Sawadee Tea House

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

A nice flowering white tea for a calm afternoon. This has a very strong raspberry taste, but not much else going on (though admittedly I probably could’ve let it steep longer, which might have brought out some more complex notes). All the same, I really do love raspberries and this hits that note perfectly.

Flavors: Raspberry

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69
drank Pitta (Fire) by Sawadee Tea House
48 tasting notes

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70

This is pretty much what you’d expect it to be—strong pomegranate notes with a hint of vanilla. For some reason I keep thinking this is a green tea instead of a black one for some reason—even going so far to steep it at green tea parameters instead. Good, but not amazing.

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85
drank Cream Earl Grey by Sawadee Tea House
310 tasting notes

I’ve never been the biggest fan of Earl Grey and the only Cream of Earl Grey I’ve ever had was a sample at DAVIDs, which was the most horribly bitter disgusting tea I’ve ever had the misfortune of trying, so I really questioned the logic of picking up 40g of this, but three different people told me it was amazing, so I decided to give it a go.

First of, I’m not 100% on board with the smell. Would definitely not typically buy based on that alone. Again, leap of faith here.

Well I’m glad I decided to give it a chance, because it really is good! Predominately tastes like lemon tarts—citrus-y, creamy, and vanilla-y—YUM! There’s a floral/herbal note that I can’t quite describe (though if I were to try, I’d probably saw rosemary or lavender (or both?)—definitely not bergamot). It may have been my imagination, but I also got a hint of strawberries near the middle/end of my cup, which seemed odd. All in all, 100% exceeded my expectations.

Flavors: Creamy, Herbs, Lemon, Pastries, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Borengajuli by Sawadee Tea House
310 tasting notes

Can’t actually remember if I’ve had an Assam before. If I have it was over a year ago and predates my interest in straight blacks so I’ll just say this is a first.

From the smell, I knew this was going to be malty and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. No worries however. This is deliciously malty with hints of chocolate, bread, and maybe the tiniest bit of citrus. A quite dry blend and I could see it becoming very astringent if given longer than the two minutes I let this go for. I might even only give it a minute and a half next time. Overall, a nice, rich, straight tea.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML
Fjellrev

Mmm, sounds good.

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I like this! It’s nice and sweet and rich. The caramel bits look the same as in the caramel teas from Davids and it has that same kind of taste too. There’s a slight fishiness from the puerh on some sips, maybe a rinse would fix that. But it has a nice, butterscotch-y, long finish. Yummm

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

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drank Cream Earl Grey by Sawadee Tea House
145 tasting notes

Cream earl grey is my favourite kind of tea and this one is very very good. It’s even competing with the Davids version for the #1 spot in my cupboard. It smells amazing dry and even better steeped. The cream comes through in a totally satisfying way, but I wish the bergamot was a little bit stronger. Maybe with a 3 minute steep next time it will be better. Still creamy and delicious.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Mmm. This is helping me after a long night of essay writing.
Normally jasmine is too flowery for me, but this tea is serene instead of cloying. There’s something nice and sweet in the background. Yes… I am too tired to write any more, lol. But I wanted to update since I hadn’t posted in so long! Plus I like this tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Pitta (Fire) by Sawadee Tea House
145 tasting notes

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The first of several teas in a wonderful swap with Uniquity. Thank you! This was my tea of distraction this morning to make me forget my coffee! I was interested to find this tea was an Assam as yesterday I was looking for an Assam to try to see if that was where the punch in my usual breakfast blend originated. Bingo! This tea definitely answered my question.

Onto this tea itself. I did rather enjoy this. It packs a little more punch than I am used to. For the first several minutes, the cup was smooth and earthy (but no where near that of puerh!), maltey and slightly smokey. As the cup sat (yes, I may have to start brewing certain teas in smaller amounts than 16 oz.) it got more bitter and astringent with time. I am pretty sure Assam is not my favorite, but I do see where it fits into my choice for a breakfast tea blend. At some point, I will try a few more, but I am pretty confident that I have at least an idea of the flavor profile for Assam tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

This tea tastes like heaven. The strawberry flavour is not too sweet, and the rooibos is not too strong. I am surprised because I have not liked too many strawberry teas so far. I have tried sweet strawberry from david’s and found it quite artificial and sweet, and I have tried strawberry shortcake from teaopia and found it not strong enough. This one is a great balance, and it is from a local business, which makes it much better :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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67

I have a newly discovered love of passion fruit, so I was very excited to see a passion fruit flavoured tea during my recent visit to Sawadee Tea House. I had only tried two of their teas before (a green and an oolong) and they were both great.

The dry leaves have a somewhat fruity smell, but not one that was distinctly passion fruit. To be honest I would never have guessed passion fruit as a flavour for this one at all, but it is a very nice tea. I liked it best iced; it reminds me of a bottled iced tea – only way better and without any gunk added. I probably won’t buy more of this specific kind, but the tea itself is very good. If anyone has tried a good passion fruit tea, let me know!

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87

I had my first ever visit to Sawadee Tea House on the weekend! I’ve looked on their website before, but it seemed like every time I was in Halifax (which is only 3-4 times a year) I just never managed to make it. I almost didn’t get a chance to check it out this time either – we stopped by on Friday and it was closed! It was very disappointing (we went during open hours, according to the website), but I’m sure they had a good reason for needing to close. I was able to go back on my own on Saturday and it was just a great experience. I’m not sure why, but I expected a much smaller shop and selection. I spent a good 20 minutes or so just browsing the teas and the accessories in the shop before settling on Blue Mango Green and an oolong.

I find it kind of strange that I love matcha, but I haven’t liked the majority of green teas that I’ve tried. As you can probably tell if you’re reading this, I’m a sucker for anything with mango or pineapple – or any tropical fruit, except papaya – yuck. Anyyyway…

When I finally had a proper look at this tea, I noticed that it looks quite a bit darker than I expected it to. It smells great though! If I didn’t know that the flavor was supposed to be mango, I probably wouldn’t guess. It is definitely a tropical fruit flavor though, and I could see the pieces of pineapple in the bag.

Once brewed this has a light, clean taste that isn’t bitter at all. I was a bit worried that my water was too hot, but I think it must have been ok! The flavoring isn’t overwhelming at all, and I think I would buy this one again. I predict that it will be great iced (the last little bit in my cup is basically ice cold anyway, and it tastes really good!)as well….but I don’t think I should have any more tea today!

DaisyChubb

Hey you were in Halifax! The weather wasn’t too bad – just one really rainy day. If you ever come to the Halifax Shopping Center, I’ll be at the customer service desk, sippin my DT :D

Meg

Awesome! I’ll have to watch for you the next time I’m up! We ended up driving up on Wednesday when it was so rainy :( But better than Monday…which was even worse!!

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18

Okay, this one comes with a couple of reservations. 1) I don’t much like regular Darjeeling, no matter which flush. As a region, it’s wildly overrated in my opinion. 2) This looks more like a black tea than a green tea to me. 3) I’ve had a green tea of this brand before and it was UNBELIEVABLY bitter no matter how low the temperature or short the steep. It may have been caused by the additives that it was flavoured with, but frankly that sort of thing leaves a scar on a person.

Having worked out recently that I tend to like greens a lot better in small steeps rather than western style, I’m giving it a shot now, but I’m going to warn you right here and now. If I don’t like it, I’m not going to get through more than one or two steeps. I refuse to work my way through a lot of unpleasantness on the off chance that it might become nicer later on.

Gosh, I sound a bit harsh today, don’t I?

Anyway, I tried a 20 second steep first, which, in spite of issue 2, does smell green, so okay, I’ll give it that point. The aroma is otherwise kind of sweet and rather grassy. Not vegetal-y fresh grass, but more like a grass clippings lying around a few days after the lawn was mowed. That’s not so good, because that’s the exact note that I dislike Darjeelings for. One can only hope that it comes out less here than it does in regular Darjeeling. At this point I’m trying very hard not to think about the fact that Darjeeling teas are often processed in a way that puts them fairly close to actually being green teas in and of themselves. Luna the cat seems to find it quite interesting though.

It may smell like a green tea, but it doesn’t taste like one. It tastes more like a generic oolong gone cold. Sort of wood-y and earth-y, but without the dislikable Darjeeling note of spicy grass clippings.

It’s very very difficult to try and say something worthwhile about something that tastes like something boring gone even more boring, so I’ll skip right along to the next steep and see if any further experimentation with this one is worth my time.

It isn’t.

Doubling the steep time, I know get a juicy, slightly tart element to the aroma which is fine. Unfortunately, I also get a brew that is unmistakably astringent and would have been very bitter indeed had it had just a few seconds more.

And this is at 40 seconds, 70°C.

You know what? Plock this. I’ll be getting rid of the remainder at first given opportunity.

kOmpir

Compost it :)

Angrboda

I haven’t even got a potted plant, so I’m not sure what use that would be. :) But I’ll definitely be forking it off to an unsuspecting swap victim partner.

Hesper June

Haha…thanks,Ang;)

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33

Thanks Angrboda! This is the first tea I have tried of theirs!

This is strange in many ways! DRY – this sort of looks like a black tea with herbs, lemongrass, and some kind of shell in it. Once infused I could tell it was a green afterall. Both before and after infusing this smells…odd…like cheap grassy green tea, herbally herbs, and cologne??? The post infusion color of the tea is that of a medium black maybe…quite dark for a green tea tho! It taste bitter and sour – I can also taste a sour lemon but a grassy green tea that isn’t very pleasing.

I totally agree with Angrboda’s findings of it being insanely bitter and I didn’t even infuse all that long…maybe a minute. The lemon notes are the only reason I am giving it SOME points at all…if it weren’t so bitter I would give it about 30+ more points but it’s very distracting.

Regardless I am happy I got to try this! :)
CHEERS!

Angrboda

I’m glad it’s not just me!

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81

I really have to start tackling my sample bin. There are an incredible amount of generous people here in our Steepster community, and such a wealth of information. I love it here, and you all are what make it so great!

I was looking for a Sawadee Tea House black for the morning, and I really wanted to do a trial run of the cute tea cup Uniquity sent as a gift with our awesome US/Canadian swap. One thing I really love about getting items from Sawadee Tea House…I believe it is in Halifax, NS. I have been to Halifax once in my life, and I was on my honeymoon almost 17 years ago. Thus, it holds a special place in my memory.

The Peach Apricot tea is good. Light on the peach, but you can definitely detect the apricot, too. The black base is pretty straightforward, and nothing complicated, but it works.

I brewed it up in my red For Life teapot, and am using the little coi cup, which is a handle-less cup of about 6 ounces. I am used to a jumbo mug with a handle, so you could say I am kind of clunky with such a small, delicate cup, but I am working on it! One of the coi on the front is red, too, so it even matches (if you are into that kind of thing like me!) First mistake…I filled the cup too full and then it got too hot to hold. The next fill, I left a little space at the top for holding. I think the cup is probably better suited to oolong, white, or green….something brewed at a lower temp. I also like that the smaller cup encourages me to sip and enjoy, rather than chug! :D Maybe there is hope for this clunky tea drinker to learn some refinement!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I am drinking from just such a cup this morning! I have burned my fingers many times – it took me a while to learn! But I found quite by accident that I enjoy my tea more (except for milk and sugar breakfast tea) if I let it cool, anyway. Now I am longing for a cast iron teapot and warmer so I can keep the tea at just that temperature and sip away for hours!

teawing

SimplyJenW said
“There are in incredible amount of generous people here in our Steepster community, and such a wealth of information. I love it here, and you all are what make it so great!”
I can’t agree with you more and hang in there concerning “refinement” I am a converted coffee drinker and mug collector, but some teas just demand a tea cup and saucer, for traditions sake. I never felt a responsibility to the vessel with coffee… :)

Zij-Ra

You could try a coaster! There are lots of places that sell them. I know that Teavana (though a little over priced) sells individual cast iron coasters to go with their Tetsubin tea sets, but you could easily just pick up one for yourself. They even have red coasters with Koi fish on them. :D

SimplyJenW

So that is what that little bamboo thing is that came with the cup…a coaster! See, I have a long way to go! ;)

Zij-Ra

When I said coaster I meant saucer. You probably knew that, but I just needed to reiterate for my own sanity. x.x
& tea is the best and tastiest kind of learning curve. :3

SimplyJenW

Saucer might have confused me, actually. I did put it under the cup, and it made it much easier to pick up. Yep…the midwestern girl learns tea….

Uniquity

: ) That is what the little bamboo thingie is for! I actually have one of the koi cups myself (cuz I think they’re super cute) and have actually gotten really good at withstanding the heat to drink. I always grab from the top of the cup, or carefully lift it via the saucer/coaster/bamboo thing. I, too, have trouble with it’s size (my usual mugs are at least 12 oz!) but it’s nice if you’ve got time to go through a few steeps, or even different teas. Glad you’re enjoying!

(Also, yes, Sawadee is in Halifax! :D)

ashmanra

Are the koi cups from Teavana?

SimplyJenW

I think the koi cups are from Sawadee Tea House. It is a white background, a red and a black koi, and it sits on a bamboo saucer.

Uniquity

Sorry, yes, Koi cups from Sawadee. I don’t know where she sources them, but I know she tours Asia annually to pick things for the shop, so I’m not sure if they’re sold widespred in North America.

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70

I’ve been having this one lately at work while at switchboard – When I find myself wanting something unflavoured this is the only one lying around (at work) that isn’t in bags. I find it has a tendency to become bitter if I am not careful about steeping time, but it is certainly a servicable black. I think if I could add a drop or two of milk or a few granules of sugar after a while it might improve that hint of bitterness, but when in switchboard there is none of that.

All that said, I would prefer a higher quality keemun to be the one I have on hand (something with some depth and nuances of flavour) but I should be able to use the rest of this tin with ease. When I did my large scale exploration of black teas a number of months back I made the fatal mistake of buying large volumes of tea before testing them, so I have a couple tins of servicable (but not fantastic) tea lying around that I need to use up before I can justify getting some of the good stuff. I can’t resist a bargain and the price of tea in the tin is usually far superior to the cost of samples (on a per gram basis, of course). Ah well, at least I have tea!

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70

I am officially impressed with this tea. I had a cup this morning, steeped for around 2.5 minutes and I thought it was delicious. no bitterness at all, just a lovely naturally sweet black tea. I made a second cup from the same leaves this afternoon and forgot to take the leaves out for ten minutes. I hoped it might be okay, since it was the second steep, and it is! There is the slightest hint of bitterness this time, more in the “aftersip” than anything else, but definitely palatable, and nearly as enjoyable as the first. I appreciate any tea that can handle my forgetfulness…

How did it take me so long to realize I love unflavoured black teas??

KeenTeaThyme

I too was reluctant to expand my black tea horizons. My how we’ve grown! :)

Uniquity

Thank the tea gods! (Though my wallet doesn’t…)

Uniquity

Update: Eked out a third steep this afternoon as I didn’t have enough time to dump the leaves, clean up and start a new one. The tea is definitely losing it’s flavour, but even on a thin third steep, this is more impressive than the standard bagged orange pekoe. It’s sort of reminiscent of Bigelow’s Bagged Ceylon right now, which I actually enjoy.

SteepedTeaChamp

Keemun is one of my very favorite teas. This Keemun is nice – not the best, but enjoyable. Keemun is very forgiving on long steeps – this makes it a good tea for beginners looking to explore regional teas. But don’t be fooled – pretty much all teas have a very limited steep time to capture the true essence of the leaf. I love to wake up to this tea. I have at least 2 cups each morning before I go out for the day.

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70

Okay, so I’ve steeped this at work and obviously under imperfect conditions. However, I have, to the best of my knowledge, steeped this for just under three minutes and the water was hot, but definitely NOT boiling. The dry leaf smell is extremely mild…I was smelling a number of black teas yesterday and this was the faintest every time.

Steeped, I get an initial sweet black tea smell, something I am finding typical of China blacks, but underneath that I actually get a hint of bitter/hoppy/malty scent. Almost as if it were burnt or over-steeped, but I don’t think so. I hope not, at least!

First sips retain that sweetness I get in the smell. It’s almost as if this tea has been sweetened, but it has no additives. It doesn’t quite have the honey touch I found in the Borengajuli I had yesterday afternoon, it is more of a sugar sweetness. I’m actually astonished that a plain tea can be so sweet!

As it cools/I get deeper into the cup I am getting more hints of the “over-steeped” flavour, which I think is actually termed as astringency. In general though, this is a sweet and surprisingly juicy cup, reminiscent of some mild fruit flavoured blacks I own. It is very similar to my memory of Sawadee’s Borengajuli, I’ll have to do a side by side testing someday.

The taste echo is a little more bitter than I would like, so I think maybe 30 seconds less steep time would do a world of good for my preferences, but this is really nice. Pricier than I would prefer (100g for $12 = 1oz for $3.40), but definitely nice. I’ll be picking up some of David’s Tea’s black teas tonight so I’ll have something to compare to.

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86
drank Borengajuli by Sawadee Tea House
709 tasting notes

Had a cup of this in store today while perusing the selection of unflavoured black teas. I found it to be a delicious sweet tea, but with no sweetener added. It had a natural sweetness akin to a touch of honey. My cup was perhaps slightly oversteeped to my tastes, but I didn’t find an over-bearing bitter texture. I am more of a 2 or 3 minute steep for my black tea kinda girl, but Mie Mie recommends 5 minutes for blacks. I picked up a tin to bring home, as well as a tin of the Keemun Panda to try out. This was an exciting find!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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