Arbor Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

This is one of those days where I would happily sit/lie on the couch and do absolutely nothing. Other people in the household have different ideas about what is actually going to happen today (shopping at Wal-Mart) :( Assam to the rescue! A bit of heft to it – it’s so nice and malty. I did get a touch bitterness as the cup cooled, but still very drinkable.

Sample provided by looseTman – thank you!

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74

I picked up on a few different scents from the dry leaves: cardamom first, followed by a cooling sensation similar to that of mint, and finally a slight orange note. Once brewed, it reminded me of a chamomile or light green tea both in perfume and in flavor. I wasn’t able to taste any of the spices in the tea while drinking, but my taste buds have been a bit off since I’ve been sick so that might be it. Overall, this was a nice and simple cup for a calm, relaxing morning.

Flavors: Cardamon, Mint, Orange

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72
drank Organic Mango Rooibos by Arbor Teas
26 tasting notes

The first thing I noticed about this tea was how small the leaves are. They look like they have been chopped into the tiniest of pieces. I’m not familiar with the different methods of processing tea so perhaps this is one way to do it. However, the pieces were so small that much of it came out of my tea ball and settled at the bottom of my cup. Alongside the tea, there were long strips of yellow leaf (presumably the calendula petals). It smelled sweet, though there was also something sour that I couldn’t place.

The tea was a beautiful amber color after steeping and tasted of cake batter before sweetened. After adding a little honey, the rooibos really took center stage. This blend was barely fruity and I detected no mango. It’s a nice rooibos, but it’s definitely missing any kind of fruit flavor.

Flavors: Cake, Rooibos, Sour, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

I ordered this because I tend to drink Darjeeling silver needle and wanted to attempt an African white tea to see what I thought. My first thought is on smell, they’re pretty similar. But the Darjeeling has a much more pronounced taste and again is a bit more bold to me than this turned out to be.

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70

It’s pleasant enough and surely if you don’t like vegetal Japanese teas, it’s a decent alternative in that regard. I didn’t think it boasted a whole lot of flavour, but maybe that was a reflection of my taste buds than a flaw with the tea itself. Very smooth, very light and easy to drink.

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70

I don’t often drink green tea so this was a pleasant change from the herbals and black teas I’ve been drinking lately. The aroma was slightly fruity, though I wouldn’t say it smelled of pineapple or “tropical flavors” necessarily. I followed the recommended steep time and ended up with a tea pale in color and delicate in flavor. With a bit of honey, it was a fine cup for an afternoon treat.

Flavors: Fruity

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This morning, courtesy of Aubrey at Arbor Teas, I’m very pleased and extremely fortunate to be the first to review Organic Hawaii Premium Black Tea, Western style: 8 oz. / 1.5 tbsp. (3.8 g) / 212*F / 3-5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Intro: Per: http://www.arborteas.com/organic-hawaii-premium-black-tea.html
“… a rare, USA-grown organic tea.” “Cultivated on the shores of Hawaii, this tea is harvested and manufactured in micro-lots by the Onomea Tea Company on the Big Island.” “The handpicked, organic loose leaf tea is a blend of leaf from several different varietals and picking dates. After manufacture, the micro-lots are then hand blended …”

Leaf: Very long thick twisted dark chocolate-brown whole leaves 4 cm or less.
Fragrance: Rich pipe tobacco, straw/hay
Liquor: Brilliant clear medium copper
Aroma: Alluring chocolate
Flavor: Malted Chocolate!

3-min: Wow – This something special! It has a complex character – chocolate with perhaps hints of fruit. Medium-bodied – I’ll give it another minute.

4-min: Oh my! The additional minute has transformed this cup into a rich creamy smooth full-bodied black tea with incredibly deep rich malty milk chocolate! There was no hint of bitterness or astringency. Each sip was a genuine treat! So smooth, warm, and relaxing! Meg Ryan … has arrived once again! … As I smile from ear to ear!

Resteep
5-min: Not yet …
8-min: Malty chocolate that was almost as deep, extremely well-balanced, and highly enjoyable to the bottom of the cup. Ah …bliss.

2nd Resteep
8-min: Not yet …
16-min: A lighter-bodied enjoyable cup with same balanced flavor profile.

Impression: A creamy smooth full-bodied black tea with incredibly deep rich malty milk chocolate that will also go the distance! This black tea is thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended!

Many thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for providing a generous sample of this incredible chocolaty organic Hawaiian blended black tea.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tempered tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teaware/royal-albert/45581-old-country-roses-afternoontea-mugs
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

Sounds great

TeaBrat

want! :)

Nicole

on to the wishlist it goes!

TheTeaFairy

Glad you had such a good session with this tea :-)

looseTman

Thanks TTF!

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55

MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #27
Sorry little tea, you’re probably my least favorite I’ve tried from the tea box. It’s that noticeable cardboard flavor I really don’t love. Maybe it’s just me and others don’t notice that type of thing. But there is also a lot of dry grass/hay flavor that I DO like and hints of cherry so it isn’t the worst of the worst offending cardboard teas with the hay and cherry. Not only cardboard! The flavor is mid strength. Always appreciate trying any tea though!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // just boiled // 3 min

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85

Finally a tea with some flavor! The last two Arbor tea samples I reviewed were lacking in that area. :p

This is a creamy/buttery green tea. The vegetal flavor is not as intense as in my favorite Japanese greens, but its still there and very nice. Stay tuned for more notes on this tea as I finish the rest of my sample bag.

In the mean time, look look what I did! I made a video and I am so proud of myself! I actually let myself be on camera and posted it for the public to see. I feel like I turned over a new leaf of confidence ٩(^ᴗ^)۶ although it might take several videos of various things to actually act confident. haha. but this particular one is to prove my ability to talk backwards. I always say I can, but people have had to take my word for it. I don’t “read” the words backwards in my head like the small handful of others who do this. I say them phonetically so that a recording can be reversed and verified, which I do in the video with a reverse recording app. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcliR8SkhMc

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85

Finishing off my sample of this tea. It’s not such a bad white tea. I might have to increase my rating. The flavor is still quite delicate, but thats not always a bad thing. I’m picking up a lot more of the floral notes this time. It’s a lot better than the heavy-hay flavored whites that I usually come across.

Flavors: Flowers, Hay

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85

The first time I made this tea, I could hardly taste it at all. I used the recommended 1.5tsp. This time I used a tablespoon and I can detect the flavor better, but it is still very delicate. I notice mostly the characteristic hay flavor of silver needle as well as a faint floral that comes and goes with each sip.

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75

I finally bought some new teas. can you believe it? I went all June without any new tea. Crazy!

I’ve been wanting to try Hawaiian tea for a while, so I was excited to try finally get some. It’s a very delicate flavored green tea; buttery and very little astringency. I tend to prefer stronger flavored green teas, but this is still a very pleasant cup.

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It is really stinky hot and humid, and for these type of days I usually find myself slurping back cold brews, but they don’t usually give me the caffeine jolt that I need to get going. Usually I drink fruity herbals cold brewed. So, I do need a strong, caffeinated brew to get me going. This one.

This is strong – just what I needed. First steep at 3 minutes with near boiling water resulted in a coppery clear brew that was strong, malty and earthy. My second steep at 4 minutes was still flavourful, but the malt was toned down, letting through more of the earthy notes.

A surprise and a delight, I think I’ll have to explore more Kenyan blacks. I like to start my days with a strong malty tea and this satisfied that need. Thanks to looseTman for the sample!

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I do like Yunnan tea’s, so I was pleased that looseTman included a sample in the swap package. This is my first experience with Arbor Tea’s, and it didn’t disappoint.

The brew was a deep red/brown, and when I see a tea that colour I already know that I’m gonna like it. I was right…it was delicious.

No additives to this tea – it doesn’t need it. It’s a bit malty, satisfying and naturally sweet. I found a bit of a pepper bite at the end of the sip, which I don’t object to, since I find that it adds a pleasing kick.

A positive first experience with Arbor Tea’s. Thanks, looseTman for the sample!

looseTman

You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Arbor Teas are all USDA organic too!

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This morning, courtesy of Aubrey at Arbor Teas, I’m pleased to review the 2013 Organic Makaibari Estate Darjeeling 2nd Flush USDA Organic black tea, Western style: 8 oz / 1.25 tsp (2.0g) / 212*F / 3-5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Thin twisted dark chocolate-brown, chocolate-brown, green and gold 2 cm or < in length.
Fragrance: Reminds me of hay with hints fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Brilliant, clear, amber
Aroma: Muscatel!
Flavor: Muscatel!

3-min: A very smooth, light-bodied black tea. There was no bitterness or astringency. I let it steep another min.
4-min: A very smooth, medium-bodied black tea. There was no bitterness or astringency. I let it steep another min.
5-min: A very smooth, oh, so smooth, rich muscatel black tea. This is not as robust as a full-bodied Assam or Keemun, but you wouldn’t expect it to be as it is a Darjeeling! The muscatel white grape flavor lingers long on the tongue gently dancing – like butterflies flitting around on a cluster of blooms. There was zero bitterness or astringency. Oh, this is good! It brings a smile to my face – literally!

Re-Steeping:
6-min: Smooth & light-bodied w/o bitterness or astringency. I let it steep for another 4 min.
10-min: Smooth light-bodied w/o bitterness or astringency.

Impression: A very smooth, rich, and highly enjoyable organic Darjeeling with a potent natural muscatel aroma and flavor. Very well done! Highly recommended!

Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for including this gracious sample with my recent order.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Yum, love a good muscatel SF. i’ve been in such a Darjeeling mood lately!

looseTman

I understand! They’re so different from robust black breakfast teas and such a refreshing treat!

mrmopar

I wish I could pen a review like this. Fantastic my friend!

looseTman

Thank you my friend! When the tea is this enjoyable, inspiration comes standard and the review nearly writes itself!

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I love a great Orthodox black tea to get me going each day. This morning, courtesy of Aubrey at Arbor Teas, I’m pleased to be the first to review a new Kenya USDA Organic black tea, Western style: 8 oz / 1 tsp (2.4g) / 212*F / 3-5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Dark chocolate brown thin twisted leaves < 1 cm long. (No “floor sweepings” here!)
Fragrance: Mild, reminds me of fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Brilliant clear copper
Aroma: Mild
Flavor: Malty & earthy

3-min: A very smooth, medium-bodied black tea. There was no bitterness or astringency. I let it steep another min.
4-min: A very smooth, full-bodied, malty, earthy black tea. The earthiness gives it greater depth than a typical malty only tea. There was zero bitterness or astringency.

Re-Steeping:
5 min: Smooth & light-bodied w/o bitterness or astringency.
8-min: Smooth & light to medium-bodied w/o bitterness or astringency.

Impression: A very smooth, malty, and enjoyable organic black tea. This is not your typical low-cost Kenya teabag tea. Who says, good Orthodox tea only comes from China or India. Very well done!

Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for including this gracious sample with my recent order.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Flavors: Earth, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Charissa

I love a good Kenyan tea. They are just so…smooth and delicious! This one looks really nice.

looseTman

It definitely is!

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This morning, courtesy of Aubrey at Arbor Teas, I’m very fortunate to enjoy and pleased to be the first to review a 2013 Tonganagoan Estate, 2nd flush Assam SFTGFOP1, USDA Organic, premium black tea, Western style: 8 oz / 1 tsp (1.6g) / 212*F / 3-5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: Approximately a 50/50 mixture of dark chocolate brown twisted leaves and golden tips, both thin & thick, 1 cm long.
Fragrance: A wonderfully rich scent that reminded me of hay / straw
Liquor: Clear medium amber
Aroma: Same as fragrance but not as strong.
Flavor: Malt with hints of barley and sweet mushroom

3-min: A very smooth, moderately full-bodied, rich, complex Assam with hints of barley and sweet mushrooms. The hints of mushroom persist long on the tongue. There was no bitterness or astringency.

Re-Steeping:
4-min & 5 min: Smooth & medium bodied w/no bitterness or astringency.
6-min: Smooth & fuller- bodied w/no bitterness or astringency.

Impression: A smooth, rich, unique, and intriguing organic Assam. Definitely not a typical Assam! Well done!

Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for including this gracious sample with my recent order.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39312-perfect-preset-tea-timer

Flavors: Malt, Mushrooms

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Brooklynsheep

Oooh, this sounds nice.

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I must have made this way too concentrated because the first taste was horribly bitter and grassy! Watering it down helps a lot! Much smoother now. Half way through the sip I get a wheatgrass type taste that holds on into the after taste. I get that same mouth sensation that I do when I take a shot of wheatgrass juice. Almost a slight puckering. The first part of the sip is different and a little more mellow, but I don’t know how to describe it. Interesting tea, but not one I need to seek out.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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95

Good for dessert. Cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, black pepper. All of the flavors come through, but I wish it were a little stronger. I could fix that by using more scoops, but then it would have more caffeine than I want; I can tell that the finely chopped black tea yields a high caffeine brew. The spice and caffeine means it’s a good way to wake up in the afternoon. When soy milk and agave are added, it’s pretty substantial and works on its own instead of having tea plus a snack. I’m going to shop around to see if I can find something a little stronger, but I still give this a very high rating.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

This tea immediately reminds me of fruit – maybe plums, peaches, and strawberries. I remember Arbor Teas’ Keemun having a hint of prunes, and there is some of that here. However, this doesn’t have any of the smoke than Keemun had. There is some maltiness, but maybe not as much as the Nam Lanh or Assam. Overall, this Yunnan is excellent, but it’s similar enough to Nam Lanh that I don’t want to buy both. I can’t decide which I prefer, so maybe I’ll alternate between buying the two? The Nam Lanh is caramel with a little bit of fruit, and Yunnan is fruit with a little bit of caramel. I’ll probably just cave in and buy tins of both. :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

Another favorite. This one is smooth, dark, and malty. The maltiness of this tea reminds me of dark beer; if Darjeeling is said to be the champagne of tea, then I guess this is the stout. Other tastes include caramel and dried fruit. Similar to Arbor Teas’ Assam, but I don’t have any more of that one to compare. I like this one better, because it’s sweeter and doesn’t have the hint of spice that Assam had. It’s also similar to Yunnan, and I haven’t decided which I prefer. Finally, there is a hint of Darjeeling in this. So, this tea has a lot going on. The mouthfeel of this one is heavy and thick, giving the impression that this tea is more filling. The brewed smell is comforting and might be my favorite of any tea. I could drink this every day!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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100

One of my favorites. It’s naturally sweet and reminds me of agave and grapes. It’s good by itself, but adding some light agave really brings out the flavor! I would call this a “medium” tea, good for any time of day. It’s refreshing and has a mild aftertaste with no bitterness. Overall, this tea is interesting enough for slow, contemplative sips, but it’s light enough so that just guzzling a whole pot works, too.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Every get so distracted by crafting that you forget to update you blog? Well that happened to me last night, I was working on the Pokemon Challenge (at number 54, Psyduck!) and I was hit with inspiration to finally break out the mini melty beads. They make some awesome things, problem is they are really time consuming because placing the tiny beads takes a level of precision that I am very out of practice for. I kept having flash backs to jewelry making and bead weaving, and of course my arch-nemesis, the seed bead. The siren call of crafting is strong, so before I even though the beads, I am blogging first!

Today’s tea hails from the Uva District of Ceylon, Organic Ceylon Greenfield Estate Black Tea by Arbor Teas. Grown between 5-6,000 feet above sea level, this tea is both organic and fair trade certified. The aroma is exceptionally sweet and fruity, blending notes of fresh grapes, scuppernongs, and a hint of fresh figs. There is also a very mild note of roses and malt, giving this tea a delightfully complex aroma. This might be the best smelling Black Ceylon that I have had the pleasure of sniffing.

The brewed leaves retain their sweet fruity aroma, but they take on a brisk quality that is very typical of Ceylon Blacks. There is also a faint hint of citrus at the finish. The liquid is still quite fruity and sweet, less like grapes and more like lychee. The aroma is quite good.

The taste of this tea is very brisk and bright! The mouthfeel is bold, it is one of those teas that seems to fill up the mouth with a smooth flavor. The taste is earthy and nutty, with a boiled peanut quality (though not salty like the traditional Southern style boiled peanuts….oh man, now I really want some) that gives the tea a really rich taste. There is a malty finish that ties in well with the other qualities. The taste of this tea is not at all sweet, which certainly makes it a bold tea. Quite a tasty tea!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/03/arbor-teas-organic-ceylon-greenfield.html

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85

This is one of the very first teas that I tried when I started with loose leaf. I bought several green tea samplers from Arbor teas and from the Tea spot (having drank bagged green tea exclusively before, I wasn’t going to venture too far from my comfort zone). This was all about three weeks before I joined steepster, so most of these teas were never logged here unless I repurchased them later.

This was not one of my favorite green teas. However, it is one of my mother’s favorites. Her birthday is coming up so I ordered some (she doesn’t often order her own tea). 4oz is the first available size up from the sample size (which contains 5 servings), so I got the 4oz and decided to take some of it for myself, because why not? I didn’t remember hating it. I sort of remember that it had a citrus flavor, but I must have confused it with another tea, because it is not citrus at all.

The flavor is extremely mellow. It’s pleasant to drink for the sake of being a hot beverage. Sometimes, thats all I need. I’ve had a few cups since reordering it and I’ve tried 2 and 3 minute steep times as well as adding an extra teaspoon this time around. The flavor is only slightly stronger. It is a good tea when you don’t want to be picky about time and measurements, I suppose.

Besides the lack of strength, theres nothing to dislike about the flavor. It’s sweet, not very grassy (for those that have green-tea issues :) ) and doesn’t seem prone to bitterness. The sweetness is hard to describe exactly but it is different than similar non-grassy greens that I have had before and disliked.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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