Cuppa'T Specialty Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

I had this one cold brewing in the fridge, but the one of my roommates didn’t fully close the fridge door and no one noticed until later in the evening (when I got home from work) so the brew was actually kind of room temperature. So, really, I made sun tea instead of cold brew.

I’m not big on sun tea – not only it is a much higher risk for bacteria growth, but you’re basically just drinking room temperature tea which is sort of gross? Like, I want my tea hot or cold – ideally not in the middle. So, I slugged my way through the brew (which was very fig/candied waxy pineapple in taste – not nearly enough basil) but it was weird and not what I wanted.

Flavors: Apple, Fig, Pineapple

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Current cuppa.

This tea is weirding me out a little bit – the package says it’s a fruit infusion, but the ingredients list says it has white tea in it and I can kind of see what could be some broken up, flakey looking white in the ingredients – but it could also potentially be sweet blackberry leaf. Without pouring out the entire bag it’s hard to closely inspect it. It’s also supposedly got basil in it, and the dry leaf smells basil-y but there’s no basil in the ingredients list…

Regardless of the weirdness of the ingredients, it’s a pretty damn nice infusion though! It’s pretty fruity, but more medium bodied and mellow that a lot of fruitier teas I’ve had as of late – there’s no sharp hibiscus, and it even feels like there’s a more minimal amount of apple in the blend/not a ton of filler. I immediately get the sweetness of the blackberry leaf, but there’s also a nice fruity quality that feels like a mix of candied pineapple and fig (and a little bit of apple). I’d describe it as rather juicy! However it does have a herbaceous savory undertone that reminds me of basil – so I want to believe that there’s basil in the blend but the ingredients list seems to contradict that.

Could the “flavouring” in the blend be basil flavouing? I suppose it’s not off the table, but I’ve never seen basil flavouring used in a tea blend before – it would surely be cheaper just to blend with actual basil instead of some type of basil flavouring.

The tea is an enigma, but one I’m digging!

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Sipdown (229)

This was the second oldest tea in my steepster cupboard based on the recently added sorting and it comes from Roswell Strange. This blend is so old, it was sent to me in either 2015 or 2016 as part of the package of teas to be had with certain songs. The song she recommended for this blend is “One Day I’ll Fly Away” by Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge.

Bit of a disclaimer – not only is this tea old but it may be overleafed and I got distracted ordering clothes online so by the time I started drinking it, it was cold. Essentially this sample wasn’t treated well so if this note is talking about a garbage tea, it is likely my fault and not a reflection on the tea.

So while this has what is clearly a nice vanilla note to it, that pairs well with Nicole Kidman’s smooth and soft voice in the song, there is just too much lavender for me :( I think the lavender probably stands out more b/c it is cold. While I can definitely see where Roswell was going when she paired this tea and song, I treated this too poorly for it to be an enjoyable experience. Nevertheless, thank you Roswell Strange for the share!!

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Sipdown (227)

Finished this off the other day cold brewed in milk. It was better than the plain hot tea but not as good as the first time I cold brewed it in milk. Good but nothing great so I am okay saying goodbye. Thanks for sharing, Roswell Strange!

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72

This was much better in milk. It is still cinnamony and a bit creamy but cold steeped in milk really helped to bring out the “milkshake” element.

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72

Another one from Roswell Strange. Thank you!

I cold brewed this in milk for 8 hours. The plan was to make a hot chocolate but that didn’t happen because I got lazy. So now it’s just flavored milk and honestly it is pretty good

Its creamy and has a whole lot of flavor. I want to say vanilla and cinnamon and something else that’s so familiar but not all that common but really works.

Kawaii433

Someday I will have to try to cold brew tea in milk. Sounds good. :)

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From two weeks ago – I’m definitely behind a little bit on tasting notes…

This was ok but it’s got one of those fruity profiles that’s a little generic and the apple is also very strong in the blend, so you get a lot of that apple-y sweetness overtaking the cup and then a more mellow generic strawberry/red berry taste that’s very clearly coming from the flavouring in the blend. There’s some pleasant tartness though to balance the tea out.

It’s fine – nothing special, but you don’t always need teas to be special to be enjoyable.

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Cold brew from Friday evening, with some sliced up lemon tossed into my mason jar of cold brew as well. This was so good. It was essentially just juice/lemonade, but what’s wrong with that? Sweet and juicy – prominent strawberry notes but with the lemon slices I got a lot of citrus/lemon too – and some tartness/brightness.

Strawberry Lemonade, essentially. Yuuummmmm!

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Iced!

This was lighter in terms of taste than expected, but quite delicious. Nothing about the flavour really reminded me a whole lot of the name though – I found the taste more tropical, with the dragon fruit coming through the most clearly for me as well as the general sweetness of the apple. Kind of felt like, maybe, this had the generic “red fruit” flavour that is in so many fruity blends?

Ultimately quite enjoyed it though, and was very happy with the level of flavour and sweetness. Would probably also be good hot, but I feel like I’m really getting into iced tea season now…

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I still think the name of this tea is absolutely awful.

However, today’s cup tastes like perfection. It’s sweet and creamy, with this and coating vanilla notes and a complimenting strong and sweet cinnamon note that doesn’t actually add any “heat” to the overall mix. It does, I reluctantly admit, taste like what I imagine a cinnamon and vanilla milkshake would.

VariaTEA

This cold steeped in milk is very nice

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Hot with a little bit of vanilla agave – this was nice and had a general sweetness and creaminess to the profile that I found tasty and also soothing. However, there was really nothing distinct at all in what flavour that sweetness/creaminess was conveying. So…

I guess that’s fine?

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A morning(ish) cuppa from today.

I wonder what about this is supposed to be spicy!? It’s such an odd descriptive choice in the name of this tea because even if there was a present spice not (there was NOT) I don’t think that’s something that most people actually want in a milkshake – so it’s a strange selling point!? Hopefully I make sense when I say that. If, say, the “spice” was cinnamon I think even calling this “Cinnamon Milkshake” would still be WAYYYY better than “Spicy Milkshake”.

But anyway; what it actually tasted like was a floral but ultimately very creamy oolong blend with a little bit of that black tea maltiness in the undertones. The creamyness comes from a mix of coconut and vanilla, both of which are nice notes through a tiny bit artificial tasting. I think this is milkshake adjacent in terms of flavour; because I’m looking for that comparison I’m finding it but if I wasn’t trying to relate the flavour of this tea to that concept I don’t think I’m land perfectly there.

I did like it though, as a whole.

VariaTEA

I was intrigued when I first read you had this tea. Sweet spicy milkshake is a weird selling point for sure.

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74

Latte Sipdown (608)!

This was a mostly good latte with some lovely buttered rum notes and a nutty sweetness. It’s also fucking freezing in my apartment today despite having the heat cranked up; so a hot and cozy latte was the exact perfect thing to make with my breakfast. So cozy and warm. However, there was also a weird saltiness to the cup that I haven’t experiencing with prior tastings of this tea? It wasn’t bad, but just really threw me for a hot second or two.

So yeah – basically a hot, cozy mug of salted caramel, nutty, buttered rum goodness?

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74

Made this one in a travel mug to drink on the way to work this morning: sadly my vacation/break has come to a close! I am excited to be back at the office though – as much as it means less exploration of Montreal so freely, this is a great environment!

The tea was somewhat flat tasting today – possibly it just doesn’t translate well to travel mug style preparation? I guess I could have also just botched the steeping too though? Not totally sure; I just know I wasn’t particularly feeling it.

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74

Hot, with a splash of butterscotch schnapps.

Holy shit – adding in that schnapps was a REALLY smart addition! It’s really smooth, but that “buttered rum” taste that I experienced with my first pot of this tea is amplified tenfold without sacrificing the body and malt of the black tea in the blend. It’s very rich, and sweet but not over the top because the black base is strong enough to support those notes. Reminds me a little bit of those Butter Rum life savers candies!? Do they even make those anymore!?

I have a distinct memory of spending one of my winters, right around Christmas, in the hospital for a prolonged period of time because I was getting my tonsils removed. I received a “Lifesavers Book” from the hospital staff that basically opened up the reveal packages of the candies on either side – the classic fruity ones and buttered rum. No one else in the ward liked the buttered rum ones so I got like six or seven packs of them. They were the fucking BOMB.

Mastress Alita

Buttered Rum are the best Lifesavers.

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74

It’s been a busy last week at work; but I managed to sneak to the downtown Cathedral area after work today for a short while which let me stop at Cuppa’T and restock a favourite tea I was out of as well as pick up a couple new teas before I leave for Montreal in a week!

I mean, I do own several blends from Cuppa’T already – but it feels nice to have gotten to pick up some new ones before leaving. It’s like taking a little piece of Regina’s tea scene with me to Montreal, in a way. I only got a small amount of this one (about an oz) because I’m actually hoping to finish this one off before I move (leaving three new blends to take with), and of the four teas I picked up it was the one I felt the least sure that I’d like…

I brewed myself up a large pot of it tonight, and am just finishing it off now. I did add a little bit of milk at the recommendation of the sales associate who sold it to me. I’m mostly liking this blend, but at the same time I’m not totally sure what it’s trying to be? None of the listed ingredients are ones that I’d associate with truffles – and from what I gathered in store the “butter” element in the same is supposed to sort of be like buttered rum!? To be fair, the dry leaf does have a buttery, sweet and almost toffee like aroma to it so maybe!? It’s a little weird, though.

As far as taste goes that lack of clarity in terms of flavour is still sort of present. The black tea base is surprisingly present throughout the cup, and has distinct notes of yeast-y bread, malt, and dry/astringent nuts. It’s nice, and I appreciate the full bodied characteristics and briskness – I can also see why it was recommended that I add milk. As for the flavourings in the blend, I do actually feel like I’m getting the sweetness and buttery elements of buttered rum with a tinge of toffee to the undertones. I really like that element of the tea too, but wish it was stronger. If “truffle” is supposed to be chocolate, though, then I’m completely MISSING that aspect. Also, there are spices in the ingredients but not really in the flavour so that’s also a little weird.

So overall, I’d say this is semi-buttered rum flavoured with really strong black tea. Like a lightly/moderatly flavoured breakfast-blend type of tea!? I mostly really enjoy it, but there’s just something that is stopping me from “fully” embracing it.

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84

It’s been a crazy last few days and before I get into the tasting note I just wanted to write a small personal Corona Virus update because I’ve had a few people reach out to me asking if I’m still working and things like that.

As things with the Corona virus are rapidly escalating, what’s been going on with work has rapidly been changing. As of today, all of the retail locations have been temporarily closed and sadly all the retail employees have been laid off – along with probably about ninety percent of the office staff. I have conflicting feelings about this – obviously it’s good for stores to not be open to minimize the spread of the virus as much as humanely possible but my heart aches for everyone who has been laid off. Thankfully, it is a temporary lay off and when everything settles everyone should be hired back on. While being laid off is scary, I do think it’s the best call for the most part? I spoke to my brother who works FT at an Olive Garden – so, retail industry. He’s in a spot where their store is still operating, but have DRASTICALLY reduced the amount of shifts/people being scheduled. They’re not penalizing any staff that choose not to work/are taking sick time for self quarantine but at the same time in not actively laying off their employees many of them are having their income massively decline – my brother included. I was initially very frustrated that all the retail staff at DT locations weren’t kept on, but my brother telling me how being laid off would be BENEFICIAL to him changed my opinion. He would be able to collect unemployment insurance, which calculates how much you’re paid based on the average hours you’re working – if retail employee’s hours taper off to a minimum then they actually will make less in most cases than what they would on EI…

As for me, I was part of the small selection of staff that wasn’t laid off – for which I am both very grateful, and left feeling highly guilty about. The majority of staff who were not laid off will be working from home until further notice, but because it’s not possible for me to do my job from home I am continuing to come into the office for the time being. I’m obviously taking a lot of precautionary measures, and aside from the commute there and back I’m self isolating. There are actually less than ten employees now who have access to our office, many of them being lab staff, so it’s pretty safe at the office all things considered – it’s empty enough we can all be in completely different rooms and never interact if we don’t need to/want to. We’re working reduced hours to minimize the time we need to spend away from home; and to avoid high traffic periods on the metro.

So, that’s what’s going on with me.

I hope all my friends here on Steepster are doing well and taking precautions/working from home where possible and self isolating. I’m thinking about you all. And enough of the sappy stuff, time to talk about the tea…

I made this cup with some peppermint agave, which may initially sound like a weird pairing but this white tea blend has mint in it already so it really just exaggerated the cooling/refreshing notes that were already present. It also had the added bonus of adding some brightness, juiciness and general life to the watermelon notes. It was delicious overall, and an improvement upon how this normally tastes without additions.

mrmopar

Thanks Ros, you all take care too.

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84

Weirdly this mug had a savory/brothy kind of quality to it, as well as hints of melon and spearmint – but, I don’t think I’m down for melon, mint, and chicken stock – that just sounds foul! #punlooselyintended

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84

Cold brew with chia in it. Nothing wrong with the tea itself at all, but I don’t know that I quite like the combo of mint and chia – something about it feels deeply unnatural to me…

Flavors: Melon, Mint, Spearmint

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84

Made a small batch of cold brew into popsicles using this tea a few days ago.

I wanted to make them, initially, with a puree of fresh mint leaves, watermelon and agave but my mom ended up using all the fresh mint for a mint milkshake and my sister at like 90% of the watermelon so I ended up only using the tea – no extras. I think that was a mistake because texturally these were basically just GIANT ice cubes and as far as flavour goes they were oddly bitter, even though I tested the cold brew before pouring and it tasted perfectly fine.

So far I’ve had one of the batch which has tasted good – and it was pretty mellow, with a slight watermelon taste and then a more cooling minty sort of finish. It was refreshing but just not what I was really going for…

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84

Hot cuppa, on the way to work a few days ago.

Definitely some hot hay notes notes from the white tea creeping into the main body profile here; quite strongly, actually. Otherwise a nice, sweet medium bodied watermelon taste with a little bit of a mint edge to it too. Feels fresh and summery.

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84

Cold Brew!

So the city I live in hosts a yearly art festival in the summer for a week, with the final day having this giant street fair with tons of food trucks, local artists, and creators of all sorts. It’s a beautiful gathering of community, and a really fun time!

I got a decent haul this year:

- Perogies from my favourite local food truck
- Some locally made bath bombs
- Lemon & chocolate bagels from my favourite baker
- A new matcha bowl from a local potter

And of course a little bit of tea from Cuppa’T – they have a lot of their regular summer flavours, many of which I’ve tried before and I already have my favourite one stocked up. This was the only one I saw that seemed new, and it smelled really good so I decided I’d grab 50g and see what it’s like iced or cold brewed for the summer.

I really wish I’d grabbed an ingredients list because I know there’s a lot going on in this one, but one thing I remember is that it actually didn’t have any sort of melon in it but it did have apple, spearmint, and morninga leaf among other things that I’ve just forgetting. Taste wise, it’s quite nice and smooth though – definitely has the crisp, cooling feeling and sweetness of the spearmint quite strongly. I really enjoy this spearmint and fruit pairing as well as the spearmint and white tea combo. It does convey watermelon though, albeit in a sweeter and clearly ‘replicated watermelon’ (not natural). I still really like/enjoy it though!

Basically, sweet watermelon, apple, spearmint, and slight floral undertones. It’s REALLY good, and sort of unique. It all works.

I’ll probably email the owner for an ingredients list, though…

VariaTEA

Why would you not recommend it? Or was that an accident?

Roswell Strange

Definitely an accident; meant to click the other bubble. I’ll fix it :)

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Malt to the extreme, with just a hint of vanilla.

This was just something I made for a quick cup last week, prior to packing/moving craziness. It had just been a while since I had a more traditional/simple breakfast blend and that’s what I was in the mood for. Glad I keep this one around even if it’s nothing spectacularly fancy.

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I’m drinking this right now with some peppermint agave added into it because I was in a bit of a festive black tea kind of mood but the cup is kind of behaving stangely? It’s pretty damn sweet, which makes sense because I added lots of agave, but I’m only just getting a whisper of the peppermint/candy cane notes that I wanted from the cup. It’s strange to me how much of the general sweetness of the agave has come through without the mint doing the same. Aside from that it’s not a bad cup – very thick and full bodied with a ton of malty raisin and bread-y notes. It’s exactly what I want from an Irish Breakfast in terms of flavour, just not what I want from a peppermint Irish Breakfast…

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