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Posts Tagged ‘Pearl Fine Teas’

This simply made my day! Pearl Fine Teas, in light of the upcoming presidential election, has developed two Presidential Teas. One in honor of Barack Obama and one in honor of John McCain. I thought I would share a little information about both of them with you from Pearl Fine Teas.

Drink for Change (Obama Blend)

“Let me be absolutely clear, this organic African Red Bush Rooibos based tea is a mix of herbs with hints of Hawaiian fruit. It’s smooth, fresh and lacks bitterness. Environmentally friendly, unexpected, and a little left of center. Contributes to your overall well being and Health(care).”

Sip to unwind after reading the NY Times, Wall Street Journal or watching the Stock Market.

 

Extra-Mavericky (McCain Blend)

“My friends, this robust classic Black Tea is bold, assertive, has a hint of smoke and is highly caffeinated. A great kick start to the day or a power boost in the afternoon. It’s fundamental difference is that it stands up to cream, sugar (and the Senate). You’ll either like it or you won’t.”

Sip while reading the NY Times, Wall Street Journal or following the market.

Both blends are available for a limited time only. Orders can be placed between now and November 4th. Tea will deliver the week of the Inauguration in January 2009.  In addition, 10% of each sale will go to the Washington Humane Society.  Thanks Pearl Fine Teas for introducing tea to the Election frenzy!

Oh yeah… please on November 4, 2008, don’t forget to vote!

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My first glimpse of Ebie’s Almond Tart had me drooling. A lover of rich desserts, the simple yet decadent ingredients had me longing for a taste. I appreciated Jacoba, the writer of Just Food Now, for sharing this wonderful recipe with me. (Click on the link – there are additional almond recipes.)

Of course never one to think about dessert without thinking about tea, I thought… “What tea would I pair with this dessert?” My choice – White Peony by Pearl Fine Teas.

Below is the recipe and some commentary from Jacoba herself about Ebie’s Almond Tart:

“I am going to supply this recipe exactly as it appears in her very old, already disintegrating, handwritten book, but am converting quantities to metric ones for ease of reference.

Line a deep tart tin with sweet pastry and spread with apricot jam. Half fill with a mixture made as follows:

  • Beat 125 grams of butter with 125 grams of sugar
  • Add 4 large eggs one at a time 
  • Stir in 125 grams of ground almonds
  • Add a pinch of salt.

That was it!!!  Bake Ebie’s Almond Tart in a preheated oven on 190 C for 30 – 40 minutes.”

So you ask… why White Peony? While White Peony is flavorful it is a White Tea and thus is significantly milder than a black or green tea. Thus the taste of the tea will not overpower the taste of the almond tart.  Simultaneously, the natural sweetness of White Peony allows one to enjoy a cup without the addition of sweetener.

Now it’s your turn… What tea would you pair with Ebie’s Almond Tart?

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I was so excited to try a new white tea, considering I have been a white tea lover for a few years now. Recently I have tasted a few that were a bit disappointing for one reason or another – to weak, flavors that created a bitter tasting tea, blends where you couldn’t even taste the white tea, etc., etc., etc. But today, I look forward to sharing my White Peony experience with you.

Composition: First picking of white tea bud and two lower leaves, picked and processed in Fuding, in the Fujian Province, China.

Dry Visual: Various shades of unrolled green leaves – a mixture of mostly whole and some broken. “No rolling or firing – simply sun-dried.” (Quote taken from the Pearl Fine Teas website.) Additionally, the white tea bud’s resemble silver needle tea. Surprisingly beautiful. Thanks Pearl Fine Teas for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Refreshing… like springtime after a light rain. 

Flavor: Delicious! A naturally sweet and full-bodied tea, I loved the taste of White Peony. One of the better white teas I have enjoyed in some time –  White Peony is complex. I definitely noted citrus and honey undertones. The citrus was more pronounced in my first infusion, while the honey was more evident in my second infusion. I tasted no citrus in the second infusion. However, both infusions delivered a great cuppa tea!

There was no need for a sweetener – no honey, Sugar-In-The-Raw or otherwise. I fear adding a sweetener would be distracting.

Liquor: A beautiful golden hue.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 1- 3 minutes. I brewed for the recommended 3 minutes during the first infusion and 4 minutes for the second.

Manufacturer: Pearl Fine Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

If you are looking for a great cup of white tea, White Peony is definitely worth trying. However, If you have already tasted White Peony by Pearl Fine Teas, stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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img_md_jadeoolongAfter a week of drinking green tea, I needed something different to satisfy my palate. So this morning, I reached into my tea stash and pulled out Jade Oolong. As a lover of oolong, I was excited to taste this new tea. I cannot wait to share the experience.

Composition: Oolong tea from Nantou in central Taiwan.

Dry Visual: A mixture of greens – light and dark – giving the appearance of a khaki color. The leaves are rolled gunpowder style – but not quite.

Dry Aroma: Mildly earthy.

Flavor: All I can say is WOW! After drinking green tea for a week, drinking a cup of oolong was refreshing. Especially Jade Oolong – naturally sweet with both floral and nutty undertones. Each flavor was easily discernible, yet one did not overpower the other. Immediately I was reminded of why oolong is my favorite tea. I found Jade Oolong to be very smooth without the dryness sometimes found in other teas. It was absolutely delicious with no hint of bitterness. Sweetener is completely unnecessary, I fear it would ruin this wonderful cup of tea.

Second infusion – just as flavorful as the first, perhaps a little sweeter. mmm…

Liquor: A light amber color.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time 30 seconds to 2 minutes. I brewed for 2 minutes for the first infusion and 4 minutes for the second infusion.

Manufacturer: Pearl Fine Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

If you love oolong tea and have tasted Jade Oolong I would love to hear about your experience. I am tempted to pull out some of my other favorite oolongs and compare the differences. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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This morning, I drank another cup of Monkey Picked Oolong. I spent a wonderful 30 minutes brewing and drinking a hot cuppa tea. Always a favorite past time as it requires one to stop and slow down for just a few minutes in this fast paced world. In part it is the ritual of tea drinking that adds to my enjoyment. For just a few minutes, I am alone with myself. Well, let’s talk about tea…

Composition: This tiekuanyin oolong tea is harvested during the Spring and Autumn. Research led me to another spelling – Tie Guan Yin which literally means iron guanyin. It is a premium variety of Chinese oolong tea from the Fujian province. It has also been translated as “Iron Goddess of Mercy” after the old translation for Guan Yin’s name. Recently the tea has been grown in Nantou, Taiwan where it thrives.

Dry Visual: Various shades of green curled leaves (almost ball like shapes) that expanded unbelievably during steeping.

Dry Aroma: Slightly vegetal yet woodsy mixture of scents. Light overall.

Flavor: Monkey Picked Oolong is another fine oolong.I found this tea to have a mild roasted flavor that was delicious, finished with a natural sweetness. As with many oolongs the addition of sweetener would be an injustice. I found this to be true with Monkey Picked Oolong as well. 

Liquor: A beautiful amber color as I have found with most oolongs.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time 1- 2 minutes.  I brewed for the recommended 2 minutes. After tasting, I brewed for an additional minute.

Manufacturer: Pearl Fine Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

Monkey Picked?

According to legend, Monkeys were once trained to harvest tea from otherwise inaccessible cliffs but today the term ‘Monkey Picked’ refers to the tea’s rarity, the hard work put into its production and our pride in its excellent qualities.

Looking forward to my next cup. If you have enjoyed Monkey Picked Oolong, stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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For two days, I have gone without tea. No particular reason, just a freak of nature. Thus imagine my excitement as I brewed a cup of tea this afternoon. I was thrilled to enjoy a second cup of Jasmine Pearls, my very first “scented tea”. I cannot wait to share this unique experience.

Composition: Fujian’s spring-harvested green tea buds and two lower leaves scented with jasmine flowers.

Dry Visual: Minature, absolutely adorable, light and dark green balls. Only a picture can adequately describe this tea. Thanks Pearl Teas for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Somewhat vegetal – unfortunately the dry aroma does nothing for Jasmine Pearls. It is the wet aroma that blew me away. All I can say is WOW! After steeping the smell of jasmine was simply amazing.

Flavor: Jasmine Pearls is probably one of the more unique teas I have had the pleasure of brewing and drinking. There is a mild green tea flavor, however jasmine has the dominant influence. Not overbearing, yet dominant nonetheless. I was stunned by the floral quality of Jasmine Pearls as well as the full-bodied character of the tea. I think a wine comparison would be more apropos. Jasmine Pearls carried the weight of a port in the mouth as opposed to a white Zinfandel.

Jasmine Pearls is truly a delicious tea. No sweetener is required although I did add a little honey to the second half of my first cup. I will often do so when tasting a new tea to identify the impact of sweetener on the brew. I certainly prefer without. 

Liquor: A golden color.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 1 to 2 minutes.  I brewed for the recommended 2 minutes.

Manufacturer: Pearl Fine Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

 More Information about jasmine scented teas:

Jasmine tisane is consumed in China, where it is called Jasmine flower tea (pinyin: mò lì huā chá). Jasminum sambac flowers are also used to make tea, which often has a base of green tea, but sometimes an Oolong base is used. The delicate Jasmine flower opens only at night and is plucked in the morning when the tiny petals are tightly closed. They are then stored in a cool place until night. Between six and eight in the evening, as the temperature cools, the petals begin to open. Flowers and tea are “mated” in machines that control temperature and humidity. It takes four hours or so for the tea to absorb the fragrance and flavour of the Jasmine blossoms, and for the highest grades, this process may be repeated as many as seven times. Because the tea has absorbed moisture from the flowers, it must be refired to prevent spoilage. The spent flowers may or may not be removed from the final product, as the flowers are completely dry and contain no aroma. Giant fans are used to blow away and remove the petals from the denser tea leaves. If present, they simply add visual appeal and are no indication of the quality of the tea.

References: Jasmine. (2008, September 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:20, September 10, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jasmine&oldid=237307146

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As always, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to enjoy another new tea. Especially as I sit in my office reviewing a resume, my day was brightened with the first sip. There is simply something magical about tea. This morning’s selection… Dark High Mountain Dong Ding.

Composition: A Taiwanese oolong tea from the Dong Ding tea mountain.

Dry Visual: Dark green almost brown loose tea shaped similar to gunpowder green tea. Thanks Pearl Fine Teas for the picture.

Dry Aroma: I was very surprised by the sweet aroma of Dark High Mountain Dong Ding. Immediately I could tell it was an oolong, yet there was hint of something different – I am inclined to call nutty. After steeping the wet aroma contained distinct charcoal notes.

Flavor: Delicious. I have developed a great love for oolongs and am quite pleased with the abundance of flavor – Dark High Mountain Dong Ding is fairly robust. It has a roasted flavor that is perfectly balanced with a natural sweetness.  The flavor left on the tongue is definitely nutty. The dry aroma did not disappoint. The second infusion produced a milder taste. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of honey which rounded out the roasted flavor. However, I think I prefer to drink without sweetener.

Liquor: A rich amber hue.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 30 seconds to 2 minutes.  I brewed for 2 minutes during the first infusion and 4 minutes during the second infusion.

Manufacturer: Pearl Fine Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

Dark High Mountain Dong Ding is delicious. A nice spin on some of the other oolongs I have enjoyed in the past. The combination of flavors… nutty, yet sweet, but roasted… creates a very complex tea. If you have enjoyed this tea, stop by and let me know what you think.

I tried to do some research on Taiwanese tea mountains with little success – as I was specifically looking for Dong Ding. I came across several variations of the name for example… Tung-Ting and Dong-Ting both of which refer to one of the largest lakes in China. However, nothing on the tea mountain. Any information would be appreciated.

Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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