• Reviews

    Happy Earth Tea Hung Shui Oolong Spring 2012

    Country of Origin: Taiwan Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled Ingredients: oolong tea Steep time: 30 seconds Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: deep gold Fans of +Happy Earth Tea‘s wonderful Darjeeling teas might be surprised to hear that they also carry some truly excellent oolongs. This particular Taiwanese offering was made on Yiguang Shan using the Qingxin cultivar. On a side note, have you guys checked out the super handy tea cultivar database that +Tony Gebely put together on World of Tea? I find myself referring to it often while writing reviews. For the initial review I brewed it in a gaiwan but I couldn’t resist bowl brewing those beautiful leaves a…


  • Reviews

    Happy Earth Tea Concubine Oolong Spring 2013

    Country of Origin: Taiwan Leaf Appearance: dark, tightly rolled Ingredients: oolong tea Steep time: 30 seconds Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: brassy gold Sometimes I do a happy dance when I reach into my “to do” pile and pull out something really awesome. That’s exactly what happened when I grabbed this offering from +Happy Earth Tea. Who wouldn’t get excited about a highly oxidized concubine oolong from Dong Ding? The very same leaf hoppers that bring us Oriental Beauty have bitten the leaves which are then processed like a typical rolled oolong. The result is an intensely sweet and aromatic treat for the senses. I rarely rinse oolongs so I got…

  • Reviews

    Happy Earth Tea Himalayan Evergreen #121, Organic Jun Chiyabari, Autumn 2014

    Country of Origin: Nepal Leaf Appearance: varied shades of green, twisted Ingredients: green tea Steep time: 3 minutes Water Temperature: 190 degrees Preparation Method: glass teapot Liquor: pale gold Happy Earth Tea is one of my favorite vendors. I love that 10% of the proceeds from this tea are donated to the Ama Foundation, a nonprofit that houses abandoned and disadvantaged children in Nepal. Given the severe earthquakes that this region suffered recently, their work is even more important than ever. The dry leaves were quiet nice to look at. They were gently rolled so they were mostly whole with lots of complete bud sets. In truth I don’t drink as many green…

  • Reviews

    Happy Earth Tea Himalayan Autumn Bouquet #153. Jun Chiyabari, Nepal. Organic Autumn 2014

    Country of Origin: Nepal Leaf Appearance: mottled greens and browns Ingredients: black tea Steep time: 5 minutes Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: mesh infuser basket and ceramic teacup Liquor: amber Jun Chiyabari is one of my favorite tea estates. Their commitment to quality tea and organic cultivation is always appreciated. The leaves of this tea were nothing short of stunning. When dry they had the curled and twisted appearance of a fine Mao Feng. After brewing they unfurled to reveal whole buds and large, intact leaves. I immediately regretted not using my glass gaiwan because that would have really shown them off. I rarely post Steepster notes these days but this tea inspired…

  • Reviews

    Happy Earth Tea Yunnan Gold Supreme Organic

    Country of Origin: China Leaf Appearance: small, tippy and golden Ingredients: black tea Steep time: 3 minutes Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: ceramic teapot Liquor: deep reddish brown You all know that +Happy Earth Tea is my go to when it comes to Darjeeling but they also have a very nice selection of teas from other growing regions as well. I love Yunnan red teas and this one was very nice. The leaves were mostly whole leaves with a nicely mottled golden color to them. Love those fuzzy buds! The taste was earthy and sweet with a pleasant maltiness. Subtle notes of chocolate, fruit and even florals added a nice level of complexity. It…

  • Reviews

    Happy Earth Tea Arya Ruby 1st Flush Darjeeling 2014

    Country of Origin: India Leaf Appearance: wiry, green and grey with silver tips Ingredients: black tea Steep time: 3 minutes Water Temperature: 180 degrees Preparation Method: bone china teacup and mesh infuser Liquor: gold I’ve already reviewed four 1st flush’s this week and I saved one of my favorite estates for last. The leaves were wiry and somewhat darker than I expected. Its taste was less floral than the other selections that I tried. There was a pleasant apple-like sweetness that lingered into the finish. There was little astringency but I still found it refreshing. If I had to choose a favorite out of all of the teas that I reviewed this week,…