Murchie's Tea & Coffee

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Recent Tasting Notes

69

Sipdown (119)!

Got this one in the most recent box of goodies from VariaTEA but I’m pretty sure that it’s from Sil originally. My memory could be failing me, but I thought that Murchies was the name of the tea store local to you guys in Toronto?

I cold brewed my sample, and it was my companion on Thursday to my tattoo appointment. I know I mentioned last week booking in another session when my Dad was visiting – and it finally happened! The appointment started at 10:30AM and I was supposed to be out of the shop at about 1:30 but we didn’t finish until a little after 2:30PM – three hours of tattooing in total with a lot of stenciling and otherwise in between. Immediately following leaving I had to cab it down to work because I started at 3:00PM!

I added four tattoos of varying size to my arms; one on my right which is a Mrs. Marvel/Carol Danvers quote that’s stuck with me since first hearing it. I admit to not really being the biggest Mrs. Marvel fan and not really knowing anything about the comic character/her history but it’s an amazing quote! “Good is not a thing you are. It’s a thing you do.” I think people need to remember that more often; you can’t just go around claiming you’re a ‘good person’. You actually need to do good in order for that to be true.

On my left arm, I added my siblings names in Elder Futhark runes, a long band of binary code (with a very personal message/meaning when translated back into words) that circles most of my arm above my elbow, and one of the panels/images from Shel Silverstein’s illustration only poem The Thinker of Tender Thoughts. I’m on day three of healing, and so far all is going pretty well. I think having two days off in a row is gonna help; since I now have to wear long sleeves at work at all times I know that the constant rubbing of the icky fabric over my arms is going to hurt a lot/be tender for a while.

And once everything is all healed up, I will totally post pictures for you guys! I wanted to get everything I had planned out done at once/closely together and now that I have I can let everything heal ‘cause it’s gonna be a while before I can afford to get my next set done (even though I totally know what I want to get). But anyway…

This was pretty decent to take with me; it definitely helped a lot having something to sip on in between each tattoo while the stencils were being prepared. I don’t know, if I had more of the tea to play with, I’d choose to cold brew this one again though; I got the impression it’d actually be nicer hot?

It had a really brisk/bold black base and I don’t think it was necessarily the highest quality base either because accompanying this defined, almost floral, flavour was a biting astringent edge that sort of tainted what would’ve been a nice strawberry flavour otherwise. Though it was more of an unsweetened rough strawberry flavour. The vanilla was mysteriously lacking; really, it was hardly there at all. I think if it had been more present the strawberry would have felt smoother and more pleasant. As it was, there was something about this blend that seemed unfinished.

Also, I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact I was being tattooed for an extended period of time but no matter how much I drank of this I couldn’t help but feel even more parched. It was a little frustrating but I think probably had more to do with the ‘activity’ this accompanied…

Sil

Murchies is out in Vancouver but that doesn’t mean anything in terms of who it’s from hahahaha

VariaTEA

Haha this is actually from me originally or if you want to get technical it’s from my roommate who went to visit our mutual friend in Vancouver and brought it home for me.

Also when you go for something, you really go for it! How many tattoos are you at now? 6? 7? Lol I am impressed. I was actually looking at tattoos and stuff last night but alas, if I actually got one my parents would disown me.

Roswell Strange

Ah, maybe it’s OMGsrsly who always reviews Murchies teas then :P And, I’ve got seven in total now :P

VariaTEA

Seven in like 2 months?!? Go hard or go home :P

I struck up a deal with my tattoo hating mother that once I lose the weight I want to lose and keep it off, she will allow me to get a tattoo without comment from her.

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Even though this is in a baggie in a tin, when I open my cupboard this is all I smell.

So of course it’s what I reached for this morning.

With a touch of maple sugar because I needed something sweet this morning. UGH. I have 30 minutes to drink my tea and get ready for work. Why early mornings, work? Why so many? Don’t you know I prefer to start at 10 or 11? :/

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I bought a lot of tea again yesterday, Tea Frens. #whoops Right now I’m sniffing Murchie’s Sugar Maple. WHOA it smells so amazing. It’s kinda weird though because there are apple bits and… dried cherries? Or raisins? I’m not entirely sure. Mmm, it is pretty tasty though. I wouldn’t say exactly how it smells, but it’s nice.

And they’re dried cranberries. SO WEIRD, MURCHIE’S! So weird.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Fjellrev

Haha I thought it was odd too, and ended up passing on it. But it totally does smell amazing!

OMGsrsly

It tastes good though!

TeaBrat

I liked Murchie’s when I was in Victoria…

OMGsrsly

I pretty much only shop at the Victoria store. I don’t find that the service, selection, and general environment are as good at the tiny Vancouver stores. :)

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82

Murchie’s loves its custom black tea blends, especially those in honor of British royalty. In addition to this blend they also created a blend for Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee as well as one for the royal wedding.

This is a nice, solid blend that incorporates characteristics from different black tea from around Asia and blends them together seamlessly. I can taste the grapey, muscatel tones of a Darjeeling without the astringency, some lightly malty flavours like you’d find in an Assam, and maybe the barest hint of peppery Yunnan. It has a surprising sweetness, particularly after it cooled off a bit and it’s quite smooth despite having such bold flavours. A great black tea that really shows the creator’s deft hand at blending.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

It was the sweet scent of maple that drew me in – plus I love the idea of a ‘Canadian Breakfast’ to go with all the ‘English breakfasts’ and ‘Irish breakfasts’ out there. This brews up into a brisk cuppa with lots of body, making it a good first-thing-in-the-morning tea. The maple flavour is subtle but it’s definitely there and I’m not sure if it’s the flavour or the tea base itself that has a lightly malty quality which is strange as that’s an attribute I normally associate with Assam teas but I checked the ingredients and there’s no Assam in this blend – just Ceylon and Keemun.

A good, solid tea – I could see this becoming a staple in my cupboard.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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55

Found this in my cupboard today… no idea how old it is, but its bagged tea. Bagged tea cant go bad right… right?!

Anyways I took two tea bags to work and threw them both into a cup. This tea is so-so, no wonder its been hiding in my cupboard. This is a take it or leave it kinda tea. Its weak and I had to add both sugar and milk to make it drinkable. I really like teas that I can drink straight. I mean its fine for a bagged black tea and with milk and sugar, however I guess I’m a tea snob now and like my loose leaf. Loose leaf is just way more flavourful. Sorry bagged tea! I couldn’t taste any vanilla in this :(

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81

Strawberry shortcake tea. Yum :)

Fjellrev

Oh cool, I’ve yet to try this. Sounds better than I thought.

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My old roommate went to Vancouver to visit our mutual friend over the holiday season and returned with a few teas for me. This is one of the ones she picked up and tonight I used it for my daily eggnog latte and it was great! It tasted like a slice of coconut cream pie with fresh sliced banana on top. Yum!

Nichole

That sounds fantastic!

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50

I’m so disappointed in this tea. I was really excited for the vanilla/peppermint blend, and the mint totally overpowers the vanilla. When first brewed, you can sort of smell the vanilla but there’s no taste of it what soever. This is pretty much a mint rooibos tea.

If I can find a vanilla loose leaf, I might try and blend them. But otherwise, meh.

Rating: 50

Flavors: Mint, Peppermint, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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50

The dry leaves smell very pepperminty because of the candy cane pieces, and there’s almost no trace of the vanilla.

Liquor is clear and red-amber. The peppermint taste and scent is much more prominent than the vanilla, which only sort of appears as an after-taste. As a lover of peppermint teas, this is definitely right up my alley. However, I’m also a big fan of vanilla rooibos and I do miss the vanilla flavour. If I can find a loose-leaf vanilla rooibos I like, I’d probably try blend them to bring out the vanilla flavour. I also like a stronger tea, so I’d probably use more tea next time.

Rating: 45

Flavors: Peppermint, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 355 ML

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75

Finally figure out exactly what to do with this tea – it’s ideal for a tea latte. Probably 1-2 tsp white sugar and about 1/4 cup of milk (I made it with 1% and it was perfect). Filled my cup about 3/4 full of boiling water, let steep for 5 min, then added sugar to taste and the milk (which I’d frothed with my mom’s little electric whisk). Ideal

Flavors: Earl Grey, Peach, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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75

Re-steeped with the same leaves from my previous review. The shorter steep time definitely helped, but I lost most of the sense of the peach the second time – was more of a black tea with almost undetectable peach flavour. Still had to sweeten it a bit, but no milk this time.

Rating: 50

Flavors: Earl Grey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 355 ML

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75

I’m really disappointed in myself, I didn’t pay attention to my steep time and I think I over-did it. It smells wonderfully peachy, and starts off wonderfully, but finishes quite bitter. May have also been too much tea for the amount of water. The liquor was clear, but very dark.

I’m going to try sweetening it with just white sugar, see if it makes it any better. I’m definitely going to try to re-brew this and not ruin it this time xD

ETA: Added a fair amount of white sugar (probably 2tsp+) and skim milk to make this drinkable. Going to re-steep with same leaves and see what I get.

Rating: 50

Flavors: Bitter, Earl Grey, Peach, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 355 ML

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GCTTB
I don’t know much about yellow tea, so when I found this one in the box I had to try it.
Interesting – it’s not as subtle as white tea, it’s not as grassy as green tea, it’s not as floral/buttery/mineraly as oolong, it’s not black…. it’s definitely unique.
I’m not even sure what this is. It’s a light tea but without all the stuff I don’t normally like about green and green oolongs. Weird… a little fruity. Smooth, gentle, no bitter, no astringent.
I used half the sample that was in the box, and as much as I would like to play with this some more, I’m going to leave the last of it for someone else to experience. I think I like it, but it’s hard to wrap my head around it. I would try more yellow teas if they came my way.
http://instagram.com/p/wpLYEFuEzh/?modal=true
http://instagram.com/p/wpLkOPOEz2/?modal=true

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GCTTB

Lychee can be really good if done well and really bad if not. This one is pretty good. It’s lychee not just some generic fruit, the black base is present without being intrusive. I’m not getting any bitterness or astringency.
All in all I like this one – really nice fruity black tea.

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80

The currant flavor is light, and not over-powering, and it goes down very smooth. It’s actually identical in flavor to an icewine tea I picked up in Chinatown (I drank them one after the other just to test that theory). Thumbs up!

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80

My my, I fared rather well this grand Black Friday. This was the only tea that I bought, but only because I stopped in to pick up some more paper tea filters. Tea was 15% off, so I smelled a few and this one was the only one that grabbed me. It’s wonderfully chocolatey with a coffee bite. I almost bought their maple tea, but oddly enough, their sample sniffing jar smelled way better than the tea in the actual bin, which smelled more bitter. Don’t know what’s up with that.

The coffee is mightily strong in flavour too. With light cream, it’s kind of like a hot Tim Hortons iced Capp but heavier on the coffee. When it comes to coffee teas, however, I still prefer Bayswater’s Chocolate Macchiato. That one has more chocolate in it. Oh man, now I want some more of that beauty.

But other than Murchie’s, the cosmetics companies were the true soul suckers. I made a Murale order since I had a $30 coupon to burn anyway, plus grabbed a couple things at Sephora. Makeup, hand cream, moisturizer, aghhhh!

Nxtdoor

It’s ok. It’s sort of exciting and it makes you feel (and look) good. You gotta fight buyer’s remorse. I’m doing it right now about this small tv I got. I guess I didn’t realize just how small it would be!

Fjellrev

Haha it’s a lot smaller than you expected, eh? What’s the size? It’s funny because I bought a 39" when I moved here in the spring and it was huge for me since I haven’t owned a TV in years, and even then, my last one was 32". Then when I went to visit my mom last month, she just bought a 50", so now coming back to this one, it seems so tiny in comparison.

Nxtdoor

Well…. I needed a small tv for one of the rooms. Our main 50" one is in the rec room downstairs but wanted a tv in the living room so I can turn it on when I’m puttering around. So I bought the smallest there was, 20" . I swear I have a computer monitor downstairs that’s larger. Now I just feel silly about it so to “fix” it, I spent even more and got myself Apple TV.

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71

Backlog from yesterday…this was in bag form, from the SSTTB, which is why I used it…I was kind of lazy yesterday morning before work. Anyway, it is not a stellar tea, just basic, and that’s ok for me sometimes. It was good, just not amazing. I think I like Tetley’s black currant just a wee bit more, to be honest.

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This is the first yellow tea I have ever drank as it isn’t an easy type of tea to get a hold of without shelling out a bunch of money.

It’s an interesting-looking tea, the dry leaves are a mix of dark brown and grey rather than yellow like you’d expect and they’re formed into little twists resulting in a tea that’s quite loose and hard to measure in my little scoop. The flavour remind me of some white teas that I’ve tried with a distinct hay-like flavour. This tea doesn’t have the same sweetness that usually accompanies those white teas though. I gave it a resteep @2:45 but the results were a bit lackluster and weak.

It’s an interesting tea, though I’m not entirely sure if I actually like it or not – I need to fiddle with the parameters a bit before I can say for sure. Can anyone else share how they steep their yellow teas?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
LiberTEAS

I generally go with a low temp like you did, 160 – 170 is my preference. I treat it much like I would a white tea. I steep it for 4 minutes.

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45

My first sipdown! Got a 10-pack of this back in May along with a black-green blend…unfortunately this is rather disappointing.

A couple of minutes of brewing results in a nice deep colour, but an utterly bland taste. I suppose Mrs. Grey must be the older spinster sister of Lady Grey, because this tea is flat and bland and reminds me of a stuffy attic.

Anyhow, glad this is off my shelf. Time to invest in more Irish Breakfasts!

Flavors: Bergamot

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