Arbor Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

90

Starting to whittle down my collection of Assams. This one has come to an end. It was a good, basic Assam… but I don’t think it will be a re-order.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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90

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Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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90

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Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90

My first early morning cup in quite some time… Had to cut back on caffeine for awhile. I got up, filled the kettle, sat down and waited for the whistle. And waited. And waited.

You know what helps the kettle boil? Turning on the burner. Yeah… this cup couldn’t have come soon enough.

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

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Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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90

Not nearly as dark as it appeared yesterday, but still a good color. After adding sugar, I’m getting a distinct honey-like taste… which is interesting. I had to go back and make sure I knew which tea I’d actually brewed, because this morning’s cup seems completely different from the last. Yummy, just the same.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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90

Part of the Indian tea sampler. (The Adagio black sampler taught me that I prefer Indian over Chinese, now I’ll learn which Indian tea I prefer. Good deal.)

I’ll have to remember to use one of my white cups next time, because the color coming out of the teapot spout looked much darker and more red than I’m used to, and I’d really like to see it. The flavor was very rich, very smooth and pretty malty. I’m a fan.

Preparation
Boiling 6 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

After a one-minute infusion, I was left with a pale-colored yellowish brew. Its smell is subtle and somewhat buttery. It has a very pleasant taste – it lacks the overwhelming vegetal flavor of a sencha or gyokuro, but still has a nice savory roundness to it. Overall, it’s a very mellow tea, with no sharp or distracting off-tastes. Definitely one of the best kukicha teas I’ve had, because of this subtlety.

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

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90

Love this tea. I use a bit more sugar than I would otherwise deem acceptable in tea, but it works well with the vanilla.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

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Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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90

Got my teas from Arbor Teas less than 18 hours after I placed the order… I didn’t even know they were downstairs until my husband came home. Huzzah for local delivery.

The dry leaves smell like good vanilla extract… somewhat alcoholic, but delicious. The taste is soft and smooth, and works pretty well with a bit of sugar. Yum-my.

Edit: The empty cup now smells like toasted marshmallows. Weird and awesome.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 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

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75

I tried again, this time (cold) brewed a little stronger. This time around the tea flavor is both obvious and enjoyable. I don’t know if I had just not been using enough tea or if the tea itself needs to be brewed a little longer on the whole.

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75

I’m on the fence with this tea. I’ve only made it cold brewed and it is very light and slightly sweet, but to me it seems too light. I like a definite flavor with my tea.

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83

I took this iced and the flavor translates pretty well. Certainly it’s somewhat sweeter, but usually an iced tea (for me) is somewhat less strong than a hot tea. In this case the tea comes across pretty similar between the two methods.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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83

Great in the fall.

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

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83

Today was cold and wet, so I brewed this one hot. My first rooibos was a peach vanilla blend, which I tried cold brewed. It was nice, but a little too sharp in it’s flavor, which I assumed at the time was due to the fact it was cold brewed. I suspect I was right, as this rooibos was not nearly as sharp and very blackberry smooth.

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67

Last of my Jade Oolong. Joolong.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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67

I just learned that it is customary to brew (quality) Oolong up to 5 times, and that it usually improves with each successive brew.

On an unrelated note, I started a tea group on Gnolia.
http://gnolia.com/groups/tea

For those who don’t know, Gnolia is a bookmarking network similar to Delicious. Right now it’s by invite, but if you request an invite you should probably get one in a day or so. (But you don’t need an invite to view groups or bookmarks.)

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67

Much better this time, a little nutty. This tea was my first tea where the leaves were rolled and it’s taken me awhile to get the amount needed for a good brew right. (Hint: a little less.)

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