Friday, December 31, 2010

The Puritea Emerald Needle

The Puritea decribes this selection as a Chinese green tea. The dry leaves of this tea were light green and shaped almost like a silver needle would be. I can see where the name comes from. I steeped this tea for three minutes in a kyusu using 180 degree water. The liquor was very pale, almost resembling a white tea.

This tea was wonderfully delicate and full bodied at the same time. It was vegetal with hints of fruit and a bit of creaminess. There was a tiny bit of astringency but not so much to make it unpleasant. The second infusion was even better, with the fruity notes coming to the forefront. I love a green tea that is so naturally sweet. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Arbor Teas Holiday Spice

Arbor Teas lists the ingredients of this blend as including organic Indian black tea, organic orange peel, organic cinnamon, organic clove, and natural orange cinnamon spice flavor. I made this tea in my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker with 212 degree water for three minutes. The dry leaves were dark with bright pieces of orange peel mixed throughout.

Even though I smelled the spices in the dry tea, I couldn’t detect any of them when I drank it. It almost tasted like an earl grey because of the orange peel. As a flavored black tea this is actually a decent selection but when something is called holiday spice I expect a strong cinnamon flavor. It wasn't bad, just not what I expected. I would probably recommend this tea.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Puritea Roasted Dong Ding

According to The Puritea, this is a roasted oolong from Taiwan. The dry leaves were very dark green in color and had a tightly rolled appearance. They had a strong floral aroma. I made this tea in a porcelain gaiwan using 180 degree water and three consecutive 40 second infusions. The liquor was a pale yellow.

The first infusion was sweet and delicately floral as one would expect from a dong ding. There were hints of vanilla and a toasty aftertaste as well. The second infusion was much more full flavored than the first. The floral aspect gave way to a nuttier and more vegetal flavor. The third infusion was a milder, smoother version of the second. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Presents

Santa was good to me this year. I got the teapot I really wanted as well as an adorable tea set. I hope you all got the tea things you wanted . A combination of my life becoming really busy and a head cold that I couldn’t get over has kept me from reviewing teas lately. My new year’s resolution is to get back at it with a vengeance.

The first is a Ginger Lily Teapot from Pier 1 and the second is a teaset from Teavana.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Stash Tea Christmas Morning

This blend is what I like to call a kitchen sink tea because it has a little bit of everything. Stash lists the ingredients as including Darjeeling first flush, Indian assam, China keemun and Yunnan, southern Indian teas, Formosa oolong, and jasmine flower. I made this tea in my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker with 212 degree water for two minutes. The leaves were mostly dark in color with the occassional jasmine flower peeking through.

Steeping time for this tea was tricky because it was such a mix of different teas. I started with five minutes but found that to be too strong and bitter. Two minutes seemed to be just right. The flavor profile was really interesting because at times I could taste the individual teas that make up this blend. At other times it just tasted like a rather decent tasting black tea. This is a nice wake up tea and I would definitely recommend it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rishi Tea Organic Cinnamon Plum

Cinnamon Plum, Organic Fair Trade Botanical Blend
Rishi lists the ingredients of this tea as including organic cinnamon, organic Fair Trade Certified™ hibiscus, organic currants, organic licorice root and natural plum flavor. The dry leaves were a potpourri of colors and textures with an intoxicating aroma. I steeped this tea in my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker with 212 degree water for five minutes. The liquor was an incredibly deep and vibrant red color that reminded me of Kool-aid.

When I first tried this tea it was way too tart. I found it to be overly sweet and couldn’t taste the cinnamon. I've seen so many good reviews of this tea that I felt it deserved another chance. I tried it again, this time steeping it for only three minutes. What a difference those two minutes made! Instead of being overpowering it was pleasantly sweet with just a hint of spice. It almost reminded me of a mulled cider. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Puritea Jasmine Golden Yunnan

I am a complete and utter jasmine addict so I was really excited to try this blend. The leaves were beautiful to look at, with the occasional blossom peaking through the golden brown curls. The heady scent of jasmine quickly filled the room as they steeped. I made this tea in my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker with 212 degree water for five minutes.

The peppery element of the yunnan and the floral sweetness of the jasmine perfectly compliment one another. Both aspects of this tea were able to shine through with muddying the individual flavors. It was slightly astringent but not in an unpleasant way. I actually like this combo even better than jasmine’s usual pairing with green tea. I would definitely recommend this tea.