LeafSpa Organic Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

80

I felt like having an unflavored black tea and realized I hadn’t yet tried this.

In the tin, the leaves have an earthy, almost cocoa smell to them which made me think Assam, but it wasn’t until steeped this that I was sure. I also did a Google search for Banaspaty to confirm, but it’s pretty clear from the aroma alone that this is an Assam.
It has what I consider to be a typical Assam aroma, sort of a sharp almost coffee ground-like note across the top with a malty undercurrent. It’s a pretty color, almost a Ceylon red.

The description says this is delicate, but to me it’s not. Then again, it’s not overly heavy either. Its got a medium-full body and is very flavorful, without being super astringent or having a lot of bite like some Assams. Something about it makes me think of trees, deciduous ones, not evergreens (it’s not piney, but it is leafy). There is a cocoa-like note and a honey-like one, and there’s a light maltiness.

I’ve honestly forgotten how and on what basis I’ve rated the Assams I’ve had in the past so I’m rating this one in something of a vacuum. It’s very nice, definitely in the high very good/low excellent range.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Anna

Maybe you can have an Assam-off.

__Morgana__

(Sometimes I laugh my Assam-off!) I think I would have to have a big piece of creamy pie or something to coat my stomach first but I wouldn’t say it’s out of the question. ;-)

Anna

LOL. Also ‘banaspaty’ is an amazing word.

__Morgana__

Yes. And anything with bliss in the title. You can never have too much bliss!

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78

Another LeafSpa tea I’m pretty sure I bought because of the name. I thought it was cute. And the tea itself is cute, too. Like little twisty sticks of tea. Unicorn horns of tea.

I steeped it like any other green tea, and I don’t get the honey color that other notes have described. I get a standard issue pale yellow with green tinge green tea liquor with a vegetal aroma and a light, buttery vegetal taste. Lighter even than the bi luo chun of yesterday. It’s pleasant, but not terribly distinctive or interesting.

Just for laughs I think I’ll steep it longer and hotter net time and see if it produces a honey color in the cup.

I decided to look through my tea collection and see whether any of the other companies I bought from have gone out of business besides SpecialTeas, Andao and LeafSpa.

I found one more, The Simple Leaf, a much beloved company here on Steepster years ago for its Dawn, Mountain Malt, and other teas. I think everything else is still standing, though. That makes me happy.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML
Angrboda

Oh yes, the legendary Dawn… I think Laoshan Black from Verdant is coming closest to being a replacement for it these days. I only ever had a swap sample of Dawn, but I seem to recall it being something along those lines.

__Morgana__

I have a package of Dawn that I have been hoarding. One of these days (how many years from now?) I’ll be out of lockdown and can try the equally legendary Laoshan Black.

Angrboda

Oh you can do a comparison then, and tell me if I have a skewed memory of Dawn.

Angrboda

What’s the goal before you’re allowed to order things?

__Morgana__

I am so far away from having a manageable amount of tea that I haven’t yet set one. I’m at 108 sipdowns for the year and haven’t really made a dent, though a lot of those were samples. I think I’ll at least have to get to 250 and probably more like 500 before I even start thinking about it.

Angrboda

Gosh. Things have really got away from you there, haven’t they? O.o

__Morgana__

LOL, yes, just a little bit. ;-)

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78

Last time I made this in the Breville and tossed it into the Timolino and never really saw the liquor or smelled the aroma of the tea.

The liquor is actually pretty shocking. It’s a very deep, almost golden yellow and clear, but it really made me think of melted butter. The aroma made me think of baked bread in the same way the Irish Breakfast did the other day.

And the flavor today was very much liked baked bread, which is pretty amazing for a green tea. The dry leaves are also quite pretty, a dark tangly nesty looking mess. Maybe that’s how it got part of its name?

It was yum today on a rainy, rainy afternoon before no. 1’s piano lesson.

Bumping the rating. Still not sure I would really buy this again (even if LeafSpa was still around) because it’s more like black tea than a green, but I can’t penalize it for my buying decisions.

TheTeaFairy

The tea sounds very interesting and so is the piano lesson, yay for you!!!

__Morgana__

It’s certainly an unusual one, that’s for sure.

Jennkay

Even just the name of it is intriguing.

__Morgana__

I know, right? It makes me think of the giant eagles in The Lord of the Rings.

Geoffrey Norman

I miss LeafSpa. They were the only place (aside from Upton) that sold green honeybush.

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82

Thank you so much yyz for your suggestion on steeping silver needle. I was definitely doing it wrong.

There’s flavor in them there leaves!

Steeping in the gaiwan at a minute a steep using water that started at about 175 degrees, I’m getting a definite nutty, slightly woody flavor with a sweet aftertaste. The second steep was definitely thicker, a very nice mouthfeel. No bitterness, no planty-ness, but not just like a mouthful of snow either. It’s less dewy and nectary, which is what I thought silver needle tasted like.

I now know there’s much more to it.

I heart Steepster.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
music27note

I’m of the mind that steeping instructions for silver needle (no matter where it’s from) should usually not be trusted. When I see directions of 5 minutes, I go with 2 or less…

__Morgana__

I’m really interested to try other silver needles and see whether I have the same success, or whether this one just happens to be a very flavorful silver needle.

Anna

I think that should be a Tea Project.

juliebeth

now i wanna try that too. never had a silver needle.

yyz

Yay! I’m glad that this worked for you!

__Morgana__

Yes, a tea project! And thanks again, yyz!

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78

Another LeafSpa that I apparently never tried and never posted a note about.

This will be a sort of a placeholder note because I can’t really see or smell the tea as it’s in my Timolino, sitting next to me while I watch kids do kung fu classes (and homework for the one not currently in class).

I’m pretty sure I bought this one because I liked the name. What’s not to like about Eagle Nest Ever Drop? I am not sure I’ve had an Indian green tea other than a darjeeling. Maybe I have? I’ll have to check my notes.

What’s interesting to me about the taste of this is that to me it tastes like a green equivalent of an Assam. It has a bold, malty flavor and a full body for a green tea. The description mentions muscatel, but I don’t get a darjeeling-y flavor from it.

Very interesting and worth spending more time with when I have some peace and quiet to do a more full review. The one thing I’m not sure about is whether it’s really what I’m looking for in a green tea. When I drink green teas, I’m usually drinking them as alternatives to blacks, and this is a very black-like green tea.

For now, it’s a great contribution to the project of hitting 800 tasting notes at the same time as hitting 500 separate teas on which I’ve posted notes.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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86

I just realized that if I do this right, my 800th tasting note will coincide with the 500th individual tea about which I’ve written notes. I just have to make sure my next several notes are all on teas I haven’t written about yet.

So to start off that process, I’ve got another tea from the now defunct LeafSpa that I believe I’ve tasted but not written a note about before.

Dragonwell is something I’ve really wanted to like and haven’t had great luck with. The person who works next to me is from China and the only tea he drinks is Dragonwell, and he brings in a container of it every day. He really likes the sweet aftertaste. I am hoping this is one I’ll be able to relate a good experience about in our daily tea conversations.

One thing Dragonwell definitely has going for it is gorgeous dry leaves. Long, with pretty color variation. The liquor is pale yellow and clear.

I’m really liking the aroma of this one after steeping. It’s less like green vegetables than a lot of the other green teas I’ve had lately (not that I don’t like the green vegetable smell and taste) and more like a sweet, buttery grass. And that’s what I get in the flavor, too. There’s just the slightest roasty note as well, though sometimes it seems to meld into a smoky note like that of gunpowder but not nearly as strong.

The aftertaste is fresh and just slightly sweet-hay-like.

I think I probably used a lot more leaf than I’ve used in the past and that may be the trick for me and Dragonwell. In any case, this time I get it. Too bad this tea won’t be available after I drink it down. I now believe there are other Dragonwells that I’ll like, though.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 8 g 25 OZ / 750 ML
Memily

I love how many other people are anal with/excited by numbers on this site.

I’ve never heard of dragonwell! I’ve got a lot of learning to do…

__Morgana__

LOL—yes it’s like playing video games, cheap sense of accomplishment. ;-)

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84

This is really yummy today. There’s a thick, chewy mouth feel. There’s also a bready thing going on.

In fact, drinking this is reminding me of eating a piece of warm sour dough bread.

That’s an awesome thing for a rainy day like today.

It may not be like this next time, but for now, I gotta bump the rating.

Flavors: Baked Bread

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79

This was, again, my first morning tea.

Today was the first day in a while that I didn’t have as an initial tea something I wasn’t wild about and was trying to sip down. Not having that hanging over my head made for a very pleasurable tea experience.

I have a full sized tin of this and I hit the halfway mark today, so this is becoming a candidate for sipping down. But this is the way it should happen—naturally, as a consequence of being enjoyed, not because its owner is on a mission. ;-) It’s still a solid, middle-of-the-pack Earl Grey that I enjoy drinking, but it isn’t off the charts in any respect. That’s fine, though. Sometimes I just want a tea that isn’t so incredible that I spend all my time thinking about it while I’m drinking it. Sometimes I want something that doesn’t call attention to itself with every sip. That’s this tea.

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85

We have finished our bike ride and will soon be heading out to laser tag. I’m having this in the interim.

I didn’t really get to see it the last time I had it because it went straight into the Timolino. This time I’m having it in a cup, and I can see a sunshiny yellow clear liquor. It smells like sweet, buttery, fresh hay.

I forgot to steep it shorter (I see in my previous note I meant to do that). I’m not getting as much of a bitter note this time, though. It may be because I used a bit more leaf? I’m also getting just a tad of roastiness today which is pleasant. Not quite as strong as a roasted veggie flavor, just a nice note under the surface. I’m still getting buttery vegetables in the sip and a green nuttiness in the aftertaste.

Quite nice, and feels like the right thing to put in one’s body after an hour of cycling.

TheTeaFairy

OMG, I so envy you right now…wish I could have a bike ride in february…other than stationary bike!!!

__Morgana__

That is one great thing about California for sure. We had a good time. I’m really tired now though. Ready to so my assignment, watch Downton Abbey and go to sleep!

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85

Another of the many LeafSpa teas I ordered a while back (before they closed their doors).

I steeped some of this in the Breville and poured it into my brand new Timolino to take to work. (One of the several tea ware items I allowed myself to buy at my recent visit to DAVIDSTea since I wouldn’t let myself buy any tea other than what I could drink there.)

Really loving the Timolino. The best travel gadget I have. I love the fact that you can sip it from any direction without taking the lid completely off, and you don’t have to push or poke anything to get the tea to come out. But that’s beside the point.

I didn’t spend a lot of time with this prior to pouring it in the Timolino so I’ll have to do a more detailed note later invoking other sense perceptions, but for now I wanted to record my first experience of the flavor.

I think I might steep it a bit shorter next time because I get a little bitterness around the edges, but other than that, this is a very refreshing tea. It has a vegetal flavor that isn’t overly sweet or buttery but has a little of each. I’m thinking a very light bok choy? Maybe a little spinach, too. There’s a pleasant aftertaste that’s vaguely nutty, in a very light, greenish way, like the aftertaste of Brazil nuts.

I’m going to enjoy getting to know this one.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
keychange

Woohoo for your timolino!

__Morgana__

I’m so glad I got it!

Fjellrev

That is so exciting that you got a Timolino! I love mine too. Which colour did you get?

__Morgana__

They call it “midnight green.” It’s a really intense, deep metallic green color. V. pretty.

Fjellrev

Nice. :)

TheTeaFairy

Sadly, I don’t like their teas anymore but I’m ADDICTED to DAVIDsTEA teaware!! I just find it annoying that they are continuously out of stock on many items…
Glad you are enjoying your new baby, great colour!

__Morgana__

TF, I really love their tea ware, too. They were OUT OF THE MASON JAR at the location I visited or I certainly would have had to get one of those. ;-) As it is, I got this, some bubble cups and a couple of spoons. I really like the way their spoons feel in the hand. Nice weight, nice balance.

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79

My first Earl Grey in a few days. It’s nice to change things up every now and then.

Had a terrible scare this morning. Okay, I probably over reacted, but no. 1 got into an argument with his dad and left the house without saying where he was going. I figured he’d come back in in a few minutes, but he didn’t. Took no. 2 to President’s Week Camp figuring that perhaps no. 1 had walked over there. He wasn’t there. Came back ready to call the police, but cooler heads prevailed—got in the car with the BF and started to cruise the neighborhood. Got out of the car to ring the neighbor’s bell and no. 1 was coming out the front door right when I walked up.

We had a long discussion about leaving the house at age 9 without asking permission or saying where you’re going.

My throat was a bit tight from the length of the discussion and from the panicked tears.

This helped.

keychange

Oh my gosh, that sounds very scary. I’m glad everyone is safe and sound. Not being able to appreciate consequences is such a hallmark of childhood

__Morgana__

Thanks so much, and indeed, the consequences thing. And it turns out he told the dad of the family whose house he went to that we knew where he was and it was okay with us. So there’s the honesty piece as well that needs to be worked on. I am thinking I should find old Leave it to Beaver episodes for him to watch, because my recollection is they addressed just this kind of thing each episode. ;-)

boychik

Im so sorry. i can imagine what you are going through. My older one left the house at 6am when she was 6. went to a golf course just because she was bored and everybody were sleeping. i had 3 yr old and infant on my hands. she was picked by security. thank G-d there was no play yet. now my kids would never walk away because they are scared to be kidnapped. another thing, if some kid wonder in my house i would double check with the parents. Im surprised they didnt call you.

__Morgana__

Wow, how far away was the golf course?? How terrifying.

I agree, I would have double checked. But I can’t really fault this dad. No. 1 can be very convincing. I should probably have a chat with them though to let them know I’d appreciate a double check call if he shows up unannounced again.

boychik

Our summer house is on a golf course but she went far down maybe like 3 holes. i wasnt really mad at her because i was terrified myself. i was afraid to scare her. but in my mind… you dont want to know what i was thinking…we had a long talk. she cried and plead not to tell dad. she still remembers she will be 14 soon.

__Morgana__

Well, she learned from it, which is good. :-)

pyarkaaloo

awww, i’m sorry to hear all this transpired. hope your nerves are calmed with some much needed tea time :)

__Morgana__

Thank you. :-)

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79

I discovered the hard way that 4 minutes is too long for this. It takes on a bitter edge. Will go back to 3 minutes in the future.

Apart from the edge, it wasn’t so bad. Just strong.

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84

After my two highly flavored experiences this morning I needed a palate cleanser.

Gosh, I’m looking back at my original note on this and I see that the exterior lighting project that we just recently finished was started four years ago. OMG! We started the project, we got busy with other things and dropped it, then we went back to it. I have to say if I was the only person whose opinion had to be taken into account it would have been done faster. ;-) But it got done and it’s amazing, so there’s that.

In any case, this is tasting pretty much as described in my original note. Except the cola I noted before… well, I’m not getting that this time. ;-)

It is an excellent palate cleanser, though. I can feel its briskness cutting through all the stuff I tasted this morning and replacing it with a nice, medium strength, naturally sweet tea flavor.

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79

I have some untasted Earl Greys and some I’d like to revisit and do a better job of documenting, but I learned my lesson yesterday: don’t try something new you want to write a note about when in a rush. So today I’m returning to a solid Earl I’ve tasted a number of times. I have a lot of this, but at the same time once it’s gone it’s gone because LeafSpa is gone.

This remains a good, solid Earl without bergamot that is too strong for me. Today I am tasting the “orange” finish which livens up the flavor.

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79

We were in a rush to get out of the house this morning because No. 1 had an appointment to get braces on his teeth. So basically, I put this in the Breville and forgot about it until we were halfway to the orthodontist. When I got home after dropping him at school, this was only slightly above room temperature. Which is actually interesting. I can almost imagine it as an iced tea, and I think it might be a good one. The bergamot doesn’t seem to become stronger with cooling and the flavor maintains its balance. Thinking about trying it iced now, except it’s not really the day for it.

Courtney

No. 1 haha. I love what people come up with to call their kids, significant other, etc.

__Morgana__

Hehe. No. 1 would tell you he sometimes feels like he’s no. 2 and no. 2 would tell you he really should be no. 1. ;-) I’m really just referring to birth order, though.

boychik

My #2 always has middle child syndrome. According to her nobody loves and I’m guilty in everything

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79

A very rushed first morning cup. Very mild on the tummy, with the bergamot seeming a little less present than it did yesterday. Nice, silky mouth feel as the tea cooled.

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79

Another Earl from the stash, and another company that is no more.

I have a mostly full container of this. I really couldn’t remember how it tasted before I tried it again. I expected, somehow, stronger bergamot even though I see my original note didn’t find it too strong.

It’s interesting, I think I prefer the Simpson & Vail’s tea base, but this is a better Earl Grey because the flavor profile is more typical. (Sometimes it feels like judging a dog show doesn’t it? The dog is adorable and has a great personality but doesn’t fit a basic criterion of the breed. Not that I’ve ever judged a dog show but I like watching the one that comes on after the Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving.) I see I rated this one the same as the S&V but perhaps that’s okay because they’re good at different things.

I almost didn’t go for Earl Grey at all this morning. Lately I’ve been waking up on Mondays with a feeling of dread in my tummy that makes everything seem unappetizing, but this was nice and mild and isn’t making it worse.

Starfevre

I know that feeling very well.

Sami Kelsh

I couldn’t judge a dog show. I’d give them all top marks for being themselves because they’re all special! Oh, I just want to go play with a bunch of lovely dogs now. weeps with puppy feelings

And oh no to dread feels! I’d imagine Earl Grey’s a good antidote to dread, given the calming effects of bergamot, but also hugs just in case.

__Morgana__

Thanks :-)

Kirkoneill1988

does organic taste any different than non organic?

Starfevre

Hard to say. To my taste buds, it tastes no different but I appreciate the lack of pesticides that I am imbibing while I drink it. Tea can be VERY high in pesticides from growing and the way it is grown.

__Morgana__

I don’t notice a difference in the taste.

Kirkoneill1988

ok, thankyou :)

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78

The July TeaLog Catchup !

In the beginning, I thought darjeelings were perfectly fine and good tasting to drink, but didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I was pretty neutral on them when it came to black tea loves.

Hankering for a lighter black tea late one afternoon, I pulled the one out again. With the lower water temperature and more leaf than previously used, I found this one winey and delicious. I believe I also drank this one again a day or two later, but it didn’t get jotted down onto my list.

2 steeps.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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68

Kind of doesn’t smell or taste like anything. Can steep multiple times with virtually same result.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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70

Continuing on my green tea kick… I honestly can’t tell this is a darjeeling. It’s just another green tea to me. Not bad. Not great.

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73

Sipdown, 182 (oh, samples, you increase my cupboard so). Cold brew. This tea came to me thanks to Tea Sipper!

I decided to cold brew this one after realizing I had just the right amount of leaf. I love a simple jasmine cold brew and this one was pretty nice. When I first tried it I thought it was too strong, but in later sips it mellowed out somehow. It was vegetal but not too grassy, and the jasmine was appropriately the most dominant flavor. This was a tasty tea to have with my lunch.

Tea Sipper

It was a good idea to have this cold-brewed.. I don’t remember it having much jasmine flavor when it was hot.

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67

Backlogging. 9 days ago. Wednesday late night.

A nice soothing cup of tea after I got home from my Labor Day weekend dog sitting.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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58

Thanks again to TeaEqualsBliss for the package of teas! I love jasmine! But seeing this as a green tea and thinking about it, I might have ZERO green teas in my stash! That is by accident, I think! I like green teas but I like the flavor of red, oolong and black teas better. This one isn’t bad. It definitely has that vegetal taste that the description above mentions. I can’t taste too much of a jasmine flavor or scent. I may have oversteeped. Even when it cooled I couldn’t taste it! But it’s nice to have a green tea in my stash for once!

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