international house of teaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
My cupboard number is in the teens (19 to be exact but will drop by 2 more this week). Thanks to minimalism, buying small amounts of tea, not buying teas that are similar to ones I already own, and being diligent about using up teas I am at a smaller number than I’ve seen in a year or more. I even moved my collection from a china cabinet to a cupboard and am now using the china cabinet for storing appliances like my crock pot and rice cooker- a much better use of space since I’m always struggling for a place to put them. Altogether it feels great!
Anywho- onto the tea: cold brewed for a day, 6 “perfect spoonfuls” (2.5tsp each) in 2L of water. The taste is a bit tart/ sour with maybe a slight citrus/orange peel taste. Altogether it’s okay- my husband says the aftertaste is a bit “pukey” (prob thanks to the rosehips- see my tasting note from a few days ago). Luckily I only have maybe 2tbsp left of this tea so I’m going to use it up right away and prob won’t repurchase. I much prefer Banana Cherry Fruit Tisane from iHOT.
Flavors: Citrus, Sour, Tart
Husband and I woke up at 8:30am on our own this morning (actually feels so good not to waste a Saturday by sleeping in) and after puttering around the apt for a few hours we went out Pokemon hunting around noon and I asked to go to iHOT to fill up on gunpowder green tea + get a drink to go (otherwise I would get a headache without having non-caffeinated fluids). Been wanting to try this tea for quite some time but figured it was so similar to teas I’m trying to use up I better not buy 50g so this was the perfect opportunity to give this a try.
Pulled the bag out somewhere between 5-10min of steeping. The taste is indeed almost identical to the mandarin orange honeybush tea from twinnings (very real orange flavour without being super sour) with a slight ginger twist (very mild and you really only taste it at the end of the cup when it’s cooled off). Very nice. This is a possible repurchase but of course I have a few more teas to use up first!
Flavors: Ginger, Orange
Was talking to a customer at work about international house of tea and he claimed to like rosehip tea. Took a walk over to the shop on lunch break (only a 10min walk) and got a hot to go cup (straight, nothing in it). Pulled the bag out when I got back to work, so 10-15min steeping. Honestly, I’m just glad I got a to go cup instead of buying a whole bag because I don’t care for this tea. It tastes sour, like stomach acid-y taste. I can see rosehips working as an additive in fruit herbal blends for making iced tea, but straight up, I do not care for this at all.
Made this tea 2 ways: once in a 2L pitcher and also a single cup.
For the 2L pitcher: 6 “perfect spoonfuls” (2.5 tsp) steeped 10min in 185F water (the highest temp I’m supposed to use in my pitcher), the cooled off in the fridge: I love the banana and cherry flavour that pulls through, and this tea isn’t sour! It is a bit weak though and I would prob up the steep time + leaf next time.
8oz drink: 1tbsp leaf, boiling water, 10min, cooled off in the fridge: ah, this is what I want: it’s a bit stronger and I love that banana cherry taste.
All in all a good tea, but still on the weak side. I’m going to experiment more!
Flavors: banana, Cherry
A sample from iHOT.
I took one sip and went “ooo that’s nice!” the creamy lemon flavour is prominent without acidity and I appreciate the green rooibos for a change- very light and refreshing tea. I just copy and pasted over the description of the tea when creating the steepster entry and apparently this is their best selling rooibos tea- I can see why. Putting this on the wishlist!
Another sample from iHOT.
I didn’t get to even finish the cup I made with my sample, but I still got what this tea tastes like: roasted with a bit of vanilla flavour. It’s a bit too bold for my tastes but my husband would love it.
Flavors: Roasted, Vanilla
Got this as a sample at IHOT. Used the whole sample for a mug, steeped 3min in 185F water. I like mate teas but only drink them when I need a kick in the pants in the morning. Today was such a morning. The taste is mostly the herbaceous/earthy taste of mate with a slight taste of lemon. Altogether it’s good, but could have been stronger with the lemon.
Flavors: Earth, Herbaceous, Lemon
So my husband is significantly reducing/ cutting out coffee. He’s always enjoyed tea I make him but now I am getting him all prepped to make tea on his own. I put loose leaf tea in paper filters and write instructions on the side of the tin on how to make them perfect. So far, so good!
I bought some black teas since I figured he’s used to drinking coffee so he needs more of a boost than just green teas (plus I know they are too finicky for him at 5am for when he’s getting ready for work). Thus, black teas it is. I went to iHOT because I know they have good quality & reasonably priced stuff. I bought this lemon flavoured black tea actually for iced tea, but he’s been drinking is hot & cold, and he loves it. I’ve even tried a sip or two here and there (I can’t REALLY drink black tea because it hurts my stomach) and I must say, this blend is creamy, lemony, and delicious without astringency. I will absolutely be stocking this one up for him.
For hot tea: approx 1.5tsp, 200F water, 3min.
Iced tea: 5 “perfect spoonfuls” (DAVIDs TEA measurement = 2.5tsp each) per 2L pitcher, cold brewed 12ish hours.
I will not be adding this one or any black teas to my cupboard because I will not be personally drinking them whatsoever.
Flavors: Creamy, Lemon
Got this as a sample with my most recent order. I’m glad they gave me this tea because I was interested in trying it but not enough to buy minimum 50g.
The taste is most certainly vanilla and pear with a rooibos base. A good blend overall. I would consider buying this or a similar blend in the future. However, maybe this is just me, but I feel like flavourings in rooibos teas don’t last long and you have to drink it up right away and be very careful about the way you store them or else they become bland/stale. Anyone else experience this? Unless I have a rooibos blend that is strongly flavoured I find the flavouring is lost within a few months or less.
Flavors: Pear, Vanilla
Got this as a free sample. Seeing how much I like Lemon Myrtle I figured I’d like this one since it’s lemon balm with spices. Indeed so! Lemon Balm is less lemony than myrtle and more herbaceous. The mild spices are a nice touch too. Overall it’s a nice, relaxing blend. I may repurchase (or just buy lemon balm on it’s own) but I have a LOT of lemon myrtle to use up first (plus I want to dwindle my collection a bit more first. I’m at 30 teas, I’d like to get below 25 before buying anything new (unless something comes out from DAVIDs on limited edition…you all know how they are with reeling customers in with the constant new & limited edition teas).
Flavors: Herbaceous, Lemon, Spices
Haven’t gotten to reviewing this. I’ve owned it since Christmas time which Is nearly 4 months ago!
Supposedly, this is supposed to be a mild aphrodisiac. Honestly, I cannot attest to whether or not that aspect of this tea works or not-haven’t really noticed a difference in my libido. However, what it tastes like is peppermint in the foretaste and herbaceous (prob from the blackberry + strawberry leaves and other ingredients) in the rest of the tea. Overall it’s alright. Dunno if I would repurchase based on taste.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Peppermint
A re-review of this tea.
I bought this in a to-go cup over a month ago, and enjoyed the almond flavour but thought it was so rooibosy/woody tasting do to oversteeping. Today I bought 50g and was careful about steeping and sadly found that it’s just that the flavouring isn’t strong enough for my liking. I am getting some almond flavour, but most of the taste is just woody rooibos. A bit disappointing. In order to use it up, I am going to either blend this with Earl Grey Cream Rooibos from iHOT (AMAZING rooibos blend with a wonderful strong bergamot + vanilla flavour) or other teas, or maybe just add cinnamon an a touch of maple syrup? I will play around and see what happens!
Flavors: Almond, Rooibos, Wood
The last green tea from the sampler pack. Interesting how this one is in a sampler pack yet it is not mentioned on the iHOT tea menu. Anywho, it’s a decent green tea. Not super sensitive to heat/steeping time/overleafing and has your basic grassy green tea taste. It doesn’t wow me, but I had no issue using it up. (Overall, I prefer green teas with a buttery or vegetal taste, like gyokuro or dragonwell)
A re-review of this tea.
Gunpowder green tea has become my favorite work-day tea. It’s inexpensive ($6/50g!), fuller-bodied to help me wake up, can “take a beating” (I.e. higher temps and longer steeping time without becoming bitter…accidentally let it steep at work for 7min (lower temp) and it was fine!). Although it doesn’t have the buttery or super vegetal taste I love in green tea, it is slightly smoky, which is an interesting change of pace, and a slight “green” taste. Overall it just works for me during work days where I don’t have time to worry about oversteeping and whatnot. I can def see myself trying different gunpowder teas and using them up quickly!
Another tea from the sampler pack. Unfortunately, it seems like I received a lot of broken leaves and dust in my sample. Probably since it was a sample. Either way, when I scooped out tea to make my mug full I did get almost all whole leaves to try it out- nice.
This tea is one of my favourites from the sampler pack. It is not too prone to astringency, not too bold or weak, and very floral, sweet, and vegetal. I’m especially loving the vegetal aspect of this tea. Yum.
Unlike the Yunnan tea I just reviewed, this one is a re-purchase. The vegetal character does make it unique to me and this tea is good for multiple steepings. It is one of the most pricey teas from iHOT at $12.50/50g (only gyokuro and jasmine pearls are more expensive), but that’s the beauty of trying a sample first.
Flavors: Floral, Sweet, Vegetal
One of the teas from the sampler pack I got from iHOT. I’ve tried it several times now, actually just finishing up the last of the sample.
Let me just start off by saying how pretty this tea is. Because it’s tips all of the leaves are the same size and shape, almost reminding me of the look of fennel. The uniform look is really nice.Besides that though, the description of this tea is: “this green tea has a strong, spicy flavour, a hint of sweetness and an outstanding unique character.”. Personally, I do find this tea strong (I actually brew it for only 2min @ 160degree F otherwise there is astringency) but I do not find it is “spicy”. In the aftertaste it is a little sweet, though. Sadly though, I do not find this tea re-steeps well. I brew up two mugs at a time: one for me which has a stronger colour and flavour, one for my husband (his at 3min as opposed to two) and the liqueur is a LOT paler. That’s kind of disappointing.
So with that being said, I did enjoy this tea, but I dunno if I would repurchase. The taste isn’t unique to me and the tea is really prone to astringency, yet it’s not that great for multiple resteepings. This tea is pretty inexpensive so I think there would be other greens I would prefer over this one in that price range.
I find with fruit flavoured teas, a lot of the time they’ll SAY it tastes like a particular tea, but when you drink it it’s just vaguely fruit or sweet but distinctive. This blueberry rooibos does a pretty good job with it’s blueberry flavour. I suppose that’s what happens when you use dehydrated blueberries in your tea! I did enjoy it straight up, but I’m wondering how it’ll tasted iced as well. We’ll have to see!
Flavors: Blueberry, Floral, Rooibos
Mulberry Magic from DAVID’s tea is a staple for me. However, when I saw that iHOT sold mulberry leaves for $6.00/50g as opposed to about $10/50g for Mulberry Magic from DAVIDs, I knew I needed to try this out and be economical.
I noticed that the leaves are VERY long (some are about 2.5 inches!) and more straight than with mulberry magic. Even still, it brews up just like mulberry magic: dark, muddled green with a very floral, grass, and sweet flavour that has depth to it. Very nice. I always brew mulberry strong so I never noticed the macadamia nuts with Mulberry Magic, so this is a great substitute.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Sweet
Good amount of bergamont flavouring in this rooibos blend. Yum. I think I like the Cream of Earl Grey rooibos blend better though. Still though- this tea is a good substitute for people like myself who cannot drink black tea but still like bergamot flavouring.
Flavors: Bergamot, Rooibos
I currently have 3 genmaicha teas in my collection but haven’t been drinking genmaicha lately! Luckily this is just a sample.
Not much to say- a nice roasted rice + popcorn flavour with the taste of fresh grass in the background. Nice. I hope to get a move on with this genmaicha teas soon..
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Popcorn, Roasted
Not usually one for flavored greens, but since this is decaf I don’t really care. Made a pot of this for the hubs and I, then took some tea out of the pot for a cup (and brought some for a short evening shift too). A not too weak, not strong vanilla taste with the undertones of grass. Lovely. I find that straight, decaf green tea is not nearly as good as the straight, regular-caf stuff since the decaffeination process creates a strange taste, but adding the vanilla takes away that strange taste while still having the pleasant grassy undertones. I think this shall replace the straight decaf stuff I have!
Flavors: Grass, Vanilla
Finally used up my $50 gift card my husband got me for my bday (dec 14, so it’s been 3 months!). I’m really impressed with how much tea I got for $50. iHOT’s prices are so much better than most companies I’ve ordered from (example: most of iHOT’s rooibos teas are $5.75/50g instead of the avg $7.00/50g from DAVIDs) and they have great quality. Not to mention, I watched them fill up the bags of tea and I noticed they were giving me 60-70g for the price of 50g (they sell in denominations of 50g). What a deal and great customer service!
Anywho, I brewed this tea up for prob 8min, 2tsp of tea in 10oz of 200F water. Earl Grey Cream indeed! Bergamot and vanilla flavours are more prominent than the rooibos- which is hard to find in flavoured rooibos blends (especially vanilla). I want to try this as a latte. It’s so creamy I’m sure it would wok wondrously. I’ll have no probably drinking this one down!
Flavors: Bergamot, Creamy, Rooibos, Vanilla