Field to Cup’s May Adventurer Box

May Adventurer Box by Field to Cup
$34.97USD for 1 Adventurer Box (per month)
$356.69USD for 12 Months ($29.72/mo)

Field to Cup has provided me with the May Adventurer Box for the purposes of writing an honest review.

Use coupon code Onemoresteep20 for 20% off your first order of teas or first month of subscription boxes from Field to Cup!

First Impressions

As always, the Adventurer Box came to me in a brown cardboard box – just stuffed full of tea, steeping bags, and the steeping guide catered towards the teas in the box. The May Adventurer Box consists of 5 teas – two green teas and one each of black, oolong, and pu’erh teas. Each tea came in a sealed, resealable pouch that has a label affixed to the front that details the tea, tasting notes, steeping instructions – as well as a guide to steeping it in the appropriate water temperature if you don’t have a thermometer or variable temperature kettle (my kettle is still my favourite small appliance purchase ever).

The first trio of teas that I tried from the May Adventurer Box were: Silver Sheng 2012 (pu’erh tea), Organic Hibiscus Hint (oolong tea), and Sweet Ceylon (black tea). Silver Sheng 2012 looks like a silver needle (a white tea), which isn’t surprising as it’s an aged raw 2012 silver needle. The leaves still retain their downy feathers, but is slightly darker than a regular silver needle. This aged white silver needle is from the Yunnan Province of China. Organic Hibiscus Hint has some dark brown leaves that have some deep purple colouration, I can spy some hibiscus in the blend and it smells like preserved plums (those that grew up in an Asian household may know the aroma that I’m talking about!). This blend consist of organic oolong and organic hibiscus. Sweet Ceylon has some dark red and brown leaves, with some golden tips throughout. The primarily aroma is a toasted nutty fragrance that is inviting and reminds me of a savoury tea. Sweet Ceylon consists of Sri Lankan black tea (FBOPFEXSP) from the New Vithanakande Tea Estate.

Left to right: Silver Sheng 2012, Organic Hibiscus Hint, Sweet Ceylon.

The last duo of teas I tried were Toasted Breakfast Blend and Hidden Treasure, both green teas. Toasted Breakfast Blend smells like a genmaicha – it has the popped rice/popcorn aroma that I’m familiar with, with a hint of ocean/salt water in the background. I can see the matcha powder coating the tea leaves and popped rice. This tea consists of: sencha green tea, toasted rice, and matcha. Hidden Treasures is a biodynamically grown green tea from Zhejiang, China. It has wiry dark green leaves that have an aroma that I would categorize as being a mix of nutty and sweet. I did have to look up what biodynamic agriculture means and essentially it means that it’s a type of farming practice that helps maintain the nutrients in the soil to keep the land sustainable, and is considered a type of organic farming.

Left to right: Toasted Breakfast Blend, Hidden Treasure.

Preparation

Silver Sheng 2012 is recommended to be steeped in 205°F (96°C) water for 1 minute. I used 200°F (93°C) water for 1 minute.

Organic Hibiscus Hint is recommended to be steeped in 195°F (91°C) water for 4 minutes. I followed the steeping recommendations for the initial steep.

Sweet Ceylon is recommended to be steep in 200°F (93°C) water for 3 minutes. I followed the steeping recommendations for the initial steep.

Toasted Breakfast Blend is recommended to be steeped in 165°F (74°C) water for 2 minutes. I heated my water up to 175°F (79°C) (lowest temperature setting on my Breville IQ Kettle), allowed the water to cool for 3 minutes and then steeped the tea for 2 minutes.

Hidden Treasure is recommended to be steeped in 175°F (79°C) water for 2 minutes. I followed the steeping recommendations for the initial steep.

First Taste

Left to right: Silver Sheng 2012, Organic Hibiscus Hint, Sweet Ceylon.

Silver Sheng 2012 steeps to a light yellow. I found that this pu’erh white tea has a lovely floral grassy and hay notes to it. It’s a smooth cup of tea. The tasting guide suggested that there were chili pepper flavours to it, but I didn’t find that to be the case. However, it is a nice smooth cup of tea and is very easy to drink.

Organic Hibiscus Hint steeps to a lovely orange colour. Surprisingly, there were no plum notes in the steeped tea, compared to the dry leaf. It has a nutty quality to it, and a hint of tartness that I attribute to the addition of the hibiscus in the blend. The hibiscus is not overpowering compared to the oolong base.

Sweet Ceylon has a dark brown colour after steeping. I found it to have a sweet aroma, with a hint of honey sweetness. The strength behind the tea is matched by the astringency from this black tea. Quite a bit of mouth puckering occurred when I drank this, as it reminded me a lot of a breakfast blend.

Left to right: Toasted Breakfast Blend, Hidden Treasure.

Toasted Breakfast Blend has a slightly cloudy yellow-green colour to the dry leaf. There’s a nice toasted rice flavour to it, which couples nicely with the creamy green tea base – I found it to be quite vegetal but no astringency to be noted at all.

Hidden Treasure steeps to a light golden yellow. I found it had a pleasant toasted aroma to it – the flavour is primarily vegetal, it reminds me of the flavour of raw spinach but perhaps a few notches lower in flavour compared to the vegetable.

A Second Cup?

The best resteeping tea in the box is Silver Sheng 2012. I resteeped it four times (adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep) and found that the flavour remained fairly consistent throughout, just a bit weaker with each steep. Organic Hibiscus Hint did fairly well with being resteeped – I resteeped the same leaves twice and found that the oolong became more prominent as the hibiscus fade. Sweet Ceylon did a lovely job with being resteeped (I did two resteeps of the same leaves) – the astringency was still present with each steep, but it lessened over time.

Left to right: Silver Sheng 2012, Organic Hibiscus Hint, Sweet Ceylon.

I attempted a resteep of Toasted Breakfast Blend but I found that the toasted rice flavour just wasn’t as strong as the initial steep, so this is one tea that I would recommend just one steep of. Hidden Treasure did remarkably well with two resteeps of the same leaves, I found that the flavour stayed fairly consistent throughout each steep.

Left to right: Toasted Breakfast Blend, Hidden Treasure.

My Overall Impression

I loved Field to Cup’s May Adventurer Box. I feel like this month’s box is a fantastic combination of teas – especially for those who love the traditional teas. My favourites would have to be Silver Sheng 2012 and Toasted Breakfast Blend. I found that almost all of the teas did well with being resteeped, which just showcases the quality of the tea leaves showing up in the boxes! As always, you can opt to purchase the box as a whole or pick and choose your teas to try via the Field to Cup website (and don’t forget to use the coupon code Onemoresteep20 for 20% off your first tea purchase or first month of a box subscription!)

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Oteas’s Organic Pure Matcha

Organic Pure Matcha by Oteas
Green Tea (Matcha) / Straight
$8.99 for 12g (12 packets)

Oteas has provided me with Organic Pure Matcha for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Organic Pure Matcha comes individually portioned “single serve sticks”, which each contain 1g of matcha. This makes it ideal for the matcha lover on the go since you don’t have to fiddle with spoons and whatnot – although I made this at home so I definitely bothered with the spoons and whatnot.

Organic Pure Matcha consists of 100% organic Japanese green tea leaves in powder form. The packet was easy to open because of the notch at the top of the packaging. It comes out of the packaging easily. The matcha powder has a light grassy aroma and is a nice bright green colour.

As a side note, the packaging says that the tea is handpicked – which is important to note because all the good matcha is. Being mechanically picked means that there’s often sticks/twigs and other unwanted vegetal matter that winds up in the mix.

Preparation

Oteas recommends mixing 1 single serve stick of Organic Pure Matcha with 80-90°C (176-194°F) water and to whisk until it becomes a “smooth, creamy consistency”. I used 85°F (185°C) water and whisked it in my matcha bowl until I got a layer of bubbly foam on top.

First Taste

I found that Organic Pure Matcha becomes a nice dark green when whisked with the water. There a light grassy aroma from the matcha. When I drink it, I note that there are some grassy and vegetal notes – it reminds me a lot of spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables. There is a bit of salty/savoury quality to the matcha that hints to some lovely umami notes.

A Second Cup?

As always, matcha cannot be resteeped.

My Overall Impression

I loved Oteas’s Organic Pure Matcha. I really enjoyed the travel-friendly nature of these pre-portioned ‘serve sticks’ -i it just makes for an easier time making matcha wherever I go. I don’t work in an office setting, so I don’t have a designated desk where I can keep a cup of tea or tea stash at work, so I’ve tucked a packet of matcha into my lunch bag in order to make a quick cup of matcha during my break and it’s just so handy. I really enjoyed the flavour of this straight matcha. If you’re not as big of a fan of the salty qualities of matcha, I would recommend turning it into a latte with a bit of sweetener and milk to help temper the salty notes (and maybe add some ice for a real summer treat!).

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DavidsTea’s Cherry Blossom Matcha

Cherry Blossom Matcha by DavidsTea
Green Tea (Matcha) / Flavoured
$9.98 for 50g

First Impressions

Cherry Blossom Matcha was a tea that my local DavidsTea shop was promoting the day that I went in, so I gave it a sniff and opted to buy a small amount to try at home. Like with previous matcha blends that I have purchased from DavidsTea, this one is also a drink mix with the first ingredient being cane sugar. It is a bit disappointing because there’s so much education and information out there about the obesity epidemic out there regarding how much sugar people are taking in on a regular basis. That said, moderation is key!

Cherry Blossom Matcha comes in a silver foil bag that is resealable. The printed label has the information for the matcha blend – including the description, ingredients, and steeping instructions. The powder itself has a light floral aroma to it, and I can smell the matcha. The description suggests that there’s a cherry flavour but I can’t smell that at all. Cherry Blossom Matcha is a pretty green colour and has a light sparkle to it that comes from the cane sugar. The ingredients for this matcha blend are: cane sugar, matcha green tea, and natural cherry blossom flavouring.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends preparing Cherry Blossom Matcha with 85°C (185°F) water. I opted to sift the powder into my matcha bowl prior to preparing it with my bamboo whisk. If you need some tips for preparing matcha, click here for my Basics of Preparing Matcha article.

First Taste

Cherry Blossom Matcha whisks up very easily, and it was quick to produce a layer of foam on top of the matcha. There’s a sweet, floral aroma from the tea. The first thing I noticed when drinking it is the sweetness. I would say that is very sweet, and the floral notes come in second. There is a touch of grassy flavour from the matcha base, but the sweetness from the cane sugar is the most prominent flavour.

I think Cherry Blossom Matcha would be a great option to have as a matcha latte, as the milk would help cut down on the sweetness.

A Second Cup?

As Cherry Blossom Matcha is a matcha (suspension!), there is no ‘second cup’ with the same powder.

My Overall Impression

I thought that DavidsTea’s Cherry Blossom Matcha was just okay. I’m beginning to think that I need to stop buying the disappointing matcha ‘drink mixes’ (although the Chai Matcha – which is now discontinued – is still a favourite of mine as a latte). I think they did a great job on making sure that the matcha didn’t come across as being too floral or perfumey – I’m not sure why the description suggests “ripe, juicy cherry” for this blend when cherries are not the same thing as cherry blossoms, and cherries are not mentioned in the ingredients list at all. I’ll be finishing off the rest of this small bag as a latte, most likely, to help temper the sweetness of all the sugar in it.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.