Tea At Sea

Recent Tasting Notes

Marco Polo TTB

I lost my note for this and all I remember is I would buy it sometime and that I liked it more than the other black tea I was drinking.

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80

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

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

I liked this in part because of the floral.

madametj

From what Tea at Sea told me all the Indonesian Oolong, Green, and Black were all harvested from the same bush, just different oxidation levels. That would explain why the leaves look similar :)

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88

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
yyz

I like this one as well. It seems to fit in a certain niche for me.

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L&CTTB

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.

Cameron B.

I liked this one! I did a 1 minute and a 2 minute steep and both were good. :D I hope you’re having a good weekend with the box!

Cheri

I did debate on doing what I thought was a more reasonable steep on this, but I decided to follow their recommendation. Ah well.

Mandy

They’re recommendations tend to be remarkably bad. I don’t even bother looking at them because it’s always way too much time.

Cheri

Remarkably bad, and all the same. But maybe that’s how they like their tea?

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L&CTTB

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.)

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L&CTTB

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.

boychik

feel better

Sarsonator

Sorry you don’t feel well! But it’s great that you found a new tea to love. :)

Cheri

Thanks. Today is a stay in my pajamas, drink tea, and do nothing kind of fay.

Ubacat

Try taking Echinacea 3 times a day. It always helps me when I get a sore throat. It’s pretty cheap too. You just have to make sure it’s a good quality and fresh though.

I love this tea too. One of my favs.

Cheri

I have trouble with Echinacea. This time of year, especially, it seems to make my allergies a lot worse. It’s like it drives my already overloaded system into overdrive. My doctor recommended I avoid it. But thank you for the suggestion. =)

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L&C TTB

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.

But then.

about the fourth or fifth infusion, things changed. Sweet. Really sweet. Delicious. I rarely get honey like this. Fresh. Floral. SWEET.

So good.

I was getting sloshy, so I stopped and waited a while. Re-warmed everything and infused some more.

Still outstanding.

madametj

I just had some of this yesterday. Good right?!

I did ask them if there was a more specific name for it rather than just “Oolong” and they told me that in China and Taiwan oolongs are named after the region they’re grown in whereas Indonesia doesn’t have a tea history rich enough to do that yet, so it’s just called “Indonesian Oolong.” Learned something new.

Cheri

This one was quite good. Since I’m putting so much back in the box, I’ll probably keep a little bit of this one so I can have it again.

Mandy

What were you’re steeping parameters? I still haven’t tried mine yet.

Cheri

I did my typical gongfu oolong….start with a short rinse, then 25s with very short increases up to about 2 or 3 minutes…then a nice long one if I think the tea can give me something. I think I got this one up to 3.

Mandy

A gram per oz?

madametj

@Mandy For gongfu 8 steeps : rinse,25s,25s,30s,40s,60s,90s,120s,180s

For westerns the website says to rinse, then steep for 5-8 min. with boiling water. I usually do 195 though (with gongfu).

Mandy

I believe I tried the website way and it was a bitter mess. I’ve found that their recommendations are generally terrible.

madametj

yeah that sounded waaaay too long and hot to me, but I’m like hey it’s their tea. lol

Cheri

Yep. I like their tea, but not their recommendations at all. Blah.

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87

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81

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.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Marzipan

Manly tea! Marco Polo didn’t have this one, we have Noir Black.

Cameron B.

Yum, can’t wait to try this one. :D

Mandy

Marzipan- I think it’s the same thing. I was looking at the two, they smell and look exactly the same. And the tag on the Noir/Black says it’s from Indonesia. I think that it’s just the original packaging from when they only had one black green and oolong.

madametj

Marzipan, they’re the same.

Tea At Sea

Are you guys referring to BAH BUTONG, BOP from Mariage Frères?

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82

This dark oolong-looking tea is very tasty and does end up seeming more like a black than an oolong. My first Indonesian black. A felicitous experience. I steeped the leaves twice, and both batches were very good.

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80
drank Organic Pu-erh by Tea At Sea
245 tasting notes

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?

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML
Sarsonator

It sounds like a ripe pu’erh?

Mandy

I’ve only had one raw puerh, and this is much more like the all the ripe I’ve had so yes, I’m almost positive that it’s ripe.

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77

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.

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77

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.

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83

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

I love how tea can make me feel better when I’m grumpy. I hope your mail carrier shows up soon.

Cameron B.

I just went downstairs to check and she’s in the process of putting all the mail in the boxes (I live in an apartment). So SOON! :)

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83

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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79

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.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
Mandy

I did this gongfu style, 1 tsp, 4 oz water, 185 degrees,45, 60, 80, 100 seconds. If you have enough left, its definitely worth a try that way, I haven’t had it recently, but it was my favorite before!

KiwiDelight

I finished the sample, but I’ll keep the idea of having it gongfu style later on.

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85

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.

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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!

yyz

I really liked this one too!

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97

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.

Simply put:
Indescribably lovely.

Flavors: Butter, Cake, Caramel, Cedar, Creamy, Floral, Green, Milk, Roasted, Wood

TheTeaFairy

Mmm, nice. I think I still have this one to review, will have to look now, you’ve made me curious about it.

Cheri

I often get different flavors than others, but if I’m told what to look for, I can find them…sometimes. I like to try a new tea without reading reviews for the first half of the cup, and then skim others notes, and see if I can find the flavors they’re talking about.

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90

Love this tea! Nice and floral and sweet. I think I steeped it about 6 times.

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
yyz

I was so tempted by their sale! But, I have a rediculously amount of tea in the house right now.

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83

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.

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