Tea At Sea

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

Dumped the whole (5 gram?) sample packet into my 100 ml gaiwan, which… maybe might have been a little too much, the leaves look a little crowded in there, ^^:.

Anyway, light gold color, light honey floral scent that matches the overall taste quite well. Starts off very silky and smooth with that intense honey taste, although a little thin tasting on top. Opens up into more of the same, but with some more mineral and body and additional florals that were hinted at in the aroma, although a little rougher than it started. Might have been better western steeped, judging by the other comments, but it wasn’t bad, although the syrup like-honey quality of this was almost… a bit overwhelming of the other factors of this tea, I think. Could have also been due to overleafing, but it was a solid upper middle of the road oolong, in my opinion, although not really what I prefer in tea.

Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Mineral, Sweet

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99

I believe this tea may originally come from PT Harendong Farm and if so, it’s a fine Oolong. Great everyday sipper and in my opinion best brewed in a Mini Gaiwan for short bursts at a time. Try starting at 5 seconds after washing the leaves and go from there. The flavors tend to all play nice together in the Mini and you get a feeling of eating a beautiful dish of Chestnuts, Honey and Cows Milk with sweet Korean Seaweed as the appetizer all in a floral garden surrounding:)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

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69

This is a sample I’ve held on to for a while. Right now, I’ve got massive amount of black tea samples to sift through before I allow myself to buy more, and this was one of them. It’s not bad in a Generic Chinese Black Tea sort of way, but it’s not great either. Malty, a little more bitter than I’d like — and also a bit bland. I think its price basically reflects this (CA $4.95/50 grams). It’s reasonable, but I still wouldn’t pay for shipping from Canada to get more of this. There are a lot of broken, crushed leaves, which may be what makes this tea more bitter than I’d generally expect from a tea like this. I needed to add sugar to it in order to drink, and that’s not something I generally do with better quality Chinese teas.

I’ve not been particularly impressed by any of the teas I’ve tried from this company, but I know it’s new so I’m not writing it off forever. It will be interesting to watch the company grow — and to see if the tea selection improves.

I did brew it Western style, which may not have helped matters. But I did it per the instructions provided on the packet because I was in a hurry. 2 tsp., 2 cups water, 4 minutes, 100 degrees C. Also… Really, such small broken leaves don’t lend themselves to gongfu brewing.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Molasses

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
kristinalee

Wait a second… Now I’ve just realized they’ve got about 50 retail locations throughout Quebec, Ontario and even into the US. If I had known this, I’d have given it a lower score. The company is new, isn’t it? I remember getting these samples right when they opened? This sort of quick expansion seems like a recipe for disaster, and not a good idea for a new tea company. They’re into wholesale too? When did this happen? There must have been a ton of money put into it at the beginning if they’re this big after just a few months.

cookies

I wasn’t impressed with the samples I received either. I’m not entirely sure how the expanded so quickly. Good business owners I guess?

kristinalee

Good business owners, maybe… t least good marketers. Or just independently wealthy starting out?

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95

Tea at Sea included a sample of this in my Black Friday order and I’m glad they did. I’ve not been wild about most Ceylon black teas I’ve tried, but this is a green, so I opened it with no preconceptions. The dry leaves are flat with no remarkable odor (or perhaps it’s that I’m a bit stuffy this morning). The wet leaves show a whole other character – verdant and bit lemony. Then I got to the sip and whoa! It’s all over citrus balanced with fresh green. To me this is really citrusy, seriously lemony not in a mouth puckering way, but bright, clean, and fresh. It has a long finish that stays on the tongue and those glands at the back of the mouth for a satisfyingly long time (it’s been half an hour and some breakfast since my last sip and I still feel it). I could not drink cup and after cup of this at one sitting, but I wouldn’t want to either. One bracing cup at a time is perfect.

Flavors: Citrus, Green, Lemon

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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73

This is a solid oolong from a teabox a whiillleee ago. Sadly, nothing too distinct about it. I think the scent of the dry leaves was more distinct than the flavor. The leaves unraveled quickly. The three steeps were pretty consistent. The color of the mug was a deep yellow so I expected more flavor than there was. A good one but nothing to make it stand out from the oolong pack. Nothing much to say about this one, but it was from a tea box so I thought I should post a tasting note.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons // 8 min after boiling // rinse // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // couple min a.b. // 1 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 1-2 min

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84
drank Organic Pu-erh by Tea At Sea
2056 tasting notes

Thanks for this one a while back, Ost! I say “a while back” a lot, even though I have an e-mail draft list for teas I haven’t written tasting notes for, so it should be easier to try new-to-me teas! A standard pu-erh here – I used 2 1/2 teaspoons to use up the sample. I like a ton of leaves in my pu-erh anyway. These leaves look quite dusty and medium sized for a pu-erh. In the picture for the tea, the leaves do look quite dusty! After the rinse, the brew is deep and dark and perfectly acceptable when you want a cup (or three) of ripened pu-erh. I can’t really give many flavor notes for this one – nothing really stands out other than the usual tasty pu-erh flavors – dusky and deep. Glad I used 2 1/2 teaspoons. The darker the pu-erh the better — I’d probably do that with black teas if they didn’t get bitter.
Steep #1 // 2 1/2 tsps. // rinse // just boiled // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2-3 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3-4 min

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95

This was my morning starter. I had actually forgotten that I had this. I opened my tea cupboard and this jumped out at me, so I guess it was a sign to brew it. The dry leaf consists of a dark oolong look alike. They are small rounded balls of ebony and crimson. They carried a strong aroma of cacao. I brewed these guys up in my tetsubin. The liquor came out as dark copper. The flavor is amazing. It starts a sweet and warm honey tone and then grows into a malty wood flavor. This brew had undertones of caramel and baked bread. I really, really liked this tea. I love how it looks like an oolong, but it’s a nice black tea instead. The scent is what had me hooked.

https://instagram.com/p/3Ob-jqTGSD/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Cacao, Caramel, Honey, Oak wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 5 g 20 OZ / 591 ML
TeaNTees

sounds lovely!

Haveteawilltravel

It didn’t do too well the second steeping, but it was an amazing brew :)

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drank Da Hong Pao by Tea At Sea
252 tasting notes

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92

I’m going start by saying this tea frustrated me. I really wish this company would label a little more better. My oolong and green himalayan tea had the exact same label. Also, the leaves look practically identical. I had a lot of trouble brewing and was very worried that I was brewing a Green in my Oolong Yixing. I figured it out though, so now onto the review.

The leaves are small vibrant green bundles. They have a slight vegetal aroma and some earth tones. I brewed in my Yixing pot gong fu style. I steeped in increments of 10 seconds. I washed the leaves and allowed them to breathe. The aroma was something unique. I could smell a smooth bright tone of honey and nectar. It reminds me a fresh TGY. The leaves unfurled to beautiful long green fingers. The aroma of spring rose out of my lil pot. The flavor profile is incredible smooth. It leaves your mouth with a soothing sensation. This warm brew tastes of honey and sugarcane. The liquid has a thick milk like sensation. I can hint at undertones of honeysuckle and warm grass. The liquor is a brilliant jade topaz. It refracts the light well and seems to hold energy in it. This has a very subtle flavor and is calming. The most distinctive quality is the way it covers your mouth as a sweet syrup. It leaves a caramel, maple aftertaste that lingers long after drinking. I enjoyed this brew, and I would definitely get more. I only hope I can tell the difference next time and not be so worried, hahaha.

Flavors: Honey, Honeysuckle, Smooth, Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
TeaNTees

You make this tea sound quite alluring!

Fergy

i want this oolong now .

Haveteawilltravel

Why thank you :)

Fergy

ive actually been somewhat scared away from oolongs from past samples, but yuo have made this one sound simply amazing

Haveteawilltravel

hahahah, well good, glad I could bring you back to the oolong side ;)

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70

I’m finishing off this sample and wondering why I didn’t rate it the first time I tried it. Maybe I just couldn’t think of much to say about it, which is sort of the problem I’m having now. It’s a rich, malty black tea? There’s a flavour note here that I just can’t identify, boo. It’s good, but I don’t feel the need to acquire more of it.

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68
drank Ceylon Pekoe by Tea At Sea
71 tasting notes

This is the first of my samples from Tea at Sea. I love black tea, but I’ve never had a Ceylon I love, and this is no exception. It’s all right, but there’s not much natural sweetness, and the tea is more bitter than I’d like. It reminds me a bit of Mighty Leaf’s Organic Breakfast Blend, which is an okay broken leaf black tea blend that I use to mix with chai and other things, not drink on its own. As others have said, there isn’t much depth to this tea — and it doesn’t linger at all, except for the dryness it leaves behind. I appreciate the sample, but I don’t think I’d want to try this again. I’m much more looking forward to trying the samples of the two Chinese black teas I got from the company.

Flavors: Bitter, Malt

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73

Man, I think this is the last sample from my Tea at Sea order. There were a good amount of lovely teas, but I don’t know if I would really place another order. Their best tea only comes in 5g sample packets. Ah well, I am glad to have sampled this Company’s teas!

So, this tea. It smells nicely floral on the dry leaf. It was a little bitter on the steeping, but I think that boils down to my brewing method. It was slightly sweet, slighty buttery and slightly grassy. Boy a green that bowls me over. A lovely cup to enjoy on a slow day at work.

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79

This is a really nice tea. I am really sad it is only sold in sample sizes. I used the whole packet, which looks like a lot for 5g. It brews up a happy golden brown liquor with nice malty bread notes as well as some grapes on the vine.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Grapes, Wood

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93

What a wonderful tea! I built my first successful snowman today and I needed something toasty to warm me up. I recently just received this and was waiting for the right moment to try it. The leaves are long curled roasted fingers. They smell beautiful and of a floral charcoal. I put these tasty branches into my gaiwan and brewed gong fu. I washed once to arise the aroma. The aroma begun as a smoky floral enticement. It reminded me of a deep dark TGY. I could smell honey, nectar, and a sweet undertone. I steeped in increments of 5 seconds to avoid astringency and bitterness. Once I reached 90 seconds I began increasing by 15 and 30 increments. The initial flavor was bold and smoked. It tasted as a smooth coal. I love a good roasted flavor that isn’t too “dusty.” The amazing thing about this particular tea is that the smokiness slowly changed. I noticed undertones of sugar cane and honey suckle. These undertones began to become more dominant as the brew went on. Upon reaching the last steep, the brew was mostly a light and fruity taste. The liquor begun as a deep dark crimson and finished as an amber light. I was able to get 14 steepings out my gaiwan. I could have possible been granted more, but I didn’t want to heat anymore water. This tea is a perfect oolong for winding down. I am also very happy about it since I got it at a great price. As a note for anyone, watch your water temperture. I noticed if the water was just off the stove boiling, it would cause for a bitter roast flavor. I let mine cool for a few seconds before pouring over.

Flavors: Honeysuckle, Roasted, Wet Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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75

I’m finishing up this sample, and realising I didn’t actually rate it before. Weird. Anyway, this is a pretty nice green oolong: sweet, creamy, floral, and slightly vegetal. It’s not the most interesting or complex oolong I’ve ever tasted, but it’s very good, and I think it would make a nice daily drinking tea. Hmm, I may have to make another Tea at Sea order after all. :)

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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82
drank Da Hong Pao by Tea At Sea
1567 tasting notes

Oooh! This brewed up so very rich. It smelled almost charcoal smoky, which is a very nice thing.
The taste is solid, woody, very robust, with, yes, a hint of roasted smoke to it.
I really enjoyed this. Thanks be to Ost who was the giver of the sample!

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74

Oooh, I like how rich and smooth this tea is. It’s got that malty thing going on as well as a gingerbread/cocoa notes that I enjoy so much in my Chinese blacks. It’s a decent tea, and I am glad I got the Yunnan sampler pack from [email protected] although I did enjoy this tea, it is not as good as my Fujians more. A great cup of tea to have while being grateful that I am indoors :P

Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Cocoa, Malt

tea-sipper

Oh my gosh, I almost tried this one today too. haha.

TheLastDodo

Haha, get out of my tea-head!

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75

From the Lewis & Clark TTB from a while ago! I thought there was only a teaspoon left in the sample, but it was close to two. I used both teaspoons. I have no idea how to steep this one, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone trying two tsps. for a mug in the future… it’s a little too much. I love that even when a tea disappears from a tea shop’s own website, Steepster keeps some info to act as a guide. I think two teaspoons might have been too much for this one — the flavor is a little drying and bitter. But I love the orange color of the steep. The dry leaves look like a mixture — some even look like a herb of some kind. The flavor is difficult to decipher, especially as I probably ruined it with two teaspoons. I can’t piece out any of those great Darjeeling flavors. It’s kind of just bitter and dry. It’s a shame, but that’s why steeping instructions would help.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 20 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // 20 min after boiling // 2 min

TheLastDodo

It’s weird that they only sell it in sample size now. I liked it.

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90

Sumptuous is the word that comes to mind when I drink this tea. Every stage of brewing is a lovely aesthetic experience, from first steeping to last sip.

I bought 50g without a tin, and the dry leaves have little scent, though I may get a whiff of light fresh grass here and there. I seriously take my time with smelling it as it steeps, it’s just so enticing. I get smooth aromas of fresh baked bread, buttered corn and sweet hay, with hints of honey.

The leaves are beautiful as they unfurl, gleaming in my strainer. I typically add 1 tsp or so of sugar, as I find it brings out the creamy flavor I enjoy.

The first sip fills my mouth with honeysuckle, calendula, and sweet cream. More of the fresh baked bread is present, and maybe hints of marine, as others have mentioned. I’ve never drunk a tea quite like this, with a buttery smooth flavor that I find difficult to put down.

The second steeping is similar to the first, though the honey-floral flavors are turned down, and the mineral hints coming to the fore.

The third steep is more mineral and marine, still smooth. I typically stop here, as I prefer the butter-cream flavors of the first and second steeps, but it’s still very good.

All in all a fantastic experience, and a tea I’ll have to have close at hand for the foreseeable future!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cream, Floral, Gardenias, Honeysuckle

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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79

I love how this green tea is rolled up in tightly coiled balls, just like an oolong. They are silky smooth, and produce a buttered spinach green cup. It was a nice and lightly floral green with a honeydew melon accompaniment. It is always a pleasure to watch balled up teas pop in my gaiwan.

Another one of the Indonesian tea sampler from Tea at Sea. Haven’t been disappointed yet. This is a green I can get behind!

I used the whole 5g packet in my 100ml gaiwan. I managed to steep this for about 5 or so times before becoming bored :P

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Honeydew, Spinach

Preparation
5 g
Cheri

I quite enjoyed this one.

TheLastDodo

I so thought it was an oolong at first sight!

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49
drank Organic Pu-erh by Tea At Sea
286 tasting notes

This tea was not for me. It was so flat and uninteresting. I even rinsed this twice. By the fifth steep it got a bit better, a smooth bread-y quality made itself known. But it wasn’t enough to keep me interested.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 g

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80

Super Sunday Sipdown! February 2015

I really love the thought that Tea at Sea puts into their packaging. Everything from the cute cork sailboat to the resealable printed samples. There is no guess as to what company this tea is from!

I got a trio of Indonesian tea samples. There was a black, a green and an oolong. All these teas had one other thing in common. I looked at them all and was surprised that all of them are rolled on one way or another. The Indonesian black looks almost like a gunpowder, there are broken leaves as well as teeny tiny rolled leaves,

The steeped leaf leaves behind a thick, malty infusion that has a stone fruit and honey taste. It gets lighter in body and sweeter with the honey-ness with each steep.

I was happily surprised by how much I liked this! It’s a great breakfast tea. I steeped this tea in my porcelain-lined travel tumbler (275ml) three times in near boiling water. I used the whole 5g sample.

Woohoo! This makes me excited to try the other two Indonesian teas!

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Stonefruits

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 g

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82

Very smooth, medium-bodied cuppa with straightforward, easy-drinking appeal. Clean tasting though it has a subtle malty fragrance and flavor coupled with a bit of sweetness, not quite raisin.

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70

Summer warmth glowing
Into my center it pours
Cleansing green sencha

The dry leaves are broken and flat with a few stems and variegated colors. There is a strong sweet alfalfa smell. I went for a 3 min steep (as opposed to the 7 max suggested) because I tend to really dislike the bitterness that comes out in greens. The liquor is a bright honey-gold and doesn’t really have a strong scent or flavor attached to it. A bit of warm grassiness, but more of a light palette cleaner. A second steep for 4 minutes yielded similar results, with perhaps a bit more grassiness but no dry astringency or bitterness. As a nice side note, I can feel the warmth of the tea sitting in my stomach and it makes me smile. This tea is summer. The third steep, for 4 minutes, left the liquor ringing with a metallic sweetness and a dry astringency, yet no bitterness. Maybe something closer to 7 minutes wouldn’t have been that bad.

Flavors: Grass

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