Simple Loose Leaf

Recent Tasting Notes

89

Backlog:

I was thrilled to find Lady Earl Grey in the box from August (yes, that’s how far behind I am. But I’m going to get caught up. Yes, I will. And you, Sil … just don’t be smirking at me. I know you are. Just behave yourself. I will get caught up!)

Anyway … I was so happy to find this tea in the August Box! I figured that it was probably either a lavender or a rose infused bergamot tea, but when I opened the pouch, I could smell the vanilla. it’s a vanilla bergamot or a creme Earl Grey.

A really nice Earl Grey Creme. The bergamot is strong but the edgier notes of the bergamot have been softened by the vanilla. The combination of the malt notes from the tea and the vanilla create a soft, caramel-y note that is delectable. Creamy and smooth and yum!

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/08/30/lady-earl-grey-black-tea-blend-from-simple-loose-leaf/

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82

Backlog:

As I mentioned in my full-length review of this tisane: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/08/28/honeybush-herbal-tisane-from-simple-loose-leaf/ I don’t often have a cup of plain, unadulterated, pure honeybush anymore. Usually, I’m tasting flavored or blended Honeybush.

So I wasn’t all that excited about trying the tisane. “Glib” is how I described my attitude.

But because it had been a while since i had pure Honeybush, I had forgotten how nice a cup of unflavored honeybush can be. Sweet, honey-esque, nutty and a slight woodsy tone. Slightly toasty.

Soothing and pleasant. I enjoyed it!

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41

I didn’t enjoy the herbal tea included in the tea co-op box this month, so I’m glad the sample size was small. It means I didn’t feel as bad about immediately sticking it in my swap box. The mixture of cinnamon chips, ginseng root, peppermint, echinacea, sarsparilla root, licorice root, and organic south african rooibos may have smelled wonderful, but had a flavor that is what I imagine dirty gym socks would taste if I had decided to boil them up and make tea out of them. It wasn’t entirely pleasant, but if you’re a fan of “detox teas” then this is probably right up your alley.

You can read my full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2014/11/18/tuesday-tea-tea-co-op-november-box-simple-loose-leaf.html

Preparation
0 OZ / 0 ML

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88
drank Milk Oolong by Simple Loose Leaf
4550 tasting notes

Backlog:

This is a wonderful Milk Oolong: sweet, creamy, and deliciously luscious.

The first two infusions were combined into one cup and the combined result was light and creamy and sweet. Nutty. Hints of vegetation. Later infusions were not quite as creamy. More floral notes came forward.

A really intensely creamy tea at the start, and as I continued to infuse the tea the creaminess subsided somewhat but it was still rather creamy and delightful.

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80

Brewed Western-style in a ceramic teapot. Steeping times: 3, 5, 7, 10.

My first Four Seasons oolong. I drank this at work. Both the dry and wet leaf have a strong floral fragrance, evocative of roses. The liquor is light yellow, clear, full-bodied, and has a somewhat thick texture. The notes are not complex, but simple. Deliciously floral and light. Brings a freshness to the office.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92

Backlog:

As I write this, I realize how much I miss not getting my box from Simple Loose Leaf this month. sigh After the change over to the new format, I had a few other obligations that I needed to focus on. But I miss them. Great customer service and a great product.

This was a really wonderful white tea. One of the better blueberry teas I’ve had because the blueberry flavor is strong and well-defined without overpowering the shou mei base. It’s a delicious, fragrant, soothing cup of tea. This one is great iced too.

Please check out my full-length review of this tea: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/08/16/blueberry-white-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/

It’s been a couple of months since I last had this tea and I’ve got to say that it’s one of the more memorable teas that I’ve had from Simple Loose Leaf.

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84

Backlog:

A nice medley of flavors in this blend. It’s sweet, fruity, tart with warm spice notes. I love the way these different flavors taste together. Spice from the cinnamon and cardamom accent the earthy, nutty rooibos while the citrus notes add a bright flavor to the cup. The cranberry adds a tart note while the apple and papaya add a really lovely sweetness.

Really good.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/08/11/tropical-sunshine-herbal-blend-from-simple-loose-leaf/

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70

Four Horsemen! I had a laugh as this tea was also with Seven Seas Herbal in the Simple Loose Leaf coop for November. I was thinking some kind of tea apocalypse was happening with natural disaster and a giant angry kraken.

Ahem, anyways, Four Horseman black – this is rich, malty, mega bold and smokey. A breakfast tea of muscle. You’ll love this one if you love a strong breakfast. Me? Ehhh, little too bold for me and not enough interest to want me to drink for fun, I’d drink this one to wake up.

Full review on my blog The Oolong Owl Other http://oolongowl.com/november-simple-loose-leaf-tea-co-op-club-tea-review/

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74

From TGCTTB (round 3)
We always pickup peaches from our local farmers market every summer so when I saw this one I knew I had to give it a shot, thanks Christina for adding it to the box (though I must say that with 8+ inches of snow on the ground I’m trying it hot rather than iced, even though you added it for the iced category.

Peachy and sweet, I don’t get much scent from the white tea other than a few floral notes that I can’t quite pick apart from the safflower or sunflower ingredients. That said it’s not an artificial scent which is something :). The flavor is subtle but contains those lovely peach notes with a but of floral undernotes from the tea/safflower/sunflower. Similar to the dry scent though I really don’t get much more from the white tea base. Hmm at least until I breathe out then I get a few more notes.

A lovely tea overall and I’m glad I got a chance to try it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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87

Backlog:

I’m not a huge fan of Ginseng. I don’t really hate it, but I don’t love it either. It’s kind of like chamomile. I don’t hate it, I don’t love it … but it’s certainly not a favorite tea/tisane ingredient.

However, I did enjoy this Ginseng Oolong from Simple Loose Leaf. Of the various Ginseng Oolong teas that I’ve tried during my career as a Tea Reviewer (I’ve been doing this for quite a while now!) … this one might be the best of the Ginseng Oolong teas that I’ve tried. What’s best about it? I tasted more Oolong than Ginseng. Bonus points.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/08/05/ginseng-oolong-blend-from-simple-loose-leaf/

Sweet, buttery, earthy, woodsy, creamy with some “green” notes.

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88

Backlog:

I really liked this Yin Gou Mei. It was sweet, nutty, crisp and floral. A nice creamy note as well. The description here says “astringent” as a flavor profile, but I didn’t really get a lot of astringency to it. I just had a really lovely creamy, sweet, nutty, flowery taste that made me swoon.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/07/23/yin-gou-mei-green-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/

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86

Backlog:

This is a really good Ceylon. It is a bit more hefty and robust than I typically expect from a Ceylon and that made me happy. It’s one of those Ceylon teas that have a really satisfying flavor and some get up and go to it.

Fruit notes (stone fruit and citrus), molasses and malt!

A really invigorating cuppa. Read more about it here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/07/20/kenilworth-ceylon-black-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/

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91

Backlog:

Delightful! I really love the aroma of this tea. I could smell the notes of jasmine and plum and they really create a lovely fragrance together. As I say in the full-length review of this tea – http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/07/14/plum-blossom-white-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/ – these are two essences that I wouldn’t have imagined together but they work!

Sweet, lightly earthy from the Shou Mei, lightly vegetal from the green tea, delicate floral notes of jasmine, and sweet, fruity plum notes. This is a really enjoyable tea, and it has a light enough quality to it that it is something that you can drink later in the afternoon and into the evening without being overstimulated.

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80

There is something incredibly soothing about peppermint tea. That is why I always keep some on hand for those days when I’m stressed out or not feeling particularly well. It always manages to lighten my mood and set my stomach straight when I’m sick (or when I have eaten more than any one person should in one sitting.) Lately I’ve been drinking a cup after I take the pain medication my dentist prescribed, it helps ease the upset stomach it always gives me. Since peppermint is naturally caffeine-free it’s the perfect late night drink so I often find myself having another cup before bed. A relaxing cup of hot tea is the perfect way to end a long day, although lately my toddler has been drinking more of my peppermint tea than I have. It’s always been his favorite flavor.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2014/10/21/tuesday-tea-october-selection-club-simple-loose-leaf.html

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

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drank Formosa Oolong by Simple Loose Leaf
340 tasting notes

This is an alright tea. Tastes ok, kind of roasty or nutty I guess. Not sure what I was expecting but I guess I was craving something else because this didn’t hit the spot for me this morning.

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First note for this tea. Woo!

I took this with me when I went to my in-laws’ place this weekend for Thanksgiving. It was one of only two teas I brought with me (the other being RiverTea’s Golden Yunnan) and there were a few reasons why:

1. I needed a caffeine-free option
2. You just need boiling water for this tea. No worries about temperature-taking with this one.

The flavour when I made this a few nights ago was surprising. I was expecting something similar to rooibos, especially the woody note. However, this was somewhat tart. I didn’t add any sweetener to it or anything. Perhaps I understeeped it slightly?

I’m not sure this will be a favourite, but sometimes you really need a no-fuss option.

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85

I love Yunnan blacks – this one was interesting for its really woodsy flavor kind of a mix of cedar/pine with honey notes. The texture is silky smooth with no dry or bitterness – just as I like my black teas!

Full review on my blog The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/simple-loose-leaf-selection-club-october/

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80

This hojicha is on the medium roast level. Very clean and clear cup of tea! Notes of toasty nuts, hay with a bit a caramel sweet. A good cup of easy to drink hojicha, perfect for fall! I personally prefer a stronger roast, but this one does the job.

Full review on my blog The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/simple-loose-leaf-selection-club-october/

Kittenna

Interesting. I think I’ve only had fairly roasted hojicha before. I probably prefer the roastier ones too.

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85

Mmm pu’er blend. This one is a moderate spiced, mostly sweet ginger cinnamon. The ripe pu’er is good – not fermenty and has a mushroom earth base with a creamy body.
Overall, pretty good. I’d upgrade all my chais to this, though I would like a more spicy chai.

Full review on my blog The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/simple-loose-leaf-selection-club-october/

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88

Woo! A fuzzy tea from Yunnan, it is not a super fuzzy tea, I would put this solidly in the middle on the scale of fuzz. The aroma is quite sweet, with notes of plum and berries with a touch of roasted peanut and a very strong kick of malt at the finish. Giving these leaves a good steeping bring out a brightness that was not present in the dry leaves, of course it is still very fruity sweet and malty. The liquid without its (not so) fuzzy friends is mild, fruity sweet and malty.

The taste is quite mild, there are notes of dried fruit and malt with a really bright finish. It makes for a good wake up tea that is sweet and not too harsh. Once the tea cools it becomes even sweeter and takes on a slight smokiness. I have no complaints, but I have never met a Yunnan tea I did not enjoy.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/10/simple-loose-leaf-october-subscription_7.html

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81

So this one is a little hard to review, because it is peppermint! It smells exactly how you expect it to smell, very minty, my sinuses are cleared and my throat feels cool. As to be expected I feel quite refreshed. Once steeped my whole room smells like mint, my cats keep sniffing around at it for some strange reason, silly cats.

Tasting the tea, well, it is mint! It is cooling, slightly sweet, and fresh very similar to eating a mint leaf. This would be a good ingredient if you want to blend it with other teas since it is a fresh mint. Also good for sipping if you have a cold or a belly ache.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/10/simple-loose-leaf-october-subscription_7.html

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77

I have a confession, I am a little afraid of this tea, I have never had a pear tea that I liked, probably because pear is my favorite fruit. Hands down. So take this review with that little caveat. The aroma does not bolster my enthusiasm, it smells like cucumbers, a bit of honeydew melon, and pear candies…specifically those pear gummy bears in a bag of Amazing Fruits. Brewed there is still a strong candy and cucumber aroma, but with a sour apple tinge as well.

Ok, steeling my nerves, down the hatches it goes…and it is not terrible. It tastes like pear candy, that is certain, it is not like biting into a fresh pear. Luckily since it tastes like candy that also means it is very sweet, like honey and a bit of melon. The finish is refreshingly cucumber with a touch of fresh leaves. This was not my favorite tea ever, but I am not hating it and have no problem finishing my cup.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/10/simple-loose-leaf-october-subscription_7.html

Anlina

I really liked the pear flavour in Secret Garden’s Plum & Cottage Pear.

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81

Lewis and Clark TTB #16

My first impression of this tea is that it is delicate. There is a nice blueberry flavor that rests lightly on a white tea base. It works nicely, but my ideas of blueberries are formed from pie and muffins and I expect a bolder taste. The intent of this tea seemed to be to just add blueberry highlights to a white tea.

The concept works. The white tea base is of good quality, and even when I lose the blueberry flavor (it’s subtle) I still enjoy the base tea. When I notice the blueberry, it lifts the tea a bit. I enjoyed the tea, but probably wouldn’t purchase any more.

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

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