High Mountain Oolong/Qi Aerista

Qi Aerista is probably best known for their “smart” tea brewing system. But they also sell tea!

Their selection is broad and consists exclusively of loose leaf teas including greens and whites and puerh, you get the idea. Go look at the pictures and drool.

So how about this one? The one that started it all for me? It is exactly what they describe. It is lightly roasted, smooth, and sweet, and the flavor starts out light, but the more you drink, the more it builds. There is just enough gentle briskness to keep you reaching for your cup over and over, plus who can resist that building intensity? The first sip was as soft as a sigh but now a roasty, lightly woody taste fills my head.

I had this at breakfast and tasted it before tucking in to my everything bagel with cream cheese. It was so light and smooth, but I knew the bagel was going to overshadow it. Next time I will choose something heavily roasted or a black tea to combat the garlic and onion, and I will reserve this to go with something that is more delicate or just drink it by itself.

This was good enough to make me return and try some of the rock oolongs and maybe that gorgeous Shou Mei, but I really want the adorable Dianhong Pagodas!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy:  Qi Aerista

Description

This tea looks to no longer be availble but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Doke Silver Needle, 2nd Flush, Bihar/Tea Swan

It’s been muggy lately. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE the heat…paired with the mugginess…not so much. In times like these I enjoy a lighter type tea. Yellows, sweeter Greens, and White Teas hit the spot. That is why I went with Doke Silver Needle, 2nd Flush, Bihar from TeaSwan.

Doke Silver Needle, 2nd Flush, Bihar from TeaSwan is a hand made organic white tea. It’s a 2nd flush of the 2017 year.

In case you ever wondered about the tea process with silver needle – it’s processed from the youngest leaves collected during the 2nd flush. The leaves are hand-picked and hand-rolled to preserve the original taste; the zero oxidation formula of white tea retains the natural tenderness of the leaves, which is reflected in the flavor.

The soft and light liquor produces the finest creamy aroma. This exquisite, hand-made white tea is the epitome of delicate luxury. Experience the light sweetness of peach blossoms and apricot that overlays a subtle backdrop of marigold. The pale yellow brew feels as luxurious as it tastes. You’ll want to indulge in this cup again and again. Enjoy with wild rice and tender vegetables.

That last paragraph was from TeaSwan’s website and I have to agree that it would, indeed, pair well with rice and veggies.

I also agree that it had a glorious creamy-sweet flavor about it…and that, for me, is what makes this tea TASTE very memorable.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Tea Swan

Description

The Doke Silver Needle white tea is processed from the youngest leaves collected during the 2nd flush. The leaves are hand-picked and hand-rolled to preserve the original taste; the zero oxidation formula of white tea retains the natural tenderness of the leaves, which is reflected in the flavor. The soft and light liquor produces the finest creamy aroma. This exquisite, hand-made white tea is the epitome of delicate luxury. Experience the light sweetness of peach blossoms and apricot that overlays a subtle backdrop of marigold. The pale yellow brew feels as luxurious as it tastes. You’ll want to indulge in this cup again and again. Enjoy with wild rice and tender vegetables.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Golden Osmanthus/Perkse Coffee & Tea

Confession…Golden Osmanthus Oolong is the first tea I have tried from Perkse Coffee and Tea…and if this tea is any indication what their other products are like…I will be looking into a purchase soon! This tea was delightful!

Golden Osmanthus (also known as Huang Jin Gui) is an Anxi oolong whose name means “Golden Flower.” A lightly roasted oolong our “Bolero” reveals an intensity with hints of honey and flowers you will find enticing and seductive.

That is straight from their website and I have to say that I agree! This tea was flowery-sweet with a gentle roast oolong flavor. The first infusion was out of this world and follow up infusions were out of this galaxy! Full of flavor, naturally!

It’s refreshingly-sweet like honey or agave, even. The leaves are vibrantly green and aromatic from start to finish! A real treat!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Perkse Tea

Description

Golden Osmanthus (also known as Huang Jin Gui) is an Anxi oolong whose name means “Golden Flower.” A lightly roasted oolong our “Bolero” reveals an intensity with hints of honey and flowers you will find enticing and seductive.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Fruit Salad/Bird and Blend Tea Co

Fruit Salad by Bird and Blend Tea Co. is inspired by “Fruit Salad chews – the glorious childhood penny sweet!” according to the Bird and Blend Tea Co website. I actually realized that just now because when I purchased it, I thought it was inspired by an actual fruit salad. Having never even heard of a Fruit Salad Chew before, I did a bit a research and it would seem that they are chewy candies with raspberry and pineapple flavoring.

Obviously I have never tried Fruit Salad Chews before but brewed hot, this tea has a bit of an artificial waxy quality that Starburst minis tend to have. That is where the similarities between this tea and a chewy fruit candy ends. This is not all that sugary or sweet. In fact, it almost would be better if Bird and Blend was trying to recreate an actual fruit salad because this is a generically fruity and tart tea, more akin to a melange of fruit than fruit chews. Definitely nothing distinctively raspberry or pineapple here, at least in the hot tea.

I also cold brewed this tea to see how that would compare to the hot brew. It was left in the fridge for approximately 24 hours. Cold brewed, this tea is a little sweeter than the hot tea as some of the hibiscus is tamed by this brewing method. I also get more apple flavors among a melange of fruitiness. Again, not much in the way of raspberry or pineapple though and not as sweet as one would expect from a tea inspired by candies.

This to me is like many fruit teas out there. They all have a similar flavor profile with apples and hibiscus. A little sweet and a little tart. With that said, this is less tart than other fruit teas I have had but also has a fair amount of lemongrass flavor. It is nice enough but nothing particularly special. Easy to drink but easy to forget.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Fruit Tisane

Where to Buy:  Bird and Blend Tea Co.

Description

No not the healthy ‘dessert’, the glorious childhood penny sweet! Still a much-loved classic, still wrapped in the iconic orange and pink striped wrapper and still paired with those dastardly Black Jacks (who ever liked those!?) Fruit Salad chews really were the best!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Witer White Earl Grey/Harney and Sons

Earl Grey is one of the most well known hot teas amongst the general tea dabbling population. Even non-tea drinkers have heard of it, while staring blankly at you if you mention oolong.

Bit of trivia – Sir Patrick Stewart wanted his character on Star Trek to drink Lapsang Souchong, but producers said no one had ever heard of it and they wouldn’t know what it was. They insisted on Earl Grey being the drink of choice for Captain Picard and now Sir Patrick has Earl Grey out the proverbial wazoo sent to him by fans. For heaven’s sake, someone send the man some Lapsang!

Moving on. I don’t love Earl Grey but I like it occasionally. I especially don’t love Earl Grey made with Ceylon tea as the base because I feel the naturally lemon flavored base is too much when combined with the citrus-y Earl Grey. I prefer a good Keemun under my bergamot. And one does feel so elegant when one is drinking it!

I got curious about this Earl on a white tea base and ordered it. I went with sachets for ease even though I usually do loose leaf.

The bergamot is pretty forward here. I read the occasional review of some teas where it is claimed that the bergamot is light enough not to scare the haters, but this one definitely has it in the forefront. If you hate bergamot, I don’t think you are going to love this. But the white tea base lacks astringency and briskness that could make it overdone, so I find this far more drinkable than most Earls. If you love or even just like bergamot, I think this is worth a try. It gets a thumbs up from me, and the resteep is even better.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons 

Description

A perennial favorite, our Winter White Earl Grey gives an evergreen classic a deliciously light twist. Beautiful Chinese Mutan White tea forms the base of this blend, providing light floral elements and a delicately grassy note. Natural lemony bergamot oil gives deep, multifaceted citrus qualities to the blend. A pleasant blend perfect for enjoying whenever the wish for something a bit different strikes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!