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Posts Tagged ‘black tea’

Picture 3Although not the subject of today’s review, I’ve been drinking Hojicha, a deliciously roasted bancha.  In actuality, I’ve been drinking a lot of tea, just not writing about it. Sometimes, it is wonderful to sip a cup of tea simply for pleasure. To allow the warmth of the cup to warm my hands. The steam of the brew to tickle my nose. The smoothness of the liquor to soothe my throat, while being stimulated by the amazing flavor.

Nevertheless, today’s review will focus on Euphoric… 

Composition: 2nd Flush, single-estate black tea from Darjeeling, India.

Dry Visual: Dark brown almost black broken tea leaves with bits of red and green leaves. Stems and some tips are present.  Thanks Earthbound Tea for the picture.

Dry Aroma: An earthy, somewhat woodsy aroma.

Flavor:  I found Euphoric to be a very flavorful tea from beginning to end.  The flavor profile combined a maltiness in the middle with a fruity finish.  The first thing that came to mind was berries – blueberries, blackberries, etc.

Initially, I began my tasting of Euphoric pure – with no sweetener added. As typical of Darjeeling teas, I found Euphoric to be astringent. During a later tasting,  I added just a little sweetener to round the flavor, however one could easily add milk as well. Euphoric is robust enough to stand up to milk.  Finally, I drank Euphoric again cold and decided, I would love it as an iced tea.

Liquor: A dark amber hue.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time for Euphoric is 3 – 4 minutes in 212 degree water.  I steeped for 4 minutes as recommended.

Manufacturer: Earthbound Tea

Caffeine: Yes.

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

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Just a couple of hours before the dawn of a new day. Yet, I am thankful for these last few hours to enjoy Easter Sunday. Today, I was blessed with the opportunity to remember the death, burial, and Resurrection of Christ. While simultaneously spending time with family – eating, laughing, and immensely enjoying the company of one another. It is now 10:46 p.m. and I am winding down with a wonderful cup of Organic Bohea Lapsang Supreme.

Composition: Whole leaf black tea from Southeast China. Organic Bohea Lapsang Supreme one of many teas, originating in the Wuyi Mountains. The Wuyi Mountain range is located between Wuyishan City, at Nanping prefecture of Fujian province and Wuyishan Town, at Shangrao city of Jiangxi province.

Dry Visual: Dark brown, almost black, twisted leaves. No broken bits. Thanks Jing Tea for the photo.

Dry Aroma: A wonderful smoky aroma.

Flavor:  Organic Bohea Lapsang Supreme also known as Wuyi Ji Ping Bohea hong Cha is delicious. A lover of lapsang souchong, I eagerly anticipated my first cup. To my surprise, I found Organic Bohea Lapsang Supreme to be full-bodied, yet extraordinarily smooth. Typical of other lapsang souchong’s, Organic Bohea Lapsang Supreme is characteristically smokey, but not overpowering. I was extremely pleased by the complexity of this tea. While Organic Bohea Lapsang Supreme may have started off smokey, its middle is spicy, yet the finish is incredibly sweet.

The use of a sweetener is an absolute no-no. Not only did I not use sweetener, it was never an option. I believe the very nature of Organic Bohea Lapsang Supreme’s flavor profile would be unnaturally altered. 300px-wuyishan_fujian_china

Liquor: The color of bourbon – a rich golden brown with hints of red.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time is 1 to 2 tsp for 4 – 5 minutes in boiling water.  I steeped for 4 minutes as recommended.

Manufacturer: Jing Tea

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had an opportunity to try Organic Bohea Lapsang Supreme, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

 

References:

Wuyi Mountains. (2009, March 27). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:46, April 13, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wuyi_Mountains&oldid=280083300

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Twitter has become my new place for meeting and connecting on a regular basis with other tea lovers. While our only place to meet and chat is the Online, I feel like my life is enriched a little bit everyday by the tidbits of knowledge, tea tips, and random postings about current events, personal achievements, and life in general.

While on Twitter, I learned about 52 Teas, a project of Zoomdweebie’s Tea.  52 Teas is committed to bringing you a new small batch custom blended hand-crafted tea EVERY WEEK.  This is achieved by asking customers to help decide what to blend.  If you have an idea for a tea blend, simply sign in to their forums and post your request there. 52 Teas will make it happen. I did – and the results manifested in Tea Escapade’s Pumpkin Spiced Chai, which was featured during the week ending January 3, 2009. Tea Escapade’s Pumpkin Spiced Chai was featured once again, “due to popular demand”, during the week ending January 23, 2009. 

Composition: Assam tea, ginger root pieces, cinnamon, green cardamom, and natural and/or artificial flavors.

Dry Visual: A colorful blend of dark brown, almost black, tea mixed with large chunky pieces of yellow (ginger), light green (cardamom), and brick red (cinnamon).

Dry Aroma: A pungent, almost overpowering, spicy mix – what I assume to be the pumpkin flavor is dominant followed by the cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger.

Flavor: Tea Escapade’s Pumpkin Spiced Chai has a robust, spicy flavor as the dry aroma suggests. A typical characteristic of chai tea that I love. The black tea is blended well with the other flavors, creating a complex cup of tea – starting with cinnamon and finishing with ginger. I steeped several cups before writing this review in an attempt to gain further insight into the flavor profile. While the pumpkin aroma is quite powerful in the dry blend, I was unable to decipher its presence in the liquor.

As with most black teas, especially assam, Pumpkin Spiced Chai Tea requires the addition of sweetener. I tasted one cup with milk and honey; another with milk and sugar; and yet another with sugar alone. My preference is with sugar alone as it curbs the astringency nicely.

Liquor: A rich reddish-brown  hue.

Brewing Time: It is recommended that black teas are brewed for an average of 3 – 5 minutes at a temperature of approximately 212 degrees. I steeped for both 4 and 5 minutes finding a mild dryness at both temperatures.

Manufacturer: 52 Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

If you love chai, which I do, you may find Tea Escapade’s Pumpkin Spiced Chai to be the tea for you. If you have experienced this chai tea, stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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southern_belleYes… it is cold, snowy, slippery, and dreary. Oh yeah, how could I forget? It’s winter and I’m already anticipating the transformation of winter into Summer. In an effort to make the dreary days of winter (as opposed to the dog days of summer) more palatable, I attempted to bring the warmth of summer indoors. Armed with a hot fruity cup of Organic Southern Belle, I managed to enjoy a slice of Summer in the middle of January.

Composition: Organic Black Tea, Natural Flavoring (What exactly comprises natural flavoring?), Peaches.

Dry Visual: Dark brown/black twisted tea leaves with chunky bits of dried peaches. Thanks Tantalizing Tea for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Scrumptious! A cross between peach juice and peach cobbler.

Flavor: I steeped several cups of Organic Southern Belle before writing this review.  The first cup I steeped for 5 minutes – this created a robust cup of tea, somewhat dry with a hint of bitterness. To truly enjoy required the addition of sweetener. The black tea was dominant followed by a peach finish. After allowing to cool, I was quite impressed – Organic Southern Belle would be an awesome sweet iced tea. “Southern Belle” style as the name suggests. 

My second cup of tea was steeped for 4 minutes. I found this to be Organic Southern Belle’s “sweet spot”. While robust, Organic Southern Belle was extraordinarily smooth without a hint of dryness or bitterness. The tea was delicious with a wonderful peach flavor from start to finish. Naturally sweet, I was able to enjoy without sweetener. Steeped for 4 minutes, Organic Southern Belle is a delicious flavored black tea. I was left with a fruity aftertaste in the mouth.

Liquor: A rich, reddish brown with a golden hue.

Brewing Time: It is recommended that Organic Southern Belle is steeped for 3 – 5 minutes. Initially, I steeped for 5 minutes then 4 minutes.

Manufacturer: Tantalizing Tea

Caffeine: Yes

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

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d_1002There is no better way to spend the end of a hectic week than to enjoy a whole day void of  distractions, noise – including radio and television, and drama – the kids are out doing their own thing. As we speak, I am looking out my kitchen window into the backyard watching the leaves skip across the hard cold grass. While periodically peering around the island at the dogs sleeping peacefully on the floor. I chatted  with my husband on the phone as he drove to to my stepson’s basketball game and later laughed with my sister who called from her home in Mississippi. What an awesome moment in time to enjoy a hot, soothing, cup of tea. Today’s choice… Organic Earl Grey Supreme.

Composition: Organic Fair Trade Certified™ black tea leaves (Keemun and Yunnan blend) and 100% natural essential bergamot oil. Keemun and Yunnan (also known as Dian hong) are Chinese Black Teas. Yunnan’s key distinction from other black teas comes from its fine leaf buds or “golden tips”. Though blended with bergamot, I truly appreciate a tea with no artificial flavors. 

Dry Visual: Very dark almost black and twisted tea leaves. The tea appears to be a mix of broken leaves, a few stems, and even a few buds (characteristic Yunnan).  Thanks Rishi Tea for the picture.

Dry Aroma: A robust citrus aroma reminiscent of lemon or lime zest.

Flavor: Let me start by saying that Organic Earl Grey Supreme is the best Earl Grey I think I have tasted. The black tea is very smooth without a hint of bitterness. Immediately, I was reminded of Dawn, an unflavored black tea I recently discovered and fell in tea love.  Organic Earl Grey Supreme is blended extremely well – the bergamot adds wonderful complexity. While its natural citrus flavor is dominant, it is followed by the subtle, slightly malty taste of black tea. The finish is slightly floral.

Organic Earl Grey Supreme is surprisingly full-bodied. Though robust, it is easily enjoyed without sweetener. I believe the bergamot in conjunction with the natural character of the black tea adds a definite sweetness. However, if you decide on sweetener, only a little is required and I personally would never add milk or cream. Organic Earl Grey Supreme is delicious!

Liquor: A cross between a rich golden and reddish brown hue.

Brewing: It is recommended that 1 teaspoon of Organic Earl Grey Supreme is steeped for 4 minutes in boiling water. I steeped for the recommended time.

Manufacturer: Rishi Tea

Caffeine: Yes

Bergamot has a splendid way of transforming black tea from ordinary to extraordinary. And when paired with a quality black tea you end up with Organic Earl Grey Supreme. If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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During the holiday season, many people go to the mall in search of the perfect gift for their friends and loved ones. This year, I was pleasantly surprised when I received a Vivabox. I’m sure you are wondering, “what is a Vivabox?” The creators of Vivabox would say, “A vivabox is an exciting new product that combines the freedom of choice with the personal touch of a real gift.  This two layered gift can be the answer to all of your gift giving dilemmas.  The first layer is a gift inside the box that is intended to familiarize the recipient with the product.  The second layer is the gift card that can be redeemed for their gift selection from a menu of choices. ” You can check out their website for more details… I did.

So, translated into a real life experience, I received “The Gift of a Tea Experience” when I opened my “tea time” Vivabox. Contained within my Vivabox were seven different types of Numi Teas.  Numi is the vendor of a variety of  certified organic, Fair Trade, Kosher teas located in Oakland, California. There were five tea bags (two of each) – Aged Earl Grey,

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Italian Bergamot Black Tea; Temple of Heaven, Gunpowder Green Tea; Velvet Garden, White Rose – which I must say is a lovely cuppa tea. Very mild as is characteristic of white tea with an unexpectedly robust floral quality.; Ruby Chai, Spiced Rooibos; and Monkey King, Jasmine Green Tea.  Additionally, I was excited to see the inclusion of two blooming teas also known as art teas.

While I prefer loose teas there is something fun about receiving a box full of various flavors of tea. Like a kid in a candy store, I read each type of tea and immediately found myself looking up the websites for both Numi and Vivabox. As with Russian Nesting Dolls, where the opening of one contains yet another beautiful doll, I was excited to realize that the fun wasn’t over after opening the Vivabox. Found within the box was a plastic card, resembling a credit card with 16 digits printed on the front and further instructions on the back detailing how to redeem yet another gift.

After reviewing my gift options… isn’t that exciting?… I selected the Single Origins Tea Set.  Succinctly described as a beautiful tea gift that offers four Organic loose teas (my absolute favorite) from

img_10431India, Japan, China, and South Africa – Darjeeling, Genmaicha, White Rose, and Rooibis respectively. Eagerly, I anticipate my first cup of tea as I feel that each one was hand-picked especially for me.

Included in the set is a black ceramic teapot with matching cups all adorned with a floral design. A metal infuser (not shown in the picture) fits perfectly in the mouth of the pot for perfect straining every time.  It is simply not enough to describe this adorable set - the pictures speak for themselves. 

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Simply stated this was one of the best tea gifts I’ve ever received. A mixture of tea bags, blooming teas, loose teas, and teaware – a tea lover’s dream.

So, in nutshell, how does Vivabox work?

1.  You Pick The Theme. Do you have an idea as to what type of gift someone would like?  Select the Vivabox theme  you think they would enjoy the most.  

2.  Upon Receipt, The Recipient Will Try The Samples. They open the box and enjoy the gift inside.  The gift relates to the theme of the box.  

3.  The Recipient Chooses The Gift.  After enjoying the first gift, the recipient visits the Vivabox website to enter their card number found in the initial gift.    

Result:  You have given the perfect gift!  Ensuring that you have given the recipient exactly what he or she will most enjoy. 

My Vivabox provided me with a wonderfully unique tea experience. Other Vivabox gift experiences include: The Gift of Indulgence – gourmet to your door (the choice of a three-course gourmet meal for two… delivered directly to your door); The Gift of Massage – spa (enjoy a full body massage or facial); The Gift of Beauty – spa (enjoy a manicure and pedicure). Check out the Vivabox website to see all of their products.

Vivabox has taken the gift of tea to another level. If you haven’t experienced Vivabox for yourself now’s your opportunity. Then return to tell me about it. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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Not a tea drinker, I conned my husband into drinking a cup with me. :-) I asked him while he was asleep if he would like a cup of tea. Of course he answered yes. I decided on a cup of Original Masala Chai, brewed according to Yogic Chai’s instructions, albeit with minor modifications. When complete and ready to drink, I woke my darling husband up for his afternoon cup of tea. Of course he says, “I don’t want any tea.” And of course I responded, “well you said you did when I asked.”  With great restraint, I handed my husband his cup of tea. It was obvious he felt obligated to drink the cup of tea I so graciously made for him. Even now, I’m laughing as I recount the story.

Composition: Black Assam tea grown in the lowlands of Assam, India, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.

Dry Visual: Very dark brown Indian pellet tea with bits of cream, tan and green.

Dry Aroma: Incredibly spicy! Original Masala Chai smells delicious and reminds me of time spent with family during the holidays.

Flavor: Original Masala Chai was delicious! After brewing, the tea was very robust and bitter. However, according to Yogic Chai’s instructions (although somewhat deviated) I added 2 tablespoons of honey and 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. The Assam stood up superbly to the cream and both the honey and cream eliminated the bitterness. Even in the midst of the cream and honey the Assam was quite bold and maintained its malty character.

Each of the spices – ginger, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom, added a wonderful complexity to Original Masala Chai. The tea was creamy from the first sip to the last with a spicy finish.

Liquor: A rich dark brown color.

Brewing Time: It is recommended that Original Masala Chai plus water should be combined in a pot and brought to boil, then simmered for an additional 2 – 3 minutes. I followed the recommended brewing instructions.

Manufacturer: Yogic Chai

Caffeine: Yes.

Original Masala Chai was a wonderful afternoon treat. Even my husband admitted, albeit grudgingly, that he enjoyed his cup of tea. If you have had an opportunity to enjoy a cup of Original Masala Chai, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking.

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