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Recent Tasting Notes
I got some sample sizes of the oolongs from Arbor Teas and decided to start with this one. I did it in my gaiwan, short and quick infusions.
It’s got decent flavor. It’s not outstanding, but it’s nice. The price isn’t bad, but I think there are Bao Zhongs that I like better.
This tea doesn’t taste like your typical Assam. Instead of the bold flavor I was expecting, it was mellow with slight hints of barley and malt. It has a surprisingly sweet undertone to it and didn’t turn bitter or astringent, even when steeped for five minutes. This is one of the rare teas that I could drink a lot of, either hot or iced, and not be bored with it. I don’t say that often about unflavored black teas.
You can read the full review on my blog:
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
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
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
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
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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!