Teabox

Recent Tasting Notes

89
drank Maharaja Oolong Chai Tea by Teabox
663 tasting notes

Oh my, this is awesome. It has all the spiced, muscatel, distinctive flavour of a Darjeeling, with a bit of that vegetal tang that you sometimes get with oolongs, and then there’s cardamom mingling so perfectly with this that I could almost forget that it’s been added and isn’t just a natural note in the tea, and then just a hint of cinnamon heat at the back of my throat.

Super smooth, not at all bitter. Medium body. Sipping it straight, no milk or sugar needed. I could drink this a lot.

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Muscatel, Smooth, Spices, Tangy, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Lindsay

That sounds so good!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

I’m working my way through more Teabox teas, and pulled this one out at random.

The steeping recommendations say 6 minutes. I usually steep my black teas for 3 minutes, 4 tops, so 6 just sounded excessive. But, Teabox has very specific steeping recs for each tea, and I have milk in my fridge, so I figured I’d give it a shot and follow their recs. Worst case scenario, I drown it in milk and sugar.

Well what do you know! Steeped for 6 minutes at 96C, this is smooth and only has a hint of pleasant bitterness! I am surprised. This is very nice. Fruity, with a touch of tartness, with malt. Fairly thick. A touch of cocoa on the finish.

I may need to start following the steeping recommendations on these packets more closely, and then experiment from there if I don’t like the results.

Though seriously, this is another tea where the liquor is described as “crystal lemon”. I do not think those words mean what the author thinks they mean. This cup is a deep mahogany colour. No stretch of the imagination could compare this to a lemon.

Flavors: Cocoa, Fruity, Malt, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
DeliriumsFrogs

haha…after I read your first ‘crystal lemon’ post, I’ve been looking around at liquids in my kitchen thinking, “what on earth would be considered ‘crystal lemon’?”… lol It does sound pretty, though, right?
(and now I want to insert the Inigo Montoya’ meme… ).
The tea sounds really delicious, though!

Anlina

Ahaha that’s fantastic! Now I want to watch the Princess Bride again, for the third time in like a month.

Cameron B.

You keep using that word… I do not think it means what you think it means! ;)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

I drank this tea this morning, but even while I was drinking it, I was having a hard time describing it. It’s definitely a Darjeeling, spicy, fruity, tangy? But also unique. Quite light in colour and body. Between sips I kept forgetting what it tasted like, aside from “good”.

I really enjoyed this. The only downside is I was getting a touch of bitterness in the back of my mouth, sometimes noticeable and sometimes barely there. It wasn’t like tea bitterness, but reminded me of when I’ve taken mediation that messes up my tastebuds (except I haven’t recently.)

I’ll have to give this another spin and see if I can describe it better.

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

Ooh, I’ve been looking for a nice loose leaf Darjeeling. Let me know how the second time around goes!

Anlina

I literally have all the Darjeelings that Teabox stocks (or that they stocked in October 2014.) I’ll be doing tasting notes on them a bit at a time. If you like muscatel Darjeelings, this one was really good: http://steepster.com/teas/teabox/42861-darjeeling-premium-muscatel-blend-summer-black-tea

Mike

Awesome, thanks! I do like them! I’ll check their teas! Add another to the list! :P

Anlina

If you decide to order, here’s a referral link. If you register through there, I believe we both get a $25 credit in our accounts, which you can use on your first purchase. They’re also having a sale right now, 65% off some teas: http://fbuy.me/bsaIw

Mike

Wow, that’s great, thanks! I’ll sign up right now! :)

Mike

Sooooooo many Darjeelings to choose from, whoa! I’ll get that Premium Muscatel you mentioned. Would you recommend any other one to try? Thanks again!

Mike

I think I’ll start with the Beginners Collection and the Muscatel Collection to try out a bunch of samples, then I"ll order more of the teas I like! I’m excited! :)

Mike

I ended up purchasing 200g of the Seeyok Muscatel, since it was on sale, and the Beginner’s Collection!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78

Less sweet and fruity than my earlier Assam. Malt, with a hint of the toffee note mentioned on the package. Now that this cup has cooled a fair bit I’m really enjoying it. A bit of astringency, but not unpleasant. Pleasantly bitter.

Flavors: Bitter, Malt, Toffee

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

72

Malty and fruity, with a touch of bitterness. Relatively smooth. Medium body. A little more fruit than I was wanting this morning, but quite tasty.

Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

73

Dry leaf is silvery grey, covered with downy hairs and very fluffy. Whole and broken leaf that hasn’t been twisted or rolled, lots of small leafsets of two leaves and a bud. Dry leaf has barely any smell, just a hint of fruitiness. I measured out 3g, which overflowed my 1oz tea cups.

Steeped in 85C water for 5min. Steeped leaf is yellow green and has less volume than when dry. Faint sweet fragrance.

Liquor is honey coloured, clear. Almost no fragrance, but delicate notes of honey, brown sugar and maybe summer squash – something almost fruity but without a lot of its own sweetness. Very mild, with a fairly long finish that’s slightly tangy and is reminiscent of fennel bulb.

Medium body, quite smooth. Better as it cools.

A very interesting tea. I wish for a little more flavour from it, but it’s still quite enjoyable.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Fennel, Fruity, Honey, Sweet, Tangy, Zucchini

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

An excellent Darjeeling. Notes of spice, pepper, muscatel, and then malt and hops on the finish. Distinctly Darjeeling, but none of the char notes I’ve picked up in many that I’ve tried.

Flavors: Hops, Malt, Muscatel, Peppercorn, Spices

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 51 OZ / 1500 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

60

Woah, I cannot imagine steeping these Teabox Assams for anywhere near as long as is recommended in the directions. I steeped this for 3 minutes, and hot, it was extremely bitter. As the cup cooled a bit, the bitterness mellowed out and it became quite pleasantly malty. Only a hint of astringency.

Not an exceptional cup, but a good morning tea.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

This is a fairly strong second flush black, with hints of cocao in the first brew. There is also a touch of sweetness in that brew. A very nice tea, but lacking somewhat in depth.

First infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz water, 90 deg., 1:30 min.

Second infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 7:00 min.

Third infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00+ min.

Preparation
1 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

Another Glendale tea!

The dry leaf smells incredible. Lilac, peony, orange blossoms – it’s like walking through a garden in full bloom. There’s also a note of cool cucumber in there. The leaf is light brown, in small curls.

Steeped, the leaf unfurls into medium yellow green pieces. The floral fragrance sticks around, but is joined by a strong umami, which is an interesting combination.

The liquor is clear and the colour of honey, and smells very similar to kukicha – sweet, a bit buttery, notes of cooked vegetables and umami.

This tea has amazing flavour. Lightly spiced (pepper and something else), umami, sweet, muscatel, hints of floral, malt and green vegetables. Vegetal tangy on the finish. It reminds me of a combination of Japanese green and a Darjeeling.

There are so many different layers to this tea, but it doesn’t taste muddled – they all somehow compliment each other and work together. Very complex and unique.

Flavors: Butter, Cucumber, Floral, Malt, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Peppercorn, Spices, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

66

I felt like having an Assam so I went and riffled through my pile of Teabox Assams. They mostly have very similar descriptions, but this one jumped out at me, because on the package it says, “produces a liquor with a crystal lemon like colour”, which sounded very intriguing and very different.

The dry leaf is small, dark and twisty, with a few tips. It smells like malt and baked bread. I steeped 1tsp in 93C water for 3 minutes, though the package recommends 5.

Well, unless “crystal lemon like colour” means something totally different to whomever wrote that description, I have no idea what they’re going on about. The liquor is a dark, reddish brown. Not quite coffee coloured, but closer to that than any lemon I’ve ever seen.

The liquor smells sweet and slightly fruity, like stewed prunes, with a hint of grain. The flavour is sweet and malty, with a touch of bitterness and very mild astringency. There’s not quite as much of a full mouth flavour as I was expecting, but I’m also hesitant to steep it longer and bring out more of the bitter and astringent notes. A bit of a fruity note at the tail of the sip, and then a finish that’s grain and makes me think of milk.

Toward the bottom half of my cup, as it cools, I’m also getting a hint of cardamom, but I’m going to chalk that up to imperfect cleaning of my steeping basket.

A pleasant but not exceptional Assam.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bitter, Fruity, Grain, Malt, Stewed Fruits, Sweet

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

78
drank Cardamom Chai Tea by Teabox
663 tasting notes

This is a pretty straightforward tea. Assam CTC with bits of cardamom pods mixed in. The CTC makes this very dense – my 10g sample package only had about 3tsp in it, and when I weighed out one teaspoon it came out to over 4g. It both smells and tastes of cardamom.

Steeped in 96C water for 4min, it was pretty strong and bitter – not really good straight, but delicious with milk and sugar, as I’d planned. The liquor was a very dark brown, almost coffee-like, and mellowed out to a creamy milk chocolate colour with milk.

An easy, straightforward cup of chai.

Flavors: Bitter, Cardamon

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88
drank Bombay Cutting Chai Tea by Teabox
663 tasting notes

OMG. I just, finally, finished logging all my Teabox teas in my cupboard. The teas I ordered during Black Friday. I’d been chipping away at the task for a while and I thought I was a good amount of the way through, and boy was I wrong. I added 76 teas to my cupboard today and yesterday. I’m actually a little embarrassed by how much tea I have. Granted, all 135 Teabox teas are 10g samples, but that’s still an absurd amount of tea!

So I’m digging into them!

The dry leaf is a small grain CTC, with a scant sprinkling of other ingredients. The smell is all cardamom and ginger.

Steeped for 5min in 98C water, then topped it up with milk to 8oz and added a scant teaspoon of sugar.

This is surprisingly mild – I was expecting something more kick in the pants – but actually, it’s perfect for right now. I love that this has no cinnamon or clove in it. Nothing wrong with those flavours, but I find that most chai blends tend to get dominated by those flavours, and this one doesn’t miss them at all. A great balance of ginger, fennel and cardamom flavours.

I might see about stewing this one for my next cup, to get more flavour out of it, but it’s really fantastic just as it is.

Flavors: Cardamon, Fennel, Ginger

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

A lovely tea that surprises: sweeter than usual for a second flush, but also exhibiting a slight yet distinct bitterness. It is a bit stronger than I had expected from this garden, as well. Nevertheless, this is a very good tea.

First infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz water, 90 deg., 1:30 min.

Second infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 6:00 min.

Third infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00+ min.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

71

Bold and brisk – a bit bitter, on the edge of pleasant and unpleasant. Mouth coating, but not too puckery. Good flavour of baked bread up front, fruit note emerges mid cup, finishes with malt.

Would be good with milk and sugar.

Made this in my travel mug for running errands, so I’ll post a better tasting note some other time when I’m able to pay proper attention. Lower water temp or shorter steep time might be indicated.

Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Bitter, Fruity, Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

This is a very nice FF Darjeeling, though it seems to be a tad muted as compared to similiar first flush teas I have had. In addition, it doesn’t have quite the staying power across several infusions of those rivals. Still, a great tea.

First infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz water, 90 deg., 2:30 min.

Second infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 4:00 min.

Third infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00+ min.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70
drank English Breakfast by Teabox
663 tasting notes

I haven’t had a English Breakfast tea in ages, but I think I was expecting something with a pretty generic black tea, tea bags kind of flavour, and this is not that.

This smells very woody, with a bit of a tannic and acidic, roasted note to it. Fortunately, the flavour is a bit more complex, with malt, caramel, wood and char. It’s bold and a bit tangy, while also being incredibly smooth and only a tiny bit bitter.

Not my favourite flavour profile, but I’m enjoying this more than I expected initially. Finishing this cup up with milk and sugar, though it doesn’t actually need it, like I was expecting it to.

Flavors: Caramel, Char, Malt, Roasted, Tangy, Tannic, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

Woah, so much golden tips! The dry leaf is covered in that wonderful orange fairy dust, and smells strongly of malt, sweet potato, molasses and raisin.

Steeped, there’s a rich, slightly boozy note that comes out. On the palate, it’s sweet and delicious, with cocoa, sweet potato, molasses. No bitterness and only the faintest trace of astringency toward the bottom of the cup – quite smooth. Taste-wise this is somewhere between an Assam and a Yunnan. I’m not sure what I expect from Himalayan teas, but this took me by surprise a bit, in the best way possible.

So very tasty.

Flavors: Alcohol, Cocoa, Malt, Molasses, Raisins, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

So I’ve been a bit obsessed with DAVIDs’ very limited Blue Mountain Twirl, which is a green tea from the Glendale estate. It’s very unique and delicious and gone from stores. (I stocked up but it won’t last forever.) So I’ve been really excited to have a lot of Glendale teas in my Teabox sampler.

The dark amber liquor smells amazing. Very fruity and very floral.

On the palate it’s both juicy and perfumey. There are some grape notes and something vaguely tropical, that lend a certain sweetness to the cup. The floral is somewhere between orchid and rose.

Just a touch astringent, not unpleasant.

While this is quite different from Blue Mountain Twirl, it’s very lovely.

Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Orchid, Perfume, Rose, Sweet, Tropical

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
yyz

Worse comes to worse Anlina you could try contacting the estate and see if they will sell to you directly. http://www.glendalegreentea.com/products.aspx

raven22

LOVE Blue Mountain Twirl!

Anlina

Oh thanks for the suggestion yyz!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75

This is spicy, earthy, slightly bitter and very herbal tasting. I’ve had tulsi in food many times, but I think this is the first time I’ve tried it steeped.

Customer service at Teabox tells me this contains actual tea, which was really unclear from the packaging and listing. I’m not sure I can taste the tea, but the ginger is pretty strong, and I’m not sure what kind of notes come out with steeped tulsi, so maybe some of the bitterness and slight astringency is the tea. The liquor is certainly dark enough to make me believe there’s tea in this, though I couldn’t pick it out visually in the dry leaf either.

Anyhoo, quite tasty, very herbal and healthy tasting.

Flavors: Bitter, Earth, Ginger, Herbs, Spicy

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93

Oh my god, what is this strange magic?

This is unlike any oolong I’ve had before. The nose is sweet and fruity, with grape notes. On the palate it’s light, sweet and intensely fruity, more like a white tea than an oolong. There’s a touch of hay, and lots of bright, juicy, fresh fruit – peaches, grape, lychee, melon, plum… I’m not even sure – so many fresh summer fruit flavours.

Super unique and almost sparkling.

Flavors: Fruity, Grapes, Hay, Lychee, Melon, Peach, Plums, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mikumofu

Sounds amazing!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88

My officemate came to work all week with a cold that she insisted she had over the holidays and couldn’t be contagious at this point in time. So, of course, here I sit on a Saturday morning, snorking, snuffling, hacking and wishing the world would turn down it’s volume because my head is in a pressure cooker. What tea? What tea? I need AROMATICS!! Do I have any? Oh! A Sample of chai! I know I have one somewhere….where???? Ah. Found it.

I drank a lot of bad chai in the 1990s. Really bad chai, usually made from powdered mix and made “better” (ha!) by my adding Coffee Mate French Vanilla Creamer. I have been “done” with Chai since that time, as none have been able to erase that memory of my first chai experience. But this one has piqued my interest.

My biggest issue with chai is the amount of cinnamon that most blends use. If “just the right amount” for most folks is used, I find it overpowering and a bit bitter. Kolkata Street Chai removes the cinnamon from the chai equation for me, leaving just 3 aromatic spices to create an alt chai flavor profile. When I opened the packet, the blend of cardamom, nutmeg and saffron were almost intoxicating….heady and compelling… to the point where it felt like the longest 4 minutes of my life, steeping this tea. The CTC used is strong but not bitter when steeped at 4 minutes, and supports milk and honey well….so well, in fact, that I burned my mouth via lack of impulse control. I can be such a greedy greedy tea child, especially when I’m feeling ill.

Teabox has created a intriguing alternative to typical masala chai in their Kolkata Street Chai. I will purchase this tea. I will learn to drink it slowly so that I don’t have a numb spot on my tongue where I have burned my tongue. I will learn to savor the aromatic spiced tea instead of gulping it down, lost in the pure childlike joy in my mouth. ……maybe…..

Flavors: Cardamon, Nutmeg, Saffron, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Nicole

Saffron… that sounds intriguing.

Anlina

Oh, I need to dig this one out.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

Another Glendale Estate tea.

The dry leave is silvery green buds, all very uniform and lovely. It smells very faintly of sweet hay with a touch of green. The steeping recommendations suggest 1-2 teaspoons of dry leaf per cup. I was having a hard time fishing leaf out of the bag with my spoon, so I shook out 2g, which looked to be roughly 2 tsp.

The recommended steeping parameters suggested 85-95C for 3-4 min. I typically enjoy shorter steeps and lower temperatures, so I started with 85C water for one minute. No flavour. Two, then three, three and a half, four… I think I finally settled on about six minutes and this still tasted like barely anything, even though the liquor steeped up to a pretty intense gold.

Hot, this isn’t worth drinking. Cooled to luke warm, it’s very delicate but lovely. The nose is very grapey. On the palate it’s fresh, light and cooling, with notes of grape, cucumber, fresh peas and zucchini.

Don’t drink this one with anything else on your palate – it gets easily overwhelmed.

Flavors: Cucumber, Garden Peas, Grapes, Zucchini

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

74

After drinking Blue Mountain Twirl today, I thought I’d try out some other Glendale Estate teas, in hope of finding a similar flavour profile.

While Blue Mountain Twirl is a green, this is a black, from the Glendale Twirl Plantation. The flavours of these two teas are very different. While BMT is sweet, malty and very grapey, this has strong mineral, vegetal (chard or kale?) and muscatel notes. Much less sweetness, which mainly shows up on the finish, instead of in the whole sip. This is mildly astringent.

I notice similarities to both a Darjeeling and Da Hong Pao. It gets even tastier as it cools.

An enjoyable cup, but not as interesting or delicious as BMT.

Flavors: Astringent, Kale, Mineral, Muscatel, Vegetal

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.