Bellocq Tea Atelier

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Recent Tasting Notes

Thanks to Cameron for sending this one along!

I was surprised to see a rose petal in this mix, but perhaps one won’t have too much of an effect…

The steeped scent is really lovely – like a freshly baked holiday baked good.

Hmm. The good news is that I don’t really get any floral from the rose petal. The base mixes well with the flavours, but it may be just a touch clove and anise-heavy and that covers some other flavours that may have had a chance to balance the blend. The tea overall seems quite thick and malty. It is reminiscent of a baked good with just a bit too much spice.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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94

Fantastic blend of green tea and floral scents. I feel lifted up and sophisticated. Some caffeine

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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68

This has a strong base that is a bit astringent and smoky. I found there was an Earthy/lightly roasty flavour (kukicha). I did see in the loose leaf there were juniper berries and cedar tips, but I did not taste anything piney or resiny. I was really hoping to taste that cedar. It ended up being a generic black tea made slightly interesting by the kukicha.

Flavors: Astringent, Earth, Roasted, Smoke, Tannic

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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85

Thank you, Cameron, I had this last night. I finished all your samples except one (the peppermint cream) and enjoyed them all so much!

Interesting and yummy tea. Unfortunately, I accidentally threw out the tea after the first infusion. Doh. I was cleaning out my other gaiwan and went on cleaning autopilot. At least I got to drink the first infusion. I do not know what juniper or cedar tastes like but whatever all the flavors in this tea, it was tasty and different. It was sweet, had honey, smoke, malts notes with a nice roasted-toasted comforting flavor. I enjoyed it so much. Thank you again, Cameron B.!

Flavors: Honey, Malt, Roasted, Smoke, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C
Sil

Love this one

Kawaii433

I’m glad that I got to try it, Sil. :)

ashmanra

This is one I have been wanting to try for a while. It is intriguing, but I have so much tea I really shouldn’t buy anything just yet! Maybe soon!

CrowKettle

The over-keen tea clean has struck many of us! I remember liking this one quite a bit too! I’ll have to pick up more someday; too bad Bellocq is so expensive!

Kawaii433

@ashmanra I feel that way about so many teas (i.e. that I shouldn’t buy anything yet.) lol.
@CrowKettle I didn’t know they are expensive, I am happy Cameron B. shared it then! :)

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79

Thank you Cameron B. :D for today’s daily sipper choice.

At first, I was apprehensive trying this tea. I only like mint if it’s mild… This is subtle and it’s well balanced with the other ingredients. It’s creamy, slightly minty, with a spearmint taste more than peppermint, only because it has a less cooling effect and because of that, it melds really well with the other ingredients so one ingredient isn’t standing out. It’s not strong like Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum (thank goodness). I also feel and taste a little spice, like black pepper or something which really makes it interesting. It’s slightly sweet, I can’t really taste the vanilla. It was a nice surprise.

Flavors: Anise, Creamy, Mint, Pepper, Smooth, Spearmint

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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82

Sipdown! 29/365

Ahahahaha, sounds like this was originally from Crowkettle, and came to me via Sil, so thanks to you both! It’s marked “Floral Death”, which I think is hilarious. (I recall being apprehensive when I saw it in my bag the first time, but my flavour preferences have shifted a bit since then.) The tea contained rose petals, which worried me, but to my absolute delight, it appears to be much more heavily lavender/jasmine/not rose (I don’t like rose). So this one-cup sample was very much enjoyed by me, as lavender teas seem to have a calming effect on me, and I could use some calming. Haha. The white base was excellent here, with the florals; I would just prefer the tea to be even more heavy on the lavender.

Sil

Hahahahaha I remember that :)

Kittenna

Yeah. Definitely not your cup of tea, haha.

ashmanra

Ha! I love this tea, but yeh, if you are not into floral, you are going to HATE this one. I mix it with plain white for a friend who is just meh about floral.

CrowKettle

Wow! What a flashback :) This tea has gotten around and is doing surprisingly well considering when I bought it (four years ago now!?).

I agree on the lavender.

Kittenna

It was a treat! :D

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80

Home – 7:30 PM

Another (highly overpriced) blend from Bellocq.

This is quite good though. The base tea is thick, malty, and bready. I was surprised to learn that it’s a Darjeeling. The spicing is nice, and it complements the base tea as opposed to lying on top of it. I would guess a combination of clove, cardamom, and fennel or anise. There’s a very subtle floral note, I’m not sure I would know that it’s rose. I don’t really get any vanilla, but it could be the age of the tea.

Tasty, but definitely not worth the price!

Flavors: Anise, Baked Bread, Cardamom, Clove, Fennel, Floral, Malt, Smooth, Thick

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

Good to know. I have been looking at their site trying to pick something new to try. I am intrigued by National Parks, and I looked at this one but I am a bit tired of Christmas bkends that are orange, clove, and cinnamon. I have enjoyed the cherry and almond or vanilla Christmas teas I have tried. Orange without cinnamon and clove appeals to me, also. I love their Ashmanra Afternoon for when I want something caffeine free, and while it is expensive, at least it is all supposed to be organic and ethically sourced,

Cameron B.

Rofl “Ashmanra Afternoon”, I love that. :P

The blends I’ve most enjoyed from Bellocq are National Parks Dept. and The White Wolf.

ashmanra

I guess autocorrect changed it! It is actually Ashram Afternoon! Ha ha! But Ashmanra Afternoon works, too,

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95

My second-oldest tea, from December of 2016!

I love this one, and it’ll definitely go straight onto the reorder list when I finish it off. Such a lovely combination of malty black tea, toasty and subtly smoky hoji-kukicha, and softly evergreen cedar tips. I’m also getting a touch of dark fruitiness this time, I assume from the juniper. There are also some gentle honey notes.

Sorry for neglecting you, poor delicious tea! I’m thankful to be sipping on this while it still has plenty of flavor left, even though it’s four years old.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJUfF9cgEau/

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Berry, Honey, Malt, Pine, Roasted, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Wood

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

I am interested in trying this if in the future you’d like to split an order. This and I think it’s White Wolf? And maybe Gypsy Caravan.

amandastory516

This sounds delicious!

Mastress Alita

I’d split this with you any day, Derk. I have a serious lack of piney tea.

Cameron B.

Of course, always happy to split things! :)

Tiffany :)

I’d love to try this one as well!!

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95

Pulled this one out today after seeing a note from amandastory516 for a similar tea. I admit to not having the highest of hopes, due to this being somewhat old, though it turns out it’s only two years old which I wouldn’t consider to be that bad…

This tea always makes me chuckle a little bit when I’m scooping it into the steeping basket, because it literally looks like I picked up whatever was on the forest floor and put it into my cup. There are giant cedar tips and big twigs, along with juniper berries. The black tea seems a small volume by comparison, so I used more tea than I generally would for my 12-ounce mug.

I am so happily surprised to find that this still has plenty of flavor left, and a very pleasing woodsy flavor at that. The base tea is a little bit astringent, and I think it’s likely an Assam based on the flavor profile. But mostly here it provides body and a nice base for the added ingredients. I get the light roasty autumn leaf note from the twig kukicha. The cedar tips have such a nice evergreen flavor, but also a light aromatic woody note like one would expect from cedar or sandalwood. I’m not sure whether I get juniper? It’s hard to say since it has a bit of a piney flavor to it as well. There’s a lovely cooling sensation as I exhale.

So happy this is still viable, especially given the price… But honestly I would order it again because it’s such a unique tea. And it’s perfect for autumn and winter with its lovely, slightly toasty woodsy notes! This is one of the few teas that really takes me away to a different place as I sip.

Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Earth, Forest Floor, Malt, Mineral, Pine, Resin, Roasted, Tannic, Tobacco, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Courtney

This one sounds super interesting! And no smoke! Yay!

Cameron B.

I don’t get smoke, but some others did report it, so no promises. ;)

Courtney

Even so, adding it to the wishlist for now!

Cameron B.

I’ll be sure to send you some so you can do a “smoke test”… (har har har)

Courtney

Hahah! I find smoke in teas that nobody else does. Sometimes I think my body manufactures it somehow XD.

ashmanra

This one has long intrigued me. I will probably try it someday. Bellocq prices aren’t TOO bad unless you get the tin!

Cameron B.

@ashmanra – I don’t mind sharing the wealth! At $9 per ounce, I think of it as being Whispering Pines equivalent in terms of price.

Martin Bednář

It jumped to my wishlist as well. I wish having some Czech vendors doing those “crazy” blends. Maybe I shall pick up my dream of owning a tea house again? Haha!

ashmanra

Cameron – Oof! That is a bit steep, isn’t it? I guess I have some of the cheaper ones from Bellocq, or just didn’t remember the price. I got some as a Christmas gift two years ago, too, so I really don’t know how much those were.

I have purchased a few things like the Sanctuary Candle, the brass strainer basket…I love those. I do always wait for a really good coupon! Almost Black Friday!

I would love a sample sometime but no rush! Stay safe!

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95

Home – 5:00 PM

This is a beautiful tea – big pieces of cedar, twigs, juniper berries, and pretty blue cornflowers mixed in with black tea leaves. It really does look like the forest floor.

It tastes like the forest floor too, in the best possible way. The black tea here is strong and malty, and a bit brisk. There’s also a nice roasted flavor, I’m not sure whether that’s coming from the cedar or the stems. I’m not sure that I can taste juniper, but the cedar is a nice accompaniment.

I will say I’m surprised at how astringent this came out, especially since it’s not bitter. I wonder if the astringency is coming from something other than the tea itself?

Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Cedar, Forest Floor, Malt, Roasted, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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72

Work – 2:00 PM

Bellocq is one of those websites that pulls you in with its lovely photography and carefully curated collection of blends. I’m not sure that any of their teas are really that great (and a lot of them have rose and/or lavender, which are both no-nos for me). Although to be fair, I do really enjoy their National Parks Dept. and White Wolf teas, and they are somewhat unique blends. But their teas are also quite expensive.

This one is a fairly standard Moroccan Mint blend – gunpowder green tea with mint. Supposedly there is citrus essence here as well, though I’m not sure I pick up on that. The gunpowder green tea is earthy and a bit smoky, with a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste. The mint tastes to me like a combination of peppermint and spearmint? I get the herbaceous, almost musky taste of dried peppermint through most of the sip. Then at the end, I get a hit of chewing-gum-like spearmint. Or maybe I’m just imagining it!

It’s tasty enough but certainly not worth the premium price. And next time I may ignore their directions and steep this at 175° to reduce the bitterness.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Earth, Peppermint, Smoke, Spearmint

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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85

Sipdown! (40 | 170)

Another of my oldest teas done! So nice to finish these off, and this was my only remaining tea from 2016, so now everything is from 2017 or later (lol, as if that’s saying something…).

I don’t think this one has held up quite as well as National Parks Dept. The anise in particular is quite muted, more so than I think it was originally.

But this is still a very pleasant cuppa – light and fluffy as a cloud with a touch of creamy vanilla and gently refreshing spearmint and evergreen notes. The bai mudan base is perfect, equally soft and airy with a mellow hay and oats flavor.

Yummy. Another one that I would consider reordering from Bellocq in the future!

Flavors: Creamy, Evergreen, Grain, Hay, Mint, Oats, Smooth, Spearmint, Thick, Vanilla

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Shae

White teas to me always taste like lukewarm water, but you make this one sound so nice. I wish I could figure out the secret to loving white teas – these flavors sound lovely together.

Cameron B.

It can definitely be light in flavor! I usually overleaf white teas a bit as well, compared to other types.

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85

This is another one from my oldest teas sipdown box! It’s also from December 2016. (gulp) I’m new to this way of prioritizing sipdowns, and honestly it’s so nice that these first few are teas that I really like and just didn’t drink often enough. It feels meant to be! :3

Anyway, I really like this one. It’s a very light tea, and I’m sure its age hasn’t done any favors to the strength of flavor here, but it’s so relaxing and yummy. The white tea is perfectly soft, airy, and creamy with tasty oat, grain, and hay notes. I’m not sure if I’m tasting the vanilla or if it’s just the creaminess of the base. The mint and cedar are both here, but subtle enough that they just add a touch of crisp and cool menthol and evergreen flavor. I think I can taste a hint of anise, but I’m not sure whether I got any in my scoop. Next time I’ll pay closer attention to make sure I’m getting all of the ingredients.

I still love this one. The medley of soft and slightly sweet flavors combined with a thick and silky mouthfeel make this such a lovely evening tea. I’ll have to add Bellocq to the list of places to order from in the future, I’ve only tried a few of their teas and they’ve been so unique and delicious.

Flavors: Anise, Creamy, Grain, Hay, Mint, Oats, Pine, Smooth, Spearmint, Sweet, Thick, Wood

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Tiffany :)

Hmm, this tasting note popped up on my steepster dashboard and I think I have this tea from fall 2019 trip to Toronto? Since I’ve been buying tea since 2016 it will be awhile before I get to the teas from that trip. But makes me eager when I get there.

tea-sipper

Yep, was doing some sipdown organizing today, inspired by you, Cameron. :D

Cameron B.

Awwww! VariaTEA is the one to thank! :D

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85

Home – 4:00 PM

Ahhhh, relaxing on the couch with a nice afternoon tea… What a lovely end to the weekend. ❤

I think I may have underleafed this a bit (I was afraid of overleafing), but it’s still perfectly nice. The base tea is smooth and creamy with classic soft hay notes. The mint and anise are a lovely pairing, adding sweetness and light mint notes with a bit of spice around the edges. As for the mint – there are the both fresher, crisper notes suggesting spearmint, and the more herbaceous tones characteristic of peppermint. There is a bright, refreshing mint aftertaste that lingers for a moment on the tongue.

This is a light and subtle tea, suitable for quiet contemplation in the afternoon.

Flavors: Anise, Creamy, Hay, Peppermint, Round , Spearmint, Sweet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80

My new breakfast tea. Easy drinking. Not astringent or grassy. Unlike most teas – which I only like piping hot – this is delicious as it cools. Refreshing.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I am seriously eating my words about this tea. Well, changing my mind. I had ordered it because ONE PERSON described it as floral somewhere. The company doesn’t describe it that way, and the ingredients wouldn’t lead you to believe it is. But I love me some floral tea and wanted something I could drink late at night.

The first time I reviewed this I remarked that it is good tea but not what I had hoped. Now I really like it. It is sweet, it is good hot, and it is really super poured over ice even with no sugar added. I like tulsi and anise and cardamom and the rose really adds sweetness. Not rose flavor, just sweetness. Dang it, this stuff is expensive but I think I may have to keep it around.

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I bought this because I needed a caffeine free tea that would also help with stress. I hoped it would taste floral to me like it did to another reviewer, because I used to add lavender to plain Tulsi and enjoyed it that way.

I am disappointed to say that this tea tastes exactly like the description from the company says. I get very little floral taste and lots of spice. It could be my mix came out a little different and I got more spices than flowers. Cardamom and anise rule the day here with the savory Tulsi. It isn’t bad, it is just what Bellocq intended to make but it isn’t what I was hoping. I may try adding some of my lavender or purchase Teavivre’s rosebuds and see if that brings this into line with what I was looking for.

If you are looking for Tulsi with exotic Indian spice, you’ll dig it.

ETA: youngest tried it and loved it.

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This was a nice morning cup. I did overleaf a bit, but it was a little heavy on the Ceylon for my taste. At last, I feel like I’ve made progress in my palate development when I can identify a note that I do or do not care for by region :) I am hit or miss when it comes to Ceylons, admittedly heavier on the miss side. I haven’t found many that are anything that really stands out to me with the exception of silver tips and Amba estate Ceylon. This was nice to try, thanks, Sil! Bellocq has such a lovely website… makes me want to buy a lot of tea… :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Sil

Same here as far as Ceylons go!

ashmanra

I only like low grown. High grown are too astringent and citrusy for me!

Nicole

I believe Amba is high grown. What I notice most out of it is eucalyptus – which could translate to citrusy. It is Uva climate which is odd, because I don’t much care for Uva ceylons.

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This is FANTASTIC!!! Deep dark chocolate, malt, some starch. This is exactly what I love in a black tea. Perfect….
Thank you Sil for sharing.

Sil

Woot! Yay for finding a happy tea

Evol Ving Ness

Ok, you can come back now, Dexter. :)

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This is really interesting. Sort of like an aged white. It’s not floral, it’s not hay, it’s not grassy – it’s sweet, it’s a bit corn, it’s a bit apricot, maybe just a touch of honey.
The leaves (sticks) are beautiful, such a strange looking tea.
This is why we keep trying all the tea. I would never have run into this one if Sil hadn’t sent me a sample – thank you. You never know what fun and interesting things are out there, so we keep trying – and this was definitely worth trying.

Sil

stick tea! haha

Sil

i pretty much just bought it for the look of it…because why not?

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95

This is one of my all time favorite black teas! Ingredients include ceylon black tea, org. chamomile, org. poppy flowers, org. lavender, org. cornflowers, natural flavorings. I steep with 1 & 1/2 tsp per cup, 195 degrees, and for the minimum of 4 minutes. And I too will re-steep 2×. I like my tea light, you may prefer 2 tsp per cup and/or up to 6 minute steeping time. It is a bright, delicately aromatic tea which satisfies on so many different levels. I always feel like I’m getting away with something, it’s that special for me.

Flavors: Floral

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’m quite liking this one tonight. It’s pretty light and fruity, but has some malt and depth to it. I know I know – I write all the time that I don’t like the lighter fruitier blacks. This one is deeper though, has more going on than just fruit and top notes. More interesting. Dunno I like it.
Thanks Sil for sharing.

Evol Ving Ness

Hahahaa, I love it when our tastes are proven wrong and we discover that yes, yes, we actually do like what we’ve claimed repeatedly is not for us.

Sil

Glad to Share a few of those, even just so you can cross them off your lists

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82

Starting my morning off with this blend. Still not a huge fan of black breakfast blends but this still has some enjoyable notes. Oddly enough the leather notes didn’t fully emerge until I started eating my waffle. Perhaps its the malt notes I’m just not a fan of. Even so it has some nice woodsy quality. The dry leaf has almost a smoky smell like a Lapsang with slight sour cherry notes.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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45

sample from crowkettle this one was just…not tasty. Not for the reasons i expected (ie the rose) but because of the weird spice combination. this is just not for me..kinda tastes like licking christmas potpourri…without the flowers? i dunno. very much not for me

CrowKettle

Yeah, this one is not good. I don’t know what to do with it- pretty sure no one is going to like it. Maybe it needs to be my office/school/commute tea.

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