international house of teaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I popped in again to ihot yesterday- Mostly to get my husband’s Christmas present (a french press travel mug- he’ll use it for coffee), but they threw in this sample :)
I brewed it up today to try- it doesn’t have an ingredients listing on the sample, and not on the website either, but what I’m tasting is very similar to the Christmas chai rooibos- vanilla, and for this tea, a very small touch of spice. Altogether tasty, but I don’t usually go for those flavours in green tea so I will gladly use up the sample and move on.
Got this sample for from from ihot :). I used half the sample to bring to work. What I find works with my timolino is when I’m making breakfast and tea to drink in the morning before work, I make tea FOR work at the same time. I steep whatever tea for work in my timolino, and then leave the top off until the last minute to get out just enough heat so I can actually drink it when I get there. It’s been working like a charm :).
Anywho, this is a very nice tea for this time of the year especially- slightly sweet from the apple and flavouring, followed by spices (especially cinnamon). Yum :)
Flavors: Cinnamon, Spices, Sweet
Re-reviewing this tea because I didn’t pay much attention to it the first time.
This blend tastes primarily of mint with a grassy taste from the nettle leaf, followed by cooking spices (as opposed to baking spices like cinnamon, cloves, etc). Altogether a unique, enjoyable blend. Although, I must say, if I am going to drink a tea that is going to kick my immune system back into gear, I would want something a bit stronger, like super ginger from DAVIDs or Immunity booster from steeped tea.
Flavors: Grass, Mint, Spices, Thyme
I could pretty much copy and paste my tasting note for the lapacho mango tea and it would work for this tea- the pear flavouring is spot on (just like the mango flavouring was), but as the tea cools down you realize that the lapacho is not a strong taste so there is not enough body to this tea. Kudos for ihot fo getting their flavourings right, but I think honeybush/rooibos is better than lapacho.
Flavors: Pear, Wood
I’ve had a lot of bad luck with supposed “mango teas” (most teas that’s claim to be mango taste nothing of the sort). Stash tea + Steeped tea both had herbal “mango teas” that tasted nothing of the sort. With this tea, the smell + taste of mango was actually there! Kudos to iHOT! They do their flavoring a very well and accurately.
However, on the flip side, what I’m starting to realize about lapacho is that it makes for a weak cup of tea. I thought I over steeped this tea before tasting it, yet it was still weak at the end. Don’t get me wrong, the mango pulled through, but near the end of the cup I was getting progressively disappointed with the watery-ness of it. The same went for the other flavored lapacho teas I’ve had. I wanted to even love the vanilla chai more because they did such a good job with the vanilla coming through, but it’s too hollow tasting. I will try mixing in a little honeybush or rooibos to get it a bit more flavor, but I dunno if I will repurchase :(
Brewed this up in my Timolino for work. I’m trying all my iHOT teas pretty quickly. It’s definitely something to keep me excited until the 24 days of teas (12 more days!!). Which reminds me, I should put up my Christmas tree by December 1st :).
Anywho, the “pencil shavings” taste of the lapacho is masked somewhat by the lemongrass taste. There’s still a woody taste, but it’s not offensive. There’s only a slight creaminess to this tea, and its more so in the aftertaste. Altogether this is alright, but doesn’t wow me; for future cups I’m probably going to add lemon myrtle to up the lemon taste. Also, to be honest I have other herbal lemon teas I like better than this. Altogether not bad, and I’ll use it up, but I dunno if I would repurchase.
Flavors: Lemongrass, Wood
I didn’t care for lapacho plain, but in this blend it’s pretty good! This tea does vanilla much better than vanilla rooibos (see the tasting note before this one). Maybe because lapacho doesn’t get as strong as rooibos? Either way, the vanilla pulls though quite well and the spices are there mildly, and not an assault like other chais. That’s what I like about ihot’s spice blends- they aren’t going to attack you, lol. My husband also said this tea was “really good”, so it’s good to get approval from both sides.
Flavors: Spices, Vanilla
The trouble I have with Vanilla rooibos teas is that the vanilla is never strong enough- and this tea is no exception. There’s a bit of vanilla at the beginning of the sip which then immediately goes to woody rooibos. Nothing offensive about this tea, but nothing spectacular. I’ll use it up, but not a repurchase. I preferred the lapacho vanilla chai over this.
I’ve been looking for a loose leaf version of a decaf green tea, and I found it :). It’s strange how different the smell of a decaf green tea is verses regular green tea- the grassiness is taken away quite a bit. Either way, I still like decaf green tea for the evenings sometimes, even if it is a bit different.
The only other decaf green I had was Tetley tea bags, and I feel bad for saying this, but this tea and Tetly tasted almost the same. The one difference is this one had no hint of astringency whereas if you steep one of the tea bags for 30 seconds you can taste a bit of it in the aftertaste. Overall this tea is a bit better, but it kind of sucks how decaf doesn’t have much a different taste profile unlike regular green teas :( .
Cranberry Cream indeed!
I actually brewed this weaker than I normally would for a herbal because I wanted the cranberry flavour shine on through. It worked! I definitely taste a natural fruity flavour in this tea. The end of the sip is a bit hollow though so I think next time I will brew it a little longer (not too long though; I do not want the honeybush to smother the cranberry). Overall a really nice blend, and I’m glad once again the flavour isn’t just in the scent but actually in the tea. It’s toss up between whether I prefer this one or the orange one; I’ll have to play around ;).
Flavors: Cranberry, Fruity, Wood
So, I know I have described rooibos and honeybush as woody, but this really takes the cake. This tea tastes like I am drinking steeped pencil shavings- which I guess makes sense since lapacho is the inner bark of a tree. Not really a fan of this on its own- in order to use it up I will mix it with other herbal teas. I don’t care for rooibos or honeybush on its own either, so I’m hoping I’ll like this in blends.
This is why sampler packs are so great- I’m not stuck with a huge bag of this tea if I don’t like it!
Yet another review for an IHOT tea. Sorry folks, you’ll see a lot of them in the next little while ;).
This tea actually came in both the Honeybush sampler pack and the herbal sampler pack, so I have a bit more of this tea than others, but that’s fine. Initially I was concerned about this tea because I was thinking about the Cinnamon Chai Rooibos from DAVIDs and how the cinnamon is so powerful it kind of churns my stomach. Luckily, this tea did none of the sort- the cinnamon is prominent but it doesn’t assault you, and then the end taste is the woody honeybush. Overall, not bad :). Probably won’t be a favorite of the bunch, but definitely not repulsive and I’ll certainly use it up.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Wood
The main tea place I shop at is DAVIDs: It’s the place that got me into tea, and they have a lot of selection and good blends. But, one thing I must admit too is they aren’t very good about having good selection of “medicinal herbals”. If you go onto their website and go under herbals, you’ll find the majority of the blends have hibiscus in them or at least fruit pieces (usually apple). Don’t get me wrong, I like the fruit blends- especially iced in the summer- but throughout the day lately I’ve been drinking 1 cup of green tea + MANY cups of herbal tea, and not usually with fruit pieces. Thus, I am glad I went to IHOT- because their selection for herbals is very good.
With that being said, I made this tea at work during the evening part of my shift. Either this tea or the cranberry one has a nice, strong, citrusy scent that permeates the sampler tin. I felt like having a dessert tea so I figured I’d try this one first. (I know I was just complaining about fruit teas and this one is citrus, but a lot of the blends I bought did not have fruit in them, and this one isn’t mostly fruit like other teas ;) ).
When brewed up this has a really nice orangey smell to it that is far from artificial. I was concerned that the smell may not transfer to the taste like Strawberries and Cream from Steeped tea does, but luckily that is not the case! The forefront of the tea does taste citrusy/orangey and the following taste is the woody honeybush. This sounds weird, but I notice how I sip on the tea determines how well I taste the orange. I still want to play around with this tea- I think I oversteeped/overleafed this tea and thus I taste more wood than I would like, so I will try and play around with that to make the best cup of this. Overall though, it was quite enjoyable :).
Flavors: Citrus, Orange, Wood
I finally went to ihot! It was about a 12 min walk from the place I was working at yesterday. Despite the rain, I toughed it out ;) and I was not disappointed! It’s a really cute shop, nice and knowledgeable staff, TONS of selection and a focus on wellness. They even have ingredients I have never heard of, so this is really exciting to try! Anyone who lives around Northwestern Ontario should check it out- or just order online ;). (I sound like I’m a paid advertisement, lol).
I picked up 3 sampler packs + 50g of decaf green tea + they gave me a sample to try :). my cupboard is up to 62 teas (and will be up to 67 when my celestial seasonings sample comes in the mail). That’s a crazy number for me- I’ve never had nearly that much tea in my collection. I guess that’s what sampler packs do. How I look at it is : 23 “normal” teas + DAVIIDs 24 days of tea + 15 teas from ihot (mostly samples) + 5 teas in the celestial seasions sample pack. Is that cheating lol?
Anywho, onto the review:
I had this before bed. I was skeptical of it because of the lavender: I had a pure lavender tea before and it reminded me so much of my facial cleanser that I was really turned off by it. Luckily, this tea is actually very mellow in the lavender. Actually, mellow all around: It starts off with a minty taste which then flows into the spices (the spices have no bite to it, which is nice) which then finishes with a mellow, floral taste at the end. All together, it was a good choice to have before bed, and I look forward to having more of this tea :).
Flavors: Floral, Mint, Spices
My experience of sitting outside listening to the trees as they sway in the wind is more enjoyable than this tea… but that is because I am outside apply for more jobs and it takes my mind off of it. Something about closing my eyes right now and just embracing the bit of serenity that I can conjure up is quite nice.
This is a nice oolong with resteep potential. I have drank over 40 ounces of it at this point and I am still going so that is a good sign. While it may be enjoyable, it is a bit dry. Overall a decent oolong.
My first gyokuro! This is a very savoury, vegetal green tea. The steeped leaves are bright green and smell like cooked spinach. I think I can taste notes of corn, green beans, cooked greens… there’s some bitterness developing as I reach the bottom of the cup.
My first time trying international house of tea! A got a small amount from my husband’s cousin who is no longer drinking teas with caffeine. This tea is really nice and smooth and “pure tasting”. I have to watch it with oolong teas due to my sensitive stomach so I probably will just use this tea up and not repurchase, but I definitely recommend it for those who like oolongs!
I took the remainder of this from the GCTTB3 box when I had it, and there was only a smidgen of leaf in the bag anyway, so I decided to make it iced. Coldbrewed for about 10 hrs or so. I also added a spoonful of sugar into the whole mix.
The liquor is a beautiful pale yellow, but I think it absorbed smells and flavours from other teas in the box, as it tastes more floral than fruity. Luckily, there was no astringency.
One more tea down.
GCTTB Rd 3:
This tea is really nice. It’s creamy for sure and has an amazing caramel sweetness that pairs perfectly with the smooth base. I am really enjoying this cup and am almost tempted to steal the rest from the box but I feel others should get a chance to enjoy it too. Thank you Calla for sharing :)
This one didn’t appear to be in the steepster database, so I added it. I am hoping it wasn’t somewhere else under a different name.
I quite like ginger peach teas. I don’t think I have ever had a white blend before though. This one was pretty decent. Definitely a nice ginger peach flavour. The ginger was just spicey enough but not too powerful, a bit sweet. The peach was juicy and sweet, like candy. The white tea worked well with the flavouring. I was a bit surprised because the white tea was a bit bitter like dandelion greens. But it worked with the tea.