Popular Teas from Utopia TeaSee All 34 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I thought it would be fun to do a side-by-side, haven’t done one of those in a long time (and I had my alphabetized “control group-standard” tea cups out anyway). And I’m wired from all the pu erh (Yowza! Definitely a “one serving resteeped all morning’ll do ya” thing) so no-cafs are the only option. So here we go. This versus Butiki Root Beer Float Honeybush, as Stacy was kind enough to give me a sample with my last order. It’s not entirely a fair comparison in that Utopia’s is rooibos and Butiki’s is honeybush (a less distracting base, I find), and Butiki’s is meant to be a float and Utopia’s is simply labeled root beer. But! I will just try to keep those factors in mind.
Dry, Utopia has a much stronger root beer, barky/rooty-soda (think birch beer, sarsaparilla, sassafras)-type smell. Steeping, it’s spicier smelling upfront too, though that dwindles the longer it steeps. Even though it doesn’t aim to be like a float, it has a lot of vanilla, as root beer tends to anyway. Butiki’s steeping aroma, while more subdued, has a specific black pepper-y note I dig though.
Onto the taste! Since I’m guessing Butiki’s is going to be subtler, I’ll start with that one. It tastes good and smells even better. It is surprisingly a bit thick on the tongue for a no-caf, which I like. After a couple sips I added a little sugar as recommended (I just about always find the precise recommendations for Butiki’s teas dead-on helpful, so I always follow them). That brings out the soda quality more, somehow making it taste a little fizzy. The creamy float quality comes in at the end of the sip; it’s subtle, but the vanilla is a delicious one. As it cools, it gets much creamier and is really yummy.
Utopia’s is a lot stronger and spicier, still surprisingly thick and a tad creamy, and sweeter in a chemical-y way. It has a hard to describe aftertaste, first chemical-y and a little unwelcome but eventually seguing into licorice root sweetness. I have to say I’m really impressed with how little I taste the rooibos (I don’t mind rooibos really, but I’ve noticed it can be hard to tamp down enough to keep from distracting from intended flavorings…it’s a very distinct thing that, once you notice is hard to ignore). The spiciness and strength of Utopia’s evokes the aforementioned more unusual rooty beers, stuff like sassafras and sarsaparilla.
I’m not terribly surprised at the results here—Butiki’s being softer, subtler, but delicious; Utopia’s being sharper, very bold and kind of spicy if a little chemical—but am pleased to learn I like both and would drink either or both again happily. Good to know as it saves me some sugar, as I’m unwilling to drink diet root beer. (:
Tea #37 from Another Traveling Tea Box
This looks almost exactly like (ATR’s) Brioche! Not quite the same taste (or concept, really).
There’s definitely a roasty cookie element, and strong almond flavor. There’s some astringency to the base, and very mild bitterness until it cools. I find myself preferring Georgia Tea Co. Almond Cookie and California Tea House’s Almond Butter.
I’d take Brioche before any of them, though.
Seems I never added to this my cupboard when I received it ’cause it was a (crazy generous—they gave me a full 1oz bag!) free sample.
I’ve been embracing the notion of starting the day with brisk tea now that it’s cooler and darker and harder to want to get out of bed (in the summer, I usually don’t make a cup of tea until after lunch). I feel like I stumbled upon the ultimate Holy Grail version—Butiki’s The Black Lotus—but it’s SO good and so special I don’t want to over-rely on it only to get burned out (quelle horreur!) or just plain not be able to afford it or ruin my ability to ever tolerate anything else, ha. And I do love these kinds of teas generally when done right. So I’m going to clear out all my EBs and similar brisk morning teas this season, I think. This randomly called out to me first today.
And I’m glad it did! It’s really good. I know I must be imagining it but it feels like there’s the lightest bit of bergamot or something in it. Something clean and slightly floral, zesty. Probably just citrus peel but whatever it is, it’s delicious to smell and drink. And this is nicely balanced, bold and woody-astringent (tastes like there’s darjeeling or ceylon in this) but with a sweetness too, and that clean floral feeling that makes the astringency more palatable. There are some toasty malty qualities right at the tiptop of it, just enough to notice at all. For me, that’s great (I like malt but I also like what I tend to put on the other end of the spectrum out of personal history not actual taste accuracy necessarily, that light drying woodiness). I didn’t add milk or sugar and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to more (and touched Utopia gave me so much there can be a lot more!).
Tea #27 from Another Traveling Tea Box
My immediate reaction when opening the bag was ‘Please oh please be as good as you smell.’ And while it’s not that good, it is really pleasing.
The strawberry in here is perfect. It’s juicy, sweet with a bit of sharp strawberry zip, and most of all it’s subtle. The whole cup is really subtle and subdued while remaining insanely indulgent. I don’t get any chemical aftertaste from the chocolate, and the saffron keeps the whole cup from pushing into ‘too sweet’ territory.
This is the tea that makes all the tea I’ve filtered through today worth it!
Hey Steepster! Long time no see. I got a HUGE tea box from TastyBrew and there was a big bag of this in it. The aroma is strong. Warm, melty chocolate notes with a nice nutty/toffee aroma. The flavor is nice. It has a nice chocolate flavor and then the hazelnut comes in. The toffee lends a bit of sweetness. There is rice crispy things in it and I feel like there is a nice hint of rice. I like this tea but I like the aroma of it more :) thanks again!
My last backlog for this evening. (OK, ok, so it’s 3:41 in the morning. I’m a night owl.)
An interesting blend. I wasn’t too happy to find that there was hibiscus in this but it does OK in this blend … it’s not overdone, it’s just enough to enhance the berry tones but not so much that it comes off as syrupy or too tart.
The litchi and the raspberry are surprising buddies in this tea … I wouldn’t have thought to pair the two fruits together, but they work well together. The litchi doesn’t taste off (as sometimes it can) I think that the raspberry gives it balance.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/06/04/little-litchi-raspberry-black-tea-blend-from-utopia-tea/
This tea would certainly be a nice tea to have in summer as it is bright and citrusy, and at times references hard candy and bubble gum to me before opening into a bright floral rose.
The dry leaf smells kind of like tart candy and contains a blend of teas (with green tea most apparent) some rose buds and is scattered with a few pieces of dried buds.
The brewing instructions in the package suggest brewing it for two to three minutes at boiling. I used water at the higher end of the scale that I use for greens and brewed for about a minute and a half, and the tea was slightly bitter and a little astringent, so I suggest using lower temperatures and brewing for shorter time periods. The flavouring is quite strong and I don’t think that you would miss much by using shorter brew times.
However once brewed the tea smelled very fruity, with citrus, mixed with an under ripe mango, combined with rose, and that sweet fruity spicy smell of some green teas.
The tea despite its slight bitterness tasted refreshing and bright, with lemon citrus over a peach mango mixed with lemony rose spice. The base tea flavour was relatively hidden, though It might be contributing to both the fruitiness and the spice. The nice bright flavour, does remind me of the flavour of some hard candies but in a pleasant way.
The second steep was brewed at a lower temperature and was less bitter. The rose and fruit had a flavour that referenced some old
fashioned bubble gums at first than expanded strongly into the flavour of fresh bright rose.
Thanks Utopia tea for including this tea as a gift with my order!
I decided to lower my rating a little. This tea uses the same chocolate flavoring that I’m really starting to dislike. I do still think it is worth trying though, it is a very interesting chocolate strawberry blend. I love how the strawberry manages to be sweet and tart, just like a real strawberry. It is easier to pick this out while the tea is hot, as it cools to room temperature all I really notice is the chocolate flavoring.
my sister made a big pot of this last night. i said “pick anything from the swap box!” and she giggled at several of the options as she went through the pile.
i really loved this tea. delicious cream grey with none if the caffeine guilt!
i’m writing this from my phone and i’ve been too busy to really be able to spend quality time on steepster. but i still visit and browse your entries everyday! even if it is just for a few minutes.
i would really like to have a tea like this in my permanent stash. i’m not afraid of the decafs.
thank you so much TastyBrew! i really enjoyed this sample!
This is a sipdown of the sample of this sent to me from TastyBrew. Thanks! When I drank the first half of this sample about a month ago, I was watching the last inning of a St. Louis Cardinals game, which they won. Coincidentally, we’re sitting around in PJs watching the Cards again today! It’s the 8th inning, & we’re playing against our nemesis team, the Cincinatti Reds, & currently kicking their butts, 11 to 2!
So this is a nice tea, rich & chocolaty, & today I’m tasting a little more of the hazelnut. I’m drinking it straight, as I’m doing a Whole30 right now, & so no sweeteners of any kind. Of course, adding a little sweetness would bring out the toffee flavor more, but this is pretty damn good as is! If you’d like to know what a Whole30 is, here’s the link:
Ok, umm. I like this tea, but I like Florence by Harney and Sons more. This one has a bitter nut flavour I Do Not Want. Otherwise, it’s nice. If you don’t mind that nut flavour, then definitely check this one out. It’s toffee and nutella, so it’s pretty darn good.
Thank you TastyBrew for this TastySample. :)
I’m more of a fan of plain teas than flavored, but I enjoy a good cup of dessert from time to time, & since I rarely eat actual sweets, my desserts tend to be teas. This one is quite tasty!
We’re watching the last inning of the Cardinals vs Oakland baseball game, Cards leading 7-1 (last night we lost). I brought a bag of stevia back from the kitchen, just in case I wanted to add some. I drank the first half of the cup without, & it was really very good that way, with an unsweetened cocoa kind of thing going on. Then I sprinkled a pinch of stevia in it, & that brought out the Toffee more. The Hazelnut is present, but more as a bitter element than a nutty taste.
My cup is empty & the game is over. We won!
Thanks so much CrowKettle, for sending some of this one with that lovely package you mailed a while ago. I’ve tried one other Utopia tea in the past that I adored. But this one is a crush tear curl, so it was bound to be different. They are tiny little grains of black tea. The fragrance of the dry leaves is grassy but the flavor is very rye bready. Even after a 1 1/2 minute steep, this cup was super astringent. It’s a bit harsh after all these very sweet yunnans & assams I’ve been drinking lately. I like it anyway: I keep these types of teas around when I want a super caffeine brain kick: like when I’m reading a much awaited advance reader of Marisha Pessl’s new book!
I finally tried this tea again with a lower brewing time and temperature. The vanilla really shines with these changes and there is less of a white chocolate taste. The green tea does impart a little bit more creaminess. A nice vanilla tea with a long lingering aftertaste. Upping the rating a little.