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Posts Tagged ‘white tea’

Back in November of last year (2009) I began a new Sunday morning routine.  Hot Vinyasa Yoga followed by a Starbuck’s Orange Mango Vivanno Smoothie with matcha.  If you have never taken a hot yoga class, picture this… an enclosed yoga studio filled with 25 plus yogis and the heat cranked up anywhere between 95 to 100 degrees for an hour and fifteen minutes.  Only one word appropriately describes the experience – INTENSE! Upon completion, I have had the workout of my life, not to mention I am incredibly hot, dripping with sweat, and invigorated.  A few hours later, I love to sit and enjoy a hot cup of tea. Today’s choice Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement.

Composition: Green tea, white tea (Bai Mu Dan), eleuthero root, alfalfa leaf, stevia leaf, natural lemon and orange flavors with other natural flavors (contains soy lecithin), rosehips, and roasted chicory.

Dry Visual: It is difficult to tell as the tea is contained in tea bags.  From what I can tell, the leaves appear to be fannings. Thanks to Celestial Seasonings for the photo.

Dry Aroma: The tea bag inhibited my ability to develop an impression of the dry aroma.  However, after steeping the leaves had a strong citrus aroma with orange and lemon dominating.

Flavor: Consistent with the wet aroma Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement has a definite citrus flavor followed by the distinct floral tastes of roses.  As the cup begins to cool, the chicory presents itself in the middle – significantly, yet not overpowering. With the various flavors of citrus, chicory, and floral I was unable to easily discern the green and white tea flavors.  Green tea is the predominant tea ingredient; however, Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement is not vegetal.

Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement has a mild astringency that becomes more pronounced throughout the cup. I drank the first cup without sugar – the stevia leaf provided a delicate sweetness.  In the second cup I added Sugar-In-The-Raw to see the impact of the sweetener on the slightly tart citrus flavors.  Interestingly, I found the chicory came alive with the addition of sweetener. I prefer drinking Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement without a sweetener.  As a side note, many say ground roasted chicory can be used as a coffee substitute. I say it tastes like black licorice. You tell me…

Liquor: A pale greenish-yellow liquid with a reddish hue.

Brewing Time: Celestial Seasonings recommends steeping Green Tea Antioxidant Supplement in boiling water for 2 minutes.  I steeped both cups for the requisite 2 minutes.

Manufacturer: Celestial Seasonings

Caffeine: Yes.

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

What is Eleuthero?

Eleutherococcus senticosus (formerly Acanthopanax senticosus) is a species of small, woody shrub in the family Araliaceae native to Northeastern Asia. It is commonly called eleuthero, and was previously marketed in the United States as Siberian Ginseng as it has similar herbal properties to those of Panax ginseng. However, it belongs to a different genus in the family Araliaceae.

Reference: Eleutherococcus senticosus. (2010, April 8). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:19, April 18, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eleutherococcus_senticosus&oldid=354779930

**Tea was provided by Celestial Seasonings as a sample.

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When it’s cold and dreary outside, nothing is better in my humble opinion than the aroma of flowers.  During the winter months, the trees are barren of their leaves, the sky is often gray, and the lush grass of summer is long gone.  It is during these times that I miss the burst of color found in spring blooms and the fragrance of summer gardens.  This is when I reach for and savor the opportunity to sip a cup of scented tea.  Today’s choice – Jasmine Silver Needle – a sample I received from Adagio Teas.

Composition: White tea from China. Silver Needle is produced in the Fuding and Zhenhe districts of its Fujian province.

Dry Visual: Very green rolled leaves (resembling fat pine needles) with silver fur – hence the name.  Thanks Adagio Teas for the photo.

Dry Aroma: Sweet and amazingly floral – just like Jasmine.

Flavor: Jasmine Silver Needle is delightful. Traditional of white tea, Silver Needle itself is quite delicate and mild. However, after scented with jasmine becomes somewhat full-bodied.  It is naturally sweet and quite floral as one would expect.  To be frank, the jasmine dominates the flavor.  It is consistent from start to finish, yet never unpleasant.  Instead the floral taste and aroma provide an amazing sensory experience. I found myself alternately inhaling the steam and sipping the tea until gone.  Be advised if you are looking for the extremely delicate, clean taste of silver needle this is not where you will find it. Jasmine Silver Needle is in a category of its own.

I found the brew to have a hint of astringency (no bitterness, but a subtle dry feel in the mouth).  Nevertheless, no sweetener was needed nor would I recommend it.  I simply cannot imagine the impact sweetener would have on the floral characteristics of the tea.

Liquor: A rich yellow hue.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is 7 minutes in 180 degree water. I steeped 7 minutes for the first infusion and 7 minutes 30 seconds for the second infusion.  I intend to play around a bit more with the steeping times as I am interested in discovering how Jasmine Silver Needle tastes with shorter infusion times.

Manufacturer: Adagio Teas

Caffeine: Yes.

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

**Tea was provided by Adagio as a sample.

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1000-cranes-white-tea-500When I attended the 2009 World Tea Expo in May, I had the opportunity to meet Beth and Newman Johnston from Teas Etc. During my chat with Beth I learned about the amazing history of 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend.  I thought I would share the story right from the  website of Teas Etc.

The Story…

Nathan, who has worked with us for the past 4 years, decided to ask Nicole to marry him. It’s not that he asked but HOW he asked that makes this a “story.”  The happy couple was spending the afternoon at one of their favorite places, the Morikami Museum in Delray Beach. There is a Japanese saying that if you give a 1000 cranes and/or receive a 1000 cranes you are granted one wish. It was that day that Nathan presented Nicole a rather large box to open. Inside the box there were 999 white origami cranes that Nathan had laboriously folded 1 by 1. At the bottom was a larger, gold crane number 1000. In that gold crane was the ring which was followed by the proposal. How romantic!42040412 Shortly thereafter, Nathan and Nicole put together a list of ingredients with special meaning and the 1000 Crane Blend was born.”

I don’t think I could have told a better story – instead I’ll share the review of 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend.

Composition: Organic bai mu dan (white tea), strawberry white tea, organic strawberry pieces, rose petals, coconut shreds

Dry Visual: A rich variety of color – deep green tea leaves with brown stems present, rusty-red fruit pieces, creamy coconut pieces, mauve and pink leaves. Thanks Teas Etc., for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Absolutely yummy! Floral and fruity sweet I loved to simply sit and inhale the loose tea.

Flavor: 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend is a mild tea blend, characteristic of bai mu dan. A lover of white tea, particularly bai mu dan, I thought this tea was blended very well. The other ingredients – strawberry, rose petal and coconut actually complimented the white tea instead of overpowering it. The strawberry flavor was present from start to finish. I found the rose petal to be less prominent in the start, but definitely present at the finish. I cannot say I was able to easily discern the coconut. I’m brewing another cup for a second opinion.

A full-bodied tea, 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend can easily be enjoyed without sweetener – the method I used to enjoy my first cup. However, in my second cup, I added a little Sugar-In-The-Raw. That is when the coconut really “popped”.  It’s subtle taste was definitely present, yet not overwhelming.  I found the brew to have no astringency; yet, I think I prefer drinking 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend with just a touch of sweetener. I found the tea to be delicious.

Liquor: A rich yellow actually golden hue.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is one (1) teaspoon for 3 – 6 minutes in water that ranges from 180 to 190 degrees F. Initially, I steeped for 3 minutes – tasted, then steeped for an additional 3 minutes using about 1.5 teaspoons fresh leaves each time versus multiple infusions.

Manufacturer: Teas Etc.

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of 1000 Cranes White Tea Blend, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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Tea_PeachAfter enjoying a cup of jasmine green tea before dinner, I needed a treat after dinner. To satisfy the relentless cravings of my insatiable sweet tooth I grabbed a snack consisting of Table Water Crackers, homemade quince paste, and manchego. A girlfriend of mine, and fellow tea lover I might add, makes an awesome quince paste. For those of you that don’t know, Quince paste also known as dulce de membrillo, is a firm, sticky, sweet reddish hard paste made of fruit from the quince tree. It has a sweet taste and a slightly floral flavor. For the trivia lover, quince paste is extremely popular in Southern Europe and the Middle East. Now back to my snack… quince paste tastes great spread on a cracker with manchego – sheep’s milk cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain. Once my cheese and jam were assembled, I dug in with great fervor and washed it all down with Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea.

Composition: White Peony Tea, fructose, POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice from concentrate, POM Wonderful Pomegranate Antioxidant Extract, peach juice from concentrate, passionfruit juice from concentrate, natural flavors, citric acid

Dry Visual: N/A – pre-maid tea juice drink. Many thanks the POM Wonderful website for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Sweet and fruity with peach being the predominate aroma.

Flavor: Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea is a tasty treat for juice lovers.  I found the tea juice blend to be dominated by the fruit juices – peach, passionfruit, then pomegranate respectively. As one would anticipate from the list of ingredients, this drink is pre-sweetened. I believe the fructose eliminates the tartness often found in pure pomegranate juice. White tea, regardless of whether Bai Mu Dan, Silver Needle, or in this blend White Peony is a very mild tea. Therefore, it is not easily discernible in this tea drink. This in no way detracts from the flavor, as I found Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea to be delicious as well as a low calorie dessert. However, to set proper expectations, I would characterize this as more of a juice drink versus a tea drink.

Liquor: A pale salmon colored hue.

Brewing Time: N/A as this is a pre-maid juice/tea drink

Manufacturer: POM Wonderful

Caffeine: Yes.

Peach.JPGTo the left, I have included the nutrition facts for Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea. This is for the regular version, not the Light. If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a bottle of Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea, please stop by and share your experience.  Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

References:

1. Dulce de membrillo. (2009, September 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:35, October 21, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dulce_de_membrillo&oldid=316087488

2. Manchego cheese. (2009, September 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:44, October 21, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Manchego_cheese&oldid=314156250

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sowmee white teaAs the seasons change we often alter many of life’s habits. Many hibernate during the cold winter months while others venture out into the frigid temperatures and brisk winds. Others vie for the glow of the sun, basking in its warmth. While others seek the solace of Spring rains with its temperamental nature. The one thing that doesn’t change is the ability to steep and enjoy a cup of tea. Year-round, I drink hot tea rarely venturing into the world of iced teas. Even in 95 degree weather, I can be found with a cuppa tea in hand, enjoying the flavor, smelling the leaves and attempting to discern the nuances that make a oolong different from a white tea. Today’s choice for examination… Sowmee White Tea.

Composition: Chinese white tea leaves plucked during late April, May and June.

Dry Visual: A beautiful display of light and dark green leaves as well as red, brown and yellow. I am reminded of a pile of freshly raked leaves in the Fall – some broken and some whole, flat and not curled or twisted.  Stems and some tips are present. Thanks Tropical Tea Company for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Surprisingly fruity.

Flavor:  I found Sowmee White Tea to be delightful. Very flavorful from start to finish, which is typically uncharacteristic for white teas,  as they tend to be delicate and mild.  Sowmee is considered a lower grade white tea, however, the flavor does not suffer from this fact.  For lack of a more descriptive term, I found Sowmee to be slightly nutty, naturally sweet, and definitely fruity.

Sowmee White tea has little to no astringency, therefore, sweetener is not required. While flavorful I would not recommend adding a sweetener as it may alter the flavor profile in a not so pleasant way.

Liquor: A golden yellow hue.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time for Sowmee White Tea is 2 – 3 minutes in 190 degree water.  I steeped for 3 minutes as recommended.

Manufacturer: Tropical Tea Company

Caffeine: Yes.

 I have to thank my June Co-Op Tea Swap partner for sharing this treasure with me.  If you have had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of Sowmee White Tea, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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Leaves swirling, unfurling, floating,

Longing lips, eyes doting

As rolling waves of steaming water

Claim the role of Neptune’s daughter

Transforming the magical leaves of tea

Into a liquor most pleasing to me

The taste of Pu-erh – a smoky brew

But an oolong brings something anew

Smooth, nutty and surprisingly sweet

My heart palpitates for this amazing treat

Lapsong Souchong calls my name

A taste of its pine-roasted liquor is not the same

Green tea, my preference? Genmaicha if you please

Brings my tastebuds to their knees

No Lipton or Tetley tea bags for me

But enticingly mild, loose leaf white tea

A warm tea filled ceramic mug,

Wraps its love around me like a hug.

~ Tea Escapade 

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house-blend

It is incredibly easy to allow life’s challenges to bring us down. Amazingly our view of the world can become quite jaded because of unexpected disappointments and temporary hardships. Recently, while surfing the net to check out other tea blogs, I came across the following excerpt from Tea Mind.

“The last few months have been a tiring time for me, and the financial crisis hasn’t helped matters. However – as one of my sensei’s tea scrolls says, Nishi nishi kore koujitsu: every day is a good day (which I think is an exhortation to practice equanimity). We may prefer nice experiences over not-so-nice ones, but when it comes right down to it, life is precious and we are lucky to be breathing!”

Last night, as I enjoyed a hot steaming cup of Tropical Tea Company’s House Blend, I reflected once again on the above statement and reminded myself of the importance of taking one day at a time. Recognizing that each breath is precious and how important it is to be thankful to God for my blessings both great and small – from an extravagant Valentine’s Day weekend with my husband to a soothing cup of tea.  Nishi nishi kore koujitsu…

Composition: White tea hand blended with coconut, pineapple, safflowers, and cornflowers.

Dry Visual: A blended tea comprised of leaves, buds (resembles silverneedle), and stems. Interspersed within the leaves are colorful pieces of blue cornflowers, creamy coconut, and orange safflowers.  Many thanks to Tropical Tea Company for the picture.

Dry Aroma: Scrumptious! Tropical Tea Company House Blend smells divine – like a fruity, tropical island drink. No pun intended! The coconut and pineapple aroma permeate the blend.

Flavor:  Tropical Tea Company House Blend is delicious! Immediately, the aroma tickled my senses and I eagerly anticipated my first sip.  I was pleasantly surprised by the creaminess of the tea – it was full-bodied and thick in the mouth.  The white tea was mild, but presented itself well in the blend. Especially in light of the fact that the other flavors – pineapple and coconut have a dominating presence. Overall the blend is exceptional.

Initially, I enjoyed a cup of Tropical Tea Company House Blend without a sweetener as it is naturally sweet. About halfway through the cup,  I added about 1/4 teaspoon of organic  sugar. The addition of the sugar changed the flavor, but did not significantly enhance the blend. I have decided that my next cup will be enjoyed pure – but if I decided to add a sweetener,  1/4 teaspoon in a full cup would be sufficient.

Liquor: A surprisingly yellow hue.

Brewing Time: The actual steeping time was not provided,  so I relied upon prior white tea steeping recommendations for an average time of  4 – 6 minutes at pre-boil.  Initially, I steeped Tropical Tea Company House Blend for 4 minutes, tasted and steeped for an additional minute for a total of 5 minutes.

Manufacturer: Tropical Tea Company

Caffeine: Yes.

250px-safflowerWhat is a Safflower?

Safflower (Carthamus tinctoriusL.) is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual, usually with many long sharp spines on the leaves. Plants are 30 to 150 cm tall with globular flower heads (capitula) and commonly, brilliant yellow, orange or red flowers which bloom in July. While it has many uses, from cooking to oil to dyes, safflower is also used as a tea ingredient, with Tsheringma being one of the more common  herbal teas made from the plant.

If you have had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of Tropical Tea Company House Blend stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

References: Safflower. (2009, February 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:47, February 16, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Safflower&oldid=270154522

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