Steven Smith Teamaker

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Popular Teaware from Steven Smith Teamaker

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Recent Tasting Notes

81

Starting to get in the holiday spirit a bit early with some holiday crafting. I pulled this sample out of my shelf to take a cup with me to paint night. I really enjoyed this. Licorice is not a flavor I gravitate towards but it blended really well. I definitely would put this one on my buy again list.

Preparation
5 min, 30 sec

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84

I swear I wrote a note on this one the year before last. Anyway, Backlog, I’m glad it’s on the site. I contemplated on toxically “therapy buying” some for the incoming cold weather in Michigan. I liked this one a lot, but didn’t absolutely need it. I did finish this one quickly and a part of me wish I re-orderd it for the last order I did because it’s one of my top 6 steven smith blends.

The spices are really well balanced in warming, and I always got a nutty graham cracker vibe from it. The cocoa nibs comes in hints after the spices, but I remember the ginger and cinnamon being pretty noticeable. I think there needs to be more hojicha blends period because it works well to add nutty and more caramelized notes to a tea if it’s not overcooked, and it’s one of the few green teas that I’ll drink nearly any season, but especially in winter. Price is the only gripe.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Ginger, Graham Cracker, Spices, Toast

Mastress Alita

I too find that houjicha is far, far too under-utilized in tea blends.

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I’ve been trying to find a place to get a single sachet of this company’s jasmine tea to give to a friend. I remembered them mentioning this coffee shop they loved that I’d never heard of. I figured it was worth a try to look up what tea they carry and what do you know? They serve just what I was looking for. Not only that but they had this tea!! This one has been on my to try list for quite a while. I’ve been to many places that serve Steven Smith tea but they never served this one.

This one isn’t bad it’s got a lot going on and is an interesting combination of flavors and ingredients. There’s a strong taste of roasted rice but alongside that is a slightly citrusy bergamot flavor and a hint of rose. I’m not sure how I feel about the bergamot, rose, and toasted rice all in one tea though. I like that this blend is a Portland-inspired one in name as well.
I don’t think I’d need to purchase this one since the bergamot rice combo isn’t one I’d often reach for vs. a classic genmaicha. I need to try this one again steeped at a lower temperature as they used boiling water. Perhaps it would be a bit more balanced steeped at a lower temp. Next time I’d take the sachet home.

Flavors: Bergamot, Citrusy, Grass, Rose, Toasted Rice

Mastress Alita

This is one of my SST favorites.

Lexie Aleah

I need to venture out and visit the store one of these days!

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80

So I gave into temptation, and sampled a bit of the tea I made with cream and sugar….holy heavens. The astringency hits the cream just nicely, and the sugar plays really nicely into the currant and lavender. I’ve also experienced with adding a light shot of Grand Marnier with just honey, and then again with cream in sugar, and ooooooooooooooh, so good. Yeah, this is a mixers tea. Rating increased. I usually prefer unadulterated teas, but this one makes me feel naughty with my calories.

Shae

Oh this one sounds delicious!

Daylon R Thomas

It really is. On it’s own, it’s strong with some Zheng Shan Black and other more robust teas, but the lavender, vanilla, currant combo is incredible, and blends nicely with cream, sugar, and spirits.

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80

Got this one discounted and have hesitated to get it for a while due to the ceylon, and people either think it’s too strong or too weak. Definitely more of a fall/halloween kind of blend. I don’t really get the creme brule, but the rose+currant + vanilla is really interesting and dense, followed by the thick herbaceous lavender. It bordered on sage, but it was not too overwhelming. I don’t know if the smokiness came from the Chinese or the Ceylon black, but the smokiness with the lavender, currant, and vanilla made the tea taste like I was drinking a candle.

It’s a pretty good tea. While I don’t think the currant or lavender are too strong, and actually remind me of an older Butiki blend I’ve had, the vanilla and smoky tea pushes it in the candle/tobacco/soap category of flavoring. It’s not at all artificial, but it’s just a few packets of cocoa butter away from being sold at a Bed Bath and Beyond. The ceylon also pushes it into a more bitter category, so this one is a sugar, or a cream and sugar brisk morning/afternoon British style tea, or a even Halloween Tea Party tea. It’s too strong for me to get again, but I can see the kind of demographic who’d be into it. Personally, I’m getting some witch dominatrix vibes from it. (I’m probably going to have to delete this comment…)

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Black Currant, Lavender, Leather, Rose, Smoke, Smooth, Soap, Sweet, Tobacco, Vanilla

Mastress Alita

I have been curious about this one, but was hesitant because of the lapsang souchong in the blend (smoked teas give me migraines). Knowing the smokiness is very present is helpful, despite loving lavender teas I think I’ll give this one a pass!

tea-sipper

I’m curious which Butiki tea?

Daylon R Thomas

It had the same kind of vanilla as the vanilla pumpkin pu-erh. I cannot remember what it’s proper name was.

Sierge Krьstъ

Yea, smokiness is almost drying whuch defies teas that fall into category of liquid foods

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85

I’m behind on a few notes, but I wanted to go ahead and write some on the big name releases that have come out. This notes is going to be a long one because this tea has a history on the site, although it’s been obscured because it’s usually a seasonal release.

Steven Smith has reblended their Ice Cream Oolong, and it’s a tea that I wish I got the chance to try. I was a year behind their original release of the oolong, and I’ve been waiting to try something like it. I almost got the Tenessee Oolong when it was out, but I didn’t get it for the simple reason of price, though I now regret it.

So, I decided to go all out to get this tea which was a whopping $24 U.S. Dollars for 15 bags, and got two boxes. Stupid, I know, but this blend is unique and not replicated by any other tea around. I’m really curious to see how this one pans out since it mixes both amaretto and chamomile with an oolong-something I’ve not seen before. The original blend had jasmine, so I was interested to see how it works with the chamomile.

Starting off reading their notes, they sell the tea as tasting/smelling like butterscotch, pina colada, and nori, which shouldn’t be off given the Jin Xuan base and the double rolled vanilla extract that is often used in butterscotch confections. Smelling the sachets, vanilla and the chamomile pretty dominant, with some florals going on in the background.

I brewed this up western, and did the suggested 3 minutes, but I’ve brewed some cups up to four minutes and essentially grandpa’d rebrews of the same bag. Thankfully, this is not an overpowering tea and is very light and sweet. The vanilla and amaretto are strong in the smell, and while the tea hot doesn’t really taste like ice cream, it’s nailed the trademarks with the strong vanilla, buttery creamy texture, and the salt and sugar combo in the aftertaste. The amaretto is present, but blends with the vanilla to give a more 3 dimensional flavor so it’s not overwhelming. Think a vaguely almond like aftertaste.

There’s some qualities in the tea that can read vaguely pineapple from the Jin Xuan’s aftertaste, but it’s very floral overall. The vanilla combo makes it read a little like plumeria or lily, but it’s not strong and I’m making a little bit of stretch since the flavor is more prominent. If I let the tea brew a little bit longer, the jin xuan is a little bit more dominant giving off the grassy nori aftertaste, but it’s easy to avoid and the tea is not grassy if you brew it under 3-4 minutes.

The chamomile was pretty noticeable, and the sarspirilla is subtle. I was worried the chamomile was going to clash with the Jin Xuan, and sometimes it was a little herby, but it thickened the teas body. It added to the ice cream quality nicely and helped the vanilla spread out so it didn’t taste fake.

So, you can tell that I really liked this blend. It’s the kind of tea that I was looking for in my first two years of college and am happy that I got to have it now. I personally would rate it between 80-90, but my big criticism is the doubled price. I think it warrants maybe $16 for the 15, $45 for 4 oz loose and $24 for 45-50 grams is too much…nevermind I got two boxes.

I’m curious to see what other people think and how it compares to the original blend. I hesitated with the chamomile mix, but I think it was a really smart decision in the end because I see the jasmine mixed in being too cloying or potentially too astringent. This was a nice easy going luxury tea, and probably my favorite Smith Blend I’ve had. I’m on my fifth bag I’ve used, after all.

Flavors: Almond, Amaretto, Butter, Chamomile, Creamy, Floral, Milk, Pineapple, Seaweed, Sugar, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mastress Alita

I had the original blend, long ago, and it was already quite old by then. I didn’t even taste jasmine at all in the original, and it was very sarsaparilla heavy in flavor (which is a note I quite like). I’m very chamomile averse though, so I don’t feel I could take a chance on the reblend, especially at the higher price point.

tea-sipper

I also had the original, but was probably drinking it when it was already older (from another Steepsterer). But wow that new price! I AM glad that I don’t have to feel guilty that such an expensive tea is still floating around in the cupboards. I finished it a while ago.

Daylon R Thomas

Steven Smith has increased their prices broadly. They’ve expanded with some specialty pure teas, but they were also selling a Yushan for close to $45 for two oz. Granted, I fell victim getting the amount of the tea that I did, but I don’t think I’d do it again. They’re just banking on the “limited release” status and a more gentrified demographic.

Lexie Aleah

Ooh I remember wanting to try the old version of this one and the Tennessee oolong. The price though hmm I’m so torn.

Leafhopper

Oof! $45 is on the high side for a Lishan, let alone a Yushan. That ice cream oolong sounds like an interesting blend.

Daylon R Thomas

It really was an interesting blend that I was pretty pleased with because the chamomile really does blend really well with the oolong and vanilla, but the price is bloated.

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Sipdown (1396)!

Thank you for sharing Cameron B. – I have a deep love of hojicha so I was thrilled to get to add another to my list of blends that I’ve tried!

I enjoyed this one a lot, although I found it quite mildly flavoured. It was very thick and toasty with deep roasted notes of caramelized nuts and grains – very golden and warming. I definitely tasted a bit of the cocoa flavour from the blend additions and I thought that was a very smart and pleasant addition. I actually did not get much in the way of spices though – I thought maybe I was getting a hint of cinnamon but I couldn’t be sure if that was my mind playing tricks on me or not.

Even if those spices didn’t come through, though, it was still delicious!

Cameron B.

I found the spicing to be quite light as well, but I was happy about it heh.

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84

Sipdown (1397)!

I haven’t tried a lot of blends from Steven Smith, so thank you Cameron B. for passing this along so I could try it! I saw the bits of rosemary in the in the leaf and was immediately excited and intrigued – I really hoped they would add a nice pine note to the blend. I didn’t clue in until just now, reading the Steepster page for the tea, that it’s meant to be a Christmas blend – so with that context the natural pine flavour of the rosemary makes a lot of sense!

This was absolutely delicious though – very smooth cup and while it was full bodied and thick in mouthfeel the flavour was gentle and delicate. I did get the subtle flavour of pine from the rosemary weaving throughout the sip and that made me very happy, but I also tasted a hint of vanilla, cinnamon, and a bit of a tarry fruit note in the undertone – it was super light so I wasn’t entirely sure if it was natural from the black tea used or if it was just a very gentle touch of flavouring, but I see now that it’s an added black currant flavour and that makes a lot of sense to me.

Overall, this is just well balanced and delightful! I don’t know if it’s the type of tea that I would want a full tin of, because it’s pretty soft overall and I can’t foresee it being something I would naturally gravitate towards heavily – but much respect and appreciate for the craft that went into this blend. Definitely comes across!

Mastress Alita

I love Steven Smith Teamaker!

Cameron B.

So glad you liked it! :D

Tiffany :)

Ooh I can’t wait to dig my bag of this out! :D (Sitting in a plastic bin in the basement with my “winter/holiday” teas unopened)

Daylon R Thomas

I almost got that one. I wish they sold it in samples.

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2021 sipdown no. 61

This is a bit of a sad sipdown because this tea exceeded my expectations. I really wasn’t sure how the chai spices would be against the hojicha base and never really felt in the right mood for this tea.

I was truly mistaken. This chai is really amazing. I feel the hojicha base adds so much to this blend, and I may possibly prefer it over a black base. The light yet deep roastiness of the base complements the spices so nicely. The spices have a great balance where no one spice overshadows the others. There’s also a sweetness here that isn’t cloying at all and while I’m not completely sure where it comes from, it’s welcome.

Thanks to Cameron for sharing another wonderful tea!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Cameron B.

I have plenty to share, so I’ll have to remember to send you some more in our next swap!

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76

I’m sure everyone else who reviews this tea would agree and has in previous posts, that this is a unique blend. I’ve seen genmaicha mixes. I’ve seen bergamot mixes. But never have I seen a bergamot/genmai mixed together. It is calming and smells nice. It has a bit of umami mixed with roasted notes and a bergamot citrus finish. It is good but I’m not overwhelmed with the goodness.

Daylon R Thomas

My only nitpick with that one is how oily it can get. The bergamot combo is pretty nice with the toasty rice and green tea, but it’s a little too savory for me.

Mastress Alita

I love this one!

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45

Samurai TTB #61

This was the final teabag that I had pulled from the TTB a couple of weeks ago and has been waiting for me in my desk drawer at work. Although the quality of this seems really nice for a bagged tea, the flavor combination just isn’t working for me. The base tea is quite grassy and aggressive and seems to almost be fighting the toasted rice and floral flavors that are also present in the blend. I also find that it’s drying out my throat at the end of each sip. While I’m curious to try more from this brand, this isn’t one I’ll be returning to.

Flavors: Drying, Floral, Grass, Rose, Toasted Rice

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
AJRimmer

You’re super on top of trying all the samples you grabbed! I had the box in April, and I still have a tea or two left to try – I should get on that!

Mastress Alita

I love Steven Smith Teamaker! This is one of my favs though — I normally hate bergamot paired with green tea, but this one simply works for me.

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83

I had not heard of this tea maker but a friend had commented on their Facebook page and that led to a conversation which led to her dropping off a surprise tea package for the holidays. Love my tea friends!
I really enjoyed this black tea. Generally I feel black teas need a little sweetener but I always give the tea a chance first. I added nothing to it and enjoyed this one morning before heading to work. I loved the scent of rosemary which is not a herb I would typically associate with a cup of tea.

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

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88

Oh my, Smith, you’ve done it again.

This houjicha-chai tastes like gingerbread! And wood a bit, cause it’s houjicha. I can pick out notes of clove, chocolate, cinnamon, and gingerbread.

I find it resteeps pretty well. I plan to try it with almond milk too, hot and iced. I got a 2.75 oz tin, although I plan to send some to Sara soon. She’s the one who linked me to it.

Oh. I have some gingerbread. Dips gingerbread into the tea Gingerbreadception! Holiday overdose! Also tasty.

Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

I really should just pick some of this up before it is gone, honestly… I just hate contributing to the shipping frenzy around this time!

Kawaii433

I love gingerbread. That sounds really good. ^^

derk

Did you see the picture of the gingerbread monolith atop Corona Heights hill in San Francisco? The angled pictures made it look gigantic until I saw one with a person for scale :/ Still, I’m happy there are weirdos out there doing things like this.

tea-sipper

2020: Creepy monoliths but also gingerbread monoliths.

Todd

derk, wow! I just looked that up, crazy gingerbread goodness.

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85

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it! And Happy Holidays to all!

This is my first tea of the day! I intended it to be this morning, but then there was an unexpected Zoom call with my husband’s family, so I had to jump in the shower and get ready for that, and then we were opening pug stockings.

So now I’m relaxing on the couch, watching Elf and drinking a pot of this tea. It’s not quite what I expected, but really good. The base tea and the cinnamon combine into a sort of creamed cinnamon honey flavor, which is reminding me of my beloved Taiwanese black teas. I start to pick up on a piney note from the rosemary about halfway through the sip, though it’s quite subtle. It’s strongest in the aftertaste, where it leaves a nice cooling sensation. As for the blackcurrant, I’m not sure I taste it specifically, but there is a sort of dark, rich, and syrupy sweetness in the background that I attribute to it. There’s also a light hay note, I wonder if there’s some Darjeeling tea in here?

Overall, it’s a rich and subtly flavored tea with a lovely sweetness to it. Looking at the description, it does have Darjeeling as well as Assam and Ceylon teas. Maybe next time I’ll try a slightly lower temperature just to see how that affects the flavor.

So far, very pleased that I bought this holiday tin set from Steven Smith!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Berry, Cinnamon, Creamy, Honey, Jam, Malt, Pine, Raisins, Sweet, Tannic, Tobacco

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Martin Bednář

Merry Christmas!

Izzy

Merry Christmas, Cameron!

derk

Merry Christmas :)

ashmanra

Merry Christmas!

Cameron B.

Thanks everyone, I hope you had wonderful holidays!

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82

I had a very happy tea mail day today, with orders from Dessert by Deb, Adagio, and this holiday tin set from Steven Smith Teamaker. All the things! This is the one I was most excited about, so since I’ve finished all of my advent teas for today, I thought I’d steep up a mug to try. By the way, the tins are gorgeous and such nice quality!

Yum, this is very tasty. The hojicha base is, of course, cozy and comforting with a lovely soft toasty flavor and notes of nuts. The spices are light and not overpowering, and I definitely get cardamom and clove with a bit of ginger. I can actually taste the chocolate, and it’s very natural and goes well with the toastiness of the hojicha.

Tasty, I dig it. I’m very happy that the spices are light enough to let the base tea shine through!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIg9poog7aC/

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cacao, Cardamom, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Courtney

Yay for new teas!

Cameron B.

As if I needed more teas… ;)

Nichole/CuppaGeek

I’m so intrigued by this one. . . .. It sounds amazing!

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82

Sipdown 176-2021

This cup was packed full of rosemary flavor- which makes sense, there seemed to be lots of rosemary dust at the bottom of the bag.

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82

Still working on sipping through this. This last cup was the best yet. I steeped with a bit cooler water temp, and for only 2 minutes. No bitterness at all, and tons of beautiful rosemary flavor.

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82

So much rosemary in this cup! The fresh, herbaceous rosemary flavor is really hitting the spot. I’m really smelling the fruity blackcurrant this time around, but it’s still not reading in the flavor.

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82

This cup is much better than the last. The rosemary is really present, with just a touch of cassia peeking through at the end. Not getting any black currant flavor (which I’m happy about!).

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82

Not sure what went wrong here, but I’m not tasting much of anything apart from the black base. Drank quickly before work, though…definitely need to re-evaluate.

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90

Why are there not more flavored hojichas? This is so tasty-slightly burnt caramel and cinnamon, with a bit of cardamom and ginger in the finish.

Shae

This sounds really good! I don’t know if I like hojicha, but I think I have some blends from 52Teas that I haven’t opened yet. Might have to try one and see if it’s something I’d drink, because I would for sure buy some of this one based on your description if it was a black tea.

Dustin

I feel the same way! I need more flavored hojichas and genmaichas!

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90

New tea! A can’t resist a flavored hojicha, especially not a seasonal one. This does not disappoint. The hojicha is rich and caramelly, and the cloves/cinnamon/cardamom are present but not overwhelming. There’s perhaps a bit of a chocolatey note, but nothing distracting or artificial tasting. So cozy!

Cameron B.

Yay, I have this on the way too! :)

Dustin

That sounds wonderful!

Mastress Alita

Ooo, I love Steven Smith Teamaker and didn’t know they had a seasonal hojicha blend! Thanks!

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80

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80

A pretty good chai. I like the sachet. It is roomy enough to get a good flow. This is a bit blander than some other chai I have. I like a spicy blend and add milk and honey, so I want something that doesn’t get washed out.

Flavors: Cardamom, Ginger, Spices

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 20 OZ / 591 ML

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