Granville Island Tea Co

Recent Tasting Notes

This is my first cup of the day. And it’s 9:30p. This tea is great when I stand in front of my tea cupboard staring aimlessly and not being able to decide what I want. It’s great other times too, but it just works perfectly when I don’t even necessarily feel like tea. The scent alone can change that.

I left work early today and went to visit my “AB mom” and her husband, both of who have become special to me in the few years I’ve known them. He was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and it’s gone and come twice now. I’ve chatted with her, but not actually seen either of them in a few months, so I decided to take off from work and drop by to visit. That soon became five hours of visiting, which was actually amazing. In just a few months so much had changed, and I am so, so happy I took the time to visit and catch up today.

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74

I distinctly recall last May as being rainy and dreary – in other words, no different from the winter months.

So when we were blessed with a spell of warm weather, I rushed to Granville Island between work and evening lectures to sample a new Earl Grey, of which I had become addicted to.

It took me awhile to find the small but well-stocked Granville Island Tea Company in the public market. When I asked for Earl Greys, the sales girl expertly pulled several tins from the shelves, which was no easy feat, seeing as there were several hundred black tins lining the walls.

I had a hard time choosing between the Cream Earl Grey and the aptly-named Dorian Grey (cue lit student squeals), but the sweet, creamy scent of the former won me over. The resulting brew was lighter on bergamot than standard Earl Greys, but intoxicatingly flavoured with vanilla. The taste was smooth, velvety, and utterly soothing. Definitely going back for seconds when my 100g runs out.

Flavors: Vanilla

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We made it to Granville Island, so I picked up 50g of this one. I ended up mixing the Market Spice from Bayswater with this in one tin. Bayswater’s version wasn’t quite as tasty, but only just slightly less so.

I love Market Spice teas though. The candy heart-ness is awesome.

You know what isn’t so awesome? Being assigned an assignment that requires me going to school before my class even begins. Yes, I have a PPT presentation due at 9am the first day of classes. I dragged myself out of the house today, despite the snow, and drove down to school, only to find the library was closed and the prof hasn’t yet activated the student IDs to access to biology study center, which means I couldn’t do my assignment. Tomorrow I’m scheduled to work all day, which just happens to be the hours the library is open because classes aren’t actually in until Tuesday. I am not impressed. At all. I do not think it is acceptable to assign work before the class begins.

However, I am now back at the house with this awesome tea, and yes I’m back to watching Suits. Harvey is my favourite.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
whatshesaid

That sounds frustrating and unfair

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75

It took a great deal of fiddling and several cups dumped down the drain before I could get this tea to taste like something that wasn’t a variation of ‘hideously bitter’. I don’t know what it is about this particular tea as I haven’t had any trouble with other Darjeeling First Flushes before, but it seems very sensitive, particularly to water temperature.

The flavour is a still a bit astringent but more along the lines of what I’d expect out of a Darjeeling tea. The flavour is light (definitely NO MILK with this one) and rather crisp but it also has a distinctly sweet, almost honey-like finish that lingers in the mouth. Overall a very finicky tea but it’ll reward you when it’s done right.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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5

This tea is far too sweet and difficult to drink.

Flavors: Berries, Grapes, Plums, Stonefruits

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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51

It’s getting there. I brewed this with a few pieces of rock sugar and it seemed to taste a little better, but towards the end of the cup, it was too astringent for me.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79

This is a nice flavored green tea that actually lives up to it’s name and scent.
The brewed leaves smell a bit astringent and sour as well as sweet with a grass note to keep it balanced. The pomegranate pairs well with the hibiscus. The brewed tea has a slight pink tinge to the liquid. This would also make a good iced tea if brewed twice as strong and then diluted with ice cubes (or “tea” cubes!).

Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Grass

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Memily

Sounds yum!

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51

I brewed this for 3 minutes and it just tastes bland. Only a little more flavored than plain water. I’ll try this again with some sugar and a longer brew time to see if it tastes any better.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

I added this to 3/4 cup milk and some Counter Culture espresso. I like this chai better than Tiger Spice because it is not as sweet, though I do wish it were more heavily spiced. I enjoyed their chai tea at the market & thought it would be as equally spicy.

Preparation
6 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78

I really think this tea is great! Perhaps that’s because I know it’s a relatively good price for Genmaicha, perhaps it’s because the tea itself is pleasing to both taste and smell.

Although it is weak in smell, it still has a flavor that is aligned with some of the better Genmaichas I have tried. It almost has a buttery smoothness going in and the traditional toasted rice after taste.

I highly recommend this tea for anyone looking into trying some green teas. It’s a steal from this cool, unique store as well.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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89

I have a sample of this kicking around my cupboard – the Granville Island Tea Co stocks this tea sporadically and it always sells out fast, so I picked some up while I could. There’s something pleasantly spicy about the scent of the leaves – and like many Darjeeling first flushes they looked more like a green tea than a black tea. The flavour comes across as being almost berry-like, combined with a sweet nuttiness that makes this tea really unique. I expected it to be more astringent like a Darjeeling but it’s actually quite smooth, and gentle.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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70

I am really enjoying tea again! Another one I had forgotten about.

Brewed 2 tsps in the big DT mug, 3/4 full…..this is kind of meh…..if I didn’t know the flavour, not sure I could tell. No real chocolate or orange aroma I can detect. The flavour is very subtle – it really doesn’t taste like much of anything. If anything it tastes a bit dark chocolate-y, but I am trying hard to find the flavours. Nothing really wrong with it, but nothing much to recommend it either….

Lilysmom

This tasted a bit better as it cooled….and with a bit of sugar…..stii, I don’t think I need to drink it again…..if anyone would like it, please let me know and msg me your address….prefer to send within Canada…..

Yvonne

I’d gladly take it off your hands if you’d like :)

Lilysmom

Sounds good – I will send it your way!!

Yvonne

Thank you so much! :)

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69

Goodbye Granville Island Blend!

It’s raining out here like crazy, which reminds me of living in BC, so it seemed like a good time to finish the bag off. It was ok, but I won’t miss it.

Sipdown (98)

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69

Hey! This is pretty good hot.

I added a spoon of honey (still trying to beat the sick!), and the lemon and citrus notes are at the front. Nice.

I still don’t care for the medicinal rooibos, but it is a refreshing tea even hot. Good for hydration. Hmm. Maybe I’ll ice some tomorrow and bring it to work…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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69

This was supposed to be my homesick blend, but I’m not actually homesick – I just left it out of my storage so it was easy to grab and I wanted to get closer to sip-down because the type of bag it’s in doesn’t fit in as well with the foil zips everything else is in.

I oversteeped it. It’s not my fault. (Well… it is) I was looking at a Pride&Prejudice card game kickstarter that is super adorable. Even if I never play it, it’s totally worth $5 for the digital version that I can look at. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1898617831/marrying-mr-darcy-the-pride-and-prejudice-card-gam

Also, this Werewolf card game looks really awesome too: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1680252891/werewolf?ref=thanks

Man, I can see how people can get sucked into so many awesome projects…

oh! And this tea still tastes ok! WIN! I have no idea how long I steeped it but it was definitely over 5 minutes!

Preparation
8 min or more
Sil

damn you woman! i really like the artwork on the werewolf cards

Cavocorax

I know! I really like them too! I bought the P&P game for $5. I’m tempted to do the same for the werewolf one too. But… 7 people? That’s hard to arrange! Still, I could buy it for the cool art…

Sil

given the price i don’t mind, even if there aren’t a ton fo times we have 7+. Sadly i need more 6 player games as every month we get together with 2 other couples and most of my games are up to 5…SO ANNOYING lol

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77

Yes! I’m loving the creamy lemon today. That’s just what I wanted this evening and considering I was just looking to get closer to a sipdown, I was surprised by how tasty this is.

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62

The TTBA is here!! I just met up with Sil. Apparently we have the same sunglasses. Tea twins? ;)
Anyhow. I plan to be SO hyped on caffiene by the time today is over. It’s gonna be a good day!
But this tea? It isn’t buttered anything! In my travel mug so its piping hot at the moment… I’m hoping some semblance of flavour emerges as it cools down.
-
-
-
Ok it’s been a few minutes.
I can kind sorta maybe but not really see where they get “buttered” from. Except it’s more like “vanilla that moonlights as buttered”.
The base is kindof thin. or maybe it’s the flavouring. or both. Hmmm.
I find that ceylon is sometimes a tricky base, and that is what I suspect this is.
I’m sure if I had enough time to play around with steeping parameters, I could come up with something that’d be tasty. A latte perhaps?
Well, it’s been an interesting tea box debut. On to the next one :)

Note: I just discovered that if I aerate the sip between my teeth (because it’s still HOT!), I actually do get something rum like! Well, I’ll be.

Terri HarpLady

You girls should have took a pic!

Indigobloom

Next time! she didn’t have hers around at the moment

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18

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68
drank Buttered Rum by Granville Island Tea Co
4644 tasting notes

travelling tea box A!

and in other news – this is the 975th different tea that i’ve had (to pull a shmiracles), if steepster is to be believed.

**also in other news i totally lost my train of thought because someone’s facebook status made me laugh a lot. You know how there are words out there that people clearly don’t know what they are…how to spell them etc.. and you kind of shake your head and go with it? Well i never though i’d see the day that obstacles (a fairly “easy” word) was spelled wrong. Oppsticals. And yes..sometimes people have learning disorders and crap..not mocking the world but this was clearly from one of my friends who doesn’t know the word is obstacles, rather than her being unable to spell it properly. like my friend who thought it was “for all intensive purposes” instead of “intents and purposes” that sort of thing.

….holy tangent batman. So anyway…this tea? reminds me of i think? it’s palais de the’s toffee tea. I think? there’s something i’ve had that reminds me of this. The tea is not really buttered rum, and it’s a bit on the astringent side. it might fare better with a little cream or something but i prefer teas that i can drink straight.

Mercuryhime

Not sure what it is about this community, everyone here has good writing skills. As an ex-English teacher, this gives me great hope that writing is not a dying art.

Sil

oh god i hope not. u no its herd to rite gud. ;)

Nxtdoor

Sil. I laughed out loud. I am an ESL kid but I’m happy to say I keep up with the best of them!

Nicole

I love when I find things like that. Seems to happen a lot with phrases that people hear but have never seen written down and especially when they don’t understand what the words themselves mean.

Sil

Glad you laughed! I mean no disrespect to folks who do suffer from learning disabilities as I can’t even imagine having to cope with that sort of thing in life. My friend suffers no such thing though, so i’m allowed to make fun of her just a little. Reminds me of those times when someone sings a song out loud and you’re like uh, those aren’t the words…. haha

Sil

Nicole – so true! but the word obstacles totally floored me. it seems like one of those words i use every other day haha

Mercuryhime

Haha! Every form of variation language is a legitimate form of expression. The key is to get others to understand you and your intent. Maybe your was trying to express herself creatively. :)

Terri HarpLady

Speaking of Rum, International Talk Like a Pirate Day is right around the corner!!!!! We need to recruit a bunch of people to be pirates for the day, reviewing teas in character! And come up with an appropriate collection of teas…like anything with “Rum” in the name, Black Dragon Pearl, Hmmmm….what else?

Sil

fine, fine…i konseede! see what i did there :P

Sil

Terri – that day also happens to be my 4 year anniversary with smelly over here ;) he picked the day haha i told him when we get married…we are NOT doing it on the same day!

Terri HarpLady

I know, you told me! LOL!

Nicole

that would be an AWESOME wedding. :)

Sil

nonononononononononononono…

unless you’re going to bake for it nicole!

Sil

..and terri can sing and play pirate themed harp music!

Terri HarpLady

If you get married on Int. Talk Like a Pirate Day, I will come to your wedding. We’ll have to find someone locally that has a Harp to rent to me, & you’d better plan it a year in advance, cuz Sept is one of those months that books up early. But I’ll do it! I’ll dress up like a pirate wench, & play music from all the Pirates of the Caribean movies, & sing “yo ho yo ho, a Pirates life for me!”. I think you should do it, & totally carry out the pirate theme to the max!

OMGsrsly

Arrrr, me mateys. Does rum in my maple “Hong Kong” style iced tea count?

Sil

Lol I love you guys!

Terri HarpLady

OMGsrsly, hell yeah!
This really is the best community ever! :)

Nicole

Don’t know how I missed this continuing discussion. :) I would soooo come to Canada to bake for a pirate wedding! A treasure chest wedding cake with golden coin cookies or mints, tea based grog… oh, yes, I can see it. :)

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69

I really shouldn’t like this tea. I guess I didn’t expect to? And I don’t deserve to because it was an impulsive buy and those are supposed to bite you in the butt.

But I do.

It makes me think of a Ceylon, but I guess there is Assam in there too; both black teas make a strong showing, and then the vanilla and pomegranate make their appearance, bow, and leave centre-stage. This tea wants to be astringent, but it isn’t. Just enough to make me stop and pay more attention to the flavours, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

I think I’ll drink this one when I’m homesick. ;)
(for wherever “home” is. I was only in Vancouver for 5 years. The on Vancouver Island for 3. Then High Prairie for 3. Kamloops for 4?)

I guess I’ll drink this when I miss Vancouver. :D

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

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77

So I asked for recs because I knew I was going to Granville Island and OMGSrsly told me that THIS was the one to get. And I listened.

Then I came home and read her reviews and… Umm… “This tea is something I should hate”, and “Oh yeah. This tea won’t be getting a great rating from me even though I repurchased 100g today. I’m really undecided about it because it is everything I dislike, yet it’s so refreshing I keep drinking it. Weird, I know.

Hahaha. It’s a good thing I didn’t read that first!

I am enjoying it – it reminds me of Lemon Chiffon, without being creamy. It’s just lemon, a little bit of creaminess, and a little bit of zing (from the orange peel?). I’m halfway through my 50g now, so… I may re-stock before I move! More bedtime options are always nice, and the baby might like this too if I iced it.

It was also pretty cheap too. I think maybe $4 for 50g? I think that’s good.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
OMGsrsly

LOL I know, they’re terrible reviews! Yet I keep drinking the tea. I’m almost out of my 100g now, but I think I’ll save my tiny tea budget for something else this time. I can always go back to Granville Island!

Cavocorax

That totally makes sense! I think most of my tea budget is going to Bayswater. And I won’t even bother with O5, but if we go in, I’ll politely look.

OMGsrsly

I want to sniff stuff if we go into O5, but their prices are a little ridiculous. $9 for 40g of hibiscus? That better be some special hibiscus!

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86

Very similar to a Cream of Earl Grey but a bit better!

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69

Reached for this one again tonight since Cavocorax bought some but wasn’t convinced about my ‘review’. Haha.

This tea is a rooibos. It tastes like a rooibos with stuff in. Iced, it’s incredibly refreshing and hydrating, an I reach for it whenever I have a hot or uncomfortable day, or want to make sure I’m hydrated.

I like the orange peel in it, but honestly I mostly taste the rooibos. Not that I ervr have plain rooibos, but the tea is a bit woody and a little medicinal.

1 heaping tbsp tea, steeped for as long as you like in 1-1.5 cups of water, poured over a bunch of ice.

Ahh.

OMGsrsly

Ervr. A new word I made up. :)

CrowKettle

Good word. :)

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69

Total impulse buy. /0\

I went to Granville Island because I hadn’t been there for years and then I thought this would make for a nice souvenir tea to drink when I’m in Ontario and so I scooped it up. The prices for 50g are really reasonable!

(Don’t buy teas based on souvenir value. That’s tea purchasing rule #17.)

So… this tea? Well there’s definitely darjeeling in there – I can tell because it’s bitterish. There’s also some fruity notes too which help to make it more enjoyable. And it is enjoyable, although not necessarily memorable. We’ll see if it grows on me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
OMGsrsly

You might need to get some souvenir tea from Murchie’s. :)

Cavocorax

Haha. If we meet up there maybe I’ll try some, but I’ve been pretty ambivalent about most of their teas. Although I do like the Prince Charles blend – maybe because that was one of the first loose-leaf teas I have ever had. It was a gift!

OMGsrsly

A friend gave me 6 as a gift and they’re all pretty good. :)

Cavocorax

Glad you’re enjoying them! I just found I didn’t care for most of them and that was with trying to under-steep it etc. I do have their Russian Caravan and will enjoy that, but I have too much. Gonna add some to my freebie list for the meet-up. :P

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