Monday, January 31, 2011

Teatulia Black Tea

Teatulia is one of my favorite companies because of their commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. I think it is important that tea drinkers think about the affects their purchases have on the rest of the world. The dry leaves of this tea were small and dark in appearance with a few golden tips mixed in. They had a strong, toasty aroma. The liquor was a deep bronze color. I made this tea in my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker with 212 degree water for three minutes.

This tea reminded me of a mild Assam. It was brisk and malty with a hint of smokiness but not as astringent. There was also a bit of a nutty sweet  aftertaste at the end of each sip. I found this selection to be really refreshing and a nice alternative to breakfast style teas. Overall it is a really well balanced basic black. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Black Tea sample provided by Teatulia

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Puritea Gunpowder Green

The appearance of the leaves was unusual in that they were rolled into larger rocks, rather the tiny pebbles that usual come to mind when I think of a gunpowder tea. I made this tea in my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker with 180 degree water for three minutes. The liquor was a pale yellow.

This tea was surprisingly minty with some roasty notes in the background. It was vegetal with hardly any astringency. I found that it got progressively sweeter with each sip. So much so that I had hard time believing that it was unsweetened. My second steeping was a bit more full bodied and just as delicious. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In Pursuit of Tea Darjeeling 2nd Flush

This tea is from the Jungpana Tea Estate in the Mahanadi Valley. It is the only Darjeeling estate that is only accessible by walking. The dry leaves were small and dark in color with a twisted appearance. I made this tea in my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker with 212 degree water for two minutes. The liquor was a deep amber color.

This tea was fruity and brisk without being overly astringent. The muscatel flavor was definitely there but not as in your face as a first flush would be. I first tried this tea at a tea and cheese tasting held at In Pursuit of Tea’s Manhattan store. It has since become my go to Darjeeling. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rishi Tea Hibiscus Berry

Hibiscus Berry, Organic Fair Trade Botanical BlendRishi Tea lists the ingredients of this herbal blend as including organic rosehips, organic Fair Trade Certified™ hibiscus, organic currants, organic schizandra berries, natural blueberry flavor and essential oils of orange and natural mango flavor. The dry leaves had a pleasantly sweet aroma. I made this tea in my Breville One-Touch Tea Maker with 212 degree water for five minutes. The liquor was a deep red color.

This blend was surprisingly refreshing. It was sweet but not overly so and there was a light salty quality at the end of each sip. It didn’t have that mouth puckering effect that I was expecting. I often find berry teas, especially those containing hibiscus, to be too tart and overpowering. Rishi Tea got this one just right. I could see this making a great iced tea in the summer. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Green Tea Lovers Adam’s Peak Silver Needle


According to Green Tea Lovers this selection is a Sri Lankan white tea that is grown at a high altitude. I steeped this tea for three minutes in a ceramic teapot using 180 degree water. The dry leaves looked just as you would expect from a silver needle, pale green and covered in downy hairs. The liquor was practically colorless and had a light, pleasant aroma.

This tea was very subtle. Once I took my time with it the flavor profile was actually quite complex. It was vegetal, creamy and nutty with notes of honey. The second steeping was a bit more fuller bodied and surprisingly good. A really nice citrus element came out during this infusion that wasn't there in the first. I would definitely recommend this tea.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rishi Tea Hong Yue

Hong Yue, Tiwanese Black TeaAccording to Rishi Tea this selection was grown on a small farm in Nantou and is a hybrid of wild Burmese tea and wild Taiwanese tea. The dry leaves had a dark and twisted appearance. Their aroma was so strong and earthy, it almost reminded me of coffee. I made this tea in a porcelain gaiwan using 212 degree water and three consecutive 40 second infusions. The liquor was a deep red color. I can see why this tea is called Ruby Black.

I was really surprised by the flavor profile of this tea. It started out very mild but with each sip I started tasting hints of a raisin and cinnamon. I could not believe how fruity and spicy it was. It is rare to find a black tea that works this well for gong fu brewing. I am always amazed at what can be achieved in a good quality unflavored tea and this one is a great example of that. I would definitely recommend this tea. Hong Yue is only available in limited quantities so make sure you grab some before it's gone!