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267 Tasting Notes

87

The description, which states that in many ways this could be a straight up pu’ehr, is totally spot-on. The flavoring is really subtle, and don’t let the elderberry scare you away if you’re a bit wary of berries in tea, as I am. The berry is certainly as mild as the other flavor components- yay, no kool-aid taste. This seems to be a decent pu’ehr, and the flavoring softens it a bit, and sweetens it too.

Second steeping is actually even less flavored and more straight pu’ehr.

I’m so into flavored pu-ehrs lately… open to anyone who wants to swap me one of these for just about anything.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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97
drank Redbush Chai by urbane tea company
267 tasting notes

My mom got me a groupon for this company’s tea sampler for Christmas. The address on the groupon was in a town very close to where my parents live, and so on the 27th or so we all popped on over there and tried to find it. To… no avail. Apparently the address on the groupon was the location of a farmer’s market where they occasionally sell their wares. Alas for us, it was 40 degrees and raining as we puttered around.

Fortunately, I was able to cash this groupon online, and if we’d read the groupon more carefully we’d all have probably realized that was the intent.

I ordered the chai sampler, the specifics of which are subject to change- and I imagine due to the volume of groupon holders, I ended up with Redbush chai instead of the “rooibos cacao chai” I’d been psyched about. Plus, my tins were maybe half full of tea.

But when I smelled this, all was forgiven. It’s really an exceptional chai. I haven’t had one that tastes this good with just a 5 minute water brew in a long time. I thought the Tea Gschwendner version was awesome, but this makes the top of my list. There are whole aniseeds in it for peet’s sake.

A seriously brilliant, warming, and spicy winter drink.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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81

Whole Foods had all of the RoT holiday teas on super clearance today, so I nabbed a couple of tins. This one I had only tried once, and it’s actually good for a fruit tea. They managed not to get the awful taste of kool-aid or awful red fruit in the resultant brew despite it being a plum tea. I’m glad they held back; the tea itself looks about the same color as an oolong. I’d definitely call the spice blend “holiday” inspired as well. It winds up tasting a bit like holiday potpourri smells, without being cloying or perfumey.

Overall, I think they did this quite well, and though it’ll never be a favorite, it’s a pleasant cup.

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

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100

TeaG’s signature Earl Grey- the most popular tea in their Chicago shop, they told us back when we lived in Chicagoland. I must admit it’s just about the perfect winter afternoon drink, and now that we live in Houston I’m missing the excuse to indulge in these. This is so smooth that the black tea doesn’t create that awful dry mouth astringency delivered by some black teas/earl greys. I’d actually say this is just about the perfect Earl Grey and I don’t think I’ve tasted a better one, even at Tea G’s Earl Grey tea tasting event in Chicago. Thankfully Tea G does mail-order on some of its items.

A nice splash of soy milk makes me happy.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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4

Well, yeah…
I remembered hating this tea, but a bag of it came with my RoT catalog so I brewed it anyway. Yep, I still hate it. Like drinking a melted lollypop.
I can’t stand red fruit teas. They’re all the same kool-aid and lollypops. Why even bother to put green tea in this one, apart from the health benefits of it I guess?… Blegh. I had to laugh when I saw that this was the freebie of choice in the catalog. The only thing worse would have been one of the hibiscus teas.
I guess free is free though- I should have passed this one on to someone else.

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85

I had strayed over to Yogi Teas for a while, but had gotten tired of the licorice in everything they offer. So with a recent bout of what may be acid reflux (not sure, but it runs in the family) I am trying to be very kind to my tummy.
This tastes pretty good actually- minty/herby. It actually seems to be working, and what’s more the sinus headache I had all day finally start to go away.
I have a few coupons for Traditional Medicinals (they’re in just about every magazine I read), so I think I’ll return to them next time I have an ailment.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
TeaBrat

I get acid reflux too but mint seems to make it worse… :-/

Lisbet

Ugh. It does say on the box to use caution when taking it for acid reflux, but it seemed okay for me, so far.

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67
drank White Ambrosia by Tea Forte
267 tasting notes

Okay, so I liked the smell of this one dry- bright and citrusy, with a hint of coconut. But brewed, I keep thinking of soap. Coconut can do that for me, and the coconut seems to be the dominant note here. The citrus has faded a bit, and I can’t taste much of the tea at all.

As much as it might sound otherwise, I’m actually enjoying this one somewhat. It’s not particularly interesting, or something I’d re-buy, but it’s pleasant enough. I’ve had a stuffy head from a cold for a while, so it’s nice to begin to taste subtle things again.

If you’re into coconut, do check this one out- it manages not to be greasy or fake tasting. Alas, if I had a spare orange sitting around I’d squeeze a little orange juice into it.

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

Stop buying coconut soap.

Lisbet

We shall certainly take your feedback into consideration, Mr. Marks.

Jim Marks

I know where you don’t get any sleep.

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60
drank Breathe Deep by Yogi Tea
267 tasting notes

My husband brought a box of this home for us because we’re both trying to get over bad colds. Neither of us is breathing particularly deep right now. I think it’s funny that the last time I reviewed this was a year ago… when I had a cold. Alas.

So, same thoughts on the taste- it’s herby herby herby (thyme with a hint of rosemary) and definitely licorice-y. But it does help, so it’s worth choking down even if you can’t stand licorice. It’s sort of like licking the herb shelf of a spice cabinet. Though my husband thinks I am still tasting dinner when I say this, my review last year said the exact same thing so I’m stickin’ with it.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Jim Marks

Maybe you’re still tasting dinner from LAST YEAR did you think of that? Hmmm?

;-)

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67
drank Citrus Mint by Tea Forte
267 tasting notes

I hadn’t read this part of the description: “the menthol in peppermint is a good expectorant and decongestant, explaining why mint teas are so wonderful when you have a cold or flu”, but I guess my body has a wisdom all its own, because I naturally reached for this tea now that I am down with a cold. And indeed while drinking it I HAVE noticed that my throat and chest feel better (not just the hot liquid, I think).
I am not in great shape, so I’ve been mainlining tea, and the combination of citrus and mint is probably one of the best I could pick while ill. Other than that- it’s a decent tea, but the citrus flavor really takes a backseat to the aggressive peppermint.
Is it nap time yet?

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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77
drank Silk Oolong by Tea Forte
267 tasting notes

This is an enjoyable oolong, actually. It’s got a sweet nuttiness to it that I am enjoying, almost like a marzipan (but more subtle). I’d call this a soft oolong- actually the name seems to fit well. A big mug of this on a chilly day (yes, Houston gets chilly….ish) is really sort of perfect. This is going to sound odd, but the more I drink this the more I think I can taste hints of vanilla in it, and the more I keep thinking this should be marketed as a Christmas oolong.

Tea Forte has the coolest packaging- which seems like a waste to me, and is of course going to ramp up the cost of the tea- but it does make for delightful little gifts. And I love good design, so I am begrudgingly forgiving them. Okay, no more about the design in my future TF reviews.

Second steep- I’ve never steeped a tea bag more than once before so here goes nothing.
Actually, this held up well considering I steeped it too long both times. Oddly enough, the second steeping doesn’t taste that much different from the first- mild, sweet, and nutty. I wonder if I can go for a third. These tea bags are expensive!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Grad student in sociocultural anthropology. I drink tea while reading for my courses, and it makes the books go down easier. I genuinely like most kinds of tea – although fruit tisanes kind of scare me.

Location

Houston, Texas, United States

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