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Honey Red Jade from Golden Leaf Tea. . . . .

I’m a sucker for bug-bitten oolongs and their characteristic honey flavor. Although I usually avoid black teas for health reasons, I couldn’t resist a straight black tea with honey in the name. I did not know anything about it at the time I drank it and took notes, but I have since looked it up and am not surprised to learn that this is a Taiwanese black tea produced from tea leaves that have been nibbled on by leafhoppers. It tastes exactly like you would expect that description to taste, in the best way. The sample I received came in Read More

soothing

Soothing from Balcony Teas. . .

Between my stressful job and predisposition to be a night owl, I’m always looking for a good calming or bedtime tea. This one seems like a good candidate because I like all of the ingredients individually. It comes in convenient pyramid sachets, which I actually like for herbals because herbals generally don’t need much room to expand and I often prefer easy prep at bedtime. The dry blend smells like equal parts chamomile and rose. I would totally wear a floral perfume that smelled like this! The hot brew smells of apple, rose, and a hint of lavender. It is, Read More

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Monkey Picked Iron Goddess (Fujian Monkey Picked Ti Kwan Yin) from Tea N Joy. . .

Ah, oolongs – my favorite type of tea. There’s no bad time of year for a good ti kwan yin. Summer? Cold brew. Winter? Western-style brew in a giant mug.  Any time? Gong fu. The dry leaf of this particular ti kwan yin is forest green with brown stems. It is semiball-rolled. I could not find brewing guidelines on the company’s website so I improvised from experience. I got five decent steeps out of this leaf, all delivering a pale gold brew. I prepared the first steep at 205f for 40 seconds. The wet leaf looks and smells good. The leaves Read More

The Cleanse

The Cleanse from Harlow Tea Company. . . .

I am generally skeptical of any tea that claims a detoxifying effect or special health benefit, other than ginger for its actually proven anti-inflammatory properties. However, I like that the description for this tea doesn’t promise any magic results. I also like that it has dandelion root; I just enjoy the roasty, robust flavor of dandelion root. So I was willing to give this tea a try when I received a sample. The dry leaf smells like hibiscus, dandelion, mint, and houjicha. The scent of the dry leaf is actually the most complex thing about this tea. Made according to Read More