Capital Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

70

This is another selection that my better half brought back to me from her trip to the nation’s capital. I have a feeling the name of the tea company is no coincidence.

When I opened the container, expecting a bergamot and/or cream aroma to flood out, I got something completely different, yet familiar. Flowers again! There were little blue flowers spread throughout the container of short black leaves. The Capital Teas website says they are cornflower petals. I assume it was the smell of those petals that totally defeated any competition from bergamot or cream.

I followed Capital’s brewing instructions and steeped the leaves (and petals) for five minutes at 195 degrees. There wasn’t much brewed aroma of any kind. The color was amber.

The first sip provided a mild flowery taste and not much else. After that, I could taste the Ceylon tea AND the flowers. I don’t know why, but I have detected a slight twang of astringency in almost every Ceylon tea I’ve tried, and this one was no exception. The astringency wasn’t overpowering but it was noticeable. I also really had to shake down my palate to find the bergamot in this blend.

All in all, I would say this tea is okay. It’s not exciting. The flavor is medium-strength. And, if you bought this product because you experienced a severe bergamot and Earl Grey craving, you might be disappointed.

Flavors: Flowers, Tea

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I had enough for another cup of this, and though I was not overly enamored of my first attempt at pu-erh, I decided it was worth it to try it again.
And I’m glad I did! I used a bit less leaf, and steeped it less aggressively, and this time a creamier cup came out, with notes of the toffee, as promised!
I still don’t think I’m going to be leaping into the world of pu-erh, but I might mosey in.
Just goes to show that, if you can, always give tea a second chance.
Sipdown!

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My goal to taste all the teas (currently in my cupboard) is mostly an exciting challenge! Look at this tea! Didn’t it sound good when you got it? Why havn’t you tried it yet? Get crackin!
And then there are the teas that I have trepidation.
Poor pu-erh, a teas that I live in apprehension over. Its probably not pu-ehr’s fault, I’ve hardly had any of it. But I cant move past the idea that this is a tea that is Not For Me.
No good reason there.
Super Starling! sent me this, as we share a love of all things sweet, but though caramel and toffee sound delightful, I’m wavering at the pu-erh.
But I’m being brave, so I brewed it.
I don’t taste a single note of caramel or toffee, alas. Just te pu-erh, which remains not my favorite. Oh well.

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95
drank Lapsang Souchong by Capital Teas
195 tasting notes

My thoughtful and caring wife brought this tea back for me after her business trip to Washington, D.C. It was even NICER of her to do it when you consider how much she HATES the smell and taste of smoky teas.

Personally, I LOVE smoky teas- when they are produced correctly. They shouldn’t be overpowering to the point that you feel like you fell into a campfire. And, they shouldn’t be so weak that you feel like you need to rub two sticks together to create your own campfire effect.

This tea came in a black metal tin similar to the containers that package Harney & Sons teas. Whether that was done on purpose or not, it did give me the impression that I was about to partake in some classy tea.

When I removed the lid for the first time, a wonderful and potent smoky aroma filled the room (much to my wife’s nausea). To me, the smell was blissful. It was like the inside of a smokehouse where rows and rows of fine pork hang as they wait to become barbecue.

I followed the container’s brewing instructions for black tea and steeped the black leaves for three minutes at 195 degrees. Both the time and temperature seemed a little light-weight to me but I always give the manufacturer the benefit of the doubt…on the first steeping.

The steeped aroma was also delightful, conjuring memories of the great campfires I sat around while a Boy Scout. At the other extreme, my wife had to leave the room at this point, her nausea too much for her to endure. The brewed hue was dark like maple syrup.

From the first sip to the bottom of two cups, this tea was just a joy to drink. The smokiness in the flavor was at the perfect pitch. Powerful and booming, but extremely pleasant. In spite of the mighty presence of the smoky taste, it was also smooth with no astringency to be found.

My wife clearly showed me that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). However, if you find smoky teas as delicious as I do, you will love this one. I HIGHLY recommend it!

Flavors: Smoke, Smoked

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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drank Presidential Blend by Capital Teas
1768 tasting notes

I feel as if I am going to be the dissenting voice on this tea- its not for me.
I am strongly reminded of Harney & Sons Carribe, which is also a blend with tropical fruits in it, and also does not light my fire.
I do not care for tropical fruits, and I care even less for them in tea. Also black and white blends tend to make me, well, a little queasy. I’m afraid this one did.
But I’m not going to rate this poorly. Just like Carribe, I don’t think this is a bad tea, I just think its a bad tea for me.
Thank you for Super Starling! for letting me try, but this one will not be staying with me.
Sipdown!

Super Starling!

That’s okay! We all try things that aren’t our favorite! I’m not offended or anything.

Rosehips

I’m glad. It really is nice to have all your lovely swap teas to try.

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49

I’ve tried this tea western style and so far haven’t much enjoyed it so I thought trying it gong fu style might give me the chance to experiment some and see if I can find a way to get more flavor out of it. Today’s experiment rating: meh.

I stepped for 5, 10, 5, and 5 seconds. The first steeping was a bit thin but still somewhat bitter. The second was more tannic and bitter. The 3rd and 4th were a bit lighter but still fairly bitter. None were undrinkable but any other flavors in the tea were mostly masked by the bitterness.

I’m wondering if I might have been sold old tea that has been sitting around for a long time or if it’s just been so long since I’ve had Darjeeling that I’ve thought I liked it better than it seems I do.

Either way, I’ll continue my experiments trying to find a combination of water temperature, amount of tea and steep time that works for me. I’m thinking that the next one I’ll cut the amount of tea down and see what happens.

Flavors: Bitter, Grapes, Tannic

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 75 ML

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80
drank Presidential Blend by Capital Teas
168 tasting notes

Thank you Super Sterling! You are the best. Also, you gave me this tea.

This is an interesting tea. I enjoy it. I really like the slightly tangy mango flavor that comes with it. Without it, this tea would be very generic as the black tea base underneath it feels of a generic quality. A slightly tannic feel. But when you add the mango, it gives it that pizzaz it needed.

Much like our President, I will miss this tea when it is done.

Flavors: Mango, Tannic

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

Sample from Liquid Proust. Thank you!

This is quite tasty. It’s exactly what I would expect from something called “Strawberry Oolong.” The base is a smooth green oolong and the strawberry flavoring is light but clear. The flavors complement each other very well, and the tea tastes well balanced and interesting.

Flavors: Green, Smooth, Strawberry

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80
drank Citrus Burst by Capital Teas
58 tasting notes

The scent and flavor of grapefruit dominates this tea in a good way. The hibiscus is certainly present and somewhat masks the flavor of the other ingredients. It is devilish tart and delicious. It reminds me of days spent surfing in warm water near citrus groves in far away places like Florida and Japan.

If you’re looking for sweet, this is not the tea to reach for. Grapefruit fun? Yes, that’s what you’ll find here.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Fjellrev

Nice, if I ever order from them, I’ll be sure to pick this up since the grapefruit sounds awesome.

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72

A nice bright and refreshing fruit tea that works well hot or iced. The hibiscus is front and present which makes it taste like a Celestial Seasonings Tea on steroids, but it doesn’t distract as much from the fruit flavors as it might. Berries and apples dominate the flavor at the start of the sip with pineapple and a slight citrus twang at the end.

It’s a great tea for a warm summer morning, a nice little treat on the way to work to get you back into the week after a long summer weekend.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with this tea, I prefer a little more citrus in my herbal teas. Your mileage, as always, may vary.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

I need to apologise to Pu-Erh for that long period in which I wouldn’t drink it because I thought it was gross. I was wrong, Pu-Erh. Will you forgive me?

This tea has a deep caramel/molasses/toffee thing going on.

You know James Earl Jones’ voice? It grew in the same rich soil that grew this tea.

That’s just science.

Mookit

Lol! I love how we have so many common things when it comes to tea. I am still in that “you taste weird to me, stay away” phase of my relationship with Pu. But I am hoping to get to where you are now sometime in the future. I recently got one of LP’s puer beginner packs, though I have not yet mustered up the courage to try the samples he sent….

Super Starling!

@mookit: I only have a few flavors, and both of them are mixed with something else. One’s caramel toffee and the other’s chocolate orange. I’ve never had a pure one. However, the two that I do have are so amazing that I’m now looking to expand the range. If you ever want to trade, I can send you a few teaspoons of the ones I have (plus anything in my cupboard except the pecan ice cream, which I’m almost out of).

Super Starling!

I’m mostly one of those people that wants to trade for a bunch of samples so I can figure out what I like better. I want to figure out my preferences and (ugh this sounds pretentious to type) expand my palette. (Ugh it hurts to have typed that.)

mrmopar

Pu Erh is always forgiving and will welcome you each time you drink it.

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90

Confession: I bought this in-store because it smelled pretty good, even though I had no idea what pu-erh was. When I got home and found out it was fermented and aged tea, I was kind of grossed out. I put off drinking it for a while.
What a mistake!
This is yummy. It’s got the caramel, plus an earthy, almost chocolate undertone. (I might be imagining it, though, because chocolate is my favorite thing on earth.)
It’s a tiny bit sweet, but mostly rich and dark.
This is both literal and figurative: the tea does come out wonderfully deep in tone.
It’s like the loamy soil upon which barefoot witches are performing a ritual. You can almost taste the history. You know, that history I didn’t know about when I bought the tea.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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90

I’ve written a few notes about this tea, but I wanted to mention it briefly again because a few other people around have liked it. I gave it to a friend who was very sick and exhausted Saturday, and it perked her up and soothed her throat. I gave it to another friend today, who happily declared it super-tasty. It’s a majestic brew that a lot of disparate people seem to like.

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90

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90

Upon re-sipping, I’m bumping this tea up a few points.
I typically wonder how much crap could get thrown into a tea to make it interesting, but this one’s good exactly as it is. It’s a nice, earthy black & white tea with some mango in it for a kick. (Is this celebrating the Hawaii part of Obama?)
I would liken this tea to a sturdy log cabin in the woods. The Hawaiian woods, I guess.

Flavors: Earl Grey, Earth, Mango

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90

I’m not going to lie, team: I bought this tea because I have a crush on president Obama. The idea behind this tea (half black, half white, get it?) is totally pandering. Despite the conceptual contrivance, this tastes great. The white tea takes the edge off the black tea. It’s “just right.” It’s a good basic tea. I prefer nuttier/sweeter/more extreme teas, but this one is a classic I keep going back to.

Preparation
6 min, 0 sec

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drank Chicory Chai Puerh by Capital Teas
1454 tasting notes

Bought this at the tea festival because it was a puerh tea. Didn’t realize just how many ingredients were it it. It tastes downright weird. I guess that is the chicory root giving it the weird taste.

I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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86
drank Annapolis Treasures by Capital Teas
1454 tasting notes

Bought this at the tea festival last week. It is pretty good. It has a light flavor of peaches. They are but ever so slightly sour. Not enough to bother me though.

I brewed this once in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80

I get a couple of notes from this tea, I’d say two from the caramel, one note is a burnt taste and the other is a sweet caramel taste. After this I get the puerh, it is sweet I think not bitter, but it’s hard to really tell.Bought this the other day at the Coffee and Tea Festival NYC. Capital Teas unfortunately only had a limited number of teas available. I bought both puerhs they had available. Both were flavored.

I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 2 min.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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85
drank Roasted Almond by Capital Teas
1454 tasting notes

This time I cold brewed this tea to make it iced. It makes an excellent iced tea. There was already a natural sweet flavor to this but I added a sugar syrup to make it really sweet. The flavor of the almonds adds a savory aspect to this also. It was good. It had a really nice red color to the tea.

I cold brewed this overnight, 5 tsp leaf in a 32oz Lipica Handy Cooler.

Flavors: Almond, Sweet

Preparation
Iced 5 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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85
drank Roasted Almond by Capital Teas
1454 tasting notes

This is what I would describe as a sweet and savory tisane. Bought it today at the Tea and Coffee Festival NYC and it is too late for caffeine so I am trying it first. One reviewer mentioned she didn’t like the hibiscus in this. I don’t taste any at all. I think they must have removed it from the blend. The main note is that of almonds.

I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 4 tsp leaf and boiling water for 8 minutes.

Flavors: Almond, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
S.G. Sanders

Is the Festival a yearly thing? I’d like to convince the wife to go some time….

AllanK

The Tea festival continues today if you want to go. They may not sell tickets at the door. You may have to get it online. Yes they hold it yearly.

S.G. Sanders

Well, considering I’m in Ohio, that’d be a long trip up. However, there’s always next year!

AllanK

If you decide to go next year it’s quite a big event, I’d guess at least forty tea companies and ten coffee companies. There was also a booth selling specialty honey I bought chili honey.

Sakura Sushi

I got myself this tea yesterday, too! I didn’t go for it last year and was sad about it, so I made sure I got some this year. I hate buying so much of one tea but am hoping it’s just as good iced as it is hot, so I can justify buying an entire pound of it!

AllanK

I am planning on cold brewing this one tomorrow. I think it will be excellent iced.

Sakura Sushi

Please review if you do end up cold brewing it, Allan. I’m curious to know your opinion of it, and I still have a liter of a different iced tea to go through before I try this one iced.

AllanK

I’ll try to post a review. I usually don’t bother to review my cold brews though. They are usually teas I have already reviewed.

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60

Tastes a lot like David’s Buttered Rum since David’s went and changed it. Not really a fan. The base seems decent enough, though not spectacular. This was actually what I was most curious about since I’ve never had Capital Teas before.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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