Janet's Special Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

92

I’ve had this twice now, and I really like it. I picked it up in the bin of samples Janet had in a container on the counter in her shop. The name didn’t give any info, though the back was simple…black tea, cocoa nib, caramel pieces. SOLD!

I find the base to be pretty smooth, and my first impression of this tea is like a fraternal twin to Butiki’s Caramel Vanilla Assam. Only the vanilla here is replaced with the cocoa…and the cocoa blends in nicely with the black base that the caramel stands out more, with the smooth cocoa-ish backdrop.

I’d definitely consider getting more of this on a later visit. It is a nice morning tea.

Fjellrev

Nice! I don’t think I ever asked to smell this in the store because I didn’t think it would have these kinds of ingredients. I’ll have to check it out next time I’m there.

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81

Backlog from last night…This is a really interesting contribution to the SSTTB that Bear With Me put in. Being sick, I’m sure I missed out on some of the notes in this tea, though the mint was probably the most prominent flavour, but not in a minty way. I’m to sure if that makes any sense, sorry. I definitely want to give this a better try when I have my full senses. I’m gonna have a few more steeps, and then toss it into the box again, as it is a rather generous amount in there, so more to share!

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drank Secret Mu by Janet's Special Teas
620 tasting notes

Had some of this last night or night before, because I’m sick, and this is a sick kind of tea. I got a sample of it despite it having licorice in it. Actually, Janet tossed this one in as a freebie since I had a sore throat when I was in…she is really a very sweet lady.

So, I did not find this repulsive, and I was able to drink the whole cup. But it is not my favourite tea…it something I might have on hand for being sick though. Since it is a medicinal tea, and it contains ingredients I know I dislike, I am not rating this one.

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This tea has all sorts of weird things in it. And sadly it’s not as good as the other rooibos teas I’ve had.

So this one doesn’t pass for me. Sorry, tea.

(1.5 tsp/12 oz)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Bear With Me

The black version is much nicer.

OMGsrsly

I can believe it. The list of spices is impressive. :)

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The dry leaves smell amazing, and there are bits of vanilla pod chopped up and strewn about in the bag.

Sadly once it steeps, I can’t really tell there’s vanilla. This might be because of the cold I’m still recovering from, but IDK. I made it into an eggnog latte, and it’s really good this way. :) Ahh, yes. Now I can tell there’s more vanilla than just in the eggnog!

(8oz tea, 4oz eggnog)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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This tea doesn’t pack quite the punch of the Cardamom tea by Alokozay. The cardamom flavour is really mild and is almost clovey. And the tea itself isn’t anywhere near as strong and thick and rich.

So while I can appreciate this, I prefer the other companies version.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
teataku

There’s also a Cardamom Black carried by The Metropolitan Tea Company that is quite a kick in the mouth with cardamom flavor. My husband loves it, and while I’m not much of a fan, I appreciate that the flavor is authentic.

OMGsrsly

Haha. :) While I’m sure there are stores around here that carry it, most stores don’t admit which teas come from which suppliers. The closest one that does is across the waters in Victoria…

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Had the last of this tonight with milk. It’s so tasty! I still have some almond rooibos I’m trying to finish, or I’d be getting more this weekend.

…who am I kidding. I’ll probably get more anyways.

This rooibos isn’t too twiggy, steeps nicely even when you ahem forget it on the counter while playing on the internet doing laundry, and has a delightful delicate frangipane flavour – almonds and raspberry jam. Yum! (The one I started with was this recipe, without the tart shell and without the cream… http://www.channel4.com/programmes/jamies-30-minute-meals/articles/all/jools-pasta-with-frangipane-tart-meal-recipe but I have adjusted it. Goodness knows where that scrap of paper went to, though!)

Thanks for sharing, Bear With Me!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
gmathis

I “do laundry” frequently, too.

Cameron B.

Yummy. :)

OMGsrsly

Haha. :D I did actually get a bit of laundry done. Just enough that I won’t run out of anything in the next couple days.

Indigobloom

Sounds tasty! Wonder how it’d do in a latte

OMGsrsly

Probably quite well, but te flavouring isn’t super strong so it might lose a little in translation.

Indigobloom

Hmm yeah. I guess you’d have to help it along by adding some jam :P

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I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m afraid of the dark, and that fear of the dark has led me to be a total insomniac – sleeping the day away and being stuck awake all night. So if I’m going to be up anyways, and since I’m feeling ballstastic, I might as well have some tea.

I absolutely despised DAVIDs Tea’s Mint To Be which was a coconut and mint black blend, so I’m surprised by how much I love Janet’s anniversary blend!

When she showed me this one, Janet joked that her supplier probably took all their leftovers and tossed them in a bag and shook it up then sent it to her, and she may be right! This is such a random blend, all that’s missing is the bloody kitchen sink!

That said, I love how smooth, creamy, and toasty this tea is! The mint is just enough to add a bit of zing, and the almonds and brazil nuts overpower the coconut (I’m not a huge coconut fan) and make for a creamy but toasty cuppa.

It’s random, it’s sweet, it’s nutty, and it packs a punch – it’s Janet in a cup!

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Have you ever felt SO happy but because you had no specific reason to BE happy, your brain pulled a 180 and left you feeling miserable instead? I’m having one of those nights…

I made another trip to Janet’s today. I had to pick up a couple things I promised to send a few people, this included, but I grabbed enough for myself to enjoy too and tonight I’m sure glad I did.

This is a slightly malty black with lovely maple flavour. Not sweet maple like syrup, but unmistakably maple nonetheless. It feels like waffles in a mug and is getting me through this bit of a slump.

I predict another sleepless night. Bah.

Flavors: Creamy, Malt, Maple

Anlina

Ah that sucks, I’m sorry. I hope you can get those happy-stealing brainweasles out of your head.

Vwinsloe

“waffles in a mug.” MMMMmmmmm!

Bear With Me

I have some set aside for you vwinsloe :)

Vwinsloe

You rock!

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79

Nice medium bodied oolong. The leaves are dark green and crumpled and open up nicely with the first steep and allow for a second steep. The roast level is warm and nutty, though not as roasted as David’s Oolong Supreme, Butiki’s Gui Fei, or an oreiental beauty or big red robe. This is a little lower than those, but still more roast than some of the greener oolongs I’ve had. I don’t find this one to be terribly floral. It’s a nice simple oolong, and I think a good starter one for someone. I found that it did not go bitter or astringent with the 3 or so minute steep and less than boiling water.

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86

Backlog…I really like this tea…and it’s a rooibos! I did not try it with milk, but I will next time. I’m so happy I have a few rooibos that I like well enough to repurchase.

OMGsrsly

It is SO GOOD with milk. :)

Amariel

K. Will def do that next time. I’m trying the Pumpkin now, and will likely add milk to it.

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72

Not sure what to think of this tea. There is no actual rhubarb or rhubarb flavour in this tea, though there is the tartness of the blackberry and lime leaves, combined with the jasmine petals, that does give it a bit of a rhubarb feel. I’m not sure how I feel about it all. I am drinking it with a little organic cane sugar, but may go add milk to see how or if it changes the flavour. I think that this is probably a tea that would be good cold steeped, or iced over the summer. I think that I will be ok to drink the rest of the sample, but I’ll reserve judgement on whether I want more after I’ve had more.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Ladies and gents, I’ve just done one of the craziest things I’ve personally ever done to tea. But before I talk about that, I accidentally oversteeped this tea, so it was extra bold. That said, I’ll give it a more proper review with the last of my sample next time. But for now, it’s a decent Assam, just not as malty as I had hoped.

My cotton candy pink hair inspired me to go out and buy the actual stuff because I haven’t had it since I was a kid, and you know what? I was in the mood for some of that fluffy pink and blue candy floss. Looking at it (and tasting it too!) got me thinking about all the cotton candy blends that have been popping up (David’s, Della Terra, 52teas) and how they don’t taste like the actual thing. To be fair, I haven’t tried Della Terra’s, David’s is the best I’ve had to date but it’s even sweeter than actual cotton candy, and as for 52teas, it just tasted like generically sweetened black tea. It lacked that special something that cotton candy has.

So blah blah blah, I MELTED ACTUAL COTTON CANDY INTO MY TEA. Equal parts blue and pink to be fair. And while it has indeed substantially sweetened up this bold tea, the flavouring from the cotton candy (blue raspberry and bubblegum, respectively) gets lost. If there’s one thing that this experiment has taught me, it’s that the flavours that make cotton candy, well, cotton candy are muchly too delicate and subtle to be accurately captured in a tea. I could see it potentially work better with green rooibos (hence why David’s probably is the most successful, in my humble opinion) but the black bases smack those cutesy flavours down to the pavement and steal their lunch money.

The funny part is my lips are sticky from the liquid cotton candy though. Sticky lips but no cotton candy flavour satisfaction. Ripoff!

I have enough left to try with another cup or two with another base. Maybe I could try it with one of Butiki’s Assams? Or just screw it and eat the rest? Errrrrrrr?

Anlina

A delicate white tea might be a good base.

Fjellrev

Good call! I’m personally normally not a huge fan but that could definitely work.

aisling of tea

My favorite, favorite drink is one I had back home in Tennessee, a cotton candy cosmo. They’d bring you a martini glass overflowing with cotton candy and a shaker with vodka and cranberry juice. The cotton candy would just melt and it was awesome. They had a non alcoholic version using sprite. So…you should try vodka! XD

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73

More fruity cold brews FTW. Tons of berries packed in this one, but the first couple sips made me question what I was getting myself into. Very sweet. The kind of sweet that hits you at the back of the mouth and lingers for what seems an eternity. But the more I drink it, the (slightly) better it gets. I taste mostly strawberry, apple, and raspberry in that order. No cranberry, which would have ruled. The hibiscus is behaving itself.

Maybe I’ll steep it for a shorter amount of time to cut the sweetness? Or not add as much leaf. It’s definitely drinkable but I wouldn’t restock after finishing what I have.

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78

Sip down along with my 4pm breakfast. Wouldn’t mind having this again someday. It’s a happy blend. Happy!

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78

Another rooibos I dared myself to try. This is packed with cherries, goji berries, and hibiscus. The dry leaf smells like fruit leather, so we’re off to a great start.

With some light cream, Bon Rouge is mostly cherry with a touch of goji, but very faint. I can’t even detect the hibiscus. The base is also ultra light. That Nordic mug of mine which was nearly filled to the brim merely twenty minutes ago is now empty and I’m tempted to make one more cup today, polishing off the sample. It’s like I just didn’t get my fill of it yet.

I would have liked a little more cherry but I’ll steep it a little longer next time to see if I can amp up the flavours.

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82

Wow, this is pretty good for a rooibos! The amaretto flavouring in this is very prominent. Granted, I haven’t tried other Rainbow rooibos blends so it makes me wonder how other suppliers do it and/or if certain companies who carry it share suppliers. I don’t get any fruity berry notes in this since the amaretto is so strong. Just a strong almond/cherry groove going on in my mug.

I’ve tried this twice with half and half and then with 1% milk and it’s great either way. This is one of the few rooibos blends that I could see actually stocking in my cupboard.

Bear With Me

I don’t taste specific berries, but it reminds me of jam filled marzipan candies I used to get when I lived in Holland.

Fjellrev

Ah, that’s really neat! Either way, I’m really happy with the flavouring.

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70
drank Coconut by Janet's Special Teas
851 tasting notes

Another coconut tea to test out. I wasn’t amazed by the smell in the store but she did point out that whilst most companies toast their coconut, her supplier roasts it. Fancy? In the end, I’m left with a flavoured tea very similar to David’s Brazillionaire. Perhaps the roasting technique preserves the nutty notes in the coconut, hence why this tea is similar to David’s.

First time I had this yesterday, I had it with half and half. Second time today, with some brown sugar and 1% milk. Either way, neither of these combinations enhanced the coconut in any way.

Oh wells. Curious about what her chocolate coconut chai is going to taste like, but unfortunately, this is slightly lacklustre. Oh! But at least the coconut tasted fresh and was not rancid, which I’ve found with some other teas.

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76

Sip down. Wouldn’t buy more but there was enough flavouring in this to cover up the earthy base, so that’s always awesome.

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76

This is quite unique and I can’t exactly put my finger on why that is. The scent of the dry leaf smells like autumn. Yes, that’s vague, but perhaps it’s the woodsy base combined with the cinnamon that reminds me of crunchy leaves and fall-inspired candles and candies. This smells like a perfume that BPAL would create.

But what’s unique about it is the flavour. It doesn’t taste like anything pumpkin-related, not even pumpkin spice lattes. It’s almost like a lightly spiced whipped cream. I just drank a 16 oz. mug of it and I still can’t describe it anymore accurately than that.

These sample sizes from Janet sure are nifty. Not sure if I’d buy more but I’m looking forward to drinking the rest of my sample. Who knows, maybe the second round will be enough to sway me to buy more.

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71

Quick sip down. I wouldn’t buy it again but I enjoyed the spearmint in this. Actually, it only makes me crave Butiki’s Killer’s Vanilla. Come to think of it, this is like a more rugged version of that one.

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71

A pretty simple blend of spearmint, lavender, and rose petals. I ended up steeping this for about four minutes and it’s mostly spearmint. A touch of lavender but no rose. Next time, I’ll steep it a little less to see if the spearmint will calm down and bring forth the rose.

2:30 pm breakfast. Somehow I feel a sense of accomplishment when I stretch out breakfast time this long.

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60

Second Nordic mug of this in two days so I could use up the sample and not have it kicking around. I’ll admit that the dry leaf smelled a little underwhelming in the store, as there is a severe lack of bergamot and just a vague creaminess. Both cups turned out to be the same: vaguely creamy with almost no citrus. I dressed it up with brown sugar, vanilla extract, and half and half but it has a distinct scent and underlying flavour that reminds me of many Simpson and Vail teas, for which I don’t particularly care.

No repurchase but it’s always fun to try various EGC renditions.

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71

Sippity-doo-down. I can feel an impending headache from all this black tea and no breakfast/food. Again with half and half and no maple. Oh well, now we all know.

Amariel

Yeah, when I added maple to mine, it was too maple.

Fjellrev

I didn’t want to bother adding any sweetener to it so that I could judge the flavouring of the tea itself. I don’t know, maybe my taste buds are broken, but I can rarely taste the maple in maple-flavoured teas.

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