51 Tasting Notes

This will be my last logged tea before leaving florida tomorrow for my cross-country road trip and move to Seattle, Washington!
Living in the Pacific Northwest has been my dream since visiting 2 years ago, and now it will be my home. 
My boyfriend and I are making the drive all the way from south Florida, and plan to stop in Roswell, NM, then the Grand Canyon, then California and Yosemite, and then most amazing of all, onto the Redwoods!! I will finally see them for real. I also cannot wait to see Oregon,  which I feel so connected to even though I’ve never been there.
My plan is to study the forests and determine my place in the environmental and forestry field. There is nothing I love more than the trees and forests, and I want to be near them always.

A friend of mine brought this tea over who funnily enough got it from a friend in Seattle, while the tea itself comes from Oregon. 
The magical scent of this tea alone immediately makes it the best tea ever. It is the tea to end all teas for me.
It smells like a forest, and burning a Frasier Fir candle at the same time transforms my room into one. I cannot wait to be in a real forest and to drink this tea among the trees.

What was even more special about my first time having this tea was that my favorite song ever came on my pandora while drinking it. The song is When I Grow Up by Fever Ray http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F-CpE73o2M&feature=youtube_gdata_player
When I hear it, I understand why I am alive. I know where I want to be and what I want to do. 

I can drink this tea forever.
I can’t explain the tree flavor other than its lovely, and has a lemon-like concentrated end.
Its super calming.
I also feel a special energy from this tea. Sort of like when I’m sitting on the ground leaning against a tree, and I get this incredible relaxed and happy feeling in my back. Its hard to explain.

This is literally, my Cup of Tree. 

West coast!! here I come!!!!! Woohoo!!!!

Alphakitty

I have been meaning to try this out for a long time, I think your review has pushed it into “must order” territory!

Indigobloom

Have a great trip!! sounds like you experienced Tea Chi. Love that feeling!

CupofTree

Thank you Indigobloom! Funny it does just feel like a trip but I’m actually moving over there and I can’t believe it.
Tea Chi for sure :)

Invader Zim

I hope you have a wonderful move! I made a similar journey two years ago, from San Diego to Baltimore, it was amazing. Stay safe, and the Grand Canyon is one of the most awe-inspiring things you will ever witness. I have never seen the Redwoods though, it’s always been a dream.

Hesper June

Best of luck with the move! I love the Seattle area. Such a lovely place:)

Donna A

Have a wonderful safe trip. You’re going to a great place for forests! My mother-in-law lives in Port Angeles on the Puget Sound. Beautiful place. I moved to LA in a car in 1978, right out of college. Met my husband there, came back with him to the East Coast for career and family reasons in 1985. But the road trips were great each way. We’re in the Atlanta area now and have raised 3 kids. It is great to follow your dreams by having a great adventure like this when you are young.

TheTeaFairy

very inspiring, good luck with everything!
p.s. great video:-)

Bonnie

I have a lifetime of great memories in all the places you’re about to visit and live. You are just beginning! I’ll tell you one thing…drinking tea will mean much more once you’ve connected with the trees and the forest floor. (especially pu-erh for me). Have the grandest time in the quiet!

CupofTree

Thank you so much every one! :)

CupofTree

@InvaderZim I hope you visit the Redwoods in the future!
@DonnaA I cant wait to visit Port Angeles!
@Bonnie Ahh yes, the quiet :)

CupofTree

@Hesper It really is, hopefully you can go back there!
@TeaFairy If I Had a Heart by Fever Ray is good too. :)

momo

Have an amazing trip! I’m so excited for you!

Claire

Have a safe and easy move! This summer I moved to SF after living in Ashland, Oregon for the past two and a half years, and I miss it quite a bit.

CupofTree

Thank you momo! :D

CupofTree

@Claire Thank you! Aww I would miss it too. Will you be moving back?

Claire

CupofTree – probably not, I moved back to California because Rayn is here and I missed him more than I miss Oregon. :) He works in IT, so as much as I would love for us both to move up to Oregon it would be very hard for him to find a job there.

Indigobloom

oh! I saw “road trip” and that stuck in my head haha. I’ve seen pics of the Redwoods, they’re gorgeous

Amariel

I had a similar move almost 7 years ago…Orlando, FL to Victoria, BC…we took 7 weeks to cross the country and visit family, friends, and sights along the way.

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Thank you Azzrian for your awesome kindness in the holiday tea package you sent me! This was the first tea I tried.
Interestingly, it reminds me of coffee. Which is not a bad thing because I have been kind of craving coffee lately… it feels so wrong to say that haha but I really don’t need it. Its just I miss the creaminess of a cup of coffee. And that’s only because I have to put so much cream in to mask the awful taste of the coffee itself. Mostly its the amazing smell that gets me..
Anyway, this tea is pretty good with milk and sugar. If I get a stupid coffee craving, I’d go for this one. Its quite strong as well.

Azzrian

LOL awesome glad you enjoyed it!

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drank S'mores by Della Terra Teas
51 tasting notes

This one really smells like S’mores!
I put some mini mellows in my cup like a couple other steepsters did. It does make the cup just a little bit more creamy and like a hot chocolate.
The last cup of this was real murky from the all the stuff that fell through the steeper but it was the most tastiest cup for sure.
This is a perfect camping tea. It’s sweet and I like it!

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drank Kangaita OP by Harney & Sons
51 tasting notes

Thank you Nicole for some of this tea!
It just happens to be another Ceylon I like! Adagio must have the worst Ceylon ever because for the longest time I thought I didn’t like Ceylon tea.
This one is smooth and its almost like a lighter version of my favorite Assam. No weird metallic taste like I thought was characteristic of Ceylons.

Kittenna

Adagio having the worst Ceylon ever? Shocking! :P

CupofTree

haha I know right? Adagio was the first company I tried when starting with loose leaf. oops!

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
51 tasting notes

Time to try a new black tea! That always makes me happy. First time having the fancy Mariage Freres, thank you momo! Mariage Frerraaaaarre ;p
The dry leaf smells slightly fruity on top of a strong black base.
Tried to make a half pot. Good with sugar. Its just a plain, good, nice tea.
I want their new teas and awesome tins, especially the chocolate one and the macaron one. Why on earth they have to be close to $40 per 4 oz is beyond me. Unless I’m calculating the currency exchange wrong which is possible.

TeaBrat

The tins are around $20 – $24 and you can get them here: http://www.markethallfoods.com. I got one at Williams Sonoma last year for around the same price.

CupofTree

Oh wow that is awesome! Thank you for that link! So getting some.

cteresa

Depends on your currency and where you are, but indeed 40 dollars (if american!) for 100 grams (I guess? though 100 grams is closer to 3 ounces) is unbelievably expensive!

The regular price in France is 13 euros for the tin of 100 grams – that should be dunno, 16, 17 dollars. In my other EU country I can get this from 16 to 20 euros, depending on seller is really filling their pockets! 40 dollars, yikes, I love this but it´s not worth that much.

The non-tinned version it´s 8.5 euros per 100 grams directly from them, and I can buy it for about that price or 9 euros per 100 grams – that would be dunno 10,11 dollars per 100 grams, which I already think steep for flavoured tea (but worth it. But then again Mariage Fréres has a talent for pricing things precisely at the upper limit of what i would consider paying!)

CupofTree

Oh wow, $16 or $17 sounds much better. I was also factoring in shipping as well but yeah, its so expensive to get it from them!
Thankfully the link Amy oh posted sells the classic ones cheaper which is awesome but I still want the new ones. http://www.mariagefreres.com/boutique/UK/collection-heritage-gourmand.html

cteresa

Ah if you were talking about special edition tins then the price really is like that! Their price there is 25 euros, here I would get it for at least 30 euros and 40 dollars seems not too extortionate then! I never get those limited special edition tins of theirs so not really sure if worthwhile (well so far I have thought it unlikely to me!). I have tried some of the special tins tea before (maharajas and some other) and it was not better than the classical teas. I think the special editions are more geared at being bought as gifts or for tin collectors rather than tea lovers.

I admit I love and lust after those tins always and this new line seems appealing. Be careful of one detail, these tins are paper lined – meaning they can not be washed or steamed and reused as easily and will show damage soon. I live tins and admit to have considered it, but paper lined tins are a no-go for me (TWG for example)

CupofTree

Oh really? I had no idea they were paper lined, thank you for pointing that out! They make it look like a real tin in the photo. That certainly changes things, I feel better for not needing to have it so much now :)

cteresa

A lot of the special teas are in real tins, I have had them in my hand and drools oh wow (though not 30, 40 euros worth of wow). But these “cakes and desserts” tins are paper lined “It has been lovingly wrapped in a colourful, paper-covered canister with decorative silver motifs harking back to the blissful days of yore.”. It is probably very nice thick and somewhat resistant paper, I suppose like TWG tins if you know them (drools more), but I do not think that no paper will resist 5 years of use, and certainly not being machine washed or steamed fiercely which is what i do to tins to reuse them! I avoid those gorgeous washi paper japanese tins precisely because of that as well.

CupofTree

I have some washi tins and they are perfect on the inside and the paper on the outside holds up pretty nicely as well but I haven’t had them for long.
I don’t know about TWG but wooaaa I just looked them up and found this http://www.deandeluca.com/coffee-tea-cocoa/tea-by-type/silver-moon-tea.aspx?ref_code=GoogleMerchant&gclid=CPL1wcGf8rMCFQ45nAodvyoAYQ
want!!

cteresa

TWG has got the nicest, nicest tins. And they have this little inner stopper even, which I really like. I have been flirting like mad with their tins. BUT here their tins cost 20+ euros, 21, 22, 23 something like that, a bit more than Mariage Freres´ classic teas which I know and trust already. And the beautiful tins are printed, paper sort of glued strongly but is just paper, not sure if they would resist being washed or even just normal wear and tear. Real tins are different.

And the TWG teas themselves smell delicious but not that amazing and the reviews of their teas I have read are a bit “meh” so have avoided even thinking of getting one. I can get 3 *100 grams of loose Mariage Freres or Theodor tea or from other sellers I know and trust by the cost of one TWG tin, no way. Speaking of tins, one day I will buy a Kusmi tea for the tin, as soon as I find one of their teas I like enough! I found one which was nice enough, but LOL I do not like the tin for that one.

TeaBrat

Yes those TWG tins are lovely, aren’t they?

CupofTree

That happens to me all the time! When a tea company has an awesome tin but you really don’t want the tea that’s in it. and the tea that you DO like is in a tin you don’t like. I hate when happens haha

cteresa

It happens to me a lot – or you like the tin, the tea seems interesting but is way too expensive. The pains of loving tea tins! With Kusmi, I will love one of their teas (with a pretty tin) yet.

I never have enough tins and I think tea keeps so much better in tins than in anything else ( opaque ziplocs are not bad either but not pretty) so I have been improvising tins. I reuse tins which are OK for tea or ugly tea tins by wrapping pretty paper around them and putting a label on them, it´s fun if not too durable. And buy empty caddies now and then. If you are into flowery girly stuff, Greengate tea tins are so so lustworthy.

CupofTree

I just looked up greengate, those are some really girl tins haha.
I love the Kusmi tins!

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Finally got around to trying this sample. Sharing it with my mom and sitting outside in the patio at home, listening to birds chirp and Kaki King pandora.
Its so rare to be able to sit outside this time of year. We don’t even need ac on.
What’s awesome about our backyard is that there’s no pool, which all florida homes usually have. Instead we have hundreds of plants and flowers that my mom spends all day taking care of, and a huge black olive tree that was here long before we were. It’s like a little jungle, with lots of bamboo and even a handmade fireplace created out of coral from various beaches.

This tea is a bit light for me. I feel like I keep saying that lately.. but I just like black tea to be really flavorful. I taste the vanilla just a little bit. Will have to try again soon.

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This one is new from Spice & Tea Exchange and I first tried it when a friend of mine brought it over with her cool blue cast iron teapot to brew in not too long ago. I haven’t been able to forget this tea since then and today I finally went out and bought some.
It smells incredible. Blueberry scrumptiousness. I love that there are real blueberry pieces in it and that its a Yunnan black tea.
I really like the Spice & Tea Exchange, its the only good tea store experience I can have down here.

The first pot I made is just not the same as the first time I had it… but perhaps I need more time with it. Maybe her tea pot was seasoned with this tea as she told me its been the only one brewed in it for a while.
What ended up making this tea awesome for me this time was a cranberry orange white chocolate cookie from whole foods. It was amazing and I didn’t know I even liked cranberry orange.

Anyway, I’ve been on a crazy blueberry tea kick lately, and tried some other blueberry teas not worth mentioning. I wanted to add almond milk to this but it has to defrost from being in the back of the fridge (yeah thats not normal) so I had to use regular milk instead. I also used blue agave and its much better now.
I want to figure out how to create those blueberry tea mistos I used to get at Starbucks before they took them away.

Indigobloom

ahhh I looooove Spice Exchange! they hardly ever come out with new teas…

amills

They just came out with some amazing holiday teas! I saw it on their website spiceandtea.com

CupofTree

Yes I saw the holiday teas there too, they smelled really good!

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A two minute conversation I had with a stranger the other day about coffee turned into a conversation about tea. Well duh. When I mentioned how obsessed I am with loose tea, he mentioned a cafe that I’d never heard of which was not too far from me. How did I not hear about it before?! He said they have all kinds of loose tea and is also a chill place to hang out. I immediately looked the place up and the front page of their website has a pretty painting of a tree on it which made me even more excited. www.yourbigpicturecafe.com

After a visit to the everglades today where I had some VERY close encounters with some very large alligators, me and my friend went to the cafe.
Its definitely a nice place to be. It’s comfy and quiet and has a great selection of herbs and lattes but the tea selection was unfortunately disappointing. As was this tea, which was even more disappointing. I picked it thinking it’d be strong, as I needed a bold tea after biking 15 miles at the everglades preserve and was dying from tiredness.

The tea was so boring and lacking and didn’t have any flavor at all. It also tasted like it was three years old. The only good thing about this cup of tea was the awesome mug it came in. It was the steeper mug by Tea Spot http://theteaspot.com/tea-steeping-mug-steepware.html?catid=251 and it was so nifty that I wanted one but I have enough teaware right now.

Bonnie

This is the brand that the local Sprouts Grocery Store has in the bulk bin isle. The only flavor that smelled good enough to try was the California Chai which was full of spices and OK and inexpensive.

LiberTEAS

Ugh… alligators. I’m terrified of them. I am afraid to visit Florida because of them. Yeah, I’ve got an irrational fear of them.

gmathis

Some Frontier stuff is pretty good, but I wans’t very impressed with the Assam, either. Inexpensive (bulk) but pretty nondescript.

CupofTree

@Bonnie funny I didnt even think to smell it before trying it. They had big glass jars at the shop that I could’ve easily opened to sniff, oh well.

@LiberTEAS haha I understand that. I love alligators. They’re actually one of the very few things I like about florida. They are everywhere in the Everglades where I was, even in the middle of the bike path, but they didnt bother anyone, and you won’t see them outside of the Everglades so you don’t have to worry about that. Not that I would recommend a florida visit for any reason of course lol.

@gmathis oh really? Which ones are good?

Nicole

That was one thing I thought was neat driving through that area a couple years ago – alligators just off the side of the road. That and all the small heron type birds were so pretty!

CupofTree

oh yes, the herons are really pretty. I picked up some nice big feathers of theirs that were on the ground while I was there.

gmathis

The Irish Breakfast was better than the Assam. They have a white tea with tangerine (had, anyway; it’s been a while since I’ve looked) that was really nice. Where I buy bulk, they don’t always have things brand-labeled, so there may be others I’m not aware of that I’ve had. This little store also does a lot of San Francisco Herb Co. bulk teas. Both brands inexpensive and good—not superlative, but pantry good.

Helena

I want a tuffy tea steeper because it is dishwasher safe :D I hate cleaning infusers :D I usually cheat and use a DT tea filter (T-Sac)
http://theteaspot.com/tuffy-tea-steeper-steepware.html?catid=251

CupofTree

@gmathis Good to know thanks, I saw the Irish Breakfast, ill try it if I ever get back there.

@Helena Oh they had those too. Seems perfect for travel!

Bonnie

I have a tuffy and like it, but it will perminantly retain tea flavor after awhile so be careful. A finum infuser or the Forlife Stainless infuser both are dishwasher safe. The Finum one I clean with baking soda to get out flavors like pu-erh or chai if I don’t put it in the dishwasher. T-sac’s, well…I can taste the paper…and they are something I use to infuse Lapsang Souchong tea smokiness in my broccoli. (I know I’m rude huh!)

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The dry leaf scent is so amazing to me because its of my favorite tea cookie, Stella Doro breakfast treats. They smell so comforting and happy to me and I can’t even explain why because I’m not sure where the happy feeling comes from.
Brewed and hot, the cookie scent sort of disappears so I’m hoping it comes back through when cooled.
I’ve been waiting a long time to try this tea since I bought my samples. I waited until I could find the cookies it reminded of, and since I found them today, its time to try the tea!

It’s tea time with my boyfriend and we’re sitting upstairs at his place by the open French doors overlooking the massive oak tree out back and Fern Forest park behind it. This has to be the best view in all of south florida I’m sure, no parking lots or other houses or streets, just trees. The weather is surprisingly nice and allows us to open the doors for some fresh air. Listening to Washed Out.. pretty chilled out.

I don’t taste any chocolate in this tea and my beloved cookie taste is ever so slightly present. It goes good with the cookie though… a Stella Doro to go with some Della Terra! Try saying that 10 times fast. I already confused myself when searching for this tea to log and typed Stella Terra by mistake haha
I wish the tea was just a bit more flavorful though… I added extra leaf to begin with but maybe I’ll add more next time.

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Ended up at a cafe today that I’ve never been to before and it was soo good, wish I knew about it sooner. I ordered this tea with my breakfast sandwich and it was my first time having Mighty Leaf tea.

I really liked the fancy tea bag and the little rope string and was impressed to see whole leaf tea in it. It brewed to a perfect dark shade in the mug. I added sugar in the raw and it was so delicious with my sandwich, tasting very brisk and robust! I didn’t even mind the ceylon taste to it, assuming it has ceylon.

Normally I don’t like to pair food with tea but I can tell that’s the only way I could enjoy this tea, and it reminded me how good that combination can actually be!

Babble

Which cafe was this?

CupofTree

Corner Bakery Cafe, in Boca Raton. They have numerous locations apparently. I want to go back and try something else already!

CupofTree

you know, I’ve been back to this cafe a couple times and I really wasn’t missing anything

Babble

They’re a chain. They have them quite a few places. I look at them as a slightly less pretentious Panera ;)

CupofTree

Exactly lol

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