Hugo Tea CompanyEdit Company
Popular Teas from Hugo Tea CompanySee All 24 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
(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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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!
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
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
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.
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
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.
From the Round 3 Here’s Hoping TTB
Wow… I like. This is bready and malty with a good bit of heft. This is definitely a tea to get you up and moving in the morning. Lots of strength with no bitterness or astringency. It could easily handle milk and sugar, but I drank my cup plain and found it really enjoyable. This one could easily find its way into my cupboard at a future date.
HHTTB Round 3
This one has a lovely bready, malty quality to it. I also get a bit of chocolate, though only a hint. I bet if I were to take the many suggestions here to steep it at 3 minutes I would get more chocolate flavor, but I’ll refrain since then there wouldn’t be any left for the next person. Definitely glad I got to try this one though.
Yes, a black tea at 8:40 pm. I’m living on the wild side, apparently. Actually, it’s just starting to cool down in my apartment, so I wanted to get in a small cup of something else from the box before I turn to the un-cafs or make something from my cupboard.
I put cream in it. I’m eating some freeze dried strawberries on the side, because I found a packet while I was searching for a tin of cat food (my apartment is a disaster as I’m refinishing some furniture in the living room). Consequently, the tea might be somewhat overshadowed.
It is a nice black tea. It’s not astringent, or bitter. It’s pretty strong, but not as strong as I like my breakfasty teas (mmm, ctc assams). Perhaps a little thin. Nice and malty, some stone fruit flavours maybe, but they’re being taken over by the strawberry bits I have lodged in my teeth.
That’s super sexy, amirite? :D
Would try again. Would get if I ever placed an order. Not a favourite, but as far as I can tell, is really nice.
Used the yyz method (1m/2m/4m) although I didn’t actually do the third steep this time around. This tea is still very unique, it has that fennel seed herbaceous flavor that I’ve found in a couple others. But I feel like this one is more savory. It’s very dark rye or pumpernickel bread with the seeds over the top. Butter, maybe, but not honey.
Delicious, but not something I absolutely need. :P Thanks to TeaTiff for the sample..
TeaTiff was nice enough to send me a generous sample of this tea. It says on their website that this tea is from Yunnan, but the leaves look Taiwanese to me. They have that long, twisty, spindly look and they’re quite dark. Smells strongly of dry, unsweetened cocoa and honey with some maltiness.
Initially, I followed the directions on Hugo Tea’s website and steeped for 4 minutes. The aroma was malty with honey, but there was also a kind of peppery, herbaceous quality that reminded me of fennel seed. And it turns out, that’s exactly what it tastes like too! Very similar to pumpernickel or rye bread with a strong fennel seed taste, along with some malt and an aftertaste of dry cocoa. Wow, this tea is so unique-tasting! I kept taking sips just to experience the fennel phenomenon again!
After reading some of the notes on here, I decided to also try a 3 minute steep since a lot of people did that and mentioned more chocolate and caramel notes. Aroma was more cocoa and honey and less fennel this time. It definitely tasted less fennel-y, but I didn’t really find a lot more cocoa or honey in there. So I definitely prefer the 4 minute steep! And it’s much more honeyed with just a small amount of sugar. Pumpernickel bread with honey smeared over the top, mmmm!
Flavors: Cocoa, Fennel Seed, Honey, Malt, Rye