Arbor Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82

It has been FOR – EV – ER since I’ve had this tea. Which is funny, because right about a year ago I drank it all the time, to the point where I got a decent-sized bag of it, of which I still have most left. It used to be my go-to calm-down tea, but after a point all I ever wanted to drink was black tea.

I still really like this one. As I’ve mentioned in notes before, it’s light and grassy tasting with a bit of sweetness that’s kind of fruity and floral. The perfect white tea.

I’m really excited. I’ve been wanting to find some way to organize my tea collection from the mess of little sample bags sitting on my shelf, in the little shipping boxes they came in, on the floor, etc. I finally went to Garden Ridge and got three wooden boxes with absolutely GORGEOUS designs: one for my greens and whites, one for my pu-erhs and oolongs, and the biggest one for the black teas (and I still may need a bigger one!)

I’ve been holding off on getting new teas because of various expenditures in recent history, but now that I’m starting to get not-broke, I really, reeeeeally need something to pique my interest in tea again. And to get me back on Steepster. To Mahamosa! Or Verdant Tea! Or DavidsTea which I’ve never tried! And those French companies I keep hearing about! (And in the future I may be able to read their websites. I’m learning French!)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec
TheTeaFairy

I love boxes for tea, glad you found nice ones :-)
(Et je suis disponible pour pratiquer ton Français!)

Nxtdoor

See, tea fairy, I can read and understand that, but there’s no way I would have come up with it on my own.

TeaKlutz

Merci, TeaFairy! Comment-allez vous? Side note 1: I’m a beginner, so I’ll probably be making an idiot of myself for a while, and 2) it made me disproportionately happy to get a comment addressed to me in French.

TheTeaFairy

Nxtdoor, I think you are better than you give yourself credit for…

TeaKlutz, you are doing amazingly well! Je suis heureuse que mon commentaire t’ait plu ;-)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

81

Really? I’ve had this three times? I only remember one.

I’ve had this one for forever, and I just noticed it in my cupboard again today. I had to get new tires on my car, so I’m going to be broke until I get my tax return. So I’ll be going through and trying to sip down some of the excess stuff I’ve got kicking around.

I did a fairly short steep time on this (like 2 minutes), and it came out really smooth. There’s an astringent note in the aftertaste, right on the tip of my tongue after I swallow it, but it’s very pleasant. I think the first time I tried this, I brewed it for 5 minutes or so, and it was QUITE potent. Which Irish teas are supposed to be, as I understand. But the shorter brew time came out a lot more enjoyable than I expected.

And now I’m off to shower then, instead of putting away laundry or cleaning like I had PLANNED, I’m going to go work on my last-minute program notes assignment. God I love it when people think their time takes priority over your time.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

96

My favorite morning tea. Very forgiving of my early morning slapdash tea making style which consists of click, dump, pour, steep until I remember I already made tea, pour into cold milk. To me it tastes like wet redwoods smell and summer camp. It smells like clean leather and munched autumn hay.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Leather, Malt

__Morgana__

Yay! Great to see you here!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

30

I love plum, and I love oolong tea, so I was curious about this organic offering. The dry tea smelled very strongly of berries. When brewed, the tea in my cup is still very fruity, and the dominant flavor is the that of hibiscus. It is certainly tart, but not unpleasantly so. The plum flavor does not come through for me. I am not a big fan of hibiscus, so this tea will not become a favorite. While I expected some hibiscus, I would have appreciated a better balance of the flavors in the blend.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

70

I’m not a big fan of Green Teas, but this one is quite nice. It has a subtle sweetness to it and the roasted flavor also adds a bit of smokiness. I went through the sample quickly, so I’ll have to update this once I’ve ordered more =) Definitely worth a try

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

77

I was a little reluctant to try this tea fearing it would be overly fruity or tart but it turned out to be surprisingly good. It has a nice mellow raspberry flavor with floral undertones and a natural sweetness. The liqueur was a barely noticible faint pink but that’s probably me using the wrong tea to water ratio. I got two good infusions out of this

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

69

Just got my tea sampler set from Arbor Teas and this was the first tea I tried. The tea leaves have a wonderful potpourri like aroma of pineapple and tropical fruit and when brewed the flavor of the tea is true to its scent. Pineapplely and tropical with a hint of bubblegum flavor. Although it’s a tad fruitier than I prefer, it’s not overly so like Teavana teas tend to be. Second infusion was equally good. Next time I would brew it with regular green tea to tone down the fruitiness. A very nice tea overall.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.