Vices and Spices
Popular Teas from Vices and SpicesSee All 7 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I actually don’t know how long you’re supposed to steep this tea, but I saw someone else write 3-5 minutes, and it did taste quite good in that range. I love love love the rich blackberry taste and smell that lingers after I’m finished. Definitely a fantastic fruity black tea :]
Cloudy day. Giant pot of Russian Caravan.
You know you are jealous!
This is the first Russian Caravan that I’ve tried, although it is not my first time having it, I’ve just been busy. Ugh school. Ugh masters thesis. Ugh life. It’s very nice, not as smoky as I thought it would be, but since I don’t have a basis for comparison, I have no idea if what I thought is what a Russian caravan is supposed to taste like. If that makes any sense. Still! I like it. Great afternoon tea.
In other news, have managed to break my teapot’s lid. Yes, the same teapot for which I already had to go out and buy a replacement lid for. Which turned out to be the lid of a little Vaguely Asian™ tea cup. I am now using the saucer from the same cup as a replacement lid. When that inevitably breaks because I am clumsy liek woah, I will probably attempt to use the cup as a lid, because dammit I am getting my money’s worth!
So I was feeling tea ennui earlier this week and decided to go grab a bunch of 1 oz samples from the tea shop I have a gift certificate to. (I can’t help it! I just LOVE samples…) The chais they had that were actually labeled as such were somewhat disappointing, as they had NO CARDAMON and that is just unacceptable to me, but I saw this instead and decided to grab it, despite the fact that it smelled kind of like seaweed. That scent has since faded so I’m just going to chalk it up to the container they were storing it in…
This tea is cardamon city. I am serious, I swear a good half of the ounce I got is composed of little green cardamon pods. It is, in fact, verging on the excessive.
On the other hand, it tastes really nice – like a very mild chai. It’s definitely got cinnamon in it as well. And doubtless some other spices, but they are somehow all mellow so that this is good both with milk and without. Made myself a giant pot and have been drinking it all day.
Teapot tea for the day. Ivan has a little stand that you can put a tea light in and it will keep your tea nice and warm for a couple of hours. This appeals to both my laziness and my utter wussiness when it comes to being cold.
On consideration, I find that this lacks the character that I recall from the GM coconut pouchong. That may be memory playing silly buggers with me though, I don’t know. One day I will get the GM stuff again and know for sure. In the meantime, this is still a perfectly acceptable substitute.
I have been pining for Golden Moon Tea’s Coconut Pouchong for a long time now, but they are SO far down on my “to buy from” list (it’s just in order of stuff I have tried samples from – but between various samplers, promotions, and being distracted by 52teas /shakes fist at Frank, I keep putting it off)
Also, I am cheap. And poor.
So of course when I saw that Vices and Spices (to which, if you recall I had a $50 gift certificate courtesy of the BEST MUM IN THE WORLD) had a coconut pouchong, I decided to try it, knowing full well of course that it will probably not be as delicious (unless they are secretly sourcing from Golden Moon, but…I don’t know!)
I actually brewed up a bunch in my teapot rather than a single serving in my ingenuitea. Sadly, the water I used was too hot. I have recently switched over to a stovetop kettle as the wiring at my new place is…not that great and I have so far managed to blow a fuse twice – both times using my electric kettle. Anyway, I still have not figured out the new kettle’s “moods” regarding water temperature so I just let it boil. I could really tell that the water was too hot, because the leaves tasted kind of burnt and vegetal at first. As the tea steeped longer and cooled, it finally settled on that nice borderline oolong taste. Hurray!
Now, at this point, I do not really remember how Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong tasted, although I do recall being very pleased with it. I was very pleased with this as well. (well once it cooled) The coconut milk is not overpowering and goes well with the oolongish taste. I got three (giant doom coffee) mugs out of Ivan last night and was very satisfied – especially since each mug seemed better than the last. I love a nice forgiving tea that doesn’t mind how long it steeps!
I think I shall go grab some tea lights so that I can activate Ivan’s “pretend samovar” mode and keep this nice and warm for afternoon drinking.
The main problem with the whole orange/matcha thing is the fact that since I moved, I now have a 40 minute bus ride to school. This means I have to wake up earlier. Which ACTUALLY means that I wake up 20 minutes before I need to leave the house and rush around trying to get ready and forget things and spaz out. What that means for my morning drink is that I am usually drinking it VERY soon after having brushed my teeth. (I could drink it before, but then what would I drink on my way to the bus?)
This is not optimal. Clearly the solution is to stop brushing my teeth.
Lack of structure does terrible things to my productivity and makes me too lazy to write tea notes. But that is done now! For I…have CLASSES.
Specifically, I have Chinese every day at 9 am which means I have to wake up at stupid o’clock so I can catch the bus/get a parking spot. UGH. This is DEFINITELY a job for matcha.
I have also begun to worry that I am going to get scurvy since lack of structure/productivity is also not conducive to eating healthy, so I decided to take a page from Cofftea’s book and get my orange juice + matcha on. Now, the major problem with me and my constant battle to not get scurvy is that I think orange juice is gross, so I am stuck with vitamin enhanced other juice of some kind or grapefruit juice, which for some reason is NEVER ON SALE. Since orange juice was on sale and matcha makes everything better, though, I decided to give it another chance.
The result: matcha makes orange juice drinkable, but only just. Assuming that orange juice continues to be on sale, I will probably stick with it.
Second smoothie try today, used less matcha in general and also sifted it before blending. Much better this time around – and the color is much more appetizing as well! The taste is still much more GREEN TEA RAR than either of the other two matchas I’ve tried, so it makes for quite a different smoothie, but it’s also tasty this way, so I’m good. I will even be magnanimous and inch the rating up a bit.
Tried sifting the matcha in order to have it plain today. Dissolved very nicely so it looks like sifting is the way to go with it. It’s interesting because the color was darker than i expected it to be, more towards olive than other matchas I’ve seen. I may have added too much water though, I am out of practice with plain matcha.
Plain, this matcha seems to have a much lighter taste than either the DoMatcha or the strawberry matcha, but once again, I may have diluted it a bit too much. As expected it doesn’t have the smoothness that the DoMatcha has, but I mentioned before that it is pretty cheap stuff. HOLY shit I just saw a frickin HUGE squirrel. I thought it was a cat at first, and it’s tail was, like…SO FLUFFY. ahem back to the matcha! (note to self: matcha does not help short attention spans) Anyway, clearly this is a matcha for mixing with stuff – not as awesome for mixing as the strawberry matcha, of course, but not something I’ll be falling over myself to drink plain unless I REALLY need a quick energy boost.
First trial of the matcha I bought from the coffee shop yesterday. Again, I have no idea where they get it from, so I just wrote what it said on the label.
This is from a strawberry banana smoothie, so it’s not a straight taste, I’ll probably try it by itself later, maybe tomorrow. My impression is that it is much stronger than the other matcha’s I’ve had. I’m getting less subtle smoothness and more rar I am concentrated powdered green teaaaaaa rar out of it. Also, it doesn’t seem to have blended as well, so I should probably try sifting it, or possibly even dissolving it in water prior to putting it in the blender. I’m not overly disappointed or anything, since I wasn’t really expecting much for $5/oz; it’s still tasty enough, it’ll just require a bit more tweaking to figure out how to get it to work for me.
No rating pending trying out the stuff I mentioned above and trying it by itself.
So, while exploring the neighborhood I moved too, I came upon a coffee/tea/bulk spices/random knickknack shop called “Vices and Spices” where you can buy tea both in bulk and to drink right then. My mom was with me at the time, and, as it was coming close to my birthday she got me a 50 dollar gifts certificate (isn’t my mum the best?), which today I went to use so that I could have interim matcha while I try and convince my brother to mail me the strawberry matcha I left at his place. Since I was there, I thought I might as well try some tea as well and I went with this.
Now, I asked the person working there if she knew where/who they got their teas from, but unfortunately she had no clue, so I’m just going to be writing these up under the shop name. Such is life!
Weirdly, despite the fact that I have both lived in Japan and study it, I have never actually tried green tea with sakura before. Which is a shame, because it is SUPER tasty. I really like the combination of green tea and sakura/cherry flavoring, apparently! It tastes like pudding! I seem to get pudding association with teas fairly often. Oh well. And this tastiness was accomplished with boiling water! Imagine how tasty it (hopefully) is when prepared with water at the right temperature! I know I sound pretty enthusiastic, but I’m happy to have found a green tea that I actually like.
Anyway, this tea is only 2.00 an ounce, so I will definitely be going back for some to add to my cupboard once I clear out what’s currently in there a bit…