Steeped TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Well, it is one of those days where I do not have much of an intro. I caught a spider and put it outside, I made a giant rice-filled sack to act as a cooling pad, and a drank tea. All the cleaning and redoing of my room I did yesterday left me very sore and worn out, so for the most part today I have taken it easy and tried not to melt in the oppressive heat.
Today I am looking at an herbal blend from Steeped Tea, Curious Cumin, a mix of…well a lot of things: Fennel, anise, cinnamon bits, silver lime blossoms, cumin, turmeric, goji berries, lemongrass, rose blossom leaves, peppermint leaves, pistachios, pomegranate blossoms, cardamom, sunflower blossoms, cornflower blossoms, safflowers, natural flavors. I was…ha…curious to try this herbal blend because it has a few ingredients I am rather fond of, especially cumin, cardamon, turmeric, and pistachios. These things show up a lot in Indian food, which is probably well known to be a favorite cuisine of mine. Plus the description lists it as savory, and I do adore herbal blends with a heavy savory quality, so when asked if I wanted to try a few teas, this one seemed like a good choice. The aroma was a bit of a cacophony, surprisingly sweet and very spice heavy. Notes of nuttiness, fennel, citrus, and flowers give it a strong perfumed finish. Totally not what I expected, a little odd and intense though not necessarily unpleasant.
Steeping in my glass apparatus, the aroma is pretty intense, it has a real weight to it. Notes of cumin, fennel, pepper, turmeric, and lemons. Surprisingly little flower and surprisingly sweet for such earthy spice notes, but fennel is like that. The aroma of the liquid is peppery and spicy, earthy and herbal, with an undertone of lemongrass and flowers. The main note is fennel, with cumin being fairly light.
So with all those aroma notes being so sweet I was expecting a mouth full of syrup, but no, it is fairly savory and earthy, bordering on medicinal. Strong notes of fennel and turmeric, with a middle of cumin and pepper, and a finish of lemongrass and a sweetness that just shows up and lingers. When the tea cools a bit it starts being sweeter in the middle and picks up more floral notes. I am not sure if I like this blend or not, there is definitely a lot going on, and the flavors do clash a little. It is not unpleasant but there is a lot of mouth noise and I found it hard to focus on just one note, also I was a little sad there was no real sign of pistachio in the taste, but since pistachios are one of my favorite things ever, me being sad is only expected. I say give this tea a try if you are a fan of really chaotic herbal blends/teas, or ones very heavy on spices and herbs.
This is a decent chamomile, but I honestly prefer the mellow stale grocery store tea bags to this. I don’t enjoy the fresh and almost fierce flavour of looseleaf chamomile. Still, I really enjoy trying new brands of things and will drink this until its gone.
The good news is that it does not oversteep (it has been sitting in my cup for 2 hours because I forgot about it) and also can be brewed multiple times.
Flavors: Biting, Flowers, Lemon, Pepper
I like the strong flavours of sweet winter spices like clove and cinnamon in this. It is a bit sweet and a bit spicy. The black pu’erh base is quite tasty. I taste tannins (but not in a bitter way) and Earthiness from the fermented base. I can’t make out all the flavours from the pu’erh because of the spices in it, but I can taste some fermented flavours. I like pu’erh in this more than a plain black because the pu’erh flavours go really well with the peppercorns and molasses flavours.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Clove, Earth, Molasses, Peppercorn, Round , Spices, Spicy, Sweet, Tannin, Tea, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks
Very strong and fresh peppermint. This has a strong menthol flavour, so if you prefer mellow mint flavours, this might not be for you. The good news is that it can be brewed hot or iced and is easily resteeped a few times.
Flavors: Biting, Menthol, Mint, Peppermint
I don’t know why I bought this. Perhaps it sounded wonderful and the smell was enticing. This has a vague sour strawberry taste that is wrapped in something musty. It doesn’t add to the tea at all. Tried it numerous times with different steeping, sweetners etc. nothing helped. Pass.
Flavors: Cherry, Musty, Sour, Strawberry, Tea
Wonderful tea. My favorite of all time actually. Lovely strong Pu’erh with the listed toffee and caramel flavors but I also taste a hint of coffee, chocolate and nuts. Amazing. I’d have it all the time except I find Steeped Tea’s organization irritating. I’d prefer to pick up my tea when I need it rather than having to chase someone down.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Coffee, Nuts, Tea, Toffee
I had high hopes for this one… It’s not as strong as I would have liked, despite me steeping it for ages and using a fair bit of the leaves. The smell is good, though! And it does make a good iced version (though again, not as strong as I would like). Some people might like the milder taste, as a general rule, I do not. :P
Another winner from my care package! The smell is pretty much on par with the legit apple crumble my flatmate’s girlfriend made last night, haha.
Other than DT’s Apple Studel, I’m not sure I’ve had an apple tea with a black tea base. I tried this one plain, and with a bit of milk and I loved both cups. Now that I’m transitioning into autumn (and winter is coming, woe!), I’m getting back into those warm, comforting teas, when normally at this time of year I’d be going hard core into the iced stuff.
My first care package from home had this in it!
Honestly, this is probably in my top three of teas I’ve sampled from Steeped Tea. It’s really good, and I was craving some cinnamon tea. The cinnamon, vanilla and maple are muted as individual flavours, but whatever combination they’re in here works. I added some milk and this was a delightful addition to my dessert. Yum.
For a tea with papaya, I didn’t find this pushed the wrong buttons for me. The scent is incredible, reminding me strongly of the now defunct Teopia’s blissful “Amaretto Cherry,” however the almond flavour notes do not quite come close to the strength the scent would seem to imply. It’s a little more vague than you’d expect, though the tea still packs a punch of flavour, enough to stand on its own even with milk added, which is my preference.
For me, it’s a nice approximation to a nutty amaretto tea, though not quite as obvious in its almond as I expected. I still enjoy it quite thoroughly, though! Simply be warned that the flavour will differ from the scent you might first preview. If you can sample it before you order it, I would highly suggest you do. Especially since I was ready to give it a miss based on the papaya, yet still found it enjoyable – many other reviewers, it seems, found the opposite to be true.
Flavors: Almond, Fruity, Nutty
Okay, I opened this tea without realizing it’s name had BERRY in it, thinking it was some kind of empowering tea. I know, I can be silly. It has a very powerful berry aroma though. I made a pot….and immediately enjoyed it. So I am drinking it again. I love the berry notes of this tea. It is not sweet, but has such a great berry flavour you would swear it is. I can drink a whole 1.5l pot in a few hours, it tastes great all the way to the last drop.
Tried this twice so far. Once the steeping time was short and the leaf was low on lavender. It tasted very herbaceous and grassy. Nice. This time around it was heavy on lavender and I steeped the tea for at least 8 min. The tea tasted like I imagine my facial cleanser would taste like. Yuck. For that reason, I have to rate this tea low and will not repurchase. I think the way I will salvage my tea is to pick out all of the lavender and reserve it to make my own Angels on Bare Skin (my cleanser from lush which is mainly ground almonds and lavender).
I don’t mind when there’s a little lavender but this last cup was overwhelming.
Flavors: Floral, Herbaceous, Lavender
This is one of Steeped Tea’s new teas they are promoting. They are trying to promote teas with different spices that are supposed to have health benefits.
First off, I got to remember to brew this tea only in paper filters since even my fine mesh cup infusers will allow fine bits from one of the flower ingredients to sneak through. I don’t mind sediment at the bottom of my cup, but I don’t like bits floating on top!
With that being said, this is a more complex blend. I find initially you get a naturally “sweet” taste from the apple, orange peel, cinnamon, anise (small amount only!) , other baking spices and vanilla, but that is soon contrasted with the fennel (which does seem to work in the blend).
Altogether, this is enjoyable. I’m still not sure what to rate it though since it is so different to what herbals I have been drinking and since it’s so complex with all of the different ingredients. I’ll keep the rating at 75 for now and as I form more of an opinion I will adjust accordingly.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Fennel
So, I’m not a huge Matcha drinker (I find that I have to drink it down right away before the powder settles + its a bit too powerful for my sensitive stomach) but the day my most recent order was ready my steeped tea consultant mentioned on facebook that she was giving away samples so I scooped up a small sample (probably 1.5tsp) of this to try out. (Not to be rude, but considering that I bought three 50g bags of herbal teas at about $10 each (a considerable markup compared to other companies) I think a few samples are merited!)I made a small cup (0.5tsp in maybe 8oz of 160 degree F water), whisking using a kitchen whisk. Overall, I was pretty impressed with this flavoured matcha: The vanilla pulls through decently (unlike, say, their vanilla rooibos) and it’s without artificialness or sugar. Grassy notes are there too, which is something I like. Also, surprisingly, there wasn’t a lot of sediment compared to what I remember about other matchas.
Overall, this seems to me like a good matcha! Don’t know if I would repurchase since I’m sensitive to caffeine, but those who do drink matcha might want to look into this (although, be warned that this matcha is very expensive at $30+ per 50g…I dunno if the price merits the tea…)
Flavors: Grass, Vanilla
My steeped Tea representative was nice to include a sample of this tea in my most recent order. I wasn’t sure If I would like this one due to anise being so high up on the ingredients list and thus I did not want to commit to a full 50g of this tea.
Interesting how this is called Curious Cumin when Fennel is the most prominent spice. Steeped Tea is trying to promote spice teas that include fennel, turmeric, cumin and ginger and they have a fennel one already (which I did purchase 50g of) so I guess they did not want to promote yet another fennel tea.
Onto the tea: I brewed this up at work: used half the sample in my 16oz timolino. Not sure of the temperature of the water, but the brew time was 4min (wanted to be careful on the strength of the anise). The main taste is anise (although it isn’t disgustingly strong or cloyingly sweet) followed by fennel and other spices. When I think about cumin, I can see how it pulls though. The anise is actually complimentary to cumin and the other spices in spite of my aversion to it.
With that being said though, I’m not huge on teas that are anise/licorice prominent and therefore will not be purchasing any. Once again, I’m thankful my steeped tea rep gave me a sample instead of me spending about $10/50g…
Flavors: Anise, Fennel, Spices
Another sample from the festival this weekend. This tea is alright. It has bit more hibiscus than I would like, but then I’m not usually a fan of hibiscus in anything. There is also a pleasant berry flavour. Overall, this tea doesn’t wow me, so it isn’t likely that I’ll be buying more of it.
This was my first ever black tea and I loved the creaminess to it. I was always afraid that black teas were strong and bitter but boy was I wrong. I love this Tea!