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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve cupped this atleast 6 more times since my first tasting note on it and I’ve noticed a few things about it. The main thing of note is that to my tongue it is best drank at warm or lesser temperatures. I made the mistake of drinking it when it was still quite hot and the taste was really flat. None of the sweetness and smooth finish I noticed in my original tasting, just smokey and astringent. I swore I had brewed it wrong, but I tasted it again when it had cooled and the taste was what I remembered. I now never drink it before I’ve let it cool 15 minutes.
The second thing is that this tea stands up great to multiple steepings. I’ve only done a second so far, but the tea was just as bold (and I had brewed it for the same 4 minutes I normally do) so I’m sure it could at least stand up to three infusions.
I tried this tea with a hesitant curiosity, as I’ve not ever been a huge fan of the Assam teas I’ve tried, which this claims to be competing with. Much to my surprise this tea is a delight and has instantly become a favorite of mine.
As soon as I opened the tin I fell in love with the smell. I completely agree with a reviewer on their website who mentioned it smelling like mint chip ice cream. It starts out with a fresh leaf smell, but as you continue inhaling it turns into a chocolate mint aroma. The wet leaves however lose most of this sweet scent and mostly just smell like a fresh pile of autumn leaves.
The taste is delightfully complex, and progresses for me much like the dry smell. When it hits my tongue it’s smokey, earthy, malty. Very similar to what I’ve come to expect from Assam teas. But as it lingers on my tongue the second wave hits me, a sudden sweetness, reminiscent of sugar cane and molasses. The finish is even sweeter, with subtle notes of vanilla and butterscotch.
This is a great black tea in my eyes. Brisk and bold enough to be a great morning cup, but smooth and refreshing enough to serve you well throughout the day (and even iced on a warm summer afternoon!)
been drinking this Irish breakfast, aside from a Twinings bag I’ve tried, it still tastes fantastic. It tastes more earthy now, bold, the aroma is rooty almost like a dried mushroom. It never crossed my mind to blend it with some assam like the chap Scott B. But I might give it a try although it might doesn’t need it & there’s so many teas to try, so little time.
Here for another tasting note. Made this tea with milk this time, making a version of a “tea Frappé”. This tastes okay. I’m not too keen on the milk, maybe I put too much…not sure because I’ve never put milk in my tea. It still tastes okay because the peppermint really comes through the milk flavor, but the milk is still a little strong for me. Maybe next time I’ll put less milk in (if I ever make this again). The tea by itself is still amazing! My boyfriend and I shared an entire teapot of this stuff last night, with just a little honey for sweetness. This is one of the few teas I can stand to drink unsweetened. Iced is really good as well. :D
This tea is great! I read a couple of reviews on this tea before I purchased it, and knew I would love it since I love minty teas. A lot of other reviews I read talked about adding a black vanilla tea to make it taste like candy canes. I could see that as a great combination for this tea. It is so nice and minty without being too minty. Exactly what I thought it would taste like. I mixed mine with a tbls of rock sugar and just doing that gave it the “candy cane taste” in my opinion. I will be restocking on this tea for sure! I can safely say it is my favorite tea at this point!!! If you love mint teas you will love this tea!!!
The first time I steeped this tea I made the mistake of treating it like a green tea. It is not. It is infact a pu-erh and must be steeped at boiling to really open it’s flavor profile. First lightly sweet wheat flavor giving way to sweet and green apples and finishing off with an ever so light earthy musty note. This tea is fairly simple and yet carries an experience of sophistication that I haven’t ever noted while tasting another tea. What does sophistication taste like you might ask? Order the sample and tell me if I’m wrong. This simple little tuo cha is delicious and a treat in every sip. Steep multiple times to ride the entire flavor train, but it looses me after the fourth.
This might be the most mild flavored black tea I’ve had. No overwhelming notes of anything. No real hints that stand out. This tea is very delicate with a touch of astringency and medium mount feel. All in all it’s a decent black tea that lends its self well to blending. I’m not much of a flavored tea guy, but I appreciate the medicinal benifiets of plants and have grown fond of the flavor of a few. One that comes to mind is the ginseng vitality offer from Teavana, over priced high pressure money machine that it is actually has a decen ginseng blend and it goes great with this unremarkable tea for your first thing in the morning pick me up. Not bad
I started my day with this, but because it is Monday and my Mondays are weird, I found myself on the go before I could sit down and write about it.
A very pleasant vanilla black tea. After reading my SororiTea Sister’s (TeaEqualsBliss) tasting note on this tea, I find that we are on different sides of the spectrum with this tea. Interestingly enough, though, we rated the tea the same. We both like it, but I think we both were experiencing different things with this tea.
I find this to be really less sweet than some vanilla teas I’ve had. In fact, I think that this would be a really good vanilla tea for someone who might typically find vanilla teas to be on the cloying side, because while this is rich and creamy but it isn’t overly so. It is sweet, but not quite as sweet as some other vanilla teas might be. In fact, the tea is more of the focus here, with the vanilla playing the accent flavor role as it should be. A really good vanilla, but not the vanilla for someone who wants the vanilla flavor to be in their face. This is not as sweet as most vanilla teas out there.
As for me, I like it a lot!
Ok I know I’ve logged this before. How is it that I can’t find my review? Sad, I was hoping to refresh my thoughts, build on my previous notes. Hmph.
Anyhow, this is a great tea, thanks so much to Amy Oh for the sample!!
It’s like drinking cinnamon hearts. Very tasty.
In my mind, I feel as if I should be drawing comparisons between this and the DT version. Here goes! :)
This one is smoother, and truer to the candy heart, with a Ceylon astringency to follow. There is also a pleasing cinnamon/refreshing aftertaste. The DT version, as far as I can remember, is a bit rougher, earthier, and has more depth.
If I had to choose between the two, I suspect the Arbor version would win though I’d have to do a side by side comparison to be sure. Then again, the DT version has Pu-erh in it, which makes it healthier, technically. Wait a sec, I just double checked the website and it now has artificial flavouring!? Uncool!! now, does this mean it always had fake chemicals in it, and they’ve now updated the ingredients, or has the formula been revamped? Bah. I think I have some of this lying around somewhere, but it’s really old.
Either way, with my milk and sugar, in true dessert tea form, I am really enjoying this cuppa. Thanks again Amy!!
This is quite nice! Very sweet, lightly vegetative, and I agree with TeaEqualsBliss (for whom I have to thank for sending me some of this tea, THANKS!!!) there is a zucchini-like flavor going on here. It’s very light, not a heavy vegetable flavor, and there are hints of hay in the background. It almost reminds me of a yellow tea, only this is more “green” with the vegetative notes. It has a lovely creamy note to it too.
A really nice tea, thanks again to my SororiTea Sister for sending it to me!
I made this tea a few days back using 1 tsp of tea and slightly cooler water with pretty poor (gross) results.
I decided to try it again today and made it using about twice as much tea and near-boiling water, and the tea it made was better (drinkable), but not especially good.
Dry Leaves: The leaves twisted and deep brown in color. They have very nice, bold aroma of clove and charcoal.
Brewing: I first did a quick rinse steep, which released a powerful smell of clove and tobacco. I let the leaves sit for about a minute, but not much expansion occurred. In fact, they didn’t really open up until the second steep. The wet leaves vary from black to a deep military green and have a nice fruity scent. The tea brews a mellow orange color.
1st steep: The first steep has STRONG, musty tobacco and charcoal flavors with fall spice and a slight pluminess in the background.
2nd steep: The second steep was noticeably grassier and considerably more pleasant than the first steep. The charcoal and tobacco flavors had died down, and there were slight cantaloupe and cocoa notes.
3rd+4th: The third and fourth steeps were mellower and by far the most enjoyable. The predominant flavors were of clove and grass, and were slightly chocolaty with a lemon sweetness. I tried making a fifth steep, but it came out weak and tasteless.
Overall this was meh. I feel like my tasting note makes it sound a little better than it actually was.
Reminds me of: Clove cigarettes, dirty cars, my uncle Mike
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.