Handmade Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

GCTTB

I am so very grateful that the brief rainfall cleared the humidity and kept the neighbour children off that cursed trampoline. Those would be the other neighbours: not the ones with the shrieking baby and the at dawn exercise routine.

Yeah, I know—I must have done something truly horrible in a previous life.

I quite like this one though I was expecting a completely different set of flavours than those which arrived in my cup. The black base is pretty frisky. I had steeped it as per VariaTEA’s instructions at 4 minutes instead of my usual 2 minute black tea quickie. The lime here is earthy rather than bright. The coconut is missing altogether. Nice cup. If I tried it again, I would likely do a shorter steep.

Thanks, VariaTEA!

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

4 minutes is Handmade Tea’s recommended steeping. I usually steep for less time too.

Evol Ving Ness

It was very kind of you to write the steeping parameters on the packet. Sadly, I am one of those people who if someone takes the time to write something, I take that as an indicator of Please person, STEEP THIS AT 4 MINUTES. Crazy, huh? That’s why I don’t write steeping parameters, assuming that people will steep black the way they steep black, green the way they steep green and so on.

Evol Ving Ness

Imma disregard steeping parameters.

Evol Ving Ness

VariaTEA, I hope my comment did not in any way come across as critical. I was just being flippant and silly. Hope it came across that way.

VariaTEA

Hahaha no worries. I get it though I usually attempt to follow steeping parameters from companies unless they’re far outside my comfort zone. I figure the company makes the tea and in theory they should know how to best prepare it. So I thought it was best to share all the info I got from the company.

Indigobloom

I usually forget to set my timer. So my steep times? not consistent, for the most part! >_<

Evol Ving Ness

Understood.

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78
drank Krampus Brew by Handmade Tea
8941 tasting notes

thank you VariaTEA! this was a really interesting tea to try. Sweet, fruity with a hint of spice/clove. I wouldn’t drink this every day but it’s really neat.

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76
drank Murmur by Handmade Tea
8941 tasting notes

Sample from VariaTEA. This was a whole lot of subdued strawberry. I didn’t get much cacao. Not sure how old this one is but i feel like given the other reviews here, that it should be way more intense :)

VariaTEA

It’s from February I believe so not old at all.

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76
drank Coconut Lime by Handmade Tea
8941 tasting notes

Sample from VariaTEA. This one is more lime than coconut lime. The base is smooth, hangs out in the background. this would probably be really nice iced in the summer with a little sweetness. thanks variatea!

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drank Murmur by Handmade Tea
3698 tasting notes

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drank Murmur by Handmade Tea
3698 tasting notes

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87

Sipdown (216)!

Thank you VariaTEA for kindly sharing a sample of this one! It’s not my first tea from Handmade tea, but definitely one of few I’ve tried. Something like three or so in total? I’ve always been really fascinated by this company/their subscription service and they don’t seem to get a lot of love/attention here on Steepster so I’m happy I could share them with you and scratch that curiosity itch myself too. I also really enjoy that their December tea was obviously Christmas inspired but not in a played out/over done way.

Anyway, I loved this. I wasn’t sure if I would to be honest but the clove notes in it were so sweet and rich and holy shit do I love cloves. Like, Chai tea? Nope. But if I could drink a pot of just steeped up cloves every day I totally would. The clove also really complimented the soft, subtle smoke and nuttyness of the Gunpowder base. Plus, gunpowder is normally relatively vegetal/artichoke like and I thought the combo of clove and that note was also really pleasant. The cinnamon? Pretty light compared to the clove but still present.

All of this would have made for a tasty tea on its own, but the addition of cherry here really pulled it all together for me and added the perfect addition layer of flavour to really make this feel full of life. The sweetness in the top of the sip from the cherry was actually surprising; I didn’t think it’d be as noticeable as it was. Really though, it was just sweet and fruity and very fresh. Also a good contrasting flavour compared to an otherwise relatively spicy/savory combo.

And eating the cherries from the steeped leaf? I highly recommend it.

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69
drank Krampus Brew by Handmade Tea
3698 tasting notes

Made this as an eggnog latte and it helped to bring out the cherry flavor slightly that was missing from the plain brew. I think it is because it toned down the base tea leaving just a touch of smokiness. Thank you for signing me up to this fun subscription, Roswell Strange!!

Dustin

Krampus brew?! What a fun name!

Roswell Strange

Glad you’re enjoying it! I’m excited to see what January winds up being.

VariaTEA

Me too!

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80

READY FOR SOMETHING NEW?
http://steepster.com/discuss/13841-join-the-sororitea-sisters-for-number-musicandteamonday
It’s #MusicAndTeaMonday over at Sororitea Sisters! Check out the Steepster Discussion above.

Check out my full review HERE at Sororitea Sisters:
http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/08/22/add-tea-title-2/

We hope you’ll play along!

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This one was soooo good!!! Crisp clean flavors that really make you happy. The white tea base kind of sat back and let the cucumber and mint do their thing. Tasty as a hot tea, iced tea, or as a cold brew. I’ll be sad when this one is gone.

http://www.cuppageek.com/index.php/2015/09/21/cucumber-mint-tea-from-handmade-tea/

And in other fun tea news-I’m doing my first tea giveaway on the blog. Think Great Pumpkin! (There will be Halloween fun teas involved!)

http://www.cuppageek.com/index.php/2015/09/19/random-acts-of-fandom-a-giveaway-cuppageek-style/

Flavors: Cucumber, Mint

Marzipan

I’m really into white teas lately!

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This one sounded so interesting, a sweet and savory black tea. But I just didn’t care for it. Unfortunately the savory part was too much for me but I think this would make an excellent marinade for fish or steak.

http://www.cuppageek.com/index.php/2015/08/04/my-new-handmade-cup-with-junes-handmade-tea-herbs-de-provence/

Liquid Proust

Tea marinade :p
I have actually used lemongrass teas to make soup… and I’m thinking about creating extract from shou to make glazes and… are you ready???
I am going to one day make a ripe pu’erh maple syrup!

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88

Sipdown! You will be missed my friend. I’m hoping June’s blend is as great as May’s.

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88

Was super excited when my first month’s teas arrived on Saturday from Handmade Tea. I ripped open the pkg and was a little puzzled by the tea. Roasted Chocolate Pineapple Tea Mate. Yeah. . I wasn’t so sure. But the packaging was fantastic! A wax sealed envelope. So fun!

Brewed up the tea and was insanely impressed. This tasted just like a robust coffee with dark chocolate notes. I never picked up any of the pineapple but that may be just because I need to shake up the bag. Super impressed with this. So is the boyfriend. I am going to have to hide this one if I want to keep any of it for myself.

http://www.cuppageek.com/index.php/2015/05/18/tea-of-the-day-roasted-chocolate-pineapple/

Flavors: Coffee

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93

It’s a sit around at home due to the weather kind of day, so I wanted something sweet and hot. I thought the corn bits and strawberry would be strange, but the flavor blend is very nice and sweet. It does taste like sweet cornbread mixed with green tea. This one’s a keeper.

Caleb Brown

So happy to hear you’re enjoying the Feb. 2015 tea! Even I admit the strawberry/sweet corn combo seems odd at first but they really do harmonize nicely with each other.

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Ever made apple pie bread?

It’s pretty much an apple quick bread with a cinnamon streusal ribbon running through it. It’s freaking good, and I try not to make it because I can down the whole thing in about 48 hours.

This tea is that bread.

It’s super sweet apple with a cinnamon sugar like note running through it. The base is malty and just a touch…buttery almost.

The base is fickle, though. Quickly bitter and astringent if not coddled. I’ve found 2:45-3 min at about 200 to be a sweet spot for this one.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

That bread sounds dangerously delicious. That is one reason why I try not to bake often because those things disappear quickly. :)

Caleb Brown

Lauren, I loved this review so so much! You nailed it!

sundaysipping

Do you, by any chance, have a recipe you’d be willing to share for this bread? It sounds delicious.

Lauren | A Quarter to Tea

I use this one! (It tastes good with chopped pecans tossed in, too!)

http://www.spendwithpennies.com/warm-apple-pie-bread-with-cinnamon/

Enjoy!

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67
drank Seed Harvest by Handmade Tea
342 tasting notes

I really don’t like licorice that much, so I was hesitant with this tea. Brewed up, it had a very strong licorice scent coming from it. However, when I sipped it, I got sweet, almost bread-like notes instead and didn’t get much of the licorice at all. I’m pleasantly surprised with this one!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Licorice, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Winterfylleth Brew by Handmade Tea
353 tasting notes

While cleaning out my tea cupboard I found this stashed in the back of the shelf unopened. So I opened it and brewed a cup.

It’s nice. Very light and cinnamony. It smells like it should be spicy and full of “Christmas” spices, but only cinnamon really comes through.

I got zero apple flavor at all, which isn’t terribly surprising since I don’t think bits of fruit add much to how a tea tastes.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Caleb Brown

Hey Debbie, Caleb from Handmade Tea here. Super happy you were able to try Winterfylleth Brew. The diced apples are indeed subtle but do add light sweetness to the tea early on in the mouth, before you even swallow. When I was developing this blend I tried it with and without apples and there was indeed a difference. Since Winterfylleth Brew was blended in October of 2013, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the flavor mellowed out a bit. Regardless, I am happy you were able to try this tea and I’m happy the cinnamon came through!

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86

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86

Added bit of honey to this and the fruity flavors shine a bit brighter. There is a base of smoke which is interesting with the fruit. The lemon is definitely there but the blueberry just adds a juicy/sweetness touch to it. It’s an ok blend. I’ll have to try it iced or cold brewed!

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drank Winterfylleth Brew by Handmade Tea
795 tasting notes

I thought I’d remember who I got this sample from in a long ago trade, but I don’t. :/

It smells like cinnamon and yams. After reading the description I can see how the yam scent is a little apple like. When I sip it, I just get light flavors of tea. Damn you head cold!!!! If I blow my nose and then sip really quickly after, I kind of get a little flavor. This tea will have to be revisited when I’m better.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

This is why I started writing people’s names on things that I get from them. In Sharpie. :P I always think I’ll remember and then I don’t…

Dustin

I thought that I had, but apparently didn’t! I think it was Moraiwe.

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77
drank Blossom by Handmade Tea
9 tasting notes

Blossom is very mild-mannered and light, for a black tea. Its strength is brought down with rose buds and chamomile, giving it a very herbal, floral and relaxing taste. Probably best drunk at home after work or outside on a cool spring morning.

Flavors: Flowers, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 750 OZ / 22180 ML

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85
drank Hempmaicha by Handmade Tea
4847 tasting notes

Backlog:

I bought this in the “mini size” a couple of months ago. The hemp lured me in. I am a big fan of hemp.

Rather than using a Japanese green tea as you would find in most Genmaicha blends, a Chinese green is used here. It looks a lot like a Chinese eyebrow (Chun Mee) but I could be wrong.

This is a bit nuttier than a typical Genmaicha tastes to me, it has a sweet, toasty flavor that I enjoyed. A nice, autumnal taste. Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/06/hempmaicha-green-tea-blend-from-handmade-tea/

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