Cuppa'T Specialty Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

68

Was planning on making this one as a cold brew overnight but when I woke up this morning I realized I had forgotten to get it ready and put in the fridge. So I made it iced just so I could have something cold in the fridge today. (Which if you continue reading, was a good plan).

I have to start studying for a huge exam coming up. I have been meaning to start for weeks. Do a bit every day so I don’t have to cram. But procrastination set in. So today I finally decided to get started. I spent an hour getting all my study stuff ready – procrastination at its best. Then the power goes out, which is good, because with no power, there is not much else I can/should be doing, might as well study. I finally sat down and turned on the laptop to download the study guide, well guess what – internet doesn’t work if the power is out. Damn. I need some tea at this point. Well you can’t boil a kettle if there is no power. Damn. So I am glad I had made a pitcher of this iced so I could at least have that kind of tea while I study. Maybe it saved me, maybe not. We will see how long I study for before I get distracted. (Edit: made it about an hour and a half before I broke for lunch, but most of that time was searching for information in a bunch of different books – at least its a start).

This tea is not terribly great hot. So we will see how it is iced. It is not terrible iced, but not the greatest. I think it is easier to drink iced than hot. There is still a orange rind pepper taste. I don’t really get any sweet orange flavour. There is really not much taste to the tea. The taste of even the black tea is quite blunted. I had added some rock sugar while it was steeping which I think helped. I think I will finish the rest of this one off as iced/cold on those days when it is hot and I just need to guzzle tea without really tasting it.

Terri HarpLady

Murphy’s Law: If anything can go wrong, it will! :)
Good luck with the studying!

Lala

Thanks Terri. Now that I have gotten going, it is going pretty well… for now anyway!

Fjellrev

Best of luck on the studying! I can be really overwhelming cramming it all in, but sometimes it works even better than spreading it out haha.

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68

Continuing on with my orange slice series – I added an orange slice to this tea. The orange slice made the tea much more tasty. It just brought out the orange flavour in the tea. It is a little candy-like, artificial orange tasting, but with the orange slice there is a stronger orange flavour. This tea ended up in the back of my tea cupboard because I didn’t find it too appetizing before, so I was ignoring it. But now I think I have found a way to drink it.

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

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68

So I figured out why I was confused about the tangerine parfait tea I reviewed earlier today. I initially thought it was a black tea, but it turned out to be a white tea. I was confused becuase I guess I bought two orange teas. This one, sweet orange, is a black tea. Who would have though a tea addict would buy tea and then forget what they bought :P

This tea is black tea mixed with orange peel. It smells like candied orange.

The smell of the brewed tea is more so just sweet orange, like a ripe mandarin, but not candy. The black tea is also strong, and you can smell that underneath the orange smell.

The tea tastes like a black tea with an orange flavouring in it. I added rock sugar to sweeten it up a bit but it made no difference.

In regards to an orange tea, I prefer the tangerine parfait from Cuppa T Specialty Teas vs this one.

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

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91

Last time I made this one, I brewed it as a black tea, instead of a white. So this time I brewed it at the proper temperature. I also added a few peices of rock sugar.

The spiceyness of the tea is a lot stronger with the proper brewing temperature. A mix of licorice and cinnamon, with cinnamon being the predominate flavour. There is definitely a strong citrous flavor, its creamy and peppery. I would say it is more tangerine this time around.

This tea seems to be good at any temperature, forgiving to using too hot water to brew. But I think it is best when brewed at the proper temperature for white tea.

tigress_al

This must be a new blend! And it sounds right up my alley. Yay! I like trying new teas

Lala

I think it is one of the new spring teas.

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91

I was a bit surprised at first becuase I initially thought this was a black tea, but it didn’t look like a black tea after it was brewed. Its actually a white tea, oops. So I brewed it like a black, but it turned out really good.

There were beautiful sunflower petals mixed in with the tea and orange peels.

The tea is a dark yellow brown colour. There is a sweet spicey smell to it, slightly orange. I can’t quite determine what the spice is, but it might be licorice root, however, the tea does not taste like licorice root or cinnamon.

The tea tastes like sweet orange. Not quite tangerine, but it is not tart orange or bergamot. There is a slight spice to it, but it is not overpowering.

Initially I thought I should have added sweetener, but I am glad that I didn’t. Once it cooled slightly it was perfect.

Next time I am going to brew this one like a white tea and see how the flavours change.

I think this would be a great tea for anyone that likes orange, but not bergamot.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

Hmmmm ill have to keep this one in mind :)

Kittenna

Luckily whites often aren’t as finicky as greens!! :D

Lala

Sil – I thought of you while I was drinking this one. Ha ha.

Sil

oh we’ll be swapping again lady! haha

Lala

Sil: sounds good to me

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98

Made this as a 6 hour cold brew.

It is not as “warming” as a cold brew, which is good. It tastes of ginger and verbena, and a strong pepper taste. There is a very tiny bit of sweetness. There is definitely a wasabi taste but without the heat/spice.

Very refreshing cold, almost the opposite of when it is hot. Hot it is warming (like runny nose warming), and cold it is thirst quenching and refreshing.

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98

Oh, my! This is a good one.

Now I couldn’t resist picking this one up based soley on the name. But the tea had an interesting look and smell to it.

The dry tea is colourful, and has dried fruit peices, flower petal, leaves, and peppercorns. It smells sweet and spicey at the same time. It smells almost herbal (but not medicinal), not so much minty or fruity or flowery.

The tea brews up golden yellow. The liquor smells the same as it did when it was dry. The tea tastes wonderful, and it is warming me from the inside out. I can’t even describe the taste of the tea. I am tasting slight mint, moreso peppermint than spearmint, I can also tast the verbena, cornflowers, peppercorns. There is a slight sweet finish to the tea, which I presume comes from the dried fruit, but don’t get me wrong, the tea is not at all fruity. At the absolute awesomest part of this tea is the wasabi! It does not taste like wasabi but it has the heat of wasabi. My tongue and throat and stomach are warm, but not burning. Thats the best part of wasabi in my opinion.

This was a hard one to describe. So instead of trying to further describe it, I am just going to drink it.

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

I’m a huge wasabi fan but putting it into tea never even kind of crossed my mind. But I can imagine how it would work like you described. Interesting.

Sil

Oh neat!

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67

soooooo tired. I’m about ready for bed but wait, whta’s that? oh yes i’m on another meeting with China that makes it once again clear that they’re lost without me there. sigh not sure what the hell i’m going to do to move this project forward but let me tell you 10-midnight are NOT my best hours. nope. not at all.

Lala sent this my way in our swap. I don’t recall whether or not I asked for this one, but i’m always happy to try new teas! I was a little worried when i read that this had lavender in it, but surprisingly it’s not OMG IN YOUR FACE lavender. So that’s good. :) it wouldn’t be my first choice in a tea but overall it’s not too shabby.

Thanks Lala!

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81

backlog and a sipdown!

Thanks again to lala for sharing this one with me from her local shop. I an still enjoying this one quite a bit. It’s a pretty tasty green pear tea i find, though slightly different from other pear teas. Sad to see this one go!

Kittenna

Pssssst prickly pears are cactus fruit, not actual pears ;)

Sil

I know….doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste like a pear :p

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81

mmmm i am still really digging this tea. having this as a relaxing cup before dinner and testing tonight. Soooo glad it’s almost the weekend!

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81

Another tea from my swap with Lala I am loving this one! I’m not getting the after taste that others did, beyond the taste of a slightly unripe pear in the after taste. The tea is a sweet, fruity tea with a pear taste that rolls through the sip.

Lala

so happy you liked it!

Sil

It’s a good one :)

tigress_al

I really don’t like this one hot, but iced, it is ok

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93

Even though Christmas is long over, it is never too late to celebrate. Brewed the tea is a golden colour, which does remind me of Christmas. This tea tastes like a Christmas tea blend. Kinda of chai-y. Tastes like spicey and sweet orange, the spice is not overpowering. There may be a cinnamon/nutmeg flavour to it, but can’t quite place the taste. The oolong taste is very subtle. This is not a strong tea, but it is also not tasteless. The flavours blend very well together. I could see this tea as an after-dinner/before bed time drink.
This ia a beautiful oolong blend.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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68

This tea is wonderful. Bloomed beautifully. It smells like just bloomd spring flowers. It tastes like vegetal green tea, but you can also taste a slight hint of the flowers. There is only the slightest hint of sweet jasmine. The flower taste does not overpower the greean tea, but it is in good balance. The aftertaste is astringent but is not unpleasant.

I loved just sitting and watching this ball bloom. It floated, slowly release small air bubbles. As the air bubbles released and the ball started to expand and bloom, the ball sank to the bottom of the pot. The green tea leaves started to open out and the flowers slowly bloomed and reached towards the surface of the water. The flowers and green tea leaves subtly waved in the water, as if there was a slight breeze. Just like in a spring garden.
I guess this is what you would call entertainment for a tea lover.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 7 min, 45 sec

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98

i just adore this tea, beatiful smell of lavanda mixed with white tea mmm

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63

I only bought one of these. I had intended to take pictures of the bloomed flower but it didn’t turn out to well. The ball did not fully bloom, one side bloomed and the other side appeared to be tied down, so could not blooom out. The jasmine buds in the center also did not bloom well. they seemed to be tied down through the center of the bud so it could not bloom and expand. I left it to steep for 15+ minutes. I was disappointed in that. But the tea itself was delicious. It had a wonderful jasmine scent and flavour.

Flowering tea.
Appearance of dry tea: small round ball of dried tea.
Smell of dry tea: slight hint of jasmine.
Appearance of steeped tea: did not fully bloom. Only half of outer tea leaves bloomed, yellow jasmine buds in center only partially bloomed.
Smell of liqour: strong smell of jasmine.
Appearance of liqour: dark golden colour.
Taste of liqour:strong jasmine flavour, but not overpowering. Very slight sweetness.

I would like to purchase this one again to see if it blooms better. I would drink it again for the taste.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 8 min or more

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74

This tea surprised me. The loose, dry tea, resembles more black tea than it does white. The lavender and vanilla are in good balance. This tea is sweet, creamy, and almost has a nutty flavour. The tea is heavy and thick. The lavender leaves a slightly astringent aftertaste. The more it cools, the stronger the lavender notes get. This is not my favorite tea, but it is enjoyable.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Made this one as a cold brew.

Its ok. Tastes like caramel earl grey. There is no “creamy” about it as a cold brew. Much more creamy when hot. The bergamot in this one as a cold brew is also a little chemical tasting. Glad I tried it cold, but prefer this one hot.

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85

I have been trying to use of the mountains of Earl Grey tea I have at home. Normally I just drink Twinnings at work, but I started bringing other brands to work so I can drink them down (and then get more).

I normally do not drink a lot of Earl Grey Creams. So in my tired haze this morning, I boiled the water (kind of – it doesn’t ever get to boiling at work) and dropped in this tea. The smell that wafted out made me a bit concerned. I sat there thinking for more than a few minutes, I thought I was drinking Earl Grey. Then it dawned on me that what I was smelling was the caramel. Mmmmm. The smell is delicious and tantalizing. I had to take a sip before it was cool enough, and it burned my tongue. This one is much more caramel-y than I remember. I can smell and taste the bergamot just under the caramel. It feels like it is going to be a good day today!

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

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85

I am not sure what to think. My taste buds are in a bit of shock. It is good. The problem is I am such an earl grey addict I had never branched out to all of the earl grey variations that are out there. I love the strong bergamot, the caramel definitley gives it some sweetness and very creamy flavour.
I am sure I will enjoy this over and again.

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

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85

I have never tasted a prickly pear, so I do not have much to compare this tea to, but I find it to be delicious. It tasted like a light green tea, with a fruity flavour, tropical flavour to it. Its sweet on its own, slightly creamy taste. The fruity flavour mixes well with the green tea.
It does leave an aftertase.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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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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90

Again, not really but kind of a tea tasting note.

I wanted to make some iced coffee. My usual is to use day old coffee, add milk, sweetener and ice, sometimes blender it will some kind of mocha or chocolate mix.

I decided to brew the coffee with some lapsang tea – really wasn’t my idea, I did see this somewhere but can’t remember where or when. I made 8 cups, used 4 scoops coarsely ground Starbucks blonde veranda blend and just 1 tsp of the lapsang – I didn’t want it to be too strong.

It turned out ok. You can definitely taste the smokey flavour. But cold, it does make the coffee quite dry, slightly bitter. It really tastes like smokey campfire coffee to me. It is almost like the smoke just sits on top of the coffee. First I taste the smoke, then I taste the coffee, it is not blending too well. I am thinking this one might have been better had I used a bolder coffee. This one is definitely better hot than cold. Cold campfire is just not for me I guess.

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90

This is not necessarily a tea review, so you can stop reading now if you like.

I made pea soup. Mmmmm. It was delicious. My grandparents sill farm, even though they are probably to old to be farming, they just won’t quit. Good for them! My grandpa grew peas last year so I got my grandma to steal me an ice cream pail of peas after harvest. I have been using them up sparingly. They were not “processed” and “fresh” off the field. In saying that I mean they were not cleaned so they were full of dust, husks and dehydrated grasshopper parts. I spent an hour yesterday sifting through 4 cups of peas to clean out any non-pea debris, then soaked for 12 hours in water. I slow cookered the peas for 12 hours with a ham bone, 1 cup of strong lapsang souchong tea, chicken stock, pepper and bay leaves.

The lapsang gave the soup a smokey flavour that paired perfectly with the ham. But I think it also helped to cut back on the saltiness that sometimes the ham can give it. I also found the soup to be very smooth, which I am attributing to the tea because that is the only difference this time around. I didn’t use too much tea so the caffeine does not appear to be a factor.

This was great and I look forward to doing it again. My grandparents are growing peas again this year so I might have to sneak some more in the fall :) Maybe more than an ice cream pail this time!

Nxtdoor

Ham hock?

Nxtdoor

Split pea soup is awesome. With ham hock, I’m in heaven.

Lala

It was the bone from a picnic ham, so the leg – not sure what the cut is called.

JustJames

i can’t do smoke normally…. but i likely could this way! yum!!!

no grasshopper parts? but we all need protein =0(

Lala

Ha ha, well I got the grasshopper parts that still had faces and antennas. I am sure there were still a few legs left in there. :P

Fjellrev

Interesting concoction!

JustJames

not happy when your beverages grimace at you?

Lala

More like: I don’t like when I have a smiling face staring up at me right before I eat it. He he.

Bonnie

What a great idea! I cook with lapsang souchong all the time. Usually though, I grind it into a powder with my mortar and pestle…then sprinkled on steaming broccoli or use in rubs.

Lala

Bonnie – I thought about just putting the tea leaves in whole but I was worried about the caffeine getting too strong – so I can eat this for supper/dinner. Do you find that when you grind the leaves there seems to be caffeine effects added?

JustJames

it could have been sticking its tongue out, lol!!

i have to be careful with smoke/smokiness. i can’t be around even bonfire smoke (so annoying), and i am sensitive to it in teas as well. i do think i could do it in a pea soup, though.

canadianadia

ooh! Lapsang in split pea soup – that’s genius!

Fuzzy_Peachkin

Oh man! That sounds so good!

Bonnie

DELETE2 minutes ago
When you make a powder out of the tea, you just use a pinch of it or so to taste…and unless you’re eating everything yourself, I hardly think caffeine is an issue. Sugar and salt are bigger concerns to health. I cook with tea frequently and at 65 have never noticed any caffeine effect as yet. Possibly, this is due to having the tea with food…not on an empty stomach.

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