Bellocq Tea Atelier

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Recent Tasting Notes

I need a “Calgon Take Me Away” tea tonight. My mind is spinning and I need something soothing and indulgent before I go to bed.

This morning when I came in from tending the chickens bright and early, I had a text that my nephew was in the hospital. He was on a first date with a girl and they were in a wreck last night and it was pretty bad. All day, news trickled through and changed. It was hard to get information, even for his parents who were not notified until five hours after the wreck, partly because he was thrown from the car and they couldn’t find him at first.

It looks like he will be fine, but I have been aching for what my brother and his wife have been through today, and the fear they must have been assaulted by when the police woke them at 2:30 am as well as hating the pain he must be in.

You think you have a bad first date story? How about “my car was totaled and I was in surgery for eight hours and he couldn’t breathe on his own.” The driver that clipped the car was at fault.

So here we are. This tea is probably going to be just for me because it is too floral for my best friend and while youngest likes it all right she is more of a Lapsang and puerh fan. Those are pretty much the opposite of this.

So this tea has everything soothing in it…lavender, jasmine, rose. I read that in a scientific study, jasmine was found to be more relaxing and sleep inducing than lavender in spite of the well known benefits of lavender. Perhaps lavender still holds that popular spot because jasmine absolute is incredibly expensive and the price of it would be enough to keep you up at night.

Tonight I made it in my Kamjove, steeping almost two teaspoons at 174F for four minutes, then resteeping and combining the two. It is plenty strong enough and this will stretch it and make it a bit more economical.

So you who pray, please say a prayer for Drew and Sarah, for speedy and complete recovery, as well as for their poor, stressed out and worried families.

caile

Oh no. Sending well wishes and prayers.

ashmanra

Thank you!

yyz

Oh my, best wishes for the best of possible outcomes. I’m so sorry this has happened to your nephew.

Nattie

I don’t pray, but sending my best wishes

Maddy Barone

Oh my gosh, how awful. Sending good thoughts for a quick recovery.

Kristal

I will pray for him! How awful!

Christina

That’s awful. I hope he and his date (if they were also injured) have an easy recovery. Did your family find the other driver?

ashmanra

His date required an eight hour surgery on her arm. It is broken and her radial nerve was severed. She was able to move her fingers last night. My nephew is still on a respirator but is initiating breaths all the time now and has written on a clipboard to communicate, which is great because the fluid on his brain could have meant a severe brain injury. The other driver had been drinking but did stay at the scene with the girl. They could not find my nephew until some time later since he was grown so far.

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and well wishes! Steepster is such a great
community and I am glad to be here!

ashmanra

That should say “thrown so far.”

Sil

oh my goodness. All my thoughts and prayers go out to the two of them.

boychik

They are in my thoughts

Sami Kelsh

Lots of hugs to you and family, and wishing a speedy recovery for the injured couple. x x x x x x

K S

Just read this. Prayers for nephew, date, and other driver.

Indigobloom

Positive thoughts, and love to your nephew and friend xo

Cwyn

In my thoughts…sounds like the young people are very healthy and this is working strongly in their favor.

Nichole

Oh my! Prayers and thoughts are worth all of you!

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I shouldn’t be on computer late at night because I order things. This is one of those things.

A long time ago I tried their tea and liked it, but I said there was no way I would pay that much for their tins. Then I saw one of their tins in person and I seriously want a row of them. They are heavy duty, double lidded, gorgeous additions to your decor.

I bought this particular tea because my best friend loves white tea and she lives Jasmine silver needle and Chamomile Rose by Teavivre. I thought we would share it often, but it turns out that this is too floral for her. That’s okay because we have plenty of teas to drink together, and I do like this one.

Yes, it is super floral. But it is really great. I can also see mixing this with more Jasmine silver needle or with a plain white tea to tone it down for my friend. I do fully understand how this could be too much for some people. It has the strength of Harney’s Rose Scented black tea plus a little extra. If that puts you off, don’t try it.

But this is being written by someone who grew accustomed to Parma Violets and Chowan’s Violet candies!

Sadly, my tin is a little quirky and I really have to press hard to get the great seal that the ones at A Southern Season had. They were almost too hard to open. Even with it not sealing quite as firmly as I would like, it is better sealed than pretty much any other tin I own, and I have several styles of double lidded tins.

Fjellrev

Violet candies (and rose-flavoured Turkish delight) are what totally got me accustomed to floral-flavoured things too!

Equusfell

This sounds fabulous!

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78

A solid Yellow tea
A strong pea note, a little vegetal with a nutty touch.
It had all the characteristics one would find in a yellow tea, but none of the refinement of a good yellow tea.
The body was a little thick for me, it wasn’t very refreshing. It also did not leave a nice feeling in my mouth afterwards.

Flavors: Nuts, Pear, Vegetal

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90

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90

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Flavors: Floral, Lavender

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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95

This tea smells like the northwoods, and I love it. The taste is also great. I found it a very mellow, smooth black tea with hints of a forest-y taste. This will definitely be a staple for me.

Flavors: Forest Floor, Pine, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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96

a delicate grassy flavour with a beautiful after taste, malty notes, buttery and sweet. Maybe my favourite green tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 24 OZ / 700 ML

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80

This is an “assam-y” black tea blend, with a twist to the finish and lingering flavour- subtly composed of nutty cedar chips and sweet juniper berries. I’ve had other teas that have combined cedar and juniper berries but I like how this one mixes those flavours with the base blend.

Flavors: Berries, Cedar, Honey, Malt, Smoke

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Fjellrev

Wow, the scents of cedar and juniper berry remind me of Banff. Beautiful but can’t imagine drinking that.

OMGsrsly

It’s GOOD, Fjellrev! Really good.

CrowKettle

I can save you a sample for when we meet up, Fjellrev! The “woodland” flavours aren’t heavy-handed, imo.

Fjellrev

If you really like it, you don’t have to worry about it! I’m also not a fan of smoky teas anyway.

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Wow! I was curious when I should have known better. I may have to turn this into soap.

For true Floral Fanatics only.

Flavors: Hay, Lavender, Orange, Rose

OMGsrsly

Ooo… I’ll trade you a taste of this for some Sleeping Bear! :)

CrowKettle

Sounds good to me! I keep forgetting to pick up Sleeping Bear when it’s in stock :)

OMGsrsly

I set some aside for you already, so, score! It’s so lovely.

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30

Bellocq kindly gave me this sample when I purchased a tin of their breakfast blend last year. Yes, I know, last year, so maybe it’s a little past its prime. Still, this flavor is, well, weird. Not getting any black tea flavor, and the spices are unidentifiable. Vanilla? What vanilla? I think I’m getting a little anise flavor, and I hate anise, so, well, blech. The rose is not a floral note that I can appreciate. Also, I’m noting some tangy notes at the finish, and I hate tangy, too. So, this is not the tea for me. Too bad, since I think their breakfast blend is so superior.

Flavors: Anise, Rose, Tangy

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

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Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 8 min or more 3 g

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85
drank gui fei by Bellocq Tea Atelier
52 tasting notes

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Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 g

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Oh, I have this one! It’s not labelled with this name, but that’s OK. I think this name is way better than the old one.

Anyways, it looks and smells super cool. I think it might be an assam base, as it smells SUPER malty. The juniper berries and tree bits should add an interesting flavour!

And it is interesting. It’s surprisingly sweet, and very malty. I can’t really tell there’s tree bits in here, but it’s really nice.

Would I get more? Maybe. I mean, I just did a tea count and am still rather overwhelmed. Maybe if I ever get down to 100?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Sil

I really want to pick some of these teas up someday….maybe if I get to 50 lol.

OMGsrsly

Yeah, I know what you mean! They’re quite expensive, but it looks like they’re selling 2.5 oz bags now which is nice.

Sil

ooohh

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100

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85

Perfectly balanced black. Such a high quality tea, like Bellocq is known for. It’s not just for breakfast, but for anytime you want a solid, grownup, serious black that’ll get you wide-eyed and energetic. And it’s delicious with a bit of milk in it.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Sipdown, and sadness.

This tea is so so good. Good in a regular mug, good in a travel mug, just good. I’ll be resteeping once I’ve finished the 3 teas in front of me. It’s that delicious.

Thanks so much for sharing, Fuzzy_Peachkin!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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A sample from Fuzzy Peachkin, via CrowKettle. :)

Thanks so much!

This tea is SOOOOO GOOD. I’m having it with a touch of brown sugar because I’m really sensitive to bitterness/astringency right now. But it’s divine. Such a tasty, strong, breakfast tea. Some assamisness in there, but toned down with other teas, I think.

Highly recommend. Maybe if you can justify the $17/2oz for White Wolf, we can do a group order in the fall, CrowKettle? :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
CrowKettle

That sounds like an excellent plan. I’d love to try more of their teas, or at least pick up more White Wolf. :)

OMGsrsly

:D :D Yay!

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Smells like toothpaste!

Bellocq couldn’t tell me what kind of mint was in here ages ago when I asked. But now, now I can tell. Toothpaste mint. :P

I steeped low and slow, as I’m enjoying with some of the white teas I have. There’s a bite on the tongue, I can smell and taste creamy vanilla, toothpaste, and some star anise. The white tea is super mild, but I’m not surprised by that.

If you like spearmint and weird teas, definitely check this out if you can.

Thanks so much to Crowkettle for sharing this with me. Not something I’ll buy again, but something I’ve really appreciated trying.

Edit: It might be the cedar that’s giving me the SPICE on the tip of my tongue. Pretty cool!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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A chunk of anise in the basket today, so this tea definitely taste more anise-y. This brings out the mint and cedar as well. So neat how naturally flavoured (ie: with just ingredients, not spray) will change cup to cup.

I do quite like it, it’s calm and soothing, and the white base is lovely as well.

Thanks, Crowkettle. :)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML
OMGsrsly

Sadly the mint is making my tummy super upset today. Time to dump it and move on!

CrowKettle

I’m glad you got to enjoy this one, even if it was short lived!

OMGsrsly

Sometimes, even if I don’t like an ingredient, I can still appreciate the tea. :)

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Oh, I’m so excited to try this! Thanks so much for the sample, CrowKettle!

I smell mostly vanilla from the dry sample. Once I add hot water, I smell the mint and star anise. This is… hmm. I think it’s spearmint. I initially thought it was peppermint, but it’s not really. Maybe a blend, or some other type of mint. My favourite is Corsican mint (look it up! It’s a really neat ground cover, and the scent is divine), but I’m not sure if my friend would react to it or not.

It also tastes mostly of mint and anise. It’s a really mild and somewhat earthy mint tea. But it has body because of the white tea.

Really interesting. Thanks so much for sharing, CrowKettle!

Edit: Yeah, I can’t tell what kind of mint it is. If it’s spearmint, it’s not triggering anything for me. And it’s not super cooling like what I expect from peppermint. So. “Mint.”

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
OMGsrsly

(I emailed the company and they couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me which variety of mint it is.)

CrowKettle

How do they not know what mint (or mint extract) they use? Good to know!

OMGsrsly

I know, right?! I could ask my friend to sniff it but I would risk her not being able to breathe. So.

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80

Nice and subtle. This tea is great, but I would not recommend steeping it for the 4-6 minutes that Bellocq suggests. Along with other Bellocq teas, this is overpriced, but I got it as a present, and it’s pretty good.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79

Herbal tisane of the evening here…

There is a store called Maison d’Etre near the Rockridge BART station that is really cute and full of housewares, jewelry and some specialized tea that is difficult for me to find elsewhere. I should never take my BF tea shopping with me because he can’t understand why I need to buy more tea, he he! Of course that did not stop me.

Anyway I was intrigued by this blend, it seemed like a very nice herbal from what I could tell from the package and it smells really good. It’s a blend of tulsi, flowers and some chai like spices. The flavor is a bit too floral for my personal taste but otherwise I think it’s pretty good. I don’t really know that is was worth the price I paid for it ($14 for 2 oz) but I’m glad I got the chance to try it. Kind of wishing I could get the Bellocq teas in a sample size, I would definitely be interested in trying them all.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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