Tea At Sea

Recent Tasting Notes

88

I kept skeptically thinking this was just a really lightly oxidized oolong. Perhaps it is from an oolong cultivar. The rolling style is very similar to beaded oolong, and indeed the scent gives some really fresh mountain greenery notes that I’m used to in high quality high mountain oolongs. The flavor is really sweet and delightful. It definitely has a plum or cherry taste to it and hints of floral, the type you get from high mountain oolong. It’s light too, the flavor isn’t really all that strong. I might be prone to use more tea leaf if I were to make this again, but I only had one sample. This is a good oolong-lover’s green tea or for someone who doesn’t really like vegetal tasting greens.

Flavors: Cherry, Floral, Plums, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Ubacat

This green is definitely very oolong tasting. I also wondered whether it was really an oolong with a green tea label slapped on it. Regardless, it’s very good.

Red Fennekin

Irrespective of the classification, it sounds really good! :-)

Lion

I thought it was really good. It was nothing like any other green tea I’ve had, which makes it weird to me to see lots of reviews saying it tasted just like a typical green tea. If anything, it really tasted more like oolong tea. I also noticed though that other people tended to steep it a lot longer.

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71

I really wish that I could have enjoyed this tea more, but I got super nauseous in the middle of it:( Stupid body..
From what I gathered, it’s pretty malty, but also pretty woody. I didn’t have enough time with it to decide whether or not I would like to try this again :/
But guess now I need to so I can write a better tasting note-haha!

Flavors: Malt, Wood

The Cookie Lady

I liked this note, but I DO NOT like you being nauseous :( Sorry you aren’t getting to enjoy this!

Red Fennekin

Sorry to hear about your nausea :(

Ost

Haha that’s okay :P Least I don’t get sick every time

Kirkoneill1988

I never felt that way when I drank tea.

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70

This is a nice, light, smooth green tea. Pleasant enough to drink, but not particularly memorable.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Organic Pu-erh by Tea At Sea
67 tasting notes

Working my way through the Tea at Sea samples. :)
I steeped this western style because I didn’t want to use up the whole sample in one go! So 2.5g, washed once for about 10 seconds, then steeped in 8oz of just-off-boiling water for 3min. I love the rich red-brown colour of this tea! It smells and tastes earthy, like walking through a shaded forest after a rain.

Flavors: Bark, Mushrooms, Wet Earth

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

Mmm, this is a very nice end-of-day tea for me (here’s hoping it doesn’t have enough caffeine to keep me awake!). The scent is a little sweet, a little woody, a little floral… I was amused that “hot hay” is an option in the list of flavours/scents, because that’s what I was thinking about – fresh hay that’s been warming in the sun all day. Honey, bread, grassy, floral… smooth and gentle, with bit of astringency at the end of the cup. Nice.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Floral, Honey, Hot hay, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

I’m doing a head to head tasting of this with the “Ceylon Pekoe” from the same company. It is also a smooth, woodsy tea but not quite as rich as the Pekoe and there is a really distinctly different flavour that I’m having trouble identifying. It’s kind of floral, and kind of grassy or grainy? Anyway, it’s very nice but again, I don’t think I love it enough to want to buy more of it. Luckily the sample packages have enough that I can give it a couple more tries before making a final decision. :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70
drank Ceylon Pekoe by Tea At Sea
67 tasting notes

I’m doing a head to head tasting with this and the “Ceylon FFEXSP” from the same company. It’s a smooth, enjoyable Pekoe with a woodsy/earthy flavour. Compared to the other, this had a richer aroma while steeping and a bit of a darker flavour. I like it, but probably not enough to buy more of it? I think I’m going to try brewing it darker next time and adding some milk +/- sugar to see what that’s like.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

Tried the black, now for the green. I love how this tea comes so tightly clumped up (as others have said, it looks like an oolong!) and then it expands into these lovely large leaves. The scent is mild and green, and the taste is also mild and green with a smooth, slightly buttery mouthfeel. I’m not sure what to say about this tea – it’s completely pleasant to drink, but I’m not getting much from it besides “green tea”. If the black is like being in a forest, the green is like sitting on top of a mountain, breathing the clean air.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

Man, I need to train my palate if I’m going to start reviewing unflavoured teas. I keep wanting to say things like: “It tastes like tea. Yummy tea!”. So, um. Trying for something a bit better than that. I brewed this with 1.5tsp (actually, started with 1tsp and then went back and added 0.5tsp when I read the brewing instructions on this page) in 8oz, and for 5min (the package actually suggested 5-8min, which seemed long to me). Anyway, it brews up into a lovely reddish-brown colour. I find it to be medium-bodied, very smooth and easy to drink – I have absolutely no desire to add milk or sugar, you know? It reminds me a bit of a Darjeeling I have in my cupboard. Ok, I’ve been sipping this while staring at a tea wheel and here’s what I think I can taste: malt, wood/forest, and maybe a slightly grassy fresh hay note? As I finish the cup I’m starting to get a bit of astringency, but I didn’t really notice it that much earlier. I also feel calm, and a little bit sleepy, so I don’t think I’d drink this as a morning pick-me-up. I like it. Off to re-steep now. :)

Flavors: Hay, Malt, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

Nothing wrong with writing that! Lol

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75

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90

Macro Polo TTB

Yours truly is currently sitting in a hotel room in North Carolina, near Lake Norman. Apparently there is an exceptionally large lake nearby, but I cannot see if from my hotel. What I can see is a my travel gaiwan making tea for my mom and myself as we watch TV and relax before finish the road trip to South Carolina. It is pretty exciting to be writing from a hotel, I am not sure why but I feel super fancy with my travel gaiwan far away from home.

Today’s tea brings a bit of closure to a series, quite a while ago I looked at Tea At Sea’s other teas from Indonesia, and today I am reviewing Mountain Organic Indonesian Black. I find it really interesting to experience the green, oolong, and now the black, it was like a journey! The aroma of this tea is sweet and malty, there are notes of berries and raisins with a hint of roasted peanuts at the finish. I shan’t deny it, the dry leaves smell quite yummy, but I do love my sweet black teas.

Brewing the tightly balled leaves brings a malty, rich, aroma from my gaiwan. Investigating the now wet leaves even further with my nose reveals sweet berry notes and a touch of metallic, there is also a tiny note of yam at the finish. The liquid from the first steep is malty and sweet with tasty notes of molasses and yam, with a tiny finish of raisins.

After that especially enjoyable sniffing, it is time for tasting! The first sip is very sweet and quite smooth, it starts out malty and builds to fruity notes of plum and berries. This transitions into a richer, heavier finish of yams and oak wood, the finish is malty and it has a lingering sweetness.

I decided to go for another steep (because it is me, of course I go for another steep) and the aroma has managed to become sweeter, notes of honey and berries with a touch of plum and yam. The second steep is quite similar to the first but brings out more sweetness and berry notes, it is honey sweet with a rich malty finish. This is a great tea for when you are in the mood for a super sweet black tea that is both rich and mellow.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/10/tea-at-sea-mountain-organic-indonesian.html

Cheri

I sat on the porch at a B&B this summer with my travel gaiwan and enjoyed oolong. It felt really luxurious.

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Marco Polo TTB

I’m soo excited about this box, I can’t even believe it. Like WOW.

I think this might be the tea labeled ‘the vert/green tea’, it’s the closest name for it on Steepster anyhoo.

This is a tightly rolled green tea! Surprising because lately I’ve seen alot of the flash fried, flat varieties. This is a refreshing change.

I put the water in and took the trash out. I came back and realized that I had forgotten to time it. Ooops. But it’s a recommended 5 min steep, so it certainly wasn’t oversteeped for the first infusion. Probably understeeped. Regardless- the taste is of a fresh spring green. Buttery and mellow and absolutely no astringency or drying. Usually for me water is a type of refreshing, and tea is a completely different type. This wanders into ‘ice cold water’ refreshing, even though it’s warm. I suppose more of a hydrating taste/feel that I get out of this.

Let’s talk about the leaves. I mentioned the dry leaf is rolled. Rolled/twisted and dark stripy green is how it starts. Then in the water it blooms. It slowly unfurls and it’s soo big! It’s like stewed greens in my Ingenuitea pot. Soo awesome. Tea for some reason seems better to be when it’s accompanied by a show. =)

Cheri

That’s what this tea is. I like it.

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Backlog review 9 of 13.

Remember a few notes back when I said that I didn’t like Capital Tea’s Yunnan Green, and that I was going to avoid similar teas?

I forgot what I was thinking when I bought this. Picture the scene: they’ve just announced that the trade show floor will be closing at the Canadian Coffee and Tea Show on Sunday evening. I’ve been prowling the same aisles of the trade show floors for a few hours, but no tea vendors are actually selling tea to the attendants – just providing samples for future reference.

Suddenly, I come across Tea at Sea’s booth, which I knew was at the event, but never actually found until after the closing announcement had been made. I’ve been wanting to buy tea all day with no luck.

And Tea at Sea is actually selling canisters of tea! And their tea is cheap! And I just get caught up in the rush of it all that I buy a canister of their Yunnan Green because I just want to buy something, you know?

Both people at the booth were incredibly nice, and I don’t mind having another tea in the cupboard since I know I’ll drink this over time.

But I do have a handy comment for the Tea at Sea people, in case you guys ever see this note: Jesus Christ, your canisters are hard to open. They’re too small to hold comfortably, and the tops are pushed in so snugly that it takes a lot of effort to pull the lid off – and because you have to pull so hard to remove the lid, when the package finally does open, I end up spilling tea everywhere.

Please, please, in the future, make your packages easier to open. I’m begging you.

Anyways, I had this I think on Monday? Decent, green, smoky, slightly astringent. Pretty much like a gunpowder, even if the name is different.

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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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85

I swear I’d added this one to my cupboard, but it wasn’t there, and it still showed up on my wishlist. I’ve had this tea for a while now, so I’m not sure. I’m not going to worry about it.

I like this tea a lot. I really need to do it gongfu again, but I’ve been doing western style with it, which is what I have again today.

I like this tea this way, too. Green, creamy, tasty. Smooth.

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85

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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