Cup of Té

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75

Ah, the almost perfect nightcap. Sweet with a tart bite. The aroma is joyful. Like a bunch of berries playing in a field (Yes, I am thinking of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). Cherries, and strawberries. But… then comes the stevia. It isn’t incredibly strong but once you taste it, it’s all you can think about. Then it lingers on the palate. Besides the stevia the rest of it is great. I just don’t think it needs it.

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drank Cha Cha Chai by Cup of Té
1234 tasting notes

It’s National Kiss a Ginger Day! So a ginger tea it is. :)

I opted for a chai I bought recently but haven’t yet tried. The primary flavor/scent isn’t the ginger, even though that is the second ingredient. Cinnamon stands out above all else, and unfortunately it’s the red hot candy cinnamon that I don’t like. Even with the large pieces of cardamom in the mix, I just don’t taste much else besides the cinnamon.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Cream of Earl Grey by Cup of Té
1234 tasting notes

Curious to compare this to yesterday’s London Calling . . .

Preparation
2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank London Calling by Cup of Té
1234 tasting notes

The instructions on the bag recommend steeping one tablespoon per six ounces of water. This seemed like a lot, so I cut it back. It was still bitter so I added some extra honey to tame it a bit. This has made it much more palatable, even enjoyable.

Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Bitter, Drying, Tannin

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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44

SIPDOWN 49
From Shae, slowly finishing the ADVENT Calendar. Thank you!

Ah well, this tea.
Slightly better than last time, but still not a fan. I steeped it for much shorter time, but it was kind of bland and weak instead. The creamy note was there; but I fee it is kind of unbalanced and strong compared to base and citrusy notes. Not every tea is a winner, right?

Flavors: Citrusy, Creamy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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44

Shae’s ADVENT CALENDAR, DECEMBER 10

Oh well. Where to start this tasting note, again ?
First of all, I had completely no idea how to take today photo. And it is obvious. I just took some blue-related things and probably my last part of my tea ware — thermometer. I just found out how off is it! I think it could be around 23-25°C in our living room as I was in T-shirt and long pants only. So, definitely not 15°C as thermomoter says.

I generally accept well Earl Greys, I don’t mind even it is not a “clean” one as this one. But something went wrong.

I preapred as usual, 2 teaspoons, 4 minutes steep, 300 ml of off boiling water in my favourite glass mug. The aroma was clearly creamy with bergamot, so I took bit later a first sip. Oh… it was rather like a cream with bergamot. Somewhere in the background hides the base tea. It was REALLY CREAMY. And then it was cooling down and bergamot was more and more apparent. And as an oil. Yep, I noticed it was oil flavouring and well, it wasn’t nice. It was bit of bitter and somehow biting my tongue. It was in flavour completely opposite of the creamy and I am (and was when drinking) bit confused.

Not a fan. It was too creamy even for my taste; and too much flavoured by bergamot oil. Maybe even I could call it “blergamot” as… someone call it that way, but I don’t remember who!

Photo: https://flic.kr/p/2kfp123

Flavors: Bergamot, Biting, Bitter, Creamy

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML
White Antlers

Great picture! Very clever.

ashmanra

AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH I SEE TERRY PRATCHETT!!!!!! WHICH BOOK IS IT????

Martin Bednář

It’s Snuff. Only one I own, my brother got remaining ones :)
In Czech translation. But good one :)

ashmanra

My son just told me it was the cover of Snuff! i LOVE Pratchett. My skn introduced me to his books. Men At Arms, Night Watch, and Feet of Clay are some of my favorites.

ashmanra

Oh, and Soul Music, and of course, The Color of Magic and I loved The Shepherd’s Crown…

Shae

Bummer about the tea, Martin! I’ve been wanting to try one of Terry Pratchett’s books, but there are so many. Where to start??

Martin Bednář

I am wrong person to asking where to start, as this is only one Pratchett’s book I read. I suppose ashmanra will answer you better than I :)
It’s fun reading though, but especially Snuff isn’t one of the typical Discworld book. I have seen a play based on Wyrd Sisters and that was fun.

ashmanra

Shae: You could start at the beginning of the Discworld series and read The Color of Magic and then The Light Fantastic. That will get you familiar with his world!

Terry Pratchett made tons of pop culture references as well as literary and world culture references. I have no doubt I miss a ton of puns and jokes because of not knowing! When my kids read Soul Music, they got the Blue Brothers references but not the older ones, so we had fun going over those.

I think I named some of my favorite books already. Feet of Clay was heart wrenching, because even though it is a funny book Pratchett dealt with racism and prejudice in it in a way that made you really feel it. I started crying several times just from the ache of injustice that I know was fictional here but all too real in our world.

Any books about the Night Watch are great.

I knew nothing at all about Tiffany Aching when I read The Shepherd’s Crown, but still enjoyed it immensely.

My son loved and read reference books and such and hated fiction until he discovered Pratchett. When he asked me to give a try I knew I really must.

Fair warning – some of the books take a couple of chapters to hook you. Sometimes there are lots of characters and story lines that you don’t see how they can ever possibly come together. But they do. Light bulbs go off and you will shout and laugh.

We used to read passages aloud to each other laughing so hard we couldn’t speak with tears running down our faces.

Shae

Wow, thank you! I will start with The Color of Magic then. I didn’t realize there were so many books in the Discworld series until I looked it up just now.

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88
drank Cha Cha Chai by Cup of Té
1026 tasting notes

A SIPDOWN

I have used remaining 8 grams for my family. And it turned it again great; mild chai with nice body. It wasn’t even spicy, and I loved the cardamom profile in this tea.

This note would be very similar to Advent one, so I will end this one here and once again, thank you Shae. I wouldn’t order it as shipping would be probably very high, and well, I have lots of tea in my cupboard now, but definitely a nice tea for cold days! Rating of 88 is probably exaggerated, but I will keep it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 8 g 78 OZ / 2300 ML

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88
drank Cha Cha Chai by Cup of Té
1026 tasting notes

Shae’s ADVENT CALENDAR December 4
I hope there will be some warming, festive blend today. While the previous ones weren’t bad, the winter-y ones were lacking so far. Oh, another Cup of Té blend. And it’s Cha Cha Chai which I saw when browsing their website. I look forward already.

The blend doesn’t look that great; mostly CTC black tea with some bright spheres. I took a teaspoon and decided to put tea on the saucer and… there are some cardamom pods. That looks quite pretty.

I decided to brew four grams. I thought it is maybe quite a little, but it seems it was just right for my 300 ml. Aroma was mostly cinnamony but the cardomom hits my nose quite well as well and yep, there is some vanilla sweetness as well.

How ironic I used star anise and allspice on the photo, but they aren’t in blend at all!

The taste is very mellow and I really liked it. It’s very smooth and cardamom heavy in taste with some creamy-vanilla aftertaste. Smooth and not harsh at all, that’s something I am always afraid of in Chais. I think I will finish this pouch quite fast as it is mellow and cozy. The warming element is present as well, though it is the primary element.

Thank you Shae, I really liked this one :)
Photo: https://flic.kr/p/2kdhoQB (I don’t like the pouch on top, it is bit irritating)

Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Creamy, Smooth, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
Courtney

Loving these photos! The star anise and allspice are a nice touch!

ashmanra

Star anise always looks so pretty to me! Nice photo!

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63

Shae’s “swap” Advent Calendar, December 2 brings …

London Calling by Cup of Té
A black tea blend, and London — that would be probably some kind of Earl Grey, right? But probably not a pure EG, so there will be something extra. Oh yeah… it is. Minty? What? It is bergamot black tea with mint? No, there aren’t any green flakes. Another sniff. It’s still minty, but there is a creamy note beneath.

Haven’t checked the steeping parameters before brewing, as I was quite in a hurry to finish the cup before lecture starts. So, stove-top kettle on the stove, quickly making some picture… water is boiling! Quick photo made (only 3 minutes today to set everything up and make the photo I liked) I changed the lens as well. Used external light source. Photo taken hour later too.

But back to the tea. I get a pretty common black tea base with bergamot, creamy notes and I feel like there is a lavender in. Doesn’t look like at all though. While I wasn’t getting any flaws, I am not happy (nor sad!) as it was quite… mediocre.

Maybe I should make it as a London Fog? Never tried that, but this tea seems like a good idea to try that. Thanks anyway Shae!

Photo: https://flic.kr/p/2kczXjY

Flavors: Bergamot, Creamy, Mint

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML
White Antlers

Love the composition, Martin.
I HAD to immediately listen to this old song by The Clash-London Calling-when I saw the name of the tea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3XqMtam1I0

Courtney

Love the photo Martin!

Martin Bednář

I am glad that my attempts of doing tea-photos are appreciated :)

Shae

I’m loving the photos too! Especially how the tea sort of casually slides out of the spoon on this last one.

Martin Bednář

I wanted to show the tea and well, it was sliding out! I thought it would look bad but I love it more and more.

Shae

I think that’s the best part. :)

ashmanra

Neat photo,Martin!

In addition to the song by The Clash (what a classic!) I love this song of the same name from Star Trek Into Darkness that I used to have Youngest play for me – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfP6o-61e2s

White Antlers

ashmanra Good one! I think so many sound track pieces are under rated and it was wonderful to be introduced to this one! <3

Martin Bednář

Thank you ashmanra, and I have to listen to the songs as well. Maybe today afternoon :)
White Antlers: not just underrated; lots of are actually missed out!

ashmanra

I also highly recommend the video game music by Nabuo Uematsu!

Martin Bednář

Nice songs everyone; I just find out I need to focus on other songs than repeating the same ones :D

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drank London Calling by Cup of Té
29 tasting notes

Every time I smell/prepare this tea, I am reminded of my months developing a recipe for London Fog Cupcakes, in which I incorporated this tea in a couple different ways! I really enjoy the rich, natural tasting vanilla and strong, full bodied tea base in this blend.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Silent Kettle

Wow! London Fog Cupcakes sounds AMAZING! The only tea flavoured desserts I have tried contained matcha and green tea. I should really broaden my dessert horizons! :)

Silent Kettle

Also I had never heard of this brand before, and just quickly look them up. Oh my gosh! I will be placing an order ASAP once my current tea stash dwindles.

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drank London Calling by Cup of Té
1039 tasting notes

This was a sipdown as a latte this morning! Making room for Bird & Blend!

Thanks for sharing VariaTEA!

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drank London Calling by Cup of Té
1039 tasting notes

I made this for my lab meeting as a latte (work lab, not school lab – which are quite anxiety-inducing)!

I steeped this for 3 minutes and added simple (coconut) sugar and frothed almond milk and vanilla sugar on top. It was actually delicious, and perfect for the meeting. Like a warm hug in a mug!

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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drank London Calling by Cup of Té
1039 tasting notes

A sample sent to me from VariaTEA :)

I am not generally a fan of earl grey teas. I’ve tried a number over the years and they never sit well with me. However, that doesn’t stop me from trying them every so often!

This one is not overly offensive with the bergamot, but still not my fav. I could maaaaybe get on board with a creamy earl grey. I was hoping for a creaminess I realized after my first sip.

It’s been snowing non-stop for days here, so creaminess seems perfect for the season. Back to the cupboard to find just that!

Thanks for sharing VariaTEA!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
VariaTEA

I hoped this would be creamier/more vanilla than it was too

Courtney

Ah, well. We can’t win them all. I still appreciate being able to try it out!

tea-sipper

snowing for days. egads.

Courtney

Right? It’s stopped today, but there is so much snow!

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44
drank London Calling by Cup of Té
2900 tasting notes

TTB Tea

I took a teabag (~1 tsp) of tea before I sent off the TTB. I dislike the bergamot in this – not citrusy enough, more like metallic/musty and minerally. It reminds me of the smell of car grease. I also found the base a bit “meh”, not offering any malt or cocoa notes to bring out the vanilla. I also feel like I missed out on a wonderful notes typical of Darjeeling. I would have never guessed this was a Darjeeling.

Flavors: Metallic, Mineral, Musty

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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61
drank London Calling by Cup of Té
1037 tasting notes

TTB. This is some strong, sharp bergamot. The vanilla holds up surprising well considering how intense the bergamot is. Added a bit of milk and it definitely enhanced the vanilla.

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drank London Calling by Cup of Té
1434 tasting notes

I can’t read the name of this tea and not get The Clash song of the same name stuck in my head, so for the last 30m or so that is what my internal radio has been playing. The base of this tea is kind of malty. I also get… green beans?! Strange. The berg was more prominent when the cup was hot and is harder to find under the other flavors now that it has chilled. There is something a little sharp on the tip of my tongue at the beginning of the sip and reappears in the finish. I’m not sure what to make of this tea, but I’m off to listen to The Clash now!
Thanks for the sample, VariaTEA!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

I love London Calling from the Star Trek movie, too!

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72
drank Lemony Mint by Cup of Té
12043 tasting notes

more minty than lemony from what i recall but it was tasty enough as the mint wasn’t overpowering. thanks for the share VariaTEA

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drank Lemony Mint by Cup of Té
10884 tasting notes

Cold Brew Sipdown (1119)!

Thank you for sharing this one VariaTEA – I was so curious after it ended up being something you surprisingly gravitated towards so much this summer! Sadly, I think the summer of lemon mint teas is coming to a close – but I couldn’t let it end without trying this sample!

I was surprised how menthol tasting the mint in this blend is and to be honest at first I didn’t love that quality about it – but the citrus, which is primarily driven by lemongrass notes, does work pretty well with it and it gives the overall blend a much more natural feeling. After a few sips, the flavour grew on me a lot and by the end of my cold brew I was really wrapped up in it! I can actually super easily see how this ended up growing on VariaTEA so much over time!

VariaTEA

It was surprising but this one has been comforting for sure. I actually preferred it hot.

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65
drank Noms Berry Delight by Cup of Té
2900 tasting notes

STTB Tea

I didn’t realize this has stevia in it. :( Who would you ruin a perfectly good blend with stevia? I guess that explains why I had an upset stomach a few days ago.

The hibiscus wasn’t too strong. It actually got smoothed over by the other ingredients (green rooibos). Fairly flavourful with some berry notes. Nothing specific (I wish it was specifically raspberry, but I found it was more like generic berry). The rose hips were not needed but I guess this blend was aimed at people who like sour blends. Maybe the stevia actually made this blend better. I think this would make a fine iced tea for someone who enjoys this type of blend. It was nice to try some of the offerings from Cup of Te.

Flavors: Berry, Fruity, Sour

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55
drank London Calling by Cup of Té
5659 tasting notes

Sipdown (244)

Normally at this time in the year I would be nose deep in the books studying. However, whether I am burnt out or checked out, I just haven’t had it in me to study. Thankfully, it seems like that feeling is being felt among most students and since we are marked on a curve, if everyone is struggling, we will all be ok. Also, I have an articling position lined up already and its not conditional on grades so as long as I pass, I should be ok. Not the best way to look at things but I also can’t be too hard on myself because there is a lot of other things going on.

So with that in mind, I haven’t done much today other than help my sister with my nephew. I needed to accomplish something and a sipdown seemed like an easy win.

I am glad to say good bye to this. It didn’t have much going for it in the first place. I was hoping it would be a lot more vanilla but its basically a straight EG the way the bergamot comes through. It’s very strong and very brisk. I am not a fan.

derk

The best you can is good enough.

VariaTEA

Thank you derk :)

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55
drank London Calling by Cup of Té
5659 tasting notes

The last time I had this, I made it as a tea infused hot chocolate. At the same time, I made a plain hot chocolate for my sister the same way. Turns out she really liked it because about two weeks later the ingredients I need for the hot chocolate showed up in our grocery shop. When I asked what they were for, she told me so I could make her another hot chocolate.

Well, today is the day she wanted her hot chocolate. And I’m not just going to make it and not make one for myself. That would be silly. So I pulled this tea out again because this is the best way to work through it.

The hot chocolate really should be made with dark chocolate instead of milk, which is how my sister likes it. It’s just way too rich but in a sweet way, not a decadent one. The earl grey made for a nice counterbalance to the chocolate at least.

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55
drank London Calling by Cup of Té
5659 tasting notes

I don’t like plain earl greys. I like some flavoured earl greys that trick me into thinking I like earl greys and leads me to buying bags of what are essentially just earl greys. That’s what happened with this tea. The solution? Earl grey-infused hot chocolates. Yum!

ashmanra

I have never tried infusing a hot chocolate with tea. As soon as we get some cool weather again I want to give a try!

ashmanra

VariaTEA: thank you! I have it pinned so I won’t lose it before cold weather gets here!

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55
drank London Calling by Cup of Té
5659 tasting notes

So here’s the thing – I don’t really love earl greys, though they’re growing on me, but I do love vanilla. When I was placing my Cup of Té order, not a lot of the teas appealed to me but I noticed they had both this tea and a cream of earl grey aka a vanilla earl grey. I was intrigued and thought since this had vanilla bean, perhaps it would lean more to vanilla. If it didn’t, I figured I could use it as a base for London Fogs which you add vanilla to anyways.

Roswell Strange got a sample of this tea in a TTB and mentioned it not being very vanilla-y which had me putting off trying it because the vanilla bean was the whole appeal of this tea to me. Then September Sipdown happened and one of the prompts was to do something unique with a tea you don’t like. I have a unique recipe that uses earl grey teas (the hot chocolate ive made several times before) so I figured I could drink this on that day for that prompt. However, I figured I should probably actually try the tea to determine I actually don’t like it.

So, needless to say, I didn’t expect to like this when I started drinking it and while it’s an okay enough earl grey, I’m not really a fan. It’s too much bergamot and not enough vanilla for me to drink this plain. It also has an astringent/metallic note which I think is from bergamot oil. This is pretty much what I expected following Ros’s tasting note and similar to her findings, there isn’t much vanilla here.

Sil

BLERG-amot

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Samurai Travelling Tea Box – Tea #26

Something else that I had at work today and, while it was a solid/classic tasting English Breakfast with all those lovely malty and grain-y/fresh baked bread notes, there wasn’t a “spark” with this blend that interests me personally enough to want to add it to my cupboard…

However, if you want a cupboard staple/every day type of English Breakfast and you don’t already own a dozen of them then I definitely think that this could fill that void for you! I’m just already covered on that front.

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