The Tea Farm

Recent Tasting Notes

78

Still had a bit left to make the last batches of iced tea for this year, and it´s a good choice : a good green tea base with banana, or rather green banana=plantain I think (no sweet aroma here). The resulting tea is very aromatic, and lacks the (artificial) sweetness of a lot of fruity green teas, and when drunk cold it is very refreshing. Originally I had picked the tea for its fragrances. According the pack the recommended steeping time is 2 minutes but I never had a problem letting it steep for a lot longer.

Flavors: banana, Green

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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Ho hum! Tried this months ago and then again the other day and I really just couldn’t drink this. I don’t have much experience with Bi Luo Chun and while “soapy scent” doesn’t sound appealing, I don’t think that’s the issue. It’s a bad taste, I’ve experienced before, mostly in green teas, usually from swaps but occasionally from my own stash. I think it’s just old and *Michelle*’s tasting note confirms that for me. So I shall not rate, just want to make a note for myself.

My New Year’s resolution I already began a couple months ago: I’m drinking down my greens. I will try to stay in season this year with them, but at least drink within six months, ideally four. After I tossed this, I had a nice long glass tumbler session with some Verdant Dragonwell-style Laoshan Green. I got my mom several Verdant greens for Christmas, a glass tumbler and just bought her a Zojirushi yesterday for her birthday next week. Can’t wait to try the Laoshan Bi Lo Chun green with her!

chadao

Hi autumn, long time no chat! I hope you’ve been well. I just wanted to share my experience of “competition grade” teas vs family farm teas. I have tried a few teas entitled competition grade, and none of them matched up to the micro-lot type teas offered by such companies as verdant and seven cups. One of these is the bi luo chun. I have tried several varieties of bi luo chun, including a competition grade, and the best by far is the one by Seven Cups. Never bitter, always umami and nutty, very powerful flavor. If I could afford it, I would totally send you a sample :)

Autumn Hearth

Thanks for sharing the info and recommendation Alex, not too surprising but good to have it confirmed! I shall be sure to check out Seven Cups sometime this year, maybe after the spring harvests roll in. Hope you are doing well, have you found a new job? I’m waiting a bit, there was an organic grocery store coming to town that has been delayed and the toddler starts pre-school in the fall.

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71

Home from work two hours early – my calender said 3; the wall chart at work said 1. I’m certainly not going to argue! So now it’s tea time.

I received this in a swap from Rachel about a month ago, and I’m not sure if I’ve tried it yet or just failed to log it.

The leaves are fuzzy, green and grey and twisted into long, thing shapes. They smell of grass and moss.

It brews up a surprisingly dark color – it’s not what I would describe as green or gold. It’s almost a pale bronze color, a light golden brown.

I’m being a little put-off by the color/flavour – it tastes very grassy, but it looks like a black. It’s easier to reconcile the flavor profile if I close my eyes and don’t look at the tea. There’s a little bit of dry astringency, some asparagus and spinach notes.

Not a tea I’d purchase, but thanks to Rachel for letting me try it!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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65
drank ChunMee by The Tea Farm
318 tasting notes

Received this on (for real this time!) in a swap with Rachel – thanks!

Dry leaf note: small, twisted grey-green leaves. Smells like fields and hay with little notes of plum.

The liquor is a bright gold when steeped. Smells kind of like spinach and artichoke but with a sweetness to it. Very vegetal. Tastes smoky, vegetal. No real notes of sweetness. Like it, don’t love it.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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62
drank Vinegar Black by The Tea Farm
314 tasting notes

First off, I think this smells delicious. All at once sweet, sour and biscuity.

I gave this a quick “rinse” before the actual steeping (as the directions recommended) but I think it may have rinsed away most of the actual flavor potency?

Now there’s just a hint of something like yummy vinegary biscuits—which I know may sound weird but I love vinegar! I love balsamic vinegar over strawberries. I love fish and chips doused with malt vinegar. And I love Sea Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips!

Wouldn’t that be neat if there was a Salt & Vinegar Chip-flavored tea?

Anyways, this a mild black tea with a subtle “sweet and sour” flavor. Slightly malty. A bit drying on the lips.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
TeaBrat

I don’t think I need this one.. lol

Ninavampi

I also looove vinegar, but I don’t know about a salt and vinegar potato chip tea…

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75
drank Banana Green Tea by The Tea Farm
138 tasting notes

I’m not sure what to make of this tea. i’m not getting any banana flavor, but the green base is yummy. So do I rate high for the overall good taste, or rate lower for lack of accuracy. hmm….

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75
drank Vinegar Black by The Tea Farm
138 tasting notes

This is an interesting tea. The vinegar is not too strong, but still detectable. A pretty nice tea, but not one I see myself ordering more of.

QuiltGuppy

Does the vinegar make it sour? That’s an unusual tea!

ssajami

The vinegar does make it a bit sour, but not so much as to be unpleasant. Not a bad tea but definitely odd.

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79

I didn’t like the first steep of this tea at all. It seemed very astringent and almost a bit salty (I did rinse the tea before the first steep). But on the second through sixth steeps, it was great. The taste seems kind of toasty and a bit nutty. The flavor was full, even after so many steeps. I probably could have gotten even more steeps out of it, but wanted to start drinking something else for the evening. Considering I normally only drink flavored teas, I really enjoyed this one.

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75

I am new to the oolong world,and I am loving it! This is my first experience with Big Red Robe. It’s a blacker oolong with a looong after taste. Chestnut and hazelnut like. Roasted pungency.

It’s interesting its claim is this tea “heals stomach ailments”. I had the tea with a greasy gyro. Usually, I have a little upset stomach but nothing. No tums needed! There might be something to this claim.

At first sip, I didn’t know what to think. After my second brew, I became a fan. It needs to win you over.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
wombatgirl

I’ve got some big red robe that I’ve been putting off trying, and I’m not sure why. But this review helps get me to stop putting it off and just try it already!

Lori

This has become one of my favorite teas. Impossible to oversteep, no need for sugar or milk, it is my go to tea. toasty w/o being smoky.

Mel

“toasty w/o being smoky” That’s exactly what is tastes like! Take the dive and try it. I had it sitting around, not knowing how nice is was.

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91
drank Banana Green Tea by The Tea Farm
4651 tasting notes

I love this tea! The banana flavor is quite delicate, and in fact, I think it tastes a bit more like a plantain than banana, because it doesn’t have that distinctive sweetness of a banana.

But the green tea is what really is awesome in this blend – it tastes so good. Vegetative and sweet. EXCELLENT!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Vinegar Black by The Tea Farm
902 tasting notes

Second steep of yesterday’s leaves: tastes like black tea.

Well, there is a note of the unique taste that I got from the first steep on the very first part of the sip, and there’s a hint of it in the aftertaste. It’s a good second steep, but not as flavorful/unusual as the first.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

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85
drank Vinegar Black by The Tea Farm
902 tasting notes

Backlogging from this morning; didn’t have a chance to write the note then. LiberTEAS sent me this in a swap…and I was so excited to try it! I love trying teas whose name/ingredients make you tilt your head to the side and say “huh?”.

I did a 10 second boiling water rinse, then steeped for 5 minutes. Didn’t use the One-Touch (only wanted one cup to go), so I’m not 100% absolutely certain as to the temp of the water during the steep, though it shouldn’t have been too much below boiling.

This tea is different, but really good. I really couldn’t taste the vinegar itself, but the black tea seemed stronger and crisper because of it. Slightly sour tasting, but really, really good. Yeah, my reviews are best written whilst actually sipping the tea, since I’m having troubles coming up with the right words to describe what I remember!! I saved the leaves to resteep tomorrow morning; can’t wait to see what a second steep produces!!

Thanks for sending me some of this to try, LiberTEAS! I really enjoyed it!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cofftea

“I love trying teas whose name/ingredients make you tilt your head to the side and say “huh?”… DITTO!=D

Jaime

I was severely disappointed to find out the Tuna Melt tea was a prank. Not going to lie, I would have tried it in a heartbeat.

LiberTEAS

It was certainly a funny prank though. Gotta hand it to Frank! He’s clever!

Cofftea

Ditto Jaime.

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62
drank Vinegar Black by The Tea Farm
255 tasting notes

I didn’t really get along with this tea. I will try it again with less tea and less steeping time. It just tasted more than a little acidulous and acerbic. I may revise my note after a second tasting.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Lori

I have a sample of this from Liber-Teas and I haven’t gotten the courage to try this one….

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83
drank Rosebud Tea by The Tea Farm
1 tasting notes

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3
drank Lapsang Souchong by The Tea Farm
255 tasting notes

Although tea pleasure awaits me later on today, I started today with a new, to me, Lapsang Souchong. I’ve been drinking these for months and trying to find my favorites (that would be YOU, Narien, Upton, and Leland thus far).

This tea does not seem to exist. I use a lot of tea leaf==more than most people do so I typically use 2-3 tablespoons and I have large mugs. I use a spoon designed “for a perfect pot of tea” (it makes 2 or 3 cups). That has always worked out for me. Today I got dark, tasteless, flavorless water. Then I retreated back to bed in despair and slept for a few more hours and then tried again: one small (8 ounce) mug; two over-scooped spoons of tea-leaf (that would be 6 tablespoons). And the result barely registers.

This is an historic nadir: I’m throwing out the rest of the bag. I don’t think that this tea will do for those who like tea light on the smoke—this tea just isn’t there. I don’t know what is inside the bag!

Worst experience ever. At least with rooibos you know what you are in for. On to fresh fields and pastures new.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 45 sec
LiberTEAS

Doulton: I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with this tea – and it being a Lapsang Souchong too! What a bummer!

Rabs

That’s one of the most horrific notes that I’ve ever read! I hope that the later tea experience truly is a pleasure.

AmazonV

I think my dear you have found the tea drink the nutrimatic on the heart of gold makes…. sad sad day

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68
drank Oolong Rose tea by The Tea Farm
216 tasting notes

Recipe for a tasty working-late tea

Start with: one mug
Add: a bit of Tea Farm Oolong Rose (http://steepster.com/teas/the-tea-farm/12471-oolong-rose-tea)
Add: a bit more of Art of Tea Velvet Tea (http://steepster.com/teas/art-of-tea/2887-velvet-tea)
Toss in: three flowers of JK Tea Shop Wild Purple Chrysanthemum (http://steepster.com/teas/jk-tea-shop/11241-wild-purple-chrysanthemum-flower-tea)
Fill with: boiling water
Steep: until the water cools enough to drink and most of the tea is at the bottom of the mug

Sip, occasionally straining rooibos from your teeth, until the chocolate/rose/chrysanthemum/rooibos savory combination puts you at your ease despite the spreadsheets still open.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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68
drank Oolong Rose tea by The Tea Farm
216 tasting notes

Hmm. I’m getting the same lingering sourness from this that I did from the Pu-Erh Rose, so I’m starting to wonder if it isn’t the rose itself. That would be a shame! Roses aren’t supposed to be sour!

I don’t dislike this, but I’m not wild about it. A longer steep seems to bring out some nice bitter yet still light summer flower flavor from the tea to go with the rose, and I feel like in general the tea and the rose are better integrated in this one.

I might try mixing it with something sweet and see what that does….

(After all, I have plenty left to play with! http://www.flickr.com/photos/cait_tea/4624968493/in/set-72157623718023831/ )

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Rabs

Holy moly! I know that it’s a tiny teapot, but it looks like the packets are looming over the poor thing ready to beat it up! ;)

Ricky

So much rose tea!

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75
drank Pu-erh Rose tea by The Tea Farm
216 tasting notes

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75
drank Pu-erh Rose tea by The Tea Farm
216 tasting notes

I just got the rose tea “sampler” from Tea Farm, and seriously, this is a lot of tea! I have no idea how I’m going to store it; right now it’s still in bags in the shipping box. They’re the clear-sided bags which show off how absolutely lovely the tea is (do take a closer look at the official tea photo here!), but they are rather inconvenient for someone like me who has open tea shelves instead of a tea cupboard.

Anyway, the tea! I tried it in cooler water first, but I think I like it better with water that’s just down a bit from boiling to bring out a little more bitterness. This is a very smooth tea, hardly bitter at all, but I’m not convinced that the pu-erh and the rose are mingling as well as they could: both flavors are lovely, but they seem to be happening simultaneously instead of together, if you follow me. Also, the aftertaste lingers as slightly sour, which I don’t much like. I think I need to play around with the steeping parameters on this some more.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Ricky

Yeah, the bags are a bit inconvenient. I’m tempted at times to dump it into an empty container, but then it wouldn’t be transparent!

Cait

I don’t actually have any unused containers which are big enough right now! I may have to acquire some….

__Morgana__

The rose sampler sounds like something I’d really like, but I’m weirded out because when I try to go to the Tea Farm site to take a look I get all kinds of notices from my security software about the site being unsafe. So I’m wondering if I found the right site. What URL are you using to get there?

Cait

The Tea Farm site is http://www.theteafarm.com/ — I just updated my own anti-virus software (Trend Micro) and I don’t get a security warning about it.

Stephanie

My anti-virus software is saying this site is unsafe too!

Cait

:( What anti-virus software are you guys using? Does it say anything specific?

Stephanie

I have Norton. And it’s updated regularly. They say this site is “questionable”.

Cait

I contacted The Tea Farm, and they wrote back to say that they’d corrected a problem with their website and it should be working now.

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75
drank Vinegar Black by The Tea Farm
361 tasting notes

Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act II scene 6

’Twas told me you were rough, and coy, and sullen,
And now I find report a very liar;
For thou art pleasant, gamesome, passing courteous,
But slow in speech, yet sweet as spring-time flowers.
The Taming of the Shrew, Act II scene 1

Amongst all the teas that Doulton sent me, this one both intrigued and repulsed me. It’s in this adorable little tin with some Victoriana decorations. It looks like it should be a floral tea and not something with vinegar in it. Finally today I got the nerve to pop open the tin and give it a go.

I could not for the life of me smell vinegar in the dry leaves. Maybe the tiniest hints in the back of my nose, but I don’t think I would’ve noticed it if I hadn’t known what was in this tea. I went ahead and did a 10 second rinse of the leaves under hot tap water.

Smell from the cup was black tea — pretty sure it’s Assam. Still couldn’t find the vinegar. Then came sip one: vinegar! Yup, there it is being quite shrewish to the back of my throat. Three sips in I was wondering if I could finish this cup so I did my “let’s let it sit over here for a minute or two and then return to it” technique. That did the trick! The vinegar receeded to a very mild level and then disappeared completely for the rest of the cup and the 2nd steep as well. It’s actually a rather pleasant smooth cup of black tea overall.

With all that in mind I dub this tea my Katherina (a.k.a. Kate) from Taming of the Shrew. It starts off all feisty and full of spirit and over time is broken down into submission. Horrible, but true. I think that even though there are some funny moments throughtout this play it should be considered a tragedy and not a comedy.

Ultimately this is a very interesting tea. I’m rather proud to be able to say that I’ve tried and enjoyed a Vinegar Black tea. Next time I shall try it without the pre-rinse to see if it keeps its unique character longer. Will I be rushing to purchase more when the tin runs out? No, but it’ll be fun while it lasts. NE

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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88

backlogging…almost out of…

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88

Since I have been sick the only thing I could really taste is Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips so I thought I would give this one a whirl again. I can’t say as I can pick out the vinegar as much in this tea as in the chips but it will certainly do.

cody

That sounds… interesting. Haha. Never heard of such a thing.

amandajo

Hmm…I can see how this one would be good for eating with something, a tea side dish of sorts…or feeling as though you are having a snack :)

amandajo

lol, I said eating instead of drinking :P You get the picture. ;)

Jaime

There’s a vinegar tea?! Oh, my. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Steepster is a bad influence on my budget.

LiberTEAS

Jaime: I think I may have sent you a little bit of this in the package I sent to you. I’m not sure though. The tracking for the package says that it should be delivered today (well, it says “out for delivery”…) If I didn’t send a sampling to you, please let me know… and I’ll send some of that to you.

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Funny thing LiberTeas you had sent me some too but the tin that was labeled Vinegar Tea was actually empty. No biggy it would have been a bonus anyway. :)

Jaime

Oh, I’m all a-tingle with excitement!! You are awesome!!

LiberTEAS

Rachel -OMG! I am so sorry!!!

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

LiberTeas don’t even worry about it. Things happen. :)

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88

If it’s vegetarian and doesn’t have bananas in it – I’ll try it!

Lately…the strange, the rare, and the down right ODD have been calling at me.

When I received this one from LiberTEAs I was more than stoked to try it.

I was ASS+U+ME-ing that this may taste like a Salt & Vinegar Potato Chip but it doesn’t. It smells of vinegar but doesn’t reeeeek of it. It infuses pretty quickly and fairly dark.

Once my infusion was finished you could barely smell the vinegar scent – it was more of a smokey or roasted aroma instead. This has a semi-sweet yet bold black tea taste.

Vinegar has many health benefits and people drink Apple Cider Vinegar concoctions so why not Vinegar Tea!?

I would still classify this as one of my morning and mid-morning teas. A great pick-me-up. This was a nice surprise, indeed!

LiberTEAS

This is one that tastes much better if you “rinse” it or “awaken” it by pouring boiling water over the leaves, and then after 10 seconds strain the tea and dispose of the resulting liquor. Then, brew as you normally would.

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92
drank Tai Ping Hou Kui by The Tea Farm
4651 tasting notes

I do love Tai Ping. This is incredibly smooth, the vegetative taste is very slight, and it has a lovely nutty sweetness to it. Very pleasant, light, and soothing. Very nice.

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