Blue Turtle Tea & Spice Co.

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Recent Tasting Notes


There’s something dangerous about tea people on the weekends. They have more time to think of weird things to do. My project for today is sipping through my chai collection—all six of them. I chose the second of the six again based on the smell. This was a little perfumey smelling, and I haven’t been a big fan of Blue Turtle as of yet. Actually now that I take a second whiff (and sneeze yet again), it reminds me of an old lady’s attic. No Tahitian vanilla beans here.

The brew smells nice though, no more old lady attics. The fake vanilla smell is tempered a bit so it smells more like a cinnamon cookie, dare I say Snickerdoodle? What I find surprising is the lack of spice smell. Beyond the cinnamon, I cannot detect clove, cardamom, pepper…any of the traditional spices.

I know that Blue Turtle does not use high-quality bases. I AM surprised to notice that it makes itself more well-known than the Adagio Masala Chai blend. It’s a little on the bitter side, however. Less astringent, but more tannic.

Besides cinnamon and vanilla, I am not detecting any additional flavors. It makes for a pleasant, if somewhat fake experience. But is it really a chai? Isn’t it just a cinnamon and vanilla blend? Of course, there is no information available on what is in the tea…

It’s pretty decent with milk and sugar.

Flavors: Artificial, Bitter, Cinnamon, Tannic, Vanilla

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp

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Rooibos isn’t my favorite, but it has no caffeine, which is what I need for 9:30 at night.

This is okay. The peach isn’t too strong, but it veers to just over the line of perfumey instead of fruity.

Flavors: Peach

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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We’re working through Blue Spice this morning, apparently.

The green base on this is nice, a little toasty, a little tangy, and subtle. I haven’t really had enough plain greens to be able to talk about them on their own. This one isn’t vegetal at all, for which I am grateful, as I don’t think I prefer vegetal, or maybe just certain vegetables. It does leave the back of my throat a bit dry, however.

Anyway, the strawberry is nice as well, but a little false-tasting.

This tea is okay, but not great.

Flavors: Strawberry

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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I don’t know what I was thinking when I picked this tea out from the shop. I was probably thinking “that smells nice” in a way that I wanted to take a bath in it, not drink it. I’d say the blend is about 40% lavender flowers, which is reflected in the scent of the dry leaf. I have given samples to my oolong loving relatives often enough that I have time to review this one cup and move on.

It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but since I use lavender when I take a bubble bath, this is a lot how I would imagine just leaning down to take a sip of my bath water. Lavender. Drinking this tea is like drinking lavender. There’s some tea flavor in the background somewhere, hiding like a child hides from the school bully. I didn’t want him to get bitter, so I left the steep low and short, but now I wonder if there was something I could have done to bring him out of his shell.

If you love, and I mean LOVE drinking lavender, this may be the tea for you.

Flavors: Lavender

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Liquid Proust

I made a lavender oolong awhile back, just curious as to what kind of base this was; green/brown, light/dark?


It was dark and chippy looking. Still not really familiar enough with oolongs to give more information than that. Have you been to this place? It’s in Westerville.

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Let me begin by saying that I don’t have a lot of experience with rooibos. I WAS going to try another one of Liquid Proust’s puerh samples (which I haven’t been posting because I’m not 100% sure which tea to link to), but the day got away from me. 6PM is a little late to start a caffeinated 8-15 cup marathon, especially after having 4 shots of espresso today. Anyway, on to the tea.

I like the first taste of this tea. The underlying rooibos seems to come through well, and the flavoring hits your tongue more like a chocolate chip cookie than pure chocolate. The smell is very pleasant too—again, more like a chocolate chip cookie. It’s warm and comforting, and it makes me wonder what it would taste like with a little milk.

But then, I swallow. And then those natural (or unnatural, as the case may be) flavorings coat the back of my palate. It tastes almost like one of those fake sugars. I don’t know if there are any artificial sweeteners in this tea, as the website doesn’t mention ingredients, but it hits the velum like a sweet n’ low.

It’s a shame, because this tea had started out so well.

Flavors: Artificial, Butter, Chocolate, Cookie, Rooibos, Sugar, Tea

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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Another tea from my expedition to the Blue Turtle tea shop yesterday.

I have been a sucker for lemon teas since Noel A Venise (which is, incidentally, making it to my apartment as we speak). I’ve also become quite the snob and I’m VERY finicky about smells, apparently. They had a Monk’s blend I’ve been wanting to try (grenadine + vanilla) but the chemical smell made me quickly put it back.

I’ve also become quite picky with what type of tea I’ll drink. Rooibos and honeybush are no longer something I have in my cupboard, the only herbals are lemongrass and mint, for when I’m sick. White teas are growing on me but I still don’t drink them with enough regularity to really justify a purchase.

But I had to pick a tea there (I was with the boyfriend’s mother, and she wanted to get me something). The smell of this was such a creamy lemon that I was willing to get 1/2 an oz. to try it with the white base. I was hoping it would be as yummy as Fauchon’s L’hiver, and the dry leaf smell was promising.

Steep notes: no additives, 1.5 tsp. leaf, 8 oz. water, below parameters.

The leaves turned such a pretty bright green when they were steeping! It also smelled like fresh lemons, though the creamy/vanilla smell was gone. Initial taste when it was hot was mostly just the white tea flavor – very delicate, to the point where I was worried I’d underleafed.

As the tea cooled the lemon came out – no vanilla/cream, just a lemongrass type lemon taste. I was kind of hoping for a little less herby and a little more citrus…as it stands I would pick the Fauchon blend over this hands down. I only have half an ounce though, so that’s what – 4 more cups? Enough to play around with it and see if I can get it more to my liking.

We’ll see, I guess!

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Got this from a place in Columbus, OH where I’m staying for the holidays.

This really reminded me alot of Yogic Chai’s masala chai in looks, smell, and taste. But I misjudged the Breville and overleafed so it was SUPER strong. Milk and sugar levelled it out but it still gave quite the kick. The boyfriends brother likes strong tea so he drank most of it, but everyone else liked it okay too. I’m kicking myself for not bringing the Yogic Chai blend to compare for sure – I just need a tea TARDIS or something so I can have my stash wherever I go.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Loved the smell of this in the store, so I thought I’d give it a try.

So far I really enjoy it. The grenadine and vanilla blend well together, but it still has a tea taste to it.

An excellent spur of the moment purchase!

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