Curious TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Sororitea Sisters TTB
Since the upcoming week is a busy one for me, I am trying to power through the Sororitea Sisters TTB. That means I have had probably 15 cups of tea by now and that is a lot. So I think this will be my last for a few hours at least. Most of the ones I had, I have been reviewing for the blog but I don’t have much to say about this one other than it is okay. A touch malty. A touch astringent. Nothing that stands out as either good or bad. Ultimately, it is rather forgettable.
This was an interesting tea. Dragon well to me was something I tried first almost 10 years ago & I have always known it to be on the savoury side, while this one had a really good incense-like-aroma, I first thought it had been perfumed somehow I was so surprised at the different taste.
I think the balance between the slightly-nutty green flavour & this roasty-almost-(cinnamon? i’m adding this a day after the fact)-incense was well done. Its rich & good, asparagus, and while I wouldnt say its really zesty zesty, there is some in there (citrus zest?)
I havent got much experience with dragonwell, or green teas in general, but I liked this for its incensed aroma which permeated into the taste experience (i like teas that dont cheat me by smelling amazing but then not tasting good to back that up), or maybe it is just well balanced/good processing.
Thanks to Chelsea/Tastethetea for a lovely bag of goodies :)
Flavors: Asparagus, Cinnamon, Citrus Zest, Green, Roasted, Sweet
Aw rats, apparently I never added this to my cupboard so that’s almost another 2oz of tea to get through! I bet I never added the Golden Monkey King either…
I chose this tea because I wanted to do a cold brew and none of the teas in my current rotation spoke to me for it. I used a 600ml filter water bottle which I’m now repurposing for cold brews only, 3tsp of leaf, and left it in the fridge for around 36 hours. This is potent. The jasmine flavour is very strong, but not chemically tasting, or at least not to me – I told my mam to try it (I took it with us while we went grocery shopping) and after taking a sip she squealed and said “that was a nasty trick to play!” so I don’t think she liked it very much! She seemed genuinely surprised when I told her I wasn’t playing a trick and really did just want her to try a tea that I liked. I guess if you’re not used to it the jasmine could come off as overpowering, but I think a lot of that is to do with my long brew time. The green and white tea base is mostly smooth but starting to get a little bit astringent, so I think that if I cold-brewed this again I would try it for 24 hours and maybe use slightly less leaf. The pearls are really tightly balled up so that even though I only used 3 tsps, by the end of the steep the leaf took up almost half of the water bottle. It was really beautiful to watch, though.
A light green tea with what seems to be an all-round toasted flavour. The base note is rich, followed by a great combination of sweet vegetal notes and a smooth zesty lime finish.
Fore more on Curious Tea: https://www.tastethetea.co.uk/2016/10/29/curioustea/
Flavors: Lime, Nutty, Roasted, Toasted
For full Curious Tea review: https://www.tastethetea.co.uk/2016/10/29/curioustea/
Flavors: Caramel, Herbs, Honey, Pine, Sweet, Wood
The teas in this subscription pack are unquestionably good quality, with their array of complex and multi layered flavours. Both are available for singular purchase on the Curious Tea site, however the same quantity of teas actually costs £18.50, making the subscription a well worth it price, with a saving of £3.50. If you want to be a little more adventurous, Curious Tea also have a “Discovery” box which costs £9.50 per month for a selection of 4 10g packets of teas. Overall, this is a subscription that will appeal massively to lovers of tea, being one of few UK tea subscriptions that offers true quality tea.
For full review see: https://www.tastethetea.co.uk/2016/10/29/curioustea/
I’m not 100% sure that this is the 2014 one but possibly as this was purchased from someone on here within a year or two. I do apologize that I cannot remember who this one is from, everything ends up in a ever growing bin labeled “try me!”.
This brewed up a light green-yellow. I did add sweetener which ended up bringing out almost a juicy texture/feel. This has a touch of grassy-ness to it and it’s dry. It makes for quite the enjoyable cup!
this one came to me via cavocorax and isn’t half bad. I don’t generally enjoy darjeelings…they’re like fake black teas to me that taste like greens and oolongs – not my favourite. however, since i’ve had a few in my time that i have liked, i’m always willing to try new ones. This one isn’t half bad. It’s got that green taste to it, but it’s not drying or bitter and i drank all of it! thanks cavo!
I love a good Darjeeling, for I crave that muscatel flavor. I saw this and the main flavor notes were “muscatel”, so I knew that I needed to try it. The dry leaf are small dark green and silver curls and strands. They have a light white grape scent and some vegetal scents. I brewed these up western in my teapot. The liquor comes out a pale opaque bronze. The aroma from my cup is pure bliss. Then, I actually tasted it. I think this tea may have been idle too long, for the main flavors seem to be diminished. This brew had a spice and astringent background, and at the forefront, a light wood with almost sugarcane flavor. I did not catch any muscatel flavors. The brew was not airy and light. actually, it was quite firm for a first flush. This was a fairly decent tea, but it was not what I was expecting or looking for. I enjoyed what I had, but I will continue my search for the “champagne” I crave.
Flavors: Astringent, Dry Grass, Spices, Sugar, Vegetal
I’m the first to review again :D!
I took my time with this tea. It sounded very special to me, so I treated it as such. The leaves are beautiful. The dry leaf consists of a gorgeous bouquet of greens, golds, silvers, and ambers. This assortment of colors carries a floral tone with a light wood scent. I brewed these treasures up in my tetsubin western style. My pot yielded a tarnished gold liquor. The flavor reminds me of a darjeeling. It has the smooth wood flavor along with a sweet floral aftertaste. This brew is full bodied and goes down soft. The aroma from my brewing vessel is like that of wildflowers in full bloom. I really enjoyed this brew, and the sheer amount of this tea that I have. This was an amazing experience, and I will make this my morning black. It’s always good to start the day off with some great tea.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Oak wood, Smooth, White Grapes
I still needed some waking up, so I went for a bold tea. I havent had a good Assam in while, and this is a very good Assam! The leaves are small black and gold shards with small hairs. The aroma of the brewed leaves is alike a gold yunnan; it carries that baked bread and potato scent. The flavor is savory and delicious. The initial sip is of malt and dark maple wood. The aftertaste is a strong crystal sugar flavor. The vibrant crimson liquor carries a burnt sugar and bakery scent. This was delicious, and it was exactly what I needed to satisfy my tea craving.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Burnt Sugar, Dark Wood, Pastries
The pearls smells strongly floral in the dry leaf, which is a much gentler floral presence when brewed. It has an amazingly smooth mouthfeel and flavor. The jasmine is floral without feeling too soapy or perfume-like. The green and white tea blended base behind the jasmine is green and herbal, slightly nutty, without being grassy at all. White teas are not always my favorite for the almost mineral muskiness in their aftertaste, but the white in this blend is not too strong, and is adds a smooth balance to the green. While this first brew is slightly brothy or buttery, the floral, almost fruity tones, come out in the sweeter second steepings. I also did a cold brew of the jasmine pearls in my favorite Takeya pitcher. I let them steep in cold water for 24 hours. The brew was lighter in color, and more flowery than the hot brews, the green and white teas much lighter and smoother in the cold brew. Classy, gentle, and soothing in all its brews.
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Nutty
Many of my fellow tea bloggers have been covering teas from Nepal this past week as a way to bring attention to the recent tragedy that struck the region on April 25th. The rising death toll, the complications with bringing in aide, and the many aftershocks which are making people terrified to sleep in their houses is, for lack of a better way to put it, staggering. I learned about it when I checked my phone that morning and saw that my friends in that region were checking in safe, half asleep I had no idea what was going on, and when I found out my heart broke, I knew it was going to get a lot worse before it was going to get better. The one positive thing about any disaster is the rallying together of people to lend aide to those suffering, and this is no exception, one of those restoring faith in humanity things
So, it is with a heavy heart that I review today’s tea. First a bit of info about Jun Chiyabari First Flush from Curious Tea, grown on the Jun Chiyabari Tea Estate at an altitude of 1,800 meters, this tea is classified as a SFTGFOP1 (or Special Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe top grade, quite the mouthful.) This tea is similar to its cousin Darjeeling grown right across the border, though like all the other teas from Nepal I have tried, it has its own distinct quality that makes it different, my theory is the proximity to the Himalayas which makes them special. I will not lie, if you took this tea and a first flush Darjeeling and put them next to each other, on looks alone I doubt I could tell the difference, until I sniff it. The aroma is both sweet and green, like fresh golden grapes and honey, with a note of orange blossom, and a distinct lettuce and celery note. At the finish there is a gentle note of sage and a hint of spring rain.
Into my fancy steeping apparatus the leaves go, ok maybe I can tell a difference (I totally did do a side by side comparison) and these leaves are smaller than the first flush Darjeeling of the same grade that I have. The aroma of the now steeped and soggy leaves is quite fragrant, with distinct floral notes of orange blossom and a bit of a pansy note. Alongside these floral notes are notes of celery, celery seeds, and a finish of grapes. The liquid, freed from its leafy creator, is very sweet, with strong notes of honey, orange blossom, clover flower, and an almost heady note of scuppernongs at the finish.
Tasting time! Finally decided to break out the new (to me) vintage German cup I found at the thrift store a week ago. The taste is a bit brisk while also being pleasantly mild, not a kick you in the face briskness that you can get with black teas, it is a gentle briskness not unlike biting into a crisp vegetable. The first note that pops up is orange blossom, this moves into golden raisins and honey, lastly into a unique blend of celery and thyme. That herbaceous note at the finish is quite enjoyable, it lingers into the aftertaste, which I rather like, it is not everyday you run into thyme as a note in tea.
So, now that the adventure of the traveling tea has come to a close, it is on to one of the teas in the box: Sencha Fukujyu, hmm, maybe that is why the box went to Japan, it wanted to return to its roots! A bit about Sencha Fukijyu, it has one of the best names ever, it translates to Green Spider Legs, which makes me happy because I adore spiders! Why it is called that, I have no idea, it might not actually be a translation, information on this tea seems to be a bit sparse, but I do have some tasty facts. This tea comes from Shizouka Prefecture and is one of the later harvests, but it has some similarities to Gyokuro since it gets covered in the last part of its growing. The aroma of this Sencha is quite delightfully toasty, with notes of sesame and toasted nori and a distinct note of pine needles. Along with those notes are faint notes of spinach, a touch of broken grass, and a very unique note of mint, but without the menthol aspect, really it smells like broken mint leaves with all the cooling, sharp, menthol notes. It is very peculiar and quite fun!
Into my new and annoyingly chipped Kyusu the leaves go, ah beautiful Kyusu, you would be so perfect if not for that chip you took in the mail due to terrible packaging. Sigh. Anyway, the aroma of the now very soggy leaves (that do not resemble spider legs at all, but do look a lot like chopped up grass) is still very wonderfully toasty, I am such a sucker for toasty teas, add a bit of honey and sesame seeds with a pinch of fresh green pine needs and what you get is a very pleasant pile of leaves. The liquid is mild and sweet with notes of sweet toasted sesame seeds, pine needles, and a pleasant finish of bamboo shoots.
This Sencha is full of surprises! It starts mild and very sweet with notes of honey and sesame, much like those delicious sesame honey candies I rave on about. This immediately moves on toasted nori and those pine needles again. The finish is a blend of sunwarmed hay with an afteraste of grass. I say this Sencha is surprising, I have had toasty tasting Sencha before, but never one with pine needle notes before, it gives it a very clean taste which I am very fond of.
So much so that I went in for another steeping! The aroma of this steep is much nuttier, with a tiny bit of cashews with notes of toasted sesame seeds and a bit of crushed grass. The taste is also a bit grassier this time around, still strong notes of toasted nori and sesame seeds, but now there is the taste of crushed vegetation and broken blades of grass, it has taken on a very green taste. Overall, this would be a great everyday Sencha, and conveniently I have enough to have some everyday…for at least a few days anyway!
This tea rambling is going to start out with an adventure, specifically the adventure the box from Curious Tea went on! A while ago on Steepster, Curious Tea offered a box for review purposes, and I offered my writing and sipping services. The first box vanished into the aether, and as soon as the proprietor and I realized this tragedy, another box was sent, this time it came from its home and London and ended up in customs in Chicago, and here is where the fun begins! According to my app that tracks packages, it went from Chicago to Japan, and then to Korea, and then to New Jersey, and finally it showed up at my door. I was so happy when it did! The tea portions are massive (a whopping 50g of each) with clear instructions and lovely packaging, all things I am very pleased about in a tea subscription box. I do want to say that the customer service was awesome, my box decided to go on an adventure, but Curious Tea was quite supportive and awesome, even sending me a new one, how cool is that? So yeah, combine that with some epic teas and you have yourself a quality subscription service! I want to be a permanent subscriber…just need more money!
Snecha Fukujyu Review and box pictures: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/05/curious-tea-boxes-sencha-fukujyu-tea.html
Looks like dried grass clippings. I have a lot of tiny particles in mine. The other tea in the package was undamaged, so I don’t know if this was roughed up in shipping? Others didn’t comment on this so I am believing it is just my bag. Steeping temp of 158F is hard to do but I stood guard over the kettle and got it.
I think Curious Tea nails the taste profile on their webpage by saying this “has a full vegetal and slightly toasty flavour. It strongly evokes green vegetables, such as spinach or greens with a nori undertone and a distinct dryness in the aftertaste.”
I think the only thing I would add is though the temperature is a bit of a pain to hit, it is worth the effort as the cup was nicely smooth.
I have had Snow Bud before from another company. The teas appear pretty much identical. The difference is in the brewing approach. This one calls for 175F water and a 4 minute steep. The other used 195F and 30 second steeps. The difference is day and night. This one is smooth. The other was intense with a good bitter. Here I am getting lightly sweet field grass, along with hints of nuts and floral. The aftertaste is lingering and has the good bite I expected up front but here it is lighter and not at all scary. Although I taste the fresh spring water and floral notes I associate with good white tea, it is the ending that drifts towards Chinese green tea that sells this to me. I very much enjoyed this using Curious Teas parameters.
Im so behind with my tasting notes. Rainy day is great to sip some tea.
This tea is part of my sampling set. very generous samples of 50g each.
3g 8oz 200F 3min
this tea is excellent. So sweet and malty and smooth. Practically no astringency, maybe as it cools it becomes noticeable. i find it with all indian/Ceylon teas. You should drink it while its hot. resteep was excellent @ 5min. not short of flavor at all. Sweet and smooth.
Im guessing if i would brew it longer some milk and sugar would be nice. i prefer it without any additions.
Thank you so much Curious Tea for the great opportunity to try your wonderful teas. I love the quality, taste and presentation. Highly recommended.
Flavors: Malt, Smooth, Sweet
I was impressed with this box from Curious Tea, they definitely paid attention to detail. My teas arrived in under ten days (UK to US) and when I opened the box I found my teas wrapped in blue art paper. I know I’ll be repurposing this at some point, it’s gorgeous! On the lid of the box were cards with steeping instructions, a brief description of the tea, as well as space for taking tasting notes. All of the information I needed was easily found, but I did have to hop online to convert the temperature from ˚C to ˚F since I never can remember the formula, even though I know it’s simple.
I never have and never will have a math-brain. That gene skipped over me and went to my little brother. I on the other hand got the good looks in the family (but don’t tell him I said that ::grins::)
As for the tea, the quality was top-notch. Both selections were teas I would consider ordering again, but unfortunately Curious Tea doesn’t currently offer an option for reordering the teas I enjoy. That is the only negative thing I found with this box, but according to the FAQ they are working to make reorders possible in the near future.
You can read the full review on my blog:
I don’t even know where to begin with this tea, except to say that I could drink a lot of it. The mild flavor and light sweetness pair well with almost any meal, or can be enjoyed on its own. I managed to drink the entire 50g (1.76oz) package in under a week. It’s unusual for me to stick with the same tea for so long, I tend to get bored with it, but this seemed to fit all of my moods.
You can read the full review on my blog:
The first thing I noticed about this tea is that it is very dry, with a wine-like, or muscatel flavor. When I hear Darjeeling tea referred to as the champagne of teas, this is exactly the type of tea I picture. It has many of the same characteristics of a quality champagne.
You can read the full review on my blog:
Thank you Curious Tea for giving me a sample for review!
I have to say that I am amazed with the presentation of this box. It’s beautifully wrapped, and the labels on the packaging are elegant and informative. Everything I need to know is right there.
I was very excited to brew this cup because I haven’t had darjeeling in a while, and this was supposed to be top quality. It’s light and fruity, with a little bit of a sharp tang that isn’t quite astringent. It’s fruity and I’m definitely getting peach notes. It’s refreshing. Even as it cools it doesn’t cross that line over into bitterness which is great; I’ve had a few darjeelings that went bad that way\.
Thank you for the sample!
Leaves: long thin, dark green w/ fuzzy
Color: pale yellow
Taste: I received this as a part of CuriousTea complementary tea box. This evening i was in the mood for something light so i decided to go with this tea. The aroma was floral not too strong. One thing i found interesting about this tea is that is it required 4 minutes to steep for it to be a white tea. I boiled water then let it cool for 7m before adding it to the leaves, hopping that wouldn’t be too cool for the steeping time. The first cup had no bitterness & light in flavor. The second steep i lowered the water cooling time to 6m and up the brewing to 5m. The result was same flavor profile just slightly warmer tea. Overall i found this to be a nice light tea.
Curious Tea has a new tea subscription box out of the UK. I was lucky enough to receive one for review! The box seemed like an adventure from the beginning, just from the stamps on the outside. Inside, the largest tea pouches I’ve ever seen. It seems like SO much tea (it’s 50 grams of each tea… the resealable envelopes are so big but flat.. I wish all of my teas were in pouches like these. I envision filing them by types of tea in a nice cold filing cabinet!) There is plenty of info located both within the package but also on the website. All the info you’ll need! The teas included in the boxes have all seemed like teas I would enjoy, so it would be tough for me to choose: the dark, light, or mixed options (the mixed option is one tea from the light, one tea from the dark). With each choice, Curious Tea will send 50grams of two teas each month. Just an idea for Curious Tea: it would also be interesting if Curious Tea would send you 25grams each of all FOUR teas, for those of us who are up for trying any tea.. those the most curious!
On to the teas….
The Assam Doomni Special Second Flush is delicious – a brisk assam, while somehow not turning into the tomato soup flavor assam has been tasting like lately. I love the hints of gold in the twisty dark leaves. A teaspoon for a 12 ounce mug is tough enough with a three minute steep. I also tried another cup with a teaspoon and a half or two and it just didn’t work (a little too astringent). But use a teaspoon and it’s great stuff! The dark cup is malty with hints of dried grass. The second cup mellow out and sweetens a bit, loosing a bit of the “rustiness” to the flavor – the only way I can describe it but it’s good! I always need a great assam in stock but hopefully the next tea is as special as I think it will be…
The Jun Chiyabari First Flush is like a light Darjeeling, very sweet and fruity. Not as complex as the other Jun Chiyabari I’ve tried, but that was setting a high bar as one of the best teas I’ve ever tried. (It also might matter that the other was a Second Flush and I seem to like those better than First Flushes.) I tried steeping this one a couple ways, these parameters being a little too astringent: 2 tsps. // 15 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep. A two minute steep might have been fine, but the three was a little too much. Lowering the teaspoons to a teaspoon or 1 1/2 might help too. It was a very enjoyable flavor though.
Overall, the experience of this subscription box was a great one and definitely one to consider!