Spice Merchants

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Recent Tasting Notes

An old acquaintance came by a couple of months ago to get a keyboard I was giving away. We hadn’t seen each other in about fourteen years. I gave her tea and we chatted a while, and then I start seeing boxes of tea in her Facebook page! Ha ha! Yay! A new recruit! She and her husband are such nice people. When you meet anyone who knows, that is the first thing they say…“Such great people!”

So after that day, she sends me a message that she was out of town and saw a spice company and got something for me. (I had also given her some Penzey’s cinnamon to take home to try.) She was letting me know that she was mailing the package.

I was expecting a small jar of spices or something, and pretty excited to try it, but lo and behold when it arrives it is a big box with a set of four Japanese style teacups and a parcel of this tea! Wow! Just wow! It was such a blessing and I could hardly believe it!

I am pretty sure this is the same tea that Tealux sells as the descriptions are identical. I looked at the Spice Merchants website and many of their teas have to be from Harney and Sons…same names and identical descriptions.

We have already finished half the package of tea! This is so mild that even my friend who isn’t fond of bergamot could hardly taste any, but liked it. She really got vanilla and fruity as her main impressions. Youngest seemed to like it a lot, too. I do smell the bergamot but don’t find it overpowering or sour here. I didn’t see the short steep time and probably gave it four minutes, but it didn’t hurt anything.

I may need to plan a little day trip to Wilmington to check this place out!

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72

Backlog from yesterday. This tastes like a typical darjeeling to me. There are slight hints of fruit, but they were really muted.

Flavors: Fruity

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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77

I received this tea from a friend in my “get well” care package. So I thought I would give it a try tonight. The dry leaf smells super sweet like cannoli filling. In my cup it does taste sweet, now that I added in a little extra sugar and a drop or so of half and half. I like it. It reminds me of hazelnut/chocolate cannoli filling.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cream, Creamy, Custard, Hazelnut, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86
drank Florence by Spice Merchants
69 tasting notes

Pretty bold to take the name from Harney & Sons and use it to make the same type of tea! Like a designer imposters fragrance (anyone else remember those from the 90s?).

And yet, having tried both…I like this one much better. Sorry, H&S. I feel like hazelnuts are tricky to get right in a flavoring unless you’re working with a creamier beverage. Harney’s Florence didn’t quite nail the hazelnut flavor for me, and I recall it being more pushed to the front than in this blend. It was one of the few teas of theirs that I struggled to finish when I went on a buying spree a few years ago at the Soho store.

This is quite lovely though. The dry leaf is very strongly scented, rich chocolate layered over hazelnut, and the scent practically fills the house once it’s brewed! Powerful stuff. The taste is similar – the rich milk chocolate leads, then the hazelnut comes right in. It’s very much like the sensation of biting into a chocolate-covered hazelnut, which I’m sure I’ve done having spent a great deal of time in Oregon hazelnut country!

This tea was a gift from a visiting friend, and I’m definitely going to look into purchasing from this company.

Flavors: Chocolate, Hazelnut

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Florence by Spice Merchants
219 tasting notes

This is one of the many teas I had on my vacation that I didn’t get a chance to log. Thought I should try it again before logging it :) This is a wonderful chocolate-y treat for a Sunday afternoon. I taste more chocolate than I do hazelnut which is a bit of a let down. Still all in all a good chocolate tea.

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99
drank Ginger Oolong by Spice Merchants
219 tasting notes

I have the best parents ever!! This is one of 2 teas they picked up for me from a place in Ann Arbor. I enjoyed it this morning.

The oolong is definitely center stage with the ginger making a cameo appearance. Oolong is becoming my favorite tea. This was perfect for this cold snowy morning.

Time to pack for the drive home. I’ve been vacationing at my parent’s house all week. It will be weird to be home alone this evening. Looking forward to having a cuppa and watching the Avengers.

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61

Yeah… whatever. Does not impress.

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69

Smells great and tastes decent, but otherwise not that exciting.

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69
It really does smell like ancient trees. Taste is good… but it’s disappointly weak for a pu-erh. Though obviously it didn’t come in a cone/nest/etc so what do you expect.

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72
drank Tokyo by Spice Merchants
127 tasting notes

The first bancha I’ve come across in a long time. Has sesame and carmel. Very lovely roasted flavor

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60

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60

very similar to H&S Wedding tea

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60
drank White Pear by Spice Merchants
127 tasting notes

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