Cultivate TeaEdit Company
Popular Teas from Cultivate TeaSee All 14 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
As I’ve mentioned previously – I have a coworker who is currently getting her Sommelier Certification & I’ve been helping her with the course work/tastings. This is the same coworker who was recently in BC and picked up a bunch of teas from Cultivate Tea to bring back for us all the taste.
She drinks Gongfu w/ me all the time in the lab when I’m brewing, but a couple of my coworkers and I were finally all free at the same time for us to give her a crash course on brewing Gongfu so that she could take her first crack at it! It took my two years+ to build up to brewing Gongfu, but she got there in less than six months! She picked this tea to make for us all, and with some gentle guidance she brewed it up like a pro!
We went light leaf and longer steep times, because we all agreed that was probably the best choice since strong leaf and small steeps seems like a recipe for burnt fingers and over brewed tea for a first time using a gaiwan. I certainly remember the burnt fingers…
She brewed for about five people and it was a small approx 80ml gaiwan so we basically all got a sip or two of each infusion – which was three in total. It was a short session, but they all came out nicely and it was a really great starting point in her Gongfu journey! I thought the Rou Gui she had purchased was nice enough; it was a little light for my tastes (a result of the leaf used I think, not a reflection on the tea) but had some mineral/rocky and toasty roasty notes that I love in Rou Gui along with a dry cinnamon/woody quality and a finish that was very cannabis heavy! The last infusion was beginning to break into that floral territory but we didn’t steep long enough to really get into the floral part of the tea.
It was just a really nice experience just getting to be a part of her first time brewing Gongfu!
I had these super ripe, juicy cherries with me at work this week for any afternoon snack, and I wasn’t sure what tea to have them with. My default probably would have been shou if I had my entire tea collection with me to pick from, but alas I did not. In the end, I remembered I had this tea which has some BEAUTIFUL honey, wood, and cherry notes all on its own so I decided it was the perfect tea and fruit pairing!
Long session – totally brewed out, and delicious!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq-4X3-1Anw
This is another tea that my lovely coworker brought back with her during her recent Vancouver trip – it was the first from Cultivate that I tried, and I actually brewed it up Gongfu for three of us to share. We got a good twelve or so steeps – but I did stack them two at a time so that I had enough steeped tea in the cha hai to fill all of our cups at once…
Not only is the loose leaf appearance absolutely breathtaking, but the tea was rich and nuanced as well!! Quite sweet with a viscous and coating mouthfeel, we all felt like this tea had distinct dense, sticky maple notes and a strong woody character. I experienced notes of overripe black cherry juices, and buckwheat honey as well. It was a remarkable tea session to end the day on, though I wish the leaf would have had just a smidge more longevity.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2oDxnNtllM
A coworker was recently in Vancouver and stopped at Cultivate tea; she’s getting her Sommelier degree right now and has been really diving into straight and traditional teas as of late – she picked up a nice sampling of teas and was kind enough to bring them in to the office for us to all try/experience as well so that we could compare notes and thoughts!
I tried two other teas from the company – notes on those to come at a later date. However, I ran out of time during the work week to try this one as well so she let me take 7g of it home with me to brew Gongfu this weekend. I did that yesterday morning and took notes to share with her. I also wrote a nice summary on instagram so I’ll do what’s become habit lately and just share that write up here…
I was a little skeptical because the aroma of the dry leaf was a little sharp and sour/grassy, but the tea actually infused quite wonderfully throughout this tea session. The roast is quite smooth and present, along with a nice minerality and dry peanut/brazilnut note. It also progresses into quite a juicy and floral lychee and red apple note with an undertone of wildflower honey in the finish. It was a great intermission to my afternoon today!
I actually went into Cultivate because I wanted to grab their tieguanyin (was shared some and actually really quite liked it). But they didn’t have any that I saw, so I grabbed this.
A nice reminder of why I love Chinese black teas. They’re always nutty and sweet, rarely astringent. I always enjoy them. Wouldn’t say this one had a whole lot of depth to it—drinking it Western in my owl mug—but it’s pleasant, wouldn’t quite say chocolate, package says cocoa which I can accept. Maybe brow sugar in the context of baked treats, I think.
Sipped this at a club meeting and scribbled some notes down while I was there. I brewed it in my travel gaiwan, didn’t have my scale but filled about 1/3rd, and it expanded to fill my gaiwan. Didn’t really count seconds for steeps, but less than 30 seconds.
“Light, coats the mouth; floral mainly, lightly vegetal. Magnolia, lightly sweet, almost buttery. Very smooth. Pick some up for me, I think.”
“Mostly lost count of the steep (>5); floral topnotes dissipated, vegetal and buttery body. Butter still lingers as an after taste, & breathe out.”
I did quite like it, the leaves were mostly green, some red oxidation on some leaf edges but not all; I might pick some up next time I’m over there.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Sweet, Vegetal
This was on my wishlist and variaTEA obliged! I have to say, that this is a really good cup of tea. I’ve only had the one steep right now, but plan on having a few more today while i get through work. It’s smooth, some sweet potato like notes coming through…sweet and not at all astringent. This isn’t a BOLD brew but rather more of an easy drinking tea – a good intro tea for someone who wasn’t really a fan of black tea i would say.
Count: 110 (down from the 120 VariaTEA has me up to….need to get to 80 by end of july…)
Possibly the most divine thing I’ve smelled in the last few months (mother even called it ambrosia), sniffing the dry leaves in the heated pot made me do a double take on the “raw Puerh” sticker. I don’t know to describe that pre-steep, post-ziplock aroma but it was good. Very good.
The aroma of the 15 second steep isn’t quite as fantastic, but it is pleasantly reminiscent of the grapefruit and cinnamon-like qualities of petunias (that’s what the ones in our garden smell like). The taste is floral, sour, somewhat vegetal, and slightly sweet. My brain is also stuck on cinnamon so I’m getting that too. NOTE later steeps didn’t come out as dynamic, which was disappointing after that amazing first impression.
Now I’m off to steep this to death for the rest of the day (and evening, and potentially tomorrow). It looks like me a Puerh are best friends now, thanks to OMGsrsly.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Flowers, Grapefruit
Return trip: Found this at the bottom of my box. It’s been open a while now, so threw the last 5g into a gaiwan.
Aromatically intriguing. Pure initial grassy aromas fade to nutty sweetness with touch of apricot.
Palate is grassy and vegetal but with a surprising creaminess. A pleasant sweetness counters the vegetal notes.
Thin dry leaves smell of pears and flowers
I normally have this in a gaiwan, but I’m working so opted for a simpler ‘western’ approach.
Infusion is pale and fresh. very vegetal on nose and taste, filled out by a gentle sweet nuttiness mid-palate.
Picked March 2014
Dry Leaf: black and wiry
very aromatic: dried berries, cranberries, very light smoke, sweat, medium roast coffee, medium dark chocolate,
Wet Leaf not as aromatic. More earthy, foresty with a very distant campfire.
liquor more chocolate and malt on first infusion
sadly, later infusions don’t reveal much further. certainly a fine tea, but lacked mid-palate to back up its initial aromas
low astringency, medium body
It’s listed as an easy-drinking tea, which I would certainly agree with. It’s good, but not really worth the price
This appears slightly more oxidised than some of the other Oriental Beauty teas I’ve had.
As would expect, it’s highly aromatic with rose, peaches, wood, lemon oil
Taste delivers what the nose expected. I may be crazy, but also think i get a touch of maltiness on this.
medium body with mild astringency. Surprisingly creamy
It’s good, but some thing is missing. Today is a leaf day
A while ago my friends brought this back for me from Vancouver. I shared it with many but have yet to try it myself until now. Sipping on it, it’s got tons of honey notes and a hint of malt but overall nothing to write home about. It should be easy enough to get through what I have but its not something I need to keep stocked.
this one comes from omgsrsly As most know, sheng’s don’t usually do it for me but i continue to experiment and try more since i have had a couple that i adored. After playing with this one this morning, i don’t mind it, but it’s not one i’d search out for myself. a young sheng – no bitterness and very easy to drink…just lacking in the excitement department for me :) thanks for sharing omgsrsly!
This is good, but definitely not a daily drinker for me. I would buy again, but only in small amounts as a fun treat. It’s toasty, mineraly, spicy.
I’ll probably only have a couple steps of this. Here’s hoping it’s not an oolong that triggers my gut issues!
Edit: this was an oolong that triggered my gut issues. I expect a few more like this as I have several oblongs in my tasting basket.
Beautiful dark leaves with some deep amber hues. Incredibly aromatic with a nicely balanced taste. This black tea is rich and complex yet delicate and sweet. I would never add milk to this tea! Made it in a gaiwan for at least 8 infusions. It held its characteristic notes all the way to the end, just at slightly lower tones.
I wasn’t sure on this one in-store, but I got to try a little sample of it and ended up going for it.
Discarded the first rinse, then steeped for twenty seconds. It’s sweet and green, with a bit of citrus, maybe apple, rather than grass or spinach. It’s very smooth.
Second steep for 25 seconds was a little sharper, slightly vegetal, still mainly citrus. Still thinking of warm apple.
Thank you VariaTEA!
This is a queued tasting note.
Went into this one without much of an idea what to expect; there’s very little information on the retailer’s website (it looks like they’re more set up for local in person shopping than online orders) and there aren’t any Steepster reviews yet. But this was really good!
In fact, it was actually so good I did two infusions of it which is something I hardly ever do for anything other than oolong when I’m steeping Western style. It’s really rare for me, personally, to want to drink the same tea multiple times in one day; I just want to experience as much as possible! So that definitely says something.
The dry leaves are really pretty; they’re long and twisty and have this rusty kind of tint to them that really popped as they were steeping; very tawny and autumn like! The steeped up brew was a really pretty amber colour. It kind of reminded me of the colour of a good beer, actually.
This was actually a lot less brisk and full bodied than I had expected it to be; there was some light astringency with the first steep but that went away with the second. Other than that bit of astringency both infusions were very similar though; they had a gentle sweetness to them with top notes of fragile honeycombs and really gentle undercurrents of malt and fresh baked French bread. The finish went back to sweeter honey with floral notes as well.
This is NOT a tea to drink with milk; you would absolutely drown out the subtler, delicate flavours that are present. It’s a shame it’s not really something I can get online and it’s not available to me locally because if it was available for a reasonable price I’d totally be interest in getting a bit more of this one.
Unrelated to tea: My landlord has decided to continue renovating his house and for the last two hours all I’ve been able to hear is him hammering, essentially non-stop, right over my bedroom. It’s fucking 8PM at night! C’mon Rob, you’re giving me a serious migraine here!
I’m new to Oolongs and the Gongfu style of tea, and I used my gaiwan for the first time today. The aroma of this tea was verdant and misty like the Chinese mountains. It was amazing. I put too much tea in my gaiwan and brewed it many times, at least 7. And each time, the smell was just amazing and made me so happy. The flavour was also deep, nuanced and green.
Flavors: Grass, Mineral, Roasted
I had this tea this morning while I was putting my lunch together. Super mild, reminiscent of pea sprouts, not bitter at all even with a 30 second steep.
I’ll need to steep it more and try it again. It’s quite unlike the sharp almost bitter flavours I would expect with a young sheng. Really interesting.
Smelt “tea” in the bag, but once I poured it into my pre-warmed gaiwan, I got a strong whiff of honey peach.
This is also kind’ve an excuse to test the little bamboo strainer I got from them as well. I usually just use a teaball-half as my strainer, but my inner need to buy tea accessories finally caved for this little bamboo one. It fits into my travel gaiwan bag well enough, and kinda matches the wood teaspoon I got with my Justtea oolong.
The leaf was surprisingly small (I don’t remember this one having a sample-jar in front of it), but the tea itself doesn’t seem to suffer any bitterness from it. Lightly green and toasty, not getting any peach from it but it’s only the first steep. Three’s usually the best. First steep was ten seconds.
Second and third steeps ~6 seconds. Eliminated the toastyness a bit with the shorter steep. Keep thinking I’m getting maybe hints of something fruity, but not sure.
Will try and post something more in-depth when I get a better chance to sit down with tea.