Simple Loose Leaf

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Recent Tasting Notes

Place holder until future steeps

I tried one sencha yesterday, so I thought I’d follow it up with another! The inside of the packet looks like the leftovers from a hay bale, except green. So perhaps an alfalfa bale. These leaves smell a lot sweeter than yesterday’s. Sweet dry alfalfa. I went for the minimum recommended steep time (2 min). The liquor is a pale gold with a tinge of green. It gives off a faint…..dry grass, almost roasted scent. The taste reminds me of high-summer hay. A little grassy, a little roasted, more body, but still light. There’s an almost metallic tang on the end, but it’s swallowed up by the sweetness in the breath. (I probably used too hot of water.)

Further steeps revealed this to be true….

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85

From the January Simple Loose Leaf Tea coop.

Best tea out of the box this month. The assam malty base is a great match to the bergamot. The bergamot is a moderate level, with a bit of a brisk finish at the end.

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

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Spiced Pu'er by Simple Loose Leaf
4833 tasting notes

Backlog:

My first infusion had a nice balance of sweet and spicy. The spices had a chai-like flavor to them and the pu-erh is mellow and smooth. It’s a little earthy but I thought that the earthiness worked because of the spices.

The second infusion, the spices were a little more mild than the first so this allowed me the chance to explore the tea a little more. It’s earthy, but I’m tasting more of a mushroom type of earthiness. I like that I’m not tasting brine or fishy.

The flavor was much deeper and smoother with the third infusion. I can really taste the rich, aged tea now. The spices have softened and are more of a background note, and I like the way they play with the molasses-y sweetness of the tea. It’s quite an enjoyable experience.

here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/11/05/puerh-spice-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/

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92

After looking through the offerings in the box this month it was tough to decide which tea I wanted to review. The chai green piqued my interest, but I’m a sucker for anything Earl Grey (it is without a doubt my all time favorite tea.) This time I was delighted to see we have an Earl Grey with a twist— it’s made with an Assam base rather than the traditional Ceylon. Once I saw that I knew it was the tea for me. I wasn’t disappointed either, the flavor of the Assam was much more delicate than what I’m accustomed to with Ceylon. When steeped at 205°F the tea lacked the astringency and dry mouth feeling I get from many Earl Grey teas. It really allowed me to focus on the citrus flavor from the bergamot. The difference in base teas was a refreshing change from what I’m accustomed to. I could certainly see this tea becoming part of my regular rotation.

You can read the rest of the review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2015/1/12/tuesday-tea-tea-co-op-january-box-simple-loose-leaf

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92

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92

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Backlog:

I’ve been very busy evaluating the prospects to join SororiTea Sisters that I’ve neglected my posting of backlogs so that I can get caught up, so now I’m allowing myself to fall behind again.

I MUST get this caught up by the end of March. MUST! You’ll soon find out why!

Anyway, this is a good Hojicha! Roasty, toasty, warm. Nutty. Tasty! I love a good hojicha especially in the autumn because it’s got those lovely nutty, toasty flavors that taste so autumnal to me.

The texture is smooth and light. A pleasure to sip.

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drank Yunnan Jig by Simple Loose Leaf
4833 tasting notes

Backlog:

A beautiful dry leaf. The aroma is leathery and evoked thoughts of an old library with lots of leather bound books. The brewed tea smells more earthy than leathery.

Rich flavor, smooth from start to finish. Virtually no astringency, only a slight dryness toward the tail. Notes of cacao and spice. A sweet caramel undertone. A nice balance between sweet and savory. A nicely round cuppa.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/10/22/yunnan-jig-black-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/

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drank Peppermint by Simple Loose Leaf
4833 tasting notes

Backlog:

As I wrote in my full-length article about this tea – http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/10/19/peppermint-herbal-tisane-from-simple-loose-leaf/ – yes, this is plain and pure peppermint, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. The leaves produce an invigorating cup that is crisp and cool and refreshing. It’s nice to sip.

I enjoyed this offering from Simple Loose Leaf. It’s as simple as it gets – pure peppermint – but it’s a quality leaf and it’s a very enjoyable cup. It’s great served with a squeeze of lemon!

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90

GCTTB

Loved this one. Brewed 1 tsp, 185F, 8oz, 1min. It was grassy & sweet. There was a good seaweed & nutty taste to it. This is my kind of sencha!

Flavors: Grass, Nutty, Seaweed, Sweet

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GCTTB

This is almost the same blend as Rishi’s Hisbiscus Rooibos tea. The title is misleading for Rishi’s tea because you would think it’s really heavy hisbicus and it’s not. This one has a stronger hibiscus in it than the Rishi tea does. I think I prefer Rishi’s blend of this tea.

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drank Pu'erh Tahiti by Simple Loose Leaf
624 tasting notes

This must be an old sample. The coconut has that old soapy taste like coconut gets when it goes stale. I’m getting a combo of that and perfume. The aftertaste is very patchouli like… earthy perfume. I’m not digging it, but I’d give it another go with a fresh sample if I came across it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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90
drank White pear by Simple Loose Leaf
4833 tasting notes

Backlog:

This is one of my favorite teas that I’ve tried from Simple Loose Leaf. The pear notes are well-defined and taste true to the fruit. The Shou Mei is sweet and hay-like and I like the way these notes play with the pear. It’s a smooth tea, no bitterness and no astringency. A very flavorful white tea – a really good pear tea! I’d highly recommend this one to those who are looking for the ‘right’ pear tea.

Sami Kelsh

Ooh, shiny. I love pear!

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72
drank Assam FTGFOP by Simple Loose Leaf
707 tasting notes

Wasn’t expecting this one to be any good. Was expecting it to just be another woody assam. xD But I was pleasantly surprised! The main flavor in this tea is malt! Which I am always a fan of! Happy to have a sample of this one. Thank you, LiberTEAS!!

Flavors: Malt

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26

So like, when I think gingerbread, I don’t just think ginger. I think like ginger, cinnamon, pastry, doughy. Ya know?
But feels like most of these gingerbread teas are just ginger. It’s like tea companies take the “ginger” in “gingerbread” wayyy too seriously. I’d hate eating their gingerbread cookies for Christmas. 0_0
This one just tasted like ginger. Was hoping for more :(

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1
drank Yunnan Jig by Simple Loose Leaf
707 tasting notes

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4

Wow. I had expected this one to be way better than the Kenyan one, but man was I wrong. 0_0 It’s soo woody. Even steeped it a little less than the time it says to on steepster. This cup is getting dumped >

Flavors: Wood

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1

This tea tastes like I just went outside, scooped up a bunch of dirt and leaves in my tea infuser and then steeped it. XD Ohhh it’s bad haha wow xD
Oh goodness. Definitely the worst tea I’ve had today. 0_0

Flavors: Dirt, Forest Floor

OMGsrsly

I know others with the same opinion of mate. :)

Ost

I really was not expecting that. xD

OMGsrsly

Have you tried green mate, or just roasted?

Ost

I have no idea. I tried a mate from Teavana once, but that was a while ago, and I just know I didn’t like it. xD

OMGsrsly

Haha. Ok! Maybe don’t try the green. It’s even stronger.

Ost

Really? Seems like roasted would be stronger!

OMGsrsly

The green tastes more like grass-and-dirt to me. :)

Ost

Ohh interesting. xD

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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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85

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.

Update
I had to update this rating because I really enjoy this tea! It’s the first one of the Simply Loose Leaf boxes that I’m thinking seriously of buying. And….it has to hit 85 since I’ve been pushing it on people. xD

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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