Carytown Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

small tea story
i ran really far on saturday and then went to lunch with my boyfriend and ate everything in sight.
then he had to work for an hr so he dropped me off at the tea shop so i could get a cup! but when i got there they sadly told me they didn’t have any cups!
so then i went to panera to get a cup of tea there instead, but when i got there i was like ‘i don’t want this tea’ and i just asked for a cup and lid instead. the teenage panera-worker said i could just have a cup! hah i took it and ran.
i took the cup back to carytown teas and ordered this Pu-erh. they thought it was funny that i was determined enough to supply my own cup.

this pu-erh is not a super favorite. i kept the tea bag and had a second steep the next day. it’s true that pu-erh can be amazing. when it’s really good it will easily skyrocket to the top of my list! but when it’s mediocre it can tend towards bummer-city. this one is not memorable. and kinda lame.


and yet the story is awesome…. so something grand came from it!

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my 500th TEA!!

and boy, do i have a cute story to tell about the day.
and boy, do i really like this tea! i’m totally gonna buy a bag. definitely. it’ll replace my highly coveted Caramel Toffee from Dammann since i can’t go back to france anytime soon. yes it’s that nice. it feel decadent and the flavors are deep and dark without being broody. and i’ll probably keep it in stock since it’s local. and fucking delicious.

blabby story time,
i woke up and had my usually saturday morning long run. 18 miles. and my running friend and i were very angry during the last third of the run. see, sometimes if you don’t fuel enough or are just having an off day, you get a case of what i can “the road crazies”. somewhere during the last 3 miles she said she was gonna strangle me. and without missing a beat i said i was gonna strangle her first. we were pissed. starving and hurting and pissed. and then we laughed SO HARD about it on the car ride home. it’s just part of long distance running. and it’s always hilarious after the fact.
i like doing hard things sometimes.

i hurried home and scarfed down as much protein as i could and showered and then went to get my hair cut. lucky me, my hair stylist moved locations and is now in the same shopping center as Carytown Teas!!!

i had planned all week that i was gonna save my landmark 500th uniquely tasted tea for saturday when i could pick a new tea from the tea list. and i knew i was gonna get a black tea because it’s my fave. (i would get a lapsang blend but Carytown doesn’t really have them, though their lapsang is very very good.) i went down the list and picked Mistie’s Blend. there is also a Patricia’s Blend. they are the two store owners. Mistie obviously has my taste in teas because this cup is exactly everything i would want.

i told the tea shop gal that it was my 500th tea and that i keep track of them and she asked what i use and she knew about steepster and i think she finds this website equal parts silly and charming. i told her that i love it and that ALL the NERDZ hang out there!! and that i spend more time on steepster than i EVER spend on Facebook. (i love you, you nerds!)

we went on to discuss tea reviews and how people don’t always know what they are talking about when they review tea, but i think that’s okay. like how i can maybe read a movie review that hates the movie, but i can still tell by the descriptions and observations that it’s definitely a movie that i’d like. even if the reviewer didn’t. it’s just all information that nudges the tea story along.
also aren’t we all SO DIFFERENT in the mouth?! so so different.

okay i’m sorry i’m babbling. i’ve had a lot of caffeine this morning and took a decongestant for my allergies and also slept like 12 hours yesterday which is UNHEARD OF for me. (i’m a 5-6 hrs a night max person.)

okay, long story longer, the tea gal said that “her and Patricia never agree on tea” and that’s when it dawned on me. i’m drinking a tea that was blended by the person i’m talking to! i’m ordering Mistie’s tea and chatting with Mistie about tea as she brews her tea for me.

i was delighted!

that’s the ultimate fist bump!!

so classy!
i love tea and i love tea people.

(i had also brought along a small tupperware container so i could keep the tea bag for a second brew. which i did as soon as i got home.)

(i did not confess to her how ridiculous and uninformative my tea reviews are. haha i hope she still sells me tea in the future if she ever finds out.)


Love this! Happy 500! You did what I write about all the time…going into a tea shop and talking to the people about tea…and look what happened! You ended up with a lovely experience that would have been missed if you kept quiet, ordered tea like it was fries at a fast food joint…and walked out.
I hope you return and become regular. Talk…take tea with you like I do eventually. If she gives good service and tea, let her know you reviewed the shop on Steepster.


awesome! Congratulations on your milestone! I may have to beg you for a bit of this just to try since you may replace DF’s tea with this one haha

Sounds like an awesome day to make an awesome milestone :)


I love your stories! And congratulations on 500. :)

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Another from Teabox B! This is a very earthy pu-erh kind of strong after three minutes! The dry leaves smell like wonderful sweet orange… the steeped tea loses the orange a bit since the pu-erh is so strong. But there are hints of orange anyway! You can definitely tell it is blood orange and not the usual orange. I like this one, but I can tell many won’t like the tough pu-erh. Lower steep times and temps would help. One teaspoon left in the teabox! I think it will stay in there unless I don’t have room.

On another note, I almost don’t want to say how embarrassingly ridiculous my cupboard looks. I just did a quick count though and I think 94 teas in my cupboard have one MAYBE two teaspoons left (off the top of my head… is it bad I know my tea collection that well?) Then most of the others only have at most a few teaspoons. I also did a book count and I actually have less books to-be-read than I thought. Less tea and books than I thought… that makes me feel better!

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drank Mandarin White Puerh by Carytown Teas
5357 tasting notes

Oh man. Thank you shmiracles for sending this one along. This is a fantastic little puerh. Another tea that i’ve been siping on this morning as a contrast to the other two darker puerhs i’ve had. The aroma of this one is light and refreshing and totally mandarin. This one tastes like the essences of mandarin – it’s not artificial (which it shouldn’t given it’s just absorbed the oils from the rind) and it’s subtle. I will for sure be exploring more of this type of puerh for when i need something that’s less strong and dark. thank you shmiracles!

Edit: this resteeps quite nicely and even after the 4th or so steep the manadarin was still coming through, though it was becoming a heavier cup of tea

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drank Hunwal FBOP by Carytown Teas
54 tasting notes

I really like Teajo’s Black Manas (, and my supply is getting very low, so I thought I’d see if my local tea shop had anything similar. I asked for a malty black, and of the three offered, this one smelled most like the Black Manas. I brewed a cup this morning, and I enjoyed it, but not as much. It will do for now, though. I mainly wanted a nice black for mornings when I don’t feel like having coffee.


I will bring you the last of my Black Manas if you come for Thanksgiving!!!


If you also pay for my pet sitter ($40/day), we have a deal.

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drank Mistie's Blend by Carytown Teas
48 tasting notes

Just finished my sample, I hung onto it as long as possible, thank you Josie Jade! I feel as though Josie Jade has expanded my horizons into the world of tea with flavors and oh, what a delicious world it is! I used to be all like, “straight up, black tea!” And she’s all, “…with caramel? And vanilla?” And now I’m like, “yes, please!” Mistie’s Blend by Carytown Teas is a heavenly blend of all things sweet and scrumptious. I enjoyed it steeped with milk, no sugar or honey, and it had such a natural tasting, lingering sweetness. Sigh! : )

Josie Jade

Haha! Glad you liked it! :)

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has this on a quick drop by Carytown Teas after lunch.

why is it that anytime i see a youngish gal in the city’s best tea shop and she is clearly discerning in her tea choice i can’t help but hope/assume/guess that she is on steepster?!?! and i’m always wrong hah
of course.

oh well

this oolong tasted just like the coconut oolong. i got no pineapple in it. but i ain’t complaining! cuz i like the coconut one plenty :)

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drank Tummy Tonic by Carytown Teas
1212 tasting notes

Some days I wake up and my stomach is just not happy with me for whatever reasons a stomach has, which I imagine aren’t very good reasons. I usually just drink whatever tea I’m in the mood for to soothe it, but since TeaEqualsBliss sent me some of this, I figure it is definitely worth a shot to see if maybe specific herbs with good purposes would do an even better job.

The tea is very entertaining while it’s steeping because of the chamomile. It’s fluffy! But the tea doesn’t steep into anything pretty. It looks murky…but it smells pretty good.

I’m confused now that I’m sipping it. It’s really sweet, like coating my throat with sugar is how it feels. This mug was clean, what is going on…can these ingredients really cause this to taste sweet? Like now I am convinced the dishwasher packet stuff didn’t clean off and I am drinking dishwashing soap that tastes really good. So better safe than sorry, I dumped it and made a new cup.

And it is definitely the tea, I guess. I even steeped it shorter and it’s still there. I really like the taste before it’s sweet like that and it really is soothing, but I really didn’t want to trade off a happy stomach for an uncomfortable throat.

Now that it’s cooled a bit I have identified the culprit…the licorice! It still leaves a weird taste to me but I’m also weird and the only licorice I like is salty licorice/salmiakki so when it’s sweet it just throws me off, haha.


I love your comments, you are funny!


Thank you, Bonnie, it makes my day to hear that! :D

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This is much better than I thought it would be. It has a nice tang of blood orange but the level of tang is perfect…no more, no less! The pu-erh is nicely done but not overly ‘stinky’ or stereotypically pu-erh. A nice start pu-erh, probably! The aftertaste is woodsy, earthy, and citrusy…all nicely done!

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today started with my Sherlock Lapsang and taking pictures as i walked across the bridge to work and sent the pictures to random friends and then proceeded to read a short story about Tony Stark being all flirty and lovely in college while simultaneously listening to my headphones and turning them up louder and louder each song because everything sounded SO GOOD! (and yes i walk and read at the same time WITH my headphones on. i’m an accident waiting to happen i know.) (but Tony Stark would approve.)
then a later cup was Della Terra Vanilla with animal crackers dipped in it. aka Lunch!
now i am on to these jasmine pearls. and the liquor is beautiful and oceanic and i can see to the flower painted into the bottom of my cup. and has anyone ever taken a bath with jasmine pearls before? because if my insanely good mood continues then i wouldn’t put it past me. that’s all i’m sayin.

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i ran a 50k race on saturday. my legs are still very sore. especially my right leg.
i’m just saying, that’s why i haven’t commented much. sometimes i read your discussions and want to get involved, but i’m just kinda too busy to take a break.
i’m gonna have to start focusing on training more too. which means i won’t really be able to use steepster as much as i want to. which is a bummer.
did i mention that i have 100 tea samples to try?!?!
2 more swaps came in the mail over the past few days.
whew that’s a lot of yummy.

i love lapsang. and carytown teas has consistently great teas.


Congrats on the 50K! That’s far!!


Woohoo! Congratulations on the run!


I’m just gonna throw it out there – 50k, that’s ridiculous! Congrats!


That’s a ridiculous amount of running. I can’t even walk properly these days, even short distances, because of the tendons on my ankles, so props.


Wow, 50k! I’m so envious! I hope the race was enjoyable for you :D

I badly need to get back into running, for the exercise and stress relief. A half-marathon is still on my goal list for 2013… totally doable if I actually manage to start training in the near future :)


thanks for the encouragement guys! i’m so fond of my steepster friends that it means a lot a lot.
i’m also currently obsessing about signing up for a few more races before the season is up and they all sell out . it’s definitely all about the stress relief for me. and being in the woods. that is the best.


Wow, you’re amazing dude! I try to run 5 minutes and get tired, haha. Not a runner, clearly. 50k is astounding, you must be proud of yourself :)

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drank Blood Orange Pu-erh by Carytown Teas
5357 tasting notes


A lovely orange puerh that was wonderful to drink. Thank you again shmiracles for this one :)

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drank Blood Orange Pu-erh by Carytown Teas
5357 tasting notes

Thank you for this one shmiracles! I’m sad to say that i’m working form home today but not intentionally since we had an issue this morning that pretty much meant i had to stay home and work on issues and not take the time to get to work. As a result, my relaxing work from home and drink lots of tea has not been happening. grrrr

I had this one ages ago but it’s been too busy to write about. As a result i’ve lost a lot of what it tastes like so i’ll hold off on rating it. It smells DIVINE! i am totally digging the dry aroma. In terms of the taste, i don’t recall hating anything about it, so i assume it was good but not spectacular enough to make me sit up and take notice either lol. Better tasting note next time i promise! but it was a tasty morning tea!

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Sipdown, 156.

The only good thing about having a freezing cold, over-air conditioned office is that I get to enjoy hot tea year round. I am having the rest of this sample today, although it’s not quite as enjoyable this time around. Maybe I should have rinsed it (but the first time I didn’t and it was fine). But this time it is way earthier, and tastes a bit like drinking lightly orange-flavored dirt water. Hah. Well, sometimes that’s shu puerh, I guess. Maybe I will try a second steep and see if that one mellows out a bit.

ETA: Second steep much better, and more like the first time I had this tea. Nice sweet blood orange, slight woodiness from the puerh. A pleasant cup.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Yum orange flavored dirt water! lol. My coworkers are starting to look at me weird because I’m still drinking hot teas, heh.

High Adventure

Do normal people STOP drinking hot tea? I can’t even imagine.


I don’t care how hot the temperature is, nothing stops me from having a steaming cup of tea :)

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Yay, another surprise sample from Shmiracles from our last swap. Thanks!

I have been drinking more unflavored puerhs (mostly shengs) as part of the Verdant Reserve club, but it’s been a while since I’ve had a flavored shu. I didn’t rinse this one, because I didn’t think about it.

The brewed tea is dark as the night and it smells very woody and earthy, overlain by a definite blood orange aroma. The flavor is quite nice! The main part of the sip really is the blood orange, both sweet and a hint tart, and then it is supported by this woody background. It’s a pretty simple flavored tea, but sometimes simple is great.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Coconut Oolong by Carytown Teas
2030 tasting notes

Sipdown, 161. Yum.

The power of suggestion worked today. I saw someone else’s note about a coconut oolong and decided to have the rest of my sample of this one. I would be fascinated to learn about the source of all of these coconut baozhongs, which seem to be pretty much the same everywhere (with perceived differences possibly based on freshness I would guess). And they are so prevalent! But at least they are all delicious. Yummy creamy, toasted coconut and even a bit of cookie to it. Eventually I’ll have a permanent tin of coconut baozhong in my stash, but more of that stash has to go, first. :)

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Freshness really does seem to matter with these! I’ve only tried one coconut oolong and loved it when it was brand new. Several months later I thought it was awful.


Good to know…I’ll have to get to work on my 2 oz of coconut pouchong from golden moon before it goes bad!

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drank Coconut Oolong by Carytown Teas
2030 tasting notes

This was a surprise sample in my swap from Shmiracles! Thanks for sending it along!

Coconut oolongs, and coconut pouchong/baozongs in particular, are pretty popular, and its one of those things where people always wonder if they are coming from the same source. I think I have actually only tried Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong, but I love it so much that I’ve never sought out another. Of course I also haven’t had that one in my stash for forever (and won’t until my stash gets smaller), so I rarely have one. When I opened the pouch for this one it smelled not just like coconut but toasted, baked coconut, and I always associate that smell with coconut macaroons. It also smelled a bit more floral than I remember the GM tea smelling, more like the bao zhong base.

Haha, it just occured to me that Shmiracles sent me the macaron tea from MF, but she also sent me a macaroon tea as well!

Anyway, this is quite a delicious example of this type of tea. Sweet, creamy coconutty but not raw coconut. Toasty coconut, like a cookie, which is really the best kind for me. For tea, I guess, because I love raw coconut to eat, but it sometimes makes me ill in teas. Not this one, it’s all deliciousness all the way. The bao zhong is a bit floral here as well, but not enough to be distracting. Quite lovely, glad to have a sample!

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

i’m glad to hear you like this one. for me, it has a rare kind of purity/clarity that i can’t quite put my finger on but it feels very special.

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

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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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drank Genmachia by Carytown Teas
744 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!


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


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!


definitely not to be confused with Steampunk.

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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

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.)


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


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.


That puerh looks so cool. Nice picture! :)


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


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.


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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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.


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

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