702 Tasting Notes

80

Steep Information:
Amount: 9.9g
Water: 1200ml at 195°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: sweet floral vegetal, a little nutty
Leaves: green and silver thin twisted strands about an inch long each
Steeped Tea Smell: lemon, citrus, black tea scent
Flavor: slightly astringent, crisp black tea, very clean and light
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: sweet citrus floral notes
Liquor: translucent light red-brown

This was a very nice crisp tea for sipping in the afternoon while browsing the internet. It is not a strong tea to kick you awake in the morning, but more one to be sipped and savored. I very much enjoy this tea, I enjoy when a company strives to be organic and fair trade so long as it is not at the cost of the tea. This tea shows that they are able to provide a high quality tea while striving to help tea farmers and the environment. It does however lack anything completely unique to make it a 4/4 leaves tea (a WOW) that i must keep stocked at all times.

Arbor Teas sent me this sample for free in order for me to review it and get the word out about their teas in October as it is Fair Trade Month. It arrived USPS Priority mail, but had to wait a few days at the post office for me to pick it up. The compostable packages are opaque and have listed suggested steeping parameters and a stapled on paper tag with the specific tea information. They include a note about re-packaging your tea into opaque air-tight containers for longer shelf lives.

From http://www.arborteas.com/the-environment.html
“Our dedication to protecting the environment pre-dates our love of tea, which is why we’ve taken every step we can think of to reduce the environmental footprint of Arbor Teas.

Never ones to rest on our laurels, we’re always looking for further opportunities to “green-up” our company, giving back to the planet whenever we can. Here’s just a quick summary of the measures we take at Arbor Teas to reduce the environmental impact of our business:
• Our entire catalog of teas is certified organic under the USDA National Organic Program.
• We are the first and only tea company to deliver its full line of organic loose teas in 100% backyard compostable packaging. In doing so, we’ve significantly reduced both the carbon emissions and waste stream associated with our products."

And from their letter to me “every tea in out catalog is certified organic, and nearly two-thirds are Fair Trade certified.”

Find Steepster reviews of the tea here.

Resteep 2: 1,200ml 195°F 3min a bit too bitter + sugar = OK
Resteep 3: 1,000ml 195°F 2min brisk w/sugar, nice and refreshing + sugar = good
Resteep 4: 1,000ml 195°F 2-2:30min weak, added 30 sec and got nice light crisp tea + sugar = good
Resteep 5: 1,000ml 195°F 3-3:30min weak, added 30 sec and got nice light crisp tea + sugar = good
Resteep 6: 1,000ml 195°F 4-5min weak, added 60 sec and still weak, stopped re-steeping added to iced tea and didn’t drink

Cold:I took the first hot steep and put it in the refrigerator as it was a hot day. I then added the leftovers of each brew. It was a nice light refreshing black iced tea, it needed a bit of sugar. I used raspberry torani, MilitiaJim used Kiwi. Delicious. I think I enjoyed this as an iced tea better than hot.

images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/10/arbor-teas-loose-leaf-oolong-tea.html

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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54
drank Cranberry Matcha by 52teas
702 tasting notes

Steep Information 1:
Amount: 1/4 tsp
Water: 8 ounces filtered 180°F
Tool: Aerolatte
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes 1:
Dry Leaf Smell: vegetal, fruity, tart
Steeped Tea Smell: vegetal
Flavor: vegetal, chalky, maybe a hint of fruit?
Body: Full
Aftertaste: chalky
Liquor: dark opaque olive green

Added another 8 ounces of water and blended, weaker, barely any flavor.

Steep Information 1:
Amount: 1 tsp
Water: 8 ounces filtered 180°F
Tool: Aerolatte
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes 2:
Dry Leaf Smell: vegetal, fruity, tart
Steeped Tea Smell: vegetal
Flavor: vegetal, grassy
Body: Full
Aftertaste: a little fruity
Liquor: dark opaque olive green

I added white sugar, a lot and it became a weird sweetened grassy fruity drink/

I have come to the conclusion I don’t like grassy green teas, and most green teas taste grassy to me.

I tried an assortment of amounts from 1/8 tsp – 1tbl in varying amounts of water and juices.

This was smooth, not bitter, hints of cranberry that I wish were stronger.

images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/09/52teas-loose-leaf-green-tea-cranberry.html

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53

Steep Information:
Amount: 4 tsp (plastic lunch spoon)
Water: 12oz hot spigot water (150-160 historically)
Tool: kati loose tea system (my Review here.)
Steep Time: a little over 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: cinnamon, spice, Christmas
Steeped Tea Smell: floral white tea with some spice
Flavor: fruity, floral with a hint of spice on the back of the sip
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: cinnamon, a touch bitter
Liquor: translucent orange-red-brown

I got this tea through a swap with Mel

I think there was some scent cross-contamination?

Resteep: 2-3 min, pretty much same as the first, this has staying power!

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/09/teagschwendner-loose-leaf-white-tea.html

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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54
drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
702 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 heaping tsp
Water: 500ml filtered 212°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot
This does not follow the website’s recommendation of 185°F-195°F for 3-4 min

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: vanilla, lemon, citrus, black tea
Steeped Tea Smell: vanilla
Flavor: spiced vanilla black tea, a little astringent and bitter
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: bitter, astringent, lemon
Liquor: translucent dark orange-brown

I bought this when I visited the Kusmi store in NYC, it’s a tiny tin part of the Russian sampler.

It could be my preparation method but i don’t like the bitterness and astringency, but the mix of vanilla and spices and citrus is interesting and has potential if I play with adding sugar and cream.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/09/kusmi-tea-loose-leaf-black-tea-prince.html

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

I’ve found that Kusmi often really comes out best with not-boiling water. In boiling they get too strong and the flavouring turns a bit funny.

AmazonV

thanks! any idea how much lower? like green tea-ish or just under boiling?

Angrboda

I don’t usually use thermometers, I just go by ear. Most of the time, I just boil it and then wait for it to go off boil. Sometimes I wait a little longer, but I don’t usually bring it all the way down to what I’d use for a green.

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20
drank Banana Matcha by 52teas
702 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 1/2 tsp heaping
Water: boiling, 6-8 ounces
Tool: aerolatte
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: banana laffy taffy
Steeped Tea Smell: grass
Flavor: grass, bitter
Body: Full
Aftertaste: banana laffy taffy
Liquor: cloudy olive green

I tried this a few times. I started with 180°F water, and progressed up to boiling. I used 6 ounces, and kept adding more water and re-stirring until the matcha was so weak I could not taste it (1 pint). I tried 1/8 tsp -1 tbs. I keep wanting to like matcha, but it is too grassy for me. It is sweet, it smells of banana. The after taste (and if you burp after) is banana.

Mind you this is a laffy taffy / runts strong sweet banana. It’s the grassy flavor that makes this something I did not want again.

Sorry frank!

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/09/52teas-loose-leaf-green-tea-banana.html

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Cofftea

LOL! I did burp after this (not caused by it I’m sure) and it did taste like banana lol.

AmazonV

ha! I am not the only one :) I LOVE runts and was hoping for more runts and less grass :(

Cofftea

I like (not LOVE) runts too (just not banana ones!) and got plently of that… but then again I love green tea.

AmazonV

yea, i keep trying to like greens and failing

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98

Steep Information:
Amount: ~6tsp
Water:1000ml 175°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell:
AmazonV: It smells like seaweed and rice sushi. The tea looks like dark toasted rice cereal with some green tea and popcorn tossed in.
MilitiaJim: The better bits of noori
Steeped Tea Smell:
AmazonV: brown rice
MilitiaJim: white rice, the sticky sushi kind
Flavor:
AmazonV: toasted brown rice hints of vegetal green tea, a pleasant seaweed flavor
MilitiaJim: It’s like drinking sushi!
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: toasty
Liquor: translucent yellow-green, like mountain dew

Resteep: 1000ml, 175, 4min
MilitiaJim found it weak, I found it fine, a little mellower, sweeter, and smoother.

We drained 2000ml very fast, I think we like it!

In fact we made a second and third fresh pot of tea, and they were both gone in short order. We love this tea.

I was surprised at the shipping packaging – there was an invoice and a wad of paper, but not enough to keep the tea from shifting around in the larger shipping box. The tea was undamaged by this and I wonder if the lack of padding was due to the tea choice.

Included in my package was a small tea ball, I really have enough odd tea making gadgets and was surprised by the inclusion until i went back and looked at the company website again. I will be giving this away to anyone in need of a tea ball.

I was amused by the custom packaging, it has my name on it! This made me feel special, and is defiantly a way to be memorable to your customers.

I received this tea for free for the purpose of reviewing the tea and posting my thoughts of it on my blog. I made sure to try it on multiple days, in between other teas, to make sure my thoughts on the tea were consistent.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/09/teaflection-loose-leaf-green-tea.html

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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90

Steep Information:
Amount: ~6.4g
Water: 750ml at 212°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 3 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: strong passion fruit scent, candy like
Steeped Tea Smell: lightly fruity, sweet
Flavor: smooth black tea with hints of sweet fruit
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: hint of fruit, a little astringency
Liquor: dark brown

Added a little sugar and it brought out the fruit flavor, I highly recommend adding a pinch of sugar.

Delicious back tea, but not delicious enough to replace my love for thepuriTea mango black.

Images: Steep Information:
Amount: ~6.4g
Water: 750ml at 212°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 3 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: strong passion fruit scent, candy like
Steeped Tea Smell: lightly fruity, sweet
Flavor: smooth black tea with hints of sweet fruit
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: hint of fruit, a little astringency
Liquor: dark brown

Added a little sugar and it brought out the fruit flavor, I highly recommend adding a pinch of sugar.

Delicious back tea, but not delicious enough to replace my love for thepuriTea mango black.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Elderberry Green Tea by 52teas
702 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 plastic lunch spoons
Water: 12oz ~150°F hot spigot water
Tool: kati loose tea system (my Review here.)
Steep Time: 2-3 minutes (started Steep.it timer late, didn’t pull mesh basket when it completed)
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: mildly sweet unidentifiable fruit
Steeped Tea Smell: vegetal with an after sweet hint
Flavor: smooth veegtal with hints of fruit and bitterness
Body: Light
Aftertaste: bitter, astringent
Liquor: dark translucent green-brown

I really am enjoying this tea, I think under better conditions it would do better. I also think it will be fabulous iced!

Post-Steep Additives: honey, brings out the fruity sweetness

After adding sweetener I highly recommend you do the same. This is a very soothing cup.

Notes: Since writing this review, and before posting this, we’ve made this tea many times at home in the Breville One Touch. I have reduced the bitterness and astringency, but not gotten rid of them. It really is a delicious tea.

Images: http://amazonv.blogspot.com/2010/09/52teas-loose-leaf-green-tea-elderberry.html

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I am The Devotea USA. I love caffeine! I prefer tea to coffee. I prefer my flavors to be in your face, not subtle. I plan to use this blog to keep track of the teas I have tried.

I get my daily dose of caffeine from Starbucks (Grande soy no water chai latte).

~~~~~~~~*~
0-25=Bleh! not again if it were free
25-50=Acceptable, if it were free or there were limited other tea options
50-75=I might purchase this tea from time to time, or select it while out
75-100=A staple in our cupboard from now on, I will purchase and keep purchasing

Location

Blacksburg, Virginia

Website

http://amazonv.blogspot.com/

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