Connoisseur Jasmine Green Tea from Zesta Ceylon Tea. . . . .

I LOVE jasmine green teas when they are done well. Some are not. A lot of jasmine tea is actually pouchong and can have a bit more bite than I care for. Lots of people like those teas, especially with food. But since jasmine tea is my special “take me away” tea, it has to be just so.

The instructions on this one scared me. Boiling water? For green tea? In a teabag? Are you kidding me? I know a few types of green tea thrive on it, but I was afraid this was going to be the train to heartburn city.

I dialed it back to 200F and let it steep right in the middle of the recommended one to two minutes.

Wow. I expected a harsh green base, lots of astringency, and artificial jasmine flavor, but this is infused with real jasmine flowers and it is GOOD. As in, actual tasty jasmine tea with all its calming capabilities in a teabag!

The jasmine is natural and sweet tasting, the tea has minimal briskness that does build a little now that I am on my second cup, and there is a creamy texture to the liquor. The Chinese green base starts to come through more on the aftertaste.

I think this would be a great, affordable tea to serve with food, and now I want spring rolls. Really, really badly. I guess I know what I am having for supper tomorrow night.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy: Zesta Tea
Description

This delicately fragrant green tea adds a touch of beauty to your day with its imprint of natural Jasmine petals. Zesta’s Jasmine green tea is an exotic tea that can be enjoyed any time of day and is great as an accompaniment to food.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate from Pu-Erh Numi Teas. . . .

I’ve found that sometimes pu-erh teas can be a bit complicated, there’s a lot of history and process that’s worth knowing if you take your pu-erh seriously.  However, I had a completely different experience with Chocolate Pu -Erh from Numi, which is one of the most approachable pu-erh teas I’ve tried.

Pu-erh teas are known for their exceptionally smooth mouthfeel and their earthy taste.  Adding chocolate to that combination sounds like a great idea. This Chocolate Pu-Erh came in an easy-to-use sample tea bag, not in a big tea cake, so no special tools or teapots were necessary.  Just add hot water and a mug. The dry tea smelled a little sour with a hint of vinegar. However, once I brewed the tea, the flavors were far more inviting, with a strong fragrance of cocoa and roasted nuts.

This tea had a forward chocolate flavor, but it was rounded out by the more savory, earthiness of the pu erh tea underneath.  There is a hint of fermentation flavors that I expect from pu-erh teas; a subtle undertone, almost like wet leaves or flowers, slightly sweet and slightly sour.  The richness of the pu-erh leaves and the decadence of the chocolate are only enhanced by the creamy, velvety mouthfeel as I sipped this tea.

If you are tired of the bright and biting flavors of breakfast black teas, try a pu-erh tea like Chocolate Pu-Erh from Numi.  The rich, smooth, taste and texture are a completely different experience that may open the door to a new world of teas to try.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Pu erh
Where to Buy: Numi Teas
Description: This velvety infusion combines black Pu∙erh tea and organic cocoa. Accented by whole vanilla beans and sweet orange peel, this decadent blend is rounded off with nutmeg and cinnamon for a spicy finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bold Breakfast from Dunkin Donuts

I love getting donuts at Dunkin Donuts, I’d be hard-pressed to tell you a flavor of donut that I didn’t like.  On occasion, I’ll get an iced coffee or an iced tea, but usually my focus is solely on the donuts. But this is a tea blog not a donut blog!  This time, I tried Dunkin Donuts’ Bold Breakfast black tea at home.

Like the best tea companies, this sample came in a silk pyramid tea bag, and there were visibly whole leaves of tea in the bag- no crushed tea powder here.  I brewed it following their instructions to use boiling water and steep for 3 minutes.

The resulting brew was dark and gently fragrant.  It looked like tea, smelled like tea, and guess what?  It was a completely serviceable breakfast tea. It had the traditional black tea tartness and crisp mouthfeel, with plenty of flavor and caffeine to wake you up.  The flavor was a bit one-note though, missing the malt or complexity of other loose leaf breakfast blends, but its one flavor is perfectly capable on its own.

Like many breakfast teas out there, when brewed black, this tea could be a tad bitter.  If served iced with slices of lemon and sugar, or served hot with milk or honey, it would easily turn this tea into a more refreshing or comforting brew.

Serve this tea in a teapot on a tray, and your guests won’t suspect your tea purveyor is Dunkin Donuts. Sweeten the tea tray with some donuts and it might just be the best way to serve this tea yet.  Hmm, maybe I just need a frosted donut to dunk into my mug and then this brew will be perfect!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Dunkin Donuts

Description: A blend of full-leaf black tea for a full bodied flavor

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Stress Less from Lipton. . . .

I have to say, I was surprised when I first saw this Lipton tea. The branding and packaging was beautiful. It seems like Lipton is really striving to redefine their brand.

Anyway – this tea is a blend of chamomile, lavender, and cinnamon. When I opened it up, it reminded me of cinnamon swirl toast. The cinnamon was the most prominent but it was then mellowed out by the chamomile. I didn’t get a lot of lavender.

I steeped this in boiling water for about 5 minutes. I’m happy to say that it tasted just the way it smelled. I know it’s a bit odd, but it really had the taste of cinnamon toast! It’s a bit “dry”, so I think that quality combined with the cinnamon is what does it. I still didn’t really find the lavender in there, but the tea did have an almost floral finish.

I was surprised at how much I like this tea! If you’re in need of a quick and sweet cup, this is a great option. Bonus – since it’s a Lipton tea, it would probably be easy to find at your local store. I know that I wouldn’t hesitate to steep up many more cups of this!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Lipton
Description

Relax, rewind, then press play again with Lipton Stress Less Caffeine-Free Herbal Supplement, containing cinnamon, chamomile, and lavender. Stress Less is a comforting, cozy herbal infusion to help you unwind*. Carefully selected botanicals are blended with lavender essential oil that make every cup delicious. Enjoy a daily cup or two of Lipton Stress Less to supplement your varied, balanced diet.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Zesta Connoisseur Collection Jasmine Green Bags. . . .

Let’s face it, pre-bagged teas have a bad rap in our circles. I saw some broken leaves, similar to Cut-Tear-Curl but not as uniformly cut.

Although Zesta recommends boiling water for this Jasmine Green, I’m much too impatient for all that waiting to heat up then waiting to be drinkable. I brewed at 160F and discovered a sunny, pollen-yellow liquor, with a strong jasmine scent.

Half the amount of sweetener I usually use brought out the green tea flavors considerably. I can taste the quality in the perfume of the Jasmine flowers, even though they’ve been removed from the pyramid. Jasmine really is the star of the show here.

All in all, Zesta offers a strong floral, yet inexpensive Jasmine tea bag.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy: Zesta

This delicately fragrant green tea adds a touch of beauty to your day with its imprint of natural Jasmine petals. Zesta’s Jasmine green tea is an exotic tea that can be enjoyed any time of day and is great as an accompaniment to food.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!