Janet's Special Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

Oh. Mah. Goodness.

Another one from Bear With Me. Thank you!

It’s so good. Extremely fruity, not too rooibos-y, and divine with milk just like I was told! It’s like nicely ripe plums, how when you smell them they are a little tart and a little floral and a little almost-alcoholic. Kinda like that.

I’m super happy this ended up being the “weird and non caffeinated” choice. :) Thanks!

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Plums, Tart

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Bear With Me

Woo! glad you like it! I’m a bit addicted actually.

Janet has some of the BEST flavoured rooibos blends! She’s not a fan of rooibos’ flavour, so that probably helps them taste so good, haha!

She says hi, by the way :)

OMGsrsly

:D Hi Janet! I’m so glad that she’s not a fan of the twiggy flavour, because it’s making these teas taste less same-y, if that makes sense. There’s a bit of base to keep them similar, but they don’t just taste of rooibos.

(I really have to make it over to the Island and visit and tea shop.)

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gasp! I had to add this tea myself! Hey, Bear With Me, do you have any additional info on it? :)

This is actually really nice. It’s a rooibos without being too twiggy. I think there might be stevia or something in here though (Maybe blackberry leaves? Or strawberry leaves? IDK, it’s weird.) because I’m getting that weird sweet lemony aftertaste. Haha. Kind of weird with pumpkin pie.

Oh, and the flavours! I can actually taste pumpkin and it’s not completely overwhelmed by spices. It’s blowing my mind.

It’d be better without that weird lemony aftertaste, but I am enjoying it and will happily finish the bag. And heck, as a pumpkin tea that tastes more like pumpkin than the spices, I’d probably even repurchase this!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Bear With Me

Yeah….I haven’t had time to write any notes on what I’ve been sipping lately with the new blog! Too busy answering trans* related questions and junk.

The bag only says organic rooibos, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin, and I know she uses natural flavouring with no sulphates and junk. It’s brand new this fall and she’d JUST put it on the wall as I walked through the door! As for the leaf, I wonder if it’s from the pumpkin plant itself? She doesn’t use stevia, I know that much. She can’t consume it and she doesn’t use anything she can’t have!

I freaking adore her, I’ve been spending way too much time at her shop lately :P

OMGsrsly

It’s really nice! If I have time tomorrow I’ll call and ask what the green bits are. :)

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Eeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you SO MUCH, Bear With Me, for the teasplosion! :D

So excited. This tea is SO GOOD and I have a whole 50g of it.

I also have 4 (FOUR!) new rooibos blends to try, one of which is plum, and smells fantabulous.

So yeah. I came home, got the perfectly sized package (no really, it fit in my tiny mailbox), and immediately put the kettle on. This is Tea 1, but I shall be having a Tea 2, and possibly also a Tea 3. :)

Just as good as I remember, especially since I added some milk. Creamy orangey goodness. No wonder I always refer to it as “Janet’s Special Orange”.

Flavors: Malt, Orange, Orange Blossom, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Fjellrev

Oh yeah, this one is gorgeous. I need to pick up more.

OMGsrsly

It is SOOOO good! :D

Bear With Me

and it came from a fresh batch! Just put out before I walked in :D Only the best from Janet’s!

OMGsrsly

I still need to try it as a latte. I think it’ll be fabulous. Oh, and maybe to flavour ice cream. Hmm…

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Sipdown! I like this tea, and am sad to see it go. However, I’m plotting a trip to Victoria so I should be able to restock a bit by the end of summer! YAY!

I keep on thinking about it as “Janet’s Special Orange” because my brain is so foggy.

It’s nice. Orange, creamy, vanilla. Yum. So good with a bit of cream. I still need to try it as a latte!

Flavors: Cream, Orange, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Soooo good this morning! I made it with a little honey and cream. The vanilla and orange in this are just so tasty. Present, but not overpowering.

Thanks, Ceylon Star!

(2.5tsp in 16oz)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Amariel

I love this one and need more.

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WOOO!!! Thanks, Ceylon Star!

Smells SO GOOD. Like an Orange Julius, almost.

Yeah. If an Orange Julius were a tea, I think this might be it. Will probably update more in comments later. Must flee!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Bear With Me

Let me know if you’d like me to pick up some more for you :D

OMGsrsly

I kinda want to visit the store! Maybe once I drink my way back down from almost-300… O.o

Bear With Me

she’s closed sun/mon but if you come over one day I’ll gladly play taxi :D Janet is freaking AWESOME <3

Amariel

I need more of this one….it is soo good.

Amariel

She really is, and you can actually get $1 sample bags. Freaking awesome!

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Maybe it’s because I used maple syrup to sweeten, and perhaps too much, but this tasted funny. I’m gonna try it again with my organic cane sugar next time and see how it goes.

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63

Backlog. The last of the three samples I picked up from Janet. The scent of the dry leaf makes you think that it should automatically earn a gold star, but I’m not really a fan of the taste? Probably because I’m not a huge fan of citrus + spice teas. I mean, they’re ok, but they all seem to taste almost the same. The taste was kind of… convoluted, muddled, confused-faced. But no loss since I love her Dolce Orange anyway. This is also a sip down because I drank the whole sample in one day.

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87

Sad sip down. This was totally rockin’ that orange peel like no one’s business. I’m definitely getting more of this in the future. That sample simply wasn’t enough.

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87

A mock orange tea latte sounded like a good idea just now, so I went for it without giving it any further thought. I say mock because I just pour a bunch of half and half into my mug, and voila, latte.

This tea is lusciously fragrant. Heaps and heaps of orange peel, with a subtle creaminess in the background.

As soon as I poured the water and let it start steeping, it triggered thoughts of sipping on Fauchon’s Un Soir de France. Must be the orange peel. And that it is! The first sip is all about the same orange flavour profile that Un Soir has going on. This is just missing the roses and barely-there apricot.

And the half and half enhances that smooth creaminess. I wouldn’t call it an orange creamsicle. Maybe more like a white chocolate orange truffle.

Then after a few more sips I grabbed my bottle of organic vanilla extract and let some dribble into the tea. Excellence.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Courtney

Nice addition with the vanilla extract.

Sil

orange and vanilla = delicious..

Fjellrev

Especially when it’s done correctly. I was worried this would be too much like generic orange-flavoured bagged tea.

Amariel

It is super yummy and I need to make this with milk next.

Fjellrev

Do it! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

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90

Sipdown!

Made this last serving latte style! I think it is really good! I will definitely look at restocking this tea! Hopefully, I will not be the only person to review it.

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90

Seriously love this tea.

Chocolate and coconut with delicate chai spices, simply wonderful. The base is just right, not overly astringent, smoky or strong…very mellow and balanced.

Fjellrev

I’m still shocked I didn’t grab a sample of this too haha. But there will always be a next time.

Amariel

It’s really good. I may try making a latte with the rest. I don’t know if I will get anymore right away, seeing as I need to pare stuff down. But for a chai, I think it may work as a year round one. The coconut makes it spring and summer, and the rest is hearty enough for fall and winter.

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90

This week has been really stressful and rough on me, and what I’ve needed most is support and comfort. This tea certainly fulfills the latter requirement. This tea is like drinking a coconut cream pie with a chocolate crust, and just a hint of spice.

Once again, the base tea here is smooth and mellow, with little to no hint of bitterness or astringency. The predominant flavour here is chocolate, with coconut coming close in second. They’re almost even. The chai spices are present, but they take the background and just add a nice comforting bit of warmth to it all.

This tea was made with both milk and sugar on both steeps that I did. I think that it will be awesome as a latte, as well as steeped chai style in the milk directly. I think this one deserves getting more. So far, all three of the four teas I have gotten from Janet’s are good and I would repurchase. I have not had the Canadian Maple yet, but three out of four is good regardless of how that one will be.

Flavors: Chocolate, Coconut

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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82

Sipdown! Still a very pleasant tea. One I should have cold steeped as I feel it would be a great one for that, but maybe next time. I’m in Spring Clean 2014 mode as my mom is here next week for a few days. So I’m just trying to clear out some tea to make it look less bad of a problem to her. :P

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82

Definitely a fruity tea…oversteeped so I will probably adjust the rating on a later steep. There is a more prominent citrus note, I think, with the spice in the background. It sort of reminds me of orange spice. I find the black base to be smooth with this one, as I did with the dolce orange, so that was nice. Even the oversteeping didn’t make it too bitter or astringent. I think this one may turn out to be a nice tea to cold steep or have iced, but it is quite nice as is hot. The owner of the shop said it was one of the top selling teas. It is quite nice.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp
Bear With Me

Sidney Sunrise (both he black and rooibos based blends) are her signature blends! :D

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74

Quick sip down. I wanted to finish this off because the sample bags aren’t resealable. No cherry again. Oh well.

All in all a very mild chocolate tea.

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74

Thanks to Ceylon Star who drove both Amariel and me to Sidney the other day, I was finally able to visit Janet’s to see what she has in store. I grabbed this one as an afterthought because I’ve been on the quest for a good cherry tea. The funny part is I’m not even a fan of Black Forest cake, since chocolate cake has always been underwhelmingly meh to me.

The dry leaf smells promising. A prominent cherry with a milk chocolate lingering behind.

I’m not really getting the cherry in the taste, though. And the chocolate is extremely subtle. Luckily I have a little more to experiment with, and at least the base isn’t astringent.

I added some half and half and it reminded me of drinking a plain chocolate tea. It’s good but I was hoping for more cherry.

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90

Pulled this one out for my first cup of the day, partly because it called to me, and partly because in approximately one hour, the Netherlands plays against Costa Rica in the 2014 FIFA world cup.

I spent 3.5 years of my life in the Netherlands, and they were the best years of my life. Amazing people, amazing food (ohemgee the CHEESE!!!!), beautiful architecture and landscapes, and sooooooo much acceptance.

The Dutch national colour, for those who don’t know, is Orange, so an orange tea felt like a good hat-tip to the country I called home for a few years (and a country I’d love to return to someday and see it from an adult’s perspective as I was a kid when I lived there).

This tea definitely reminds me of the Netherlands. The brightness of the orange with the sweetness of the vanilla gives me the sense of being back there, where I felt so at home.

It’s a welcome comfort in the midst of an emotional shitstorm of epic proportions. Even though the moment of comfort and contentment is coming to an end as I finish my cup, I’m glad to have had a chance to simply breathe.

Sil

sounds sooooooo yummy

Bear With Me

it’s at the top of my list of things to send you when I’m better/working ;)

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90

As always, a visit to Janet’s left me with a grin on my face and a slightly lighter wallet. If you’re in Victoria and haven’t stopped in to Janet’s Special Teas in Sidney (on Beacon Ave), you don’t know what you’re missing! Janet, the owner, is a total hoot, and treats everyone like family. She’s truly passionate about the tea she sells and offers generous sample pouches for $1 (with enough leaf for at LEAST 3 cups). She’s even been known to bring in teas that she wouldn’t normally carry for customers who request it, so don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t see what you’re looking for.

But on to the tea itself. I LOVE orange teas, and orange juice. Which is funny because I can’t stand oranges (but I’ll happily eat a whole grapefruit) or creamsicles. But I do make my own “creamsicles” every summer, using tea and condensed milk. And that’s actually the main reason I picked up 50g of this tea.

I generally make my creamsicles out of DAVIDs Orange Blossom rooibos, but after experimenting last year, I found that rooibos just doesn’t make the nicest popsicles, it’s just not strong enough. So when my lovely hostages, I mean tea companions, asked to sniff the Dolce Orange, I couldn’t resist grabbing some to play around with. I brewed up some double strength when I got home, then split it into two parts. I added 2 TBSP of condensed milk to one part, and 2 TBSP of vanilla simple syrup to the other (when making popsicles you really do need to add sweetener. The extreme cold of freezing the tea cuts a lot of the flavour, and the sweetener helps to highlight the flavour of the tea and make it pop despite the coldness, without being overwhelmingly sweet). Poured into popsicle molds and put them in the deep freeze overnight. Wehn I finally crawled out of bed at 2pm, and despite the below freezing temperatures outside, I grabbed one of each pops and tested them. The creaminess of the vanilla in the tea, mixed with the smoothness of the black base, the pops really didn’t need the condensed milk! I prefer them with just the vanilla syrup, actually. In fact, next time I’ll cut the syrup in half and do just 1 TBSP.

Of course, after testing the popsicles, I had to warm up, so I made a cup of this hot. And by cup I mean my 750ml teapot-sized-mug, haha! 2 heaping tsp (so close to 1 TBSP I guess?) to 750ml of water, steeped for 2.5minutes at 175F. Beautiful orange liquor with a sweet and creamy scent very much like melted creamsicles. First sip was pure orange goodness with a bit of vanilla left on my breath at the end of the sip. As it cooled I got more vanilla notes, and a slightly malty black note as well. Janet mentioned Sri Lanka, but I don’t remember if she was referring to this or to the back based Sidney Sunrise (which I also picked up even though I have a bit of the rooibos base left. The black base just smells nicer, though I’ll keep the roobios based blend on hand for the sake of having a tasty caffeine free option. but I digress.), but I almost wonder if the base to this one is an assam?

I’ll definitely be popping over to the shop on Friday on my way to see the pony (since he’s boarded literally across the highway from Janet’s shop, so when he’s going good and steady in the cart I want to attempt to drive him over and tie him to a post outside her shop, haha) to get more, both for drinking and for popsicle making. This may be my favourite non-spiced orange tea, very slightly beating out the blood orange pu’erh I keep on hand.

Flavors: Cream, Malt, Orange Zest, Vanilla

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 25 OZ / 750 ML
Sil

Need to try this one someday :)

Bear With Me

I’ll make sure to add it to your box (seeing as there’s not a heck of a lot else I have TO add to it so far, haha!)

OMGsrsly

That sounds so good! :) I need to make another Island Pilgrimmage soon, I think.

Bear With Me

Let me know when and I’ll gladly play Taxi Driver :D The only downside is Janet’s closed sundays and mondays :( (and would you like me to throw a sample into your box with the carrot cake?)

OMGsrsly

Umm, ok! :) (Twist my rubber arm!) I’d probably end up coming over on a Saturday, just because most things are open..

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85

I got this tea yesterday, on a pilgrimage to Janet’s out in Sidney…I got four little $1 sample pouches, and this was one. Her words were like it is orange creamsicle flavoured….so orange and vanilla. It did, indeed, smell like a creamsicle, and very much like DAVIDs Orange Blossom tea, minus the rooibos base and currants.

I did a full boil steep, but only for a few minutes. This tea, to me, is fine on it’s own with a little sweetener and no milk, though I may try it with milk one day to see how the creaminess plays in.

I did not find the base bitter or astringent at all, with this steeping, and the follow up steep I did later. I’ll see how the rest of my pouch goes, but I think that this is something I could keep regularly, or semi-regularly. Curious to see how it cold steeps with the warmer weather. I think it could be good.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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56

This tea is up for a swap, as it is not my fave and I would hate for it to go to waste.

It was purchased early July 2011 and is stored in a well sealed tea tin. This is a delightful tea; I am just not a fan of all the licorice flavour in this tea.

aisling of tea

I wouldn’t mind taking this one off your hands, I love licorice!

MaddHatter

You are more than welcome to it! I will mail it out to you next payday.

aisling of tea

No rush! Let me know what else I can add to your package in thanks!

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56

First off, this is not the tea to drink when you have even a hint of the flu! I had this last weekend while I was sick and took one wiff of the anaise and thought I was going to die! Licorice NOT tasty and does NOT smell delicious when one is ill.

Also why are all the teas with Anaise or licorice of some sort so… so… UNappealing?! BLECK!

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79

4th Steeping… GROSS!! I took one sip and could not get to the bathroom fast enough to bush my teeth, definanly pungent, and indiscribeably terrible! I will NOT be steeping this tea more that three times! EVER!

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79

3rd steeping

Only half of the leaves are fully open, and the flowers that are wrapped inside the leaves are starting to float around and changing the flavour of the tea slightly. Athough the colour is not as intense the flavour still is. I can’t describe it other than to say it is becoming more of a creamy green tea in flavour.

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