McQuarries Tea & Coffee Merchants

Recent Tasting Notes

86

Passion fruit is a difficult flavor to deliver, so often it’s done as a greener version of pineapple or just a sweet citrus sort of this. This tea captures it really well, with th slight melon’ish flavor and not so sweet finish. The Rooibos itself is quite good, bright without being overly sweet either. I was a bit worried this tea would just be another ‘tropical’ mix but I find myself liking it more and more with each sip! Thanks to roswell strange for sending a sample to my wife!

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76

Sipdown!! (180)

So I cold brewed this which left only 1 tsp left. I was hesitant to make this hot since it has hibiscus which tends to take over in hot cups but I am happy to report that both the hot and cold brew taste very similar. The cold might lean a little more to the sweet berries where as the hot is a touch more tart but ultimately both are nicely balanced and super tasty. I would actually think about stocking this fruit blend given it generates a nice cup every time. Thank you Roswell Strange for the generous sample you sent me to enjoy, especially as this is one I would not have picked up on my own.

Oh and in other news, I am starting to think that I am more accepting of the hibby tartness so maybe I should stop ignoring all fruit blends that have it…

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71

Sipdown!! (192)

Had the last of this cold brewed and somehow managed to bring out the passionfruit flavor. I am not sure what I changed but it is there today and wasn’t in the last bottle. This is still most prominently sweet rooibos but that flavor gives way to fresh passionfruit goodness right at the very end of the sip. Subtle but present, which has made for a pleasant last cup. However, at the end of the day this was merely okay and so I am not rushing to stock it. I am very grateful to my awesome tea twin, Roswell Strange, for the chance to try something new :)

Roswell Strange

So… I sent you more tea today. But only like four more samples – and two are definitely just one cup samples so don’t panic! I was mailing stuff to Courtney and since my stuff from 221 had just showed up took advantage of the new goodies to share some things with you (two Stash teas I don’t think you’ve had, and two fancy shmancy straight blacks for your journey/quest).

VariaTEA

lol Yay! So is that two packages I am waiting for now or just one? You have to stop sending me tea :P

Roswell Strange

You’ve got the one with stickers, right? Other than that one there are two coming in just regular mail/envelopes – so not a bunch. The older one has a Menthe Soleil bloom in it.

VariaTEA

Oh dear. I am trying to stay under 200. I think your job is bad news for my attempt to reign in my cupboard because now your are ordering/sharing more tea :P

Roswell Strange

I have to make up for the lost time when I was only receiving tea from generous Steepster members and couldn’t afford to reciprocate ;) Also have to get you back for making my cupboard balloon :P Oh, I also got a large sample of Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treat today so no need to pass that one along :)

VariaTEA

I am still waiting for mine so you will have to tell me how it is

Roswell Strange

So much for cracking open my plain Marshmallow Treat, eh? I have two new Genmaicha samples (PB being one of them) to finish up first…

VariaTEA

haah you are just never going to get to it :P

VariaTEA

I should just send you a sample of it so you can try it.

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71

So cold brewed, any passionfruit flavor is gone for the most part leaving behind just a sweet rooibos flavor. Very weird.

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76

Thank you Roswell Strange for this tasty fruit blend! It seems thin at first but the berry flavor comes through so nicely and the hibiscus gives it a bit of tart fullness to round out the sip. I was worried the hibby would be too strong but luckily it is quite nice in the blend. Delicious :)

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80

Sipdown (171/175)!

Congrats to me on finishing off one of my oldest teas!

This was my very first Genmaicha; I got it in September of last year and we have had quite a journey! This one really is a perfect example of how, as tea drinkers, our tastes really change over time. Originally I hated this one; I remember rating it something like “20” or equally low: it tasted like seaweed and was very offensive to my palate. But tastes change and over time this grew on me – a lot! Genmaicha is now a staple evening tea for me, and one of the only “straight” teas I drink on a regular basis. I also recently learned that I really like my Genmaicha with added milk (like I’m drinking now). Back at the start of my journey the thought of “seaweed tea and milk” probably would have really turned my stomach…

I’ve even gone questing to try as many Genmaicha blends as I can and I think I’ve got a fair number under my belt now – but plenty more to try still, of course!

And you know what this means!? There are finally no other Genmaicha blends in my cupboard to keep me from cracking open my Marshmallow Treat! How exciting is that!? I might open it later tonight – but if not then I definitely plan to finally indulge in that one tomorrow! Mmm!

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71

First review…such pressure.

Okay, well first of all, thank you to Roswell Strange for sending me such a generous sample. I have already brewed up a hot cup as well as set up a bottle to cold brew for later.

Hot, this is a pleasant enough cup. It is mostly rooibos at first but that slowly gives way to a subtle but fresh passionfruit flavor. However, the strongest element is definitely the rooibos that is bordering on the edge of medicinal (though thankfully it has not crossed over so the cup is still enjoyable). I just find myself wanting more passionfruit which should not be the case for a tea called “Passionfruit”. Hopefully cold brewing will bring out the flavor a bit more.

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80

Backlog from last night. I didn’t get around to writing about it because I had just finished rewatching The Host, and that subsequently launched me into an obsessive binge of rereading all my favourite chapters, looking up lots and lots of O’Wanda (IanxWanda) fanfiction oneshots, continuing stories, and crack fics. Sorrynotsorry, and just emotionaly obsessing about IanxWanda – which is an OTP of mine.

Only fandom people will understand.

I may think Stephanie Meyers is a pretty mediocre, at best, writer and I find the Twilight series to be poorly written in both a grammatical/literary and plot based way as well as problematic in general – but I will defend The Host until I’m blue in the face.

Anyway, the tea. I took it with milk: I couldn’t ever remember having Genmaicha with milk and I thought it’d be an interesting experience. It was, in a good way! It was like the roasty, toasty, creamy borderline “seaweed” type drink. I think maybe it’d be better with a less green genmaicha. Still, very good and comforting!

I needed comfort what with all the heartbreaking fics…

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Hello.Kiki

I haven’t read the book, but I found the movie far more enjoyable than I was expecting. Perhaps I’ll add it to my reading list.

Roswell Strange

They left out all the best scenes int the movie; definitely read the book. I mean, you’ll have to bear through Meyers’ horrible writing – but I think it’s worth it.

221tea

I love when I see/hear people use “OTP” outside of my tumblr/AO3 bubble. Do you have any NOTP or OT3 match-ups? Hehe.

Cavocorax

I never would have considered reading The Host, tbh, because of all the terrible Twilight stuff I’ve encountered. Maybe I’ll have to rethink this.

I also had to take a second to figure out what the heck NOTP and OT3 are. :P I’m still noobish about all that. Hahah.

whatshesaid

I had to google all of these acronyms, haha.

I have the Host book but never read it because I can’t handle how un-feminist twilight is. Shitty female role model. Maybe The Host is better? Terrible writing aside, obviously.

Hesper June

I am in total agreement with you! I read The Host and thought “okay, so this lady CAN write”

Cavocorax

:P At least with my Kindle, no one will ever have to know if I read it!

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77

Sipdown (172/176)!

Looks like I have some backlog to get through. A few days worth, anyway! And lots of stuff packed into those two days including a trip to DAVIDsTEA and some new teaware. Squea!

Anyway, I cold brewed this one to finish it off – and it was like a delicious, mellow berry punch or cocktail. Insanely refreshing, for one thing. I really seemed to burn through my 50g of this, which I only bought something like three weeks ago? It was good though.

I’m sorely tempted to go back to McQuarrie’s and go buy more of it, but I just bought $65 in tea and teaware yesterday including 100g of Superberry so that should keep me going for a while too.

Goodbye, Grandpa’s Fruit Garden!

Flavors: Berries

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77

Last tea of the night.

Since I’ve been doing it as a cold brew, I thought that maybe I’d try it out hot and see if it was entirely terrible that way.

It smells soapy, but thankfully it doesn’t taste even close to soapy. I’m wondering if the soap smell is because I pulled the mug out of the fresh batch of clean dishes in the dishwasher. Honestly though, my first impression of the taste was that it was like McQuarrie’s Rum Cream blend just not sour – but then I took a moment to pause I try and break it down a little and I noticed that it’s really heavy on the raspberry taste and maybe a little bit of other berries (though not strawberry).

I think this isn’t super hibiscus sour though because I was really cautious with my steep time and kept it short. I’m happy I decided to set some aside for VariaTEA though; I feel like she’ll at least enjoy it, if not love it.

PS. It’s still better cold brewed.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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77

So, I’ve spent most of the day drinking good tea and eating delicious food which I’ve mentioned in some tasting notes today; a wonderful, lazy Monday. On top of that, since House is on Netflix now, I’ve been rewatching my favourite season (Season 4 – with the “Intern/Fellowship” Competition). It’d be pretty perfect if it weren’t for the mild, continuous tooth/gum pain. I think I need to go down some more Aspirin…

But anyway, now I’m drinking this as a cold brew! It’s been steeping in the fridge since I got up; so close to ten hours, but now it’s been strained and man is this refreshing. It’s a little more tart than it was the first time around (but it also had a longer steep time for the hibiscus to stew in), but still overall nice and mellow full of plump, juicy berry flavour! I feel like this is going to be gone before I know it.

Add in a touch of sugar, and you’d never know this wasn’t some new, “Berry Kool-Aid” type drink. It also perfectly contrasts the cheese/pineapple Quesadilla that I’m dipping into some red wine infused pasta sauce. Mmm!

CK

That quesadilla sounds really good!

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77

Cold Brewed for a total of, umm, 14 hours? Right around there, anyway.

Because I stuck it in a timolino, I couldn’t fit it all in so some of it was drank this morning before getting to work. I was really worried that this would be super hibiscus heavy because visually it looks like there’s a bunch of it, and this got a pretty decently strong steep time too. However, really it wasn’t bad at all!

There’s a bit of a hibiscus tart edge on the front of the sip but it’s really brief and then it quickly mellows out into the nice, rounded off red fruit kind of medley of flavour. Think Strawberry, Raspberry, Red Currants, and Rhubarb – though mostly I taste the raspberries over anything else. I also get notes of the blackberries/elderberries right on the end of the sip/in the after taste.

This was really good, at home and at work, down to the last drop! Definitely refreshing; and surprisingly low key for hibiscus. I’m happy to finish off what I have, and I think I made a good pick (better than Rum Cream from last time, anyway). I think VariaTEA might also like it – so I’m making a note for myself to save a sample of it for her!

Flavors: Berries

VariaTEA

Yay for getting to try all the things!

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80

Sipdown!! (209)

OH NO!!! I forgot about this in the fridge this morning and so it steeped for waaaaaay too long. Now my beloved Rum Cream is a hibiscus disaster. Thank you Roswell Strange for sending this my way because I really do enjoy it. Alas this cup was just bad :(

Anna

Nooo. Hibby overload!

VariaTEA

I really liked this despite the leaf being prominently hibiscus but this cup was just too much :(

VariaTEA

I was so sad.

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84

Sipdown (191/193)!

Cold brewed for twenty(ish) hours and then brought to work for its “final hoorah!” as the tea I had with while doing stock: definitely need something flavourful and thirst quenching like a cold brewed tisane for long shifts.

I think I may need to pick this one up again; it surprised me with how consistently good it is each time I had it (I think all were cold brews). Plus, it really captures the fig flavour but pairs it with such a sweet/sour fruityness (think peach/rhubarb/light hibiscus notes) and just a touch of floral rose that there are so many fun layers to this that keep it from being “just” a fig tea. It’s interesting!

Mmm!

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 25 OZ / 739 ML

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80

Evening Genmaicha.

This time my McQuarrie’s instead of something new, in an attempt to use up some of my older leaf. It was good. Roasty, toasty and good!

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65

Sipdown!!

I did it! I finally did it!! It took two mason jars and a couple a cups but I have gotten through the large sample Roswell Strange so generously shared.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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65

Roswell Strange, you sent me SOO much of this tea! I made a mason jar full and I don’t even think I made a dent in the stash. On the plus side though, I am actually getting ice wine today which is making for a very light and fruity cup. It is quite enjoyable :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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This one came my way from Lala.

Lots of big pieces of fruits here, and it smells tasty. Not really like cheesecake, but tasty. The strawberry and apple are quite prominent with a lingering cake-ness in the background. This tea is really yummy for a herbal, but I’m not so sure the name suits it.

Thanks Lala!

P.S. I just sent in some more flavours, but the ones I sent in a few days ago still haven’t been input.

Preparation
2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML
Lala

Happy that you liked this one. I think it is pretty good too.

Courtney

Thanks!

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65

Sipdown (197/201)!

Again, only sort of a sipdown technically – because there’s still a little left, but I’m going to be sending it to VariaTEA because she appreciates it a lot more than I do. I wanted to get one last cup worth in though, just in case my opinion has changed.

I did severely under leaf this cup because I’ve found it to be way too strong/sour in the past – so I used less than 1 tsp. for my 8 oz. mug of it. This did affect the flavour, and I found it was more creamy with a lighter touch of strawberry/hibiscus, but I still didn’t enjoy it a whole lot so I’m happy with my decision to send what little is left to someone who will fully appreciate it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
VariaTEA

I do like this tea quite a bit :)

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65

Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing. It is good but I don;t know how I will ever get through the surplus you sent me. I will wait for my mason jar and that should help put a dent in it :)

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

Mwahahaha! I’m taking that to mean you put in a DT order though!? I think you’ll love the mason jar!

VariaTEA

I may have placed an order. And that order might have included a mason jar…and a perfect mug…and some tea

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Sipdown #42. Thanks to Lala for this sample :)

One of the best parts of Steepster is all the fun friends here, & all the trades, cuz we get to sample each others teas, teas I might never actually buy, but am curious about.
You guys are the best ‘pen pals’ ever!
This is a very tart lemon!!

Roswell Strange

I agree wholeheartedly with you about Steepster being the best way for finding great penpals :) Not sure how I’d have kept sane without you all. Also, this one was amazing! :)

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84

First thing I’ve prepared as a cold brew in my mason jar, and I think it was a fantastic success! It’s the perfect cold brew amount and clean up/straining was incredibly easy! Much better than the crappy pitcher/strain through a fine mesh brew basket (my normal straining device was accidentally left in Regina) method I was using this month.

Anyway, I’ve had this cold brewed before and I really liked it (I’ve yet to try it hot) and it seemed like a good tea to test this out with! So, it sat cold brewing for 11 hours, and then I took the basket out last night but am just drinking it now with breakfast.

Taste wise, this is definitely strongly fig/rose like the name implies it should be, and then has some sweet peach notes and a little (just a small touch) of hibiscus tartness. It’s really refreshing and yummy, and I think this is something I’m going to want lots of come summer time. Thankfully it’s super affordable ($4/50g). If I was worried that my love of the last cold brew was a fluke, I don’t have that concern anymore.

Flavors: Peach

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 4 tsp 25 OZ / 739 ML

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80

I thought I was done with tea and tasting notes for the night but then I remembered I had half a bottle left of my cold brew from last night and I could not resist.

I was sort of worried last night was a fluke. I thought perhaps I may be too tired to be thinking clearly or maybe I was simply excited for a new tea but as I finish off the bottle I realize I actually just really enjoy this blend. I am actually sad it is gone. So long Rum Cream! I shall miss your creamy goodness and your smooth and fruity taste with the perfect touch of tart.

On another note, I just realized that sometime over the last few hours I gained 5 followers! I am now over 100! I feel so loved :) Thanks everyone!! And I hope my tasting notes are not too boring.

Pandeme

Don’t worry, your tasting notes are never boring! :)

VariaTEA

Aww. Thanks Pandeme! I try :)

noyadefleur

Congrats! :)

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80

Sipdown! (204)

I think I prefer this cold brewed but honestly it is not bad hot either. I had no idea what steeping parameters to use so I just brewed the 1 tsp I had in boiling water for around 3 minutes. I figured keeping the steep time low would keep the hibiscus (that I am not 100% but pretty sure is in this blend) calm and luckily that worked. There is a slight tartness but that is overpowered by the smooth creaminess. Hot I get a lot more of the rum flavor which provides an interesting to the creaminess as there is a dry quality in this that is reminiscent of actual rum. All in all a pretty good cup so thanks again Roswell Strange and hopefully Rum Cream and I meet again in the future :)

ETA: Added a splash of milk and that really enhanced the creamy quality. Plus it is a very pretty shade of purplish-pink.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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