SororiTea Sisters

A Sorority of Sisters Who Love Tea

Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas

October21

Marshmallow-Treat-GenmaichaSBTTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Premium Organic green tea with organic flavors. Each 14g teabag will make one 2-quart pitcher of DELICIOUS iced tea. Re-steep the teabag and you can get a full gallon out of each one.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

Wow!

The first thing that blew me away with this blend is the smell!  The aroma of the dry sachet – it smells like a marshmallow treat!  And the brewed tea smells like that too.  The brewed tea smells a bit more like genmaicha than the dry sachet did, the dry sachet smells like a fresh batch of marshmallow treats.  Mmm!

This is seriously good iced tea.  If you liked the original Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha from 52Teas, you’re going to like this iced tea version from Southern Boy Teas.  It’s sweet and tastes like the name suggests.  It tastes like a marshmallow treat with a little bit of green tea flavor in there too.

Genmaicha is not usually a tea that I usually think of when I think “iced tea” because the toasted rice has a very warm flavor and it’s been something that I think tastes better when served hot.  But, this really works well as an iced tea.  It does have that delicious roasty-toasty flavor of the Genmaicha, along with the light, fresh green tea taste of the green tea.  The rice of the genmaicha gives this just the right amount of warmth to give this marshmallow treat a “homemade” sort of taste (and homemade marshmallow treats taste better than those commercially packaged treats!)

To brew this, I heated a quart of water to 170°F and let the sachet steep for a 1 1/2 minutes.  Then I strained the tea into my iced tea pitcher and resteeped the sachet in the second quart of water, adding 30 seconds onto the steep time.  (Then I stashed the sachet in an airtight container and put it in the fridge so that I could steep it again for another pitcher of tea.)

Really, really good.  I’m glad that this tea is now offered on the website (it was originally created as a “thank you” for the Kickstarter supporters) because I’m going to want more of this!

Vanilla Almond Black Tea Blend from The Secret Garden Tea Company

October21

VanAlmondTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  The Secret Garden Tea Co.

Tea Description:

One of our staff favourites! Pair with desserts such as marzipan pear tarts, lavender shortbread, and chocolate bon-bons for a decadent treat.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

This Vanilla Almond Tea from Secret Garden is so smooth!

By the time I started writing this review, I was more than halfway finished with my first cup!  It is just so tasty and so unbelievably smooth and easy to drink that it began to disappear quickly.

The dry leaf is quite appealing to the eye with lots of almond slivers and bright orange-yellow petals (calendula and sunflower) mixed in with the dark brown tea leaves.  To brew this tea, I used my Breville One-Touch and added 2 bamboo scoops to the basket and poured 500ml of water into the jug.  I set the temperature to 212°F and the timer for 2 1/2 minutes and I let the machine do it’s thing.

The tea brews up dark and sweet smelling.  I can pick up on delicate notes of almond and vanilla but mostly what I’m smelling is the black tea.  It’s not an overly fragrant brewed tea but I still find the aroma quite pleasant.  It reminds me a bit of freshly baked cookies!

But the real treat is in the sip.  As I mentioned above, it is one of the smoothest teas I’ve tasted lately.  There is very little astringency, especially the first few sips.  Now that I’m nearly finished with my first cup, I am picking up on more astringency than I experienced at the beginning of the cup.  It’s a slightly dry sensation that I’m experiencing but it’s quite slight especially in comparison to other black teas that I’ve consumed.

This is so smooth from start to finish.  It starts out smooth and creamy, I pick up on the vanilla immediately.  As the sip progresses, I notice the almond and the sweet, nutty flavor accentuates the creamy, sweet vanilla tones beautifully.  These two flavors were made for one another!

The black tea is a smooth, even-tasting black tea.  It’s probably a Ceylon.  It isn’t an aggressive, astringent, bitter or overly robust black tea.  It is smooth.  It melds amazingly well with the flavors of almond and vanilla.  There is a slight caramel-y undertone to the black tea that further highlights the sweetness of this blend.  I like that it is a sweet drink but not cloying.

Because it isn’t an overly sweet or cloying tea, I think it would make the perfect tea to serve along with dessert.  You really wouldn’t want something too sweet paired with dessert because the dessert is already sweet.  This is smooth, not too robust nor is it bitter or overly astringent.  It wouldn’t detract from the delightful confection that you’re enjoying for dessert.

It would also make a lovely afternoon tea.  A great tea to choose for a tea party or perhaps something to serve to guests after dinner.  I find it to be a very “welcoming” sort of tea.  When I sip it, I feel like it’s communicating to me:  “Welcome home.”

Apple Embrace Black Tea from Monarch Tea Co.

October20

AppleSpiceEmbraceTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Monarch Tea Co. or Monarch Tea Co. on Etsy

Tea Description:

This warm and inviting blend brings memories of sitting fireside with a good book. Notes of apple, cinnamon and spice come together to warm and soothe. Ingredients: black tea, dried apple, cinnamon pieces, blackberry leaves, safflower petals, natural flavours.

Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

I was very excited to receive my Postal Teas box today.  This box is actually September’s subscription – which arrives in October.  Kind of confusing.  Maybe I should just call it October’s box?

Anyway, this month’s featured tea company is Monarch Tea Company.  I was excited to see that this is the featured tea company this month, because I had noticed that this company was featured earlier this year, before I became a subscriber.  I’m glad to have this opportunity to try some of their teas.

The first tea that I am trying is this Apple Spice Embrace.  Perfect for this evening for two reasons:  first, it’s a cold and wet day here in the Pacific Northwest and a warmly spiced tea suits me just fine on a day like this.  Second, my daughter is visiting this evening and its a tea that I think she’ll also appreciate.

I notice the packaging right off the bat.  The teas are in Kraft, foil-lined pouches and they are “sealed” with a bit of whimsical black polka dot fabric tape.  The front of the package has a label with the name of the tea and the ingredients (all the important stuff to know), and the back of the pouch is marked with the elegant Monarch Tea logo.  I like the combination of whimsy and elegance and simplicity.

When I opened the pouch, I inhaled deeply to take in the fragrance.  I notice a “black tea” aroma with notes of cinnamon.  The cinnamon isn’t overpowering and I kind of expected it to be (it seems that in blends like this, the cinnamon is the main event, and I like that it is a gentle presence here.)  There is a light apple-y scent beneath the notes of cinnamon.

I brewed this tea in my Breville One-Touch, pouring 750ml of freshly filtered water into the jug and measuring 3 bamboo scoops of tea into the basket.  Then I set the temperature for 212°F and the time for 2 1/2 minutes.  When I poured my cup of tea, I enjoyed the scent:  hints of apple mingling with notes of cinnamon and a front note of black tea – much like the dry leaf, although it isn’t quite as aromatic.

This is a tasty cup of tea.  The black tea notes are prominent.  A brisk tasting tea – I suspect a Ceylon – but there are some subtle malty notes to this as well.  It’s smooth and moderately astringent.  A sweet, honey undertone that complements the apple notes.

The apple note isn’t in your face.  It’s a subtle taste of apple, offering a slightly sweet, delicately tart flavor that reminds me of the flavor of an apple pie filling, complete with a light touch of cinnamon.  I think that the cinnamon is my favorite part of this tea because it is a rather light touch of the spice.  All too often when it comes to cinnamon in a tea, it’s been added with such a heavy hand that it becomes all about the cinnamon.  Here, the cinnamon softly accents the tea.  It’s a gentle warmth.  Lightly sweet, lightly spiced.

Overall, a really pleasant autumnal tea and as I eluded to at the start of this review, it’s just perfect on a day like today when it’s cold and wet.  I like that I’m curling up to a warm cup of apple-y spiced goodness.

White Currant Tea from Caraway Tea

October20

white-currant1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Caraway Tea Company

Product Description:

Juicy aromatic currants paired with the delicacy of white tea leaves delivers a smooth flavor profile with a deeply fruity finish. There’s a lot of flavor is this healthy white tea.

Ingredients

China Pai Mu Tan, China Cui Min, rose hip peel, freeze-dried blackcurrants, flavoring, mallow blossoms, cornflower blossoms.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about UniqTeas hereUniqTeas is the “sister site” of Caraway Tea where you can create your own unique tea blend!

Taster’s Review:

Oh yum!

As I was preparing this review, I had the teacup sitting just under my nose (well, about a foot from my nose) and I enjoyed the fragrance of the tea.  It smells really yummy.  And as I was enjoying the aroma, I started thinking:  there really aren’t a lot of currant flavored white teas.  I’ve encountered quite a few currant flavored black teas and maybe a couple of currant flavored green teas, but I think I’ve only tried a couple of currant flavored white teas.

And that’s a shame, because I think that the tart with a touch of sweet flavor of currants seems really well paired with the crisp sweetness of white tea.

What I’m drinking now – this White Currant Tea from Caraway Tea – tastes a lot like a sweet wine, only without the tannic quality of a wine.  Sure, tea has tannins too, but I find white teas to be less tannic than black teas.  Perhaps this is because I brew my white teas at a lower temperature.  Or perhaps it’s because they’re just less tannic.  I don’t know.

Disclaimer:  I’m not a tannin expert.

So, imagine if you would, a sweet red wine without the tannins.  Now, imagine it … served hot.  That’s what I’m tasting now.  Since I don’t usually drink wine hot, I’m thinking that this tea is a stunner served iced.  (Then again, I don’t drink wine much at all.  Hot or otherwise.)

The currant flavor is lightly tart – not puckery – and there is a pleasant sweetness to it too.  The white tea is not overpowered by the flavors of this tea.  It is light and refreshing with delicate vegetal notes and a sweet, airy quality.  I also notice a hint – just a hint! – of a warm, gentle spice to this too.  Like a slight peppery kick.  It’s a nice contrast to the tart and sweet fruit notes and the light sweetness from the white tea.

A really good tea.  This is one that I’d happily drink again!

Peppermint Herbal Tisane from Simple Loose Leaf

October19

PeppermintHerbalTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf here.

Tisane Description:

Enjoy the refreshing and cooling flavor of peppermint straight from the leaves. Peppermint can be enjoyed on its own or added to another tea blend. The soothing leaves lend well to any sweetener. We recommend a touch of honey and lemon when enjoying these herbal leaves hot or iced.

Ingredients:  Peppermint Leaves

Learn more about this tisane here.

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf’s Co-Op program here.

Taster’s Review:

Crisp and cool!

Yes, this is plain and simple pure dried peppermint leaves.  That doesn’t make them any less enjoyable!  The leaves produce a really invigorating yet soothing drink that is tasty served hot or cold.  It’s especially nice after a spicy meal because I like the way peppermint tames the tummy after eating my chili!  (And I love chili this time of year!)

The tisane tastes very refreshing.  It’s a very uplifting drink.  And mint is a big hit in this household – this is something I can brew and chill and know that my daughter will pour herself a cold glass of this rather than reach for a sugary soda.

To steep this tisane, I used below boiling water.  I generally do this with all herbs, because it’s been my experience that boiling water can scorch the herbs and they end up tasting bitter.  I don’t know if this is the case with all herbs, but I’ve noticed it with some herbs so I’ve just taken to the practice of using under boiling water for all herbals.  195°F ought to do it!  I steeped 1 bamboo scoop of leaf in 12 ounces of 195°F water for 10 minutes and this produced a very minty cup!

Peppermint isn’t something I can drink all day long because it is a very strong minty flavor and after a while, it does end up getting a little too much.  But like I said, I do like to have peppermint leaves on hand for after a spicy meal, and it’s also quite nice to sip on when I’m feeling a little under the weather (especially with an upset stomach) because it perks me right up.

It’s also nice when served with a little citrus.  The description above suggests lemon, but my personal favorite is lime!  I love the taste of lime with peppermint!  Also, if you want to give a boost to your favorite green or black tea, add a little bit of peppermint leaves to the loose leaf green or black tea before brewing to add a bright twist to your favorite tea.  It’s a good tisane to have on hand.

Gopaldhara Wonder Tea First Flush 2014 from Darjeeling Tea Lovers

October19

GOPALDHARA-WONDER-GOLDTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Darjeeling Tea Lovers

Tea Description:

GOPALDHARA WONDER ‘GOLD’ one of the most popular tea among the Darjeeling Tea Connoisseurs. A very limited stock is manufactured from the YOUNG TEA PLANTATIONS of this garden and this particular lot has been tagged as GOLD due to the supreme quality.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The dry leaf looks a lot more like a green tea than a black tea.  The aroma is pleasantly floral.  Because the leaves are more “green” than black, I would advise not going higher than 195°F to brew this tea – that’s what I used and I’m quite pleased with the result.  This is my usual ‘go-to’ temperature when it comes to Darjeeling teas, because they don’t seem to be as fully oxidized as other black teas are, even though they are usually categorized as a black tea.  Darjeeling teas tend to be a little more delicate and should be treated differently.

I brewed these beautiful pale green, silvery tipped leaves in my Breville One-Touch.  I used 2 bamboo scoops of leaf and 500ml of water heated to 195°F, and steeped the leaves for 2 ½ minutes.  As I said before, I’m quite pleased with the resulting tea.  Delicious!

Then again, I’ve been blown away by all the teas that I’ve tried from this company.  Let me tell you, Darjeeling Tea Lovers KNOWS Darjeeling tea.  If you’re a devotee of Darjeeling tea, this is a company you should be exploring.  They have some of the very best Darjeeling teas I’ve ever tasted.

And this Gopaldhara Wonder Tea is indeed a wonder!  Wonderful, that is!  Sweet, crisp and refreshing!  The liquid is somewhere between gold and green.  It’s much paler than many Darjeeling teas that I’ve had this year.  And it has a “greener” sort of taste to me.  It tastes lighter and cleaner than a typical “black” Darjeeling.  This doesn’t have that “muscatel” flavor that you might expect from a Darjeeling.  This tea seems more focused on the sweet, delicate notes of flower.  I taste notes of jasmine!  Nice!

There are also delicate vegetal notes.  Not so much vegetable (as in steamed veggies) as it is lightly grassy.  But this is a sweet grassy note, not a bitter one.  The sip starts out sweet and I pick up on the floral notes right away.  Toward mid-sip, some of those lightly sweet, grassy notes start to come into focus.  The sip ends with a floral note that is jasmine-esque, and this flavor lingers into the aftertaste.  There is a light astringency at the start of the cup, and this astringency does develop as I continue to sip, but never becomes a really strong or what I would call astringent tea, instead, it’s a moderate astringency that leaves the palate feeling clean and invigorated.

An excellent afternoon tea – break out this tea when you have special guests over that you’re looking to impress!  Or save it for an afternoon when you have time to reflect – this is one of those teas that I’d call meditative!  The kind of tea that I want to enjoy when I don’t have a 101 different things to do … or the kind of tea I want to enjoy when I do have 101 things to do but I want to forget about them and just enjoy a moment for me!

Blueberry Hill Shou Mei White Tea from 52Teas

October18

Blueberry-Hill-Shou-MeiTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Yerp, I’m going to say it: I’ve found my thrill… and it’s Blueberry Hill Shou Mei. This is a crisp, refreshing shou mei white tea blended with real freeze-dried blueberries and organic flavors. No, it’s not as far out there as some of our blends. It’s not peanut butter, bacon, tuna fish sandwich on rye flavored tea. Just delicious, amazing blueberry flavor in our lovely hay-like shou mei.

Learn more about this blend here.

Learn how to subscribe to 52Teas’  Tea of the Week program here.

Taster’s Review:

Yum!

Yeah, I’ve had a few blueberry teas.  Blueberry teas are not as popular as say, strawberry teas, but there are still quite a few blueberry teas out there and even some blueberry white teas and I’ve tried a few of them.  But that doesn’t make this Blueberry Hill Shou Mei any less tasty!

One of the things that I enjoy about a 52Teas blend is the fact that there are (usually) chunks of the thing that I’m tasting in the blend.  Like for this blend, as I was scooping out the tea into my Breville One-Touch tea maker, I found a couple of freeze-dried blueberries.  Not just one little tiny berry.  These are large berries and I must have scooped out at least three in the 2 1/2 bamboo scoops of tea that I measured into the basket of the Breville.  (I generally use a little more leaf when it comes to white tea because the leaves are bigger and create more “space” in the scoop when I’m scooping it out.)

My settings for the tea maker:  500ml of water into the jug, 170°F and 3 1/2 minutes steep time.  Delightful results!

This tastes just exactly how I hoped it would.  Sweet blueberry-ish goodness with pleasing white tea notes of hay.  The white tea is crisp and refreshing and doesn’t hide behind the flavor.  The blueberry tastes sweet and a little tart and it tastes true to the fruit.

It’s a really enjoyable cup of tea that tastes wonderful served hot and even better iced.  The tea can be resteeped and it still tastes wonderful.  This is a win – even if it isn’t one of 52Teas more unusual creations.  Sometimes simplicity is just plain tasty!

Revitalize Ayurvedic Tea from TeaVeda

October16

revitalizeTeaveda1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  The Veda Company

Tea Description:

“Revitalize” your mind, body and spirit with refreshing and rejuvenating essences of wild mint, cinnamon and traditional Ayurvedic Indian Gooseberry.  Each blend is mildly caffeinated with green tea, one of nature’s antioxidant wonders.

Learn more about the teas from TeaVeda here.

Taster’s Review:

Indian Gooseberry is not something that I’m well acquainted with, so I googled it to learn more.  Based on the information that I could find, it is high in vitamin C, it is an antioxidant and does all kinds of other good for you things like enhances brain function, heart support and it’s good for your skin and hair among many other benefits.

OK, sounds good to me.

The berry is supposed to offer a very strong sour and bitter taste.  Bitter and sour are not two of my favorite words when it comes to describing tea.

So maybe the Indian Gooseberry is starting to sound less good to me.

But, hey, there are other ingredients in this tea too.  Not just the gooseberry.  Cinnamon and wild mint.  I like them.  And I like green tea.  So, maybe these other ingredients will help make the Indian Gooseberry more palatable.

So, I’ll try it.  Hey!  That’s what I do.  That’s why I’m here.  And that’s why you’re here.  You’re here to read about what I’m drinking.  And I’m about to drink this tea.

revitalizeTeavedaTo brew it, I heated freshly filtered water to 175°F and I got out my favorite teacup.  Unfortunately, it isn’t the gorgeous Revitalize teacup from the TeaVeda collection.  But I like my sunflower teacup anyway!

I let the tea sachet steep for 2 minutes.  The aroma has a strong fruity essence with light background notes of cinnamon and a whisper of mint.

The flavor is strong.  It has a strong, berry like flavor that is indeed both bitter and sour.  The cinnamon and mint do balance this strong flavor out though.  I’m finding the flavor a little surprising because cinnamon and mint tend to be very strong, aggressive flavors and it surprises me that the Indian Gooseberry is a stronger flavor than the other ingredients.  The gooseberry is what I taste – front and center – while the other flavors seem to temper the bitterness and tart character of the gooseberry.

That said, I find the flavor to be enjoyable.  I am not a big fan of bitter and sour flavors, but, because of the presence of the mint and cinnamon, these two flavors are much more acceptable to my palate … not just acceptable, but actually enjoyable.

I don’t taste a lot of green tea here and if I’m to offer a complaint about this tea, that would be it.  I would like to have a stronger green tea presence.  After all, I’m drinking tea.  I want to taste the tea.

I found this tea to be quite interesting, and I could notice myself feeling revitalized after I finished it.  I would certainly drink this again if the opportunity presented itself.

Secret Garden Rooibos Tisane from The Secret Garden Tea Company

October15

SecretGardenRooibosTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy:  The Secret Garden Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Our secret, scrumptious blend. Perfect afternoon tea or as a digestif after a heavy meal.

Ingredients: Rooibos, safflower and rose petals, blackberry leaves, natural flavors

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

This – brewed – smells AMAZING.  I am picking up on distinct vanilla notes.  Creamy and luscious!

And it tastes delightful.  I’ve never made any big secret about the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of rooibos.  I’d much rather sip on camellia sinensis.  But, when I shouldn’t be drinking caffeine (later in the evening) but I still want something “tea-ish,” rooibos is a good alternative.

To brew this tisane, I went with my go-to temperature for rooibos:  195°F and I steeped the tisane for 10 minutes.  Because rooibos doesn’t have the high tannin content of camellia sinensis, you can steep it longer to get the most out of the flavor.  I brewed this in my Breville tea maker, using 2 bamboo scoops of tisane to 500ml of water.

Now, most tea purveyors will tell you that you can (or should) use boiling water for rooibos, but I recommend dropping the temperature slightly.  I find that when I steep rooibos with boiling water, the flavor becomes “funky.”  It has a weird taste that I want to describe as “sour wood.”  Like a tisane that was made out of steeped sour wood and sweetened with saccharine.  I’m not a fan of sour wood (not that I’ve actually tasted it, so I guess I should say that I don’t think of myself as a fan of it) and I really don’t like saccharine.  So, I did some experimentation, and I found that by lowering the steep temperature a little, the saccharine-y sour wood flavor goes away and then I experience rooibos as a sweet, nutty, slightly woodsy flavor that I much prefer to the saccharine sour wood.

I noticed the delightful vanilla fragrance immediately as I began to pour the liquid into my favorite teacup.  And this has a delicious vanilla flavor.  I taste light floral notes as well and hints of berry.  And of course, I do get some notes of nut and honey from the rooibos.

It all comes together in a very delicious way.  It’s smooth and creamy.  The vanilla notes meld with the natural nutty flavors of the rooibos.  The hints of berry tickle the tip of my tongue in the aftertaste.

It’s a very relaxing tisane, and it has a dessert-y taste to it, making this an ideal tisane to choose for after dinner.  (A fat-free dessert substitute, perhaps?)  It’s sweet but not too sweet.

I like this one best served hot.  It doesn’t need any additions, it has a nice sweetness to it without adding anything.  A splash of milk might be nice if you want to enhance the creaminess of it, but I found it to be really pleasant and creamy without the addition of dairy.

Strawberry Kiwi Iced Green Tea from Southern Boy Teas

October15

StrawberryKiwiSBTTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Zoomdweebies

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about Zoomdweebie’s tea of the week programs here.

Taster’s Review:

Over the last year or so, my iced tea consumption has definitely increased.  A couple of years ago, iced tea was a summertime beverage.  Period.  I only brewed it during the hottest months of the year, because I preferred (and still do prefer) hot tea.  But, I’ve found that it’s so nice having a pitcher of iced tea waiting in the fridge when I want something cold to drink and I want something cold to drink every day.  I may not drink it as often as I drink hot tea and I do drink more iced tea in the warmer months than in the cold months.  But I have reached a point where I’m drinking (and thoroughly enjoying!) iced tea on a daily basis.

So I have been enjoying exploring the teas from 52Teas/Zoomdweebies iced tea line:  Southern Boy Teas.  These teas are crafted with organic teas and flavoring and then bagged in large sachets to make brewing easier.  Yeah, yeah, I do prefer loose leaf.  However, when it comes to iced tea brewing, I have to admit that the convenience of the sachet/bag is one that is difficult to overlook.  Yep, I’m just going to come right out and say it:  I prefer a bagged or sacheted tea when it comes to iced tea brewing.

And what I like about these bags from SBT is that they’re large, unbleached bags.  The tea leaves have plenty of room to expand and do their thing to produce a very flavorful tea.  To brew this Strawberry Kiwi Green Tea, I heated 1 quart of freshly filtered water in the jug of my Breville One-Touch to 170°F and then I tossed the tea bag right into the jug of my tea maker and let it steep for 1 1/2 minutes.  I poured the brewed tea into my favorite glass iced tea pitcher (I temper the glass first by filling the pitcher with hot water from the tap so that the glass isn’t “shocked” by the heat from the 170°F liquid!)  Then I repeat the process, resteeping the tea bag but steeping it for 2 minutes with the second infusion and add this to the pitcher.  Then I allow the tea to cool at room temperature a bit before I put the pitcher in the fridge.  The next day, I have a pitcher full of tasty iced tea!  (Oh, and I keep the tea bag for next time.  I stash the tea bag into an airtight container and put it in the fridge, and then I resteep it again.  The green teas are especially GREAT for maintaining their flavor for a second 1/2 gallon of iced tea.)

My first impression of this tea:  Hmm … I couldn’t really taste strawberry and kiwi.  I can taste the green tea and I can taste a fruity sweet element to this but did it really taste like strawberry and kiwi to me?  No.  I found myself having to think “OK, what tea did I brew last night?”  The flavors of strawberry and/or kiwi were not immediately recognizable.

My second impression:  My second glass … OK!  Now I can taste more of the intended flavors!  I can taste more distinct strawberry notes.  The tea has a delicious strawberry sweetness and I’m getting that tart berry tingle in the aftertaste.  As I’m drinking, I can taste the kiwi too.  The kiwi is less discernible than the strawberry.  And I can still taste the fresh green tea flavor too:  sweet, slightly buttery and smooth.

The more I sipped on this tea, the more I enjoyed it.  I wouldn’t say that it’s my favorite tea from SBT but it is refreshing and I found myself guzzling it.  Even in the beginning when I couldn’t really immediately pick up on the flavors of strawberry and kiwi, I was still gulping it down because it’s still a very good, thirst-quenching glass of iced tea.

And the second pitcher of iced tea from this sachet is even better than the first.  The strawberry and kiwi flavors are much more focused in this pitcher.  Tasty!

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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!

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