Smarty Pants Herbal Tea from Indie Tea

IndieTea
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy: Indie Tea

Tea Description:

An Intelligent Herbal Concoction of Ginkgo Biloba, Brahmi, Gotu Kola, Ginger, Peppermint, Hawthorn Berries, Passionflower Holy Basil and Lemon Verbena

Hocus Pocus…Where’s My Focus? Is It Here? Is It There? I Can’t Find It Anywhere. Perhaps If I Would Drink My Tea, I Might Become A Smarter Me.

Steeping Instructions: Measure 1.5 teaspoons of tea to 8 oz of water. Heat water to boiling 208 degrees, pour over the tea leaves, and steep tea leaves for five to six minutes.

Organic and Fair Trade Ingredients: Organic Ginkgo Biloba,Organic Hawthorn Berries, Organic Ginger, Organic Gotu Kola, Organic Brahmi, Organic Peppermint, Organic Passionflower, Organic Tulsi Holy Basil, Organic Lemon Verbena

.8 oz. Tube…$5.99 • 3 oz. Tin…$13.99 • 8 oz Bag…$29.00 • 1 lb Bag…$57.00

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve been a fan of Indie Tea in Las Vegas since the very first time I saw them!  Not only because of their creative blends of tea bases and flavors but because of some of the secondary ingredients they use – herbs, for example, that you would normally find in regular teas and tisanes.  Another reason I LOVE their company is the artsy-vibe they incorporate into their tea packaging, logos, labels, and website!  They are CLEVER thru and thru – that is for sure!

When I first saw the tube of SMARTY PANTS – it made me smile!  It said “Put on your thinking cap SMARTY PANTS” and as you can see above use quite the combination of ingredients in this herbal.  I tend to not really reach for herbals teas but sometimes LIFE calls the shots for you, right!  I’m glad I listened, in this case, this is a mighty fine herbal offering from Indie Tea!

I would agree that it is an intelligent blend!  A hint of berry flattened by the Ginkgo and Basil, mostly but also the yin and the yang of the Ginger and Peppermint dance nicely to create their own flavor, too!  The Lemon Verbena really brings everything together nicely in the end.

This isn’t overly herb or leafy tasting.  The ginger and the peppermint are subtle and nicely done.  I can’t think of a more well rounded mesh of flavors for this herbal.  I don’t think I would change anything!

 

Daughter’s Ring Early Spring Green Tea (Ming Qian Nu’er Huan) from Teasenz

Daughter'sRingTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Teasenz

Tea Description:

A farmer needs to work seven days, just to produce about 1.5 kg of this artisan tea, picking only the most-tender leaves from large-leaf tea trees in Simao, Yunnan. Afterwards, each ring is carefully hand-rolled piece by piece, requiring patience and mastery of advanced tea processing skills. A pure organic and luxury green tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Beautiful!  These leaves are so amazingly graceful!  They are rolled in perfect little rings, and the leaves feel soft and fluffy as they’re still covered with their downy fuzz.

They slowly unfurl in hot water, and it’s fun to watch them do their thing as they brew.  I highly recommend steeping these in something that you can watch the brewing process.  I realize that the website recommends a ceramic teapot for brewing, but I brewed this in my gaiwan so that I could watch the tender leaves do their graceful dance as they gently infused the hot liquid.

The cup that sits before me now is the results of the first two infusions, and this tea is delicious.  It is delicately fragrant.  The flavor is lightly vegetal with notes of butter and nutty tones, reminiscent of a nutty browned butter. It isn’t bitter, grassy or overly astringent.

There is a subtle floral note to the cup that seems to gradually build, and is especially noticeable in the aftertaste.  The notes on the website suggest a jasmine note, but, I don’t know that I’m tasting jasmine.  It is a very gentle flowery note that melds seamlessly with the other flavors of the cup.

This is a really remarkable green tea from Teasenz:  I love that it’s organic, I love that it offers several delicious infusions (I got two cups of tea out of one measurement of leaves, infusing the leaves for a total of four times), and quite simply, I love this tea!  Then again, I’ve been very impressed with all the teas that I’ve tried from this company!  This is one company that you should put at the top of your shopping list!

Jasmine Bloom Flowering Tea from Nuovo Tea

jasmine_bloomTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Nuovo Tea

Tea Description:

Meant to delight your eyes as well as taste buds, these awe-inspiring ‘display teas’ unfurl when added to water, revealing delicate flowers hidden within. The practice of hand-sewing leaves into ‘blooming teas’ is an age-old Chinese art form that dates back centuries. Adagio has infused state-of-the-art packaging into this ancient delight, ensuring maximum freshness and superior flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I really enjoy brewing “art teas” like this Jasmine Bloom Flowering Tea from Nuovo Tea.  It’s fun to watch the art reveal itself.  It starts out as a hand-sewn bulb of tea leaves, and as it brews, the leaves begin to unfurl, revealing a beautiful “blossom” tucked inside the tea leaves.

This particular art tea unfurls pretty quickly in comparison to some that I’ve encountered.  After my first infusion of 3 1/2 minutes, it was still a bulb, but I could see that quite a few of the leaves had begun to open up and away from the bulb to form the blossom.   I’m sure that with another minute, this art tea would have been unfurled and revealed to me the beauty inside.

But I didn’t want to oversteep the tea.  I don’t brew these art teas just for the art, after all … to me the true art is the beauty of the flavorful liquid so I’m always mindful of this and take care to brew each cup carefully – whether it’s an art tea like this, or a loose leaf tea or even a bagged tea.  I want the best flavor I can extract from any tea.

The first cup is delicate and sweet, with notes of jasmine and hints of buttery vegetables.  There is also a pleasing fruit note that is reminiscent of a sweet melon.

For the second cup, I infused the partially open bulb for 4 minutes, and within a minute, the bulb had opened and I could see the pretty white flower peeking from inside the tea leaf “blossom” that enveloped it only minutes ago.  Beautiful!

This cup had a stronger flavor than the first cup, but, I think I prefer the delicate quality of that first cup more than this stronger tasting cup.  Oh, it’s still tasty, don’t get me wrong!  But, I really liked the soft, buttery notes that I experienced in that first cup, and now, this is more like a grassy green tea with notes of jasmine.  I appreciate that the jasmine is soft and not tasting like soap.  It’s not a bitter tea, it’s a pleasing jasmine green.

A beautiful tea experience – these “art teas” make a great tea to serve when you have guests! Be sure to brew them in glass teacups (I don’t think that these little bulbs are quite large enough for a large teapot) so that everyone can watch the splendor as it unfolds!  They make a great conversation starter … not to mention produce a really tasty cup of tea.

Love Game Flowering Tea from Dragon Tea House

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Dragon Tea House

Tea Description:

A delicate flower blooms inside this ball tea just before tiny flowers slowly cascade upward like Champagne bubbles. The flowers add their enlivening fragrance and strong taste to this delectably smooth green tea. Our Ball offers one of the most artful spectacles in tea. This blooming tea has an original shape of an tiny ball and when put in boiling water a bouquet of tea leaves and flower. The aromas of both flowers and tea leaves are very well preserved and these exceptional teas develop a wonderful flavor and create at the same time a beautiful “table decoration”.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Every once in a while, I like to take a moment to simply watch a tea steep.  There is something so wonderfully relaxing about it.  I think my favorite teas to watch steep are blooming teas, like this Love Game Flowering Tea from Dragon Tea House.  I like blooming teas because they open slowly, taking their time to reveal their splendor, and when they’ve finally fully unfurled, what a breathtaking display!

A better view of the blossom

I infused this tea for six full minutes in 180°F water, and it still had not opened fully … which means MORE INFUSIONS!  Yay!  This first cup is tasty.  The mouthfeel is soft and silky.  The taste is sweet and floral with notes of jasmine, and a slight nutty flavor.  It is very smooth tasting, with very little astringency and no bitterness.

For my second infusion, I set the timer for ten minutes, although it had fully unfurled after about 90 seconds (taking seven and a half minutes total to completely open), but I infused it for the full ten minutes to achieve full flavor for the infusion, and that ten minutes delivered!   The second infusion was even tastier than the first.  The flavor is more focused on the nutty flavors, with hints of jasmine, and a sweet, fresh, slightly grassy tone.

Overall, a very pleasant experience!

Love Goddess Flowering Tea from Dragon Tea House

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green (Flowering)

Where to Buy:  Dragon Tea House

Tea Description:

A delicate flower blooms inside this ball tea just before tiny flowers slowly cascade upward like Champagne bubbles. The flowers add their enlivening fragrance and strong taste to this delectably smooth green tea. Our Ball offers one of the most artful spectacles in tea. This blooming tea has an original shape of an tiny ball and when put in boiling water a bouquet of tea leaves and flower. The aromas of both flowers and tea leaves are very well preserved and these exceptional teas develop a wonderful flavor and create at the same time a beautiful “table decoration”.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This tea is really beautiful, and I am thrilled at how quickly the leaves opened to reveal the display of flowers inside.  Sometimes, with blossoming teas like this, it takes two or sometimes even three infusions before the tea bulb fully opens, but, I got a beautiful show after steeping for just four minutes.

The flavor is a little less impressive.  It tastes alright, don’t get me wrong, and I was able to drink not just the first cup but a second infusion as well, and I enjoyed them both.

This has a stronger green tea taste than some of the other blooming teas, and that may have something to do with it.  It has a stronger vegetal taste, and a very faint jasmine note.  It’s pleasant enough, and as I continued to drink, a soft buttery tone developed that I liked.

While these pictures are really lovely, I have to say that I think it’s even more breathtaking in person.  If you’ve not yet brewed a blooming tea, what are you waiting for?  You should get yourself a glass teapot or mug, and try some blooming teas!  I have a mug with a glass infuser, which makes it very easy to enjoy the unfurling of the leaves, the finished display, and it is also very easy to remove the tea from the mug to enjoy the tea.  I don’t drink blooming teas very often, I would say that I try to have one at least once a week, if for no other reason than the release of stress that I get from watching the unfurling process.

And while this isn’t my favorite blooming tea that I’ve ever had, I will say that I’m really impressed with Dragon Tea House’s vast selection of teas, including some Yellow teas.  Fair prices too!