SororiTea Sisters

A Sorority of Sisters Who Love Tea

Irish Breakfast Green Tea from Culinary Teas

November27

irish_breakfast_greenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Culinary Teas

Tea Description: 

Irish Breakfast Green is full bodied with the ‘umpf’ of black tea but the gentleness of green tea. Enticing toasty hint of flavour. Massively Irish.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t usually turn to a green tea as a breakfast tea.  I usually want the kind of gusto a black tea provides, but this green tea packs a swift kick!  Yes, the “kick” is a bit milder than what I’d get if I were drinking a strong Assam black tea, but I could see grabbing this tea as a breakfast tea (even though I’m drinking this as an afternoon tea at the moment.)  It has a very satisfying flavor.

Yes, this is a blend, but that doesn’t make it complicated to brew.  I grabbed my Kati Tumbler – really, this is one of the greatest tea brewing systems that I own!  I turn to it frequently because it works great for teas that I have just enough for 1 serving of.  And since I’ll be sharing this sampling with my SororiTea Sister, TeaEqualsBliss, I want to make sure I have enough left to send her way!

I used 1 bamboo scoop of tea for 12 ounces of hot water.  I heated the water to 180°F and I steeped the blend for 1 1/2 minutes.  And wa-lah!  A lovely green tea!

This really is lovely!  A very flavorful green tea blend.  I knew when I brewed the tea that the teas were from China, Japan and Kenya, but I wasn’t sure which teas from these regions were used int he blend.  From looking at the dry blend, I would guess that the Chinese tea is a Gunpowder.  It’s a little harder to distinguish which teas from Japan and Kenya were used, but I think that the Kenyan is the larger, rolled green tea (see the photo above) and I think that the Japanese tea is a Houjicha (or a roasted Bancha type tea).  Of those three guesses, the only one that I’m pretty confident about is the Gunpowder.

I like the way the flavors come together.  The sip starts out sweet.  Right away I start to pick up on the toasty, nutty flavors.  It’s not an overly vegetal/grassy tasting tea but there certainly is a “green” sort of taste to it that’s a little vegetative.  There’s a hint of buttery flavor.  After my palate becomes acclimated to the nutty, buttery, and vegetal notes of the tea, I start to notice floral notes.  There is also a fruity note that I taste that is vaguely reminiscent of melon.  In the distance, I pick up a light “smokiness” to the cup that is quite intriguing.

Overall, I found this tea to be a rather enjoyable cuppa.  If you’re looking for a way to start your day with a green tea, this would be a great choice.  I wouldn’t add milk to it the way many do with a breakfast blend – I think that milk would really overwhelm the tea.

Plus:  Milk + Green Tea usually = ICK.  So best not to try that.

Instead, try this one straight up.  It’s got a really nice flavor without any additions at all.  If you must add something to your breakfast tea, try a dollop of locally harvested, raw honey (added health benefits with that!) or even better:  a thin slice of lemon or lime!

Beauty & The Beet White Tea from Lemon Lily

November26

Beauty_and_the_BeetTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Lemon Lily

Tea Description:  

Organic, delicate, earthy but not grassy. This blend of organic white tea is gently paired with organic beetroot Powder, organic lavender, organic passionflower, organic rosehip, organic rose buds Dry, it’s beautiful to look at. Steeped and allowed to rest for about ten minutes and you really start to taste the floral notes. But the touch of earthy sweetness from the beetroot balances out the floral, keeping it from tasting soapy.

Learn more about this month’s Postal Teas shipment here.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

The photo above doesn’t really show the beetroot powder.  When I received my pouch of this tea in my Postal Teas box this month, I was kind of surprised by the hot pink dust that had settled to the back of of the pouch.  It kind of looked like freeze dried lipstick that had been pulverized into a powder.

I guess I could have said it looks like powder blush in the pouch, but, I couldn’t see anyone wanting to wear this particular shade of pink on their cheeks, but I could see it on someone’s lips or possibly their fingernails.  Then again:  freeze dried nail polish that had been pulverized into a powder – that seems like it would be a lot more effort to pulverize nail polish into a powder than it does lipstick.

Anyway … this blend has been dusted with powdered beetroot and it’s a vibrant shade of pink.  And when you steep the tea, the tea becomes a ruby red color.  It almost looks like it has hibiscus in it.  Almost.  Fortunately, beetroot doesn’t taste like hibiscus.  I prefer beetroot.

This is one of the more interesting teas I’ve reviewed lately.  First of all, love the name.  Love it.  And I can’t recall having a tea blended with beetroot powder.  I may have.  It’s just nothing comes to mind immediately.  And you would think that something as unique as beetroot powder would stick in the memory, you know?

Similar to the Maple Leaf tea that I tried a few days ago from the same company, this tea is very floral.  I am tasting notes of lavender and rose distinctly.  The passionflower is a bit more demure in this blend, which is not surprising as it tends to be rather mild tasting.  I like how the beetroot softens the flavors of the flowers a little and brings it’s own unique flavor to the cup.  It’s sweet and I can taste a hint of the vegetable flavor of the beet.

The white tea is a little less discernible in this blend, but I do taste it.  The light, airy, hay-like note of the white tea seems to complement the floral notes.  This tea is earthy (which also complements the floral notes), floral, very slightly vegetal, and very enjoyable – albeit different! – to drink.

I steeped this in my Kati Tumbler and I chose to steep it in this cup for one reason:  the beetroot powder.  I didn’t want to have to scrub the jug of my Breville One-Touch after beetroot powder had steeped in it!  It’s a lot easier to scrub my Kati Tumbler!

After shaking the pouch thoroughly (to redistribute the powder that had settled), I measured out 2 bamboo scoops of tea into my Kati and heat the water to 170°F and steeped the tea for 3 1/2 minutes.

Postal Teas recommends letting these teas cool a bit to let the flavors develop and I agree with that.  As this particular tea cools, the flavors not only develop but the texture develops too.  The beetroot seems to thicken somewhat to create a pleasant, brothy type texture to the cup (without it feeling syrupy the way a hibiscus blend would).

I’m really happy that I had this opportunity to try this tea!  Thank you, Postal Teas!

Armando’s Original Blend Coffee Leaf Tea from Wize Monkey

November26

coffeeleafteaTea Description:

Leaf Type:  Coffee Leaf Tea

Tea Description:

Coffee leaf tea has more antioxidants than green tea and has very little caffeine. It has a smooth flavour without bitterness or dry aftertaste like regular teas.

Learn more about Wize Monkey here.

Support Wize Monkey’s Kickstarter Fundraising Campaign here.

Taster’s Review:

I was both intrigued and nervous about this product.  I have mentioned more than once the issues that I’ve experienced with coffee.  I used to drink a cup of coffee every morning and by 11 am, I was feeling quite nauseous.  So, I worried that since this product comes from the same plant as the beans that caused that late morning yucky sick feeling, I was a little concerned as this tea brewed that what I was steeping was a cup of nausea.

But I decided to be brave and try it.  And keep my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t be feeling horrid a few hours later.

The sample that I was sent from Wize Monkey came in a DIY loose leaf teabag so I decided to go ahead and steep it using the teabag.  I put the teabag into a teacup and heated freshly filtered water to 195°F which is my “go-to” temperature for “herbal” teas and since this is not technically a tea leaf, I thought, eh … I’ll see what happens at 195°F.  I steeped leaves for 4 minutes.

The aroma is … different.  I’m trying to come up with a comparable scent so you can get an idea of what I’m smelling.  It smells earthy, similar to the earthiness you’d detect if you had brewed a cup of guayusa or yerba mate.  It smells kind of grassy.  Like a mossy, damp earth with notes of dried hay.

The flavor is a little reminiscent of guayusa, only a little more herbaceous.  Guayusa tastes a little more like coffee to me only not as bitter as a cup of joe.  This on the other hand does have some a touch of bitterness to it, at least in the earliest sips.  I find that as I continue to sip, the bitter tone sort of dissipates, and I find that I enjoy it the more I drink it.

It has a definite herb-y sort of flavor that reminds me a bit of bay leaf.  There is a light honey note to it too, and I like that this honey note develops as I continue to sip.  Again … the more I drink this, the more I like it.

This product as been compared to black tea in flavor, but, I am not getting that.  It has a similar texture as a black tea but not so much the flavor.  I find that there is a certain invigorating quality to it even though the caffeine content is supposed to be about the same as decaffeinated coffee.

It’s a tasty ‘tea’.  Different from anything that I’ve tasted, but it is vaguely reminiscent of guayusa.  I enjoyed my sample of this coffee leaf tea and I’d definitely be interested in some blends using coffee leaf.  Right off the top of my head, I think that this would taste good with cacao shells (a chocolate-y experience!) or with peppermint.  Or perhaps a combination of both.  And with the honey-like flavors, I think it would also taste awesome as the base of a masala spice blend – coffee leaf chai!

***

Please consider helping Wize Monkey reach their goal on Kickstarter!   The deadline is rapidly approaching.

Taiwan DongDing (TungTing) Charcoal Baked Oolong Tea from Fong Mong Tea

November25

charcoalbakedDongDingTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fong Mong Tea

Tea Description:

The hand-plucked leaves of Dong Ding Oolong are grown in the Dong Ding region of Taiwan at the elevation of 740 meters. At this elevation, the leaves absorb moisture from the surrounding fog and clouds every morning and afternoon which is ideal for Oolong plants. Due to the unique geographic location and stringent selection of leaves, this is the finest Dong Ding Oolong from the Dong Ding estate. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Dong Ding from Fong Mong has been charcoal baked and you can really taste that element in this tea!  It’s a really nice complement to the natural nutty flavors of the Oolong tea.  This is really one of the tastiest Dong Ding Oolong teas I’ve tasted in a while and I think that the fact that it was charcoal baked makes all the difference.

My first cup was sweet and nutty with a distinct charcoal note.  I could taste the charred wood and a hint of smoke.  There was a creaminess to the cup, but it wasn’t like a heavy creamy note or a buttery note.  It was more like browned butter.  Smooth and silky; it didn’t feel heavy on the palate.

The sip starts out sweet with notes of honey.  I start picking up on the nutty flavors almost immediately.  By mid-sip, the sweetness is fully developed and I start to pick up on a hint of smoke which transcends into a charcoal note.  The aforementioned browned butter notes weave their way in and out of the sip.  The finish is almost “fruit-like,” tasting a bit like a roasted, caramelized peach.

The second cup seemed a little more unified.  The flavors were seamless.  It was a very smooth transition from notes of honey to toasted nutty flavors and hints of smoke.  The smoke was a little more subtle this time, and the notes of charcoal were stronger, even though they seemed “fused” with the other flavors.  Still sweet, still a fruit-like finish.  Delicious.

The third cup was very much like the second.  The browned butter notes have diminished by this point but they seem to have made way for more definition of the peach-like flavor.  I experience a slightly dry sensation toward the finish, almost mineral-y.  Still a sweet, lovely Oolong.

I brewed this Dong Ding the way I’d brew most Oolong teas, using my gaiwan and following a 15 second rinse, I started the infusion time at 45 seconds and added 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusion.  I combine 2 infusions for each cup, so my first cup was made up of infusions 1 and 2, and the second cup was infusions 3 and 4 … you get it, right?

Fong Mong offers quite a few amazing Taiwan Oolong teas that are well worth checking into!  I highly recommend them!

Keith’s Delicious Tea from Because UR Priceless

November25

KeithsTeaTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Because UR Priceless on Etsy

Tisane Description:

KEITH’S DELICIOUS TEA is a sunny, uplifting combination of lemon balm, calendula blossoms, and peppermint. This blend is particularly good when you add a spot of honey to your tea cup. This is my husband’s favorite herbal tea blend. (I’ll let you guess who it’s named after, lol.)

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a nice, mild-tasting tisane.  It kind of surprises me to say that about a tisane with peppermint in the mix because peppermint can be a very strong and assertive herb.  But here, there is a nice balance between the lemon balm and the peppermint.

The sip starts out with an herbaceous note.  This herb-y flavor remains throughout the sip, with specific flavor profiles developing as the sip progresses.  A moment or two after I’ve taken a sip, I start to pick up on notes of peppermint.  Just before the midway point, I can taste the citrus notes of the lemon balm.  The finish is crisp and cool from the peppermint and these minty notes linger into the aftertaste.  It is in the aftertaste when I can really taste the bright lemon-y notes too.

It’s a refreshing herbal blend that’s naturally caffeine free.  It has a soothing quality to it, and the minty notes continue to build as I continue to sip.  Now that I’m more than halfway through the cup, I can draw a breathe inward and I taste and feel the minty sensation on my palate.  But even though I’m getting a strong essence of mint, the presence of the lemon keeps it from tasting like mouthwash.

To prepare this tisane, I poured the sampler into the basket of my Kati tumbler and my ‘eyeball’ measurement told me that it looked just right.  Trust me, I’ve been doing this a while.  I heated the water to 195°F and and poured 12 ounces of water into the tumbler and let it steep for 10 minutes.  Then I strained the tea and enjoyed.  The description above suggests adding a dollop of honey to the cup and I think that would make a very nice addition.  I drank the tisane straight up and it was enjoyable but I think that a little sweetness is called for with this.  The crisp peppermint and the sunny lemon-y notes of the lemon balm would benefit from the contrast of a little honey.

Overall, an enjoyable cup.

Garlic Toast Flavored Iced Black Tea from Southern Boy Teas

November24

Garlic-ToastTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Er, yeah, we went there. On our recent trip to the ASD tradeshow in Las Vegas, we met some folks who were from the “Garlic Capital of the World”. They challenged us to make a tea with garlic in it, and here it is. It’s our premium organic Iyerpadi black tea with organic garlic, bread and butter flavors. If you like garlic, you’re going to have to try this one. It made the whole office smell like a pizzeria or something.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

OK … this is the weirdest flavor that 52Teas/Zoomdweebies/Southern Boy Teas has ever come up with.  And if I’m going to be honest, I’m a little jealous.  I admit it!  I wish I had come up with it.

Yes, this is weirder than bacon tea.  It’s weirder than chocolate covered bacon tea.  It’s weirder than the pineapple bacon tea.  It’s weirder than Jalapeno Tea.  It’s even weirder than my beloved Tomato, Basil and Black Pepper tea.

When I opened the pouch, WOWIE!  This smells like garlic toast.  Like fresh from the oven garlic toast!  I steeped it the way I usually steep these large tea bags:  I heated 1 quart of water to 212°F and dropped the teabag into the water and let it steep for 2 minutes.  Then I removed the teabag and poured the hot tea into my favorite iced tea pitcher and repeated the process, adding 30 seconds onto the “resteep” time.

The brewed tea smells less like garlic toast than the dry tea.  Oh, it still smells like garlic toast, but it’s just not nearly as potent.

After allowing the tea to chill in the refrigerator overnight, it was time for testing!  I admit I’m excited and nervous and a little weirded out about trying a Garlic Toast flavored iced tea.  When I opened the pitcher, I could smell the garlic!  It’s still a rather distinct aroma, even though it’s not quite as strong as the dry tea was.  The odor of garlic is still there.  Then again, it should be, right?  I mean, I’m about to take a sip of garlic flavored tea.

OK.  Here goes …

Hmm … OK, here are my first impressions:  the garlic doesn’t hit you right at the start.  The smell of garlic hits you before you even take a sip, mind you, because the aroma, as I said … is THERE.  But the flavor of garlic doesn’t smack you upside the palate from the onset.

The first flavor I notice is the black tea.  The flavor is smooth and brisk and refreshing.  I am picking up on sweetness from the black tea that I hadn’t noticed from this particular black tea base before this tasting.   (The Pumpkin Cheesecake iced tea uses the same Iyerpadi black tea base.)  I suspect that the different flavoring has inspired the palate to pick up on different flavors from the tea.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

After about a half a second of tasting the black tea, I start to pick up on delicate garlic notes.

Yeah, I used delicate and garlic in the same sentence, and one was used to describe the other.  I don’t know that I’ve ever used the word “delicate” to describe garlic before.

  And really, delicate is the right word to use for the garlic flavoring here.  Although the pungent odor of the garlic in both the dry tea and the brewed tea wouldn’t really suggest a delicate garlic presence, the flavor itself doesn’t overwhelm the palate with garlic-y … um … goodness.  Yeah, that’s the word I was looking for.

It’s garlic toast but it’s not all about the garlic.  It is also about the tea.  And SBT has managed to create a balance to bridge these two seemingly opposing forces.  I mean, really … when was the last time you sat down with a cup of tea and thought:  you know what would really go well with this tea?  A piece of garlic toast!  No.  I might sit down to a plate of spaghetti and think, ‘I need garlic toast.’ A cup of soup perhaps, but a cup of tea?  No.

But I like this.  The zesty, savory flavor of the garlic brings flavors of the tea into focus that I might not have otherwise picked up on.  Like I mentioned earlier, I’m noticing the sweetness of the tea itself more now.  When you have sweet flavor elements in the tea – such as pumpkin and cheesecake – you miss some of the sweet nuances of the tea.  But with the garlic tasting like … well, tasting like garlic … I am noticing some of the sweeter qualities of this tea base.  I like that I taste the garlic but it’s not a garlic-y assault on my palate.

I will actually be buying at least one more package of this tea because I want to try it as a cold-brew.  I noticed that an iced tea that I didn’t really care for (the bacon iced tea) tasted much better when it was cold-brewed so I want to see how this one works with the cold-brew process.

It’s definitely different – but really tasty.

Kenya Hand Rolled Purple Varietal Oolong Tea from What-Cha Tea

November24

PurpleOolongWhatchaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong (Purple)

Where to Buy:  What-Cha Tea

Tea Description:

A unique oolong unlike any other we have tasted before, made from the purple varietal tea plant which gives the tea a unique plum taste and purple tint. A rare and unusual tea which is not to be missed.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Wow!  What a delightful purple Oolong!

I steeped this the way I would usually steep an Oolong tea, using my gaiwan.  I “eyeballed” a measurement of leaves.  These leaves are so long and wiry that it would be difficult to measure them using my bamboo scoop.  So I poured out an amount that looked like it would be a bamboo scoop into the palm of my hand and then I put it into the bowl of my gaiwan.  Then I heated water to 180°F.  I poured in just enough of the heated water to cover the leaves and I let this sit for 15 seconds – to awaken the leaves – and then I strained off the liquid and discarded it.  Then I steeped the leaves for 45 seconds for the first infusion and added 15 seconds to each subsequent infusion. I combine two infusions in my teacup – so my first cup is infusions 1 and 2, and the second cup is infusions 3 and 4 … and so on!

PurpleOolongWhatcha1The brewed tea takes on a purple-ish color and has a sweet, floral aroma with notes of fruit.  There is a strong flavor to this tea:  tasting primarily of stone fruit and flower.  Just as the above description suggests, there is a strong and distinct plum note.  It is sweet with notes of tart.

The texture is lighter than a typical Oolong.  It doesn’t have that buttery mouthfeel like you might experience from a greener Oolong.  This doesn’t taste or feel “creamy.”  It tastes strongly of fruit.  The fruit notes bring a lot of sweetness to the cup and there is a slight “sugary” sweetness to the cup as well.  There is a moderate astringency to this tea – I can feel the insides of my cheeks pucker a bit at the finish.  But don’t let that dissuade you, because I find that the sensation enhances the fruit notes.

The plum notes were even more focused in the second cup.  Still sweet with notes of sugar cane.  The astringency is about the same in this cup as it was in the first.

The third cup turned out to be a bit different than the first and second cups.  This cup is not as astringent as the first cup – this is much smoother from start to finish.  The plum notes are softening somewhat now.  Still lots of fruit flavor, I’m noticing the flavors starting to become unified.  This is slightly less sweet and a little lighter.  I’m picking up on a slight creamy note now and an ever so slight vegetative note.  Neither of these new flavors are very strong – they’re off in the distance.  Floral notes are slightly more noticeable this time too.

This is a really delightfully different Oolong – one I’d recommend to those who are looking for something just a little off the beaten path!

Mother Nature’s Medley Herbal Tisane from Tealee

November23

MotherNaturesMedleyTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Tealee

Tisane Description:

The tastiest detox tea around, this all natural herbal blend is jam packed with ingredients that are loaded with Vitamin C, and are known to aid digestion and reduce bloating. Stimulating ginger opens your palate, fruit and citrus notes follow and finishes with minty freshness. Delicious!  

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

I love it when I discover a tisane blend like this and there is NO hibiscus in it!  Yay!  See there, tea companies?  It can be done!  You can make tasty tisanes WITHOUT hibiscus!

Here are the ingredients:

Ginger, Apple, Rosehip, Lemongrass, Organic Spearmint, Rose Petals

This is one of the tastiest “detox” teas that I’ve tried thus far.  There is a very pleasing balance of flavors.

My experience with this tasting is much like the above description suggests, only the first flavor that I noticed is a faint fruit-like sweetness – for just a moment! – and then I pick up on the zesty ginger note.  I enjoyed that immediate contrast.

After my taste buds recognizes the ginger, they’re allowed to further explore the fruit notes:  I can taste apple, which surprises me!  I didn’t expect to taste much apple here because generally speaking, when apple is used in a blend like this, it’s more about appearance and maybe just a hint of sweetness but not for a strong flavor.  But I’m tasting apple!  And I’m tasting notes of citrus from the lemongrass.

Just after mid-sip, I start to taste that vibrant flavor of spearmint.  It tastes very fresh and exhilarating.  Throughout the sip, I also get a hint of rose.  Of all the ingredients, the rose offers the least flavor in the cup.  It’s a really thoughtfully crafted medley of fruit and herbal flavors that I find very enjoyable.

The spearmint and ginger are really nicely matched.  I get that invigorating kick of peppery ginger that is countered by the crisp, cooling mint notes of the spearmint.  These two ingredients seem to keep each other “in check” – so that I’m not tasting too much ginger or too much mint.

Overall, a really tasty beverage that I would be happy to drink on a regular basis.  Many detox teas are something that I would drink because I felt the need to detox but not because I’m really enjoying what I’m drinking.  This is something that I am actually enjoying!  I’m impressed with this!

Assam Orthodox Black Tea (FOP) from Starglory

November23

StargloryBlackTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Starglory on Amazon

Tea Description:

Black Tea is consumed because of its natural flavour and for refreshment. Excellent cup of black tea helps a person to start a day positively with full of energy. At the end of a hectic, tiresome and busy day if a perfect black tea is taken , it will re energize and refresh oneself. This is one best Orthodox Black Tea sourced from Upper Assam Gardens.

Learn more about Starglory Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love Assam black teas, so when I was asked by Starglory Tea to try their FOP Assam Black, I was only too happy to oblige!

Immediately upon looking at the dry leaf, I can see something distinctly different with this tea versus other Assam black teas.  Most Assam teas that I’ve encountered tend to be a smaller cut or broken leaf.  But these beautiful, long, wiry leaves of chocolate brown appear to be whole!  When Starglory says “FOP” (which stands for Flowery Orange Pekoe – which basically means that the tea consists of large, wiry, and mostly unbroken leaves), they mean it!

To brew this beautiful Assam, I measured out 2 1/2 bamboo scoops of tea (I added an extra half a scoop because the leaves are so large and bulky) into the basket of my Breville tea maker and poured 500ml of freshly filtered water into the vessel.  I set the parameters for 2 1/2 minutes steep time at 205°F.  I used a slightly lower temperature because it’s been my experience that Assam teas can be somewhat temperamental and a slightly lower temperature can mean the difference between a perfect tasting cup of tea and a bitter brew.

And this tastes perfect!

It is rich, delicious and malty, just like I want from an Assam.  But this tastes much smoother – no bitterness whatsoever!  Not even a hint in the background.  Just sweet, caramel-y notes that meld deliciously with notes of malt to create a thick, luscious flavor that not only entices me with its delicious flavor but also invigorates me.

The sip begins with a sweet note that becomes very caramel-esque as the sip progresses.  I begin to pick up on the malty notes almost right away.  There are notes of fruit and floral notes in the background.  It’s got that “chewy” sort of flavor to it, thick and delicious like the crust from a freshly baked loaf of bread.  Mmm!  It’s a very satisfying tea.

This tea doesn’t require any additions – it tastes great as is.  But, if you prefer a bit of honey or milk in your tea, this tea would take those additions well.  It would be great with a thin slice of lemon too.  Another great idea is to drop a piece or two of crystallized ginger into your tea.  This adds a little sweetness to the cup as well as a hint of ginger’s peppery flavor.  (Plus you get a tasty treat at the end of the cup!)

If you’re looking for an Assam that delivers the flavor of the Assam without so much of the harshness that is often associated with it – this is the Assam you’re looking for!

Maple Leaf White Tea from Lemon Lily

November22

Maple_LeafTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Lemon Lily

Tea Description:  

Loaded with blossoms, and scented with star anise and maple syrup, this white tea is show-stoppingly beautiful as well as a treat to sip. Again, we can’t stress enough that you need to let these delicate little cuppas need some time to cool. Once you do the grassy white tea blooms into the warm, smooth anise flavour, accented with a touch of maple.

Learn more about this month’s Postal Teas shipment here.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

Yay!  My Postal Teas box arrived!  It’s a happy day when I open the mailbox to find tea!  I just love receiving parcels from Postal Teas and I was very excited that this month the teas featured are from yet another new-to-me company:  Lemon Lily.  A cute company name that brings a smile to my face because it makes me think of my youngest daughter.  Her name is Lilith and we often call her Lili.

So the first tea I decided to try from this month’s box is Maple Leaf.  All three of this month’s teas sound delightful, but Maple is what captured my attention immediately.  I love maple!

I decided to brew this in my Breville One-Touch.  I don’t usually steep white teas in my Breville because the leaves tend to be bulkier and need more room to expand so I usually steep a white tea in a teapot or in a Smart Tea Maker like this to give those leaves the room they need.  However, upon examination of this tea, I saw that it was mostly flowers.  I thought that the tea would have plenty of room to expand as it needed to in my Breville given the flower to tea leaf ratio of this blend.

As an added bonus, because this tea needs time after steeping to develop its flavor, I was able to set the Breville to steep – 4 bamboo scoops of leaf to 500ml of freshly filtered water (remember, there’s a lot of flowers in this, so I used extra leaf to compensate); 170°F; 3 1/2 minutes – and go take my shower.  When I returned, the tea was brewed and it had been sitting for about 13 minutes.  That seemed to me to be adequate “development” time.

lemonlilyLOVELY!  I had my doubts about this after seeing all the flowers in this.  It was hard to find tea leaves among all the flowers.  But they’re there – because I can taste the tea.

I can also taste the flowers.  This is a beautifully floral tea, but I’m glad to say that it doesn’t taste perfume-y.  It has a wonderfully flowery aroma, it’s beautiful to smell as well as sip.

I can taste the notes of anise.  I like the way the licorice-y flavor of anise melds with the flowers.  They seem to play very nicely together.  The anise adds just a hint of spice to the sweetness of the flowers.  It’s quite pleasant.

And most importantly, I can taste the maple!  OK, OK, I guess you could argue that it’s most important to taste the tea.  And yeah, I’m with you on that.  But, when I drink a maple tea, I want maple baby!  And this blend has got the maple going on.

The sip starts off immediately with notes of flower.  I taste the lavender and chrysanthemum.  I like that while these floral notes are strong, they aren’t overdone.  Even though it looks like they might be overdone when you take a look at the blend – there is a really well-crafted balance between tea, flower and maple notes here.

Maple and lavender are not necessarily two flavors that I ever thought of combining.  But they work.  Somehow … they work very well together.   The maple seems to soften the sharpness of the floral notes just enough so that this doesn’t come off tasting like soap.  The anise adds just the right amount of warmth to the cup while adding a touch of sweet licorice that tastes right at home with the sweet maple notes.  The flowers add dimension to the sweetness while keeping everything balanced “just so” – to keep this from becoming too cloying or dessert-like.

And then there is the tea.  The tea is a softer flavor here, not just because white tea tends to be a delicate tasting tea anyway, but also because there IS a lot going on in this blend.  But I can still taste the subtle notes of sweet, hay-like flavor from the white tea.

A very enjoyable blend.  Quite a wonderful start to this month’s Postal Teas box!

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Our mutual love for tea and writing about it inspired us to start this blog so that we could better share this love with others.

One thing I (Anne) learned very early on in my career as a tea artist is that everyone has different preferences, and every single tea tastes differently on every single palate.  So just because one of us doesn’t happen to like a tea, doesn’t mean that YOU (the reader) will not.

We try to be as impartial as we can.  We do have our favorites.  We are human.  But we do our very best to be as fair and as honest about a tea as we can be.

You might not agree with my assessment – or with Jennifer’s assessment – of a tea.  But that’s OK… if we all liked the same exact tea – we’d only need ONE kind of tea and … wow… that sounds really boring, indeed!

What a beautiful world it is that we have so many teas to suit so many tea enthusiasts!