Art of Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

75

another one from awkward soul via Terri. This is a pelasant enough oolong, but it remains a green oolong. Just not one worthy of making me want to keep it around.

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48

Not sure…… need to give this more time, maybe it will grow on me. Disappointed that it is not creamy and coconutty. It smells good

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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98
drank Cinnamon Fig by Art of Tea
3 tasting notes

This is the tea that pushed me off the coffee wagon for good. I look forward to my morning brew as much as I did for any cup of coffee.

I do add a tad of german rock sugar. It really pops and blends the flavors. Very smooth.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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96

Slight smoky flavor. It reminds me a lot of pu-erh, which I later learned that Yunnan used in this blend is aged longer to form pu-erh blends. This is really my favorite of the black teas. That’s saying a lot when previously my favorite was chai.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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68

This is almost like a tart creamsicle and if you add a little sugar to it you have full creamsicle flavor in a cup of tea. I think that anyone who enjoys orange and is looking for a caffeine free option will enjoy this tea. It also makes a very tasty iced tea, I ran out of time to sit and enjoy my tea and put it in the refrigerator for later. When I noticed that the temperature was hovering in the mid 50’s I decided to pull it out and give it a second chance. In Wisconsin mid 50’s is definitely iced tea weather, for us that is a regular heat wave! It’s such a shame that we’re expecting snow and cold weather the rest of the week, but the warm weather reminds me that iced tea weather is almost here. I can’t be the only one excited about this, can I?

You can red the rest of the review on my blog
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2014/3/11/tuesday-tea-lemon-meringue-art-of-tea.html

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
moraiwe

http://imgur.com/MqzipPU

Yesterday was that day for Wisconsin.

Short Sorceress

Yup, I’m definitely irrationally optimistic, but can you blame me? mid 50s yesterday, low 40s right now, and we’re expecting snow tonight. I just can’t get used to springtime in Wisconsin.

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68

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68

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70
drank Brulee Mint by Art of Tea
9 tasting notes

This is a nice sweet mint! I’m not normally a huge rooibos fan but I liked this one. It has a nice creamy vanilla flavor that rounds it out. I love peppermint tea, but it reminds me of being sick, this one doesn’t have the association for me and it’s still nice and minty. it’s much more dessert-like than herbal with the creamy flavoring, so it’s better with a good amount of sugar.

Preparation
3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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81
drank Keemun Hao Ya A by Art of Tea
108 tasting notes

I am a big fan of keemun tea, and consider the smoky character to be a key aspect of the tea. However, the smoke so dominates this tea that I can’t really enjoy it.

The aroma is very smoky: to the point of making me think about Lapsam Souchong. All I can smell is the smoke. The taste and finish are likewise dominated by the smoke, making the tea one-dimensional, though the complex character of keemun is what normally draws me to the tea.

Once I get over my initial impression, I can just enjoy the raw power of the tea. As I said, I do like a smoky tea. I also discovered that the second steep was in many ways better than the first: the smoke is subdued, letting the flavors of the tea peek through. The finish is still dominated by the smoke.

As an experiment, I tried steeping a pot with half my usual amount of tea: only 0.8 grams for 6 oz of water (3 minute steep). The smoke is no longer overwhelming. Although I can’t detect the tea flavors, the tea is good this way. Still, I wouldn’t change my ratings, since the tea is still one-dimensional.

Note: It is possible that I am reviewing the wrong tea here. In late 2013, Art of Tea only has a Hao Ya (with no A) and that is the tea I am reviewing.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Another Sample sent by Awkward Soul, & destined for the box that I’m sending to Sil.
Sil & I keep sending one another these big boxes of tea, & I keep thinking eventually our cupboards will even out. I’ll have everything she has, & visa versa, right? Wrong! LOL, more tea companies come along, & there is always something new to try. Meanwhile, I have a big pile of goodies to send her way, plus the BBBB also! I usually combine them into one box, but I don’t think I have a box that is big enough. So I may send 2. Shhhhhh…..don’t tell her, I don’t wanna get in trouble, but this one’s gonna be a doozie! It’ll totally screw up her sipdown plans. LOL!

Ooops, so I totally forgot to say anything about the tea, hahaha. Honestly, the aroma was like singed rubber bands, but the tea tasted fine, with a light incense essence to it.

Sil

Don’t make me send YOUR box to you sooner…. Besides I totally did that to you at Christmas lol

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79
drank Silver Needle by Art of Tea
17 tasting notes

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75

Spiffy white and black tea blend! This one is mostly crisp white tea in flavor, but with a hint of black tea that adds some extra body. Plenty of dry grape flavor (with a bit of dryness at the end of sip) and rose. The grape flavor is on the artificial side, and pretty much the same “champagne” tea flavoring in a couple other tea blends, but I do like how that bit of black tea in this blend adds extra interest to the tea.

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/fleury-doux-champagne-tea-art-tea-oolong-owl-tea-review/

Back to crocheting on my assembly line of Tea Owl wings. So many wings!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Mandarin Silk by Art of Tea
6 tasting notes

When I asked my sister to smell the leaves, the first thing she said to me was, “It smells like Fig Newtons!” I’m not sure if I agree with that sentiment, but it does remind me of something. Creamy and lemony, this tea smells like sugar and cream. However, once it’s brewed, much of that flavor isn’t really present. You get the first hint of a creamy texture in your mouth, with hints of a lemony feeling, with a stronger flavor at the end. It’s a bit odd, honestly. I enjoyed it, though, once I put a little sugar in. I’m not usually a sugar-in-tea sort of person, but this tea felt like it called for it. Overall, it’s not something that I’ll be re-purchasing. I might try cold-brewing it, though, and see how that turns out… It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just not a flavor profile that I enjoy.

Flavors: Cream, Grass, Lemon Zest

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80

When I first opened the package of this tea, I was pleased. It has a lovely roasted, toasty, and almost-sweet smell that reminded me of a really good cup of Central American coffee. The taste didn’t disappoint! It had a very oolong flavor, with roasted and cinnamon notes. The initial steep reminds me of the flavor of a piece of toast with cinnamon-sugar on it. Lovely. It’s not as naturally sweet as the scent of the brew would lead you to believe, though.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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60

To be completely honest, this reminded me of Teavana’s matevana (a roasted mate with oolong). Butttt there’s no mate in this. Tasteception?

It definitely had coffee and vanilla notes and while it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t amazingly good either. Kinda a meh for me.

Thanks for sample Ladyfriend :)

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83
drank Naked Pu-erh by Art of Tea
6 tasting notes

Pretty interesting tea. It’s my first pu-erh, and I like it! The first whiff of fishiness nearly put me off, but I braved through it and was rewarded with a lovely cup of burgundy liquid, tasting of miso, mushrooms, and wood. It was deep, strong, and really lovely. I’ll be re-purchasing.

Flavors: Earth, Fish Broth, Mushrooms, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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drank Earl Grey Creme by Art of Tea
187 tasting notes

I already finished my 3 cup sample I got and don’t want to forget I tried this. Going off of my memory from a week ago, I would get this if I needed an Earl Grey Creme and was already purchasing something else. More vanilla than bergamot and mellow. I enjoyed every cup I had .

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66
drank Welcome by Art of Tea
952 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 139 of the year 2014.

I just realized that until now, I’ve had no tea or coffee or anything to drink today except water (and a couple of glasses of wine with dinner). No wonder I have a headache. Caffeine withdrawal!

This blend isn’t helpful for caffeine withdrawal, but I am going to have to try to go to sleep soon. The work week is already looking scary and I’ve been staying up too late.

I continue to find this something that was pleasant enough while it lasted but unfortunately not the highest on my current list of preferences for herbals. If someone were to offer it to me I’d drink it, but I have learned enough about my chamomile preferences lately to know that I prefer sweeter chamomile without the intervention of other herbs intended to take away from the sweetness.

Kirkoneill1988

quite the interesting name for a tea eh? :)

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66
drank Welcome by Art of Tea
952 tasting notes

This tisane is the current front-running sipdown candidate among the herbal/fruit/otherwise decaffeinated mixes in my cupboard just because it’s my current least favorite. I didn’t reread my first note before I steeped it, so I didn’t intentionally overleaf. I must be sure to do that next time to see if it makes a difference.

It’s certainly not something that I dread having to sip down (there have been many others in this category), but it’s not my favorite chamomile blend. I’m still liking the Harney Yellow and Blue for that designation. Tonight, even without overleafing, this chamomile is a bit sweeter than I remember, which is a good sign. It’s also a little straw-y, which isn’t.

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66
drank Welcome by Art of Tea
952 tasting notes

I’ve tasted a lot of chamomile in various guises lately, some good, some not so good. This blend isn’t doing a lot for me.

The chamomile smells sweet in the packet. The rest of the ingredients make for a very rich smelling blend, with more than floral notes—there’s something almost like cocoa to its depth. It’s also lovely to look at (like its picture).

Once it is steeped, though, the chamomile becomes more of a sharp, pungent note in the aroma, and the rest of the ingredients don’t pull together as a team to balance it out. It steeps to a pretty, clear yellow color.

The flavor is much like the aroma. It’s not as sweet as the dry mixture’s aroma promised. There’s a little tartness from the rose hips. The lavender and rose are very faint, and I don’t taste the peppercorn. I don’t get much spice to this. On balance, I’d rather have sweetness than spice, though.

I’m wondering whether more leaf would make a difference. It seems to me that if the chamomile has a sweet, fresh smell in the packet, that should be indicative of how it will taste after steeping. That it doesn’t here makes me wonder if I need to perfect my preparation methods. It’s almost sweet, but not quite. On the other hand, it could be that the tartness of the rose hips is the culprit. I think it’s the hibiscus in Tazo’s Calm that makes the chamomile in that one problematic for me. I like this better than Calm, but not as well as Harney’s Yellow and Blue.

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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79

I’ve had other lemon-ginger combinations that I didn’t care for, but I was prepared to have a different experience as soon as I opened this up. The smell from the packet of combined lemon and ginger made me think of….. ginger ale! I got the same note from the steeped infusion, which yields a deep orange colored liquor.

I have family in Birmingham, Alabama, and in Birmingham they have a local ginger ale called Buffalo Rock. It’s really yummy, and what makes it so good is that it has a much more intense ginger flavor than standard ginger ales like Canada Dry. Here’s more info about it: http://www.buffalorock.com/golden-ginger-ale/

Drinking this, I was reminded of Buffalo Rock ginger ale, minus the carbonation. The ginger flavor is deep but not to the point of pain and it has a spicy kick in the aftertaste. The lemon is taste-able as well and is what lifts the flavor up and gives it an impression of effervescence. I really do feel like I’m drinking a good ginger ale without carbonation, but not flat.

I may be the only person who wrote a note about this that found the ginger more prominent than the lemon and I wonder whether this is either because of what ended up in my measuring spoon or the age of this tisane (which was in a sealed packet but still rather old). I hope that’s not the case though because I would drink this for the ginger flavor more than the lemon. I could see it being an excellent tummy settler, too.

The thing is, I don’t drink ginger ale that often. Mostly on airplanes or when traveling. I drink it about as often as I drink root beer, though I like it more. So I wonder whether I’d really drink this often enough to justify keeping it around. On the other hand, I’m regretting not ordering The Necessiteas Rootbeer Float so as to have that around.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML
Courtney

It sounds interesting!

__Morgana__

I’m interested to see whether it’s the same the next time or whether the lemon comes out more.

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24

Remember about a week ago I mentioned a little project I was working on, cataloging all the teas of the world. I foolishly thought I would be finished by now, but thirty pages later and I am still finding little nuggets of information to add…and I am loving every minute of it! I love when a new subject comes up for me to obsessively research, learning new things is my passion and when it pertains to one of my other passions than the results are even sweeter.

Today’s tea is a spicy kick and possibly a little sweet if the name Hot Sweet Cinnamon by Art of Tea is to be believed. It is a blend of (all organic) Black tea, Cinnamon bits, Orange Peel, Cloves, and Natural flavors, it is a tea that I usually label as a pomander or potpourri tea because the aroma (and ingredients) were always used in pomanders and potpourri around my house growing up. The aroma is very spicy, lots of cinnamon and clove and a hint of rum or liqueur just sneaking in.

The brewed leaves are very spicy and loaded with cinnamon, it smells like Christmas and a hint of a typical ‘black tea’ aroma at the end. I can detect a very mild hint of oranges, but it is barely there hiding behind the muscled arms of the cinnamon and cloves. Think of the oranges as a wilting ingenue and the spices are her buff body guards. The liquid without its leaves is fairly sweet and cinnamon and immediately reminds me of Red Hots, those obnoxiously addictive candies that I have eaten far too many of in my life.

The taste is surprisingly bitter, though not in a way you would usually expect in a black tea (which is good because it would mean I failed at brewing it correctly) it is the bitterness of too much spice. I find my mouth going numb and my stomach growing annoyed almost immediately. Turns out there can be a thing as too much spice, tragic as that sounds. The taste after the initial clove kick in the face (at least I didn’t feel it) is fairly sweet and cinnamony, again a lot like Red Hots. The base Black tea is pretty weak, I barely tasted it around the spices. It was not my cup of tea, sadly.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/02/art-of-tea-hot-sweet-cinnamon-tea-review.html

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
__Morgana__

Uh oh, I think I have some of this but haven’t tasted it yet.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Oh no! Maybe you will be lucky and like it more than I did…I hope!

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drank Cinnamon Fig by Art of Tea
464 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping Tea Box

This has a fantastic cinnamon smell and flavor to it. The base is bready and warm. However the fig just had this artificial aftertaste that clings to everything and kind of ruins everything else.

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80
drank Hojicha de la Creme by Art of Tea
386 tasting notes

Roasty and creamy. Comforting, but ultimately unremarkable. This resteeps well without losing flavor. It also doesn’t oversteep easily, which is nice.

Sipdown! Thanks for including this in my Secret Turkey package, RogersCK!

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