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Recent Tasting Notes
The first cup of the day. This tea is proving to be quite a versatile mixer for experiments, today I mixed it with some ceylon from the Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants. Drinking it with soymilk and sugar for the full-on eye opening experience.
By the way I have a bit of news, I got a new refrigerator/freezer from my Landlord. The old one must have been over 30 years old and still requires a manual defrost. The new one is beautiful, compared to what I am used to. I feel like such a modern woman. ;-)
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
I’ve had this as a traditional thai iced tea using sweetened condensed milk (AMAZING) as well as coconut milk (tasty). Then I got a little experimental and tried it with some ginger ale instead of milk or coconut milk (quite good!)
I brewed it at double strength so it wouldn’t be weak tasting with the addition of the milk. This is key, I think, because the flavor of the tea is really well pronounced without tasting bitter or overpowering, it marries perfectly with the sweetened condensed milk in particular … this addition makes it taste EXACTLY like a Thai Iced Tea that I’d buy in a restaurant. Better even. I like that I can taste the subtle notes of vanilla and the cardamom and anise. It doesn’t taste overpowered by any of these spices, instead, they accent the flavor of a good, strong black tea.
This is easily the best Thai Iced Tea product that I can make at home. And based upon my experiences with it as an iced tea, I decided to up the rating a bit… I do love Thai Iced tea!
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.