Murchie's Tea & Coffee

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Recent Tasting Notes

57

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.

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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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

GCTTB5

Tea from yesterday. This was perhaps a little overstepped. It was a little astringent. It was a fairly decent cuppa though with malty, raisin notes.

The resteep at 4 minutes seemed a bit more mellow.

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

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95

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63

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!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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74

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

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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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.

Preparation
2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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77

Lovely flavors that complement very well with each other. Nice aroma when the tea is steeping.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cranberry, Maple

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

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87

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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89

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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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 :)

keychange

Loved this note! and I have voted :).

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95

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

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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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

Plunkybug

Did you get any raisin notes from it? Just curious. I’m glad you like it. If you ever want more, I can easily get it. Murchies is just down the street from where I live…about a 15 minute walk.

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90

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

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92

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.

Flavors: Jasmine

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Nichole

I want to see a pic of that mug. That is awesome!

Jillian

Here’s a pic of the Lannister mug (unfortunately I don’t think it’s available for sale at Chapters or the HBO store any more): https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/house-and-home/game-of-thrones-a-lannister/871001001040-item.html

I also have a Daenerys mug which is still available to buy: http://store.hbo.com/game-of-thrones-mother-of-dragons-mug/detail.php?p=524969&v=hbo_shows_game-of-thrones_mugs-and-glasses_mugs

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75

Smooth, medium-strength and excellent with milk. Actually makes a great breakfast tea. Not exciting, but a solid black that is one of my staples.

Preparation
3 min, 45 sec

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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

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

Love your description!

ashmanra

Hubby used to hate it when the kids had waffles before church because there was no way to get the smell of maple syrup off them! I don’t mind it as much so it never bothered me on school days. No more weekend waffles!

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70

Sipdown (111)!

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.

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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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I saw this on my spreadsheet as I was browsing it, and decided I must have it.

With maple syrup and maplewood finished whisky, of course.

Most excellent decision, self. Most excellent.

Evol Ving Ness

Sounds delicious.

OMGsrsly

I highly recommend it. :D

MissLena

Sounds like a delicious combo :D

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TEANOG LATTE!!!

So delicious. OM NOM NOM.

Actually not too bad as an accompaniment to the pineapple I packed for breakfast.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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As an eggnog latte. But I’m a little disappointed. It smells glorious but it’s a little weak. Perhaps I should have steeped the tea longer.

2.5 min at 298C. Or perhaps 208F. I don’t want to think about how much pressure the system would have had to be under to reach 298C.

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