Capital Tea Ltd.

Recent Tasting Notes

This one came to me from Sil who got it from Dexter.
I accidentally ruined the first cup. I was also making Tony a cup of the Earl, & he likes a spoon of sugar, but I accidentally put his sugar in my cup of tea! Yuck! I tried to drink it anyway, but I have this weird problem, which is when I put sugar in my tea, I can’t taste the sweetness of it. It only ruins the flavor of the tea.
My 2nd cup was much better, sans sugar. This is bold, a little astringent & slightly bitter, and not very malty, so it’s probably never going to be a favorite, but it was still quite drinkable, & the most robust cup I’ve had today, so at least there is that. :)
And it’s a sipdown!

Angrboda

I completely agree about the sugar. I’m forever puzzled by people who say a bit of sweetener brings out the flavouring more. For me it just turns the tea astringent.

Sil

Sugar brings out flavours for me when it’s a flavoured tea….but in a straight tea? Ick

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, it adds astringency & acidity too. The funny thing is, I can’t taste the sweetness of it, especially the rock crystal stuff. I can taste maple syrup, however, although I only occasionally add it.

Angrboda

I only really know that German sugar, that people seem to think is superior for tea. It’s made from beet sugar and to me that’s just normal ordinary every-day sugar. :) It’s cane sugar that’s the fancy-schmancy stuff around these parts. :)
I’ve tried sometimes with a little bit of liquid honey, but that just makes the tea taste like honey, which wasn’t really the purpose either. I’ve given up and accepted that I don’t like sweetener in my tea. (Strangely, though, I rather like a honey flavoured tea. I don’t know why this is different for me)

Terri HarpLady

I love teas that taste like honey & bee pollen, but could never have honey in my tea.
Tony adores that German Rock sugar, it’s considered fancy in a rustic sort of way, I guess.

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88

With a mildly malty & subtlely sweet taste, this high-quality tea is a great choice for those who like their Assams on the milder side. A bit pricey, though.

First infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 1:30 min.

Second infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 4:30 min.

Third infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00+ min.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Giant dry twisted leaves; rich dark brown in color. Delicious flavor found in the medium brown brew—-honey + malt + biscuit flavors all mixed in together. Western style brew was strong for a steep plus resteep. This is one I’ll be keeping around and restocking.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This is a great morning tea. Thanks to Dexter3657 for sending me a sample.

I opened the sample bag and I got a waft of the smokiness. I thought from the dry leaf that the smoke would be really strong. I was delighted that while the smoke was evident in the sips, it wasn’t overbearing. I do like smoky tea’s but sometimes it’s too much. I didn’t add any sweeteners, and it was delicious.

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drank Yunnan Green FOP by Capital Tea Ltd.
374 tasting notes

This tea is a really nice blend between the sweet and savoury. It’s scent is blend between bright fruit and light smoke and once brewed it releases a perfume of smoke,rich, sweet plum, sweet corn/ pea note and a hint of spice.

I brewed this tea four times (45, 55, 70, 100s).

The dry leaf are dark olive to khaki tightly twisted wiry inch long leaves that produce a golden yellow brew.

The tea is smooth. The first notes are savoury, with light smoke, salted butter, a roasted vegetable note (sweet green pea mixed with a slight bitter spinach), over honeyed plum, pepper and a hint of nutmeg. The aftertaste is sweet plum intensifying under a light spinach note. The tea has a rich creamy texture and maintains a consistent flavour over ateeps with only the light smoke dissipating while the rest of the tea sweetens.

The tea offers a really nice value. It has really nice fruity aspects, a thick texture and a pleasant savoury note. Another really nice tea from Capital Tea Ltd! Once again thanks for the sample.
http://www.capitaltea.com/shop/product.php?productid=227&cat=5&page=1

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
boychik

On my wish list

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96

This is another mucho nummy tea from ifjuly

It’s one of the only teas I’ve had that I’d describe as savory. It even smells savory, like a soup broth of some kind. Maybe there is a little smoke lending to that impression, but if there is, it isn’t a harsh smoke or something that sets off my smoke alarm. It’s thick and hefty and serious. Yes, this is a serious tea. And of course I like it a lot – I have expensive tastes. I wish I had the funding for all of my expensive tastes. :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Kaylee

amen sister

yyz

So true. I really got the savoury notes with this one as well. Remember that they do sell this tea in 20g packets.

Nicole

I’ve been avoiding looking too much at yet another tea company. But I resign myself that it will have to happen eventually so it is good to know they sell small sizes.

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This one’s lighter and more floral, a teensy bit Darj-y in some ways. I liked it, and it resteeped ok just like all the other Assams from Capital I’ve tried. But I prefer the darker, heavier, more intense ones like the Borsapori and Duflating. Definitely a case of individual affections defining how worthwhile this cup feels, and how that’s personal and varies, though. Lovely for what it is. Would make a solid afternoon tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This one’s good too, but I was surprised checking now to see it’s Capital Teas’ second priciest Assam because to me it reads as great in the ways the others are—namely the fantastic smoothness—but much more straightforward, with a less complex network of flavors (maybe I just can’t detect them though…I am a subtaster and all that). The flavor is tasty, there just aren’t as many notes, less transformative interplay. This is a softer tea, but don’t get me wrong, it still has a deep sweet flavor. It would make a good first thing cup because of its relative simplicity and first rate smoothness; instead of a harsh tannic pucker you’d greet the day with the palate equivalent of warm soft fuzzy blankets.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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So lovely. It’s a shame that the teas I’ve been most impressed with lately—Assams from Capital Tea—I get in the mood to drink at night while snuggled up to watch Elementary, and by the end of that I’m too sleepy to write decent notes. I think I reach for them then /because/ I know they’ll be wonderful and that matches my excitement and comfort looking forward to the evening’s relaxation. Alas for them. But in short, this is yet another excellent, beyond-all-other-shops’-Assams experience for me. Remarkably smooth but chock full of deep, rich, dark-sweet flavor and lots of neat subtler nuanced notes. And just like all the other Assams from Capital so far, resteeps like a dream (and I’m normally very skeptical of resteeping black tea), like the energizer bunny (I don’t even add extra time the first couple, and I can resteep at least 3 or 4 times…nuts). I think the best way to describe this (and just about all of the Capital Assams I’ve tried so far) sloppily/lazily is that it’s like the heft and deep-dark-satisfying classic tea flavor quality one expects from an Assam (or any Indian or Ceylon tea, but with the harsh acidic lemony part removed), the smoothness, sweetness, and complexity prized in good Chinese black teas, pluuuuus an uber satisfying dark bittersweet brawn (but smooth, always smooth!) that hints at good coffee made from freshly roasted oily beans. With spice notes usually. Perfect. Assams! I love you so much right now. I just needed to find the right go-between for us to date again. Now the feelings I’ve got are getting serious. Cohabitation seems inevitable, ha.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Dexter

I’m so happy that you are enjoying the Capital Teas.

ifjuly

so good! :D

oh, i saw your note about zen tea coconut oolong and was like “d’oh! why on earth did i send Dex the other two but not that one?? weird!” but i’m glad you like it (it’s a fave of mine too!).

Dexter

LOL so we CAN agreen on at least one coconut oolong. :))

ifjuly

yes, it’s like a venn diagram where zen’s is the middle where we meet, ha.

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Welcome to day 11 little terri’s Sipdown Extravaganza!
It’s hard to believe that I’ve managed to sustain this sipdown thingy for this many days, & although not every tea I’ve drank has been a sipdown, most of them have, & it feels good to be letting go of all of the small quantities that have been sitting around waiting to be drank.

Sipdown #75 was Maharaja, from American Tea Room. I am entering it here because I can’t get the ‘review’ button to work on Maharaja’s page. It’s a very bold & a little tart Assam, sent to me by Sil, & it really hit the spot this morning! I love it when I can actually feel the caffeine coursing through my veins!

Sipdown #76 is this Kenyan from the Milim Estate, Capital Teas. This one came to me from Sil, who got it from Dexter. Thanks girls! Although some of the Kenyan blacks I’ve tried have been very bright & kind of grapey, this one is much more earthy & a little sweet, with a nice wood taste.

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Sipdown #64, also from Sil, who received it from Dexter. Thanks girls!
Not really much to say about this one. I shared a pot of it with Ari during breakfast, & although it was pleasant, it didn’t knock my socks off or anything like that.
Sorry for the lame review :)

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Delicious. Scattered and vague note, alas; I will try to write a better, clearer, more precise one when I drink this not so late at night after a ton more Elementary (g’ah, I love that show). I reckon it won’t take too long because it’s so good. I also tried Capital’s New Vithanakande because I love Harney and Sons’ but have run out (only had the sample packet) and it has a similar scrummy bittersweet chocolate thing going on. I am loving all these bittersweet deeply flavored bold teas lately! Also, this one resteeps like a charm. Had still another black tea from Capital today too, but I’m blanking right now—it was lighter bodied and mild, sweet, like Golden Monkey, which again is alright but never gets me to sit up and take notice relative to stuff like this. I was kind of feeling sad about not liking Assam as much as I used to back in the day after trying so many Steepster faves (Steven Smith and to a lesser extent even A&D’s), but this parade of delicious bittersweet bold black Indian teas from Capital is changing my tune and reminding me why I fell in love with them in the first place so long ago. Hooray.

yyz

Love this one too! I’m glad you’re rediscovering your love.

Sami Kelsh

Oh fabulous! I love good full-bodied Indian black teas too. My favourite kind!

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drank Russian Blend by Capital Tea Ltd.
612 tasting notes

My Capital Tea order arrived Friday (well, actually more like Tuesday, but it was in mail jail and I knew there’d be more mail jail slips coming—my carrier changed routes and the new one is more cautious :(—so I waited ’til Friday to pick everything up at once)! A shoutout to Dexter3657, because the samples she sent my way in her amazing swapbox blew my mind and acted as the catalyst for checking them out. Thank you!

I took this out yesterday to do Saturday morning errands. It’s quite upfront smoky, and as you sip through the smoke settles and asserts itself as a barbecue smokehouse-type aroma (could be a subtle result of the citrus of the bergamot combining with the smoke, brightening it and preventing it from being too fireplace ash musty, who knows). The floral aspect from the bergamot is tucked away gently in the back, definitely present but not so strong as to clash. I liked it! Not a combo you see every day. This can go nicely in my little stable of “meditative afternoon smoke break” teas, alongside stuff like Upton Imports Baker Street, Harney and Sons Russian Country, Della Terra Professor Grey, Verdant Earl of Anxi, STEAp Shoppe Smoky Mountain STEAp, etc.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
boychik

I only have A&D Caravan which is fabulous

ifjuly

I have yet to crack mine open even though I’ve had it for months now! Ha. I guess I superstitiously believe it’ll somehow be its tightest sealed and freshest if I wait. Doesn’t really make sense though.

Samovar’s got one called Tolstoy’s Sip too. That one is is very tricky though…

boychik

I find their tins very tightly sealed so I need to use a butter knife to open. Maybe it’s my tiny fingers I have to blame;)

ifjuly

oh, me too! that’s why my waiting is probably silly. (: my tea measuring spoon has a curved metal end that’s perfect for both prying open the canisters and tamping them back shut. great tins!

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85

Another from Dexter3657! THANK YOU! I actually wanted to try this one when I saw the tasting note! The leaves are dark and twisty.A little over one teaspoon went into the infuser. I went with Dex’s suggestion and waited for the water to cool and then steep for longer than usual! Unfortunately, I went to do dishes and the wait accidentally went for 32 minutes! A steep of six minutes and I wouldn’t really call the flavor chocolate. But I definitely see where the CONGOU flavor is happening. (I think I’ve only tried one other Congou from Butiki.) The fragrance of the leaves seems like cherry to me, and there are hints in the brew. But it’s also plum. Definitely not astringent at all, of course with that 32 minute wait. But there is a juicy/watery quality to it, if that makes sense, that seems like it’s the flavor of congou.

The second cup was boiled at four minutes, but I think I much preferred the first cup… as the leaves were getting that “overbrewed” flavor. Not bad though! And still no astringency. A nice one and I think I needed a tea to represent Congou in my collection!

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85

Backlog from a few evenings ago.

My sister came over on Sunday so we could all celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday, and after a stupendously large meal, I asked if anyone wanted tea. My sister asked if I had green tea.

Of course, incredulous, I said “yeah, yeah, what kind?”

She said she wanted jasmine. Now, I love my sister. So of course, I give her this jasmine tea, the good stuff. I’m not gonna fob off any sub-par jasmine tea on the woman who taught me how to read when I was an itty-bitty kid, am I? Of course not!

I don’t think she enjoyed it much, though. She waited a long time for it to cool, and by the time she left I don’t think she finished the 12 oz mug I poured her. I probably should have given us all 8 oz mugs and then shared some with a third person.

I stored the leaves in the fridge overnight and then steeped them a second time yesterday morning (I don’t often resteep, but this is one of the ones I do) but it ended up tasting a bit tinny. Ah well.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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85

This is a favourite, and there’s not much more to say. I drank a whole pot of this while taking a break from editing and watching an episode of Cosmos instead.

This was still tasty, but I think I either overleafed it or oversteeped it slightly, as the jasmine came off tasting a bit metallic today.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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85

My aunt came over today and asked my mother for tea. Of course, since I’m the tea fanatic, I ask what kind. “Green”. Okay, well, what kind of green? Jasmine green? Plain? “Oh, jasmine.”

Since I’m a respectful niece, I get out the good stuff, even though I have some Teavivre jasmine dragon pearls I need to sip off. Ah well. I prepare the tea, I pour it out, she looks at the liquor, she sniffs it, and proclaims it “very good.”

“See, I know what I’m talking about! This is the good stuff!”

Of course, my uncle is kind of noncommital about the whole thing, but eh.

The problem is, this tea is SO good that I always try to steep it twice. Most teas I just steep once since I have so many in the cupboard. But this is one of the few that I truly hoard.

So here I am, sipping on the second steep a few hours later. It’s still delicious, but this is not a tea you should drink when sick. This is a tea you really need to appreciate, and I can’t do that right now since my throat hurts so much (I really really hope I’m not coming down with an ear infection or something…)

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85

Nothing much to report this morning. This is still my favourite jasmine dragon pearl so far. Jasmine, sweet, with a hint of other floral notes. I used to think it smelled/tasted like orange blossom, but now I believe it’s honeysuckle. Just needed something tried and true to mentally prepare for yet another interview this morning. Leaving the house in about 45 mins.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Michelle Butler Hallett

Wishing you luck with the interview!

Sami Kelsh

Knock ’em dead at the interview!

keychange

Good luck, Christina! I hate interviews!

Christina

Thanks for the well-wishes, guys! Got back just now and my god, the weather outside was hellish. The interview itself went okay – the recruiter told me that I didn’t have the level of experience the employer was looking for, but that they would keep me on file for future opportunities.

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85

Ahh, this is the tea I remember falling in love with! Last time I brewed it, it tasted mineral and flat, but this time it’s just right. A nice balance of sweet green base, jasmine, and something else undefinable. I still think it’s orange or orange-blossom that I’m tasting.

Something new this time: after given the chance to cool down, there’s a sharp, almost peppery flavour on the tip of my tongue when I sip this. Hard to define, almost acrid, but somehow pleasantly so.

I think today, instead of focusing on trying new teas, I’m going to attack the ones that I have a LOT of in my cupboard so they can be used up more. This tea is lovely, but it came in a 100g package, which will last a long time if I don’t do something about it.

Edit: This tea really deserves multiple steepings, as the pearls don’t unfurl completely the first time around. The second steep retains as much character as the first. Yum.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

I woke up craving this tea, even though I probably need something with more caffeine. I opened the packet containing this tea, and inhaled the glorious, sweet jasmine scent. I boiled the water. I checked the temperature. I watched the clock as it brewed, waiting for my first taste of jasmine ambrosia….

And then I was disappointed. This tea tastes flat today somehow. The throat drying sensation of the jasmine doesn’t really pop, and it’s not as sweet as I remember.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been trying a lot of new teas lately. And I’ve been disappointed that the flavours were flat, dusty, nothing special, whatever. But when that same feeling happens with a tea I’ve had before, that I know I like? There’s got to be something else wrong. Maybe it’s not the tea’s fault.

Is something wrong with the water? Do I need to clean out my kettle? More investigation is necessary.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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85

Okay, so I’m onto the 2nd infusion now.

One thing I noticed about this tea as I was drinking the 1st infusion was that if left to sit in the teapot even with the lid on, this tea will get darker and darker. The liquor from the first infusion shifted from warm greenish-tan to something nearly coffee-coloured by the end.

The 2nd infusion is very jasmine-y, but has a bit of a metallic tang in the background. It still has that honey-like scent that the 1st infusion had, and the liquor is of a similar colour. I can easily see this tea being good for another 1 or 2 infusions.

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85

Another purchase from the Toronto Tea Festival! And these are the guys behind my new favourite, Shincha Kuro.

Packaging/Instructions: This tea came in the kind of bag that uses a flexible metal bar to keep the bag closed. The instructions on the label said to use 1 tsp of leaf for 1 cup of tea, and to steep it in 80°C water for 3 minutes. I ended up using about 2 tsp of dry leaf for 24 oz of water, and steeped it for the recommended time.

Dry leaf: The dry leaf looks about average for jasmine pearls: little tightly-rolled balls of green tea with white streaks of jasmine visible. The smell of the dry leaf is very jasmine-y, but there’s also a sweetness alongside it that’s similar to honey or orange. In any event, it’s an unexpected yet lovely scent.

1st infusion: The liquor is a nice clear greenish-tan, and the jasmine smell is very strong. However, the taste is a really nice balance of green tea and jasmine – it’s not astringent, and the jasmine is noticeable without tasting “soapy”. Overall, this is a really nice, light jasmine. I’m looking forward to seeing how it holds up to multiple infusions.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML
Dexter

I’ve been happy with everything I’ve tried from Capital Tea Ltd. Glad you are enjoying your purchases :))

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