Bottom line: Try flavored teas that I can virtually guarantee you've never found elsewhere.
Utterly unique tea flavors
Huge variety of tea types and flavors
Good selection of gifts and sampler options
Sort by flavor profile, tea type, or dietary need
Tea accessories available
Teas might be too unusual for some
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I recently tried the August Uncommon Tea Top 10 Sampler, which left me wanting to try more. Each tea was utterly unique, unlike any tea I've ever had, and I've had a lot.
Sample a flavor explosion
August Uncommon Tea Top 10 Sampler : Features
I don't know how to describe August's, well, uncommon teas, so I'll just jump right into the 10 flavors that come in the Top 10 Sampler and my thoughts on each one.
- Jet Black: Rich black tea with roasted maté and espresso bean. This tastes mostly of black tea and maté. I can barely taste the coffee; it tastes more like you just brewed your tea in your coffee mug without rinsing it out first.
- Biarritz: Velvety Rooibos with amaretto and orange blossom. It tastes like rooibos with hints of black licorice, almost.
- Dark Iris: Rich Oolong with peach, pistachio, and lime. I can only taste the peach, but it's a wonderful peach flavor
- Painted Desert: Crisp black tea with chili and chocolate. It would be hard to identify the chocolate as such if I didn't know before tasting, but you can tell there is something unusual in there. I detected a tiny chili "bite." Yum.
- Silencio: Spicy black tea with pineapple and tobacco notes. While I don't necessarily taste any of the specific ingredients, this is deliciously complex.
- Combray: Organic green tea with vanilla and cardamom. This one tastes like green tea with a hint of vanilla, but a bit more exotic.
- Psychocandy: Darkly sweet rooibos with pumpkin and caramel. I can actually taste the pumpkin in this one! I taste caramel too. There are no "pumpkin spices" in this.
- Passage: Rich black tea with hazelnut and chocolate. It was hard for me to identify the flavors as such, but it was tasty.
- Low Country: Black tea with bourbon and burnt sugar notes. This one smells amazing but tastes... burnt. It's not for me.
- Metropolitan: Vibrant black tea with bergamot plum and clove. The bergamot (Earl Gray flavoring) and plum stood out in this delicious blend. I can catch the clove in the aftertaste.
As always, take my tasting notes with a grain of salt, your own tastes will be different than mine. The Top 10 Sampler box comes with 10 envelopes, each containing four tablespoons of loose tea. Two are herbal, one is green tea, one is oolong, and the rest are black teas. Also included is a plastic measuring spoon. It measures one tablespoon, which is the amount August recommends that you brew in 10 ounces of water. Each envelope has precise brewing instructions, as the recommended temperature varies for different teas. According to the instructions, you can re-infuse the teas once or even twice, if you don't mind getting a weaker brew.
These 10 flavors are just the tip of the iceberg; there are many more to try. In addition to the Top 10 Sampler that I received, Top 10 Iced Teas (which includes an iced tea brewer), and the totally tempting Taste of Everything, which contains a sample bag of all 32 August teas.
You don't have to get any of the pre-set box options; you can just pick out the individual flavors you want to try and order sample sizes of each. A sample bag contains enough loose tea for four 10-ounce cups. You can also buy larger bags with enough for 15 or 70 generous cups of tea. There is no subscription box option, per se, but you can set up Subscribe and Save for all of your favorite teas.
I'd recommend following August's brewing instructions the first time, and then adjusting the proportion of tea to water and the brew time to your tastes. I like the tea strong, especially in the summertime, when I'm usually pouring it over ice for iced tea, so I stuck with the recommended brewing method. In addition to brewing instructions, you'll find tons of tea recipes on August's website.
Powerful and unique tastes
August Uncommon Tea Top 10 Sampler : What I like
I enjoy tasting new and interesting things, so I was excited to try these teas. Though I didn't love the taste of every tea in the Top 10 Sampler, I wasn't disappointed in the experience, and I'll certainly be ordering more. August recommends brewing one tablespoon of tea in 10 ounces of water, unlike many tea companies that recommend one teaspoon to eight ounces of water. Plus, August suggests re-brewing the same leaves two or three times. So when they say you get four cups in a sample bag, it can actually be much more than that, depending on how you brew it.
Not every flavor for everyone
August Uncommon Tea Top 10 Sampler : What I don't like
I certainly didn't love every flavor, but that's ok. I didn't expect to! But I liked enough of them to go back for more, that's for sure. The tea is, of course, much pricier than what you'll find in the grocery store. But it's in line with gourmet loose leaf teas I've found elsewhere, especially if you re-infuse the leaves as suggested.
Open your palette
August Uncommon Tea Top 10 Sampler: Bottom line
If you have an open mind to new taste experiences, I can heartily recommend trying August Uncommon Teas. The Top 10 Sampler is a good place to start, with 10 four-cup portions of loose leaf tea. But you can also create your own sample box with the flavors of your choice. Once you choose your favorites, you can set up Subscribe and Save for recurring shipments. When shopping the site, you can sort the teas by flavor profile, tea type, or your dietary needs. You can also find the teaware you'll need in order to brew the tea.
The taste experience you're looking for
August Uncommon Teas are just that, totally uncommon, and totally delightful. You might not love every flavor, but you won't be bored.
Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.
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