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Cuppa'T Specialty Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

59

I steeped it a bit longer this time and it resulted in more almond and less rooibos. Not nearly as delicious as Davidstea Alpine Punch, but it’s better than my first cup!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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85

Received this from Lala! She was super thoughtful and sent out Christmas cards to people with tea samples. The tea comes from a local store that I’ve never been to, but plan on going to when I’m up in the city the next few weeks. I really wanted to try this one out prior to leaving, to now if it’s something I’ll want to stock up on while I have the opportunity to do so.

Dry, the leaf smells exactly like what I had wanted from Butiki’s Almond Indulgence; it’s sweet and candy like, with clear almond smell – but the hard to describe almost fruity sweetness of almond extract or almond flavouring in baking! So good!

For my preparation I went with a just slightly heaping tsp. of leaf in 10 oz. of boiling water, steeped for four minutes. I just ordered pizza, so I’m drinking this while eating cheese and pineapple pizza and two bite brownies (I felt too sick to actually cook anything, but was starving). It’s a weird pairing, honestly.

The tea tastes very good; very cakey or like pastry like which really ties in to the “sweet almond baking” thing that the dry leaf reminds me of. It’s very almond with a smooth black base and a very light hint of cinnamon. So, so tasty! Yeah, I’m totally going to be picking up more of this!

Thank you Lala!

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80

I prepared this as an eggnog latte, which tastes pretty good. This rooibos is a little artificial tasting, so the addition of the eggnog helped to make it palatable.
I wouldn’t restock this tea.

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97

So I bought this to blend with another tea. But I thought I better try it by itself before its all gone and blended away. This one smells sweet, not too smokey. There is a light sweetness to the tea, also a little but of malt. Hardley any smoke, but there is some there. The liquor is thick but the flavour is very light and basic. I feel like there is some vegetal flavour to this like it is almost a black tea but not quite. Just the slightest metallic tinge in the aftertaste. No astringency or bitterness. I love keemun. I am kind of sad I blended it all away, but I know where I can get more :)

So on a sidenote, I have found my favorite tea blend. It is this tea, mixed half and half with lapsang (also from Cuppa T, although it really doesn’t matter where the tea is from) mixed with two fresh slices of ginger, and a slice of naval orange. Brewed for 1 minute at just less than boiling. The orange and ginger stay in the cup. It is delicious. It is like Sunday breakfast, when you stuff your face with bacon, pancakes, milk and orange juice. And then lay on the couch the rest of the day. So good.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Sil

nice! i so need to try your orange and ginger tricks one of these days

caile

Sounds like a tasty blend!

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100

I re-stocked this tea before I even took it out of my “cupboard”! I guess I forgot when I sipped down my last bit awhile ago. Oh well, I will likely always have this in my cupboard anyway.
It tastes a little less caramel than usual today for some reason. But still so comforting on a cold winters day.

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63

For a while, I was obsessed with flowering teas. I just thought it was so neat how the balls would open up in beautiful pieces of art. But what I found after a while is I dislike how most of them tasted. I totally understand it is super hard to artfully sow tea leaves together so they bloom perfectly, I am sure there are only a few kinds of tea leaves that will work for this, but I just don’t like the taste of most of them.

This one is super jasmine smelling. Very parfumey, not parfume in the sense of good smelling, but parfume as in body spray. There is a definite chemical type smell to this one.

The taste is not as bad as I had anticipated from the parfumey smell. It is definitely jasmine. There is a chemical parfume taste but it is very light. There are some really sweet notes that remind me of berries, maybe like cherries. There are also some peppery notes. The jasmine is mellowing quite a bit as it cools, and the sweet berry notes are becoming stronger.

I have to take back what I said above, this one is tasting not too bad, not a favourite or cupboard staple, but it is drinkable.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 45 sec
K S

I got to the point of cutting the offending flowers out after the ball opened, so I could better enjoy the second cup. Globe amareth is just kind of nasty after awhile.

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90

Mad Tea Experiment Take 2.

So now that I have an orange and a few really good ideas (stolen from others, or course), I blended half and half lapsang with keemun. I added 4 small pink rose buds, 3 slices fresh ginger and a slice of navel orange. The orange and ginger stayed in the cup the whole time. WOW!! The keemun definitely toned down the lapsang. There is still some smoke but not overpowering. The keemun was not too smokey itself so I think that helped. I think with the experiment yesterday, I used Darjeeling but it was not strong enough to tone down the lapsang too much. The orange and ginger provide some spice, pepper, but also some sweetness. There is a very light citrous flavor. I actually want to try this with blackberries now.

This is totally reminding me of a rich, dark Chilean malbec. I love it.

Mad Tea Experiment #3.

I made this again, as above, but this time I added an actual French Vanilla Bean. Well it was actually half of a dried bean, I cut it open the long way and added it to the tea. I was ok. I thought it gave the tea a more alcoholic type taste. There was a creamy vanilla taste but it didn’t work so awesome with the ginger and the orange. I then added some maple syrup. The maple syrup definitely added some sweetness and was delicious as always with the lapsang. But I think for me I prefer this with my Experiment 2 recipe.

On another note, my maple syrup bottle used a cork as a stopper. When I went to take the cork out, it broke in half, leaving most of the cork in the neck of the glass bottle. So I had to dig it out with a knife. Now I have an open bottle of maple syrup. Guess that is what I am eating for the rest of the weekend :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Sounds like a good weekend for waffles!
I heartily support all of your experiments, Lala! I’ll have to try the orange slice, haven’t done that yet.

tigress_al

I like the first experiment! Sounds good

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90

Mad Tea Experiment. YES. Its been a while.

So a few days ago (I think), someone made a comment or a tasting note (I think) about adding ginger to lapsang. It was Sil or Terri (I think). Sometimes things just all meld together.

Anyway I had this bright idea, that I had to do some experiments. I took this lapsang and brewed it mixed half and half with a Darjeeling of unknown origin. (I think it was from bulk barn – I think. Ha ha.) Then I added a slice of ginger. I had also wanted to add an orange slice but I could not for the life of me find a single orange for sale. Let me clarify, I could buy a 4 or 8 lbs bag of oranges, but I really just wanted one. And a real orange, not a mandarin. Anyway, all of the bagged oranges were gross looking, bruised with rotten spots. So I just went with the ginger.

The half and half mix of tea, toned down the smoke a bit. I am not a huge Darjeeling fan but I thought it would work for the experiment. I didn’t want to use of the prized assam (also from bulk barn – I think) in case it didn’t turn out. I didn’t taste the Darjeeling much. The lapsang was quite strong but not as strong as if drank straight. I just used one slice of ginger because I didn’t want it to get too spicey. I hardly tasted the ginger at all. It did add a bit of sweetness to the tea, but not that little spice that I would have liked.

So I now have an orange, an excellent looking orange to be exact. So I have some ideas for the next experiment. Stay tuned…I think :P

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

awesome! I think it was me and then terri echoed the same sentiment! I look forward to reading about more of your experiments!

MissB

What a great idea!

Terri HarpLady

Lapsang & ginger is one of my fantasies, & actually one of the 2 teas I entered in the Butiki blends contest. I’ve been experimenting on & off with it for months. Lapsang, ginger, vanilla, & caramel (or maple). I’ve also tried diluting the lapsang with keemun, because I want smoke, but not the whole BBQ! :)

Sil

mmmmmm…… terri…custom stacy blend?

OMGsrsly

Ooo, that sounds good, Terri!

Terri HarpLady

That is one of 2 blends I want, but the first one will be Irish Breakfast, vanilla, caramel (or Maple), & cinnamon.

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61

Thank you Lala for this sample. From my Secret Pumpkin package. :)

The cinnamon is strong in this blend but there is something spicier lurking behind it, like pepper or chilli…it tickles my nose as I sniff.

Flavour wise I had to double check I had the correct tea…I can taste cocoa mixed with cinnamon and spices. No pumpkin though which is a shame. The black tea is strong compared to the rest of the blend and at best it tastes like a black tea with mild spices.

Some sweetener lessens the black teas thickness but there is even less spice if none now to speak of.

This tea is just not for me, it’s disappointing but at least drinkable.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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97

Oh yum, I finally restocked this and I’m so glad that I did. I made this as a weekend latte treat and it was delicious, creamy, and chocolate.

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59

I’m just now getting back into my Secret Pumpkin/Turkey swaps! This one was from my Secret Pumpkin Lala. If I hadn’t known this was flavored rooibos, I might not have known, since it was mostly just rooibos. Thankfully, I like plain rooibos. Very occasionally I would get a hint of sweet almond in my sip, but it wasn’t throughout the sip, it was more like “ohh, ahh, nice, now back to rooibos”. This isn’t something I’d stock in my cupboard ‘cause really, if I wanted rooibos, I’d just buy rooibos, but I’ll definitely use up the sample.

Also, how many times can I include rooibos in a review? Many many times.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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73

sample sidpdown! and i’m back down to 140 teas. 15 days ish to get through 35 more haha.

I received this in the mail the other day from Lala with a really thoughtful, surprise holiday card. :) It was a wonderful surprise to get in the mail! Thank you a bunch lala. This tea smells a lot like a combination of brioche and S&V’s sweet almond tea (i think it is…) that i enjoy.

I brewed this up this evening since i was in a bit of a holiday, festive mood after my afternoon with raritea. This has a great almond taste to it along with a bit of cinnamon. It’s not cinnamon heavy though – rather the cinnamon just enhances the almond flavour. over all a pretty tasty tea, though it’s a little thin? for my tastes. While drinking it, i kept wishing for it to have a bit more of a full feeling to it. however, still a delicious cup! thanks Lala

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Lala

Happy you enjoyed it!

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70

I received a lovely holiday card tea card in the mail yesterday from Lala. Thank you so much for the warm, generous, thoughtful gesture. I am truly touched by your kindness. In the card was a sample of this tea.
This is a nice light almond cinnamon tea. In Lala’s tasting note she suggests cake, I’m getting bakery, but I think more strudel or danish – yep almond, cinnamon “coffee cake” danish.
I’m not sure I would have bought this for myself, but am really happy to have gotten this sample. Thank you!!!

Lala

You’re welcome. Glad you liked it.

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90

I actually really enjoy this rooibos. It is slightly woodsy but not too strong. Those woodsy notes work well here with the orange and pistachio.

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90

This cuppa was nice. There are actual strawberry bits and it tastes fairly natural. There is a definite creaminess. I quite enjoyed it

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Finished off the rest of my sample this morning. I’m taking the day off as it is my birthday and already managed to make a tea order (oops). I still like this but it’s not special enough for me to want to get more. Sipdown (why is this so satisfying?)!

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79

Thank you Lala for this sample. Received from my Secret Pumpkin package.

This blend smells very spicy and nutty. The coriander adds a herbal element to the spice, it is like a chai with a difference.

The orange comes through nicely in the flavour being sweet and creamy in the first few sips which is followed by a dry nutty and spicy chai like flavour. The pistachio is rather heavy for for a non pistachio fan like myself but it’s forgiving as by the time you think ‘yuck pistachio’ the spices come in and you end up thinking ‘yum spices’.

The orange actually becomes stronger as it cools which is a large plus for me as I love orange.

I like it, sort of orange tea meets a nutty chai tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90

A little taste of paradise this morning. I wish I was on a beach somewhere right now instead of here in the cold and snow! Maybe in the new year I will go on a trip.

I still really enjoy this. The papaya is coming out a little more today. I guess I got some bits in my tsp! The black base can get really astringent if brewed for too long though, so you kind of have to watch the time on this one.

Boiling water cooled off a little at 3 minutes.

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80

Thank you Lala for this generous sample!

This tea is not as flavourful as I would of hoped as Lala mentioned. I still enjoy it though, the subtle black base and the subtle hints of orange. Not a tea I would choose if I wanted a big kick in the morning. It seems like an afternoon tea

Boiling water cooled down a bit for 4 minutes
Rating 85?

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76

This one initially reminded me of a chai, mostly because of the ingredients. But now that I have drank it, I would say nope, no chai in there.

This one tastes strongly nutty. Definitely a thick pistachio taste. But it is not super distinctive pistachio, I think I know it is pistachio because I knew that was one of the ingredients. The rooibos is kind of woody, but it is pairing really well with a sweet but light, and slightly bitter orange rind flavour. This is a blend where the woody taste of the rooibos is definitely working in favour of the tea. The pepper gives it is bit of heat but I would not call this a spicey tea. Very nice blend, definitely can drink this as the weather starts to turn colder.

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

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66

Any of you who have been following me for a while and reading my notes will know that I have certain “difficulties” with pu’erh.

I just can’t find a pu’erh that I like. It all tastes fishy or mushroomy to me. I have found some highly flavoured pu’erhs that I can drink. I feel like I really need to buy some expensive stuff and try it out to know for sure because I have only tried relatively cheap and generic pu’erh. But I don’t want to spend lots of money on something I am pretty much guaranteed not to like. Tea drama all around.

This tea smells like cinnamon candies, mmmmmm cinnamon, uuuggghhh pu’erh!?! It smelled delicious, it is a flavoured loose tea, so I thought I would try it.

The dry tea is solid red hots candy smelling.

After brewing, immediately as I took the strainer out of my cup, I got a quick whiff of mushrooms. Proceed with caution.

The smell of the brewed tea is not terrible, strongly cinnamon but also earthy, not mushroomy though. A little less caution now.

The tea tastes like cinnamon, not as sweet as it smells. The pu’erh tea is strong under the cinnamon but it is more earthy tasting. So no fish. No mushrooms. I do feel like I am getting a taste of dirt every once in a while. More like fresh, moist potting soil. (No, I don’t eat potting soil, but if you are a gardener you will know what I mean). The liquor feels very thick. It tastes strong.

This one is kind of reminding me of cinnamon coffee for some reason. Overall not too bad. I think I can drink this one. I just have to keep telling myself that not all pu’erh is evil.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Fanatos

Not all puerhs is evil :)

tigress_al

Have you tried a quick rinse with pu’erh? That has worked for me on a couple that I found too “mushroom”

Lala

I have tried rinsing, although I don’t usually do that with flavoured pu. I have also tried diff steep temps and time, gonfu vs western style, trying more than one steep. I just can’t get it figured out. I think I just don’t like pu’erh. But I never get the same flavour profiles that other members on steepster get, so that makes me think I am doing something wrong. Ha ha.

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95

Attention Steepster. I love and hate you at the same time. I did not type for the last 5 minutes in order for you to just throw it all away without saving it. You are a cruel, cruel friend.

So back to the memories of this review…

I didn’t buy this one for me but I had to try it when I got home because it was so interesting. It also had rave reviews from the tea shop owner.

The dry tea reminds me so much of Christmas. It is black tea with red safflower petals and almond slivers. So pretty.

The dry tea does not really smell that amazing. It is kinda like cinnamon and nuts.

The brewed tea is delicious. The black tea and safflower petals give it a cake-y/heavy pastry flavour. There is a light cinnamon taste. It is more sweet cinnamon than spicey cinnamon. There is a light almond flavour. It is not marizipan like I find a lot of almond teas taste like, it is more natural almond taste.

This one reminds me of a coffee cake (heavy white cake/bread with cinnamon and sugar). I don’t think this one is going to last too long in my house. I will most likely go and get more.

I can imagine this would be great with milk and brown sugar, so I will just have to try another cup.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

sounds delicious!

Terri HarpLady

I hate when that happens!
The tea sounds tasty though!

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