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Arbor Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

93

This is a very interesting oolong! I agree with the description – it certainly has some lemon notes to it, and a short-lived astringency that is actually quite refreshing. This is a surprisingly sweet oolong. It has the depth and base taste of a good quality non-green oolong, but with that surprisingly lemony twist.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80

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

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90

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Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

The daughter of one of my dear friends has started a tea business. Lucy (my friend) and Mama France were talking one day (we’re all in the same quilt guild), and the topic came up. Next thing I know, a package of samples arrived in the mail. Oh, yes, that was a Good Mail Day.

I’m not sure which company is her actual tea source, but this tea by Arbor Teas is identical in look and ingredients, so rather than add another tea and company, I’m noting it as this.

The dry blend smells so very strongly, that I was a bit let down when I sniffed my cup. There’s not really any similarity between the two. The scent of the brew is very weak.

But the taste!! If you love fruit teas, and strong, thick fruit teas, this is one for you. The strongest flavors are hibiscus and black currant, with tart cranberries to follow. Kids and juice drinkers would appreciate this tea. And I’m thinking that it wouldn’t be bad iced with a splash of rum.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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94

This sencha is incredible for the price. Has the normal vegetal, savory notes of any good sencha, and little-to-no astringency if brewed properly. It has that delicious deep aftertaste you can only get with a great sencha. Overall, it leaves me feeling fantastic – a good theanine to caffeine ratio in this one for sure.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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93

Brewed at 80C for 1:00. Used more tea than I normally would. The result is a light green/golden infusion. It has that familiar buttery smell of a good kukicha. The taste is a light buttery one with a savory base, surrounded by hints of vegetal notes and very mild astringency. In my very last sip I taste something almost floral about this kukicha – very unexpected but wonderful!

I recommend paying close attention to how you brew this tea – steeping too long, too hot, or with too much tea can result in an overly astringent brew (that’s just the nature of kukicha teas in general). But when done right, its a lovely light green tea.
Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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93

First Infusion: This is a very different pu-erh than most I’ve sampled. It retains the earthiness of most pu-erhs, but it has a very slight sweetness to it that really rounds out the taste. Additionally, it smells more like a black tea than a pu-erh. But it’s really nice to find a pu-erh that doesn’t smell like fish :p

Second Infusion: This time I used a third less water in order to concentrate the flavor more. It definitely has more of the rose-tinted hue described on the company’s website. The flavor is even more complex than the first infusion. It kind of reminds me of a cross between a black tea and a white tea, if that makes any sense – you can easily identify a black tea taste to it, with some of the lingering lightness of a white tea.

Overall, this is a pleasant and very interesting pu-erh. Definitely worth the price of a sample on the company’s website.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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93

This is a delicious Chinese green tea. Usually I’m more into Japanese greens, but this one might just change my mind. It has a soft (non-astringent) taste with note of butter…and maybe gingerbread? Like most Lung Ching teas, it is very subtle. But this one still packs enough flavor to satisfy. This is probably my favorite Chinese green tea I’ve had to date (today’s date being Aug 16, 2010).

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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80

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Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

Trying to finish off all my samples before deciding which varieties I need to stock up on. I’m still not terribly impressed with this one, but it does the job of satisfying my black tea craving.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

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Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90

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Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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90

Bumped up a few points because I’ve been getting a serious craving for this one lately. It’s becoming my go-to black tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90

With a bit of amber sugar. I’m really digging on this tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90

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Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

The last of my Indian tea sampler. I had no idea what to expect going in, but it’s a nice, smooth, full-bodied tea. I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but I kind of neither like nor dislike it. I’ll definitely drink the rest of it and enjoy it, but I can’t see going out of my way to get it. Maybe I’m just in a mood lately.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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80

I still haven’t decided how I feel about Darjeeling in general. I think I like it, but I still haven’t really put on finger on what it is I like or dislike about it.

It’s kind of… sweet. And fruity. And a bit spicy? Hmm.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90

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Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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90

Breakfast blends can be a bit harsh on my stomach, so I was interested in trying something that was meant to be a bit more mellow. This was pretty basic… in a good way. A good staple tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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86

Used more leaf, less water than I usually would. Has a taste largely unlike other green teas. It’s somewhat savory, but hard to describe. It tastes like a food I’ve had. And also a little like genmaicha. It almost has a note of caramel but without the sticky sweetness. Its a nice, almost woody version of that taste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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75

Finished this off by making an iced pitcher. Good hot, good cold. The cinnamon taste seems more suited to hot, but when made cold it’s pleasantly tasty.

Preparation
Iced 3 min, 0 sec

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75

Made an iced pitcher of this tea. I’m not sure if I prefer it iced, compared to hot, but it’s good either way.

Preparation
Iced 3 min, 0 sec

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94

This is a very interesting white tea! It has many different taste notes…very complex and somewhat paradoxical. Of course, it has a base of the classic gentle white tea flavor. But the schizandra brings a tangy edge to it that I haven’t seen in many teas. It has an herbal smell to it, almost peppery. But the taste and feel of the tea is something totally new to me as an American. It is very slightly tart with a subtle sweetness. I’m really not sure how to describe the taste of the schizandra, so I recommend you try it for yourself!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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