Saturday, July 31, 2010

Boston Tea Company Pineapple Paradise

According to the Boston Tea Company, this blend consists of sencha green tea, pineapple, blue malva flowers, lemon peel, rose petals and natural pineapple flavor. The dry leaves were a lot to take in because of  all of the varied colors and textures. I found myself digging through the tin just to catch them all. The aroma wasn’t as fruit-loopy as I was expecting but I could definitely smell the pineapple and lemon. I steeped this tea in my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker with 175 degree water for 2 minutes.

This tea was fruity (of course) and had a slightly floral aftertaste. The star of this show was definitely the pineapple but it was much more mellow than I thought it would be. I was actually surprised at how much I liked this selection because I am not one for fruit teas or blends with too many ingredients. Somehow all of the ingredients managed to come together into a really great tasting end product. It was just as delicious iced as it is hot.  I would definitely recommend this tea.

You can find out more about this tea here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Teatulia Lemongrass Herbal Infusion

sampleI’ve had this tea for a while but I was hesitant to try it because I’ve never been a fan of lemongrass. All of the teas I have tried were either very weak or tasted like a combination of medicine and Pine-Sol. The dry leaves consisted of chopped up blades of grass in varying shades of yellow, green and brown. I brewed this tea with an infuser basket using 212 degree water for 3 minutes.

I have to say that this is probably the only lemongrass teasan that I have ever actually liked. It was surprisingly refreshing and the lemony fresh taste that I was expecting was rather sweet and mellow. I’m not so sure about drinking it but I think it would interesting to use it in some sort of recipe. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get some but I would probably recommend this tea.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Teatulia Breakfast Tea

Teatulia’s teas are all grown in their garden in Northern Bangladesh. I love that their teas are packaged in eco-friendly containers. I steeped this tea using an infuser basket with 212-degree water for two minutes. The leaves were a rich brown color and the shape of them was elegantly long and twisted. They were actually quite large for a breakfast-style black tea. Typically the leaves are prepared in the cut-tear-curl style so this was a refreshing change.
I’m a big fan of this type of tea (especially on Monday mornings) but sometimes they can be a bit too astringent. This tea was brisk enough for a wake-up call but did not have the bite that one would expect. It was smooth and slightly malty with a sweet finish to each sip. I tried this one iced and it was just as delicious. The package of this tea says “Let the Sun Shine” and I think that sums it up pretty nicely. I would definitely recommend this tea.

You can find out more about this tea here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Teatulia Earl of Bengal


Once again, I cannot say enough about Teatulia and their ethical growing practices. I love knowing that my tea is free of pesticides and helps the people who grew the tea. Their cooperative has established education, health and cattle-lending programs for the people working in the garden and surrounding areas. The dry leaves had a woodsy aroma, almost reminiscent of cedar. I steeped this tea in an infuser basket with 212 degree water for two minutes.

This tea had a very thick mouth feel. So much so that I felt as though my throat was coated with oil. Bergamot can be tricky and I feel that a lot companies overdo it. There is a fine line between a yummy hint of citrus zing and drinking orange scented Lysol. That is the case with this blend as well. I’m a big fan of Teatulia’s Black Tea but it was completely obscured by the flavoring. I would probably not recommend this tea unless you REALLY love bergamot.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Naivetea Rose Violet Calendula Oolong

This tea consisted of high altitude Alishan oolong with natural rose, violet, calendula, and jasmine. The leaves were tightly rolled and dark green in color. I steeped this tea using my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker with 195 degree water for 3 minutes. The liquor was a light gold color and had an amazing aroma. I wish someone would make it into a perfume! Once steeped, the leaves made quite a nice presentation because of the different colored flower petals.

I was expecting a very overpowering taste from this tea but it was actually pleasantly subtle. The oolong even managed to come through amidst such a bouquet. I never would have thought to put these flavors together but it works really well. Floral overkill often leads to bitterness but Naivetea has not yet let me down and this selection was no exception. The second steeping was just as delicious. I only wish I had some left to try it iced. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chicago Tea Garden Rose Scented Pu-erh Toucha

According to Chicago Tea Garden this tea is scented with rose petals. The dry cake smelled just as you would suspect of a rose tea but it was a bit earthy as well. It reminded me of the way soil smells right after a rain shower. I made this tea in a porcelain gaiwan using 212 degree water and 30 second steepings. The liquor was surprisingly light and clear for a pu-erh. In comparison, many of the pu-erh teas that I have tried had an almost opaque appearance.
Floral teas can be tricky. I find that they tend to be either under or over done most of the time. The pu-erh was definitely the dominating flavor here. It was smooth and somewhat sweet but also slightly astringent. The rose just barely peeks through at the end of each sip. It added a subtle sweetness that compliments the base tea well. I think they’ve managed to find a nice balance with this selection. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Naivetea Lychee Oolong

Naivetea describes this tea as an Alishan oolong flavored with natural Lychee, a fruit native to China. I found this tea a little unusual in that it is the first fruit tea I’ve tried that didn’t have pieces of the fruit in the tea. The dried leaves were deep green in color and had an appearance one would expect from an Alishan. I steeped this tea using my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker with 195 degree water for 3 minutes.

I’ve never had Lychee fruit so I cannot say whether or not the flavoring is authentic. Judging by the quality of their other infused oolongs I’m sure that it is. The tea was very sweet and intensely floral. The flavor lingered for a long time on my palate and in my nose. I actually found this selection a bit overwhelming. Towards the end of my cup it felt as though I was drinking perfume. I’m not big on floral teas so it just wasn’t my thing. I would probably recommend this tea to someone who does though.

You can find out more about this tea here.