Arbor Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

75

Having one last cuppa before sending to a friend…see previous notes…

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75

I’m still looking for a back-up to the Infusion Tea’s Plum Oolong…this really isn’t it…but there are a few completely different tasting notes and thoughts I have on this Oolong…

This smells and tastes wine-like…a very sweet and tarty wine or alcoholic beverage. I like the way this one starts but then it turns a bit too tart for my liking. I will give it some ‘props’ tho because it’s not as tart as it could be and I can certainly drink the entire cuppa! Yup! You got it! It’s because of the hibiscus! Ug.

It’s also because of the schizandra berries and rosehips, too! I, personally, would have preferred just straight-up Oolong with chunks of plum. Because this isn’t the case…I am ok with it…but I would have tweaked the name of the tea…maybe Plum Berry Surprise or “Plum & Then Some” Oolong or something…because it’s not just plum…there is more than just the plum.

Okay…so…now that I have gotten that out of my system and that my hot tea is cooling at rapid speeds today because it continues to be at tundra-temperatures…I’ll switch gears!

COLD or ICED

This is where it is, folks! At least for me, it is!

I’m completely looking at this flavored oolong in a different light when it’s cold. I can totally take the level of tartiness with the hibiscus! I prefer this one cold! There it is. :)

When I review this one over at SororiTEA Sisters I will most likely do it from an Iced Tea Prospective…of course I will say why I prefer it this way in the post but it will be less of a rant and ramble than I am doing here. I guess it’s just been one of those days or weeks…I have finally decided to CRACK

I can’t take much more snow and storms and cold and crappy roads!

Anyhow…back to the tea…

This iced or cold is MUCH BETTER and I am rating it mostly on the iced – since that is my personal preference here! It’s sweet and a little sugary and fruity and berry but smooth at the beginning with more tart at the end of the sip! It remains quite wine-like…maybe starting off more like a sweet and ending more like a fruity-dry. It leaves a drier fruit aftertaste as well.

So…how was that for a ramble and rant!?

Don’t get me wrong…this is a great tea for those who love their hot teas tarty and don’t mind hibiscus. For those like me who aren’t fond of the hibiscus – especially in hot teas – try it cold or iced. There are differences between the hot and cold versions. I, personally, prefer the iced in this case. I will say it has a nice wine- like color to it as well…comparable to some of the Arbor Mists colors…or wine-cooler type drinks.

End result for my preferences…fairly good cold.

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89

Having another cup of this before sending the rest to a friend. This is a great one if you like stronger black teas! Woot!

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89

If there is a stash of teas that make up your morning cuppa’s – this one should be in that stash! It’s strong and bold. It’s a solid black tea. There is something that slightly reminds me of an Earl Grey without the bergamot or something like that. I can taste the allusion of molasses that was mentioned in the description, subtly.

A wonderfully bold morning cup!

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95

I had a wonderful cup of this earlier this morning and forgot to log! This flavored black is most memorable and one I will enjoy all year round despite it’s name! I think this is perfectly flavored – not too light and not overdone! Brilliant! The orange is perfect!

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95

This smells wonderful! Black Tea, Orange, and Spice! VERY NICE!

Taste…
The orange is more prominent than the other flavors which I LOVE. The Black Tea tastes and the spices are about equal in strength and they are great together!

Even with the spices this has a lovely smoothness to it

WOW! I’m REALLY enjoying this…maybe a little TOO MUCH…ahhhhh!

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94

Started my day off with this one! SOLID! It’s been a crazy morning so I have some catching up to do…check out my previous note…

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94

The aroma is intense and I assumed it would be over-the-top in taste…by that I mean ‘hard to handle’ but it certainly was NOT hard to handle. This was very easy to handle…it’s also the most forgiving Earl Grey I have come across…I over infused and it was very generous not to get bitter which I am very grateful for! This is a medium strength black tea as well as a medium to medium-strong Earl Grey…which is fine by me because it tastes very good! I was pleasantly surprised and Arbor Teas EG and I have quickly become friends!

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90

Made a huge mug of this with soymilk and vanilla sugar this morning. There is a very noticeable spice left in my mouth after every sip, which I absolutely adore. The spicier, the better.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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85

This is now the… sixth? Earl Grey in my cupboard. It’s a sickness.

This is a good, solid Earl Grey. The bergamot isn’t too strong, and doesn’t have that sort of perfumey or soapy taste to it, which some of the… lesser blends can have. I think it’s balanced well with the tea… it’s bold, but not overpowering. Yum-o.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Michelle Butler Hallett

I collect Darjeelings in the same way.

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80

This reminds me of an orange spice tea I used to drink as a kid, only better quality. I’ve kind of lost my taste for orange teas, to be honest… and I wish this had a bit more spice to it, but it is a good blend all the same.

The first real snow of the year is blanketing everything outside, and I’m sitting here drinking this tea and reading The Princess Bride by Christmas tree light. This tea definitely lends to the holiday atmosphere. :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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82

This is one that I hesitated trying until now… because, well, it’s Pu-Erh, and that’s my typical response to Pu-Erh. Hesitation. Apprehension. FEAR! Mostly because I am still “acquiring” my taste for it.

This one is actually quite good (for a Pu-Erh). The earthy aroma and flavor are not as strong as in many of the Pu-Erh teas that I’ve tried, and it has a very pleasant body and sweetness to it.

I’m off to write a review for this one.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Lori

I have a sample of this and been hesitating to try this one!

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97

I had one of these after lunch today (much thanks to my girlfriend), and was blown away. This was my first tea-chocolate, and it was delightful. All of the tastes were fairly well-rounded, nothing overwhelming or obnoxious. Quite subtle, but very delicious. I feel like it gave me a slight caffeine buzz, but this could just be placebo (or just the warm feeling from eating chocolate!)

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100

OK, I’m glad I saved this one for last. I love the way the bergamot comes through the rich chocolate flavor. This is SO GOOD.

The citrus-y bergamot flavor is perfectly paired with the sweet chocolate flavor. It is sweet and creamy and decadent.

I so enjoyed this collection of truffles! They are absolutely awesome!

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97

Appearance wise, this one is the prettiest in the collection of truffles… It is so pretty in fact I almost couldn’t bear to bite into it… ALMOST!

The grapefruit zest lends a wonderful citrus note to this delicious truffle, and it enhances the jasmine tea notes just enough so that they can be tasted above the strong flavor of the dark chocolate ganache.

I think that this one is my favorite truffle of the five that I’ve tried so far. (hahaha – I’ve probably said that with each one of these!)

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78

You really have to see it in person to admire it, but this tea is just beautiful to look at. There are beautiful reddish-orange flower petals mixed with the silvery and white tea needles work well together. The smell of the dry leaf is more candy like than pomegranate, but either way, it smelled sweet, and reminded me of lollipops.

For a more in depth review and a Time Lapse Steep Video check out my blog! http://wp.me/pQxcK-8f

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79

The Final Sipdown: Day 10
Decupboarding Total: 19

Not much to say about this one that I didn’t say the other day when I finally rated it. But I had to log it to make the decupboarding count official.

takgoti

Another one bites the dust!

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79

Finally rating this one today. If I needed to buy pu-erh for some reason or another, I’d probably pick up this one (or Samovar’s Blood Orange pu-erh, but since that’s flavored I kind of think that would be cheating). I don’t think I’m going to run out and get some of this RIGHT NOW but I do like it and won’t have a problem drinking up the remainder of the sample (which will probably be soon given all the decupboarding required by The Final Sipdown). It’s got the ‘normal’ pu-erh taste (dirt) but it’s not so thick or overpowering so I like that. It makes it an easy drinker for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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79

I am feeling bold and daring today so I decided to give this one a shot. There was a time that I thought I would never try pu-erh – the idea of it was just too scary. But then Steepster(ites) came along and made me brave enough to try it. I’ve tried a handful of different pu-erhs and don’t hate them, but I haven’t found one that I can really get behind (at least, not a cooked one – I’m kind of loving raw ones so far). I keep trying though! I might be out of luck simply because they all have a taste that I end up mentally calling ‘earth syrup’ and it’s just a little too rich/sweet/thick for me to not feel overwhelmed. But again, I keep trying, so I’m apprehensively excited to be trying this one.

The dry leaf is more ‘hay syrup’ smelling than ‘earth syrup’, but after a quick rinse and then some steeping and the earth comes out. No fishy though, which is another pu-erh smell/taste that can be a bit much for me so the lack of fish equals good. There actually might be a little hint of something spicy in the smell, too, but I’m not exactly sure on that.

Okay, I have to say this first steep is promising. Yes, there is some sweet dirt taste going on but it isn’t thick or heavy enough to reach syrup status. Instead, there is a little almost-Yunnan-like tea taste at the beginning of the sip and a little peppery-type like warmth/spiciness left on my tongue after each sip. The damp dirt sweetness hits in the middle of these two flavors and follows through to the end. And while the tip of my tongue is tingling with spice after the sip, the sweetness expands in the middle of my tongue. The post-sip sweetness is almost into syrup territory thickness but not quite.

Amazingly, I finished off my cup and wasn’t too pu-erh-ed out to avoid more steeping! Second Steep (4:00) is sweet and smooth and edges a bit more towards earth syrup but still doesn’t feel too heavy. I’m thinking the peppery warmth has increased a bit but that could be residual lunch after-spice (but I don’t think so since sipping seems to increase it).

And I’m still up for another steep, so Steep Three (5:00)! It actually tastes a lot like the last steep. Smooth, earthy sweet but not heavy enough to be syrupy. Not as much depth of flavor as steep one and I’m not getting so much of the hint of spicy, but it’s still good.

Fourth Steep (6:00)! Mild, sweet but a little lighter/thinner than the last two steeps and more closely matching the first steep (but without the pepper tingle).

Honestly, I wouldn’t be adverse to taking this tea a bit farther (which is kind of amazing since it is a pu-erh and usually I’m done pretty early in the resteeping process) but I just finished a HUGE blog post about my Hawaii trip (http://pinkness.danzimmermann.com/2010/10/mia-ness-over.html) so I feel the need to celebrate and relax with something green so I’m going to call this tea done. I’m also going to leave this unrated for a little contemplation time. The fact that this never hit earth syrup is huge for me so I actually can say that this is a cooked pu-erh I really like. Shocking, I know. But now the question is: how much do I like this? Will I start craving it’s slightly lighter pu-erh profile? Is this enjoyable enough to break through my anti-cooked-pu-erh mindset to where I would actually buy it? That’s what I need to figure out so no rating for now, but it’s definitely a 75 or over.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

I have to confess I’m baffled by this whole pu-erh → sweetness thing. But if that’s what you’re getting, that’s what you’re getting.

Not coincidence that pu-erh would share notes with Yunan since that’s where pu-erh is made.

Given how short your steeps are, you could definitely take this tea a lot farther, I think, and keep getting good cups. Everyone says I’m insane, I know, but I steep pu-erhs for tens of minutes at a time with great results. With these short steep times, I’m sure you can get at least a half dozen cups from one set of leaves.

Angrboda

That’s totally not your face in my head! That looked lovely though, especially the aquarium. I love places like that. And zoos. :D

It’s weird that we’re taste twins in almost every other sort of tea except pu-erh. I can’t get over that, really. My brain won’t accept it. (And I suddenly remember I forgot to order a green pu-erh sample when I was shopping at NBT the other day. I knew there was something I’d forgotten. Four green japanese though.)

Auggy

Jim – I’m sure I could too as I have before. I just chose not to on this one because I was ready for something else. As for the sweetness, for me pu-erh like a cane or other very dark syrup, just dirt flavored.

Angrboda – Dare I ask what I look like in your head? :) And I’m really trying to learn to love pu-erh so maybe one day when my taste buds grow up, we’ll have matching tastes in that, too! :D

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100

The very last review of the Tea Infused Truffles form Arbor Teas is the one I was most worried about. As, I haven’t been exposed to very much Lapsang Souchong in my tea lifetime and the times I have it was a strange tea. First off, the smell of the truffle itself embodied the tea and chocolate, smelling like a bitter, high percentage of dark chocolate,but also smelling like pipe tobacco and campfire at the same time. The taste is interesting. Upon first taste,the dark chocolate plays nicely with the smoky and toasty flavors from the Lapsang Souchong tea.

to read a more in depth review of this truffle, check my blog! http://wp.me/pQxcK-92

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100

I love this truffle. Surprisingly, the Masala Chai Truffle was the lightest of the 6 truffles! This truffle is white on white, and is exquisitely creamy and delicious. The chai flavor is light,which balances very nicely with the lightness of the white chocolate. There is a light spiciness from the chai in the truffle, with subtle flavors of cinnamon,anise,clove and the other traditional flavors associated with chai.

to read more- check out my blog post on this truffle! http://wp.me/pQxcK-8T

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