Cuppa'T Specialty Teas
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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
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.