The Spice and Tea Exchange

Recent Tasting Notes

85

Another delicious dessert tea! (I’m building my arsenal in hopes that I’ll have the willpower to reach for a cup of tea instead of another cookie this holiday season.) The Cookie Lady sent me a sample of this one in our recent swap and I’m so glad she did! It has a fantastic smooth, buttery texture (it’s almost reminding me of an oolong, actually) and an intense hazelnut flavor. It’s not super cookie-like, but the flavor is so nice that I don’t mind that.

Flavors: Butter, Hazelnut, Sweet

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

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I had some of this last night while over at some friends’ for dinner. It was nice. Pleasant, light, but I think I didn’t let the water heat up enough before I stopped the kettle (I have a glass kettle and can see when the water is just about to boil. They had a metal one.) because it wasn’t very strong. I think if I get the chance, I’ll have this again and steep it better.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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90

I’m finishing off this genmaicha as I just got some from Bird Pick Teas and felt I should finish one before I start the other. I have enjoyed this tea a great deal. It’s so different from most teas with the lovely rice, etc. The flavor is smooth and mellow. Very relaxing. Mmmmm!

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90

Interesting. I added the tea but never wrote the tasting note. Oh well.

I haven’t had much experience with genmaicha. I know that it’s a brown rice and green tea blend. What I’ve had before may have been old because I didn’t get much flavor.

This is a whole different things. It’s truly a wonderful drink.
There was a nice roasted brown rice scent. When looking at the leaves you could see the brown rice as well as little bits of popped popcorn in with the sencha.

When brewed the liquid was light yellow and there was a light brown rice scent. I taste the brown rice and a little bit of the popcorn. When taking a drink there is a light after taste with kind of an astringent lingering flavor. More of a crisp astringency not an annoying astringency.

It is very calm and refreshing. I think I will have to delve into genmaicha a bit more.

Flavors: Toasted Rice

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

carol who sent me some of this to try in the swap package I got from her yesterday! I was excited to try this one tonight because I just had Harney and Sons’ Florence a couple of nights ago and wanted to see how a non-cocoa version would compare. I am surprised that I feel like I can actually taste a buttery kind of shortbread thing going on here. Maybe it’s just the hazelnut that is so buttery? I don’t know. You know those almond cookies you can sometimes get in Chinese restaurants? This tea is what I imagine a hazelnut version of that cookie would taste like. I don’t have any milk to add today, but I think it would be good in this.

Now for the real question: Which could I see myself reaching for more often when in a hazelnut mood, Florence from H&S or Hazelnut Cookie from the Spice & Tea Co.?……..I’d probably choose this because it seems more dessert-like.

Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Hazelnut

carol who

Glad you liked it :D

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76

For some reason, I had remembered this tea tasting funky. Before throwing it out I decided to try it again and I’m glad that I did. One of the few oolong teas in my cupboard right now, and also the only with coconut, but I’m not sure why. This is a simple and delicious coconut tea. Would be delicious mixed with an almond/chocolate tea for a sweet almond joy flavor. I tried it with coconut nectar.

Flavors: Coconut

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90

My second try on this tea. (Previous attempt, they said 1 tbs instead of the usual 1 tsp and I tried it their way…WRONG) This cup is perfect for me. It is a cold blustery day (50 degrees when it is still technically summer for another week or so!!!) I really needed something warming and cozy. This really hit the spot. Needed a little sweetener but otherwise very good. I taste the hazelnut and that pastry/cookie taste that makes this a perfect dessert tea.

Flavors: Cookie, Hazelnut

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaBrat

How does this compare to “Florence”?

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90

I got this tea on my trip to Florida a couple of weeks ago. It’s the first chance I’ve had to try it out after being flooded with TTBs. (Oh, what torture to drink lots of tea) The dry scent is hazelnut and black tea. (Duh, big surprise, huh) The package said 1 tablespoon instead of the usual 1 teaspoon. I think it may have been a typo but I tried it anyway. Well… the aroma is hazelnut-y and black tea. With sweetener and milk its a nice enough cup of tea. I think it’s a little strong. I definitely think it was a typo and should have been 1 tsp. I would really like to think that a tea company would know the difference between tsp. and tbs. However it’s not bad. Some astringency that you would expect from a black tea. I’ll try it with a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon and see what happens. I’m not rating it yet.

Cheri

Yeah, it might have just been a typo, or maybe they think people would like it really strong?

Cheri

I’ve got the Tea Sparrow subscription box, and they like to recommend teas really strong. The original company will recommend one t, and they’re recommend 1T all the time. Blah.

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55

I’m not sure what I was expecting but this wasn’t really what I wanted right now. The flavor seemed odd with a bad aftertaste on the roof of my mouth.

I think I’ll try making it with some almond milk in a saucepan tomorrow. Maybe the flavor will blend for me with milk.

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60

I love blueberry teas. Although I suspect I have rather high standards. This one isn’t a favorite. It has a slight “possibly” blueberry flavor. It actually reminds me a bit of black current flavoring. The aftertaste is perfumy. The base is smooth, not bitter or astringent.

I brewed this as a standard tea and then chilled in a pitcher overnight in the refrigerator.

Flavors: Black Currant, Blueberry, Perfume

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 tsp 64 OZ / 1892 ML

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78

You gotta love ginger.

Flavors: Ginger

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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95

I’m very fond of this tea. It’s a rich black tea with a lovely semi-sweet nutty flavor. It is wonderful for savoring and enjoying with (or as) a treat.

Flavors: Nutty

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70

I had a cup of this last night.
This is my boyfriends favorite tea, and when I go visit my friends out of state I make sure to pick him up some. So we brewed it up and had it last night while catching up on Game of Thrones.
Its good! As said in my note about Paris, I like fruity black teas, and this one hits the spot. The blueberry really comes through, and its quite enjoyable. Maybe next time I’ll pick some up for myself. Until then, I’ll just raid my boyfriends cupboard when I want a sip.

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100

I’m pretty new to tea drinking, but so far this is my favorite that I’ve bought. In the bag it smells strange but really good like grass and coconut, like some kind of cooked tropical vegetable or food I can’t really place the name of. Brewed the smell and taste are so smooth like coconut oil. I’m pretty obsessed and have been drinking nonstop. Highly recommend.

Flavors: Coconut

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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81

I have been drinking this all day. As I am new to tea, I have many questions. Am I making it right (195 degrees, 5 minute steep)? It tastes good, not as smokey as others I have had in bags in the past, yet certainly more complex in flavor. I’d certainly buy it again, even more so if the stores wasn’t over an hour away, with what can be difficult parking. Any who…I like it, it makes me happy, and the taste lingers on my taste buds, in a smokey, happy, charming sort of way/

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 40 OZ / 1182 ML

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35

Oh dear.

Before looking this up, I thought this was a black tea base — not a metric buttload of hibiscus.

Oh dear.

Suprisingly, it doesn’t kill the cup as much as I was thinking. This is really all about the cinnamon, and it’s really a potent cinnamon. There’s a definite tart note that settles behind the cinnamon. Then the sweetness of licorice. And somewhere behind that is the note that suggests plum, but in an under ripe not terribly plummy kind of way.

I don’t hate this and it definitely wasn’t awful enough to pitch the cup. But boy am I glad I only have two cups of this to get through.

Did I mention it was snowing today? Because seriously.

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

“Metric buttload.” LOL.

Stephanie

LOL…cinnamon and hibiscus sounds dreadful :P

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70

Buttery oolong with delicate coconut flavour. Slight sweet floral note.

Thanks to Indigobloom for this tea!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 5 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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55

I just woke up so probably won’t write a long review.

1st sip of this tea was very metallic and salty with a background of mango and vegetal. Ok, I let it cool down and the metallic taste isn’t as prominent thank the gods. But still not good.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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78

Thanks to Indigobloom for a sample of this tea. I’ve been trying to eat fruit with breakfast every day and I love berries. This time of year I usually get the frozen berries which are still a treat.

Spice & Tea Exchange claims this is a yunnan black tea, which is an interesting choice for the base. When I first tried this, I thought it was a ceylon due to the fruitiness, but I guess that’s the berry flavoring. I steeped this for 4 minutes before trying it, and still the overall blueberry flavor is light. It does taste fresh and natural but isn’t knocking me over in the flavor department. I detect more yunnan here than berry. I can’t quite make my mind up how I feel about this. One sip I am finding myself wanting more, but then another sip I feel it’s lacking.

I’m a fickle tea drinker this morning, but this was a good tasting experiment!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Indigobloom

Oh I completely forgot that this was a yunnan! Lol maybe that’s why I judged it so harshly :P

Indigobloom

Aha and I just looked at my note, I did mention that after all..

TeaBrat

it’s definitely an interesting combo!

Indigobloom

Yup, no question about that ;D

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70

Sometimes this one comes out very fruity, a lovely juicy candied peach flavour, and other times, well… it’s rooibos. An uneven distribution if I ever saw one! Shook the packet up this time and it didn’t seem to make a difference.
I wonder how it’d fare iced…

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I’ve had this a few times now with varying results. Twice it’s been fantastic, with notes of hazelnut, cream, and nutmeg. The other two times it was heavy on the tongue and a tad bitter, and I made sure to not burn the tea. Though I may have gone to three min one of the times.
Either way, I’m determined to get it right. Next time, I’ll actually get out the tea thermometer, as lately I’ve been relying on watching the bubbles and steam.

On another note, I lost count of my cupboard! Been doing so well with sipdowns that I need to do a recount. Woot! I should be down to about 280 or so, down from 292. Victory shall be mine!

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71

I bought this specifically to add to my EG. Works nicely.

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80

I mix this with jasmine in an attempt to recreate a Jasmine Earl Grey I tried at a local shop. Really nice, light EG and pairs well with the T&SE jasmine.

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55

This is my “after nap” tea and another one I received from Indigobloom in a swap. Thanks IB!

In my opinion this is all mint and no chocolate, which is kind of a bummer considering that Chocolate is the very first word in the name of the tea. The mint seems so strong and overpowering that you can barely taste the keemun in here. I get mint with a muddy aftertaste. Better with sugar added but I just don’t think this one is for me somehow. Generally I enjoy minty things but was just hoping for something more and am struggling to finish the cup.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Suziqzer

I enjoy this one, but like strong mints and spices. Maybe try steeping at a bit lower temperature if you have any left and see if that makes any difference for you.

Indigobloom

lol yeah I wasn’t sure if it was just me, but I wasn’t much for this one either :/

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