August Uncommon Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

Ok, so one – I totally thought that I’d tried this one already and two, I was definitely under the impression this was a blend of straight black teas. Turns out neither of those statements are true though ‘cause when I went to go find the sample of this one downstairs I saw that it hadn’t been opened yet and very clearly said it was a flavoured black tea…

Neither of those things are bad, of course – it was just a bit of a surprise is all. As soon as I cracked the package, I could immediately tell that there was Lapsang Souchong in this blend: it had a strong smokiness to it. It was also accompanied by sweet notes of caramelized brown sugar though which was intriguing and inviting.

Steeped up, I think this one is delicious! It’s a very dark flavour profile, and really full bodied/intense. The smoke is a strong flavour, but it’s not overpowering. There are also some really great notes of caramelized brown sugar and bourbon – particularly in the body of the sip, though that kind of bourbon flavour carries really well into the finish. Some vanilla undertones are present as well, and some soft notes of wood. Honestly, there’s a surprising amount of nuance and flavour layering going on overall.

Just a really dark flavour overall with lots of depth. Kind of haunting too, in a way? Really pleasant, though! I like that sweet and smoky combo; and it’s really well done here.

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Well, now that I’ve located this one, and now that I have understood that it contains black tea, and now that I have become intimate with its deliciousness, I seem to be drinking it every day.

This tea has aged, so I will refrain from rating. The cocoa is right there, but the pineapple is vague. I detect it only when I know that it is supposed to be present. Vanilla makes the occasional overture. It’s all delicious though.

I had grand plans for this morning before I went to my exercise class. And now, the morning has flown by and my exercise class has already started and I am in bed with my second big cup and no plans to move any too quickly.

Some mornings have to be that way.

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Ok, I got up at the crack of dawn again today. How much of it is baby next door and how much of it is my body rebelling against daylight savings time, I don’t know. I did, however, feel a sense of urgency to get to the library to return my things before 9 am when fines started kicking in.

Where I am going with this is that it was dark and dim when I was choosing my morning tea. In addition, there seems to be a problem with the lighting too and even if there weren’t, I didn’t have my glasses handy. I didn’t want my usual morning standbys nor did I want desserty types of blacks nor did I crave Chinese blacks.

Right then, so I couldn’t see and I refused to go with tried and true choices. Bad combination of events.

I reached for this one, which I think was Silencio, which I thought was a flavoured green. When I opened it, of course, I discovered that it wasn’t green, or it didn’t look like green. So I decided this was black.

Steeped it up as for a black and delicious. I took it back to bed, where there was light, and read for an hour.

As the tea cooled enough to enjoy, it was all about cocoa nibs and so, I decided it was a rooibos with cocoa nibs. Without black tea.

Short story is that I will be going back to the box and rebrewing and reading and finding out what it was that I started the day with.

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96

Shit.

This is really indulgent, but holy fuck is the flavour good. Like, I’ll be honest when I got my August Uncommon teas for this season and I saw that this was a pumpkin flavoured rooibos I kind of groaned a little internally because did I really need another pumpkin tea this year? And I’ve had herbal/rooibos pumpkin teas with the sweet component and soft spices – they’re ok but not like mind blowing?

This is sort of mind blowing though. I’d argue that flavour wise it’s sort of this molasses/brown sugar flavour first and foremost – very dark, deep, rich and indulgent. It really coats the mouth too and is just captivating. From there, then I would say you get more of the pumpkin and apple flavour due: sort of a mid sip undertone that gradually transitions into a more main flavour? It’s very “bourbon pumpkin pie” but with a lot of sweetness/brown sugar and without the crust. It rounds out with more of a vanilla toffee sort of flavour profile and finishes with this haunting lingering sweetness.

I’m in love.

Flavors: Alcohol, Apple, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cream, Graham Cracker, Molasses, Pumpkin, Toffee, Vanilla

CrowKettle

Onto the wishlist it goes!

Sil

doh! now i wish i had picked some up! lol

Sakura Sushi

Sounds amazing – I just can’t pull the trigger on this one because of my hatred of rooibos. If only it was black tea! Oh, well…

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72

Teapress.

Not sure if it’s the method of prep or just the fact that since I’ve now tried this I knew what to expect from the flavour profile (maybe a mix of both), but I enjoyed this one a lot more this time around than I did the first time. I thought it was smoother overall, and had less of that perfumey/artificial floral taste I kind of thought I was picking up last time. In fact, it was almost entirely a boozey prune/cherry sort of flavour with just hints of creamy white chocolate in the finish.

Yeah, just a lot smoother and more seamless.

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72

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.

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75

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.

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100

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.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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74

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.

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68
drank Big Easy by August Uncommon Tea
1711 tasting notes

And that’s a sample sipdown! Glad I didn’t get more because its notes were a little disconnected. Interesting but nothing I’d want to experience again.

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68
drank Big Easy by August Uncommon Tea
1711 tasting notes

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.

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86
drank Good Humor by August Uncommon Tea
73 tasting notes

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

Oh how I love this tea! So grounded— so very very grounding when on the edge of overwhelm with things.

Thank you, Sil, for sharing this one with me.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Rosehips

The edge of overwhelm! I know that place well. Glad this tea helps.

Sil

Glad you’re enjoying this one

Daylon R Thomas

I was so tempted to get some when it was on sale.

Evol Ving Ness

Wish that it were still available. It may be more robust than the black teas you prefer though who knows. The flavourings make this one a bit of a wild card.

Daylon R Thomas

I figure, which was why I hesitated a while black. Isn’t Assam the base?

Daylon R Thomas

I just looked and was correct. The idea of the flavor appeals to me at least. The description gave me an image of an old but updated bookshop lit by amber hues while enjoying a decent book with a cup of tea. I’ve been terribly inconsistent with my reading-been bouncing from Chaucer, Plato, Machiavelli, Zin, and now Vladimir Bartol. I’ve greatly enjoyed Alamut though because it reads a little more like a fantasy than a historical fiction/philosophy work. I also need to finish the works of the authors I’ve mentioned along with getting into Tolstoy.

Evol Ving Ness

In my last cup of this, the chocolate dominated with the base and the rest of the ingredients lending a dark bread groundedness.

I am tending towards JKZ and Pema Chodron these days in addition to various Buddhist anthologies that I dip and out of.

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68

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

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87

Sipdown (338)!

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…

Rosehips

What an interesting sounding tea!

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87

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…

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87

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.

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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.

Fjellrev

Did you enjoy that flavour combination, vegetal and tart notes with custard?

Evol Ving Ness

The tartness and vegetal natures were gentle enough to let the custard butter shine. That worked.

Fjellrev

Ah ok, cool beans.

ashmanra

I’ve been listening to this song a lot lately! Are you guys old enough to remember it?

Evol Ving Ness

I am. The tea and the song don’t seem to have anything in common from my perspective.

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76

Sipdown (331)!

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

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76

Cold Brew.

- More “figgy” than the iced cup I made was
- Has an almost creaminess to it; like a lemon sugar cookie with vanilla icing?
- A touch grassy in the undertones
- Overall a big improvement upon the first iced cup I made: it’s smoother!

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76

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.

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72

Sipdown (249)!

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.

Sil

haha i am slow close to having just puerh in my cupboard lol it’s so sad…

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