Simple Loose Leaf
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Recent Tasting Notes
I wrote a lengthy review on my blog. Short version – this is a cool twist on the classic. This is not for weenies. The bergamot is strong in this one. The peppermint surprise attacks while sipping with an icy blast. This is a blend of Nilgiri and gunpowder, and yes I can taste both. Glad I added this one to my subscription!
I would like to thank Andrew at Simple Loose Leaf who provided me with a $50 credit to use towards their subscription service. This was the third tea that I was sent in my six month plan.
This tea didn’t immediately wow me, in fact, I found it a little lacking at first. It had a subtle creamy texture, likely from the Irish Creme flavoring, but the Assam base seemed to mask the flavor of the cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. I was disappointed because I really expected those to be the dominant flavors of the tea, they certainly are in the gingerbread I make. Despite this, there was one thing that really blew my mind, especially since it’s something I find lacking in most gingerbread teas. I could taste a molasses-like flavor in this tea and it wasn’t even listed in the ingredients. Are you wondering why this is important? Molasses is one of the key ingredients in making gingerbread cookies, without it all you have is a nice spiced cookie. I really enjoyed the deep earthy flavors of this tea and its strong resemblance to mild flavored molasses. This fact certainly changed my opinion of this tea, but it wasn’t the only thing.
Had I reviewed this tea several weeks ago when I first received it I might have written something completely different about it, but there is something special that changed my opinion. I received a tin of cookies in the mail as part of a holiday swap, they were the most delightful tasting gingerbread cookies I’ve had in awhile. And guess what, they tasted just like this tea. They also tasted completely different than the gingerbread cookies I make myself. This is where personal bias really comes into my tea reviews. Sometimes I have an idea in my head of what I want a tea to taste like, but am disappointed when it doesn’t resemble the idea I have in my head. As a writer it can be very difficult to distinguish between what is bias, what is fact, and what is opinion. I try to be as honest as possible in my writings regarding all of these things and honestly, I really enjoyed this tea. I think it is a great addition to my already full holiday line-up.
Check out the full review on my blog:
I’ll be honest. I have never gotten the first cup of this. I have tried for a month. I got it for my wife and I to share but as soon as the vanilla fragrance wafts through the house my wife pops in from nowhere and walks off with my cup. So this is based on the second steep. There are jasmine blossoms all through the mix. The leaf itself is larger pieces. Definitely not CTC. The taste starts like cotton candy then seems more like caramel. As the cup cools I can taste the base especially in the aftertaste. This is very tasty decaf or not. I can see why I am not allowed to have the first cup! :)
After sipping two cups of this tea, writing a review on my blog, and then reading Short Soceress’ review on Steepster it is apparent that how you feel about this tea depends. SS describes this as a strong Earl Grey with a hint of vanilla. To me this is a strong cup of vanilla tea with obvious bergamot once you slow down to notice it.
I prepared my first cup with 200F water and a 3 minute steep. It was slightly drying (read moderately+ Dinosara, we all know I like drying tea the same as some people like in burgundy wine) but there was no bitterness or bite. The bergamot is not perfumey or overly citrus. The Nilgiri base is smooth and though I never felt I could single it out I feel it is responsible for making the cup deep and rich.
My second cup was steeped 10 minutes (because I forgot to pour it) with full boiling water. I actually liked the second cup better. Very smooth.
A few comments-
The leaf I feel certain is orthodox produced. The pieces expand far beyond any CTC I have seen.
The packaging I have not encountered before. I thought at first the pouch had a hole in it. It appears there is a vent attached to the back of the pouch to aid removing air after sealing. Pretty cool idea.
I feel the pricing is very fair based on the quality.
Thanks go to Andrew at Simple Loose Leaf who provided me with a $50 credit to use towards their subscription service. This was the second tea that I was sent in my six month plan.
I should have loved this tea. Rooibos, Honeybush and Rose… these are a few of my favorite things. Sadly I didn’t, in fact, I actually had a very negative experience with the tea which I feel isn’t just a matter of my tastes, but a fault with the tea itself. While some floral teas lean towards the delicate side and really showcase the ingredients I think this particular tea takes its floral nature to the extreme. Personally, I felt it tasted like potpourri which was incredibly disappointing because floral teas tend to be among my favorites. On the plus side, it does resteep well and I was able to make three cups of tea from one serving of leaf. However, even the third steep was undrinkable, the rose flavoring was still overpowering.
Ultimately the most drinkable cup I was able to produce with this leaf came about by accident. I somehow managed to misread the temperature on my hot water pot and steeped my final cup 195°F for 1m30s which is well outside the steeping guidelines I was provided. I still found it to be overly floral and not entirely appealing, but I was finally able to taste some of the sweetness from the honeybush base. Perhaps this tea has more potential with lower temperatures, but it will have to wait awhile before I find out. I still have 2oz remaining of this blend, so I’ll save that as a project for a rainy day.
Come read the full review on my blog:
Yum, this tea was unexpectedly good! This one was a last minute selection – I figure it was interesting enough to give a try as I had room for another tea, but it wasn’t as cool as the other teas I already decided to get for Simple Loose Leaf’s custom tea subscription.
It’s a light green blend, that is lightly raspberry in flavor, but with lots of vanilla and mint. With some sweetener, this tea really shines, tasting like creamy berry yogurt or mousse, with a hit of mint garnish at the end. NOm NOM, I’m one of those weirdos that eats the garnish (if I deem it safe to eat, lol)
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/raspberry-vanilla-mint-green-tea-simple-loose-leaf-oolong-owl-tea-review/
Also with explanation of how Simple Loose Leaf’s custom tea subscription works, which is pretty nice deal.