Murchie's Tea & CoffeeEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea is my enigma.
I cannot discombobulate the strange aroma and taste with the fact that I am essentially just drinking slightly flavoured water! I mentioned yesterday that when I first opened the sample box, the smokey aroma really shocked me. I knew from reading reviews on Steepster that lapsang souchong was one of those “fringe” teas that you either loved or hated, but I had no idea what to expect once I actually got my hands on some of it.
Upon further reflection yesterday night about my strange and puzzling new tea sample that wafted its aroma from its box all around my kitchen, I realized that the smell it reminded me of campfire smoke. Exactly this. I could almost see the smoke spewing out of the little box (which, incidentally, I also realized looked like cigarette packs, lol…) if I took a deep breath of it.
I brewed it after work today, still having no idea what to expect in terms of flavour. When I poured the water over the teabag, lo and behold: smoked salami. What the hell are you talking about, you might ask? I have no freaking clue. When this tea was brewing, I swear to you it smelled like heavily smoked, delicious meat. Some sort of salami or even smoked salmon maybe. My stomach grumbled because I got hungry from the aroma alone. It was beginning to be difficult to be content with the yogurt/fruit snack I had decided to prepare for myself along with this tea.
Needless to say, I was hesitant in my first tasting. The aroma died down after a while as it cooled down (or maybe I just got used to having it around me), and it went back to a less enticing campfire smoke smell. If I had to describe what campfire smoke tastes like, I’d pretty much just hand you some of this tea. Even in my mouth, I can barely get around the smokiness to catch a hint of the black tea underneath, although I do have fleeting glimpses of it if I concentrate hard enough. It’s not unpleasant per se, I just don’t really know to enjoy this weird new sensation. Maybe one day I will become a lapsang souchong appreciator. For now, I will let this tea puzzle me from inside a box.
Pulling this one out again after a while of not drinking it. Actually, my tea strainer was not washed, so I just needed a bagged black tea, and I think this was the only option (apart from Lapsang Souchong, which I am not mentally prepared for this morning), as everything else is loose leaf.
Getting a slightly smokey aroma from this, a bit more than I remember from last time, but it may be because I had this buddy-bagged in the same ziplock as the Lapsang Souchong, so I may have absorbed a bit of that overwhelming aroma. Probably not the best idea looking back, but it didn’t make that much of a difference. The flavour is still nice: assam-like, very smooth and full-bodied. Just what I needed for a pick-me up.
Another sample box I grabbed from Murchie’s the other day. This one also powdered, but had better brewing results than the CBC Radio Blend. First time trying Keemun, so I’m not sure if the quality of the leaves here is going to significantly change my experience of it (as opposed to if I’d have tried it in loose leaf). My first tasting of this tea is positive, however; the flavour profile is malty and delicate, with a slightly smoky flavour in the background. Reminds me a little of assam tea – bold, smooth black tea but a bit more “grungy”.
I also got a lapsang souchong sample from Murchie’s, and oh boy – when I opened that sucker, I was blown away by the heavy smokey/tobacco aroma. I’m a little scared of trying it later today (or tomorrow), but really intrigued. I’ve never encountered a tea like it before.
Have been drinking this one at work so that I can use up the last of my teabags in the sample box. I’ve learned that this tea needs to be steeped to a MAXIMUM of 30 seconds, as anything longer and it will start to go bitter very quickly. So I’ve been steeping it for abour 30 seconds each time, and I think I would be willing to improve by rating of this tea by a little bit. It is still not something I would consider “good”. But my method made it more drinkable. The tea is no longer bitter, and the flavour is in the best balance that I could get it to be without making the tea astringent by steeping it too long.
The aroma is fairly mild but nice, slightly lemony. The flavour of the tea is very basic, almost bland. Black tea is predominant, with a weak mix of other flavours that aren’t even strong enough for me to identify, save maybe for the lemon. Overall, a very basic and bland tea that I will not be buying again.
Visited Murchie’s yesterday for the first time, and decided to go ahead and buy a few samples, as I didn’t know when I’d get to be near a Murchie’s again anytime soon. This is one of the teas I grabbed, as I remembered reading good things about in on Steepster. They were selling them in small boxes of 10 tea bags. I asked the girl working there if the bagged tea was still full-leaf. She said yes, but seemed unsure. ‘Lo and behold, it is not full leaf. I am rather disappointed by that, because I am not interested in powdered tea. If I was, I’d still be drinking Lipton.
The tea itself brewed very quickly. Within a minute or two, the colour was dark and I had to take the tea bag out. This happens with all my other low-quality powdered tea, and did not inspire much confidence. Aroma was rather light and a little bit citrusy.
I can barely taste any jasmine in the blend, however. The black tea is astringent and dominant in the flavour profile, following a slight lemon-ny twinge. It’s not too bitter, though, so still drinkable. Overall, it seems to brew like an average run-of-the-mill powdered black tea. Little bit disappointing, but I guess I did go in with high expectations.
I dislike that Murchie’s has upped their 25 gram minimum to 50, and gotten rid of their loose-leaf 25 gram boxes. One of the most solid things about them an some of the other chains (yes, DavidsTea) is that their minimum was way more friendly/made it much easier to sample many teas at once without getting stuck with a tea you didn’t like.
At any rate, they still have the boxes of ten teabags, which I opted for even though I tend to find there’s a difference in taste between their fanningteabags and looseleaf teas.
I associate Canadian breakfast with keemun for some reason, but this blend is strongly assam. Actually, I just checked and it SAYS it’s keemun and ceylon, but this is so overwhelmingly NOT keemun OR ceylon. Maybe an african-grown assam, but still definitely assam. Strong and malty, and almost that overly-tannic berry taste. It’s still got a bit of maple, but it’s definitely a very strong, astringent tea, which might just be due to the teabag although I don’t know how to explain the tea-blend discrepancy.
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Had an old favourite with some good friends tonight. Sad that it’s discontinued, but glad I stocked up! Fruity black tea, but with a creaminess you don’t often get from fruit teas.
On another note, excited to try all the new teas just received! Hoping and praying my sense of taste comes back soon so I can fully enjoy them!
Grabbed this the other day in White Rock from two lovely gals that I’ve now Steepster-indoctrinated. (Muahahaha! And, welcome ladies!)
This, along with Paris Breakfast (that I also grabbed) came highly recommended with my requests (not floral or jasmine, flavored, dessert-y, earth-y or the like). I tried this the other night, and again today. I had the same reaction each time – I LOVE the smell. It’s decadent, buttery and gooey, like caramel should be. Drinking it isn’t as amazing, but as one of the staffers pointed out, if it did, it would be artificial.
Which I think is why I don’t love this tea. I need to drink it a few more times, but, it’s just not fully “real”. There’s something vaguely artificial to me, which might be the red rooibos (not normally a huge fan), or perhaps the flavoring used. Not sure. I still like it, it’s still really tasty, I’m happy to share… I just won’t reach for it consistently like I do the Caramel Puerh from Tea Desire.
Flavors: Caramel, Thick
Met some new tea friends at Murchies today, including some amazeballs lady with a TEA TATTOO!!
Alas, this is about the tea, not the awesomeness that is the Murchies staff in White Rock. :)
Grabbed this today, which is technically a spice and not a tea, but I drank it as a tea ((and it’s meant to be added to a tea, so, yeah). Oh so good. Truly, perfect blend of spices, and exactly what I needed tonight.
This was the only tea out of the three new christmas ones they were advertising that DIDN’T have a sampler jug out, and it was the only one I was interested in. Since Murchie’s switched to a minimum of 50g last year (after they moved one street over downtown—I don’t know about the other locations), I decided to take a chance on it despite it containing almonds. Nothing against almonds, it just felt like they were trying to focus too much on the ‘nut’ in ‘chestnut’.
Dry, though, this smells strong and sweet. It actually smells like pancake syrup. That almost-but-not-quite-maple-generic-cornstarch-sweetness-for-your-eggos. Which, while delicious, was disappointing. Brewed, it smells a lot more subdued, and the actual smell of the tea mellows it out and makes it… MORE chestnut-like? It brews a nice, dark red-brown.
Taste-wise, it’s definitely sweet but not quite candy-sweet, with a touch of nuttyness that gives it an almost roasted character. Not maple-syrup. It didn’t quite come off as chestnut to me, but when I drank it the other night (new cup in front of me now) I noticed a more sweet-potato note as it cooled, which is pretty much how I describe chestnuts.
I feel like in order to really pin this tea down, I’d have to buy myself a bag of roasted chestnuts from downtown (or roast my own; I’ve done it before, though with limited success; though you can also get pre-peeled canned/bagged chestnuts) and nibble on them alongside a cuppa. I’m getting something of the taste of chestnut, but not quite the FEEL of chestnut.
All in all though, I do quite like it. Rolling it around a bit, I can tell it’s got a ceylon or nepal-like base, maybe blended with a china region. I wonder how this would taste with a really nice all-china base. There’s a few nutty and sweet/sweet potato teas that would do well with chestnut.
I’m marking this gamble a success.
Flavors: Almond, Caramel, Nutty, Pancake Syrup, Sweet Potatoes
This tea was from Murchie’s Fall Collection this year. The creamy caramel flavour is indeed cozy and quite comforting. The rooibos flavour pairs wonderfully well with the caramel and there’s just a hint of apple. The tea has a nice coppery colour that evokes the autumn season. I really like that it’s a rooibos because I can have it at night and not worry about disrupting my sleep. It’s just the right amount of sweetness – the caramel lets you know it’s there, but it isn’t too sweet. I bought a 100 grams and am happy to have it on hand for the winter months ahead when I’ll be craving a warm and comforting brew.
Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Creamy, Rooibos
Please note – I have never drank this tea, and it is not a review really, so just skip this note if that bothers you.
However reading the description of this tea, I am sure I would like it. Mmmmmm, bergamot.
Today is election day in Canada!
So everyone remember to go out and vote!
It doesn’t matter who you vote for, just go and vote!
Now I want to try this tea :(
But I did go and vote :)
This tea smells and tastes amazing! I really like the black teas mixed with fruit as it tends to take away some of the bitterness. This is a great breakfast tea, not too sweet and wonderfully smooth. The flavour is simple, but it doesn’t suffer at all for this.
Flavors: Earth, Mango, Smooth, Tropical
My kitchen/dining room area smells so good right now, as I sit at my computer, waiting for this tea to finish steeping… it’s like maple swirl bread is waiting for me to eat it, all warm and steamy, pat of butter and all.
Ok, it’s done steeping, so on to the actual drinking…
Oh, is this just down right lovely… The maple is fantastic, and I’m feeling almost a warm, natural cinnamon thing going on, but that could just be in my head…
The base works really well with this flavouring, too…no notes fighting each other, just all working really well together.
I like this a lot! Thanks so much, Plunkybug for sending me this to try! :D
I love this tea. The teas Murchie’s uses for this breakfast blend work really well, and the addition of maple just makes it that much sweeter (literally). I added half-and-half and minimal sugar to this, and it surpassed expectations. Another plus: I’m reminded of my wonderful time in Vancouver whenever I take a sip :)
Flavors: Malt, Maple
When I traveled to Vancouver a few weeks ago for vacation, stopping by Murchie’s was on the top of my to-do list. I had discovered it online and had heard great things, but had never been to the store and had never tried any of their teas myself. I visited the shop on Hastings, and it was adorable. The lady behind the counter was extremely helpful and patient as I asked to sniff nearly all of the teas that they had in the store (I know, I’m ridiculous).
This blend was one of two that were available to sample in the store that day, and I fell in love on first taste! When jasmine is combined with black tea, I feel like the tea usually overpowers the taste of the jasmine. Jasmine is almost always awesome when combined with green tea, but sometimes I want that jasmine flavor while drinking something a little stronger. This tea seems to be a great solution. It’s also the first black-green blend I’ve ever tasted, and I will definitely be drinking more after this. I ended up purchasing 2oz of this (along with 2 oz each of 5 other teas), and I plan on replacing it when my stash runs out.
This is a very British tea – I feel like I should be drinking it at a garden party, sipping it out of fine china while I nibble on finger sandwiches and shortbread. Sadly the truth is that I’m drinking it on the couch in front of my laptop out of my ‘A Lannister Always Pays His Debts’ mug. What can you do? *shrugs *
The base is a solid, medium-strength black tea – probably a Ceylon of some kind. The lavender notes are subtle and gentle and there a hint of something citrusy in the background. Like most of Murchie’s black teas this one is best with milk and maybe a touch of sugar or honey.
The aroma of this tea is like a shark’s merciless jaws. The diamond sharp teeth sink in and linger, linger, linger.. until you realize that everything in your near vicinity, you included, has been irreversibly transformed by unrelenting maple daggers. There is no escape.Besides maple sugar shark maws, this tea has some interesting surprises which at first made me weary. Apple and cranberry pieces are an understandable choice aesthetically (white & red: the blood of angry men, on black). In practice, it reminds me of David’s festive Cranberry Pear, except with the full-bodied effects of pure maple syrup rage.
I enjoy this tea, but it’s one of those instances where I bow out and use the white flag (yay, milk).
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cranberry, Maple Syrup
Thanks VariaTEA for the sample!
This one definitely has a very banana heavy smell with somewhat of a pudding like quality to it; so I guess that comes from the ‘cream’. I cold brewed this one ‘cause that’s just what I do; it definitely was a lot like I expected it to be but did have a few surprises.
The banana was certainly one of the stronger notes, and very candy like. In addition to having somewhat of a pudding like flavour it reminded me quite a bit of those banana marshmallow candies that you can find in convenience stores for five cents. People tend to have polar opinions on those; you either love or hate them. Personally, I can’t get enough. If you put a big bowl of them in front of me I would lose all self control and eat every last one, and probably get really sick as an added bonus.
The coconut is also very strong, though it tastes a touch off. It has an almost oily or greasy buttery flavour to it, which I find is something I’ve come to associate with shredded coconut that’s just starting to turn bad. Despite not totally meshing, it did sort of work with the tea though; that buttery flavour I dislike tied in a bit with the banana marshmallow vibe to create something that kind felt a little more confectionery instead causing me to feel wary.
I didn’t like the black base a whole lot either; I felt like it was noticeably a lower quality base with a lot of flavourings intended to cover that up – some I kind of observed with another flavoured black from this company, though it wasn’t as noticeable with that blend. And, something about the use of it here reminded me a little bit of ash. Only very lightly; but that’s still not a flavour you necessarily want to be experiencing with a “Banana Cream” tea.
But I’m honestly probably making this out to seem a lot worse than it was in reality. The truth is I drank the entire 25 oz. cold brew with very little complaint or criticism until after finishing it and it wasn’t all that difficult to just tune into the fun, sweet banana notes. Overall, this probably balances out to be a relatively average tea. Wouldn’t necessarily recommend or serve it, but it’s not like I’d deliberately avoid it either.