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This is a tea I took out of the TTB to try. I had 3 cups total (and shared a bit of the looseleaf with a friend), but I can’t say I loved it. I’m on a bit of a caffeine kick because I have a difficult exam today (last one of my undergrad! woot woot). This is another sipdown. Gotta make room for those new summer iced teas!
The base is a bit bitter/astringent, but flavourful. There are lots of vegetal spinach notes and some citrus (orange and lemon?) but there isn’t much depth to the flavour. Also it tastes a bit like orange rind but not like fresh juicy orange. I think some mango or other tropical fruit could have added a bit of flair.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Citrus, Lemon, Orange, Spinach
This was the last of the samples from The Teaguy that I got around to trying. Of the bunch, I found it to be the best. It should be noted, however, that I am still a huge sucker for a good, straight-ahead Earl Grey, so it should come as no surprise that I was more taken with this blend than the others I received.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 4 minutes. I neither rinsed the leaf material nor attempted any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry leaf material emitted a strong bergamot aroma. After infusion, the bergamot aroma was still heavy and strong, though I could also detect some subtle scents of toast, cream, and malt. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered strong bergamot notes on the entry that were chased by subtler malt, toast, caramel, cream, and orange zest impressions. The finish was dominated by a lingering orange zest impression and a suddenly rejuvenated bergamot note.
As Earl Grey blends go, this one was pretty basic and did not offer any surprises, but it was also a ridiculously aromatic, flavorful, and drinkable blend that was just heavy enough on the bergamot oil to avoid coming off as unbalanced. Truly good Earl Greys seem to be getting harder and harder to come by, so with that in mind, there is no way I could refrain from giving this one a high score. If you are an Earl Grey freak, make a point of checking this one out sometime.
Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Cream, Malt, Orange Zest, Toast
Alright, I’m back again with another review. This was another of the tea samples I received from The Teaguy in the spring of 2017 in exchange for a Steepster review. I finally got around to finishing it during the latter part of August while I was off my feet due to the snakebite I have mentioned in several previous reviews. Even though I have shied away from black tea blends like this over the course of the past year or so, I still found this to make a very drinkable and energizing cuppa.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 4 minutes. I neither rinsed the leaf blend nor attempted any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry leaf material produced aromas of malt, raisin, and wood. After infusion, I detected a smooth, dominant malt aroma underscored by wood and citrus hints. In the mouth, the tea liquor was milder than expected. I detected notes of straw, wood, malt, lemon zest, leather, roasted chestnut, and roasted walnut that faded towards the finish and revealed a very faint raisin note. The finish was surprisingly brisk and astringent though some lingering roasted nut, malt, lemon zest, and molasses notes were still evident.
Generally, Irish breakfast tea is not one of my favorite black tea blends. By the time I got around to trying this one, I had been shying away from blends like this for a considerable length of time, and honestly, I continue to avoid them. If I need a brisk, malty, woodsy, and astringent cup to get me going in the morning, I tend to lean toward single origin black teas from Yunnan Province or Vietnam and very occasionally will still break out an Assam black tea of some sort. Still, this was a very appealing Irish breakfast blend. It took me a couple tries to get it dialed in, but once I did, I could see why the other reviewers enjoyed it. As a matter of fact, I think this may have qualified as one of the best Irish breakfast teas I have tried to this point. If you are the sort of person who enjoys blends of this sort, give this one a shot sometime.
Flavors: Astringent, Butter, Chestnut, Cream, Leather, Lemon Zest, Malt, Molasses, Raisins, Straw, Walnut, Wood
I received a free pouch of this tea in the spring of 2017 in exchange for a review. Because I am an unfocused slacker, I forgot about it and only got around to trying it while I was recovering from my snakebite in the second part of August. I think this blend was a little past its prime when I got around to trying it because I did not find it to be all that satisfying or memorable. It also could have just been me. I was not in the best of places when working my way through this tea, and anyway, I only drink blends like this sporadically.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 203 F water for 5 minutes. I neither rinsed the leaves nor attempted any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry leaf blend produced subtle aromas of raisin, prune, and fig. After infusion, I detected new aromas of malt, toast, cream, orange, and pine. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of cream, toast, malt, orange, prune, raisin, pine, honey, and fig that were backed by hints of black pepper, straw, and nutmeg. The finish was mostly creamy and malty, though I could find some touches of honey and dried fruit here and there.
For the most part, this seemed to be a pretty standard black tea blend. I’m fairly certain that I would have enjoyed it more had I been in both a better physical state and frame of mind at the time I committed to drinking it, but I still doubt that it would ever be something I would choose to seek out on my own. For what this was, I suppose it was decent, but honestly, blends like this are not really for me.
Flavors: Black Pepper, Cream, Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Malt, Nutmeg, Orange, Pine, Raisins, Straw, Toast
Summer Vacation! I’m starting in on some of my Chinese teas, and since I have quite a lot in my collection will no doubt not get to sampling all of them during the few weeks this month I’ve dedicated to this task, but at least I’ll manage to get to some of them that I’ve yet to try. I’m really tired tonight though (drinking all these blacks in the evening after work is really getting to me) so I’m going for an oolong tonight. And I actually have never tried a TGY yet, even though oolongs are my favorite kind of tea. This one came from the Here’s Hoping Teabox, so thanks to tea-sipper for organizing and whoever contributed this!
I burnt the roof of my mouth on my soup with dinner earlier, which will no doubt be effecting my palate tonight. While I do enjoy trying oolongs gong fu style, I simply don’t have the energy tonight (nor any desire for that much tea), so I made a single 400ml cuppa tea western brewed. The dry leaf smells very grassy, but the brewed cup has the buttery floral aroma I’m used to from milk oolong, so I’m fairly sure I’ll enjoy this. The flavor is very floral, with a strong lilac/orchid taste, with a slightly grassy vegetal finish and some very subtle notes of fennel and nuts in the aftertaste.
It’s nice. Would probably be nicer if my mouth wasn’t so numb, and I have no doubt fresher varietals are even better, but since this is my first time trying it, I really have no benchmark here.
Flavors: Creamy, Fennel, Floral, Nuts, Orchid, Smooth, Sweet, warm grass, Vegetal
This was another of the free samples The Teaguy sent me to review. Truth be told, I was not looking forward to this one all that much. While I love traditional Earl Grey blends, my limited experience with the creamier, sweeter variants that seem to have become so popular in recent years has played a small role in reinforcing my disdain for many flavored/scented contemporary blends. This one went all out with the cream. It was a very sweet blend, precisely the sort of blend that does not normally appeal to me.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped one teaspoon of loose material in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. No additional infusions were attempted.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea blend emitted powerful aromas of vanilla, toffee, custard, bergamot, and orange candy. After infusion, I found stronger aromas of vanilla, toffee, custard, bergamot, and orange candy. In the mouth, the smooth, creamy tea liquor offered robust notes of cream and bergamot on the entry that gave way to impressions of toffee, custard, caramel chews, orange candy, vanilla, and malt. The finish was smooth and sweet, featuring lingering caramel chew, toffee, and orange candy notes backed by hints of bergamot.
To be fair, I knew that The Teaguy was going for a sweet Earl Grey blend with over-the-top creaminess here. Mission accomplished. This blend was exactly as it was intended to be in that regard. The problem for me was that this was not the sort of Earl Grey blend I like. I’m not into tea blends with a persistent, candy-like sweetness, and that is what this was. People who are into sweeter teas may like this one, but it was not and likely never will be for me.
Flavors: Bergamot, Candy, Caramel, Cream, Custard, Malt, Orange, Toffee, Vanilla
I wasn’t the biggest fan of this one’s candy-like take on the Earl Grey’s Cream (more like cotton candy or butterscotch), but I appear to be an outlier. The rest of my family loved this one. They would steep it multiple times, all by themselves (family always gets me to steep their tea so this was surprising). I found out it was finished when I walked through the door and my sister shouted "we finished your tea!*- such a novelty.
I would give this tea around a 75 but they would rate it at least an 85… so we are just going to make it an 80.
Thank you, Teaguy, for the experience! This tea was loved, if not always appreciated.
Flavors: Bergamot, Butterscotch, Cotton Candy, Vanilla
The Tea guy has really out done himself with this one. Subtle but tasty notes of vanilla. Not just your run of the mill vanilla either. It smells wonderful too. (Sidenote: I just picked up my 8 month old son and took a sip and he gave me this look and started licking his lips. I think he’s going to be a tea drinker!) Now for those who are looking for bourbon notes I’m going to warn you that they don’t pop out like the vanilla. Also if you’ve never had bourbon before you probably won’t quite know what you are looking for. The first time I discovered the bourbon it was like lightning. How did he do that! Oh I suppose I should also mention that the rooibos he uses is amazing.It is sweet and perfect for this blend.
This was another one of the samples I received from The Teaguy back around March or thereabouts. At one point in time, jasmine green teas didn’t do much for me, but I have warmed up to them quite a bit over the course of the past 1-2 years, so I was happy to see this tea was one they opted to send me. This particular tea is a basic Chun Mee scented with jasmine. I am, in truth, not the hugest fan of Chun Mee, as I find it to be a very basic, boring kind of green tea, but this one surprised me by working very well with the jasmine. Since Chun Mee tends to be vegetal and somewhat acidic, the jasmine essence was not able to overpower it, instead producing a nicely balanced scented tea.
I opted for a two step Western infusion process when it came to brewing this tea. First, I steeped a full teaspoon of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 176 F water for 2 minutes. I then conducted a second and final 3 minute infusion.
Prior to the first infusion, the dry tea leaves produced the expected scent of jasmine coupled with noticeable scents of grass and hay. After infusion, I picked up a stronger jasmine scent coupled with touches of grass, hay, and spinach. In the mouth, the liquor offered delicate notes of jasmine, grass, hay, spinach, lemon, seaweed, and touches of napa cabbage and/or bok choy. The second infusion revealed that the freshly used tea leaves still retained a good deal of jasmine scent as well as aromas of grass, hay, and spinach. The only differences I noted were that the jasmine scent was weaker and there was a touch of seaweed on the nose this time. I did not find any new flavors in the second infusion, but I did notice that the liquor became more vegetal and more citrusy overall.
While this was a very balanced blend, and I certainly commend The Teaguy for producing something of a different jasmine green tea, I still do not possess the warmest of feelings for Chun Mee. I find it to be basic and boring, and though it kind of worked in this blend, it did not add much in the way of complexity or intrigue. Overall, I am far more likely to reach for a jasmine green tea that offers more complexity most of the time, but this was not bad in the least. Even though it was not exactly my cup of tea, I would not caution others to avoid it.
Flavors: Bok Choy, Grass, Hay, Jasmine, Lemon, Seaweed, Spinach, Vegetal
This is one of the samples The Teaguy sent me ages ago. My mom, in particular, appreciates this one greatly. She loves jasmine greens the most out of everyone here. She rates this 100.
The suggested steeping parameters are perfect and made up a silky-smooth floral cup, with jasmine and lilac notes that are distinctive yet don’t overpower the palate. I thought it was overdone when I saw the dark yellow-green colour of the broth, but nope! All is good.
I have this weird thing where I find jasmine greens subtly “salty”, and this one is not an exception. It didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the cup though, hot or cold. Will hold off on rating it though until I’ve gone through more of the package.
Thanks again, Teaguy!
Edit: Smoke note is subtle, but I pick it up more when I allow my cup to cool. My mother, who vehemently hates smoke tea, doesn’t appear to notice it though, so we will keep this between you and me, Steepsterites!
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Smoke, Vegetal
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Seven- Tea #41
A tasty oolong! I probably wasn’t paying attention to the steeping to get this one perfect, but the result was pretty tasty anyway. Iron Goddess oolongs are usually my favorite anyway. These notes are terrible. Am I getting teabox burnout? It has been canceled due to lack of interest, so maybe that is a good thing for me, in a way. I did the math and I probably drink about 1,460 full mugs of tea a year so it’s probably not just burnout from the teabox. These poor teas deserve more attention and better tasting notes from me! I’m still enjoying tea though, but probably not paying enough attention to steeping.
This is a lovely tea sample The Teaguy sent me ages ago, and I’ve come rely on it every time I feel a little under the weather. Strawberry, spearmint, and nettle makes a fine balance of tasty, clean and “medicinal” (placebo effects galore!).
My family members have also taken to drinking it when they feel blah. It’s that catching.
Unfortunately, the trend of me being drawn to this herbal tisane while ill has also discouraged the writing of tea notes. I will try better in the future, tea friends.
Thanks again, Teaguy, for sending me this winner!
Flavors: Medicinal, Spearmint, Strawberry
When The Teaguy offered to send me some free samples to review earlier in the year, I was rather excited. I usually jump at the chance to review free samples because, well, who doesn’t love more or less free stuff? Unfortunately, after receiving the samples my enthusiasm soon waned. At the time, I was working my way through a lot of other teas I had bought and wanted to finish those first. Also, the folks at The Teaguy mostly sent me flavored and standard blends. I don’t drink a ton of such blends, and at the time, I was sticking exclusively to straight teas. I then set all of the samples I received aside and went about my business, forgetting about them entirely over time. Flash forward to yesterday night. I was bored and having trouble sleeping, so I occupied myself by doing laundry and watching a Rocky marathon on IFC. My attention eventually turned to straightening up my kitchen, which soon brought my attention to one of my tea cabinets. Lo and behold, I rediscovered the samples I had received several months ago. Feeling bad about ignoring them, especially as I had promised reviews of each, I decided to cold steep a big pot of this blend in the fridge. I drank it this morning before finishing the rest, which I, of course, brewed hot. Even though flavored blends are most likely never going to be one of my primary foci when it comes to tea, I could at least appreciate what this one brought to the table.
For the cold brew, I steeped 17 grams of this loose blend overnight (just shy of 12 hours) in a 39-40 fluid ounce glass pitcher filled with bottled spring water that was placed in my refrigerator. For the hot brews, I steeped one teaspoon of loose material in approximately 8 ounces of 180 F water for 2 minutes. I then conducted a second and final 3 minute infusion.
I have to say the cold brew was really nice. The aroma of the tea liquor offered delicate hints of safflower, grass, seaweed, pineapple, cedar, mango, citrus, and pine needles underneath a dominant ripe peach scent. The peach, of course, dominated the mouth. As indicated, there was a powerful rosehip note as well. I could also pick up notes of grass, seaweed, pineapple, mango, passion fruit, safflower, pine needles, lemon zest, tangerine zest, bergamot, and cedar.
The hot brews, on the other hand, were slightly more balanced and offered a bit more of a green tea presence. On the nose, I found a balance of peach, pine needles, safflower, pineapple, mango, lemon zest, grass, and seaweed. I also caught a subtle hay-like scent at a couple of points. The mouth offered strong top notes of peach and rosehips that were quickly balanced by grass, hay, seaweed, pineapple, mango, lemon zest, bergamot, tangerine zest, passion fruit, safflower, pine needles, and cedar. The secondary infusions were very mild, mostly presenting mild grass, hay, and seaweed notes from the green tea framed against a backdrop of peach, mango, rosehips, lemon zest, safflower, and pineapple.
As flavored green tea blends go, this one was rock solid and very likable on several levels. Again, things like this will likely never be for me, but I could appreciate the blend’s pronounced fruitiness. Personally, I would have liked to see a bit stronger of a green tea base, but honestly, that’s just the straight tea purist in me making itself known. If you are a big fan of peach tea or a fan of fruity, sweet flavored blends, you may very well enjoy this one.
Flavors: Bergamot, Cedar, Citrus, Floral, Grass, Hay, Lemon Zest, Mango, Passion Fruits, Peach, Pine, Pineapple, Rosehips, Seaweed
I had high hopes for this one given the awesome vanilla scent of the dry leaf. It does have a nice vanilla flavor to it but it also has a rooibos flavor to it which can be distracting. It’s a pretty good cup but not good enough that I need to seek it out again. Still it was fun to try so thank you Arby for the opportunity.
Sipdown! As it’s on the verge of raining here, I opted to make this as a latte and it all came together. I was bad and snuck some almond extract into my 2% milk before frothing it, added a teaspoon of clover honey to the steeped tea, and what I have is a lovely snowflake Nordic mug packed with almonds, honey, and spices. It’s August and I’m partying like it’s December.
Thanks again to the TeaGuy for the lovely sample! I am a total fan of this company and recommend that everyone check them out. I will certainly be placing an order sometime to pick up a couple things I got to try, as well as a couple new things to me that are catching my eye as I read about them.
Thank you to the TeaGuy for sending me a generous sample of this! I love chai so much it hurts, so I was excited to see this one. The dry leaf smells heavily of ginger, followed by cinnamon.
I’ve had it hot in the past and it was pretty good although the base went astringent rather easily. With milk, it was a standard chai.
But I’m trying it as an iced latte today (seems to be an iced latte day for me) and it’s great this way. The base isn’t nearly as astringent, and again, I’m picking up on mostly ginger, followed by cinnamon, then clove. I added 2% milk and clover honey, and it all ties together nicely. Better than most chai lattes I have experienced in cafes and restaurants.
Would I buy it? I’m not sure yet, but I’ll gladly finish this off iced latte style in the near future.
Aww, sad sipdown. I enjoyed the last of this as a London Fog. I would definitely pick up more of this once I get through the big bag of Zen’s EGC I snagged before they stopped carrying tea. It’s great to also see that The TeaGuy carries a Lavender Earl Grey since I also loved Zen’s, so I’ll probably score that too eventually.
Thanks again to the TeaGuy for sending me such a generous sample! Definitely got me hooked.
Wow, this is most certainly an EGC, with major emphasis on the cream aspect. I have prepared this in two ways: cold brewed and hot with 2% milk. A thousand thanks to the Teaguy for sending me a very generous sample of this!
Cold brewed, I initially thought I might have under leafed because the liquor is on the paler side, but whatever I did, it worked out for the best because the base is smooth, the bergamot is prominent but not too sharp, and the cream and vanilla is right in your face. Although, I have noticed that the more I drink this (on my second tall glass), the drier the mouthfeel. I notice it all the more when I take a few sips of the hot tea then go back to the cold brew. I’m double-fisting the EGC, yo.
Hot with 2% milk this is lovely too. I would say that the vanilla is even more prominent here and there is very minimal astringency with the added milk. When I tasted it before adding the milk, however, the base was quite astringent. But I have no intention on ever drinking it that way, so doesn’t matter to me!
I’m curious about how this would compare to Zen’s EGC, my favourite to date. If I were to compare them mentally, I’d say this is heavier on the creamy vanilla, maybe a little more, dare I say, artificial-tasting with the vanilla, but not in a bad way, really. I am super stoked about this one and I could see wanting more of this in the future, especially for cold brew. Thanks again to the Teaguy! This is a total winner.
I was looking for a tasty treat so I brewed this and added a spoonful of honey with almond and coconut milk. It’s warming and spicy, perfect for this rainy and soaky weather… I like that this is a rooibos, my sleep schedule is already quite upset as it is I don’t need to add caffeine on top of it.
The main flavours are cinnamon, cardamon and nutmeg.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Nutmeg
This is no wussy Earl Grey, the bergmont t is strong here yet balanced by the smooth malty black tea it’s with. This tea is floral and citrus, heady aroma and refreshing. Of the three teas from the generous samples sent to me (and I have several more to go), this was my fav thusfar. Re steeps well Gongu, I thought I was pushing the leaves at 6 steeps, but there was still good flavor.
This was a whopper Gongfu style. It is more akin to a sturdy Irish Breakfast tea rather than an English Breakfast. This tea will wake you up. It brewed up strong and with a tart bite rather than malty yet it smelled malty. I think I’ll brew it up Western Style next time as it can take honey and milk.