TeaMaze

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Recent Tasting Notes

drank Cinnamon Whiskey by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

Just when we laid in supplies for all things winter—fuzzy socks, plenty of cold-weather comfort food, Christmas-y tea…we got a string of 65F sunshiny days that will carry us well past Boxing Day. Mind you, I am not complaining! Just having to rearrange my sipping pattern a little.

Whatever the weather, we gave this one a try…husband loves TeaMaze’s Irish Whiskey flavored black tea and hoped this would be its spicy counterpart. Truthfully, I’m not getting any of the bourbon-y flavor at all, but the cinnamon-clove-orange trio goes well with a rooibos base. It resembles Harney’s Hot Cinnamon Spice, but less sweet, which is OK by me.

ashmanra

I just saw a whiskey flavored black from Harney and a maple black. I want both.

gmathis

Oooh, those sound good! Next time I send an envelope your direction, I’ll tuck in a sample for you, if we don’t snarf it all up.

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drank Classic CTC by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

Second run-through of this CTC…at its hottest, just off the steep, it is strong (I’m sticking with the dark pumpernickel descriptor I used previously) and smooth; as it cools, it starts acting like those stupid alarm clocks that get LOUDER AND LOUDER IF YOU DON’T SHUT THEM OFF. Sharp and brash. Which is OK. sometimes I need brash to get moving in the morning.

Realistically, this would be best toned down with a bit of milk and sugar. Builders’ tea.

Oh…British tea…(rabbit warning)! If you are a historical mystery fan, have you discovered Maisie Dobbs? Spans post WWI to (currently) early WWII and the London blitz. Delicious storytelling. At any rate, I’m reading the blitz installment and it mentioned a wartime tea ration of 2 ounces per person per week. So today’s tea chat topic…how would you manage?

Martin Bednář

55 grams / week. Well, I think it is okay. Could be worse, I think it is manageable. Depends on tea, though.

Roswell Strange

Definitely too little for me – there are 100% days where I have more than that in a day.

ashmanra

I could make it, but in true Orwellian fashion (based on his tea treatise) I would make myself have a day or two with no tea so I could really enjoy a good strong cuppa when I needed it. Also, Orwell said that that pensioners got a larger tea ration than the young, so I wonder how much more?

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drank Classic CTC by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

Our Christmas run to Branson and the Ozarks is steeped in tradition…right down to which booth we occupy at Godfather’s Pizza in Nixa, MO (balcony area, left side in the middle) and precisely which seats we grab at Silver Dollar City’s Courthouse Theater for the “A Christmas Carol” musical (center auditorium, 2/3 of the way back, exactly in front of the sound booth). When Tiny Tim starts to sing, I’m like Pavlov’s dog…it’s the automatic emotional trigger for me to start blubbering. The run was extra misty this year; I’m missing my parents and sister, and when (again, according to tradition) we stopped to smooch in front of the building façade where I met my husband circa 1980, it was GONE. Bulldozed in favor of a water ride. They did not ask my permission.

Sorry, just had to get that out. The tea part’s coming. Day 2 of the tradition involves Christmas shopping at favorite venues, and some of that shopping was embarrassingly self-indulgent at this fun, colorful little tea shop on the strip.

We asked the TeaMaze owner to guide us to her strongest stuff, and this was on her recommended list. It’s a clobber-you-upside-the-jaw Assam CTC. A teaspoon and a four-minute steep was incredibly stout…malty pumpernickel in 10-pound Doc Martens. Second steep at 5:30 was still strong enough for an a.m. tea for most of you, and took milk extremely well. They’re calling for a hard winter in these parts. This will be useful.

ashmanra

How DARE they? I love your traditions! ❤️

mrmopar

Indeed , we have our as well.

gmathis

I did not expect that to hit me like it did.

Michelle Butler Hallett

That sounds really good.

derk

I have no holiday traditions and wish I did. I suppose they’ll come with time now that I’ve rooted and am creating a new home and life. Thanks for sharing <3

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drank House Apple by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

I went overboard. We were in our happy place (the Ozarks) and stopped at our happy place in our happy place (TeaMaze) and, well, I was so happy that I just over-happified and pretty much blew my tea budget until spring.

I was persuaded by the sample that the purveyors had all cozied up in a hot pot. It was fruity and sweet with just a tiny bit of tang in the sip. I just finished my first cup at home and concluded that they must have sugared the sample a bit to up the apple-tude. I’ll have to do that next time. However, even straight up, I think the natural sweetness will make this a good and gentle nightcap.

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drank Coffee by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

Welcome to just over 18 hours in southwest Missouri: 65 degrees F, severe thunderstorms, tornado warnings, flash flooding, areal flooding, winter storm advisories, freezing rain, and sleet/snow that goes “snick” against the window. Weather that goes “snick” isn’t much fun. Temps in the teens anticipated for tonight.

But as it was a great day to stay in, I made a full pot of this lovely, mocha-y, chocolatey pu-erh. The scent is as good as sniffing the liner of a Whitman’s chocolate sampler :)

ashmanra

Oh my! It sounds like a good time for good tea!

Shae

Glad you made it through the storms okay! They came through here this afternoon and were pretty scary for a bit.

gmathis

That’s right…your Tornado Alley season is January/February, isn’t it?

Shae

We have spring and fall tornado seasons, but the worst of it for us is usually around April.

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drank Coffee by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

I am loving this one. Rich coffee, pu-erh, and chocolate, without the buzz that requires my coworkers to pull me down from the building flagpole. It second steeps beautifully in my little Adagio ToasTea thermos.

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drank Coffee by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

One of the chief reasons I choose tea over coffee is that the civilized nudge of morning tea is much kinder than the jolt of morning coffee. With that said, strong coffee scent makes me melt into a happy sensory puddle. I think we’ve landed on a beautiful friendship here with this pu-erh-coffee bean blend. Just enough bean and flavor to add aroma and personality to a very good tea base. The pu-erh is gentle and sweet, and there’s a little creaminess going on here, even without milk. I wish I could attach the smell to this note. You’d love it, too.

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drank Scottish Breakfast by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

Continuing to enjoy this one—it’s not often you can find a plain black morning tea that can give you two good unleaded, caffeinated steeps. Just a tiny bite to it, but this morning I need bit. (Prepping to teach my high octane 10 and 11 year olds.) If you don’t need teeth in yours, this is great with milk.

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drank Scottish Breakfast by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

I didn’t add a picture, because the photo on the TeaMaze website looks like a full-leaf tea, and the contents of my package are little nubblins and granules, like my old faithful PG Tips.

Which is the best comparison I can provide for this strong breakfast tea. The fresh cup was deep ebony, and at first, I thought it was milder and gentler in flavor than the usual British builders’ tea. However, it strengthens as it sits, and now that it has cooled, it’s downright sharp and puckery. Not for the faint of heart.

I anticipate a perfectly acceptable second steep, and next time around, I believe this one will welcome a splash of millk.

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drank Chocolate Orange by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

Merry Thanksgiving! Normally, I am a stickler about keeping holidays distinct and separate, but we’re making a mashed-up exception today; toodling around in jammies and putting up a tree … after all, December is essentially upon us. How did that happen?

It’s raw and rainy outside, so something a little festive is in order. Not much new to say about this Chocolate Orange blend, other than that the flavors are spot on with no artificiality or chemical-osity.

Lots of blessings to count today: faith and family memories, friends I’ve met, and those I haven’t (that would be you all). Hope you find a few moments today to ponder on what matters most.

tea-sipper

Merry Thanksgiving :D

mrmopar

Thanks gmathis. Lots of blessings your way too!

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drank Chocolate Orange by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

They are easier to find around Christmas, but one of our favorite indulgent candies are little orange jelly sticks dipped in chocolate. This is the tea equivalent. The orange peels in the dry mix are sweet and pithy, not bitter, and it tastes as good as it smells, even without sweetening. Second steeps well, too—this morning, I tossed in a little no-brand looseleaf Ceylon to strengthen it back up, and it was still pretty delicious.

ashmanra

I don’t know if I have ever seen orange jelly sticks dipped in chocolate. I will keep an eye out at World Market. Sounds like something they might have.

Mastress Alita

I don’t have Trader Joe’s locally, but found those at a Trader Joe’s on vacation once. They were marvelous.

gmathis

I’ll have to ask hubby what the brand is … we always get some for his mom at Christmas, and I think he ended up ordering the last batch online.

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drank Chocolate Orange by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

This is another selection from my new favorite little purveyor in southwest Missouri. It is precisely what the package says: a classy blend of rich chocolate and tangy orange. Extra points for the orange not being tart or bitter; extra extra points for the chocolate being strong and not watery.

I tried a little milk in mine this morning; didn’t ruin it, but this is best straight up and strong.

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drank Irish Whiskey by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

This is not normally a breakfast standard for me, but after a weary week on the road with nothing but bagged stuff, after I slept off the jet lag, this is what I woke up craving. Rich and chocolatey with a wonderfully cockeyed bourbon whang. I savored two large pottery mugs full while I watched yellow leaves turn our back yard into a shag rug.

ashmanra

Sounds like a happy morning to me!

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drank Irish Whiskey by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

Happy 4th! We’ve been enjoying the freedom to fritter and putter and do things all out of order…a rare and lovely opportunity.

And since the theme of the day has been “unconventional,” I decided to see what happened if you cold steep this nifty blend from TeaMaze. After a hot cup this morning (there were about three minutes after I got up before it got hot and muggy), I steeped the stuffin’ out of the leftover leaves in a pint jar.

Chilled it all day, and I’m now enjoying a happy little tumbler that reminds me of chocolate root beer. Goes great with burgers and brownies.

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drank Irish Whiskey by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

This one grabbed my hubby with its aroma alone, and a full tin made its way home with us. First steep is thick and creamy, chocolatey and bourbon. Second steep was thinner but still very nicely flavorful (I controlled myself and used a smaller cup this time.)

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Isn’t “tippy” just a happy word? It is, when applied to this particular Vietnamese orange pekoe tea—another discovery at the little TeaMaze shop last weekend.

My favorite black teas are those that prompt taste memories of dark, yeasty, wheaty bread. This one reminds me more of light biscuits or sweet cornbread with honey.

One teaspoon to 8 ounces of water yielded one very rich cup and one medium-bodied cup. Then I got stupid and tried a third steep in a 12-ounce tumbler (I’m terrible about underleafing), which resulted in what my son calls “water with aftertaste.” Lesson learned. Again.

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drank Pine Forest by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

You know you’re at my house a week before kids’ VBS when:
a) There’s a laundry basket in the middle of the living room filled with beach balls, plastic iguanas, dollar-shop hula skirts and a six-foot stuffed alligator.
b) You hear me muttering things under my breath like, “I can’t find my good duck lips!” or “I have GOT to glue that frog back together.”
c) I engage my husband in a complicated engineering conversation as to whether one can stick miniature marshmallows onto a hippo’s mouth with adhesive putty.
d) I lose the same 18 by 24 inch leader pack (with things that are absolutely essential to my teaching plans) four times within 15 minutes in three different rooms.

In mild panic, I have collapsed in my glider with a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar in one hand and a cold pint jar of Pine Forest in the other.

This is one of the most unusual herbal blends I’ve ever tried: blackberry, pine nuts, and some other fruity thing going on in the background (the label doesn’t tell you much). The pine is more prominent chilled than hot, but there’s still enough fruit to keep it from tasting like floor cleaner. I’m thinking it might be tasty with a little extra fruit juice added—raspberry, maybe?

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drank Pine Forest by TeaMaze
2148 tasting notes

Either you love Branson or you don’t…a two-mile carnival of touristy, kitschy shows and shops plunked down in the middle of the Ozark Mountains. Usually we go for the mountains and nostalgia—my husband and I met there. This time around, we put on our “tacky” and hit the strip. But in one of the little glitzy shopping centers is a gem of a tea shop called TeaMaze: quality loose leaf tea, both unflavored and creatively flavored, and a extremely knowledgeable owner who is a delight to tea chat with. (teamazeshop.com)

So I went a little overboard…and with the help of my beloved enabler, came home with more than intended, including this unusual and delightful herbal blend. It leads with deliciously sweet blackberry flavor with pine—yes, you heard me correctly—as a crazy good counterpoint. It does not taste like disinfectant. It tastes like pine and berries, or more poetically, like summer in the mountains.

Overboard, incidentally, was the theme of our little date-cation. We did the “Titanic” museum and attraction; the exterior is an approximate half-sized model of the real thing. As you check in, you’re provided with a boarding pass with the persona of a real passenger; at the end of the tour, you discover how your namesake fared. I am pleased to announce that both my hubby (a widowed farmer traveling in second class) and I (ladies’ maid to one of the socialites aboard) survived.

ashmanra

Hooray! I am glad you got to get away together! It sounds like you had a good trip! And +1 Branson for having a good tea shop!

Kittenna

There aren’t too many pine teas around – this one sounds interesting! Did you pick up any other unusual teas there?

Sounds like a fun date-cation! I feel like I need to have one of those sometime soon…

Martin Bednář

Interesting tea and interesting museum and…
interesting trip. Have a good time together!

gmathis

Kittenna, yes—this little TeaMaze shop has blends and varieties I have not seen elsewhere, as well as more traditional stuff. (Further reviews to follow.) It is, of course, tourist priced, but my initial sips have been happy ones. There was a jasmine purple tea that I didn’t bring home, but looked interesting; as well, the owner was very excited because she had been to a tea expo in Vegas and managed to speak for a kilo of yellow tea—on the way to her soon. There is a webstore, if you’re interested in a browse.

Sil

how fun!

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