Tea Centre

Recent Tasting Notes

Oh this is really nice! So glad I grabbed some from the bag I got for Bear with Me. :)

Really gentle, almost candy-like grapefruit. Nice white tea that didn’t go bitter. I added a couple tiny pieces of rock sugar to my mug, so that might have something to do with the “candy”, but IDK. This is a really nice white tea.

Tempted to cold steep the used leaves, but overnight is too long I think. I’ll keep them and see if I manage to cold steep tomorrow. The leaves still smell fantastic, so I think I’d get another cup. :)

(2 heaping tsp, 14 oz water, 160F, 3 minutes, 2 pieces rock sugar.)

Flavors: Candy, Citrus, Floral, Grapefruit

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 0 sec 14 OZ / 414 ML

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drank English Breakfast by Tea Centre
1507 tasting notes

Umm, ok. So there’s no notes for this tea? That’s weird, since I’m almost done my 100g of it (thanks mom… ;) )

Unfortunately, this tea is nothing to write home about. It’s an Assam blend, that seems to pull those cardboardy flavours instead of delicious malty and fruity and somewhat astringent flavours. I think I prefer Grandpa’s Anytime Blend, or their Rungagora for an early morning kick in the pants. They are both CTC, but somehow the maltiness overpowers any cardboard.

I know. Talking about a tea tasting like cardboard. At least it’s not chicken soup?

Flavors: Cardboard, Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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86
drank Hattiali by Tea Centre
5079 tasting notes

12/28 sipdowns i’ve got a few backlogs but as i’m still working it’s hard to be logging tea while i’m drinking it :) I am a tired girl and i’m pretty sure i’m goign to fall on my face at some point today but for now i’m doing ok with the tea and comfy clothes lol thanks again for sharing this one omgsrsly i think this one ranks pretty high in terms of assam for me. i can see this one just being a good all around sort of tea :)

Terri HarpLady

hang in there!

Sil

i am slowly going crazy. 1,2,3,4,5,6 switch!

OMGsrsly

Oh, Sil! Yeah, the Hattiali Assams are a favourite. I love the ones Butiki carries as well.

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86
drank Hattiali by Tea Centre
5079 tasting notes

another from omgsrsly while not a sipdown, i’m having this today so that when i have it again, it WILL be a sipdown haha. Need to make sure i keep working on getting things down as well as finishing them off :) i am really enjoying this one today. it’s not a BOLD tea, but it is smooth and i drank it all before i realised it. There’s a ittle astringecy in it but that just makes it enjoyable for me. thanks a ton omgsrsly!

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82
drank Grandpa's Anytime Tea by Tea Centre
5079 tasting notes

thanks for this one omgsrsly I finished the last of this today while trying not to fell asleep at work in the afternoon lol. This one’s not too shabby. it’s got a bit of a bitter/bolder than i like it hit at the end of it, so i likely won’t restock unless i can share it with others! haha but i did enjoy this :)

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82
drank Grandpa's Anytime Tea by Tea Centre
5079 tasting notes

backlog from yesterday…going to be a long weekend. I’m up “early” and i’ll basically be up now until whenever i go to bed on sunday night since i’m not sure if i’ll get a nap in there. Gotta love migration weekends + catching up on work. at least i might get the chance to get some tea drinking in tonight! i remember pausing at some point yesterday to really focus on this tea and i can’t recall if i thought there was a note in here that i really liked or what. that’s how busy my days have been. but i did enjoy it, and thankfully i have more from omgsrsly to play with heh

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75
drank Sun Moon Lake by Tea Centre
5079 tasting notes

had this one again this morning before we headed out for a bike ride. My other half is home all weekend so we’re going to try and settle down and do some wedding planning, cleaning, board game playing and some general relaxing. It’s supposed to rain all weekend in the afternoons so that should make it more doable…though it’d be nice to get two rides in this weekend.

While this is a tasty cup through a few steepings, it’s not my favourite. It was nice to try another variation on the sun moon lake theme but i do prefer the TTC ones. as always though, love trying new teas and appreciate all the teas that folks send my way!

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75
drank Sun Moon Lake by Tea Centre
5079 tasting notes

omgsrsly sent this my way and though i only took the first steep with me to work i was going to have more when i got home..but my other half cleaned up :( at least i’ve got another serving of this to play with and write a better note on lol

OMGsrsly

Oh, I was going to ask you about this. Mom’s planning on dropping by the tea store again this weekend, so if there’s anything that interests you… :) I just wish they sold less than 50g!

Sil

NO NO MOAR TEA! must resist purchasing. I’ve been good so far. only 1 purchase this month for my birthday and that was only 3 teas…. three…soo saaaad.

OMGsrsly

I should resist as well, honestly. But if Mom’s buying… :D

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Malty deliciousness.

Mmm….

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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SUCH a great morning tea, OMG. I understand why they sell out of this one SO fast. I love a rich CTC if it manages to not go super bitter, and this is one of the best ones I’ve had.

Definitely need my mom to pick more of this up for me. :) She does, after all, live closer than I do.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Oh wow. This tea.

I had it yesterday morning as well. I’m really pleasantly surprised, as this is a CTC Assam, and those tend to be “knock your socks off” strong.

While this tea is strong, the curled leaves are actually pretty decently sized, and they don’t unfurl in the first steep. Even a 4 minute steep. The tea does not go over the top bitter or astringent, although it definitely leans that way at 4 minutes – I added milk this morning. Yesterday I steeped 3 minutes and it was delicious and malty, and a little fruity. I had it plain.

So. A kick-in-the-butt morning CTC that is actually pretty hardy. I have a feeling it would steep well a second or third time as well. Fairly different from Grandpa’s Anytime Tea, in that the flavours are… more bold. More Assam-y (which is a terrible description, but), more like they’d hold up to added flavours of a masala chai with lots of milk and sugar. I definitely have to try that at some point soon.

Now I don’t regret getting the Tiger Assam during the free shipping sale, BUT I also have this tea and Grandpa’s Anytime Tea for the mornings now. Oops? :)

Flavors: Fruity, Grain, Malt, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
yyz

Are these the huge ones that are closer to the size of a small rolled oolong? I haven’t seen them in a while.

OMGsrsly

Closer than Grandpa’s Anytime Tea (let’s try that again).
http://instagram.com/p/qFEN0cR5B1/
http://instagram.com/p/qFERnrR5CA/

yyz

Cool comparison, the CTC I have right now is about that size and it does make great chai. I’ve seen ones that are about the size of an average pearl on an earing before.

OMGsrsly

Oh, that would be super cool to find. The other black pearl teas I have are whole-leaf Chinese teas, so quite different.

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Yum yum yum. Great kick in the pants “morning” tea (yes, at 2:30pm).

So delicious with some cream. Nice and malty and rich and so so strong.

1.5tsp in 14 oz water.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Nightshifter

Sounds like my kind of tea! Need to try it! :)

OMGsrsly

It’s a really nice CTC! There are a few versions out there, and I think they might all be from the same place. :)

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So strong. So good. If you like kick-in-the-pants teas, or have a fondness for CTCs, then find this and try it. This version is barely bitter, with a touch of that cardboardy assam-isness. Takes milk SO well. I would call this a comforting, easy tea… although you do have to be aware of the short steep time. Steeping in paper would add a papery taste reminiscent of bagged tea, although the tea flavour is so much nicer.

http://instagram.com/p/py-dsER5OR/

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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There are a few places that stock this tea, and I have a feeling it’s all from the same Grandpa. :)

So good. Rich and malty. Possibly astringent or bitter, but this is totally a tea for cream. So that’s how I’m having it. And it’s delicious. I could see this tea being a morning staple.

Just a note: I’m consuming this tea while eating some seriously sub-par bacon flavoured potato chips. Mackie’s of Scotland also has Haggis flavour, and I’m sooooo glad I didn’t get that one. The chip texture is also kinda meh. They’re not properly crunchy, rather they’re hard. Would I try another variety? Yes, but not the Haggis.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML
Cameron B.

I got some Maple Bacon kettle chips yesterday and they are quite tasty! :)

Iridium

I did not even know bacon flavored chips were a thing. How did I not know. I think I need to try some…

OMGsrsly

Sour cream and bacon ripple chips were a standard when I was growing up. Maybe it was a Canadian thing! But those ones had REAL bacon bits in the seasoning, which I think made all the difference.

Dexter

MMMMmmmmmmm – Ruffles sour cream and bacon chips!!!! Not quite as good as Old Dutch kethup – but almost. :))

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drank Sun Moon Lake by Tea Centre
1507 tasting notes

I quite enjoyed this today. With gluten free cheesecake. :)

One of the mugs I took to work with me. The other two were coffee (all gone) and Butiki’s So Long and Thanks for all the Licorice (not much gone at all).

I had a busy day.

But now I’ve had ice cream, and I have a large glass of water with lime in it, and it’s pretty much time for bed.

I’ll finish the Butiki tea as an iced treat in the morning.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Starfevre

this picture makes me think of the Flying Spaghetti Monster for some reason

OMGsrsly

The tea totally looks like the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The leaves are SO big!

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drank Sun Moon Lake by Tea Centre
1507 tasting notes

3 steeps later and I’m neither tea drunk nor awake. Is it bed time yet. Mom says it isn’t, which makes me sad.

This tea is delightful. I haven’t had another sun moon lake before but I couldn’t resist because of the name. Nice and sweet assamy malty flavours. Sil and MissB will definitely be getting some of this.

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74
drank Decaf Vanilla by Tea Centre
63 tasting notes

Simple decaf black tea with sweet vanilla. Impressed at the intensity of the vanilla and tastes like the authentic bean. It is quite sweet; a total dessert tea and I wouldn’t add sugar at all. I like the tiniest bit of milk with mine to offset the sweetness a little

Edit: some steeps have been very sweet and some have been a little bitter. I think it depends on the amount of vanilla pieces you get in each teaspoon. But generally, it tends to go a bit bitter if brewed a little too long or left by itself for a while. Easily fixed with milk/sugar though

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 450 ML

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85
drank Hattiali by Tea Centre
379 tasting notes

i am beginning to believe that MissB is having fun with me, lol.

samples are arriving with less and less information on them. hmm, am i a social experiment? maybe!

i got a wicked sunburn yesterday at the fair. slept 11 hours and woke up with a sun hangover. i needed a solid tea to stagger to class with. hattiali? what was it? i had no idea… sure, why not? =0)

this is a brown sugar beauty. reminds me of the bricks of brown sugar you can buy in china town. lovely and smooth, a hint of malt without any acid… ever so light on the malt even with a 5 minute steep.

very nice MissB! oh, and TeaCentre, lol.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
OMGsrsly

Ha! I stole this from my mom. :)

JustJames

yay stolen OMGsrsly mom’s tea! has she discovered it yet?

OMGsrsly

Well yes. She was the one who found a baggie for me to take it home in!

JustJames

yay mom!

OMGsrsly

She is a Tea Enabler. Much like everyone on Steepster, only she buys me a lot of tea!

MissB

Yep, this came from OMGsrsly, through me. :P

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85

I love this tea. One of my current favourites.

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86
drank Hattiali by Tea Centre
1144 tasting notes

Brewed this up much earlier today and only got to it now. I found this a bit weak, honey-like and surprisingly sweet. I may have under leafed it slightly by accident, and thus the weak bit.

Huge thanks to OMGsrsly for sharing this slice of Vancouver Island awesomeness with me!

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Suziqzer

Oooo… I wish I was within driving distance to an island!

Suziqzer

Count me as jealous :)

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drank Hattiali by Tea Centre
1507 tasting notes

I stole a baggie of this from my parents the last time I visited. :)

Drank it for the first time today. This is a delicious Assam. It’s not quite as golden as the Golden Lion I got from Butiki, but it is delicious and smooth. I didn’t add any sugar to it, and really enjoyed my mug.

Hopefully they have it the next time I make it over, because I’d like to stock this tea!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Lala

When I read “I stole a baggie of this from my parents…”, I laughed out loud. It doesn’t sound like a phrase that would be used when you are referring to tea. Ha ha.

OMGsrsly

:D Swapping is shipping little baggies to people. Pretty much always makes me laugh.

MissB

I sent a box of tea to a friend in Australia, and it was held back as it entered the country because they’d assumed I was sending this big haul of wink wink little baggies. When my friend picked up the package, they had a good laugh… whomever opened it to check was mighty disappointed it was just tea.

OMGsrsly

That is pretty hilarious! But then, you are from BC!

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Hi my name is Dex and I’m really new to the world of loose leaf tea. I’m hoping that some of you wonderful Steepster members will help me. I am seeking tea lesson, I need to learn more about the different varieties of tea and their characteristics. Any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

I received this tea in my wonderful swap package from MissB Thank you so much for sending some of this my way.
This tea is beautiful, large dark twisted leaves with WHITE tips – not golden but pure white. It’s a nice mild, slightly astringent but well balanced black tea, there are some fruity and slightly sweet tones. This isn’t my favorite style of black, but am enjoying the sample I have. OH WAIT – this is an oolong – I’m so confused. This looks like a black tea, this smells like a black tea, this tastes like a black tea. There isn’t anything oolongish about it. I need some serious help…..

yyz

This type of tea is also known as Oriental Beauty. It has a relatively high degree of oxidation hence some of it’s similarities to black tea. I am by all means not an expert ( I have 2 but the only one I’ve tried is a cheap box of a higher grade sea dyke brand one from the Chinese grocery store;), the other I haven’t touched yet). This article gives you some history and information about this style of tea though.

http://teamasters.blogspot.ca/2007/02/study-of-oriental-beauty.html

greenteafairy

I had this experience with my first and, thus far, only Bai Hao recently! It was hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it was indeed an oolong.

Dexter

Thanks for the link yyz. I did read it, I now understand that the sweetness/honey notes come from the cricket bites on the leaves, I understand that it’s highly oxidized and therefore would be closer to a black than a green tea. I’ve had lots of highly oxidized oolongs and they all (other than Black Pearl Sumatra – but that’s another one that makes my head hurt) still have some oolongishness too them. If someone had just given me a cup of this I would have sworn it was a black… Oh well, thanks for the info, I’m going to file this tea under confusing and move on until I have a better grasp/understanding.
greenteafairy – that’s exactly how I feel. It looks like a black, it smells like a black, it tastes like a black….but it’s an oolong…

MissB

I remember when I bought this tea; the lady who sold it to me told me the history behind it, and had met the tea farmers face-to-face prior to buying it for her store. I wish I could remember more of the story, however it was (and still is) one of the most expensive teas I’ve ever purchased. I was curious as to what extra money bought (I know it sounds silly, however I really was curious) and so I grabbed 50g of it. The way they made it in-store blew my mind. Somehow it tasted like a black, yet was sweet and fruity like an oolong… I managed to get that out of it the last time I brewed it, however have yet to try again. If you’re really curious, I’m sure the folks at the Tea Centre in Courtenay, BC would be happy to talk to you about it ([email protected]; http://teacentre.ca/bai_hao_oolong.htm)

OMGsrsly

Maybe I’ll ask my mom to get me some of this for Christmas. :D

Dexter

There is no doubt this is a beautiful high quality tea. It’s just so strange to me. Can’t comprehend how it can go so far against everything I thought I understood about tea.

yyz

I think sometimes that the categorization of teas is maybe a little more fluid than we sometimes like them to be here. I know that on Aliexpress that Dancongs, and Da hong Pao are often sold under black tea vs oolong.

MissB

OMGsrsly, I will give you the rest of what I have, if you’d like it
– or anyone else who would like to try some. Oolongs hate me right now, and as much as I love this tea, I’d rather it was enjoyed than just sit in my cupboard.

OMGsrsly

My mom only buys her tea from there, so if someone further away is interested, share with them first. :)

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94

Now I remember why this sat in my cupboard for so long, even as much as I love it. Within 20 minutes of my finishing the first cup (which is so big it’s more like two cups), I felt so nauseous, I almost got sick all over my kitchen. Then it came to me in a flash: oolongs (usually) give me a horrible stomachache, especially on an empty stomach. A quick bite to eat helped, however as soon as I started drinking the tea again, the nausea returned in full force.

Dammit. I love this stuff, however it’ll just go to waste in my cupboard now. Quite a bit left – anyone want me to send it to them?

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94

Found this at the back of my tea cupboard, and am a bit worried it’s been there too long (even though it’s well packaged). Bought this at an amazing tea shoppe in Courtenay, BC, where I had many a discussion with the owners when I lived there about their yearly jaunts to Asia to find the perfect tea. This was one of their highest recommendations, and it’s still (by far) the most I’ve ever paid for tea.

I forgot when steeping that I needed double the amount of tea, so this one’s a bit weak. Still, it’s divine. Smells faintly of hay, jasmine, and a touch of sweetness I’m struggling to place. It’s light and airy yet fully flavored, and while I’ve been on a real flavored kick of late, I forgot what truly exquisite tea tastes like. This, along with their matcha, is what got me into tea initially, and I think I’ll be sipping this pot all day as I re-steep it over and over again.

… I remember getting four steeps out of this one way back when, and it just got better each time. I wonder how many I can get today?

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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