two leaves and a bud

Recent Tasting Notes

90

Went shopping with my wife all day yesterday. Mostly we were looking at grills and patio furniture. Of course since we were in the big town of Bloomington, my wife had to hit Joann’s which is a fabric/craft store. I stayed in the car. Lastly we went to Sahara Mart which is a world food market. They have the largest tea aisle I have ever seen. It is mostly bagged tea. They did have a full range of Ahmad both bagged and loose but I resisted. I bet they had a dozen 500g boxes of Green Tea with Earl Grey but I resisted. I did however grab a box of Better Rest from Two Leaves. It is kind of pricey at $7 for 15 sachets. However when you are barely sleeping it seems like a small price to pay.

We used two sachets last night. I don’t recall how I described this the last time I had it, except I gulped it down. Last night we finally agreed it tasted like a Rock N Roll from our local shaved ice shop. A R&R is black cherry, grape, and blueberry. Now none of that is in this herbal but it still reminded us of those flavors. Really easy to drink. Looking at the way Steepster lists ingredients (alphabetically) many of you would avoid this as it lists anise and fennel early in the list. In truth, I caught the fennel, but just barely and I did not know there was anise in it until I read it here.

I was so tired last night that I could not tell if this relaxed me or not but I went to bed at 10 and woke up at 6, so a good night! My wife however said she was up most of the night. She came back to bed just before I got up. She is stressing over a wedding she was volunteered to help create decorations for. The bride to be thinks there is plenty of time – 2 1/2 months – and won’t resolve anything or help shop. She really does not understand how much time and work is involved. I’d walk away. As for me, I’m not stressed at all. Our one year old mattress seems to not like me. I hurt all over when I get up in the morning.

Sorry didn’t mean to write a book.

mrmopar

No book, but I am glad you got some much needed rest.

Nxtdoor

INdiana or Illinois? Just curious. I went to State Farm training in Bloomington, IL.

Nxtdoor

Duh, never mind, I just saw you’re from Indiana. So you probably didn’t go shopping in Illinois. Lol

K S

Yep, Indiana. Don’t let my wife know there is shopping in Illinois!

Nxtdoor

Haha. Yes, by all means, let’s hide Chicago off the map.

K S

Thanks, I knew I could count on you! ;)

TeaBrat

This is a good herbal, I also like Tension tamer from Celestial Seasonings

K S

I almost picked up Tension Tamer. I passed because I know it is cheaper at Walmart. I’d much prefer the peppermint over the spearmint in Sleepytime – though I drinl that CS herbal as well.

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65

I’m giving this bedtime brew from Two Leaves and a Bud another try. My last glass was not very effective, as I was penning my tasting note near 5 am. Tonight we’re pushing 2:30 am. With any luck, I’ll be asleep before 3:30 am.

What to say about this tisane. Lots of aniseed and lemon grass, not very much chamomile. I almost feel that chamomile was thrown in as an afterthought, or maybe to satisfy everyone’s concept of “bedtime brew”. I don’t even taste it. In fact, I’d recommend this infusion more for settling one’s stomach than as an inducement to sleep.

Despite the undeniable inclusion of stinky valerian, I’m not sure that the dose is high enough for me. Perhaps I’d be better off with two glasses, but then I’d have to descend from my chambers in the middle of the night. Oh well, this was my last bag, I believe.

A final question: why in the world did this company change their name to Two Leaves? It would be like Starbucks changing their name to Bucks. Hmmm… come to think of it, that name rather fits!

Memily

The name change was probably because it was originally too much of a mouthful! The change is a little snappier.

sherapop

Thanks, Memily. But the reference is now lost!

Angrboda

‘Two Leaves And A Bud’ tends to makes me think of ‘Two Guys And A Girl’…

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65

Tonight I was especially struck by the aniseed in my glass of Organic Better Rest. I found the liquor more enjoyable, but it does not seem to have induced sleep, as it is now 4:39 am!!!! Perhaps another glass? Or should I just stay up and begin brewing caffeinated tea? ;-)

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57

Method: 1 tea bag in 8 oz at 205 degrees for 3 min.

Impressions: The color was lovely and the aroma was nice, but the tartness of the hibiscus was overpowering. After adding about a tsp. of rock sugar, this was much better. Even with the sugar to soften things, I didn’t taste anything past the hibiscus.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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55

TTBC Rd2

As far as oolongs go this is a rather tasty one – it’s got all the malty, roasty dark-brown flavours that I enjoy, but there’s also an odd salty note at the beginning of each sip that I’m decidedly less fond of.

Not a favourite, so it goes back in the box.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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65

Speaking of Assam, here we have an Assam-esque tea which really is from Assam! The Two Leaves (formerly known as Two Leaves and a Bud) company offers a 15 sachet sampler set containing three varieties, one of which is organic Assam.

The sachet places the nice-looking leaves of this tea in proper relief, but the flavor of the tea is not all that great, it seems to me. Just another mid-level Assam. It brews up reddish amber and turns caramel colored upon the addition of cream. The tea is organic, and tastes perfectly fine but leaves a slight scratchiness in the back of my throat after swallowing.

(Blazing New Rating #26)

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 266 ML
boychik

I would do 205F and 3 min. Works most of the time for Assam

sherapop

Thanks, boychik!

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Tea #1 from Travelling Tea Box C Round 2
So I picked out this big pile of teas to try from the TTBC R2 and it’s a bit overwhelming on which to start with, so I pretty much closed my eyes and grabbed one. Lol. This came up first.
I wasn’t sure about the measurements so I kinda winged it. A heaping tsp in 8oz of water, 195* (it went a bit hotter than I intended. I had been aiming for 185*) for 3 min.
Overall I don’t really taste anything special about this tea. It’s kinda just an everyday roasty tasting oolong to me. Maybe a bit bitter (though I think that’s because I used too hot of water), but nothing amazing.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

Once again I was somewhat underwhelmed by the flavor of this blend. It tastes fine but somewhat nondescript. Perhaps Organic Better Rest Blend is supposed to be a bit boring in order better to induce sleep? The flavor seems something like a fourth infusion of a green tea.

The good news is that the lemon grass is not overwhelming despite the obvious preponderance of the little stalks in the sachet. Also a relief is that the stinky valerian does not smell the same infused as it does dry…

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78

This is my first experience of tamayokucha, which Two Leaves glosses as “Extremely Green Tea”. Well, the liquor is a pale greenish yellow, but let’s not get carried away!

The flavor seems midway between a sencha and a long jing—almost a hybrid between a classic Japanese and a classic Chinese green. It’s pretty good.


second infusion: better than the first! I am using a large Bodum glass (about 10 ounces), so these sachets are essentially equivalent to two filter bags. Now I’m going to have to try this tea in the loose format…

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 266 ML

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65

The scent of the dried tea in my sachet of Organic Better Rest from two leaves and a bud immediately revealed the presence of valerian. The flavor of the brew was smooth but somewhat neutral. It definitely worked its soporific magic, as I am now very tired!

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I had this while I was out today, because I’m cold. It wasn’t bad for a hibiscus based herbal. I had it with honey. The blackberry flavours were a nice alternative to the usual herbal offerings (orange, lemon, chamomile…).

It hailed the saddest, teensiest hail on us today. Like little seed beads. But we walked, and went into the forest, and that was nice.

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74

Recidivism. Ignoring all that I learned in previous brews, I used overly hot water (80C) and I also used too much tea. The result was a bit bitter, just like my very first batch.

That’s okay, now I won’t forgot: 76C is the maximum temperature for this tea! Do not overleaf!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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60

Picked this up from BrewTEAlly Sweet’s stash sale.

The name of this one is very confusing. I just don’t see it as a morning drink. Even if it was caffeinated. It’s more of a refreshing afternoon blend. The citrus and mint combination is lovely. The mint flavor lingers nicely. That said, I’m not a huge fan. I really don’t like lemongrass, and it’s certainly discernible here. I should have checked the ingredients list.

Sipdown

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88

My wife got me this tea for my birthday, and I tried it this morning. I don’t have much experience with jasmine teas (in fact, this is my first one), but this is delicious. The jasmine smell is strong from the dry tea, but the flavor is subtle. Just as good on the second steep—in fact, I was able to taste some new subtleties (including what tasted like the smallest hint of cinnamon; of course, the only ingredients are green tea and jasmine, but the hint was still there). A very good tea—I’m glad this was my introduction to jasmine green tea. By the way, they’ve updated their packaging—recommended steep time is now three minutes.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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88

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70

Well, this won’t be a morning blend for me anytime soon (Give me caffeine!), but it’s better than I thought it would be. It has kind of a pungent woody aroma, but tastes far more lemongrass-y with a peppermint afterkick. It’s not super medicinal either.

Tasty, yes. But morning cup this is not.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
K S

Better morning for 3rd shift workers maybe. I liked it. But not in the morning.

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88
drank Assam by two leaves and a bud
38 tasting notes

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88
drank Assam by two leaves and a bud
38 tasting notes

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88
drank Assam by two leaves and a bud
38 tasting notes

My daughter got me this tea for my birthday (she’s five months old—apparently this is the one she reached for, which is fortunate, because it’s one of the ones that interested me most). I tried it today, and was astounded by how delicious it was. It’s complex, malty, earthy, woodsy, and vegetative, and slightly astringent (but not too much, and it’s not very bitter at all). I had it plain, and my wife had it with milk. I tried a sip of hers, and the milk didn’t change the flavor too much. While Twinings is my go-to for early morning tea, this is one that I’ll definitely have on mornings when I don’t have to wake up hours before dawn. Fantastic!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

I’m so so in love with this tea & yet so sad I’ve read it tastes different since the company was bought. Does anyone knows a bit more about it?

I really wanted it :(

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74

I have finally figured out how to brew this tea! Correct temperature = 75F; steep time = 2 minutes. But the most important part of all is to use the correct filter, which I have determined through trial and error is a metal mesh cone coffee filter basket. I don’t like the result when I use that sort of filter to prepare coffee—it leaves too much silt behind, creating more of a Turkish style brew. However, the mesh size turns out to be perfect for removing the broken particles from brewed sencha, of which there are many in this two leaves and a bud sencha.

Using a more effective filter device to catch all of the smaller pieces of tea produces a much better first infusion! I always liked the subsequent infusions, but before I was finding the first one too bitter. Not anymore!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Glad you found your perfect brew! Sencha is definitely finicky, and it often gets a bad wrap because of that. But it is so worth finding your soft spot, isn’t it? I think it’s also one of the best tea to pair with food…

sherapop

I so agree with you, TeaFairy! Sencha is my favorite lunchtime tea! I usually drink two glasses right after lunch, in fact.

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80

I pulled this teabag out of one of the traveling tea boxes and I’m actually glad that I remembered! I have a bad stomach ache tonight and need something soothing. I actually don’t have an herbal blend for these times, but I really should. I guess the herbs that are typically in those ‘tummy blends’ don’t appeal to me so I haven’t invested much time in finding a solid blend that will do the job and taste good.

This one is reasonably soft for the amount of herbs that are in it. It reminds me of Sleepytime tea without the strong minty note. To be honest, all of the flavors sort of mush together and shout together, “WE’RE HERBAL!” I like to think that it’s settling my stomach and before I know it, the cup is gone. This is a rather pleasant herbal blend for this evening — nothing too sharp or strong. I’m still on the search for a tasty tummy blend, but this was nice tonight!

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24

This tea is really not good at all. It is way too overpriced for the quality, as well. There is very little bergamot flavor, and the tea itself has very little flavor. There were way too few leaves and way too many stems, it was as if the tea was made of little sticks. The leaves don’t expand very much, either. Over all, I was very disappointed with it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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74

Once again, I found the second infusion of this tea to be vastly superior to the first. The liquor was bright yellow with just a hint of green, and fairly clear—definitely much less cloudy than the first round.

I noticed that the dried tea is not whole leaf—there are lots of small pieces and even some powder, which ends up in the bottom of the glass in the first infusion. It’s not that I’m using too much tea, but that the fine particles are not filtered out from the first volume of brew produced. Then they are gone, which is why the second infusion is so much better—not at all bitter. Clean, slightly vegetal and thirst quenching and smooth.

The solution to this problem may be to use a paper filter rather than only a metal mesh colander-like sieve. We shall see…

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