Arbor Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

96

This tea has that deep, dark, inky pu-erh color. It has a very natural plant-like flavor. It’s very soft, but with an astringency that seems to cleanse the mouth. Overall, it’s very earthy – fans of this style of pu-erh will definitely enjoy this tea. It’s quite the opposite of a dessert tea, and for some reason seems to have an air of seriousness to it.

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

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99

I just tried this tea and I loved it! I’m a big fan of black teas and have tried many different sorts, but this one takes the cake. Its very soft and mellow which makes it a perfect tea for an early morning, a cozy night, or a chill afternoon. I will definitely be ordering more of this tea ASAP!

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93

I was stunned by the incredible deep golden, coppery color of this infusion and its pleasant jasmine fragrance. Usually I am not a fan of jasmine teas – they tend to come out tasting rather soapy. I think what makes this one different (and much better) is that it is not jasmine FLAVORED, but rather SCENTED with jasmine. The jasmine has a very noticeable presence, but does not overpower the tea like others I’ve tried. The taste is pleasantly floral, with a short-lived astringency that makes the tea ‘crisp.’ The aftertaste is a relaxed lingering jasmine.

Despite normally being the kind of tea drinker that loathes flavoring or anything like that, I really enjoyed this tea. I will almost certainly go through a bag of this during the fall.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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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

One last pot of this. It is very enjoyable and fruity. Yummy, yummy, yummy.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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80

I absolutely love this blend. Sweet and tart, a good rich cup. I made a full pot of this tonight (which, for my little pot, is 3 cups). Hopefully it’ll brighten me up and keep me alert…I want to watch the Tea Mavericks discussion tonight!!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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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

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

Got it in my head that I was going to make chai this morning, but soon discovered I didn’t actually own any cardamom. (I have no idea what’s in my cupboard, to be honest. The life of the attention span-challenged baker.)

So, with that project failing, I decided to experiment… and concocted a delicious drink with this tea, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla sugar, and soy milk. I don’t know what it is, but it’s fantastic.

Preparation
Boiling 4 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

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

Just finished this one off as well. One of the better darjeelings in my stash. :)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

Backlogging. I’ve got a few early-morning classes this semester, and I’ve been taking tea in my Thermos, which is a lovely way to stay warm in the frigid lecture room. I love that it’s still hot when I pull it out of my bag at the end of a 6-hour kitchen lab.

This Darjeeling is great, but 5:30am is not when I should be making a pot of tea, apparently. I had it in my head that this was an oolong. I steeped it as an oolong, and I expected it to taste like an oolong. I blame it on Adagio’s Ooooh Darjeeling…. Somehow. Really, it was just too early and I had no idea what I was doing. I shouldn’t be allowed to do anything without my morning cup… including making my morning cup.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Jaime

“Really, it was just too early and I had no idea what I was doing.”

Oh, how I can relate to that!!

Is your kitchen lab a quantity foods class? My longest one was only about 5…

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80

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Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

Honestly, I forgot I had this. I was in the mood for Darjeeling, and found this in the back of the cupboard. It’s wonderful.

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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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

The last of my sample. :(

I love this tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90

Nearing the end of this sample… I’ll be sad to see it go.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90

May have brewed it a little weak today. I’ve been brewing single cups lately, so I think I forgot how to properly brew a pot. Still good, though. I love love love Indian black teas.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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