Cuppa'T Specialty Teas
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
Brewed up a cup this morning. I again added some rose buds to smooth out the taste a bit.
I usually don’t re-steep but I tried re-steeping this one. The smoke flavour is a little less. The tea tastes a bit more crisp than it did on the first steep. The flavour profile stays very much the same, just a little less intense.
My new favorite!!! This tea has a strong smokey smell. It retains a smokey flavour once brewed, but is not so strong that is overpowers. Once brewed it makes a medium brown with slight hint of red liqour. The smokey taste is slightly sweet. There is a bit of a smokey after taste but it is not unpleasant. Reminds me not so much of a campfire but of a smoke house, (ie. used to smoke meats). This tea makes you feel warm.
I brewed a second cup and added two organic rose buds (also from Cuppa’T). I was inspired by the posts of Anna Karenina from The Republic of Tea (which is on my wish list). While the smokey flavour is still present, the rose buds smooth out the taste. The rose buds a bit more sweetness. There is also less aftertaste, then when brewed plain. Love this tea!!!
Looking forward to many more cups of this one.
I bought this earlier in the year when I happened to be in Regina for a workshop. It was fun exploring my old haunts, and even more fun to find a specialty tea store :) I’m surprised I haven’t logged this one yet though.
I bought Latte Macchiato because 1) I love coffee just as much as I love tea and 2) I wanted to compare it to the Latte Macchiato from Adonia Tea in Vancouver. They both have a dry scent that’s a pleasant mix of earthy tea and fresh coffee. Adonia has the strange but yummy yogurt crispies in their blend. Cuppa’T has coconut flakes which I love.
They both taste very similar as well. Just a hint of coffee, and a nice creaminess. This blend is a bit more astringent than Adonia’s. Maybe I’ll just cut down on the steeping time. I had this today with a teaspoon of sugar and some So Delicious coconut milk to add to the coconut flakes. It’s a very nice way to start the weekend.
Shared a pot of this with the in laws this morning before brunch and it was a lovely tropical cuppa. I mostly got passion fruit today. The flavour really depends on the chunks of fruit in the spoonful, because the chunks are fairly large. I still really enjoy this one, even though it is finicky. I got it right today though!