Cuppa'T Specialty Teas
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Recent Tasting Notes
I have a lot of green teas in my cupboard. I used to kind of like green tea so I bought a bunch of different kinds of tea, some large amounts, some samples, some straight, some flavoured, a couple bagged, the rest loose. I was just trying things out.
Then I decided I am not the hugest green tea fan. I much prefer dark roasted oolongs and black teas. I don’t mind greens, but I have much more in my cupboard than is feasible to drink. But like any good tea drinker [addict], I will keep them in my cupboard until I drink them, or drink most of them.
In saying that, I do like to have a small cup (4oz) of green tea after lunch at work, I have to a lot (and I mean A LOT) of talking/verbal teaching at work. No matter what I eat for lunch, I always feel bloated and burp-y when I have to immediately launch into a speech after lunch. So I like to have a bit of green tea which seems to help calm my lunch-stomache. Of all green teas, sencha is my all time favorite, dragon well is a close second, but I like to have my sencha. And some of you may or may not agree, but it is hard to find a good sencha.
I picked this one up at my local tea shop. It smells like delicious sencha. Like buttered steamed greens. The taste is a bit bland. Not as strong as the smell. I would like it to be a bit more buttery. But it is smooth and silky. The vegetal part of the green tea is a bit more steamed cabbage than steemed spinach. I will definitely be able to drink this at work. I may try for a bit longer steep next time.
It is fricking cold today, so I needed something tropical to take my mind off the cold. This did the trick! I am mostly getting pineapple today.
I think I finally found the sweet spot for steeping parameters of this tea because the base is very finicky and can get astringent very quickly. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf.
I’ve not been in the mood for Pu Erh lately but I can always drink cinnamon based teas, and as this one was fairly chosen at random I will try this tea next. I don’t think I’ve tried a cinnamon based Pu Erh before so this will be a new experience.
I’m happy to say that this is cinnamon bark and not the ground spice, the spice is nice but too much in a blend makes it dry and bitty…not good. But with this I can see the Pu Erh and medium to small pieces of bark amongst the leaves, and it smells sooo good. Like cinnamon candy. :)
The strong cinnamon scent matches the flavour, it’s wonderfully cinnamon heavy which is both sweet and spicy, also rather thick. I can also taste the Pu Erh a little, I think the earthiness of it works well with the cinnamon. I also think that the Pu Erh base helps to keep it lighter, while it’s think it could easily be thicker (for example if it had a black tea base it might be too thick).
I really like this blend, it’s rather basic but very tasty and something I would recommend to my fellow cinnamon lovers. I could actually drink quite a bit of this tea, it’s yummy. Reminds me of a few Della Terra heavy cinnamon based teas.
My steep time for this was short, and I let this get cold before drinking it, which I don’t recall doing before. I think it’s even more buttery/pastry like this way – though the apple seems like intense/juicy, so I’m not sure how worth it the trade off it. The pistachio is kind of just there, but in a good way.
I really do like this one.
Also, I just restarted my SoulSilver play file, so I’m doing that in between watching 2 Broke Girls episodes. Yay for a relaxing, but uneventful life. I’m excited for company tomorrow so I finally have something more to do. I’m sure Nich is going to keep me quite occupied/intellectually stimulated and confused with all his conspiracy theories. But also, I appreciate that I’ll have someone to talk tea with who will appreciate it.
Thank you very much Lala for the sample of this! I was really disappointed when it wasn’t in stock during my trip to Cuppa’T, so it was amazing to receive a sample and get the opportunity to try it out despite that, since it was one of the few teas I was looking for ahead of time when I went.
I made this up at a cold brew in my mason jar, and that used up the whole sample. To be perfectly honest, I was a little worried it’s be underleafed for the full 25 oz. but when I strained it this morning after a full 12 hour steep, it looked and smelled pretty well steeped up.
Taste wise, this is amazing! It’s very flavourful without being too strong – in fact it kind of reminds me of the pink dragonfruit vitamin water that I used to sometimes get when I worked at the movie theatre. That was my favourite one that we sold, but it was also really expensive and honestly probably more sugar than vitamins. But anyway, what I’m getting at is that this is definitely very strongly dragonfruit flavoured which is great because I was worried that the cranberry would be too strong. I actually don’t know whether or not I’d realize there’s cranberry in this if it wasn’t in the name and I hadn’t seen the large cranberry pieces before making this up.
For anyone who hasn’t had dragonfruit before, you really really should! It’s like a kiwi in texture, but the taste kinda citrusy and kind like melon. It’s just a really characteristic flavour overall once you’ve tried a few dragonfruit flavoured things. They’re also good chocolate dipped or with a little lemon juice on them.
Ultimately, this is delicious and I’m very, very sad to see it go. I’m hoping I’ll be up in Regina sometime this summer and I’ll be able to pick some of this up. I’d easily and without hesitation buy 100g of it, perhaps more because I know it’s a fruit blend so it’ll be heavy.
Amazing! And again, a thousand thanks Lala
This is another tea I took from the GCTTB.
I’m having a good time with this one tonight. I’m getting apple, I’m getting strudel (?) or sweet pastry something. I didn’t taste any pistachio, that’s disappoints me. I LOVE pistachio.
Steeped this using the MissB trick – I love how that works out.
All in all I liked this one. Nice to have an apple tea that isn’t ooooozing cinnamon.
I don’t think I actually got any hibiscus in this mug (which I spilled half of on the couch because I foolishly attempted to jump onto the couch from behind the couch while holding a full mug of tea) – which actually changes the taste a fair bit. I don’t know why that really surprises me, though; hibiscus is a pretty loud flavour.
Anyway, the flavour I get sans hibiscus is still a pretty close to 50/50 pumpkin and apple cider, but less tart and a little more sweet. Like, I kind of get caramel or brown sugar notes? It’s good – anyway.
I’ve decided, though, that while I like this I don’t like it enough to repurchase it. Plus side, or maybe downside, is that this was pretty heavy so the leaf is being used up at a relatively consistent rate.
Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon
Tre and I finished off the last of my cold brewed pitcher of this last night. Normally he wont drink cold brewed teas that aren’t, for example, bright fucking blood red, because for whatever reason he associates those as more flavourful (more juice-like, perhaps?) but I talked him into having half a cup of this.
Mostly I wanted to see if he could taste the coffee too – because it’s driving me crazy that this tastes like raspberries and coffee to me when there’s no reason at all this should taste like coffee.
Peach – yes.
Raspberry – yes.
Coffee? What the damn hell!
But anyway, this was his flavour description: “It’s green tea with some kind of fruit and a whole lot of dish soap”. Doesn’t taste soapy to me, but at least we’re agreed that it doesn’t taste like it’s supposed to. Although, I don’t dislike it – I just find it really weird. Does anyone know what wool flowers are supposed to taste like!?
Flavors: Berries, Espresso, Peach
Cold brewed this! From the moment I smelled it in store I knew that I wouldn’t be trying this out as a cold brew – it just seemed like it had all the right flavours to be done well that way. About three cups worth were cold brewed for a grand total of about 14 hours, give or take an hour or so.
I must say, it does taste pretty good: very yummy fresh raspberry notes (sweet and a little tangy) with splashes of peach. I still taste the coffee that I experienced in my last (hot) cup, though! It’s such a weird thing to be tasting in a raspberry/peach white tea.
It must be the wool flowers! I don’t know how they’re supposed to taste, but I guess my brain is processing them as coffee. Oh well, at least it’s not a bad taste. Maybe I’ll use Tre as a Guinea Pig and see if he tastes it too.
After the success of Apple Strudel Pistachio, I decided to try the second Cuppa’T Specialty Tea Roswell Strange sent to me in our most recent swap. This smells great and when my sip began, there was a nice pumpkin spice flavor but then it hit me…hibiscus. Ugh. My nemesis! I do not like being lied to and hibiscus is the biggest liar of them all – hiding in all the teas and then jumping out to surprise you with its tartness. Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing but this is just not for me. I probably should have read the ingredients more closely before asking to try it out.
2 tsps of this in boiling water for 5 minutes results in a tasty, tasty treat. I worried when I smelled it because the rooibos was potent but tastewise this is both apple strudel and pistachio. Like saying this tastes like apples doesn’t even cover the flavor because it is specifically apple strudel, sweet and delicious. Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing this with me. Too bad they are not online or I might be order more of this :P
From the GCTTB. I’m on the hunt for a new pumpkin and spice tea since I found that DT changed their Pumpkin Chai, so when I saw this one in the box I knew I had to give it a shot.
The dry tea is filled with petals and pieces of orange peel and apple. I did get a whole lot pumpkin scent and there was a bit of cinnamon smell but aside from that not really much in the way of “spiciness”.
The brewed liquor was a deep medium brown and smelled of sweet cinnamon with a touch of squash and some vanilla laced throughout. I didn’t really get much from the apple or orange (nor am I really certain about these ingredients but oh well). As for the flavor, I found it to be really subtle. Mixed in with some darker notes from the black tea was just the barest hit of pumpkin and a touch of cinnamon. The rest of the ingredients didn’t really stand out to me, but the mouthfeel was nice; full, thick and quite warm.
If you’re looking for a mild pumpkin/squash tea then this one might suit you but personally I was really hoping for more spice given the name of the tea. Oh well, I’ve got a bunch of other pumpkin tea samples to try as well so I’m sure I’ll find something at one point or another!
This finishes off the sample sent to me from Lala – though I thankfully still have a sealed 50g packet that I bought from Cuppa’T earlier in the month. This portion, however, was made in my timolino and brought with to Robyn’s.
Steeped for four minutes in boiling water – and I’m not really sure how much leaf was used since I just dumped it all in the brew basket. More than 1 1/2 tsp. and less than 1 tbsp.
It was a little bitter, but that could be from sitting in the timolino all day (I made this at like 2 PM but didn’t drink it until around 9 PM) or from a longer steep time. Still really good though: like a marzipan heavy almond cookie.
Made this in the morning as one of three teas to travel with me on the ride back home to Saskatoon. This was my first time having this blend, and I chose to drink it could because raspberry tends to be a flavour well suited to cold or iced teas.
My steeping parameters were about 2 1/2 tsp. of leaf in an 8 oz. mug of approx. 80 degree Celsius water, steeped for about 3 minutes.
Dry, this smells like very fresh raspberries: like, straight picked from the garden fresh. Sweet, and just a little tart – very juicy. Steeped, this was much the same but with a little more of a presence of peach, and with a strong sense of the white base tea.
When I tried it – it was mostly really good. The raspberry was very natural and sweet, with a slight tartness which really only enhanced the ‘realness’ of the fruit. The peach was also much stronger than one would initially expect based on the dry smell, though it still didn’t match the strength of the raspberry. I have no idea what a wool flower is supposed to taste like – but as I was drinking this I also got a really powerful taste of coffee in the end sip and aftertaste, and something tells me that wool flowers are not supposed to taste like coffee.
Can anyone confirm or deny this?
I had to go back and think about what the last tea I had in my red waterbottle was, to make sure there was no contamination – but it definitely wasn’t a coffee tea. In fact, I think it was DAVIDsTEA’s Tropicalia. Hmmm…
The other thing about this blend was that it left my mouth feeling very dry after each sip, and that was relatively unpleasant. However, overall this was quite nice even if it had such weird flavour notes.
I’ll have to try it again in a different thermos or mug and see if the coffee notes are replicated.
My teeth are killing me, and now it’s on both sides of my mouth. And, it’s so sporadic when it happens. It’s absolutely driving me crazy! I just want to curl up into a ball with a pair of pliers and pull them all out. Part of me, an increasingly large part, feels like that would be the best solution. OW! It’s not even when eating or drinking foods anymore – it seems like any large noise sets it off too. How does that even make sense?
Anyway – I made a timolino full of this earlier in the morning when I made all my other teas, but then left it to sit until later when I went to the theatre to see Frozen. I ended up guzzling this back while watching the movie, and it was a really enjoyable drink.
So my parameters for the timolino were about 2 1/2 tsp. of leaf steeped in boiling water for about five minutes.
Taste wise, this was basically identical to the cup I experience earlier in the week (you can read the tasting note from that one for a more detailed description) – except this one had greater Pumpkin notes, and somehow seemed closer to a Pumpkin pie and apple cider, not just Pumpkin/Apple cider.
The movie was also really good! I watched it with two friends that I was in the majority of my classes with all four years of highschool (one of them all through elementary too). It was great catching up with them and watching an awesome movie. And damn! Hans is SUCH a dick!
Made a timolino full of this! I’ve been dying to try it since buying it earlier in the week; dry it smells like sweet, flaky glazed pastry and fresh, juicy apples with the sweet nuttiness of pistachio and a heavily present creaminess as well.
My steeping parameters were 2 tsp. of leaf in my 12 oz. timolino steeped for about five minutes, possibly a little less than that. Steeped the smell was very rich, buttery apple pastry; tons of creaminess in the smell. A little nutty pistachio.
Taste wise and hot, there was a light metallic “tang” and a slightly woody rooibos taste present completely throughout the sip. The apple is lighter than you would expect, and just a little bit taste. It reminds me of green apples. There’s a subtle creaminess present throughout the sip, and a buttery semi-pastry like taste. Just a little pistachio taste – though it is a distinct pistachio taste, and not just a generic nuttiness. I was expecting this to be a little more flavourful; despite what I’ve described this does feel a little muted, like it’s not living up the the full flavour potential it could have.
I also left a cup to sit for a while, which is now stone cold. This way, there’s a much more intense pistachio and cream flavour, with the same light, buttery pastry/apple taste. Medium rooibos flavour with a little bit less of that metallic tang.
So overall, pretty good but I feel like maybe I could have got more out of this taste wise. Next cup I may increased the leaf and see if that brings more flavour out.
I was really excited to try this one, so it’s the first out of the three new Cuppa’T blends I picked up that I’ve chosen to make. Visually, this blend is really pretty; it has all sorts of different sizes and colours and shapes of stuff in it – and I think that’s what drew me to it because, while I’m not anti-pumpkin, pumpkin is a flavour that I’m relatively neutral towards. So, based mostly on the visual I picked some up.
I’d forgotten what the ingredients in this one were by the time I got home and this is a newer blend not listed on the Cuppa’T website so I messaged the store owner Jule for an ingredients list and she was very quick in responding to me with the ingredients list! I am definitely impressed by that.
My parameters for this first cup were 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf steeped in an 8 oz. mug full of boiling water for 6 minutes. I was aiming for closer to four, but time got away on me. Dry, this smells like an Autumn tea; it’s subtly fruity with a gentle pumpkin/apple smell and nice warming spices like cinnamon and steeped the smell gives off strong apple and mandarin notes with mild pumpkin and cinnamon notes. It sort of smells like a cider, to be honest.
Taste wise; the first thing I notice is the apple/mandarin with mingling notes of hibiscus (gentle though; not overpowering), pumpkin, and maybe mango. This gives way to a more 50/50 apple and pumpkin taste with cinnamon and fleeting coriander notes to round it out. The rooibos base is barely present at all. More than anything else this makes me think of some kind of gently spiced Apple/Pumpkin cider, which is lovely. The aftertaste I get is primarily cinnamon/pumpkin. This would probably be phenomenal as a fall tea.
I think with a shorter steep time you could probably eliminate the hibiscus/mango in the forefront and get more of the apple/pumpkin, and perhaps a stronger taste of the rooibos base. I’d also love to try this with milk.
I’m really enjoying this – though admittedly it’s a fair bit different than what I was expecting, though I’m not even sure if I could tell you what I was expecting. I think I just had a super generalized idea of what this might be.
EDIT: Slightly more hibiscus taste as it cooled.