High Mountain Oolong/Qi Aerista

Qi Aerista is probably best known for their “smart” tea brewing system. But they also sell tea!

Their selection is broad and consists exclusively of loose leaf teas including greens and whites and puerh, you get the idea. Go look at the pictures and drool.

So how about this one? The one that started it all for me? It is exactly what they describe. It is lightly roasted, smooth, and sweet, and the flavor starts out light, but the more you drink, the more it builds. There is just enough gentle briskness to keep you reaching for your cup over and over, plus who can resist that building intensity? The first sip was as soft as a sigh but now a roasty, lightly woody taste fills my head.

I had this at breakfast and tasted it before tucking in to my everything bagel with cream cheese. It was so light and smooth, but I knew the bagel was going to overshadow it. Next time I will choose something heavily roasted or a black tea to combat the garlic and onion, and I will reserve this to go with something that is more delicate or just drink it by itself.

This was good enough to make me return and try some of the rock oolongs and maybe that gorgeous Shou Mei, but I really want the adorable Dianhong Pagodas!


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Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy:  Qi Aerista

Description

This tea looks to no longer be availble but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Witer White Earl Grey/Harney and Sons

Earl Grey is one of the most well known hot teas amongst the general tea dabbling population. Even non-tea drinkers have heard of it, while staring blankly at you if you mention oolong.

Bit of trivia – Sir Patrick Stewart wanted his character on Star Trek to drink Lapsang Souchong, but producers said no one had ever heard of it and they wouldn’t know what it was. They insisted on Earl Grey being the drink of choice for Captain Picard and now Sir Patrick has Earl Grey out the proverbial wazoo sent to him by fans. For heaven’s sake, someone send the man some Lapsang!

Moving on. I don’t love Earl Grey but I like it occasionally. I especially don’t love Earl Grey made with Ceylon tea as the base because I feel the naturally lemon flavored base is too much when combined with the citrus-y Earl Grey. I prefer a good Keemun under my bergamot. And one does feel so elegant when one is drinking it!

I got curious about this Earl on a white tea base and ordered it. I went with sachets for ease even though I usually do loose leaf.

The bergamot is pretty forward here. I read the occasional review of some teas where it is claimed that the bergamot is light enough not to scare the haters, but this one definitely has it in the forefront. If you hate bergamot, I don’t think you are going to love this. But the white tea base lacks astringency and briskness that could make it overdone, so I find this far more drinkable than most Earls. If you love or even just like bergamot, I think this is worth a try. It gets a thumbs up from me, and the resteep is even better.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons 

Description

A perennial favorite, our Winter White Earl Grey gives an evergreen classic a deliciously light twist. Beautiful Chinese Mutan White tea forms the base of this blend, providing light floral elements and a delicately grassy note. Natural lemony bergamot oil gives deep, multifaceted citrus qualities to the blend. A pleasant blend perfect for enjoying whenever the wish for something a bit different strikes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Morning Blend/Fraser Tea

When I first became a hot tea drinker – and such a thing was relatively unheard of when I was growing up in the hot and humid South where sweet iced tea reigns supreme – I began with breakfast blends and always added milk and sugar. Then as I discovered higher quality teas, milk and sugar went by the wayside, and so did all those dusty blends that needed smoothing and soothing.

Now and then I still enjoy a breakfast tea. They can be quite nostalgic for me. But they have to be good enough to be enjoyed sans additions.

When I received this sample of Morning Blend from the Sisters to review, I knew it was a breakfast tea but my prior experience with Fraser made me pretty sure it would be drinkable even without additions.

This isn’t builders’ tea. This is a blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Chinese black teas that steeps up to a cup quite suitable for breakfast and quite nice on its own if you like your tea plain. It is lightly malty, with very light briskness and medium body. The aroma is complex with fruity notes.

The description says that there is orange peel in this tea but note that this does not taste like an orange flavored tea. If you were given a cup to taste with no information about the tea, I don’t think you would say it was an orange tea or even that you knew there was orange peel in it. Ceylon teas naturally have fruity notes with some high grown ones having pucker worthy lemon notes, which can be too harsh for me at times, and I perceive the orange peel in this as simply part of the classic Ceylon citrus note, but citrus fruity and not so astringent. It adds a bit of interest to the high notes here without taking center stage.

As usual, I roped a passerby into trying the tea while giving as little information on what to expect as possible. The verdict? “This is very smooth.” Not something you hear about breakfast tea every day.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Fraser Tea

Description

Why choose between English, Irish, or Scottish Breakfast teas when it’s possible to enjoy the finest qualities of each in a brand-new way?   Boldly blending Assam, Ceylon, and Chinese organic black teas, our signature Morning Blend Organic Black Tea is crafted with a focus on flavor, health, and well-being in mind.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Spicy Chocolate Chai/Fraser Tea

This tea was totally not what I expected – and I couldn’t be happier!

I have had a number of spicy teas, as in jalapeno spicy, and I have never been a fan of that kind of spice. Odd how it works out, because three of my children love spicy food, the hotter the better, but I have never been able to handle it.

I don’t drink much real chai spice tea, because I am not crazy about black peppercorns in tea, though I know it is good for you and many people love it. This has pink peppercorns, which I prefer. Also, I love cardamom in tea. And cocao nibs!

What I got with this tea was a silky smooth cup that reminded me of Mexican hot chocolate, only better. Did I say silky and smooth? Because that is my strongest impression from this tea. The spices are just so spot on. This is comfort food in a cup. The ginger is well behaved and doesn’t bite. AND IT IS ORGANIC!

Instead of Spicy Chocolate Chai, my pet name for this tea might be something like “Chocolate Cinnamon Daydream.” Or how about “Tea for Reading on a Rainy Day.” If you are afraid of the words “spicy” or “chai”, don’t be afraid of this blend.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Fraser Tea

Description

Spicy Chocolate Chai Organic Pu-erh Tea is a fusion of cocoa nibs, spicy chili peppers, and delicate, sweet oranges combined to craft a flavor sensation with maximum health benefits. Striking a delicate balance between heat and sweetness, spicy chocolate chai is a smooth and flavorful tea that supports weight management and wellness.  Enjoy any time.  Try it as-is or add milk and sugar.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Watermelon Oolong/Fraser Tea

Watermelon oolong has just the right name to pull me in while thinking of a hot summer day here in the South. I was a little skeptical about the watermelon part because I thought it might be super subtle or not very authentic.

Quite often my daughter joins me when I am I tasting teas for reviews. I like getting another person’s impressions and opinions to consider.

She took one sip, looked up, and said, “This is going to be a problem.”

“How so?” I asked. “Because this sample is all we have?”

“Because this sample is all we have and something has to be done about that.”

I sipped. Yes, it is that good. It is that watermelon-y. She likened it to Jolly Ranchers. I don’t think I have ever had those so I likened it to my homemade watermelon ice. Thank goodness for the sake of family harmony, our sample resteeped very, very well. Full on watermelon flavor like one of the best melons of summer, rich and sweet.

My order should be here next week. I expect I will be having this hot, iced, and maybe even as tea popsicles. Already some of my daughter’s friends are clamoring for a taste.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fraser Tea

 

Description

A virtual summer picnic in your glass, Watermelon Oolong Organic Oolong Tea combines fresh berries and tropical fruit flavors together with lemongrass for a crisp and refreshing taste.  This superior grade organic oolong tea offers numerous nutritional benefits including weight management, diabetes management, and mental health.  Think wellness; embrace flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!