Wow, this one really needs a long steep time. As I was used to the usual 3 min. steep time for BOP grade black teas, I made the mistake of understeeping this one resulting in a somewhat weak cup. When steep time was increased to around 5 min., I could really feel that nice “kick” you usually get from coffee. Of course, there was some astringency with this cup, but it was not unpleasant at all. I still can’t get much of a malty flavor though, which is just a limitation of this Assam blend I guess.
39 Tasting Notes
I remember my obsession with tea beginning back in winter of 2008. I came down with a severe case of strep throat and it literally felt like I was swallowing razor blades, and I was just miserably sick. Besides getting antibiotics, I also got some lozenges and a pack of Tetley green tea to help soothe the pain. At that time, I was completely ignorant of how to properly brew tea, let alone green tea, so what I did was I boiled a pot of water and just dumped the tea bags in there for it to brew. After that I added heaps of honey because I just could not appreciate plain tea back then. The tea, although sweetened to the point that it barely seemed like green tea at all, turned out to be a life saver and I could forget the pain during the short moment I was drinking it.
This green tea from Upton kind of brought back that memory, and along with it the fondness I once had for green tea. It has very little if any astringency or grassy taste and is just really smooth from start to finish. The name of this tea “Temple of Heaven” is very fitting, since I feel like it cleanses my soul while it rests in eternal bliss.
I have no idea why, but the rating for this tea has gone really down after my last two purchases. The first samples I received directly from Bigelow was quite amazing as I remember it, but the purchased ones did not wow me as much since I found the flavor to be somewhat “weird” tasting, or even artificial. So sadly, I don’t think I will be buying this anymore.
So it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve received my order from Upton. I’ve ordered four kinds of teas, and so far I’m happy with all of them. Also, the service from Upton was top notch, since I received the teas in the mail in just 5 business days. This was very unusual for something shipped via USPS First Class International so I was very surprised.
Now, about this tea. It’s certainly got its characteristic body to it, but I found it to be lighter than the East Frisian Blend. Also, the malty flavor was somewhat subtle, compared to another Assam I’ve tried in the past. This tea would be great for drinking anytime of the day, but I would definitely lean towards the stronger East Frisian in the morning.
I accidentally added a load of sugar today and it was realllly sweet, but strangely I could feel the spice coming alive a bit more. It got me wondering whether this might be how people in India usually enjoy their chai or not as opposed to my usual 1 tsp of sugar.
No notes yet.
Pretty good standard chai tea. I would have liked a bit more of tea flavor, but they got the spice just right. I’ll try steeping this for a bit longer next time. I had a muffin with it and it was good. Bought a dozen for $5 at Safeway (gotta love those Friday sales).
This is a blend of Assam and Kenyan teas which come in a round tea bag, but don’t let this fool you into believing that they will taste like Tetley’s (no offence to the Tetley drinkers, I once heavily enjoyed their green tea!). This tea really surprised me. When I drank the Yorkshire Tea from ToH, I remember saying that it was the smoothest I have drank. Well London Cuppa resepctfully disagrees with that statement. Not only is it velvety, it is also slightly creamier than other teas I have drank. I have to try it without sugar next time, but I think I’m sensing some notes of honey, and that might be part of what makes this tea so full bodied and rich in texture. Also it has less of that wood/straw characteristic that the Yorkshire Tea has, but has a slight touch of briskness to it.
The Mr.Coffee Mug Warmer I ordered from J&R arrived today in the mail despite the Canada Post rotating strike going on nowadays. I saw in the news yesterday that the government passed a back-to-work legislation that will force the union postal workers to return to their jobs by next week or so. Not sure how I feel about this though because there are people saying that these workers are overpaid with much too generous benefits, pensions, vacations, etc. (Canada Post is a crown corporation BTW for those unaware), but I’m sure that this would be untrue for most of the hardworking people there that would surely deserve what they are getting. Anyways… the mug warmer seems to be working great, except that it’s barely doing anything for this mug I have that has a bottom with its edges protruding out. I tried one with a flat bottom and the tea remained quite warm and even hot near the end of the cup.
I bought this tea quite a while ago, and I was surprised to find that I didn’t log this one. Compared to the recently logged Irish Breakfast, I think it has a much cleaner taste although still maintaining a bold, robust profile. It has a light body with not much astringency, and has subtle notes of malt and wood(I read oak somewhere in a review of an anonymous Scottish Breakfast).
It has been quite a while since I’ve been away from Steepster. It is not that I have completely lost interest in teas and noting down my feelings about them, but it is perhaps my laziness kicking in plus all the studying I had to keep up with from school. Now that I am enjoying my summer break, I seem to have more time to relax and enjoy the passing of time.
Something to note for myself is that in the recent months, I have now completely moved away from green tea and acquired a heavy preference for black teas. This could be due to being “burned” by the bad order I made quite a while ago from Specialteas (which is now out of business BTW). I had to throw away nearly 10oz of it due to it getting old without anyone in the family willing to drink it. Anyways, I am not quite sure if I will come back to trying other green teas in the future but as it stands I am now predominantly a black tea drinker.
This is the first Irish breakfast tea that I have tried, and also my first order from Upton Teas Imports. From what I have read, it is supposed to have a very robust, bold, and strong character that gives you a jolt in the morning just like coffee does, but perhaps to a lesser degree. And from what I’ve tasted, it is quite exactly that. The liquor is nearly full-bodied, and it lacks the astringency that I would have expected and is therefore capable of some over brewing. Since Irish breakfast teas are mainly blended with Assams, I thought it would have a very malty taste but instead the malt was more towards being in the background while the warm toasty taste was what hit my palate most of the time. Overall, a very good C.T.C. tea that I will see myself buying again in the future.
This tea is spicy as hell. After trying Bigelow’s Vanilla Chai sampler and being absolutely delighted with it, I chose to get this chai tea because I couldn’t find Bigelow at my local supermarket. This tea denied all the expectations I had, as I hoped for a toasty mellow tea with just enough spice to add a new dimension to it. What I tasted was a tea that was very heavy on the spice (particularly ginger?), and in this case more was definitely not better. I even felt that the spices tasted like some artificial chemical, and I couldn’t take that off my mind throughout the cup. Also, the tea flavor was definitely lacking, just like the other Stash tea I tried.
EDIT: No wonder I found this tea spicy. I bought the double spice instead of the normal one!!!
I was kind of dissapointed with this one. Thank god this was only a sample.
The scent of the tea is just too bubble gum-like for my liking. This seems to be the trend for the flavored green teas I’ve tried so far. The taste itself isn’t great either. Not much tea flavor at all and definitely not much of mangosteen or matcha, just a dull brown concoction.
I bought this at a gift shop while I was in Banff. After I noticed that there was a tea collection at this shop, I just had to take a look at what they had. They were mostly ice wine and maple teas, so I had a hard time choosing which one to buy, but I ended up buying this one. It is a Ceylon tea that has a sweet maple scent which isn’t strong or weak, perhaps just right. The flavor though was a bit weaker than what I had expected, so I added some maple syrup to bring it to life and it sort of worked. It is somewhere between medium to heavy bodied, but feels light in terms of caffeine content.
So this morning, I woke up 3 times, first at 5am and then at 6:30 and finally at 7:40 when I realized that I was going to be really late for my lab today unless I took the bus that came in like 15 minutes. So I just dressed in whatever was in sight and picked up my bag and headed out the door in less than 10 minutes from waking up. It was an awful way to wake up. When I got to school, I was desperate for something to drink so I picked this up at the cafe. It was brisk, light, and slightly lemony. It isn’t something I would enjoy in a daily basis though, but hey it had me awake by the time I reached my lab, so it did its job.
This tea is somewhere in between light and medium bodied. I did put in a bit more milk than usual, but still, it definitely lacks the kick I usually find in English Breakfast teas. This kind of shows in the color of the liquor as well, since it was a clear copper color and lighter than most breakfast teas. Has a subtle taste with slight notes of fruit maybe, which is barely noticeable though. Overall, this was OK, although I will definitely try it without milk next time.
One thing I’ve noticed right away after my first sip is that it is one of the smoothest and cleanest teas I’ve had so far. This tea is great as a pick-me-up as it is full-bodied and strong, so it has now taken the place of PG Tips as my no.1 choice for breakfast tea when I’m only half awake. Certainly can’t get any better than this with tea bags.
This is my first Chai tea. Upon opening the packaging, I was welcomed by a pleasant vanilla aroma which felt quite promising. Steeped it for about 4 minutes and added some milk and sugar to it, and I now had a typical Chai tea in front of me. Not surprisingly, the vanilla taste came first, which I was quite familiar of from past flavoured coffee experiences probably. The spiciness came after that, which was not at all strong but actually quite mild for almost any tea drinker to enjoy. The spice did have a slightly toasty side to it as well. Although this is my first and only Chai, I am sure that this is nowhere close to the authentic one brewed from loose leaves with actual Cardamom and spices in it, but this tea was enjoyable for what it is.
I think this is the only single estate tea I can get from the supermarket. I opened up one of the tea bags and I saw that the tea leaves were very fine, so I’m guessing that they are tea dust. The tea had an overall weak flavor, though a bit brisk in character. 3 minutes of steep time or less is ideal, since it does get bitter if the teabag is left in the cup for any longer amount of time. I think it is best to have it without milk since the taste becomes quite dull. Making it iced is also a good idea.
Add: This definitely goes better with honey than with sugar. Not surprising as this is usually the case with most teas, but still worth noting.
There seems to be 2 other names for this same tea on Steepster. One thing I found interesting was that the rating was 78 on one of them and this one was 66. I guess people tend to go to the one with the rating that is closest to what they had in mind, so people rating this tea positively go to the other one while those who didn’t like it come to this one. There must be a psychological explanation for this.
Anyways, enough rambling. I just got my first PG Tips(240ct) that I ordered from eBay, at a very cheap price too. Shipping took forever, but it’s quite worth it. Comparing it to the Twinings English Breakfast, I think it’s slightly better in respect to flavor, scent, strength(brews up darker), etc. Maybe the pyramid shape actually does help the tea to be brewed better. I also found the taste to be very balanced, and I’ll certainly be more sure of this once I have this straight. I think I’ll be enjoying this for mornings and mornings until I run out and get some more. No wonder this tea is the best selling brand in England!
Add: This tea is definitely made with the common tea drinker in mind who adds milk/cream and sugar to their tea. I tried it without milk once and it just wasn’t as good. I guess teabags do have their limitations, but it is still a fantastic tea with milk added.
This tea is a blending of Assam, Darjeeling and high grown Ceylon. I bought this from…you might have never guessed it, but Winners! It’s a popular store in Canada that focuses on clothing, but sells a ton of other stuff as well including stuff like this! This is just like the Earl Grey from Twinings, but is slightly better because I get a flavor that is full and a bit heavier towards the Assam taste(which I prefer over the other teas in the blend). The bergamot is certainly there, but to a less extent than the Twinings, which I feel is the perfect amount of it I would like. As someone else has mentioned, the hexagonal shaped tea caddy is amazing to look at. Mine features a drawing called “Teachers Outing” by Peter Szumowski.
Add: This tea does get a pretty sharp and bitter taste when brewed for too long. 3 minutes or less steep time is ideal. After my initial taste note, I found that it is a bit too floral for my tastes, so I don’t drink it as often. I guess I can safely say that I’m not much of a fan of any bergamot flavor added teas, including Earl Grey of course.
Add: I now have a totally different thought about my initial verdict saying that this was better than the Twinings Earl Grey. The Twinings one somehow just has a more refreshing citrusy taste which is also more sweet while not getting bitter. I definitely prefer the Twinings now.
I like this a lot! When I added sugar to it, it almost brought out a taffy-like taste. The aroma matched the taste quite well, which I liked. I think this would make a perfect cup of tea to be sipping on while relaxing in the morning or afternoon.
So my free samples from The Jade Teapot just arrived!
They were nice enough to have sent me the samples, a 15% discount coupon, and a pen! How awesome is that?
I tried the Peach Oolong first, since I’ve never had oolong before. Once steeped, I could sense a subtle peach aroma which was nice. The tea itself was very smooth to swallow, and it had very little if any astringency while being slightly but naturally sweet.
I think I’m hooked on this thing! I tried it without milk, and it is still very good. Although I usually don’t like citrus in general, I think bergamot really has a distinctive character that sets it apart from other citrus fruits. It produces a very elegant fragrance which is perfect to be sniffing at in the morning.
Add: Rated it down a bit because it sometimes tasted like iron if that makes any sense. It’s weird, but was quite unpleasant nontheless.
Add2: I don’t think I can drink this particular Earl Grey without milk anymore. The metallic taste was just too much when drunk straight. Adding milk solves the problem entirely.
Yum. This is sort of my first “official” Earl Grey, since I’ve only had the Earl Greys in teabags sold at Tim Hortons until now. The tea leaves had a very nice aroma with the bergamot certainly showing its presence. I had this with milk today and it was an awesome combination. I’ll have it without milk tomorrow and see how the tea tastes in its pure form.