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!

The Dancing Flavors of Sun Moon Lake Tea from Taiwan Leaf Tea. . .

There is a form of hypnosis caused by watching water move – At once it’s both calming and playful, it invites us to stay and watch stories unfold. My folks often invite us over to the lake house, and as much as we can cause a raucous, I take a simple pleasure in just watching the light dancing over the rippling lake. I am doing this as I steep the Sun and Moon Lake tea from Taiwan Leaf Tea.

There are deep chestnut colored, thick, loosely twisted leaves with a hint of apple chips smell to them. They yield a sumptuous auburn colored tea that now smells of rose and honey. Wow, this is so unexpectedly beautiful. I find that as my eyes take in the visual symphony on the water, the medium-bodied mouthfeel of this tea provides an equally stimulating journey for my taste buds. The more I drink it, the more I find to like about it.

Though there are no added flavors, I find a natural hint of sweetness but the tiniest incidental Granny Smith crisp to it, hmmm but without any tart pucker face. I’m torn between adding sugar to bring the flavors out more or leaving it as is. A sip ends with a short, smooth yet robust aftertaste. Nope, that sugar didn’t do anything here to enhance those subtle flavor nuances. On its own, it’s a well-rounded, meditative tea.

One of my favorites from this whole review box, Definitely a keeper. Would be great for sipping during an artistic event – figure skating at the Olympics comes to mind, or even just a walk past the new spring blossoms peeking out lately.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black loose leaf tea
Where to Buy: Taiwan Leaf Tea

Premium Taiwan Sun Moon Lake Black Tea (Tea # 18) is rare black (red) tea from Central Taiwan (Yuchi, Nantou County).

Sun Moon Lake is located in Nantou County in Central Taiwan. It is surrounded by mountains. Average temperature is very stable during the whole year and humidity is very high. These all enable tea leaves grow rich and intense.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tea Party Sonnet in honor of William Shakespeare black tea blend from Simpson and Vail

 

TEA-ming up with Tiny Salutations again for your reading pleasure with this sonnet:

Harken back to a faire of the 16th century
With “William Shakespeare’s black tea blend”
In each cup a wistful reverie
And a moment for your soul to mend.

It’s rosy liquid, by any other name,
Would it smell as sweet?
Inspiration my mouth doth claim
In framing Sonnets in my seat.

Intense floral aromas enhance
The Bard’s many tales
Of tragedy, comedy, and romance
Such a tea of Simpson and Vail’s.

Made of lavender and rose
And fresh plucked rosemary
A delight to eyes, mouth, and nose
As good a tea as potpourri!

The flavor is smooth
The rose aftertaste BOLD
A pleasant scent in truth
The color a rich chocolate gold.

This tea we doth surely keep.
Huzzah for a second steep!


Here’s the scoop!

Loose Leaf:   Black tea Blend

Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail

Description:  Gardens, herbs, and flowers appear in many of Shakespeare’s plays and oftentimes play a critical role in his stories. Our William Shakespeare tea blend is a combination of a few of the many herbs he references: lavender, roses, rosemary. The wit and playfulness of his verse means that Shakespeare’s plays can still be enjoyed today, ideally with a warm cup of tea.

This black tea and floral blend brews to an amber cup with a sweet, floral taste. The slightly earthy and woody notes are rounded out with the citrus taste of bergamot and sweet rose petals.

Certified Kosher

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!