international house of tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

70

I appreciated the fact that the cinnamon wasn’t overpowering (for some reason I expected that since it was meant for apple cider? Hmm…). Not sure if I can detect coriander, but baking spices are there. Overall it’s alright. I will have to see what spice blend is my favorite from the sampler pack ;)

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 10 OZ / 295 ML

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75

One of the spice blends from the sampler pack. I steeped about 1.5-2.0 tsp in 10oz of 200F water for 5 min. Result is a mild taste of baking spices and vanilla/anise (not cloyingly sweet or anything though). I’m curious on how it would handle 10min- I don’t think it would be overbearing or anything though. Would consider blending this with early grey cream rooibos. Mmmm.

Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML

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71

Freebee for the month of March!

Chocolate teas aren’t usually my thing, but figured I’d give this a go. Luckily, the chocolate is quite light as is the sweetness of this tea (I’m used to DAVIDS chocolate teas that are packed full of sugar). I like the very mild spice to this tea- that adds an interesting concept. Overall I’m glad to try it but there are other honeybush or rooibos blends I like better from iHOT.

Preparation
Boiling

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72

Got this as a sample with my Christmas Giftcard. Thanks to the husband :)

I don’t have an ingredients list since they haven’t put this blend on their website yet but I drank the tea after it cooled off. »t had a bit of a tart hibiscus taste, a not too strong taste of cinnamon and other `baking spices`and a very strong, delicious flavouring I cannot put my finger on (strong vanilla?). This is tasty, but I prefer the Christmas Chai rooibos since it does not contain hibiscus (hibiscus to me is an iced tea thing only and I`m not doing iced teas right now).

Flavors: Cinnamon, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 30 sec

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90

GCTTB DAY 1

Fourth (and probably final) tea for the day. Since its late now I opted for a herbal tea, and immediately reached for this one. I’ve been eyeing it all day (but drinking caffeinated teas while I could), since it was the first tea I smelled when I opened the box. It smells just heavenly! I made a pot for my roommate and I while she was packing up to leave on a camping trip for the weekend.

Oh boy, this was definitely my favourite of the day. The delicious banana cherry aroma wafted from the dry tisane, enough to almost make me eat it. I brewed a tablespoon in 1L for about 7 minutes in almost boiling water. It was perfect! You know, even without instructions or prior experience with a specific tea, I think I am getting really good at knowing and recognizing general tea profiles and how a new tea would best react to specific brewing parameters, at least for my own personal tastes. (Insert heroic pose) Hooray, a useless skill!

This tea was very very tasty. My roommate also thought it was delicious. The dominant flavour was definitely the cherries, but the sourness was mellowed out by the faintly sweet banana notes, and I thought I detected a hint of cinnamon and apple as well. Not too sour, not too sweet, bursting with flavour and great balance. I think this is a keeper!

Kristal

Yay! This is one I contributed. I didn’t put specific steeping times in case of possible cold brewing. Glad you liked it :D

MrQuackers

Omg you reminded me of the banana ice cream with cherry bars of long ago. They went together sooo well with the chocolate on the outside

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72

A freebie for the month of Nov! :) This is a mild spice blend (I notice iHOT tends to be very light with their spices). I def taste the cinnamon and allspice (maybe the cardamon too?), but overall it’s very mild. I’ve been using this up by mixing it with pumpkin cheesecake (a tea I do not like cause it’s too woody tasting) and that’s been really helping to mask the taste. If I hadn’t used up so much already, I would have tried this tea as a latte. Oh well, I have other nice latte teas :)

Flavors: Cinnamon, Spices

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

iHOT does a calendar every year and each month there is a coupon for 25g free of a certain tea. This month was this tea, which kind of fits with the fall/harvest season. Made a cup of it iced: brewed 1tbsp of leaf in 8oz of 190F water, steeped 8min, left in the fridge to cool overnight.

Wow, this is a killer “iced” tea! The apple and lemon shine through perfectly: not really any tartness, not too sweet, and lots of nice flavour! I don’t think there is any hibiscus in the blend (my acid reflux likes that!) and yet it is still packed with apple and lemon flavour. This is great tea all around. I must admit though, I haven’t been drinking too many cold beverages lately now that it’s cooling down, but this will be a choice for when I start doing cold teas again!.

Flavors: Apple, Lemon

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

When you think of chai teas, you think of a decent kick of spices, am I right? I tried this tea twice, once steeped for 5 min and it was very weak. iHOT recommends 8-10min of steeping so I tried 10. The rooibos base is stronger but hardly any spice taste. What the heck? Not that this tea is gross or anything it just lacks what it promises. I did buy this tea to mix with Carrot Cake tea from DAVIDs for lattes so it will get used up to tone down the licorice root, but by itself totally not a repurchase. First tea that’s really let me down from iHOT :(

Flavors: Rooibos

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Evol Ving Ness

But at least you have a plan for it, so yay!

Kristal

Exactly :) and I think I can improve it a bit by adding cinnamon and stuff!

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69

My cupboard number is in the teens (19 to be exact but will drop by 2 more this week). Thanks to minimalism, buying small amounts of tea, not buying teas that are similar to ones I already own, and being diligent about using up teas I am at a smaller number than I’ve seen in a year or more. I even moved my collection from a china cabinet to a cupboard and am now using the china cabinet for storing appliances like my crock pot and rice cooker- a much better use of space since I’m always struggling for a place to put them. Altogether it feels great!

Anywho- onto the tea: cold brewed for a day, 6 “perfect spoonfuls” (2.5tsp each) in 2L of water. The taste is a bit tart/ sour with maybe a slight citrus/orange peel taste. Altogether it’s okay- my husband says the aftertaste is a bit “pukey” (prob thanks to the rosehips- see my tasting note from a few days ago). Luckily I only have maybe 2tbsp left of this tea so I’m going to use it up right away and prob won’t repurchase. I much prefer Banana Cherry Fruit Tisane from iHOT.

Flavors: Citrus, Sour, Tart

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 68 OZ / 2000 ML
Mookit

Congrats on reigning in your tea collection! I am currently working on this too. :)

Fjellrev

That is so awesome, Kristal!

Kristal

thanks, guys! I did purchase stuff from verdant (it will only up my cupboard by 1, though) and I predict temptation will flare up with fall teas coming around the corner, but I will just continue purchasing small amounts unless I really like something ;)

Kristal

Just checked the new fall teas from DAVIDs and yep, I will be buying about 3-4teas x 20g each (enough for 1 reg cup + 1 latte). It won’ t affect my cupboard number too much, though ;)

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85

Husband and I woke up at 8:30am on our own this morning (actually feels so good not to waste a Saturday by sleeping in) and after puttering around the apt for a few hours we went out Pokemon hunting around noon and I asked to go to iHOT to fill up on gunpowder green tea + get a drink to go (otherwise I would get a headache without having non-caffeinated fluids). Been wanting to try this tea for quite some time but figured it was so similar to teas I’m trying to use up I better not buy 50g so this was the perfect opportunity to give this a try.

Pulled the bag out somewhere between 5-10min of steeping. The taste is indeed almost identical to the mandarin orange honeybush tea from twinnings (very real orange flavour without being super sour) with a slight ginger twist (very mild and you really only taste it at the end of the cup when it’s cooled off). Very nice. This is a possible repurchase but of course I have a few more teas to use up first!

Flavors: Ginger, Orange

Preparation
Boiling 12 OZ / 354 ML

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50

Was talking to a customer at work about international house of tea and he claimed to like rosehip tea. Took a walk over to the shop on lunch break (only a 10min walk) and got a hot to go cup (straight, nothing in it). Pulled the bag out when I got back to work, so 10-15min steeping. Honestly, I’m just glad I got a to go cup instead of buying a whole bag because I don’t care for this tea. It tastes sour, like stomach acid-y taste. I can see rosehips working as an additive in fruit herbal blends for making iced tea, but straight up, I do not care for this at all.

Flavors: Sour

Preparation
8 min or more 12 OZ / 354 ML

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77

Made this tea 2 ways: once in a 2L pitcher and also a single cup.

For the 2L pitcher: 6 “perfect spoonfuls” (2.5 tsp) steeped 10min in 185F water (the highest temp I’m supposed to use in my pitcher), the cooled off in the fridge: I love the banana and cherry flavour that pulls through, and this tea isn’t sour! It is a bit weak though and I would prob up the steep time + leaf next time.

8oz drink: 1tbsp leaf, boiling water, 10min, cooled off in the fridge: ah, this is what I want: it’s a bit stronger and I love that banana cherry taste.

All in all a good tea, but still on the weak side. I’m going to experiment more!

Flavors: banana, Cherry

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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85

A sample from iHOT.

I took one sip and went “ooo that’s nice!” the creamy lemon flavour is prominent without acidity and I appreciate the green rooibos for a change- very light and refreshing tea. I just copy and pasted over the description of the tea when creating the steepster entry and apparently this is their best selling rooibos tea- I can see why. Putting this on the wishlist!

Flavors: Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

Another sample from iHOT.

I didn’t get to even finish the cup I made with my sample, but I still got what this tea tastes like: roasted with a bit of vanilla flavour. It’s a bit too bold for my tastes but my husband would love it.

Flavors: Roasted, Vanilla

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74

Got this as a sample at IHOT. Used the whole sample for a mug, steeped 3min in 185F water. I like mate teas but only drink them when I need a kick in the pants in the morning. Today was such a morning. The taste is mostly the herbaceous/earthy taste of mate with a slight taste of lemon. Altogether it’s good, but could have been stronger with the lemon.

Flavors: Earth, Herbaceous, Lemon

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88

So my husband is significantly reducing/ cutting out coffee. He’s always enjoyed tea I make him but now I am getting him all prepped to make tea on his own. I put loose leaf tea in paper filters and write instructions on the side of the tin on how to make them perfect. So far, so good!

I bought some black teas since I figured he’s used to drinking coffee so he needs more of a boost than just green teas (plus I know they are too finicky for him at 5am for when he’s getting ready for work). Thus, black teas it is. I went to iHOT because I know they have good quality & reasonably priced stuff. I bought this lemon flavoured black tea actually for iced tea, but he’s been drinking is hot & cold, and he loves it. I’ve even tried a sip or two here and there (I can’t REALLY drink black tea because it hurts my stomach) and I must say, this blend is creamy, lemony, and delicious without astringency. I will absolutely be stocking this one up for him.

For hot tea: approx 1.5tsp, 200F water, 3min.

Iced tea: 5 “perfect spoonfuls” (DAVIDs TEA measurement = 2.5tsp each) per 2L pitcher, cold brewed 12ish hours.

I will not be adding this one or any black teas to my cupboard because I will not be personally drinking them whatsoever.

Flavors: Creamy, Lemon

Mookit

I wish my boyfriend would get into tea like this! I would write all sorts of instructions for him if only he would try it. :P

Evol Ving Ness

I would write all sorts of instructions for him, heh. :)

Kristal

I’m loving this turn around in him :D. I know it’s better for his blood pressure and stomach. I do try to make it as easy as possible by already having pre-measured bags I stuff, and of course it helps we have a variable temperature kettle. Every morning I see he’s used a tea bag and he packs the full 2L of iced tea (I’m still making it, which I like doing) in his bottles for work (he’s a roofer and needs to keep hydrated). I just bought 50g of this tea 2 days ago and I’m almost done!

ashmanra

Would he shake up matcha in cold water? Easy peasy, high caffeine, plain or flavored, even pre sweetened if he wants sugar. Great for hydrating in summer. My guys have me make big pitchers of iced matcha when they are working outside in the heat and humidity.

Kristal

I’m not sure, I will ask him! :)

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50

Sample from Kristal. Thank you!

This tastes herbaceous and ever so slightly citrusy. More like orange than lemon, unlike most citrusy herbs. It’s not bad, but not something I would seek out.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kristal

Good thing it’s a tea for cold and flu lol

rosebudmelissa

I would probably prefer it in a blend myself, but I know some people really like the citrusy herbs on their own.

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76

Got this as a sample with my most recent order. I’m glad they gave me this tea because I was interested in trying it but not enough to buy minimum 50g.

The taste is most certainly vanilla and pear with a rooibos base. A good blend overall. I would consider buying this or a similar blend in the future. However, maybe this is just me, but I feel like flavourings in rooibos teas don’t last long and you have to drink it up right away and be very careful about the way you store them or else they become bland/stale. Anyone else experience this? Unless I have a rooibos blend that is strongly flavoured I find the flavouring is lost within a few months or less.

Flavors: Pear, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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80

Got this as a free sample. Seeing how much I like Lemon Myrtle I figured I’d like this one since it’s lemon balm with spices. Indeed so! Lemon Balm is less lemony than myrtle and more herbaceous. The mild spices are a nice touch too. Overall it’s a nice, relaxing blend. I may repurchase (or just buy lemon balm on it’s own) but I have a LOT of lemon myrtle to use up first (plus I want to dwindle my collection a bit more first. I’m at 30 teas, I’d like to get below 25 before buying anything new (unless something comes out from DAVIDs on limited edition…you all know how they are with reeling customers in with the constant new & limited edition teas).

Flavors: Herbaceous, Lemon, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

Haven’t gotten to reviewing this. I’ve owned it since Christmas time which Is nearly 4 months ago!
Supposedly, this is supposed to be a mild aphrodisiac. Honestly, I cannot attest to whether or not that aspect of this tea works or not-haven’t really noticed a difference in my libido. However, what it tastes like is peppermint in the foretaste and herbaceous (prob from the blackberry + strawberry leaves and other ingredients) in the rest of the tea. Overall it’s alright. Dunno if I would repurchase based on taste.

Flavors: Herbaceous, Peppermint

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML
drpastry

This so sounds like the Fernet-Branca of teas.

Kristal

haha well you may have to order & try it out ;)!

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72

A re-review of this tea.

I bought this in a to-go cup over a month ago, and enjoyed the almond flavour but thought it was so rooibosy/woody tasting do to oversteeping. Today I bought 50g and was careful about steeping and sadly found that it’s just that the flavouring isn’t strong enough for my liking. I am getting some almond flavour, but most of the taste is just woody rooibos. A bit disappointing. In order to use it up, I am going to either blend this with Earl Grey Cream Rooibos from iHOT (AMAZING rooibos blend with a wonderful strong bergamot + vanilla flavour) or other teas, or maybe just add cinnamon an a touch of maple syrup? I will play around and see what happens!

Flavors: Almond, Rooibos, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 30 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML
Kristal

UPDATE: been working less lately and therefore have been able to make a few tea lattes recently. I use 4 perfect spoonfuls (10 tsp) of leaf to make a latte, 1.5 spoonfuls of this and 2.5 of Coco Chai Rooibos from DAVIDs. It’s a really nice blend since I find 4 perfect spoonfuls of Coco Chai Rooibos makes it too spicy. This rooibos almond blend adds a nice balance.

rosebudmelissa

I rally like nutty teas for lattes

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100

A-mazing…soothing, smells amazing, and is perfect for a before-bed tea.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78

The last green tea from the sampler pack. Interesting how this one is in a sampler pack yet it is not mentioned on the iHOT tea menu. Anywho, it’s a decent green tea. Not super sensitive to heat/steeping time/overleafing and has your basic grassy green tea taste. It doesn’t wow me, but I had no issue using it up. (Overall, I prefer green teas with a buttery or vegetal taste, like gyokuro or dragonwell)

Flavors: Grass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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82

A re-review of this tea.

Gunpowder green tea has become my favorite work-day tea. It’s inexpensive ($6/50g!), fuller-bodied to help me wake up, can “take a beating” (I.e. higher temps and longer steeping time without becoming bitter…accidentally let it steep at work for 7min (lower temp) and it was fine!). Although it doesn’t have the buttery or super vegetal taste I love in green tea, it is slightly smoky, which is an interesting change of pace, and a slight “green” taste. Overall it just works for me during work days where I don’t have time to worry about oversteeping and whatnot. I can def see myself trying different gunpowder teas and using them up quickly!

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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