August Uncommon TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Another from AU’s new winter line up.
Everything about this one sounds really interesting to me, except for the prune. However I think if the rest of the tea works well I can probably overlook that element so long as it’s not the main flavour. Dry, the leaf smells very intensely perfumed: I totally get the same artificial/boozy kind of flavour quality that I got from AU’s Metropolitan blend which is a little weird because they don’t really have any ingredient overlap.
It’s so intriguing brewed up. The flavour is just so… odd?
I don’t dislike it though, I’m just rather perplexed by it. It definitely starts off nice and thick/creamy with some definite white chocolate notes. I think that’s a pretty solid way to start the sip, but then thick sort of transitions to oily and the flavour gets a little weird. I do get cherry notes from this, but they’re very very dark cherry notes and they remind me a lot of booze and perfume. Like, brandied cherries with a floral finish? If that makes any sense at all. There’s nothing floral in this blend though which is part of where that confusion comes from – it’s almost like the bergamot/lavender combo in Metropolitan though. I don’t hate it, but I wish it was a little mellowed out.
The prune comes through more in the undertones and finish but I actually like it a fair bit. I mean, as someone who doesn’t love prune notes in my tea (or even the fruit in general) it’s not bad. I think it’s not heavy handed and has just a hint of sweetness that is needed to kind of be a check to the more intense cherry/alcohol thing kind of going on. It reminds me a lot of the prune in Dammann Freres Noel a Prague black tea, and since that’s a black tea that I enjoy A LOT the comparison is definitely a good one.
Overall, I think this is a really interesting/complex full bodied flavoured black. I like the layers to the flavour and I definitely found the cup mostly pleasant. It’s not without faults though, and I think the flavours are a little intense and competitive. Next time I have this one I’m going to try under leafing and hopefully that will help smooth some things out. I also think it suffers from some texture issues too, from the white chocolate. Milk could be a solution to that problem, though.
EDIT: I just noticed this also has plum in it! That actually is a shared ingredient between this one and Metropolitan so maybe it’s the plum flavour that I’m associating with both blends. Not totally sure, though.
Picked this one, and the rest of August Uncommon’s Winter Collection, up in a special sneak peak/pre order promo – everything for this season actually looks really good, so I’m excited to try them all.
This is the first one from the collection that I’m trying; I usually end up leaving the straight tea for last and I didn’t want to do that this time. I made it up as a Western style pot of tea, to sip on throughout the day. It was honestly not really anything unique or different at all. Just, a very thick velvety mouthfeel and really smooth mixture of malt and cocoa notes with some soft woody undertones. Really delicious, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that at this point I’ve come to expect unique/distinct flavours/profiles from AU, even with their straight/pure teas.
This just reminded me of a really nice, rich Dian Hong with lots of chocolate notes. I’ll totally enjoy finishing off the rest of the sample, but this isn’t something that I’ll need to get more of at all. It’s great, but not unique.
I could spend a whole page gushing about this tea, from the fact that even the leaves themselves—and the nuts and the fruit pieces mixed in with them—are delicious. It smelled so good—dark and earthy with hints of sweet—that I nibbled on a leaf before pouring hot water over it. It tasted like the best dark chocolate I’ve ever eaten. Then I munched a pistachio nut and a piece of lime, all infused by their time mingling with the tea …
And then I tried the tea as actual tea and was blown away. I could live on this. It tastes like autumn harvest in my mouth, with lingering traces of summer and spring. So. Good.
Ok, I’m totally not getting the desserty (by way of cinnamon bun, chocolate mousse, etc) that others are mentioning. Impressive that the rooibos base is nearly undetectable, but it smells more like chocolate than it tastes. Cacao shows up later as a lingering note but it isn’t prominent. I am also disappointed to not get any nutmeg.
Rather, I get black pepper. That’s right. Yet it’s not listed in the ingredients? Maybe it’s part of the rooibos base, who knows, but there is a distinctive bite of black pepper. It’s like it’s trying to be like a black pepper-infused chocolate chai, but it’s weak.
There is a creaminess to this, I will give it that. To be fair, the chocolate comes out a little more as this cool, too. In spite of my slightly disappointing observations, I still enjoy this, particularly as a latte.
Strange tea. At first, I was stoked by the chunks of fruit, lemongrass, and sweet vanilla scent of the dry leaf. Steeped, it smells just as intriguing.
The initial sip, I was like, “Score!” because it was a blast of caramel. Then the sweet pineapple follows, but this is where things get strange. The caramel fades and the sweetness from the pineapple strengthens, only the sugariness, not the pineapple itself. But then the sweetness, which is artificial as it is at this stage, morphs into a plasticky note. As this cools, I am getting a little roastiness from the barley, which is helping to cover up some of those plasticky undertones but it just isn’t enough to truly enjoy this.
Upside is the sencha base didn’t go bitter and it isn’t too grassy or vegetal either.
Hmm, it’s like drinking a plasticky pineapple caramel genmaicha.
This tea is uplifting – good humor indeed! I busted this out this afternoon for a nice break before I have to dive back into med school apps, and it did the trick.
I’m getting a mellow citrus, which I like – almost lemon meringue pie rather than straight up lemon flavor. I’m also getting a faint apple taste and an underlying earthy sweetness that I’m contributing to the fig. I’m still getting some grassiness from the green tea peeking through, which I enjoy since that sets this apart from all of the sweet, pastry-flavored tisanes I have lying around.
Flavors: Apple, Fig, Lemon
This is a queued tasting note.
- Undertones of hazelnut throughout
- Top note is really distinctly nectarine/peach
- Body is more of this weird buttery, artichoke/asparagus combo w. hay and straw
- A little grassy, but leans more on the vegetal side of things
- Finish is a bit more generic nutty: hazelnut/almond
- Really creamy mouthfeel
- I think this is definitely a very nuanced and unique green tea
- I can see it GREATLY appealing to fans of green tea
- Personally I appreciate everything going on, but didn’t love the flavour combo
Wow, my cupboard has just exploded…
With how much my cupboard has expanded, I knew it was time to get in some sipdowns and while I’m personally quite sad to see this tea go, this was a very enjoyable sipdown flavour wise. I just need to have some self control now, and not go out and buy more of it.
But yes! Deliciously strong fennel/anise notes contrasted by a super vibrant pop of candied green apple flavour! I think this tea is so unique, and distinct tasting and I absolutely love the flavour combination. At times I think it can tread a little too much into that overlap of astringent/bitter but the sweetness of the ingredients used generally saves it. It’s also one of those teas that I badly want to share with other people, but also that I feel the need to completely hoard for myself.
It’s a good thing that my boyfriend can’t drink it anyway; the apple in this would kill him. That makes me feel a lot less guilty for not sharing…
This was a really interesting, refreshing iced tea!
I mean, not much to right about because the way the flavours came across and interacted with each other was pretty well the same as when I first tried this one hot – just maybe with the slightest bit more astringency? Not unreasonably so, though.
Now, do I like the hot or iced version better? MAYBE the hot, just slightly. That doesn’t take away from it still being a really unique and great option for an iced tea though – especially for a black tea, something that I find is a little more fickle when it comes to making iced drinks.
Definitely still tempted to get a lot more of this one…
So, I ordered the summer collection from AU almost faster than I actually read all of the tea descriptions – but I saw this one right off the bat and instantly I knew I needed to try it! Something about the flavour combo REALLY jumped out to me. Maybe because it’s an apple tea that’s purposefully apple with an actual tea base? You know, NOT a herbal with just lots of apple as a filler…
- Dry leaf smells AWESOME! Lots of sweet, candied green apple notes and hints of licorice
- Reminds me a lot of the green apple Jelly Belly candies
I steeped it up in a large mug, which I drank early in the morning sitting outside on the porch before work – it was a very tranquil and pleasant experience.
- Tastes very smooth, with a really beautiful and CLEARLY defined green apple note
- It’s got the natural, realistic sweetness of apple but finishes in a near candy-like way
- Likely from the extra boost of sweetness from the fennel
- The black base is very faintly malty, and a touch floral with hints of spice
- Some of that spice may also be from the clove, though I didn’t find it that defined?
- That floral characteristic only adds to the nuance/realistic nature of the green apple
- Arguably the best green apple tea I’ve had
- Partially because it’s green apple without being sour
- The faintest bit astringent on the top of the sip
- But in a pleasant way that mimics apple skins
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a19ZNSGwko4
Anyway, I deeply loved this one right off the bat! I’m gonna rate somewhat conservatively because I think part of that might just be new tea excitement but I could see this one definitely being something I’d want to purchase in a larger quantity.
Buttery, custard-like, and a wee bit tart. Vegetal with the slightest whiff of coconut in the second steep, or am I dreaming that up?
My tastebuds may be clouded with vanilla chocolate.
Subsequent steeps ensured that no, I was not dreaming up the coconut. It’s there with the butter and the vegetal nature of the tea. Six or seven steeps later, it’s all still there. Gently, gently, but there.
This may be my first experience with tea from Chiang Rai, Thailand. I do so wish that I had had enthusiasm for tea exploration when I was there. Yeah, nope. No recollection of tea drinking adventures there. At all.
There’s really no reason for me to hold onto this one, so sipping it down this evening. I was worried it was going to taste bad because the last little bits in the bag were pretty broken up and flaky…
However, I think this might be the best cup of this thus far! Its very creamy, and figgy: in a way I find myself reminded of Fig Newtons and other light, buttery pastries with fig notes and soft lemon. It’s a powdery sort of lemon; creamy/buttery and confectionery and not at all acidic or tannic: its very complimentary with the rest of the buttery notes and fig. Soft grassy flavours from the green base are a nice background to the rest of the profile. Its just very peaceful, and smooth.
Oh, also! Notes of powdered icing sugar!?
And yes, these aren’t really flavours unique to this particular cup; I’ve experienced them the other times I’ve tried this tea for sure – however, they haven’t come together as nicely in those cups as they are right now. It’s a good send off for this one, since it’s still something I wouldn’t order again. Best to end on a positive note!
Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Fig, Grass, Lemon, Pastries, Powdered sugar, Smooth
Iced at work today.
In concept this one sounded really nice to me, other than the green tea base. I’d have been a lot more thrilled to see the flavour pairing on a black base, but that’s just me.
I actually think I totally understand the idea behind the name of this one though; it’s very light, refreshing, bright and sunny – sort of just like someone with a good sense of humour is? Like, just one of those people who’s presence is just super uplifting and pleasant! So in that sense – I think AU’s more artistic/creative marketing actually reads really well/clearly. I instantly made that connection.
Flavour wise, mostly this is a strong lemon flavour! It’s both bright, sunny and sweet but also oddly creamy? Like, not overtly so but it finishes with the same sort of delicate pastry like creaminess that I get from DAVIDsTEA’s Lemon Pound Cake. It’s also got that distinct lemongrass flavour, too. Pretty tied into that lemon note is a strong apple flavour too; not overly tart but not overly sweet either. Just sort of generic apple? Though in hindsight that creaminess COULD possibly be a ‘buttery apple’ sort of taste and I’m just poorly attributing the buttery flavour to the wrong ingredient?
Anyway, those are the strongest flavour notes – but apart from those, there’s also a bit of a sharp, grassy undertone. I don’t know that the sharpness is inherently from the green tea itself, but maybe just exaggerated by the lemon/lemongrass in general. The top notes are a bit more fig-like, and I think the fig also just adds to the overall pastry flavour too. The finish is more rosey, with some other general floral vibes to it.
I honestly think this tea could grow on me/might be more of an acquired taste sort of thing but as is I’d say it’s maybe just slightly above average for me? Like, good for a green tea and just kind of alright for a tea in general.
I think I need to channel my inner Sil and step up my sipdown game, because soon I’m going to find myself crossing the 250 tea mark and that is NOT a route I want to go down.
I finished this one off last night at work and I have to say that I found the contrast on the intense peppermint and the sweet, juicy watermelon a lot less abrasive this time around. I mean, I still think there was a degree of discord between the flavours but certainly not to the same extent. I can’t help but wonder if that’s because, even after that one cup, I am already just slightly conditioned to the weird overlap of flavours though.
Bottom line, this one isn’t bad but it’s just really quite weird too. Maybe spearmint would have been a better mint pairing? Spearmint is naturally a little sweeter, so maybe it would have tied in better to the sweeter melon which still having that cooling/refreshing aspect. I don’t know; I doubt I’d purchase this one again but I’d probably drink it if offered.
New August Uncommon Teas!
I’ve been waiting for what feels like ages to see if AU was going to do a summer collection, and a few weeks ago I got an email asking if I wanted to preorder the new teas before they officially launched on the website and, guys, I jumped on that shit so quickly. The collection came yesterday, so of course I had to try something immediately.
I went with this one because it’s the herbal/caffeine free one from this collection and by the point I was ready to make a cup of tea after work it was pretty late into the evening.
So, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m the tiniest bit sick of melon teas; we’ve just had so many come out at work this summer than it feels a little played out to me. However, honeydew/mint? That’s a bit more different so I definitely WANT to get on board with it. I cracked the bag though and was a bit disappointed; something about the dry leaf smells VERY weird to me. It’s maybe a bit too harshly minty and the watermelon smells off. I can’t place it; it’s just off.
I brewed it up anyway though, and I’m glad I did because the steeped tea is definitely a step up from how the dry leaf smells. The peppermint actually IS very strong; however as strong as it is it’s also quite soothing. It’s very cooling/refreshing and definitely has the more herbaceous sort of taste of natural/actual peppermint versus flavourings. The juicyness of the melon is a bright contrast and I think that contrast actually pleasantly highlights the cooling elements of the mint and then the sweetness of the melon. I will say that it’s arguably more watermelon like than honeydew, though. Not that I particularly mind.
Of course this IS August Uncommon we’re talking about so the packaging is filled with all sorts of artistic imagery tied into what flavours and moods are supposed to be evoked by the tea. Supposedly this one is kind of like ‘sunbathing on a boat’ or some such similarly worded thing. I don’t think that’s it at all though: I certainly found myself strongly thinking of something specific when drinking it but for me it was a lot more ‘having a picnic in the middle of a thunderstorm’ like.
Overall? Not bad! The “herbal” teas from AU have been a bit hit or miss for me and I think that trend sort of continued with this one – though I definitely didn’t dislike it either.
Consider me surprised when the first thing I tasted was roasted chestnuts. I decided to look up this tea to see if that was supposed to be there and googling “Passage du Desir” produced some pretty interesting results, non of which were this tea. When I did finally find this tea, it seems that flavor was indeed purposely present. Unfortunately some flavor notes were lost on that I really, really wanted to taste and so if I am being honest, I was a bit disappointed. Still I am grateful to Sil for adding this to the TTB because I heard great things and probably would have blindly bought this and not really loved it. Not that it was bad, just not my preference. Check out my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/04/11/passage-du-desir-from-august-uncommon/
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.
Not only do my new neighbours have a regularly shrieking infant, noisily exercise at the crack of dawn on wooden floors in an old house, and see fit to position their television on our adjoining wall, but also they both charge and/ or leave their phones by the adjoining wall to ring, beep, and vibrate at all hours of the night. FML.
I, of course, am the complaining neighbour because I am the one who is repeatedly woken up and disturbed while they appear to be blissfully unaware, so I communicate politely when really I would like to rip their heads off and yank all of their electronics out from their sockets and hurl them from the window. Yeah, it’s really a challenge, really really a challenge to not go all up in their face because really what kind of moron do you have to be?
Right then. Whew. Had to get that out.
This is my cup of the morning after having been awoken at about three. I must have been woken before that as well because after the three waking, I wasn’t able to get to sleep for two or three hours or so. At this point, I don’t know whether it is the phone or the baby or both, but this being repeatedly awoken is torture. The carelessness and stupidity at fault is another layer on top.
I missed my yoga class to continue to sleep and still woke up feeling like hell, of course. Ouf.
Ahem, yes, about the tea. Roasty, toasty, cherrywood good. The slightest bit of coconut as it cools. This is only my first steep. More as things evolve.
Second steep. Far more coconut emerges in scent and in flavour. I am steeping in a clear glass canister and the leaves are so very lovely to watch as they begin to unfurl attached to their stems and teeny branches.
Third steep. Even more coconut as the leaves unravel further. The roastiness disappears slowly but a bit of heaviness remains.
Fourth and fifth steep. Some chocolate creeps in along w the coconut.
I suspect the tea had more to give, but I was on my way out to clear my head and calm down and decided to call it and toss the leaves.
Interesting procession of flavours. I am a bit curious as to what would happen further if I had continued to steep.
Thank you for the share, Dexter. I enjoyed it though at first I thought that the roastiness was on the verge of too much—just that line.
Sorry/not sorry for the rant.
Flavors: Cherry Wood, Coconut, Dark Chocolate, Roasted
It’s really a shame once you discover that your relatively new neighbours have little interest in whether they disturb you or not by exercising at the crack of dawn on wooden floors in a newly converted open concept space in an old house. When as a neighbour you are already tolerating 24/7 of their infant and their other child. Yeah. Well then.
Sorry. Needed to get that out.
Selected this one from the bag that Dexter gave me when she was in town. I haven’t made up my mind beyond the fact that I like it and am enjoying it. It confuses my tastebuds a bit because it is much like a coffee-caramel favourite of mine except that after the very similar hit of coffee, instead of switching to caramel, it moves towards the slightest green of the mate.
Did I add my coffee-caramel favourite to your bag, Dex?
Thank you for this, Dexter. It is pleasurable, but currently not enough to take me away from this newfound understanding of my neighbours.
I have strong thoughts about AU’s marketing, but this is a sipdown and I want to get the tasting note down now. I’ll get into the marketing another time.
This blend tastes like sweet pineapple and lemon to me. I’m not picking up on caramel, pastry, barley, or the base tea. I’m a little disappointed that the sencha base is so thoroughly drowned out by the pineapple and lemon flavors. On the other hand, those fruit flavors are distinct, gently tart and not cloyingly sweet. I actually think this would have been delicious as a cold steep but I didn’t have enough leaf or patience left for it. It’s nice as a hot brew too, just nothing special.
Flavors: Lemon, Pineapple
I don’t know what it is doing outside, but inside it feels chilly and damp, which to me is the ideal weather for something smoky.
This is my second day drinking Outlaw from the sample that Dexter so generously shared with me when we met up for our city walk. Yesterday, the cups didn’t leave much of an impression. It was just kind of ok. Perhaps I had steeped too briefly. Today, however, boom—I am definitely enjoying this smokiness and the faintest whiff of cherrywood. Nothing froo-froo about this at all. A solid masculine tea. Love this.
Sometimes, it takes a few cups to find one’s way around a tea. Delighted to have another cup or two of this to enjoy.
Thank you, Dexter. Good call, this.
Flavors: Cherry Wood, Smoke, Smooth