Simple Loose Leaf

Recent Tasting Notes

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It’s time for another installment of Sunday Tea and Books, and Simple Loose Leaf is on the docket again.

I’ve had a few other sencha teas lately so it’s quite interesting to drink this one in comparison. The ones I tried before were rather savoury and marine/mineral in flavour. This one is much lighter and sweeter – buttery, slightly nutty, but not very savoury. In fact, it reminds me more of a Chinese green tea than a Japanese one, which is really interesting. I tend to like teas on the sweeter end of the spectrum anyway, so this is pretty good. The dry leaf was a light emerald green, but it was a little dusty and broken-up; despite this, the tea isn’t bitter or astringent at all. The colour of the brewed tea is a light yellow-green, like tender young shoots.

But which fictional character did it remind me of? Well, considering the new issue of “Saga” just came out, and I just finished reading volume 3 of the series, perhaps the choice is obvious: http://christinavasilevski.com/2014/05/sunday-tea-books-japanese-sencha-saga-green/

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Backlog:

With my subscription to the Selection Club from Simple Loose Leaf, I have thus far always chose the sampler pack. Hey, I’m a taster, and I find the smaller sizes of five teas to be much nicer for my needs than larger sizes of just one or two teas.

I don’t know that if I were choosing just one or two teas for the month of April, that I would have selected this tea, because generally speaking, herbal tisanes like this (with lots of hibiscus) are not my favorites.

That said, this is a pretty good tisane, and I found that the hibiscus and cranberry seemed to marry much better than some other berries with hibiscus. They are both tarty type of flavors and they meld together in a seamless way.

I liked this better iced than hot. It’s a tasty tisane. Not my favorite, but they can’t all be my favorites, and I liked it enough to not only finish the hot cup when I reviewed it, but also enough to brew a full half-gallon pitcher to enjoy iced the next day.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/11/cranberry-breeze-herbal-tisane-simple-loose-leaf/

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85

Backlog:

I just realized it’s been nearly two weeks since my last tasting note! Yikes. Rest assured, I’ve not given up drinking tea, just … have been otherwise distracted.

Heavily smoked teas like a Russian Caravan don’t usually elicit a great deal of excitement from me, but, as far as smoky teas go, this is pretty good. I enjoyed it.

I like that I can taste components from each of the teas in this blend. I could taste the sweet, wine-like notes from the Keemun, the rich, malty notes of the Assam, and of course the strong, smoky character of the Lapsang Souchong.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/04/russian-caravan-black-tea-simple-loose-leaf/

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72

This is from a couple of nights ago. I forgot to add my tasting notes to it, but I don’t want to not add them because it’s an update from my previous tasting.

This tea absolutely needs to be sweetened. Without sugar, it’s overly tart and just blechy. With sugar, this tisane is really nice and balanced.

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82

After years of drinking peach teas that didn’t live up to my standards I had to question if there was something wrong with those standards. I don’t feel like I’m asking for much, I want a tea that tastes like biting into a fresh juicy peach without being overpowering or artificial. In other words, I want my peach tea to taste like peach. It sounds simple enough, but year after year peach teas fail to live up to my expectation and many of them don’t taste like peach at all. From the first sip I knew that Sweet White Peach from Simple Loose Leaf was something special. It has the perfect balance between juicy peach and white tea without tasting artificial. I love that the tea is sweet on it’s own, so there is no need to add sugar. Once the weather warms up it will make the perfect iced tea for me to enjoy this summer.

You can read the full review on my blog
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2014/5/20/tuesday-tea-may-selection-club-simple-loose-leaf.html

Simple Loose Leaf has provided me with a free subscription to their Selection Club

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72

There is something about the vegetal flavor green tea has that has appealed to me lately, which is why I selected this tea for my May box. I had hoped by now to be enjoying warm weather and iced tea, but instead enjoyed Japanese Sencha Saga Green as it is traditionally served, hot. With the first sip of this tea I was a bit surprised, while it has the characteristic sweet grassy flavor I expected, it wasn’t nearly as vegetal as many sencha teas I’ve tried. It did have a strong seaweed-like flavor and a tinge of bitterness, but both of those flavors dissipated as the tea cooled, leaving behind a cup of tea that was incredibly easy to drink. This particular sencha will likely appeal to anyone who doesn’t like the strong vegetal or bitter flavors commonly found in this type of tea. It was by far the most mild flavored sencha I’ve come across to date.

You can read the full review on my blog
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2014/5/20/tuesday-tea-may-selection-club-simple-loose-leaf.html

Simple Loose Leaf has provided me with a free subscription to their Selection Club

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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

This was the sample I chose for the May Simple Loose Leaf box.
This is interesting. Caribbean flavors in a mild pu’erh base. It’s ok. The pu’erh adds a bit of depth to the flavors, but isn’t really prominent. I couldn’t really pick out the individual fruit flavors, but it was fruity, with some coconut.
I will probably choose this for the June box, because there really isn’t much else I’m interested in…

Cavocorax

Yeah. I’m picking it as well. For the same reasons.

Dexter

Yep, not much that I’m interested in. July is even worse for me….

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The newest taste in my Sunday Tea and Books series!

I made it iced in my new pitcher just for iced tea. I added 4 large teaspoons of leaf (the leaf here is very fluffy), 4 cups of boiling water, and some agave nectar, and let it steep for 6 minutes. After which I added about 4 cups of ice cubes to cool it all down. The resulting liquor is a nice, light, clear amber.

I have to say up front that I’m not a huge fan of white teas – unless they’re really strongly flavoured, they all taste the same to me. And unfortunately, this one is a bit too subtle for me. I taste the peach a bit, but I mostly just taste white tea, even with the sweetener added, which normally brings out the fruit flavours more. I can see why others would like it, but it’s leaving me lukewarm.

But what character did it remind me of? Unfortunately, since I wasn’t won over by this tea, the comparison is not very positive: http://christinavasilevski.com/2014/05/sunday-tea-books-sweet-peach-white-from-simple-loose-leaf/

Anna

I’m really excited about your tea/character project – I look forward to catching up when things calm down a little. =)

Veronica

While Liyana might be forgettable I love the way her name is spelled. :)

Christina

Oh, man, there is so much I could say about how I felt about reading Vessel, but I’m going to refrain. I read it last year, and I’ve read so many other books since.

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Sencha!
Ooof! And wow. It’s so buttery. It’s so, SO, vegetal. And spinach-y.

It’s an interesting tea to experiment with but it’s just SO GREEN. I’ll try it again later and steep it less to see that allows me to enjoy it more.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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80

This sencha was a lot less vegetal than i’m used to. It also brewed a bit golden, which surprised me because a lot of times sencha brews a nice spring green color. It was a decent tea, not my favorite sencha but not bad by any means. If you want to get into sencha but don’t like the strong earthy flavors that can come with it, this is a great tea for you.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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90

I really enjoyed the Formosa Oolong from Simple Loose Leaf. It was a super mild taste but flavorful enough to keep you interested. It brews really nicely into a golden brown color and would be great for a relaxing tea. I had mine unsweetened and it was just fine in my opinion. I would certainly buy this in the future.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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85

Oh thermodynamics, you are so much fun! Usually my basement Tea Lair (and craft zone) is much colder than the rest of the house and outside, it can be near 100 degrees out in the world and I am still comfy wearing fuzzy socks and a sweater. Lately it has been quite warm, but today it has been rather chilly, so my Tea Lair is the warmest area in the house. Perfect for sipping tea and wrapping up in my nice warm quilt.

Today’s tea is part of Simple Loose Leaf’s May tea subscription box, Darjeeling Second Flush Black, a black tea harvested in June and a perfect afternoon tea (or so the package says). I decided to take the package’s advice and drink this in the afternoon, so let us see if it is right! The aroma is delightfully complex and quite tasty smelling. It blends roasted peanuts, sweet potatoes, muscatel, and an earthiness. This tea has a darkness to it, a weight, it is much heavier than first flush and less sweet…it is a more mature aroma.

Steeping time! I would like to suggest not following the directions on the package, Darjeeling teas are delicate, treat them like you would an oolong and don’t pour boiling water on those leaves or you will end up with a bitter mess. For years I thought I hated Darjeeling because I followed package directions, a little reading led me to a better temperature and now it is one of my favorite black teas! I find 190-195 degrees work best for me, but hey, experiment and see what works for you. The aroma of the wet leaves is much sweeter and more muscatel, but more of a raisin than fresh grape aroma. It is quite brisk and also has an undertone of roasted nuts. The aroma reminds me of late summer, but to me Darjeeling always has a late summer harvest feel to it. The liquid has a creamy cocoa quality with strong muscatel and roasted nuts, it smells really good and I cannot wait to start sipping it.

The taste of this Darjeeling is intensely sweet and incredibly smooth! There are notes of raisins and sweet potato, a bit of cocoa richness, and a hint of dried leaves. As it cools it takes on a bit of briskness and has a mild rose taste at the finish. I actually agree with the package on this being an afternoon tea, I could certainly see myself sitting on a porch reading a book or watching the late summer storms roll in while sipping this tea and nibbling on snacks.

For photos and blog: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/05/simple-loose-leaf-darjeeling-second.html

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

This was a delicious tea, especially if you enjoy peaches. The peach flavor is strong but not overbearing, it is most likely a DELICIOUS iced tea. I drank it hot and unsweetened. In my opinion it doesn’t need any sweetener at all, whites are almost naturally sweet and with the additional peaches it almost works as a dessert tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

I enjoyed this iced and with about a teaspoon of honey and it was still way too tart for me. If you enjoy tart, citrusy flavors then this is the tea for you! It brews to a nice ruby red color and really possesses a plethora of flavors. You can drink it iced or hot, I preferred to try it iced because I really like my herbals iced more so than hot.

Preparation
Iced 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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