Dragon’s Tooth/Swallowtail Tea

First off, I have to say that this tea is nothing short of amazing—it ties in everything I love about greens and oolongs in a perfectly smooth, sweet cup of tea. I expected something a little more vegetal/grassy with how green the leaves were but I was pleasantly surprised with a nice floral taste.

While this might go good with honey, I wound up not adding anything to it. Any sweetener would cover up something that tastes perfect on its own, detracting from sweeter floral notes.

Part of the sweetness of this tea reminds me of fresh spring water. There’s a hint of minerality, but it doesn’t leave an aftertaste. I got two steepings out of this one and may even try a third, as the flavor didn’t change much aside from losing a little of its floral flavor. It was still about as bold as the first brew.

This one’s a keeper! I’ll definitely be adding this to my “must have” list.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Swallowtail Tea

Description

This wonderful Mao Xie oolong has dramatic floral notes of lilac and jasmine, with the complexity of butter, stone, and steamed greens.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sleeping Dragon Tea/Adagio Teas

Gunpowder green tea was among the first green teas I’d tried as a kid. It’s a little nostalgic and is now my go-to drink when I’m having a rough day and just need a pick-me-up. It’s also probably responsible for my affinity for smoky-tasting teas and wines.

Sleeping Dragon picks up some of those notes from a good gunpowder tea, especially in the first cup. The first steep is rich, smoky, with subtle hints of fruit. Steep a second time and you get more of a fruity, lightly sweet green with a smoother, well-rounded flavor. (If you don’t like smoky tea, you can steep for 1.5 to 2 minutes and cut back on those flavors.)

This is a tea that’s fun to watch in a glass teapot—pellets slowly unfurl into long, beautiful green leaves that have a wonderful fragrance. If you’re not a fan of really grassy green teas, I highly recommend this one. It’s also a great intro to loose-leaf greens for friends who are new to green teas—it’s a very mild flavor that won’t send curious tea drinkers running the other way.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Description

Sleeping Dragon green tea is grown at about 3,000 feet in the mountainous Fujian province. The tightly rolled leaves and silvery fuzzy buds give this tea its signature shape and name. In the cup, it delivers a soft, fruity sweetness enfolded by a rich smokey note similar to a gunpowder, but more complex and crisp in the finish. Sleeping Dragon remains a great cup for a green tea novice or those who oppose the grassy character of some varieties.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lavender Sunrise/Fava Tea Company via Sips By Box. . . .

Green teas are some of my favorite warm-weather teas. Here in Texas, we’re sort of bouncing between 20°F and 80°F and the weather can’t make up its mind. (We actually hit low 90s in late February, followed by a week of rainy 40s, then freezing weather.) Despite the fact that it’s already starting to feel like summer on some days, I still like my tea scorching hot. (But I’ve included a recipe for those that enjoy sitting out on the porch with a refreshing glass of iced tea!)

Lavender Sunrise is a nice break from your typical green tea. It’s still vegetal, a little grassy, but the hint of floral lavender and strong lemony flavor brighten it up. (I’m not usually a huge lemon-and-lavender fan, but this one’s a hit!) I think the lemongrass really does it for me—I love a lightly grassy green.

The leaves in this one are on the small side, even after they’ve had a chance to unfurl and expand, making it great for brewing in tea bags and smaller infusers. The flavor is also strong enough that it’s good for a couple of brews.

I had to let this sit in the pot for quite a while to get it as strong as I like (about 6 minutes). It lacks the astringency typical of darker teas and really brings out the lemon when you steep it longer. (Steep too long and the lemon covers up the lavender, though.) It doesn’t need much in the way of sugar—I like this one unsweet—but Fava also has a strawberry rock sugar that goes well with it .

I also tried this one iced and it does not disappoint. Brew at 180°F for about 5-6 minutes (7-8 minutes if you like your tea pretty strong). Mix in a tablespoon of honey while it’s still hot. Grab a shaker and pour over ice with a splash of lemon juice. Add some strawberry slices at the end. Great for the approaching warm-weather days!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Fava Tea Company

Description

This green tea is relaxing without putting you to sleep! It’s a smooth green tea blended with lavender blossoms and lemon.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!