Culinary Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

85

I very much enjoy this tea. It has a nice sweet berry scent. A bit more flavor on the base’s part and I would have liked a bit more of the fruit. Overall a nice tea with a smooth taste. One of my favorites.

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70
drank Mulberry by Culinary Teas
361 tasting notes

Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act III scene 7

Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
New bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act I scene 1

My only experience with mulberries is with the nursery rhyme which as I prepped this tea I kept singing to myself: “Here we go ’round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush. Here we go ’round the mulberry bush…mumble, mumble, er…mumble.” Yeah, I couldn’t recall the last part of the song. Internet to the rescue! Unfortunately the first one I pulled up had the more original “on a cold and frosty morning” and I became confused and questioned my entire childhood until I found the rhyme I’d been taught. I grew up with the “on such an early morning.” So yeah, I spent a long amount of time youtubing the rhyme and just checking out info on mulberries (wait, they’re not bushes — they’re trees? Childhood called into question all over again). All this is to say that I haven’t the foggiest clue as to what a mulberry tastes like.

Both the dry leaves and steeped tea have a fruity smell that sort of overpowers the tea. I’m guessing Ceylon. The taste reminds me of a “Xtreme Berry”-type gum made by Extra that I had tried years ago and hadn’t particularly cared for. It’s a pleasant tea, but nothing that I ever plan on purchasing. Sorry that I can’t really describe it more, but it’s just a fruity tea that leans a little toward the sweet side vs. the tart side of things.

All that said, I’m going to call this tea my Hippolyta from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A character that says some nice things in the first act and then disappears for the most part until Act 5. Then she disagrees with her husband and sets him straight (which is a more agressive act than this tea would be capable of). A pretty much unremarkable part for an unremarkable tea. NE

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Russian Caravan by Culinary Teas
361 tasting notes

Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act III scene 6

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
As You Like It, Act II scene 7

Smelling the dried leaves I really thought that this was going to be a negative note. It smelled smokey, but in that tar-like way. Nose wrinklege occurred. After it steeped it lost a lot of the smoke smell and smelled more like an Assam with wisps of smoke. Yowsa — first sip is all Assamalamadingdong! The whole first cup is an Assamarama.

Oh, then the second steep magic! The Assam starts its morph into sweet berryness and the lapsang joins it in a bold sweet cup. Oh, it’s yummy. I did a third steep — it was weakening, but I did need a cup for my commute. So the fourth steep I added a pinch of fresh leaves. Oh yes — yummy.

From the smell of the dry leaves and through the first cup I thought that this would be my King Lear. But the following steeps were so very sweet that I couldn’t go the tragic route without pushing it. Therefore, this tea became my As You Like It. A somewhat serious premise handled with brilliant wit and humor. And crossdressing. These are both a great tea and play. Just be sure you’re ready for the uber-oomph of the Assam. I know that this tea is at least an 85, but the rating most likely will go up after I’ve had it a few more times. TG

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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81
drank Grand Marnier by Culinary Teas
361 tasting notes

Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act II scene 7

If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
Twelfth Night, Act I scene 1

Last night I was going through my Shakespeare box trying to decide what I’d have this morning. I settled on the Vinegar Black and then I had my choice narrowed down to two Culinary Teas. As I looked back and forth between the two a realization dawned on me: I had been seeing the name of this tea as “Grand Mariner” which I felt fit into the British theme of this box quite well. Oh. It’s actually “Grand Marnier” like the liqueur. ::facepalm:: I laughed and decided that this would follow the Vinegar — sort of a sweet and sour experience.

I have never had Grand Marnier on its own, and as far as I know I haven’t had it as part of a meal or mixed drink. So I am unable to judge whether or not this lives up to its namesake. When I opened the packet it was like an orange creamsicle. Yum. The cup maintains that orange creamsicle smell but gains the fragrance of Ceylon. The taste is more Ceylon, but the aroma is all about the creamsicle. I’d imagine that this would be crazy-good with cream or sugar. This also would be perfect with the right sort of dessert. I may have to try this iced. If this is great iced, then this may be added to the reorder list from Culinary Teas.

I dub this tea the play Twelfth Night. Partially since it kicks off with a shipwreck (a tip of the hat to my misreading of the tea’s name), and also because Twelfth Night (The Feast of Epiphany) kicks off the New Orleans’ Mardi Gras season and this tea would fit right into all the revelry — from the parties on Bourbon to the elaborate balls. This tea is a light fun sort of dessert tea and I’m having a good time with it. NE

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

He hee – that reminds me of when we rented the Hitchcock film Marnie, and I misread the title as Marine. I was looking for themes of underwater, fish, boats – nada – Finally I said to my husband when it was done, “But why was the title Marine?” and of course he burst out laughing and I’ve never lived it down ;)

Rabs

LOL! Thanks for sharing — I shall think of both of our stories every time that I make this tea and I’ll smile. :D

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25
drank Cardamom Tea by Culinary Teas
1735 tasting notes

This smelled so strong in the pouch, I was afraid I was going to have to push the slider clear down to Mr. Yuk. Don’t have to go that far, but I’m not gettin’ much o’nothin’ … Maybe a little piney or cedary hint in the background, which would be more appropriate if I were in the porch swing of an Ozarks cabin on this soggy day, instead of stuck at a desk. Bottom line—diluted Mr. Clean.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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59
drank Coronation Tea by Culinary Teas
361 tasting notes

Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act II scene 2

O, no! the apprehension of the good
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse:
Fell sorrow’s tooth doth never rankle more,
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the sore.
Richard II, Act I scene 3

Aha! Finally, a tea from the Shakespeare box that’s got me a bit rankled. There’s no information about the tea itself on he packet (which the Culinary Teas website more than makes up for), so it’s a mystery tea. I opened it and looked inside. Ah crap: chamomile. Does this mean that it’s a decaf? There’s a ton of smaller dark leaves and some chamomile sprinkled throughout. I sniffed and couldn’t tell what black tea(s) were in it beyond Assam. I followed the packet’s preparation instructions.

The steeped tea confused me as well. I could definitely taste the chamomile and Assam, but there’s a whole lotta other tea goin’ on as well as quite an astringent bite. Three sips in and I had to find out what comprised this tea. No wonder I was confused: Ceylon, Assam, Darjeeling, Tinderet (which is new to me), and then chamomile. I kept sipping and thinking that I disliked this tea, but then I kept getting little hints of sweet that got me to go “um”: a thoughtful and unsure “yum”. I did the second steep the exact same way as the first and this time around the Ceylon reached through with its sweetness. I wished that the first steep had been a bit more like the second. I’m rather enjoying the second steep except for the dryness that’s happening at the back of my throat. It’s quite noticable. Okay, the back of my throat hates this tea.

Therefore, I dub this tea Richard II. Not one of Shakespeare’s greatest, but not one of his worst. It’s a very “talky” play, so you get some great speeches but the action is lacking. This tea has got a lot to say and sometimes it succeeds in being eloquent. Unfortunately it also sometimes tastes like an argument. M

ETA: Third steep is water with a hint of tea.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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48
drank Blend 1776 by Culinary Teas
40 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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86

It’s weird…I keep coming across more and more of this…just when I think I have a SIPDOWN or swapped the rest I find more! LOL

This is a goody – a little bit on the lighter side than my first few cups of the day but yummy regardless.

Using this as more swap ammo :)

Anny Oxidant & the Tea Bullie

I have seen this term before.
“sipdown”
Can you explain it to me please?

TeaEqualsBliss

SIPDOWN…when you SIP DOWN the rest of that specific tea from your stash :)

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86

backlogging two cups from earlier today :)

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86

Backlogging a mighty-fine cuppa…see previous notes :)

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86

Backlogging from yesterday…

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86

I received a pouch of this from LiberTEAs today and jumped right in even tho I did have a little bit about a year ago but now I can add this back to my stash! I will say that I enjoyed this cuppa! This is a very good Margaret’s Hope and a fine Darjeeling! See previous notes…

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86

Okay…I fully expect comments on this one…but…seriously…post-infusion – this is FIRST what I thought of based on SMELL

Baked or Deep Fried Mushrooms! (but in a good way!)

Seriously…that’s what it smells like! And it smells yummy. You might think that sounds weird…but it smells bready or breading-like…

It’s a nice medium brown color and a very satisfying taste. I would say it’s a medium strength type.

I always wondered about the story behind Margaret’s Hope and I am glad I found it (it’s posted in the description)…I will be fully reading it here shortly…I wanted to post my findings before hand.

I can totally see why they would suggest pairing this with a croissant or danish or scone! I think it would also be wonderful with roasted veggies, baked or fried bready stuff, or veggie or hummus wraps!

Can you tell I am HUNGRY????

Regardless…I like this. It’s yummy.

TeaEqualsBliss

11 likes but no comments!? LOL – I thought FOR SURE someone would say SOMETHING about the Deep Fried Mushroom mention! :P

Rabs

Lol! I guess that we’re all being polite today ;) I can’t really comment on having odd scent associations since I get a lot of them. And as far as making a snarky comment about mushrooms and being fried…well, there you have it! :D

TeaEqualsBliss

I knew I could count on you Rabs!!! :P Thanks! teahee!

Ewa

Hahaha, nice Rabs! I completely missed that. I’m afraid my Veiled Subtext Detector may be malfunctioning :P

Rabs

LOL! Glad to be of service :) I did, however, drop the ball on “baked.” D’oh!

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70
drank Prince of Wales by Culinary Teas
361 tasting notes

Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act I scene 4

“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and
some have greatness thrust upon ’em.”
Twelfth Night, Act II, scene 5

Meet Malvolio in tea form. If you don’t know him from the play Twelfth Night, then you should know that he’s a pretentious prig. Back in the day my college did a version of Twelfth Night where it was set on an alien planet and Malvolio was portrayed as a Vulcan. It was a brilliant concept and should help you picture how I view this tea.

The tea packet gave no hint as to what it contained beyond black tea. I sniffed the packet and was confused. I had absolutely no idea what I was smelling. Something kind of fruity? But not really fruity. The blend was quite striking to look at: different sorts of leaves, little seeds(?), and pretty violet and orange petals. I steeped it.

I got the scent of Assam (Woohoo! My Keemun/Assam/Ceylon trilogy did seem to help me figure out black teas better), and the fruity smell was still there, only it seemed deeper. I realized that this tea contains some green tea as well when I looked at the steeped leaves. I sipped. What on earth was this tea?!?!? It’s somewhat fruity (I couldn’t identify the fruit, but it seemed familiar), on the verge of being bitter, and I was at a loss. This tea was utterly alien to me. So I hopped on the webs and looked this puppy up. Wow. Culinary Teas really breaks down its tea with loads of info!

Assam! I was right! ::does happy dance:: Oh, but there’s Ceylon too. D’oh! Gunpowder and Lucky Dragon Hyson. Hmm…I haven’t enjoyed Gunpowders so far and I haven’t the foggiest on Lucky Dragon Hyson. But that might explain the bitterishness. Oh – the fruit! ::facepalm:: Black currants! I can only think of one time I’ve had black currants in my life: it was this bizarre candy my dad brought me after he returned from a business trip. I forgave myself for not knowing that one.

So why Malvolio? This tea is so full of it. It seems pretentious. But you know what? I absolutely adore the character of Malvolio. He gets some of the best laughs. I actually enjoyed the complexity of this tea and knowing that there’s green tea in there I lowered the temp to 190 on my second steep. The flavors were much much better/smoother. I’m actually thinking that this would be an amazing cold brewed iced tea. I can’t say that I love this tea, but I think it has the potential for greatness. It just needs to be put in its place first. NE

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Chocolate Mint by Culinary Teas
255 tasting notes

The dry tea smells just like a Peppermint Patty. This tea is a tasty confection that leaves my mouth feeling fresh and satisfied. It’s more subtle on the mouth, but as Culinary Teas notes in their description: "It should be noted that natural flavors tend to be somewhat ‘soft ‘ and the flavors slightly muted, but for many this is a refreshing change and one of the desired attributes of our naturally flavored teas. "

Keeping that in mind, I appreciate the tea more. There is no hint of anything synthetic or unnaturally brassy. It’s a very nice marriage which, like the delightful York’s Peppermint Patty, tends to draw out the peppermint with the chocolate as a supporting player. So far the best peppermint/chocolate I have had.

Preparation
5 min, 15 sec

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70
drank Cardamom Tea by Culinary Teas
255 tasting notes

Hey, who took the tea out of my tea? I think that my tastes have become more pronounced. I don’t like weak teas. I like teas to slap me around with smoke; to bang me in the face with a ton of spinach; to throttle me with riches; to have a body like one of those WWW guys and the education of a Rhodes scholar. I like a tea with an upbringing like Prince Charles including all of the eccentricities and the bite of his Rottweiler.

A few months of consideration and serious drinking has led me to reject the timid. I think that Cardamon tea on its own is a timid little lassie, unschooled in the ways of the world. I could envision serving this to children at a little tea party (note to self: I’m glad my children are now officially elderly and don’t need service, whatever they might want).

I think I’ll say that if you like Cardamon, the taste is there. I think I’ll save this tea and add it to a really rich full-bodied tea and see if I can make my own blend of Chai. Must pursue JacquelineM’s recipes for home blends.

Ewa

…spinach?
But yeah, that definitely sounds like a candidate for chai.

LiberTEAS

Yeah… it would be good for a custom blend of chai… it might also be good with a chocolate-y tea.

AmazonV

i know that mixing the Cardamon Cinnamon tea from republic of tea with another tea or even just wine or apple juice results in delicious things, alone it is rather sad.

Ewa

Wine, really? Do you heat it up or what?

AmazonV

@Ewa yes in the winter hot mulled wine is delicious, just put a bit in with the spices in a pot and warm it up and keep taking sips after a few minutes until the spice is strong enough. my favorite is red wine with chai spices, although apple wine with cinnamon is good as well.

SoccerMom

hmmm I’ve heard of mulled wine but never tried it. I guess I’ll have to try this recipe in the winter.

Ewa

I’ve made mulled wine before (best use of two-buck Chuck, evar!) but it never occurred to me to use tea for it.

AmazonV

call it lazy? the tea was kinda lacking…something but was nice and spicy, so we found another better use for it!

Ewa

woah woah woah, that’s not lazy, it’s INNOVATIVE.

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67

Still good and raisin-y, but today’s batch went a little bitter after it cooled for a while. (What? Let a cup sit that long? Am I nuts?)

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67

Trixie Belden and the Missing Tea
A Steepster Mystery

The first morning sip was fine, light, and winey. But within twenty short minutes of pouring it into a travel mug, the flavor was flat and tasteless as dishwater. Did a nefarious and sinister villain switch the mugs in transit? Who wishes the poor tea taster to suffer a poor morning cuppa? Can the missing flavor be recovered? Only Trixie and her new tea-sniffing Labrador named Tippy can crack this case!

AmazonV

sad but funnily put story

gmathis

I believe a porta-mug that doesn’t suck all the life out of your tea is my equivalent of the Grail.

__Morgana__

LOL. I remember Trixie! Gosh, and Cherry Ames…

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67

I was all primed, since the title contains “pan fired,” to be assaulted with smoke from the first sip. Not the case, though. It’s nice and gentle and a little grapey in the background. Baked golden raisins, maybe.

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84

Tropical fruits and black tea for an afternoon with the promise of snow. This tea was a gift from my friend, Lillian, a recently retired math teacher and all-around classy woman.

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

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75
drank Formosa Oolong by Culinary Teas
1735 tasting notes

Opened this to compare to my ace-in-the-hole health food store cheapie oolong. It’s a little sweeter, a little more golden, and I’d almost swear to some raisiny stuff happening in the background. Makes me feel a little upscale on a decidedly NOT upscale morning.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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94

Finished this bit off today! It is one of the better Assam’s I’ve had! Very smooth. Not astringent to me. I didn’t need to add any sugar or milk to it, but adding it doesn’t hurt the flavor.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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71

Another sipdown but a different day! lovely Pear hot or cold with heavy rooibos. Wish there was more pear but this is ok

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