20 Tasting Notes

91

I was very lucky and won one of the Steepster Select boxes for October and this was included as one of the selections.

The dry tea had a light herbaceous quality that I found interesting as I couldn’t quite pinpoint the aroma. I steeped this in boiling water for 3 minutes (directions on the Steepster package) and the leaves produced a very bright (almost florescent) yellow with a beautiful floral aroma.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when tasting this tea, but oh was I ever surprised. I love this tea – it was soft and smooth with a beautiful floral taste and finish. (Norbu’s website describes it as lilac or orchid and I definitely get the orchid flavor). There’s also a hint of greenness, but it’s faint so it didn’t compete with the floral. I can’t stop drinking it and the second, third and fourth (!) steepings I’ve done of this tea have been just as wonderful, though obviously the strength of the tea decreases with each brewing. For me, it’s one of those teas that just wraps you up and hugs you and makes you wish you could just stay inside all day drinking it. I’ll definitely be ordering this tea again!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Dong Ding by Naivetea
20 tasting notes

Phew, I’m so backlogged in tea reviews/adding teas to my tea cupboard it’s not even funny. Since it’s a long weekend here, I’m going to try and get through all of my backlogged reviews…

I was very lucky and won one of the Steepster Select boxes for October and this was included as one of the selections.

I steeped this in boiling water for 3 minutes (directions on the Steepster package, which is different than the directions on Naivetea’s website) and the leaves produced a beautiful light-amber tea with a toasted aroma with a slight herbaceous quality.

The taste was much softer and smoother than I had been expecting due to the aroma and there was a slight caramelized sugar and (very slight) floral finish. The roasting of the tea definitely comes through when I drink this tea and like LissaMarie commented, it reminds me quite a bit of genmaicha.

Though I enjoyed being able to try this tea, I don’t think the roasted oolongs are for me, so I really appreciate being able to try a bit of it without having to commit to a 50 or 100g purchase. My rating of 80 is due to the fact that it really is a lovely tea, just not my cup of tea (sorry, had to! :-P).

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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76

This was my first tea from 52teas and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The dry tea leaves smelled very cherry-like and not a fake cherry smell either. I brewed for 5 minutes and the aroma of the tea reminded me of juicy cherries.

However, upon tasting the cherry wasn’t overwhelming and instead really complimented the white tea. I didn’t get the vanilla notes that other tasters got, but I did get a bit of an almond/amaretto flavor (unfortunately I wasn’t a big fan of those notes in this tea). Though I do like this tea, the almond/amaretto flavor was enough that I wouldn’t order it again (though my husband wholeheartedly disagrees with me and says that he would definitely order this tea again).

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Stanley's Blend by Harney & Sons
20 tasting notes

Backlogging this from a week ago (I had written it down, but then ended up at the hospital and had a baby).

I can’t remember having a pure assam before (or even a blend with assam in it), so this is one of my first (if not first) forays into the assam world.

I brewed according to the directions on the tin (boiling water, 5 minute steep) and the resulting liquid was so dark it almost looked like a poorly brewed cup of coffee.

The first sip is smooth, with a hint of malt and a dry finish. I didn’t find it overly tannic, but there’s definitely some tannins in there. I also bought a tin of Harney & Sons Organic Assam, so it will be interesting for me to compare the two. I like this tea, but it’s a little strong for me right off the bat. I think I’ll end up tinkering with amounts/brewing time, etc to get it just right, but it’s a great everyday tea for sure.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Uniquity

“but then ended up at the hospital and had a baby” – I assume this wasn’t a surprise to you, so congratulations! : )

Indigobloom

Congratulations!! may the babe grow up to adore tea ;)

Megs

Thanks! Yes, it wasn’t a surprise, though a couple of days earlier than we thought. I sure hope he learns to love tea too! ;-)

SimplyJenW

Congratulations! I hope mom and baby are doing well!

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76
drank Peach Fruit Tea by Harney & Sons
20 tasting notes

Disclaimer – this review is only reviewing the tisane iced as I doubt I’d enjoy it hot.

The aroma of this tisane was amazing as soon as I opened the tin – I’m a huge fan of peach and the aroma made my mouth water.

I followed the brewing instructions on the tin (boiling, 8 minutes), but used double the amount of tisane, waited a bit, then poured over ice.

While I definitely tasted the peach, I would have liked it a bit more peachy (but then again, I’d probably just be drinking juice). There’s definitely a touch of hibiscus flavour (and tartness from the hibiscus/rosehips), but I really like hibiscus tisanes, so it didn’t bother me. It’s a juicy tisane and on a whim I decided to sweeten it a touch (I usually don’t sweeten my iced tea) – that really brought out the peach flavour and juiciness. I think that because of the fruitiness, I expected it to be sweet (like juice), but since it’s a tisane, it’s obviously not. I have to keep reminding myself to have different expectations!

Would I buy it again? I’m on the fence about this one – while it was delicious and I’ll definitely finish the tin, we’ll see if it grows on me even more – enough to purchase again.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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75
drank Luscious Watermelon by DAVIDsTEA
20 tasting notes

I tried this tea twice – once in store at David’s Tea and then here at home. Both times were cold as I’m thinking that watermelon would not be very great hot.

At David’s Tea, they did a hot brew over ice for me and I have to say that I found this tea different then I originally thought it would be. It’s not as watermelony as I had hoped – instead, I have an almost banana flavour (I’m thinking it’s perhaps green melon flavour though). There is a note of apple aftertaste, which I actually liked, but I didn’t get any of the berry flavour that other reviewers got (sad!). I was hoping it would be more like the Bubbalicious Watermelon gum (remember that?), but less of a fake flavor. No dice though.

At home, I did a cold brew for 24 hours in the fridge before tasting. The cold brew was MUCH better in my opinion – though it still isn’t very watermelony, the weird green melon taste is definitely lessened. I definitely get the slight berry and apple flavors now. While I enjoyed it more cold brewed at home, it’s still not a tea I’d seek out again. That being said, I think that’s more of my palate and what I’m wanting in a tea, rather than the actual tea itself. If you’re looking for a fun juicy tea, then this is definitely an option.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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87
drank Long Life Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
20 tasting notes

I’m not a big drinker of oolong teas – but I have a feeling that might be changing.

Picked this up at David’s Tea and brewed for 6 minutes (I like my tea pretty strong). The fruity aroma of the brewed tea was muted from the dry tea (which had a bit of a fake smell), but still delicious smelling (peaches, apricots and the slightest hint of almond).

I was very pleasantly surprised by this tea – the fruitiness of the peach and apricot nicely compliment the earthiness of the oolong and there’s a creaminess to the tea that is really enjoyable. It truly slides down your throat like buttah (as Paula Deen would say).

I also ended up trying it iced as well as I didn’t finish my cup before I had to leave the house, so I put it in the fridge. I really enjoyed this tea iced as well – I felt that creaminess really shone through and the hint of peach, apricot and almond were perfect iced.

Love this tea both hot and iced and I’m thinking if you like your tea sweet, the sweetness wouldn’t take away from the tea. Though I won’t be drinking this everyday, it will definitely be staying in my tea cupboard and regular rotation.

And I also feel that I should give it extra points for the Star Trek reference in the description (but I didn’t).

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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85
drank Histoire Tibetaine by THE O DOR
20 tasting notes

I tried this tea in the bagged form as it was part of a set of THE O DOR teas that I had purchased. When I opened the outer plastic bag, the first thing I smelled was bergamot – which while I like a hint of it, I’m not a huge fan of overall (I leave the strong Earl Grey drinking to my husband – Gteppel – who likes Earl Grey the stronger the better). Then there was a slight aroma of sweet vanilla and florals that I couldn’t put my finger on (the box says marigold and jasmine).

After 4 minutes of brewing (I usually like THE O DOR teas brewed up to their upper suggested time), the bergamot aroma was substantially subdued and the vanilla in the tea came out much more.

Upon tasting, the bergamot was definitely still there, but was as subdued as the aroma suggested. Soft but slightly sweet vanilla rounds out the flavour and the finish of the tea leaves just the slightest hint of jasmine. I didn’t find this tea bitter at all (though it does have a dry tannic quality), I’m not sure if that’s because I brewed the tea longer than previous reviewers or because of some other reason. If you’re looking for a softly bergamot-flavored tea, then this would be a great introduction to that family of flavored teas for sure. It most definitely would also hold up to cream and a neutral flavoured sweetener (sugar).

Overall, this is a delicious tea and I would stock it in my cupboard, but it’s no longer being carried locally, so would have to be shipped in from France (though I may still look into that option if it’s not crazy expensive). Until then, I’ll savour the bags I have left!

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Apricot Amaretto by Tea Forte
20 tasting notes

When I first opened the package, the aroma seemed really boozy to me – though I love amaretto, I usually like it mixed in with things, so I was apprehensive about trying this tea. Edited to add: In all fairness, I haven’t been drinking the last nine months, so it smelling especially boozy to me may be because of that.

After brewing, aroma was still pretty boozy, but luckily, upon tasting the “amaretto” flavour wasn’t overpowering. I would have liked a bit more of an apricot flavour, but overall this is an enjoyable tea.

On a whim, I ended up trying it over ice and I have to say, I enjoy it MUCH more iced. It wasn’t really up my alley hot and I also think this tea would probably be lovely sweetened if you like your iced tea that way (though I’d probably stick with sugar, not honey). I think I’ll probably end up buying this tea again to have it iced, but I doubt it will be in my usual rotation. Thanks for the sample Tea Forte!

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
TeaNerdette

I really wish I’d tried this iced instead of drinking the whole thing warm. I might have to get it again just to try it cold. I didn’t find there to be a lot of fruitiness, but maybe it was just me.

Megs

No, I’m definitely with you on there’s not a whole lot of fruitiness with this tea. I wish there was more of an apricot flavor! I just think that with it iced, it has less boozy amaretto flavor and more almond (though I realize that amaretto is almondy).

TeaNerdette

Hmmm! Amaretto…I like to blend it with Sprite as a cocktail. The almond/limey flavor is pretty badA.

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80
drank Mojito Marmalade by Tea Forte
20 tasting notes

I tried this tea as part of the Tea Forte Herbal Retreat Single Steeps Sampler. The aroma of tea was very spearminty (which I appreciate, I love spearmint, but not a big peppermint fan – weird I know) with a back note of sweet orange. I was enthralled by the aroma!

Upon tasting, the tea was much more minty than I thought it would be – I thought that the orange flavour would come through a bit more after steeping. That being said, as I drank the cup, the tea grew on me more and more and I found myself really enjoying the cup. I would have liked a bit more orange flavour, but overall it was a really good herbal tea – perfect for relaxing after a long day. I’ll most likely purchase this for my tea cupboard in the future but it won’t be a daily tea for me.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
sunshine5150

I know this is an old review, but I had to comment that I don’t think it’s odd that you like spearmint, but not peppermint. Me too! Peppermint is strong, spicy (thus he “pepper”?), and has a hash bite. Spearmint is mild, smooth, and sweet. What’s not to love?! :)

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Profile

Bio

I’m Meg, I’ve been a tea drinker most of my life, but for the last 5 years it’s become a hobby and bit of an obsession. I’m a stay-at-home mom with a degree in Anthropological Archaeology and love to cook, bake, read and watch classic movies. I have converted my husband from coffee to tea, though we do have very different tastes.

My tastes in tea tend to be similar to my tastes in books and music – all over the place. I love the classics, like a beautiful darjeeling, but I also love playful, more flavourful teas as well. I drink pretty much anything black, green, rooibos, herbal, plain, flavoured, loose leaf, bagged tea, iced or hot. I’m a new mom, so my ratings tend to be whenever I can get the time to post.

Favourite tea of the moment: Peche Mignon, THE O DOR (beautiful iced or hot)

My rating system (first attempt, so there may be later revisions):


0-25:
 Horrible. Won’t be drinking this again – ever. Dumped out the rest of the cup/pot.

26-50: Definitely not something I’d buy again, but I might finish the stash (unless it’s a large amount or particularly bad). A one or couple of redeeming factors, but overall not a great tea.

51-75:
 A drinkable tea, but unfortunately has one (or more) large flaws that will keep it from being a tea that stays in my cupboard. May need doctoring with (gasp) sugar, lemon or cream. I will finish the amount I have, but not purchase again.

76-85:
 A great everyday tea and will probably stock it in my cupboard for daily drinking if it’s not too expensive.

86-90: Teas that I really enjoy, stock in my cupboard and drink often.

91-100: These are the ones that remind me why I love tea and am proud to be a tea drinker. Reserved for my favourite teas that I always keep stocked and/or teas that I save for special occasions.

Location

Vancouver, BC

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