Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Republic of Tea Citizen's Traveler Press

My local Whole Foods recently relocated so I stopped in to check out the new digs. In my shopping travels I came across this neat little tea press. It is basically a Bodum press with some cute graphics added by Republic of Tea. I found it to be generally useful and easy to clean. It also did not seem to retain odors from strongly scented teas, even when the leaves are left for a few hours. The double walled design keeps the tea warm for longer while also preventing me from burning my hands. It didn't even leak when I absent-mindedly tossed it into my purse.

The only issue I had with it was that the strainer does not always catch the fine particles of most herbal teas. That is just a small set back though since I rarely use herbals. Unfortunately I accidentally dropped it onto frozen cement from a considerable height. Alas, my press is no more. It is plastic so I didn't expect it to be indestructible. My clumsiness aside, I would definitely recommend this tea press. For the price you really can’t beat a handy, simple to use gadget like this one.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Boulder Tea Hojicha Dark Roast

Boulder Tea describes this tea as being very low in caffeine with a mellow roasted flavor. They also boast that it can be steeped two or three times. The leaves were dark and fairly large. I brewed this tea using my Zarafina tea maker set on strong green. The liquor was very dark for a green tea, almost resembling a dark Oolong. The aroma was fresh and woodsy with just a bit of smokiness.

This tea had a vegetal taste and I could definitely detect the roasted quality. It has a sweet aftertaste that was very refreshing. I wish that I had more of this tea to sample because I have a feeling that it would make an excellent iced tea, especially with a bit of honey. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Monday, December 29, 2008

TeaGschwendner Fancy White Peony

I realize that I've been a very bad tea blogger. I've been an even worse tea drinker. My lack of free time is really cramping my tea style. I hope to make a bunch of posts over the next few days to make up for it. Getting back to my beloved tea is my New Year's Resolution.

According to TeaGschwendner, this is a “new style” Chinese White Tea from the Fujian Province. It is created by plucking of the bud and first leaf in late March or early April. I wasn’t sure what was new about it since it appeared to be very similar to a standard white peony. The aroma of the dry leaves was not out of the ordinary either. I made this tea using my Zarafina tea maker set on strong white. The liquor was a light golden yellow but didn’t have too much of an aroma to it.

The flavor of this tea was very subtle, almost too subtle. I had to really work to detect the floral, chestnut and honey notes. I cannot say it was a bad tea but it just didn’t do anything for me. For someone who likes the challenge of finding the flavor in a tea like this, it might be worth a try but for a casual tea drinker there are much better varieties to be had. I love TeaGschwendner and this is the first slightly negative review I have given them. I would probably not recommend this tea.