My Cup of Tea (Montreal)Edit Company
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My morning cuppa today…
I made this first thing upon getting up, and popped on a Netflix movie while I was setting it up/pouring the water. Then, I got really drawn in by the movie and before I knew it fifteen minutes had passed and the tea was still steeping. I frantically paused the movie and strained the cup, but I worried that the damage had already been done.
To my relief and surprise, the tea actually tasted fine. It was smooth and rich, with that delightful juxtaposition of juicy floral lychee notes and toasty roasted rice. It’s weird, I’ve been on vacation for nearly a week now, and I’ve been HARD CORE craving roasted/toasty teas. I mean, I go through spells where that’s what I want, for sure, but this is a long string and it’s hitting me really hard…
What a fascinating tea – it’s basically genmaicha on black tea, which is totally delicious – roasty, toasty and comforting with more body/maltiness. Black tea genmaicha!? Fucking phenomenal. But then… then! You take that delicious “black tea genmaicha” and add in a light to medium bodied lychee flavour? That’s brilliantly inventive – a little floral and quite fruity/juicy. I don’t know why it works so much because the toastiness of genmaicha and floral sweetness of lychee seem contrary to me, but it’s REALLY good!
Tossed a couple of these leaves into a glass cup over the weeked and brewed Grandpa style while reading some manga – still a weird combination of very sweet and very bitter, and the finishing note was kind of like licorice root in its cloying, lingering sweetness. However, a MINIMAL amount of leaves seems to be the best route for making this tisane more palatable…
I can’t recall exactly where, but i heard about Jiaogulan a month or so back as a type of herbal tea and I was really fascinated by it. I did some cursory research online and saw a bunch of pictures of it rolled up into this tumbleweed looking things with glucose and I just knew that I wanted to try it!
Then I ended up visiting My Cup of Tea here in Montreal as part of my exploration of different tea places within the city – and turns out that they carry jiaogulan! Though, there’s is the straight leaf and not the stuff rolled up with the glucose into those super weird/interesting looking balls. I still bought some though just the try it. Definitely a very green, grassy smell – reminded me a lot of green tea by dry aroma. That’s not promising for me, but none the less I still found myself super intrigued.
However, steeped Gongfu this tasted awful. I don’t think I have EVER tasted a tea that was simultaneously so bitter and sweet all at once! It wasn’t even a good kind of sweet though, because it was that cloying licorice root/ginseng sweetness that coats your mouth and just never goes away. Also, notes of wet dog. Nasty!
I was brewing in a 50ml gaiwan just to test it out, and I had been stacking the infusions in a larger Cha Hai. I had seven stacked infusions in the cha hai when I poured my first tea cup worth and just about died from how awful it tasted. I did finish the pitcher because at that point I had brewed it already – but after choking through the pitcher I immediately stopped brewing and basically just called it a night. No more tea.
I need to do some research to see if there’s a better way to prepare this tea so it tastes less foul – but man did this initial tasting suck!
So, I went back to Dliche Bakery last night to try my first ever cronut – and of course I had to also grab a small pot of tea while I was there too since tea and pastries is just always a winning combo. Earl Grey seemed like a good pairing with the maple flavoured cronut I had selected…
Firstly VariaTEA was right to hype up the cronut; it was AMAZING. Very rich/decadent of course, but the quality of the pastry itself was incredible with these awesome flaky, buttery & deliicous flavour notes. The maple filling? Decadent, creamy and delicious! Plus, just the right amount of chocolate.
The tea, on the other hand, was underwhelming. I didn’t find the bergamot all that strong flavour wise – and the black tea itself didn’t seem to be super nice/high quality. It was a little bitter, and somewhat metallic tasting. So, not my jam.
Still a lovely experience though!
Picked this one up at My Cup of Tea, back when I visited the shop in person a few weeks ago. It was a pretty nice shop’ very clean & put together sort of aesthetic. I do think their range of offerings was a little bit on the smaller side, and a lot seemed to overlap in terms of the flavour as well. I’m grossy unfamiliar with their teas though, so I’m trying to keep an optimistic mind and hope that small range of tea must equal really well curated selection. The first tea I tried from them was actually at a cafe that stocked their brand, but I quite liked it!
This was an impulse purchase for me – I know one tea I DEFINITELY wanted to grab when I picked teas up, and one I was pretty sure I would like but wanted to smell in person to confirm. This was just something that had a beautiful display next to the register with all of the different zodiac symbol’s accompanying teas. Pisces is my zodiac symbol, so of course it was the one I grabbed…
I’m not overly impressed with it: the bloom is pretty standard in appearance once it’s unfurled completely in the large glass pot that I brewed it in. Nothing too flashy/out of the ordinary. The taste is floral, green, and smooth – but pretty light/subdued and kind of bland? I mean, when you make a bloom tea you’re essentially brewing it Grandpa style (since you typically leave the bloom in the pot) so it’s important to have a smooth flavour that takes a long time to display bitterness; but also you’d think that after an hour of steeping the flavour in the pot would be at least kind of strong.
It wasn’t though…
So, ultimately this was a perfectly fine pot of tea that did allow me a constant cup of tea to sip on for a pretty extended time while I was cataloging teas this afternoon. In that way, it was appreciated. However not at all memorable/stand out and definitely underwhelming. I’m sure in six months time I’ll have totally forgotten about it…
More Montreal exploration yesterday;
Some shopping along St. Denis St. and then some cafes and things. Also, however, D Liche Cupcakes – which is a bakery that my tea twin VariaTEA suggested that I check out! It was actually super easy to find, and everything looked amazing but I kept it simple by just getting a cupcake and some tea to enjoy in the bakery. Even though I’m not a huge chocolate fan, I was immediately drawn to the triple chocolate because of it’s near black appearance…
The cupcake was AWESOME; perfectly moist and very rich/decadent but with just enough of that dark chocolate bitterness that it didn’t feel cloying/too rich. The icing was the star in my opinion though; very thick but so, so creamy and smooth and equally flavorful. The whole thing was an amazing treat for myself; and I love the idea that they have a rotating menu of weekly flavors – that’s definitely going to make it much harder to not be there weekly.
The tea was great too; I know it was from My Cup of Tea because it was advertised on the menu and all throughout the cafe. That’s a tea store that I’ve actually been to in Montreal; I went there just a few days after Camellia Sinensis but my phone was dead so I didn’t end up taking any pictures, and I haven’t yet tried any of the teas that I purchased for myself. Basically just a nice, smooth ginseng oolong though. Not a bad quality by any stretch, and a good ration of ginseng to tea leaf which created a sweet but balanced cup where you could still taste the beautiful floral notes of the tea base. It was served in the cutest little glass teapot! Definitely something the appropriate size to Gong Fu in, though clearly that wasn’t the intention without the cafe.
They also paired surprisingly well; both very sweet but in differing ways. The bitter dark chocolate broke up the sweetness a touch, and the florals added some more interesting nuance. It was a nice afternoon escape!
This is the first bamboo tea that I’’ve ever tried, and to be honest, I bought it mainly beacause of its health benefices. This thing is filled with silica, which is amazing for nails, hair and skin! When I opened the bag, I was surprised to smell something faintly herbal and fresh. I expected it to be bitter, I have no idea why. I like to brew it a bit longer than the package says, as the leaves are very long and not a lot will fit in a cup at a time. Combined with the weakness of the taste, in my humble opinion it simply makes for a better cup when you leave it in slightly longer. As for the taste itself, although it is very mild, I grew accustomed to the soft, almost sweet aftertaste that it possesses and its refreshing vegetable-like flavor,even though I usually prefer more fragrant teas. I also find that it makes for a great, caffeine-free cold tea if you had a bit of a sweetener! Since this is the first bamboo tea that I’ve ever tried, I cannot compare it to a different brand but I always vouch for My Cup of Tea and this particular one seems really fresh and impossible to screw up, no matter how long you leave it in (although I did manage to burn it once oout of my very own stupidity), so I will probably repurchase once I’m done.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Sweet, Vegetal
I’ve had a hard time tasting things recently. Though by “things”, I think I mean mostly tea. Maybe it’s because I’ve been purging my cupboard, so I haven’t really been paying as much attention to what I drink, but it’s really been bothering me.
The burnt tongue yesterday didn’t help.
So I made a pot of this and sat down, and have just been swishing it around my mouth and really sitting on it. It tasted like nothing and smelt like lychee at first. I think I picked up a bit of Keemun in the scent as well, so I’m guessing that’s the base. Someone else suggested that as well, I believe.
As I’ve worked my way through the pot, it’s slowly been coming back to me. The base is Chinese, definitely, the lychee not coming through as much in the taste, but there’s thick smoke and I’m definitely sure on Keemun now.
I needed this.
Picked this and a few other teas up from Art Knapps. Can’t really give an accurate review since I burned my tongue on soup just prior to drinking this, but the floral fruityness of the lychee’s still coming through.
There’s more than one Lychee Red on the website, but I’m assuming they’re all the same (they also have lychee-lavender and lychee-rose); mine, however, came in this package:
Which is pretty creative, actually. Although once you take the plastic off, not particularly air-tight.
With such simple ingredients (lychee and rose petals) this tea will either be a hit or a miss. The teabags are pyramid shape and I can see the ingredients inside which I am happy to say look rather fresh and natural.
The colour once steeped is dark amber with a sweet and rich finish.
Well that is interesting…the mixture of the two ingredients has created a somewhat chocolate affair. It has sweetness yet there is that cocoa nib feel about it whilst being a little fruity. The balance works very well, it’s smooth, rich, sweet, fruity.
For a pre bagged tea this is very tasty and for such simple ingredients it is very impressive.
I have had such a nightmare of a day (a lot of work due to covering shifts, locked myself out in the rain wearing a thin t-shirt and had to stay out for an hour, fell over carrying food shopping and set back the physiotherapy for my ankle….just to name a few). The first tea that I saw that may pick me up was this cutely named and packaged beauty potion tea. I only have one bag and that was from a friend overseas :)
The bag is a see through pyramid (similar to Teapigs) and you could see the contents inside quite clearly. I counted roughly 15 small jasmine pearls and two pinches of dried rose petals, all of which looked fairly fresh despite being pre bagged and the smell was wonderfully floral.
Once the water has been poured in the aroma strengthens slightly and it’s so fresh and floral, it’s almost as though I have a bouquet of flowers nearby. Colour wise it’s a a dark yellowy green colour.
As I am fussy with green tea (I only like fresh and preferably loose leaf) I thought that I would either end up loving or hating this tea with no real in-between. The balance and flavour of this is surprisingly wonderful, the jasmine pearls are the strongest of the two and suddenly you can taste a slight rosy floralness behind the jasmine.
By themselves the jasmine pearls taste light and slightly sweet with the jasmine being subtle and the green tea giving a little bitterness to ground the sweetness down. The rose petals get sweeter the more you drink but thanks to the green tea they are not too sweet and act more floral and refreshing. Together the two combine wonderfully to create a simple yet tasty treat.
My day is easing slightly but I’m not sure about this being a potion to make me more beautiful, oh well I suppose we can’t have it all.
This tea is really good, personally I think its a lychee scented keemun tea. Anyways, this is close to perfect as a breakfast tea. I’ll admit, it doesn’t really taste exactly like lychees but it is really well balanced with the tea. Most likely red = keemun tea, so it’s basically a black tea. I guess it was just cooler to them to name it red. Anyways, I’m pretty sure this one will be great iced too! The overall quality of this tea is pretty decent too, there’s barely any tea dust in the bag. The taste is light but very noticeable, it doesn’t overpower and still tastes like tea. Overall, I would recommended this tea to anyone looking for a decent breakfast tea (I think MCOT has a shipping special till the end of this month)
Really good red tea, it tastes very fruity actually. Made a cup on the go from a hot water dispenser found at the school caf. Unlike some straight black teas I think i can go on drinking this day to day. I think this is only sold in teabags, which is kind of a pity; I would go buy more if it was in loose form. The tea has a hint of natual sweetness, which also tastes slightly floral. Keemum is definetely worth trying out.
This is a strange one.
Whenever I rate Earl Grey teas, I’m always torn because I have a very clear idea of what an Earl Grey tea should be, and if a tea deviates from that too much, I have a difficult time rating it high because it isn’t what I asked for.
If I ask you to draw me a damn circle, draw a circle! I don’t care if you draw me the best triangle in the world—it isn’t a circle!
When I opened the bag, I was impressed! It certainly smelled like bergamot, so I was expecting a pretty traditional Earl Grey flavour which is exactly what I needed to make getting up in the morning a little easier…
…but this tea tastes like…flowers? I’m not sure what flowers, because it doesn’t have a distinct rose taste or anything, it just tastes like flowers! It’s…sort of nice…It’s a light, fresh tea that really is kind of wonderful…
BUT NOT WHAT I WANTED!
To this tea, I added a splash of lemon and a spoonful of sugar.
This is another gift from Jillian that came with my christmas card. At least I’m pretty sure it was. I think I need to invent some sort of filing system in the Bits’n’Bobs Basket or something to help me keep track of these things.
I’ve never heard of this before. I would never even for a moment have imagined that such a thing existed, or even that anybody out there would ever think of it.
The leaves appear to be pretty much just small dried bamboo leaves and indeed they aren’t fermented at all. Merely withered. You can forget about teaspoons and scoops and whatnot when measuring out an amount. In fact I ignored the concept of measuring entirely and just moved a small handful to the pot. It seemed easier.
They have an interesting aroma when dry. It’s not overwhelmingly strong, but it’s quite grassy and surprisingly sweet. I have never really made it a habit to go around sniffing at bamboo, but I hadn’t expected it to smell like this. I didn’t really have any expectations of the aroma, but this still struck me as unexpected.
After steeping it had a very pale colour with some of that radioactive glow-in-the-dark colour that you can also find in a good sencha. I didn’t get to get a good look at that though. As it turns out when I removed the strainer, my strainer is in need of some maintenance and so there’s a bit of contamination here. (This is a phenomenon (do-doo-dodoodo!) that I’ve seen before with greens, but have never actually had any effects on flavour that I could tell at all. So nothing serious, other than a few points off in presentation)
The aroma after steeping rather reminds me of that sticky rice pu-erh that Auggy shared with me. It’s got an uncanny note of rice to it. Rice and newly mowed lawn. The latter isn’t really all that strange, is it, considering bamboo is a species of grass.
It tastes rather like the rice pu-erh as well. It’s got a rice note and that sweetness from the dry leaves as well. I can only compare it to rice pu-erh weakly brewed and with too much sugar in it. I’m not getting any particular grassy notes out of it in the flavour, though. The flavour is very smooth and there is no hints of anything that might turn into bitterness.
I’m surprising myself by rather liking it. To drink it feels very like your average middle-of-the-road sencha. A bit weaker, perhaps, but very similar. I would prefer a real sencha, but this will do as well.