Murchie's Tea & CoffeeEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
For the May prompt “a strawberry tea.”
The dry leaf aroma of this tea actually does remind me of strawberry shortcake… it has a sweet, candied strawberry sort of aroma mixed with a vanilla/cream scent that comes off very light/whipped and kinda pulls my mind to imagery of soft sponge cake.
Brewed up, both aromas are still present off the warm cup, with the strawberry aroma becoming a little zestier due to the malty/mineral notes of the black tea. The base has a surprising amount of boldness, with a deep coppery malt, citrus, and mineral flavor; it comes off a bit strongly when the tea is still piping hot, but as the liquor cools the flavorings become more dominant. The strawberry is a little fruity and a little candy, falling more on one side or the other for me depending on the sip, and the sweet vanilla/cream flavor is lovely.
Really enjoying this one!
Flavors: Cake, Candy, Citrus, Cream, Fruity, Malt, Mineral, Strawberry, Sweet, Vanilla
Another 2018 tea, and it seems appropriate for the second winter we are having here.
Perhaps age is to fault, but I don’t really taste much (if any?) difference between this tea and Murchie’s “Maple Chai” which I sipped down a few months ago. It is the same Ceylon/Keemun base as “Maple Chai” which I quite enjoy, as the Keemun lends a natural subtle smoky note that compliments the maple nicely. The maple is strong and tasty. But this tea features dried cranberry and apple piece in lieu of the spices found in “Maple Chai,” and they aren’t really adding anything at all. I don’t taste any fruity notes… just a strong and sturdy maple-flavored black tea. There is perhaps a sweeter “honey” like note adding some sweetness to the maple, but nothing that tastes like apples or cranberries.
Without the fruitiness, this tea isn’t as interesting as their “Maple Chai” which at least added warm, accompanying spices. I love the concept of apple, cranberry, and maple together as a flavor combo, but it just isn’t happening here. However, because I like the base tea of both this tea and “Maple Chai” much more than the CTC base of Murchie’s “Canadian Breakfast,” I’d take either of these over that one for a hearty maple black tea.
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Maple, Smoke
Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge, March 2022: A floral tea
Woof! I’ve so many floral teas that are nearing the bottom of their tins and pouches – so, it was luck of the draw that is the first floral sipdown of March (there will be many more, with perseverance)!
Murchie’s isn’t usually super exciting (this black tea blend is kind of boring but consistent), but is passable English tea grandmother fare (bring out the scones!). I think the lavender flavouring is well-balanced too; the “cream” comes across as a vague sugary state that reminds me of cake frosting (or Angel Food Cake). The vanilla is candy-ish in tone. It’s a simple but cozy cup that I mindlessly drank up – with or without milk (milk makes the “cream” more real :P).
I’d possibly buy more if/when I visit Murchie’s. Tastes like a spring tea party in the garden.
Flavors: Astringent, Cake, Candy, Floral, Frosting, Lavender, Malt, Sweet, Vanilla
Nothing too fancy but is adequate for an afternoon cuppa – with or without milk. Glad to say I can’t tell this is a green/black tea blend; it’s essentially an English Breakfast (ceylon) with a dash of jasmine (mild) and lemon (milder). It makes for a good office/cheap kettle tea, and would also likely take well to sugar or honey.
The best way to drink this tea is probably while listening to Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Cafe (RIP, this man is a treasure). I love that the creative side of radio shows still survives in podcast format.
Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Floral, Jasmine, Lemon, Malt, Tannic
Pulled this 2018 tea over to the sipdown corner for the February sipdown prompt, “Drink a black tea.”
I’m really enjoying this one! The maple is sweet but not overpowering; it goes well with the base, which is a Ceylon/Keemun blend with a really nice natural smoky note from the Keemun. I was worried the spices would be too much for me since the ingredients list chili pepper, but it isn’t at all. The sweeter cinnamon blends nicely with the maple, and I’m left with a sort of cardamom flavor late in the sip (cardamom isn’t listed in the spices, but I’m guessing it’s a combination of the ginger and clove I’m tasting), and there is a bit of warmth on my tongue after the swallow. Licorice root is listed in the blend, but I don’t taste it at all.
The maple makes this sweet enough to take without milk, but I’m sure it would be great as a latte as well (which I’m sure I’ll try while I’m working my way through the package). I really love the soft smokiness of the base without using (the far more abrasive for me) Lapsang Souchong, and it’s a lot smoother than their Canadian Breakfast.
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Malt, Maple, Smoke, Smooth, Spices
Ooh, this is tasty. I’ve had mixed feelings about my Murchie’s order overall so far, but this blend falls squarely in the “good choice; could see myself repurchasing” category.
I’ve always enjoyed jasmine but didn’t come around to lapsang souchong until the past year or so. I wouldn’t have imagined a pairing of the two would work, but dang, it does! The lapsang tempers the jasmine just enough to take any perfume-y, overwhelming edge off, creating what to me is a very pleasant and super nuanced sip.
I’m also getting bold black tea and maybe a bit of minerality from the green tea, and it’s really just a terrific cup. A bit drying, but I don’t mind. I could see myself reaching for this one any time I want to jump-start my day.
Flavors: Drying, Jasmine, Mineral, Smoke
Jasmine, jasmine, and more jasmine! Fortunately, I like jasmine. :D I also like libraries and teas with literary names, which is why I added this one to my cart.
It’s a perfectly fine blend. The jasmine overpowers the black and green tea base, although I am getting muted notes of each: something slightly grassy, something a bit tannic… but mostly it’s floral jasmine all the way down. I guess want something a little more, like a stronger black base to back up the jasmine? But I won’t have any problems finishing the bag.
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Tannic, Vegetal
I opened the bag and was hit with a ridiculously powerful punch of artificial strawberry essence, to the point where it made me a little queasy! The scent reminds me of something from my childhood, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. It might be strawberry-flavored Creme Savers, which I VERY MUCH ENJOYED in the late ’90s/early 2000s. That said, I was a little nervous the tea would taste like 100% artificial, perfume-y strawberry and nothing else.
At first, it doesn’t. Once it’s brewed up, the artificial scent mostly dissipates and I’m getting a much more natural strawberry aroma, although there’s definitely an artificial flavor that hits at the back of a sip. It’s layered on the same soapy black tea base I recognize from Canadian Breakfast; the website tells me it’s a blend of Ceylon and Keemun. (I really need to get better at recognizing black tea varieties!) I’m not really getting vanilla or anything to evoke the “shortcake” part of this tea, and I feel like the base is just not super high quality… so, overall, this is pretty meh. It’s also making my entire WFH office room smell like a cheap strawberry candle someone bought at the dollar store and forgot about in the trunk of their car. Ooh, or maybe it smells like a cheap air freshener?! That could be what I’m getting in the scent. Regardless… not great.
A bit of oat milk adds some body and helps hide the artificial flavor, but I think this one will be, ahem, shared in the TTB when it comes my way. XD
Edit: OK, I couldn’t finish my cup because even the small amount of lingering artificial strawberry scent was bothering me. I can’t get the car freshener comparison out of my head! I have to reduce my rating because to me, this is just vile. I rarely dump tea, but this one went down the sink. :(
Flavors: Artificial, Soap, Strawberry
Maple is one of my favorite flavors of all time, so I’m always on the hunt for a tea that satisfies my maple cravings. This is the tea that led me to place a Murchie’s order in the first place—it sounded right up my alley.
I think I probably overleafed and oversteeped it, though, because it’s slightly bitter and nearly all the delicious maple notes in the dry leaf are missing in the steeped cup. :( I get a little bit of maple, but mostly I’m tasting the tannic, almost soapy black base. Which, y’know, is fine for a strong, bracing breakfast tea in and of itself; I just wish there were more maple. I’ll have to try again soon! But not today, because I’m absolutely buzzing with caffeine already… this morning I got a gingerbread latte from a local coffee shop to celebrate clear scans (I get mammograms/MRIs every six months to make sure my cancer hasn’t come back), and now I’ve just had a strong cup of this tea. My teeth are practically chattering!
Flavors: Malt, Maple, Soap, Tannic
The problem with getting more active on Steepster (after being an intermittent lurker for years) is that I’m now discovering SO. MANY. TEA. COMPANIES. I want to try! Hence an order from Murchie’s, placed one night when I was staying up far too late playing Sims 4 and browsing tea websites. My order arrived in record time and I’m very excited to try all my new blends.
This one is a truly decadent dessert tea and I am digging it. It maybe reminds me more of blueberry pancakes than crumble because there’s a slight maple-y element, but no matter. The blueberry is pleasant (if more present in the aroma than the taste) and not too artificial or anything. It’s got a nice graham-y, crust-y element that really works with the blueberry to create a rounded flavor, all layered on a fairly unobtrusive green/black base and accented with the barest hint of cinnamon.
Is it terribly sophisticated? No. Do I want to drink it every day? Probably not, given that it contains sugar and could maybe get a little cloying with too much repetition. But is it bringing me great joy on a rather blah Monday afternoon? Sure is!
Flavors: Blueberry, Cinnamon, Graham Cracker, Maple, Sweet
I’ve been drinking this cold brew and have just emptied out the pouch.
While I enjoy the “fruity hibiscus” style of tea, I never really expect much from them. Fruit punch with a different dominant fruity flavor plastered over the top. Non-complex, good thirst-quenching water bottle tea. (Plus, I enjoy the tart!)
So I was surprised with how much this one really does taste like Pink Lemonade. At its core, it really is just a “fruity hibiscus” with citrus being the dominant fruit flavor plastered over the top, but the citrus is so juicy and authentic tasting that even I, the Queen of Tart Tea, puckered on the first sip (I was fine after that, though, so it didn’t manage to de-throne me). Bright, juicy, and pithy, with enough of that fruit punch flavor from the hibiscus to sort of bring in that non-descript punchy/berry taste of Pink Lemonade. I’ve really enjoyed it!
Not sure how I’d feel about something like this as a hot cup, but it’s a bangin’ iced tea.
Flavors: Citrus, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Hibiscus, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Orange, Orange Zest, Pleasantly Sour, Tart
Disclaimer: Another one of my blends. This dropped last week. I really liked how Lavender Cream came out, and wanted to keep pairing sweet and floral notes together… This’ one I’ve seen done before, but never tried, and it stuck in the back of my mind because I wanted to try it. So I worked on this one from about spring last year (it didn’t make that release date) until this year, tweaking the ratios right up until the end.
Initial nose is creamy vanilla, the jasmine coming through as an undernote, so that it’s not just an overly strong vanilla black tea but a subtler jasmine green balance. It’s not too soapy, or at least by my tastes.
Taste: Probably could have used cooler water, but I was impatient today; curled up and drinking this at home. I used a black base of Chinese teas, so not particularly astringent, a bit of Yunnan for sweetness and body, and that comes through with the vanilla. The green teas and oolongs hit with a particular green note that’s more floral and perfumy than vegetal. Slurping gets a hit of the jasmine that trails into the aftertaste and an aroma that permeates the mouth and throat, but isn’t cloying or overpowering. The vanilla is still stronger, but I don’t think it dominates it.
The floral oolong doesn’t really stand on its own, but more smooths and bridges the gap between the more perfumy jasmine and the sweet vanilla. It’s a very green oolong, so there’s no notes of roast, more a spectrum of honey black/vanilla to nuclear floral green, to scented green teas. I did try this originally with an unscented oolong with a faint roast, but found it didn’t fit at all.
This makes a really nice afternoon tea, so I broke out my great grandma’s old porcelain pot and teacup. As it cools, I think the jasmine comes through more and more. Brewed fresh and hot, it’s vanilla-forward, likely the volatiles from the flavouring used; once those dissipate, the jasmine dominates more.
Happy National Pancake Day! Tpdau the prompt is to drink a maple-flavored tea or a tea with maple flavor notes!
Last time I had and reviewed this tea, I’d prepared it as a latte. I’ve been meaning to revisit and make a straight-and-hot cuppa and hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Until now!
Most of the leaf is quite fine… looks like a CTC black mixed with another full leaf black. The aroma from the leaf gives me a strong autumn leaves vibe, underneath a sweet aroma of caramel and maple. Steeped, it produces a very dark, coffee-colored cup. The sweet aroma is very prominant off the warm cup; I smell burnt sugar, maple, and a sort of fruity berry sweetness.
The black tea is quite strong… I definitely taste malt, toasted bread, and autumn leaves, with a bit of astrigency left on the back of my tongue after the sip. I think it would probably come off even harsher if not for the sweet maple which mellows it somewhat. The maple really does give off a burnt sugar/honey sort of vibe.
This is definitely potent enough to have “breakfast” in the name of the tea. It’s fine plain, but I think I enjoy it with milk more. It’s strong enough to take it, the maple tastes really nice with that added creamy element, and the milk takes away the bitter aftertaste.
Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Burnt Sugar, Malt, Maple
My migraine yesterday correctly predicted waking to a fresh cover of snow this morning. It left me in a latte sort of mood.
I’ve been trying to use up a box of rice that is a brand that just isn’t a favorite that I bought when my norm was perpetually gone during COVID, and had just enough for one more rice bowl, so thought I’d try a “breakfasty” one for a change. I like to flavor my rice with tea, so I grabbed this one to give it that slight “breakfast” feel. But instead of leaving the teabag in the water the whole time, I fished it out after the rice came to a boil and decided to reuse it to make my latte, as there was a lot of leaf in it — two perfect teaspoons, more than I would ever use making a normal cup of black tea. So with slightly used leaf, I steeped for three minutes in 12 oz. 205F water, then added 4 oz. frothed regular oat milk.
Tastes like a very malty English Breakfast tea, with a honey-glazed baked bread note, and also a bit of nuttiness (which may just be the oat milk, but at least accompanies nicely). A warm maple syrup note is noticeable, and quite pleasant in latte form. I definitely need to try this one sans the milk to see if the tea has any hiding astringency and better judge the sweetness of the maple, but it does make for a good latte choice. I think I’d even enjoy mixing it with a really roasted tea too, like roated mate or houjicha. Hmm…
Flavors: Bread, Honey, Malt, Maple, Maple Syrup, Nutty
Sniff Oh wow, there’s a flower garden in my cup.
This is the 4th day of my exclusive Sara’s Old Tea box. It’s very flower-forward, from the beginning to the end of the sip. I was curious how a green/black tea blend would taste… but I can’t taste the tea at all. It has more depth of flavor than a perfumy jasmine tea, but it’s still a bit much for me.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Jasmine, Rose, Vegetal
Work tasting. We’ve been so busy I’ve been bringing home batch-samples to do reports at home.
This one is a pretty heavy flavoured tea, leaving a sort of thick, creamy mouthfeel and a lingering coconut aftertaste. Not much of the base teas come through, but taste-wish it’s got a heavy toasted note to the coconut. It’s less ‘fresh’, definitely not a ‘pina colada’ type of coconut milk, but more a creamy baked consistency like coconut in a custard or pastry. The almost roasted quality does make it stand out to me, compared to other coconut teas I’ve come across over the years.
Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Roasted
I thought I’d posted a note for this tea already, but I guess not.
Full disclosure, I can’t give this tea an honest review and you can take what I say with a grain of salt, because this is the first blend I created from the ground up and released through Murchie’s. So I’m a little biased and pretty proud of it.
I like earl greys, but personally, am not a fan of Murchie’s earl grey. It uses a lot of bright, light and brisk teas—Darjeeling, Nepal and Ceylons—with a very heavy dose of bergamot. I find it a tad too acidic, so I set out to make an earl grey I’d drink.
This’ what I ended up coming up with. Going the complete opposite direction, this uses Assam, Yunnan and Keemun teas. The result is a very deep, malty brew, with a bit of smoke, a bit of nut, a faint natural sweetness, and overall just very smooth. I opted for tippy Assam and Yunnan teas, hence the name. The amount of bergamot used is medium-light; I was hitting for a ratio that complimented but didn’t dominate it.
It does use artificial and natural bergamot, because the sad reality is natural bergamot oil lasts a whole month on tea before dissipating completely, in every test I tried.
We’ve been extremely busy at work so I’ve been spending a lot of long hours and guzzling Earl’s Gold a lot. I’ve also been bringing a lot of my work home (namely samples that need tasting), so I had this on-hand. I reach for it often enough.
Bergamot in the right context smells a bit like Fruit Loops to me, and this is one of them.
Flavors: Bergamot, Cocoa, Malt, Nutty, Smoke, Sweet
This makes an amazing iced tea. Super fruity and lots of great stone fruit and champagne flavours. Extremely flavourful, resteeps well several times (cold brewed 3 times and all three steeps were great).
Flavors: Champagne, Fruity, Peach, Pear, Stonefruit, White Wine
Brewed gongfu style 30s/5s/6s/9s – 180-170 F, 2g in 50 ml gaiwan.
Aroma of the dry leaf was fairly smoky, so I was pleasantly surprised that the first infusion came across as more sweet than smoky. The flavor definitely improved with the second and third infusions as some slight astringent notes came out to complement the sweetness and the body filled out. The third infusion even brought with it a faint hint of lemon.
Though Murchie’s calls this a green tea, it both tasted and appeared much darker than what I’m accustomed to with greens. Liquor is a medium-dark yellow orange, and the leaves are a deep, deep, brown green. I’d imagine some of this is due to bruising that may occur in the rolling process. None of this is a particularly bad thing as it tastes just fine, but if you’re looking for the freshness and vegetal taste of greens I’d suggest you look eslewhere. Overall a nice enough tea, but not one I’ll be racing back to.
Gaiwan drinkers be warned, as the leaves aren’t fully open on the first infusion they can easily stop up your pour if you aren’t careful!
Flavors: Astringent, banana, Lemon, Smoke, Sweet
The smell of this tea is so enticing. I wish I could smell it every second of the day.
While brewing, the tea fills the room with a sweet maple scent that is so inviting. The brewed tea is very black tea forward and the maple scent is gone from the tea. I get a slight maple note at the back end but its all black tea forward.
I have yet to try it with milk. Maybe that will bring out other flavors from the tea?