Cornelia Bean

Recent Tasting Notes

87
drank Dark Horse by Cornelia Bean
475 tasting notes

Oh my, this is delicious. If you like really bold and very malty, this is it.

This tea doesn’t appear anywhere in Cornelia Bean’s site or even the samples that are out for smelling, but I expressed interest in Yunnan Golden Rain and malty blacks in general, and this was suggested. It’s a house blend that’s the daily cup for the family that owns Cornelia Bean.

This is a blend of Assam CTC and whole leaf Dian Hong. I was a bit afraid that the CTC would steep up much faster than the Dian Hong, but they assured me that they is a nice cup, and they were right.

I did a three minute steep, which I think is the upper limit of what you’d want to do, unless you plan to add lots of milk and sugar. Three minutes yielded a thick, bold cup with lots of flavour and just a bit of bitterness and astringency.

The liquor is dark brown and smells of baked bread, sweet potato and malt. So much malt. The sip is malty and slightly bitter, and then towards the end, there’s a burst of creamy sweetness that is very mouthfilling. Sweet potato lingers on the finish.

This is a perfect breakfast tea. Lots of flavour, lots of caffeine (I’m assuming – it feels like there is), thick and mouth filling. I’m enjoying this straight, but I also will try it with milk and sugar at some point.

I’m also very tempted to make up a cup of Irish Breakfast to compare, since that’s my usual go to tea if I need something really bold.

Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Bitter, Malt, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Thick

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Coconut Chai by Cornelia Bean
475 tasting notes

This is another Cornelia Bean tisane that I’m not sure why they called it “chai”. It definitely has some chai spices in it, but it’s really quite light and doesn’t say chai to me. It is, however, delicious.

The dominant smell of the dry leaf is ginger, lots of really sweet ginger, with some cinnamon, cardamom, and I want to say raisin (pretty sure there’s no raisin in this.)

Taste wise, it’s quite light. Up front is ginger and lemongrass, and then the coconut, cinnamon, cardamom and clove pop up. This is quite naturally sweet. It has a slightly cookie-ish quality to it – more in the smell than the taste.

Super easy to drink and a really enjoyable combination of flavours.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Clove, Coconut, Cookie, Ginger, Lemongrass, Raisins, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88
drank Pumpkin Chai by Cornelia Bean
475 tasting notes

Sampled in store.

I think we all had the opportunity to sample about a thousand different but similar pumpkin teas this fall, and I kind of had my fill. I rolled my eyes a bit at seeing another pumpkin tea in the holiday line up, but it both looked and smelled different from any of the others I’ve had, and it is.

I’m not sure why this is called a chai, because it’s almost all fruit and is pretty light on spices. The dry tisane smelled slightly fruity and sweet, but mellow, and a bit squash-like.

Steeped this was a gorgeous bright pink – thankfully from beet, not hibiscus! Flavour-wise, this is light and fruity and unlike any other pumpkin tea I’ve had. A bit sweet, a hint tart, and with a really lovely earthy note from the pumpkin and beets.

I didn’t pick any up because I’m just not allowed, but if I wasn’t on tea buying hiatus I would definitely pick some up.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Fruity, Pumpkin, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
Dexter

I find it interesting that this is a tisane. Don’t normally see pumpkin teas without some sort of base. Hmmmmm but I too am NOT ALLOWED. :)

Roswell Strange

Ooh, that does seem really interesting…

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69
drank Maple Taffy by Cornelia Bean
475 tasting notes

Sampled this in store today and it was alright but not enough maple flavour to make it really stand out.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Maple

OMGsrsly

Oh man, I’ve tried something similar… Bayswater! Same thing, I think, even down to the popcorn. It’s not bad as a latte, but yeah. Not mapley enough.

Anlina

I have yet to find a maple tea that really grabs me, and maple is one of my favourite flavours.

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85

Cooking TTB #17

Up to this point, all of the chocolate mint teas I’ve tried have had a rooibos base. I like this one so much better! It smells like you just melted Andes Candies into your cup and brews up to a beautiful deep chocolatey brown. The base is very smooth and provides a nice foundation for the sweet mint and chocolate flavors. My only complaint is that the mint flavor overwhelms the chocolate for me. I want to try this one with milk and see if that brings out the creaminess of the chocolate a bit more. Another keeper!

Flavors: Chocolate, Mint, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Anlina

With milk and sugar this one reminds me of eating an After Eight.

Inkling

Ooo, yummy! Definitely going to have to try it that way. :)

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85
drank Creamy Lemon by Cornelia Bean
133 tasting notes

Cooking TTB #15

A good lemon tea is hard to find! I’ve had way too many that were like drinking a cup of Pledge. This one was a pleasant surprise…very smooth and creamy with a nice natural-tasting lemon flavor. There is just a bit of a tart bite at the end of the sip. A very refreshing tea!

Flavors: Cream, Lemon, Tart

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

Cooking TTB #13

This tea looks just like grass clippings, which scared me a bit! But Anlina had given it such a great review, I had to try it out. I’m so glad I did! This is quite possibly the best green tea I have ever had: smooth and buttery with lots of rich nutty flavor. I could drink this stuff all day…

Flavors: Butter, Nutty, Smooth

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank Marquis de Gris by Cornelia Bean
133 tasting notes

Cooking TTB #8

Not quite sure what the flavoring is supposed to be on this one, but I got a strong rose scent and a flavor that was floral but also slightly fruity…it reminded me of peaches. This was a delicious start to my day!

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Peach, Rose

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

Cooking TTB #7

Mmm, this is nice! It has a very rich, creamy mouth feel that really does remind me of eggnog. The flavor is mostly vanilla, with a little bit of coconut and just a hint of pineapple. Another keeper!

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Toffee Dream by Cornelia Bean
133 tasting notes

I’ve been curious to try this one since Anlina reviewed it a few weeks ago and she was kind enough to include a sample for me in the Cooking TTB. I haven’t had many dessert teas with a white base before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This is lovely! It is light and smooth, but still very flavorful…lots of caramel/toffee and just a hint of hay from the base. So glad I got to try this! Looking forward to sampling more teas from this brand.

Flavors: Caramel, Hay, Toffee

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

Cold Brew!

This is the last tea in Anlina’s Secret Pumpkin package for me to try/review; the package was so full that I put it in my tea closet instead of the sample drawer, which is why I got to it last – not because I was disinterested or anything like that.

It definitely smells very rich/decadent, but steeped up it was a little milder than I was anticipating. It had nice notes of toffee, brown sugar and malt that I think were from the flavouring, and then the tea itself had some hay notes to it which were nice.

As far as “dessert” cold brews go, this wasn’t as impressive as I was anticipating but it was still good, and I think it’ll be even better hot so we’ll do that next.

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73

Sipdown (104)!

Ok, this is the first time I’ve ever been REALLY SURE that Steepster is eating notes because I know that I did this one as a cold brew and I thought as a hot cup too, but there’s no evidence of that…

I mean, I have been crazy busy lately but I was SURE I wrote notes out for that, so darn you Steepster!

But yes, thanks Anlina for the sample in our secret pumpkin swap! This is one of my all time favourite flavour combos – ALL TIME.

Since my notes have vanished I’ll try to recap my missing notes: cold brew, which I know I did was good; I remember more pineapple than coconut and the black base wasn’t nearly as smooth as Rio’s (Camellia Sinensis) which is my favourite Pineapple/Coconut tea – but this held its own. I’m not 100% sure if I actually did a hot cup, but I thought I had? If I did, I’m sure it had the same balance of notes as the cold brew.

This one was treated a little different; instead of milk or creamer like I originally thought’d be interesting I added a Pina Colada drink mix. It definitely changed the flavours; the pineapple was much sharper/distinct and had more if a “zippyness” to it, and a candied/artificial sweetness (but not bad artificial). The black base seemed smoother, and the coconut for sure more masked (still present though).

Thanks Anlina for the sample! I enjoyed trying it a few different ways, even though Steepster IS BEING A DINK a wont reflect that.

#Missingtastingnotes
#Teaaddictproblems

Kittenna

Yeah. I’d been suspicious for a while, but then when I had no note for Tea Desire’s Wellness Masala Chai… I knew things had disappeared. I know I logged it. Probably multiple times.

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61
drank Fireside Chat by Cornelia Bean
1629 tasting notes

This is one of the many teas that came out of the Great Canadian Travelling Teabox when it made its stop at my house. It’s currently miserably cold outside – 27 celcius with the windchill (that’s about -17 for you Americans) so I wanted to try something warming and spicy.

It certainly smells spicy, though the flavours I taste are mostly orange and sweet cinnamon. It’s not bad for a red rooibos and I find the base actually works fairly well with those two flavours in particular. I wouldn’t pay money for it but that’s just my personal preferences as I’m not a huge red rooibos fan.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88

This commercial interruption has been brought to you by the lovely Anlina and Cornelia Bean.

Do you suffer from morning blues? Does the idea of crawling out of your nice, warm bed to put on actual pants and talk to the hoards of people in this crazy world make you feel like Grumpy from Snowwhite? Well, we just might have the product for you!

Introducing the new and improved Apricot Chai!!! With the right kick of caffeine to get you going, you will be able to tackle anything that life may throw at you. The lovely apricot gives you a burst of sweetness so when your coworker comes to complain at you about his wife, the words of ensuring sweetness will just pour from you. No more will that notoriously sick lady at the bus stop who always coughs without covering her mouth give you the heebie jeebies because Cornelia Bean’s Apricot Chai has given you that extra shot of antioxidants keeping you healthy even through the worst of flu seasons. Perhaps you have to go to the in laws house for their “Festive” Holiday party that you can’t get out of, have no fear, Apricot chai is here!! With the perfect melody of spices to satisfy any taste buds, this chai is bound to put you a holiday mood that even your mother-in-law can’t damper!

All this can be yours for 5 simple payments of $1.99!

/does not apply if your mother-in-law is mean, snobby, or otherwise unpleasant. Sorry, this isn’t a magical potion in a bottle./

Flavors: Apricot, Spices

khamilton611

Cute write-up!

Nicole

Great write up!

Ost

Haha you are the best!!

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73

Sipdown (114)!

Cold Brew to finish off this thoughful pick from Anlina. In my detailed notes, I made a note to mention being offered a position back at Calendar Club, but at this point with me mentioning it a few times today alone it should be obvious I did go back, P/T. I was offered to come back as a manager again but because I was F/T at Dollarama (pre shit storm) I declined it. Sorta wishing, now, that I hadn’t. Would have loved the money, and I really like working here…

Glad they still hired me on as P/T mornings though!

This time around, cold brewed, I thought the chili heat was more intense/present so I’m thinking a lot of the chili must have sunk into the little bits at the bottom of the bag. Otherwise, same sweet and slightly tangy orange/citrus flavour with the cranberry peeking out a little. I’m glad I got to try this one more than once; I liked it! I just wouldn’t purchase it for myself because of the chili and more muted cranberry flavour.

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73

I’ll get the tea related stuff out of the way ’cause this is probably gonna be a longer tasting note…

Thank you Anlina for sending me an ample amount of this in the Secret Pumpkin Swap! I believe it was the cranberry in this which made you think it’d be a good match for me? And excited about the cranberry I was indeed! The catch? The chili. I wasn’t so excited about that aspect of it – and there’s SO MUCH visible chili in the dry leaf for this. Like, whole chili. It’s scary and intimidating for a non-spice person like me.

So, I did a cold brew of it because I thought that might bring out less chili, and emphasize the fruit in the blend. It did work pretty well, actually. The chili was, thankfully, ONLY present as a subtle “heat” or “tingle” in the back of your throat in the end sip. And it married with the fruit shockingly well. As for the fruit, sadly the cranberry was significantly covered up by the orange – BUT the orange was phenomenal. Very juicy and sweet with the right balance of “pucker” and tangyness to it. Quite juice like and lovely.

Now the non-tea related stuff…

So, I drank this on D-Day – Dentist Day…

So, I booked an appointment all on my own at a different office than last time, ‘cause the guy at my old place is kinda a dick. So, even though I had to lay all the ground work down again it was worth it going to a place I picked out (instead of my Dad) nearby to where I live AND work. And, my dentist is very nice – doesn’t talk to me like an idiot!

So, turns out the main issue was that my wisdom teeth are TERRIBLE. They NEED to come out – like, ASAP. So, that’ll get done. Other than that we just took a bunch of X-Rays and he booked me in for another appointment two days from when I had this one (which has already happened now). It went well though! And also, ORAJEL IS FANTASTIC!

But, my laptop is dying and we’re getting trick or treaters steadily now, so that’ll be the last note for tonight likely! Happy Halloween all!

carol who

Orajel is fantastic at taking away the pain but it really doesn’t go with tea! The flavors really, really, really don’t go together. ;-p

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65

Tried my second cup’s worth with a splash of milk. The flavour is a little muted, but still there. I’m not really sure which I prefer – the stronger flavour is nice, but the milk augments the creaminess and tones down some of the dry, flat generic “black tea” flavour I was picking up in the aftertaste. An enjoyable cup, all the same.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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65

A sample from VariaTEA. Dry, the leaf smells so sweet and meringue-like, so I’m hoping that some of this translates into the flavour. I gave 1 tsp of leaf 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and the resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown. No milk.

Brewed, the scent is still sweet and meringue-like, with a hint of strawberry. The initial sip of this one reminds me of a strawberry refreshers bar – sweet, candy-like strawberry, almost a little sherbet-y. There’s a underlying sugary creaminess that does remind me of meringue. The black base makes itself known at the end of the sip, where it stops the flavouring lingering for very long. It’s not bitter or astringent at all, but it does round the sip off a little abruptly. I’d been hoping that the strawberry-sherbet-meringue flavour would stick around a little, but instead it ends almost on a dry, flat note.

I’m glad I didn’t add milk to this one, as I’m not sure I would have been able to taste the flavouring as well. It’s not that it’s subtle, but I do think milk would have drowned this one a bit. As it stands, I’m enjoying this one a fair bit. I like the flavour, although it’s a little artificial tasting, and I’d happily drink another cup if the opportunity arose. It’s not world-changing, but it’s a sweet, pleasant afternoon treat.

Thanks again to VariaTea for sharing this one with me.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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drank Monk's Blend by Cornelia Bean
2068 tasting notes

I don’t like this. I don’t understand how company’s can make such drastically different versions of the same tea but they can and this is not one of the better ones. I am finding it very bland. Even the base doesn’t have much going on. However, at the end of the sip, a punch of fake cherry flavor pops up (I am guessing that’s supposed to be the grenadine) but it is like a fleeting touch of cough syrup that coats your tongue and stays behind. I should mention this could have been brewed improperly as I set a timer and never pressed start so I am unsure of how long it steeped for but as it is, I am not looking forward to having this again.

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82

Sipdown (110)!

Thanks again Anlina so much for this sample! I’ve really, really enjoyed it – it’s just perfectly suited to my tastes.

This last cup was hot because I only had enough leaf left for either a hot cup of a small or weak cold brew and to me I thought trying a new prep method would be more satisfying. I have to say, that cold is better and the way to go with this one, but the hot cup wasn’t bad at all. The hibiscus was a little sharper and more pronounced like expected, but it never reach an overpowering level for me personally – and I thought if anything is exaggerated the cranberry a little bit more.

I’ll be looking out for the chance to get more of this one!

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82

So, I started watching a new show yesterday. It’s a British show called My Mad Fat Diary, and it was such a spontaneous adventure watching it; it started with this gif set on Tumblr of this really emotional scene of the two main characters, and I connected so much with the gif set that I HAD to find out what the show was so I spent like half an hour looking it up, and eventually found all off seasons one and two (the only seasons thus far) on Youtube. I started with the pilot, and then I just fell in love…

It’s such a beautiful and I think really accurate portrayal of mental health issues, and of people with low self esteem or weight problems, and even though it’s totally centered around the main character Rae’s love life as well as her self image and mental health struggles, all the characters are very dynamic. I just related so heavily to the whole show and especially to Rae, and I cried so much, and I really, really recommend people give it a shot. I was just enthralled with the whole thing. Bonus points for major cuties playing the leads! Finn, Rae, Archie, and Izzy are all so precious. And Tix. Tix reminds me of a little baby pixie or fairy or something and I just want to scoop her up like a baby bird and tell her it’ll all be ok. And, it all takes place in the 90s!

Anyway; here’s the scene that made me fall in love with the show and got me to watch the entire thing in one day… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IE_1xtGOCQ

This scene is also gold too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3EPlXic-hY If, for no other reason, than the use of the term “Sex Wizard”.

But anyway; the tea! This is the beauty I chose to slowly sip on for like the first four episodes of the series – after that I ran out. Since I didn’t record notes on this one last time I had it, I made sure to take notes this time during any slow moments in the episodes (there weren’t many).

I’m still really liking this one: I think it has a really good balance between sweet and tart. There’s a tart, more rosehip-y (not so much hibiscus in my opinion) taste at the start and then that fades into a more juicy, sweet cranberry and red apple intermingling of flavours. Very crisp and refreshing; and just dripping with flavour.

This is, I’m pretty sure, something I want to stock and that I’d definitely order if I was making a Cornelia Bean order. Especially during the summer; this would make such a good, almost “punch like” summer tea…

Fjellrev

I may have to check out the show!

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82

Fuuuuckkkk…

(Ok, before we get into the backlogged tasting notes from my queue Imma have a mini rant about my kinda crappy day)

I just tipped over a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch all over my lap. There’s milk everywhereeee…

God damn it!

Just the cherry on top of a roller coaster of a day, I suppose? It started off with me sleeping through my alarm, which was set for 8AM today. When did I wake up? 10:10AM. When did I start work? 10:30AM. Thankfully I live very close to work, so I wound up only being 5 minutes late – but I had to skip a shower, breakfast, and making tea for work. I spent the whole day paranoid that I smelled funny.

And then, upon getting to work I was written up because, I guess, when I closed the store last night I forgot to fully turn the latch on the door to lock the store. I half turned it, but since it wasn’t completely turned it was a security risk. Blah. If they say I did it, I did it – but I just can’t imagine not fully locking up. Oh well. Still, not a pleasant experience today.

And then, my card got declined on break when I was grocery shopping which was really embarrassing. The clerk was super chill about it; but I felt like I had basically just wasted not only the clerk’s time, but my break too which sucked. I got home and figured out why my card got declined though; today is Sunday and I’ve been so out of is this week I thought it was Saturday – I have a “savings” feature on my account that every Sunday morning at 10AM my account automatically transfers $100 from my spendings account to my savings – and it just so happens this week I had only a few dollars on top of that usual 100. Blerg. If I had realized what day it was, I could have transferred it back into spendings before leaving for work.

So yeah…

NOW ONTO THE TEA!

So, this was a cold brew – and one I was really excited about. This blend comes from Anlina courtesy of the secret pumpkin swap. I think it was super thoughtful of her to include a bunch of cranberry teas (as well as other flavours I love) for me to try; that’s the element of this one that really gets me pumped about it! And, cold brew seemed like the natural route to take with prep.

Unfortunately, I didn’t record any notes for this one after I drank it (I think it was on one of the days where I was just exhausted and basically collapsed onto the couch straight after giving home, and went right to sleep) so I’m writing based off vague recollection. That said, I remember really liking this and thinking it was surprisingly sweet and juice like – cranberry always surprises me in tea; it’s never as tart as I think it’s going to be.

If I’m remembering correctly, both the apple and cranberry were present, though the cranberry slightly more so. I think the apple leaned more heavily on the “red” side of the fruit. I don’t recall that more tart/crisp green apple flavour. And, speaking or tartness – I really don’t recall any overwhelming hibiscus flavour in this. For me, at least, the hibby was on its best behaviour.

So really, gotta make this again sometime soon because I want to really, properly review it! This make shift rant/review combo isn’t cutting it, for me. Because I know there were other things I noticed when I drank this, and now I can’t remember the specifics. Smeh.

donkeytiara

oh no…. I had one of those days a few weeks back right after I came home from the hospital and husband was out working. I hope today brings many unexpected smiles to make up for the messiness of yesterday.

Cheri

Sorry to hear you had such a bad day.

VariaTEA

Hopefully the days coming up go much more smoothly for you.

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74
drank Moody Manitoba by Cornelia Bean
475 tasting notes

Sipdown. Making the last of this for my sweetie and me, while we watch some TV together.

Quite a lot of hibiscus, but well balanced with lots of berry and raisin flavours, so the hibiscus just gives them a tart punch, rather than being the dominant note. Pretty good, particularly with a bit of sugar.

Flavors: Berry, Hibiscus, Raisins, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 3 tsp 21 OZ / 621 ML

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77
drank Passion Fruit by Cornelia Bean
475 tasting notes

The black base is a bit rough but works fairly well with the passion fruit flavour. The fruit is quite distinct tasting – no generic fruitiness. I quite enjoyed this.

Flavors: Passion Fruits

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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