Endurance Citrus Mint from Sportland Tea Co. . . .

This is my first time brewing matcha powder and leaves together, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I didn’t want to whisk fibers out of the leaves, but I also didn’t want to lose out on any matcha goodness in a filter bag. I settled on using a gravity brewer to trap the leaves but let matcha through.

This Endurance citrus mint brewed a unique opaque army green. We start with a definite mint smell, but I don’t taste it…and it’s subtle on the green tea … perhaps my tastebuds are too busy with the strong lemongrass flavor? There’s a soft aftertaste tingle on the tongue that travels down the throat with a gentle ginger zing – hello, I’m awake now! The density of the particles in this tea causes a heavier, fuller mouthfeel, to the point where I felt as if it were starting to coat my tongue. This was especially true on those last, sediment-rich sips.

I love the idea of matcha teas as a midday or workout time pick-me-up. I’ve seen some brands who sell pure fine-ground matcha, who also sell this hybrid with larger flavor bits at a lower cost. Though I am frugal, I’m too much a traditionalist at heart to be able to fully embrace this ”best-of-both-tea-worlds” bag and powder offering from Sportland Tea Co.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea and Matcha
Where to Buy: Sportland Tea Co.

Sportland Tea Co.’s Endurance Blend is a unique mix of matcha green tea and herbs. With ginger, mint, and ginseng. This blend is an invigorating option any time of the day.

Drink approximately 15-30 minutes before a workout, run, or when you are having a long day at the office. Try it over ice for an even more refreshing and hydrating option!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate Hustle from Wise Ape. . . . .

My introduction to Wise Ape’s Chocolate Hustle tea was a sister suggesting we brew it cold, in coconut milk… all of which I had no idea was even possible but wow, such a great idea for lazy mornings!!! This has since overturned my ugh totally “basic” hot water regimen. I was tempted this morning to liven up my bland, healthy cereal by putting it in here, but the scientist in me needed to have a control group first before I went too far down the rabbit hole testing the bounds of FLAVOR! (Cue that stoned cook from Blake Lively’s movie, Acceptance.)

Overnight the creamy liquid turned cocoa colored,  though I saw no obvious powders in the sachet, a la the matcha plus tea leaves trend. It also definitely smells like chocolate but tastes more earthy with a hint of true mint. Oh, it’s a maté blend, that explains it. I bet hot brewed in milk would perk up more flavor. The sweet coconut taste seems to overpower some of the other flavors, let’s see what else is in here. Oh chicory goodness! Hmmm ashwagandha… but I didn’t dislike it like other mind boosting teas. Stevia?! That normally tastes “off” with chocolate recipes but I don’t notice that in this concoction.

I can’t say I necessarily felt Planet of the Apes wiser, but it did boost my alertness during my carb-coma 3 hour block of post-lunch Biology slide shows! I’m learning our bodies can be unpredictable, but fortunately advances in science can help us live full, worthwhile lives. Another great note: A portion of their profits is donated to the brain tumor society. I HIGHLY recommend trying this tea, and that’s not the cook from Acceptance talking again.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Yerba Maté
Where to Buy: Wise Ape

Roasted yerba mate tea with hints of chocolate and mint, blended together with natural brain boosting herbs. Designed to heighten your focus, energy, and clarity.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Healthier Childhood Fave: Fruit Punch from The NecessiTeas. . . . .

Fruit Punch tea from The NecessiTeas totally smells like a juice I’d have had as a kid…. Not sure if I’m very into it now as an adult though, as there is an grape additive that isn’t quite doing it for me, but we know with teas,  smells can be deceiving. There looks to be more oolong tea leaves than fruits/herbs, which is always a plus.

It brews into quite a beautiful golden pear liquor, I’m so so glad this does not include hibiscus’ neon magenta “punch” color, kudos to the maturity shown with this modernizing twist. Fruit Punch need not be just for children anymore 🙂

OoOoo it tastes very different than it smells! Actually there’s a really beautiful flavor transition through the different fruit flavors, a warm strawberry that becomes citrus. I love the playful complexity of this oolong choice. I want to personify it as similar to me, older and wiser but secretly musing on what shenanigans I can expect at the next high school reunion.  I  think the lemongrass brings some brightness and keeps it away from the saccharine extreme I expected from a “childish” seeming name… yeah, yeah, I’m judgy with names, moving along. There is a short and sweetish aftertaste, even before I added stevia. This blend is good for a resteep, and despite my first-whiff-misgivings, it’s really pretty enjoyable. Aptly deemed a necessary tea when catching up with a school days pal and feeling nostalgic.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: The Necessiteas

This blend brings back childhood memories of me at the pool with a red stained smile on my face. What is even better about this tea, you don’t have to have a red stained smile to be happy. Fruit punch is a spring and summer must have around here! If it’s a party, shower or barbecue, they just seem to go hand in hand. So obviously I had to create a punch inspired tea. If you’re anything like me and enjoyed that sweet red punch as a kid then you’ll love this refreshing combo of strawberry, cherry and orange.

Your tea is hand packaged in an airtight tin at no additional charge.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Superfine Tanyang gongfu black tea from Tea Vivre . . . .

I’m learning to love unflavored teas this year, and this beautiful offering from Tea Vivre really makes my job easy! Without even opening the bag, I’m already impressed with the gaiwan tea ceremony directions and WOW! The heritage on this tea is amazing, down to the day of when and where it was harvested (April 8, 2017). The gongfu style black tea is named after where it was grown, Tanyang Village in Fujian, of South East China.

The adventure continues as I reveal Twisted ropes of gold and brown… I’ve never seen this type of tea before, it’s actually soft with some fuzzies on it. A green-thumbed friend of mine called this style of leaves “pubescent”, meaning they were just barely mature.

Still dry, they offer a light, clear, inviting scent, like fresh sweet peas in the garden. I decided to taste a leaf, (they make coffee bean snacks so it’s not that crazy to do, right??) and we are reminded of the chocolate noodles they sample out of Pikes place market.

The walnut colored brew offers a hint of honey taste though none was added. I never expected this sort of delicate leaf to be so powerful! They say the longer you brew this style, the mellower the flavor will be, which is quite the opposite of most teas I’ve had, and it’s completely true!! Now I’m curious about the actual chemistry of tannins etc… oh the rabbit holes of science we can get caught up in…
It is “zero percent bitter” and easy to drink (Hanley, R.,2017). There is a refreshing aftertaste, maybe a subtle hint of wintergreen. This tea doesn’t have much of an aftertaste but I tended to wait a while between sips because this tea was just so transcendental that I couldn’t help but daydream about it.

If ever you need to impress someone with a tea, this is the one!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black, loose leaf
Where to Buy: TeaVivre

Being the first one among Fujian’s three best Gong Fu Black Teas (Bai Lin Gong Fu, Zheng He Gong Fu, Tan Yang Gong Fu), Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea has tight and thin leaves, looks glossy, which could be seen from TeaVivre’s product photo. When looking at this tea, the golden pekoe is particularly eye-catching, strongly connected to its high quality. Under the effect of photosynthesis, fresh buds contain the largest amount of beneficial substances than other parts. Moreover, the traditional making method of black tea has retained the nutrition in the most volume.

Black tea is renowned with it red leaves and red liquid. The liquid of Tan Yang Gong Fu is bright red, and clean, which brings you a feeling of pureness. The flavor will vary based on different amount of teas and time of infusion. If using gai wan to brew in traditional Chinese way (Recommend Brewing Guide), you will sense the sweet and mellow flavor, and feel a quick sweet aftertaste in your throat. The aroma of Tan Yang Gong Fu will float around you for a long time.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Greek Mountain Tea from Klio Organic. . . . .

My family carries on the old school art of drying flowers to “preserve” the heartwarming memory from when they were given, and this bag of Greek Mountain Tea from Klio Organic is a full on bouquet of petite yellow love from Mount Olympus!

The thick flowering stems smell of basil, and crushed mint, but feel fuzzy like sage leaves versus the roughness of traditional camellia Sinensis tea leaves. Quite a bit smaller as well, with dozens of tiny pale flowers, light green buds and silver glistening leaves.

I brewed at 175 F and immediately the scent morphs towards the hints of sage I got earlier. There are a lot of essential oils on top, and a good amount of natural sweetness in this veridian brew that would probably be fine for most folks, especially given the light citrus aftertaste. My sweet tooth, however, preferred to add a few drops of plain stevia.

Being naturally caffeine free, this is a mind clearing tea, as it’s unique flavors make you step away from the daily grind and focus on the surprise in your mug.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Klio Organic

This variety, Sideritis Scardica, comes from the legendary Mount Olympus, in the Balkans, situated between Thessaly and Macedonia. It has been tested for antioxidants by Brunswick Labs, (www.brunswicklabs.com) the leader in bio-analtyical testing. It has a mild and very pleasant taste and aroma.

One ten ounce serving of our certified organic Mount Olympus Greek Mountain Tea has an ORAC 5.0 antioxidant score of 6,600 and 160mg of polyphenols.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!