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Simpson & Vail

Recent Tasting Notes

86

Additional notes: Sipdown! I was hesitant to drink the last of this, because I loved how ghostly it was last time: tobacco, roses, maltiness, cherries. This is still very nice, but I think some of the flavors are gone. To be fair, I probably steeped it at boiling last time, rather than waiting ten minutes and steeping for three minutes. I wanted to sipdown at least one tea before organizing my tea collection today. Should be fun!

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72

Made a cup of this last night. While I do like it, and will probably re-order it at some point only because I like the idea of a detoxifying herbal tea, it’s just okay. It’s sweet, creamy and smooth, it’s just… missing something for me. I guess I’m really loving my blacks of late, and the depth they provide.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Root Beer by Simpson & Vail
579 tasting notes

I couldn’t decide what to have and my S&V teas have been neglected lately, so I chose this one. The scent is so root beer-like it’s amazing. The taste less so, but still I really enjoy this one.

My next exam is 9am tomorrow, so it will be a full night of studying. But each exam down, is one step closer to Vancouver!

MissLena

Good luck on all your tests! They will be over in no time :)

scribbles

Good luck!

CHAroma

Good luck!

VariaTEA

You can do it!!!

OMGsrsly

Woohoo! (Umm. For finishing exams and Vancouver, obviously… :) )

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94

Another surprise in the tea swap from Marcel Duchamp! Thank you so much! This tastes basically exactly how I was thinking it would, so I obviously I love it.

Steep #1 // 10 mins after boiling (accidentally waited that long) // 3-4 min
The black tea base suits this perfectly – it’s mild enough, yet it pairs well with the flavors. First, there is an odd flavor from the strawberry leaves, but that is thankfully only at the top of the cup. There is definitely something here that makes this taste like CUPCAKE. A bit of strawberry and I thiiinnk a hint of chocolate. There should really be some more strawberry, but it might take away from the cupcake flavor. I love it – it’s perfect because I was craving a tea that was cakey today.

Steep #2 // just boiled // 4-5 min
This cup was also nice, but a little light on the flavor which was surprising since I accidentally waited 10 mins for the first steep. I love this though!

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Since this arrived in my package from MissB I have been dreaming about it. The big success of almond in with the leaves and the thought of drinking almond sugar cookies….mmmmmm…… so I made this as my late morning brew. It is quite tasty, very almondy. It’s not quite as cookie as I would have liked, but it’s in the background. Maybe a touch of milk would bring that out more.

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82

Sorry for the absence, Steepster, I haven’t had much time between work and my social life lately. Also, I’ve been blending my own chai and drinking that most mornings, so I haven’t had much to write about.

Anyway, I got this in a trade with JustJames a while back. It’s a pretty tea. Short, dark leaves with flakes of pale strawberry leaf and pink strawberry pieces. The aroma is just gorgeous. Tempting chocolate cake scent mixed with a hint of sweet-tart fruit. It really does smell like a cupcake.

Steeped, it starts to get a less-than-realistic, Tootsie Roll sort of smell. It looks lovely in the glass pot, however. Beautiful ambery red. From the aroma, I expected chocolate to be the most prominent flavor, but actually, it’s the strawberry! It reminds me of strawberry preserves, not strawberry candy, which is nice. Also, I can actually taste the black tea base. It’s mild and Assam-like with just a touch of astringency, but no bitterness. The chocolate is most noticable at the end, but I still feel like I’m smelling it more than I’m tasting it.

While chocolate teas aren’t really my thing, this one would be nice to revisit every once in a while.

Flavors: Berries, Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Creme Brulee by Simpson & Vail
54 tasting notes

This was a first for me. The first time I dumped a cup of tea without drinking it.

There is probably nothing wrong with the tea, except that it has a coconut tone and I can’t stand coconut. If I am ever abandoned on a tropical island I am in big trouble.

And um ok, isn’t classic creme brûlée just vanilla? Why is there coconut here? I didn’t expect it at all.

So I opened the envelope. Slight coconut smell. Uh oh. Well, let me brew it. Smelled it when steeping too. Maybe it won’t be there when I taste it. First sip: I just drank suntan lotion! I am that hyper sensitive to the flavor.

Personal taste thing. Sorry world! No rating since this is a me thing.

Cheri

OOh, that’s awful that there’s coconut in creme brulee. I don’t like coconut that much either.

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drank English Toffee by Simpson & Vail
1165 tasting notes

Sip. Down.

Not a favourite. The flavour just isn’t quite there. Still, I got through the 2 oz I bought through MissB’s group order. :)

A toffee tea would be nice to have around (I’m starting to identify flavour groupings I really enjoy, and am hoping to narrow it down to under 100 teas… O.o ), but this isn’t it. Too bad, as by the scent it had a lot of promise.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
whatshesaid

Agreed on this one. Meh.

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66
drank Green Almond by Simpson & Vail
2169 tasting notes

I thought I’d try cold brewing this one. I’ve had the tea for a few months and I don’t seem to be drinking it much because I’m not really crazy about it. The green tea is definitely nice coldbrewed and I was hoping that would bring out some more of the almond notes and even though it smells almondy, it tastes mostly like artificial flavoring and bitterness. I do like flavored teas but not when they taste like chemicals. I have this issue with several of David’s tea blends too.

Anyway I hope I will finish this off someday but that might be a challenge when I have so many better green teas in my stash and it looks like I have about 2 oz. of it. Le sigh. At least I know that I prefer this one hot.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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76
drank Hazelnut by Simpson & Vail
66 tasting notes

I don’t have a lot of experience with hazelnuts, except in Nutella (which isn’t exactly a wholesome way of eating hazelnuts)!

I liked this tea. I like the hazelnut taste, which is different than other nuts. The black tea base was pretty mellow, and the hazelnut taste comes through well.

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

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92

Really does taste like a sugar cookie, surprisingly. It’s got the almond/sugar/pastry thing bang on, although again the base is a bit drying for me and pops out occasionally to hit me in the mouth. I am enjoying it however… a keeper.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Suziqzer

Might be one to add to my list for when I order from them :).

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73
drank Creme Brulee by Simpson & Vail
940 tasting notes

I WANT to love this, and yet.. it leaves me wondering what it really is. I get some coconut, a strong black base, and something sweet.. but the base is overpowering. I want more flavor like a crème brulée, and less black tea punch-in-the-face.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Suziqzer

This was on my list to try from them, but maybe I’ll mark this one off for now… If I want dessert tea, I don’t want to have to hunt for the flavor.

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54

I am doing this.

Decided to try and sip down a bunch of samples sent to me pre-baby as they’ve been sitting in my house for over a year.

This one first, as I had enough left for one cup, sent to me from Kitenna ages ago!

I didn’t enjoy this when I originally tried it, I found it disappointing.

Not much has changed, really. I still find it weak, flavorless, not at ALL full bodied.
The flavour is a mere suggestion of cinnamon and chocolate, not subtle in a good way. This is one watery-ass cuppa tea.

I dunno if that’s considered good fancy tea reviewer lingo, but I went there. It barely even smells like it should.

It’s making my teeth hurt and my tongue feel fuzzy.

After a few sips I decided to add some 10% cream. Not because I usually do that, but because the milk hasn’t been opened yet and I was too lazy to pull open the plastic thingy. Even delicious cream couldn’t bring out any flavours in this guy.

I’d call this nothing more than an “ok” cup of tea. And I will allow for the fact that I’ve had these remnants for a long time….but remember I didn’t care for it when it was fresh anyway. One down, millions to go!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cavocorax

“One watery-ass cuppa tea” works for me. :D Gets the point across just fine, but with a bit of personality.

whatshesaid

Oh good :)

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92

Wow, it sure does take a while to get through a pound of tea, especially one that’s so light and fluffy… just sayin’.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
JustJames

yup! i still have some from our black friday buy that look like i haven’t touched them, lol.

Kaylee

You bought a pound of this? I mean, it’s good, but a pound?

MissB

Ha! I know right? I was told it was limited edition, so I wanted enough for the year for me and my kidlets. It was surprisingly inexpensive.

JustJames

fruits d’alsace…. it doesn’t matter how much i drink. the amount stays the same!!!! i like it but come on!

Suziqzer

I imagine that a pound of this one would last forever!

Suziqzer

Just so light and fluffy

MissB

Oh, don’t get me started about Paris and Fruits d’Alsace. I only tried Paris today!

Suziqzer

I need a bottomless tea tin too! Lol… Sounds like fun.

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76

Trying this as a cold brew because I figured the apples would be cool beans in a cool environment and the dictatorial base may take a backseat. It’s much better this way, I think. I get more of the apple and spices this way.

As I was taking the first sip, the smell of the base had me worried but it all worked out in the end, folks.

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93

Wow… what a long, crazy day! Snow, cold, too much paperwork, stress, kid who doesn’t want to do homework … UrgH!, making 2 food dishes to take to said kid’s Cub Scout meeting, Cub Scout meeting … along with Pinewood Derby (small wooden car race)… which my kiddo won, again! He won last year too. In a few weeks they will go to district and see how he does with a larger group of cars. Then home to get kiddo who is worked up and excited off to bed, more paperwork -put in an offer on a house.

Sigh… time for some tea!

This one is familiar and yummy…I needed something sweet and comforting tonight… I’ve especially grown to like that this is a rooibos, but has no woodsy flavor, caffeine free late night dessert like treat! This is soon to be a sad sipdown, only to mean I will finally be forced to place an order w/Simpson & Vail. I keep hoping they will do some random free shipping offer but I will likely meet the free shipping minimum w/little effort as I have several there I’d like to get more of and some I’d like to try anyway.

Thanks again MissB for such a generous sample of this one… I surely have enjoyed it, and enjoyed sharing it.

Flavors: Coconut

SimpliciTEA

I have great memories of a least one Pinewood Derby when I was a Cub Scout! Ah, youth …

Suziqzer

Yes, it is so much fun to watch all the kids get so excited about it.

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79

I over-steeped this the first time so this is round 2! This tastes so much better with a little cream added as it really helps bring out the richness of the caramel. This is what I would consider to be a “light” dessert tea because the caramel and chocolate flavors are there but subtle.

Thank you Courtney for introducing me to Simpson & Vail! I love me some dessert teas. ;-D

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
NayLynn

I would have thought the flavor would be stronger based on how strong the dry leaf smell is. I’m using mine as potpourri. jk :P

EvaGrimm

Hahaha! Well, you know how much I like teas with robust (taste bud smack-down) flavors. :D

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57

Today I wanted a sipdown. So I decided to have one. Bye bye, Violet Rose Tea.
This kills the Simpson and Vail teas I got back on Black Friday. They were cheap, which is by far the best thing.
Nothing was undrinkable, but I just wasnt impressed, so I dont think I’ll be ordering again.

Fjellrev

I’ve arrived at the same conclusion. :/

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79
drank Chocolate Mint by Simpson & Vail
757 tasting notes

Sip down. I enjoyed the last of this as a cold brew. Refreshing mint, and the classic S & V chocolate note smoothed out here and didn’t taste as generic as it does hot.

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Good this morning, but slightly over steeped. It was a bit dry, even though the flavour was there.

The heat was off in my building again this morning, so I am dressed ridiculously in a 2-sizes-too-big jacket that is pinned smaller. Because it will probably rain and my down shouldn’t get wet. Brrrr. (This is gonna make my next tea seem weird.)

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57

I didnt want anything overly nice this morning. Do you ever have those mornings, when really, its just an unexceptional cup of tea that you want? They’re rare, but its a good time to drink something you are only meh on.
I will say that this is better than a lot of the teas that I got from S&V, but I still find it underwhelming.
Well, it was an interesting tea experiement, I suppose.

keychange

I have absolutely 100% had mornings when I just want a cup of meh tea. It’s funny how that happens.

TheTeaFairy

Ditto, I also have a meh tea tin section on my cabinet that I need to go to every now and then. Tea that requires no fuss, that doesn’t require any effort on my part and offers no surprises!

Sami Kelsh

Yep, I totally have meh tea days. I don’t know why, but it’s true.

gmathis

No-brainer, no-fuss teas are essential at my house.

Rosehips

Whew! I am glad to hear I am not alone.

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86

Thank you, MissB for sharing some of this treasure with me (227). It really is liquid candy cane.
It really is delcious. It really is the perfect cup before bed…

MissB

Agreed! I bought a pound of it I love it so, and am more than willing to share more if you ever want another fix.

Cavocorax

Wow – that IS love, although I bet this one gets added points for being kid-friendly. :D And thanks, I’ll let you know. I’m always open for future swaps if something catches your eye.

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66

Gave this one a go today, given the weather. Sadly, it has not wowed me. I find the base a little strong, and the spices a little generic. Nothing about this tea really makes me think of gingerbread, but it might have just been an off brew, so we’ll see how the last of the sample goes. This is ok, but not great.

Thanks, OMGsrsly for sending this. Maybe the last bit will be better.

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