The Metropolitan Tea CompanyEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Had a brief but lovely exchange with Lala today in order to swap GCTTB1 and GCTTB2; we met up at the Vintage Tea Room which is a lovely little British style tea house. While sadly she couldn’t stay for tea, I managed to sneak in a pot and some food before I started work at one…
This was definitely what I had been craving all morning; the maltyness that’s typically associated with Irish Breakfast blends in particular sounded like the perfect flavour note to really hit the spot – and it did deliver in that regard. I definitely wish that this particular Irish Breakfast wasn’t CTC though because the tea house put the leaf directly into the pot and then it strains as you pour so it got pretty astringent/bitter quite quickly. It wasn’t anything that a little milk and sugar couldn’t cure but I prefer not to add sugar if I don’t have to.
As far as food goes I got my standard Cranberry Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwich, which I highly recommend to anything who gets the chance to visit the tea house in the future. And for dessert I got a slice of Coconut Cream Pie which was definitely decent though not the best dessert I’ve had from them: the Pecan Pie in particular is DIVINE.
I don’t visit the tea room enough, it’s such a convenient walk from work…
Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Raisins
This is probably as close as you’re going to get to the original recipe for Earl Grey. There’s a very distinguished Bergamot flavor against this wall of woody, almost oak, Sri Lankan tea. It’s properly masculine, something you’d imagine Sean Connery drinking. What I would say is this isn’t for the faint of hearts; it’s correctly firm in it’s tea and bergamot delivery. Blue collar then; so if you’re looking for something a bit more regal, with a more gentle zest of bergamot, I would go to the Palais Des Thes ‘Blue of London’.
Flavors: Bergamot, Wood
So I met up with Robyn yesterday after going to the mall, to exchange Christmas presents since on Saturday she’s going back to Regina for the rest of Christmas, and this was the only day during the week she wasn’t crazy busy with finals preparation.
We went to a coffee house called the Broadway Roastery, as per Robyn’s suggestion because her roommates are always raving about how they serve the best London Fogs. So that’s what we got! Turns out this particular coffee house sources all of their tea from MTC, so I get to actually write a tasting note for a specific tea instead of just using the all inclusive “Various Teas” thinger.
Firstly, it was a pretty good London Fog! I was impressed because, first and foremost, they used loose leaf and not tea bags, but it was also very thick and rich with such a strong vanilla flavour. Mmm! Robyn and I each, at one point or another, ended up with milk froth mustaches, too.
As for the gift exchange; I gave her Neil Patrick Harris’s Choose Your Own Autobiography (her own copy; I didn’t re-purpose mine), a cool Owl bookmark for it, a whole bunch of owl stickers, Troy Bolton dividers for her class duo tang/binder, and “Royal Flush” Poo Pourri. I’m very impressed with myself, since she was super happy and I know she hasn’t been able to afford books as frequently since starting Uni – and she loves to read, so that’s a shame.
For me, I got a whole butt load of fancy chocolates and then she got me one of the DT packs/tins with one half cookies and the other half a stackable tin of tea. Sadly, she picked Cocomint Cream which some of you will remember I kinda hated. But there was no way I was going to let her know that (so keep it a secret Steepster!) so I faked as best as I possibly could it being a tea I’d never actually tried before which made her really excited. Not sure what I’m going to do with the tea now, but I’ll figure something out. I am actually super excited about the cookies, though.
I wish people would stop getting me DT stuff as present though – my Mom accidentally let slip last night that my little sister went Christmas shopping for me at DAVIDsTEA this year (which is very thoughtful of her, but odds are she’ll get something I don’t like or be talked into the Holiday Sampler by a staff member just like my Dad did last year – despite me telling him not to go shopping for me at DAVIDsTEA). I mean, if there’s something I want to try from DT, I’ll try it myself…
This year my Dad got it right; he’s just taking me to a tea store and setting me loose to shop for myself…
This is a great tea, though when you have a tea as “quintessentially British as you can get” as the base for this tea, you expect it. The description is quite humorous, as we find out that this tea is also quintessentially Italian, Sri Lankan, and ultimately Metropolitan.
There isn’t an actual ingredient list on the bag, so I can’t tell you what is in this blend. The description on the bag explains that they add fresh cream to the tea, though I don’t know if I’m supposed to take that literally or figuratively. Most cream earl grey blends are made with vanilla, and this tea has a strong aroma of vanilla and bergamot. It rebrews well, and the vanilla isn’t too overpowering or artificial. Still, if you want to try the tea and worry about what goes into your tea, you might consider the fact that it’s ingredient list is nonexistent as far as I can tell.
So, I need to figure out how to multi-task, because I only managed to write half of my thoughts before moving my attention elsewhere. This tea is better enjoyed when you’re not trying to do too many things at once.
Flavors: Bergamot, Creamy, Sweet, Vanilla
Sipdown!! (Alas I am still only at 149 because I never logged this)
So I had a whole note for this and then accidentally changed the page and thus lost it. I am too lazy to retype it so basically the gist is this bloomed to reveal pink flowers which then promptly floated to the top leaving behind brownish-green leaves. Compared to other blooms I have had, it just wasn’t as pretty. Tastewise, it had a nice mint flavor but nothing special enough that I would seek it out again, especially because it was accompanied by a bitter, drying quality that I was just not enjoying. Nonetheless, I want to thank Roswell Strange for the chance to try something I might not have otherwise.
I wonder if I can get under 170 today…
Anyway, I decided to take advantage of my empty mason jar from this morning’s cold brew to steep the last of my flowering teas and just have a really nice, more aesthetically focused tea drinking experience this afternoon.
This is not the nicest flowering tea I’ve had – by far, but I appreciate getting to sit down and really taking the time to enjoy it for what it is: and that’s a nice, light mint green tea with a simple bloom with a small splash of colour to it.
I don’t think I’d get this again despite it being fairly solid flavoured – I want to try new bloom teas or stick to blooms with either a more potent flavour for home use (like today) or a more showy appearance for when I’m sharing them with others.
I know I’ve sent this to VariaTEA so I look forward to hearing her thoughts! :)
So like I’ve mentioned in a few notes tonight; I took a spontaneous trip to McQuarrie’s Tea and Coffee Merchants tonight after work… And a broke hiatus.
But it’s ok, really! I can afford to break hiatus (just can’t afford to go crazy), and I was reasonable with what I got. Since this wasn’t an especially planned trip, I just kind of looked around and picked out some things that seemed interesting. In the end, I got two different kinds of bloom teas (this one and a hibiscus one that’s supposed to be really pretty), two fruit blends for cold brewing, and a Passionfruit rooibos. I mean, c’mon, how could I resist the passionfruit!?
I know McQuarrie’s get a lot of their teas from Metropolitan Teas – but not all of them, so I carefully matched the names of some of the blends I got, the descriptions, and the ingredients so some of what I got is logged in my cupboard under the the Metropolitan equivalents (such as this one), but they aren’t all like that. I had to add a few to Steepster; the ones that aren’t sourced from MTC.
This one piqued my interest for sure; a mint flowering tea? Yes please! Reading the description, I’m even more intrigued. I love mythology; and this sounds like a myth a could get behind. I might look it up to see the proper thing, though. The tea description seems a little broken/simplified.
Taste wise; this is pretty nice. It’s definitely a very light mint but it is refreshing, and something I definitely didn’t struggle to finish 25 oz. of. The weaving floral notes were super interesting; I’m trying to think whether I’ve had a floral mint before, and I don’t think I have. But the combination worked!
As far as the aesthetics, because lets face it – that’s an important aspect to blooming teas, I felt they were a bit of a let down. The tea liquor was the very pretty, light green that just reminded me of mint from the colour alone. However, the bloom was pretty well colourless and very plain. Definitely the least pretty bloom I’ve ever had thus far. Next time I make this, I guess I’ll take a picture for the tea entry. I forgot to that this time around…
Happiness!! Today the new update for Minecraft came out and I was able to spend my morning having fun with all the new features. Later in the day I was told by Ben that my favorite board game ever (Summoner Wars) is planning on releasing a box set where factions are being blended together for new and exciting combinations of strategies to master. I was also able to get some new dark grey and black Perler beads, so the Pokemon Challenge continues, it was a good day to be a Geek.
Today’s tea is Blueberry Maple Tea originally by Metropolitan Tea Co. but sold by The Blueberry Store, a delightfully themed store! Made from a blend of Ceylon Black Tea and natural flavors, this tea combines the taste of blueberries with maple syrup, just like my favorite waffles. The aroma is very sweet! It is very true to its name, combining sweet blueberries and maple syrup, these tea bags are giving me a serious breakfast craving. Who am I kidding, I eat blueberry waffles no matter what time of day it is! There is a slightly malty black tea aroma as well, but mostly it is all blueberry and maple sweetness.
Once the bag has been steeped the liquid has much more of a malty aroma, making it more like a tea and less like food. Have no fear, there is still a strong blend of maple and blueberry sweetness that is completely mouthwatering.
The initial taste is faintly sweet and bright, blending strong blueberries with a hint of maple syrup. I decided to go for cream and sugar, because this tea just begs for cream and sugar. With the additive the maple flavor is much stronger, dwarfing the blueberry flavor, kinda like what happens when you dump syrup all over a blueberry waffle. This tea is not really nuanced or complex, but it is deliciously sweet, and perfect for when you want a sweet tea to guzzle down first thing in the morning.
Flavors: Berries, Malt
I actually really like the little wooden box this came in. I’m looking forward to emptying it out and filling it with more treasures.
On the tea though, I’m not blown away, the base was initially overwhelming, and I couldn’t find the maple. After the cup cooled down to just warm, it was a decent. The blueberry flavor was blueberry and not offensively artificial, and the sweetness of maple came through after the blueberry faded. Satisfying, but really nothing more.
Bread update: I soaked my cranberries over night in Vanilla Creme EG and brown sugar with a touch of vanilla extract. Bread is due out of the oven in 53 minutes. Smells amazing, though.
Met up with Roswell Strange at a tea room and decided to have a cup of this one. The description on the menu was something like lemon and orange flavours. It intrigued me as earl grey is basically orange flavoured (bergamot is a type of orange). I was expecting it to be a bit smokey because it was called Russian (thinking Russian Caravan), but it wasn’t. I would say it was a light to moderate strong Earl Grey. There was definitely a bit more lemon flavour, very distinctly lemon grass. I think the base was a Ceylon, but unsure. The tea came in a tea pot, it was loose tea in the water. So it did get a bit astringent once I got towards the end of the pot. I did get a refill of hot water into the pot. The second steep was definitely a lot lighter and thinner than the first steep, but I was expecting that. Not a too bad Earl Grey. It was great for our little get together. Its always fun meeting fellow steepsters in person.
I bought this tea recently from Nova Scotia Antiques&Collectibles, Fred Baines’ eBay store, where I buy most of my tea. I’m still getting acquainted with this one. Since I am totally in love with Metropolitan’s Scottish Breakfast, I thought I might like this as much or even more. I must say, it’s a bit of a comedown from the S.B. For one thing, this is CTC, which is a nuisance as it plugs up the spout of my teapot and gets into my mug excessively. I can’t think why this must needs be CTC when the S.B. is mostly large aesthetic leaves that are good enough to eat! I need to experiment with the brewing of this Irish Breakfast, I think, because so far I’ve found it (with milk and sugar, as is my wont) rather one-dimensional and uninteresting, not even as good as PG or Red Rose supermarket tea bags. I must be doing something wrong; it can’t be that bad. I don’t find it has the depth and resonance of the Scottish Breakfast. Comments, anyone?
I tend to Tea Binges. Instead of a new flavor every day (because I have SO many to choose from) I will find a tea I like and stick with it for a while. I’ve been enjoying Irish Breakfast Cream for several days now. In the shop, flavored teas consistently outsell the basics, however my own tastes tend to the traditional. This one is a good option for a traditionalist, with the twist of the caramel tones that meld the 3 black teas chosen for this blend into a luscious smoothness.
A mixture of CTC and whole leaf gives this tea a robustness that keeps its character without letting the caramelness take over.
It seems every tea company has several offerings with ‘Cream’ notes. I do pay particular attention to them as popularity indicated by sales is definitely trending.
Having had so much success in the shop with the ever popular Cream Earl Grey, I decided to order the Irish Breakfast Cream. I am now a fan of this tea and I do believe my guests will enjoy this lovely smooth Irish Breakfast as well. It is a keeper.