Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea by New Mexico Tea Company

I steeped 1 tsp of this tea for 5 minutes in one cup of 212 degree water.

First of all, this tea isn’t kidding when it says “hot.” (Currently I’m able to smell the cinnamon flavor through the bag even though I double-bagged it, which means it has about the same strength as lapsang souchong). You can clearly see, when measuring it out, that there’s tons of cinnamon in the tea leaves. The ingredients list says it has natural and artificial flavorings too in addition to the three types of cinnamon–I didn’t know three types of cinnamon existed, did you? But apparently they do.

I don’t expect the black tea flavor to come through much at all at this point (it’s probably mainly there for caffeination purposes.)

It smells very spicy and strong as it steeps, too. After steeping I note that it has a very dark brown, fittingly cinnamon-ish color. It’s nearly opaque and has bits of dissolved cinnamon in it. Kind of like spiced cider. It also has a faintly sweet cider-ish smell, but of coursewithout the apple factor. (It does have clove and orange peel though, so that’s probably why it’s reminding me of cider.)

First sip: yes, it’s quite sweet and quite spicy. And no, I don’t really taste the black tea at all. There is a slight bit of astringency, but I’m not sure if it’s from the black tea or from the cinnamon. There’s a depth to the cinnamon flavor, which is probably caused by the blending of several types of cinnamon and cinnamon flavorings to create a more complex cinnamon blend rather than one that hits you all in a wave. It’s very effective, too. It’s like a tour of cinnamon.

With milk (no sugar needed as it’s already sweet): it’s creamier, of course, but the milk doesn’t really bring out the tea flavor the way it usually does with spicy teas (though maybe there’s a hint). The excellently warming, invigorating cinnamon flavor isn’t quelled by the milk either, though perhaps a bit tamed.

Overall I like this tea very much both with milk and without. I’d recommend trying it both ways to see which strikes your fancy the most.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  New Mexico Tea Company
Description

.This blend brews very sweet even though no sugar is added. A cinnamon lover’s dream come true. A combination of hearty Chinese and Indian black tea and invigorating cinnamon.
Many cinnamon teas have a watery aftertaste due to the use of low grade teas. The black tea here has the stamina to last through the whole tasting process

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Checking out Genmaicha from New Mexico Tea Company. . . . .

I have had very little genmaicha. The first I tried was a sample that came with an order, and since I didn’t know anything about genmaicha, I thought I had done something terribly wrong and burned it!

The second was a flavored genmaicha, and it was great. But, it had lots of added flavors.

So this is only my third genmaicha, and it is my first time tasting unflavored genmaicha while knowing exactly what it is! This is Japanese bancha, usually harvested in June after the Sencha has been harvested around May. There may be little bits of twig in the mix to sweeten the tea. And the critical addition is rice – brown pellets of heavily toasted rice, tiny but numerous.

The smell of the steeped tea made say, “Whoa now! Back that up!” My daughter looked at me in trepidation before sipping hers. We both sipped, and….

Aaaaaaah. This is pretty good! Way different than what we usually drink. Hearty. Roasty. No sour taste, no grassiness, no astringency. In its own roasty toasty way it reminded me of Lapsang, a tea dear to our hearts.

I can see this becoming a tea that one craves, that one associates with certain foods or places. If you grew up drinking it, I think it would be the Japanese tea equivalent of comfort food. I will never face a cup of genmaicha with trepidation again. I may even start craving it!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green Tea
Where to Buy:  New Mexico Tea Company
Description

Made with a little bit of luxury, ObubuÕs Genmaicha (玄米茶) or Brown Rice Tea is made with sweet mochi rice (also grown in Wazuka) combined with Yanagi Bancha.

The strong, sweet flavor of the roasted rice fills the air as the tea steeps and mixes with the sweetness and bitterness of the sencha to produce a delicious tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Long Ding from New Mexico Tea Company

NM teaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: New Mexico Tea Company

Tea Description:

The tea is bright and lively with a unique sharpness accented with bouquet and a slight touch of herb. The body is deep and long for a baked green tea. Its character differentiates it well from other varieties in this region and adds an unmistakeable breadth in the taste spectrum of Chinese green teas.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

 

I have loved New Mexico Tea Company for some time. Their teas are fresh and vibrant. The packaging is fantastic and the art work on their packages is phenomenal. Everything about them is just brilliant and I have recommended them to so many tea drinkers, newbies and tea enthusiasts alike. They have a tea blend for everyone.

This tea I picked up some time ago, I think from a Steepster Stash Sale. I am always on the look out for new green teas to check out and just hadn’t had a chance to try this one until now. When I first opened the bag, I was in awe of the gorgeous longer leaves that filled the pouch.  I scooped a few spoonfuls into my tea pot and poured in the prepped water. I loved watching the tea leaves dance in the water.

First sip in and shame on me for not trying this tea sooner.  This tea is one of those green teas that give you everything.  Slightly floral with subtle vegetal notes and a buttery finish.  Just delicious. One of those teas that you crave more of and hate to see your tea pot empty. I’ve already drank a few infusions out of this first serving and I have to say each infusion delivers that same gorgeous flavor.  This is one of those satisfying teas that delivers on the flavor it promises.  This one is a keeper!

 

Rohini Emerald Green First Flush Darjeeling from Udyan Tea

Rohini Emerald GreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Udyan Tea

Tea Description:

Rohini has been planted with special green tea clones which have very less *tannin content in them. The teas made from these bushes taste smooth and sweet, with pronounced vegetable flavour. They aren’t bitter unlike their counterparts from the district. Rohini Emerald Green Tea is made from single leaf and a bud.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Rohini Emerald Green is a First Flush Darjeeling tea, a variety I’m particularly fond of. I’m intrigued by this one, though (more so than usual!) because the leaf is different from any I’ve seen before. It’s a fairly uniform mid-green in colour, with one or two lighter leaves and some yellow mottling. What’s surprising is that the leaves are large and curly, partially rolled but not tightly. I’ve never seen a first flush Darjeeling that looks quite like this one. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a bright yellow-green, the scent reminiscent of a green tea. After an initial hit of orchid-like floral, there’s a distinctive vegetal scent. The leaves, once unfurled, remind me a little of oak tree leaves.

To taste, this tea is also unlike any Darjeeling I’ve tried before. In some ways, it’s far more like a green tea or an oolong than anything else. The initial flavour is lightly floral, in the sweet, heady way of orchids. It’s not an intensely perfumey floral, but rather like crushing the petals of an orchid or lily flower in your hand and then translating the scent into a taste. It’s difficult to describe, because it’s like the wrong sense is being used, but that’s as close as I can get to identifying the kind of sensation the floral produces. There’s a mild “green” flavour lurking underneath the floral, but it’s more chlorophyll than vegetal – not a flavour I’ve come across very often, but it works well here, continuing the floral theme. The texture reminds me a lot of an unflavoured milk oolong, in that it’s buttery and mildly creamy. It’s not thick tasting, exactly, but it has a sort of dairy cream feel to it that’s pleasant and unusual – almost a little “flat” tasting, but with a richness at the same time. The aftertaste is a little mineral, again reminding me of a green oolong. It’s a little like wet rock; a tiny bit metallic, but also fresh and clean.

This one was an experience for me, and I really savoured every sip. I’ve not come across a Darjeeling like this before, either in terms of taste or appearance, so it really made me think about, and question, my expectations. I enjoyed the flavour, even though floral teas aren’t usually my thing. Clearly I can still surprise myself on occasion! I’d happily recommend this one to most people, whether they’re fans of Darjeeling, green, oolong or floral teas. This tea certainly offers a unique experience, and its placed Udyan Tea more firmly on my personal radar.

Roasted Kukicha from New Mexico Tea Co.

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  New Mexico Tea Co.

Product Description:

Kukicha, or twig tea, is a Japanese blend of green tea made of stems, stalks, and twigs, and has a nutty, slightly creamy flavor.

Uniquely flavorful, kukicha is also one of the preferred teas of the macrobiotic diet. Kukicha can also be added to juice to make a children’s drink. Kukicha is a powerful antioxidant and is very low in caffeine, in fact the lowest in caffeine of all traditional teas.

Taster’s Review:

This is the last of the three teas that were included in November Steepster Select box.  As I mentioned before, the theme for this month was “Migration” and this tea represents the “scattered branches” left by the migrating birds.  Very clever, Steepster.  I find this month’s theme to be almost as enjoyable as the tea.

But that’s not said to take anything away from this month’s tea selections, which have all been extraordinarily good.  The Diyi Cornfields Shu from Verdant Tea was one of the most unusual and delicious Pu-erh teas I’ve ever tasted.  The Bai Mu Dan from Canton Tea proved to be one of the very best white teas and changed my beliefs about Bai Mu Dan!  And this Roasted Kukicha is also quite exceptional.

The aroma of the dry leaf is a very strong roasted flavor.  It’s really quite delightful and toasty.  The fragrance of the brewed tea is quite subdued in comparison.  The flavor is a much lighter roasty-toasty kind of flavor than the aroma of the dry leaf would lead me to think.

There is an amazing sweetness to this Kukicha that tastes a bit honeyed as well as caramel-like.  It has that sweet, cozy kind of taste that I have come to expect from a Kukicha.  The lighter roasted notes allow for some of the nuances of this Kukicha to shine through.  It has a beautiful creamy undertone, and a delicious nutty finish.  The aftertaste is sweet with the barest hint of smoke that softly lingers.

A very lovely Kukicha.  Calm, relaxing and delicious.