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Village Tea Company

Recent Tasting Notes

70

I was on a roll today with green and white teas, mainly because I was out of the milk that I normally have in black teas. Thanks to KittyLovesTea for this sample! I had a quick cup before my mom and I went grocery shopping. It was beautiful here today – lots of sunshine and a little breeze. I feel like this was my first real taste of Spring, since I can finally see the trees blooming and little flowers are popping up everywhere. I’m so happy that the dreariness of winter is almost over!!

-Dry blend has medium green tea leaves.
-Dry leaves smell sweet and fruity. Tea liquor aroma is vegetal with a hint of strawberry.
-Tea liquor is a clear pale yellow color.
-Grassy flavor with a light strawberry finish.
-Best with sweetener.
-Good tea. Very lightly flavored. Fresh juicy strawberry taste.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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49

I don’t think that “smooth” is the best adjective they could have chosen for this tea. It is flat and loud but bitter in flavour and somewhat tannic.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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70

Sipdown, 231. Thanks to Kasumi no Chajin for this sample!

I always welcome a new jasmine green, and I always enjoy drinking them. I admit that I tend to prefer the over-the-top, very flowery, honeysuckle sweet jasmines, but I enjoy the more plain-jane varieties as well. That’s what I would consider this one: a somewhat rough-around-the-edges jasmine, an everyday jasmine, the kind of jasmine you might drink with a meal. The green tea is grassy and vegetal, and the jasmine isn’t really sweet or even that floral, if you can imagine that for a jasmine. Again, I like this as an everyday tea, and it reminds me of the jasmine green that I did drink almost every day in China.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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85

Additional notes: See first tasting note. TeaEqualsBliss included this in the traveling tea box, even though she sent me some a while back, I had to take a few more teaspoons out of the box. I just love the idea of this blend. It’s like a spicy peachy soup! Though I wish the spice were more noticeable. Now I would love some actual spicy peachy soup!

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75

I only have a 3 cup sampler of this and thought that with my recent thirst for all that is fruity I would give this a try tonight.

In appearance the white tea is chopped into small dark green pieces with a few spots of silver amongst the mixture. The scent whilst raw smells like strawberry leaf rather than actual fresh strawberry but it’s sweet and desirable non the less.

Once steeped the colour is dark gold/yellow with a gentle yet sweet strawberry scent.

The flavour is melllow and refreshing with a sweet lingering strawberry taste. It’s strawberry leaf over strawberry in taste but there is no bitterness or tang that I usually find with it. There is also a slight floral freshness behind the sweetness. I’m picking up honeyed tones as I drink more, a sweet smoothness that silks it’s way over the strawberry.

One cup remains…. iced tea may be nice. :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Kasumi no Chajin

I have this brand’s Jasmine, if you would like to try some, let me know.

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66

Loose
Appearance: mid forest green, highlights of olive, medium jasmine buds
Aroma when Dry: slightly soapy jasmine floral
After water is first poured: moderate jasmine floral, hints of grass
At end of first steep: soft grassy jasmine
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: light grass
Staple? Type yes, would gladly buy brand
Preferred time of day: afternoon, evening
Taste:
At first?: buttery jasmine notes, getting floral on the close
As it cools?: notes deepen,tea gets bodied, slightly salty, brothy, floral close
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Slightly, floral all across palate

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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93

Passing the rest on to Azzrian as well as the Replacement Box B :)
CHEERS!
See previous notes

Azzrian

YUMMMMM! I love anything strawberry usually.

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88

Adding the rest of my stash to the Replacement Traveling Tea Box B
See previous notes…

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85

thanks TeaEqualsBliss for including this in the trade! I’m on a tasting note spree — I just like adding them at once when I log in. If only more green teas were like this one, I would love them more! This has a very tasty green base. It is almost like an oolong flavor to me. The steep color is bright yellow. Very full and sweet. The blend I have doesn’t seem to have anything other than the green tea and a few safflowers, so I had no idea there was supposed to be peaches or orange peel here. But there is a sweetness to it that must be from fruit. Definitely no ginger flavor for me. I really wish there was more spice to it though, since that is barely there either! But I’d love this even if it were just the plain green leaves here.

ETA: Having a second cup, I don’t know how I missed the peach before! I guess I thought it was just part of its oolong-like flavor. Also, there is a creaminess to it, but I don’t know where that is coming from.

Kittenna

You and I are dominating the dashboard right now! :P

Tea Sipper

I will slow down eventually… I’m trying to try a ton of teas I haven’t tried yet before I get the travelling tea boxes!

Kittenna

Haha, no worries from me! I’m used to being a spammer :D I have tons of teas I’ve never tried too… TONS.

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69

Sample from TeaEqualsBliss
Not really getting any strawberry with this.
I am almost tasting something bread-like?
Liking it better iced but, still no strawberry.
Nice tea for this afternoon, probably not something I will purchase for myself though.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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93

Sending a bit of this to Hesper June
Going to try this iced :)
See previous notes :)

Hesper June

Cool!!! Cant wait:)

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81

Yum, fruity and sassy, just like what I expected. The chili is really in the aftertaste for me.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Backlogging and based mostly on memory

Experience buying from Village Tea Company Positive.

I ordered from Village Tea Company in the fall of 2011 (they had a special going on that they advertized on Steepster, something like $10 off $20), and along with the awesome tasting vanilla rooibos, we got these. We brewed these pouches up a number of times that fall/winter.

I think we were able to get three decent steepings out of each pouch. The pouches are nice-looking, seem to have plenty of room for the leaf to breath, and seem well-designed.

It looks like there are nice-sized tea leaves in the pouches, and it all smells great.

I really like their cardboard containers: they are stylish and the lid fits very tightly.

It’s a quality chai, and so we have enjoyed these each time we brewed them up (with soy milk). I like the convenience of the pouches as my wife can brew these up on her own.

I think this was my/our first whole-leaf chai—not counting standard type tea bags (it’s hard to remember now) so I’m leaving off the rating.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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12

I must vent about this tea for a moment. This is one of the teas I picked up at our grocery store to use for the husband’s morning tea. (He loves Earl Grey and isn’t all that picky so I figured it’d be a win.)

I AM NEVER BUYING THIS TEA AGAIN.

Look, I’m all for organic and environmentally sustainable and all that stuff. I fully support the green and granola lifestyle – my dad was organic before organic was cool so I grew up thinking (knowing) that was the better way and my parents always said I’d make a great hippie. Add my food allergies on top of that and I am fully behind the granola way of life. But dude, if you want me to support your company with all their wonderful sustainable practices and environmentally sound packaging and whatever, I honestly don’t care if you are more expensive, but YOU MUST BE WORTH IT. I’m cool paying almost twice the price for organic bananas because organic bananas are still tasty and fill all my banana needs. But this tea? This is like buying organic bananas and having them taste like potting soil.

Okay, okay, it doesn’t quite taste like potting soil. I think potting soil would have more flavor actually. But taste isn’t my first complaint about this tea. My first complaint is the container. Because this is like buying an organic banana only to find it’s been wrapped in that hard plastic stuff that you always have use scissors to open but it’s so stiff that you usually end up cutting yourself on it before you get it fully cut open. Because the tea is packaged in a cute little cylinder made out of a nice feeling cardboard-ish material of which the top few inches slides off to open. Let me rephrase: the top few inches SHOULD slide off. Because the material this is made out of isn’t slick enough to slide against itself so opening this is a study in applied force. A little too much pressure on one side and it sticks like glue. You must raise it totally straight off with lots of little twists while pulling. Wiggle wiggle wiggle, twist, twist, slowly try to inch it up…. it takes forever to open this stupid thing. And trying to close it is just about as hard – you have to twist, twist, twist it down and it usually gets stuck about two thirds of the way down. Ugh!

But what’s the reward for opening this horridly unfriendly little container? I mean, maybe it is worth it? Well, inside are two thin canvas-like drawstring bags that don’t fully close. Why? I mean, I’m guessing the container is airtight (since it’s so hard to open and close properly), so why put the tea in more packaging? It’s not a reusable steeping bag – I only have two, both filled with tea and there are some little disposable filter things included in the container. So why? Okay, fine. Whatever. Useless but at least they aren’t annoying and difficult like the container. Let’s get to the tea.

So then you open up one of the bags. First off, check out the second picture on their website: http://www.villageteaco.com/tea/simply-organic-earl-grey-tea/ My tea looks NOTHING like that. Those are leaves. Small leaves, sure, but leaves. My bags? Fannings would be too kind. Coffee grounds are larger, I kid you not. I’m not a huge fan of CTC, but it has it’s place so I’m okay if I buy something (particularly a morning-type tea) and it ends up being little grapenuts of tea. But buying a loose leaf tea and getting something that Lipton would consider too small to put in there bags? Shameful.

And then, after all that horror, we get to the taste. Or rather, we SHOULD get to the taste. But no. This is massively bland. I mean, I can look at this from the point of view that at least the flavoring isn’t too strong or perfume-y or chemically or whatever. But that’s only because it has the barest hint of flavoring. They waved the closed bergamot oil jar over the dust particles before they swept them off the floor and stuck them in little bags and into that horrid cylinder.

But then you get a nice tea-flavor then, right? Nope! You get a warm, slightly muddy, slightly bright, wet flavor going. And that’s it. One cup of muddy, watery blandness was enough for me so I’ve been using up the rest of this tea for the husband’s morning tea with sugar and milk. I brew it for 5 to 7 minutes and, if I’m accidentally a little heavy-handed with the milk, he comments about how it’s a bit flavorless. Seriously, 5 to 7 minutes steep time and anything more than a tablespoon of milk in 16oz should not make a tea taste like sugared milk. But it does!

So yeah, I won’t be buying this tea again and honestly, I think I’ll be avoiding this brand like the plague. Because if this was fantastic, I could deal with the fact that opening it is a big giant pain in the ass. And hey, organic and recycled, so bonus. But no. Not fantastic. Not even good. Add the massive annoyance factor to the poor leaf quality (and taste) and you have an example of why a lot of people still think organic equals expensive and substandard. Bleck.

CHAroma

Aww, I’m sorry you had such a horrible experience. Hopefully your next new tea will be a winner!

Ninavampi

Excellent rave!!! Sorry you had to live through it though!

Jillian

Is it bad that I found your rant hilarious as all hell? XD

Indigobloom

aghhh! I hate packaging like that. I hope you had a great followup tea!!

Auggy

Hehe, I’m glad that was entertaining. I was mad as all get out when I wrote it (opening the damn thing had been harder than normal yesterday so it kind of wound me up) but I feel a lot better now that I’ve vented!

And sadly, yesterday was a bad tea day all around. Today will fix that though, I’m determined!

TeaBrat

Tell us how you really feel LOL! ;)

TeaEqualsBliss

I MISS YOU AUGGY!!!!

Jillian

Me too. :(

CHAroma

Me three! Come back to us!

Auggy

Awww! Y’all are so sweet! Things have been a bit off balanced this summer (and look like they’ll be staying that way for a bit more) so I haven’t been around much. I’ve been sticking with my favorite teas instead of trying new stuff and haven’t been focused enough to be overly social. Hopefully things will start settling down soon (or I can learn to deal better) and I can get back into the tea-love and social-ness!

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81

Thank you to Melanie for some of this tea, I don’t have much strawberry flavored teas and I’m on a strawberry kick right now (I didn’t get to buy any in Florida, so ashamed).

I think I may have oversteeped it a bit but it’s still good. It’s not an intensely flavored tea, which is nice. The strawberry is definitely in the aftertaste, but it tastes like a sweet, juicy strawberry.

It’s very easy to drink quickly. Of course, I probably dehydrated myself mainly over the past 2 days so everything tastes wonderful going down.

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88

Decided to break one out from the trenches! This was buried deep in my stash! How’d it get way back there! It’s a goodie!!!! See previous notes…

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86

Backlogging, and based almost entirely on relatively recent memory

Experience buying from Village Tea Company Online: Overall, positive (I hope to write a more formal review later)

Packaging: I love the packaging: very stylish looking sturdy paper cylinders, with a very tightly fitting lid. The 110 grams of tea comes in two beige colored cloth bags (almost like a bag of gold dust a prospector might keep stashed away!), and there are about 10 of those little paper teabags to put the ‘gold’ in. This is probably the most ingenious packing for tea that I have ever seen. It really makes the experience brewing it up a little more fun.

Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: Looks just like plain rooibus; but the aroma, ahh, the aroma, it is possibly my favorite smelling tea (that, and Harney’s Vanilla Comoro): it reminds me of walking into one of those climate controlled cigar rooms and taking a deep breath (I used to smoke a cigar on rare occasions, but it’s been a long time).

Brewing guidelines: Glass Bodum pot, with metal infuser/plunger; stevia added. I should probably use a pot that retains the heat better, but I love seeing the color of this tea.
……….1st: Near boiling; 2’…….Awesome!
……….2nd: Nearer boiling; 3’…Good.
……….3rd: Boiling; 5’……………Decent enough.

Color and aroma of tea liquor: a beautiful dark, rosy-red color; a wonderful vanilla smell.

Flavor of tea liquor: Awesome! It’s sweet, with strong notes of vanilla and possibly milder notes of tobacco. I can usually get three decent steeping out of this, even if it means steeping it for ten minutes for the third (I love that you can’t over-steep an herbal tea).

Blends well with: I blended it with one plain rooibus with success.

Value: Although I was fortunate enough to buy this on a promotional deal, it’s on the pricy side for a flavored rooibos at their standard price ($13.95/110 grams).

Overall: Although I am a green tea fanatic, I absolutely love this tea! I think I must really like vanilla, for I seem to love anything with vanilla in it (now that I think of it, in regards to ice cream I do prefer vanilla over chocolate). To me, in many ways, this tea smells like fresh, quality tobacco, and although I don’t smoke, I love the smell of good tobacco. I sometimes make this as a treat in the evening. This is a tea I will seriously consider buying again when I run out. It ROCKS!

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

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86

This is a spicy chai, exactly how I like it. Every time I open the box I can’t help from sneezing.

The directions suggest combining half boiling water with half boiling milk and then steeping the bag, but I found this tea does just fine steeped with only milk (I steam it with my espresso machine). To top it off I add some vanilla bean paste and coconut sugar to taste and I have one delicious chai tea latte (just as good if not better than Starbucks IMO, and I don’t have to use the concentrate).

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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75

I think I’m going to try upping my steep time a bit but I found this blend a little bland. I was expecting strong cherry flavor when it’s really more of an aftertaste.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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91

This tea is SO GOOD. It was the perfect way to relax last night!

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73

I’m not really experienced with high-quality black tea (I’ve drank low-quality teabags whenever I’ve drank black tea), but I can tell that this one has a smoothness that I find appealing. I need to try it again so I can give a better review, but preliminarily, I’d give this tea a pretty high rating!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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84

The Village Tea Company delivers again! The vanilla flavoring goes very well with the already-sweet rooibos. Smooth and relaxing!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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91

If you like white tea, this is a must-try!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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80

The leaves of this tea are large, adhesive and dusty with a sweet berry scent. Once prepared, this tea becomes very complex.

The brewed fragrance was slightly fruity, but had notes of warm squash and a slight salinity. The flavor was very delicate with a slight tartness, a bit of caramel, honeydew and corn. The berry didn’t become discernible for me until long into the aftertaste.

This is another tea that I received from LiberTEAS and it was, once again, an excellent choice.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Geoffrey Norman

Loved this stuff. Had it over a year ago. Still have the “tin” it came in. I use it to store do-it-yourself teabags.

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