Field to Cup’s April Adventurer Box

April 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 April Adventurer Box for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

It’s always a fun treat to open up the Adventurer Box from Field to Cup. As always, Field to Cup offers a variety of boxes (from traditional teas in the Adventurer option to seasonal blends in the Explorer option). The April Adventurer Box features five teas – four black teas and one white tea. Each tea comes in a sealed (and resealable) foil pouch with a label that has information regarding tasting notes, steeping instructions, and ingredients.

From left to right: Organic Nilgiri Highlands, Golden Jin Luo, and Chai Bazaar.

The first three teas I tried were all black teas. Organic Nilgiri Highlands is a black tea from Indian. This straight tea from the Thiashola Estate in the Nilgiris District of India has a lot of dark reddish-brown leaf pieces. There’s a light citrus aroma from the leaves. The tasting notes provided by Field to Cup suggest curry notes, but I don’t really smell those in the dry leaf. Golden Jin Luo is a black tea from China, specifically the Guanxi Province. This tea has some beautiful leaves – the dry leaves are twisted into spirals, with plenty of light golden orange tips as well as some dark brown portions to the leaves. The aroma of the leaves reminds me a lot of yeast (for those that bake, you know what I’m talking about) and slightly malty, like an assam. Chai Bazaar has a gorgeous aroma. I instantly smelled the cardamom and ginger and it’s just so inviting. It smells a lot like other chais that I’ve had before, but there’s just something curious about it – most other chai blends I’ve had before have had cinnamon, which this blend lacks. Chai Bazaar consists of: black tea, rooibos, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and saffron. Luckily I don’t smell the rooibos in the blend.

From left to right: Organic Nilgiri Highlands, Golden Jin Luo, and Chai Bazaar.

From left to right: Organic Water Sprite and Pure Gold.

The second two teas that I tried were the Organic Water Sprite (white tea) and Pure Gold (black tea). Organic Water Sprite has a light floral aroma to it. Despite the bag being larger than the other tea pouches, it contained a similar weight of tea (20g) – making it a considerably more airy tea. This straight white tea is from the Fujian Province of China, it has some downy feathery leaves in it. Visually, it almost reminds me a of a blend of silver needle and white peony (which are both excellent types of white tea). Pure Gold has some lovely wiry, golden leaves that have some feathery features to it that remind me of a golden silver needle. There’s a sweet, fruity aroma to the dry leaf that reminds me a lot of lychee fruit. This black tea is from the Guangxi Province of China.

From left to right: Organic Water Sprite and Pure Gold.

Preparation

Organic Nilgiri Highlands is recommended to steep in 205°F (96°C) water for 3 minutes. My initial steep was in 200°F (93°C) water for 3 minutes.

Golden Jin Luo is recommended to steep in 205°F (96°C) water for 4 minutes. My initial steep was in 200°F (93°C) water for 4 minutes.

Chai Bazaar is recommended to steep in 205°F (96°C) water for 3 minutes. My initial steep was in 200°F (93°C) water for 3 minutes.

Organic Water Sprite is recommended to steep in 180°F (82°C) water for 2 minutes. My initial steep was in 175°F (79°C) water for 2 minutes.

Chai Bazaar is recommended to steep in 195°F (90°C) water for 3 minutes. My initial steep was in 195°F (90°C) water for 3 minutes.

First Taste

From left to right: Organic Nilgiri Highlands, Golden Jin Luo, and Chai Bazaar.

Organic Nilgiri Highlands steeps to a light orange. There’s a noticeable citrus aroma that reminds me a lot of oranges. There is a light spicy note at the end of each sip, which I thought was really pleasant. I think that’s what Field to Cup is referencing in terms of the curry notes.

Golden Jin Luo has a nice orange brown colour after it steeps. There is still a malty aroma to it. I found it tasted lovely though, there was a nice strength behind it – although it wasn’t as strong as an assam is, with a nice lingering taste to it. It feels like it would be a higher caffeinated tea, almost like a breakfast tea, but without the potential bitterness.

Chai Bazaar has a dark brown colour to it. I found it has an inviting aroma to it – I found that I could taste the ginger, cardamom, and saffron. I found this chai blend to be both spicy and sweet – the cloves are a bit strong for me, I found. If you find the cloves to be a bit strong, adding a little bit of milk to it would help temper the flavour of the cloves (and perhaps you could have a chai latte).

From left to right: Organic Water Sprite and Pure Gold.

Organic Water Sprite steeps to a pale yellow colour. I found that it has a beautiful floral aroma – the flavour of the white tea is a pleasant sweetness with a smooth floral flavour that is present from start to finish. It has a light buttery quality to it that I found delightful as the sweetness lingers as an aftertaste.

Pure Gold steeps to a golden orange colour. I found the tea to be sweet, and I would agree with Field to Cup’s tasting notes that it tastes like molasses and fruit, as I get a flavour that reminds me a lot of brown sugar as well as lychee fruit and apricots. It’s quite pleasant and I found it to have a very pleasant mouthfeel.

A Second Cup?

As always with my resteeps, I add an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent resteep and keep the water temperature the same as the initial steep (I use a variable temperature water kettle – Breville’s IQ Kettle).

From left to right: Organic Nilgiri Highlands, Golden Jin Luo, and Chai Bazaar.

I resteeped both Organic Nilgiri Highlands and Golden Jin Luo three times, I found the flavour to be pleasant and quite similar to the initial steep for the first two resteeps. They were both considerably weaker by the third resteep, so I could recommend an additional two resteeps for those teas. Chai Bazaar did decently well for the first resteep, and poorly for the second so I would say that this chai blend is good for just one more steep.

From left to right: Organic Water Sprite and Pure Gold.

For Organic Water Sprite, I resteeped the same tea leaves a total of seven times. I found that the flavour stayed consistent and deepened for the first three resteeps, while it slowly lessened with each steep after that. It did a fantastic job with being resteeped. Pure Golden was good for resteeping as well, I managed to resteep a total of four times before I thought it was getting too weak in flavour to have again.

My Overall Impression

I loved Field to Cup’s April Adventurer Box. I really enjoyed trying each of the teas and I found that they were all of good quality. If you’re looking for some delicious black teas to try, this month’s box really fits the bill. Almost all of the teas can handle being resteeped more than once – which shows the quality of the leaves (and the box as a whole!). My favourites from this month’s box are Organic Water Sprite, Pure Gold, and Golden Jin Luo. If you ever decide that you just want to try one of the teas out of a box, you can purchase the teas à la carte from Field to Cup.

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

Field to Cup’s February Adventurer Box

February 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 February Adventurer Box for the purposes of providing 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

I was very happy when Field to Cup reached out to me about trying their monthly subscription boxes. Field to Cup offers one-off or multi-month subscriptions (3, 6, and 12 months). The options are called Adventurer, Discoverer and Explorer. Discoverer and Explorer both have options of black or low-caffeine teas, while Adventurer is geared towards tea drinkers who enjoy straight teas, while also including some seasonal teas specifically chosen for each month. I opted to try the Adventurer box because I greatly enjoy straight teas.

The inside of the cardboard box has a sticker that has some tips for making tea, as well as a handwritten note to me! Included as a card about the Adventurer box (4 teas each month, with 2 being premium/rare teas and seasonal teas included) from Haim and Shirley, who are the co-founders of Field to Cup. Also included is the steeping guide, which includes information for each tea in regards to how to steep each one, and tips on how to gauge water temperature if you don’t have a variable temperature kettle or thermometer. The February Adventurer box includes a bonus fifth tea, which is fitting for the season.

The teas in the February Adventurer box are: Blackened Heart (black tea), Hand-Rolled Delight (white tea), Mexican Hot Chocolate (black tea and rooibos blend), Organic Assam-azing (black tea), and Organic Darj-Oolong (oolong tea). Each tea came in a sealed, resealable foil bag with a clear label on the front that includes details of tasting notes, ingredients, steeping instructions. Also included was a rolled stack of paper steeping pouches in the box.

Blackened Heart is in a compressed, heart-shaped tea and the 10g bag had 3 hearts. The aroma is primarily that of roses. This tea consists of dark tea (fermented black tea), and rose petals. I’m most curious about how this one will look steeped when the heart opens up. Hand-Rolled Delight is a hand-rolled white tea from Africa. I found the leaves to be wiry, and almost feels like it’s been loosely rolled and twisted together. There’s a mild vegetal aroma, and slightly smokey in a way. Mexican Hot Chocolate is described as being a spicy blend, when I opened the bag I smell apples and cinnamon. This black and rooibos blend consists of: organic rooibos, organic black tea, apple, organic cacao beans, organic cardamom, organic cinnamon, organic clove, organic black pepper, organic chili flakes, organic ginger, organic peppermint, chocolate bits, natural cream flavouring and natural vanilla flavouring.

From left to right: Blackened Heart, Hand-Rolled Delight, Mexican Hot Chocolate.

Organic Assam-azing consists of black tea TGFOP1 from India, there’s a very mild aroma to the dry leaf. It smells a little bit malty. Organic Darj-Oolong consists of a partially fermented organic darjeeling from India. I found that the leaves to be a bit wiry, with a light floral aroma.

From left to right: Organic Assam-azing, Organic Darj-Oolong.

Preparation

Blackened Heart is recommended to steep 205°F (96°C) water for 4 minutes. My initial steep of Blackened Heart was in 200°F (93°C) water for 4 minutes.

Hand-Rolled Delight is recommended to steep in 175°F (79°C) water for 2-3 minutes. My initial steep of Hand-Rolled Delight was in 175°F (79°C) water for 2 minutes.

Mexican Hot Chocolate is recommended to steep in 205°F (96°C) water for 4-5 minutes. My initial steep of Mexican Hot Chocolate was in 200°F (93°C) water for 5 minutes.

Organic Assam-azing is recommended to steep in 200°F (93°C) water for 2-2.5 minutes. My initial steep of Organic Assam-azing was in 200°F (93°C) water for 2 minutes.

Organic Darj-Oolong is recommended to steep in 190°F (88°C) water for 2-3 minutes. My initial steep of Organic Darj-Oolong was in 185°F (85°C) water for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Blackened Heart steeps to a beautiful light orange. I found there to be an obvious rose aroma to the steeped tea. There’s a nice sweetness to the tea, but still floral and yet savoury all at the same time – I think that has to do with the fermented black tea in the heart. With the natural sweetness from the rose petals, I don’t think that it really needs any sweetener.

From left to right: Blackened Heart, Hand-Rolled Delight, Mexican Hot Chocolate.

Hand-Rolled Delight steeps to a light yellow colour. There are some buttery cream notes, with a light smokiness to it. I found it very pleasant and light on the flavour, which is starkly contrasting compared to the rest of the teas in this box.

Mexican Hot Chocolate steeps to a deep brown, with a very obvious spicy aroma to it. I found that the flavour to be a bit sweet and I can definitely taste the heat of the chili. I don’t really taste any of the chocolate, unfortunately, but I do believe it is there because there’s a slight oil slick on the top from the melted chocolate that’s present in the blend. Fortunately, I don’t taste the rooibos base since I’m not usually a fan of it.

From left to right: Organic Assam-azing, Organic Darj-Oolong.

Organic Assam-azing steeps to a dark golden brown. I found it to have a pleasant caramel flavour, although not as sweet as a true caramel. It also has a strong malty flavour to it, which I find to be quite typical of Assam black tea.

Organic Darj-Oolong steeps to a slightly lighter golden brown, especially when compared to Organic Assam-azing. There are some nice floral notes, which make for a gentle sweetness in the tea. I found it to be very smooth and tasty. The tasting notes mention toasted cumin, but I don’t get that impression from my cup.

A Second Cup?

From left to right: Blackened Heart, Hand-Rolled Delight, Mexican Hot Chocolate.

I resteeped Blackened Heart three times, adding an extra 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found the flavour to remain fairly consistent throughout, but there was considerably less rose flavours by the third resteep, so I would recommend it for two resteeps.

Hand-Rolled Delight resteeped quite well, I did two additional resteeps with the same leaves and found the flavour to be pleasant. I think a third resteep might be possible, but I found that the flavour in general for this white tea is quite light.

I attempted to resteep Mexican Hot Chocolate once, and found that it didn’t taste as good as the initial steep. The spice level wasn’t as strong so it didn’t remind me as much of chili spices.

From left to right: Organic Assam-azing, Organic Darj-Oolong.

Organic Assam-azing was resteeped twice, I found that each steep was similar to the initial steep – strong and malty. I enjoyed each resteep of this Assam tea.

For Organic Darj-Oolong, I resteeped it twice. The floral notes and gentle sweetness were strongest for the first resteep, and the second resteep tasted fairly similar to the initial steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Field to Cup’s February Adventurer Box. I really enjoyed the variety of teas in this box – it’s quite nice that there’s a blend of straight teas with the seasonal blends. The packaging is very straight-forward and informative, it’s all tied together nicely with the steeping guide and the labels that provide so much information.

Field to Cup suggests that each box results in 4o to 72 cups of tea, depending on how many resteeps and leaves you use – and really makes the box affordable for how much tea you get in it. The February Adventurer box is 90g of tea, but most of the teas do really well with being resteeped, which just adds further value to the tea. My favourites in this box were the Blackened Heart and the Hand-Rolled Delight.

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

Steeping Blooming Teas

Blooming teas, or flowering teas, are bundled tea leaves around dried flowers. Typically when you pick up a blooming tea ball, you only see the tea leaves because the flowers are meant to be a surprise. During the steeping process, the ball opens up, unfurls, and the dried flower ‘blooms’ as it is hydrated in the steeping process. Commonly found flowers in blooming teas include globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, and jasmine flowers.

Blooming teas are typically made with white or green teas, as these teas are light in colour and allow you to visualize the floral blooms better. You will want to steep a blooming tea in either a clear glass teapot or cup in order to take in the whole ‘show’, as I like to call it.

Some people find that it’s difficult to steep blooming teas properly, or they wind up oversteeping blooming teas because the teas can be delicate and sensitive to oversteeping. I thought I’d share some of my methods of steeping a blooming tea to make a good cup of tea! Blooming teas can be expensive per pot, so it’s important to steep it properly to make it worth it!

I use a clear glass teapot, I find this best to see the blooms and to watch the ball of tea itself as it steeps. It just makes for a more beautiful tea experience.

The kettle I use has preset temperature settings (the Breville IQ Kettle, I’ve had it for 2+ years and it’s still going strong with daily use!) and I use the lowest temperature setting which is meant for green teas, 175°F (80°C). After the kettle has finished reaching the temperature, I let the water sit for about 5 minutes prior to pouring the water into my teapot. If you have a standard kettle that only boils (100°C/212°F) water, you’ll want to let the water sit for longer to cool down – open the lid or taking off the lid will help the water cool down faster.

Lowering the temperature of the water reduces the likelihood of scalding or burning the tea leaves and causing a bitter flavour. Some companies will provide steeping recommendations, but I find sometimes that their recommended water temperature is too high given the fact that there’s a longer steeping period for the blooming tea to fully open.

Each blooming tea will steep for a different amount of time, I consider it to be ready when the ball has opened up and the flowers have ‘bloomed’ as well – some blooming teas will have the flowers floating up to the surface. Often the process of blooming can take up to 5 minutes or more. I find that blooming teas with a white tea base are far more forgiving and less likely to result in a bitter cup of tea than one with green tea base. Blooming teas can also be resteeped! Because the flavours come from the tea leaves and blossoms, there’s generally no added flavouring and the tea leaves can be resteeped usually once or twice. The flavouring may be a bit weaker than the initial steep, but you can get more bang for your buck by resteeping the tea leaves.