Based on two experiences: my wife’s and my own
Experience buying from Tea Forte: Good. Website is very colorful and easy to navigate. Sent free samples after responding to an invitation on Steepster. Package came in reasonable amount of time. Other than sending my address, no e-mail or phone contact.
Age of leaf: Unknown. Steeped within a month or so of receiving.
Packaging: Creative: each tea came in a silver and somewhat transparent plastic bag with five smaller “Single Steeps” packs attached to a colorful paper backing describing each tea. The tiny tea foil packs themselves were the most colorful and most professional-looking tea packages I have ever seen—with a picture of the fruit that the tea replicates prominently displayed on it.
Dry leaf: Great scent: sweet and fruity, possibly with a piney smell?
Brewing guidelines: (package states 12 oz. I used closer to 16 oz.) I used a metal basket strainer inside a ceramic 16 oz. Cup. Two steepings: 1st: boiling, 3mins. 2nd: boiling, 5 mins. (the next day). Small amount of Stevia added.
Aroma: This was hard for me to pin down; it was pleasant, though.
Color of liquor: a light, rosy, orange.
Wet leaf: sweet and pleasant.
Flavor: A sweet lime flavor, mixed in with some flavor I could not place, possibly mint. I liked it.
Value: Free sample, but their price on their website is more than I would be willing to pay if I purchased it.
Overall: The whole experience was enjoyable from when I opened the package and smelled the dried tea to the finishing flavor in the cup. Something fun to curl up with on a dark, cold night. If the price was right, I would consider buying it.