Hugo Tea Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

So there are some thrilling tea cupboard developments. For starters, 18 teas. 18 teas! I cannot remember when I last had only 18 teas!
18 teas fits on a single page. 18 teas has made it obvious which teas I’ve never actually tried.
This makes me very happy, as I’ve been working towards getting all the teas in my cupboard tried, and working on finding the perfect balance of old favorites and new things.
I don’t normally drink Earls for my breakfast cup, but I gave it a shot here.
This is a very strong Earl. Not unpleasant, but very, very strong. Not great as the first cup of the day, I’ll be honest. Next time it will be the second or third cup of the day, and I feel that I’ll really be able to appreciate it then.

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76

And a sipdown!
This is nice. A tea with a nice body and flavor.
Not a forever favorite, but one that I would certainly have again, if the occasion arrived. But for today, a sipdown.

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76

I’ve brought my tin of this to my desk at work, and it’s been a really lovely part of my work day.
This is a lovely black tea blend, with a hint of something coco-y, and a light and refreshing brew.
I’m getting much more interested in unflavored blend, and its really nice to discover the complexity that can be found in tea.
Noms.

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76

Last minute early morning work shift calls for a cup of something nice.
Its gonna be a long day.

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76

Time of waking- 4:00 a.m., to take someone to the airport.
I managed to come home and sleep for about an hour before I had to get up to go to work.
It is going to be a very very long day, with me floating through the world.
This tea is nice, but rather more mild than I expected it to be. Theres a somewhat woody note to it.
I am going to need a near permanent stream of tea today to stay functional.

gmathis

I have a tin of “100 Year” at my house…like it very much.

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(Skip this part; the review will be buried a couple paragraphs down.)

First day post-funeral. It was sweet and simple (Dad would’ve said it was 10 minutes too long), and the funeral director took a wrong turn on the way to the cemetery. Nobody upset about that—it’s twelve miles beyond the back of nowhere and six miles beyond anybody’s cell signal. My brother said it was appropriate to give Dad one more long ride through the country.

I recognize the need to merge back into real life, but I’m stalled at the top of the on-ramp.

(OK, now the tea review.)

Somewhere in the chaos of the past week, we stopped inside our new Natural Grocers with a $10 grand opening promo coupon in hand. Tins of Hugo Tea caught my eye; had never seen it on retail shelves before. Was impressed by the pull-tab top on the tin—they want this stuff to come to you fresh!

And it was. Malty, toasty and bready; some reviews have mentioned a burnt caramel essence which was there—everything that signifies a really fine tea. And the fact that it made an impression on me when I was vague and numb and bewildered says a lot. Second steep was a nice echo of the first.

Pricey, it is; around 10 bucks for a dozen sachets, so it’s not for your morning commute. But a lovely extravagant treat for a morning when you need to pause and ponder.

Nicole

I’m so sorry to hear this. May peace and tea find their way to you.

mrmopar

Sorry to hears this. I lost my Father a few years ago. Just remember his laugh and smile and the wisdom he taught. My Father was a lot wiser than I realized. Putting prayers for you my friend.

ashmanra

I am so sorry. Rest at the top of that ramp. Then ease forward when you are ready.

__Morgana__

It’s ok to be at the top of the on ramp for as long as you need. Some people seem to think that adults should get over the death of a parent quickly, but that’s unfair and not realistic. My mom died in 1995 and I still have days where all I can think about is how much I miss her.

looseTman

I’m truly sorry for your loss. The passing of a father is the end of an era and unfortunately, one that I know is in my future. Sadly, my 89 yr old Dad has a very weak heart and it’s just a matter of time since he’s probably not a transplant candidate. I’m not looking forward to what you must be experiencing. May God grant you his everlasting comfort and peace.

yyz

So sorry about the loss of your father. I found I really was in a strange head space for a while after I lost a close family member part shock, mixed with bitter sweet, sometimes funny reminisce with friends and family, and things reminding me of them and their loss everywhere. It’s not easy. May you find comfort and peace through your faith and your family.

Evol Ving Ness

My condolences to you, gmathis. This is such a hard thing and there is certainly no rushing the various states you are and will be going through as you digest the immensity of all this. Be very very kind to yourself and take the time to spend to contemplate and honour him and yourself with your very best teas.

gmathis

Thank you for the prayers, kind thoughts, and sweet words. That’s what has kept me going the past several days.

Evol Ving Ness

And there’s lots more where these came from. <3

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This was really tasty. This is one of the first vanilla chais I’ve tried that actually does taste like vanilla. The ginger is there but not hot, the cinnamon is definitely there. It’s a sweetish cup without sugar but with some sugar the vanilla and spices really pop. I made this with 50% water and 50% half and half and about 2 teaspoons of sugar. I steeped it for about 8 minutes. Thanks for the chance to try this, Daylon R Thomas! I may have to see about picking some up.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Daylon R Thomas

I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And dido on the vanilla.

Daylon R Thomas

I’m glad you liked it :)

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100

Thank heavens I have a pound of this. It is not the fancieist tea I have, and though it may be the simplist, it is the most worth while for the quality. I never get tired of it personally.

Evol Ving Ness

A pound! Go you!

Daylon R Thomas

Now, I wait for the copious amounts of green oolong I’m going to sample through day by day…

Daylon R Thomas

Otherwise, this is my personal top black for price and taste.

Nicole

Dang. This morning I just had the rest of what you shared with me. I def need to get some. So good.

Daylon R Thomas

I’m glad you like it. I actually got the pound two weeks ago just before I ran out of mine.

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100

Delicious tea, why did you have to come from another company?

Evol Ving Ness

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

Daylon R Thomas

Deny thy vendor and refuse thy pay.
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a What-Cha.

..like that will ever happen lol.

Evol Ving Ness

I think we may be onto something here.

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100

Crap you are becoming a favorite never mind you are from a different company. Nevermind I really, really like you. Yay! More money to shipping!

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100

Based on the reviews for the 100 Year Black, a Chinese black tea that I probably would like, I figured this one was worth a shot. I’m in my winter chai season and was searching for something flexible enough for a tumbler, a tea ball, or regular tea cup. I was also looking for a more desserty chai, and after I read the company’s description, this blend looked like a really great balance between a cocoa-esque Chinese black, creamy vanilla, smooth and wispy ginger, awakening pepper, and warming cinnamon. Read the website’s description, and you’ll see what I mean.

Unlike other recommendations I’ve seen, the company suggested 2 grams for every 8 oz and longer steeps starting at five minutes. Less is more, more from less is cost efficient. Tasting this, it is like a liquid version of cinnamon rice pudding. Yes, it is that desserty on its own because the vanilla is so strong. Vanilla and ginger with an aftertaste of cinnamon are the mainstays of this, and like I said before, the ginger is more wispy than spicy. Don’t get me wrong, ginger is one of the strongest tastes of this tea, but the company picks out this particular variety of ginger because it is slightly “sweeter”. The pepper and cinnamon provides the majority of the kick, and the black tea body is smooth and malty without being astringent. The black tea is a little bittersweet, but in a good way and on the medium lighter side. Personally, tumbler is the way to go for this tea, and it does not overbrew for me personally if you leave it in large amounts of water like 16 oz. I get 3-4 good cups, with some evolution between the cups. The pepper is more pronounced in steeps 2 on and the vanilla and ginger are more pronounced in steeps 1-3, but definitely present in four. Otherwise, the balance is great.

You can probably gather that I thoroughly enjoyed this tea. It was good enough for my roommate to drink straight and for a non tea drinker to enjoy straight. I do wonder what this would taste like if it had the cardamom like regular chai’s do, but oddly enough, I do not think it needs it….never mind I like strong cardamom in my chais. This tea might become a staple.

Evol Ving Ness

yeah, this one sounds like a winner. I want some.

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90

Backlog. Sipdown.
I think this is the fastest I’ve drank through a tea in a while. Fruity, chocolaty. Will be missed.

Flavors: Chocolate, Fruity

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90

Backlog. Bought a tin of this tea at Midwest Tea Fest. Tried it there and was impressed by the flavor and smoothness. Dry leaf smells of chocolate malt.
208F, 5min, 8oz. Tastes of chocolate, honey, malt. So smooth. Really liking this for mornings and it resteeps well. Great morning tea. Great dessert tea too. 90

Already checked their website to see if I could get more. I have plenty and don’t need more. It’s sold out on their website, well unless you want wholesale. Though they do sell in grocery stores in KC.

Flavors: Chocolate, Honey, Malt, Smooth

Nicole

I know they’ve been trying to expand regionally – nothing in your neck of the woods yet?

hawkband1

Nope. Nothing that I can find. Drive to KC isn’t far so it’s easy enough to restock.

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92

This tea is so surprisingly good. I believe this is the tea I got from the Beginners Puerh TTB. I brewed it gong fu this morning with my friend Rose and we were both taken aback by the smell and flavor of this tea. Burnt caramel (in the best way possible) was what this reminded me of. Malty, sugary sweet, and rich in depth. I even over steeped this on the third steep by a good minute or two because I was distracted with conversation and, while strong, it still gave a great flavor with no real hint of bitterness.

I want to order this tea. Better yet, if you are someone who has it and does not care for it, please let me know. I will gladly take it off your hands :)

Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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81

I haven’t had this one in a long time and by the looks of it, I have never logged it. This is a STRONG cup of EG. I have also had this one for quite awhile so I know the strong cup I am tasting is actually a lot less strong than it use to be too. This packs a berg punch. This morning it is quite a delicious tea. A pretty solid base, could use a little more upmph, but solid. Looks like Hugo teas might be changing it up a bit…. Full Steam looks to be no longer and the current black tea is out of stock. Hmm will have to check the coffee shop down the street and see what they have in store.

Nicole

They have been showing up at more stores around the area lately. I grabbed some last week from either HyVee or Price Chopper – can’t recall which.

TeaTiff

Nicole have you tried the 100 year black?

Nicole

I have some. That’s the one I picked up. I have no idea if it is intended to replace Full Steam or if it is an additional black offering. If you don’t want to try a whole tin, I’d be happy to send you a goodish bit. For me, it’s good, but nothing I have to keep around.

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72

Thanks for this one a whiillle back, TeaTiff! I’ve sipped it before but it is a tough one for me to figure out, so I haven’t written a note for it. The leaves are gigantic, black and dusty. They look like an ancient, wild leaf tea leaf. The flavor is mid-level strength, a light amber cup. Somehow I’m just getting hints of tomato and cherry and not really anything else. A weird combo but they seem to come and go at different times, so it isn’t too odd. I wish I had more to say about this one, but it doesn’t seem to be a good fit for my tastebuds.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoon // 5 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min

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74

Very nice! Strong black tea like I NEEDED this morning, but very smooth, like ridiculously smooth.

More importantly, I’m drinking it with a Nestle Coffee Crisp for breakfast :D !!! All from Cavo, who is the BEST.

Sil

so sad i missed seeing you guys but glad you all had a fabulous time!

oddree

Aww I wish we had time to see you too! I also missed seeing the beach, and we never did really have tea time, but it was a fun time and I’d do it again :) Maybe next time!

Sil

If you guys come up again or need an excuse, let us know. Happy to show you around or hang out or do nothing lol

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This was one pleasant surprise!
I drank some of this before breakfast and then throughout the day since I brewed a large pot of it. The taste is smooth and not unsettling. Nice strong smell as well.

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85
Regarding “winter”, we have had the most pathetic attempt at a winter that mother nature has ever given us. Today it rains, so I rejoice by putting something proclaimed as “hearty” in my cup…and it was a good choice.

Hugo’s Full Steam leaves are dark chocolate brown, large and twisty….when steeped at 3 minutes 30 seconds, they release a deep lacquered fragrance of cannabis/rye (I mix those 2 notes up sometimes) and cocoa maltiness. The cup delivers the same. It is a stout Yunnan… almost Fujian in flavor profile, but because there is also a touch of molasses and toasted oat, it reminds me of Guinness in how it feels it can fill and warm my belly….something the people of Kansas City probably appreciate during their luxuriously long winter.

So here I celebrating my 3 day winter (I wish I was joking) by sitting in front of an open window with tea, book, blanket and whichever cat decides I look comfortable enough to join. I wait all year for these days….. and thanks to Teatiff I have a well-suited cup of tea to accompany me. Cheers!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Maddy Barone

Here in North Dakota we’ve had a VERY mild winter. Our first real snowfall didn’t come until Mid February!(probably the winter gods sent all the snow to the East Coast) and I don’t think we got below zero at all in January. I personally love winter, so I was disappointed. But now that it’s March I want spring, and we’re getting winter. Sigh.

donkeyteaarrrraugh

….the weather is sooooo weird these days…..

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60

Look what came in the mail today! A short while ago I made a comment that bergamot wasn’t my thing, but maybe that was in the past the Earl Grey teas I’d tried were lower quality, the cheap grocery store bags. Many thanks to Nicole for sending me some high quality tea samples with bergamot for me to try. This is my first Steepster swap and I am pretty excited for the opportunity. I set my kettle to boil, reached into the envelope and blindly picked a sample to try.

I used 1 teaspoon of tea to 10 ounces of water, and steeped for only 2.5 minutes. This tea brewed up to a lovely dark amber color. I couldn’t smell it, of course, so I’ve no idea how strong the bergamot smelled. I sipped. Full bodied. Smooth. Not sweet, but perfumey. I think that’s the bergamot. It may be an acquired taste. I will certainly try another cup of this, and this time increase the amount of tea and the length of steeping. And meanwhile I have three other teas to try! Thanks, Nicole!

Flavors: Perfume, Smooth

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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80

Roobios, while not a tea is what got me really into tea drinking late last year. Because of how much I enjoyed Hugo’s Grey Line I decided to try this tea out. It was very good, not a world beater but a good all around tea for the afternoon. I prefer a Cinnamon-Orange Roobios but this is a good substitute. The blueberry is very prominent, as well as the tartness of the Hibiscus which meld together very well. Not my favorite tea but a good all around tea I will continue to use. I especially recommend if you are a fan of either the Hibiscus or Blueberry, the word smooth is very much a word to describe this tea. I think they should change from African Safari’s to African River Cruise.

Flavors: Blueberry, Hibiscus, Smooth, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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95

Earl Grey is one of my favorite teas and this does not disappoint. I enjoyed the very strong Bergamot scent that you get just by taking off the top lid, let alone exposing the tea directly. It does not however overpower the tea and is very delightful, as its can says for feeling stately, wearing top hats and building empires. I try to have at least a cup of this everyday late morning before lunch, while I build my empire at work.

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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73

Thank you TeaTiff for the swap a while back! I tried this one a couple days ago. I always seem to have Earl Grey on gloomy days… maybe that’s why it’s called Earl GREY. I used just boiling water and that seems like it might have ruined the bergamot just a little bit. I should have waited a few minutes. Otherwise a nice bright, fresh, crisp, strong bergamot on the perfect base for an Earl. I’ll try it again steeped differently!
Steep #1 // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min

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We took my sis to Prydes this weekend. If you are ever in the KC area and love to shop kitchen stores you should stop in. This place is nuts. Although I think the owner must be a hoarder? I should take a picture of the tea cup shelves and post it on here. They seemed to have everything. They also carried the Hugo Teas so I bought a tin of this.

I have been enjoying Celestial Seasoning Sleepy Time tea this past week and so when I came across this in the store I thought it would be a good tea to purchase and try. I like it. It is a good blend of chamomile, lemon and mint. No one flavor out powers the other and it is well blended with the chamomile. Perfect bed time cup.

I do have to say that I really do not like the tins these teas come in. The top gets stuck and there are some times where I want a cup of Hugo teas and I give up b/c I can’t get the tin open. There are two lids to the tin and I finally started throwing away the top lid b/c it gets so stuck. Oh well it looks cute but is not very functional.
boychik

I got a tin of Full Steam, can’t open it. Oh well, it will stay fresh, got lot of others to finish.

TeaTiff

Oh no boychik. Have you ever been able to get it open? I have had to use a knife to pry the thing off. I finally stopped putting the top lid back on or storing the tea in a different tin.

Nicole

Yes, I agree. Cute tins, seem to be very well sealed. But have to be pried off. :( And Prydes is da bomb. I can’t go there. Too dangerous. :) I’ll have to keep an eye out for this tea, though. I like lemon, mint & chamomile together.

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