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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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.
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/
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.
Funny, last time I reviewed this, around Christmas, I mentioned that Bob was on my lap sniffing it. Today, too. It must be a magic ingredient other than catnip that appeals to those of the feline purr-suasion.
My other conclusions haven’t changed much over the months, either; it is a decent green tea with cherry flavor that’s more soda-fountain than off-the-tree. Could pass for dessert with a little sweetener.
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.
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/
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/
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/08/11/tropical-sunshine-herbal-blend-from-simple-loose-leaf/
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/
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.
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.
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/
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/
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.
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: