Tea At Sea
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Recent Tasting Notes
Lewis & Clarke TTB
I figured I’d try the oolong immediately after the green, just so I could compare the two more easily. The leaves look very similar, but I think the oolong has more of a yellow tinge while the green version was more green. The dry scent is different, this tea smells very sweet and creamy with peach notes. I decided to do a 4 minute steep this time since 3 minutes was too short with the green. In hindsight, that doesn’t really make sense since the temperature was higher for this one… lol.
Brewed, this tea smells very creamy and fruity with a slight floral edge. There’s a bit of vegetal wavering about in the background, but it’s not the main flavor here. I think 4 minutes might be too long for some people, because mine has a little bit of a vegetal bite, but I actually really enjoy it this way! It’s not really bitter, but the vegetal flavor is stronger and more grassy than it otherwise would have been. The texture is, of course, creamy and luscious, and there’s a fair amount of peach flavor. The floral comes in at the end, as per usual, to rain on my parade. Lol!
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Grass, Peach, Sweet, Vegetal
Lewis & Clarke TTB
I must admit, I’m fairly enamored with these Tea at Sea teas so far. I love the nontraditional rolled shape (well, nontraditional for black and green teas). This tea looks just like a green oolong, it’s like it’s in disguise! The dry scent screams “green tea”, however. It’s a lovely mild vegetal and sweet smell with a slight grassiness. I decided to brew for 3 minutes just because it seemed like that time worked well for other Steepsterites.
Once brewed, the aroma is quite mild. I can catch some sweetness and a vegetal scent, but not a lot else. The tastes also can out very mild (I probably should have used more tea or steeped longer, but I’d rather err on the understeeped side). The flavor that is there is quite delicious though! I find that it’s somewhere between a green tea and a green oolong. It has that lovely sweet vegetal flavor, similar to butternut squash or mild spinach, and there’s also a light seaweed or marine note. But then it also has a light fruitiness that reminds me of the peach notes common in green oolong. Overall, very sweet, mild, and creamy. Love it! :)
Flavors: Butternut Squash, Creamy, Grass, Peach, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet
Lewis & Clarke TTB
The name of this tea piqued my interest! The leaves definitely look similar to a Darjeeling, with a mix of green and grey colors. They are rather small in size and appear to be quite broken up. Dry scent is musty hay and raw grains – it definitely reminds me of white tea. Their steeping parameters call for a 5-8 minute steep at boiling, but that seemed excessive to me…
Once brewed, the aroma is quite sweet and fruity with a bit of floral mixed in. There’s also some bread with honey on top in there. Happily for me, the floral isn’t overly strong in the taste. The beginning and middle of the sip are heavily grainy or bready with honey notes and a touch of fruit, and the floral comes out near the end and in the aftertaste. I don’t know much about Darjeeling, but it may not be a genre I should pursue based on this – the floral aftertaste is quite strong and definitely soapy to me. The beginning of this tea reminds me of Yunnan, but the end is too floral. :(
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Grapes, Honey
Lewis & Clarke TTB
First of all, these Tea at Sea tins are the cutest thing ever… :P On a more general note, I’m going to try to keep my tasting notes somewhat short because there are so many teas in this box that I want to try.
This tea is fairly unique-looking, I don’t think I’ve seen a rolled black tea before. It smells sweet, fruity, and grainy with a touch of hay. The aroma is similar to the Sansia Black I had this morning – very fruity with molasses, but this one has a touch of caramelized brown sugar too, and a touch of bread.
Taste-wise, I really like this one! It’s a bit musty and mineral at the beginning of the sip, but it quickly mellows out to a lovely and delicious grainy bread flavor that reminds me of white tea. I don’t notice a lot of the fruit from the aroma, maybe a little bit if I try really hard! There’s definitely a honey sweetness over the top, which does perfectly with the creamy grain/bread taste. Lovely! I would absolutely buy this one, especially with the cute tin!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Grain, Hay, Honey, Mineral, Molasses
I went with the recommended time and temperature from the Tea At Sea website. I wish I hadn’t. I would probably overleaf this and go with a much shorter time if I were to purchase this tea. I think the 5-6 minutes is way too long. Yes, it brings out flavor, but I feel it also brought out a lot more bitterness than I like. Looking beyond the bitterness, there is a nice green flavor to it, sorta grassy, that I like. At 20% off this weekend, I am actually thinking about it, because I can tell there is some good flavor there that I would like if it weren’t so bitter. But I don’t think I will. I’ve got plenty of other teas in my cupboard.
This is a nice, easy drinking black tea. Not too malty, but it’s definitely got some maltiness to it. Not too heavy, but it’s got a nice flavor. Not too much of anything, but a good amount of what it is. I enjoyed it.
I am debating on getting some of this one or not. I’m going to get the Indonesian Oolong and Green for sure. I’ve got other blacks I enjoy. My husband also had a cup of this and said it was nice. (He declined a second infusion, but that doesn’t mean anything.)
This is what this box is about. It was trying teas that I might not have, and finding ones I really like.
This is the second tea from Tea At Sea that I have tried, and I really like it.
It looks like an oolong, but it’s not. It’s a really nice green, vegetal but also creamy-like.
I seem to have come down with a bug that a co-worker had last week. I thought I was safe, but last night I had a little bit of a scratchy throat. I figured it was just my allergies. Then I woke up this morning feeling lousy. All stuffed, throat raw. Of course, we have football tickets and it’s the first game of the season and all that jazz. I go to the game anyway. Now I’m miserable. At least the team won and there weren’t any storms or anything.
I was not feeling very well by the end of the work day. I left early. I came home and napped. When I woke up, I wanted oolong in my cute clay teapot. This oolong was in the TTB and as generic as it was labeled (it’s old packaging and is just labeled “The Oolong”) but it was the option available, so I went for it.
Now I want more of this tea.
Other teas from the teabox I have enjoyed and I would probably get. This one I will make sure I get some more of.
Short, quick infusions in my clay teapot.
The first few infusions were decent. Green, creamy, nice.
about the fourth or fifth infusion, things changed. Sweet. Really sweet. Delicious. I rarely get honey like this. Fresh. Floral. SWEET.
I was getting sloshy, so I stopped and waited a while. Re-warmed everything and infused some more.
I ordered from Tea at Sea almost 2 months ago, and still haven’t tried most of the teas I got. So today I decided to finally try the sample I bought of this.
The aroma is malt and bread and cocoa. The taste is more malt and bread, but not as much cocoa (but it is there). This is not bad at all, and I wish I was into blacks when I placed my order, because I wish I had more than just the sample I bought.
Lewis and Clarke TTB
When I placed my order with Tea at Sea, this was on of the only teas I didn’t get, so I figured I’d give it a shot when I saw it in the box since I love black teas now.
The first steep is sweet, with notes of honey, molasses, raisins, and something a little manly, cedar?
For the second steep I added a minute to the time. This time there’s some malt, and a slight smokiness in the background.
Added another minute for the third steep. This one is a little less sweet than the first and second, with more malt, cedar and smoke notes than before.
So, I guess I was just tired from how busy I’ve been lately (I’ve barely been home the last few days, which is why I haven’t been posting much), because I passed out on the couch at around 8:30, right after posting my last tasting note. I usually am up until about 3-4 in the morning.
The leaf is a mix of light brown and dark brown twisties. Smells like most puerhs: wet earth and pond water.
The directions on the website seemed way too different from what I usually do for puerhs so I just went with my usual 10s rinse, 10s rinse, 20,25,45,60 with the whole sample (4-5g?) and ~4-5oz water.
I actually saved the rinses in a cup, and sweetened it’s not bad (yes I sweeten my blacks and puerhs usually. I find it pulls out the notes I like and softens any I don’t). Very dark and strong, but palatable. I only drank about half, because. Like I said, it’s strong.
The first actual steep is smoother and sweeter than the rinses. This is very earthy. I can definitely believe mushrooms, and even moss. The taste remains constant the out the second steep, and mellows a little by the third steep.
The forth steep is even more mellow, but still enjoyable. This could probably go another couple of rounds, maybe later. This pretty good, and I wonder why they only sell the sample size on the site?
Sipdown (103)! Ooh, I’m getting close to being under 100 for the first time since I went way over on my fall tea buying spree last year. Anyway, I remember having this as a cold brew just a little while ago, so I was very surprised today when I steeped it hot. As a cold brew, it was light, sweet, and refreshing. As a hot tea, it is totally different, but not necessarily in a bad way. It is definitely much bolder (but that could also be due to a different leaf/water ratio). It’s much maltier and has a touch of smokiness that I did not detect at all in the cold brewed version. I think I prefer the cold brew, surprisingly, because it was lighter and didn’t have the smokiness to it. I did quite enjoy the sample from Tea at Sea, but I do not think I will reorder this one just because there are many other straight blacks that I prefer and/or want to try out.
Edit: As the cup cooled down, there was also some tartness to the tea. Interesting.
I was looking for more tea samples to restock my sipdown drawer with when I realized that I never got around to trying this one. It was much too humid to even think about drinking it hot, so I scooped a touch less than a tablespoon into my water bottle and left it in the fridge for about 12 hours. I was worried that I had let it steep for too long, but the tea is surprisingly light, sweet, and clean with no notes of bitterness or astringency at all. It probably also has to do with the fact that I think I underleafed a bit, but I wanted to save enough to prepare a hot cuppa in the future. Anyway, it was just what I needed to clear my head, and I’m looking forward to trying it hot as well. I will save my rating for whenever that happens.
Ah, the power of the palate cleanser… I was feeling a bit ugh after having a few heavier teas this morning in addition to that ridiculously sugary (and delicious!) chai mix. And I’m grumpy because the mailman is late and he has my Butiki order! Grr!
This tea is making it all better. I am reminded that I should always keep a simple sencha around, for this exact moment. Relaxing, tummy-calming, palate-cleansing sencha. Delicious! :)
On an actual “tasting” note, I did a 2-minute steep today. I’m getting an interesting smoky, mineral note that reminds me of gunpowder tea.
Flavors: Mineral, Smoke
This sample came from Ost as a freebie in our swap! I had considered ordering the sample pack from Tea at Sea when they had a small sale a while back, but didn’t end up doing it. This little sample packet is so cute! And resealable, how lovely! It’s a bit weird that the instructions are attached to the part that gets cut off, so I just ended up taping them to the front of the packet. The leaves are flattened and they vary widely in size, I also see a few stems in there. The dry smell is alfalfa and grass, which is pretty synonymous with sencha for me. I steeped for 1 minute at 175 degrees.
Whoa, the brewed tea has a strong marine aroma! I’ll be honest, it scared me a bit. However, the taste is nowhere near as pungent. There is a little bit of a marine or seaweed note, but I found it quite lovely. This is a very grassy sencha, with the taste of autumn leaves in the background. I also get a little hint of spinach peeking in at some points. The entire flavor is quite mellow and light, and very refreshing after drinking black and flavored teas all morning.
So… After I had already brewed and sampled this, I noticed the brewing recommendation in the tea’s description… 5-6 MINUTES?! WHAT?! So I had to try it, of course. And as I kind of expected, it came out rather bitter. The flavor is definitely stronger, but it’s those same notes from before. All things considered, I preferred my short steep version. Maybe somewhere between the two would be ideal (2-3 minutes?).
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grass, Marine, Seaweed, Spinach
From the Unflavored TTB.
Method: Test tube steeper. 1st infusion 5 minutes, 2nd 10 minutes.
First I was surprised that the steeping instructions recommended a five-minute infusion. Then I was surprised to see that the leaves were rolled and looked similar to a lightly oxidized oolong. These were perfect to watch in the test tube steeper. Their color change from lightly brown and muted dark green to a green that look alive as the plants in the backyard garden.
I think this one was beginning to fade – I didn’t get much from the dry leaf aroma. The wet leaf aroma has notes of seaweed and rice. The liquor is pale yellow-green and clear. Texture is creamy. Medium-bodied with sweet corn and floral flavors. The aftertaste is citrus-y and kind of prickly. A very interesting green tea.
I’m excited to try a tea that comes exclusively from Indonesia. Although the dry leaf isn’t the prettiest I’ve seen, the scent is sweet and strong. I have to fight the temptation to add milk since I have a feeling it would take milk beautifully. I do want to try this first cup plain to see what this tea is all about!
Sipping… this is so nice and sweet. I really enjoy how simple this cup is.. it’s sweet, smooth and generally a satisfying cup. There isn’t anything unpleasant that gets in the way — no smoke or bitterness. I could see this being a nice replacement for a morning Assam. I think I might try my next cup with milk, but it’s very nice without!
Thank you to Tea at Sea for a sample of this one.
This tea has been hanging out in my countertop basket for a few weeks, and on a whim I picked it up today.
Thoughts on the packaging: It’s quite adorable! I love the blue and the whimsical pictures. I found myself wondering if someone had to hand tie all of those little strings and what they did to deserve being punished like that. Now, here’s a serious question. I only have these little sample thingies and not full sized packages from them. But are they all packaged this way? Because I was dismayed to find that once I cut the top off of the little zip loc baggie, there went the label with the type of tea. I went ahead and used it all in one steeping since there was no way to put it back with the rest of the sample. And boy howdy, was there a lot of leaf! I also wish there was a recommendation as far as steep length and leaf amount on the tag (it just had temp in C).
So anyway, the tea. I went 3 minutes out of habit, although I was really thinking maybe I should cut it short due to the large amount of leaf. There were quite a few stems in there too, and maybe that’s normal for an Indonesian tea, I don’t know.
But damn, I really liked the end result! I sort of expected it to be just another black tea, but it had a unique flavor profile. I wish I could be better at picking out flavors but I sort of stink at it once we get past the really obvious ones. There are so many people on here who seem to be able to say a tea tastes like a 1972 naugahyde and such, but not me. The best I could come up with was that it tasted maybe a little fruity, but dark fruits, or possibly vegetal. I know, I suck. But the tea was great!
Oh my god.
Oh my god, this tea.
I didn’t read ANY tasting notes on this before I brewed it myself, and my notes look nothing like everyone else’s. Maybe my tastebuds are whack tonight, but if they’re whack I never want to go back. This is hands down one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted.
I used 1.5tsp of leaf for 10oz of water. Steep times were 2min, 3mind, 3min.
The tea liquor is very light. The aroma is fresh, floral and honey-sweet. It’s a delicate, light-bodied tea that exudes the fragrant greenness of springtime. In some respects it’s like an oolong. (Flavors, body, appearance.) I had a hard time believing this was a black tea. It’s honey, fresh, plantlike…then it takes a turn into caramel-drizzled sponge cake. Light, buttery soft. There’s a creamy aftertaste that’s reminiscent of marshmallows. BLEW my mind. It makes me think of a dark-roasted milk oolong. Pure heaven. It coats your mouth with sort of a malty, creamy taste, but without the dark heavy flavors I associate with malt. (Molasses, chocolate, etc.) There is a wood-like undercurrent. Cedar, I think. It’s slightly roasty and drying like a rock oolong. Only slightly, though. (I keep going back to oolong.) For the most part it’s honeysuckle—green and fresh—like spring. I want this tea around forever.
Flavors: Butter, Cake, Caramel, Cedar, Creamy, Floral, Green, Milk, Roasted, Wood
Oh god, I’ve been terrible at doing my writing up my reviews for samples. My goal is now to do one a day.
I’m really glad I waited on this one till I got my water filter. I think it would have been completely ruined by my tap water. It was actually quite delicate and sophisticated. I’m a bit zoned out right now so I didn’t get many specific notes. Just a general feeling of refined contentment.
I will try to add more useful information next tasting.