drank Dark Iris by August Uncommon Tea
675 tasting notes

I checked out this company because it was getting good reviews on here, has interesting tea descriptions, and was on sale over the holidays. However, I find this company’s marketing off-putting and unnecessarily pretentious. Ok, yes, the name should have tipped me off, but for some reason I had been reading it as August the month rather than august the adjective meaning “majestic”. The first descriptor on their front page is “Tea so modern it’s like nothing you’ve tasted before.” I was originally going to do a line-by-line breakdown of what’s wrong with their FAQ, but at a certain point that’s just free labor. My point is that the things this company claims are uniquely theirs – fancy blends, seasonal batches, and single-cup brewing – have been around for years and are already being done quite well by a number of other companies large and small. A Quarter to Tea, 52teas, Whispering Pines, and Lupicia come to mind off the top of my head. Meanwhile, a more-than-cursory reading of the booklet that comes with your order (and the website) suggests that this may be a dilettante effort: “Tea is unlike coffee in that cold-brewing does not yield flavorful results.” Ahem. Hands up if you’ve enjoyed a fine cold-brewed tea in the past year. Since the weather is getting nicer now, I might try it out with their own blends just to underscore how misguided this is. If a company is going to talk themselves up this much while demonstrating a failure to grasp or respect the basics, their product better be transcendent.

Ok, I’ll concede that it’s good, but it’s not transcendent. This is certainly no Butiki-level excellence. This particular blend tastes a lot like a sweeter version of Lupicia’s Momo Oolong. That one is a more delicate peach oolong but the blends share a distinctive fruity peach flavor. The lime note comes out in the aftertaste, lingering long after the sip is through. I’m not picking up on the pistachio taste, which is unfortunate since that was what attracted me to this blend in the first place. I am picking up on the white chocolate flavor, both creamy and sweet. As the brew cools, the white chocolate and lime flavors become dominant. It’s a nice combo but not quite what I was expecting based on the ingredients.

Ultimately, I will happily finish off the sample and the others that I bought. However, they are not so good as to override my concerns with how the company presents itself. I am probably not their target audience anyway. The marketing seems pretty clearly directed at people who want to be part of the hip, new thing, not people who are into tea for its own sake.

Sil

hahaha i agree with a number of your points, but i do like some of their blends. However, never enough to buy them full price, which is something i WOULD do for other companies that aren’t as…uh..i lack the words.

CrowKettle

lol. I’ve never visited their site; I’ve been missing out.

Kaylee

@Sil – I like some of their blends too, including this one. But I only bought them because they were on sale and none of the blends are so unique or must-have that I would spend more of my precious tea budget on a company with such pretentious marketing. I just find it insulting.
@CrowKettle – it really is worth a visit, especially if you are in the mood to mock hipsters.

Sil

agreed!

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Sil

hahaha i agree with a number of your points, but i do like some of their blends. However, never enough to buy them full price, which is something i WOULD do for other companies that aren’t as…uh..i lack the words.

CrowKettle

lol. I’ve never visited their site; I’ve been missing out.

Kaylee

@Sil – I like some of their blends too, including this one. But I only bought them because they were on sale and none of the blends are so unique or must-have that I would spend more of my precious tea budget on a company with such pretentious marketing. I just find it insulting.
@CrowKettle – it really is worth a visit, especially if you are in the mood to mock hipsters.

Sil

agreed!

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