Tea Forte

Recent Tasting Notes

75

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71

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70
drank Ginger Lemongrass by Tea Forte
964 tasting notes

Thanks, Lala, for the TeaForte surprise! I don’t think this is as bad as the other reviewers do. I was initially wary of the lemongrass because while I love the scent and taste of it, when it comes to food, it instantly reminds me of thai food. So, whenever a tea tastes heavily of lemongrass, I feel like I’m drinking curry. But I didn’t get any lemongrass from this whatsoever, not even an iota, in either the flavour or scent.

What I do get, however, is mostly licorice root and ginger. As it cools, the ginger calms down and the spearmint comes out. I would have liked to have experienced more spearmint, otherwise, it’s an easy blend to drink. Doesn’t startle my tastebuds in any way at all.

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35
drank Crimson Nectar by Tea Forte
10 tasting notes

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80
drank White Ginger Pear by Tea Forte
1003 tasting notes

The two ounce tins of this were on sale for $3 at my Wegman’s last week. I like ginger and pear, and while white teas aren’t my favorite they are growing on me. Long story short, this came home with me, and tonight seemed like a good time for the two of us to get acquainted.

I’m pretty sure my eyes doubled in size when I took my first sip because it was all ginger. White hot, how-ya-doin’, ginger. After the spice settled into my throat the pear flavor sort of bloomed around it. The flavor was more poached pear rather than fresh and juicy, but it worked well with the ginger. I took another (tentative) sip. This time the ginger wasn’t so shocking, and I found that I liked the hit of ginger followed by the cooked pear note. As the tea cooled I could taste the base tea which was slightly floral and a tiny bit sweet. Nice.

I’m glad I picked this up. It’ll be something a little different to add to my cupboard.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Sweet Ginger Plum by Tea Forte
296 tasting notes

Le sigh. I was pretty sure I posted a review of this, as it was sent to me by TeaBrat. But the review is gone, and it is missing from my Cupboard on the site.

I just brewed the second (and last) packet.

I rather like this. It’s nice and fruity. I think I will go by the one place I know carries it and see if they have marked it down now that the holidays are over.

Flavors: Hibiscus, Plums, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
TeaBrat

I’m glad you liked it! Bummer about the lost review. :(

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drank Reader's Earl Grey by Tea Forte
307 tasting notes

After brewing, I realized that the single steep that I was making was made for a larger container than what I was brewing it in (12oz vs 9oz). That might explain why I found it rather strong for my liking. That said, cut with a little milk it is nice. Still very citrusy, but less astringent and easier to enjoy along with a chapter or two of a beloved book.
Not going to assign a rating, as I feel I should try it at its proper strength (or close to it) before truly deciding what I really think.

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80
drank Moroccan Mint by Tea Forte
237 tasting notes

So this is my first Moroccan Mint, and I really like it. I could smell the dry leaf all day long – so minty and fresh! I brewed it in my Kati cup and, I gotta say, the infuser sure lets a lot of little tea pieces through. Despite the fact that I’ve got a lot of tea dust in the bottom of my cup, this isn’t bitter. I think the mint keeps it from getting bitter.

I only have two more sample packets of this on hand, so I think I’ll look for other Moroccan Mints to try out.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

This came in my Tea Forte Advent Calendar. I enjoyed it. Since I don’t have a sense of smell, I don’t taste much. My enjoyment of a tea comes from a smooth flavor. I can taste if something is sour or bitter, and for me, those are absolute deal breakers. I didn’t get either of those flavors from this tea. I won’t go out and buy a supply of it to keep on hand, but if it came in a gift I wouldn’t re-gift it either :)

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80

I liked this better than many others. The first steep had a weird aftertaste to me, but my second steep was sweeter and milder. Possibly 3.5 minutes was too long to steep the first one.

I really love how the Advent Calendar pyramids come. Very nice to show off for a friend who doesn’t regularly drink tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Rum raisin biscotti by Tea Forte
2622 tasting notes

I picked this up as part of Tea Forte’s holiday gift set. The first time I tried it, I thought it was pretty weak but I was following TF’s guidelines to use 10 oz. of tea for a sample. When you use 8 oz. of water instead the teas tend to be more flavorful.

So, this does actually taste a lot like rum, it’s pretty boozy tasting overall. I would say the raisin flavor is also strong and the biscotti is something more in the background. I’m not sure how to rate this overall, it seems fairly true to the name but it isn’t something I would feel the need to have around in my personal stash. If you really want a tea that tastes like rum, this is a lot more authentic than the other one I had, which was Lupicia’s version.

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

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85
drank Winter Chai by Tea Forte
45 tasting notes

Very nice! One of the teas I particularly enjoyed from my Tea Forte Advent Calendar. It is a comforting drink after a long day of Christmas shopping. I ordered a Tea Forte Festive Warming Collection for my brother for Christmas and I’m glad to see this one is in it. I hope he’ll enjoy it too.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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72
drank Coconut Chai Latte by Tea Forte
964 tasting notes

Many thanks to Lala for passing some down! As soon as I tore open the packet, I caught a whiff of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea’s Coconut Chai, and sure enough, it tastes almost the exact same. This may be a little bit smoother. The cardamom also tastes a little stronger in this one, at least from memory. Huge cardamom fan here, so yay.

I also dumped in some almond nog and the flavours go very well together. Now I’m just sitting here waiting for Guinness plum pudding to finish in the oven.

OMGsrsly

Haha. I just had a Zhena’s Coconut Chai eggnog latte. :D YUM! (Also, Guinness plum pudding what?)

Fjellrev

That plum pudding was sure spiked with Guinness. I actually ended up not caring for it. The bitterness from the stout detracted from the rum and sweet nuances from the fruit.

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80
drank Blood Orange by Tea Forte
45 tasting notes

Another tea from my Advent Calendar. I liked this one. No weird after taste, no bitterness. I drank it while eating cinnamon toast on a cold December day. It was a good experience for me. There was a time when I preferred herbal teas. Now I far prefer black teas.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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35
drank Cherry Cosmo by Tea Forte
45 tasting notes

Another Tea Advent Calendar tea. This one just didn’t work for me. It sounded heavenly, but I didn’t enjoy it.

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75
drank Citrus Mint by Tea Forte
45 tasting notes

Another from my Tea Forte Advent Calendar. I liked this one! I had it hot during my afternoon break at work. It had a nice little zing from the mint and citrus that perked me up during the draggy part of my day. I may not order this one, but then again, I might.

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35
drank Flora by Tea Forte
45 tasting notes

One of the teas in my Advent Calendar. It’s been sooo nice to get to try so many different teas. Some I really enjoyed. Others, not so much. This one was a not so much. Such a lovely color in my cup! This tea, sadly, tasted quite sour to me. I finished the cup, and it did grow on me as I drank. However, I will not add it to my list of “Need To Order.”

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40

This was part of my Tea Forte Advent Calendar. Whoever came up with that idea (an advent calendar of tea) is brilliant! I had wanted to get one from David’s, but they were sold out. I’ve never had tea from Tea Forte, but I love the little pyramids. It’s been a nice variety of teas so far. This one didn’t do it for me. With my limited sense of taste, it came over as acidic. Very likely someone else would enjoy the flavors that I couldn’t taste.

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Right as I poured the water in I could smell a rose scent like potpourri, but that only lasted half a second. Then it was replaced with this overwhelming artificial rose flavor and something similar to chocolate, but only so loosely similar that you could mistake it for something else. It smells artificial, and not all that appetizing.

The tea tastes like soap in the worst way possible. I don’t even want to finish it, and I usually feel bad about wasting tea. This is so bad, I’m not giving this a number, but I’m not recommending this to anyone either.

Flavors: Soap

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56

So this is my second tea to sample. I didn’t have the best opinion of Tea Forte at first, but that was because of my first exposure to it. A gift shop sells Tea Forte loose tea and tea bag variety boxes. I’m not the biggest fan of flavored teas since companies started putting unnamed natural and artificial flavors in tea. What does that even mean? Anyway, the gift shop usually has tea samples sitting at the front of the store. I tried two teas that way, but I realized later that the teas were usually hours old since I would visit the store in the afternoon and the tea they sample is only brewed in the morning. The first tea I sampled was the Rum Raisin. I assumed I didn’t like it because I don’t like rum, but there’s this strong, medicinal taste that doesn’t seem natural in tea, which may or may not come from oversteeping or sitting for so long. I had the English Breakfast black tea and noticed the same cringe-worthy flavor. Though I couldn’t describe the taste, it’s not simply acidity or bitterness.

I’m not saying that the teas are inherently bad. The teas in the tea bags look nice, and the shape of the tea bag makes it so it brews as soon as I poor the tea in. I don’t think I’ve brewed it longer than a minute. At the same time, I worry about how the tea will taste if I leave the tea leaves in the hot water too long. I definitely prefer the flavor of the teas after a second steep. The first steep has a flavor almost reminiscent of that medicinal flavor in the tea samples at the gift shop, so I think any accidental oversteeping could make the tea unpalatable. It could just be how the tea is. Apparently someone came into the store about an hour earlier and enjoyed the English Breakfast tea, but I think heated cough syrup would be just as enjoyable.

I don’t really get that much of a caramel flavor from the tea. I’m not the biggest caramel fan, but I think that’s mostly because I hate the texture more than anything else. It kind of reminds me of some of the other flavored teas that I have, but it’s muted in comparison. It could probably use some cream and sugar, but I drink tea plan. It’s not the worst tea I’ve tasted.

In any case, I think I will finish the sample box, especially since it was $15 for 10 samples. I doubt I will buy any more of the teas. It’s nice to know that I can buy loose teas so close to home, but I don’t think I’ll be impressed by them. I have high hopes for the rose tea, though. I’m not too judgmental when it comes to rose, only because there aren’t many things rose flavored, so as long as I taste the rose, I might like it.

That wasn’t too informative… I like the tea bag design, and the fact that it’s a pretty nice. I’ll score it like this:
Tea Bag Functionality: 10 (It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to brew. I guess this adds to how many times you can steep it as well, so I think that’s good. I don’t know if I should rate tea bag functionality, but if anything, I think this should be available knowledge. The stem on the tea bag can also be shaped to the side of the mug, so that might be useful. I think that’s so it can hang on the side of the mug. I’m not actually sure, though.)
Presentation: 8 (It’s not elaborate. It’s rather minimalist actually, but it’s a pyramid cardboard box, and the tea bag itself has a tea leaf on it. It’s kind of cute.)
Amount of Tea: 7 (It seems to be a fair amount. Maybe one and a half tea spoons.)
Quality: 6 ( Whole leaf: automatic 5 points; some dust in the box -2; flavor: 3)
Uniqueness: 2 (Honestly, I don’t think a caramel flavored tea is such a new thing, especially with chocolate teas becoming more popular. It also doesn’t have anything to make it stand out. It could have at least been a salted caramel, but I don’t know much about caramel. I wasn’t that impressed, though.)
Would I drink it again?: 5 (I need five things to rate: Definitely Yes: 10; Sure, though it’s not my first choice: 8; Only to make room for other teas: 6; I don’t want to, but if you serve it, then I can’t refuse or it would be rude: 4; Can’t I just throw it away: 2; I regret this decision/ I think I’m going to vomit: 0)
Total: 28 × 2 = 56
Ok, fair enough. I’m going to work on my rating system later, but it works for this tasting note.

Flavors: Caramel, Malt

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drank Sweet Orange Spice by Tea Forte
2622 tasting notes

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71
drank Harvest Apple Spice by Tea Forte
2622 tasting notes

This tisane came from the Warming Joy sample set by Tea Forte, which I haven’t been terribly impressed with so far. They claim the samples make a 10 oz. serving of tea, but I’ve found 8 oz. to be a bit more realistic.

This is an interesting blend. It contains rooibos and has a definite apple and plummy flavor. There is a lot of spice in this tea, with cinnamon, clove and pepper. Normally I don’t like hibiscus in tea at all, but there is only a smidgen in this blend.

I think this is a decent tisane if you like really spicy fruity things. The clove is slightly overdone, as it’s actually causing a numbing sensation on my tongue. I felt the blend was a bit improved by adding a bit of coconut sugar to the cup. I don’t think I will run out and buy any of this, but I am enjoying the sample that I got. It’s nice to take the chill out of our cold & rainy day.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

I’m always tempted by Tea Forté’s flavor combinations, but then I look up reviews on here and they’re TERRIBLE. Lol. :(

TeaBrat

I wouldn’t recommend them based on the experience I have had so far…

Cameron B.

Yeah, I figured as much… Such a shame. They have one that’s yuzu and honey, which sounds amazing. QQ

Tabby

I’ve tried it. It’s really mild, but not bad. The yuzu is kinda overshadowed by the honey.

Anlina

I agree Cameron B. I keep being tempted by them on Amazon and then having to back away.

aisling of tea

A while ago they offered to send out sample packs to anyone who wanted one (I’m talking years ago) and the reviews of those sample teas were…underwhelming. They just weren’t good. I know I ended up chugging through the samples if only to get them out of my cupboard. It’s sad, because their packaging is so cute, but after trying those samples, I could never bring myself to spend money on their blends. Which is too bad because they’re a really nice company.

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65

Tart and sage o’r come
The sweet, juicy liquid pie—
Sugar the diff’rence

This was one of the teas randomly given to me by a fellow steampunk club-goer. I was surprised to find that it was a little pouch of loose leaf! Dry, it smells very herby-the sage really comes out with a kind of fruity backnote. I lost track of time (of course, I’m at work) and steeped it a minute or so over the suggested 5. The liquor was a dark red—note the hibiscus is second on the ingredients list.

I found this tea to be tartly unpleasant, so I added some brown sugar. BAM! That kicked this tea up so many notches. Now the predominant taste is that of a crustless blueberry pie, very juicy and very worth drinking again.

I am terribly naive when it comes to wines, and thus cannot speak to the merlot-yness of this tea.

Flavors: Blueberry, Hibiscus, Sage, Sweet, Tart

Preparation
6 min, 15 sec

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85

I didn’t have high expectations for my tea forte birthday gifts since it has never been a top rated rand around here. But so far I haven’t been too dissaponted.

This wasn’t fanastic, but I who usually rates flavored teas shamefully low, can at least recommend that people give this one a try.

It smells good. The raisin/rum flavor is a bit overwhelming at first - almost perfume – like, but it mellowed while drinking. There’s also a bread-y flavor lingering in the background to give it its biscotti name.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Raisins, Rum

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