The Tea MerchantEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Made this one as an iced tea at work the other night;
The sample came from VariaTEA and I was really excited to see it in her package because I greatly enjoy cranberry teas. This was really enjoyable! I’d call it light to medium bodied, with a strong sweet cranberry flavour and then a mix of both red and green apple notes alongside the cranberry. It’s sweet and tart but not overly so in either regard. A solid tea overall!
Today’s Cold Brew!
Big thanks to VariaTEA who recently sent me a huge tea parcel with over thirty different teas! That’s plenty to keep me all kinds of entertained for the foreseeable future as well as cull any urges for flavoured tea orders. Also, it puts me over 200 teas which is NOT where I want to be; so all the more reason not to order.
It was a little hard to decide where to start so I just randomly chose a tea for today.
It’s not nearly as tart as I expected it to be given the massive pieces of hibiscus I saw in the dry leaf and intense red/purple liquor that looks like it’s dark and rich enough to stain any piece of clothing I own; even the black clothing. The cherry comes through strongly and clearly and I’m pleased to report it doesn’t taste medicinal at all. Mostly this is just cherry with semi tartness. Given the name I’d expect a bit of flavour diversity: black forest definitely makes me think of the cake which has chocolate in it. This doesn’t.
But for what’s here it IS enjoyable.
This smells like strawberry and cream but the ingriedients told me that’s probably not what I’m in for…hibiscus, rosehips, orange peels…not the sweet flavors one would expect in a strawberry cream tea. I made this as a teapop and it’s weird. Carbonated strawberry water, tart though like the fruit that isn’t totally ripe, and a slight cream flavor that is a bit artificial.
This is the teapop I sipped on earlier while making Butternut Squash soup for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner. It later dawned on me how festive that was so I was entertained. Anyways, this was a lovely fruit tea. It reminded me slightly of Hard Candy though was more fruit than jolly rancher flavored. It definitely had a cranberry tartness and was more subtly flavored than DAVIDs fruit teas tend to be but there also wasn’t any artificial sweeteners in this which makes it that much better.
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Flavors: Asparagus, Freshly Cut Grass, Hay, Marine, Mineral, Nutty, Seaweed, Tangy, Umami
This one smells very much like other coconut teas I’ve had before.. creamy & sweet. I’m really excited to try this one, though.
Sipping… I’m glad that this tea is a bit more unique than I was expecting. The coconut seems brighter, fresher and with floral character. For me, it also lacks the strong sour note that I often find in coconut teas.. it’s incredibly faint and I only notice it if I really search for it. The tea base blends very well with the coconut and doesn’t get in the way of the soft and creamy coconut.
This was a nice cup to have this evening, but I think I’ll need to be craving coconut before I have another cup.
Unfortunately Tea Merchant is closing, but I was lucky enough to snag some heavily discounted teaware and the owner was nice enough to include a sample of this tea. According to the label Tea Merchant’s teas are both Fair Trade and Organic, although I could only find the organic symbol on the label, not the fair trade one. For those of you who don’t know Kukicha is a tea made from a blend of stems, stalks twigs and some leaves, I first encountered this type of tea by it’s slightly less used name (I blame Lupicia). Besides the name, there are two main types of Kukicha produced in Japan, Shiraore is made from Sencha and Karigane made from Gyokuro; although I should note that it is often hard to tell if Shiaore or Karigane is made with Sencha or Gyokuro leaves, or the unused stems, stalks and twigs are mixed in with lesser grades of tea.
It’s been a while since I had a proper Japanese green tea, so I was really excited to try this one. Immediately I noted the lovely shades of yellow and white in the stems/stalks and there are a couple brownish twigs throughout. This is a very lovely tea to watch while brewing.
I had two infusions with this tea, although I could have had a third I chose not to and I noticed the Tea Merchant decided not to have suggested brewing times and temperatures, while I trust my intuition I always like having the option of either trying the vendor’s suggestions or adjusting it to my tastes.
I started off brewing at 175 °F for two minutes and for my second I brewed at 180 °F for three minutes; ultimately both infusions were almost exactly the same. I noticed the roasted aroma, it is not as roasted as a houjicha, but there were slight chocolately notes to it. The taste was a mellow woodsy as well as being floral and having a slight unami edge. It feels very much like a roasted sencha, but sweeter than you would expect.
I enjoyed this tea, while I normally don’t enjoy tea made from the factory sweepings, I am fond of Kukichas, it is interesting that you don’t see much beyond the leaves and young stems being used in teas, but this Green Kukicha is quite economic; this type of tea is perfect for those who are on a budget can’t quite afford Sencha, or for those who like a roasted green tea.
(“Amazing” photography at http://rah-tea.blogspot.com/2014/10/tea-merchants-green-kukicha.html)
Thank you so much keychange for sharing some of this yummy vanilla earl grey! I will get more someday but every time I’ve checked it is out of stock. I normally like to wait until I’ve had it a few times or finished it before writing a note. This one, my last cup I ruined because I used the filter I normally use for my husbands chai so it has an added flavor of gingerbread. I have had better cups of this in the past and will get more in the future and maybe add more to the note.
I think this is the third Darjeeling I’ve ever had. The first was from years ago and I remember thinking it was okay. The second was a sample of Castleton Moonlight Oolong or something last year. I remember liking it, but not enough to compel me to immediately place an order.
Anyway, I didn’t really take notes of it as I was drinking it earlier today, but I did enjoy it and resteeped it another time. Couldn’t taste anything apple-y like the other notes mentioned, but it was a nice, comforting brew with a light astringency near the end. I definitely do want to explore more Darjeelings eventually (pu’er and a few aged oolongs are mostly taking up my attention at the moment).
Got this on recent 50% off sale. Just the smallest 1.5oz size. Now i wish i got more.
i really enjoyed this Wuyi oolong. The flavors are very pleasant. not bitter, not overly roasty. just right. Sweet, roasty, nutty.
usual gongfu treatment
6g 100ml 195F
rinse/pause/ 10/5/5/10/15sec etc
I can’t believe I haven’t logged this. And somehow it wasn’t in my cupboard. Could have sworn it was but since it wasn’t even in the database I guess I was just imagining things.
This is a lovely chamomile. Gorgeous large flowers. It steeps up to a pale, delicate buttery yellow. Smells of honey and well… chamomile. :) There is no honey in this but the taste of it is certainly there. Chamomile is the only drink I like putting honey in, but this one doesn’t even really need it. I put less than half a teaspoon in an 8 ounce cup. I also like it a lot with a couple drops of vanilla extract added along with the honey but I didn’t put any in tonight.
On a sad note, somehow one of the Jane Fern bumble bee bone china mugs my mom got me a couple of years ago has a huge crack in it. :(
I thought it was just stained and was telling myself to take the baking soda to it, but I inspected closer and I could feel the crack. All the way down the side. Have no idea how it could have happened. I’m always very careful with my cups. I guess I still have one but it makes me sad to lose the set.
Another darjeeling that I had a chance to try thanks to the traveling box! I like this one just as much as the Upton one, if not more.
The dry leaf is so adorable with bits and pieces of green. The steeped carrot gold liquor smells like caramelized rose petals (yes!) and… it pretty much tastes like that, too. Except the astringency kicks in, but it’s not unpleasant, and balances the sweetness nicely. It actually gets sweeter and milder as it cools down.
A fantastic cup for late Saturday morning. And it’s my day off, too. Hell yeah.
I received a sample of this from bluebelle. Thank you for sharing this one with me.
I was looking for a black tea to add milk and a bit of sugar to for dessert tonight, but came across this and thought what the heck. I am glad I opted for this one. It is very yummy. It is a light cup that is smooth, creamy, and sweet. There is a light hint of coconut, and a very nice flavoring of vanilla. I am so glad I got to try this one. For next time I will try to add a bit more leaf and steep time to see if the flavor is enhanced any.
Backlog. And sipdown (92)! This was quite a lovely oolong, and I will miss having it around. I think it has a nice balance between floral and roasted flavors all at once. For my first steep, the water was a bit hot, so there was an unpleasant metallic, bitter taste in the background, but when I use lower temperature water (maybe around 185-190?), there was no bitterness and the sweetness really shone through. I’m sad to see this one go, but I think I have enough other oolongs to put me at ease for now!