Ginseng Oolong / Enjoying Tea

Ginseng oolong, powdered ginseng compressed and then rolled with semi-oxidized tea leaves.

A steeping time of at least five minutes is usually advisable in order to obtain maximum flavor. This unique tea can be enjoyed at anytime of the day and anywhere. I’m currently sipping it outside as it’s finally nice here in Minnesota.

It’s lukewarm and perfect for enjoying under the sun. Along with all the supposed health benefits it also boasts a sweet flavor and an enjoyable ginseng aroma.

The best part though is the lingering aftertaste that fills your mouth with sweet ginseng for many moments.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Enjoying Tea
Description

Superior oolong tea are mixed with ginseng roots to produce a delicious tea that nourishes your body and replenishes your energy. This tea has a rich crisp oolong taste with a strong pleasing ginseng aftertaste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

High Mountain Oolong from Qi Aerista. . . .

This tea is sturdy and sophisticated, like a sweater vest on a college professor who is woke to the kids’ causes. It is tasteful. It is educated. It knows how to reap the health benefits of green tea AND black tea.

There are notes here of plum, stone, moss, and maybe some algae, which I say with utter love and absolutely no derision. It’s earthy and wet and vegetal and a little bit juicy.

It somehow manages to make me feel like I know what’s going on. Like drinking it has made me a better person. Like maybe, very slightly, I have it together.

I do not, just to clarify.

I do not at all.

But the tea is very nice.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Qi Aerista Tea
Description

Our High Mountain Oolong is grown on Xiyan mountain in Dapu county. This beautiful county is known as the Shangri-La of the Hakka world, where Hakka is one of the ethnic subgroups in China.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Go to Wonderland with a cup of Lewis Carroll tea from Simpson and Vail.. . .

Springtime feels like the time for Alice in Wonderland: flowers blooming, spending more time outside, feeling a little more whimsy after the winter blues.  I’ve seen a few new teas popping up this time of year, themed for just such an occasion.

I recently tried the Lewis Carroll blend of black tea from Simpson and Vail.  In case you don’t know, Lewis Carroll is the author of Alice in Wonderland, among other works.  Alice in Wonderland tends to be a favorite among tea fans for the famous tea party scene featuring the Mad Hatter, not to mention all the cute tea cakes that wreak fantastical havoc for Alice’s adventures.

This Lewis Carroll tea blend features an Indian black tea base, combined with Chinese Rose Congou black tea, highlighted by added violet fragrance and flavoring.  All these flowers are meant to put us in a fantasy world, whether in the queen’s roses, or in the garden beside the tea party.  There are lots of blossoms in the dry leaves, and the brewed cup smells as sweet as a blooming garden.

I enjoy the fragrance of this tea, but strong floral blends aren’t my personal favorite when it comes to taste.  I found I enjoyed the tea more with a touch of milk and sugar, which helped mellow out the strong floral flavors and made the brew more like a flower-scented dessert.

This is a great tea to put you in a springtime mood, perhaps sipped while out-of-doors after a dreary winter.  If you’re one for having fancy tea parties, this may also be a great choice, whether it fits your Alice in Wonderland theme, or just because it feels fancy and ladylike, and makes the flowers on your teacup smell like they are alive and fresh!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
Description:

A tea party plays a memorable role in Carroll’s most celebrated novel as the setting for Alice’s nonsensical meeting with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. “A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden” where, as the Mad Hatter told Alice earlier, “it’s always tea time.” To make our Lewis Carroll blend, we added our fragrant violet flavor to an Indian Black tea and Rose Congou tea, a China black that has been scented with rose petals during the drying process, to create a deep amber cup with an incomparable bouquet and a flavor that is absolutely heavenly.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Headache Relief from Virginia Tea Co (with help from Mary Poppins). . . .

Once upon a time, I had sad news to give, and I was up all night thinking of how to break it. The next morning came with a pretty rough headache, but also the right words to say. Good thing this headache curing tea was in to ease some of my mental turmoil!

It’s got lots of pulverized leaves, I can recognize lavender and chamomile and there’s definitely spearmint in there too, though there are lots of fragrant flowers I can’t ID.

Virginia Tea Co is a Kickstarter crowd-funded company, whose done all the herbal medicine research so we don’t have to. They also source fair trade ingredients, and that’s a relief too.

When I tasted this, it seemed bitter to me, almost tasted like aspirin. Was it my conscience affecting my taste buds or was this just not my cuppa?

A few weeks later, I served some to a friend who’d been having a lot of headaches and thought he might benefit from it. He often describes himself as having “the palate of an eight-year-old”, but he liked it!…. After adding Paula Deen amounts of simple syrup…. in about 15 minutes, he noted his head felt less tense,  and later that night it hadn’t come back.

Well now we know Mary Poppins had it right, a (few) spoonful(s) of sugar helps the medicine go down! I know that some folks are sensitive to OTC pain relief options, or prefer not to use pharmaceuticals and this is a great option for them.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Virginia Tea Co.

Lavender, feverfew, chamomile, skullcap, and spearmint are blended together to help fight those awful headaches. They do this by relaxing your mind and allowing for better thoughts to enter.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Don’t judge a tea by it’s company name! Jasmine Green from Chai Kai . . . .

Honestly I was feeling a little unsure about Jasmine flavored tea from a company named CHAI Kai, but this departure from their standard has good company with a group of other tempting flavors in their shop, so I’m putting my trepidation and bias aside… for now.

Looking at the loose leaf here the green tea leaves are finely rolled and I see  small delicate Jasmine blossoms but there is a definite, not overpowering, floral scent to the blend. These little buds really pull their weight!

The leaves expanded a great deal after being brewed for three minutes at just under 160F and have a slight nutty scent to them. Will all the flavors remain after a resteep?

The liquor is a caramel color and is less fragrant than the dry leaves, hopefully the infusion trapped the flavor in the water! Without sweetener it has a gentle earthy green tea flavor with a short floral aftertaste. The jasmine impressively survives resteeping, FLOWER POWER!

Despite my misgivings from it’s name, this blend really does the Jasmine/Green tea genre justice. I guess that’s why they say “don’t judge a tea blend by it’s company’s name”…

If you’re enticed by British teas like this that defy preconceived biases, they’re offering 20% off EVERYTHING in their store with the coupon code: WINTER20!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Chai Kai

Freshly picked Jasmine Blossoms are placed in layers amidst the leaves of this beautifully made Chinese Green Tea, imparting their sweet, perfumed aroma as they dry. Also available in Teabags.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!