Monterey Bay Spice Company

Recent Tasting Notes

74

Herbal Traveling Tea Box

Very delightful cup of tea. Very fruity. Not all that tart-didn’t even add a touch of sweetener.. although I easily could have to give it more of a sugary appeal. Found myself strangely thirsty after this one, though. It is a little bit similar to goji pop by Davidstea. Delicious and fruitful.

Preparation
2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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70

First tea of the Traveling Tea Box B! I just took a little over a teaspoon out of this so the rest will go back into the box. It brewed up quite dark. Smells very generic tropical fruit.

It actually tastes quite mango with little hints of other fruits that aren’t strong enough for me to identify. One of them feels quite ‘sharp’ at the back of my throat but I don’t know what it is. As I drink more of this it is becoming less tasty and more ‘woody’ somehow. I don’t know how old this sample is.

Happy to have tried it, but I wouldn’t order any.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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62

Another from BrewTEAlly Sweet box.

I don’t like this one as much. Fruity black is what it should be. Fruity – check, black – check, so what’s the problem. There is also some weirdness in the back. It’s something fake and chemical. It’s just barely there and more noticeable when HOT not so much as it cools. Not sure, just something I don’t about it. Maybe a touch of bitter too.
Dunno, just ok for me.

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Backlog from last night…

BLEAH! All this one tastes like to me is rooibos, which I HATE! I took one sip and that was it. Then I had to move my cup away from me because I could still smell it! LOL!

Can’t win em all ;)

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65

Sipdown, 147.

I hot brewed this to cool it in the fridge and drink it cold. I snuck a sip after brewing (before adding sweetener) and it was so sour it pretty much turned my mouth inside out. Woah! After cooling I had to pour a ton of simple syrup in to even get it remotely sweet. Well, it was fine once I got it to be palatable, but this is definitely not a tea you can drink unsweetened. Not too sad to see it go!

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65

This is the final one of my MBSC hibiscus fruit blends. Tonight I decided I would steep this one according to the directions in this recipe for agua de jamaica (without all the optional spices): http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/agua_de_jamaica_hibiscus_tea/

Except if it turned bad I didn’t want to waste a bunch of sugar on it, so I quartered the recipe. I also tasted the steeping blend at 5, 10, and 15 minutes, straining it out after 15 (instead of the 20 called for in the recipe) because I sensed that something (citrus peel?) was getting kind of bitter. I took my 1 cup of concentrated and cut it with another cup of cold water as called for, but that was even too sweet and syrupy for me. Cutting it in half again with cold water resulted in a sweet, tart and pretty tasty brew. It tastes mostly of hibiscus but also kind of berryish with a hint of citrus. I enjoyed this but I think I will just get some plain hibiscus to make agua de jamaica in the future.

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70

Another round two tea from the Earl Grey side-by-side tasting. I’m doing 5 at a time, each tea brewed under the same parameters: in a tea filter bag, for 3 minutes with 205°F water. I dunked the tea filters around to make sure they were getting enough water flow since I don’t usually use them.

This is a brand new Earl Grey to me, and as such it doesn’t have a rating yet. And it didn’t really stick out in this tasting at all. It was a little weak, a bit forgettable, with not much distinct about it. As it cooled I actually got a hint of lemony flavor, moreso than the bergamot. Will try this one under normal circumstances, but it definitely didn’t distinguish itself here.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This one is tough. I LOVE white tea. I LOVE flavored white teas. So far I have LOVED MBSC Teas!!! This one…well, I am thinking it was human error on my part so I am not going to rate quite yet. I’m getting a lot more floral than anything else in this cup. Yes…it smells AWESOMELY pom/floral but the taste is nearly all floral…wanting that POM…hum…maybe because I over infused!? Again…it’s ok…but I am going to wait a little bit before rating officially…

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84

Backlog:

this one is best served as an iced tea. The black tea base is somewhat astringent. Tasty mango and passion fruit notes. An enjoyable cuppa – like I said … I like this one way better iced!

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/04/02/gold-rush-black-tea-blend-from-monterey-bay-spice-company/

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60

Sipdown, 151. Cold brew. It was fine, but not anything I would seek out again.

I swear, every sipdown of one of these MBSC teas feels like a triumph. Now that this one is gone I have just three left of the giant order that I placed years ago with a groupon. Next company up to get rid of is Georgia Tea Company… I think then I will have finally cleared out most of the now-regretted early purchases, besides a few one-off teas that I no longer care for very much. Goodbye, old tea!

Preparation
Iced

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60

I opened this ounce of tea for the first time yesterday to make iced tea with it. Between my lackluster experience with most MBSC teas and my waning interest in flavored greens I just never had enough initiative to open the pouch.

I thought making a pitcher full of it might use it up, but when I measured it into my 40oz bodum pitcher it was maaaaybe half of the pouch. Cold brewed overnight, and it was pretty decent. Not awesome, but decent. The green was a bit grassy and the citrus edging on bitter in the cold brew. I suppose I should some time try it hot to see how it plays out but like I said, I have little interest right now. Sometimes an improved palate can be annoying.

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71

Thanks BrewTEAlly Sweet! It lives up to the chai in it’s name but the chocolate is lacking. Its smooth and gingery. Thanks again!

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18

Sipdown, 158. I brewed a cup of this hot, iced it, took one sip, and threw the rest away. I also tossed another sample of a MBSC hibiscus/fruit blend that I was sure I wouldn’t like, and I will probably toss the third (but I will try it once to be sure). I ordered these samples ages ago before I knew any better, and naively thought that these blends would be fruity and not overdone. Not only are they almost all hibiscus, but they are old and stale, too. I mean, I like sweet, iced hibiscus, but all of these have had a certain funkiness that is just wrong.

This one’s major downfall was actually not the hibiscus but the lemon peel. It was so mouth-wrenchingly bitter and horrible I couldn’t deal. Like you actually just bit a lemon with the peel on. No thanks.

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84

To wind down my day I of course reached for a sweeter tea. I thought of this one right away. As it was steeping the smell was so soothing and decadent. The first sip had at first that chai taste and then a little of the herbal peered through. I only got one chocolate chip so it didn’t really stand out. Next time ill look for more chocolate chip and it will be perfect! Definitely worth trying and would be even better with milk!!

http://m.flickr.com/lightbox?id=8748904071

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67

Sipdown, 179. Cold brew.

I’ve been drinking a lot of cold brews at lunch so I took the rest of my sample of this (probably 3/4 ounce) and made a pitcher of iced tea with it. I haven’t logged my previous cups but this is the final cup of it.

This is pretty tasty as a cold brew. The white tea is slightly vegetal but mild and generally nice, and the pomegranate is pretty juicy and not too fakey tasting. Of course it isn’t totally pomegranate, and there are possibly some other things going on. Rose hips add a tartness and slight berry flavor, but it’s thankfully not overdone. All the same I’m not too sad to see it go.

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66

Additional notes: Iced! This one isn’t my favorite iced.. not very inspired. It has a plastic taste to it, which is odd as it does have SOME mango pieces in it (not as many in my pouch as the picture shows). But I’m finding that the long wirey black tea leaves have less flavor iced than cut-tear-curl leaves. Those definitely have more flavor iced.

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66

thank you so much Dinosara! I had a tropical flavored tea once that tasted really weird and fake. Thankfully, this one is much much better. It actually tastes like tropical fruit on a nice yet mild black tea base. I didn’t see very many mango pieces in the mix though. It’s very juicy, if that’s possible. I like it!

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89

Thank you, Dinosara for this sample!

This was a serendipitous find for me. Dinosara accidentally sent me the wrong sample, but she was sweet enough to let me keep it and give it a try. For some reason I have always stayed away from passion fruit. I’m not sure why, I have simply never wanted to try anything flavored with passion fruit. My mistake because this tea is good!

The fruit flavor is sweet, and the smell made me think of summer. I did add some sugar to my cup to bring the fruit flavor out a bit more. Since this is my first time trying anything that taste like passion fruit I don’t have a lot to compare it to. All I can say is I enjoyed it. I wish the base tea were stronger, but all in all this is a tasty tea.

Dinosara

Glad you ended up liking it! If you ever want to try more passion fruit teas, the passion fruit black from thepuriTea is my favorite!

Veronica

I’ll put it on my shopping list. At the rate I’m drinking this tea I’m going to need more passion fruit tea in the next few days. :)

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81

This is a tea that all women should have in their collection! It was given to me by a fellow witch friend when I was cramping on my period and it caused them to go away! She recommended that I drink the tea once everyday for the 3 days before it comes on and I won’t have any cramping or other typical period problems. Smells and tastes very cinnamony and fruity.

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57

I’m not sure I remember who I got a sample of this from. DJBooth? Whoever you are, thanks for sharing!

Anyways, I was not in the mood for caffeine so I thought I’d go ahead and make this one. I was also hoping that this might be a tea that would take milk and sugar well because I was in the mood for something chai-like without actually being chai. Tasting this plain, I would say it would simply be over powered by any additions. The orange here tastes a bit stale, but I don’t know how old this is. The spice is weak and the black tea was not memorable. I was hoping for something that might be reminiscent of Christmas, but this isn’t really all that Christmas-y.

I think we will finish this tea easily since husband likes the fruity flavored teas. I think I might be able to drink this down with some honey. Normally, I only like honey in tea when I’m sick, but this tea could use some flavor modification.

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70

Hmm, I could have sworn I would have done a review for this tea already, but perhaps not. I am in any case almost finished with the large sample from MBSC, though I think I gave some of it away. I am drinking it this morning for the benefits of the raspberry leaf in it, which has helped me out in the past. I thought that another raspberry black tea that I had was the same as this one (i.e., sourced from MBSC), but it appears that it is lacking the raspberry leaf, so I may be looking for a source for that in a bit.

Anyway, this tea is tasty enough, with a nice sweet-tart raspberry flavor, and enough raspberry leaf to do the trick. It’s not quite enough of a draw to make me want to repurchase, mostly because the black tea is kind of meh and I want some straight raspberry leaf for future months.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89

This one was sent to me by brandy! Thanks so much!

Hmm…… it’s odd how there’s no info OR reviews for this one…………

Anyways, this is a backlog. One reason I hate doing backlogs is because even if I don’t forget how it tasted, I literally ALWAYS forget my brewing parameters… Sorry folks!

Anyways, I iced this one (double strength then over ice) to compare it to Adagio’s raspberry black tea. And oh my goodness. This one is so much better! No sugar needed to be added to this one! It tastes like a real, juicy and perfectly sweet-and-tart raspberry! None of that fake fruit crap! And I could taste the black base, it’s pretty nice. My guess would go to Ceylon but I’m not 100% positive on that… goes to check hmmm there doesn’t seem to be any info on the website so I guess I guess I’ll stick to my Ceylon assumption.

This one was super yummy! Thanks again brandy!

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79

This one is one of the many delicious looking samples sent to me by brandy3392. Thanks!

I thought this one was a rooibos because in the little baggie there was this red powder covering everything, making it look completely red, so I thought it was rooibos. However, it wasn’t until I measured it out into my strainer and came here to see if there was recommended steeping time that I learned that it was a black tea….. Oh well, too late now!

I like this one! I can definitely see how it could get bitter easily-I steeped with a lower temp for only 3 minutes and it is verging on the bitter side so next time I try this one I will make sure to only do it for 2.5 minutes. I really like how I can taste the black tea. The flavoring is definitely on the back side for me. I get a really nice and sweet mango flavor, a little artificial but that’s okay because I love EVERYTHING mango. There’s also a nice passion fruit flavor (side note: DID YOU KNOW THEY MAKE PASSION FRUIT GREEK YOGURT?! I got some at the store today and I’m so excited to try it!) that I get. As this one cools the flavor comes out a little more. I thinks some sweetening could help elevate the flavors a little more but I like it where it is right now!

This is yummy! Thanks again brandy3392!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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