Terroir TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Gong Fu Sipdown (458)!
Well, I got my new phone today – and spent pretty much all evening setting it up. I think I’ve essentially got myself all set up, minus the fact I’m missing essentially ALL of my contacts. That’ll be a slow process rebuilding that, though…
And along with the new phone, I decided it was about time I got in on this whole instagram shenanigans! I’ve loved silently stalking the beautiful tea photos people link to here on Steepster, but I think it’s about time to share my own/be a little less silent with my love of everyone’s photography. So, if people want to add/follow me on Instagram, I went with the user name ros_strange. I did attempt to follow as many people as I could think of here on Steepster that I knew had an account, but I’m sure I likely missed people.
As for the tea; this was sort of a VERY messy/informal Gong Fu session that I enjoyed while I got my phone all set up tonight; and my inaugural instagram post! I only did about five infusions, and I didn’t really time them or anything – I just went with gut feeling, which is sometimes just as good as precision. The dry leaf aroma of this tea was heavinly – it smelled so strongly of condensed milk, raspberries, and orchid! Sweet, and rich/potent! It made me very excited for the session.
Overall notes in the session were a mix of strong, sweet florals such as magnolia, orchid, and jasmine as well as undertones of fresh fruits – the mix of floral and fruit elements such as raspberry and peach notes made me think quite strongly of early spring, and hanging out in my grandma’s garden which was always filled with fresh flowers and overgrown raspberry bushes just waiting to be plucked! The raspberry element and that sort of nostalgic imagery also ties in for me the fact there was an almost heavy cream/condensed milk like sweetness to this oolong. We used to pluck those fresh raspberries and wash them off then eat them in the garden in HUGE bowls topped with big dollops of whipped cream, and that’s greatly what’s springing to mind here. Other things in the session were general grassyness, and a bit of sour chlorine like sharpness – but only the latter in the first infusion, after that it was totally fine.
I easily could steep this even longer but it’s QUITE late right now and I really should be limiting my caffeine intake…
Evening cuppa from last night.
This was damn good. It was wickedly smooth and very full bodied with a nice mix of flavour notes, the main ones being: fresh baked French bread, walnuts, malt, fine cocoa powder, and raisins. It was one of those sort of mugs where you literally can’t put it down. I’m talking, pick that shit up from the counter and the next time you set it down it’s empty.
Currently sipping on this one.
This is a really interesting Australian black tea that I got my mom to pick up for me on her vacation to BC; it was one of a couple teas from Terroir Tea Merchant that I was specifically interested in. I’ve had a few green teas from Australia now, but I think this is my first black tea? What’s really interesting to me is that basically Australia is modelling their tea growing after Japanese practices – but Japan isn’t exactly renowned for the black tea, are they? So I’m curious what exactly this will taste like…
The dry leaf is certainly inviting enough though; lots of sweet malt and cocoa notes coming off it, and a bit of an earthiness? I wonder how that will translate flavour wise.
Steeped up, I’m enjoying this one a lot! It’s very smooth and full bodied, with a thick soup that coats the inside of the mouth. The top notes are sweet, and are all elements/flavours that I would sort of associate with being inside of a bakery: malt, cocoa powder, honey, fresh baked bread, molasses, and a touch of cinnamon. The body is a bit deeper, a little more savory while still being sweet: malt, wood, dark chocolate, raisin bread, and maybe even something kind of like leather?
The finish is the really interesting part to me, though. It’s a lot less sweet than the rest of the sip, and has a bit more of a burnt toast and dense black pepper kind of thing going for it on top of that malty quality. It’s tickling the back of my throat in a similar way to how blends with actual black pepper or peppercorn in them do. It’s also a little drying.
I think right now I like this one on the whole, but I’m curious to explore it a little further and see if the flavour profile is consistent to what I’m getting from it now. I wish it was just a touch sweeter going into that finish because the black pepper tickling sensation isn’t my favourite thing ever. It’s not a deal breaker, though.
Managed to sneak in one last cup of tea before I have to get ready for work right away!
I’m always excited to try a new Nepalese tea, and I’ve really enjoyed the offerings from Terroir Tea that I’ve had so far so adding this to my Amoda sample order was a really easy decision for me.
Dry, the leaf reminded me a lot of Glossette raisins: smooth, sweet and chocolatey with that raisin undertone to it. Now that I’m drinking it steeped up, I’m finding it a lot more malty/woody and floral, with some raisin/muscat sort of undertones and just the tiniest hint of cocoa and overlying sweetness in general (perhaps the honey that’s described). It’s fairly medium bodied overall, with a nice balance of flavour and softness to the top notes and finish. Pretty different from the dry leaf aroma, overall. I really love how smooth it is though, and the thickness of the mouthfeel.
Reminds me loosely of a 1st Flush and 2nd Flush Darjeeling cross/mix.
See my full review on Sororitea Sisters:
Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Floral, Red Wine, Tannin
Gong Fu session from last week.
This is a tea that I really, really deeply enjoy but up until this point had only steeped up Western before. I knew it was going to be beautiful Gong Fu though, so I really wanted to try it that way and experience it in all its glory. Lately I feel like I’ve taken a much more casual approach to Gong Fu, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all – in fact it’s made my sessions a lot more therapeutic in not having a pen and paper near me to take notes. However, it’s also meant less structured tasting notes and a harder time conveying what I’m experiencing to others…
So, you know, pros and cons either way.
I think I steeped around ten infusions total – I could have likely done more but I was itching to move on to the next tea as it was something I was also really excited about doing Gong Fu that day. Water temp was about 90C throughout the session; I find this one produces some really lovely flavour with water so close to boiling.
This was delicious right from the very first infusion all the way up until the last. There are a lot of flavours packed into this tea but overall ones relatively consistent throughout the session were cinnamon raisin bread, malt, honey, and leather. Depending on which end of the session we’re talking about there were also notes of dark cherries, autumn leaves, toasted nuts, and cocoa powder. Really beautiful profile and tea overall; rich and sweet with some very lovely tasting notes! As always, I highly recommend giving it a go.
Last tea of the day today, and man have I had a day…
So, last night I left my phone at work. Not the end of the world; I knew it was on the counter and the store was locked up – it was safe and secure, and I worked the next day so I knew I could totally grab it when I got in to work. So, I got in this afternoon and immediately started rummaging through the counter drawers. I could NOT find the phone. So, concerned I turned to the ASM Paige and was all “Uh, hey – did you see my phone here this morning?” Paige got so pale, so fast – and that’s when I knew something was wrong. I guess this morning, right after the store opened, one of our tea guides/associates had seen it on the counter and very loudly said something to the effect of “Hey Paige, who’s phone is this?” – nearby customer then turned to her and claimed it was her phone/thanked Rachel (the tea guide) for pointing it out so she didn’t forget it. Then promptly left…
By the time I’d started work for the day Rachel was gone, so I gave her a call and very hesitantly asked her to describe the phone she found. Yup; matched mine PERFECTLY. That fucking bitch of a customer stole my fucking phone! I mean, it’s password protected and actually quite old (almost six years old!) so I figured maybe just maybe they would have taken a closer look at it after leaving the store and realized it’s worth like nothing/they couldn’t get into it and abandoned it as customer service/mall security but nope. I called it several times today, but whatever bitch stole it has it turned off. I also checked FB Market/Kijiji/Varage Sale and all the like to see if someone had listed it on any of them in an attempt to sell it, but no such luck. I’ll keep checking…
So, I guess tomorrow before I start work I have to go figure out this damn phone situation. I’ve never lost a phone before, or broken one for that matter. What’s the fucking process here? Clearly I’m gonna need a new phone because I’m sure this one is completely lost now but can I transfer my plan over or anything? I literally have NO CLUE how this works; it’s been SO LONG since I last got a phone. I mean, it’s literally six years old so the last time I got a phone/set up a plan or contract I was sixteen years old. And I definitely had parental help doing it…
HOW DO I ADULT?!?!
Also, obviously I’m not mad at Rachel – I think in the same situation I probably would have done the exact same thing. Like, that fucker played Rachel so badly/took advantage of her kindness but also had some BLOODY QUICK reaction time too. Ugh! It’s just such a fucking headache…
But at least the tea has been good today. Had it not, I don’t know that I could have made it through an hour long shift without snapping at someone – I’m pretty proud of myself for keeping my cool today even with good tea. There were photos on my phone I hadn’t backed up yet that meant a lot to me, and a few phone numbers/contacts that I don’t think were backed up either that I’ll never get back. As well as tons of text history, including some from friends and family who have since passed away…
Anyway; the tea! I’ll keep it pretty brief since I’ve ranted/rambled enough but it was very, very smooth and sweet with good, velvety mouthfeel and medium bodied notes. The body was a mix of sweet red fruit notes, honey, hazelnut, mineral, wood, caramel, some sort of sugar glaze, malt, and baker’s chocolate with a strong bread like note that I’d describe as some sort of mix of sweet bread and Easter Buns/Hot Cross buns. You know, the ones with the sweet sugar “cross” along the top and bits of candied fruit. The finish is the same lovely mix, but a little weaker/watery.
Overall, there’s A LOT going on but it’s really delightful and it’s as nice of a note to close out the day on as I think I’ll be able to manage tonight. I just have to set the frustration of it all aside right now, and deal with it tomorrow. However that works out…
From my mom’s vacation haul/BC trip.
I was really impressed with the first tea I tried from this company, so I was feeling pretty optimistic about this one too. It’s one I specifically requested because I’m always stoked to try something else from Nepal, and the description on the website certainly sounded appealing. While I do want to Gong Fu this I started with a Western brew because that’s actually what the recommended way to brew this one was on the package.
- This was fucking DELICIOUS; insanely so!
- Dry leaf smells like straight up chocolate and dark rye; yummy!
- You know it’s good when you set your mug down to get something from the other room
- …and come back only to find your mother stealing sips from the mug
- Really nuanced, but overall thick mouthfeel and full bodied flavour
- Super smooth/silky with a light roast
- Top notes of: honey, caramel, malt, rye bread, baker’s chocolate
- Body notes of: cinnamon, French bread, malt, honey, light cocoa
- Finish: sweeter with fruity undertones such as dark cherries or even plums
- This finishing note is likely the “wine” described by the vendor
- Honestly the best Nepalese tea I’ve had to date
I’ve really liked a lot of the teas that my mom brought back for me, but thus far this one might just be my favourite. It’s seriously really fucking good.
Drank this one a little earlier in the week;
I feel like I’ve been fighting off a cold for a few days now. I’m at the point where my throat is a little sort, and my nose is stuffy but I’m not full blown ‘sick’ yet. It’s frustrating because I feel like I’m stuck in cold purgatory right now. So, I picked this one out to drink because I enjoy it normally speaking but I think it’s also just a nice sort of sick tea with a really soothing feeling on the throat.
It did feel soothing, but unfortunately I think I was in JUST ENOUGH ‘sick haze’ that I really didn’t get any of the nuances of the flavour itself. A bit of the herbaceous generic basil/tulsi notes but none of the spicier elements like clove/cinnamon I often experience with this one. So that was kind of ‘meh’.
So my mom just bought this balm that’s I guess like a muscle relaxer, but made with traditional Chinese herbs/spices and stuff? It’s called Tiger Balm and it actually does fucking wonders in terms of like back pain/shoulder pain and that kind of thing.
I bring it up ‘cause I drank a mug of this the other night and literally the only thing I could think of was her fucking Tiger Balm. This tulsi tastes exactly like how the tiger balm smells. I think that’s probably ‘cause this does have some intense cinnamon notes to it and like one of the main things in that balm is cinnamon/cassia oil. So, there’s overlap in that regard. Also notes of clove, and mint in addition to that herbaceous basil quality. I don’t know; it was a VERY good cup and really soothing/relaxing flavours.
I’m just sayin’… Tiger Balm.
Song Pairing: https://youtu.be/pstVCGyaUBM
Drank this one last night…
Flavour wise, it was pretty spot on to what it normally is, and that was delicious and comforting in all the right ways. However, something was off mouthfeel wise. I can’t explain where it came from, but it was just so thick and oily. Very, very unpleasant texture. Definitely was the cause for some conflicting feelings…
Drank this one last night before bed.
At a certain point, I almost forgot that I was actually drinking tulsi because this was so clove-like in flavour last night! Legit, my sister asked what I was drinking and I actually responded with “steeped clov- wait, no shit! It’s tulsi not cloves!”. She just shrugged; I’m sure she really didn’t care either way and was just making polite conversation.
I do really love this one though; it’s nice having it as a herbal/before bed option instead of all the really fruity herbals in my stash. It’s more ‘tea like’ in a way…
(I’m really into Foster The People’s new music!)
Hot mug of tea on the front steps with a bowl of cherries, and some good music!
So, this second time around i feel like I definitely got more of a feel of the “spice” elements of the flavour profile. The finish was very clove heavy, with even a sense of ginger or even cinnamon. All of that, of course, on top of the very herbaceous flavour of the basil itself. It was actually a very nice compliment to the cherries as well because it sort of created this sweet “spiced cherry” sort of flavour profile with the same great juxtaposition between savory and sweet that you get from pairings like sage and blackberry or peach and thyme.
In fact, I think I’d be REALLY on board for a “Spiced Cherry and Tulsi” type of blend; either herbal, rooibos, honeybush, or black. Cherries, tulsi, clove and the tea base, maybe with a bit of cinnamon? Can I put in a formal recommendation for Anne of 52Teas to make that!? It would be SO good!
So, this is a new company for me – and one I had asked my mom to check out ahead of time. In a perfect world, I would have got her to get more than just three different teas but there were so many stores she was stopping at, so I tried not to overload at any one place…
I realized early on that most of what I’d requested was black teas or just caffeinated teas in general so I asked for this one as a bit of a change of pace. Additionally, even though I’ve tried tulsi I’ve never had it on hand to play with before, and I think this particular varietal is a new one to me as well. It smells great though!
I’d love input from others – but how does everyone on Steepster here like Tulsi to prepare your tulsi? I went with a Western infusion, but I’m wondering if this would hold up to being brewed Gong Fu because I feel like it could make an interesting option for late night tea making.
My western brew was great though: obviously it tasted strongly of basil because that’s essentially what tulsi is. However, the company description says “clove” as well, and I was skeptical of that, though I definitely do think this had that strong but sweet sort of spiciness that I’d associate with clove so I think I was a bit hasty in my skepticism. I love clove though, so it was just this wonderful added layer of flavour.
I was REALLY happy with this tea.
Also worth noting, of all the tea places my mom stopped at for me, she said that this was her favourite. She loved getting to speak to the owner (she’s a sucker for that kind of thing; as am I, honestly) and she said she felt very welcomed as someone who doesn’t know much about tea at all, especially because this is more of a specialty store/“store for those who kind of know what they’re doing” (in her words) compared to companies like Davidstea or Teavanna. Her and the owner had a long conversation about how the owner had gotten into tea, and about me as well. They also took the time to explain exactly what all the teas I was getting were, and what made them special/unique and she got to see some pretty cool teaware demoed. You know, the full blown experience. Just, she was REALLY impressed with the experience overall. Coupled with this first impression of their tea/tisanes – I think this is a store to keep an eye on…
Hmm, I was hoping for some walnut and dark chocolate notes going by the description, but I got 70% drier, woodsy notes followed by softening 20% softening honey, and a surprising, remaining 10% mineral note. Roughly, of course. This also has a thinner mouthfeel so I can’t see this going too well with milk. Not my idea of a black tea but I’m sure there are some tea drinkers out there who would appreciate this more than I.