Field to Cup’s March 2019 Discovery Black Monthly Box | Tea Review & Giveaway

11 comments

Tea provided for review

Field to Cup Organic Rose Estate spoon

Monthly subscription boxes are my Achilles’ heel. I love the idea of getting a surprise package with all sorts of new teas to test out! So, I was pretty excited when Field to Cup reached out to me! Therefore, I wanted to share the box with my readers, so I am partnering with them for my 4-year Blogiversary giveaway!

Field to Cup is a brand that I have been eyeing because a good handful of people on Instagram have been posting about their boxes. The teas looked great, but I was staying true to my tea buying ban. I was lucky enough that Shirley, the co-founder, reached out to me! She also gave me the option to partner with them to run a giveaway, and that sealed the deal!

Field to Cup offers three types of boxes: Adventurer (“for discerning palates”), Discoverer (“seasonal flavors + more of your favorite”) and Explorer (“a variety of seasonal flavors”). I received the 2019 March Discovery Black Monthly box. That comes with five types of teas (60- to 86 cups) and one larger black tea pouch (30-48 cups). The other four teas can be any type of tea (black, green, herbal, etc.). There is also a Steeping Guide, tea bags, and shipping and tracking included within the price.

Field to Cup March 2019 website

The brand has an option where you can replace teas that you don’t enjoy in next month’s box or replace it before pre-shipment. I was lucky enough to have noticed that when they showcased the March teas that one had cinnamon. I told the brand and they quickly made a note to not include it in my box (which it wasn’t). The teas are generally showcased ahead of time and revealed on the website and social media.

My box came with three black teas (two blends and one orthodox/straight), one oolong (orthodox/straight) and a green tea (blend, which was also my replacement tea). All the teas I received had at least two steeping methods – Mug and Teapot. The teapot instructions are for any closed vessel, including a lidded mug.

One of the black teas came with cold brew instructions and the oolong also came with gong fu instructions. To be consistent, I am reviewing all my teas with the “teapot” instructions. The order of the teas is based on how they were listed in the steeping guide.

With all that information out of the way, let’s go!

Black Currant Creme

Field to Cup Black Currant Creme spoon

Description: “a light blend of apple and organic black tea with currants and creme essence”

Instructions: Teapot – 3 level tps per 8oz 205°F water | Steep for 5 mins | Resteep – 1 time for 3 min | Add-ins – dairy/nut milk and/or sweetener to taste  

Review: When I first gave this blend a sniff, it was very festive smelling to me. Something that I would drink as a dessert tea during a cold winter night. It smelled sweet and had a strong chocolate, berry and earthy smell. The blend itself also reinforced the festive vibe with the ruby red currents against the dark tea leaves. After steeping for 5 minutes, I mostly smelled the earthiness from the black tea with some creaminess. The brown liquor was cloudy and had an oily film at the top, along with a sweet fruitiness and underlying chocolate smell.

Field to Cup Black Currant Creme wet dish

This one suggested two steeps. During the first infusion, the predominant flavour was the woody rooibos taste, which was followed by the sweet fruitiness from the apple, currents, and chocolate. I also tasted some floral notes as well. I found that at the end of the sip, the flavour circled back to the rooibos and there is some lingering earthiness that coated the mouth. Every sip was slightly different: sometimes it was the apple or current or chocolate that was stronger, but the rooibos always remained predominant.

The second infusion was very similar to the first one. But as expected, it was much more mellow. I found the rooibos was even stronger this time around as the other flavours melded together and became more unified. I enjoyed the first infusion better because the second one had less complexity and the rooibos was very overpowering. This is best hot and is a good dessert tea. It wasn’t overly sweet and it might be nice as a latte (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Black tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Low/moderate caffeine
  • Ingredients: Apple, natural black currant flavoring, organic cacao beans, organic black tea, chocolate, natural chocolate flavoring, natural cream flavor, organic red currants, organic rooibos, safflower petals, white chocolate
  • Other: Contains trace amounts of dairy
  • Company: Field to Cup

Organic Rose Estate

Field to Cup Organic Rose Estate spoon

Description: “a brisk Organic Indian tea softened with citrus and rose petals”

Instructions: Teapot – 2.5 level tps per 8oz 205°F water | Steep for 5 mins | Resteep – 1 time for 4 min | Add-ins – dairy/nut milk and/or sweetener to taste  

Review: The name was very fitting for this one as it did remind me of a place with a lot of roses. It was very floral and fresh. The blend was quite pretty as well since there was a nice contrast between the darker CTC (cut, tear, curl) tea and the rosebuds. After infusion, the wet leaves had a stronger earthy note with the still present floral notes. The liquor was brown with a reddish tinge and carried a distinct rose smell.

Field to Cup Organic Rose Estate wet dish

The floral notes were very forward, as expected. It stayed true to its name and the rosebud is the most predominant flavour. It was then followed by some briskness and earthiness with some very faint bergamot that lingered at the back of the throat. The rose and bergamot was a nice mix. The liquor left the mouth and throat feeling dry at the end of the sip. I re-steeped the tea for four mins. This time around, the bergamot was the most forward with the brisk earthiness following closely behind.

Overall, I have to say that I liked this tea. I find some floral teas can be too fragrant and taste like you ate soap. This one is a nice mixture between the rosebud, black tea, and bergamot. This would be a fan favourite of someone who enjoys CTC or floral blends that aren’t overpowering (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Black tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: High caffeine
  • Ingredients: Organic Assam (Banaspaty Estate), organic bergamot oil, organic rose petals
  • Company: Field to Cup

Bergamont Bliss

Field to Cup Bergamont Bliss spoon

Description:delicate blend of green tea with bergamot oil”

Instructions: Teapot – 2 level tsp per 8oz 180°F water | Steep 2 min | Resteep – 1 time for 3 min | Add-in – nothing, or dairy/nut milk to taste

Review: I don’t think I have ever had green tea with just bergamot before! The dark emerald jade leaves had a strong citrus aroma with a faint grassy smell. The second the water hit the leaves, there was a strong burst of citrusy smell. After infusing the leaves for 2 minutes, the leaves had mostly unfurled and the leaves carried a grassy smell with some lingering citrus. The liquor was a pale yellow. It was so pale that it was almost completely clear, and had a nice balanced smell of both the grass and the bergamot.

Field to Cup Bergamont Bliss wet dish

Since the liquor was so light, the first time I brewed the tea, I was actually worried that I had used the wrong steeping temperature and that the tea hadn’t steeped. The taste of the liquor matched the smell of it – there was nice citrus from the bergamot and grassiness from the green tea. It was very mellow and very enjoyable. The second infusion was no different. I found that the citrus notes became even more prevalent.

I am really glad that this was the replacement tea. I really enjoyed it and I liked how it was a nice blend of citrus and grassiness. Like with Organic Rose Estate, I found the blend balanced and that nothing was overpowering. This is a blend that I will miss when it is gone (4/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Low/moderate caffeine 
  • Ingredients: Green tea, bergamot oil
  • Company: Field to Cup

Formosa Bai Hao

Field to Cup Formosa Bai Hao spoon

Description: “an exceptional and versatile oolong with floral and honey notes”

Instructions: Teapot – 2.5 level tsp per 8oz 205°F water (for lighter tea, you can drop the temperature to 195°F | Resteep – 2 times for 2 mins, then 1 min for 3 min | Add-ins: nothing

Review: The first thing I noticed was that the steeping guide had gong fu style brewing instructions (using a gaiwan). However, at 8oz of water, none of my gaiwans were large enough. Despite Shirley providing modified recommendations, I decided to use a ‘teapot’ vessel as well to make the whole tasting experience unified.

The dry leaves were dark and chocolate brown with some light tips. They were also furry with some twists in them. The smell was sweet, floral and fruity. After infusion, the similar sweet honey notes stayed in the wet leaves. The leaves were in small pieces rather than whole leaves. The clear reddish brown liquor smelled more malty with some interwoven sweetness. Based on the recommendations, I had four infusions (with a short rinse of the leaves at the start).

Field to Cup Formosa Bai Hao wet dish

Steep 1 – Earthy, floral and malty. There was some dryness at the back of the sip

Steep 2 – The earthy notes were more muted and the sweet honey notes along with the malt came forward. There was still some dryness in the mouth

Steep 3 – Still a very nice strong aroma – similar to Steep 2 with stronger honey notes

Steep 4 – Despite being four infusions (with some of the steep time ranging from 2 to 3 minutes) there was still a strong smell. The sweetness was gone and mostly what was left was the malt and earthiness.

Based on the description, I feel that it stayed true. That being said, I only really tasted the floral notes in the first infusion. I enjoyed infusion 2 the best since I felt that it had the best of all the flavours (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Oolong tea
  • Origin: Taiwan (Hsinchu County)
  • Caffeine: Medium caffeine
  • Ingredients: Oolong tea (Dongfang Meiren)
  • Company: Field to Cup

Organic Nilgiri Silk

Field to Cup Organic Nilgiri Silk spoon

Description: “a silky organic black tea with malt honey notes”

Instructions: Teapot – 2 overflowing tps per 8oz 205° water | Steep for 3 min | Resteep 1 time for 4 mins | Add-ins – sweetener and dairy/nut milk to taste  

Review: I am generally a fan of black teas from India. They have those rich malty notes that are very comforting to me. The dry leaves smelled sweet, earthy and a bit like raisins. After a 3 minute infusion, the reddish chocolate brown long wet leaves had a similar smell as the dry but more woodsy. The liquor had a similar reddish brown colour, whereas the dry and wet leaves were sweeter, the liquor was more earthy.

Field to Cup Organic Nilgiri Silk wet dish

Steep one was very spot on for what I expected from this type of black tea – malty, sweet and earthy. The flavours mixed in the mouth and lingered. The second infusion was very similar but more earthy than sweet. This one had a very comforting taste. I think it would also make for a good latte or a good morning tea – not overly strong but with a good amount of caffeine. It had a similar profile to Formosa Bai Hoa, except this one did not have honey or floral notes (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Black tea
  • Origin: India (Nilgiris District).
  • Caffeine: High caffeine
  • Ingredients: Organic black tea (Nilgiri)
  • Company: Field to Cup

Final Thoughts

I have to say, I am pretty happy with the box. My favourite one was Bergamont Bliss! It made me very relaxed and the flavours were well balanced. My second and third would be tied with the Organic Nilgiri Silk and Formosa Bai Hao.

One thing I liked about the box is that were multiple options on how to steep the teas – from mug, teapot (lidded vessel), gong fu (gaiwan), and even cold brew! There were even instructions for if you don’t own a thermometer. That is important because I know it took me a while before I went to buy a veritable temperature kettle.

Two main things I noticed:

  1. While the guide gives re-steeping instructions (which is a great idea because I know not all western brands do that), I know that normally you increase the temperature as well as the time. I know I was one message away from the Shirley, the co-founder, however, I wanted to base my review on what I received. Therefore, when I steeped, I used the same temperature. It was not clear what temperature to use for additional infusions. 
  2. Depending on the steeping method, you can run out of tea rather quickly. For example, using the teapot method, I needed anywhere from 1 to 3 teaspoons. Again, while I know that I could have used other methods which may have used less tea, I used the teapot method because I wanted to have the lid to keep in the smell of the liquor.

That being said, one tool that I think they did a really good job on is the steeping guide which gave many options and suggestions. This box is a middle tier one, so it does come with more tea than some of the other boxes I’ve tried in the past. Lastly, being able to swap out or receive a replacement tea is a very strong drawing to me. It worked out very well for me because I was able to swap it out and then receive what ended up being my favourite tea in the box.

Overall, I feel that this is a good box for anyone who wants to try teas and treat themselves. This would be a great gift as well! I received the back tea box, but there is also a low-caffeine option, as well as receiving more or less teas!

4-year Blogiversary

Field to Cup March 2019 package

It still amazes me that four years later I have now had the chance to go to various tea events and explore tea in different parts of Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Thank you, everyone, for sharing this journey with me!

To celebrate Tea in Spoons’ 4-year Blogiversary, I am giving away one monthly Explorer box. The giveaway is open internationally and close on April 4th, 2019. I will announce the winner on April 8th, 2019.

4 year Blogiversary

11 comments on “Field to Cup’s March 2019 Discovery Black Monthly Box | Tea Review & Giveaway”

  1. Congratulations on your blog anniversary. Excellent reviews on the teas as usual. I felt like I was enjoying cups from my own box as well. I’d be curious to try the replacement tea, bergamot bliss A green tea with bergamot… Sounds like a good idea!

  2. I just recently started following @teainspoons on Instagram, and I love it! All five of the teas in this review sound so good, especially the one with bergamot.

  3. I hadn’t heard of this blog until spotting the giveaway post on Facebook. After reading a few older posts, I’m hooked! looking forward to reading more!

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