Simple Loose Leaf

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Recent Tasting Notes

74

Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox Round #3 – Tea #32
This might just be the favorite I’ve tried from Simple Loose Leaf. Not sure! I seem to love anything to do with combinations of white tea and plum. There is a lovely floral quality… not sure where that comes from, but it isn’t the jasmine to me. Underlying that is a plum flavor. Maybe a little artificial with the plum but I liked it anyway. It’s tough to taste the white tea under that flavor, but I like shou mei anyway. This is similar to the 52Teas Sugar Plum… but this one is slightly more floral despite not having the lavender that the 52Teas blend has. The second cup wasn’t very good, but to be fair, I did leave the steeped leaves overnight.
Steep #1 // 25 min after boiling // 2-3 min
Steep #2 // 25 min after boiling // 4 min

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75

Lewis & Clark Traveling Teabox – Tea #20
A nice solid black tea from a combination of three different teas. To me the blend tastes like an assam. A mid level of briskness while there is still a sweet malty flavor. This is like the olden day assams that didn’t taste like tomato soup to me. I don’t think anyone has tried this big pouch from the tea box!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few min after boiling // 5+ min

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66

Lewis & Clark Traveling Teabox – Tea #12
I decent white tea (that I wouldn’t recommend steeping at 200 degrees as the label says.) The blueberry flavor is more like blueberry candy. Big ol’ twigs in the dry blend but the cornflowers make it pretty. Maybe I SHOULD have used 200 degree water as I couldn’t taste the white tea.
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // 2-3 min

A string of five tasting notes but I’ve been on a tea box spree.. no second steeps with teas I don’t LOVE.

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89

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89

Backlog:

As I mentioned in my full-length review of this tea – http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/06/24/sleeping-dragon-green-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/ – The aroma of this tea as it brews reminds me of the smell that fills the kitchen when I’m steaming broccoli. Perhaps with a bit of seaweed in the steamer. Not that I’d ever do that. I probably wouldn’t because I’m not a big fan of seaweed.

Fortunately the tea doesn’t have a seaweed flavor to go with the aroma.

The flavor reminds me of something between a green tea and a white tea. It has some of those sweet, melon-y notes of a white tea but not quite as delicate as the white tea would be, although it is a little more delicate in flavor than most green teas.

I also experienced notes of citrus, light vegetal notes, and a subtle smoky note. A really lovely green tea experience and it offers several infusions.

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80

Thank you for this one, Cheri!
I had a good day day today, I am getting to take a free class and career counseling for the unemployed due to a program sponsored by the City of San Francisco. And, I may have a potential consulting gig coming up… anyway we shall see!

I don’t have any 2nd flush darjeelings in my stash currently so it’s definitely nice to get some samples. I was looking forward to purchasing one or two this year, but then heard it was a bad year for the 2nd flushes due to a drought. So maybe I need to look at the 2013 teas from Upton if I really want one.

Anyway… this smells very nutty/roasted, almost like a wuyi oolong. Interesting! I definitely get a fruity/grape note with this, a bit of spicy, with a bit of a pungent bite in the finish. Nothing too overwhelming, however. Overall this is a nice 2nd flush, well rounded and easy to sip on plain, though better with a tiny touch of organic coconut sugar. I’m glad I didn’t steep it for longer, I think 3 minutes was fine and at a slightly lower temp than boiling. Thanks again, Cheri!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sami Kelsh

Oh man, I loooooooooooove a good 2nd flush darjeeling. Disappointing that this year’s a bad vintage! Ho hum.

TeaBrat

yeah, droughts all over the place, blah

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90

Backlog:

Bold and robust, just as promised in the description of this tea. This is the kind of tea you want to reach for first thing in the morning when you need that kick in the pants.

Invigorating!

Sweet, like thinned molasses. Earthy, rich, somewhat woody (like slightly smoked wood) with notes of stone fruit – plum? – and black currant. Zesty, peppery. Moderately astringent.

This takes to the additions of milk and sugar well (try it with a little brown sugar to enhance those molasses notes!) A really fine breakfast tea.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/06/18/yunnan-breakfast-black-tea-from-simple-loose-leaf/

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80

The first steep of this tea was lighter in flavor, but packed a sweet, yet floral punch which became stronger in subsequent steeps. By the time I reached my fourth steep of this tea it developed a somewhat vegetal flavor with hints of floral mixed in. While earlier steeps of this tea were somewhat creamy in texture, later steeps began to develop a hint of dryness. I was impressed not only with the flavor, but also with the number of times I was able to steep the tea. Even my fourth cup had wonderful flavor, I could very likely have gotten a fifth steep out of my leaves, but in my sick and clumsy state I managed to drop my steeper sending my tea leaves flying everywhere. This week is already starting off on the wrong foot, but at least I have a great oolong to help me on my road to recovery.

You can read the rest of the review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2014/9/16/tuesday-tea-september-selection-club-simple-loose-leaf.html

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Chai tends to vary widely in methods of preparation as well as ingredients, but every chai I’ve sampled in the past has one thing in common: it’s made with black tea. The fact that this particular chai is made with a rooibos base didn’t escape my notice, in fact, i’m rather intrigued by the idea. As you know I’ve been drinking a lot of rooibos lately to help with the swelling in my hands. While the flavor of rooibos has slowly grown on me I still find the rather medicinal taste unappealing and prefer heavily flavored blends. In other-words this tea should be right up my alley.

My first sampling of this blend was not prepared in the traditional method (with milk and sugar) as you can see from my photo. I had just opened the package and taken a huge sniff when two things happened. First of all, I caught a good noseful of black peppercorn which caused a huge sneezing fit. Secondly, I discovered that my son had finished off the last of the milk while I wasn’t looking and all we had left was a really old carton of coconut milk. Not to be deterred, I decided to prepare this like I would any rooibos blend and was greeted with a huge burst of flavor on my first sip. The cardamom and black peppercorn were the flavors that were the most prominent and I was happy to find that the cinnamon wasn’t as noticeable, but rather something hidden in the background amongst the other spices. I find that many spice teas on the market this time of year are laden down with cinnamon, so this was a welcome change.

You can read the rest of the review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2014/9/16/tuesday-tea-september-selection-club-simple-loose-leaf.html

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

Backlog:

A strong orange aroma in the dry leaf, but the flavor isn’t as strong as the fragrance would suggest. That’s not to say that the orange is absent in the flavor, it isn’t, it just isn’t as strong as the scent led me to believe it would be.

And I’m glad it’s not as strong, because it would have overpowered the Shou Mei white tea. The white tea and the orange flavors meld well together. Sweet, juicy, flavorful, and refreshing! This makes a stunning iced tea!

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I just brewed up this tea to make my first batch of Kombucha! I went off on an adventure today to meet with guy about a SCOBY. Now I have a huge scoby mother and she’s off fermenting in my closet hopefully making some delicious brews.

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87

Sipdown (97)! And a backlog. I just noticed in my previous tasting note that I didn’t think that this breakfast blend was all that special. I still agree that it is a pretty straightforward breakfast tea, but this time around, I got some subtle smokiness in there that I didn’t taste before. That smidgen of smoke actually intrigued me a bit and is the reason I’m gonna bump up the rating a bit on this tea. Like I said in my previous tasting note, I do have quite a selection of breakfast blends, so I probably will not be reordering this one any time soon. I did very much enjoy it while it lasted, though!

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87

Now that I’m completely moved in to my new place and I’ve unpacked my teas, I start my sipdown quest once more. I think my new goal is to get to under 75 before Black Friday. That way, I’ll have enough wiggle room to buy new teas and still be under 100 teas. We will see how this one goes…

Anyway, on to the tea review. I got this in a Simple Loose Leaf box a while ago, but didn’t get around to it til just now. I chose it as a sample from the next month, so I only have a little of this one. I brewed it up hot this morning and it was definitely a nice start to my day. It was bold with that hint of astringency and bitterness yet also somehow a bit sweet as well. When my mom tasted this tea, she said that she tasted frutiness. I’m not sure that I myself picked up on any fruity notes, but the overall message was that she enjoyed it. I don’t think it was a standout breakfast tea, but it was good for this morning. I’m not sure if I would reorder just because I have so many other breakfast teas and this one wasn’t really all that special in any way, but I will enjoy the rest of what I have left!

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Decent four seasons. It’s working for me today because I’m home sick with an incredibly sore throat and just feeling miserable in general.

TeaBrat

feel better soon!

Stephanie

Aww man, that super sucks :(

Starfevre

Pray to the God of Night Sweats to cure you of your ills.

Veronica

Hope you feel better soon!

Tealizzy

That sucks. Feel better soon!

Anlina

Hope you’re better soon! Take good care of yourself.

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I finally got around to trying this one. I had the sample of it, and then just went ahead and got it in my September box.

So I tried the sample of it.

It’s a good four seasons oolong. Not the best I’ve had, but not bad at all. I am enjoying it.

It goes well with Twix. I don’t know why, but it does.

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75

This assam is nice and bold with oaky, malty richness and a fruity flavor that is kinda tart and citrusy – like unripe plums or apricots. With a strong brisk dry finish at the end, this assam would be great with cream/sugar in the morning or afternoon tea.

I found this one a little too dry for me, but was overall pretty decent of an assam.

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

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85

September Simple Loose Leaf box!
I love how delicate this tea is – the colour is light, the flavor is gentle amounts of tender sweet artichokes and baby spinach. The sweetness is like a drop of honey in my tea cup. A nice green tea for someone how wants a subtle, peaceful tea to enjoy on its own.

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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78

Brewed grandpa-style in a glass tumblr.

The dry leaf consists of short, twisty dark green leaves interspersed with a few jasmine flowers and little tan stalks (reminds me of kukicha), and smells lightly of jasmine. In the tea itself, the jasmine takes over the base tea and tastes much stronger. It feels a little heavy. Leaves a nice aftertaste, though my mouth feels a little dry. Still, this is a nice jasmine green tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86

For a while, the various white teas in the boxes have been Shou Mei based blends, so it is really fun to taste the tea on its own, I do love a good Shou Mei, there is something so endearing about the large, fluffy, sun dried leaves from Fujian. The aroma is a blend of a dried leaf pile with a touch of muscatel, earthiness, and a hint of spiciness at the finish. Once the leaf pile has been steeped, it still has notes of dried leaves, some muscatel notes, a bit of sourness and earthiness at the finish. The liquid is like sweet wine and honey with a nice leafy finish at the end, I love Shou Mei, the aroma always reminds me of the end of summer when the plants are being harvested and the leaves are just beginning to turn.

And the taste also reminds me of the end of summer, the golden color of the tea reminds of the golden color of sunlight in the late afternoon, I can practically hear the cicadas while sipping….wait, no, the cicadas are just deafening this year and that is all I can hear. All silliness aside, this tea was nummy, very sweet notes of raw honey mixed with fresh grapes and a touch of earthiness and kale at the finish. The second steep is just a little bit sweeter at the start and a nice bit earthier at the finish, bringing that leaf pile aroma from the aroma to the taste.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/09/simple-loose-leaf-september_9.html

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