18 Tasting Notes


I tend to Tea Binges. Instead of a new flavor every day (because I have SO many to choose from) I will find a tea I like and stick with it for a while. I’ve been enjoying Irish Breakfast Cream for several days now. In the shop, flavored teas consistently outsell the basics, however my own tastes tend to the traditional. This one is a good option for a traditionalist, with the twist of the caramel tones that meld the 3 black teas chosen for this blend into a luscious smoothness.

A mixture of CTC and whole leaf gives this tea a robustness that keeps its character without letting the caramelness take over.

It seems every tea company has several offerings with ‘Cream’ notes. I do pay particular attention to them as popularity indicated by sales is definitely trending.
Having had so much success in the shop with the ever popular Cream Earl Grey, I decided to order the Irish Breakfast Cream. I am now a fan of this tea and I do believe my guests will enjoy this lovely smooth Irish Breakfast as well. It is a keeper.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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This is a very enjoyable flavored black tea. Customers to Columbia Kate’s had been asking about this flavor often enough that I finally added it to the inventory. Apparently it was a local favorite in years past. I’m glad I did as it has become one of the more popular teas even among guests having it for the first time.

The primary tones are the hazelnut, tho not too strong. The nuttyness is mellowed by the natural sweetness of the fruits and slight spicyness of the orange. I’m not a big hazelnut fan, as it is reminiscent of flavored coffee but I would put this tea above any hazelnut flavor I have had in the past.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I mentioned in one of my earliest tasting notes that Apricot was the first flavored tea I encountered. Also one of the first ‘loose leaf’ teas. It seems appropriate since my very first employment was on a fruit farm cutting apricots for drying.

Naturally this tea holds within it’s aromas and taste the essences of memories and pleasant experiences. The fruity, natural sweetness only enhances the teaness of the tea. The Metropolitan Apricot is a smooth cup with some of the coppery brightness of a good Ceylon tea. It is quite satisfying to return to a favored flavored tea.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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Ah, Tea and Toast, cinnamon toast. This is a perfect tea blend, for me. I love to start the day with a rich, balanced brew. I find myself coming back to this one again and again. Windsor Castle examples why blends exist, why they work. The strength and maltyness of Assam, on its own, is smoothed by the flowerness of the Kenya and livens up with the Darjeeling. It is flavory straight up. Not too strong. But, this one is also excellent with a touch of sugar and milk… and with the taste of crispy cinnamon toast accompanying.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Mandarin Silk by Art of Tea
18 tasting notes

Lemon Myrtle has become a favorite component of mine lately. It adds an aroma that follows through with a wonderful lemony richness without the tartness of lemon. Vanilla creme is a now a very popular flavor addition, so I think Art of Tea has been right on with their blending creations.

I enjoyed this blend very much.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I enjoyed this blend by Art of Tea very much too, I am trying it out on customers, so far a great reception!

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I am really enjoying this tea. The description of the blend, from H&S does not indicate the 8 teas used in the blend, but from looking at it, it is lovely, colorful and I see various types of leaves. I can definately see white tea, probably green and oolong. Assam is there.

Drinking this is like a pleasant puzzle to solve. There are multi-levels of flavor including some, but not a lot, of fruityness that brings sweet tones. You don’t need to add sugar, but try it occasionally to see if you can bring out any certain fruit flavor.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec

Now that I have read the rest of the reviews I can see the 8 teas used in the blend. I’m glad I wrote an uninfluenced comment and it will still be entertaining to deduce various flavors.


Drank this years ago and really enjoyed it. Waiting on my reorder so I can review it. It is one of my favorite blends ever tried! :)

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V-day SweeTea Tea, thanks Saykayay!
A bright, smooth Darjeeling with a mild sweetness. A brisk roof-of-the-mouth darjeeling finish. nice.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Spices and Tea just illustrate, to me, how well our favored drink takes to blending. It virtually says, “Bring it on”! Pile on a variety of traditional chai spices and throw in rose petals too. The tea can take it.

I love rose in tea. It harkens back to the first time I tasted Turkish Delight and realized the delicate flavor of flowers can be so ‘delightful’.

This Metro Tea lived up to my expectations. I brewed for less than the suggested 7 mins, but I did add the ‘chai obligatory milk and sugar’.
It is truly Yum. Fragrant and flavorful!

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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On my last order from Metropolitan, I splurged and bought some of this. It is a bit more expensive, but on tasting is quite worth it. Also it is supposed to bring good luck, so I thought it a good way to start 2011.

Here is some further description from the companies’ site.
It all begins with a tea producer named Mr. Huyincai. Mr. Huyincai worked in the district of Panyong in Fuan City, Fujian Province. In 1851 while making a routine inspection of his tea plants, Mr. Huyincai noticed a small section that seemed to be producing leaf of exceptional quality. Mr. Huyincai regarded this exceptional crop as a gift from mothernature and decided that it should be processed in a new and unique way. He plucked the leaf and decided to allow it to ferment before firing it, a process that turned the leaf black. While this technique of its own is not unique, Mr. Huyincai also developed a complicated production procedure that resulted in a tea so special he decided to name it 9 Bend Black Dragon.

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you much about his complicated production procedure since the details of it are judiciously guarded by a handful of people in Fuan City to this day. What we can tell you is that the name is both derived from the lucky 9 Bend River that flowed through his birth-place of Wuyishan (9 is a lucky number in China), and the symbol of the black Dragon, long considered lucky in China. We can also safely say that the luck rubbed off. Within a short time his tea had won just about every award there was to be won throughout China and Europe. As its popularity grew, the tea came to be regarded as a precious gift amongst the nobility and ruling classes of both places. Letters began to pour in from people who had drunk the tea and been rewarded with bouts of good luck – a Prime Minister re-elected here, a nobleman awarded a new fifedom there, etc. Needless to say, Mr. Huyincai became very wealthy. In fact he was considered for a time to be one of the wealthiest men in Fujian. Thankfully, besides good luck, Mr. Huyincai was also blessed with brains and so reinvested his newfound wealth back into his factory and started the operation that produces his tea to this day.

As in the days of Mr. Huyincai, 9 Bend Black Dragon – which goes by the production name of Panyong Needle – is only produced in the district of Panyong in Fuan City. Production totals these days are around 50 tons annually and the tea is still regarded by traders as one of Fujian’s finest exports. Professional tasters praise this tea for its exceptionally fresh, sweetish infusion, pure, thick nose, and bright golden cup. Brew a pot for yourself or your customers today, say a prayer for old Mr. Huyincai, and keep your fingers crossed. Cheers!


The loose tea is beautiful. Long, twisted and glossy. It is a pleasure to look at.

I infused this for less than my usual 5 mins as I anticipate a couple re-infusions. I can tell you that the 2nd and 3rd are excellent as well. The flavors hold up nicely, and I can taste the oaky flavor with a light astringency. This tea is everything it is touted to be. In my estimation.

I have noticed that many of the Metropolitan tasting notes here on Steepster are of their bagged tea. I will hope to bring many more tastings of the whole leaf tea that I carry in my shop to the notes on this site. I have not had many disappointments. Their tea continues to be the bulk of my re-orders and backs up the popularity with great sales.
I only sell the loose leaf and prefer loose/whole leaf in my own tea drinking.

For TeaEqualsBliss Challenge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3rxNCzzJpY

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec


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This morning I am trying the sample that H&S sent wth my order.
It IS a good cup of tea for chocolate tea lovers. A full bodied cup of tea and lovely aroma without milk and sugar, but ‘with’ and it tastes like hot chocolate (a bit on the watery side) but enjoyable. I like it. I will have to try it side by side with Metro’s Chocolate before I decide whether or not to switch.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 45 sec

The shop staff and I did the side-by-side tasting and everyone voted on the Metro Tea Chocolate blend.

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Columbia Kate’s Teahouse

Set in an 1880’s period barn in historic Columbia, A State Park, CA, our focus is in providing both an education in the Art of Afternoon Tea while offering a pleasant atmosphere and great food.
Opened Feb 1, 2007
Now open 7 days/wk

Free shipping on tea

My Tea on Steepster

To Trade Tea Tastings, followers may contact me at [email protected]

Tea lines from my Tea Cart Shopping cart, linked above for descriptions.
Art of Tea:
Plum Oolong
Berry Blast, Thai Chai, White Symphony, Mocha Nut Mate.
Paris, Hot Cinnamon Spice Black, Hot Cinnamon Spice Rooibos, White Wedding.
Coconut Oolong, Puerh Ginger.
Organic Sencha, Organic Gunpowder
Republic of Tea:
Blackberry Sage, Seabuckthorn Green,
Ginger Peach.
Royal Irish, Supreme Earl Grey.
Monterey Bay Spice:
Gold Rush, Orange Spice(Winter Blend), Rooibos Masala Chai, Rooibos Chocolate Chai, Pineapple Papaya Green.
Eastern Shore:
Della Robbia, Plum Good, Rosemary Hill, Peace.
All others on the Tea Cart are Metropolitan.

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22727 Columbia ST, Columbia, CA 95310



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