Simple Loose Leaf

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Recent Tasting Notes

75

Here’s Hoping TTB.

I used the last of this sample. I quite enjoyed it. It had a smooth, mild creamy vanilla flavor. Nothing spectacular, but the sort of flavor I’d be happy to drink every day.

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75

I found this tea sample the the back of my tea cupboard the other day so I decided to take it to work with me so that I can try it. I think this is one of my last samples from my trade with Emilie, so thank you!

When I first opened the bag, the aroma of the dry leaf really reminded me of an oolong. It had an earthy/woodsy aroma but with a little bit more depth to it than an oolong. I steeped it for about 3.5 minutes, which resulted in a tea strength that I found perfect for my tastes. The aroma of the steeped tea is more distinct from an oolong. It has a slightly floral aroma, and the earthiness gives way to a slightly more smooth and slightly sweet/floral.

I don’t remember every having a pure darjeeling tea before, so my first experience with this tea was very pleasant. It’s like a smoother and less woodsy oolong with more floral notes than wet earth notes. Enjoyable!

Rasseru

If you can get some Turzum ‘Muscatel Dream’ its basically Grapes & wood. Lovely stuff as far as 2nd flush goes

MrQuackers

What difference between the 2nd flush darjeeling and ceylon I was drinking. The darjerling was black with lots of green flavour in it, while the ceylon was wonderful dark tanin. Really shows how 2 black teas can be different.

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55

Old sample from tea sipper. This is really nothing special. The hibiscus definitely dominates. I wish it had a stronger citrus flavor. I also wish they had skipped the rooibos and lemongrass because they give this a slightly odd aftertaste that tastes almost minty.

Flavors: Citrus, Hibiscus, Mint

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Sipdown!

I quite liked Simple Loose Leaf when I had the subscription, but I just have too much tea to handle a consistent monthly shipment of more. Their packaging was excellent – opaque, lined, semi-waterproof, and with an air valve like on fancy coffee packages. As a result, this tea has kept pretty well over the two years I’ve had it.

Steeped hot, gong fu style, it’s fairly unremarkable. Just a gently smoky, grassy green. Better than a teabag but not particularly complex. To be fair, it may have been more interesting when it was fresh, so I am foregoing a rating.

Cold brewed overnight, this is very refreshing. The dominant flavor is more hay than grass. There’s just a hint of sweetness. The mouthfeel is simultaneously dry and juicy. Something about the texture reminds me of biting into a grape. I liked it so much I even tried doing a second cold brew with the same leaves. Alas, it didn’t really work. I just ended up with vaguely sweet, dry water.

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57

What a fragrance! The dry smell is so sweet. Almost like root beer. You really cannot let this one steep too long or it becomes bitter fast. Oddly enough the first flavor to hit your mouth is not vanilla. It hits more in the aftertaste. Also I found it better if brewed at a slightly cooler temp. Not the best vanilla tea I’ve had but not terrible. Not something I would drink again.
From the Here’s hoping TTB

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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67

This has been made with the hot water from my office, so steeping my not be under the ideal conditions. Take my review with a grain of salt.

I love that neither the rooibos nor hibiscus are overwhelming in this one. The hibiscus adds just enough tartness to work with the lemon. The only thing I would add is a bit more of the strawberry flavor

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30

Here’s Hoping TTB

This tea smells absolutely divine! The minute I opened the bag, I was hit with a wave of sweet, natural vanilla scent. Unfortunately, the flavor is a total disappointment. I can still smell a slightly more muted vanilla scent in the brewed tea, but the flavor is just a flat, boring Ceylon with scarcely a hint of vanilla. I’d gladly use this as potpourri, but I wouldn’t drink it again!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92
drank Yunnan Noir by Simple Loose Leaf
2089 tasting notes

Thanks for a sample of this one, Ost! I was hoping this tea would be like this. :D It’s the silky black snails with hints of gold! The flavor is very sweet with a medium body, hints of honey, molasses, malt and tomato soup. Some black teas also have a quality that I can only describe as like a fruit juiciness. I’m also beginning to see that Simple Loose Leaf definitely has the same supplier as another famous tea shop, but I don’t mind, as I usually love their teas. This tea is also like the new Phoenix Pearls from Zen. A solid black tea here.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for a full mug// 13 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep

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72

Pretty decent green tea, has a nice full body with a slightly earthy aftertaste. Aroma is slightly tobacco-y, which I guess is why they call it gunpowder green. Only had enough for one cup as it was a sample from someone, but pretty happy with the one try.

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80
drank Milk Oolong by Simple Loose Leaf
1125 tasting notes

GCTTB5

There was just enough in the sample for a cuppa.

I couldn’t pass up trying this milk oolong. It is a decent tea, if not a bit artificial. It is sweet and creamy (obviously lol). It has been far too long since I have tried Teavivre or DAVIDsTEA milk oolong, so I can’t really compare them. But this doesn’t even come close to being as good as Mandala’s.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This might have been a slightly older tea, as it has a very muted aroma and flavour profile, but the remnants of which are still pleasant. It’s hard to taste all the fruity flavours that are included in the blend, but a faint blend of them all remains. I think I would have liked this tea a lot of it was fresh, but at this point it’s just hard to tell.

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77
drank Vanilla Spice by Simple Loose Leaf
332 tasting notes

Finished this one off last night. The cup was much more spice than vanilla, but I think that was because all of the spice bits fell to the bottom of the bag and I didn’t bother mixing it up as much as I should have. Still tasty, but I like the vanilla-y cups better!

Flavors: Cake, Cookie, Spicy, Vanilla

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77
drank Vanilla Spice by Simple Loose Leaf
332 tasting notes

I got this in my Simple Loose Leaf box last night, and I knew I had to try it right away. The description talks about vanilla and baked goods, so it was perfect for after dinner

Dry, this smells like a super sweet vanilla cake covered in icing. Steeped up it becomes more of a vanilla cookie smell. That baked flavor doesn’t come through quite as well in the flavor however. The taste is actually much truer to the name than the scent. It’s a very vanilla flavor with lots of spice, so much so that it tingles a bit on the throat. There’s a bit of that bakey goodness, but it’s definitely a background flavor.

This is definitely a nice, sweet, strongly flavored herbal for after dinner.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Mmm, still sounds nice.

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80

Mint and Chamomile seems to be an unusual combination – I think I’ve only ever tried one other similar blend. Based on that experience, I’d say that this surprises me. It sounds a little odd to begin with, for sure, but they’re ingredients that do actually work well together.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/11/13/mint-chamomile-rooibus-simple-loose-leaf/

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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78
drank Blueberry White by Simple Loose Leaf
7735 tasting notes

this is a pretty darn good tea. The blueberry flavour is nice and blends well with the shou mei. I think this might be an interesting one to try cold and is certainly miles better than blueberry jam from dt, imo. :) thanks keychange

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65
drank Sweet Orange White by Simple Loose Leaf
7735 tasting notes

this was another disappointment for me today. I had high hopes for it based on the smell of the dry leaf, but it was not meant to be. It reminds me a LOT of the wild sweet orange tea from tazo that i liked when i first started drinking tea but have since found icky. This isn’t a terrible tea per say…it’s just not the delicious orange tea that i hoped for based on the smell. it falls flat.

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Yeah so I screwed this one up really badly this morning. I hate that about making tea, honestly. I love that you can tinker with the parameters, but that also leads to brewing disastrous cups of tea when you really never meant to. And “but at least you learned something” doesn’t work here, because now I only have enough left for one more cup. And anyway, I didn’t screw it up because i was being creative; I was just distracted and careless and put in too much sugar and it just sucked. Oh well, one cup’s worth left and then I think about putting a milk oolong into my cupboard at some point.

Happy it’s almost Friday!

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML

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Backlog, as I had this yesterday morning.

I was part of simple loose leaf’s monthly subscription program for a few months last year, but then the tea sort of just started piling up and I felt overwhelmed. But the idea of a milk oolong has always entrigued me, mostly because I like my drinks to be milky, so I thought I’d give it a shot yesterday. The dry leaf smells “milky”, although it’s underpinned by what I imagine to be the hallmark roasted sort of nutty oolong smell. I brewed this for three minutes, which I think was on the longer end of the steeping instructions. The resulting brew retained the smell of the dry leaf, and it was even more intense if that’s possible. Tasting better and better as it cooled, I felt as though I was drinking a cup of hot, slightly nutty and deeply creamy milk, and I actually think it would go into the category of a comfort tea for me.

Now I want to try more amazing milk oolongs, because I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to get this exact one again. Any suggestions? I wasn’t a fan of the one from davids tea, if I remember correctly.

And thanks weet f*** it’s Friday.

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML
Marzipan

Agree, I thought the David’s one was vile.

keychange

it truly was. I don’t drink any of their straight teas.

CHAroma

Teavivre has some good milk oolongs, both flavored and unflavored. I also just had a great tea that I suspect is a milk oolong, but I don’t know what it is. The package is only in kanji. :(

Sil

mandala has a good one..

Sil

..and you know how much i love oolongs.

keychange

Oh, is Mandala still around? and charoma, darn those teas we can’t identify! Oh well, it was there for a season, I guess.

curlygc

Second the mandala. Love it.

Plunkybug

I have some from a few companies, including the now defunct Teaopia (I stocked up when it was on sale as they closed). I also have some Osthmanthus oolong from Bird Pick which is a nice milk oolong. Let me know if you want me to send either your way.

Lindsay

For high quality (but expensive) straight Jin Xuan oolong, there’s Tea Ave: http://teaave.com/collections/all/products/alishan-jin-xuan-oolong?variant=1165569747
For an affordable, more sweet/milky oolong (I’m pretty sure it is actually scented) I recommend this one from Tealux: http://www.tealux.ca/jin_xuan_tea_taiwan_milk_oolong

keychange

Thanks so much for the suggestions/offers, guys!

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85

I had this tea some time ago so forgive my lack of specific details! I do know that i really was fond of it. I thought the gingerbread flavour was quite authentic and tasty. I only had enough for one cup so I wasn’t able to try it cold-brewed. This is more of a hot tea anyway, at least in my mind. I may have to seek this one out when the weather gets colder. :)

Flavors: Ginger, Molasses, Nutmeg, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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K S, I don’t know why it took me so long to get to this sample you sent. Even after unintentionally abandoning it at the bottom of my sample basket, it smells like Mom’s homemade strawberry jam. Flavor is spot-on, not a bit of artificiality.

It’s so hot this week (upper 90’s; air thick and syrupy) and so busy this week (VBS at church—kids, choreography, and climbing flight after flight of stairs to activities), I’ve been getting only one small cuppa in the morning. Glad this was it!

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80
drank Milk Oolong by Simple Loose Leaf
45 tasting notes

Brewed Gong Fu style. This smells so creamy and buttery dry. Even when brewed, it smells almost exactly like movie theatre popcorn butter! There’s no way that this is natural, definitely the added milk flavour, but it’s so good! I adore popcorn butter. The mouth feel is thick too, which adds to the enjoyment. This only lasts for a couple of steeps, after which this starts to taste like a more natural milk oolong. Peachy, sweet, and more green the more steeps in you go. I’m not sure just how far this would go, since I had to stop (didn’t want to be up all night, and it was getting late.) As much as I want to prefer all natural milk oolongs, I really enjoyed the boost of flavor this one has. I’m not sure I’ll go out of my way to order it, but it sure is tasty.

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93
drank Pu'erh Tahiti by Simple Loose Leaf
588 tasting notes

I loved this tea back when I first bought it, so I stupidly hoarded it. Now a lot of the tropical flavor has faded, which makes me super tea-sad. To rescue it, I had to add a bit of rock sugar, refrigerate, and then mix with an equal amount of seltzer. The result is actually a pretty tasty tea soda. The tropical flavors are still pretty muted and there’s more earthiness than I generally like, but it’s quite refreshing.

Christina / BooksandTea

Ooh, that reminds me I have some of this from last year that I need to finish off. I’ll see about icing it.

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73

Thanks for this one a while back, Ost! I think this is the third pu-erh based tea I’ve tried from Simple Loose Leaf. It seems to be the same one, not a bad pu-erh, not the best pu-erh. Mid level flavor though the color of the cup seems dark enough. There are a couple spices in the teaspoon and a half that went into the infuser (and orange peels) but I’m not sure they add too much to the flavor. I don’t know why! Not a bad cup but if I want a spicy pu-erh, then it better have spices in it. Not much more to say on this one.
Steep #1 // 5 minutes after boiling // ? min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 min steep

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