Murchie's Tea & Coffee

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

TTB #6

This is completely different from other pina colada flavored teas I’ve tried. Usually the coconut is the dominant flavor, but this one has a very distinctive pineapple taste with a nice creaminess coming from the coconut. It also has an interesting buttery mouthfeel which is reminding me of an oolong, even though it’s actually a black tea. It’s unique and I like it!

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Creamy, Pineapple, Smooth

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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78

From TTB 2019/2020.

This is a really nice tea! My husband had a cup earlier this week and didn’t care for it, but he’s not really a black tea drinker so I should have known I would like it. We typically like opposite teas. The dry blend smells mostly of pineapple, but I can taste some of the coconut after steeping. The base is strong but not overpowering. It really is such a pleasant cup, maybe one of my favorites in the box so far.

Flavors: Coconut, Pineapple, Tannic

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
tea-sipper

I really like this one — I also discovered it in another teabox.

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58
drank Maple Chai by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
908 tasting notes

From TTB 2019/2020.

I love a good chai blend, but this one didn’t hit all the right notes for me. The maple was there, as well as some caramel, but the spice was missing. It was light on flavor, unfortunately, and not as bold as I would have liked it to be.

Flavors: Caramel, Maple

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Another sample from the tea box. This one tastes pretty similar to another maple chai I’ve had and didn’t enjoy. I guess I just don’t love the way the maple flavor is being accomplished. I don’t taste much chainess to it either. It’s really just a strangely maple black tea that needs lots of sugar and milk to be pleasant. Not my thing.

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I haven’t really been active on Steepster… At all… In years, and I’d like to change that. Both to breathe new life into the site (with the current dwindling numbers), and because now I have a purpose. Mostly just to train myself to get better at describing teas and picking things out (I mean, that’s why most people are on steepster but I degress).

Full disclosure, I recently ended up working for Murchie’s as a tea-taster in their warehouse. So I won’t be rating any Murchie’s teas from here on out (not that I rate many teas on here anyway). I know, a weird sudden career-path switch, considering I graduated with a full degree in geology just last year and am an accredited Junior P. Geo. Maybe one of my own blends will show up on Steepster one day.

The main notes in this are smoke from the lapsang and an underlying vanilla sweetness; it’s definitely there in the smell, and does also come through in the taste, dialing back the smoke a bit. The rose has always been a bit elusive for me in this blend; coming through in the smell of the dry tea the most. I don’t get it much in the taste here. I think it’s drowned out by the smoke and vanilla this time around, but I did also burn my tongue a little bit today.

Flavors: Smoke, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
derk

Congrats, may the switch from geology to tea prove fruitful and enjoyable for you!

AJ

Here’s hoping. So far the only major downside is coming home already ’Tea’d Out’, and unable to enjoy a nice gongfu session until the weekend.

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76

Happy National Library Week! In the United States, the second week of April is designated by the American Library Association as National Library Week, and since I’m a librarian, I try to find a “library” tea to try each year. Last year I sampled Haunted Library by Malfoy Tea Emporium, the review of which is here if you are curious: https://steepster.com/mastressalita/posts/375034

I’ve had this blend stashed away in my collection just waiting for National Library Week 2019 to try it for the first time! It is a blend of black and green teas, using Ceylon, jasmine green, Keemun, and gunpowder green. The jasmine is especially striking from the dry leaf, and I’m not a huge fan of jasmine teas because of how overly “perfumy” it tends to be, but I’m curious if blended with the black teas if it will be more tempered and come out more floral and less like grandma perfume than I tend to find jasmine.

The steeped tea is a proper copper-colored cuppa, though it does still smell quite strongly of jasmine. The flavor is… pretty nice, though! It does have a strong floral element, but there are definitely a lot of other elements to this tea, too; it has some depth. In fact, after the cup has cooled just a touch, I can get a malty note wafting up in the aroma and mixing with the strong jasmine fragrance, and that aroma/taste profile helps the entire cup veer far away from my typical issues with “grandma perfume” territory. The black tea in the base tastes of a medium body, and I’m picking up a bit of malt with a heavy citrus element. Mid-sip a grassy, refreshing, very vegetal flavor enters the tongue, a bit like wet stones and moss and then very sweet jasmine flowers. The end of the sip is a bit astringent/drying and leaves me smacking my tongue a bit, and I’m left with a strong smoky flavor in the aftertaste.

This is a very satisfying cuppa, especially considering my track record with jasmine. I think the rather strong astringency in the cup is my only complaint, but I already have plans to try making iced tea with this and seeing if that helps curb that.

Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Drying, Floral, Grass, Jasmine, Malt, Moss, Smoke, Vegetal, Wet Rocks

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
tea-sipper

Happy library week! I shall celebrate… by reading. :D

Mastress Alita

That is the best way to celebrate!

Todd

That sounds good! I’ve been celebrating by reading one book on my phone and listening to an audio book in the car. With my commute, I’m finishing the audio book faster.

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60

Another teabag sample. This one is somewhat disappointing. I suppose I like my chais to be cardamom-heavy, and this one kind of tastes mostly like a cinnamon black? I’m sure there’s some other stuff in there, but it’s not all that easy to pick out. I assumed “traditional chai” would be a bit spicier/more flavourful, but I guess not. Wouldn’t really recommend this to anyone looking for anything but a very mild chai. It’s certainly not terrible, but I’ve had much better.

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73

Stole a sample of this from my mom while on vacation (it’s a teabag). Predominant aroma is orange zest; flavour combines orange with a surprisingly tasty base, cinnamon, and vanilla (creaminess, yum). Not bad; no objectionable flavours that are sometimes found in Christmas tea. It’s a touch drying, so might be better with a splash of milk and sweetener or some sort, but I really don’t need more calories right now! Ha.

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100

1.25 tsp for 250mL water at 85C, steeped 4 minutes 15 seconds.

Wow. I didn’t expect such a creamy jasmine hit.

Dry leaf: brown and tan leaves. Aroma: faint smoke, faint florals.

Wet leaf: brown and amber, aroma of leather.

Liquor: tranluscent copper. Assertive jasmine aroma and taste, with a creaminess, and a smoky finish that could become bitter. I wonder what hotter water might do. I was torn about which temp to use: anything higher than 85 will likley scald the green, yet 85 is usually not hot enough to bring out everything in a black leaf.

Meantime, I love this at 85. Complex and surprising. Full marks.

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80

1.25 tsp for 250mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes 15 seconds.

Dry leaf: mostly small brown to black wiry leaves. Aroma: Keemun toastiness.

Wet leaf: dark browns, aroma of tannins and minerals.

Liquor: gorgeous dark red-brown. Keemun gives way to Darjeeling’s bite, which leads into a strong Ceylon finish with mineral and especially copper notes. It feels like the different teas in this blend travel over the tongue, in an orderly queue. Slightly bitter — often a risk with Keemun. Very nice blend, and strong enough to cut through and then complement other strong tastes. I imagine this would go beautifully with smoked salmon, or a sweet cake.

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90

1.25 tsp for 250mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

Dry leaf: lots of long and wiry brown leaves, small dark copper leaves, a few flecks of dull green. Aroma: toast , earth.

Wet leaf: brown, bright copper, dark green. Aroma: Ceylon copper.

Liquor: very dark reddish brown.

A four-minute steep yields a sweeter taste and stronger flowers-and-bread aroma than four minutes 30 seconds, though there’s still plenty of pucker and heft. This blend packs a good caffeine hit. It was first blended for an editors’ conference. I’m sipping while deep in revisions, and it’s plucking me out of the doldrums. I expect this would make a good studying tea, too.

gmathis

Definitely making note here—my heavy-duty curriculum writing season is barreling toward me like a freight train! By dinnertime yesterday, I decided that I have NO more ideas. Ever.

Michelle Butler Hallett

EDITORS’ BLEND WILL SAVE YOU! (superhero SFX) ! So might Harney & Sons’ Russian Country, if you like smoky tea. Russian Country packs a punch, really good caffeine lift.

gmathis

I have always wanted to like lapsang souchong, in theory. In practice, it’s always been just a hair too strong. Is the Russian Country version just a whiff or is it a middle-aged guy blowing his cigar my direction?

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90

1.25 tsp for 250mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes 30 seconds, drunk bare.

Dry leaf: lots of long and wiry brown leaves, small dark copper leaves, a few flecks of dull green. Aroma: toast , earth.

Wet leaf: brown, bright copper, dark green. Aroma: Ceylon copper.

Liquor: very dark reddish brown.

A touch bitter, but I did oversteep — I got interrupted in my timing. That said, this is a strong and heavier-bodied tea. The bitterness seems to be from the Keemun, as there’s a touch of smoke to it. The Yunnan is malty and sweet, and the Ceylon gives brightness and heft. Potent and delicious.

gmathis

Love the name; sounds like I could use it while proofreading this weekend!

Michelle Butler Hallett

It was originally blended for an editors’ conference. I imagine it would help. I feel quite awake and focused now; I might make this a regular writing tea.

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50

1 bag for 250mL water at 100C, steeped 4 minutes 30 seconds.

I wanted to use two bags, I find teabgs in general skimpy and the resultant brew weak in taste and body. No, I said, these look like decent teabags. Let’s follow the instructions.

Well, I have some vaguely tea-favoured water here, some sweetness, a faint coppery-Ceylon scent … but meh.

A disappointment. I might try two bags later.

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100

1.25 tsp for 250mL water 95C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

Dry leaf: brown flecked with some green and a few twigs. Aroma: winey wood.

Wet leaf: the green leaves brghten and open up fast — very pretty. Aroma: tannins, wet earth.

Liquor: medium brown, a bit darker than I expected.

Full and classic Darjeeing taste with a good body. I prefer a second flush, so I’m quite happy here. Lots of muscatel, and a slight bite back, almost like the pepper in some Yunnans.

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90

1 bag for 250mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes 15 seconds, drunk bare.

Dry tea bag aroma: coppery Ceylon and faintest pepper.

Liquor: copper. not much fragrance beyond wet earth.

Oh. Oh oh oh, this is good, gorgeously balanced: Assam giving malt, heft, and body, Ceylon being all coppery bright, Darjeeling making that even brighter, with just the finestest peppery bite of Yunnan. Despite not being aromatic, this is a delicous blend.

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80

1 bag for 250mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

Dry tea bag aroma: faintly spicy from the Darjeeling and coppery from the Ceylon.

Liquor: beautiful reddish brown, perhaps from the Keemun in the blend.

Some malt and heft from Assam. Bright notes from the Ceylon and Darjeeling, with a slightly bitter, slightly smoky finish. Strong taste but only a medium body. A little too bitter: that might be improved with milk or sugar, but I prefer my tea bare. (Added: the bitterness settles as the tea cools.)

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90

As part of a custom blend.

3 parts Murchie’s Russian Caravan, 1 part Murchie’s Himalayan to make up 1.25 tsp. 250mL water at 100C. Steeped 4 minutes 15 seconds, drunk bare.

I really like both of these teas on their own, an the first time I made the RC, I wanted more body. I didn’t quite get that by blending it with Himalayan, but I did get a bright and crisp version of Caravan; I cam imagine staring at stars in the winter sky while drinking this. Many mineral notes at first complement the gentle smoke.

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90

1.5 tsp for 300mL water 100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

Dry leaf: mostly brown, some dark green.
Aroma: smoky toast, some nuttiness.

Wet leaf: mahogany, brown, and amber with some bright green.
Aroma: subtle smoke, earth.

Liquor: reddish brown, light body. Smoky but not tarry. Some surprising crispness and florals— a Nepal or Darjeeling tea in the blend? Some mineral notes as the tea cools.

I wish the body was just a little heavier. Otherwise a very fine Russian Caravan, distinctive and smoky yet also balanced.

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100

1.5 tsp for 300mL water, 100C, steeped 4 minutes.

Dry leaf: almost half bright green, the rest amber and brown. Very few twigs. Pretty.

Dry aroma: earthy and mineral with something sharp and fresh, faintly floral.

Wet leaf: the green is less bright. Otherwise unchanged.

Wet aroma: earth, rocks.

Liquor: light copper, very heady with florals and muscatel. A bright, fresh, and crisp black tea, medium-strength, very like an assertive Darjeeling yet still its own tea. I’m sure I can also taste cold fresh air. Delicious. Great value for money.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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70

This is another generous sample from Mastress Alita. It’s probably entirely my fault that this turned out bitter since I never time my steeps. I added milk and put it in the fridge, so the bitterness went away. At first I didn’t notice any maple, but I guess if you’re really concentrating, it’s there! Other than that it tastes pretty typical for a breakfast tea. I drank the cup over the course of two days since I don’t prefer to have that much breakfast tea at once. So this tea was decent, but not as much my thing as I hoped it would be.

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drank No. 22 by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
4624 tasting notes

Hmm. Not sure who this was from. I assumed it was a straight tea, but upon drinking it, it tasted a bit flavoured – but with what, I couldn’t tell. Just a touch too muted. It was still decent enough to drink though (and I have one cup left).

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87
Discovery Tea box – Tea #16

I didn’t expect much from this one, but it is somehow unique and interesting. Despite being stored in a sandwich bag, the flavor is decent, the coconut isn’t too bad. It’s a black tea with fruit pieces which I’m assuming is pineapple and some coconut flakes. There is a distinct realistic pineapple flavor. I accidentally waited about 20 minutes after boiling to steep the first mug, and it was very tasty that way (with a teaspoon and a half). Maybe I should be trying some more black teas this cool and it will make the flavors even better (usually I’m waiting 10 minutes for the water to cool after boiling.) The flavor is just something I haven’t had in a tea yet – a creamy pineapple with quite a robust black tea. The second steep went a little long but the flavor was still there. Also, the other tasting note for this tea said it was discontinued sometime before January 2016 so it probably once tasted even better. It’s one of those teas I can appreciate trying in a teabox though.

Arby

My friend donated this one to the teabox. I kept a bit of it, but put the rest in the TTB. She bought a 4 oz package when it was on sale (because it was being retired, I presume) and she’s so sick of it she wants it out of her cupboard. I enjoy this one iced or hot, but find a coconut milk latte is really superior to any other way of drinking it.

tea-sipper

Oh cool. I really love this one. It might be my favorite I found in the teabox.

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