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249 Tasting Notes

65

I’m glad I decided to only buy a bag of about 50g of this tea. As much as I had initially loved this, it has eventually become pale and not very buttery at all.

The leaves’ aroma still gives off the impression that this will be a very creamy and full flavored black tea, but comes off flat, unnecessarily bitter and just not close to it’s description at all.

The fact that this tea will only be half as buttery with an equal or more amount of sugar added doesn’t help. As much as I love a sweetened tea, straight tea is better. But, if required, the less sugar the better.

It’s quite unfortunate, as it still seems nothing can and will compare to the holiest of holies, Teavana’s Almond Biscotti.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Dustin

I too have been suffering the sting of no more Almond Biscotti and the quest for a replacement. The closest things I have found are Tea Embassy’s Almond Cookies Green and Teavanna’s reblend of AB, Amadine Rose which would only be good if you like over the top rose flavor.

Peter Azak

The reckless rose really ruined the Amadine Rose, as I kind of liked it on my initial steep, but the more I had it, the less buttery it got, and the more pale the rose made it.

I need to try that Almond Cookies Green, but unfortunately nothing can replace the pure cookie delight of Almond Biscotti.

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85

I bought this tea before trying it at David’s Tea Prince George location. I really liked it’s leaves scent, and I have recently taken a liking to blood orange.

I don’t think it was steeped that long when I first tried it, which was my fault as I was trying it while in the Pine Center mall. Strangely, the brew’s scent wasn’t as strong as it is in my cup at the office either, so it might not entirely be my fault.

In any case, the blood orange and citrus scents are very prevalent and extremely tangy. The liquor gives a very handsome and very deep copper color.

The flavor is that of it’s scent, a full and tangy citrus blend. The grapefruit seems to be the most recognizable, which is not a bad thing considering how much I also like grapefruit. Thankfully, the licorice root doesn’t seem out of place, possibly balancing out the citrus with the pu’erh. The two flavor extremes could clash with one another but don’t seem to at all here.

This is possibly the best orange blend tea I can remember having. The leaves’ scent had my curiosity, but the flavor now has my attention.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

This sounds a lot like the blend that Rishi makes. Have you tried it?

Peter Azak

Do you mean this? http://steepster.com/teas/rishi-tea/7721-pu-erh-blood-orange

I have not tried any Rishi teas, but you make this sound delicious enough to try.

TeaBrat

I did like it but wish they made it without hibiscus.

Peter Azak

Yeah, it could do without hibiscus, as there is enough licorice root to balance out both citrus and tea.

It sounds like your dislike for hibiscus is similar to my dislike for overzealous rooibos.

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72
drank Orchid Vanilla by Tea Forte
249 tasting notes

I don’t drink enough vanilla teas, as the strong and delicious cookie scent had caught me by surprise. You can practically smell your bites into soft and decadent sweet cookies, with an extremely well balance of vanilla and coconut.

Unfortunately, as you steep the leaves, the sweet decadent cookie aroma fades into a just as sweet and slightly more nutty, but clearly pale scent. This now worries me. Thankfully, and with knowledge of experience with most flavored black teas, I had added equal amounts of rock sugar to the leaves; this should help the vanilla and coconut maintain their cookie flavor.

And, indeed, it has. The tea can be sweet, with the vanilla and coconut helping to keep the pale black tea under control. The pale flavor is there, but not as prominent as the other flavors.

I am a bit relieved that I would not be entirely disappointed with this tea, but maybe a half teaspoon of rock sugar would suffice next time. I cannot see myself steeping the leaves a second time, as the paleness tells me this black tea will only maintain its full flavor on the initial steep.

But, a still sweet and slightly decadent tea before lunch, and during these stressful holidays, is great nonetheless.

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

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80
drank Estate Darjeeling by Tea Forte
249 tasting notes

I could not recall at the top of my head the last time I’ve had Darjeeling tea. Looking through my tea log, it appears it has been 6 months since my last steep of Darjeeling tea, which is quite surprising considering how much I love Darjeeling tea.

There is a very musty, toasted aroma to the dark brown and black leaves, with a very light woody scent. Steeping gives a similar scent, more woody than toasted, but still musty, and floral.

The flavor brings out a more floral taste, giving it a more delicate body. Any astringency compliments the light toasted notes, almost giving it a buttery flavor.

It is a little too delicate to be a morning tea, but as an early or late afternoon tea, this would be perfect.

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

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85

My older brother and sister-in-law came by last night with a bag of this, wanting me to make a pitcher of iced tea for everyone. I haven’t tried this herbal tea before, but I am always excited to try new teas.

I mixed eight tablespoons of leaves with about two tablespoons of rock sugar, steeped for around ten minutes and left it in the fridge for a good four to five hours. Mind you, I’ve only made iced tea this way twice before, so there is a reason to my general approximations.

My first initial reaction was how surprisingly dark it is lukewarm, I would assume the sunflower petals and rosehip peels are to blame for that, but the sweet and fruity flavors quickly overwhelm, not so much overtake or suffocate, but at the very lease harmonize the overall taste.

It is an unusual color, a reddish blonde tone. And, because it is herbal, very cloudy.

My second helping, about twenty hours later, gives less a dark flavor and more a sweetly juicy body. The fruit really balance each other out. As well, the colder it is, the more delicious it gets.

I wish I made some of this near the end of summer. We’d probably be constantly making it, as the juicy flavor sure could quench a summer night’s thirst.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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80
drank White Ambrosia by Tea Forte
249 tasting notes

There is a strong potpourri scent when opening the bag of leaves, followed by a sweet hint of coconut. The potpourri is a little annoying, as it can give me headaches, so I can briefly take this scent.

The leaves are a nice mixture of bright and dark greens with deep red petals. There is a very detailed texture, with full leaves, curled and uncurled, and stems.

Steeping gives a deep and clean golden color, with a better sweeter coconut aroma.

The flavor is all white tea. The coconut is a subtle touch, the safflower very difficult to detect. But, it all blends extremely well with the white tea, which is beautifully dark and clean, with a slight astringency.

The aroma of the dry leaves left me worried this would be wholly floral, but upon brewing, the coconut scent had assured me that this is a quality white tea blend.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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85

I’ve owned a tin of this tea before, but for some reason, never tried it. Fortunately, grocery stores stock it quite regularly, so it was pretty easy to get another tin.

The leaves are quite detailed and twisted, with a distinct steely cool gunpowder scent.

Steeping gives the leaves a warmer and very surprising aroma, very fine quality and greatly enjoyable to just take in.

The brew is a very deep earthy green color, with an equally earthy green tea scent.

The flavor is extremely earthy, with a nice strong toasted green tea taste and little astringency. It isn’t too strong, a nice stable straight flavor.

The strength is enough to make you aware, but overall mellow enough to keep you relaxed. Although the leaves were more interesting, the brew was more than enjoyable.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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70
drank Hazelnut Truffle by Tea Forte
249 tasting notes

This is very much a proper coffee alternative. I am reminded of the hazelnut coffee sweetener, with a nice sweet nutty aroma.

Steeping lessens the sweetness, but gives a more full coffee-like scent with hazelnut highlights.

The flavor is a very rounded nutty chocolate, with subtle hints of the hazelnut and coconut. I like that it works unsweetened, with a very mellow characteristic.

Not bad, it would probably be better as an early afternoon pick-me-up, with a bit of rock sugar.

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

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65
drank Vienna Cinnamon by Tea Forte
249 tasting notes

This will be the first tea to try in my new Kati tea brewing system from Tea Forte.

The leaves remind me of Tea Forte’s Sweet Orange Spice, which is also very cinnamon-y and festive.

Because the tumbler is smaller than my Starbucks/Bodum double-walled glass, I used only 1 teaspoon of leaves instead of my typical 1.5 – 2 teaspoons.

Steeping gives off a slightly concerning pale cinnamon scent, akin to the pale character of typical teabags, which makes for a more slight disappointment.

The flavor is interesting; there is a very barky spice that tries to follow through, but you also have that underlying pale taste. There is also a dull sweetness, which somewhat improves the pale flavor, but not significantly.

This is not bad, better than your typical teabag, but not on par with how delicious the Sweet Orange Spice surprised me.

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

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70

I had purchased this tea many times before, and with those many times never had gotten to actually trying it. I had tried Twinnings Gunpowder Green loose leaf, and can recall my impressions of an abnormally strong tea.

Upon opening the sealed tin, you are invited with a very strong citrus aroma. It is stronger and sweeter than what you would expect citrus to be, very bittersweet. Mixed in is a strong floral scent, but the citrus is prominent and potent.

Steeping brings out that strong floral scent, as the citrus becomes more subtle. The liquor is a deep topaz and very dark.

The flavor maintains a strong floral base, with the citrus appropriately subtle. There is a light astringency, and you feel the bottom of the black tea flavor.

What a rather perfectly affordable and accessible tea to wake up to. It has earned it’s place on my tea shelf as a morning tea at the office.

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

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