Simpson & Vail

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Recent Tasting Notes

77

Giving this the same rating I gave S&V’s violet tea because, well…it tastes the same. The violet overpowers the rose completely, and if there weren’t big pink rose petals in the dry mix, I’d think I was just drinking violet tea. I like violet, but I was hoping for something a little different, you know?

That said, it is visually a very pretty tea with all those rose petals. They just can’t compete with the strong violet flavor.

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drank Hazelnut by Simpson & Vail
862 tasting notes

This is ok but I like Adagio’s version better.

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I had this tea last night and was really hoping to love this tea. I love the name and was thinking there might be some cedar or tree stuff in here like Whispering Pines does with their herbal brews.

Alas, when I brewed it up the hibiscus was front row and centre for me. I could taste hibiscus, rooibos & fruit in that order. Strange that when I look at the dry leaf, I don’t see hibiscus but it’s definitely there. I love the natural sweetness & woody flavour of rooibos but it was barely there beneath the hibiscus. This tea is not for me but thanks Allan for the sample.

Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Rooibos

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

The fifth steeping was my final one, since the tea lost almost all flavor by this point. This was also evident in its nearly colorless liquor. I should note that each steeping time was increased by 15 seconds as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, although the fourth steeping still had much of the original flavor, I would not recommend going beyond the third steeping if one is to do justice to the original quality of this tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

The fourth steeping of this tea saw the loss of its initial smoothness, in addition to growing yet weaker in flavor.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Third steeping the tea grows weaker but continues to more or less maintain its flavor profile.

Flavors: Butterscotch, Cream, Honeydew

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

I did a second steeping and found this tea to remain quite rich still. Incidentally, I would not recommend pairing it with any greasy or heavy foods, as together it can be too much. Instead, light and cool desserts might pair best. I will attempt a third steeping and update.

Flavors: Butterscotch, Cream, Honeydew

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Recently, as my tea palate has improved, I have grown very fond of oolongs, which always seem to have an astounding complexity of flavor that arises purely from the leaves and their processing, rather than added flavors. This tea is no exception. It has a strong, sweet aroma. It is creamy at the back of the throat and finishes very sweet, like cream and honeydew.

I’d recommend this to anyone interested in oolongs or green tea (it’s a very green oolong). It is a light, yet flavorful, and comforting cup of tea. I will update on multiple infusions.

Flavors: Butterscotch, Cream, Honeydew

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78
drank Blue Moon Tea by Simpson & Vail
43 tasting notes

The first thing I notice is the berry/floral sweetness. Not really so much the pepper, but maybe that’s because the peppercorns are whole and not much of their flavor is coming through. I guess that’s what that little something is in the background though. Kind of smoky/musty/I don’t know.

It’s an interesting tea. I can’t tell right away what kind of berry it’s supposed to taste like other than that this is berry-flavored, but it’s definitely good.

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This is easily the first Simpson & Vail tea I’ve had that I like. It’s also the first one that tastes anything like it’s name to me.

The dominating note here is a strong almond flavor note. It’s definitely an almond extract type flavor, so if you’re not a fan of it I’d steer clear. The base is light, not entirely devoid of flavor, but mostly unremarkable. It is a smooth cup with no astringency, though and satisfying for what it is.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Root Beer by Simpson & Vail
336 tasting notes

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38

I don’t know if the pouch I got was old, but this didn’t really have any of the flavor I associate with Yunnan. None of that cocoa-ey or raisin-y flavor at all; it was very light and honestly a bit weak. Even when I opened the pouch, the leaves were scentless. Since tea normally smells like SOMETHING, I associate that with it going stale.

The second steep was even worse; lighter and weaker than the first. I have bagged, supermarked-purchased Yunnan that tastes more like it should than this does. Again, I don’t know if this batch was old, or S&V’s unflavored teas are just really weak.

Might give one of their other Yunnans a try, but certainly not this one again.

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86
drank Ginger Pear by Simpson & Vail
43 tasting notes

The more I drink this, the more I like it. It really is one of the nicer pear teas I’ve tried. While the pear flavor’s still strong on the second steep, the ginger actually manages to peek through a bit more. As in, I can actually taste it now, rather than just smelling it.

Bumping up my rating a bit, because it’s better than I initially thought it was.

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86
drank Ginger Pear by Simpson & Vail
43 tasting notes

It’s strange. I see the ginger pieces and I can smell them in the dry mix, but what do I get when I brew the tea? Pear. Only pear. I guess S&V’s pear flavoring is strong enough that it masks the ginger entirely.

Not that it’s a bad tea. Hell, I’ve had three cups today, so it’s safe to say that I enjoy it. It’s one of the more pleasant-tasting pear teas I’ve had, and I bet it’ll be good iced. Just…there’s no ginger. I might as well have purchased the plain pear tea instead. In fact, I’d suggest that you just do that if you’re trying to decide between the pear teas; just get the plain one. You won’t taste the difference.

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For my husband and I, this tea had less to do with Santa and more to do with some pretty fantastic memories we both have around chocolate malt milkshakes. And there’s something pretty fabulous about enjoying the flavor of such wonderful treats while managing to almost entirely skip out on the calories associated with them!

My full review and pictures can be found here:
http://wordsabouttea.blogspot.com/2015/02/st-nicks-tea-by-simpson-vail.html

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
TeaBrat

sounds yummy!

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85

This is a strong tea, it is malty. It is slightly sweet. This is one I had finished off a while ago and recently decided to repurchase. While it’s not quite as good as I remember it is tasty. It is an excellent morning tea. Simpson and Vail is among my favorite tea stores. Their prices are reasonable and their teas are generally excellent. This tea is excellent and a good value.

I brewed this once in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.

Flavors: Malt, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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drank Energy by Simpson & Vail
630 tasting notes

This is an interesting tea. I am admittedly not impressed by the taste. Its not bad, just not fantastic either. Its falls somewhere in between. We will see if their claims of it providing energy hold true. It tastes a bit like oranges and a bit like straw. It’s rather weird tasting.

I brewed this one time in an 18oz teapot with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 5 min.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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70
drank Scottish Blend by Simpson & Vail
1690 tasting notes

Thank you for this one a while back in your sale, Ost! It’s a decent black tea – reminds me a little of an assam. Bready, sweet. The second cup is like pastries. Not too much depth to the flavor though. I think I’ve been spoiled with awesome black teas lately. I wish I had more to say about this one.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 5 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5+min

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60

This was from a teabox a WHILE back… finally getting around to a couple of older teabox teas! This was stored in a thin baggie so the flavor won’t be the best. It’s a light green tea with hints of fruit flavor – I can’t really distinguish the fruits though. Might be a generic fruit flavoring, or the flavor just isn’t the freshest. Not bad but a little boring! It’s gone now…
Steep #1 // 20 min after boiling // 2-3 min steep

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