Arbor Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

So i was thinking I’d make a black tea and I pulled this out of my unopened samples box, not paying too much attention and kind of in a hurry. After a few minutes, when I was going to take the leaves out of the cup, I thought, “hey, thats a funny colored black tea!” It’s not exactly green though either, more like amber. I thought maybe I didnt use enough leaves or something. Oh well. Then I took a sip and it was definitely not black tea flavor. haha. Still, very good. Once I overcame the state of confusion, I decided that I like it quite a lot. It’s a very unique flavor of Green Tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

Sorry for the lack of notes recently. I’m always here reading everyone else’s notes, but I don’t have so many new teas to review myself anymore. Last year was my tea-discovery year. I had to try everything. Now I’ve mostly narrowed down what I like and don’t like. I don’t need to add 20 new teas to every order anymore. I’ll always have to occasional free sample and I might add one or few new teas that look particularly interesting. I guess I’ll just have to start writing random “Hi! Im drinking tea today” notes for all the oldies, like this one. (^.^)

This tea comes and goes from my favorite list. I always like it, but sometimes its not my favorite green and sometimes I can’t get enough of it. Right now I tend to crave kukicha more often, but Im almost out of kukicha again, so I made a cup of the five peaks.

TheTeaFairy

Haha, welcome to the oldies click!
Congrats on making up your mind after only one year!!! It’s been 3 years in the making for me, still can’t seem to control myself on the «don’t need to add 20 new teas» part, haha! I have no excuses, I do know what my staples are, I’just can’t help it. But if you could do it, so can I right?? …eventually :-)

Terri HarpLady

Yup, those if us that have written about almost every tea in our cupboards several times end up having to write about what we’re doing while drinking tea, our latest tea ware, or something! :D

Shelley_Lorraine

Im sure Ill have periodic phases here and there, especially during sales. :)

Terri HarpLady

There is no escape, Shelley!

Terri HarpLady

Meanwhile, I could always send you a box of samples :)

Shelley_Lorraine

really, is the next installment of my riveting tasting notes worth such generosity. . .or are you just trying to get rid of tea? 〈(゜。゜)

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85

I haven’t had this one in my cupboard for a while, and I’m glad to have it back!

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85

Last time I logged this, I said it didn’t compare to Laoshan green. I take it back. This is currently my favorite green. I think I had this whole psychosomatic response to the Laoshan, being the first fresh-from-the farm tea that I purchased. I made up my mind that is has to be superb, therefor it was. Well of course, it still is a good green, but most of my enthusiasm was the novelty of it.

Anyhow, back to normal daily tea life, this five peaks is the star of my cupboard. It’s such an easy tea to work with. Doesn’t go bitter if I look at it funny, doesn’t have that textured/granular flavor (yes, Im referring to a texture as a flavor, because to me it does have a flavor :p ) that some of the heavy vegetal greens get. Its pleasant, sweet and juicy without overdoing it.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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85

trying to fit in a cup of tea before I leave to see my piano teacher for a short rehearsal. So hard to find quality tea-time ;_;

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

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85

This is a decent green tea. I think after my encounters with Laoshan green, I’ll rarely be so kind with my descriptions of other greens.

This one has a delicate vegetal flavor. It’s not bitter or astringent. A good every day green.

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

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85

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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96

This was what I was looking for from Arbor Teas!!! I ended up getting a sample from Silver Tips Tea of their Assam Organic tea and was trying to find a similar one from a company that sells organic Moroccan Mint AND organic Assam. Unfortunately, Arbor Teas regular Assam tastes nothing like Silver Tips but this English Breakfast one is a close contender! I love how deep and robust it is WITHOUT a hint of astringency…unlike Arbor teas Assam, Nillgeri, and Irish Breakfast(this one is a runner up to English Breakfast). Two thumbs way, way up!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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84

This is a very solid example pu-erh and its comparatively easy on the palate. Earthy, full bodied mineral “cave floor” mineral/mushrooms without any gnarly leather notes. Brings a nice Qi to boot and is friendly enough for daily drinking. A good introduction to the world of ripe pu-erh; mellow enough, yet brings a full bodied genuine pu-erh experience.

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75

Finished off my current bag of this tea earlier this evening. It really is quite good, but I don’t know if I’ll be re-stocking anytime soon as I am in a steady relationship with my more vegetal greens atm. (#^.^#)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75

Dragonwell was one of my favorites in the beginning of my tea adventures, but lately I’ve been craving more savory vegetal greens. I have this dragonwell along with arbor teas less premium variety. I can detect the differences, but neither is particularly ‘better’ to me. I also have one from Adagio that I don’t like so much (it is vaguely reminiscent of cat pee, not kidding). I still like my dragonwells and will keep trying new ones from different sources, but it’s not my favorite green at the moment.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

I tried brewing this that past couple of times according to ‘traditional’ methods (using more leaf per oz, 160-150deg water, 90sec) and it seemes to produce a more bitter cup than when I originally brewed it at 175 for 2 min with less leaf. It’s been a while since that first cup, so I am going to have to try again to see if it makes the difference. It’s still really good, even with the bitterness. I like it better than sencha for sure.

EDIT: I just re-steeped the leaves after a few hours. I used 150deg water like the first time (I meant to use hotter, but I let it cool too long). I let the leaves steep for 60 seconds (an arbitrary choice) and the final product was a lot less bitter than the first cup. This is probably the first time that a second steeping has turned out better than the first for me.

I think gyokuro is going to take a lot of experimentation to get it just right all the time. But I look forward to the task :)

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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70

I used whistled water, which is why it had a bitter undertone. I forgot which tea I was preparing the water for. I gave a cup to my daughter who was in bed with a sore throat bug. She said it made her throat feel better. I finished off my cup of Chun Mee and, although not prepared correctly, was satisfying just the same.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75

Sipdown

Don’t know if I’ll be restocking yet. It was good, but I want to try out other black teas too.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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75

I haven’t had a lot of black teas. I tried the occasional bagged ‘English Breakfast’ blends before I started buying loose tea, but mostly I drank bagged green teas. I don’t know quite how an Assam is supposed to taste, but based on descriptions I’ve read, I wouldn’t describe this as similar to one. I have Yunnan gold-tip teas from two different sources and I don’t think this tea significantly different in terms of strength and astringency. I’ll have to start expanding my black tea collection in order to make better assessments :)

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70

I’ve had this many times hot, but this is the first time I cold -steeped it. I like it better this way. It cuts down on that menthol-like taste I find in a lot rooibos and brought out the creamier aspect of the tea. Also the blackberry flavor seemed much stronger. I will have to make it again soon .

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70

Whenever I drink this tea, I’m always struck by a of menthol sensation and I don’t know what would cause it. The flavor is more rooibos than blackberry. Earthy, almost clay-like rooibos. Defininitely an aquired taste, but it’s grown on me.

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70

My sister got a lot of this for me for my birthday in February hoping that it would end my search for the perfect blackberry tea. The tea is good, but the rooibos definitely overpowers the blackberry. I didn’t like this tea at first, but it has grown on me. It tastes much better sweetened with honey and I have to be careful not to steep it for too long or else it just tastes too muddy. If steeped for just a couple of minutes, it tastes rich and smooth with just a light, fruity undertone. I’ll often drink it with breakfast or a meal, but not on its own as the main attraction.

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89

This tea appears to be a very high quality Gyokuro. Color is deep green, leaves are mostly full, flattened needles, there is some breakage, but that is no doubt due to the extremely fragile almost crystalline nature of the gyokuro needles, and not an actual knock on the quality of the tea itself. The color of the brew is spot on classic gyokuro, just a beautiful light green, almost highlighter green, its quite amazing.

Flavors on this are as follows:

Uni (sea urchin)
Rocky seaweed
Edamame/Snow peas
Sweet
Grain

Thick mouth feel with lingering subtle sweetness.

I found this tea to be quite enjoyable. It does tend to have a shellfish (or as many other describe, seaweed) flavor profile that is very prevalent in the first brew, but mellows out later. Personally I like it quite a bit and tend to handle these types of flavors like a boss, but I could see how it might not suite some folks. The likening to the taste of uni is quite remarkable, owing no doubt to the high theanine content – a mark of a high quality and properly grown gyokuro. There is almost no astringency at all, especially brewed at low temperatures.

Brew this one low low temperature, close to body temperature for 90-120 seconds and you will be amazed at how well it turns out. Good for about 3 steeps before it starts to lose the the magic.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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33

Unfortunately, they went and changed the cinnamon formula and added cloves. NO one as far as I can find just does a straight black cinnamon tea…everyone always has to do the same boring and horrible tasting (in my opinion) mix of cloves, cardamon, ginger etc. Hopefully they will change this formula back or at least offer two kinds.

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75

I’m trying to drink this one more often to finish the bag. I went and got 2oz of it originally, when I thought it would be one of my faves. It really isn’t bad, but i’ve been too spoiled with options since I bought this one and it’s hard not to be picky.

I didn’t think much of it before, but this dragonwell has a lot of twigs in the mix, maybe that is what is taking from its potentially more vegetal flavor? It’s very mildly smoky, I think.

Brew notes:
3.5g/12oz water [email protected]

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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75

I tried different brewing parameters this time. Trying to get it just right! I used 3 grams for 16oz of water and steeped for 1.5min at 175. It was a pretty decent cup. I haven’t been careful about introducing the water slowly at the edge before pouring directly on the leaves. I wonder how much difference that even makes. I’ll have to try it next time.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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75

After sampling so many different types of tea and then returning to this, one of my originals, I find that it is not as good as I remember. It has a hint of that dirty/muddy flat taste that I associated with my Sencha for a while (until I figured out how to brew it correctly!). But I prepared this the same as I always have, so I dunno why it seems different now.

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