t Leaf T

Recent Tasting Notes

65

A strawberry flavoured rooibos tea. Nothing spectacular, very drinkable, but I’m after that wow factor. It’s far more palatable than their “Strawberries and Cream” black flavoured tea though. Second steep – the strawberry flavour is more or less gone. I’d drink this if it was the only tea available but unsure if I’d buy more. Still, this tea is a hundred times better than Twinings strawberry fruit tea/tisane. Not that you can compare them but if I ever had to recommend a strawberry flavoured “tea” this would have to be it.

Edited to add: I find I keep coming back to this one (although now only have a teaspoonful of the sample left). I guess that means it’s got some comfort factor for me after all. Have increased my rating accordingly.

Flavors: Strawberry

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96
drank Coconut Rough by t Leaf T
58 tasting notes

Wow. Impressive. This tea is divine with cocoa kernels, coconut chips, and carob pieces mingled in a red rooibos base. It’s scent is reminiscent of some kind of chocolate liqueur, very decadent. The taste is hard to describe, it is exotic and not just watery chocolate – it is something far more complex. I even fished out some of the cocoa kernels and coconut to chew on, after the tea had steeped. This may well be my next large size purchase, as I want more!

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35
drank Mmm... Caramel by t Leaf T
58 tasting notes

Very underwhelming. Barely a hint of any caramel. Had this on the same day as the Creme brûlée so I could compare the two. The latter wins by a mile. Steeping for longer only made the tea stronger, didn’t increase the caramel. There is some extra ingredient in the Creme Brûlée that’s not in the Mmm Caramel flavoured tea.

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4

This tea didn’t do it for me. Could detect an unpleasant scent of soured milk, with every sip. Had to check if maybe the milk I used was off but that wasn’t it. Must be the cream part of its namesake. Not nice. Re-steeped an hour later and didn’t add milk. No strawberry and cream flavour detected at all, just tasted like a weak black tea. Thankfully I have my awesome Tea Total Wild Cherry which beats this by a million miles.

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10
drank Lapsang Souchong by t Leaf T
58 tasting notes

Interesting…. At first. Notes I detect are pine, smokey ness, wood, campfire, ash. Exotic and unique, I’d wanted something unusual and I got it in this tea. I just can’t think of any occasion I’d drink this for, other than maybe with eating smoked salmon or other smoked fish. I think it would complement it. What I didn’t know is that I went straight for the smokiest tea, maybe should’ve gone for Russian Caravan first as a more gentle introduction. Life and tea are an adventure so I’m glad I tried this anyway. I had a second cup (re-steeped) with honey, and finished it. Maybe it’s an acquired taste.

Edited to add:
Unfortunately I spent the next 3 hours feeling nauseous from the lingering “ash/smokey-ness” on my palate. So out it goes.

Flavors: Ash, Pine, Smoked, Wood

Kittenna

I find lapsangs can be rather harsh on their own – I prefer them sweetened with maple syrup, and with some milk (cream, whatever) added. Otherwise yes, waaayyyyy too smoky IMO!

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36
drank Silver Needle by t Leaf T
58 tasting notes

I’m sorry but this tea for me doesn’t taste like anything at all?! Barely if any scent or flavour. Maybe I didn’t use enough leaves? 2 teaspoons for a large mug, 7 mins total steeping time, 70-80 degreesCelsius. I will have to add another teaspoon and re-steep. I’m not a strong tea fan by any means but this is going in the other direction, too delicate barely there. Should I try a flavoured white next time, or just give up. Light golden hue when brewed but where is the flavour. I’m confused.

Lion

I find that less is more with white teas. Whether I’m doing them gongfu style in a gaiwan or just in a big mug I never brew them for more than a minute to a minute and a half. If brewed lightly they offer a lot of sweet notes and interesting nuances, but I find that brewing them any longer than that it becomes this muddled brew that honestly tastes kind of like bland… almost like paper something. You might try that. Use more leaf and less time. For a large mug, I’d say use a tablespoon of silver needles. You can re-infuse them many times by just adding 30 seconds or so.

Lion

It is also very possible that they just aren’t good quality silver needles. I’ve had some that even when brewed properly were just really bland. Good luck!

CherryJam

Yeah maybe they weren’t good quality. I added more to the steeped leaves and (before I read your reply) steeped 6 mins. There was a hint more taste I think. I will try using what I have left, combine it all then steep 30-60sec see if that makes any difference.

CherryJam

Also I’m wondering whether this tea is best after a good meal (when your taste buds are satisfied) to round off a meal. Rather than relying on the tea to “fill a gap” when actually you are hungry. Different teas for different occasions.

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72
drank Creme Brulee by t Leaf T
58 tasting notes

Nice but not outstanding. Just finished off the last of this sample. I’m also getting notes of very weak coffee in there, burnt caramel from the creme brûlée flavouring. I really want to try their “mmm caramel” flavoured tea now and compare. I love dessert teas but will keep on searching for the wow factor.

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72
drank Creme Brulee by t Leaf T
58 tasting notes

Yummy dessert tea! You definitely want to add milk and sugar to bring out the caramel flavour. Notes of vanilla, caramel, nutty, creamy, sweet (but not too sweet). The taste and scent subtly lingers even after your cup is empty. Make sure you use enough tea and don’t skimp on anything, to get the full creme brûlée taste.

Flavors: Caramel, Creamy, Nutty, Sweet, Vanilla

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66
drank Kawakawa Fire by t Leaf T
58 tasting notes

I tried this in a tea shop. Definitely lives up to its name – it has a distinct peppery taste. Under different circumstances I might like to try more of this. However I’m trying to lose a few pounds (and drinking lots of tea to hydrate) so a peppery heat is probably not what I’m after. Did some research, amongst other things the herb in this tea is an appetite stimulant. But I like peppery/chilli heat (in food at least) so I may revisit this tea at some stage in future.

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86
drank Love Liquorice by t Leaf T
58 tasting notes

After my initial tasting note, I now have a new way of preparing this to give a more intense licorice hit. I include 1 teabag of Red Seal Black Adder licorice tea. Voila, problem solved. Delicously sweet, with vitually no calories. Awesome when you are watching your weight and craving something sweet!

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86
drank Love Liquorice by t Leaf T
58 tasting notes

The dry tea smelled nice in the shop, and I love licorice tea. Scent of anise and licorice root got my hopes up high. But I was expecting a more intense licorice taste, so there was that initial disappointment. My supermarket licorice herbal tea bags have more flavour than this. However this is a flavoured black tea, not a herbal tea. In hindsight I should have bought Licorice Star (from the same company) instead, which is herbal. Bought a 100g bag so will try it again stronger. It’s nice to sip away at while I work from home, not when I’m after a strong sweet licorice hit.

Flavors: Anise, Licorice

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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72

Woody aroma but with hints of flowers. Very smooth and creamy in the mouth. Prefer more of a malty hit to my teas but this one is an excellent darjeeling.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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35

Have to mostly agree with Miss Sweets review, which is sad because I really wanted to like this tea. Looked and smelled very nice in the packet but that is about it, pretty much ended up tasting like flower water, with very little tea or bergamot flavour.

Photo: https://flic.kr/p/ojxiYy

Flavors: Flowers

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 11 OZ / 330 ML

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I just finished steep two of this tea, after 2.5 hours of vacuuming in this disgusting heat and humidity (I love the beast, but man, can he shed!). I debated whether I actually wanted hot tea after vacuuming and sweating (and, yes – some cursing), but decided to go for it anyway.

The dry leaf is interesting. LooseTman already said it…short dark twisted leaves, and some tiny dark pebble-like leaves. I’ve never heard of manuka, and since looseTman already provided links in his post, I now know what it is, and I guess that’s what those green leaves in the blend were.

The manuka provided a light aromatic essence of pine in dry leaf form, which I don’t recall getting in my brewed cup in the first steep. But I added a bit of creamer to the first cup, so that was probably why I didn’t get the pine essence. I don’t usually add creamer, but I think my time contraints this morning made me add it, so that I could sip it quickly and do my chores and errands.

I found the pine notes were more prominent in steep 2 – no creamer additives this time. The second steep was malty delicousness. The manuka leaves added an interesting note, with what I might otherwise find to be just another malty assam.

I appreciate the sample looseTman…this was different in a good way! I have enough leaves for a few more cups, and will be very sad when this is gone. Tasty indeed.

looseTman

“Tasty indeed.” +1 I’m glad you enjoyed it!

scribbles

The addition of manuka leaves added a different and welcome dimension.

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10
drank Chai by t Leaf T
11 tasting notes

UGH! Probably one the worst things I’ve stuck in my mouth in a while. I’ve tried Chai syrup flavoured drinks before (Chai Latte etc) and always really enjoyed them, so was quite excited to try Chai Tea. It smelled amazing in the packet and while brewing with cinnamon probably being the strongest smell.

When I drunk it, everything was overwhelmingly strong, mostly cinnamon and an aniseed taste as well and quite peppery. Maybe I made this wrong, brewed too long or put too much in? Have enough left to give it another try, but at this stage I won’t be getting it again.

Photo: https://flic.kr/p/o3feLE

Flavors: Cinnamon, Pepper

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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70
drank English Breakfast by t Leaf T
11 tasting notes

Simple, but good is how I would summarize this tea. Not a lot of malt flavour, and not really a lot else to say about it. Picture here: https://flic.kr/p/o3gdfF

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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75

Quite enjoyed this Tea, had a decently strong malt flavour as other have indicated, got a hint of pine but didn’t really notice the manuka flavour. The tea also looks amazing straight out of the packet. Photo here: https://flic.kr/p/oms4gz

Flavors: Malt, Pine

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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95

Great Earl Grey, would have preferred a slightly stronger Bergamot flavor but maybe that’s just me.

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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35
drank Creme Brulee by t Leaf T
11 tasting notes

First review so here goes…. Both me and my partner tried this tea, first with just water and then with milk. Neither of us was impressed, although it did taste better once milk was added.

There wasn’t a lot of flavour at all and left a funny taste in my mouth

Flavors: Caramel, Yogurt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML
Riley-NZL

Link to closeup of the tea with flavorings: https://flic.kr/p/nXxuuL (won’t let me add pictures to the Tea page)

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70
drank Rose Petals by t Leaf T
387 tasting notes

Lovely looking tea when dry. Scent is fruity and somewhat rose-like. Brews a lovely pink. Taste… not so exciting. I’m going to adding it to some other teas and see what I can get.

Flavors: Rose

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

Too bad it doesn’t taste as pretty as it looks.

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“What’s in your cup?”
This morning, courtesy of John & Amanda of t leaf T, I brewed New Zealand Breakfast Western style: 8 oz / 1 tsp (2.5g) / 212*F / 2-5 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Introduction: My wife loves Earl Grey and t leaf T has a large selection of it: https://www.tleaft.co.nz/catalogsearch/result/?q=earl+grey. When I requested samples, this Assam caught my eye. Who doesn’t love a good malty Assam for breakfast? Where else, could I possibly find a true NZ Breakfast tea?

From t leaf T:
“Natural New Zealand Manuka blends perfectly with strong assam tea to make a special blend ideal for the morning and afternoon.”
http://www.tleaft.co.nz/black-tea-blends-1/new-zealand-breakfast-black-tea.html

For those of us from the “up above” (as opposed to the “down under”) you might be asking yourself: ”So what the hell is Manuka?”

1. Images & description: http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/table-1/manuka.html

2. It turns out that NZ Manuka flowers appear to be very popular for making honey: http://nzmanukadirect.com/

3. Manuka is also known as the Tea Tree:
“The English common name is derived from the fact that early white settlers did occasionally make infusions of tea from the leaves, which are aromatic.”
http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/manuka-tea-tree

4. “The leaves contain Leptospermone, an antibiotic agent.”… “The oil extracted contains 120 elements and can be utilised medicinally.” … “This research has validated the claims made for this product with the Therapeutics Section of the New Zealand Ministry of Health.” http://www.purangi.co.nz/estate/tea/manuka.html

5. Manuka is also popular in NZ travel, tourism, & hunting vacations:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g311324-d1440422-Reviews-Manuka_Lodge-Ohakune_North_Island.html
Great Barrier Island: http://www.manukalodge.co.nz/
New Zealand Hunting Safaris: http://www.manukapoint.com/new%20site/Home

And I’ve probably just scratched the surface! Who knew!

Leaf: Two kinds of Assam, 1.) twisted, short, dark chocolate brown, 2.) dark chocolate brown CTC granules, plus light green Manuka leaves
Fragrance: Moderately strong aromatic evergreen / pine
Liquor: Clear amber brown
Aroma: Moderately strong evergreen / pine
Flavor: Malty, aromatic evergreen / pine

2-min.: Medium-bodied, I then let it steep an additional min.

3-min.: Not quite, another min.

4-min.: A rich, smooth, full-bodied, malty Assam with the added flavor of aromatic Manuka, which is felt in the back of the palate in the 2nd half of the sip. There was no hint of bitterness or astringency.

Re-Steeping:
5-min: Not yet.
8-min: Medium bodied & enjoyable. The Manuka flavor is now less pronounced & is now mildly aromatic.

Impression: A truly unique and enjoyable breakfast Assam, especially those looking for a “down under” adventure.

Thanks to John & Amanda of t leaf T for their gracious sample of this very fine New Zealand Breakfast Assam.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teas/davidstea/36677-thermometer-and-timer

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

Very interresting!

Terri HarpLady

Back when I ran a food coop, we got Manuka Honey a time or 2. I’ve used tea tree oil over the years for various purposes, but I’ve never considered the idea of putting anything like that in my tea. I wonder if they really drink it that way in NZ, or if it’s just a novel sale ploy?
:)

Terri HarpLady

(sorry, always the cynic)

looseTman

TheTeaFairy – Thanks!

Terri HarpLady – Perhaps Miss Sweet may know as she’s from NZ.
http://steepster.com/teas/t-leaf-t/3534-new-zealand-breakfast
http://steepster.com/amber

yyz

Interesting they must have had to carefully balance it. I could see tea tree becoming overpowering really quickly.

Miss Starfish

I stumbled across this note, but I can answer since I’m a Kiwi. Manuka honey, tastes absolutely nothing like tea tree oil. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s definitely honey and therefore sweet. Some people (myself included) do add it to their tea. Adding other honeys (like NZ Bush Honey) is more common however. Manuka does have a strong taste if you buy one with a high propolis rating, so it can dominate whatever flavour your tea was. Goes well with English breakfast etc and milk. I see more Kiwi’s spreading it on toast than adding it to their tea however.

looseTman

Miss Starfish, Thanks for the info from a genuine Kiwi’s perspective!

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“What’s in your cup?”
This morning, courtesy of t leaf T, I brewed Makaibari Organic ftgfop1s, a second flush Darjeeling, Western style: 1 tsp (2.3g) / 6 oz / 212*F / 3 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.

Leaf: short, moderately-wide, twisted, chocolate brown and green
Fragrance: Notes fine pipe tobacco
Liquor: Clear honey copper or light amber
Aroma: Hay, vegetal
Flavor: Vegetal

3-min.: When first steeped, there was a strong vegetal flavor. As the cup cools, it smoothed out nicely. About mid-cup, it then magically transforms into a rich buttery full-mouth feel with a strong vegetal finish that lasts long on the tongue. Towards the end of the cup there was a note of saltiness that also persists long on the palate.

Impression: A unique tasting experience better suited for afternoon tea.

Thanks to t leaf T for their gracious sample of this Darjeeling tea.

Method:
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
http://steepster.com/teaware/teavana/39311-perfect-tea-spoon
http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/37731-my-weigh-durascale-d2-660-digital-scale
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.
http://steepster.com/teas/davidstea/36677-thermometer-and-timer

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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67

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec

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