Compass Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

87

Full review on March 12th 2013 on http://sororiteasisters.com/ but here are snippits:

This tea can be purchased by the ounce or in a try me size which is really special because yellow teas are not only a little more rare to come by but usually you won’t find a means to sample them easily.

I was really happy to find this tea in my most recent package of tea samples from my SororiTea Sister Jennifer. I love yellow teas and am always eager to try a new one. I do recall having seen this tea offered by Compass before but I sort of spaced it out and never got around to ordering any. Also I will admit, orange flavored teas are not generally my “go to” flavor in teas, yet I am so happy to have had the change to sample this one. It’s quite delightful!

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80
drank Butter Pecan by Compass Teas
779 tasting notes

Tea of this morning.

Prep notes: 1.5 tsp. leaf, 10 oz. water, milk, some sugar.

Mmm. I’m not an ice cream person but I make an exception for butter pecan. Seeing that butter pecan tea was a thing? Yes. Please.

As far as a tasting note, though, I’m not really sure I’ve got too much to say- it is absolutely dead on butter pecan, balances well with the black tea, and I finished the cup pretty fast. In general Compass Teas have been 100% on point with all of their tea blends, so if you are wanting to order from them you will definitely get the flavors they’re promising!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Butter Pecan by Compass Teas
779 tasting notes

I’m first to review this – feels kinds of strange being in uncharted territory, haha!

I don’t know that I really got the chance to say so, but my recent Compass Teas order included 12 random samples. 12! And they weren’t like, one cup samples, either. They were all about an ounce. I got a lot of rooibos, and some black teas and one gen mai cha, which works out good because herbals and black teas are more my thing than flavored greens/whites.

Anyway, so this was one of the 12 freebies, and one I REALLY was excited about because I love butter pecan. I don’t eat ice cream much but when I do, butter pecan is one of my top choices. Also, being southern, pecan pie is one of my Thanksgiving undertakings that I do because my dad is even more of a fan than me.

Being that this is new for me and I have no other tasting notes to go by, I followed all the recommended brewing instructions for this, which was 1 tsp. leaf per 8 oz, at the below parameters. Also being that nuts tend to be rather astringent in tea, I just added milk and a bit of sugar from the beginning.

The result was pretty yummy! I could definitely see this getting bitter if steeping went beyond the 2 minute mark, but as is, I got just what I was supposed to – this is definitely butter pecan and it is perfect as a black tea. I love that the flavor was captured so perfectly, and that I’ve got a few more cups of this to enjoy!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Alphakitty

I am tempted to order from them just for the free samples—but you have to spend $50, and that is more than I like to put down on a company I haven’t tried! Have you overall been happy with the teas you got from them?

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65

The dry leaf smell of this is amazing. I’ve had the 52teas cinnamon roll honeybush but between the two, this one smelled far more like an actual cinnamon roll. So I was super excited to brew this one up!

Once brewed the scent of the leaf changes into a kind of citrusy note. It says there’s hibiscus in the ingredients so maybe that’s to blame? Regardless, think honey bun with orange marmalade. I added honey to it because without sweetener a kind of medicinal note was threatening to overtake everything else. With the honey in, it’s still there but I can ignore it at least.

I don’t mind that there’s orange in here, but I was hoping for more of a straight cinnamon bun taste. I will say that I am pleasantly surprised by the texture though – normally I find rooibos/honeybush teas to be a touch thin but this one is surprisingly full bodied. As it cools a tartness from the hibiscus is coming out more, making me like it even less. I’m still puzzled as to why this needed hibiscus in the first place, though…

Anyway, I’m glad I just ordered the try me size since the flavor wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. It was also a nice change from my sick tea – maybe I’m finally starting to pull out of this yuckiness after all!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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91

3 minutes was a tad much to steep if I were going to have this plain. To be fair, the recommendation was for 2 minutes but I just can’t seem to fathom that would be enough with a black tea. I need to have more faith I suppose :).

Luckily, I wanted this with milk and sugar for breakfast so the fact that it was quite strong was not a problem – in fact it was probably a good thing because the flavor didn’t get overrun by the additives. I didn’t realize that this had some yerba mate in it until I was scooping the leaves into the Breville, though. I don’t think I’ve got a sensitivity to mate, but this will surely let me know one way or the other!

The smell is very much the same from dry to steeped leaf, and the subsequent liquor. There is mostly banana and kind of a hint of something bready underneath. It did remind me of the smell of 52Teas Pancake Breakfast, so I guess that association probably is due to some maple scent as well. I don’t get banana pancakes, but I do get banana, and then a stack of pancakes, if that makes sense?

Tastewise this reminds me of Hot Buttered Banana bread, from 52Teas – bread notes, banana, and honey. The honey note changes periodically to seem like it might want to be maple syrup – and when that happens it transitions from banana bread to syrup laden pancakes. I’m fine with whichever, honestly, and I like that it’s being so indecisive because that makes for an interesting cup!

Hands down the best part about this tea is that it’s going to be my substitute for the Hot Buttered Banana Bread I’ve been rationing. I’m so glad I was able to find something like this!!!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Smooth Earl by Compass Teas
779 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday.

I went through a few days where I would drink a tea and think “you should log this” but then never got around to it. So now I’m in the process of catching up.

Steeped according to package directions, meaning 1 tsp, to 8 oz water and some half and half with about 1/2 tsp. sugar. I drank it while starting a new book (Luminaries, Eleanor Catton) and finishing up another (The Drowning Guard, Linda Lafferty) since I had most of the beginning of this week off.

I do think this is one of the best Earl Grey Cream teas out there. That I’ve tried, at least. Something about the cohesiveness of it, as though bergamot and vanilla and black are actually one singular ingredient. You taste them all together and can’t believe they ever existed apart.

I think marshmallow winter will probably be back in stock from Compass Teas soon (loved that tea last year but only got a sample, unfortunately) so if I place an order for that I’ll be getting more of this as well.

Perfect for my book reading afternoon.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
gmathis

The book reading afternoon sounds more delicious than the tea :)

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94
drank Smooth Earl by Compass Teas
779 tasting notes

Backlog from a few days ago. I sent a friend of mine the Upton samples (one of which being the vanilla earl grey) and her email telling me she liked it made me go for this. I’m so suggestible, sometimes. :)

This is easily one of the best vanilla earl grey teas for my palate. It has the buttery vanilla, the pretty orange color in the steeped tea, and a subtle amount of bergamot. Everything plays so nicely together.

I drank this with only a splash of milk and that was all it needed – I’ve been less inclined to use sugar lately in my teas and this one had a sweetness of it’s own without needing anything more.

Very tasty stuff, this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Oooh, I’m always looking for an EGC/vanilla EG.

ifjuly

I’ll have to look into this if you think it’s similar/better than the Upton (I’m a fan, and of EGCs in general), for sure!

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94
drank Smooth Earl by Compass Teas
779 tasting notes

MMMM.. bergamot and vanilla are an intoxicating combination. Had this in the morning with a slice of strawberry peach pie. I’ve almost mastered crusts, I think! The secret is lard. Well, for me it is, anyway – nothing else has gotten close to the flakiness.

Anyway. This one preps flawlessly every time if you go by the company’s directions: 1 tsp., 3 minutes. Shorter than I usually steep my black teas but I think it would definitely be too bitter otherwise. Still one of the best Earl Grey Creme’s I’ve tasted.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
K S

Alton Brown (Good Eats) says lard is not nearly as bad for you (in moderation) as we have been scared into believing and it is essential to great crust. Suddenly the salad I had for lunch is wearing off, but alas I have no pie.

TheTeaFairy

KS, I think the key here would be in moderation for sure, even if Alton Brown the Great says so! I love Alton and I miss that show, do you know if it’s still on somewhere?

K S

I know it ended first run a couple seasons ago. I was watching it everyday at 11 on Food and recently it just disappeared without warning. It will probably show up again. The lard statement is in comparison to using Crisco or something similar. Real pie crust unfortunately will never be ‘good’ for you – just GOOD!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks KS, I loved good eats for its humorous side and originality plus it was so insightful, hope it will return…
I know what you meant about the lard, i was just teasing :-) I understand that if you’re gonna have pie anyways, might as well have it the best way possible, right?

OMGsrsly

I like half lard, half butter. :) My mom and gramma have always used lard, but I love the flavour butter gives. I also tend to freeze the butter and then grate it into the dough, which is a little ridiculous.. but I make pie so infrequently I figure I’m worth it.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I must ♥ Alton here b/c ya’ll are talking bout him !

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94
drank Smooth Earl by Compass Teas
779 tasting notes

I’m in Orlando for a wedding and I thought ahead – brought a few different options of loos teas just in case the hotel had a small coffee/tea brewer. The hotel room does indeed have a mini Keurig type dispenser, so I went ahead and brewed this.

And you know – I always thought that it was just maybe that the options of hotel teas are inferior, but I think it’s more that prepping tea in a hotel room with individually packaged sugar and creamer will take its toll on any flavor tea. Even if its a nice, creamy earl that has been tempting you for a few days.

I’ve got to figure out a way to transport my stash better….it’s such a shame I can’t seem to get the same good cups that I do when I’m back at home!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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94
drank Smooth Earl by Compass Teas
779 tasting notes

Hmm.. liked this better when I thought I oversteeped it, actually… maybe I underleafed this time? I did one level tsp. per cup. This has a wonderful balance between bergamot and vanilla in smell and taste, though – my favorite of all the earl grey cream teas I’ve tried so far.

Hmm.. liked this better when I thought I oversteeped it, actually… maybe I underleafed this time? I did one level tsp. per cup. This has a wonderful balance between bergamot and vanilla in smell and taste, though – my favorite of all the earl grey cream teas I’ve tried so far.And I just ordered enough to teas to break my “75 teas or less” rule. Sigh. I’ll be at 81, when my new Upton and 52teas order comes in. So…guess that means I need to do six sipdowns by the end of the week? Better start now!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Smooth Earl by Compass Teas
779 tasting notes

This is a fantastic earl grey cream.

It is smooth, as the name suggests, with a good balance of bergamot and vanilla. It was also pretty flexible on the steep time, too…I forgot about it and it went for 3:45 instead of 2-3 minutes as recommended. (Not a huge overage, but some teas really don’t let you get away with even that!)

This is one of the best of it’s kind, that’s for sure.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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94
drank Smooth Earl by Compass Teas
779 tasting notes

I can’t believe I didn’t write out more of the steeping parameters I used last time – you’d think that somewhere in the space of that small novel I would have done so. Anyway – 1 tsp. leaf per cup, milk and sugar to sweeten the first cup, just sugar on the second for this time around.

Had this today while we planned out our month over breakfast. Moving is all about logistics, but it looks like things are falling into place. Still, I can’t wait for it to be April 1st.
This is going to be an interesting couple of weeks, but at least I’ll have plenty of tea to relax on in whatever downtime I get. :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Smooth Earl by Compass Teas
779 tasting notes

One of my various goals in life (shared with a lot of others, judging from the many discussion topics on Steepster) has been to find that elusive perfect Earl Grey for my palate. Given my preference for vanilla flavors in anything, I’m focusing my Earl Grey search on the cream variety.

I ordered this one as a part of my massive Compass Teas order recently, and the first thing I did was compare it with Upton’s version, which I’ve got a ton of still and which the boyfriend uses as his work tea. Ugh, I am so jealous he has the time to even steep and mess with loose leaf at work. The perks of an office job!

I’ve had a pretty limited experience with EGC so far – Teavana’s and Upton’s. The Teavana EGC was WAY too strong on the bergamot smell more than anything – it was really overdone. It gave me a headache to have any more than one cup, even though it tasted okay. The Upton pricepoint and non-headache inducing quality was what made me choose what I’ve been drinking ever since.

When comparing this to Upton, the Compass EGC was actually much more vanilla/cream heavy – I’d never noticed before but Upton’s Earl Grey has almost a lemony note mixed in with the bergamot. From smell alone, this is looking pretty good!

My biggest problem with Upton’s earl grey when steeped is how dingy it looks. It has a thin mouthfeel and when I add milk (whole milk, mind you) it turns greyish and still is really flimsy in texture. I was worried about whether this would be just a general characteristic of all Earls, because texture is a deal breaker for me. I can’t do a tea, no matter how nicely flavored, if the mouthfeel is flat. And from what I remember of the Teavana variety, it also seemed to be a bit weak on texture – though that could have been because there was SO MUCH flavoring it was overwhelming the base.

Luckily it doesn’t seem to be a problem here! There is no dishwater look to the tea when milk is added (I wonder if that was from the added flavoring used in the other one?) and it has a nicely full body! Cream is stronger than bergamot here, which is perfect for my preferences. It did well with sugar or without, and played nicely with milk. Yay for a well rounded tea!

And double yay for having several ounces of it to enjoy!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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92

Alright – this is a sipdown to start getting me back in the right direction. I’ll be down to 80 teas after this.

As another bonus, this was a seasonal tea so I can’t buy more. Even though when I went on the website to check for sure it was out of stock, I found a watermelon black tea. WATERMELON. BLACK. I’ve only just this year realized I can eat watermelon. Up until now I have been unable to stomach it..it used to taste absolutely foul. Cantaloupe still tastes that way – one bite and it’s like this rancid bomb explodes all over my tongue. So gross.

Anyway, so I had this hot with milk and sugar and am currently enjoying the balance of marshmallow and black tea in my cup. I’m bummed though – I started making this before i pulled up my last tasting note and I had wanted to try blending with the Laoshan chocolate genmaicha. Grrr. That really would have been awesome. Ah well. I guess I’ll just have to hold out until the winter when it comes back and give it a try then! (And put a note somewhere so I can remember to do it for real!)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Josie Jade

Watermelon Black sounds wonderful!

High Adventure

I was justhing thinking the Laoshan Chocolate Genmaicha would blend well with a marshmallow flavor.

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92

I think I have enough leaf for one more cup after this, and then it looks like its gone from the Compass Teas website. Makes sense, I guess, as even the name is seasonal. Well, I take that back – it’s present in sample size quantities, but I can’t see myself placing an order consisting of like, 3 sample size bags and that’s it.

It’s quite a shame, because this is a great marshmallow tea. It’s not toasted marshmallow, which would probably be the only thing I’d add to this blend – but it is equal parts marshmallow and black tea. The base reminds me of my beloved East Frisian blend, only it’s as if someone treated it like a hot chocolate and put a marshmallow on top. With milk and sugar (not a lot of either, and not necessary at that) I am absolutely in heaven.

I wish there was a way to add a toasted flavor without burny/smoke flavoring. I can’t do the lapsang. Maybe some toasted rice from a genmaicha? Or maybe… my LAOSHAN BLACK CHOCOLATE GENMAICHA. OMG. I think all of the lightbulbs in the world just went off inside my head – that is a blend that will be happening the next (last?!) time I make this tea.

If it’s good I may just find a way to place an order of only sample sizes. The things I’ll do for my tastebuds. :)

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TastyBrew

Funny! I just wrote about the laoshan black chocolate genmaicha and how it would be a great s’mores base! Great minds think alike :-)

Kittenna

Oh… that sounds divine! Now I really want to mix the two of those together (and I haven’t even tried Marshmallow Winter!)

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92

Mmm. This tea.

Based on my phenomenal obsession with Della Terra’s S’mores tea, I was hoping I would like this. Marshmallow is my favorite part of the S’more, after all.

The dried leaf smelled like a bag of marshmallows – not toasted, not melted/charred – just a newly opened bag of them. So sweet, fluffy sugary smelling. The steep time on the bag said 2 minutes, but that didn’t seem like it would be long enough, so I went for 3 minutes. I knew 4 would be way too long after what I did with the donut chai 2 days ago.

There’s no real mystery or complexity here: it tastes like black tea and marshmallow flavoring. It was perfect at 3 miniutes – sweet and creamy with no astringence. It didn’t need any additives, either, though I did add some milk to the second cup. I think I prefer it plain, though – it just held its own really well.

I really like this one – I feel like I’m not giving it enough fanfare, though. It delivers what it promises and there were no surprises, and I am looking forward to the rest of my sample!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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65

I’m not going to lie, this tea was the catalyst for my Compass teas order.

I mean – DONUTS! Probably one of my favorite desserts! In TEA!!!

The smell of this dry is exactly what those cinnamon sugar apple cinnamon donuts smell like. I think you get them from Krispy Kreme? Anyway, even the boyfriend admitted it smelled amazing – though he followed that up with his trademark “but I wouldn’t want to drink it.” Flavored blends just aren’t his thing.

Sadly though I think I steeped this too long. I went by my standard black tea steeping time but plain this is SO astringent, even a touch medicinal. This needs milk and possibly sugar…and even with it that medicinal note is peeking through – maybe that’s the apple-y note gone bad?

Anyway. So next time I’ll try a shorter steep and hope that helps things…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Spiked Eggnog by Compass Teas
728 tasting notes

Tea of the morning. I decided to finish off this sample that Jackie T sent me months ago. As previously noted the tea does not taste like eggnog or rum, but it is a decent vanilla tea. I added some sugar and milk to my mug which enhanced the vanilla and gave the tea a wonderfully smooth and silky texture.

This isn’t a tea I’ll be ordering, but as a swap tea it was great. Thanks, Jackie T!

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80
drank Spiked Eggnog by Compass Teas
728 tasting notes

This is another sample from Jackie T. Thank you!

This is the second time I’ve had this tea. The first time I felt like I spent too much time trying to dissect the tea, so I ended up skipping the review. After sitting down with the tea this time I can say that Jackie’s review is spot on. I don’t taste eggnog or rum. There is a good vanilla flavor and a robust, toasty, ever so slightly astringent black tea. While I wish I could taste something that hinted of eggnog I do like this tea. The tea itself is quite delicious, and the vanilla is very well done.

So, not what I wanted, but I’ll have no trouble finishing off this sample.

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35

I actually thought this had yerba mate in it! It smells very mate-ish to me. And at first, it tastes almost off-puttingly herbal—just agressively green and earthy (in a “sawdust-floor, hippie, co-op grocery” kind of way). But then on cooldown, the flavor mellows out to mostly mint and citrus. This is very spearmint-y.

Get this if you like spearmint.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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84

Sssshhhhhh! It’s a Secret :)
Traveling somewhere!!! See previous notes

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84

This is one of the BEST smelling Hazelnut Black Teas I have ever smelled! And I’m not a Hazelnut NUT per say :)

Once infused it smells like hazelnut and a bready/bakey type aroma combo!

It does infuse to a dark brown…not like coffee-dark brown but a darker brown – darker than medium-dark brown! LOL

The flavor is strong! Both with the black tea base as well as the hazelnut flavor. The two flavors mesh well together!

Yup! I like this one just fine and dandy!

Today I am going to try and review as many teas as possible to break down some of my piles as I have to tide-E-up around here! PLUS – I really want to try a lot of my NEW teas!! AND – I’m busy divvying up swap boxes, too!

You’ll see a lot of me today – I apologize in advance! hahaha!

Sil

I really need to get an order in with compass teas soonish thanks to all your reviews! :)

TeaEqualsBliss

Are you in the US? I know I know this…but…can’t remember! In the New Year I can prob send you some :)

Shmiracles

high activity TeaEqualsBliss bonus day! it’s an exciting twist on a rainy monday such as this. :)

Teablr

Interesting :)

Sil

I’m in Canada sadly, but one of my friends has agreed to be my drug, er tea mule for any us purchases i “HAVE” to make because the company won’t ship to canada lol (or where the CAD shipping is outrageous). I’m trying to limit the number of times i do that though heh

Amariel

I love hazelnut.

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75

I got this as a sample in my Compass order and am just trying it today for the first time. I get no flavor, sweetness, or marshmallow in this at all. Just a basic black tea…however it is a really good basic black tea!! Like TeaEqualsBliss said it brews to a medium dark color; it has a strong taste but not an overly bitter one. I wouldn’t drink this if I were in the mood for a flavored tea but if I needed a caffeine boost and didn’t want any extra flavor (which is rare for me), I’d reach for it.

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83
drank Spiked Eggnog by Compass Teas
156 tasting notes

Backlog! I sipped this while watching The White House Christmas 2012 on Saturday night. I don’t think it tastes much like eggnog or rum, but it’s a creamy vanilla type black tea. This is great for flavored tea drinkers who want to taste the TEA!! Fabulous quality, plus this company has a strong mission and donates proceeds, which I appreciate.

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