Simple Loose Leaf

Recent Tasting Notes

65

I’ll bet this would taste delicious with some brown sugar in it to add a bit of molasses! But, unfortunately, I’m at work and lacking in such delicacies. Despite this, it’s a nice tea. The dry leaves smell almost overly sweet with ginger spice and I’m happy that didn’t translate to the cup. It brewed up into a dark almost coffee-brown and the liquor has that telltale ginger and cinnamon spice smell. This tea seems…surprisingly light. I expected more umph. There is a bit of creaminess, but that is upset by a slightly astringent afterfeel flavored by spice. A great pairing with shortbread cookies, I’d imagine.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger

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75

Twisted tight package
Light, bright, and sweet on the breath
Goes well with my roll.

The dry leaf is rolled into twisted little bundles about the size of a grain or two of rice. It is still quite green with a little brown oxidation showing through here and there. There is probably about a 60-40 ratio of dark green to lighter. They smell like a slightly more perfumed version of hay or pet bedding.

My first steeping was yesterday, so I don’t remember details other than that is was a pleasing, brighter contrast to the darjeelings I was sampling. The leaves were still pretty tightly rolled, so I figured I’d save the rest for today.

I have no idea how long my second steeping was (the first was 3 mins on the dot). I got distracted and, honestly, it could be over OR under three; my sense of time is rarely accurate. The wet leaves are now half unfurled and smell like sweet grass. They are mostly whole leaves 3-4cm long. The liquor is light-gold in color and…..I just accidentally stuck my nose in it trying to fully smell its aroma! Feels like a giant dork xD Well, I’m halfway down the cup now and it’s not a strong aroma. Sweet, floral more than grassy. I’m enjoying this steep as much as I remember enjoying the last one. No astringency or bitterness.

Third steep, still going strong….Fourth….was a little lighter, so I steeped the fifth for 4 minutes. And four is where I think I’d stop. The fifth steep, while drinkable, is starting to taste astringent and I’d hate to ruin my memory of the good steeps.

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Sweet

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86

Backlog:

This is a good quality Shou Mei. I liked that the leaves didn’t appear as crumbly and dry as some Shou Mei teas that I’ve encountered have appeared. This didn’t look like dry, brown leaves. These leaves had some downy fuzz on them, and the colors varied from pale green to silver to brown. Impressive for a Shou Mei.

Then again, I shouldn’t be surprised because the quality of Simple Loose Leaf has always been top notch. I have been very appreciative of the quality of their teas.

Sweet, fresh and light tasting. Crisp and ‘spring – like’ with hay-like notes. This tea offers many delightful infusions.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/30/shou-mei-white-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/

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Couldn’t find any gong fu instructions for this tea so I decided to wing it.

180F
5g leaves
120ml (4oz) glass gaiwan

3 infusions: rinse, 10s, 15s, 15s

Websites that say to start at 30 or 40 seconds are crazy!

The last two infusions were a bit bitter. The flavor wasn’t anything to write home about. Next time I’d use 4g instead of 5.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I find it crazy how insanely gross some teas brewed at the 30s starting point can be, Blech!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Whaaaat? I start EVERYTHING at 30s! Hahaha

madametj

@Amanda I know right?

@Brenden then clearly you’re crazy too! Lol

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Hahaha, do you guys get bitterness or something at 30s?

I’ll admit to doing raw puerh at boiling water and 30s on a pretty consistent basis, so perhaps I’ve burnt out my bitter tasters :P

madametj

It was bitter at 15s so I don’t even want to know what would happen at 30s!! lol

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I do a lot of my stuff at 30s, but some greens are so cranky! I had one (I want to say it was Upton’s Qin Zhen) that had to be flash steeped or it was bitter death.

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89

Backlog:

A delightful Oolong. A sweet, flowery fragrance from the dry leaf, this floral note softens a bit in the brewed liquid. But there is still quite a bit of flower in the aroma and in the flavor too.

Floral, sweet, creamy, and smooth. I get some nice vanilla tones in the first cup and I like the way they soften the floral notes. The second cup was even better, as some fruity notes began to emerge. Notes of apple and melon.

I was surprised that the creamy notes still remained even into my third cup (this is infusions 5 and 6) because usually by this point with an Oolong, the creamy notes have almost nearly disappeared, but not so here.

This is one of the nicest Four Seasons Oolong teas I’ve encountered.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/25/four-seasons-oolong-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/

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91
drank Assam FTGFOP by Simple Loose Leaf
4641 tasting notes

Backlog:

(My 4600 tasting note!)

Another from my September Simple Loose Leaf box.

This is a grand Assam. Rich and full-bodied. A robust cup. It is sweet and has lovely sweet, creamy caramel-y notes that meld with the malt tones and hints of cacao. Notes of fruit and flower in the distance.

It’s warm and earthy. Cozy … while at the same time, it’s invigorating enough to give you that swift kick you need to get going.

A really, really good Assam. Here’s my full-length article: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/18/assam-ftgfop-black-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/

darby

Wow, 4600!!! Congrats!

Kittenna

4600! And you seem to rarely log teas more than once, so does that mean you’ve tried about that many different teas, too?

LiberTEAS

Yeah, I don’t usually log teas more than once – some I do, but it’s not often. So yeah … I’ve probably had at least that many different types of tea, given the fact that I was writing reviews for the Tea Review Blog before I discovered steepster.

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74

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t tend to drink sencha often. I have to be in a very specific mood to enjoy a strong vegetal flavor in my tea. I typically pair it with something salty, such as Chinese takeout, but it also goes well with sushi. This particular sencha has a m flavor than I’m accustomed to. When first steeped the flavor is somewhat vegetal, but as it cools off the flavor mellows out and it becomes slightly sweet. The mild flavor wasn’t what I was expecting, but since I can’t order takeout tonight I find that I prefer the tea this way.

You can read the rest of the review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2014/12/9/tuesday-tea-tea-co-op-december-box-simple-loose-leaf.html

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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70

I thought that I would love this tea, but the flavoring doesn’t taste a thing like plums. I do like the base teas used, although I couldn’t really taste the jasmine. Perhaps this would be better as a cold steep.

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Tea Advent Calendar day 9

Wow. Can you say bergamot? I’m not sure where the lady was. I could smell her as the tea was steeping, but after that, it was all bergamot. Really, really, really strong bergamot.

http://instagram.com/p/wY_ka9AyXJ/
http://instagram.com/p/wZC-J2gyYB/

As this one cooled off, I could kind of almost taste the vanilla, but not as much as I wanted to. It was just too bergamot for me.

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88

Backlog:

A very finely chopped rooibos chai – I recommend using a T-Sac with this particular chai. The grind is so fine that it will likely filter through even the finest mesh.

This is a very strongly flavored chai – the fine chop delivers a very strong impact. The robust spices: clove, ginger and pepper are the strongest flavors I tasted. The cinnamon and cardamom are not quite as strong as the other three spices but they are still quite THERE. There’s a lot of spicy flavor to this – if you’re one who likes a good, assertive spice to their chai – this is one you should try!

When I first saw this in the September box from Simple Loose Leaf, my first thought was, “Oh, another rooibos chai.” I thought that before I tried it … after I tried it, my thoughts are this is quite unlike most of the rooibos chai blends I’ve had. This is a really good rooibos chai! Really good!

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/14/original-herbal-chai-rooibos-blend-from-simple-loose-leaf/

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86

Backlog:

From the September Tea box from Simple Loose Leaf. (I really miss getting this box!) This is a really enjoyable green tea. The aroma of the dry leaf is vegetal and earthy, with notes that remind me of freshly cut grass and hints of kelp and the leafy green section of the produce market.

The flavor is sweet and mild. In my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/08/green-pekoe-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/ I mention that this doesn’t have a strong or overbearing “green tea taste” – it doesn’t taste overly like vegetables, nor does it taste bitter or grassy. It’s pleasantly sweet and reminds me of the sweet flavor of steamed artichoke.

A very satisfying green tea – the kind of tea I like to drink when I’m looking for a boost.

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drank Cherry Green by Simple Loose Leaf
1768 tasting notes

I have been remiss; k s sent this some time ago, but I have been short on sit-and-think time, and that’s what green teas require. I am decadently and greedily stealing some of that time this afternoon (burning a vacation day for some family holiday stuff). Feet up at 1:20 in the afternoon with Bob melting into a fur puddle on my lap. Have I introduced you to Bob? Scruffy, perpetually bewildered stray cat with no tail and Very Little Brain. Blame my husband.

But I digress. This is a fine green tea, and it comes through loud and clear underneath the flavoring. The flavoring itself is a little tricky to pin down. K S’s review nixed maraschino, but that cherry-on-top taste is what I’m noticing. Like cherry Life Savers or the tiniest hint of cherry syrup with your drink. Artificial rather than fresh off the tree, but not unpleasant or bitter. Bob sniffed it and says it’ll do.

ashmanra

What about Tazo? Does Tazo approve of Bob? Perhaps they could be Simple Cat and Helper Cat.

gmathis

El Puma and The Paw. Tazo retains alpha cat status and keeps his distance. Bob tags along after everything and everyone that breathes. He’s a needy little dude.

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86

Backlog:

August’s Selection Club box from Simple Loose Leaf was an amazing box! (Yeah, I’m still behind.) I really enjoyed this Jasmine, a sweet, delicate floral note, I like that this was not an aggressive jasmine. The green tea was lightly vegetal and sweet. The mouthfeel was soft and pleasant.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/01/jasmine-special-grade-green-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/

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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
4641 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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