Thursday, March 6, 2014
Leaf Appearance: thin leaves with large chunks of potato and apple
Ingredients: Organic Huangshan Mao Feng, Freeze-Dried Potatoes, Organic Saigon Cinnamon, Organic Cinnamon Apple Chips, Natural Organic Flavoring
Steep time: 4 minutes
Water Temperature: 180 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain teapot and mesh infuser
Liquor: very pale
I have heard so much about this unusual flavored tea on Steepster that I just had to give it a try myself. My boyfriend was particularly excited to try this one too because he loves potato pancakes. To be honest, I don't think I've ever eaten one but I do love applesauce. I was a bit worried about the taste because the liquor was very pale. It looked like it there would be no taste at and at first, that is exactly what it tasted like. Then it hit me like the Everlasting Gobstopper scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. First it was starchy followed by a cinnamon sweetness that was undeniably potato pancakes and applesauce. I have no idea how she did it but to make the story short, +Stacy Lim is nothing short of a tea Willy Wonka. I'm curious to try adding a touch of sugar or even salt as the product description on Butiki Teas' website recommends. This is one tea that I will definitely be returning to.
Potato Pancakes & Applesauce purchased from Butiki Teas.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Leaf Appearance: jade green, tightly rolled
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 200 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
It's not often that I come across a tea from Thailand. It's even rarer for them to be oolongs. This particular tea is made from Si Ji Chun, otherwise known as Four Seasons Oolong. The leaves looked a bit different than their Taiwanese counterpart as they were smaller in size. Both the dry tea and liquor were very aromatic. The taste was floral and sweet with a mellow but lingering aftertaste. Although lightly fermented it is also roasted so there is a nice balance of flavors, not too floral and not too roasty. Later infusions developed a bit of sourness, similar to what I might expect from a Tie Guan Yin. I would be inclined to use an even shorter steep time in the future because of this. Otherwise it was a very enjoyable sip and one that I wouldn't mind returning to. +Teamania has quite a large range of Thai teas so they are definitely one of your go-to online retailers.
Four Seasons Oolong sample provided by Teamania.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
I'm rather accident prone so glass makes me nervous. Thankfully this one also comes with a silicone cover. My klutzy ways have already caused it to take a few bumps and tumbles. I wouldn't recommend allowing it to fall from a large height though. It looks a bit like a grown up sippy cup when you are drinking from it but it certainly gets the job done. The lid is fairly airtight, though I did occasionally get a few smalls drips that were trapped in the straw. I hate the way plastic straws feel so I really like that this one has a silicone cover. I have a feeling that this bottle and I will be inseparable once summer time comes around.
Modern Flip Straw with Carry Handle provided by Takeya.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Ingredients: black tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: ceramic teacup and mesh infuser
Liquor: deep reddish brown
I received this tea as part of the +The Devotea's Tea of the Month Club. I was really excited because not only is this tea a Darjeeling from one of my favorite estates but it was also sourced through +Lochan Tea Limited. Their reputation for very good quality Indian teas is well known in the tea community. The taste was bold and somewhat malty with strong muscatel notes, every bit a classic second flush. There was astringency but enough so as to add a refreshing briskness. It was full bodied enough to take additives if you were so inclined but milk and sugar are by no means required. Although this tea is from the 2012 harvest, it's still packs plenty of punch and flavor. Darjeeling is probably the only type of tea that I get actual cravings for and I will be savoring this one to the last drop. Whenever I drink any tea from this estate, I can't help but think of +Robert Godden reading about the story of how it came to be called Margaret's Hope from his collection of short stories, The Infusiast.
Darjeeling Margaret's Hope sample provided by The Devotea.