PIPER & LEAF Artisan Tea Co.

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Recent Tasting Notes

55

Home – 3:30 PM

This is from my Piper & Leaf subscription for this month. The dry leaf smells lovely and caramely.

Hmm… This is quite odd. It reminds me of curry… I’m not sure if it’s because of the star anise or something else.

It does taste caramel-ish, but it’s more of a dark burnt sugar flavor. I don’t get any apple. Mostly it tastes like spices.

What a strange tea. It’s not awful, but curry isn’t really a flavor that I look for in tea. :P

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Malt, Spices

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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78

Home – 9:30 PM

So I recently signed up for the Piper & Leaf subscription box. They have some interesting blends and I haven’t tried anything from them that I’ve disliked.

This tea brews up a charming medium pink color (from the beets). The sencha is very mild and a little bit grassy. I really like the strawberry flavor here, it reminds me of strawberry jam. I’m not sure I know what sassafras tastes like (I assume like root beer?) so I can’t really say if I can taste it here. I think I can taste the beets just a little bit, but that may be just because I know they’re there. ;)

I bet this would be delicious cold brewed!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grass, Jam, Strawberry, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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80

Home – 11:00 PM

Now this is a much better herbal tisane! This one also contains hibiscus, but in a supporting role.

There’s a fruity flavor from the hibiscus, apple, and lemon, and it makes me think of cranberry juice. It’s tart but not sour, and not too strong. The peppermint is herbaceous and even has a little bit of a honey note. There’s a touch of ginger flavor, and a nice light tingly sensation on the tongue at the end of the sip.

Definitely tasty, though I’m not sure I understand the name. I would expect something called “Mistletoe Grove” to be piney as well as minty, and less fruity.

Flavors: Citrus, Cranberry, Ginger, Hibiscus, Honey, Lemon, Peppermint, Tart

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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75

Home – 11:00 AM

So I signed up for a Piper & Leaf subscription because they have some unusual seasonal teas and I’ve liked many of them. My first package came today and it included this tisane and Caramel Apple Pie black tea.

So this is supposed to be a sweet potato chai tisane. Sounds nice enough, especially for autumn.

But, um… It tastes like beets somehow. Even though it doesn’t contain any beets.

It tastes like beets with licorice root, cinnamon, and clove. It’s not a bad thing, just a bit strange? I have no idea what tulsi tastes like, so I couldn’t say whether I can detect it here.

So basically it’s a mild, sweet, warmly-spiced beet tisane. Unusual for sure! I find myself enjoying it though, and I’ll have no issue finishing the 35g.

P.S. – Drinking this made me really want to order a box of Numi’s savory teas. They don’t make them anymore! (sob)

Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Clove, Licorice, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Mastress Alita

For me at least, tulsi (a.k.a. holy basil) tends to have a peppery/minty taste, with a hint of citrus.

Just had to check out this company. As an Idahoan, I am far too curious about a sweet potato tea…

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75

Home – 7:00 PM

I’ve been sipping on this while packaging up tea swaps.

It’s not bad, especially considering it’s from last Christmas and it has coconut in it. Coconut is usually the kiss of death for a tea’s shelf life – it goes rancid and then there’s nothing to be done but toss the tea. Surprisingly, the coconut here seems to be fine. Hooray!

It’s quite light in flavor, I would guess this was a fruit tisane over a black tea base. The main flavor is tart cherry, and then it’s sweetened a bit by the coconut and vanilla with just a hint of almond.

Not bad at all, I’ll have to try this one again with a fresh batch if they release it every holiday season.

Flavors: Almond, Cherry, Coconut, Tart, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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75

Haveteawilltravel kindly included this one as a bonus in my recent tea purchase. It’s not something I would have chosen on my own, but I’m actually quite enjoying it! The strawberry flavor is most prominent with the sassafras showing up mainly in the aftertaste. A nice light, fruity tea for summer!

Flavors: Root Beer, Strawberry

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
gmathis

What a nice combo! Never thought about the two going together.

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Unfortunately, all I can taste in this tea is the hibiscus. It may be because I steeped so long, but there is no sign of the orchard fruit promised in the name. It’s also drying out my mouth in a most unpleasant way. I think this one will be best served cold. I’m sure that’s how it was intended to be done.

Flavors: Drying, Hibiscus

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

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Bananas??? All I’m tasting is bananas! It’s a bit watered down so next time I’ll add more tea and/or steep longer.

Flavors: Banana

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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The next one had me whooping with joy, it is a tea with ACTUAL SASSAFRAS in it!! I love the sassy, in fact it is what makes Red Jade one of my favorite teas, I just love it…having a backyard with the little trees in it was a big reason why, plus it just tastes really good. It smells really good too, this tea is super heavy on the strawberry, I can barely make out the sassy at all, but it is there lightly.

So this tea brewed pink, which was fun, thank you beets! The taste is pretty good, a little bit tart strawberry, but mostly sweet strawberry and refreshing green with a sassafras finish. My only complaint is that the sassafras is not stronger, but I am pretty sure most people who drink it are fine with the levels, I just really, really like sassafras. I have a sneaking suspicion that this tea will be a cold-steep staple for outings on hot days.

For blog: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/06/tea-box-express-june-box-tea.html

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The first one up is the oh so evocative Front Porch Special, which is basically an Earl Grey with spearmint and jasmine…ah nothing quite beats a fresh glass of iced tea with mint on a hot day, it is so nostalgic for me. This makes a mean iced tea, just the right amount of briskness and bergamot with the cooling sweetness of mint and jasmine. Luckily the bergamot and jasmine are both fairly light, so I don’t have to worry about being overwhelmed by two flavors I am only lukewarm on. I tried to foist this off on Ben to try, but he is not a drinker of cold tea, what with being from the north (like really north.)

For blog and such: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/06/tea-box-express-june-box-tea.html

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Still getting back into the grove from vacation, I thought this would be a nice tea to get me back on track. Brewed hot, I didn’t care for this one. It had a very sugary like taste to it. But cold brewed, this tea delivered a delicious sweet cherry taste. Really happy with this one cold brewed.

For the rest of my ramblings and my new Predator Pop! (I’m now slightly addicted to these now. )- http://www.cuppageek.com/index.php/2015/07/08/tea-of-the-day-monks-meditation-from-piper-leaf/

TeaNTees

It’s official; you’re a bad influence! (J/K) I just had to pick up a couple teas from etsy partially because of your reviews. I guess it’s my last hurrah for quite a bit due to our new house needing so much work. No complaints though! :) Anyway, I’ll have to send you a sample of some of the teas I ordered if you’d like. Have nice last day of Vacation!

Nichole/CuppaGeek

Oops! Sorry! :) Haha! You’ll have to let me know which ones you picked up.

TeaNTees

Plum Pudding, Vanilla Hazelnut, Chocolate Cherry, Amaretto, and Bermuda Colony Blend. Let me know if you’d like to try some & I’ll add it to the follow-up tea package I have for you! :)

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80

This tea smells wonderful, even after all this time. The strawberry and the lemongrass are both coming through, with the lemongrass being really prominent during and after the steep. I should have read my previous notes on this tea. When I tried steeping with cooler water before, the tea was bitter and weak. Thankfully, after a longer steep, this was much better. I added honey and cream as usual and the result was juicy strawberries. I won’t try steeping this again since my last not advised against it, but I’m happy with the onecup I did have.

Flavors: Lemongrass, Strawberry

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

I tried playing with the steeping parameters and it didn’t work out so well. The tea came out bitter and weak all at once. The aroma is starting to fade in the dry blend so maybe that is part of the problem, but I can still taste the lemongrass. Not so much the strawberry.

Flavors: Bitter, Lemongrass

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

I found myself surprised when I opened this bag of tea and saw so much lemongrass. I had honestly forgotten that it was one of the ingredients. I suppose I expected to see lemon peel in its place. It’s definitely a nice change. This tea actually has very few ingredients – just black tea, strawberries, and the lemongrass. I can smell more berry in the dry mix, but once the hot water hits those tea leaves it is only the lemon that I smell and taste. I added cream and honey to this cup and because the lemon flavor came from lemongrass instead of lemon it held up very nicely. This has a very good flavor and I’m really enjoying it.

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 212 degrees + 12 minutes

This never did regain its color from the first steep. The lemon flavor is there but overall it’s a weak cup. I’m not sure it’s really worth the extra steep. Better just to have a fresh cup.

Flavors: Lemongrass, Strawberry

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81

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Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81

This is an enjoyable tea, but I don’t think it’s really what I wanted today. It smells very fruity, which all of the Piper & Leaf teas do, and for a green tea I enjoy it quite a bit.

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 175 degrees + 4 minutes

I’ll stop here with this second steep. The liquid is dark, but the flavor is light. Plus, to be honest, I’m ready to move on to something different.

Flavors: Fruity

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81

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Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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81

This blend is made up of green tea leaves, large pieces of dried strawberry, some kind of green twig and brown bark (which I’m assuming must be the sassafras), and small jewel-colored purple beets. I can smell the strawberry in both the dry mix and the steeped liquid. As was expected, the liquid took on a light shade of pink, almost a rosy peach, likely from the chopped beets. I can taste both the strawberry and the green tea and it’s very good.

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 175 degrees + 4 minutes

The color is still good on this second steep though the flavor is not as pronounced. The steeped leaves are also missing some of the fruity fragrance they carried in the first cup. There’s something different about this one, but I can’t place it. Maybe it’s the sassafras? I’ve never had it before so I’m not sure what it tastes like, but there’s almost a spiciness there.

Third Steep
8 ounces water + 175 degrees + 10 minutes, 30 seconds

Even on the third steep, this still has retained both its color and flavor. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. Green teas haven’t always been a go-to for me, but I could see myself drinking this often. I’ll be keeping it around I think.

Flavors: Strawberry

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

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Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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75

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Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 195 degrees + 8 minutes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

I picked this up, along with a couple of other Piper & Leaf teas, at the market last month with my mom. Piper and Leaf typically offers several loose leaf teas for purchase, but the main “attraction” is always the iced tea. They serve it up in big quart jars for guzzling while browsing the local wares. We always fill our jars with this sweet iced tea when we go, and this time my mom chose the Front Porch Special. One sip of hers and I knew I had to grab some of this to take home for myself.

As usual with the Piper & Leaf teas, this blend is very fragrant and smells very sweet. There are at least two types of black teas in here from what I can tell, though I’m not sure what they are. Both are small, but one is long and twisty and the other resembles tiny pellets. The mix is flecked with blue and yellow flower petals and green mint leaves. It’s quite colorful.

I used roughly 8 ounces of water here, but by the end of the steep I was left with only 6 ounces of liquid or so. Those leaves were thirsty! Once the hot water hits the tea leaves, the aroma of the mint completely takes over. The flavor of the mint is there, but it’s been overwhelmed by a certain bitterness. After the addition of honey, I can taste the mint more clearly.

Second Steep
8 ounces + 195 degrees + 4 minutes

The color on this second cup is lighter than the first but still dark enough to make me believe that this will be a good cup. I dropped the temperature this time around and it has certainly helped with the bitterness. The mint flavor has dissipated and left me with a still-satisfying cup of black tea.

Flavors: Bitter, Mint, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
teatortoise

Try slightly more than the teaspoon, for three minutes. See how that goes.

Shae

To help with the bitterness? I will try it – thank you!!

teacock

Hi—I was wondering if you have tried “velvet bliss” from piper and leaf? I have tried some of their flavors, and love supporting local and family business….

Shae

I haven’t! Is it a good one? I love the name. I’ll have to look for it next time I see them at the market.

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