Art of Tea

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85
drank Ancient Forest by Art of Tea
52 tasting notes

This was a Father’s Day gift from my family, so I have been excited to try it. They bought it at my local tea cafe which, as it turns out, only sells Art of Tea teas, so I will have to remember that for future use.

The dried leaves were well-rolled, dark with lots of golden tips interspersed throughout. I found almost no stems in there. The leaves are broken—not whole, but that adds to the flavor, I’m sure.

I used my usual steeping measurements for black tea: 11 grams in 20 ounces of near-boiling water for 4 minutes.

The liquor comes out very dark—much like the teas of my youth. There is no astringency at all to the flavor. The primary flavors are both earthy and woody (wet wood?)—reminding me of what I’m told the better-quality puer teas are supposed to be like. There is also a very faint smoke flavor to it, but definitely more wood and earth than smoke.

Overall, it is a wonderful tea that I will be happy to have again. I don’t think I would’ve picked it myself if I had been shopping on my own since I usually stick with either muscatel/floral Darjeelings or breakfast teas and blends that have malt, toast, or honey for their primary flavors. This is completely different than my usuals but I really enjoyed it and may have to expand my purchases in this direction going forward. I am glad the family got this one for me — definitely an excellent choice!

Flavors: Earth, Smoke, Wet Wood, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 11 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML
loudao

After reading your notes, I checked out the tea on the Art of Tea website. It seems that they’ve renamed this tea to “6:00 AM” and made it part of their “Time Collection” (See: http://www.artoftea.com/tea/black-tea/ancient-forest-blend.html). I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but I wanted to mention it so that you don’t unintentionally end up with a duplicate batch of tea.

Regardless of the name, it sounds like a very intriguing tea, and I loved the dimension you added to it with your description. I’ll have to put this one on my list! :)

teepland

Thanks, loudao! I had no idea that they would do that! I hadn’t looked up the tea on their website so I am glad to know about this—thanks! Yes, it is a very intriguing tea and I do recommend trying it. I have only tried two puer teas so far—one was an absolute disaster and the other was okay. This one seems like something that would serve as a “stepping-stone” to enjoying puer flavors; this was not as overpowering as I found the better-quality of my puer teas to be, and I could see getting accustomed to this one and then moving into puer teas from there. Please let me know if you try it and what you think—I’d be interested to hear! :)

teepland

I just read all the information on the website—I’m surprised that they listed this as being malty and honey-flavored since I didn’t get that at all. I can see the cedar flavor they note, though—that could very well be the woody flavor I am tasting. Very interesting how different people find different flavors in teas… :)

loudao

You’re welcome. I’m happy to help! :)

I am going on a tea trip next week. So, I’ll be on the lookout for this tea on my trip. Maybe one of the shops I’m going to will have it.

I’m surprised that you describe pu-erhs as overpowering. But, you’re right, taste is so individual. I’m very sensitive to tastes and smells, but I also eat a lot of fermented foods. So, even though I have such a sensitivity, I may also be more used to the flavor of the fermentation. My mother is coming with me on the tea trip that I mentioned and she told me that she’s going to try pu-erh tea on our trip. So, perhaps we can order the same tea and see if our impressions differ. She does not eat so many fermented foods, so this should give me some idea of whether I’m more tolerant of those strong pu-erh tastes than others are.

One thing I have noticed is that tasting notes for pu-erhs tend to have more range than other teas. I think this is because of how they’re stored. If you take a tin of tea into a hot, arid climate or into a cool, humid climate, it’s still in the tin, so it’s much more insulated from those climate differences. Pu-erh is pressed into cakes and covered with paper which is much more permeable than a tin. So, what environment it’s kept in can have a significant influence on the notes that develop in it — particularly for pu-erhs that are aged for many years and thus have many years of storage influencing their flavor.

In regards to the description on the website, I’ve noticed that sometimes tea professionals have different words for notes than other people. It’s kind of like what people do with wines. Some wines are called “dry.” But wine is a liquid, so how “dry” could it really be? ;) But, they’re not referring to an actual dryness, but more of a dry mouth feeling, tannins, or astringency. So, what I do is I try to look within the same vicinity as the taste they’re referring to. Like, honey would translate to warmth and sweetness. Cedar is a very clean wood, so I’d look for a woody flavor that’s not a wet wood taste, but a clean, more dry wood taste. Many times, that works. Other times, they’re so far off that it’s not just that we have different tongues, but maybe we were drinking different teas. ;)

Fjellrev

What a fantastic Father’s Day gift!

teepland

Excellent points, laudao—thanks for explaining the differences that people have when making taste notes. That does make a lot of sense! Re puer teas: I’m sure my very limited experience is a reason why I feel they can be overpowering, since one of the teas I had was definitely low quality and very bad flavor. I am going to have to try more so I can change my opinion of them, I guess! :)

teepland

Fjellrev: It was! My wife and kids know me well, I guess! :)

loudao

You’re welcome. :)

I’m actually expecting a large shipment of pu-erh samples in the mail. I picked out ones from many different years (2006-2016), both ripe and raw, and from different price ranges ($17-$42 per cake). I figured that it would not only give me a good ‘lay of the land’ in regards to pu-erh taste variations, but it would also give me an idea of what tastes and scents coincide with high pricing and grading. I’ll be sure to share my impressions! :)

ashmanra

A tea shop opened in my town a few months ago and they also only sell Art of Tea.

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drank Happy Tea by Art of Tea
1 tasting notes

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100

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100

Well, I’ve maybe found the elusive loose leaf chamomile that is as good as cheap bagged chamomile! It sounds like an odd quest, but it just seems so unusual to prefer grocery store bagged chamomile (I buy the 20 teabags for $2 at bulk barn) to the fresher high quality loose leaf version. Although some day I want to try fresh chamomile flowers fresh from the garden.

Anyway, this is a very flavourful chamomile with that classic “chamomile” dried flower taste I really like. As usual, there are notes of dust (in a good way), minerals, lemon, pollen, dried catnip, and dried herbs/dried flowers, and dried hay (in the best way!)

You really can’t get better than this in a pure chamomile tea.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Herbs, Lemon, Mineral

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 19 OZ / 550 ML

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68
drank Velvet Tea by Art of Tea
1574 tasting notes

A very strong rooibos with creamy notes of vanilla, cream cheese, and artificial red velvet flavours. I’m not a huge fan of red velvet or cream cheese, so I didn’t enjoy this blend very much. Still, it was nice to try once.

This would be very good as a latte, but it is also drinkable on its own. I’m not sure I would try it cold unless I added something to it, but it’s still a solid blend for those who like plain rooibos and cream cheese flavour.

Flavours: vanilla, rooibos, plain, minerals, dry stems, cream cheese,red velvet, skim milk, creamy

Flavors: Creamy, Rooibos

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 19 OZ / 550 ML

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82
drank Butterscotch by Art of Tea
71 tasting notes

This is a great sweet treat for evening. This tea does actually taste of butterscotch without being too cloyingly sweet (I find that a lot of blends advertising this flavor end up falling short). It’s one of the very few white tea blends that I own, and I really like that I can taste the tea itself in conjunction with the sweet butterscotch flavor. I used a tablespoon of tea for an 8oz cup.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87
drank Happy Tea by Art of Tea
1 tasting notes

We used to have this tea every week in my reading group and it was loved by everyone equally and promoted thoughtful conversation and good listening! Lovely plain, with honey, or sugar. Bright, fruit without being fake or false or artificial.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 5 tsp 30 OZ / 887 ML

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drank Banana Dulce by Art of Tea
2071 tasting notes

I like bananas, but I do not like banana flavored things. That probably explains why this has been sitting in my sample bowl for so long, untouched.
But I am being brave, this November, and am drinking things that have been untasted. Plus, samples are easy sipdowns.
I am relieved to say that this isn’t too banana-y. Its a bit like banana bread, not my favorite, but not as bad as, say, banana taffy.
I’m not going to get any more of this, but it was harmless enough.
Sipdown.

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70
drank Cinnamon Fig by Art of Tea
226 tasting notes

I’m actually not entirely sure that the Cinnamon Fig tea I have is THIS tea, because the lady at the shop wouldn’t tell me where she gets her teas (grrrr), but the description seems close. We’ll go with it.

While I do really like this tea… it just hasn’t delivered the fig flavor I wanted. The cinnamon is a very sweet cinnamon, not a spicy cinnamon, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Overall, this tea reminds me of a fresh cinnamon scone, with some slight breadiness from the black tea. There is a hint of fruit, but it’s more of a pear or apple flavor than it is fig. It’s tasty, but not one I will buy again.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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91

This is a seriously tasty blend. I picked it up looking for a Meyer Lemon tea after having had a Meyer lemon caradmom iced chai. This doesn’t fit the bill for that, but it’s a really good tea nonetheless. The lemon is strong and natural tasting, with rose a perfect complement. I always prefer green rooibos over red and this no exception. I don’t know that I could tell you what it tastes like in the blends I’ve had it in but it doesn’t add any unpleasant notes. :)

A nommy tea both cold and hot. Makes a really fine granita as well.

Fjellrev

That chai sounds seriously amazing.

Nicole/Tea-Historic

It was – it surprised me. I thought I wouldn’t like it. But the caradmom being the only spice made it really subtle and light. I’m going to try adding cardamom to this tea and see how it goes.

ColumbiaKate

Finally, a note about Art of Tea’s Meyer Lemon. I’ve been interested to see what people think.
I have a black Meyer Lemon Cream and a green Rooibos Meyer Lemon Cream. My own creations, but both are blended for me by AOT because no flavor companies were doing a Meyer lemon flavor at the time (about 5 years ago). AOT since came out with their own, the one you’ve just reviewed. I spent a year with them going back and forth with samples and tastings before finalizing the recipe I preferred. They are both top selling teas in my line.
My tea was one of the reasons I joined Steepster, because I wanted to have it recorded as being mine, before other Meyer lemon teas followed. A favorite flavor idea, I was anxious to be one of the first. There was only the Stash tea to be found by the time I got mine done. So, that’s my story.
If you would like to sample, send me a message.

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80
drank Happy Tea by Art of Tea
484 tasting notes

Sample from Tea Sipper. Thank you!

This is a really interesting combination of flavors. It’s earthy and slightly grassy but those flavors are juxtaposed with a lovely strawberry flavor that has some sweetness and some sourness. It makes me think of strawberry picking, which is something I haven’t done in years. I think this is the first gyayusa blend I’ve tried that I would be interested in buying more of. A unique and appealing blend. This is definitely a Happy Tea!

Flavors: Earth, Grass, Strawberry

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86

I’ve been trying to streamline my iced tea making process, so I picked up a box of passionfruit jasmine iced tea pouches during my last Art of Tea order. What I love about the passionfruit jasmine in particular is that it’s a blend of black and green teas; it’s perfect for those of us who can’t decide which way they want to go. Both the black and jasmine green teas that are used as a base for this blend are mild, which really allow the slight floral notes from the jasmine and slightly sweet flavors of the passionfruit shine. This is one of those iced teas I could drink a lot of and not get bored, but even if I did I still have eight other flavors to choose from.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2016/6/21/tuesday-tea-passionfruit-jasmine-iced-tea-pouches-art-of-tea

Preparation
Iced

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76

Trying brewed hot first. Though after reading some comments while waiting for it to steep I kinda wish I had just done cold. So far I agree that it is nothing special when its hot. In fact its kinda mediocre hot. As it starts to cool off the flavor is improving. A bit of honey would really make it great!

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84

Seeing as how purple teas are somewhat rare… I had to try this. It’s very smooth. Has a woodsy start with very interesting tones to it. Some I’m not quite able to describe. Though I’m not usually a fan of the darker oolongs even I can appreciate how good this one is.

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79
drank White Summer Rain by Art of Tea
2314 tasting notes

Thanks for this one in your sale, Ost! It’s in a cute little tin too. This leafy white tea is supposed to have cantaloupe and jasmine flavors. I think the jasmine might be missing, but the cantaloupe is definitely there and pairs very nicely with the white tea. Not the best cantaloupe tea I’ve had, but I’m always happy to find another one if it actually has cantaloupe flavoring at all.

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70
drank Endurance by Art of Tea
19 tasting notes

Endurance is a sweet smelling pu’erh and herbal blend. It smells like sweet plum fruit, cinnamon, mild young pu’erh and herbs.

The infusion is much lighter in flavor than you’d expect from the overwhelming fragrance of the blend- which is bold, and an in-your-face- as you open the package of full bodied fruity and herbal goodness… it smells amazing! The flavor is very delicate, the wet leaves smell like a swampy-pu’erh with cinnamon. Light earthiness in the final brew, with flat tasting cinnamon (meaning that it isn’t warming like cinnamon sometimes is, nor does it have a ‘bite’ to it), with goji, and mild plum flavor.

I dig it, though it isn’t the sort of tea I would usually choose.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Earth, Plums

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #24
Not much to say about this one, it’s just okay. Mild black tea with hints of passion fruit flavor but not much jasmine. I think I’m just usually spoiled with Teavivre’s jasmine teas so any other jasmine teas…. the jasmine is just non-existant. I’m surprised there was green tea listed in the ingredients… I couldn’t tell at all.

tigress_al

I agree, Teavivre’s Jasmine is amazing!

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90
drank Classic Black by Art of Tea
1183 tasting notes

Trying this hot today. Nice earthy smell to the dry leaves. Dark reddish mahogany liquor, and an amazing aroma. At first, it was deep and chocolately, and then became something fruity, plums I think. But such a strong, fruity aroma, almost as strong as I’ve smelled in some flavored blacks. Pretty wild.

The flavor is smooth, and fruity/chocolatey. Almost reminiscent of chocolate covered cherries, but not fakey or overly sweet in the way those cherries are. There is some sweetness in the aftertaste, though. An almost brown sugary one.

The only negative to my palate is a tiny bit of bitterness at the finish, but it’s not a huge downside. Just enough to keep this out of the mid-90s.

I like this one a lot. Tasty and also versatile as a cold brew. I expect it would be awesome in chai as well.

Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Plums, Sugar

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Nicole/Tea-Historic

Mmm. Sounds nice.

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90
drank Classic Black by Art of Tea
1183 tasting notes

A name like Classic Black sort of begged for being made into a cold brew, so my first encounter with this puppy is in icy mode. And it is, in fact, an excellent cold tea. There’s a softness and smoothness to the mouthfeel that is quite nice and though the flavor doesn’t call attention to itself, there’s some complexity. A touch of sweetness, a touch of fruitiness, and much “essence of teaness.”

I am looking forward to trying this one hot.

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89
drank Tea for Her by Art of Tea
31 tasting notes

This is the perfect tea for a ladies’ tea party I think! It’s creamy and full of vanilla sweetness, while the floral osmanthus makes you feel like you’re drinking a bouquet. I loved it!

Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Honey, Rooibos, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85
drank Ancient Forest by Art of Tea
1755 tasting notes

The description of the “creamy texture and notes of amber and honey” this tea purports to provide made me particularly eager to try it. It certainly sounds divine, after all. I was even more interested when I learned that the base tea is Yunnan, as it’s one of my favourite black tea varieties.

Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/10/10/ancient-forest-black-tea-art-tea/

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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77
drank Kauai Cocktail by Art of Tea
8570 tasting notes

sipdown :) had the last of this tonight since i was nearing the end of it. I enjoyed this one, though i think as far as fruit teas go, i’d prefer my delicious pina colada to this one…though it’s still enjoyable to me :)

Final Count: 121

mrmopar

If you like pina colada…. Oh wait that was a song too! ;P

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77
drank Kauai Cocktail by Art of Tea
8570 tasting notes

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77
drank Kauai Cocktail by Art of Tea
8570 tasting notes

Gotta drink those teas up. I really wanted something sweet tonight like ice cream, so i tried to appease my tastebuds with this tea. Sort of did the trick. Either way a nice cup of “juice” tea to go with my garlic lover’s stew…sooo good, hard to believe it’s a phase 1 receipe – no carbs, no flour, just damn good tasty yums.

OMGsrsly

… recipe?

OMGsrsly

No capers?! :O

OMGsrsly

OMG, I am totally making that. Tonight. But in the oven because some jerk turned the heater off again at home. :D

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