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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
I am in the process of brewing some of this (double strength) to drink tomorrow as traditional Thai Iced Tea, but, I decided to try a cup of it hot first (not double strength) to see how I like it hot.
It’s really quite fabulous served hot, too. The black tea is good and strong, which makes me hopeful for the iced tea to come, but I can also taste the spices. The vanilla is soft and creamy. YUM! Can’t wait to try this iced tomorrow!
It’s been a hectic day so I decided to sit down and finish the rest of this sample I got from Arbor teas. This is a lovely oolong that reminds me of roasted plums with a sweet finish. Quite mineral-y too. I’m a happy camper with my wuyi oolongs, this cuppa is dreamy and I’ve gotten at least 3 good steeps out of this tea even when steeping it Western style. See previous notes for more info.
An excellent Dragon Well. I find it really enjoyable to sip as I sit here, working on my latest art project. It keeps me company and keeps me inspired.
Delicious, lightly vegetative without tasting too much like grass, with hints of a pleasing chestnut flavor that arrives just before the finish. Quite pleasant.
I bought this sample to have another lighter tea for the summer, and for the pomegranate (doctor recommended it could help with joint stress). Of course, in my enthusiasm I failed to noticed there was no actual pomegranate in the tea-just natural flavoring (which may or may not be pomegranate).
Anyhow-Dry leaves are broken into large pieces. Something red is making this tea very colorful-the rosehips, I guess? Dry leaf aroma is mild and pleasant, smelling mostly of pomegranate. Brewed leaf smells strong and floral-kind of un-pleasant. Glad I took a sip before smelling this.
It has a pale yellow liquor. This tea is sweet, but not cloying. Light. Mellow. Smooth. Not too tart. Consumed straight in a mug. Might be nice iced. I don’t know that I would buy a regular size amount of this tea, but I think I’ll enjoy finishing my sample size.
Getting caught up on reviews. I consider this my 50th review since 2 of my 52 notes are still backlogged.
Decaff for my reflux and just to have more tea drinking options later in the day.
I agree with the other review-this seems like just a regular caffeinated tea. Actually, every quality tea I’ve had decaffeinated by the carbon dioxide process has tasted normal to me. I love that it’s organic. I also like that all the spices have purported health benefits.
I brewed this by adding boiling water from my tea boiler into a pre-warmed cup with an infuser basket in it. Almond milk was added after steeping. I know it’s not “proper”, but I did buy a boiler for convenience-not to always be “proper”.
So, this cupping is tasting a little different than last time. Previously, I used soy milk and sugar. Tonight I am using vanilla almond milk with sugar. Not normally a huge vanilla fan but it is working very well here. The spices seem to be drawing out the vanilla. This is supposed to have extra pepper, but I don’t taste an inordinate amount-perhaps because of the vanilla. This is really good with the vanilla almond, but it does change the character of the tea-so I’ll probably have to review it using unflavored soy next time.
Otherwise, it’s a pretty standard quality masala chai. Like the addition of cloves though, as that is not always in masala chais. I can add this to Upton’s Rooibos Chai as another very good dessert/evening tea option.
This reminds me of the Vietnamese tea I had from TG. Dry leaves are tightly rolled, dark brown with some golden tips. Dry aroma-somewhat malty, with a note of orange citrus. Didn’t notice how much the leaves unfurled the first steep, but upon second steep they are completely unfurled. Brewed aroma is fairly malty. Liquor is nice and coppery. Tastes much like an Assam. Malty. Maybe a touch of citrus. Getting just the faintest note of cinnamon on occasion-wonder if cinnamon is grown nearby? Strong, but not bitter or astringent. Definitely a good solid morning tea.
This is my first Nilgiri.
Dry leaves are dark brown and twisted. Dry leaf aroma is a little malty and similar to an Assam. Liquor is lightly copper-maybe just a bit darker than a Darjeeling.
I really didn’t know what to expect from this tea-I bought it because I had never had a Nilgiri. I like most Indian blacks, so it seemed to be a reasonable choice. I agree there is a resemblance to a Ceylon tea-in fact, until I’m more experienced with Nilgiris, I’m not sure that I could tell this apart from a Ceylon in a blind taste test. I don’t taste the Assam notes I detected in the dry leaf. I don’t taste the floral notes that Arbor promises-which is fine, because I’m not big on floral. I also disagree in Arbor describing this tea as “delicate”-when I think delicate, I think of a white tea. I think it’s rather full-bodied and brisk. It’s fairly smooth, however-is it possible for tea to have characteristics of both briskness and smoothness?
Although I disagree with Arbor’s descriptions, I did enjoy this cup and look forward to drinking more of it.
I am new to puerh and this is just the 3rd one I have ever tried. So far, this is best puerh I have ever tasted. The first 2 that I have tried are too fishy. I tried to simulate some “rinsing” as in the gaiwan, and it took me about 4 or 5 “rinses” to remove that fishiness. But with this one from Arbor Teas, I really didn’t have to. And yes, it gets better after every infusion! What a revelation! No astringency. I have experimented to cold brew the spent leaves in the refrigerator for my own iced tea (that makes about the 5th infusion). What a wonderful tea! In the iced tea, by the way, I have recently infused it along with some hisbiscus petals. The possibilities are endless!
It seems like I go through lots of phases in my tea drinking journey. For whatever reason I have not been drinking too many oolongs lately but I’m having this one this morning.
It definitely seems typical of a wuyi type of tea, nice mineral quality with sweet roasted plum type of aftertaste. I really do like this a lot and wonder how it would be as a cold brewed tea. The wet leaves smell of burnt toast and jam.
see my previous notes for more info…
Enjoying a cup of this as I mentally prepare myself to go into the kitchen and start fixing dinner. A very enjoyable cup of Earl Grey. Here is my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2011/01/18/organic-earl-grey-black-tea-from-arbor-teas/
This subtle brew may not be for Everyone, esp those who like English Breakfast. (Should I presume they also do tea English, w/ milk and sugar?) This tea with wonderful name (i promise myself to practice saying it before talking it up) has subtlified me back to Darjeeling days and a tea from local Persian restaurant that made tastebuds drunk on hints of fruit. Oh that I could chew stems these’d be they! Steep time: 3.5 min, next cup’ll be 4.0. Temp 195-ish.
The first time I brewed this, I didn’t add enough leaf to my steeping vessel and it tasted just a little too hibiscus-y. This time, though, I added a little more leaf, and the flavor of the cup is infinitely better than the first go-around. The hibiscus flavor is still there, but, it manages to mingle with the other ingredients of this tea well enough so that it doesn’t taste too hibiscus-y (just be sure to use a little extra leaf so that you can get something from those other ingredients!)
Usually, when it comes to teas with hibiscus, I sort of groan about this inclusion… but I actually understand why it was added here. The hibiscus adds a pretty plum-red color to the cup and more importantly, at least from my perspective, it adds a plum nectar-like texture to the cup. This tastes a bit like a plum cider (without spices! But I think that some cinnamon would be amazing in this).
A very nice Oolong. Not my favorite from Arbor Teas, but they can’t all be my favorites, can they?
It always surprises me when I say this about decaffeinated tea, but I’m LOVING this! I have had more than my share of decaffeinated teas that are thin and chemical tasting, but this is NOT one of those. This has such a beautiful, unified flavor … the spices and tea are so well-rounded. Spicy and very comforting! If I had brewed this “blindly” without the knowledge that it is decaffeinated, I would not have been able to tell. It is really, REALLY good.
Organic Vietnam Nam Lanh OP
Dry aroma: Soft exotic scent, resembling tarragon, muted 5-spice and the scent of the woods in Autumn.
Wet aroma: fruity currant, raw sugar, subtle spice
Appearance: Dark umber leaves and stems with fully-oxidized, fairly uniform cut and sort, some lighter blond accents
Cup: Dark caramel-cola colored liquor. Smooth, rich flavor with distinct notes of coriander, blushingly sweet finish, with lingering notes of hickory wood and ethereal smoke. Moderate bodied and exceptionally clean.I managed to brew 3 extractions on 3g in a 6oz celadon gaiwan and each had a similar strength and profile.
I received this sample from what I believe is the importer/distributor of this tea and so I can’t rightly say it came from Arbor Teas, but I do think it is the same tea and tea source. Either way I think this is a great offering and worthy to show case as a tea outside of the normal production arenas. Having had a few teas from Vietnam, I find them wonderful to share and I think they do have a natural terroir all their own and this shows itself even more clearly in the green and oolongs, where the mellow, smooth character displays distinct notes that grow more elusive in the black’s oxidation. A great tea for anyone who thinks black teas are all tart and tannic, bitter, or biscuit-like.
This tea blended well with the day in an unexpected way.
It’s a unseasonably warm March day, lingering on the Ides of March, which were made ominously haunted by the death of a good friend of mine a few years back. He was the best cowboy hat-wearing, coffee slinging, cycling-nerd, generous soul, and military hero that I have every known and one of the few people I would ever have considered a mentor. In addition, I learned that I buddy of mine’s ex-wife passed away, too young and too gentle a person to have gone so soon. So the overcast weather, dreary warm and unusual day has had in its swirling center, a cup equally elusive, mercurial, and worthy of celebration and remembrance.
“beauty is that which unrepeatable” – cherish each moment, each connection, each sip.