Art of TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you for sharing Kittenna – this tea smelled incredible dry but also very familiar!? It wasn’t until steeping it up that I realized that sweet, dewy and overripe pear note tastes almost identical to my delectable and very overpriced pear rooibos blend from Las Vegas. I wonder if these two blends are using the same pear flavouring!? There was a slight difference; this is definitely a little sweeter and it does have a caramel note which is INSANELY divine. I could drink the shit out of this tea!!
I don’t think I’ve ever ordered from this company before, but if it’s cheaper than the fancy/expensive Vegas Tea then I think I’m sold as a customer!!
I was so excited to find the Traveling Tea Box waiting for me last night and couldn’t wait to dig in! It was already late, so I decided to grab an herbal teabag – something quick and easy to brew that wouldn’t keep me awake – as my first sample. I like apricot, so went for this one. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the time to read the ingredients list and see that this blend includes both rooibos and hibiscus…two flavors I avoid. I didn’t get much apricot from this tea: just a vague fruity flavor fighting with lots of woody rooibos and that tart hibiscus aftertaste I dread. I finished my cup but definitely wouldn’t drink this one again.
Flavors: Fruity, Hibiscus, Rooibos, Tart, Wood
From TTB 2019/2020.
Switching over to caffeine free blends for the night. I’m pleasantly surprised by this one. It smells of juicy apricots right out of the bag. I can’t get over how authentic it is. I much prefer this hot rather than cooled to room temperature. The honeybush/rooibos competes with the apricot as it cools and while I do enjoy those flavors, the apricot is what makes this tea so enjoyable. A nice tea for a nightcap.
From TTB 2019/2020.
I received the tea box a couple of days ago and now that the business of Christmas planning is over I can actually sit down and enjoy some of these amazing teas. I went through the full box and counted 52 teas. So incredible.
My first love will always be Earl Grey, so I picked out this tea bag for my inaugural sip. The bergamot is there but not overpowering, and I can actually taste the cream. I can’t say that’s happened before for me with an Earl Grey Creme. No vanilla as far as I can tell, but it’s still good without it. Thanks to Arby for including this one in the box!
Flavors: Bergamot, Cream
Grabbed a sachet of this from the tea box. It was a little too heavy when it was hot, so I put it in the fridge, and it’s quite nice cold actually! It needed some sugar to bring the flavor out, but the flavor is a nice, clear apricot. It’s not the best fruit tea ever, but I do enjoy the uncomplicated taste.
Arby Advent Day 16
I love the designs on these tea bags! The flavor is a bit artificial – definitely more mint than chocolate. As it cools to room temperature, the flavor is a lot more pleasant. The tea gains an almost vanilla-like quality. I don’t taste the chocolate very much, but I totally get vanilla mint from this blend. It’s growing on me!
I got this as a single teabag sample from a cupboard sale from Ost in August 2018, so thank you, Ost! I figured this would go well with my dinner of instant potstickers, so I brewed up the teabag in 205F water.
The tea is a lovely marigold color and smells like the Forever Spring oolong from Thunder Mountain Teas that I sipped down not all that long ago… a sort of floral purfumey aroma, but not overwhelming. It smells a bit like orchid, lilac, honeysuckle, and sweet cream. It tastes sweet and floral, smooth and a bit creamy, with a strong and lasting floral aftertaste. I like floral teas so I find it quite pleasant. It really does taste a lot like the Forever Spring oolong (was that also a Tung Ting?) but I do think that one was just a touch fuller in flavor.
Flavors: Cream, Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle, Orchid, Perfume, Sweet, Violet
This was done in 190 degree F water with a three minute steep, and the resulting brew had a nice caramely color, but had a musky, earthy, roasted aroma. The flavor of the tea reminded me of roasted nuts (I was actually reminded a lot of TeaSource’s Roasted Chestnut tea), and the liquor was very smooth with a sort of sweetness that left a somewhat honey-like aftertaste on my tongue. The tea had subtle notes of deep, rich, earthy minerals beneath the sweeter, toasty, roasted nutty flavors. I found the tea very enjoyable! Smooth and nutty, with many of the appeals of a darker tea without the astringencies or bitterness. I think this would appeal to fans of nutty, earthy flavors that don’t like flavored blends.
Flavors: Earth, Honey, Mineral, Musty, Nutty, Roasted nuts, Smooth, Sweet
This tea has a suprisingly smooth base; I was expecting a lot more astringency with this one, but it is very sweet and the flavor is fantastic! While I’m not much of a fan of the texture of lychee fruit, I love the flavor, and this tea has a great, rich lychee taste, with a softer peach note in the finish. I also notice this slight floral note which just rounds out the fruity flavors nicely. This is one of my favorite black teas to prepare iced as well, since it has a nice strong flavor and I find the stonefruit notes really refreshing and naturally sweet enough to hold well as a cold tea, as long as it is prepared as a hot steep first and then chilled.
Flavors: Floral, Lychee, Peach, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet
Well, I returned from a lovely vacation only to have the whole thing soured by having my closing date delayed because my initial loan didn’t go through because a sleazy property management company owns over 10% of the units in the condo that I’m purchasing my unit in, which disqualified my loan under their Fannie Mae stipulations, sooooo I get to start all over with the loan process with a different lender. ARGH. I swear this whole house-buying process is going to kill me. And to make matters worse, I had handed in my 30 days notice to my apartment because my loan officer and realtor had told me everything was going absolutely great RIGHT before I left on vacation, so now I only have until the 15th of August to close before I’ll be homeless… the stress is so real.
I have a lot to write up on my Portland tea samplings/Tea Fest PDX, and eventually I’ll get to that. I bought way too much on vacation, and the sad part is I don’t even plan to break into any of it, it’s just going into the moving box. Siiiiiiiigh.
This was an old sampler from Fusion Teas, August Peach Oolong Tea, that I finished off quickly by making a liter of coldbrew tea, and then another half liter of coldbrew tea. Looking up the ingredients, it was easy to hunt down that this blend was sourced by Art of Tea, and is their 12:00PM tea (which was formally called “Peach Oolong”). I never bothered to try the tea warm, since we’ve been in a terrible heatwave (I’m already missing those Oregon coast temperatures!)
This is a toasty tasting oolong base, and the flavor of this tea actually reminds me a lot of Lupicia’s Apricot Mugicha, just a little less coffee-like… and since Lupicia no longer sells any of their flavored Mugicha, I suppose this at least scratches that itch for that particular tea a little. This tea has a nice roasted nuts flavor with some woody notes and the slightly earthy flavor of raw hazelnut/walnuts, with a bit of a honeyed sweetness to it that is really refreshing to me iced. The peach notes are noticable, but come out more of a subtle fruity note that compliments the honey notes and isn’t a distinct flavor that holds out on its own against the strong woody/nutty oolong base.
I like the tea, and I think renaming it to take the emphasis off the peach was the right move, as this doesn’t really read as a “peach-flavored tea” but rather as an oolong that has some peach/stonefruit notes. This makes a nice iced tea for those that enjoy a nice cold mugicha or houjicha.
Flavors: Hazelnut, Honey, Nutty, Peach, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Stonefruits, Walnut, Wood
I was just reading a thread on the boards about how spammy and dead Steepster has been lately, and that just made me sad. Unfortunately I also find myself drifting away from Steepster because I don’t make the time and I simply am hardly on my personal laptop anymore. Maybe once a week or so, but I generally check my internet stuff on my phone and Steepster is not phone friendly. I do drop by occasionally with a tasting note, but I’m never on the boards anymore.
Anyways, another reason I don’t always post reviews on tea anymore is because I’m too lazy to input it into the database if there’s no previous listing for it? If no one else is drinking it, does anyone care what I have to say about it? Shrug. This is a new listing.
I came across this tea actually months ago, in a little milk tea shop when visiting my friend in a town three hours away. They also carried some loose teas and the owner was kind enough to let me sniff the teas because I wasn’t so familiar with the blend. The company is california based and that intrigued me. This was the tea that caught me attention. He agreed to brew it for me iced, and oh boy, it became a minor obsession for me to obtain some. I can’t even describe how I remember it tasting now because it was so long ago. But the flavors overall lent to a great cup.
This tea is pretty expensive for me. A 4oz zip pouch is $23, which is about 5.75/oz. That may not sound too expensive, alot of teas go for around 4/oz, but that plus shipping for just the one tea I wanted from the company, it was alot. Especially because when I first stalked this tea, only the 16oz bag was available, which is alot to buy when you’ve only tasted the tea once. Nevertheless, it became one of those background tabs in my internet browser that I checked every once in awhile.
I finally gave in a got some a month or so ago and got a bag, and I’m still kind of tinkering with the brewing specifications. My habit is still to brew a large thermos to go for work, so I brew alot of tea at once, all usually off the same leaves. This batch was 2.5 tsp, 16oz water, three steeps into a large thermos.
The Vanilla came out STRONG, and the mint is nice while it’s warm but enhances cold when iced. I think I let it sit too long because the black tea was stronger than my preference, or maybe just I overleafed it. I think I’m looking for something like a creamy mint black, but I need to figure out how to brew it just right.
I received this as a gift from Mastress Alita some time back. I was waiting for a hot day to try this tea as she suggested, cold-brewed, in Trader Joe’s lemonade. I used roughly 2 tablespoons to 16oz overnight in the fridge then transferred the hibiscus red brew to one of my insulated flasks to keep cold all day. Holy crap, what an amazing treat while working without shade all day. It was like a berry-fruit punch-lemonade with some earthiness from the guayusa on the swallow. Perfect sweet-tart combination and a nice thickness from that sugary lemonade.
As far as I can tell, the guayusa didn’t effect me negatively in any way like its cousin yerba maté often does. They’re in the same genus, Ilex, but must have differing alkaloids and/or levels and combinations. Or maybe less caffeine? If I’m feeling motivated later on, I’ll check the journals and see what I can find about both plants.
I’ll try the last bit brewed hot and see how that goes before rating.
Another single sample from Ost! Thanks again! (Hope you are well!) I LOVE the idea of an orchid oolong, it’s my favorite type of oolong — floral. However, I’m not sure what the age of this sealed teabag might be. The packaging is quite nice. I may have oversteeped the first steep.. the color of the brew was bright GREEN. uh oh. I guess the teabag might have contained more than a teaspoon and shouldn’t have went in my smaller mug. The flavor isn’t as floral as I’d expect. Buttery,sweet, a bit vegetal. I guess oolongs as they get older, tend to be harder to describe. It’s decent enough. I guess I just didn’t want to sip this down without writing SOMETHING. Poor tea. I see the site has a 20% off spring sale, if anyone is interested… though I’m not sure when that ends.
Steep #1 // 1 teabag for smaller mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 7 minutes after boiling // 2 min
2019 sipdowns: 27
edited to add: Whoops. just got an e-mail from Art of Tea saying there is hours left in the sale….
I had this tea at a lovely spa and was surprised by their high quality tea selection. I’ve been to spas with only Stash mint tea and one with Lipton. I ended up drinking a lot of tea that day.
This EG Crème is good with a touch of cane sugar, but I took a teabag home and am now enjoying it a lot with milk. The dry tea smells like smooth vanilla and bergamot, but the brewed tea is primarily flavourful bergamot and fresh black tea without the vanilla. I would say I can taste the creaminess, but it is weak and distant. I like my EG potently creamy with lots of vanilla and cream flavour.
Flavors: Bergamot, Citrus, Earl Grey, Malt, Tannin
Adventures in pu erh: Morgie vs. sheng cake.
The cake smells like chocolate, which is awesome.
See how in the picture, there is a piece of paper on the cake, and tea is over it? This made things more difficult than they needed to be.
The cake was packed really tightly and I found it very hard to loosen any part of it. So I went for the little indentation in the middle, and managed to break on through to the other side, but the result was I hit the paper without realizing it. So there were little bits of paper among the tea.
Also, the tea was pretty dusty because I am sure I broke some of the leaves trying to pry it apart.
Any suggestions on how to do better next time?
Somehow I managed to pry enough off to get about 2.7g of tea. I got most of the paper out before I rinsed, and another couple of bits out after. But I suspect there was still some in there…
Gaiwan. Boiling. 5/5/7/7/10/10/20/30/40/60
Because of the dust, the liquor was cloudier than I’d ever seen with a sheng. It was the color of a lemon cough drop in the first few steeps. Later, it became gold, with a copper tinge and clearer.
I didn’t notice much change from steep to steep. For the most part, I got that buttery, white chocolate aroma and flavor that I have discovered is pretty standard for me and sheng.
Around steep 4, something happened though. The tea got sweeter, and also seemed to be more vibrant in flavor.
And around steep 6, it developed a crispness and a brightness I hadn’t observed before.
I liked it quite a lot, though I am not sure it’s the best I’ve had so far.
Flavors: Chocolate, White Chocolate
I tried this tea once before – at 1 tsp / 10 oz / 4 min – and wasn’t impressed. For this steep I upped it a bit – 1.5 tsp / 10 oz / 5 min – and I’m still getting not much of anything from the brew.
I understand that this is supposed to be a primarily herbal restorative blend, but there’s simply no chance I’ll drink it long enough to see the effects. It smells strongly of potpourri with faint fruit notes and a bit of cinnamon…not that any of that comes through in the flavor.
It tastes…watery. Thin, with no real oomph behind it. No flavors I can pick out with any kind of consistency other than a dusty sweet-fruit note that’s rather unpalatable. It doesn’t make me loathe it, but there’s nothing to make me want to drink it so I’m going to feed it to the sink.
The penultimate day of my Advent calendar from Sara.
I went out earlier today and had a fancy shou pu-erh. Came home and pulled out of my advent calendar… a fancy shou pu-erh. I guess it’s that kind of day. :)
The scent is very mild and earthy. I brewed it western style as I’m not set up for gong fu at home, and I’m so out of it that I forgot to do a wash first.
So far, I like this one better than the 9016 Shou Pu-erh I had earlier today. I taste fruit and honey and a little earthy tone, in a nice balance.
The second steep has an even better balance. You’re walking in the woods. There’s no one around, and your phone is dead. Out of the corner of your eye you spot a falling leaf. There are falling leaves everywhere! They fall to the ground, honey colored, and somehow honey scented, and there is a variety of fallen fruit on the ground.
There is a hint of malt this time too.
The third steep is similar to the second. I kept meaning to rake the leaves once they dried, but then it rained again. Finally I raked them up wet, and it smelled kind of like this.
I’m going to keep steeping this until the flavor is all spent. I’ll comment if it changes.
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Honey, Malt
This tea confuses me – first, this is yet another coconut blend that the universe keeps throwing at me, much to my chagrin…and it really doesn’t taste like apples. Perhaps I’m spoiled because I was raised on orchard-grown (real, naturally ripened) apples, but from this I’m mostly getting a spice aroma and a rooibos backend.
I gave it a solid 6 min steep, but I’m thinking I might need to push it closer to 10 to pull some of the more “apple pie” flavors out of the mix. Personally I’m not sure where those flavors might be hiding in the lackluster cup I’m currently holding…but I’ll withhold my disgruntlement until I’ve had a chance to give it a more intense steep.
For now, though, it’s a thin (not unappealing, but not apple pie) brew with a bit of pepper on the backend and the faintest hints of a mulled flavor on the front. If I huff it like I’m trying to get high off the fumes I can barely pick up some apple in the aroma but…yeah, I’m not super excited about this one.
The leaves have a grassy green smell in the tin, with a sweet floral note and just a hint of a sharp spicy note.
Gaiwan, 195F. Rinse, 15 seconds +5 for each subsequent steep.
The tea has a very pale yellow liquor. It smells fresh, with a single floral note. The description says lilac, and while I ‘m not sure I have a mental map of lilac’s aroma, I have no reason to think this isn’t that. In the first steep, there’s a light, milk note.
Later steeps continue to have the lilac note, but starting with the second steep through several more, the milky note becomes buttery. By the third steep, the leaves have greatly expanded and leave a sugary, nectar/floral scent in the cup when the tea is gone.
Something about this tea made me want to keep steeping it beyond my typical four steeps for note-writing purposes. I took this through an additional three steeps with breakfast.
That’s a really good sign, and my rating reflects it.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Grass, Milk, Nectar, Spicy, Sweet
Well dammit, I accidentally deleted my sipdown note for this. I had two note pages opened in two different browser windows, and I deleted a blank note. But that somehow deleted what I’d written? Who knows.
Anyway, it was a one-line note so I can recreate it pretty easily. :-)
Sipdown no. 10 of April 2019 (no. 59 of 2019 total, no. 547 grand total).
It made a very nice iced tea, too.
Steeping this slightly hotter than usual in the gaiwan starting after a rinse at 15 sec and increasing in 5 second increments.
My cleaning people unplugged the Zo, so it took a while to get water heated this morning and it went all the way up to 205F. On its way back down now at 200F but I didn’t want to wait until it cooled down to 195F as I have to go get a haircut later.
This is unlike a lot of other Tieguanyins I’ve had lately. First, it doesn’t smell at all buttery or milky, and it’s only just slightly floral in the tin. Mostly it smells grassy-green.
The color starts pale yellow on the first steep and deepens to a clear medium gold on subsequent steeps.
The tea has a roasty aroma that on subsequent steeps has a brown sugary quality. In the earlier steeps it had some mineral aspects. But then it might be because I keep thinking iron, iron, iron….
The flavor hits the tongue in a way that announces complexity. It’s not buttery, not milky, not terribly floral. It has a taste all its own. I don’t really get the pine that others have mentioned. I sometimes do get pine from tea, but I can only get it here if I throw my mind out of focus and stretch.
I do get something that by the third steep I’ve identified as a salty but not salty quality. It seems salty, but it isn’t. This is probably because of its roasty-toastyness.
It holds up well through four steeps, and shows no signs of quitting. If I didn’t have to move on because of today’s schedule, I’d love to sit with it longer.
This is a lovely, tasty tea. As it’s type goes, I tend to prefer the more buttery and floral and less toasty greens. But it’s a great change of pace.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Mineral, Roasted, Salty, Toast
I poured in the hot water, and the whole kitchen smelled like peppermint. Mmm.
Mmm, it’s a nice minty chocolate, more mint than chocolate. It’s rather sweet and very holiday. There’s also a little tea note, though I can’t pick out what sort of tea with the other flavors. I know it’s pu-erh from the ingredient list.
This is really almost a perfect chocolate minty tea. I’m going to try adding some cocoa powder to the infuser on my second steep, as I often do with chocolate teas to make them more to my taste.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Peppermint, Tea
Autumn Harvest! This was another sampler I had from a holiday sampler pack from Art of Tea. It was described as “a warming caffeine-free blend of cinnamon, cloves and sweet tangy cranberries with a citrusy finish, reminiscent of Grand Marnier” but since I’ve been alcohol-free for decades due to my chronic migraine condition, I have never had a Grand Marnier and have no idea what it is even supposed to taste like. I only know this should be a cranberry-forward blend, and it’s harvest season, and I want some cranberries, so let’s do this!
The dry leaf smelled very strongly of spice, particularly of clove. It steeped up an unsurprising deep rooibos red color, and the aroma still smelled overwhelmingly of spice. It also tasted overwhelmingly of spice, too, with cinnamon and clove leaving a very strong impression on each sip. The tea reminded me more of a spice cider than anything else; it left a warm, cozy, by-the-fireside feeling from the cinnamon-clove spice, but if there were any other flavors in the tea, they were completely lost beneath the strong spices! Where in the world was the cranberry? I mean, I could see them in the leaf, but there wasn’t so much as a hint of it in the flavor! There isn’t even so much as a fruity note to this! Hell, I don’t even really taste the honeybush/rooibos base all that much, too be honest. The tea is sweeter than if the delivery vehicle for the spice were a black, sure, but even the base feels really drowned out in spice. Meeeeeeeeh. Just a bad blend all around.
You can’t call yourself Cran Marnier and have no cranberry!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Rooibos, Spices, Spicy, Sweet