Arbor Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

Per Aubrey at Arbor Teas:
“We are no longer sourcing our Assam from the Rembeng estate … because they are no longer Fair Trade Certified.”
“Our new … “Assam Black Tea” is now sourced from the Banaspati Estate and is both Organic and Fair Trade Certified.”

Brewed per Arbor Teas’ recommendation: 1 level tsp. / 8 oz. / 212*F / 3 to 5-min. – without sweeteners, milk or cream.

Dry leaf: uniform short length, dark brown
Fragrance: Reminded me of pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear & coppery

3 min. Initial taste: I’ll steep it longer.

4-Min.: The tea was smooth and medium-bodied w/o any bitterness or astringency.

5-Min.: Medium-to-full-bodied with a delicate sweetness and w/o any bitterness or astringency.

1.5 tsp. / 8oz. / 212 F / 5 min. The clear, lively, coppery liquor is now medium dark and full-bodied, without any hint of bitterness or astringency. The malty character and caramel-like sweetness are now better appreciated.

10 min. Resteep: Produced an enjoyable cup.

Impression: This is a very smooth organic Assam. For those who enjoy a more robust cup of Assam, more than a tsp. is recommended.

Thanks to Aubrey at Arbor Teas for providing this generous size free sample.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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Sample package label:
Ingredients: Organic Indian Black Tea, Fair-Trade Certified, USDA Organic
Steep 212*F, 3 – 5 minutes.

8-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 30 ppm, boiled
Note: Arbor Teas web site specifies 8-oz (not 6) – more tea to enjoy w/o additional cost! However, the sample package doesn’t list this important point – one level teaspoon in 6-oz is too strong.

1 level Tevanna teaspoon

This tea has a rich earthy fragrance.

Vibrant reddish hue

First Infusion:
3-min: Initial taste – Very smooth. I then steeped it an additional 2-min.
5-min: Vey smooth & full-bodied, with a clean finish. There was zero hint of bitterness or astringency.

2nd Infusion (6-min):
Much lighter than the first.

Impression: This is an excellent Assam! It’s a robust, full-bodied, malty tea without any bitterness or astringency. Plan on brewing a full pot, your teacup will be empty before you know it! I could sip this Assam all day long.

Thanks to Arbor Teas for providing this generous size free sample.

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Sample package label:
“Ingredients: Organic Black Tea, and natural oil of Bergamot.”
Fair Trade certified – USDA Organic
“Suggested serving size – one level teaspoon”
“Suggested Steeping Guide: 212*F, Steep 3 – 5 minutes”

6-oz water with total dissolved solids (TDS) of 15 ppm, boiled

1 level Tevanna teaspoon:

Introduction: I understand Arbor Teas Earl Grey organic base comes from the “Assam and Dooars areas of India. Most EG teas come from Shi Lanka formerly known as Ceylon. Having a different base tea, was a significant reason for wanting to sample this tea. Our current EG has a Ceylon base and I can’t get past the astringency. Other primary reasons: My wife loves EG and prefers organic teas.

This tea has that classic lemon Earl Grey fragrance – quite fantastic!

Amber hue

5-min Infusion: A mild lemon aroma, medium-bodied EG without astringency – Excellent! The taste of lemon does not linger too long on the tongue.

Impression: An excellent classic Earl Grey tea.

Additional thoughts: I would like to encourage Arbor Teas to develop a well-balanced organic Vanilla Earl Grey or EG Cream. Why you ask?

Per Wikipedia (
“Citrus bergamia is a small tree which blossoms during the winter. The juice tastes less sour than lemon, but more bitter than grapefruit. The distinctive aroma of bergamot is most commonly known for its use in Earl Grey tea.8

The tartness of citrus bergamia is a common characteristic of most Earl Grey tea. Adding a creamy vanilla should smooth out the natural tartness of the oil of Bergamot. Other tea companies have tried this approach. Many of them are not organic and at least one uses artificial flavoring. Only a few have discovered a pleasing balance of among all the ingredients.

Thanks to Arbor Teas for providing this very generous size free sample.

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It’s late so I didn’t want caffeine and remembered I had this tucked away. Arbor Teas has a handy guide with instructions on how to prepare chai latte. Following their advice, I used 3 tsp of the tea, added 1/3 cup boiling water, and steeped for 5 min. Meanwhile I steamed 2/3 cup almond milk and mixed it with the steeped tea along with sweetener. Next time I’ll use my frother for the milk, but I was feeling a little lazy. So today, being off from work, I have managed to work my way through a Golden Monkey tea chilled, 2 chilled Macadamia Nut Matcha lattes, a freebie fruit tisane mixed with Dragonwell and serve hot, and then this Chai Latte. A satisfying tea day. I don’t usually drink decaf teas, but I thought this was quite good and will be something I’ll keep in mind for a late bedtime snack.

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Study break Tea Time! Thank you TeaEqualsBliss for this sample.
The leaf scent is very pleasant and earthy.
Taste wise, I’m finding it difficult to judge because I’m new to straight loose-leaf green teas and don’t have any others on hand.
With that said, I’m not sure how to rate this tea either. I don’t taste much but after reading the other reviews, I have to say I agree mostly with the smooth, mellow, lightly buttery, veggie taste.
Its not really my thing but perhaps I am just not ready for straight green teas and have yet to develop an appreciation for them. Glad to have tried it though.

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I’m new to Oolong tea, had a sampler once & I really liked it, but I would love to know how is the traditional way to drink it? Have you added any sweeteners? or milk?

thanks a lot!

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Has a coppery hue in the cup. A fragrant darjeeling with mild astringency. It has a very appetizing smell, and an aftertaste that reminds me of a Chinese green tea.

Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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So yesterday I spent a great day with friends shopping, going to the tea store and visiting a tea room for lunch. At the tea shop they just got in some matcha and I could buy just an ounce. I decided I would go for it and give it a try. (I have always wanted to try it but just nervous about it.) Well I tried it today and was pleased with my first attempt. It had a vegetative taste but also a touch of sweetness to it. I am not sure how to describe it. However, since I had the bowl of matcha I feel incredibly thirsty??!!! Not sure about that. I think I would enjoy some of the flavored matcha.
I am not going to rate it because I am not sure which company’s matcha I had. But I will definitely have some again!


I was waiting to hear how you liked it. :)

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The dry leaves are pretty, and have some dark green, brown and silver tips visible.The dry leaf has a sweet floral scent, that pairs with a vegetal, more nutty scent that reminds me of peanut butter. The steeped tea smells lightly like nectarines and lemons, but overall has that traditional black tea scent. Upon first sip, this tea is crisp, and delicious.

check out a more in depth review at my tea blog:

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Steep Information:
Amount: 6 tsp
Water: 1000ml at 175°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: floral, sweet, fruity
Steeped Tea Smell: sweet, fruity, vegetal
Flavor: gritty. vegetal, slightly grassy, hints of fruit
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: grassy
Liquor: cloudy light yellow green

Not bad, very light on the cherry

Rating: 2/4 leaves


175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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So there is a lot of DAVIDsTEA hype going on up in here, and until Steepster I’d never even heard of the place. I went onto their website to check locations – none in Ohio! Damn you Canadians and your densely DAVIDsTEA-populated areas! Well, to be honest, most of their stuff doesn’t sound like what I’m really into, but still! It would be nice to have a tea store besides Teavana within driving distance from me! Also, not gonna lie, anything pumpkin is about to get really tempting within two weeks…

This, again, is me working on sipping down my Arbor teas. I think I like Arbor, but I don’t love them. There are many good things to be said about them. My favorite thing about them is that they have by far the best selection of Fair Trade Certified teas I’ve found from any of the tea manufacturers I’ve seen, and I looked through quite a few of them. Also, they’re one state over from me, so they’re close, and all of their tea packages come with a handwritten little note (the second one said “Thank you again!” They keep track of their customers!) But as far as the teas go, I’ve tasted one or two I’ve really really liked, and the rest are all just… good but not making the floor drop out from under me. Of course, I’m saying this having tried these particular kinds of teas for the first time. So who knows, I could turn out to be utterly apathetic to nilgiri and ceylon in general.

This one’s not bad. At first, it was disappointing because it was too straightforward green flavored. Tonight, I’m kind of okay with that.

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I’m getting more of a flavor this time than I did the first time around. Honestly, the main flavor I get is graaaaaaaass. I’m trying to be a sooper-sofisticatud tea drinker and taste all the subtle little nuances, but all I can really say, apart from a sliiiiiiiiight floral sweetness, is graaaaaaaaass. Light-bodied, white-tea-subtle graaaaaaaass. I would drink my green needle tea if I wanted that. Not a bad tea by any means, but I’ve grown to favor Arbor’s bai mu dan and this just doesn’t match up. I would drink it on the nights I wanted a cleansing taste without much caffeine.

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Haha, such a cute tasting note! :’D

Holly Faye

I’m glad you enjoyed it… I was a little tired when I wrote it. :P

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Opened the bag and went, “What the hell – citrus?” The smell reminded me of lemon; my dad thought more like an orange peel. Brewed the tea, which became a pale liquor typical of white teas; the aroma of the brewed tea was much more subtle.

I… am going to hold off on rating this tea for now. The taste I’m getting so far is really, really subtle. I get a mite of citrus, and then something that’s really more of a physical sensation than a taste. Maybe I understeeped it, maybe it really is that subtle, maybe my taste buds are numb, maybe it’s because I made the mistake of eating a snack first. Yeah. I think it’s the last one. Dammit.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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This tea is much better iced than hot. I had it hot the other day and the berry flavor was too strong. It is also less bitter when cold.

I purchased this tea primarily for my husband. Although it is good, I prefer camellia sinensis or anything that tastes good hot (hot cocoa, good coffee…) Gosh, I haven’t had any hot cocoa in forever! It’s summer now though, my least-liked season and not good with cocoa, which in turn really isn’t good for my health anyway, so it all works out. I do miss being a kid, when I could care less. I should be grateful that I had a health-nut father who wouldn’t let me have any sweet cereals but once a week and even then I was only allowed to sprinkle some on top of something healthy. If it wasn’t for him, I would have had no restraint. Brownies and hot cocoa and fruit loops everyday. Ick, Fruit Loops, I can’t stand the thought anymore. Ok, yeah, I’m seriously rambling now. But I’m done :)

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Backlog from yesterday. This was a sipdown.

Only gone for a little while. Better believe I’ll be restocking this one!

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