Dimbula Tea from Zesta Tea. . . .

Dimbula Plantation teas are mostly grown around 5,000 to 6,000 feet on the island of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon. The different altitudes make a lot of difference in the taste of the tea grown, and teas typically retain the name of Ceylon tea, this one being further identified as a High Grown Broken Orange Pekoe or BOP. Orange Pekoe refers to the size of the leaves that were picked and therefore also their location on the branch, as tip leaves are smaller, and broken tells us that this isn’t whole leaf tea.

While whole leaf tea is usually more expensive, that doesn’t mean that broken leaf can’t be good. If it came from good leaf, it just becomes broken good leaves. It can mean you need a fine strainer, and it does mean there is more surface area and therefore, you need to cut your steep time short to prevent bitterness, but made properly, broken leaf teas can be quite delicious.

This tea has a hearty, classic tea scent and bold flavor. The citrus notes are high enough to tingle your nose when you sniff the steeped tea. The liquor is dark orange and medium bodied. It has a nice briskness and goes well with food. I drink almost all of my tea plain, and this one is palatable that way, but if you like milk and sugar in your tea, this one can certainly take it. It also makes a good iced sweet tea.

I would have no trouble serving this as a breakfast tea, but it also does duty in my house as an afternoon tea with sweets, which is how I think I most like to use it.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zesta Tea
Description

Enjoy our regional tea packs featuring teas from five tea growing regions of Sri Lanka – Dimbula, Ruhuna, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Uva. This variety from such a small island is what made Ceylon tea famous – try it – from the low grown Ruhuna teas to the high grown Nuwara Eliya – a true journey in Ceylon tea, packaged in teabags for convenience and offered in a pine wood box. Perfect for gifting.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Golden West from Pacific Tea Company. . . .

Golden West blend from Pacific Tea was “inspired by a golden afternoon” outdoors.  This herbal blend is made up of a variety of fruits and herbs, many of them tropical like coconut and pineapple.

This tea brewed up pink and sweet with little pops of spice between the fruit.  Sweet apple, tart rose hips, and juicy hibiscus are the main flavors of this blend.  There is a much appreciated hint of pear at the end of each sip. With all the fruity ingredients, it is no wonder that this tea tastes to naturally sweet, but is is a miracle that the fruits are able even to counteract the sour flavors that come with brewing hibiscus.

I don’t taste much coconut or pineapple, they seem to get drowned out by the sweet apple and pink hibiscus.  Likewise, there is only a hint of spice from the added ginger, adding just a mild heat and texture.

I don’t know if this is a “golden” blend, with very little pineapple and pear.  Instead of reflecting on a golden afternoon, I think this tea feels much more like a “pink sunset,” still very flavorful and outdoorsy, but more in line with the driving apple and hibiscus combination I tasted.

Golden West would be great as an iced tea when mixed in with sangria or to when mixed in with lemonade to make it fruity and pink.  As long as you go into this this blend expecting a sweet and pink fruity tea, you will definitely be satisfied. This is especially as the weather gets warmer and it is time to reach for more iced teas than ever.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Pacific Tea Company
Description:

Inspired by a golden afternoon in the Solomon western province, the low-acid blend of pear, coconut and ginger, tops any day with notes of pineapple, marigold and hibiscus.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Watermelon Mint from Trader Joe’s. . . .

You know how every once in a while, you stumble across a tea that is LITERALLY PERFECT? (I know, it doesn’t happen often– but when it does, hallelujah hands, am I right?) This tea, you guys. I cannot stop cold brewing it for the summer! I grabbed a tin of it at Trader Joe’s during my grocery trip a few weeks ago, and I’ve already picked up a second– that’s how quickly I’m sipping through it.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a weird relationship with watermelon and watermelon-flavored things– I feel abundantly ‘meh’ regarding melon as a fruit (when I pretty much love all other fruits and veg) and could take or leave fresh watermelon. But when it comes the the flavor? I am ALL about it. This one has that perfectly juicy, melon-y flavor that is spot-on best watermelon– tempered by a hint of mint with just a touch of natural sweetness from the licorice. (Licorice haters, don’t fret– you can’t taste it, it’s just there for a flavor boost). It’s perfect iced as-is, but it also takes a splash of lemonade so well. SO WELL. I’m not done gushing– this iced tea is perfect, friends.

To top it all off? This tea comes in the absolute cutest tin I ever did see, and every time you open it for a whiff, the aroma is absolutely divine. While I normally spend all summer sipping all manner of iced teas, this is one that I just can’t help but want to drink every day, the rest of my collection be darned. Who knew TJ’s would come in with the sleeper tea hit of the summer? Go get you some, stat!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Trader Joe’s
Description

This tea is not on the website but click below to find a Trader Joe’s near you.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Close Encounters of the Tea Kind from The Goat Tea. . .

We now have that summer time weather in the Midwest and right now it is time to break out all of those teas I’ve been storing away to make cold brew tea.  Today, I could think of no better way to end my work week than to enjoy huge mason jar glasses full of The Goat Tea cold brew styled.

Today’s tea of choice came down to literally one word in the ingredient list- rhubarb.  I had never had rhubarb until a few weeks ago and I may be slightly obsessed.  I have made several rhubarb crisps and bread puddings since.  When I saw rhubarb was part of the Close Encounters of the Tea Kind tea blend, I knew that this was the tea for me today.

Today I went a different way with my cold brew today.  I filled a mason jar with ice, a few scoops of loose leaf, and then filled with water. I broke out my bombilla filter straw and happily waited a bit until I could see the water was starting to turn a fun purple color.  Took my first sip and seriously was this ever a tasty simple no fuss way to brew up some tea!

Pops of brilliant tart, marvelous berry, and sweet citrus notes fill each and every sip.  You can tell there is hibiscus in this blend but the hibiscus mingles so well with the berry and citrus inclusions-not to mention the light notes of the honey added.  This tea is literally this amazing burst of flavor each and every time you take a sip.  I really don’t pick up the green tea or the black tea in the tea I’m currently drinking but I also didn’t leave the tea to really steep and develop how it properly should.

Regardless, I’m insanely in love with the results of this tea and this will be a tea that I’ll be ordering more of in the future.  You can’t go wrong with having this delight in your tea stash for some amazing cold brew with the warmer months ahead.  This tea was literally  made for summer months with the bright flavors.  Maybe one day I’ll try the tea hot, but for now. . .excuse me while I add more water to my glass to enjoy more tea!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green/Black
Where to Buy:  The Goat Tea
Description

Encounter this delicious blend of green and black teas, capturing the tastes of rhubarb, raspberry and honey. Great hot or cold!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wild Black Tea / Dian Hong / Teabook

Superb. When one thinks of wild tea trees the picture of an old tree with moss and lichen growing on it comes to mind but I had never thought of what it may taste of.

If you have a chance to try the tea of an old, wild tea tree do not pass it up. (And for all you funny bunnies if you send me a picture of yourself biting a tree I will laugh).

The woody characteristics are like nothing I’ve had before. Along with it’s woodsy notes it is also malty and has honey notes. It is incredibly smooth with a glorious mouth feel.

Currently on the third steeping of this tea. Using a gaiwan, hot water but not boiling,  for the first steep and let the water gradually cool.

When the liquid first enters my mouth I get a floral sensation but it always dissipates quickly into the woodsy flavors.

We are on four steepings now.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  Teabook
Description

This tea is not available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!