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Posts Tagged ‘white tea’

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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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I normally carry to work each day, an adorable lunch tote, filled with tea. Of course, yesterday to my complete chagrin, I forgot to bring it to work. I also forgot my ID Badge – which meant I was locked out of the building. My office keys – once in the building, I was locked out of my office. My lunch – thus requiring me to scavenge for food. And as I previously mentioned, my tea so I had to scavenge for tea as well. So what did I find?

Coconut White Tea. Thanks Lisa for your generosity and compassion for the tea feign!

Composition: White Tea from India, shredded coconut, natural flavor. (There we go again with the natural flavors?)

Dry Visual: Beautiful! I can’t help it – the leaves were large, some broken some whole and appear to have been left opened to dry. There are various colors of leaves and stems that reminded me of trees in the fall. Not only green, but yellow and a reddish brown or rust color were present. Thanks TeaGschwendner for the lovely picture. And yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, the coconut pieces are huge!

Dry Aroma: Yummy! Distinctly coconut as though I would expect something different and very sweet smelling.  

Flavor: Coconut White Tea is very flavorful! When drinking, I could easily discern the white tea; however, coconut is the predominant flavor. Naturally sweet, one could enjoy Coconut White Tea without sweetener as I did initially. After adding a dab of honey, I have decided that my preference is to enjoy this tea with sweetener. Coconut White tea is a full-bodied tea, not heavy in the mouth and contains no bitterness or dryness. A blended tea, when drinking, you get the benefits of the delicate white tea with a robust coconut flavor. Additionally, the coconut, tasted natural not artificial.

Liquor: Amber colored.

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

Manufacturer: TeaGschwendner

Caffeine: Yes.

In the midst of tea withdrawals, I was able to procure a good cuppa tea. If you have had the opportunity to drink Coconut White Tea, stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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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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Over the past few days many have been affected by the hurricane force winds that traumatized the Midwestsection of the country – in particular Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. My portion of Ohio was hit hardest with 84 mph wind gusts – remnants from Hurricane Ike. My family was fortunate to have not been one of the nearly 700,000 people who lost power. While our home sustained some minor damage and we lost phone and Internet service for three days, we are truly blessed that this is the extent of our impact.

Over the last few days, I have pondered this as I steeped and drank several cups of Organic Acai White Tea. Even as we opened our home to those in need, I could not help but to thank God that none of my family (parents, in-laws, and siblings included) sustained any serious damage or injury.

Composition: Organic traditional Chinese silver needle white tea, hill grown in the Fujian Province China, conventional acai berries, natural flavor.

Dry Visual: Broken silver needle leaves with dried pieces of red acai berries – quite colorful. Organic Acai White Tea is a loose tea in a silk sachet thus distinct characteristics are difficult to ascertain. Thanks to Two Leaves and A Bud for the picture above.

Dry Aroma: Somewhat vegetal – not strong but mild. The acai is undetectable.

Flavor: Organic Acai White Tea has a nice white tea taste – a little more robust than other white teas previously enjoyed. The acai berry adds an unexpected bitterness to the tea. I think I was anticipating a natural sweetness that Organic Acai White Tea lacked. I have steeped and drank several cups of this tea, at times adding sweetener and at times playing around with steeping times. I preferred drinking Organic Acai White Tea with Sugar-In-The-Raw.

Special note, the teabags contain enough loose tea for mug size brewing, so be sure to put away your dainty teacups when enjoying a cup.

Liquor: A unique yellow hue – not gold but a rich yellow tea.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time 4-6 minutes.  I brewed for each of the recommended times… 4, 5, and 6 minutes. The best cup of Organic Acai White Tea was brewed for 4 minutes.

Manufacturer: Two Leaves and A Bud

Caffeine: Yes.

What is Acai? 

Acai berries from BrazilThis tiny, dark, round fruit is about the size of a blueberry (with a large, inedible seed) and tastes like chocolate and wildberries. Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is grown in Brazil and enjoyed mostly as juice in health drinks, smoothies or dried and mixed with granola. Called a “superfood”, acai is rich in anthocyanins (responsible for its royal purple color) and essential fatty acids, both believed to provide many health benefits.

If you indulge in fruit teas, you may really enjoy the flavor of Organic Acai White Tea. If you have tried this tea from Two Leaves and A Bud or another acai white tea, stop by and comment on your experience. Until then … Happy Tea Drinking!

 References: Tropical Fruits Pictures Slideshow: Photos of Exotic Fruits. (2008, May 1). In WebMd. Retrieved September 17, 2008, from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/exotic-fruits-slideshow

Image by: Rogerio Assis / SambaPhoto / Getty Images

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It seems like I am on a white tea kick. So please feign your surprise that I am drinking and reviewing yet another white tea – this time White Peony. This tea was included in my white tea sampler from Adagio Teas.

Composition: White tea from the Fujian province of China.

Dry Visual: White Peony, known locally as Pai Mu Tan, is tea made from tea buds collected and withered prior to opening. This tea is fun to look at – the whole, unfurled leaves remind of Christmas. The leaves are various shades of large leaves and appear to have a fresh dusting of frost.

Dry Aroma: An earthy mix – part woodsy yet partially earthy.

Flavor: Very mild and delicate flavor – White Peony is naturally sweet. There is no need to add sweetener, but if you decide to only a dab is necessary. My recommendation would be Sugar in the Raw over Honey. White Peony is delicious; however, I did not see a significant difference between this tea, Silver Needle and Decadence.  They are almost interchangeable.

Liquor: A rich but light golden color.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 7 minutes.  I brewed for the recommended 7 minutes.

Manufacturer: Adagio Teas

Caffeine: Yes

Tomorrow, I’ll have to surprise you and drink a different tea for review and posting. Perhaps a good oolong or puerh. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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It has been a while since I have sampled tea from The Simple Leaf, so this tasting is long overdue. Excited to have a new tea experience, I eagerly opened my new package of Decadence.  Many thanks to The Simple Leaf website for this awesome picture. The very name was enough to pique my interest… Dacadence. 

Composition: White tea from the Rungmook Estate in Darjeeling, India.

Dry Visual: Very green rolled leaves of various shades with a mild “dusting” of fur.

Dry Aroma: Somewhat earthy – but very light.  It was surprising, because I expected the aroma to be a little vegetal. 

Flavor: Excellent! I was very impressed by the strength of Decadence. Considering white tea has a  milder, more delicate taste, Decadence was full of flavor.  Naturally sweet, easily enjoyed both with or without sweetener I enjoyed Decadence like a purist. No sugar, honey, or artificial sweetener – simply tea. Even as I write this review, I am thinking of brewing another cup to discern what I believe to be a fruity undertone. After many swishes around the mouth, I cannot be sure – it is quite faint.

Liquor: A very light brown – darker than what I would expect from a white tea.

Brewing Time: Recommended brewing time is 3 minutes.  I brewed for 3 minutes and remain quite impressed by the strength of the flavor. 

Manufacturer: The Simple Leaf

Caffeine: Yes

Decadence has become one of my favorite white teas.  I would certainly recommend it to other White Tea lovers on the prowl for a new tea. If you have had the pleasure of drinking Decadence, stop by and share your experience.  Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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