Culinary Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

83

I’ve been avoiding studying for my final (I busted my butt this last 6 weeks, and managed to set myself up so that as long as I get 74% or more I’ll get an A in a notoriously impossible to get an A in class. But I should still study just in case), so while I’ve had my webcourse page open, and my Lana Del Ray Pandora station playing (my preferred station for homework/quizzes/studying), I’ve spent that last couple hours catching up on things I’ve missed lately on here.

So, the dry leaf of this smells like fresh coffee beans, I don’t usually crave coffee anymore, but the smell made me miss it a tad. Like caramel coffee almost, thats what the dry leaf smells like. I set a timer for 3 minutes, and when it went off, I went to the kitchen to straight it, but then a good jammin’ song came on, and I stood there gettin’ down with my bad self (don’t mind the strange terms, avoiding studying gets me feelin’ some type of way), and then I realize that I forgot to pull the leaves out first, and I don’t know how much time has past: Seconds? Minutes? Hours?! I don’t know! But the tea liquor is inky black, like the swamp from chessey 60s swamp thing horror movies.

Thinking I ruined it, I sweetened it, and braced myself for the first sip. Not bad! I don’t slaughter it! It tastes like dark burnt (the good burnt, not the bad) caramel, and coffee, and some earthiness all mingled together creating what could possibly be Mr. Swamp Things favorite drink. Dark, thick, sweet, but sturdy, a mans dessert tea.

I’m surprised, and glad I got this. This is my second flavored puerh, and the first that I’ve liked. This is perfect for a dessert tea lover that wants to ease into the world of puerh safely.

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

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Backlog
Hmm, I think I underbrewed this, or underleafed it, because I’m not getting much flavor from this. The dry leaf smells sweet and berry, the wet leaf smells a little vegetal as well. I forgot to cold brew some tea to take to class yesterday, so I steeped 4 tsp of this with 2 cups of 165 degree water, for 4 minutes and poured over ice. Unsweetened, it tasted like those lightly flavored no sugar added type of flavored waters. Water just barely hinting at berry. Sweetening it drew out the flavors a little bit, making it taste lightly vegetal and fruity. Not bad, I mean its more flavorful than water, and it was still refreshing.
I tried resteeping the used leaves, cold brewed, for 24 hours. The result has more flavor, reinforcing me belief that I did something wrong the first time. A little more fruity, with a hint of vegetal. Unfortunately, I think the combination of steeping it for so long, and resteeping leaves that aren’t good for resteeping also made it a bit astringent.

It’s hard to tell if this experience was because of the tea, or because of the way I prepared it, so I’m not going to rate it.

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80

The dry leaf of this smells thick and sweet and gooey like caramel and toffee. The wet leaf smells more strongly of general black tea, and toffee. The tea liquor smells like a sweet toffee.

This is pretty good. Sweet, caramelly, toffee, buttery goodness. I can’t really pick one flavor out from the other, but then again, what makes toffee so different from caramel, or either of those different from butterscotch? They are all in the same family, a sweet sticky gooey delicious family. Definitely a dessert tea. I didn’t notice much from the tea base, which is better than noticing an unpleasant base tea. This would have been perfect for me back when I didn’t like lack teas. And even now it makes more a nice sweet treat.

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Sweet, Toffee

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

I usually drink fruity teas cold, either cold brewed or flash chilled with ice. This is especially true during the dog days of summer, but something made me want to try this tea hot. I thought that maybe since it’s vanilla cream in addition to blueberry, maybe it will taste kind of like a blueberry pie or something equally dessert like.

Hot, it does kind of remind me of vanilla ice cream melting on blueberry pie filling. It doesn’t taste exactly like I’m drinking a pie or anything, but it’s sweet, creamy, kind of vanilla, and gooey blueberriness enough to summon the images.

It’s pretty good dry, but I still really want to try this cold. I have a feeling it will be very juicy and refreshing.

Flavors: Blueberry, Cream

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Thank you Sil for sharing this but I am not a fan. It’s not bad but something tastes off at the very end of the sip. It is almost as if the caramel is just a bit older than I would like it to be and the rooibos a touch too woody. I am grateful for the opportunity to try it though. Hopefully Cavocorax will have better luck.

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82
drank Caramel Cream Rooibos by Culinary Teas
4729 tasting notes

Cards and Tea Travelling teabox

Soooo i quite enjoy this one. it’s red rooibos, which i know some are not a fan of, but i like it, especially when it’s not that woodsy rooibos, which this is not. Steeped this for about 11 mins and it’s now a creamy delicious cup of tea. I know i’ve hard variations on this theme before and most of them are similar but this one is pretty good in my opinion. Though red rooibos haters may not agree with me :)

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75

From the Tea and Cards TTB.: this tastes like an earl grey creme with some blueberry flavouring. The flavours are nicely balanced. I enjoyed my cup, and I would definitely accept a cup, but I can’t say that it’s something that I would necessarily buy

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82

One creamy cuppa earl grey. Good color, smells like Cornish cream and sharp tangy bergamot. Taste the same. Don’t steep too long though, gets a bit coppery tasting and bitter. Milk helps in that case. Not a bad earl grey at all. Still looking for “the one”, though.

Flavors: Bergamot, Butter, Cream

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91

Smells divine while steeping. Very slightly vegetal, buttery and creamy, like clotted cream. The bergamot is definetly there but doesn’t transfer well after steeping. Not quite vanilla but definetly creamy and smooth. Not my favorite unfortunately. I’m still very much in love with my plain old Bigelow Earl Grey Green as my go to Earl Grey. But this is a second runner for sure.

Dry leaf: looks very pretty in pouch; rolled green leaves that unfurl while steeping with pretty blue cornflowers. Smells like bergamkont, gunpowder green and cream.

Steeps go a gorgeous golden amber cooler.

Flavors: Bergamot, Butter, Cream, Vegetal

Amaryllis

While delicious this tea does not hold up well on the second steep. The butter smell is all but gone, and what little of the bergamot that was there to begin with is no where to be found. The light, slightly floral notes of the green tea dominate the second steep. Which actually isn’t a bad thing. The green tea itself is a good quality and very smooth, not at all astringent and the actual liquor is the most gorgeous yellow gold. Still a great tea. I’ll try steeping it in shorter intervals next time to see if it makes a difference.

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I’m having a cup of this tea right now. I came across this in my stash and i have no idea how long I’ve had this sampling. Hopefully it’s not too stale.

Well, the good news is that I don’t think it’s stale. After a few moments of cool time, I can taste the apple and the caramel notes come through nicely. The black tea is brisk. It’s also a tad astringent. I think I’d prefer it to be a little less tannic, but, overall, it’s a tasty tea.

It’s one that I can’t find on the Culinary Teas website anymore, so I guess they’ve discontinued it. While there, I did happen to notice that they’ve changed their website.

Anyway, due to the potential age of this sampling, as well as the fact that it’s no longer available from Culinary Teas, I’m not going to bother rating it.

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I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this. I love lavender scented everything, I own plenty of lotions and such, and when we got our house, the first thing I planted in the little garden was lavender.

That being said, I’m not sure lavender is something I need to drink.

I got distracted and forgot that I had this steeping (my life story), so it could’ve been five minutes or more. The EG was fine but the lavender definitely gave it a yucky bitterness.

I will refrain from giving this a rating and try again when I remember to set the steeping timer.

Marzipan

I’m the same way, I love lavender lotions and such, but I really don’t enjoy drinking flowers :( And it seems like most French teas are highly floral? At least the ones I have tried so far.

Stephanie

The only strong lavender tea I’ve enjoyed was Butiki’s the Killer’s Vanilla which is super weird because I’m picky about vanilla in teas as well!

whatshesaid

I will give it another chance but I’m guessing that for me, lavender will remain a scent I wear on my hands rather than drink in my tea :)

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drank Vanilla Cream by Culinary Teas
410 tasting notes

Meehhhhhh… It’s vanilla like, yes. It is also a bit dull. The vanilla tastes very true vanilla bean like, but this tea just doesn’t have much more going on with it. Pass.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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51

I just cracked this one open for the first time, I have a soft spot for plain vanilla anything, and enjoyed DTT’s Cafe Vanilla tea, I purchased this one hoping to find another delicious plain vanilla.

I did not.
When I opened it, the smell was pretty alcoholy, but I still gave it a chance.

It tasted OK, but not the creamy vanilla goodness I was hoping for, not even close.

The weird smell of the dry leaves seemed to somehow translate to the brewed tea. It wasn’t gross, and I pretty much finished my cup, but it absolutely not what I was hoping to find.

Another one for the swap pile!

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78

This one has a very strong and very distinct toffee-caramel aroma! I was worried for a moment that it would be too strong when brewed. Nope. There is a nice balance between the B/C/T flavor and the mild, but decent base tea. No astringency that I can tell. (I used a 3 minute steep.) Each sip leaves a lingering buttery sweet feeling in my mouth. It’s almost sticky in the way that toffee leaves a stickiness behind. It’s not a very complex tea. Very one-dimensional. But the tea base and flavoring works well together—and it’s enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. (: I might try adding milk to this the next time I brew.

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cream

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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68

Hm.

Smells like chocolate and caramel, tastes somewhat like that, but I’m not overly impressed.

The base is nothing exciting, and I find the tea just tastes like flavoring. Like, just not natural.

Honestly I think my major problem is that I love chocolate soooooo much that chocolate tea will never satisfy me.

However these last few days of flavored tea testing only serves to reinforce my intense desire to order some MF teas….no matter the cost. They make flavored teas I love and that don’t gross me out or disappoint me.

Swap pile!

Courtney

I’ve become more and more picky with chocolate flavours. It’s pretty well limited to Butiki and cacao now haha. They taste like quality actual chocolate I find. Not bleh milk chocolate hah.

whatshesaid

I will likely order some cacao soon!

Which Butiki blends are chocolate?

Courtney

Oh, Three Friends has chocolate hehe. As does Peppermint Patty.

whatshesaid

Yup, I knew the answer to that question was going to be super obvious, haha

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84

From the HHTTB2

Strong cinnamon notes up front followed by the sweetness of the plum. This is really good, and it’s something I’d love to have in my cupboard during the holiday season.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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83
drank Monk's Blend by Culinary Teas
493 tasting notes

I still like this. I know I said I’m apparently not a fan of fruity teas but I guess that doesn’t apply to this sort, the ones tempered with a creamy aspect in one way or another.

Maybe it’s more the citrusy teas I’m not a fan of. Because arguably H&S Paris is fruity-ish and it’s one of my faves.

I digress….

So this, I enjoy. It was a satisfying pre-dinner cup with a rich, hearty base. I added a splash of milk and it didn’t water it down…. Huzzah!

Someday down the road I will try more Monk’s Blends, as I like the two I’ve had so far!

Courtney

I’m picky about fruity teas too, but some work amazingly well, while others are a complete disaster.

whatshesaid

I think I’m more partial to the ones that compare an aspect of sweetness too, like vanilla or caramel…also berries vs citrus for sure.

whatshesaid

Combine, not compare…silly autocorrect

Courtney

Oh yes, citrus is not so great. With the exception of orange and chocolate. That one is bizarre since I despise fruit dipped in chocolate, but somehow the orange chocolate teas just work.

whatshesaid

Agreed, that’s one I don’t mind, oddly. Because the orange brûlée I had the other day was NOT a favorite

Courtney

Bleh. Yes orange alone is not so great. Even worse is grapefruit, sadly. I love grapefruit, but not so much in teas. Lemon and lime and okay when they’re done right haha. There’s always exceptions.

whatshesaid

I think the DTT rooibos lemon and lime ones are the only ones I like, but that’s because they taste like pie, haha

Courtney

Haha! Yes I have the line around here for myself, though I barely ever drink it anymore, and the lemon is here for J. That’s all he drinks.

whatshesaid

Too funny. I should offer it to my husband, I bet he would actually like it, even though he “hates tea” (a very well informed conclusion reached after drinking Tetley at some point once in his life I’m sure)

Courtney

Hahaha. Oh husbands. J will taste any tea, but he is extremely picky over what he wants around. Lemon Chiffon is it. He loes Dragonheart from Teaopia, but they have been gone a while now so I’ve been searching for a replacement.

whatshesaid

At least he drinks tea! Mine claims to not enjoy hot beverages. Except coffee no. And hot chocolate in the winter. I think he’s full of it, haha

Courtney

Hahaha! Except every hot beverage but tea. :P

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30
drank Cardamom Tea by Culinary Teas
183 tasting notes

Oh my gosh. Slap me upside the head with cardamom, why don’tcha? That’s about what sniffing this tea is like! Don’t get me wrong, I like cardamom… in certain applications. I just am not quite sure I like it to THIS degree of intensity. It is quite literally the only thing I smell.

Okay. I have brewed it, tasted it, sweetened it slightly, and tasted it again. I have to say, the black tea here is really not strong enough to stand up to Mr. Big Mean Cardamom, although I can actually taste it. The overall flavor is just unappealing to me, to be honest. Perhaps I just like my cardamom to be accompanied by (and mellowed by) other things than just a mid-grade black tea. The husband likes it, though, so I’ll let him drink it. ;)

Speaking of the husband, super exciting news came recently! We found out that after he graduates from A School, he (meaning we, as a family!) will be stationed in Aurora, CO for his first duty tour! I am SO stoked about living there. I’ve been to CO a couple of times and LOVED it, so I can’t wait to call it home. Plus, there’s the Rocky Mountain Tea Festival coming up in August! Yippee!!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML
keychange

That’s fantastic! I hope you love it there!

teataku

I hope so too! We’re very much looking forward to it, except the whole moving thing (boooooo moving).

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53

Nah.

I overleafed this intentionally because I’ve found myself disappointed by caramel teas lately, which I at least half attribute to me being stingy with my leaves .

Soooo this is kind of bitter and astringent and lacking in flavor even with the overleafing.

It smells good…that’s about it.

Not for me, I have better caramel teas so I don’t need to waste my time with this one. In fact, I’m not even going to bother finishing my cup.
It’s making my teeth hurt.

So, to summarize…“Nah.”

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

Whats your fave caramel tea?

whatshesaid

I’d say now it would be Persimmon Tree’s green caramel tea, Kusmi’s Caramel and Mariage Freres’ Wedding Imperial which has chocolate notes too but mostly caramel to me.

Also Red Leaf’s caramel matcha which probably doesn’t count but it’s super rich and caramelly…I just made myself crave some haha

Caramel teas are hard to find

whatshesaid

I mean a good one is hard to find, because they’re a dime a dozen and mostly don’t impress me

Stephanie

Yeah, there are LOTS of caramel ones out there. You might check out Butiki’s Caramel Vanilla Assam if you haven’t yet. Seems pretty widely adored around here :)

whatshesaid

Oops!! Racking my brain for those I can’t believe I forgot the Caramel Vanilla Assam! I think it’s probably my favorite of the bunch. Duhhhhh

Sil

i should send you a sample of Tea G’s straight up caramel tea.

whatshesaid

What is this magically tea of which you speak?

Sil

Caramel by tea gschewenljweiruwo54u…..

whatshesaid

You make it sound amazing! I hadn’t even heard of that company before (no shocker there)

Sil

if you want me to send you some just hit me with your address in a PM. Happy to send along a cup for you to try :)

whatshesaid

Done, thank you!!

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83

This is one that TastyBrew had ordered on my behalf and shipped to me, as I don’t think the company ships to canada, or else it was a ridiculous price to do so.

I just had it for the first time in forever, and it was very good. I only got one steep out of it, the second was bitter and flavorless.

However steep one was definitely very blueberry, and absolutely creamy, with that sweet vanilla note.

I’m not sure how often I will be In the mood for something like this, because lately I don’t seem to want these overly flavored blends, but it is a nice cup if you’re looking for a sweet treat.

edit I realize this review tells you nothing except that it tastes how it’s supposed to….. :P

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79

Had another itch attack last night. It’s been the only part of this pregnancy that i can’t stand. Oh the fat, swollen feet are pretty annoying but I still consider this a great pregnancy when I hear what others have gone through.

So where am I going with this? Pulling this tea out of the box made my morning. It kinda reminds me of strawberry slender pu er by teavana but this one has a stronger base to it. In other words i can taste the sencha more in this one then i can taste the pu er in the other.
I’m going to try this again at some point iced like another poster said and see how it is.

Preparation
1 tsp

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44
drank Pecan Pie by Culinary Teas
493 tasting notes

Received a sample of this last year from the awesome TastyBrew.

In my cup it smells very faintly dessert like, but not really. And I don’t taste any pie at all. I guess I’ve been spoiled by Della Terra’s flavored teas because these ones that merely suggest some sort of vague non-specific dessert just don’t do it for me.

I’m debating not finishing it and going to make something else. Something…GASP…unflavored.

I do appreciate getting to try this because the name sure sounded promising, but if I had to compare the taste to something I would say it’s a flavour akin to if I was chewing on a brown paper bag. Yeah. So that is to say a complete lack of flavour.

I put a little splash of milk in here for an after supper treat and it’s totally weak.

I know it’s probably at least a bit affected by the age of the tea but there’s no way it was delicious to start with. I can tell.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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82

Backlog:

I like this. Sweet with a nice tropical fruit taste. Lightly grassy from the green tea, with soft buttery notes. The buttery notes give this a pleasant, silky texture.

Lightly tart, mostly what I get from the fruit though is sweet. Sweet papaya and sweet passion fruit. YUM! Tasty hot, but even better iced.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/03/02/crime-passion-green-tea-culinary-teas/

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