Shanti Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

30
drank Apple Crumble by Shanti Tea
66 tasting notes

Nope. I wanted to like this. Dry this has almost an alcohol-esque smell to it. I tried it a few times with cream and sugar and without. Without cream and sugar it tasted a bit harsh… bite-y. There was some cinnamon and maybe a wine like apple flavor but not in a good way. The cream and sugar muted it a bit but it also muted almost everything else. Just didn’t work for me.

Flavors: Alcohol, Apple, Astringent, Cinnamon, White Wine

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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80
drank (Red) Maple Spice by Shanti Tea
66 tasting notes

Very solid Rooibos. Actually, it barely gives off the typical Rooibos flavor. A light, sweet, spice is present here and it’s not over powering. Second steep I added a drop of real maple syrup. Really nice. A great tea to have at night.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Maple, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70
drank Ginger Sencha by Shanti Tea
66 tasting notes

I might be the first one to say this but I kind of wish there was more ginger bite to this one. The tea is very smooth and flavorful and there is a ginger warmth to it. I am of the ilk that wants ginger to bite me and hard. Don’t get me wrong, this is a really good tea. But I wouldn’t mind if more ginger happened to slip in the mix

Flavors: Ginger

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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83
drank Smoked Maple by Shanti Tea
66 tasting notes

I didn’t get too much smoke from this but it was very drinkable with a slightly sweet maple undertone. Add in a few drops of maple syrup and enjoy!

Flavors: Maple, Maple Syrup

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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62
drank Caramel Latte by Shanti Tea
72 tasting notes

I drank this straight initially, but found it kind of… dirty tasting? It was definitely bitter, but the first thought in my head was that it tasted dirty. This benefits big-time from some milk (almond) and sweetener (sugar). I also found I liked it much more as it cooled, but that’s something I often find. It’s decent, but not particularly strong, so I’ll probably be sticking to other teas for those days I crave coffee. Though, if you prefer a milder coffee flavour, this could do the trick!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Smoked Maple by Shanti Tea
72 tasting notes

I feel like I just don’t particularly have a taste for oolong teas. The maple in this was fantastic, but that oolong aftertaste just isn’t something I’m crazy about. It isn’t that I drink an oolong and thing it tastes bad, I just always feel like I’d much rather it be a black tea instead. Sigh. If you like maple and oolong though, this is probably perfect.

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drank Kashmiri Chai by Shanti Tea
72 tasting notes

This was disappointing. The dry leaf smells fantastic! Spicey and a bit nutty, pretty much exactly what I’d hoped for, so I was really excited to try this one. The taste isn’t really there though. Not very strong. I tend to like being bashed over the skull with spices though, so maybe I’m not the best judge. The really crappy part is that once steeped I still smell all the delicious spice and hint of almond, so every time I take a sip it’s there taunting me.

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70

A simple but nice Earl Grey. It isn’t very heavy on the cream, but I’m thinking the smoothness comes from that aspect. Really nice Earl Grey flavour though! If I didn’t already have a ton of stand-by Earl Grey, I’d consider keeping more of this around.

I’ve got a bunch more samples from Shanti that I’m quite eager to try! Really keen on finding more Canada-based companies.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Smoked Maple by Shanti Tea
550 tasting notes

I have been going to a Tea and Hookah bar with my friends and getting a mysterious marshmallow tea. It is so good and creamy and tastes like marshmallows. A perfect relaxing tea for anytime. The trouble is that I didn’t know what type of tea it was.

Well, last time I was there my friend happened to know the worker there and got out of him that the “marshmallow tea” was their smoked maple tea with a touch of vanilla coffee creamer and agave syrup. Obviously I had to find the brand it was and make a tea note of it!

This one is going on my shopping list for sure!

Flavors: Marshmallow

Fjellrev

I didn’t see that coming, a smoked tea!

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drank Japanese Chai by Shanti Tea
4833 tasting notes

Backlog:

I just came across this old tasting note that I had intended to post as a review once upon a time, but I didn’t. Unfortunately, I don’t see this tea on Shanti’s website anymore, so I guess it’s no longer available … so I guess I’ll just post a tasting note about it rather than write a full-length review.

I enjoyed this chai. It’s a blend of both black and green teas, and usually when I brew those, I brew it at a lower temperature to accommodate the green tea leaves. The black tea still tasted remarkably full and nicely round even though it was brewed at a low temperature. The spices were peppery but not overly spicy. The basil (Tulsi) notes added a really pleasant dimension of flavor to the cup.

Overall, an enjoyable and delightfully different chai, it’s a shame that it’s not on the website anymore. And since it’s no longer available, I won’t bother with a rating for it.

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90
drank Smoked Maple by Shanti Tea
4833 tasting notes

Backlog:

A Really nice alternative to the typical breakfast tea – I don’t usually choose an Oolong tea for a breakfast tea, but this tea tastes very much like ‘breakfast’ to me with the lovely maple notes and the smoky character. There are rich buttery and nutty tones too.

Later infusions offer fewer maple-y notes, but I started to pick up on some peach-y notes and I enjoyed that too. By the fifth and sixth infusions, there were but mere wisps of smoke to the cup, and very little maple-ish flavors, but there were nice nutty notes and peach-y flavors to make up for it.

A really lovely flavored Oolong. Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/05/20/smoked-maple-oolong-tea-from-shanti-tea/

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88
drank Spring Fever by Shanti Tea
4833 tasting notes

Backlog:

A celebration of spring in a teacup! A smooth, silky Oolong with a light buttery flavor and texture and a sweet, floral tone. The citrus and berry notes complement the Oolong.

It’s a bright, invigorating cup. I love the warm notes of fennel in this. It’s not a strong fennel presence, but just enough snappy warmth and just a hint of licorice adds a nice contrast to the sweet and tangy fruit notes. This one offers several infusions too. Nice!

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/29/spring-fever-oolong-blend-shanti-tea/

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95

this came to me by way of a lovely surprise gift from CelebriTEA. a note in my inbox queried whether her package had arrived…? (what package? i wondered) steepster is a brilliant community and CelebriTEA decided a tea surprise was in order!

i’ve never had any shanti teas before. erring on the side of caution (stupid allergies) CelebriTEA chose a selection of unflavoured brilliance to arrive on my doorstep. this was the first i tried.

confession: often even with tea swaps even if i’m hugely looking forward to a sample i’ll drink it once and wait a bit. even if i buy it myself…. i don’t do back to back servings (i’m a terrible resteeper). i did with this tea!

hint of malt, hint of chocolate, very smooth caffeine kick. ‘refined’ is the word i would choose. a natural sweetness, though i do enjoy a bit of turbinado and cream. if i think really hard possibly light elements akin to citrus? making me think it may be fijian in origin? possibly?

lovely. thank you so much CelebriTEA for thinking of me as i knuckle down in my studies =0).

xoxoxox.

how can there be so few reviews for this tea? it’s awesome? if you enjoy straight black teas, folks- this is one i would recommend for sure!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

I mostly despise shanti tea’s website….i dislike having to sign in too build a cart and there’s something else about not being able to see if it’s sold out or something easily…..I don’t remember since it’s been a while since I went back to try and build a cart before being annoyed….lol

JustJames

ah! this is something i have no experience with! the tea is nice.. =0). i can see how that would be frustrating.

looseTman

I definitely enjoyed AFB!

CelebriTEA

So happy to know you love it

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drank Kama Sutra Chai by Shanti Tea
2149 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample, MissB! It was the perfect size for my little teapot. :)

SO FLORAL. Wow. And it smells extremely sweet! The daisies are chrysanthemum, I’m pretty sure.

Steeped up with a bit of cream added, it’s a really nice chai! The floral is less in my face, probably toned down by the dairy. It’s nice and sweet, and seems to have a decent balance of flavours.

Thanks!

While this is a tea I do like, I’m not sure I’d get it again just because I’m not sure I’d ever do an order from this company! If I do, it is definitely on my “to buy” list. :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 22 OZ / 650 ML

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90
drank (Red) Maple Spice by Shanti Tea
4833 tasting notes

Backlog:

A seriously yummy rooibos blend. The cardamom and fennel give this a nice warmth. I love the licorice-y note from the fennel. Citrus is noticeable toward the finish.

But the maple is the star of this show. sweet and I love the way it melds with the spices. Really yummy. Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/02/03/red-maple-spice-tisane-shanti-tea/

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drank Rama Chai by Shanti Tea
4833 tasting notes

It would appear that this tea is no longer being sold by Shanti, and that’s a shame because I am really enjoying it. It’s a different approach to chai, offering only cardamom as one of the “usual” suspects in a chai blend (I consider the usual suspects to be cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and ginger … there are other spices used often in chai, but usually these are the four that you find in most chai.) There is anise in this which I love and while it is often found in chai, it’s not as common as the previously four mentioned spices.

But the two of these spices together with the Tulsi offer a warm, gently spiced cup. The spices are strong but they aren’t overwhelming. It presents a nice, cozy-tasting cuppa.

It gets a yum from me, but because it’s no longer offered, I’m not going to bother rating it.

TeaBrat

Too bad it’s gone, that sounds really good :)

LiberTEAS

I just finished my cup, and I really liked it. Not a bad tea.

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72
drank Lemomila by Shanti Tea
4833 tasting notes

Backlog:

A decent chamomile blend. I like the lemon grass, it adds a bright note to the cup.

Soothing, a gentle sweetness with a hint of tartness. An enjoyable “cozy” cup.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/01/07/lemomila-tisane-shanti-tea/

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85
drank Darjeeling Green by Shanti Tea
1115 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 107 of the year 2014. I barely had enough left in this sample for a single cup.

I’m liking this again today, enough to put on the list in case I ever get out of lockdown and order from Shanti again. It’s different from other green teas I’ve had and fills a nice gap in the green tea flavor gamut.

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85
drank Darjeeling Green by Shanti Tea
1115 tasting notes

My last Shanti sample. Am I the only person who tries the samples before the actual order? Hehehe.

I don’t think I’ve had a green Darjeeling before. I steeped it as a green tea, though I’m not sure whether that was right. The dry leaves have the Darjeeling sharpness but in a muted sort of way, with an underlying greenish scent.

In the cup, it looks like a green tea—pale yellow, clear liquor. The aroma is very Darjeeling-y, more so than green tea-y. It has the light, clear water scent that sometimes reminds me of water chestnuts as well as that grapey high note that I think is what people mean when they say Muscatel. (I really must get some Muscatel sometime to see what it smells and tastes like.)

It’s a really nice flavor. Very light bodied and fresh in the way a Sauvignon Blanc is but without tasting like one. It is much more smooth and has a slight vegetal undertone. Artichokes, perhaps? A bit of butter.

Very yum.

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

i usually do the samples first heh mostly to get them out of my cupboard first haha

keychange

I do the samples first as well, mostly to prolong the excitement because I’m a geek like that haha.

__Morgana__

Hahaha. I do the samples because they’re small, too. Prolonging the excitement seems like a much more well-developed reason. ;-)

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75
drank Silver Needle by Shanti Tea
1115 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 120 of the year 2014. I’m having to do caffeine tonight to get in a daily sipdown… I steeped this one in the gaiwan this time.

Wow. What a difference. It’s like a completely different tea. It must be because of the amount of leaf, because I steeped at a lower temperature (175) and shorter (1 minute) than the first time.

The black tea undercurrent I mentioned in the original note is much more prominent. I’m reminded of the flavor of the green Darjeeling from Shanti, but instead of having the buttery vegetal plus Darjeeling, this one has a fresh, light snowy Darjeeling-y note.

I have a way to go before I feel comfortable that I’m getting silver needle completely right, but I finally feel I’m on the right track at least. Not sure this is the right silver needle for me, though. I have to shop around a bit before I settle down.

I am going to need something comforting after this because I had a disappointment earlier today. I suspected it was coming, because I knew this publisher was in trouble after a merger with another company than seems to have gone awry, but now it’s here. The first magazine to buy one of my speculative stories has announced that it’s releasing all the stories back to the authors. Essentially, they’re shutting down the magazine and all the magazines under the umbrella of this company. My story was supposed to be published (originally) last June, but never was, and then it was supposed to be published sometime before the end of this year. Now it’s been released back to me without seeing publication. It’s rather a saga and I won’t go into it further, but if you’re really interested I posted a note about it on my web site. So sad and disappointing. Such is the world of small presses, apparently.

Dexter

Sorry to hear that your story is not going to be published… :((

boychik

Sorry. Good things will happen, they are just around the corner

__Morgana__

Thanks guys. It sucks, but what can you do. I’m starting to feel oddly uplifted because at least the story isn’t in limbo anymore.

Kat_Maria

Ouch, that sucks :( But just like boychik said, it will all turn out great in the end :)

MissB

Definitely the world of small presses – but that just means now you have ownership of your work again to shop it around for an even better, higher-paying market! :)

__Morgana__

Hehe, MissB, let’s hope so!

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75
drank Silver Needle by Shanti Tea
1115 tasting notes

Another sample I received when I ordered from Shanti a while back.

I love the look of dry silver needle. The leaves look like they’ve been frosted. Dry, they have an interesting spicy scent.

Steeped, the tea smells very lightly sweet and still has a slight spicy note. It produces a very pale yellow clear liquor.

The flavor is extremely delicate. It’s like the freshest water you can imagine, but fresher, with a subtle almost black-tea undercurrent and a finish that carries through that hint of spice in the aroma. The aftertaste is sweet and something else. Floral? But very subtle.

I’m never a hundred percent sure I’m making white teas correctly. Silver needle in particular sometimes seems so lightly flavored I wonder whether I should be tasting more. I went with cooler water and a shorter steep time on this one and I wonder whether I should go a bit longer next time and see what happens.

I should probably just go some place like David’s Tea and ask them to make me a silver needle so I can be sure I’m tasting it the way it was meant to be. Each time I steep a silver needle I have a different reaction to it. It’s hard to come up with a standard to measure against. This rating is somewhat in a vacuum because I think it’s more pleasant than I remember the Adagio being but I haven’t had another silver needle recently enough to do a fair comparison. It’s nice enough, but it’s not something I’d rush to buy.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 500 ML
yyz

I tend to brew my needles gongfu style so I may be using more leaf than yoU. I usually use water under 80*C. The first steep for me is usually one minute. The first steep can be a little thinner than the others but I find the second and third can be much thicker. Perhaps you might enjoy it more if you combine two steeps?

__Morgana__

Thanks yyz, I will definitely try your method. I haven’t tried using my gaiwan for white tea yet.

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82
drank Darjeeling Black by Shanti Tea
1115 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 105 of the year 2014.

I did a little more research before I steeped this time. I had been surprised to find steeping instructions for darjeelings at less than boiling water temps. Then I read further and it appears that that is a recommendation for a first flush darjeeling, whereas a higher temp and lower steeping time is recommended for a second flush.

This being a second flush, I decided to up the water temp this time and see what happens.

First off, there’s a big difference in liquor color. The liquor this time is the color of maple syrup. Second, the aroma is different. It’s much more sharp and darjeeling-like, and I think for the first time I really understand the muscatel references. I still haven’t put my hands on an actual muscatel wine (the BF is embarrassed to buy any or for me to buy any given its reputation as a wino wine) but for the first time, I am smelling wine and not just a wine-like aroma. There’s still something that is nutty as well.

The flavor is much richer steeped this way, too. Instead of water chestnuts, I get something that is almost cocoa, definitely musky and woodsy, with a grapey tang. It’s astringent, but not painfully so.

I’m fairly sure this is how I should have steeped it the first time. Bumping the rating slightly.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Darjeeling Black by Shanti Tea
1115 tasting notes

Another sample that came with my Shanti order of a while back.

In the sample packet the dry leaf doesn’t smell at all like what I expect a Darjeeling to smell like. There’s a chocolaty smell and not much of the expected muscatel. This opens up after steeping to give more of the characteristic grapey fragrance. The liquor is a dark golden yellow.

It has nice, full mouth feel with a fruity-winey flavor and something creamy and mellow about it, sort of like the flavor of water chestnuts.

I didn’t get to enjoy this as I’d planned because I had to leave to take our cats to the vet. I had a bit of it while it was hot, then had to leave the rest in the car in a tumbler. It’s not bad cold, but it’s better hot. I need more time to sit with this. The rating is provisional for now.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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67
drank Kapha Balance by Shanti Tea
1115 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 87 of the year 2014. Terri HarpLady is kicking my butt at sipdowns. ;-) I noticed she’s surpassed the 90 mark today and she is only counting from the last week or so, I think, not from the first of the year as I am. What an inspiration!

This part is me thinking out loud about sipdowns so you can skip this paragraph if you want to read my thoughts on the tisane, most of which are contained in my previous note on this. Part of my slowdown is because I am running short of single serving samples and one-off teabag samples so I now mostly have sample sizes that generate at least two tastings worth and more frequently 3-5 and/or full size tins. This is certainly the case for herbal blends and greens and to some extent blacks and whites. I have a fair number of single serving oolong and pu-erh samples still, but I find myself saving them because pu-erhs in particular intimidate me just a bit and oolongs require savoring. I’m still trying to arrange things so that I have at least one and (if things go well) I hope more than one sipdown a day for the foreseeable future.

The Shanti samples seem to be two-serving samples. Or more accurately, four serving samples. But since the Breville makes a minimum of two servings a go, I get two tastings out of this size of sample.

It seems, if anything, much more savory tonight. Almost brothy, as though there’s some salt in there somewhere. It doesn’t taste like bouillon but it reminds me of it.

Not a wishlist item for me, but interesting to try.

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