Ku Cha House of Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

72

Sipdown (119)!

Finally finishing off this forgotten sample from TheLastDodo which she sent up months ago. I’m drinking it hot while getting ready for work because I woke up a few hours early and had the time to do so!

Not going to lie; other than remembering I cold brewed this the first time around I couldn’t remember what I thought of it at all so I had to go back and read my tasting note for it. Turns out I didn’t really have much of an impression in the first place; I didn’t even initially score this!

However, as I’m sipping on it now I definitely think there are some very interesting, and nuanced things that I clearly missed when it was cold brewed! It’s like this tea has three ‘levels’ of flavour that hit you one after another. The first is very, very short – and it’s just like a punch in the mouth of of sweetness; definitely fruity goji and maybe the jujube too? That’s an ingredient I’m not too familiar with but based on what I’ve read the flavour is similar to what jujube is supposed to taste like. Of course, you can’t forge that there’s a lot of rock sugar in this too which adds to the sweetness.

Then you transition into the second ‘level’ of flavour – savory/herbaceous. It’s got the vegetal notes from the green tea base, and the strong flavor of chrysanthemum but also something very brothy too; it’s very, very borderline reminding me of cheddar and chives and potato. I love it; but it’s strange and I don’t know which of the ingredients is causing it. Then we fade to level three – sweetness again. This time the sweetness is more raisin and ginseng with a pinch of goji, and it’s the flavor that lingers in the aftertaste.

It’s also my least favourite part of the tea; probably because of the raisin.

I’m very happy I tried this hot though; it’s so incredibly different from what I remember the cold brew tasting like, and very unique overall as well! I definitely don’t think I’d buy this for myself because there were certainly unappealing aspects but I’d be curious to try it hot again to see if the flavours I picked up were the same, and I feel like I learned a lot trying it.

Thanks again TheLastDodo!

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72

Thanks TheLastDodo for the sample!

There are a lot of interesting things in this blend; green tea and raisins (both things I don’t especially like) and gojis (which I’m half sure I can’t even taste) for example. There are also jujubes which I remember discussing with Kittenna around Christmas time when we had tea together. It was an ingredient neither of us were all that familiar with; and this is my first time having them. There are also very large shards/chunks of sugar in the blend which I’m not too keen about. I don’t like when my tea is presweetened for me.

I know it’s a stretch, but Kittenna do you remember at all what the jujubes in your tea tasted like?

I wasn’t really sure how to even approach preparing this – so I decided to start by cold brewing it because it’s the easiest/most convenient approach in regard to prep time. I don’t even know. I literally wrote down three words in my reference notes. Not super helpful, past me!

Here’s what I wrote down though: “Musty ginseng. Cranberry.”

I do remember the ginseng being quite pronounced in the flavour, and the vegetal green base underneath it – maybe even some nutty notes from the base. But I’m not too sure where I got cranberry from – there aren’t any in the blend. I suppose it’s possible I interpreted the goji and cranberry flavour, though I’m skeptical of it. Another explanation would be the jujubes, which I’ve got no familiarity with. Does anyone know what they’re supposed to taste like? I have this foggy recollection of the server at the tea house Kittenna and I went to comparing them to dates? But it’s been so long, I can’t remember if that’s an accurate memory or not.

Either way, I wasn’t big on this one. I’ll try it again hot though – I really want to give it a fighting chance because it does seem so unique and different to me.

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70

Made two cups from one teaspoon of tea… first one was great, a nice smooth jasmine. Second cup was alright, a little weak given I’d steeped the first one for a couple hours in a tumbler first, but seems like it’d otherwise hold up well. I’ll have to try the two cup thing again sometime when I use a teapot or something instead of the bag, but I just wanted to have some hot tea on my way to work.

Flavors: Jasmine, Tea

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

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73

First time I tried a gunpowder green I was in love, and this, being a loose leaf instead of a packet (first one I had was Numi’s), is so much richer and complex, which I love.

Although it’s a green, the color you get after steeping is generally pretty dark for a green. It’s pretty much a rich red-brown.

The scent is not overpowering, at least not to me, it’s just a hint of smokey flavor when the cup is close to my face. I think the smokiness of the scent is more prominent early in the brewing process when the water is hotter. It has a pretty smooth taste, not much bite after a long steep, but it’s fairly rich for me, so I only have it occasionally when I want something that feels a little more ‘filling’.

It’s very much a ‘comfort tea’ to me, to be enjoyed while wrapped up in some blankets relaxing in a comfy chair. Or, as is often the case, to be enjoyed in lieu of being able to do such things as I’m at work.

Flavors: Dirt, Smoke, Tea

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

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60

Pretty bland organic green tea. Nothing special, but it’s nice to have around for the nights I want to have something caffeine free that’s actually tea-flavored and properly bitter. Especially since it’s loose leaf so I can make it a bit stronger than the usual decaf tea packets that tend to be a little weak. Probably would be nice to mix in with herbal teas too for a nighttime blend, though I haven’t tried that yet.

Flavors: Tea

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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80

My favorite teas are Taiwanese oolong that my mom gets occasionally when she visits our family there. But I can never remember what the Mandarin names are. So when I found silk oolong in Ku Cha and it smelled right, I got it.

Previously when I had it, I hadn’t had the vacuum-sealed version in a while and it was a really good holdover. And I still do like it, but after having had the proper import for a couple weeks, it seems a little weak in comparison.

If you don’t know if you’d like the green oolong teas, especially, it’s still a good, cheaper way to try it out before you commit to ordering a larger bag.

Flavors: Green, Smoke, Tea

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

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90

Although technically not a tea, this is my favorite fruit blend I have had. It is a bit sour, but pleasantly so. You can taste the cherry, but I don’t particularly taste the vanilla. If you add a lime, it increases the the score from 90 to 95….Simply amazing!

Flavors: Flowers, Fruity, Herbs, Pleasantly Sour

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Bonnie

Ku Cha is a nice little tea house. By the way, the Rocky Mountian Tea Festival is at the Dushanbe on August 2,3. I’d go on Saturday when you can taste tea free with the vendors. The tea classes are $15 and the Oolong class is good. (I’m going to try the Indian tea this year).

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100

One of my favorite dessert teas. Strong, creamy, delicious. Reminiscent of a chocolate, vanilla, coffee stout. Excellent with milk. Great shelf life for premium loose leaf black tea.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Vanilla, Whiskey

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

Ku Cha creates different chai blends for each season. This one I believe is their house chai for the autumn. An excellent spicy chai blend. Amazing shelf life. Great with a splash of almond milk.

Flavors: Caramel, Cardamon, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Spicy, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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65

Spicy and astringent. Playful on the palate. Stores well but smells like licorice if stored in the same tin for too long. Best on the first steep.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Clove, Licorice, Sawdust, Spices

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

Love this tea – hot or iced. Fruity and refreshing. Like a breath of fresh air on a warm, breezy summer day. Good shelf life for premium loose leaf green tea. Can be re-steeped but best on the first try.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit, Frosting, Jam, Pastries, Strawberry, Winter Honey

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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95

One of my favorite summer black teas so far. Strong, fruity and is playful on the palate. I prefer mine iced. Great shelf life for premium loose leaf.

Flavors: Berries, Dark Wood, Perfume, Raspberry

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

One of my all-time favorite teas. Good in morning, noon or night. Makes an excellent dessert tea; is great with milk, sugar, or by itself. Strong, aromatic vanilla and bourbon flavors. I drink a lot more of this tea during autumn. Great shelf life.

Flavors: Brandy, Brown Sugar, Cherry Wood, Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

My allergies this past spring were outrageous. Got this tea and drink it even when I’m not feeling inflammation in my sinuses. Very relaxing and slightly medicinal in flavor. Great shelf life. Can be steeped multiple times. Suggest a double walled glass to watch the flowers expand.

Flavors: Dandelion, Honey, Lemongrass, Pepper

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

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75

Was looking for a grassy green and stumbled on Bancha. Is a good afternoon tea; rouses the senses. Slightly toasty for a green, but is very relaxing. Decent shelf life for premium loose leaf. Can be steeped multiple times.

Flavors: Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

Think of bight, sunny, breezy days. This tea is like a citrus breeze in your mouth. Originally bought this tea to make sun tea. Makes an excellent iced tea or ice cubes for a citrusy iced green tea. Short shelf life, but is expected of premium quality white tea. Beautiful color when steeped.

Flavors: Citrus

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

Not a huge fan of jasmine teas as a general rule but was pleasantly surprised by how light of a taste the leaves produced. Can steep multiple times, best on second once the pearls are fully unravelled. Is rather expensive, but what kind of jasmine pearl loose leaf is inexpensive? Stores well for a green tea.

Flavors: Grass, Jasmine

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85

Probably my most favorite green tea thus far.
Grassy, bright. When steeped produces a neon green color. Premium quality loose leaf. Can steep multiple times. Drank this tea like it was going out of style, which is good because it has a shorter shelf life.

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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99

A premium oolong that I splurged on and promptly shared with a friend. It has a warm, golden color and smooth, slightly sweet, taste.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 1 OZ / 44 ML

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90

I’m trying to make some progress on drinking some of my tea collection. I bought myself some special teas to celebrate graduating from college last Friday and my shelves are on the verge of exploding. I have so many teas to drink! Many of them aren’t even opened, but are just waiting until I drink a bit more and make room. I have a little bit of this Milk Oolong sitting around and it would be nice to finish it off sometime soon.

The scent of this tea is buttery, green and floral. It smells like a typical milk oolong, if I am to be honest. Sipping… oh, I like this one. It’s sweet, buttery and very smooth. I like how the floral notes are toned down a little so the buttery character can take center stage. This one is delicious! It lacks some of the peachy notes that I can sometimes get from other milk oolongs, but I am loving the simplicity of this one. The sweetness is so very nice.

Well, now I’ve gulped down this cup and find myself wanting to save what leaf I have left. It’s always a nice surprise when you aren’t expecting to enjoy a tea that much and end up loving it instead. Mmm.

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So so so good!!! I resteeped it a million times.

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71

Yum! This tea is a winner in my book. I love the buttery, vegetal sweetness and the mellowness of it also. It’s not my first choice for winter teas, but I could definitely drink this regularly during warmer seasons!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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