Popular Teas from Handmade TeaSee All 29 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Tea #49 from HHTTB2
Visually, there’s a lot going on in the dry blend. Big, plump blueberries and chunks of lemon rind . And quite a bit of both. I don’t really smell the smoke in the blend, but that could be a product of it’s travels in a giant cardboard box. Who knows. What I do smell is lemon/citrus.
Once I brewed this up? Oh. There’s the smoke.
It’s not like lapsang smoke, where’s it’s like getting thwumped with a burning log. (Or the whole fire dempending on the Lapsang, I suppose). But it’s definitely got some Keemun-esque smoke going on here. It pretty much overpowers all the other elements in the cup.
With sugar added in, I get something that reminds me of a lemon rubbed charred chicken breast. Better, but still not terribly good. I taste a slight blueberriness in the back of the sip. So now I have charred lemon chicken with blueberry compote. Not exactly what I was hoping for.
And back into the giant cardboard box it goes.
Apples! that’s what I taste. Apple! I should have known. I read the ingredients of this tea before I asked moraiwe for it in a swap, but I had completely forgotten them by the time I brewed it this morning.
I smelled it and kept thinking it smells so familiar, what is that smell? It’s an extremely natural apple flavor. I hardly detect the cinnamon. I really should be able to recognize the smell of apple. . don’t know what was up with me then :)
Thanks for sharing this yummy tea with me moraiwe (^.^)
Tea #12 from HHTTB2
I like seeing chunky pieces in flavored black teas. It’s like. Oh hey! This is what this is supposed to taste like. It somehow also reassures me that it’ll taste less like chemicals. And while that’s not always true, it’s still nice.
There are big chunky pieces of coconut and kiwi in this blend. As well as tinier shredded bits of coconut. And quite a bit of both, honestly.
In spite of all of that, the black base here is simply overwhelming. The black tea is strong and mildly astringent. The coconut lends itself to a thicker mouthfeel, but not much else. As it cools, there is a subtle, natural kiwi flavor that pokes through. Sweetener also helps it along, just as creamer seems to coax out the coconut.
I think, judging how the fruit flavors started popping in the tepid cup, maybe this would be better iced, and perhaps give a better balance of flavors.
Tea #3 From the HHTTB
bleh, nope, I can’t do it. I just don’t think I’ll be able to finish this cup. At first, I though maybe I could, but it’s not happening.
I read ahead of time that it had a smoky base, but I thought for sure the fennel and spices would mellow it out. Well, I don’t know if they mellow it, but they do something for sure. It’s sweet and smoky at the same time, but not a good pairing imo. The only place smoke and sweets can get along is while making s’mores :p
note to self: stay away from all smoky Chinese black teas!
Thanks, Nicole_Martin, for this tea!
I had this iced this week and it was very good! The kiwi was natural and very different from most of the fruit teas I’ve had. The coconut gave it a slightly roasted flavor although it was cold. I’m also enjoying the Handmade Teas bases. They are very warm-tasting. I look forward to trying this one hot.
This one is totally hitting the spot.
I have been having one of those days where I am kind of hungry and keep eating but nothing is satisfying me. I have mostly been eating the Halloween Candy in the house that doesn’t seem like it is going to make it to Halloween :)
I started craving soup, but homemade soup. I neither have the ingredients nor the patience to make a big pot of homemade soup right now. So after drinking a few other teas, I settled on this one. It is savory, the slightest bit salty. It is full bodied and thick. There is a taste of sweet, ripe and savory tomatoes but it is not overpowering. More like tomato flakes not tomato paste. I feel like I am in Willy Wonka’s factory and I am having a piece of chewing gum that is really a 4 course meal!! I am hoping I don’t end up as a blueberry.
Backlog from Saturday Afternoon
I’ve been a fan of peppercorn in tea since I had Della Terra’s Lemon Pepper Melange. This is a delightfully warming blend. The base is delicious! It is golden-tasting, malty, bready and substantial. I like the peppercorn- it is strong, but not too overwhelming. It’s just enough to spread the warmth of the base. The orange peel does add some sweetness while it is hot, but turns just the slightest bit bitter as it cools, but that’s ok because I like this one so much, I don’t think I’d let it get cold. Yum! I have a feeling this will be something I’m going to be having on wintery mornings on my way to work.
I kept reading about Handmade Tea in all the traveling tea box posts, so in my curiosity, I treated myself to a subscription! So this is my first Handmade Tea! Yay!
This is a really savory blend, with plenty of interest offered by the combination of seeds. I really like that the tea here is the primary interest and everything else just adds depth. The fennel adds a bit of sweetness and the cumin a sort of woodsy flavor. That said, with fennel and anise, I definitely expected a licorice punch! Instead the herbs are in harmony so that no one flavor overpowers the other, making something hearty and deeply satisfying. The combination of teas used for the base also aid in this, adding a slight smokiness and helping the cumin hold up.
The overall cup is warming and definitely suited towards the coming weather. I agree with Debbie that peppercorns would have been a fantastic addition, making a slight spiciness and adding just the last bit of oomph I think this cup needs.
This makes a very nice iced tea. I’m typically not a huge fan of iced black tea, but the lemon (subtle) and mint (not subtle) give this a very pleasing flavor. I made this with a little bit of rock sugar and steeped in for quite a while (at least 6 minutes) before putting it in the fridge overnight.
My first tea of the month from Handmade Tea! So excited. :)
I had tried two of Caleb’s teas in a traveling tea box, which is how I first heard about Handmade Tea and made me treat myself with a subscription. Both blends were very different, flavorful, and interesting. This one was no different.
A very savory tea. I can see this as a nice cold weather tea. Hearty, with some savory spices. I would have liked another spice in there to give the tea a bit more depth. Maybe a smidge of cardamom to add a bit of sweetness? Or some black pepper to give it some kick.
Thanks, Nicole_Martin for this tea!
Since I enjoyed peach hoppitea so much, I decided to drink this one and compare since it has appricots and hopps. These two teas are a similar idea, but worlds away in taste. The green tea in this base is very light and flowery. I steeped at 170 instead of 180 so maybe this played a role in it, but the apricot and hopps flavors were very light. After trying a two minute steep, I decided to add the leaves in for a longer time, but this just resulted in a stronger green tea flavor and a unpleasant drymouth. Oddly enough the base in this reminds me a lot of the green base in many Palais de The blends. It is not a taste I enjoy. The Butiki blends is darker, richer, and is more flavorful. I much prefer that non-green tea blend. I will however give this tea one more shot at the recommended steep time. I REALLY am starting to see how a variable temp tea kettle would be handy.
One of the teas from my first traveling tea box! I love this box, it’s a great way to experience different teas. I hope to do more.
The dry tea had a very strange smell to me that I couldn’t place, definitely nothing delicate or fruity… Almost “mealy” like. Haha I’m so horrible at describing things in words! The smell once steeped calms down a bit, smells almost like a black tea but with a little something else added in.
So I’ve seen people describe the taste as tomato soup in tea form, and I think even one said cannelloni? There’s definitely truth to these! I can pick out the tomato and the sage gives me a feel for italian seasoning. So yes, tomato soup and/or cannelloni in tea form! Too bad it’s a black tea, as they just aren’t my favorite.
Great Canadian Traveling Tea Box I guess i’ll be consistent with Dexter :)
I am a fan of this one! I wish there was a little bit more lemon in it, but over all it’s delicious! This made me want to pick up a subscription to handmade teas, though I’ll likely want until christmas time just to give myself a chance to get my cupboard under a bit more control. I’m cold brewing the resteep of this just to see how it tastes as a cold brew!
Thanks, Nicole_Martin for this tea. This is pretty darn smoky! I drank the first half of the cup unsweetened and smoke was all I got. After reading Lala’s recent note, I added honey to the second half and the lemon flavor really popped! I may be getting a little blueberry in the background, but I may be imagining it just because I’m trying so hard to detect it. I don’t usually like smoky teas, but this one isn’t so bad.
Ok so I think I got this one now. Finally picked up some honey. (Side rant: who keeps the honey by the bread, I walked around the the store 3 times – ridiculous).
I brewed with about 1/2 tsp of honey. It is much sweeter with the honey. There is a honey flavour to the tea now. But the biggest change, is the first thing I taste is blueberry. Like a thick blueberry jam. Then there is a light lemonish taste. Further on in the sip, there is more of a tart lemon rind flavour, which then changes into the smokey base. It is much better when it is hot vs when it starts to cool off. Much more of a complex tea with the honey. It was good with maple syrup too, I am surprised at how different the flavour profiles are between honey and maple syrup.
The apricot flavor comes through nicely. The green base is light and delicate. This is my first time trying a tea with hops, and I’m not entirely sure what they’re supposed to taste like. I’m not getting anything malty or beer-like, but there is a vaguely herbal flavor – maybe that’s it? I can’t say it especially appeals to me, but it is something different. Thanks for this sample, Nicole Martin!
Tea #9 Great Canadian Traveling Tea Box
This is the last sample from Handmade Tea in the box. Again, I just made a cup of it and will leave the rest.
This is really nice. It has nice apricot flavors, delicate green tea base – there is no bitterness, really nice and sweet. Where are the hops? Dunno, not even sure I know what hops are suppose to taste like, but I thought they were the bitter part of beer. I don’t have anything like that in here. Having said that, I could/would drink this. Nice apricot green tea.
I made this yesterday and didn’t seem to get much other than a smokey black base. Caleb from Handmade Tea commented on my post to try it as a longer steep, lower temp and with honey.
So I thought I would give it a go. Except I don’t have any honey. It was one of those things where you use the last of the honey and think oh, I have to get more of this when I do groceries. Then you forget about it until you go to get the honey and it is not in the cupboard.
So I tried the first cup with some brown rock sugar. It definitely sweetened it up a bit and tasted better, but I still really only got sweet, lightly smokey, black base.
The second cup I added real maple syrup. Now it is pretty much a given that I will like this because I am Canadian and liking maple syrup is part of my genetic make up. This did taste much better. It brought out the blueberry flavour. Tasted like smokey blueberry compote. But I was only getting very little lemon flavour.
This is definitely promising. I will have to pick up some honey and continue experimenting with sweetening the tea. But definitely lower temps and sweetener is key.
Tea #6 Great Canadian Traveling Tea Box
Interesting, I don’t like this one as much as the lemon mint from earlier. What’s up with that. I’m not getting much kiwi, and hardly any coconut. This – to me – just tastes like a generic fruit black tea. If I didn’t know it was kiwi, I’m not sure that’s what I would have said it was. I’m getting a little bit of creamy, that could be from the coconut, but it’s barely there. In contrast the earlier tea that was light and bright with the specific flavors, this one seems heavier with muted flavors.
Glad to have had the opportunity to try it, not sure if that changes my interest in the company. Still have one more to try, will not give up on them.
Tea #5 Great Canadian Traveling Tea Box
I’m interested in Handmade Tea, have been wanting to try a couple for a while now – possibly even subscribe. Was really excited to see some in the TTB.
I only made a little of this. Lemon isn’t my favorite flavor, mint isn’t my favorite flavor. This is not a tea I should like, but I wanted to get an idea of quality of ingredients, how strong they blend flavors etc.
I was quite surprised with this one. There is nothing fake or artificial about this tea. High quality, real ingredients all the way. It’s light and lemony (with out that harsh acidic taste I find from citrus), the mint was more spearminty to me – nice change from peppermint. This will still never be a favorite of mine, but I can appreciate the quality of ingredients and skill in blending. No number rating.
(I know Sil also wanted to try some of these teas – I’m just going to do a partial cup taste and leave the rest for her).