Arbor Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

96

Thanks so much LiberTEAs for sending this to me!!! This is the very first tea from Arbor Teas that I have had, I think.

This has a slight bakey smell to it and the color of the liquid is lovely…a dark reddish-brown-copper.

WOW! The taste…WONDERFUL! I’m not getting any astringency at all and it’s quite smooth but also a little malty! I really like this!!!!

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72

I have officially designated Thursdays as Ironing Day. I’ve got a fair amount of goodies to iron today but I’m extraordinarily tired. I need a good oomph to get me through the long ironing ahead. Mate is supposed to give quite a nice buzz and I’ve had this sample from Arbor Teas sitting on my counter for a few days to remind me to try it. Mate scares me a little bit, so I’m using the energy need for my ironing marathon as an excuse to bust this one open.

The dry leaf smells dusty and herbal-y and faintly sweet. Post-steeping, the smell is still a bit musty and herbal with an almost menthol-like whoosh to it. The taste is milder and less offensive than the other mates I’ve had (Samovar blends). It’s pretty much like it smells – somewhat earthy, hay-y, herbal. There’s a little ting on the end that is the menthol smell but the taste is a almost ginger-y warm. It’s a little rough but nothing that makes me think this would benefit in any way from additives.

I haven’t really felt all that buzzed but I am getting through my ironing without wanting to nap so that could be the mate at work. I’m not sure if I’d seek out this (or any mate) for a pleasure drink, but the sweetness definitely makes it my preferred mate drink of the ones I’ve had.
2g/~9oz

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

Ironing makes me so tired too. I’ve managed to jiggle things around and live with some wrinkles so that every other saturday is ironing day :) My grandmother used to iron EVERYTHING and ENJOYED it (!!!)!

gmathis

I must be weird … ironing relaxes me; I wait till I have a whole laundry basket full and put on a good movie and unwind and unwrinkle, literally and emotionally.

sophistre

I really have only particularly liked the peppermint yerba mate from Samovar. I have two others that came in the tasting set they offered as a Select a while back, but I haven’t touched the other ones at all. Strangely, I really do like the mint (extra-strange, actually, because I don’t usually like mint tea either).

Auggy

Ironing makes me physically tired but I like the payoff so it’s (oddly) emotionally fulfilling. Doing the dishes is the chore that relaxes me most. Maybe one day ironing will rank up there!

I thought Samovar’s Peppermint YM was the better between that one and the Sweet YM which, even before the massive heartburn it gave me, was a little too granola for me. (And I don’t normally go for mint, either.)

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92

I’ve never had a green yerba mate before! It was pretty interesting to taste yerba without so much tangyness. Sometimes yerba mate gives a headache (not sure why), but this one didn’t, which is a huge plus.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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81

The Final Sipdown: Day 16
Decupboarding Total: 31

And it’s another sample gone! I really like this tea – it’s got the sweetness and smoothness of a yunnan but there’s a little bright Darjeeling-like kick to the end of it that shows up sometimes. It’s a nice tea to drink straight, which can be a challenge for non-Chinese blacks (at least for me). If I had a larger container of this it would be very easy for me to drink though it is missing just a little something that would push it into the ‘must run out and get more of this!’ category. Still, a good tea that is definitely worth a try!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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81

I like trying teas grown in unexpected places (basically somewhere not China or India), so when I saw Arbor teas had this one, I was interested in trying it. And now I get to!

I know the vendor notes say this is SE Asia’s answer to Assam, but it really makes me think more of a Yunnan. But it’s a bright, happy, more sparkly Yunnan than most of the Yunnans I’ve had, which strike me as a bit thicker tasting. I suppose that extra bright, sweet perkiness comes from the Assam-like malt aspect giving it a different sweet note? There’s a tiny hint of astringency on the tail of the sip, but it’s a sweet dryness instead of a more Assam-like nutty bitterness, so it doesn’t make me feel like I need sugar or milk to smooth it out. Instead, it’s actually quite smooth on its own, something else that bring Yunnan teas to mind.

Overall, this strikes me as a happy tea. Not as caffeinated as an Assam or as thick as a Yunnan, but somewhere in between. A Yunnan on antidepressants perhaps? Which makes it seem like I think Yunnans are unhappy teas. I don’t. They are just more solid, mellow and even-keeled. This tea seems a little peppier and enthusiastic. Somewhat like a puppy. A tea puppy.

And since I just compared this tea to a puppy, I think it’s time for me to run away. Maybe take the second steep out for a walk so it doesn’t piddle on the carpet.

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

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89

A very pleasing jasmine aroma and flavor. While it is not overly “floral” it does possess that certain jasmine sharpness that cuts through some of the sweeter notes nicely. The green tea is lightly vegetative and smooth.

A very good jasmine offering!

I’m off to write a more in-depth review for the Tea Review Blog.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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8

Yeah, sorry, this one just isn’t for me. The dry leaf smells fruity and vaguely alcoholic, like wine or some variety of fruit Pucker. The steeped tea has a spicy, tart, stewed fruit thing going on and something that reminds me of a decorative soap. Sipping the tea gives me mild stewed berries or plums and soap. I find myself wincing three times during each sip – once to brace myself for the sip when the soap smell hits, once as it is in my mouth and I taste the warm tart flavor, then finally when I swallow and feel like I’ve just had my mouth washed out with soap.

Lots of others folks seem to really like this one so I’ll just say my rating reflects my personal tastes, not the quality of the tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Meghann M

Oh, no! Comparing tea to decorative soap can’t be a good thing! Hope you chose a delicious tea to follow.

Auggy

Yeah, not the best mental association to get stuck with! :) Happily, I switched to Japanese greens afterwards. They always make life shiny.

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91

I tried this this morning because its was frigid cold. Being that I love black teas, I found this tea very enjoyable (so enjoyable that I burnt my tongue on it). Its kind of sweet for a black tea but in a very comforting way.

If you like black teas, you will definitely like this one.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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81

I’d have to agree with the others saying the hibiscus is definitely the first thing you’ll taste. The plum is there, however, and its very nice. Overall a very good tea that I probably could have brewed better had I watched the temperature!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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82

Hmmm.. I need to try this again. But after my first sampling,, this had a mild smoky, subtle sweet lapsang souchong flavor. This did not seem like a keemun at all. But if you like smoky and want an organic option, this could be a possibility…

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81

It’s The Final Sipdown: Day 2 and this is the sample to which I must say goodbye.

I have a problem using the last bits of good tea samples. Because if it is a good tea, I want to make sure I always have it on hand. If I only have a cup or two left, I don’t drink it up, I save it. After all, if I drink it, it will then be gone and I will be sad.

But I simply cannot fail in my decupboarding adventure on Day 2! No! If I’m going to fail, it will be after a long and arduous attempt, a mere three feet from the peak of Mt. Everest, not before we even leave base camp!

And with that determination in mind, I used my last bit of this to make a travel tumbler full of tea before heading out for Mt. Everest Costco. I was daring and used no additives. (Because that’s intrepid explorer-types roll, you know. Without sugar.) It is a rare tea that can stand up to travel tumbler abuse additive-less but this one performed swimmingly. Oh, there was a moment I held my breath when I could only slurp tiny amounts (it was very hot, you see, and we hadn’t brought a medic so I had to be cautious) and the taste was coming across somewhat bitter. I began to fear that the tumbler had defeated this tea. But the tea pulled through and, once it cooled and I could sip without fear, the taste reverted to normal yumminess. In fact, I believe it responded well to the travel tumbler challenge as it was bolder and stouter than before.

So two thumbs up for this intrepid tea sample as it successfully conquered my travel tumbler, even though it ultimately perished in the attempt. To those I must decupboard, I salute you!

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

As soon as I read this log, I could not help but think of this: http://bit.ly/dcE4G0

And to follow up: http://bit.ly/brB9F3

Naturally, once I went to go look for that entry, I got sucked into clicking on a bunch of other things and so this comment is going up about 20 minutes later than intended.

IT’S TIME TO FIND ADVENTURE!!!

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81

Going on vacation totally messed with my normal tea-drinking schedule so I’m happy to get back home if only for the chance to dig back into some teas I’ve been wanting to try. (Mind you, lack of my regular tea brewing ability was about the only thing close to negative for my vacation and the beach being half a block from my apartment? Made it fairly worth it.)

This one is another sample provided by Arbor Teas. I generally enjoy Yunnans lots so I’m looking forward to it. The smell of the dry leaf is nicely promising – sweet and malty and thick and yummy. Mmm. The steeped tea has the same great smell but with an added creamy undertone and something almost red-wine-like.

Initially, the taste struck me as a bit watery and thin on the front end; sweetness and malt and a hint of tasty (tasty, mind you, not icky) cardboard came next in at the middle of the sip, then a delightfully sweet and almost floral taste hit at the end of the sip and expanded through the aftertaste. The sweet flavor was more of a caramelized sugar sweetness than the raisin- or fig-like sweetness I typically get from Yunnans. After the tea cooled a little more, the initial taste no longer felt watery, just smooth and with a thinner mouthfeel, which I think threw me off a little at the first.

Second steep (4min) is smooth, sweet and has a touch more texture. The hint of cardboard-ish starch is gone, as is most of the malty except in the aftertaste and I’m left with a nicely sweet, smooth, tasty tea. Very nice.
2.7g/7oz

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

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91

First things first: This tea is hand rolled with a slight arch to make it look like eyebrows! How Bizzare and intriguing! The dry leaves do look like very tiny eyebrows…maybe for a mouse, or a chipmunk.The dry leaves smell very sweet and grassy. After steeping,the first thing I noticed was that all the leaves almost completely expanded and unfurled! The unfurled leaves are the tea liquor was a medium amber color and smelled almost cinnamon-like, with hints of fruitiness and a darker scent, that reminded me of fresh-baked cinnamon chocolate chip cookies.

to read a more in-depth review..check out my tea blog! - http://bit.ly/aWTWB0

Peggie Bennett

I have a chun mee tee on my tea shelf that I haven’t tried yet (not this company). I am glad to read this, now I might move it up in the “what is not yet opened?” list. It sounds perfect for cooler fall weather!

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70

Backlogging from the day before yesterday.

This tea is so interesting! I’ve never tried pu-erh from a little cake before. Or green pu-erh, for that matter. I used an entire cake for a pot that usually makes around 4 cups and as it steeped, I broke it up with a spoon to make sure it soaked all the way through.

In hindsight, I should have steeped it for longer. I saw that it was a green tea, almost like a white, so I treated it delicately. Somehow the fact that it’s a pu-erh slipped my mind. The flavor was very light this way, much like a white tea, but with the sort of aged aftertaste of pu-erh. The tea’s liquor was a light yellowy green.

My second attempt will steep at least five and a half minutes.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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91

Delicious!
Such a smooth and sweet tea. Perfect and cozy. I am impartial Rooibos but this tea really is something else.
For those of you who have a sweet tooth, this tea is perfect.

Also, for those of you who like tea with milk, I think this tea would work perfectly if you’re tired of black tea+ milk.

Preparation
2 min, 45 sec

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97

Had this one again today – still so good! More earthy than I remembered it.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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97

This is my first time trying this tea (I tend to spend all my time on green teas), and I’m enjoying it a lot. It has a very classic “assam” taste, without too much astringency (especially with my somewhat non-standard brewing parameters). It has a very rich malty base to it that makes it a nice full-bodied tea. In a weird way, it makes me nostalgic for my trip to India (which only lasted 2 weeks, but definitely made an impression), and also has put me in the mood to do some yoga – so I’ll talk to you later!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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96

I haven’t had this tea in a while, but inspired by the other reviews, I brewed a few cups today. Absolutely delicious! Don’t know why I haven’t been drinking this more often. It has a subtle complex sweetness and is more appetizing than most ceylons I’ve had. I tried different steeping parameters than I normally would for black tea, and with good results. I think I know what I’ll be drinking most of this weekend.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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85

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Dry leaf smells bright and… zingy. The brewed tea is a bit lighter. The green tea base is only occasionally noticeable, but is a nice, light, grassy taste when it is.

The ginger sort of rolls in afterwards, leaving just a bit of a tingle in the back of my throat, but isn’t overpowering. (Though, my love for ginger is pretty strong, and I wouldn’t be offended if this tea packed a wallop.)

I haven’t yet located the citrus flavor, though there are plenty of bit of dried fruit in my cup.

Definitely good, but I would love to see it a bit stronger.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85

Reading some of the comments, I decided to try steeping it a bit longer. I also added just a bit of amber sugar. It’s like a completely different cup of tea. The plum comes through a bit more, so the hibiscus takes a backseat. It now tastes more like a juicy plum than just the tart skin. Still not getting a real strong sense of the tea base, but it’s a nice fruity cup nonetheless.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 min, 0 sec
Jaime

It amazes me how different a tea can be with different steeping times! This sounds yummy.

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85

Super-fruity smell on the dry leaves, brews up to a nice pinkish gold color. A bit tart, and maybe a little heavy on the hibiscus, but still wonderful. I’ve never been big on hot hibiscus teas, but I love them iced. I’ll have to try it with this one sometime.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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70

My second Pu-Erh, and I’m starting to pick up on those… not so nice descriptions of the smell. Specifically, fish food.

Luckily, that description doesn’t translate to the taste (not that I’ve tasted fish food, mind you) but I’m still not overly excited by this one. After reading some of the reviews suggesting a longer steep time, I tried it again, but not much had changed. There’s nothing bad about it, exactly… just nothing I find particularly interesting.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec
Jaime

For the strong pu-erhs, I’ve found that doing a 10 second “flush” with boiling water, and then using 180-195 degree water to steep seems to yield a milder, non-fishy cup for me. I experiment a lot with my pu-erhs!

cody

I’ll have to try that. Thanks.

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