Frontier Natural Products Co-op

Recent Tasting Notes

This little jar of nuggety goodness was a gift; normally I don’t choose chai for myself.

However, it’s fun to play “Where’s Waldo?” with all the ingredients—cinnamon chunks, fennel, fennel and more fennel, black peppercorns…tried a few sips straight up and it was not too bitter as a stand-alone. However, the addition of half-and-half and some brown sugar smoothed it out beautifully. Available in bulk, this gets a Cheapster Steepster thumbs-up for frugality as well.

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Sipdown!
I got this tea from Terri. Thank you Terri!
This is not a great darjeeling, but it’s a nice enough and not too memorable tea. If you don’t like Darjeelings, then you could probably still enjoy this tea. It has less acidity and astringency than more pronounced Darjeelings, but also lacks the more ethereal muscatel notes, or the fantastic mouth feels that good Darjs have.

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80

It’s cold and windy and in general a yucky day. How dare the sun shine! I have a head ache and don’t even want to get out of bed. Actually the cat is holding me hostage by laying across my legs. I can’t get out because you know I don’t want to bother the cat when she is purring so loudly :-P I had a bit of Warming Crimson Berry which I enjoy but not really enough for a cup. So I added some Strawberry Herbal. A little stevia to fight the hibiscus. A nice warming cup with a bright chili after taste. It’s kind of cleaning out my sinuses which I hadn’t even noticed were clogged up. I hope this isn’t the beginning of a sinus infection. It’s the kind of tea that I need to have eat with or the chili can upset my stomach. After forcing the cat off my legs, I made the tea and now she is on my lap and shows no signs of moving. Help, I may be trapped the rest of the day :D I lowered the rating on this a little. It does’t seem as good as I remember it or maybe it’s just that I feel crummy.

Flavors: Berries, Peppercorn

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

I am usually not a big hibiscus fan but for this I’ll make an exception! Lovely aroma, deep red liquor (looks awesome in a clear cup), tart and nice hot chili to top it off. There is a strong chili after taste. Yum! I know it’s not for everyone but on a cold winter day (14 degrees) it hit the spot for me. I added a bit of sweetener and it helped with the tart taste. Resteepable several times.

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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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Not my usual morning fare, but it hasn’t been a usual morning—got to sleep in! This reminds me in many ways of good ol’ Bigelow Constant Comment, except the both orange and spice flavors are more subtle; rounder, not pointy, if you get what I mean; warms you without tingling.

Sil

yay for sleeping in!

gmathis

(Of course, for me, that was 7:45…)

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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

golden, tippy….English Breakfast?? is that you?

i had this tea the other day & for some reason i thought i was drinking English Breakfast! which as far as i know contains Assam, in the very least…

i’m inclined to say my taste buds aren’t up to snuff, but this isn’t as dreamy a Darjeeling as i remember other darjeelings being..

it was quite a bit astringent, a bit more than is warranted for standard blacks, and darjeeling is supposed to be the champagne of tea! a lemon note kept popping out at me that i wanted to go away, and that’s saying something since i love lemon. i drink lemon water (to the point of it being cloudy) fairly regularly although i will admit, it is sometimes an exercise in endurance. lol

anyway…i guess i was hoping to have a black tea that could hold up against milk & sugar. it didn’t seem to work this time.

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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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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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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

No notes yet. Add one?

Flavors: Butter, Nuts

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 7 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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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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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

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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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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