Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Brutaliteas Tasting Party

I'm a tea junkie and tea is like a warm friendly hug. (Anyone that knows me, knows I am not a hugger, but if tea were a person you can bet I'd hug the dried leaves out of them!) The past couple weeks have been rough. My husband's grandma died last week and I had a Brutaliteas Tasting Party planned for Sunday. I decided not to cancel it because I take comfort in the warmth of tea. When everyone else is cold or you feel alone, tea will be there for you! It's got me this far, so why not include it in my difficult week?


I first heard of BrutaliTeas when a sample was included in the Slasher Creeper Crate this past July. It was a bag of loose tea called NightPear on Elm Street. Tea AND a horror movie reference? I was hooked and ordered a bunch of other flavors. One day while looking at my teas I thought, the BrutaliTeas are too good not to share, so let's have a tea tasting!


With my extra Christmas money, I ordered a fancy electric programmable tea kettle that heats your tea to the proper temperature and some small hour glass tea timers. I may be a tea snob, but I never had such a fancy teapot!




The menu for the party included traditional Afternoon Tea fare, egg salad on wheat (my secret to good egg salad ~ add mustard powder), chicken salad with cranberries and almonds on white, cucumber dill cream cheese on marbled rye, strawberry scones, lemon blueberry scones and vanilla chocolate checkerboard shortbread cookies. It was an impressive spread if I do say so myself!




Everyone picked out the teacup that they were drawn to...


All the tea was from BrutaliTeas. We started with white tea, then green tea ~ ingredients for each tea increasing throughout the tasting. I gave all my guests a questionnaire as they went along. They answered anonymously. Some of my friends are very casual tea drinkers and only have tea a few times a year, others drink tea multiple times a day. We discussed the teas, and to my surprise everyone at the party was a tea purist, no one wanted to add any honey, lemon, sugar, or milk to any of them. They just tasted the teas as they were meant to be enjoyed. Here are some of the results, both good, bad, and funny.


1. The first one we started with was a white tea called DragonFruit Force (White Tea, Rosehips, Dried Dragonfruit, Pineapple, Mango, Cranberry, Rose Petals, Apple and Blueberry).


~ You can definitely see all the flavors in the dry tea.

~ Once brewed it's a light peach, a little rosy in color.

~ This is where it differed a little ~ some thought the smell of the dried tea matched the taste, others thought the dry tea was more fruity than the brewed tea.

~ Most didn't feel there was an after taste, but some said there was a slight taste of fruit and flowers.

~ Here's the fun part ~ I asked if it reminded anyone of anything and the top answers are: tropical fruit cup, a picnic, Tazo Passionfruit Tea, spring, and Anime because of the name.

***Note: There was some disappointment that "Dragon" was not one of the ingredients.

2. The next white tea is the one that made me fall in love with the company, NightPear on Elm Street (White Tea, Natural Pear Flavor, Rooibos Tea, Natural Caramel Flavor and Apple Pieces).


~ Most said you couldn't see all the flavors in the dried tea and that it looked like all tea leaves.

~ Once brewed it's a "lovely golden brown".

~ Most said the caramel flavor and scent was very strong, but you could also taste the apple and pear.

~ There was a rooibos and caramel after taste for most and one person said there was a bitter apple after taste.

~ It reminded my guests of autumn, caramel popcorn, a fireplace (in a good way), Halloween, "Bigelow's Caramel Tea (which sucks)", and happy memories of a Great Grandpa and his caramel candies.

3. Now on to the green teas. Our third tea was Stone Sour Apple (Green Tea, Apple, Rosehips, and Hibiscus).


~ Nearly everyone said that you could see all the ingredients in the dried tea.

~ Once brewed, it's a deep pink color.

~ Most said the smell did not match the taste. It's much less sour apple than it smells but it tastes like apples and hibiscus.

~ No after taste.

~ The best answers of what it reminded people of was: walking through cherry blossoms, Easter tea, summer, and a spring rain.

4. The fourth tea we sampled was Raining Blood Orange (Green Tea, Orange, Apple, Rosehips, and Hibiscus). It sounds more hardcore than it actually is. It has the same ingredients as Stone Sour Apple, but with orange added.


~ Most people saw all the flavors in the dried tea.

~ Once brewed it was a VERY light pink.

~ Half said the smell matched the taste, half disagreed. The ones that said it did match tasted the hibiscus and orange. The others said it was more floral and tangy than expected. I guess it depends on your sniffer!

~ The after taste is hibiscus.

~ Reminded one of my guests of "a Thruway bathroom rest stop", another of scented markers and everyone else came up with nothing. (I guess this one is a little too fake stinky for a tea tasting party).

5. This next one was an unexpected crowd pleaser, Painting the White to Earl Grey (Green Tea, Orange Peels, White Peony, Natural Bergamont Flavor, Blue Cornflowers).


~ Half of my guests saw all the flavors in the tea and half didn't. Some were surprised by the blue flowers in it.

~ Most said it was a light green/ brown color once brewed.

~ Most said the smell did not match the taste. The smell is much more intense. Some said this tea tasted "like traditional tea", "green tea with a flowery taste", like a light Earl Grey. It seems like it's undecided.

~ The after taste is slightly floral-y, almost perfume-y.

~ It reminded some of an outdoor garden party, sitting in a freshly mowed lawn with wild flowers, an afternoon outdoors, or a floral perfume.

6. Our final tea sampling was a Vulgar Display of Flower (Green Tea, Green Rooibos, Jasmine, Lavender, Orange Peels, Marigold, Mango, Apricots, Natural Lemon and Orange Flavors). aka A LOT of ingredients!


~ You can't see all the ingredients in this dried tea.

~ When brewed it becomes a caramel color.

~ Most said the smell does match the taste and it tastes like green tea and lavender.

~ Most said it didn't have an aftertaste, one person said it was lavender soap-y.

~ It reminded almost everyone of the Lavender Festival, being in their lavender garden, or lavender fields. (I'm a lavender addict so this is win-win for me!)

Finally, I asked everyone what their favorite of all the teas they tried was...four out of eight people said NightPear on Elm Street. (I hope I didn't sway any of them), we had two votes for DragonFruit Force, one for Stone Sour Apple, and one for Painting the White to Earl Grey.

Whether you enjoy the ritualistic comfort of tea alone or with friends, Brutaliteas has enough of a variety that you can find one you love. I have to go ~ I hear my teapot calling me!

4 comments:

  1. I love all the comments! And I cannot tell a lie, I am coveting your tea pot and I think I might have to get one.

    Must go now! Time to drink tea!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely party! And fun reading what everyone thought of the teas. :)

    ReplyDelete