Special Tea Inc.

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Homemade Advent Calendar from Arby: Day 11

This tea does not brew up scarlet! :( Sad. I admit I wasn’t paying the closest attention while drinking it, but maybe there wasn’t a ton of nuance there? It was mostly just a mildly fruity chamomile. Inoffensive but not super memorable.

Flavors: Chamomile, Fruity

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drank Ocean Blue by Special Tea Inc.
321 tasting notes

Homemade Advent Calendar from Arby: Day 5

Huh! This one is kinda wild. The ingredient list had me unsure what to expect. The dry leaf smelled… strange. Kind of like slightly stinky feet, but not aggressively so? Maybe feet that are on their way to requiring a good scrubbin’ but aren’t there yet. Brewed, the tea has a whisper of juicy, fruity bubblegum with a slight note of cream to buoy it. There’s also something sliiightly earthy or mossy. And it doesn’t smell like feet at all!

I don’t know how to rate this one. I’ll have to try it again before I can commit. But it sure was fun to try!

Flavors: Bubblegum, Creamy, Fruity, Juicy, Moss

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After we took the ferry into Victoria our first stop was a perogie bar for lunch. As we were leaving the bar, we looked across the street and not four feet from where we’d parked was Special Teas – we’d completely missed it initially in our rush to fill our bellies!

Special Teas was a store I’d actually ruled out of my shopping list because I hadn’t heard of them before and I needed to balance my desire for tea shopping with my mom’s desire to do other shit. However, the fates must have been smiling down on me so we took advantage of the convenience of already being at the store to check this one off the list as well!

I picked up a decent haul of teas, but my mom actually grabbed a few things too – all green tea blends, which was surprising. Like I did with her Murchie’s haul, I made sure to steep a cup of each of them during the remainder of our trip. Aside from our one overlap tea we had both purchased, this was the one I enjoyed more from her two others. I didn’t expect to like it, the ingredients list is sort of wild and all over the place. However, when my initial sips were surprisingly just as creamy as they were fruity I sort of softened to the blend…

It tastes a little like vanilla custard, but if you crossed it with just a little bit of bubblegum and a handful of different tropical fruits – possibly the strongest of which was the sweet ripe pineapple note that poked through. I didn’t taste either the moringa or spirulina, for which I am thankful. Definitely a weirdly “smoothie bowl” type of vibe. I doubt I’d revisit this one, but seeing as it was essentially a free cup of tea I also can’t really complain about it. Weird as it was, it was pretty solid!

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drank Secret mu by Special Tea Inc.
2962 tasting notes

I bought this because I need rootbeer tea in my life. I have to say-this isn’t quite the same as Rootbeer Tea from Earth’s Herbals…but it is still pretty good. I’ve only tried it iced, but it looks like it could do well hot. I appreciate the versatility in it going with milk or staying plain, served hot or cold.

It is slightly cinnamon heavy. It could also do with a bit less licorice root (or swap licorice with anise or fennel). More vanilla would also be welcome. Otherwise, I think it is a nice blend. More “warm winter spice” than what I think rootbeer should taste like, but def. not the worst I’ve had.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Licorice, Root Beer, Sarsaparilla, Sweet, Vanilla

Iced 8 min or more 2 tsp 24 OZ / 700 ML

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Teabox Tuesday! This is the last green tea in my teabox stash; it came from the Discovery Teabox, so thank you to Skysamurai for organizing and to those that participated for sharing! I decided to cold brew my sample since the leaf smelled a bit fruity and I’ve been drinking a lot of fruity iced greens lately.

Because of the hectic weekend I experienced I was unable to strain this when I planned, and I’m uncertain if in coldbrewing a tea can get “oversteeped” but that may or may not have made a difference (I usually always strain within 12-24 hours). The aroma smells, perhaps oddly to me, a bit like bubblegum… very sweet, jackfruit, and pineapple are coming to me in the aroma. The flavor is very sweet and fruity, but there is something vegetal about it, too… it has like, this freshness that makes me think of aloe, and it’s a little “watery” tasting too… not oceanic, as it’s lacking that saltiness of seawater, but it makes me think of wild freshwater somehow? I wonder if that’s the moringa? I’ve never tasted moringa before. I’d say that the sweet, vegetal note is the strongest flavor and overpowering the rest of the drink… I can taste some pineapple, and there is a sweetness left in my mouth as an aftertaste, but that strong “green” taste is very palpable. Reading up on moringa a bit, I have a strong feeling that is what I’m tasting. Interesting. I wouldn’t say I dislike it, but I do wish it didn’t feel quite so strong in this particular blend.

Thanks for sharing! I appreciate getting to try new ingredients I haven’t been exposed to before!

Flavors: Candy, Fruity, Green, Pineapple, Seaweed, Sweet, Vegetal

Iced 8 min or more 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Teabox Tuesday! It’s in the herbal hours of the evening and I’m getting low on teabox herbals, but I do still have this one from the Discovery Teabox, so thank you to Skysamurai for organizing and to those that participated for sharing! Brewed up my small sampler of this one in my little Japanese doubin, which holds about two cups.

The dry leaf smelled faintly tropical to me, mostly of pineapple. Hmm. Perhaps the sort of thing I should cold brew, but the water is already boiled so let’s do this.

Brewed, the cup is faintly pink, and since I am a fan of hibi-hip teas, that’s a fairly good sign for me… but the aroma I get now isn’t fruity at all (why did the dry leaf smell of pineapple to me, I wonder?) but… chamomile. Hooboy. Welp. Yup. That is mostly all I taste. Strong, thick chamomile. If I could actually taste hibi-hip, that would be an improvement for me, because I’m not a fan of chamomile. Looking at the ingredient list, there are a lot of florals in this cup, but I’m not really picking out any other distinct flavors… there is a hint of a sort of aloe taste, but the chamomile is just so strong to me it’s overwhelming anything else that might be in this cup. I’m definitely not picking up any huckleberry, which is supposed to be the flavoring added to this tea.

Maybe if I was a fan of chamomile I’d be alright with this, but as is, this isn’t my cuppa. I added a teabag with a small pinch of hibiscus and rose petals from my dry herb stash to a tea bag and let them soak for a bit in the tea, then added a spoon of lemon-infused honey, and though my tea turned considerably more red, it still tasted of chamomile. Guess I should’ve used more than a pinch, and actually made this tea a Scarlet Dragon… Perhaps that’s what is most disappointing to me. With a name like that, and with the hibiscus and rosehip pretty high in the ingredients, why is this such a chamomile bomb? Probably good news for 99.9999% of Steepsterers, but sadly, I’m in that 0.0001% that would’ve prefered a juicy tart hibi-hip drink because chamomile tastes like soap to my particular palate.

Also, my birthday present to myself arrived today! Since I decided the teapots I inherited from Grandma were too delicate to use as actual teapots and needed to go into storage, I still wanted a larger, “English style” teapot. My birthday is St. Patrick’s Day, and I just happened to see this one looking at English-style teapots… and had to have it.


Isn’t it cute? squee I have such a weakness for cute teaware…

Flavors: Floral, Soap

Boiling 8 min or more 6 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

Barf. There’s something about chamomile that tastes like… bodily fluids, to me. I don’t really know how to describe it. So I’d definitely have preferred hibi-hip (at least it’s tasty when sweetened!)

In other news, that teapot is adorable – what a great birthday gift to yourself! I hope you enjoy using it :)


Cute pot


I think I forgot about englishteastore.com… probably intentionally…

Mastress Alita

They have some cute teaware. I also live in an area where some of the British bagged tea brands that I like (Twinings, Taylors of Harrogate) aren’t that easy to get ahold of, and they carry them. I’m not that big on their loose leaf (though their green cucumber melon was quite good, and with Lupicia’s Golden Honeydew gone forever now, and my other favorite melon tea which came from TeaSource also recently being discontinued, I may go back to that one for my iced melon tea needs in the future…)


I forgot that awesome cucumber melon tea you sent to me was sourced from there! At least that one is still around. I’ve sampled some of their teas over the years and I’ve mostly liked what I tried. Maybe I only tried the good ones though. haha

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Teabox Tuesday! I’ve been migraining all day, so I haven’t made any tea yet. Thankfully I haven’t completely exhausted the herbal options from my teabox stash, though I am getting close. This one is from the Discovery Teabox, so thank you to Skysamurai for organizing and to all who participated in sharing tea!

The leaf has a very nutty aroma. Steeped, the tea is very much a deeply red rooibos color, and smells nutty but has the sweet rooibos notes I’m familiar with, honey and a touch of vanilla or caramel. The flavor is pretty nice; not quite as strong as I’d probably like, but I tend to steep my herbal teas a little overleafed, and I had the very last serving in the box on this one, so I’m using a little less rooibos for the cup than I’d probably use left to my own devices. That said, it is still pretty tasty. The rooibos base is pretty heavy, but it’s a nice rooibos with more of the sweeter notes I like, and lacking in the brassy/woody/medicinal notes. I taste a lot of honey, caramel, and a touch of subtle woodiness. The flavors that come through most strongly are a nutty note and vanilla; I’m not sure if I’d say I really get “pecan pie,” but at least I’m not just tasting heavy marzipan like I do with so many nutty dessert teas.

It’s a very satisfying cup and makes a nice sweet dessert tea before bed. I’ve never seen this company before and have a few more herbal option samplers to try from them from the box, so thank you!

Flavors: Caramel, Honey, Nutty, Rooibos, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Discovery Tea box – Tea #20

I expected a scarlet cup from the name, but it was very very pale yellow. At least that means it isn’t overly hibiscus. But otherwise I wasn’t tasting much. Too boring for me to steep a second time. Extra points for not just being hibiscus and then calling itself ‘scarlet dragon’ though. Maybe I was distracted while watching Annihilation. Many of the iconic images I remember from the book were missing, but what the film added at least looked interesting. I like when a book and a film are both good for their own reasons.

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drank Ocean Blue by Special Tea Inc.
4207 tasting notes

Discovery Tea box – Tea #19
Here is a unique one I like to find in the tea box. I don’t think I’ve tried this tea shop before. Unfortunately, any info about it already seems to be gone, so I had to add the info that was kindly added to the pouch of tea in the teabag. I like the name, because upon smelling the fragrance of the dry blend, it does remind you a little of the ocean somehow? It’s weird. There were interesting little fruit pieces. I was definitely tasting white tea with hints of fruit, but somehow the fragrance of the dry leaves was a lot stronger than the flavor of the tea.

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My apologies to whoever I sent some of this out to… this is just not good.

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i have a new obsession.

depending on my mood this becomes fresh apricot preserves (with more sugar) or fresh apricots off the tree (less sugar).


very smooth, no astringency. i have experimented with standard and double (though not less than) amounts of leaf as well as longer steep times…. it has not gone bitter and i have not had negative results!

predominantly apricot flavour, though a very mild floral aspect after-the-fact. the tea base is the perfect compliment to the fruit component… warmth with very little malt, just enough to differentiate it from the blend assertively.

this is awesome.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

I love fresh or preserve apricots( halfs, not jam). Do they sell online?


they do! http://www.specialtea.com/ i think they have 400 blends? it’s the most amazing place. all blended in the store. the vietnamese OP1 black is amazzzzzzzzzzzing.


Good to know James! I have to check them out.

Terri HarpLady

When I eat preserves, which is rare but does happen on occasion, I always go for Apricot or peach.


i prefer apricot… oddly i frequently get an element of tobacco with peach =0/

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drank Casablanca by Special Tea Inc.
390 tasting notes

if we are friends on FB you have already seen the image i uploaded as the avatar for this tea (seeing as i didn’t have one, lol). the store itself is so cool the owner let me snap a pic when i explained just how much of a tea nerd i am =0).

an acquaintance at school mentioned a great tea place ‘special tea’, downtown on fort street. she looked at me a bit askew when i let slip i hadn’t heard of them. now that i’ve been there i completely understand the look! david’s teas before special tea?!!!! i committed a crime. =0(

the owner was great, very personable and funny… i learned some neat stuff too! (i love it when that happens). i told her about my allergies and she just kept a running tally in her head of things she checked off: ‘nope, nope, nope….’ and made some great suggestions within the scope of a) the things i had mentioned i really like and b) the things she knew i could have.

i am so impressed! at no point was i rushed, talked down to, hassled and i am loving the blends i came away with!

this is very smooth. i did it with cream and sugar because i got sunburned yesterday and am feeling sucky, but it could happily be done without. there’s a tropical/exotic element but the combination of roses and strawberries keep it grounded to a hot summer north american day versus coconuts in the caribbean .

predominant flavour for me is a subtle passionfruit followed by the strawberries and rose. the ceylon is the constant baseline.

this is great! can’t wait to try the rest!!

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

this isn’t the same place SB likes to go is it?


…. oooh. dunno!? =0/ lol! might be?


There’s Georgie’s, and also Janet’s Special Teas out in Sydney…


i’m probably thinking of janet’s special teas…SB goes there.

Skye Comstock

This sounds great. I’ll hafta try it once I get some of the ones I have already drank down. I’ve put myself on a little bit of a pause with buying tea at the moment since I have bought so much already :)


i have done the same =0).
i have some butiki coming in- and really that’s all until september.

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