Cornelia Bean

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Recent Tasting Notes

74

Early evening cuppa.

I was certainly feeling the caffeine from my earlier session with Camellia Sinensis’ Jin Die so I needed something caffeine free to kind of mellow out a little bit for a while. This was part of my vacation haul, and I’ve been pretty excited to dig into it so I figured why not give this one a whirl.

Is it just me or have a lot of companies been going for this “Pineapple Mimosa” flavour lately, though? I know I’ve seen a few companies here on Steepster but even just in general I know I’ve seen others that aren’t on Steepster just from cart building on different websites in the last year or so. I think the first time I heard of it as a flavour was when DT did it a few summer’s ago as part of their cocktail collection. I liked it a lot then, but it was really new to me as a concept. Is this is a thing now outside the tea world that the tea world has then set out to replicate or is it a thing that’s unique to the tea world!?

It’s good though! Very, very strongly pineapple flavoured without a lot much else going for it other than sweetness and apple undertones. I mean, I like pineapple A LOT – it’s my favourite fruit and definitely in my top five favourite foods of all time. So, you know, I’m down. I could see this being a little too cloying or “candied pineapple” tasting for some though, and if that was the case I could see people easily being turned off by it. Understandably, as well. It’s a touch weird as a hot tea though; I think I’d be much more into it either iced or cold brewed…

Also, even if I like the profile doesn’t mean I’m sold on this whole “pineapple mimosa” thing as a concept. I mean, a mimosa is champagne and orange juice – right? So even if we’re, in theory, replacing the orange entirely with pineapple shouldn’t there still be something in this to replicate the flavour of champagne? ‘Cause right now it’s essentially just a sweet but straight up pineapple flavour. I think if you, as a tea company, really were committed to the idea of a pineapple mimosa you’d do something to introduce another flavour here to actually give a proper nod to cocktail you’ve named your tisane after.

But that’s just my opinion.

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79

Another more unique flavour Pu option from Cornelia Bean!

To be perfectly honest, when I grabbed this one I wasn’t totally sure I was actually going to like it but I thought it was super unique/I’d never seen a pu’erh flavoured like this so I figured I’d probably really end up kicking myself if I passed it up. Today, I made it iced in my tea press because I figured that it’d likely be well suited to iced prep since it is inspired by a cocktail.

I actually enjoyed it quite a bit! My first observation was actually just how straight forward I found the flavour to be. The top notes are light, fleeting earthy tones from the Pu’erh base and then the body is a very full bodied, stretched out lime note that persists for quite a long period of time, but then finishes really crisply and cleanly. I think a lot of that freshness and crisp/clean profile can be attributed to the mint in the blend, although I don’t actually think the profile of the tea tasted all that minty. It was really unique seeing a lime flavour on a base like this, and I liked that it was sweeter and not really acidic/sour. Really satisfying, actually!

I think this would make a KILLER cocktail base too! Maybe I’m influenced a little by the music I was listening to, but I’d like to see it either paired with tequila or a mix of rum and ginger beer! That would be so good.

Song Pairing: https://youtu.be/GshEzAUVcvQ

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85

Evening pot of tea!

One of the things I found really cool about Cornelia Bean when I went to the store was the diversity of their Pu’erh selection. A lot of local tea stores or tea/coffee joint stores tend to have VERY limited Pu’erh options: a generic shou, maybe a sheng, and possibly like a dessert pu’erh? You know, chocolate or toffee? Cornelia Bean had some really unique options though, which I definitely took advantage of – grabbing three of the several flavoured pu’erh options they carried.

Dry, this one smells strongly of black licorice/anise. Obviously that’s to be expected with a name like “Anise Pu’erh”, so if you’re smelling this one and expecting that not to be the case then that’s kind of nuts? If you do like anise/licorice, though, then this is right up your alley! So potent and aromatic. Just rich, indulgent and so intense.

Steeped, it’s a lot less monotone in flavour than the dry aroma would have you believe. I mean, it’s clearly a really strong black licorice/anise flavour but it’s not the only thing coming through. There’s also a mix of fairly strong earthy and woody notes, which give this a bit of an unrefined/natural sort of quality that I’m digging quite a bit. Other things going on in this are some cinnamon undertones, and a bit of an almost salty finish? The saltyness of the pu’erh combined with the black licorice notes REALLY makes me think of Salmiak, ie. Finnish Salted Liquorice.

It’s very smooth overall; and makes for a sweet and relaxing evening pot of tea that works as a dessert flavour, albeit not your typical one. I’m a fan!

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90

Last cup of the day!

So, unlike DT’s S’mores tea that they launched this year – this one is a herbal tea and the marshmallows in it are GIANT! I mean, totally NOT full sized marshmallows but the ones in DT’s blend look like a joke next to these guys. Plus, because marshmallows are so light there’s a ton of them in 50g. Technically speaking that means that this tisane probably isn’t actually vegetarian friendly. I’ve been a pretty damn strict vegetarian for around thirteen years now, but admittedly marshmallows are the only thing that I don’t withhold from my diet. I mean, I don’t go out of my way to eat them but they aren’t a deal breaker for me personally.

Steeped up this smells pretty heavenly; it’s mostly a mix of milk chocolate and apple aromas but there’s a marshmallow creaminess to it too! Very sweet overall, but with a softness. I imagine this will be a comforting/relaxing flavour. It’s weird ‘cause to me personally there’s definitely a summer/autumn association that comes along with S’mores ’cause of camping but yet the flavour profile works so well year round/as a wintery thing.

First few sips now and… Ahhh!

I was right; this is a really relaxing/comforting blend! It’s got three main flavours; two of which are ones you’d generally heavily associate with S’mores and that’s the marshmallow and chocolate. The last one is apple; but it’s just as much of a buttery apple as it is a sweet and very lightly tart one. It’s a touch weird, but not unwelcome. I don’t get the graham cracker, which is the other flavour note I would say is pretty linked with S’mores and without it being part of the profile this is almost more of a mashmallow topped hot chocolate kind of taste. I say almost, because it’s just a bit too much marshmallow to really drive home that hot cocoa association. So, I guess it sort of falls in this weird purgatory between the two associations?

I mean overall, this is damn smooth though and not overly sweet or lacking in flavour. I’m greatly enjoying it both as a dessert tea sort of profile and as a calming/relaxing night time option. It’s a very, very solid cup!

Song Pairing: https://youtu.be/z7SUrvYzjGU

Arby

Have you ever tried Dandy’s brand marshmallows? I use them in hot chocolate and roasting over the fire/s’mores. http://dandiesmarshmallows.com/
They have a great flavour and texture. Pretty much exactly like regular marshmallows but without the gelatin.

Lexie Aleah

I also am a vegetarian and can vouch for Dandy’s Marshmallows although they are a bit spendy compared to gelatin ones.

Roswell Strange

I’ve heard of them – but haven’t tried them. Definitely something I’ll keep in mind, though! :)

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68

#VacationTea

So, I’m not the only one on our trip who bought tea. Much to my surprise, my Dad actually ended up grabbing some tea at two of the locations we stopped at. In Fargo, at Steep Me A Cup Of Tea, he grabbed three different herbal wellness blends and from Cornelia Bean he grabbed this one – a simple dark chocolate black tea that he thought might be really nice for the evenings since he’s been cutting out A LOT of sugar from his diet – and I mean a lot. He’s limiting himself to no more than 20g of sugar a day, and zero breads. No real reason for it; he just doesn’t want to consume it anymore.

We’re back in Winnipeg right now for the evening – we leave for home tomorrow morning. He decided he wanted to try his new tea tonight though, so I made cups for him, myself, and our two hosts. My Step Mom decided to pass; she wanted coffee instead. Which is fine. I think Dad may have actually preferred that; more tea left for him when we get back home, right?

Personally I didn’t think there was anything special about this one. I mean don’t get me wrong; it was good! Very rich, full bodied taste and it produced a very smooth cup with a clean profile/finish. In particular, I really like that it achieved such a pronounced chocolate flavour without relying at all on chocolate chips. I HATE chocolate chips in tea; they just ruin the mouthfeel completely because when they melt down they make everything so oily/scummy and they often taste very artificial. This has none of that; which is good.

I’ve just had so many simple chocolate teas now at this point that I’m just not easily impressed and to me at least I think this is just like so many of them. It’s definitely going to serve the purpose Dad wants it for though. So, I’m glad he found something here in Winnipeg to bring home with him that he’ll enjoy.

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84

#VacationTea

So, we got to Winnipeg yesterday afternoon – and literally the first thing that we did was go shopping at Cornelia Bean! I’ve tried several teas from this store before, the majority of them passed along to me by Dexter. From what I can recall, most were in the range of average to very good so I was excited to actually get to check out the store in person.

I think, all in all, I ended up getting eight different teas that were actually Cornelia Bean ‘branded’ and then one of the Algonquin Tea Co. herbal blends they were carrying as part of a partnership. It was a really nice experience though! The atmosphere of the store is really nice and relaxing, and I feel like with the large table/desk in the center of the store that it’s the kind of place one could easily hunker down in for an afternoon to get some studying done in a quiet, peaceful environment with good lighting and accompanying tea! The best part, in my opinion, was just the conversation I had with the woman working at the desk who, though I’m not 100% sure, I believe was the owner. She was very sweet – and after my Dad very awkwardly/proudly boasted that I was a certified Sommelier we ended up having a really nice conversation about the TAC certification program – in particular the extent to which the program discusses tisanes/herbs in general. We also talked very briefly about the terroir similarities of Nepalese teas and Indian teas, such as Darjeeling – since the two countries share a border/are so close geographically. It was just a super positive experience in general!

As I was smelling away at the different teas, I stumbled upon this one. Though I’ve never had Spirulina tea, I’ve had several different things with Spirulina in them before and honestly I’ve always quite liked them. To be fair, I don’t know exactly what it takes like on its own though. I know a lot of people aren’t fans of the flavour though; I’ve just never experienced any unpleasantness myself. When I saw this one, I was intrigued by the smell though and I pondered aloud what it looked like visually when brewed because it DOES have that really distinct blue-green kind of hue.

The lady we were talking with (I really wish I had caught her name!) offered to make me a cup, and I happily took her up on the offer! I ended up trying it just as we were checking out, and I took like three sips and then apologized to her for having to make her do more work – ‘cause I 100% wanted to grab some of this to take home with me! It was actually so, so good! It’s hard to describe it; it tasted eerily familiar in flavour but also completely unique/different.

The descriptor I finally settled on, about halfway through finishing the cup, was “Apple Pie, but if you made it with crab apples”. It was sweet and tart, with warm cinnamon notes like what you’d get in baked apples/pie crust. It has more going for it other than that though – particularly a lemony quality alongside that sort of crab apple tartness. I wish I could isolate the taste of the spirulina – I just don’t think it’s gonna happen, though. I still think there’s another mystery flavour in here than contributed to the wonderful flavour – but without a complete ingredients list I can’t be sure.

Anyway, definitely not something I expected to pick up – but one I’m happy I got to try in the moment and decide on. It was good! Plus, it’s nice having another mate option!!!

Evol Ving Ness

I miss Dexter. If you are in touch, please prod her into making a guest appearance or two.

Sounds like you are having a splendid time away, Ms. Strange. Hurray for vacations!

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drank Creamy Lemon by Cornelia Bean
244 tasting notes

Holidays TTB

There’s only enough left in here for one, maybe two cups. This is good though, it reminds me a little bit of England – there were a few days where I just hung out in my pjs before bed reading and drinking Lemon Ginger tea and this is extremely reminiscent.

This one of few green teas that I’ve actually enjoyed and the green tea base is prominent. I can’t taste any creamy notes, but the lemon/citrus flavor is not as distinct as I would have expected, so it very well could be that there is creamy notes but they are just cutting the initial sour lemon flavor.

Flavors: Citrus, Lemon, Lemon Zest

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GCTTB

Sipdown!

I had enough for about 2 cups of this so I coldbrewed it overnight. Bright pink liquor, peachy smell, but the flavour was very tart. There was also a weird undertone I couldn’t describe – I guess it was a result of sitting in the box for so long and absorbing other flavours.

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drank Toffee Dream by Cornelia Bean
658 tasting notes

Thanks so much to Inkling for sending me some of this! I couldn’t find brewing instructions online, so I went with the Steepster average of 180f for 3 minutes. This is surprisingly hefty for a white tea. I really quite like it. Very good toffee flavor, smooth and thick mouthfeel, nice savory-sweet aftertaste. This makes for a nice dessert tea. I got a good second steep at 180f for about 5 minutes (didn’t time it the second time).

Sipdown!

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drank Peach Yellow Tea by Cornelia Bean
638 tasting notes

GCCTB4

This tea is not for me. The peach came across as too artificial tasting. I’m just really sensitive to artificial flavours so I think others who drink them might like this tea. It definitely was peachy.

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drank Juicy Peach by Cornelia Bean
286 tasting notes

GCTTB

Had this one as a cold brew. It was pretty true to flavour – juicy peaches. Delicious :)

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77
drank Toffee Dream by Cornelia Bean
340 tasting notes

Sample sipdown – thanks to Anlina for the sample!
This is pretty good. The dry tea has a really intense toffee aroma, which is there but much lighter in the brewed tea. The base tea has a light, vegetal, sightly sweet flavour. I’m getting mostly cucumber notes from it, actually. I like both the base tea and the flavouring, but I’m not totally sold on the combination. I think the toffee flavour might go better with a sweet Chinese black tea, maybe. Having said that, I’ve slurped back the whole cup while typing this review, so I can’t complain. :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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HGTTB

This is a weird tea because it smells amazingly like ooey-gooey caramel and that’s the first taste that hits your lips. However, that caramel slowly morphs into a rich root beer flavor. Up until that point it is delicious but then the mate takes over and that luscious caramel/root beer becomes wet earth. It’s not mad but I just wish the mate was left out of the mix as that would make this one amazing cup of tea.

Fjellrev

That’s too bad they stuck mate in here. I don’t even see why they’d want to add that to such flavour profile.

VariaTEA

Exactly! Plus why combine a caffeine free base with a crazy caffeinated base. It seems counterproductive to me.

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drank Pineapple Coconut by Cornelia Bean
3695 tasting notes

I decided to use the rest of my sample from Roswell Strange to make a small latte with this tea because I had extra milk from the Brasiliano latte I was making simultaneously. Unfortunately, as soon as I poured the milk, I remembered the curdling issue of Hot Tropic so I had a moment of panic and then decided to drink it quickly before the milk got a chance to curdle. However, as I sip, I can’t help but feel like I am drinking a glass of lotion. It’s weird and creamy but the coconut/pineapple combination is leading to a somewhat sunscreeny type taste. Blech. This isn’t horrible tbh but there are so many companies that do this flavor combination better that I am not sad to see this go. Still, I appreciate the share so thank you Roswell Strange for the chance to try something new. 203.

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drank Moody Manitoba by Cornelia Bean
1000 tasting notes

Three tsp generic green oolong, three tsp of this in my DavidsTea mason jar – cold steeps about 9 hours.
It’s really good – I’m not sure I can taste the oolong at all, but that’s probably a good thing – added more for the caffeine than for flavor. It’s a tart mixed berry iced tea that’s more like juice than tea. Ok I did add some sweetener, but I don’t think the hibiscus is over powering, just adds that bit of tart that keeps fruit flavors from being too candy like.
I really like this and will for sure buy more.

caile

I really like this too. Another good berry one from there that I have had is called lake of the woods – I can’t recall which I preferred though as its been awhile.

Dexter

I also really like Pear Garden “Black Currant” :)

caile

That does sound good – nice ingredients! These types are my favorite to have cold in summer. :-)

Dexter

Exactly – I’m moving away from flavored teas into the straight stuff, but still like to have fruit tisane around for cold steeping. The Dragonberry? Dragonfruitberry? (whatever it’s called) is amazing – favorite of all the fruit tisanes I’ve tried….

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80

HGTTB

While hot, the base is clearly present in the scent, mingled with lavender, but the bergamot is playing hard to get!
The Lavender definitely comes through strongest in the taste as well, it’s pretty intense. There’s just a hint of the Bergamot I’m looking for. The base is tasty, but just bordering on more astringent than I’d like in an everyday tea. This is one I would make when I’m looking for a flavorful, more bold cup of Lavender EG. I’m really considering making an order from Cornelia Bean, there’s so many good teas in this box, and I’m so glad I participated. Huge thanks to Anlina for setting it up!

Edit: A couple minutes after I finished my cup, I sneezed, and all I could smell and taste was Lavender. ’Nuff said! XD

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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80

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78

HGTTB

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, since the scent in the bag isn’t very strong. I’m getting just a hint of sour in both the smell and taste. I don’t know why, since nothing on the ingredient list would suggest it.

It’s definitely a lighter tasting tea than the last couple I’ve tried, maybe because of that, I’m underwhelmed slightly. Maybe I didn’t steep it long enough. Why do I taste fruitcake? Are you okay tastebuds? Anyways, it’s pleasant, and I’ll be happy to finish my cup.

Edit: When cooled, the flavour actually gets stronger, more toasty almond flavour. My like.

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67

Nigiri Woodlands :
Welp, I honestly don’t usually have just straight black tea, so I can’t really compare one from another. I’m hoping that I can get a baseline soon though.

I know enough to able to smell that it’s a black tea, at least. Hrmm…. Malty and dark, but with this brewing time, very little astringency, I can certainly see how it would threaten to get bitter with a longer steep though. I get the barest hint of smoke that’s mentioned if I really try, but I was hoping for a bit more. So, lots of malt and wood, not a lot of smoke, with a sweetness carrying it. The further I get into the cup, the more dry it leaves my tongue.

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95
drank London Fog by Cornelia Bean
45 tasting notes

HGTTB

Woo! So many good smells from this one. What hits me first is the sweetness of caramel, then bergamot and cream, followed by a little hint of citrus. This seriously smells so good, both dry and steeped.
The taste presents all of the same flavors, but the order changes up a bit, and I think the Bergamot shows itself a bit more. There’s also a toasty-ness that I really like, probably from the rooibos. There’s so many layers to this tea, and it’s like, you can taste each of the flavors distinctly, without one really overpowering the others, and yet they blend together and meld into smooth awesomeness. It’s been a while since I’ve found a tea I like as much as this one. There’s only a serving or two left of this one, and I think I’m keeping it. It’s a new fave.

Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Citrus, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95
drank London Fog by Cornelia Bean
45 tasting notes

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95
drank London Fog by Cornelia Bean
45 tasting notes

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