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Recent Tasting Notes
2021 sipdown no. 82
I’m not sure what this tea is exactly, but I have a suspicion this isn’t a Taiwanese black? Perhaps it’s mixed with another black tea?
I has an almost cardboard-like taste, but not like that of an oolong. Like an actual liquified cardboard. Hmm.
I was ever so slightly concerned with the vanilla scent, but it’s turned out quite lovely. There’s the subtle hints of vanilla and sweetness, but only just enough to take the edge off the bergamot. This one has a great balance.
I’ll definitely have to do a side-by-side comparison of this and the ECG from Camellia Sinensis.
The tea leaves here are so dark and almost oily. They have a very unique look. This one has a vanilla scent, but it’s more the scent of a rich baked good. Like a vanilla earl grey shortbread or some other extraordinarily rich sweet. This is a fairly mellowed out Earl Grey Cream with hints of red fruits almost? There’s no astringency at all from the Assam base, just a lovely deep base that seems to alter the entire profile of this tea. I almost forget I’m drinking an EGC here. However, the richness and/or vanilla does seem to be upsetting my stomach here, though not with quite the same intensity as a purely vanilla-heavy EGC.
This one is delicious. It smells strongly of a freshly cut grapefruit and just reminds me of the summer. The taste is clearly grapefruit and it’s just mellowed out ever so slightly with the pineapple. The pineapple doesn’t come through much in flavour. I’m looking forward to trying this one chilled.
I was so intrigued to see a Kenyan oolong because I don’t think I’ve ever heard of one?
This one has quite subtle hints of that typical oolong mineral, but it’s giving me vibes like an oolong/Darjeeling mix. There’s a light sweetness and a little bit of drying at the end of the sip as well. I’m actually enjoying it at the moment.
This one is lovely and bold with a clean taste as well and little to no astringency. I enjoy that this one is missing the syrup-y flavour of the English Breakfast. I believe that many Irish breakfast teas have a larger Assam component, so perhaps that’s why I gravitate to these ones (and why Assam Banaspaty from CS gives me breakfast tea vibes).
Bold and clean with little to no astringency. There seems to be hints of a savoury note in the background here as well. These black breakfast teas I’ve been steeping at 200° F rather than boiling and I think it does wonders for lessening the astringency.
Wow, this smells so peach juicy. Like concentrated peach juice, but somehow not cloying. Almost like the Tim Horton’s peach drink I enjoyed as a kid, but not fake.
There is the most subtle hint of astringency that I almost can’t decide if it’s really there. The peach flavour is much lighter in the taste, which is nice because it doesn’t come off artificial (which in my experience, often happens with peach). The apricot is subtle and I think just adds a bit of a boost in the background and helps the peach come off more realistically.
2021 sipdown no. 1
I used the last of this to make milk chai on the stovetop, so this is a sipdown! Just in time for our new Vahdam chai to arrive.
I absolutely love chai and need to drink it more often. This tea today is PERFECTION. I’ve put it back on my wishlist to order again once it’s back in stock.
We add 2 tbsp chai, 2 tbsp coconut sugar, 1.5 cups water, and 1 cup plant milk (almond today).
So this tea is fairly old, we picked it up when we were last in Vancouver, which I want to say was 2016 (that in itself is just sad). However, it’s kept quite well!
I feel like I’ve lost it this evening with all these teas and nothing really hitting the spot, so I turned to chai — which I almost never want haha! When we do make chai, we make it in the pot on the stove with milk.
Tonight I brewed this up like any other tea in a mug and with the kettle. I did add half a teaspoon of simple (coconut) syrup just because.
The spices here are not too in-your-face, but yet very chai-like. They mesh nicely with the background tea. I added such a small amount of simple syrup I’m not really tasting it from what I can tell. I’m actually really loving this right now and I’m thrilled (so much so I’m thinking of ordering more chai as this one is almost gone and I had no plans to replace it)!
Couldn’t tell exactly what this was supposed to be, but it was delicious! I definitely needn’t have put off trying this as long as I did. Definite nutty flavour, and the pu’erh base was earthy but not fishy. There’s supposedly strawberry in here too, but I didn’t really notice it – maybe a general fruitiness. Strawberry is usually pretty distinct, so that’s a bit surprising. The nuttiness here reminds me of the nuttiness in some of Butiki’s teas, actually, which is a very positive association.
Thanks for the delicious sample, OMGsrsly, or whoever passed on a sample from you to me!
This. Steeped short (2 min) and strong (4 tsp per 2 cups) and iced, with orange juice. 4 cups total final volume – add ice and OJ to your preferences!
So good! I think that any vanilla EG style tea would be great iced with OJ. Tastes kind of like an Orange Julius.
If you need it sweeter, add some honey…
Still working on perfecting the steeping time, but enjoying this tea nonetheless.
I’ve always had trouble with Earl Grey and I thought this sounded perfect when the lovely employee at Steam told me it was without bergamot. Yes!
The base is a touch finicky with steeping, but the other floral ingredients compliment it, even when I don’t manage the perfect steeping. I can only imagine how delightful it will be when I do.
For the moment, this is on my desk at work. It was a nice treat at work this afternoon.
Tart, tangy, a little edgy, this is a rich cup. It’s potent! Tasting of wood, leather, malt, tobacco, sour rye. It would best be served with breakfast, but instead I had it with a sweet treat:
2 apples, dices & sautéed in coconut oil, then sprinkled with cardamom (or cinnamon, or both…nutmeg is another option). Add a little vanilla & melt a couple T of coconut butter, or just add a little coconut milk…or other kind of milk…
Meanwhile, dissolve 1 T of gelatin in cold 1/4 water, or some kind of milk.
When the apples are tender & everything seems just right (and the planets are perfectly aligned) stir in the gelatin, stir it around to make sure it is all dissolved, then divide everything between a serving dish or 2 & refrigerate for an hour or 2.
I’m in love with gelatin right now. I bought some frozen peaches today to make a peach & coconut milk one tomorrow. I think I’m gonna make a banana coconut milk pudding in a little while. I just can’t get enough! Perfect with a robust cup of tea!
Thanks to Sil for this tea, and that’s another Sipdown, folks!
PS. I should have drank this yesterday, since it was St. Pat’s!
Mmmmmm I LOVE pear and I don’t hate rooibos – so I was pretty happy to see this in the box from Sil – and I think she got it from OMGsrsly. LOL I just find it so interesting how teas just get passed on and around. This is an amazing community of generous people.
I’m finding this to be more pear than rooibos, but there is some woodiness in the background. I would like this to be a little more tart – it’s pretty sweet, like over ripe pears or maybe canned pears – but tasty none the less.
I’ve spent most of the day napping and snuggling with the cat – I think he really missed me while I was away. He’s being a little cranky, wants to be mad at me but the need for Mommy snuggles seems to be winning. Nice relaxing (recovery) day with some good tea from friends. :))