August Uncommon Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

73

I purchased a small sample of this during one of August Uncommon’s sales. Not getting much in the way of chocolate notes. It’s more subtle than their usual fare, but I found it much better if I overleafed a little. Overall, there is a sweetness and maltiness to it that I enjoy, and it goes wonderfully with milk, so it makes a nice breakfast tea. All in all it’s a mild, sweet black that’s very drinkable, just not for when you want a strong black tea.

Preparation
2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

This is such a unique tea! Darker in color and flavor than other yellow teas I’ve sampled with a distinctive peanut taste. It’s a bit astringent, but I still enjoy it.

Flavors: Astringent, Peanut

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
gmathis

Ooh—I don’t think I have ever had a peanutty tea. I can’t see why it wouldn’t work!

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about a month ago I bought one of those neat Hario cold brew bottles bc, who knows why. well, I do know why and it’s because of laziness. it was “too difficult” and “too annoying” to put some damn tea in a bottle before I went to sleep and then THEN I had to deal with it in the morning and it was apparently TOO MUCH for me to handle. what I can handle is putting this glass thing in the fridge and putting nice, cold tea in an INSULATED bottle, refilling the glass bottle, and going on my way. I had been making my cold brews in one of these things that i bought years ago, I love love the double lids, but in 90+ degree heat, I need an insulated bottle: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L3QXUL6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

TLDR, I’M LAZY AND NOT ALIVE IN THE MORNINGS AND I LOVE THAT GLASS HARIO COLD BREWTHING! and this tea? THIS TEA IS DELIGHTFUL. it is the sweetest sencha I’ve ever had, it is bright and so refreshing. I’m so glad that this was unearthed from the tea cabinet, so good. so sorry for ignoring you for so long :(

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drank Silencio by August Uncommon Tea
468 tasting notes

I get it.

Boozy chocolate, cigar/pipe tobacco, smooth sweet pineapple and light peppery spice.

But if ever there was a tea to vehemently reinforce my preference for unflavored teas, this is it. A spectacular and rich naturally flavored black tea for a certain crowd; for me, notsomuch.

Cha-cha ;)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Breathless by August Uncommon Tea
191 tasting notes

This is a tea I would repurchase for the scent alone. Opening the pouch, you’re hit with a strong cherry scent (almost reminiscent of cough medicine, but not that bad). The prune also comes through, but not as strongly. There is another scent I can’t quite describe, maybe that is the note of armagnac, which I’ve never had. The tea also smells wonderful while steeping. The cherry isn’t as overpowering as it is when the pouch is first opened.

Drinking the tea, I think the prune comes through more than the cherry flavor that the makers note in their tasting description. Again, I can’t speak to any boozy flavors. The brew has a thin mouthfeel, but that may be because of my steeping.

A note about steeping: they recommend 3 T per 8 oz, for 5 minutes. I’ve not tried it there, that seems like way too much tea for the water. I’m afraid of getting something bitter and undrinkable, but maybe that would solve the problem of the thinner mouthfeel that I get from the August Uncommon Black Teas.

Flavors: Cherry, Fruity

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

In the Mod for Love describes precisely the opposite way I’m feeling this morning—maybe I gravitated toward this tea in a subconscious effort to boost my mood—mood regulation through suggestion, I suppose. I had some disappointing news yesterday, which has my brain weasels out in full force this morning. What was supposed to be celebratory champagne last night turned into “drowning my sorrows” champagne. So here I am this morning, facing my own looming lack of forward motion in my life with nothing more than tea, blueberries, and the love of a few good dogs.

Anyway, the tea, what we’re all really here for. I altered my typical preparation for this tea, and doubled the amount of leaf. Rather than the 1 teaspoon per 250 ml of water, I used 2, and left the steeping time alone, at 5 minutes. Increasing the amount of leaves improved the mouthfeel of the tea, not surprisingly (I’d found it thin before), and didn’t make it overly bitter or overwhelmingly strong like I was afraid it might. Maybe Fujian teas need more leaf—its been too long since I had a straight Fujian, I don’t remember. Anyway, increasing the amount of leaf really increased my enjoyment of the tea. I still don’t get any chocolate notes like their tasting description suggests I should. What I’ve noticed with a lot of these August Uncommon teas is that I get a whiff of leather, which may just be the aromatic notes of the black tea base itself.

Drinking all of these flavored teas reminds me of my fundamental tea self: while I like the aromatic notes of the teas, I don’t ever really taste much. Its the tea-as-potpourri philosophy of tea drinking. I’d gravitated more toward straight teas, with the exception of genmaichas, which I really can taste the toasted rice note. After drinking several cups of these August Uncommon blends (I got 5, and I’m probably halfway through them all already), I’ve decided that I’m going to move back toward straight teas—the quality tends to be better because there are no attempts at flavor to cover up an inferior base.

Flavors: Leather

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 6 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML
Kittenna

Hope this tea ended up having the desired mood-boosting effects! I definitely understand preferring straight teas to flavoured ones with bad bases, because most of all, I love the flavour of tea.

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75

This tea is a Fujian black tea, and tastes pretty much like what it is supposed to. Unlike my other August Uncommon Teas, this one doesn’t really have a noticeable scent other than the expected black tea scent on either opening the pouch or steeping. The tea is perfectly serviceable black tea, a little thin in the body, but not too bad. The scent of the tea when the package is opened and while brewing is a major selling point for flavored teas for me, since I’m not able to detect finer flavors and such when drinking. I’ll finish out the 50 gram bag, but I don’t foresee buying this tea again.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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72
drank Combray by August Uncommon Tea
191 tasting notes

I was intrigued by August Uncommon when I saw ads on IG. I’d gotten out of the habit of drinking tea, but decided to try a few blends. Combray was the only green tea blend that appealed. The first time I prepared it, I brewed 3 teaspoons in 750 ml water and steeped for three minutes. The vanilla and cardamom were strong, but were overpowered by the bitterness of the brew. The steeping recommendations that come with the tea are wildly off the mark, in my opinion. Rather than using a tablespoon of tea, steeping for five minutes, using one teaspoon per 8 ounces is more than sufficient. The second preparation I made steeped for only two minutes, which yielded a much more pleasant tea. The brewed tea has a nice vanilla scent, and the cardamom vanilla flavor doesn’t overpower the green tea base. It seems fairly well balanced. I’ll probably buy more of this tea when I use up my current stash.

Flavors: Cardamon, Green, Vanilla

Preparation
3 tsp 750 OZ / 22180 ML

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72
drank Combray by August Uncommon Tea
191 tasting notes

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52

I’m not the target for this tea. I don’t even know why I bought this when I don’t enjoy the combination of fruit and menthol (in this case eucalyptus).

This smells like a fruity Hall’s cough drop. The taste is bland with no depth. The eucalyptus menthol that is so strong in the aroma is much less prominent in the mouth. I can taste a generic melon flavoring (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew), grass, eucalyptus. I can’t taste the lemongrass, rosehips or dragonfruit, which is I think easily overshadowed by the euc leaf and melon flavor. There is a quality that skirts mineral into metallic. It is a cooling tea, I’ll give it that.

Boring. Last serving of the sample pouch is cold brewing. Will it find redemption?

Wait, I do taste the lemongrass when it cools a bit on the second steep.

Flavors: Artificial, Eucalyptus, Fruity, Grass, Lemongrass, Medicinal, Melon, Menthol, Metallic, Mineral

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

Yeah, this sounds like a good candidate for ice.

derk

A nice refresher with a more agreeable flavor though still rather boring. Best part was it was a little thicker with some creaminess in the back. Steeped 4.5g to a pint for a whole day.

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78
drank Arabesque by August Uncommon Tea
468 tasting notes

This feels like the innocence of limber and languid ice cream truck summers at my grandparents’ house, rolling right past the tumultuous teen years and into those humid days and hazy nights of — hey nineteen — living on my own. A still impressionable girl developing her poise and confidence as a young woman.

Strange. Tasty. Needs a stronger base.

Edited to add: If you ever come across this review, Dad, thanks for the memories. It was nice to talk yesterday. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5J7IrPVLc4U

Flavors: Cream, Grass, Mineral, Orange, Orange Zest, Spicy, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
mrmopar

Steely Dan is always a nice listen. Do it gain is a fave as well as Deacon Blues.

ashmanra

When Josie comes home, it’s so good! She’s the pride of the neighborhood! Love so many of their songs!

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85

It’s 100F currently and not even peak temperature for the day. So what am I doing? Drinking a hot black tea of course!

I’m digging these August Uncommon blends that I received as a gift from Mastress Alita. This one’s mellow, medium-dark and herbal, not so in-your-face as the Dots and Loops I had yesterday and this morning.

Light earthy, rich and herbal aroma. Sip is thyme and juniper, with rosemary to a much lesser extent. The tea quickly expands into a moderate earthy puerh note with light malt from the black tea, tanginess I attribute to the black currant, minerals and a hint of molasses. The juniper persists but isn’t dramatic. The herbs flow through lightly. It finishes the same with additions of tannins and oiliness. Despite the thin body, everything’s slick, my tongue, my teeth and there is a soft and persistent tongue-numbing effect.

Overall, it’s definitely a smooth, savory tea — herbal, woodsy and earthy. Pretty neutral taste for me that makes a fine hot tea for a blistering and dry California summer day.

Addendum: brewed 4g to 8oz western and the liquor was substantially thicker. I really enjoy the character of this tea! Upped from 80 to 85.

Flavors: Cedar, Dark Wood, Earth, Forest Floor, Herbaceous, Herbs, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Smooth, Tangy, Tannin, Thyme

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97

This tea is so good!

The dry leaf, wet leaf, aroma and taste all stick to the same palette with no surprises. That doesn’t mean it’s a straightforward tea. This blend of savory, sweet, tart, fruity-floral and spicy has a load of depth.

The apple aroma and flavor is unique; I wouldn’t say it’s green apple but very close — almost sweet like candy but very floral, somehow reminiscent of both crisp and tart fresh green apples and the deeper, comforting aroma of some kind of heritage red apples baked with brown sugar. Clove, fennel and caraway create a sweet, herbal, citrusy, almost peppery and pungent rye-like taste, of which the perfume lingers as an ether after the swallow. All of these flavors are layered into a black tea base that’s malty and somewhat bready with cleansing tannic and mineral qualities.

The tea is actually pretty refreshing for a liquor so savory. I think I’ll keep sipping on this with today’s 95-100F temps. I’d love to try it in the fall since it reminds me of Oktoberfest but the remainder of this gift from Mastress Alita won’t last more than a week. August Uncommon has some interesting teas. Maybe I’ll suck it up and place an order later this year. Thanks, MA :)

Edit: 2nd infusion is watery but still has the flavors of added ingredients. Going to try with higher leaf, shorter steep next time in hopes of pulling out a more substantial resteep.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Citrus, Clove, Fennel, Floral, Fruity, Green Apple, Malt, Mineral, Pepper, Red Apple, Rye, Spicy, Tannic, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

Sounds perfect for summer!

Mastress Alita

I still haven’t even gotten around to trying this one yet. And now it’s buried deep in a moving box with all my other teas. Le sigh.

derk

You’ll probably be sorting that box just in time for that crisp autumn air :)

Mastress Alita

Finally close this Thursday, I can’t wait to finally get all my shit out of boxes! I’ve had everything boxed up for pretty much two months straight now. Ugh!

tea-sipper

I’m glad it worked out for you, Mastress Alita!

derk

Ah, that’s so close! Congrats!

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75
drank Breathless by August Uncommon Tea
1780 tasting notes

I seem to enjoy this one more than the other Steepsterites. The dry leaf hits you with warm prune (hey, I like prunes) and a shot of booze. Steeped, I don’t really get hazelnut brittle but mostly creamy cocoa butter and brandied prunes. The base is subtle and pairs perfectly with the fruit. Adding milk does kill the soft cocoa butter background, and you are left with a whisper of plum. I’m glad I just got a sample size, but for what it’s worth, it was money and time well spent even though it’s not my favourite blend of theirs.

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74

This one was malty yet had a thin mouthfeel, which was a little strange since I find malty teas to have a thicker mouthfeel. Also, of the three times I had it, each and every time, it was simultaneously astringent. All it did was make me crave a strong, malty Assam.

Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but it didn’t knock my socks off.

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70
drank Psychocandy by August Uncommon Tea
1780 tasting notes

I bought a sample in my last order but polished it off a couple weeks ago. All I recall is that this was vaguely sweet but lacked an obvious caramel note. The pumpkin was very mild? The good news is that the base wasn’t crazily woodsy. Quite well-behaved in that respect. Adding milk just made it taste like a sweetened pumpkin. Still no warm, browned caramel.

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67

This is cold now and though it is not bad per se, it is not really great either. It is malty and cocoa powder-y with a tinge of bitterness that aligns with the cocoa aspect. It is a sort of chocolate black tea. Nothing special and I certainly have had better.

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70

Silly me ordering tea when I have barely been touching the stash I have as it’s been collecting dust over the past while. But once I saw that August restocked on Passage, I just had to do it.

Sample size of this. The fennel is the most prominent note here, tannins quite strong, but the apple is on the faint side, which I don’t mind. I’m at the very least glad it isn’t a fake, strong candy apple flavour you get from other companies (I think we all know…). The mouthfeel is thin and I’m left with astringency.

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93
drank Arabesque by August Uncommon Tea
374 tasting notes

This is one I’ve been looking forward to trying for a long time now, and I have to say – it was worth the wait! At this point, I probably have three other beloved orange-flavored teas in my stash, but this one still has a place! The green tea is mellow and almost buttery. The orange isn’t fake or overbearing. There’s a vanilla flavor that compliments the whole thing. I sipped this cup slowly at work yesterday, and I loved every drop.

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87

The main flavor here is eucalyptus. It’s light, cooling, and not at all bitter. I enjoyed it without sugar, and once I put the sugar in I kind of regretted it. Definitely a unique flavor! At first, I wished I could have tasted more of the melon, but the flavor was pleasant and interesting enough that I’m glad it just has its own thing going on. This is a good one! Best lukewarm.

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81
drank Dark Iris by August Uncommon Tea
374 tasting notes

Warm, I taste lime and peach with a bit of creaminess and some bitterness. As it cools, there’s more bitterness and I can’t find the other flavors anymore. I didn’t get any pistachios in my strainer, so that’s probably why I don’t taste any. I quite enjoyed the fun flavor combination, and next time I’ll make sure to drink it all while it’s hot!

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85
drank Arabesque by August Uncommon Tea
1528 tasting notes

Sample Sipdown! (21)

This is probably one of my favorites so far from August Uncommon. They have a lot of strange combinations, but I have enjoyed a few of their offerings – like Tropic of Capricorn, Psychocandy, and Dots and Loops. I also have a few samples that I haven’t tried yet!

This one has a lovely creamsicle-like flavor. The vanilla is sweet and creamy and spot-on for vanilla ice cream or custard. The orange is perhaps a bit more of an orange zest flavor than it is orange popsicle, but it does work well with the vanilla. I’m not familiar with jatoba wood, but to me it’s quite similar to a sandalwood sort of aromatic wood note. It adds a nice touch of refinement while still melding well with the other flavors. There’s also a bit of floral here, and it’s a somewhat heady but sweet flower such as orange blossom.

The green tea base is forgettable, but I can forgive it for that as it’s still a nice enough foundation for the added flavors here without getting completely lost.

So for me, this is sort of like a refined adult creamsicle green tea. Which frankly sounds ridiculous, but there you are! :P

I’ll definitely consider ordering a packet of this one once my stash is bit more under control.

Flavors: Creamy, Custard, Floral, Grass, Orange, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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85
drank Arabesque by August Uncommon Tea
1528 tasting notes

Home – 6:30 PM

Merry Christmas, my fellow Steepsters!

I have been doing absolutely nothing all day. The boyfriend and I didn’t do anything for Christmas this year, as we’re moving into our new house in a couple of days. We’re not the type to buy each other presents either, as generally we buy things that we want throughout the year and don’t really have “wished for” items for Christmas. So we’ve been spending the day playing games, lounging, watching various things on the Fire TV, and doing some laundry. Yay for lazy days!

Anyway, the tea. This is from my second August Uncommon sample order, which was made specifically for this tea and Dark Iris. Obviously I threw in several other samples as well, because duh… My small sample had a giant slice of dried orange in it (just like the photo), which I promptly chopped up since I didn’t want the entire piece in one mug of tea.

This is very yummy… It’s super creamsicle-y, with sweet orange and lovely creamy vanilla flavors. I can see how the jatoba wood does give it a slight sort of sandalwood-ish flavor, but mostly it’s dreamy ice cream bar goodness. There’s maybe a slight floral note here, and it reminds me of orange blossom.

The base tea is very mild, though I do get a slightly grassy sencha flavor from it, with a hint of vegetal spinach. I would argue that the stronger flavoring could take a bit stronger of a base tea, and it would also be delicious with a black tea.

But I do love it. This might be my favorite from August Uncommon so far!

Flavors: Creamy, Custard, Floral, Grass, Orange, Orange Blossom, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vanilla, Vegetal, Wood

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Nattie

Merry Christmas! I’m glad you had a great day. ♥

Rosehips

That sounds like a lovely day! I am so glad you enjoyed it.

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70

Home – 8:00 PM

So I made another sample order from August Uncommon. I mostly wanted to try Dark Iris and Arabesque, but ended up choosing several teas. I didn’t love all the teas I tried from them previously, but there were some I enjoyed and they offer samples with free shipping. What more can you ask for? The leaves here looked quite broken and I knew it’s Assam, so I only steeped it for 2.5 minutes instead of my usual 3.

Oddly, the dry and steeped tea both smell like either coconut or cherry cordials. Which is strange because neither coconut nor cherry is in ingredient here.

It’s a somewhat brisk and malty black base with a big hit of caraway. I do get cocoa as well, and it’s definitely the unsweetened variety. There is some bitterness even with the shorter steep, and also a bit of astringency. Honestly, it smells so much like cherry cordials that I’m disappointed it doesn’t taste like them. I get a hint of maraschino cherry or amaretto near the end of the sip. But it doesn’t really make sense with the caraway.

To me, it’s a bit discordant. Also, there’s too much bitterness and astringency, which takes away from the sweeter notes. I may try a 2-minute steep next time.

I think perhaps I would really like this one if it weren’t for the caraway flavor.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Cherry, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Spices, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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