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Carytown Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

the bottom of this tasting note is an over caffeinated note from last night.

i watched the full “Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea” part 1 and 2 this morning.
the program is very fun and i’m shocked i hadn’t learned about it earlier. it never occurred to me that there would be shows about tea! how exciting!
while watching there was one moment that was totally weird, but during the first episode they showed a grandiose dance performance in china that was about the story of tea, where at the end of the performance they gave the entire audience each a cup of tea. and for some mysterious reason, i started crying.
i mean really?
i was so moved i actually started crying.
i think i’m in too deep. whew!

i like this tea much more this time around! the rind adds a strong pithy flavor to the tea. earthy and pithy and oddly dark in flavor. i don’t know much about what a white puerh should taste like. it is a complicated balance of both delicate and dark flavors. which makes sense. i’m glad i bought this when i did.


Hell! tonight was shot becuzzzz…..

JacquelineM got me started with this awesome vid! (THANKS!)
Morrissey talks tea with Victoria Wood
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSqp73xSvbg
and then i went here
Doctor Who’s Matt Smith Talks Tea – Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu4E92Joeig
and then naturally here
Mark Ruffalo acts out a fan’s dream conversation – The Graham Norton Show
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GwRis0CZhQ
and then i naturally progressed to the Martin Freeman episode of Who Do You Think You Are. and on and on.
you know.
internet binge.

Shmiracles

the full “Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea” episodes are online. fyi

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70
drank Provence by Carytown Teas
358 tasting notes

Last cup of the day. This is the third tea that I purchased at Carytown Teas. I was a little hesitant about this tea since it has rose hips in it, and for some reason I always associate those with hibiscus. But I like the rose petals, lavender, raisins and dried berries that are in this tea. And I’ve been liking rooibos more, so I figured I would try it. The dry leaves smell like rooibos and sweet berries; and the tea’s aroma is fruity. This tea is a lot more mellow than I was expecting – there is a subdued fruity flavor with a lavender finish. I’m getting a light floral and berry aftertaste with a hint of rooibos, but not too bad. I added sweetener and a little milk and the tea is very good with both, especially for a cup right before bed. I’ve literally drank my whole cup in just a few minutes while trying to figure out the flavors in this tea – there’s a lot going on! It’s not my favorite, but it’s different in a good way from what I was expecting from this tea.

-Dry blend has red rooibos with pieces of dried fruits and lavender and rose petals.
-Dry blend smells like rooibos and sweet berries. Tea liquor aroma is fruity.
-Tea liquor is a clear medium reddish orange color.
-Mellow fruity flavor with a lavender finish. Light floral and berry aftertaste with a hint of rooibos.
-Best with sweetener. Milk optional.
-Good tea. Sweet and fruity with a hint of lavender. A good bedtime tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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seeing Duncan Trussell @ Strange Matter. Comedy and Tea! I win Tuesday.

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i opened this timolino to let it start to cool down, and as i finished the previous cup of another tea all I could smell was warm vibrant coconut.
i’m SO GLAD i bought this. i stood there at the counter hemming and hawing about whether i should spend the money. but once i get the tea home i’m always glad i have it and don’t think a bit about the money.

i’ll write more notes later. probably tomorrow when i drink it again. i just have too much to get done today is all.
i’ll obviously have to compare it to the davidstea version once i get time to taste that one.

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90

So this one seems almost the same as Mistie’s Blend, except this one doesn’t have hazelnut in it. I think the fiancee voted for this one, and that’s why I purchased two blends that are so similar. This one does include rose petals in it, as listed, so I am pretty happy about that. The smell, like Mistie’s Blend, is of strong, rich cocoa. The tea itself smells like warm milk chocolate with a florally hint of rose. The flavor is malty and chocolatey with a light rose finish. The chocolate flavor is strong, but the black tea is still nice and malty. The rose just gives it enough of a floral note without being overwhelming. I really like this tea. As with Mistie’s Blend, the tea is a little thin, but it’s not too bad. And Chocolate Lovers seems pretty true to it’s description and ingredients, yay!

-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves and twigs with pink, white and yellow rose petals.
-Dry leaves smell strongly of rich cocoa. Tea liquor aroma is of milk chocolate with a hint of rose.
-Tea liquor is a clear golden brown color.
-Malty chocolate flavor with a very light rose finish.
-Best with the smallest amount of milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. Silky chocolate flavor with a floral note.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

We were our of town this past weekend at a soccer tournament. Saturday was nice and sunny, but Sunday was absolutely freezing and rainy. It was pretty miserable sitting on the sidelines watching the games. But I’m sure the girls who were playing were really cold and wet, so I didn’t complain too much. I was glad that we took our little 16 oz. Bodum electric kettle and some sample teas so that we could make some teas in the room to take to the games and then also to have a cup at night.

We went up early on Friday to spend the day in Richmond and went to the Carytown area to have lunch and visit Carytown Teas. Overall, I wasn’t super impressed with the store. I took a list of teas that I had found on their website to try, and when I got there and realized that a lot of their teas are Harney’s that they just resell. That cut my list down a lot, since I already have a lot of Harney’s and would just rather buy from them. The shop was really cluttered, there was literally stuff all over and it was all jumbled and didn’t really make me want to browse around a lot. My fiancee asked to use the restroom and he told me later that there were actually teas being stored in the bathroom! They were in clear plastic bags on the floor, but still . . .

I ended up purchasing 3 teas. Mistie’s Blend was the only one that I really wanted to try from there. It smells heavenly, like very rich cocoa. There is a nice hot chocolate aroma while the tea is steeping. The ingredients list rose buds and hazelnuts, but there are only ordinary black tea leaves in the blend. I’m not going to lie – I was a little sad, since I love rose flavor and if it’s listed on the ingredients I kind of am expecting it to be in there when I open up the bag. Maybe I am just being too picky? The flavor is malty and chocolatey with a little hazelnut finish. There is a nice cocoa aftertaste that lingers. Sadly, I can’t taste any rose in the blend whatsoever. The tea is a little thin also, but not terribly so. This is a nice tea and it really does taste like a tea version of hot chocolate, but if I could find another tea with rose added in I would probably purchase that one.

-Dry blend has medium black tea leaves and twigs.
-Dry leaves smell strongly of rich cocoa. Tea liquor aroma is of black tea and nuts with just a hint of cocoa.
-Tea liquor is a cloudy dark brown color.
-Malty chocolate flavor with a small hazelnut finish. Lingering cocoa aftertaste.
-Best with milk and sweetener.
-Very good tea. Thin hazelnut and hot cocoa taste. No rose flavor noticeable.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Emilie

Even if the tea was sealed, it seems so odd to store it in the bathroom!

Bonnie

Gross! Not the tea but the storage!

Serenity

Oh, too bad there was no rose flavor!
Customer: Do you have any oolong?
Employee: Jack! Check the bathroom? We got any oolong?
Customer: Uhhhh….

Josie Jade

So glad that I’m not the only one that found this odd! Maybe they had just received a shipment or something and ran out of room to store it???

Shmiracles

oh noes!! haha this is hilarious. and sad. and hilarious.
well, i go to Carytown Teas often. the owners are grumpy. and also friendly. they are very human. (basically i used to think the owners hated me, but now they are very nice to me always and i still kinda feel like they hate me. … with all the moods it’s like i’m back in Philadelphia! home sweet home)
it’s a weird place. if i were being more diplomatic i would say it’s a unique place. but seriously some of their teas are the best i’ve had. and i love it for all these wacky reasons.

i can’t wait to see what the third tea you bought was! (on saturday i got the blood orange puerh and the coconut oolong)

Shmiracles

basically i find the place odd ball quirky cute. the clutter and double door entrance and collage of peoples tea mail sent to the store.
maybe when i visit i feel like i’m a character in an indie movie?

Josie Jade

I agree that their teas are good. I rated both of them high. Mistie’s Blend was good, even though it didn’t match the description at all in my opinion. The other tea was the Provence Rooibos blend. It smelled different than I expected, so I hope that I like it. I was so close to getting the Coconut Oolong too!

It is a quirky little place, just very much not what I expected.

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came home from work, skipped the gym, and organized my tea a little instead. nothing big. just putting some new bags in tins and labeling them. having a small part left over of ‘exotica’ and trying to cold brew for the first time. sorting some small amounts to take to work with me for future use. and brewing up a few herbal tumblers to drink for the night.

this is one of the teas i need to finish up. it’s not a very spring type of tea. and i like it enough. and turmeric is good for you. and we all know carytown teas has a REALLY GREAT track record. but basically i’ve had enough of this tea for now. mostly a lemongrass and turmeric blend. it’s good. i’d TOTALLY buy it again.

A post from 10 months ago that i put under the wrong tea!::::
ICED! actually a lovely iced tea. for sure! who would’ve thought! (I’m experimenting with all of my teas. whether they seem iced friendly or not.) i’m not brewing them traditionally either. i just brew it like a normal tea, 4 cups at a time, and then let it cool and put it in the fridge. then if it’s really hot out i can use a few ice cubes, or i can also just have it in a normal glass without ice. this tea was better when i watered it down a little with some ice. it brought the turmeric zing and made the ginger taste a little sweeter.

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95
drank Mandarin White Puerh by Carytown Teas
204 tasting notes

What an interesting and beautiful tea. Cute little mandarin orange peels stuffed with beautiful white puerh tea.

I gave my leaves a rinse before brewing. I steeped it for a minute which I see was a bit long according to the directions here (no internet at home to check). Each sip brought different notes to light. My first sip tasted mostly like a white tea with a hint of orange at the end. By my last sip, I was tasting notes of honey and citrus. I can’t wait to try the brewing instructions suggested above and see what comes from that :)

Thanks, sissy, for sending me this!!

Shmiracles

oh wow! wow wow! you got this rare little bird too! you’re sister is thoughtful :)
i haven’t sampled this since i bought it. and it really deserves some more of my time.

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so good!
with apple pie and hobbit talk and discussion of things to do and see while i’m in paris.
then i went to the gym and ran/walked over 17 miles as i read some super fun hobbit fanfic.

the tea was brewed perfectly. i mean i’m not a lavender person at all, and my sister accuses me of actually not liking earl grey (i argue that i don’t buy it cuz it’s everywhere though i do certainly like it!) but the tea was so perfectly balanced. i have to say that carytown teas seems to always consistently have the best best teas. i feel lucky that it is in my city every time i go there and buy a new tea.

whatshesaid

That sounds really tasty, I love lavender scented things (never drank it though!) AND earl grey

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67
drank Genmachia by Carytown Teas
41 tasting notes

I’ve made a few pots of this in the past week, and every time I’m surprised by how much I enjoy the grassy rice cake flavor. Big thanks to my sis for discovering the name of this style of tea.

Shmiracles

yay another richmonder! my sister also got me into teas about a year ago. now i’m an unstoppable tea machine!

Shmiracles

oh wait i just realized you are probably Em’s sister. …i wish my sis would use steepster :) that would be so fun.

Em

She is my sis :)

Shmiracles

well this is My sis http://steepster.com/oddree but as you can tell she doesn’t use steepster enough… even though she originally told me about it and got me into tea in the first place. i owe it all to her. and we still share all the teas we can cuz she lives down the street :)

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67
drank Russian Earl Grey by Carytown Teas
41 tasting notes

I was hoping for something more, but this is pretty much just a pleasant Earl Grey.

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50
drank Sweet Oblivion by Carytown Teas
41 tasting notes

Just finished the 2 oz. I bought to try this out. I started having just a cup in the evening, but this week I began brewing a pot before bedtime as they suggested. I’m not sure if it has helped me sleep, though.

I like the flavor of chamomile, which was my bedtime tisane before I tried this. This blend has a certain tang that took some getting used to. I think it might be fennel. Anyway, it’s not bad, but I think I’ll go back to plain old chamomile.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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drank Kenya Milima by Carytown Teas
204 tasting notes

I’ve tried different temps and times but this tea still doesn’t do it for me. I think I’ll pass it on to a friend. She might have better luck.

Anna

I have to say, after the first few cups of the sample I had, I wasn’t as impressed by it.

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drank Kenya Milima by Carytown Teas
204 tasting notes

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i haven’t been around much. i guess i just don’t have a ton to say about tea at the moment.
also marathon training has picked up in miles and requires more of my free time.
but don’t worry, i’m still obsessed with tea!

proof! look what i just bought!
special Mandarin White Puerh http://instagram.com/p/VXJqSQIc_3/

i had a dentist appt and then stopped in to Carytown Teas to get one cup to drink. and the next thing i knew i’d spent almost $25 dollars. but that mandarin puerh so beautiful!!!

also the blood orange puerh was very very nice! (though maybe a hint of chocolate couldn’t hurt.)

Em

How was the blood orange pu-erh? I might have to request it from sis ;)

Shmiracles

very nice! i’d definitely drink it again. i’ve steeped it a second time and now the grapefruitiness is less intense which is a nice change from the first cup. i also had a HUGE lunch so my tummy is thanking me.

CrowKettle

That puerh looks so cool. Nice picture! :)

Em

Adding it to my shopping list for next order from sis :)

Shmiracles

hi Em, the link you posted is the same as the pic i posted, but it is NOT the Blood Orange Puerh i am drinking. they had a Blood Orange Puerh and a Ginger Puerh that appear to not be on their website. you should ask your sister to bring you one of thier printout shopping sheets too next time she shops for you.
the Mandarin White Puerh is a unique tea they have just this once i think. which is why it’s expensive and also why i couldn’t resist.

Shmiracles

third steep!
the citrus is almost gone, and for the first time ever i can smell the ‘fishy’ scent everyone always seems to refer to in puerhs. also i keep getting this puzzling after scent of chocolate. maybe that’s a roasted quality to the tea that is tricking my nose? anyways, i will definitely buy this again.
also, lucky me my davidstea puerh sample box arrived today, so i can compare :)

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100
drank Hot Cinnamon Spice by Carytown Teas
41 tasting notes

My favorite tea, particularly in the winter. I love cinnamon flavored things, and this is a perfect blend of the sweet and hot cinnamon flavors. I add a little honey to punch it up, but it doesn’t need it.

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

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drank Genmachia by Carytown Teas
715 tasting notes

went to Strange Matter.
the best punk bar with tea in town.
it’s a vegan (and non-vegan) dive bar for punk shows and they always have maybe 4 different loose leaf teas available. so much love for this place!

Tabby

Tea-punk should be a thing. We could start it!

Shmiracles

you just founded tea-punk!
i love it.
i’m gonna name my band Black Kettle.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

omg! I so want in on teapunk!

Shmiracles

definitely not to be confused with Steampunk.

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drank Paris by Carytown Teas
715 tasting notes

Carytown Teas version of the famous Harney & Sons tea.

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enjoyed this at Black Hand Coffee with Emily after a movie
http://instagram.com/p/Ut3wjOIc-2/
they only have 2 teas to choose from, but at least they are good teas.
they used to have 2 teas and a mate, but they stopped carrying the mate. idk.

the tea is nice. very delicate and fresh.

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drank Kenya Milima by Carytown Teas
204 tasting notes

Rethinking my rating on this after my experience today. This was so bitter that it was undrinkable. I’m going to try steeping at a shorter time the next time I make it with a lower temp. Going to take away my rating for now until I make a final decision about it.

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66

My sample is lableled only “Assam” and the tea leaves are much smaller than the photo, but the smaller pieces allow for a lot of flavor to come through. Good Assam, even on the second infusion (for which I used a 5 minute infusion).

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Winter White by Carytown Teas
715 tasting notes

enjoyed this at Lamplighter Roasting Company along with a vegan cookie and the sunset.
it’s a subtle and delicate tea. that’s why i chose it.

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i have been drinking tea for days and not commenting or making notes.

old dear roommates visited from out of town and they got so excited when they smelled all of my teas!

i haven’t visited facebook for over a week, but within 2 min of clicking my friend notifications i registered for this http://www.7summitsrace.com
dangit.
DANGIT!
(i’m a race addict)

CrowKettle

Good luck! That looks crazy intense :)

Shmiracles

translation!
Good Luck crazy! That looks like a stupid idea!
HAHAHAHAH i have no idea what i was thinking
(aka if it involves too much swimming i’m bailing)

Shmiracles

translation,
i wasn’t thinking.
i was a little drunk when i clicked ‘register’

CrowKettle

Ha! I did a similar thing on a smaller scale when my young unathletic self impulsively signed up for the Vancouver Sun Run (only 6.2 miles). This is much more insane (and fun looking) though! It looks like you can skip the swimming obstacles at least?

CrowKettle

Are you doing it with a team?

Shmiracles

I actually only pre-registered, cuz the Virginia race doesn’t exist yet. but I did register because a few friends did too. so there might be a team involved.
My thing is marathons and 50ks, and my thing is decidedly NOT upper body strength and swimming. Whomp whomp.

CHAroma

Tried looking but stupid work computer blocked the site. :( Good luck though!!

Shmiracles

i hope to do the vancouver marathon or the dirty duo 50k there one of these years soon.

they haven’t even scheduled the race yet, so hopefully i’ll have enough time to train and not completely die out there.

the tea will save me!! hah

CrowKettle

Ah, I’m speechless! I’d swim lakes and lakes before I’d manage to finish 50k. Lots of respect from this direction :)

I’d never be able to do the 7summit but it looks amazing and I can’t wait to hear about how it goes if you do it!

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91

Thank you to Em for including this in your Christmas exchange gift to me. It’s lovely! I kind of think I should have started my day with this, because this has the heft that I was looking for … that kept me drinking black teas today (including this, I’ve had four mugs of black tea, and I don’t usually have that many in one day) … then again, I might have stopped with this one and I really enjoyed those other teas. So maybe now is the time for business from a black tea!

It is rich and flavorful from the Assam and the Nilgiri, but it has a touch of lightness from the Darjeeling. This is still definitely a full-flavored tea, but, the Darjeeling does add enough lightness to keep it from feeling too overwhelmingly heavy. This is just right – a good kick in the cup when you need one.

The description suggests warm nutty tones and I get that … as well as touches of fruit throughout the sip. Astringent at the tail … but not overly so. It has rich malty tones, this would be awesome as a latte, but I like it quite well served straight too.

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