Tea SquaredEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing but I just don’t know how I feel about this. It sort of tastes like rosey butter. Seriously. It’s weird and I don’t think I’m a fan, at least as a hot brew. The rest of my sample is cold brewing now so hopefully I have more luck with it prepped that way.
This is a queued tasting note.
While I love my early morning/afternoon cold brews on the walk to work, I got to thinking last week that it’d probably be really easy to do the prep work for tea soda (the syrup, basically) in the evening when I get home and then make the soda itself in the morning right before I leave. So, I field tested the idea with this one!
It actually was super easy to get everything set up to do the tea soda; with both evening and early preparation combined I think it took the same amount, or if not very close to it, to make the soda as it would to set up the cold brew and then later strain it in the morning. Here, the syrup was the more involved part (the at night part), but with cold brewing straining it definitely takes longer (‘cause you’re washing the strainer and mason jar in between). Morning with the soda was as easy as cracking open a can of club soda. So tea soda for the walk to work is definitely something I’ll be doing again!
As for the flavour of the tea/tisane – it was weird and I’m not 100% sure if it was in a good way. I definitely liked the plain cold brew I did of this one a while back – and I remember remarking that this would probably work as soda.
It definitely did for at least the first half of the soda; the cranberry was freshy and fruity with a fun apple quality, and almost a raspberry like top note. The carbonation suited the cranberry as well; it was a little like cranberry spritzer or Cranberry Sprite! The second half? Eh…
As I was walking (it’s a 40 minute walk) the soda started to go a bit flat – that I didn’t really mind, but it sort of welcomed a much more noticeably intense cranberry flavor that, without the carbonation, started reminding me of canned cranberry jelly, like you’d eat around Thanksgiving. On top of that, the hibiscus really started to build and the tartness was a bit too much as well. At this point I was fairly turned off. I actually don’t tend to like the flavour of cranberry outside of tea and this was too much of it.
I imagine if I continue with tea soda on the walk to work than I’m going to deal with carbonation loss – and I don’t think that’s going to be an issue with all tea soda; it’s just that the way this one was prepared didn’t work with it. I’m not going to call this a fail because the start was awesome; maybe neutral overall?
Queued tasting note.
Bought this one from the Sobeys I work at; it’s one of the two Tea Squared blends that originally caught my interest – the other one being Honey Fig Tree. I know, both the ones that appealed to me were tisanes; but I think their herbals are far more original/creative than their other flavoured blends and both feature fruits I’m crazy about.
Since the Honey Fig Tree I started with really grew on me and was really well done I decided to give this one a chance and I picked some up when it was on sale for the week; $7.00 for 80g instead of the usual $10.00.
Dry this has a really powerful, aromatic smell! It’s definitely, definitely super sweet, almost candied cranberries but then this really intoxicating smell that reminded me of Fruit Punch or the red Fruit Roll Ups from Betty Crocker – which I think are meant to be strawberry though. But very bright, juicy and over the top overall.
And obviously I started off by cold brewing it; for many of the usual reasons (their’s hibiscus in the blend, cranberry is really good cold brewed, the convenience). I think it was definitely the way to go; this came out a crimson red colour and my immediate thought was “probably would’ve been rather harsh hot”. I’m sure I will eventually try it that way though.
And, it is a little bit tart but only in the way that cranberries naturally are – I really didn’t think the hibiscus was adding anything that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. Very juicy and robust, with the same almost but not quite fruit punch (like Red Kool-Aid fruit punch)/Fruit Roll Up flavouring. Maybe a little bit of sweet red apple from the apple in this that’s obviously acting, primarily, as a filler? There’s an effervscent, sparkly quality that leads me to believe this would be to die for as a tea soda; so I’m definitely going to try it that way too.
It tastes like childhood summers; hyped up on snack foods and running around in my bathing suit through the Spray Park.
This is definitely another success for me; though I’m not quite sure how much of it is really me absolutely loving it and how much is just excitement/nostalgia so I’m gonna be a little conservative with my initial rating. If my second impression is as good as this one, I’ll likely be increasing my rating though.
And, just finished my phone call with Amoda – I’m really happy I could help them out. Everything they asked was really easy to answer and it wasn’t invasive at all so if you haven’t seen their post on the discussion boards or have but haven’t volunteered to do it you should really consider; it took like twelve minutes overall, and they were super nice!
Flavors: Cranberry, Fruit Punch, Red Apple
Sad Sipdown (117)!
Today’s word of the day is trepidation. Trepidation is hesitation due to fear or nervousness. Pretty sure I’m not going to be leaving the house today; so gonna have to try and slip this into conversation with Tre today…
This tisane really, really grew on me while I had it. I’m actually going to miss having it around, a lot. But since it’s SO easy for me to pick it up since we sell it at work, so come summer when I’m going to be cold brewing constantly I’m sure I’ll pick it up again.
It’s just so perfect; soft, sweet, fruity, floral…
And the fig is really, really well done. Bumping up my rating to reflect how fond I got of this treasure! Fig, caramel, pineapple, and rose? Can’t go wrong there.
But good news; not as sick! There are some definite health improvements going on – it’s just a matter of time, I suppose.
But yeah; yesterday I was still feeling sick but not as sick (though the longer the day went on the worse I felt; hoping today wont go like that) so I decided to have something a little more adventurous and flavourful on the way to work, though because I know my palate is still pretty out of whack I went with something I’m kinda casually trying to sipdown and that I’ve had a few times before!
This was actually lovely, despite definitely tasting at least a little off. It was especially rosey, and sweet; I must have got lots of caramel/fig in my measured out leaf. Surprisingly very little tartness/hibiscus/pineapple flavour but whether that’s ’cause of measured leaf or weird tastebuds will forever be lost on me.
Today’s word of the day is…
Trove means: “1. A discovery, find 2. a valuable collection : treasure : haul.” I’ve actually only ever heard the second definition before, so I did in fact ‘learn a new word’ today. But this one is easy to use though; it can easily apply to all of our tea troves!
So I had to be fairly restrictive with what tea I brought with me for my trip; I wanted a combination of comfort teas, things to work on sipping down, and new things to try; but at the same time I didn’t want to pack an excessive amount of tea for the time I’m down here.
And, I spent last night raiding my Mom’s tea cupboard (I’m going to try and take a picture so you can all witness how horrific it looks and share in my pain) and there were a few interesting sounding things I may attempt to try as well, along with a few things I left behind the last time I visited.
I also forgot that my Mom has the teeniest little teacups instead of mugs like the ones I use; the teacups she has are 8 oz. tops, but I think are actually far closer to 6 oz. and it may just drive me crazy; I’m so used to my 12 oz. mugs. So last night I made two before bed cups of tea; this was one of them!
I really do like this blend; it was a whim purchase and I think it was a good one. The fig in it is so well done, and really apparent in the flavour but there are a lot of other great flavour contributions too that round out the cup. Last night’s cup in particular had a really thick mouthfeel and a particular sweetness about it; the honey/caramel flavours in the blend were really shining! The hibiscus? There was so little of it that the liquor was barely even that “trademark” hibiscus pink! And then just a brief little flicker of pineapple juice and rose in the aftertaste.
I brought the whole bag of this one; I’m probably gonna try to sip it down – but I think I might repurchase it again when my cupboard is at a lower number. My mom took sips of both teas I made; this was the one she liked better – she called sweet and fruity. Don’t think she was able to identify the fruit in it though.
Last review of the night; I just took a sleeping pill which I expect to start kicking in shortly. I anticipate I’ll need the extra help sleeping given that I’m going to A) have to deal with loud boys soon and B) be sleeping on my actual bed and not the couch.
For those not in ‘the know’ I happen to own a super expensive bed that was a moving out/into my own place present from my Dad, expect despite the price tag it’s maybe the worst bed I’ve ever slept on or, at least, close to it. It’s basically like sleeping on wood. No give. At all. So instead, I sleep on my couch. And I love it. I’m very, very adjusted to sleeping on a couch. My body doesn’t even know what to do with all the room on a bed now, ‘cause with a couch it’s like “No; don’t roll over! You’ll fall!” and, well, beds have more than like two feet width…
I think I made good queue progress today; it’s certainly not cleared yet (I just counted and I’ve got 21 tasting notes to go – ugh) but I made a really nice dent in it! I just have to keep writing at this pace, and soon I’ll be golden!
This one was prepared hot in a timolino; I’m working on sipping it down because it’s not something I need stocked but I’m still quite enjoying it, so I’m sipping it down at a much more casual pace than I often do with teas I want out of my cupboard.
- Very fig/camarel dominant
- With hints of rose
- No tartness from the pineapple and hibby(?)
- Can’t remember if there’s actually hibby in this
- Really sweet and tasty overall!
Tried this one hot last night.
It’s kind of funny actually, because I was already steeping it when Tre and I started having a conversation about whether or not I judge people based on the groceries they buy. My answer was that honestly, I’m too focused on work and doing things quickly to really pay attention to whatever someone’s buying. You’re getting 31 Papayas? I don’t fucking care. But whenever someone comes through with boxes of super shitty bagged tea, I always pick up on that and definitely cringe internally.
He then asked whether we actually sell any decent quality tea, and I said we do in fact carry one brand of loose leaf – Tea Squared, what I was brewing (and also David Rio’s line of “Instant Chai” which is pretty good too). He snatched the bag from my hands and took a whiff. And then made a face because this “smells like nail polish”. It does not smell like nail polish. He must have been high. Maybe from huffing nail polish?
It’s the rose though – that’s why he didn’t like it. He hates rose, and this smells pretty strongly of it. Taste wise, you can taste the rose too but it’s not too bad. Mostly it’s actually sweetened fig: sweetened from the pineapple which gives a faint tartness, and sweetened from the caramel, which is more present in the aftertaste. It reminds me of McQuarrie’s Fig Rose blend I had for a while, except less rose-y. But there’s definitely similarities.
I’m still liking this one! Which is good, because if I wasn’t then there’d be no weight in my argument with Tre about tea quality (though technically this is just a fruit blend).
This company is a new one to me, but Sobeys carries a large selection of their loose teas and some of them look pretty good too (plus decent price: $10 for 80g), so I had to try at least one of them. This is the one I bought, although there was another tisane which caught my eye too. Fig is definitely a less common fruit/flavour to see in tea, so I was definitely interested in trying it. The lack of super cliched tisanes was nice!
Dry, this smells very fresh with strong, aromatic notes of figs, caramel, and rose. The cold brew is a kind of “blush” pink, and smells really fruity with some floral traits. Taste wise, there were really strong juicy fig notes paired with sweet pineapple with a mild bit of tang/tartness to it, possibly from the fruit or possibly from the hibiscus. There was a caramel and honey sweetness that softened the whole thing, and a floral/rosey after taste. Overall, it tasted really natural!
I’m actually really impressed, so I think I’ll definitely
eventually be buying that other tisane that caught my interest!
YYZ sent this one my way, along with a few others marked “fruity blacks” I am doing my best to work through some of my samples and it’s nice to have a few straight teas in with all my flavoured samples heh
However, this one was a little too bitter for me. I thought it might be, given the smell of the dry leaf but wanted to try it out anyway – i’m still curious how close i’ll get to 2k teas tried before my steepsterversay heh. I can see why YYZ put this one in the fruity black category but i just cannot get past the bitterness. Oh well, it was nice to try :) thanks YYZ!
This is actually pretty nice! It reminds me a little bit of the flavour profile of Andrew and Dunham’s double knit blend, except this one is a little bit more tannic and bitter, and has a denser texture in the mouth.
It has broken leaves, with scattered golden saffron tips and smells of dried apples mixed with apricots and pastry, which oddly does remind me of France, where I often had apricot pastries or pain au chocolat for breakfast.
Itsp Brewed for @ 3 min at slightly under boiling in around 8oz of water resulted in a dark rosewood tinted brew that smelled of apples and plums, Danish like pastries, cinnamon, a spicy floral, a hint of cocoa and icing sugar.
It tastes of bitter cocoa, the deeper tones of malt, cinnamon, apples and plum, molasses, and danishes. It is rich in density and texture. The aftertaste is of brown sugar.
I’m so glad I picked this up at my local grocery store today. Apparently this company is started by a founder of the tea emporium in Toronto. They sell online at http://teasquared.ca