9 Tasting Notes
I found the Far Leaves tea shop near me while Yelping ‘loose tea’ in Berkeley. Quaint, authentic tea room with a very earthy feel, and nice ‘indie beardie’ counter guy. I went in hoping to find a straight up lavender tea and straight up spearmint, as I have been doing my own concoctions and was thrilled to find both in their Lavender White tea. The dry tea smells almost exactly like the taste, and its a beautifully balanced tea. The (what I think is) spearmint is prominent, but not overpowering, and the lavender is understated-exactly what I wanted. A wonderful tea-great price too!
So after making my way through my new treasures from DT today and somehow going from bitter tea to bitter tea I was starting to wonder if I had a salivary tumor that was affecting my taste buds! Luckily I saved one of the best for last with Mamma Mia. I’m normally not a big Rooibos lover, although I love the zero caffeine, seems to taste like I steeped the tea in a wooden container with dishsoap not washed all the way out. I should mention that I am a HUGE fan of hibiscus and cinnamon. (Love Passion tea from Starbucks, add my own cinnamon and cardamom)Yogi used to make an amazing one but was sadly discontinued. I’m surprised that I got this today free for spending $50+, this is the tea I was hoping for when I was talked into Kanpe originally when I asked for a hibiscus tea. I love the fruity undertones and mallow too-this will be a keeper for me..
I’m all about bold flavors, as I don’t think I have the greatest sense of smell, so I’m a big fan of this one. The dry leaf smells amazing, the taste is mostly apple/berry , the floral notes are there but are subtle to me (and I love hibiscus and rosehips) I do notice that unlike some of my other teas it can turn bitter if steeped too long as it it a white tea.
I’m in love with Starbuck’s green tea frappucinos with whip (why don’t they list them on menu?) So I was nervous but excited to try a matcha. I overdid the amount of powder the first time (and its pricey, yikes) but have refined it to 1.5 tsp to 2 cups water, tossed 1 cup of ice and 1 cup vanilla soy milk sweetened with agave into my ninja blender, topped with whipped cream and voila. As a constant dieter, I usually go the low fat/sugar free route whenever possible,only problem is that sugar is what makes the difference between "yummy, consistent smoothie’ and “yummy smoothie liquid, surrounded by ice chunks clogging my straw..” ah well..
THIS. It’s funny, you assume there are flavors you just don’t like for whatever reason, then you find a tea like Midsummer Night and change your mind. The dry leaf smells lovely-almost like orange potpourri with a hint of mint. I did a nice long steep and a tablespoon of agave (I like sweet) in a 2 cup tumbler and this tea is heaven. I think the gooseberries pull the orange and mint flavors in. Love this tea, although I almost ruined it for myself by trying it as a latte with almond milk. Still trying to burn that taste from my memory..blech
I got talked into this one by the salesgirl, and wasn’t jazzed at the thought of coconut and mint together-I associate mint teas with stomach upset, but this has turned into one of my favorite teas of all time in a latte! The dry leaf smells divine, creamy and minty, and I think the apple is critical to the balance in flavor. I made my first cup with a tbsp of agave and thought “nice”. A few days later I decided to try a few splashes of sugar free Carnation italian sweet creamer and-Oh Em Gee. Creammy coconutty minty paradise latte. What a find! I had to buy 2 tins because its out for the season now…
My addiction to loose tea began a few months ago at a mall when I was speeding past a Teavana and an associate got my attention with a sample of Maharaja Chai Oolong/Samurai Chai Mate blend. I was honestly blown away. I described the difference in bagged tea to loose tea to my mom as “like black & white tv to HD”. My heart fell when I read the horrible reviews about Teavana of course-how a company treats their staff matters. I did get a salesy feel, but having been in many brutal sales jobs it doesn’t bother me unless they are relentless, then I just say “I know this is your job, but I don’t respond well to sales pressure, so let me have a look around-thanks!” And don’t have problems. Here’s hoping the Starbucks purchase helps them with all that. So I am a lover of all things chai, and I adore this one. The dry leaf smell is cinnamony/cardamomy and even after sampling all the chais at David’s Tea, (I was dying to try the famed pumpkin chai which is out of season, so I bought an entire chair sampler just to get it!) I keep going back to this one. A few other people mentioned that there aren’t many Oolong leaves in there to unfurl in my strainer, I did notice that, but otherwise, this one is spicy perfection for me in a latte..
Wouldn’t consider myself a chamomile lover, but wanted something with a bit of liquorice-the nice girl at DT suggested Bravissimo before one of their other straight up licorice blends, and I’m glad-its a really nice amount, don’t know if I could handle more. I like my tea about 2 tbsp sweetener sweet and it was overkill-had to add more boiling water!. I can see this as a go to tea during cold andflu season..