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Recent Tasting Notes

50

Aroma: Caramel, Dates

Palate: Bitter! Absolutely undrinkable without milk. Is still slightly bitter with milk, but fine when pairing with food.

Brewed at 190˚F for 4:00.

Rating: 50

Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Dates

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML

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83

When I opened the packet, I was like Oh god, wayyy too much ginger. But after steeping, I discovered that first of all, I love tulsi (this magical Indian basil that I’ve never had before) and the sweetness counters the ginger. There’s a licorice note to it too that I adore and makes it even more candy-like. I’m glad I discovered a wonderful new caffeine-free tea option for evenings!

Rating: 83

Flavors: Anise, Ginger, Licorice, Sweet, Tulsi

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

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62

I can definitely smell the malted sugar and cocoa notes, but no vanilla and it’s not as amazing as I envisioned when I read the notes.

Quite bitter / astringent, and I get an unpleasant tannic aftertaste that lingers on my tongue for a long time even after drinking it with milk.

Brewed at 194˚F for 4:00. Will try brewing it at 190˚F next time.

Rating: 62

Flavors: Astringent, Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Tannin

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

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70

Aroma:
Red dates (jujubes), malty sugar, stewed apples. Smells lovely, reviving for the morning.

Palate:
Light astringency, nutty, not much other flavour. Even after adding milk, there is still some astringency. Definitely needs sugar, or to be paired with a sweet breakfast food.

Brewed 2.5g in 7oz of water at 186˚F for 3:00.

Flavors: Apple, Malt, Nuts, Stewed Fruits, Sugar

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 OZ / 207 ML

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76

I love the ginger almond fragrance. The tea tastes quite bitter using my steeping parameters, so it needs milk and sugar. Lovely breakfast drink.

Brewed at 194˚F for 5:00.

Rating: 76

Flavors: Almond, Ginger

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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75

Brewed at 185˚F for 4:00, and it’s actually less bitter than when I brewed it on the lower end of the range, at 176˚F! Lovely for the afternoon since it’s low-caffeine and it complemented my oyakodon lunch very well, I’m glad I tried .

It doesn’t have much flavour on its own, I get a bit of smoky nutty sweetness, but pairs well with savoury food.

Increasing rating to 75.

Flavors: Nuts, Smoke

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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75

Smells divine, malted candy with that funky earthy smell similar to a Yunnan black tea, but with even more complex floral notes.

Unfortunately the flavour of the tea is slightly bitter and astringent. It tastes floral in the sense of chewing on a flower, not sweet but instead getting the bitter juices of the plant that is not meant to be eaten.

Brewed at 176˚F for 4:00.

Rating: 66

Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Malt, Wet Earth

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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83

This is my first ever Nilgiri tea.

The dry leaf smells like Chinese green tea, sweet and vegetal. Tea liquor smells more like white tea, fruity and slightly floral, with steamed corn (as it says on Teabox’s website). It tastes fresh and sweet, no bitterness, a lot like sweet corn, maybe corn soup?

This tea is very good, and I am a huge fan of corn, but I am being very selective about how much green and white tea I buy every year now so I doubt I’ll buy the full size of this.

Brewed at 177˚F for just under 5:00.

Flavors: Floral, Vegetal

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75

Aroma: Rose, floral, sweet fruit, palm sugar

Liquor: Lovely, full-bodied, sweet, nutty and roasted, flavourful.

Brewed at 187˚F

Rating: 75

Flavors: Floral, Nutty, Rose

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec
BigDaddy

One of my faves

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62

Okay, I’m trying this again by correcting the brewing parameters I tried last time.

Brewed at 194˚F for 4:00 in about 7oz of water. At 4:00 the astringency is a little improved, though there is still a lot of dryness on my tongue. At this point I’m wondering if it’s something genetic that’s wrong with me, so I’d still advise you to sample this tea if you’re interested. For me, I’ll stick to my Chinese oolongs and Taiwanese 18.

Rating: 62

Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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62

Aroma like a subdued version of the Taiwanese 18 tea––malty sugar, maraschino cherry, and woodsy. Which is strange because this Red Thunder Oolong is a Darjeeling tea, and 18 is an Assamica hybrid.

Tea liquor is astringent and woodsy. Awful dry mouthfeel, feels like I’m sucking on hay and herb stems. When I hold the liquid in my mouth for longer, I get the slight impression of a tangy fruit tart. But honestly the mouthfeel is so unpleasant that I ended up throwing out half the cup.

Brewed at 187˚F for 5:00. Will try brewing at higher temperature next time, and/or for a shorter time.

Rating: 59

Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Hay, Malt, Wood

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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60

Okay, I brewed this in a teacup at 176˚F for 5:00 and this time it wasn’t bitter. I don’t understand what went so wrong the first time.

Tasted like a milder chai tea, nothing special. Goes well with milk. Increasing my rating to be fair, but I still wouldn’t buy the full size of this.

Rating: 60

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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60

I was sceptical of the idea of a green tea chai, and sure enough, I didn’t like it very much. The spicy flavour is nice and not as strong as masala chai, but the green tea portion of it tasted overbrewed, bitter, and astringent like steamed vegetables (even though I brewed it at 177˚F). If the idea of green tea chai sounds good to you, then by all means go for it, but it’s not for me.

To be fair, I paired it with a pineapple tart I was eating and the combination was pretty good… but mid-way when I tasted the bitter green tea I spat out the mouthful of tea.

Brewed for 5:00 in 6oz of water at 177˚F. Might try brewing this at a higher temperature, 180 or 185, but I’m predicting it will probably taste even worse. I wouldn’t buy the full size of this.

Rating: 45

Flavors: Almond, Cloves, Fennel, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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83
drank Darjeeling Ruby by Teabox
177 tasting notes

Brewed at 178˚F and it’s not as aromatic or flavourful as I remember. Probably should brew at 185˚F next time. Still one of my favourites from Teabox.

Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Rose

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Darjeeling Ruby by Teabox
177 tasting notes

I’m not going to rate this tasting because I accidentally used 8oz of water, poured out 3oz of it and had to top up to 6oz of water, so some of the flavour literally went down the drain.

Love the aroma––lovely floral mixed with honeyed sweetness. The liquor, though not as flavourful, tastes great as well.

Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Honey

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68

Let’s start with the positives. Lovely orange blossom, malty sugar, licorice aroma.

Unfortunately I over-steeped it for maybe 20 seconds (over the recommended 4:00) and it’s quite astringent. Tastes a lot like cucumber water, slightly spicy maybe from the fennel, but also kinda musty, which is unexpected in a black tea. Not my thing.

Rating: 68

Flavors: Cucumber, Fennel, Licorice, Malt, Orange Blossom

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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89

Brewed at 187˚F for 5:00. Very lovely, savoury, complex white tea that’s different enough from Chinese white teas to merit a full purchase.

Aroma:
Cotton candy and Hay. Smells so much sweeter than Chinese white tea

Liquor:
Notes of Melon, Celery, Floral. Smooth, no bitterness or astringency.
I was actually eating walnuts with yoghurt at the time I drank this, so couldn’t taste the walnut notes in the tea but I’ll look out for them next time.

Flavors: Celery, Cotton Candy, Floral, Hay, Melon

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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61

Delicious, rich, spicy aroma of ginger, stone fruits, woods, and cloves.

The taste is a bit dry and astringent even though I steeped at the minimum temperature (185˚F) for about 15 sec under 4:00. Tastes better with honey but I can still taste a slight astringency. Lovely aroma but I will not be purchasing more of this tea.

Flavors: Cardamon, Ginger, Plums, Raisins, Stonefruits, Wood

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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90

I like this tea, the most predominant flavor is that of wood, with hints of geranium. It is complex and interesting.

Flavors: Burnt, Geranium, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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82

I can now tell where the gorgeous Taiwanese 18 tea got a lot of its parentage from.

The malted sugar and cherry fragrance on this Assam black is lovely.

Unfortunately the tea liquor isn’t sweet at all so I guess I could add some honey to it. It is mellow and has the same slight astringency that I get from 18 which is actually quite nice. Not bitter (yet… I must make sure not to oversteep this).

I added milk to the second half of my cup and it goes very nicely; the milk adds a touch of sweetness that enhances this tea a lot.

Rating: 82

Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Malt, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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65
drank Masala Mantra by Teabox
177 tasting notes

Not a big fan of this plain as the spices taste sharp, but it’s decent accompaniment for a meal when I add milk.

2.5g, 6oz at 192˚F.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Fennel

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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77

Aroma is leafy and vegetal, like Chinese green teas, but also with a pleasant malted sweetness and hint of lemony citrus.

Liquor tastes of malt sugar, seaweedy umami. Very nice, I definitely prefer this to the MH Classic Black. Stands up nicely to my sweet yoghurt granola breakfast.

Brewed 2.5g at 190˚F in 7oz of water for 5:00.

Flavors: Lemon, Malt, Seaweed, Sugar, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

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80

185˚F in 6oz water for 5:00

Now this time the first whiff I get is a spicy ginger aroma, followed by the malty sweetness, and there’s also notes of buttery pecan, and fresh lemon.

No astringency this time so I think lower temperature is better for this tea.

I tried half of my cup with a few drops of lemon juice and do not recommend that. It turned the tea slightly bitter in addition to the sourness.

Increasing my rating to 80.

Flavors: Butter, Ginger, Lemon, Malt, Pecan

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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80

This is my first ever Darjeeling first flush black tea––I’ve only had Chinese black teas before this.

Lovely aroma, malted sugar and toasted nutty, reminds me of Golden Monkey black tea. The wet leaf itself gives off a divine floral bouquet. But the taste of the liquor is totally average. I used a bit too much water to leaf, but even so it’s slightly on the astringent side. I can see tea beginners enjoying this, and maybe it pairs well with savoury food but not so good with yoghurt and granola.

Brewed 2.5g of leaf in 8oz of water at 190˚F for 4:45. Next time I’ll try 6oz of water at 185˚F. Then will try adding honey or lemon.

Rating: 70

Flavors: Floral, Malt, Nuts

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 45 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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