East Indies Coffee & Tea Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

Iced Tea Sipdown (2609)!

Decided to make this iced and finish it off as the tea I brought to this week’s board game meet up. I didn’t steep it super long, and I a little bit regret not giving it another minute or two to really develop the flavour. However, it was still very nice and a pretty solid send off for the tea. Quite lemon forward, but in a fresh and sweet sort of way with subtle caramel or golden cake-like undertones that made it a little bit more dessert like. I did really taste the rooibos base, but I don’t mind that flavour personally.

This weeks game was called Lacrimosa and was themed around Mozart. It was very mechanically dense/heavy and it took ages to teach – and even after that I thought the first few phases of the game were kind of clunky with some rules confusion. However, eventually we got into a good swing of it and in the end I really enjoyed the game a lot. Definitely one I’d put on a replay list.

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Geek Steep S2E9 – Star Trek: Lower Decks

Look, it should have been obvious to anyone who listened to our last Star Trek episode in season one that another was coming – but I’d wager that no one (not even Marika!) expected that Lower Decks would be the next element we’d be exploring. The brand new animated series? Such a major leap from the last deep dive…

Given that my perception and expectations of what Star Trek is were soooo drastically altered last season I felt a lot of pressure to get my pairing perfect this time around. I mean, I fucked it up pretty badly last time. So I thought hard about it. I over thought, in fact. It actually stressed me out and when I couldn’t find a tea in my massive collection that fit what I had in mind I sort of threw in the towel and just completely randomly picked a flavoured black tea so I could get started on watching the show.

Did it work? Yeah, kinda. It wasn’t a bad pairing because it’s not at all a bad tea – but it didn’t feel tailored to what I was watching at all and it just sort of bummed me out that I couldn’t get this one correct right off the bat. I know I’ll have other tries though because Star Trek is always going to keep coming back. Someday I will nail a Star Trek pairing from the get go!

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Sipdown (1539)!

Finishing off this sample and it’s a pleasant tea though soft and simply flavoured. I think I wish it was a little richer and stronger, though not necessarily sweeter because the sweetness level is really good. It tastes of milk chocolate, cream and strawberry but it’s the chocolate that is the strongest flavour. I want a little more of the other two to come through, but you certainly can’t say all the key elements aren’t there.

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This is another of my old Fusion Tea samplers I haven’t gotten around to yet, “Good Morning Yerba Mate” (you can find all the other reviews for this tea under “Good Morning Mate” for Fusion Teas). Like their Caramel Cream Mate, it appears to be sourced from East Indies Coffee & Tea Company, and of the two, this was the one I was worried about, because it has coconut flakes as an ingredient… but I also never unsealed the packet. I was having trouble with my “is the coconut rancid?” sniff test, since the spices in the tea were overwhelming in the aroma. Hmm. I picked out a piece of coconut and chewed it and it didn’t seem odd, but it was also quite small. Ah well. Sometimes you just have to take a gamble, I guess. I’ll note I have terrible luck with my coconut going bad quickly, hense the trepidation…

Brewed up, the tea smells oddly… alcohol-like? There is a sharpness to it I am not sure how to describe. And sipping it, I get that too… sort of like a chocolate liquor. It’s pleasant, though. I get a mild caramel sort of note, adding a touch of sweetness, but it is rounded out by deep roasted barley flavors from the mate, with some very subtle cocoa notes and that liquor flavor. Though the tea smelled heavily spicy, I don’t really taste a heavy spice note coming out on the sip, but do feel a warmth and just a touch of cinnamon left on my tongue in the aftertaste. I’m not tasting coconut at all, rancid or otherwise, so I think it’s okay? Meh, if I live to finish the sampler then I’m going to assume it was at least fine enough to consume.

Yerba Mate blends are hard to find and so far only Fusion and Tea Chai Te seems to have a decent assortment that taste really nice. All the ones I’ve tried so far have been really solid.

Flavors: Alcohol, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Sweet

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
Martin Bednář

I do not know why, but it sounds bit appealing for me. Maybe because of the blue flowers on the photo? Dunno. Just sounds nice to me.

Mastress Alita

It was nice. Good balance between sweet and roasty with some cocoa notes. I enjoyed it!

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So, I am officially moved! I am not even close to being unpacked, but I did manage to get at least the kitchen and my tea area done, so hopefully I’ll slowly start easing back into a tea routine again!

I also have kitty moved in! I have named her “Chiya,” the Nepalese word for tea.

I still have a few really old Fusion Tea samplers that I need to finish off. A quick bit of ingredient Googling and I found this particular mate blend, which I purchased as “Caramel Cream Yerba Mate” from Fusion Teas (check under that entry for the bulk of reviews) is sourced from East Indies Coffee & Tea Company. I have one other mate blend sampler from Fusion I need to finish off as well that I’ve never opened, but it has coconut in it, so who knows if it is still good after all this time… since this one doesn’t, hopefully it’s still safe.

The tea brews up the color of a rootbeer… and the aroma reminds me slightly of it, as well. There is sort of a creamy/vanilla scent, as well as that caramel sweetness, that I think is just reading as pop to me… I’m also getting a stronger, barley/coffee sort of aroma as well, and just a hint of cracked pepper?

To taste, it hits more on the sweet side. I’m getting a bit of a chicory/spice note toward the back of the throat at the end of the sip, but the mouth fills out with a strong caramel/vanilla sweetness that lingers on the tongue. It’s quite nice, very naturally sweet, with a bit of a roasted/peppery element to keep it from feeling too overbearing. Overall, the balance manages to be pretty good.

Flavors: Caramel, Coffee, Cream, Pepper, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Sweet, Vanilla

185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
Martin Bednář

I wish you lots of great time in new place!


Hurrah! A place to call your own.


Yay for home! Yay for Kitty!


Congrats again and that is a great name for the kitty. :D

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On the 11th day of Advent, my Sara gave to me…

Dark Chocolate Raspberry from Snake River Tea! And probably originally from East Indies Coffee & Tea Company.

Is there tea in here? I think I can taste a slight note of tea, but that’s all. But that is okay! I taste a perfect balance of chocolate and raspberry! Okay, the end of the sip is more strongly raspberry, but that is fine. Oh there it is, yes, black tea, hiding in the background, showing off the chocolate and raspberry. Mmm.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Raspberry, Tea

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

This one makes a good latte as I recall, too.

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Sipdown! 35/365

Another perfect tea for a cold night. Loving the creamy cinnamon here.

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Not sure I should have created a new entry for this, but I got a sample of this from keychange way back when. And it’s surprisingly delicious, still – creamy cinnamon bun, and plenty of flavour which isn’t always the case with flavoured blacks. Great holiday tea to drink while enjoying a Christmas movie!

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Trick or Treat! I bought this tea under the name “Dark Chocolate Raspberry” from Snake River Tea in Boise, and it’s been a little difficult for me to Nancy Drew out the wholesale source. After quite a bit of hunting, I’m driven to believe it is the “Chocolate Raspberry Truffle” blend by East Indies Coffee & Tea Company… though I’ll admit I’m not 100% sure here. The private label company “SpecialTea Company” carries it, with the exact same ingredient list as what I purchased from Snake River Tea, and their stock of teas seems to be entirely comprised of blends from the large wholesalers International Tea Importers and East Indies Coffee & Tea Company, and Snake River Tea also has a lot of ITI’s blends… leading me to believe that SpecialTea Company may be their wholesale source. The only thing that confuses me a bit is I’ve also found a different set of ingredients floating around for East Indies Coffee & Tea Company’s “Chocolate Raspberry Truffle” blend (it included only raspberry leaf and flavorings, while the tea I have does not have raspberry leaf and includes raspberry pieces and dark chocolate with the tea leaf). Perhaps the blend was updated or changed over the years, though? That is actually what I’m leaning towards given the evidence I’ve gathered, though it is possible there is another major wholesale source that this blend belongs to that I just haven’t uncovered yet. I have already checked all the other major culprits, though (Metropolitan, Dethlefsen & Balk…)

I really just wish tea shops would honestly list their sources instead of private labeling to begin with, buuuuuuut that isn’t how it works… * shifty eyes *

Anyway, the tea! The aroma of the leaf is amazing, and this is one of my older teas, purchased in May of 2017. Opening the bag just smells of really tart raspberries and bittersweet chocolate, and already has me salivating. I’m really surprised it has held up so well!

The brewed tea is a pretty coppery color, and does have a chocolate-raspberry aroma. The flavor is… fine, but a little disappointing compared to the amazing smell of the dry leaf, because there is something about the raspberry that is coming off a little too artificial? The tea is sweet but not overly so which is nice; there is a nice tart fruit note here rather than it being really sappy or syrupy. I’m just getting a slight metallic aftertaste on the raspberry, which I sometimes notice from certain artificial flavorings. There is also a slight citrus note to the aftertaste as well, which is likely from the base black tea, which is quite smooth, with very mild astringency left after the sip. The chocolate is a more subtle note, it’s more of a base flavor and a dark/bittersweet note rather than sweet/milky/creamy. Which I think compliments the raspberry nicely. Overall the flavor combination is a win for me, I just wish it didn’t have that odd slight metallic note I’m getting in the aftertaste.

Flavors: Artificial, Citrus, Dark Bittersweet, Dark Chocolate, Metallic, Raspberry, Smooth

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Sampler Sipdown September! This was a sampler I got ages ago (like, a year ago now?) from California Tea & Herbal as an order freebie (I’ll admit, I ordered from them only because I wanted 2 oz. of Rishi’s West Cape Chai, and Rishi only sells it themselves in a ridiculous 1 lb. size… like I have the space for that in my tiny apartment! CalTeas happened to source that tea from Rishi in the size I wanted, soooooo…)

California Tea & Herbal lists this tea as “Citrus Mint Rooibos,” and it took me a long time to Nancy Drew out the source of the blend, which as it turns out is wholesale company East Indies Coffee & Tea’s “Lemon Souffle”.

Steeped this sampler up in my small Japanese teapot, which holds 16 oz. (I am really enjoying making a small herbal pot of tea before bed in this teapot!) The steeped tea has a creamy aroma reminescent of vanilla, which I really was not expecting from the “Citrus Mint” name on the sampler package. The tea has a very sweet base, with some caramel/toffee notes, and I’m really impressed with the particular blend of red rooibos, green rooibos, and honeybush that has achieved this flavor; it doesn’t come off as woody or medicinal at all. The main flavor note I’m getting in the tea is lemon, and it’s a creamy sort of lemon zest flavor, like would be in a dessert; the exact opposite of the strong, overbearing, furniture polish sort of lemon flavor I was getting from the last cup of tea I tried. This is sweet, succulent, tasty lemon. Toward the end of the sip is a note of mint, and again, it isn’t a strong or overbearing minty taste, as mint can be, but a bit more subtle, leaving a slight cool and refreshing sensation on the tongue. It comes off a bit more like sweet sarsaparilla than menthol. I don’t know what I was expecting with this, but I certainly wasn’t expecting something that is so desserty! This tastes like sweet melted toffee with subtle citrus and mint that compliments it perfectly, and makes me wish I had a plate of buttery scones topped with lemon curd. Why don’t I have any scones with lemon curd?!

This is really good. I would not balk at getting more of this, though admittedly probably would not place a special order for it; likely I’ll pick it up next time I need to restock my West Cape Chai again.

Flavors: Caramel, Lemon Zest, Mint, Sarsaparilla, Sweet, Toffee, Vanilla

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I love this tea! It is the perfect caffeine-free tea. I love drinking rooibos before bed. The subtle lemon works well with the rooibos.
Aroma: rooibos, lemon
Liquor: Golden-orange
Taste: rooibos, honey, lemon, and vanilla
Steep time: 8 mins

Flavors: Lemon, Rooibos, Vanilla

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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