ESP Emporium

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Recent Tasting Notes

30

Nope. This is unpleasant. It’s unpleasantly sour, and at the same time too sweet, and has an unfortunate mouthfeel. Almost furry. Yuck. I haven’t tried many teas by ESP, but several of them have been memorably unpleasant.

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84

I forgot I had written this up to post a few days ago…
I bought this one from ESP because it was a blend I really liked from Tealux that they don’t carry anymore. Though it is the same, it seems like it might be lacking flavor somehow. With the old blend, even if the berry flavor was missing, there was still a strong peony flavor, even when it aged. Here there are only hints of any flavor at all. And there was a BIG piece of fig in the infuser. I really love the idea of this blend, I just wish it would translate better to the flavor.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 32 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep

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75

I like this for a green tea. It’s very berry, but not in the berry/rose hips/hibiscus kind of way. Best drunk very hot though. I don’t think I would add it to my regular rotation.

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Decaf and Herbal TTB. This is an interesting fruit blend. It would probably be great iced. There does not seem to be one dominant fruit note, several seem to blend together well. If I ever order from the ESP Emporium I would definitely consider this. It’s pretty good.

I brewed this once with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper for 7 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Flower Garden by ESP Emporium
1328 tasting notes

Decaf and Herbal TTB. Not entirely sure what I’m tasting here. Picked this one out of the TTB because I was fairly certain about it’s ingredients. The first ingredient is sour apple pieces and I think that is the main note of this tea. It is a fairly pleasant sour. Don’t really get much off of the other ingredients.

I brewed this once in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 7 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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84

I had to order a few of my favorites after what was essentially a 50% off sale if I kept my order around $20 ($10 off $20). I had been planning an order for just a few teas from them for a while now. Roasted almond! The sencha berry and Tiramisu blends I loved when I bought them from Tealux. And this one! I’m also very happy that ESP has changed their packaging to thick resealable pouches instead of the ones that just folded over. Now I don’t have to switch the pouches. On to the tea!
This one was an interesting blend. I’m always looking out for blends with figs and dates. I see plenty of fruit in the mix. The black tea is very light but showcases the flavors more. With the sesame, it becomes the most prominent flavor but makes it a unique and savory blend. Hints of fruit throughout. There are also almonds here but they don’t seem to add much to the flavor. There should also be vanilla here, but it wasn’t as noticeable as the other flavors. This is definitely nice to have in the cupboard for this unique flavor type!

Sipdowns: 1/26 Sample of Teavivre’s Lapsang I’m not selling (but still have the one I’m selling – it still counts though?)
1/27 thePuritea’s Hong Jing Luo
…but then I started slacking. none 1/28 or 1/29

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drank Honey Almond by ESP Emporium
1328 tasting notes

I picked this out of the Decaf and Herbal Tea TTB because there was so much of it. It is an interesting fruit blend. I added sugar to it which improved it dramatically. I’m not really sure what I taste, apple and almond I suppose. I don’t think I would buy this but it is nice to try when it is too late for me to have what I really want, a gongfu session with some nice ripe puerh. It is way too late for caffeine so this will do.

I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 5 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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15
drank Honey Almond by ESP Emporium
426 tasting notes

Herbal TTB

This is one of those blends that I tend to call a “fruit salad” tea…lots of big chunks of dried fruit and spices with no actual tea leaves. It brews up to a bright pink color, which really surprised me since there’s no hibiscus in the blend. The scent is sweet and fruity; the flavor is super-sweet honey with a touch of fruit…I really didn’t pick up on whatever almond flavor was supposed to be there. Overall, I found this WAY too sweet for my tastes, to the point that I couldn’t even finish the cup.

Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Thanks for this one, Stephanie! I’m not accustomed to such exotic fruits, so it was tough to say if this was accurate, but it was certainly fruity and quite delicious. I couldn’t really see any white tea leaves in the blend, really just sencha and lemongrass, but this is a refreshing and thirst quenching brew! The lemongrass doesn’t take over the flavor at all, mostly just fruit flavor and sencha. It’s great! ESP Emporium doesn’t get enough Steepster love.
Todays sipdown: Teasenz – Red Dragon Pearls

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Very nice white tea with both mango and pear (and you can actually taste both). Subtle flavor profile, that makes a really enjoyable drink.

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30

Herbal and Decaf TTB

I thought I had reviewed this, but either I’m not remembering correctly or Steepster ate the review. This one has a relatively pleasant fruity flavor, maybe a little too sweet for me, but a really cloyingly sweet smell. Not a keeper for me.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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30

This was donated by Liquid Proust for the Herbal and Decaf TTB. Thank You!

This is an interesting tea. When brewed, it’s a bright red that I associate with Hibiscus. It has a sweet-tart fruity smell, with a hint of spice, flowers, and earthiness. The taste is a light honey and nuts flavor with just a hint of the fruity, spicy, floral, earthiness I picked up in the smell. It’s not nearly as bold as I would have expected, but it has a bit of complexity. After drinking more of this, I feel like it’s almost too sweet. It’ really good, but I might like it better mixed with just a bit of hibiscus. I’ll have to try that.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Nutty

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Liquid Proust

Take out a few ounces of this, I think I gave 400g?
Now, when it gets cold… mix this with a strong black tea and you’ll get one nice cup :)

rosebudmelissa

Yeah, I’m definitely taking some of this. It’s pretty good on it’s own, but I’m excited to try blending it with things.

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drank Macabeo by ESP Emporium
27 tasting notes

Very floral taste, with a sweet fruit taste in the background.
Even unbrewed, the tea smells really nice.

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81

My other tea from this company. It smells of bergamot, with floral notes. The vanilla scent comes out a little. There is some floral flavour, and citrus notes. Seems like the monk was trying to a different tea at first. Still, the Assam base is nice and floral/ vanilla.

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Flowers, Vanilla

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85
drank Lime Deluxe by ESP Emporium
1635 tasting notes

This was a sipdown today, after all, and probably the last one I’ll manage this weekend. I’m working tomorrow, sadly, so I won’t be drinking as much tea as I usually would on a weekend. I really hate 6 day weeks, and I’m so tired – it’s totally horrible right now. This tea cheered up my Friday, though. It has creamy undertones with a strong hit of sharp lime right in the foreground. I’m sure it helped to keep me awake this afternoon!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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85
drank Lime Deluxe by ESP Emporium
1635 tasting notes

From the EU TTB

I’m a bit of a sucker for flavoured teas, so I had to give this one a go. I figured it for a green, but I didn’t realise it was a white/green blend at the time I was drinking it. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees.

I have to say, I really like it. There’s a tangy, not-quite-sharp but pretty flavour-accurate lime, with a mildly sweet, deliciously creamy smoothness from the coconut. They’re not strong, in-your-face flavours, but rather light and refreshing. A perfect summer cocktail – only tea! The green base is pretty perfect; it’s mildly grassy, which works really well with the coconut, and fairly unobtrusive unless you’re really looking for it. This one reminds me a little of 52Teas Lime Jello Salad. A very enjoyable cup!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp
Teatotaler

Sounds like my kind of tea. I really love lime flavor!

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85

Having a tea the same colours as the Irish flag sounded cool. So I got this tea. The scent is more on the strawberry side, with some coconut. There is a sweet, creamy berry flavour. Not sure what I was expecting, but the tea is more smooth in the second cup.

Goes well with lemon pastries.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Strawberry

Nichole/CuppaGeek

I like this one and it can be picked up super cheap on Amazon sometimes.

Lariel of Lórien

Amazon sells teas now?

Liquid Proust

Amazon has about everything now! That’s how I bought my BANA tea starter kit

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drank Flower Power by ESP Emporium
27 tasting notes

The tea smelled very flowery, and that was also what it tasted like (not a bad thing in any way). I couldn’t recognize the individual tastes (apparently there are also some fruits in the tea).

Flavors: Flowers

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85

A sample from Roswell Strange. I’m drinking quite a lot of white blends at work at the moment, primarily because it’s so hot. This one looks to be a white peony, with plenty of twigs and a predominance of green leaves. Green, wow. The last white peony with actual green leaves I tried was from Teavivre – mostly, they seem to be black/brown, or perhaps I’m just unlucky with the White Peony blends I try. Who knows. Anyway, I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 170 degrees. The resulting liquor is a pale yellow-green.

The first thing I have to say is that it’s really good. Really, really good. I’m a fan of tropical teas in general, but so often the flavour is at least a little lacklustre. Not the case here – the mango is sweet and a little peppery, very juicy-tasting. A true-to-life flavour and absolutely delicious! I can’t taste the pear at all when hot, which is okay by me as pear isn’t really my thing. My last sip was cold as I’d got distracted with a phone call, and the pear was more noticable, but only barely. It’s a mildly floral pear, but sweet and ripe tasting. It pairs well with the white base, which is completely unobtrusive except for some light honeysuckle notes.

I really enjoyed this one – it was the perfect cup for a warm morning at work, very fresh and refreshing! One of the better mango teas I’ve tried.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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64

Sipdown (120)!

I made this hot in a timolino this time around; I really wanted to see what the flavor difference would be compared with the cold brewed version.

What I found was that this was much milder in general, and the green tea didn’t travel well with the timolino and was very masked because of hot light it was in the first place. However, both the strawberry and toasted rice came through and they didn’t clash like they were in the cold brew. Perhaps that’s because they were both much more muted and dull as flavors, so there was less ‘competing’ flavor overall.

Today’s word of the day is… Abashed!

Abashed means: “ashamed or embarrassed”.

Funny story; Tre just took a look at my mini calendar to see what the word was and instantly read it aloud as “ABBA Shed”. I corrected him, and he instantly became the perfect example for the meaning of this word.

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64

Since I’ve tried a few ‘unconventional’ Genmaicha blends lately I wanted to do something different with this one, which is why I cold brewed it. I’m not even sure if I’ve ever done that before with a Genmaicha blend; I can’t easily bring an example to mind.

I have to admit it was a little weird tasting a cold brewed Genmaicha; the green tea wasn’t anything exceptional nor was it disappointing but the strong, drawn out notes of roasted brown rice – which took on a near barley taste, were more intense than I would expect from Genmaicha. More like a good mugicha than anything else, to be honest.

The strawberry certainly is not the most vibrant strawberry flavour though. I wouldn’t even call it all that realistic to be honest; what it does taste like it strawberry candy. Some kind of cross between those fluffy strawberry marshmallow five cent candies you see in gas stations and a really nice strawberry gummy candy? I like the taste itself, but the pairing with the green tea/roasted notes doesn’t work for me.

So overall; I’d say there were definitely high and low points to this tea and if I revisit it I’ll definitely be trying an alternative prep method (perhaps something more traditional) than revisiting this one. It’s not worth a second taste.

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72

Sipdown (136)!

Finishing off this sample from Liquid Proust as a hot brew. It had a really, really nice clear and realistic tasting mango flavor with a light, refreshing white base and made me think of this mango cucumber salsa that the dietitians at work made last week that was so delicious. I love when when white teas have that super crisp refreshing cucumber-like quality. However, other than the incredibly nice mango flavour and crispness of it all there wasn’t much else offered; certainly no pear flavour.

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72

Mango isn’t always a flavour that appeals to me, but I’ve tried a few paired with a white base and they’ve all been pretty enjoyable. On top of that, I really like pear though honestly I’m unsure how the pairing will do. It’s not one I’ve seen done often, and I’m worried that the mango may mask the pear if it’s not over the top.

I made this one as a cold brew, and honestly I’m not loving it though I don’t hate it either. The white base is acting as a very good blank canvas for the flavour; you can hardly taste any contributions from it except for maybe some lighter honeysuckle notes. Whether that’s good or bad would I guess depend on your personal tastes. The main reason I’m not all over this is that it might as well just be a mango tea; I can’t taste the pear at all. The mango is nice though; it’s got a light ‘spritzer’ kind of vibe to it, and is tropical but almost in a citrusy tangerine sort of way. I’m enjoying what I’m tasting, it’s just totally not what I was hoping for.

That’s alright though; you can’t love every tea and somewhere out there someone’s looking for an organic mango tea on a white base and this is probably perfect for them.

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77

Sipdown (128)!

Sample comes from Liquid Proust.

Pomegranate and green tea seem to be a fairly common pairing, and I have to admit it’s not one I’ve explored often enough given how much I actually like pomegranate – but the dragonfruit in this blend? That was the nail in the coffin, and the aspect that got me really truly excited for this blend. I absolutely adore the subtle pear/kiwi like flavour of dragonfruit and I used to buy quite a lot of it, but it’s really expensive ($3 a fruit) so I had to cut down.

This cold brew definitely puts more emphasis on the pomegranate though; it’s very sweet and juicy, with a really round and robust fruity flavour that just dominates over the entire drink. There is a little ‘extra’ fruit flavour that creeps into the end of the sip and aftertaste though. It reminds me quite a bit of a mild or more tame kiwi flavour which is definitely the dragonfruit. I didn’t really taste the vanilla for most of the drink. It wasn’t until the last few swigs that I thought it stood out as more than just additional sweetness.

As for the base, I struggled to taste the white tea, but the green was slightly present as a crisp, clear vegetal background note. It did a good job of being subtly present without cutting into the flavourings, which are definitely meant to be the focus of the blend.

This is definitely an enjoyable blend, well suited for summer.

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