Stratford Tea Leaves

Recent Tasting Notes

100

Mild and pleasant taste

Flavors: Vegetal

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I pined for the “tea of the month”-type deal from Stratford Tea Leaves for months and dropped enough clear hints that the boyfriend was lovely enough to buy it for me for my birthday. I had to wait another month before it finally arrived (ugh postal strike!), but here it is!

I waited till I had time to enjoy the first two teas to get down to it, and I’m starting with this one.

The dry leaf smelled delightfully buttery and sweet. The first infusion was really strikingly bright-green from the clearly fresh matcha. It was rich and a little bitter (I think my water was too hot). The second and third infusions are a light, sweet, slightly astringent sencha.

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89

TONS of cinnamon this stuff is amazing. The orange definitely comes through tea. Is EXTREMELY naturally sweet. All of us loved this tea. The owner was at the Toronto Tea Festival and was very friendly.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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94

This dry tea smells incredible. It’s sweet and very spicy, just like cinnamon hearts!

The tea steeps to a lovely deep orange, and smells just as strong as it did in the bag. Upon first sip, I think “Valentine’s Day. This is a Valentine’s Day tea”. The sweetness hits your tongue first, and I find it very hard to believe that this tea doesn’t have sugar in it. This is easily the sweetest tea I have ever laid my lips on. The spiciness of the cinnamon tickles my tongue and lingers in the back of my mouth for a long time. It is incredibly similar to eating cinnamon hearts, down to every last detail. My friend and I actually joked that this must just be ground-up cinnamon hearts.

This is such a flavourful, powerful tea and I think the natural sweetness from the Rooibos base is perfect. I’m not going to add sugar to this as there’s no need!

This tea is easily my new favourite. It beats all the others by a long shot. It’s very powerful, very bold, beautifully sweet and tastes exactly like cinnamon hearts. Did someone say Valentine’s Day?

yappychappy

I LOVE this stuff. The owner of this place is awesome

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81

Despite being totally jaded by my poor experience with Tea Leaves’ tea of the month subscription, the tea is piling up so I need to dig in. It’s now been a year since we ordered it and only 7 of the packages have arrived (and two of those were within the past two weeks!), at seemingly random intervals.

The teas are still lovely, though. I haven’t had a lot of experience with straight, unblended Keemun but I’m enjoying this as my first cup of the day. It’s sweet, and a little woodsy and smoky. I’m also getting some spicy, peppery notes from it which I’m not particularly in the mood for lately but it’s not so overbearing to be unpleasant.

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84

A lovely Assam! It brewed up dark and bold-looking but is remarkably smooth. Smooth enough that I haven’t added milk as is customary in my morning tea. Malty, astringent, a little woodsy, and a little sweet. I find this one has a lot less of the pepperiness I usually associate with Assams. Depending on my mood I can take or leave that kind of spiciness, so this is a nice surprise. I have another Mangalam Assam (though haven’t had it in a while), but this one seems smoother. Actually I just checked my tasting note for the other and see I commented on it being peppery. Interesting! I don’t know when/what harvest either is from.

There are lots of golden tips in the leaf. Also, it is quite dusty. Why are Assams typically so dusty?

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89

I had several delicious infusions of this last night while avoiding studying. Now I’m logging it to put off studying a little more. I used shorter steeps this time, and a really surprising and delightful degree of sweetness came out.

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89

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89

This is the first houjicha I’ve been able to say emphatically that I like. I am always intrigued by the roastiness but sometimes put off a little by how intense it is. This kukicha is very roasty, toasty, and earthy without tasting like dirt. It had a nice sweetness and mildness, even after a three-minute preliminary steep as suggested. I’ve decided what this tastes like is when you’re eating a walnut and some of the inner shell lining is still stuck to it. You know? It’s nutty and with a touch of that woody nut shell taste, but sweeter. I got a second infusion before spilling the leaves all over the sink, and it was much milder and even sweeter. I’ll have to try the Den’s version of this some time.

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88

This was pretty pricey so I have precious little of it.

It’s wonderful. So very light and fresh and green-tasting. Floral, but not as much as I expected when buying it. Very clean and refreshing.

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100

This. This is the best tea I have ever tasted. It always takes me back to being fascinated that the leaves of a bush can do such wonderful and varied things to the tastebuds (this isn’t even scented!).

This is just divine and I would live off it if I could.

QuiltGuppy

This sounds wonderful, but I checked their website and didn’t find any info on it. Do you know if they sell it online?

Jessie

You can order online, but as you noticed the site doesn’t have her selection. I was there in the winter and it sounded like since she sources and blends her teas as she goes along things change often and the site isn’t really kept updated (but she had a huge selection!). You could e-mail Karen Hartwick (I know I found an email address once but can’t now; you could use http://stratfordtealeaves.com/contact.php or call 1-800-733-0376) and ask about ordering.

QuiltGuppy

I’ll try that, thanks!

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100

This is obscenely good.

Every single sip is exciting. It’s very sweet and I want to say delicate, but it’s so flavourful that doesn’t seem right. It smells beautifully floral dry and after steeping, and in the taste a more fruity sweetness comes through. There is an amazing sweet after-taste and a really nice crisp, green feel to it. In any case, this is very multi-faceted and feels like an indulgence with every infusion.

QuiltGuppy

Ooooh, that sounds so wonderful right now… I love floral oolongs!

Jessie

It’s incredible! I first tried it at a tasting and the vendor, Karen Hartwick, is amazing. She sources all her teas herself, and the ones I’ve tried have been divine. Her site doesn’t really provide her selection but if you ever feel like indulging in an order I’d highly recommend getting in contact with her and trying some of this stuff!

Indigobloom

If I ever pass by Niagara… I am so there :)
-Magnolia is my favourite flower, I HAVE to try this tea one day

Jessie

This isn’t scented, but it’s crazy potent naturally. I can’t believe a tea leaf can come out tasting like this by being tossed around in a basket.

Indigobloom

Oh dear…. I’m in trouble now haha. I promised everyone who knows of my tea fanaticism that I’d cut down on buying and finish what I have first though *sighs

Jessie

I’ve made that promise to myself more times than I can count. I don’t think it’s possible.

Indigobloom

ha, finally someone who understands!!! I’ve taken to buying cups of new tea from the shop, that way there is no evidence…

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100

This was a tea featured in the tea and honey tasting I attended at Tea Leaves. It paired quite nicely with the amber cantaloupe honey in particular. The fruity notes of the honey worked really nicely with it.

I liked this oolong well enough to pick up a small tin, and I had three nice infusions of it last night. It’s light and delicately floral, but also has a touch of fruitiness on some sips. I got a bit of a nectar-sweetness especially on the second steep. The floral notes are really incredible, especially after listening to a description of how the tea’s processing leads to the flavour. It’s really mellow and avoids any perfumey quality.

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