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Archive for the ‘green tea’ Category

I don’t think anyone is more excited than I that today is March 1st.  This winter, especially February, has been filled with record-breaking snow days, snow drifts, freezing rain, and below-freezing temperatures. While there is always the possibility of more snow, the likelihood has significantly decreased.  Not to mention, the promise of warmer days with more sun is highly motivating.  The countdown to Spring has begun with only 19 more days to go.  I am drinking Yanagi Bancha to celebrate!

Composition: Japanese green tea harvested in June.

Dry Visual: Rich green and yellow coarsely twisted and broken leaves with stems present.  Thanks to Obubu Tea for the great photo.

Dry Aroma: A very fresh green aroma.  I am reminded of the smell of trees after a refreshing Spring rain.

Flavor: Yanagi Bancha is quite delicious.  A lover of Japanese green teas, I found Yanagi Bancha to be mild yet flavorful. Naturally sweet, I thoroughly enjoyed its refreshing taste.  A full-bodied tea, Yanagi Bancha has a hint of a vegetal quality throughout the cup with a floral finish.  I was amazed by the changes in flavor as the cup cooled.

Yanagi Bancha has a moderate astringency that becomes more pronounced throughout the cup and into the next infusion. However, I would never add a sweetener for fear of negatively altering the flavor profile.

Liquor: A greenish-yellow hue.

Brewing Time: I steeped Yanagi Bancha in boiling water for 30 seconds during the first infusion, 20 seconds during the second infusion and 30 seconds during the third infusion.

Manufacturer: Obubu Tea

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Yanagi Bancha tea, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

**Tea was provided by Obubu Tea as a sample.

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“Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we’ve no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

It doesn’t show signs of pausing,
And I’ve bought some corn for popping,
The lights are turned way down low,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

When we finally kiss goodnight,
How I’ll hate going out in the storm!
But if you’ll really hold me tight,
All the way home I’ll be warm.

The fire is slowly dying,
And, my dear, we’re still good-bying,
But as long as you love me so,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

~ Sammy Cahn

It may not be Christmas time, but this song is apropos for the amount of snow we’ve seen in the Midwest during the last two weeks!  The first snowstorm brought with it about eight inches of snow. The second snowstorm showered us with eight inches of snow and this last one dumped yet another eight or nine inches of snow.  While many of you along the east coast had 30 inches, 15 inches, and who knows how many inches during this last storm may think us Midwesterners are rookies, I’ve had enough!  Call us what you will – I’m officially tired of the snow!  The only highlight of the snowstorms… the enormous amount of tea that continue to fill my cup each day.  In particular, Moroccan Mint, with whom I’ve communed with daily – multiple times per day. Even more surprising,  my non-tea loving husband has sipped  a cup with me every night.  Although I must admit, several of his cups included two shots of Jack Daniels.  Hot Toddy’s just in time for Mardi Gras!

Composition: Organic gunpowder green tea and organic peppermint

Dry Visual: Characteristic of gunpowder, the green tea resembles very dark green almost black tightly rolled musket pellets.  The mint consists of broken lighter green leaves with brown stems present.

Dry Aroma: Delightfully minty.

Flavor: Moroccan Mint is a great blend of green tea and mint.  One flavor does not overpower the other in this cup of tea. It would be interesting to know the type of green tea used as the tea does not contain any vegetal, sappy, or grassy qualities. After conducting a little research, I discovered that many varieties of tea have been used to make Moroccan Mint. It is smooth and flavorful. If you are a lover of mint tea, you will definitely enjoy this brew.

There is no astringency, therefore Moroccan Mint tea can be enjoyed without sweetener.  However, I chose to drink Moroccan Mint with plenty of sweetener as is customary in Morocco with one caveat… I did not follow the Atai method of preparation. Having steeped multiple cups this week, I have alternated between Sugar-In-The-Raw and honey as my sweeteners of choice.

Liquor: A dark yellow hue.

Brewing Time: I steeped Moroccan Mint tea in water that ranged from 175 degrees to 185 degrees for four minutes during the first infusion and five minutes during the second infusion.

Manufacturer: Sage Moon Herb Shop

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Moroccan Mint tea, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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Most people have a favorite program or two they watch every week.  Two of my favorites include Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Dressed in comfy clothes and armed with a cup of Green Tea Soothing Mint tea, it was with eager anticipation that I flicked on the television. Imagine my disappointment tonight at the realization that both shows were repeats.  After watching repeats from mid-December to mid-January, it was great to finally, finally watch new episodes.  Instead of laughing and/or crying with my favorite characters, I’m surfing the net and working on a new pet project.

Composition: Green tea and spearmint

Dry Visual: The leaves are broken and resemble fannings. Other details are not easily discernable – the tea is contained in tea bags.

Dry Aroma: Very minty.

Flavor: Green Tea Soothing Mint is flavorful, but mild.  The green tea is not easily discernible – I was unable to detect any of the characteristic green tea flavors. For example, Green Tea Soothing mint does not contain any vegetal, sappy, or grassy qualities.  However, the spearmint contained in the ingredients dominates this cup of tea.  If you are a lover of mint tea, you will enjoy this brew.

There is no astringency, therefore Green Tea Soothing Mint can be enjoyed without sweetener.  After allowing the cup to cool, I am convinced that tea lovers can drink Green Tea Soothing Mint hot or cold.

Liquor: A rich golden yellow hue. The cup is clear.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is 2 – 3 minutes.  No water temperature was designated so I opted for 185 degrees for 3 minutes.

Manufacturer: Salada Tea

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Green Tea Soothing Mint, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

**Tea was provided by Salada Tea as a sample.

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You are probably wondering… why it is almost the end of January and Tea Escapade is just now sharing information about National Hot Tea Month.  Through inadvertence, I missed the press release in my email box and hope to rectify this mishap for such a great cause. Tea Escapade is always excited to share information about the tea industries efforts to improve the community, the environment, and the lives of people around the world.  Be on the look out for more…

Now that you know that January is National Hot Tea Month let me share with you how Celestial Seasonings put a new spin on the event.  As a leading tea retailer, Celestial Seasonings invites people to help preserve the earth’s tropical forests by participating in a new Facebook quiz, entitled PossibiliTEAS. Through the campaign, which kicked off National Hot Tea Month, Celestial Seasonings will donate one dollar on behalf of each participant, totaling up to $50,000, to Conservation International’s “Protect an Acre” program.

“At Celestial Seasonings we continue our 40-year commitment to social and environmental responsibility through our support of Conservation International’s ‘Protect an Acre’ program,” said Peter Burns, General Manager of Celestial Seasonings. “Our entertaining and insightful PossibiliTEAS Facebook quiz utilizes the inspiring art from our new, smoother-tasting green tea line to teach tea drinkers a little about themselves, while they support a great cause.”

The PossibiliTEAS Facebook application features thought-provoking questions, the answers of which align people with one of nine symbolic Asian characters found on boxes of Celestial Seasonings new green tea. Participants are provided with inspiration and guidance based on the given character and its associated meaning. For instance, the Dragon featured on Authentic Green Tea represents “awakening” while the Butterfly featured on Raspberry Gardens Green Tea symbolizes “joy.” The quiz is available at Celestial Seasonings Facebook fan page:  www.facebook.com/CelestialSeasonings where the first 15,000 participants will receive a sample of Celestial Seasonings Authentic Green Tea.

Celestial Seasonings donation of up to $50,000 will support Conservation International’s “Protect an Acre” program, which helps slow climate change and preserves tropical forests around the world. Just $15 protects one acre of tropical forest, so when participants enlist the support of 14 of their Facebook friends, together they will protect one acre of tropical forest. Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, Conservation International empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature for the well-being of humanity.

Even though National Hot Tea Month ends January 31st, the Conservation International’s “Protect an Acre” program doesn’t.  For more information about Celestial Seasonings commitment to the environment, visit: www.celestialseasonings.com.

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Organic Yellow FlowerDrinking tea is more than just an opportunity to rehydrate the body.  It is also an opportunity to relax the mind,  nourish the body,  and challenge one’s intellect.  The tea experience can be enjoyed alone or shared with friends.  Tea crosses cultural and geographical boundaries. Tea is enigmatic in its universality. I invite you to share my experience when drinking Organic Yellow Flower.

Composition: Organic green tea grown in China’s Anhui province

Dry Visual: Rich dark green leaves  resembling thick pine needles with some yellow leaves interspersed throughout.  Additionally a buds are present.  In comparison to other teas, Organic Yellow Flower reminds me somewhat of Anji Bai Cha.

Dry Aroma: Sweet almost sappy aroma. Yet fresh and clean smelling.

Flavor:  Organic Yellow Flower is quite delightful.  Almost delicate, this mild green tea reminds me of  several white teas I have had the pleasure of drinking. While mild, Organic Yellow Flower is surprisingly  fullbodied and consistently floral and clean tasting from start to finish.  Missing is the vegetal quality found in many green teas – I’m not complaining. The aroma is somewhat deceiving in that it is quite aromatic in contrast to the mildness of the liquor.

I found the brew to have little astringency (no bitterness, but a subtle dry feel in the mouth).  Nevertheless, no sweetener was needed nor would I recommend it. Altering the flavor profile would be a concern to me considering the mild nature of the tea.

Liquor: A pale yellow hue.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is 2 minutes in water that ranges from 170 to 180 degrees F.

Manufacturer: Mighty Leaf Tea

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Organic Yellow Flower, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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mango green deI absolutely adore the summer! It is hot all the time and the sun magically bathes you in its glow. There is no better time, in my opinion, to go on vacation than in the summer. That is of course, followed by going on vacation in the winter to a warm, tropical, destination. My family and I just returned from vacation in Miami. It was wonderful to go to the beach – lay in the hot sand, listen to the sometimes crashing waves, and live day-to-day without obligations. During those few precious days, we laughed, we played, and I personally was refreshed. Thus, I sit today completely relaxed with a renewed sense of purpose. It is amazing how a peaceful state of mind can do that for you. My only complaint? I forgot to pack tea and was relegated to grocery store tea. Thus it is with great excitement that I steeped a cup of Mango Green Decaf today.

Composition: Decaffeinated green tea from the Korakundah Estate in Nilgiri, India, mango pieces, calendula, and natural mango.

Dry Visual: Predominantly light and dark green tea leaves – broken and curled with some stems present.  Additionally, there are the bright golden yellow calendula leaves and brownish orangy bits of dried mango.  Thanks Mighty Leaf Tea for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Delicious!  Both fruity and floral with the citrus smell of mango dominating.

Flavor:  A tisane, I found Mango Green Decaf to be a wonderful flavored tea. A mild green tea flavor with an amazing fruity presence, as the dry aroma suggests, from start to finish. However, I would add that the finish is complex as it also contains a floral quality – which I am sure is attributable to the calendula. The fruity/floral combination of flavors are complimentary as one does not dominate the other.

One could easily drink Mango Green Decaf  without sweetener (which I did) as there is only a mild, almost non-existent astringency. In my initial taste I was surprised that the green tea held no vegetal qualities either.  I think with the addition of a sweetener, Mango Green Decaf would make a fantastic iced tea as well.

Liquor: A rich amber hue.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time for Mango Green Decaf is 2 to 3  minutes in 170 – 180 degree water.  I steeped for 3 minutes as recommended.

Manufacturer: Mighty Leaf Tea

Caffeine: The name suggests No – the Mighty Leaf Website says No – but the packaging says light caffeine.

If you have had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of Mango Green Decaf, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

180px-Calendula_January_2008-1_filteredWhat is Calendula?

Calendula pot marigold, is a genus of about 12-20 species of annual or perennial herbaceous plants in the daisy family Asteraceae, native to the area from Macaronesia east through the Mediterranean region to Iran. Calendula should not be confused with other plants that are also known as marigolds, such as plants of the genus Tagetes, corn marigolds or marsh marigolds.

Marigold petals are considered edible. They are often used to add color to salads, and marigold extract is commonly added to chicken feed to produce darker egg yolks. Their aroma, however, is not sweet, and resembles the smell of hops in beer. The oil from its seed contains calendic acid.

References:  Calendula. (2009, May 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:09, May 9, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Calendula&oldid=288782133

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300px-Gyokuro_img_0067A few weeks ago, my sister Alex and I had lunch at Essencha. Essencha is a wonderful tea house where one can have lunch, on Sunday’s breakfast, tea and an overall good time. Alex was in town for an extended weekend – I had been looking forward to taking her to lunch for the last few months, since I discovered she was planning to come home. Initially, I could not decide where we should go for lunch. But then it hit me, why not share with her a place that encapsulates one of my passions? Of course, I could not leave without expanding the selection of teas found in my pantry. Thus I purchased and have been drinking a great deal of lately, Gyokuro Kin.

Composition: Japanese green tea produced in the Asahina area of the Shizuoka prefecture.

Dry Visual: Lush, vibrant green, choppy leaves with light green stems. Resembles freshly cut blades of grass.

Dry Aroma: The outdoorsy smell of grass after a spring rain.

Flavor:  This was my first experience tasting Gyokuro Kin. Not knowing what to expect I decided not to have any expectations at all and was pleasantly surprised by the mild nature of this tea. While green tea is not my favorite category, I really love Gyokuro Kin. It has subtle grassy notes and is consistent from start to finish.  I found Gyokuro Kin to be both sweet and clean tasting. One interesting note, as the cup began to cool, Gyokuro Kin reminded me somewhat of a green oolong – others might disagree.

There is no need for the addition of a sweetener and thus none was added.  Gyokuro Kin has no astringency; however, adding honey and drinking as an iced tea is a definite option. I found that I was able to get two very delicious infusions out of the same tea leaves – I’ve yet to try for a third.

Liquor: A light green almost yellow hue.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time for Gyokuro Kin is 2 minutes in 160 degree water.  This is one tea that is not very forgiving, I accidentally steeped using preboiling water and let’s just say, I did not have a tasty cup of tea. Therefore, I steeped for 2 minutes as recommended for the first infusion and 3 to 4 minutes for the second infusion.

Manufacturer: Essencha

Caffeine: Yes.

Gyokuro means “Jewel dew” and is processed like Sencha, another awesome Japanese green tea. If you have had an opportunity to try Gyokuro Kin, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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