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Frontier Natural Products Co-op

Recent Tasting Notes

Sipdown from Terri! This is not as bold as I’ve come to expect from Irish Breakfasts, but it is a very good Irish Breakfast tea, that takes to milk, and to rebrewing very well. I think that I got around five full flavored steepings out of it. Thank you Terri! Definitely one for the shopping list.

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Much-postponed Christmas swap with a friend today; she’d been Goodwilling and I am now in possession of a lovely heavy white ceramic dome-shaped pot and cups and saucers with delicate sage green leaves that make me feel like I’m handling spring. The pot is great—I love friends who understand the value of utilitarian vs. cutesie things that don’t hold heat and you can’t pour out of.

Anyway….also a selection of four of her fave teas to try in said pot; all from our favorite local bulk jars. The manufacturer description is very accurate. The dry leaves are redolent of cloves. (Redolent—isn’t that a nice, relaxing adjective? And one I didn’t have to make up, either.) The steeped color is rich and sultry amber. Flavor—-succulent. The orange is pithy, not painfully tart; deep, sweet cloves that warm your tummy but don’t bite your tongue.

K S

Yeah for the pot and cups! I almost picked up some china cups in Goodwill before Christmas. Walked out, then regretted not buying them. I didn’t need them but I have heard the size and shape of the cup changes the flavor. Everything I now use is mug shaped. I want to experiment. Next time I spend the dollar. Its all in the name of science really. :)

Have to admit I had to Google redolent.

ashmanra

Nice! Hooray for good teaware!

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67

i really enjoy darjeeling, i really do. in fact, i think i love it. it’s usually my go-to black tea whenever i have straight tea. i recently acquired some of these lovely leaves for an outstanding price given the quality, FTGFOP! even though i’ve never sipped any finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe, at least not to my knowledge, this is quite golden and quite tippy! ;)

okay, admittedly i can’t quite make out the color of its tips, but it certainly tastes golden, and imparts the same color in its liquor. or is it more like maple syrup in appearance? i think the color is somewhere in between citrine & rich maple syrup. a light, delicate color for a black tea; a royal amber, that’s what i’d say.

i can almost swear there’s a slight fruity note to this, as i have noticed with many black teas (with the exception of pu-erh), but don’t quite know what fruit it is. it’s almost floral, perhaps blossom-like…maybe there’s a bergamot hiding somewhere in here..

i do get the slightest bit of astringency from this, but it’s a comfy Darjeeling nonetheless.

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Sipdown!
Thank you Terri! This is a fairly good assam, and I’m trying it plain now. You can feel the caffeine kick, and there is a bit of astringency to this tea. I am drinking it plain, slightly weaker than I would normally drink assam with milk. There’s nothing outstanding about this tea, but does seem like a solid choice for an everyday assam.

Terri HarpLady

Glad you liked it! It is a decent basic Assam, nothing fancy, but still good to drink. Tea doesn’t always have to be fancy to be good :)

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75

Tea #23 from the Here’s Hoping TTB

I don’t drink straight up earl grey much anymore, but I have always loved it. This one has a nice base with a subtle dose or bergamot. I’ve certainly had many that came across stronger, but the subtle bergamot flavor doesn’t make this any less enjoyable. This also has the benefit of being inexpensive, perfect for an everyday tea, plus it’s certified organic and fair trade.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Experiments continue with this one; particularly what it blends with in order to tone down its weediness. Half-and-half with some bulk bin green tea worked well with a short steep—which is kind of self-defeating; herbs need to be stewed well to soak out all the health benefits. But it’s a nice savory cup.

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76

SIPDOWN! this time the dog won’t step on the return key before I even get to the good stuff, like a real dufuss. Maybe I’m the dufuss because I made this tea piping hot and put in the thermos for later but I can’t wait. I’m getting kind of naivity from the green tea, like a tisane, almost. Very little actual tea flavor. It’s almost a japanese green tea taste. Mmm sweet olive oil color extraction and lots of tanniny biterness. It’s cot a clean tasting as a bancha but it has a sort of twig taste that could be sipped any time of day. I opened the tea pot after brewing and saw all of the little nodules of tea had expanded and blossomed, now the flavor is like coming into its own, and I’ve stopped thinking of foods to describe it although the mouthfeel is reminiscent of light olive oil. I wouldn’t necessarily sample this tea with food, but it could taste nice with udon noodles or some sort of seeded cheese and cracker. There is more of a layer on the tongue tastes of english breakfast, you know with the bacon on the plate. I like that one. If you like this one you might also like the Long Jing Lu Cha. It’s one of the more classical green tiea, but don’t mind clouds and mist either, thanks to DanLui for sending me that one.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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76

SipDown~
Frontier-Gunpowder-Green, letting my mind wander, projects I have had to complete independently for my Conservatoire training sipping teas and coffees till the wee hours, when I was young. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything they’re who I am, but I’m still young, so is the day I have to get through ten books, flashcards, and my dog is liking

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80

First tea from the Here’s Hoping teabox!! THANK YOU again everyone that made it a successful box! I’m setting up round two right now…

This tea is lovely.. a plain Earl Grey. Always a favorite! The bergamot is nice in this one – it’s almost like it has cream (but it doesn’t). The black base is perfect… something is reminding me of squash. Weird! A very good EG. Not the best but there are certainly worse ones out there – I don’t get the low score!

gmathis

My favorite little herb/indie grocery place carries Frontier—and it’s pleasantly cheap. Will have to check this out.

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74

This has made it into my permanent line-up of herbal/medicinals. First time I have tried it chilled—two parts leaf to one of peppermint. Refreshing.

Janefan

oh, I’ll have to try that (both the chilling and the mixing w peppermint). I bet adding peppermint to the hot brew would be good too!

gmathis

Yep. The mixture works well at both temps.

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71

It looks like a lot of other people have the same story with this tea — bought at some kind of all-natural/local/organic/“hippie” store, smells like an Irish Breakfast, but isn’t strong enough. Huh.

I got mine at the local co-op in bulk — I was only going to get an ounce or two, but the canisters they use for bulk teas are the kind where you pull a lever and the tea spills out… so I got a lot.

This really isn’t a breakfast tea. It’s more like an after-work tea. I think this would be a good base for delicate blends with something like rose buds. I’ll probably finish what I have but not get more.

gmathis

Yup. My experience exactly.

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75

I thought this was pretty wonderful. Very smooth, and nothing really unpleasant about it at all. I prefer most black teas to be a bit more mild, so I steeped it for 3 minutes exactly and it was perfect, no milk/sugar was needed at all.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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60

So after a pretty uncomfortable experience with my first cup, I read some brewing tips from some book I found in a Teavana store. It said to use 1 3/4 tsp. of tea for every 8 oz, and steep for one minute at 205 degrees. I approached this advise with caution, because it didn’t seem like MORE tea would solve the earlier problem of the tea punching me in the face with the burnt-rice nutty taste on my first sip. The temperature also seemed a bit high for green tea.

HOWEVER

I tried it, and steeping it this way made a drastic improvement. The rice-taste, while still present, is much more subtle and blends well with the bancha to create a pleasant, smooth cup.

Kudos to that book.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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83

On second cup:

I lowered the steep time to around 4:25-4:30, and added a tiny bit of milk. Now, this is basically perfect, new favorite black tea.

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60

First sip, you’re pretty overwhelmed by the nutty taste, it took me halfway through the cup before I could detect much of the green flavor underneath. After that, I suppose it’s a smooth, relatively balanced tea that leaves a pleasant taste in your mouth. I just think the cooked rice/popcorn taste was pretty overpowering. Not my favorite, but not awful.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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83

this is my first assam tea, so i’m not entirely sure what to compare it to. it definitely has a smooth, yet astringent and dry taste. makes for an excellent breakfast tea. i think 5 minutes might have been a bit too much, i’ll try 4-4.5 next time.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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74

I had forgotten that this has its own listing, but it’s too much effort to backtrack all the chance-combos and re-categorize. It’s just been a “too much” day all around, Charlie Brown. Sigh. Slump.

However, the bright spot was the evening’s steep-speriment: equal parts red raspberry leaf and dried lemon verbena, courtesy of the horticulturally talented k s. Left to steep easily 20 minutes, partly to wring all the herbal goodness out of the raspberry, and partly because it is just too wicked hot today to drink anything warmer than tepid, so I just let it cool in the cup. Perfect pairing. The lemon out-lemoned the strong leafiness of the raspberry leaf and made a nice little evening tisane.

K S

No Terri has skills. My wife and I put it in a pot. IF the sun shines and IF it rains we get growing plants. Last year everything just died.

Terri HarpLady

Last year everything died at my house too. It was just too damn hot last year. I’m enjoying this year much better. :)
I used to drink LOTS of Red Raspberry leaf. Such a great herb for women, especially women of child bearing age. I’m grateful to be considerably past that age, & so, even though I have raspberries growing, I haven’t drank the leaf for years. Maybe I should try mixing some with some of my lemon verbena…hmmm…

We were doing some serious weeding in the garden today, & somehow the lemon balm has found it’s way clear across the yard from where it’s suppose to be. Drew was smelling it, wondering aloud if it could be made into a pesto. I told him I didn’t see why not (although we have plenty of basil…), & sure enough, there are recipes online!

Sil

hmmm raspberry leaf, eh? hmmm

Lynxiebrat

Mmm I’m crazy about pesto! Unfortunately, My Dad hates it so I can’t make much with it.

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Sipdown!
I enjoyed this with 2nd breakfast, which was basically 2 leftover pancakes (gluten free, almond flour), reheated in the toaster & slathered with coconut butter & a drizzle of Maple Syrup (slurp! I love maple syrup!). That treat required something with a bit of rustic-ness, which I feel this tea satisfied. It’s got a interesting musky low end, that complimented the sweet nuttiness & creaminess of the snack perfectly.

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Sipdown! After yesterday’s purchases, minus this SD, I’m at 290. LOL

Anyway, I’m enjoying this Assam more than I recall from my previous sippings of it. I brewed a large pot of it, fairly strong, & it’s pretty bold & dark, just what I needed. I can feel the caffeine coursing through my bloodstream!

Sil

yesterday’s purchases? do tell…

Sil

also you’d better get cracking lady ’cause my box will put you over 300 easily…

Terri HarpLady

yell, well MY box is gonna skyrocket your box to the MOON, girlie! And you’ll be so caffeinated you’ll blast off with it! LOL!
Yesterday’s purchases: farmers market – Trail Lodge tea booth – Black Raspberry, more lemon meringue, more peach melba, & Pumpkin Pie – all getting added to your box, along with a lifetime supply of puer (evil laugh)

Cavocorax

Hahaha. You guys are pretty cute with your friendly efforts to sabotage the other.

Sil

careful cavo or i’ll send YOU another box.
terri – you need to let me know if there’s anything from my cupboard you want me to send your way (ignore steap shoppe teas…you’re getting tons of that) besides the mousse au chocolat. i have a sticky with your name on to get some of that when i open it….

Terri HarpLady

oh, whatever, or just do like I’m doing for you: I have a box with your name on it. Anytime I try something new, I’m tossing a sample in there. Plus the stuff we’re splitting. I’ll finally drop it in the mail while you’re on vacay.
And remember, you already sent me an awesome surprise package a few weeks ago too! I’m just getting even :)
Whispering, “I think we should gang up on Cavo…”

Cavocorax

Oh gosh you guys, I’d better stock up on stuff to sample out. ;D

Sil

Lol I think I’m placing another birthday order with American tea room before I go on vacation since they have a 20% off sale ATM. Or not…. I’m a little worried my butiki order is going to hit 75$ all on my own lol

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Sipdown! After all the sipdowns that went into making yesterday’s ‘Suicide is Painless" ice tea blend, that puts me at 290!
My first tea of the day, & the first several sipdowns, I hope. I’d like to clear my cupboards out a bit, maybe narrow it down to my most favorites (stop laughing Sil, I know you are!)

This Irish Brekkie is ok, but not good enough to invoke images of Collin Farrell in a bathrobe saying, “Pass me a cup, Love” & winking.

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