago, not just seconds earlier. Either this tea is quite stale at this point or it should be reblended so that the chai has a larger percentage.

Cheers, Cheerio and Ciao,
Aphy


I remember I was going to buy you /send you a tin of vanilla spicy chai and you told me, you dont care for vanilla and I send you my personal double chocolate chai and you loved it.
The vanilla spicy chai was very good to me. I dont know what you were tasting but mine was a bit spicy and I guess you should try a full tin with being tainted buy others, get all the good stuff.lol :lol: I talk to jeffrey and he told me it was 60% chai. So if you didnt get the chai you wanted, i guess you need just buy a tin/bag of chai tea to drink. (only joking)_ :D The chai is very creamy and I have to say it again it was delicious and you can look at jeffrey's ratings...he has
very good ratings.
We all have opinions...we all have to respect them.
hugs
woodie[/quote]


Yeah, well, if there is anything on this Earth that I love more than chai....its chocolate :lol:

With all the chais (even the Masala and Chocolate, et al) that I get from the Adagio chai section, I always end up adding more spice to it. Really, I have this thing where when I drink a chai I really, really, really want my tongue to go numb (but not from the heat!!) :lol:

I did love you blend, btw - and I liked it just fine the way it was, but on some steeps I added some all spice :oops: :wink:

I did a side by side of AM and Silk Road at one point....did I post it or was that in my imagination? If I did not, then I should do so.... :mrgreen:
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