PIPER & LEAF Artisan Tea Co.

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

You know, I have to be honest. I wasn’t expecting much from this tea. I love Piper & Leaf but the smell of the dry blend threw me off. I’m not sure why because I love chai-spiced blends, but I kept putting this one aside in favor of others. It finally happened that this was the last black tea in my work bag so here we are.

I’ll admit that the addition of oregano and dill seed interests me. I don’t smell or taste those flavors though, unfortunately. Even so, this is a solid and delightful chai. No specific flavor stands out, but it’s nicely spiced. The tea itself isn’t too strong or too weak, nor is it bitter or astringent. I’m very pleasantly surprised and entirely happy with this cup.

Flavors: Spices

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

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Ah the joys of a TTB, you know nothing about a tea until you try it. This one smelled interesting, maybe a bit minty so I brewed it up strong and finished off the sample. I’m not a fan of bergamot or jasmine and the first few sips had more of a minty taste so maybe this tea is ok? As the tea cooled, it smelled more like jasmine and has a bit of a bergamot aftertaste. Sipping to the bottom of the cup all I get is jasmine and bergamot. Glad I got to try this, and it’s a reminder of the flavors I stay away from :)

Flavors: Bergamot, Jasmine, Spearmint

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60

TTB #22

I didn’t love this one, but I think it’s because I drank it hot. It’s basically an Earl Grey with jasmine and mint added and it wasn’t the greatest combination hot. But it looks like this was actually intended to be an iced tea and I could see how it would be quite refreshing iced!

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Jasmine, Mint

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

I love this one iced and sweetened!

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65

Work – 11:00 AM

Sorry I haven’t been posting as much lately! I’ve been drinking a lot of advent calendar teas, which don’t get written about here yet… Plus there was Thanksgiving, of course. But hopefully now there will be more tea-drinking! At least until December 9th, when I’m heading to France for a week…

This one is from my Piper & Leaf subscription. It sounds interesting – Earl Grey with jasmine and spearmint basically. All of those things appeal to me, so I was happy to see this blend in my monthly package. Although I think this is intended to be an iced tea, that’s not something that I drink in the cooler months.

The base here is definitely brisk, and somewhat astringent as well. The spearmint likely exacerbates this a bit as well. Otherwise, it’s a nice amount of spearmint with jasmine and bergamot as supporting flavors.

My issue with this is, the base tea just doesn’t have enough flavor to make up for the astringency present. It’s very light on flavor – I don’t really get much other than briskness. And because of that, this one isn’t really for me.

P.S. – Piper & Leaf has some discounts going for Cyber Monday today, including 40% off their 35g packs of loose leaf!

Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Drying, Jasmine, Spearmint, Tannic

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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60

Autumn Harvest! So I decided to try something different tonight, and make a sweet potato tea! I actually ordered from this company specifically when I found out they had a sweet potato chai because I wanted to try it so badly, and I’ve been saving it specifically for this theme month. I’m Idahoan, so I mean… I have to try the potato tea, right?

The dry leaf had a very earthy, somewhat musty scent, which comes out in the brewed cup, but the spices pull forward in the aroma more strongly as well; it’s a very sweet spice aroma on top of the musty earthy scent (it reminds me a bit of the aroma of ginseng, just without that medicinal quality, actually). And surprisingly… that’s actually what the flavor is reminding me of, too. I’m getting strong notes of an earthy ginseng sort of base, with a mildly warming spicy finish on the back of the throat. There is a slight licorice sweetness, but not a loud pop of it or lingering flavor note of it. The spice that leaves the most impression with me in the cup is the clove, but I’m fairly certain it’s the cinnamon and ginger leaving the pleasant lingering warmth. I’m a big tulsi lover, but I’m not picking up on it strongly here; I’m suspecting I’m used to the three-variety tulsi blend and this tea may just be using one of the three types, producing a more mellow flavor, but since it is a very clove-like plant, that’s likely why the clove spice is really coming forward in the cup.

Well, this was surprising. It isn’t what I was expecting steeped sweet potato to taste like, and ginseng tea is definitely not one of my favorite things. I have been okay with it paired with licorice root in the past, but it is very hit and miss for me. The spice blend in this is superb, I absolutely love the heavy clove flavor, the gentle yet warm hit of spice at the end of the sip, and that mellow sweet licorice touch, but that ginseng tasting base is just too much for me. There is just something about that flavor that tastes dirty instead of earthy to me… I’ll be able to finish the sampler, but I wouldn’t care to procure more of it. But I definitely have faith that these small family-farm tea blenders are good at their craft, because the blend of ingredients itself is good, it’s just my personal taste that doesn’t care for this. If you like ginseng tea and chai spice, you’d probably love this. (Really, did anyone else know that dried sweet potato tastes like ginseng? I feel like my palate has leveled up tonight!)

Flavors: Clove, Earth, Licorice, Musty, Spices, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 6 g 16 OZ / 473 ML
Dustin

Butiki once had a potato pancake and applesauce tea! Such a strange thing to see and think “tea!”. Sweet potato makes more sense to me in a tea category.

Mastress Alita

I’ve had many sweet potato desserts but they actually tasted sweet and desserty (comman flavor in Japanese desserts). This tea didn’t taste anything like that, though.

Cameron B.

For me, this one tasted more like beets than sweet potato.

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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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78

Work – 3:30 PM

This is one of the blends from the Piper & Leaf subscription for this month. I’ve actually had it previously and recalled enjoying it, so when I noticed it on the counter this morning I picked it up to bring to work with me. I mailed out my Christmas gifts to my family today, so I was feeling in the holiday spirit!

This is an interesting one. If I didn’t know better, I would think it was a fruit tisane based on the taste. There’s no indication of black tea at all. The strongest flavor is the cherry, and there’s just enough hibiscus to give it a bit of tartness. I can also taste some amaretto or marzipan at the base, with a bit of a sweet alcoholic flavor. And then on top is the coconut, which sort of acts like a whipped cream element here.

So overall, it’s a bit like a tart and somewhat boozy cherry compote with whipped cream on top. I like it, though I think I would prefer vanilla to the coconut. The hibiscus is well-balanced (for once) and makes the cherry more convincing.

Flavors: Alcohol, Almond, Cherry, Coconut, Creamy, Hibiscus, Marzipan, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

This one sounds delicious! And makes me wish there were more cherry teas for Christmas blends. Orange is fine at all, but so over-done.

Cameron B.

And often when I have a “cherry” tea, it’s really more of a marzipan flavor. This one is a nice change with the hibiscus. I’ll set some aside for you to send with your Mulled Wine Magic after the new year.

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78

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

The smell/aroma is juicy strawberries, the tastes is a touch bitter. I’m having this plain, no honey today.

Flavors: Bitter, Drying, Strawberry

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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81

No notes yet. Add one?

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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