Metropolitan Tea Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is tart and pretty hibiscusy, but it’s also nice, because there are some distinct non-hibiscus fruit flavours in here that linger nicely on the finish. The orange and pineapple notes make this juicy and pretty pleasant. I do wish it was a bit sweeter naturally.
I think this would probably be pretty lovely iced, with some sugar.
Flavors: Hibiscus, Orange, Pineapple, Tart
I got this as a free sample from Sonya’s Flowers. That’s the only reason I have this and the only reason I’m drinking it. I don’t like hibiscus in blends, so I wouldn’t expect it to be different when it’s straight. And it isn’t.
The liquor is an intense red, which is gorgeous. The smell is tart and floral, and the taste is mostly tart, with a light floral hint that I don’t usually detect (or at least, identify as the hibiscus) when it’s in blends.
Best to send the rest of this sample off to someone who can appreciate it, because I definitely can’t.
Flavors: Floral, Hibiscus, Tart
The person at Human Bean gave me a very generous sample of this to try today. I tend to quite like melon teas and I’ve never run across melon with oolong before.
This is really nice. It’s very sweet and melony smelling, but much less sweet on the palette. There’s a bit of roasty and vegetal flavour from the oolong, but it’s pretty mild, and goes surprisingly well with the melon. This is light and smooth and there’s a pleasant cooling sensation. Very long melon finish.
I’m not sure I like this enough to pick up 50g of it, but I’d definitely drink it again. I imagine it would be fabulous iced.
Flavors: Melon, Roasted, Sweet, Vegetal
I could definitely taste the cream and it was such a pleasant and welcome surprise. I will drink this again and again – it may even be hard to go back to regular Earl Grey now that I’ve had it with the lovely cream flavor! Also, I enjoy the bergamot flavor, and this tea did not disappoint.
Flavors: Bergamot, Cream, Vanilla
The sample of this I got has a lot of dust in it, so we shall see how well this steeps at 4 minutes.
This is interesting. It smells kind of fruity, something dark, maybe black currant? It tastes similar. Dry, a touch floral and dried fruit. No sweetness, a bit of astringency and a touch bitter. There’s a nice, cooling sensation, almost a subtle menthol note.
Not bad, not terribly impressive. Different from the blacks I usually like, but I’ll finish this sample and give it another shot.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Black Currant, Dried Fruit, Menthol
I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting from this tea. This is my first cup and I just grabbed the first thing out of my box of blacks that I hadn’t tried before. I had assumed that this was a straight black blend, but when I got the cup steeped, lo and behold, there was a lot of bright green leaf in there.
Initial impressions on the nose were a lot of malt and fruit, which is borne out on the palette. Nice, round malty flavour, a touch of vegetal and lots of distinct black currant.
Black currant is one of my favourite fruits, but I never like it in tea as much as I feel like I should. I drank the first few sips of this straight, and then something about the black currant flavour was bugging me, so I added some milk and sugar, which has made it a much more enjoyable cup to sip in the morning.
I’m not in love with this, but I’ll definitely drink it again, and experiment with steeping it more like a green, though with steeping it like a black there was no astringency or bitterness.
Flavors: Black Currant, Fruity, Malt, Vegetal
Hmm, I think I was expecting a bit more from this tea. The tasting notes suggest a lot more fruit, but I’m only getting the slightest hint of orange, and mostly just lots and lots of cinnamon. I’m also not sure about this black tea base – for a 4 min steep there’s a lot more bitterness than I would like or expect, and I’m not getting much earth or malt or other black tea flavours.
I think with a lot of cinnamon notes, I’m also wanting some other flavours to round it out and give it a more full mouth taste. Something more like a masala chai. Which maybe is unfair to this blend, but it just seems like there’s some back of the mouth flavour that should be there but isn’t.
This isn’t bad, and the more I sip at it the more I like it, but I’m not impressed either. I wonder if playing with the steeping will resolve some of the bitterness. Maybe some milk and sugar would help it along too.
Flavors: Bitter, Cinnamon, Orange, Spicy
Oh this is different. I was expecting something more neutral, but but this has an acidic juiciness, tartness, like a fruit tisane.
There’s some notes of sweet hay and fruit – apples, grapes, pineapple maybe? A bit of earthiness. All in all a light, fresh cup, and different from any of the white teas I’ve tried to-date.
I think my rating on this is going to shift around, as I try different steeps and more cups of this.
Edit: A second steep is more mellow. The tartness is less prominent, a bit more fruitiness on the nose, and the hay comes more toward to the forefront.
Flavors: Apple, Earth, Grapes, Hay, Pineapple, Sour, Sweet, Tart
Hmm, not really feeling this one. I think maybe my water was a touch too hot? This smells a bit fruity but mostly tastes bitter with a touch of astringency and soapiness. A bit floral on the finish.
I added a bit of sugar and maybe it helps, but I’m not excited by this cup.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Fruity, Soap
Mmmm. The dry leaf smells sweet, fruity and floral, with blueberry notes. In fact, I was so distracted by the smell of this that I forgot to put my strainer in my cup and just dumped the leaves straight in. Oops, not so good for this style of cup.
Steeped, it smells very light, with the same fruity, blueberry notes. On the palette, the start of the sip is kind of boring. There’s more floral notes, and then on the finish, things get more interesting, with berry notes and a hint of caramel. Very light and easy to drink. It’s pleasant but it’s not really exciting me that much.
Flavors: Blueberry, Caramel, Floral, Fruity, Sweet
I’m home! The comfort is much needed. What an awkward trip that was.
A friend of mine is going through a rough time and blames me for part of it (because I am not romantically interested). I feel terrible about it, but I just can’t date someone I have no feelings for. I’ve been there and no, they don’t “grow over time”, at least not for me. Even still… If it hurts me to see my friend go through what seems to be a deep, legit depression, I don’t want to imagine the suffering he is going through. So much frustration! I don’t know what to do about it (and still respect myself at the end of the day)
Anyhow, while we were in Ottawa, we stopped at a place called Tea Store. In the Market. A cute little shop with all sorts of pots and mugs on display. They sold loose tea as well, mostly from Metropolitan, but also Kusmi and a few other brands.
Unfortunately, only the Metropolitan Teas were available by the cup, so I settled for this one. Lately, I’ve been craving Yunnans every now and then, but not enough for me to keep any in my cupboard. Well, maybe a few cups worth, but certainly not in the minimum purchase amount I’d have to buy.
So yeah, this cuppa really hit my craving. Or it would have if the mood hadn’t been so melancholy.
It was sweet like honey, or maybe honeysuckle, with an edge of hay or straw. Dusty sunshine! A little complex, which I love.
I also really enjoyed the smoothness. However it was a tad thick, and heavy. Sadly, that is the part that makes me pause, and not indulge very often. Ah well, it really is great once in awhile!!
Flavors: Hay, Honey
You know, for some reason when I started brewing this, I was kind of expecting not to like it, so it’s taken me a bit by surprise. I was expecting a lot of toasty, roasted, woody notes, and they’re there, along with some malt and earth, but the dominant note in this is floral.
It has a nice thick, creamy mouth feel to it.
I like this. I’m not sure why I thought I wouldn’t.
Edit: Annnd, it turns out I’d tried this already and forgotten. Well then.
Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Floral, Malt, Roasted, Thick, Toasty, Wood
Hmm, not bad. I wasn’t sure what the ideal steep time for this would be, so I tried three minutes on the first go. It’s very light – nut, malt, earth and woody notes. I get the feeling that a longer steep might yield a more complex character.
Maybe I’ll resteep these leaves and see what comes out, or maybe I’ll move on to something else today and experiment with this more later.
Edit: A second steep of the same leaves for 7 minutes was unimpressive.
Flavors: Earth, Malt, Nutty, Wood
The dry leaves don’t have a lot of fragrance but I’m charmed by how pretty they are. A tightly curled grey green, tending towards lavender tones.
First steep of two minutes in maybe 80 degree water yields a golden cup that’s light and refreshing. Grassy and vegetal, with a touch of hay and floral notes. No astringency. I drank half this cup hot and the rest cold. After the first steep the leaves had lost their lavender hue and were green and just starting to unfurl.
Second steep at 2:15 in 80ish degree water. This cup is very different. More full mouth and a lot of umami and sea weed notes. Maybe a bit of hay and vegetal still, but the fresh grass and floral notes are gone. A wee bit of astringency that builds as I drink my cup, and a hint of bitterness on the finish.
Third steep for 4:15 is very similar to the second steep, but not as complex. I’ll finish this cup, but I think these leaves are done.
Definitely a very nice green.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Grass, Hay, Seaweed, Umami, Vegetal
Now that I’m not broke, I’m realizing that I have a tea problem. I’ve been more interested in trying straight teas lately, so yesterday I went out to pick up a few small samples of straight blacks, greens and whites at Scoop N’Weight. Well, I scooped but didn’t bother weighing till I got to the till and then realized that my “small samples” were all 25-30g of each tea, which is not a sample. Oops. Still, nineish ounces of tea for under $18 is pretty excellent.
So between Scoop N’Weigh and DAVID’s, I came home with over a dozen new teas yesterday, and this one snuck in amongst them, since it just sounded so tasty.
It’s mildly astringent, with lots of grenadine sweetness and a touch of vanilla. I drank it straight but I think it would do nicely with some milk and sugar for a really easy to drink cup.
Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Grenadine, Sweet, Vanilla
This is lovely. Lots of berry notes, with maple and vanilla. A hint of bitterness and astringency, which adds, rather than takes away from the tea. Very mildly sweet.
I get mostly black tea flavours from this blend, malt and fruity, but also a hint of green tea vegetal.
A great morning cup, and good both hot and cold.
Flavors: Astringent, Berry, Bitter, Fruity, Malt, Maple, Sweet, Vanilla
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Part of my morning of chai/find a replacement for Bollywood Chai line up.
Ginger, cinnamon, smoke, astringent, woody. This chai is pretty bitter on its own. It’s thick and strong. Not getting much in the way of the ginger or fennel in Bollywood Chai.
With milk and white sugar it takes on a distinct brown sugar flavour, and maintains its warm, earthyness. Not at all similar to Bollywood.
Of the four I tried today I think this is my least favourite.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Earth, Ginger, Smoke, Wood
It’s been a while since I’ve made a whole pot of anything, but for a day of housework and cleaning, a steady supply of chai seemed appropriate.
I steeped this for 10 minutes and added a lot of milk and sugar. It’s a quite delightful, creamy cup. It’s bold and has a lot of back of the mouth flavour. A little more smoke and pepper, and not quite as much cardamom as I prefer in a chai, but still very nice.
This is super easy to drink and is keeping me going, so yay!
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Pepper, Smoke, Spices