Janet's Special Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

90

My teas are in complete disarray: between living here and there, with internet and without, with the aftermath of hauling everything out and packing for the transition, and then on top of that the aftermath of readying for a big swap which happened between two households—so, GAH! The minimal tea order that I had to begin with has been upended. I have no idea where to find my usual favourites.

There are a few positives in all this chaos. The most obvious may be that I immediately started in on all the deliciousness that I received in the swap and yum. However, the swap packets are there and I am here. And my black tea favourites’ whereabouts are uncertain.

I may not know where my black tea blends are, but all this has unearthed a few oolong teas which I was not focusing on in this particular swap and that is a good thing because out of sight, out of mind.

This is one that I came across. Delicious. Not certain, but I am guessing tieguanyin. A really nice one. First steep sweetness. I wish I had a bit more information on this one.

Updated…
First two steeps sweet and floral, reminiscent of Taiwan High Mountain Oolongs.
Third and Fourth steeps become more vegetal, seaweed, and earth.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Sap, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Fjellrev

In the middle of a big move? I hope everything is going well!

Evol Ving Ness

Nah, staying at a friend’s place while she is away to escape from baby world here. It is nice to escape from technology for a bit too. Like a wee vacation in my own city. Even though I do need to come home to take care of things every so often—like now, for example. Thanks for the good wishes though. Much appreciated.

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59

Last tea of the night for me.

Overall, I’ve actually had a shockingly productive and restful day. I finished ALL of my queued up tasting notes, drank seven teas on top of that, got some tea mail, explored a few new music artists, watched a movie, cleaned the guinea pig cage, cooked a really nice supper from scratch, and had a really awesome conversation with the boyfriend tonight where I got to share some of the music I discovered tonight while enjoying some of the music he likes. Plus, lots of awesome tea and music pairings! This is exactly how days off should be spent.

As for this tea? It’s maybe not the most amazing flavour to be leaving off on for the day BUT it’s also not the worst either. I’m finding it immensely heavy on the cardamom notes, with softer lemon and other citrus undertones. Honestly, if it weren’t for the music I’ve paired it with I think I might find it pretty boring as a flavour. That’s not far off the sentiments I had about it the first time I tried it though. It’s going to be a long process finishing this one off – but at least I know it’s an option to pull out when I am craving cardamom. On those very rare occasions…

Song Pairing: https://youtu.be/4wZsM3YDlGY

Flavors: Cardamon, Lemon

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59

From my mom’s vacation haul – her pick for me.

To be honest, I wouldn’t have chosen this one for myself. In fact, last time mom went on vacation and she grabbed a tea for me all on her own she chose a rooibos that was actually surprisingly similar to this? She seems to kind of just gravitate to whatever rooibos blend has the most ingredients in it…

That said; this one doesn’t taste BAD. It’s very, for lack of a better word, generic though? I mean, bottom line it’s like a spiced apple flavour. It’s a bit on the sweet side, so lets call it a cinnamon apple pie with cardamom, to be generous. There’s some lemongrass undertone to it as well. I really don’t dislike it but this is the sort of flavour that I’m probably just never really going to crave because it isn’t unique in any way, so it’ll probably take forever for me to finish it.

Oh well. It was free, and a gift so I can’t really complain too much.

Helena

Ah well if nothing else at least it wasn’t terrible. It’s the thought that counts.

Evol Ving Ness

She seems to kind of just gravitate to whatever rooibos blend has the most ingredients in it…

This made me smile.

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76

I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan of red rooibos, but this one tastes alright! I don’t even experience the usual exponential dread at the idea of drinking it. Huzzah!

Tastes of stonefruits, sleep, non-imposing roobios. I tend to chug it down before going to bed so I haven’t noted the subtitles, but I like it.

Too bad it was discontinued, but I’m glad I got the chance to try it (over and over again, because I bought the biggest pouch ever). Thanks for the great recommendation OMGsrsly, Bear With Me, and Plunkybug!

Flavors: Earth, Stonefruits

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 1 OZ / 29 ML

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72

This tastes a lot like amaretto. I tend to steep this in the evening, forget about it by my bedside table, then drink it cold the next morning. It’s good that way.

Bear With Me recommended this to me ages ago, and it’s pretty tasty when I’m not drowning in rooibos apathy.

Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Strawberry, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Plunkybug

I like this one too. I got it from Bear With Me too, as a sample to see if I liked Janet’s rooibos…he thought I would, as he feels it is better than David’s rooibos. I like the Rainbow and Plum the best, but I am ok with a few other varieties from her (and others).

CrowKettle

If I have to grab a cup of rooibos, I definitely prefer Janet’s blends to the ones from David’s. I agree with Rainbow and Plum being my favourites too :) Didn’t Janet discontinue the Plum though?

Plunkybug

I still have a fair bit of plum left…both really, but I did get extra plum when she mentioned it being discontinued. It’s been a while since I was in last. I remember she was changing suppliers, and was in the middle of that, so I’ve no idea what offerings she has now. I hope to get back there one day soon.

CrowKettle

I still have practically all my plum left too. Maybe a Vic visit is in the future (even if just for Silk Road/Jaga Silk).

Plunkybug

Yes! Let me know!

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Citrus and spice rooibos meh. For whatever reason this didn’t work for me, and I’m too apathetic to write much about it.

I think it was the lemongrass; it was just a little too much of something. Not bad otherwise.

(Down to 33)

Flavors: Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Orange Zest

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For years, when rummaging through my cupboard I kept passing this sample up. I guess I still haven’t recovered from my years of overexposure to cinnamon at David’s Tea (also it’s rooibos, which is synonymous for boring).

It’s too bad I skipped over this tea’s golden years of freshness because it’s actually well balanced (for a rooibos). The sweet-spice of cinnamon only plays as supporting role to the tangy orange peel . The flavour profile is up there for comfort, along with awesome things like mulled wine and hot apple cider.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Orange Zest

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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I had this yesterday. I had no idea what I was tasting. as I’ll be honest and say I have not had this tea in a long time, and this was a sip down. I actually had I straight and it went down incredibly smooth. If I had had more, I might have maple latted this. Or just used a touch of organic cane sugar and milk. I really need to get back to Janet’s…been a long time since my last visit.

Indigobloom

This is the second time I’ve seen this one in my feed recently. What’s in it? Now I’m curious lol

Plunkybug

It’s from a local company here, and the other person and I probably got it from the same source as samples. ;)

Evol Ving Ness

Yeah, but what does the tea contain? Inquiring minds want to know.

Plunkybug

Yes, don’t we all want to know.:P Sadly, mine was a sample, and I didn’t even know what it was for a while, because the bag was full, and the name was in marker pen, and I couldn’t see that it actually had a name/label until I began spooning it out to make a cup. I have zero details other than name and supplier. I have not been to Janet’s in a long time, but I plan to ask next time I am there. Sorry. Wish I could have been more helpful.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Plunkybug. Sorry to be a pest. I didn’t quite get it initially. :(

Plunkybug

Oh, no problem. Not a pest at all! I’m only sorry that I can’t be more helpful in telling everyone what is in it. Apologies if my last answer came off in a negative tone. It was not meant to.

Evol Ving Ness

No, no, not negative at all.

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OMG.

Am I back?

I might be back.

Anyways, IDK what this tea is. Vanilla? Something else? No clue. But it’s pretty darn tasty with a spoonful of maple whipped cream.

Thank you, Bear with Me! I’ve had this FOREVER, but I swear I’m going to finish trying All The Teas™.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Maddy Barone

I’m glad you’re back!

Plunkybug

I just had this yesterday. Weird. I had a hard tome figuring out the flavour, but it wen down so smoothly. No milk or sugar needed.

CrowKettle

OMG, maple whipped cream… I forgot how much I missed your creative food insights on here! XD

OMGsrsly

MAPLE WHIPPED CREAM!

I am also glad I’m back. And I’m surprised I liked it so much! I was expecting mint wahooey, but it wasn’t. :)

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Came across this one the other day while rummaging for tea choices. The bottom of my packet of this was slightly opened as in unglued, not enough to lose any tea, but perhaps enough to lose flavour while this was being stored.

Steeped, this tea was ok. I steeped quickly because I suspect that the base would get astringent if neglected. Mild vanilla scent and flavour. Certainly not as good as my favourite vanilla black. But then, I am incredibly biased already. And certainly, even more so as I’ve just had my favourite vanilla black the other day.

I’ll wait a bit and try again before rating.

Flavors: Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

The initial sip didn’t thrill me. The harsh orange lemon against the black tea caught in the throat and seemed mismatched somehow. After I added a spoon of honey, the flavours mellowed to caramel citrus fruit with a whisper of spices. Nice tea. Very happy to have pulled out the honey.

After a few days of lovely breezes and gentle sunny days, the humidity is creeping up from today to intolerable levels tomorrow: feels like 40C prediction. Kill me now.

Flavors: Lemon, Lemon Zest, Orange, Orange Zest

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Hmm, maybe a mix of this and One Night in Rio. mumbling to myself

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90

The first steeping had the slightest bit of char while the second is becoming very floral. Looking forward to seeing what further flavours emerge.

Flavors: Char, Floral, Honey

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

Ooh, Janet’s, hey? She offers a couple good ones but would have to go back and read my notes on which ones haha.

Evol Ving Ness

Yeah, this was a very very good one with a nice variety of steeps throughout the day. I will bump up my rating.

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90

Well then, now that my tastebuds have gotten used to the dark roast intensity of this particular oolong, as opposed to the light floral oolongs I have been drinking lately, I am very much enjoying the complexities of this one.

In the first and second steeps, plum and prune notes emerge with the slightest bit of ashiness and depth. Lovely.

I am so grateful for the brightness and breeze today and so far, lack of humidity. Glorious, glorious.

It’s going to be a slow day, hopefully slowly and gently accomplishing one or two, or a few even, postponed tasks.

Raising my rating to illustrate my newfound tea joy .

Flavors: Ash, Plums

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

Ouf! Strong oolong, especially so after all the light and easy floral milk oolongs I’ve been drinking lately. In the first steep, the flavour is almost black tea saved by the hint of oolong in the aftertaste.

Kind of works for me on this day though. Had an intensely flavoured meal in Korean town on this lovely sunny summer day, if you ignore the earlier humidity. A frisky tea is a good way to follow up.

To be continued tomorrow.

Flavors: Roasted

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

Ooh, nicely done!

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95

Super chocolatey fab from the first sip. The second steep is somewhat astringent, so more experimentation needed. A lovely lovely cup.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This was a tea suggestion from Bear With Me. Unlike Sil, I enjoy my citruses and florals. Mm, delicious florals.

I viewed this a more cutting kind of earl grey, and I had a good time with it. The jasmine nor the bergamot curdled the milk with their liveliness, which is always nice. Definitely a sharp, bright wake-me-up tea though. I’d add it to the mental spa category of teas.

Flavors: Bergamot, Jasmine

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

haha glad you enjoyed this one more than me :)

Christie Lee

Does it taste like Canada? ;)

CrowKettle

Honestly, when I first read the name I was expecting (hoping for) maple. Maybe this tea is meant to represent not what a stereotypical Canadian eats for breakfast but what an actual Canadian would taste and smell like during said meal: bergamot and jasmine. We are unanimously a clean smelling bunch before noon.

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I love mango fruits and desserts but I have yet to encounter a a mango tea that I’ve fallen in love with. While this isn’t a bad fruity rooibos it didn’t do it for me either.

There is a good dose of mango and papaya present. Pineapple is a listed ingredient but I didn’t pick up on that as much. Not bad, but moving on.

Flavors: Mango

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 15 sec
teaqueen

The Tao of Tea has a very nice Black Mango blend. It’s a CTC black tea base, but the flavoring is genuine and very tasty.

CrowKettle

Mm, I’ll have to check that out when I’m down a few more teas. I’m still hopeful.

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drank Bon Rouge by Janet's Special Teas
2219 tasting notes

This one is definitely better with milk. Sadness. I’ll probably try to finish the travel mug of this today for hydration, but the rooibos is really coming out and it does need to be softened with some cream IMO.

Preparation
2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

Oh yeah, I recall only liking it with milk, but was impressed with the flavouring when it was fresh.

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79

one from omgsrsly that is pretty decent. My other half did come to find me while i was waiting for the water to boil… “uh hun…whatever’s in the red basket smells like vomit…” “no love, that’s blueberry.” “maybe that’s why i don’t love blueberries.”

:)

keychange

Hmmm, how do you find this compares with blueberry jam? can you remember? LOL.

Sil

i hate blueberry jam. :)

Sil

(the tea from david’s i assume you mean)

Indigobloom

Sil, would you say that this is the same as Blueberry jam minus the stevia?

OMGsrsly

LOL. I think I liked this one. (And also, more blueberries for ME! Hope the bag of them in your freezer get put to good use. :) )

Sil

IB – no because I hate blueberry jam and I like this tea lol

Omg – I love blueberries….he doesn’t understand why ppl love them

Indigobloom

Its a finicky tea for me. Sometimes I adore it, other cups not so much! But I totally get the blueberry hate. I despise certain foods with it – like yogurt or muffins. Blech. I love tarts though. Go figure…

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66
drank Black Forest by Janet's Special Teas
8958 tasting notes

another from omgsrsly this one is more woodsy rooibos than i like though i can detect a little chocolate and cherry…just not enough to make this a happy place for me. Glad to try it though…

Final Count: 170 gah!

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78

sample from omgsrsly thankfully i have a bunch of herbal samples from people. This one isn’t half bad. It’s not terribly “woodsy” in the rooibos department, and there’s enough of a sweetness to this one to let the fruit notes sort of come through . no floral notes here either, in spite of the rose petals :)

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I cold brewed a sample of this in 1 L of water.

I see where Fjellrev get Rockets from. :) It’s sweet-tart, almost fake berry. It’s worked well in this application, but there are other berry fruit teas that I like better.

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I picked up a sample of this a while back at a tea meetup (WOO!), and for some reason (perhaps my general tea apathy) I hadn’t tried it yet. The sample was 3 tsp so I did the whole thing in my mug.

I quite like it! The leaves are really big, the chocolate is NOT fake at all, and the caramel is a nice accompaniment. It is a little watery, even overleafed, but I think that’s because I expect something that tastes like cocoa to be thicker.

I would definitely get more of this. I’m very happy with it. (Sorry Sil, none left for you. :( )

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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This was pretty good, but I’m not sure I’d call it “black forest”. At least, it’s not chocolate and cherries.

Still, Janet has a good taste for rooibos and this was pretty mild, and not too woody at all.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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