Nature's Tea Leaf

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Recent Tasting Notes

I have delayed reviewing this tea because I am puzzled. Hubby and I had it last night and drank 44 ounces of it. Today I drank another 22 ounces with lunch.

The rings are so pretty and even when they unfurl they are very attractive, so it is worth it to make it in a glass container if you have one. The steeped tea is almost as clear as water.

The reason I am confused is that I can not detect any jasmine. This tastes exactly like regular Daughter Rings. I wonder if it could have been mislabeled? Nevertheless, it is a delicious tea, very fresh and light with a mineral flavor that borders on a really lovely metallic (yes, it is a good thing!) that went really well with all the rich Asian buffet takeout we were having.

I asked hubby if he tasted jasmine and he said, “Not at all. But I am not disappointed because I don’t like highly floral teas and sometime jasmine teas are too much for me.” That is the longest review I have gotten out of him so far! LOL!

So, bottom line, I like this, but I don’t taste jasmine, so either it is very, very light or I have the wrong tea. I triple checked my package and I am definitely scooping my leaves out of the jasmine pouch.

KiwiDelight

I had no idea rings of tea existed.

ashmanra

They are really cute! If you go to the page for this tea and click the link for oolongowl’s blog, she took lots of pictures of hers!

KiwiDelight

OH MY GOODNESS. These pictures are wonderful. I tried googling on how the leaves are processed but no such luck.

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drank Daughter Ring by Nature's Tea Leaf
2048 tasting notes

When Nature’s Tea Leaf offered to send me some samples, I requested this because it looks so totally awesome. I knew I would love serving this in my little glass teapot.

I got both the jasmine and regular Daughter Rings, and today I am having this one with Asian buffet leftovers. I used 174F water and gave it a one minute steep. At that point, the water had barely changed color! Have no fear, though, it is nicely flavored. I actually made four steeps from one teaspoon of leaves in my eight ounce pot.

I like this! It reminds me a little bit of Snow Dragon. I find it to be very clean and fresh, with a mineral flavor that borders on metallic. (I like that.) I taste rocks, worn smooth and round and perfectly clean by icy fresh stream water that just melted on the mountaintop.

My biggest difficulty with Nature’s Tea Leaf is figuring out what to order! Thank you, Denise!

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Here where I live the weather gets really hot and sticky and buggy pretty early in the summer. Spring is really the best season for me! But today was beautiful! The sun was shining yet the slightly cool breeze kept the temperature just about perfect. It was enough to make me pine for a nice pot of black tea after I went out to tend the chickens.

This is a sipdown of my sample from Nature’s Tea Leaf. I have to thank them for their generosity as their samples are large and leave you plenty of leaf for experimentation. A number of their teas are on my list to order as soon as I get my cupboard down a bit. I am still at about 175 and my small bags and samples are not included in that, so I am trying not to order anything right now. When I do, their Dragon Pearl green tea (non-jasmine) and their Fujian Black tea will be some of the first teas I order.

This is a wonderful example of Yunnan Golden Bud tea. It is sweet and has the nice sweet potato flavor, is smooth enough not to need milk or sugar, and resteeps well.

On a side note, has anyone heard from Bonnie? She hasn’t posted here or on her blog for over a month.

Hesper June

I too have been wondering about Bonnie. I hope everything is okay with her.
This sounds like a tasty tea Ashmanra!

looseTman

I too have missed Bonnie! Per mrmopar, she is just cutting back on writing and trying to get out a little more.

Perhaps if we let her know how much she’s missed …?

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This sample from Nature’s Tea Leaf was the first tea I served at tea party yesterday. It is a black tea but is oh so so sweet and mellow. The primary taste is sweet potato, and the mouthfeel borders on thick. It pairs well with sweets. It is fantastic to drink by itself. For me, it needs no additions whatsoever and would even suffer in my opinion if sugar or sweetening were added since it is so sweet and delectable all by itself.

This is one of the teas that should be a cupboard staple. This isn’t peppery, spicy Yunnan, this is sweet and smooth and creamy to the taste! Thank you, NTL, for letting me try this one!

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I served this as the first tea of tea party today. My guest loves trying new things, so whether it is a new tea or a new food, I try to keep things interesting. Today we were having “store bought” food but the teas were interesting!

She really loved this. It is sweet, smooth, and sweet potato-y. Definitely a good choice for a cupboard staple, and I am thinking this would be an awesome summertime iced tea.

Thank you, Nature’s Tea Leaf, for the generous sample! You have so many great teas.

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My samples from Nature’s Tea Leaf just arrived! Woo hoo! It was hard to pick what to try first, but this one seemed like a good choice to go with the lunch my middle daughter had prepared.

My first impression of the leaf when I opened the pouch was that it was very aromatic, and secondly, soft and fluffy, like you would imagine your pillow in the very best spa ever. I am gulping the scent of these leaves. Intoxicating.

The steeped tea: oh so good. Yunnan Gold teas remind me of sweet potatoes. This is smooth, sweet, and has strong honey notes in the aroma and the taste. There is a hint of orange like a mellow Ceylon. So here we have a baked sweet potato, with a dot of cinnamon butter, honey drizzled on, and a rich cocoa note in there as well. My now empty cup smells just like honey.

Good heavens, JacquelineM, you need to try this! It reminds me so much of the Yunnan Gold you used to love.

How good is it? Hubby, who drinks all black tea with milk and sugar, had a cup plain and made himself a refill. That is pretty close to a miracle.

Many thanks, Nature’s Tea Leaf!

gmathis

Isn’t NTL great? Haven’t tried one yet that wasn’t a winner in some way.

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This green tea behaves much like a white tea imho. I steeped it for the recommended 1 minute the first time but found it much too mild. I steeped it again for a bit longer and got a more flavorful cup. It tastes very light and the liquor is only slightly tinted yellow. Because I do not have much experience with green/white teas in general, and tend to enjoy harsher flavors, I will reframe from giving this one a rating.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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I’m almost wondering if I got the wrong tea packaged up here. Reading the reviews, this sounds like a tea I would really like and instead I’ve gotten one rather like a lapsang souchong with a great deal of smokiness. Still waiting for it to cool down for a taste.

and it really does taste like a smoky lapsang souchong which I don’t like. I’ll refrain from rating because I kind of suspect that this has been mislabeled and the next person who wants to trade out a less smokey black with me for this can have it.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Denise @ Nature's Tea Leaf

This tea should have no smokiness. Did you get this in a trade or directly from Nature’s Tea Leaf?

Starfevre

Directly from you guys, sealed package opened immediately prioor to brewing.

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
2048 tasting notes

Thank you to GMathis for this sample from Nature’s Tea Leaf!

I reviewed this last night after drinking it at the house of a friend who likes puerh a lot, but has only had the ones I have given her. I left the leaves so she could resteep this morning and asked her how she felt about it. I thought I would share her “review” here even though she doesn’t have her own Steepster account…yet!

Melissa says, “I used to drink coffee every morning and really didn’t drink hot tea at all. Puerh is something I can drink in the mornings and not miss my coffee. I can’t say that about other tea, even black teas. This cherry puerh has a nice cherry flavor that doesn’t cover up the puerh base, and the hint of cherry aftertaste is really nice.”

Well put, friend! :)

gmathis

It’s definitely pu-newbie friendly.

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
2048 tasting notes

I went to visit my friend who likes puerh tonight. I took the last of this sample that GMathis sent me because I thought my friend would really enjoy it. She loves Chocolate Strawberry Puerh from Lupicia, so I thought this might be right up her alley.

We made about 24 ounces with the remaining portion of this. I still enjoy it. I can taste the puerh, and it is a good, clean, dark and earthy base. It isn’t fishy or overly horsey, though I don’t mind horsey. The cherry is bright, fresh, and refreshing. It does not taste like cherry cough syrup to me, which I cannot abide in beverages.

My friend liked it a lot, so I told her to be sure to save our leaves for a resteep tomorrow as this will definitely give her some more great cups of tea.

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
2048 tasting notes

I started out my friend tasting unflavored puerh because I think it is great by itself, and I wanted her to have a good idea of what it is like. I had made two steeps of this already today, and once we had a few steeps of unflavored puerh I resteeped this again.

We drank two steeps of this one in addition to the others we had, and she really liked it. She was very enthusiastic about it, and I am not terribly surprised because she is very adventurous food wise and tries a lot of neat and unusual recipes. So yay! Another person who will drink puerh with me!

Sil

Ill have to give this one a shot when I venture into puerh land…maybe that should be my New Years resolution

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
2048 tasting notes

This was a surprise in the mail from the talented GMathis! First of all, it came in this amazing card!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24998856@N06/8342846753/

Second, I really do like puerh. This is a funny thing because I dislike coffee, yet when I have a guest who says they really don’t like tea but love coffee, I serve them puerh and they love it! I was told puerh was an acquired taste, and while the smell of the first fishy Tuocha I bought scared me, I liked the taste from the get-go. Then when I found better quality puerh, I was eager to get to know more.
I like unflavored puerh just fine, but most of the flavored ones I have tried have been good.

This one is more exciting because I have loved everything I have tried from Nature’s Tea Leaf.

I steeped this in boiling water for about two minutes. I don’t mind my puerhs being inky black so that was a short steep for me! But the smell….ah, the smell. Even in the card, it smelled so good and juicy. Last night, I kept it beside me and sniffed and sniffed.

I am not a fan of weird cherry flavor. I don’t care for Cherry Coke. I don’t like rooibos because it tastes like cherry cough syrup to me. I love good cherry flavor and lay in a stash of cherry lollipops at Valentine’s.

This tastes like my Black Cherry Matcha! Well, the cherry part does anyway! And the puerh is a beautiful grounding for it and they have blended it just right. I could have sworn I even got a little natural chocolate-y flavor in the base. There is no fishiness at all – this is an nice earthy puerh. Good golly, this is tasty! I made 16 ounces and swilled it down in no time! This has great balance. If you are afraid of puerh, you should try this first!

This is great puerh and is the first real rival for position with Lupicia’s Chocolate Strawberry Puerh. I will be serving this tonight for Writers’s Group. (We really should name ourselves. Maybe it should have something to do with tea!)

I have been trying to whittle down my stash but every time I try a NTL tea I think, “Well, this has to go on the list for my first order.” Same for this one – it is definitely on the list and is probably also going to be the birthday gift for my puerh loving friend.

TeaBrat

Oh no! Now I want this!

Hesper June

I literally squealed out loud when I saw the card!

TeaBrat

The card is beautiful…

Bonnie

oh no a good flavored pu!

TeaBrat

Bonnie, I just ordered 4 from their website!

Nicole

That is a completely awesome card. You are such a lucky duck :)

Tina S.

Oh man, this sounds amazing. I’m desperately searching for some good flavoured pu’erh.

gmathis

The design isn’t quite fit for human consumption yet, but I made a couple that say “…and what would Lady Violet say?”

ashmanra

LOL! You will have to post that card when you have it ready, GMathis!

JacquelineM

LOVE the card!!! gmatis – I hope you post a pic of the Lady Violet one when you feel it’s ready. SUNDAY NIGHT = MORE DOWNTON in the USA! Yes!

gmathis

I am so photo un-proficient! Will see what I can do. So looking forward to season 3 and keeping fingers crossed that the weather’s clear. Yes, we live in Green Acres with no satellite or cable and when it’s extremely cloudy or windy, our PBS reception weirds out.

JacquelineM

We have to put this flimsy antenna on this special chair — only this one chair works, just so – to get PBS. I know just when you mean. We also can’t move, at all, for the entire show because we might lose the reception.

Shmiracles

i loved pu-erh immediately, but it MUST be mixed with a complementary flavor. this one sounds like a specially good one.

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Landscape outside is steel-stone gray and gloomy. From now until April I will be starved for COLOR. This little floral pu-erh blend has it! Looks just like potpourri with pinky-tip sized rose blooms; more blooms than tea in this little sample.

This is a floral tea done properly. Plenty of rose and lavender, but it’s sweet and natural, not chemically-perfumey. Can’t really taste the pu-erh independently: my conclusion is that it’s providing the balance this needs to keep from getting too cloying.

My thanks to Azzrian for a little promise of spring on a cold and bleakish January morning.

Vortegne

Oh, I can’t stress enough how much I understand this hunger for color! Because everything outside is wet and gray now :(

gmathis

I have a collection of desperately out-of-date but brightly colored sweaters I save specifically for these months. Friends know that when the Yellow Sweater comes out, I have reached the bottom of the barrel :)

ashmanra

Same landscape here, though it is 52F. It is raining and I have my dog, the foster dog, and the dog we keep on Tuesdays in the house because his master is in the hospital. I don’t want them to stay outside because when they come in everything will smell like wet dog. I was determined to exercise, but two of the dogs started wrestling on my head. Sigh. In late spring, the low sun shines through my bedroom window in the afternoon and I lay in a sunbeam on my bed, pretending I am at the beach…

MsWhatsit

Sounds really nice. I rather like the idea of floral teas and brightly colored sweaters as late winter therapy.

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
1854 tasting notes

Well, whaddya know…a sipdown. Haven’t had one of those in a while…

This one has been a nice, gentle introduction to the wild world of pu-erh, which I still don’t know that I understand. You experts with your sheng and shu baffle and impress me :)

At any rate, this is gently dark, accurately cherry; smells like pie. Pie is always good.

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
1854 tasting notes

Second steep. Cherry dissipates pretty quickly, but it still leaves the nice pu-erh base. Not too muddy tasting.

And of course, it tastes better because…
a) it’s warm enough to taste it outside while watching laundry on the line fluttering gently in the sunshine
b) it’s sipped in the company of Tazo, our free-range, no-strings-attached, no-obligation yard cat. (Solid black. Citrus green eyes. Tazo just fit. No special emotional attachments to the brand.)
c) it’s accompanied by fresh brownies and a fistful of malted milk eggs.

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
1854 tasting notes

Amazing what happens when you read the directions. Two teaspoons. I had been way underleafing. Done properly (well, I never know if I’m doing pu-erh properly…) it tastes like a good slab of cherry pie.

Based on the NTL varieties I have tried, the one thing I’ve observed they consistently do well is create real-tasting fruit flavors. Not a bit of artificiality about this one.

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drank Cherry Pu-erh by Nature's Tea Leaf
1854 tasting notes

Contentment. Warm, full, mildly sleepy, schlepping around in sweats in the early afternoon.

This tea is as cozy as your favorite fleece blanket. The earthy pu-erh is a perfect base for the cherry flavor. Gives it a wonderful black cherry personality. Not artificial tasting at all. Another Nature’s Tea Leaf winner!

ashmanra

Oh my goodness, I thought I knew which teas I wanted to try next, and then I see a review and just add to the list!

TeaBrat

This sounds delightful!

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Last of the packet. If you’re aching for something spring-y and perky to shake up tastebuds that have been dulled by too many mornings of heavy builders tea, this is.

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Close to a sipdown on this one, but it has been a great occasional change-of-pace tea with apple-accurate flavor. Real peel, not Jolly Rancher. Because it requires a short-ish steep time, probably better for elevenses or afternoon instead of early morning, but it has a lovely refreshing personality.

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Ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you’ve been tied with a bungee to the back of an emotional roller coaster car and drug up and down the tracks?

Yeah.

Then you know what a blessing a full, deep night’s sleep can be. So for a change, a full-strength, industrial grade morning cuppa wasn’t necessary. Instead, opted for something with a little “refresh” in its personality. This is; a little astringent (makes me keep licking my lips) and the apple-peel bitterness that makes this tea distinct.

Anybody try this sweetened? I keep forgetting.

K S

Yeah for a night’s sleep, and yeah for getting to ease into the day.

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Turned off the alarm clock, sweet spouse let me sleep in, so I didn’t need open-yer-eyes-you-lazy-clod tea this morning for a change. This is pleasant, not too tart, but not artificially sweet. Tastes real.

If spring ever gets here, I would like to try this iced before my sample gets all sampled up.

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Revisited; actually watched the timer this time; improved results.

It’s always a pleasure to drink a fruit-flavored tea that accurately replicates its namesake. This does—not Jolly Rancher Green Apple candy, authentic green apple. Mouth tastes and feels like I’ve been crunching on a Granny Smith.

Somewhere in the back recesses of my cupboard I think I’ve got a leeeetle bit of Adagio caramel left. I’m thinking a little mix-and-match magic might be fun later today…

MsWhatsit

Glad to hear this try turned out better.

yssah

how did the apple caramel taste? :)

gmathis

Not bad…didn’t taste professionally blended, but stretched one decent cuppa into two.

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I oversteeped this, so I’m going to do it right before I make a final conclusion.

This morning at 4-5 minutes instead of 2-3 minutes, it tastes like Granny Smith apple peel, rather than apple itself. (I don’t do peel.) A little bitter. There’s potential here, though. Do-overs needed and pleasantly anticipated.

Bitter brew may suit me…yesterday was one of those days when everything that came out of my mouth was gall and wormwood. Just a taste of my own medicine :)

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