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Recent Tasting Notes
A favorite! An everyday tea! No matter at times distracted brewing methods, its characteristic heady bouquet takes me back to Warwick Castle before the mold won. This tea is fragrant, earthy, a flower with roots. Wait. Is that a hint of chocolate? Blueberry scone? Really, what can one palate say to another?
When I drink this tea I become a character in an E.M. Forster novel—Howards End—sitting at a Davenport on the porch after a hard day mowing hay. Or cycling a Raleigh down blustery lanes.
All the usual disclaimers. This tea may not incarnate Forster in other tea lovers. Though if you keep the temp a tad on the low, other greats may appear.
this is a delicious smoky tea. it reminds me of the black tea i got addicted to in Russia. this particular lapsang suchong is different than i’m used to tho in that it has a delightful wet mouth feel. light hint of cherry and corn. the smokiness isn’t as overwhelming as others. all in all it’s a good well balanced cup
The green tea in this blend is definitely in the background. However, the spearmint is reined in by the tea. In the end, you have a mild spearmint flavor. It won’t smack you in the face like a peppermint candy but it is nice and refreshing. A little honey really goes nicely with it.
Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me a bit of this Oolong. It’s really nice.
Yesterday’s Oolong was also a Shui Xian and that was purely by coincidence. I did not even realize that this was a Shui Xian until I started to put it in my gaiwan. Sure, the label said Shui Xian but what I was really focusing on was the “Oolong” part.
And as I’m tasting this, I do note similarities between this and the tea that I had last evening. They possess similar honey-esque tones and fruit notes, as well as roasty, charcoal-ish, nutty flavors. I notice a little less creaminess with this cup than I remember from last night, but that would be the only real notable difference. Then again, I’m not drinking them side-by-side so I can’t do a very accurate comparison … this is all based on my memory of the tea that I had last night (although I will say that it WAS a memorable tea) versus what I’m sipping right now.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed both teas.
Arbor Tea is one of my favorite companies if for no other reason than the fact that they are very dedicated to preserving the environment and that is important to me. But on top of that, they also provide excellent quality, fair-trade, organic teas.
Before steeping, the leaves smell perfectly tropical with a hint of green tea mustiness. The aroma is sweet. The flavor is actually milder than I expected but in a very nice way. Every once in a while, a sip would leave a streak of fruity yumminess that would linger on my tongue for a while. I’m not sure if that came from the pineapple or the blue malva flowers but whatever it came from, it was extremely pleasant.
So yummy! The dry mix smells like sweet flowers. It’s fun to watch steeping since the leaves open up quite a bit. I was a little worried about the rosehips since that flavor seems to overwhelm me in most teas but not here thankfully. The tea is a light syrup, a little astringent. Floral, but not overwhelmingly so. The last and lingering taste is pomegranate. The sample is only enough for a few cups so I think this will pop up on my shopping list once I whittle down my current stash.
this is one of the more complex greens i have come across and the description from the purveyor definitely does it justice, however i would like to add that this tea has some similar levels of complexity that i would compare to an oolong. definitely not your typical green tea.
I got a wonderful whiff of bergamot the moment I opened the box. The tangy smell was only enhanced when I opened the pouch itself. Thankfully, the bergamot flavor is mellow and balanced once steeped. The tea itself is smooth and aromatic. A tiny bit of sugar really enhances the flavor for me. I can even get a couple of steepings out of it, so the value really streches.
A little early for me to be going decaff, but I am expecting to have two or three cups of high caffeine tea later, so I need to save up for it.
This tea doesn’t have nearly the amount of berries in the photo-and none of the bright ones. The few I have look like raisins and are hard to find in the tea. Maybe I just got unlucky. The most prominent ingredient is the yellowish calendula petals.
I’m not sure if the base is a Nilgiri or an Assam as the berries and flavoring are all I can smell. The tea leaves appear to be full-leaf (or large broken pieces). The liquor is a coppery orange.
The flavor tastes very natural, but in addition to the berry taste is a bit of a floral taste. Maybe it’s the calendula petals, maybe it’s the flavoring. It’s not bad, but I didn’t really want anything other than berry and tea. I can taste the tea base a little, but not enough. The berry flavor is brought out a little better with some sugar.
If I had to go all decaff with my tea, I’d probably buy this for some variety. But, absent that, I probably wouldn’t buy it again.
Yes…yes…I AM eating Lentil Chips at 9:30 in the morning…sue me! LOL
Special thanks to LiberTEAs for this one!
This is mellower than I thought it would be but still a nice straight-up black tea. It’s very clean tasting and I would side with those saying it’s more like a Ceylon (instead of an Assam) – not that THAT is good, bad, or indifferent…just a personal observation.
This one is alright. I kinda of wish it had a little more oooomph tho. Still tasty, regardless!
Amount: 2 tsp
Water: 8oz at 212°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: approximately 3 and a half minutes
Dry Leaf Smell: cardamom, spice
Steeped Tea Smell: bakey black tea
Additives: 2 tsp sugar, ice, 4 tbl sweetened condensed milk
Flavor: heavily spiced black tea
Aftertaste: sweet, astringent
Liquor: nearly opaque dark brown to a cloudy light brown
Delicious! Very much like the many thai teas I have had while dining out. I zipped through this sample in the hot weather and was sad to find I had no more sniff
I tried the next batch hot and cold, both were good
(4 tsp 500ml at 212°F – 3 minutes, 2 cups 1 tsp sugar each, 4 tbl milk each 2 hot and 2 cold)
I even did a resteep, and it worked out fine
Note: breville had lots of grit in cups / teapot – suggest using tsac method
Rating: 4/4 leaves
Small, tighly-rolled leaves are mostly chocolate brown with a few chestnut brown leaves/tips in the mix.
Brews a fairly strong mahogany-copper cup. Brisk and malty. Not smooth, but not bitter. Consumed straight, as usual. It’s reliable and something I would probably re-purchase in the future to drink by itself, or to blend it with a good Ceylon to make an Assam/Ceylon Irish blend.