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Recent Tasting Notes
’Here’s Hoping’ Teabox Round #4 – Tea #20
Try all the Earls! This one seems less bergamot and more citrus. But then there seems to be a perfume-like quality… definitely something like “baroness” there. It’s not the best earl I’ve tried… I seem to like more bergamot than citrus, but it tastes better to me as it cools. A very dark cup that lends itself to the brightness of the citrus.
Steep #1 // just boiled // 3 min
I picked this tea up last weekend while in Cape May, NJ. While exploring the town I discovered Tea By The Sea, an adorable tea shop full of teas from The Metropolitan Tea Company as well as a few other companies. I was really really good and only bought a few teas, but I enjoyed my time in Cape May so much I’m sure I’ll go back, and when I do I’ll stop by this shop and buy more tea. Also, if you ever have the chance to go to Cape May, go! It’s one of the prettiest sea side towns I’ve ever seen, and the people there are very friendly.
On to the tea! This is a nice fruity (not candy) plum tea. The base tea has an earthy flavor but isn’t heavy. I thought I picked up a light mossy note a time or two, but it was hit or miss. The plum note is delicate and slightly sweet with a floral finish. It works well with the base tea, and I really like that the plum flavor is fruity rather than overly sweet or artificial tasting. I did try one cup with sugar, and while it really brought out the plum flavor the floral note was lost. I definitely preferred this plain.
I only bought an ounce of this, so I’ll probably blow through it pretty fast, but I’ll enjoy it!
Flavors: Earth, Floral, Moss, Plums
’Here’s Hoping’ Teabox Round #4 – Tea #15
A standard Golden Monkey! I love the scent of the brew even before I take a sip – very syrupy sweet. The flavor is like honey, syrup, dried grass, molasses and chocolate. Somehow a great combination. Dark and delicious. I’ve had a couple better Golden Monkeys but this one works!
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // few min after boiling // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Made this into a latte today. I probably made it stronger than needed, but I love strong flavoured lattes. This one was so great. It had the great cookie taste I mentioned in the last tasting note, and it’s got the creaminess of the cream.
This tea is such a surprise. I love it. Now that I’m making lattes at home, I don’t think this one will last long. haha Delish!
Bought this on a whim last week.
I wasn’t even sure about the smell honestly, but how could I pass up a tea called Cookies and Cream?!
I added some milk and sugar (not much), and it made this tea such a great sweet dessert tea. I definitely got the sweetness and chocolately taste from it. But there was also a creaminess to it. I was impressed by the combo and how well the two worked together and the fact that you get both the cookie taste and the cream. Usually you don’t get both when a company says you should, but this time you definitely can. Seriously surprised and impressed.
I’m going to enjoy this one.
As a side note, I’m like dying to buy more tea, which technically I have in the last week, but I want to buy more and I’m trying with everything in me to not. I have a Steeped Tea party tonight so we’ll see how well that lasts… I HAVE to drink down some of my collection!
I finished off the last of this one from the tea box today and it was WELL worth it. I think if there’d been more in the box i would have taken it out :) It’s not the most perfect raspberry tea but there’s something about it that is quite refreshing. Even when it was thoroughly cooled it had a pleasant taste, no bitterness and the base was present but blended with the flavouring instead of working against it. Thanks for sharing!
Final Count: 115
Such a weird tea. I made it with a fillable tea bag because it’s so fine. One level 1/2tbsp was only 1.7g, so I added a bit more to bring it up to 2g, steeped for 3min. It tastes… like tea. Like, there’s nothing unpleasant about this, no bitterness or excessive astringency, but there’s also nothing particularly interesting about it. Reading the description I was something much more “punch you in the face and wake you up” but it wasn’t really that. I resteeped for 6min and the resulting cup is drinkable but a bit bland. Meh.
This is a very tart tea. The initial brew is blaring with raspberry and a spiced honey. The color of the liquor is crimson red. The first sip leads to a blast of raspberry and grape. It reminds me a of a sweetened red wine. The aftertaste is one of a dark black tea with some astringency. I can taste a woodsy flavor with slight roasting. This is not a tea for me, but I can see why others may enjoy it.
Flavors: Raspberry, Red Wine, Smoked, Wood
This tea has got to be about 8 years old. I purchased it on an ill-fated trip to Montreal that ended with food poisoning and years of aversion to maple-flavored everything (I’m over that aversion now, thankfully). The tea’s still pretty tasty! I never drank it much because it’s one of those black teas that makes my stomach hurt, but it has a nice muscatel flavor to it. It’s rather drying but not unpleasantly so. I have never tried real ice wine so I don’t know if the tea tastes anything like its actual namesake. No rating because seriously, this tea is olllld.
I’ve had this tea in my cupboard for quite a long time, and when I gave it a sniff I didn’t smell much from the dry leaf. I’d had it stored in a roll top bag, so I wasn’t expecting much.
I used up the rest – about 3tsp, to make a latte. As soon as the hot water hit the dry leaf all the strawberry fragrance came blossoming back.
This made for a wonderful, sweet strawberry latte, with just a tint of woodiness from the rooibos. Very similar to the strawberry milk you can get in a carton.
I remember this being really good plain as well. I’d buy it again.
Flavors: Strawberry, Sweet, Wood
Oolongs and I have had such an up and down relationship over the years…
I remember when Teaopia had a lovely peach oolong that I loved. I didn’t even really realize it was an oolong it was so nice.
Then I tried the Milk Oolong from Davidstea and I hated it. I probably didn’t steep it right (that’s what I’m assuming looking back anyways.)
Then I got the S’mores tea from Teaopia that had oolong in it and I loved it. It was so so amazing… So much so that I bought 1000g before they sold out of it. And like three years later I still have some hanging around and it’s still just as good as it was. It hasn’t lost any of its goodness…
Which brings me to this tea. This one was a bit of an impulse purchase at a place in a nearby town that sells Metropolitan Tea Company teas. The smell of this one was pouring through the bag towards me. I knew if I got some that a) I’d probably like it and b) that it would have to be stored in a tin, not the bag that it came with that wasn’t really sealed at all.
I steeped this one up last night and omgoodness…. amazing!! It lives up to its name. It is sweet and melony. I didn’t take notice of the base of it this time, but I didn’t hate it so I have to think that’s a good sign. I ended up drinking the whole cup in no time. It’s absolutely amazing! I would highly recommend this tea anytime. I am so surprised. Seriously. Surprised. I ended up buying though to fill my Davidstea tin, and I’m so glad I did. This is one that I think would be incredible iced too! That might be my next attempt with this one.
Hidden Gems TTB #14
I’m impressed by how accurate the honey flavor is in this tea…it really tastes like I added honey to my cup! It’s very sweet, with a strong honey taste and a bit of fruitiness hanging out in the background. I wish the raspberry would pop a bit more, but this is still quite good.
Flavors: Honey, Raspberry
I’m trying two Niligiri teas this evening – this one and Nonsuch. I’m getting the impression that Nilgiri teas are medium-bodied floral blacks in general. This one is a little bit sweeter and maltier than the other one, almost a baked goods aroma when freshly steeped, with some fruitiness and astringency coming out as it cools. It’s ok, but not something I’d buy more of.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Malt
I’m trying two Niligiri teas this evening – this one and Tiger Hill. I’m getting the impression that Nilgiri teas are medium-bodied floral blacks in general. This one is a bit fruity as well, with a slight bitterness. It’s ok, but not something I’d buy more of.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity
My little town doesn’t have a tea shop, but it does have a “fancy coffee shop” (this is in addition to the Tim Horton’s). I don’t usually go there, because frankly their coffee is overpriced and not very good. But today I was walking past in the cold, and going in to see if they had tea seemed like a good excuse to warm up. :) They do have a few little jars of loose-leaf on a shelf, with just the names on the front but what looked like Metropolitan labels on the back. I asked the girl what she would recommend, and she picked one off the shelf and said “oh, this tea is definitely my favourite!” so I was like sure, I’ll have a cup of whatever that is. :) It looked like a rooibos blend, and the name on the front just said “Nutcracker”. I walked home with the warm cup in my hand, smelling it and trying to guess the flavour. It’s primarily what my brain helpfully identifies as “cherry… no, almond… no, definitely cherry… hmm, maybe amaretto?” and I thought there were maybe hints of lemon as well? It’s also unmistakeably rooibos, even without tasting it. It tastes pretty much the way it smells, sweet and almondy/boozy. It’s good, tastes like a festive, desserty sort of tea. I got home and looked it up, and apparently it’s supposed to be marzipan flavoured which I guess makes sense. It’s also supposed to be way cooler-looking than it actually was! I double checked, and all I can see is rooibos and almond slices, no crazy snowflake candies. Ah well, I’m pretty ambivalent about candies in tea on the best of days so I didn’t really miss them. This was decent, if I’m ever running low on flavoured rooibos I might get some more.
Flavors: Almond, Marzipan
Yep, I like this one. I brewed it at a higher temperature today, and I’m getting even more of a sweet baked goods note. Bread and honey, maybe? Slightly floral, like maybe it’s wildflower honey. A little bit of pleasant astringency. Very nice, bumping up my rating a little.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey
I’m fairly certain this is what I’m actually drinking. It came in a subscription box from the super-sketchy tastecha.com (rip-off, strongly suggest to avoid) labelled “Temi Sikkim”, but the description they provided was identical to Metropolitan’s, so…
Anyway, this is actually a really nice tea. The dry leaves are a mix of colours, mostly black but some brown and some lighter (greenish or grey). It has floral notes in the aroma, maybe a hint of bread or biscuit as well. I was thinking that it reminded me of a darjeeling, and then found out Sikkim teas are described as “darjeeling-style”. The flavour is very light and smooth, a bit floral, a bit fruity (some muscatel, I think), slightly sweet, and with a slight astringency as I reach the bottom of the cup.
Flavors: Floral, Muscatel
I’m not going to rate this one, because brewing it turned into such a fiasco. :) So first I over-cooled the water, it was down around 65C when I checked the temp in my mug. I let it steep for 2min, and it was weak. So then I let it steep for another 1min, and it was still weak. Then I put the tea basket back in the mug and promptly forgot about it for… I don’t even know how long. By the time I remembered, it was no longer too weak! But it was fairly bitter. It actually wasn’t undrinkable, but not particularly enjoyable. I decided to take the leaves for another steep, and for this one I added a little less than 1tsp of peppermint leaves to the basket, and steeped with water just off the boil, but for only 1 minute. After that I stirred in some sugar for the true Morroccan tea experience (in my kitchen, lol). Pretty good! But I think I’m mostly tasting the mint. :p
omgsrsly sent this one my way and i am a fan! Do i, as usual, wish it was a little more orangey and a little more vanilla-y, of course. But i really enjoyed the few cups of this one that i had. It’s not too sour and it’s got a really nice blend of flavours going on. It also tasted really nice hot and cold :)
I’m really not sure about this one. Trying it straight up, it’s very interesting. The description says jammy-like taste to it, but I’m not too sure if that’s what I’m getting or not. I think I’m getting more of a floral quality to it I think.
There’s just something about this tea that I’m not crazy about. I will probably finish it, but honestly it’s not for me… Even with milk and sugar I don’t find this tea to be overly exciting…
Oh well… Maybe I’ll try it in one of my new Gaiwans and see if that helps!
Day 4 Amanda ‘SoggyEnderman’ Wilson
TEA advent Calendar
Yum! Smokey goodness! This roasted green is just what I needed this afternoon. I was feeling cold and achy and this tea made me feel like I was sitting curled up in a blanket sitting by a fire. The flavor notes remind me of roasted chestnuts, leaf mulch, burnt apple wood and well, just the sweet lovely smell of a fire.
Tea Advent Calendar, day 4
I wasn’t overly impressed with this tea. It wasn’t anything special, although it wasn’t awful. It was actually much better as it cooled off in my cup, and I liked the last cold sip.
It did go well with the praline pecans that someone brought to the office today.
So I met up with Robyn yesterday after going to the mall, to exchange Christmas presents since on Saturday she’s going back to Regina for the rest of Christmas, and this was the only day during the week she wasn’t crazy busy with finals preparation.
We went to a coffee house called the Broadway Roastery, as per Robyn’s suggestion because her roommates are always raving about how they serve the best London Fogs. So that’s what we got! Turns out this particular coffee house sources all of their tea from MTC, so I get to actually write a tasting note for a specific tea instead of just using the all inclusive “Various Teas” thinger.
Firstly, it was a pretty good London Fog! I was impressed because, first and foremost, they used loose leaf and not tea bags, but it was also very thick and rich with such a strong vanilla flavour. Mmm! Robyn and I each, at one point or another, ended up with milk froth mustaches, too.
As for the gift exchange; I gave her Neil Patrick Harris’s Choose Your Own Autobiography (her own copy; I didn’t re-purpose mine), a cool Owl bookmark for it, a whole bunch of owl stickers, Troy Bolton dividers for her class duo tang/binder, and “Royal Flush” Poo Pourri. I’m very impressed with myself, since she was super happy and I know she hasn’t been able to afford books as frequently since starting Uni – and she loves to read, so that’s a shame.
For me, I got a whole butt load of fancy chocolates and then she got me one of the DT packs/tins with one half cookies and the other half a stackable tin of tea. Sadly, she picked Cocomint Cream which some of you will remember I kinda hated. But there was no way I was going to let her know that (so keep it a secret Steepster!) so I faked as best as I possibly could it being a tea I’d never actually tried before which made her really excited. Not sure what I’m going to do with the tea now, but I’ll figure something out. I am actually super excited about the cookies, though.
I wish people would stop getting me DT stuff as present though – my Mom accidentally let slip last night that my little sister went Christmas shopping for me at DAVIDsTEA this year (which is very thoughtful of her, but odds are she’ll get something I don’t like or be talked into the Holiday Sampler by a staff member just like my Dad did last year – despite me telling him not to go shopping for me at DAVIDsTEA). I mean, if there’s something I want to try from DT, I’ll try it myself…
This year my Dad got it right; he’s just taking me to a tea store and setting me loose to shop for myself…