Plantation Fresh Uva Tea from Zesta

The crisp aroma of these maroon, CTC BOP leaves transports you with their smell of brambles dried in an arid forest.

Zesta aims for this tea collection, which includes this Uva, to provide an authentic Ceylon journey, well, mission accomplished! Turns out, this selection is from Sri Lanka’s 4th largest grower.

Zesta recommends brewing with boiling water, which produces a rich mahogany brew.

I also made a cup at my usual 175F, which had more of a ruby color to it. I didn’t detect any major differences in taste between the two temps. Though I know its pure tea, I taste lots of refreshing red apple and somehow a sweet, fresh-cut grass in there.

Sweetener also made a negligible difference in taste. Pairs deliciously with all kinds of milk!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Loose Black Tea
Where to Buy: Zesta

Description:

The perfect gift for the tea devotee, the enchanting pine wood gift box has premium black teas from all five tea growing regions in Sri Lanka – Dimbula, Ruhuna, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Uva. Ceylon tea became famous for its unique taste variety that differs across the regions and elevations which are reflected in these teas.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ruhuna Tea from Zesta Tea . . . . . .

The Ruhuna (sometimes spelled Ruhunu) tea from Zesta is part of their regional tea tasting set.  This black tea came in a beautiful red patterned box, and I’m tempted to try the rest of their regional tea set just for the eye-catching packaging alone. Beneath the red box is a foil bag of tea, so I popped it open and started brewing.

The dry leaves were small and tightly rolled, almost like pellets.  When I put my nose into the bag of tea the leaves were very fragrant, with both earthy almost-tobacco notes complimented by bright lemony scents.

In brewing, the leaves unfurled and quickly produced a dark and potent cup of tea.  The taste is definitely that of a strong black tea, but not so strong that it makes your mouth pucker.  This is where the Ruhuna blend stands out. It doesn’t have the fuzzy and chocolatey mouthfeel of some assam or malty breakfast teas.  But it is not sharp or bitter like other brighter black teas I’ve tried, even after a longer steep time.

Ruhuna is powered by its citrus flavors, tasting as sunny and lemony as you can without adding flavoring or lemon peel to the tea.  Beneath that first flush of lemon, there are sweeter orange notes, all supported by a a robust and figgy black tea base.

Sweet without being artificial, and bright without being too tart, it is easy to enjoy such an uplifting and drinkable tea.


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!

Organic Masala Chai from Hope and Glory

We’ve been having some tropical weather lately, so today was much cooler and rainier than usual for this time of year. I do appreciate cool weather when I can get it, especially because after a few days/weeks/months of summer I get tired of not being able to have any hot tea after 8AM without overheating and getting a migraine. So to celebrate the great rainy weather, I decided to have a big mug of milky chai right in the middle of the day; and fortunately for me, I was lucky enough to have a sample of Hope & Glory’s organic masala chai on hand!

The back of the sample packet said to simmer the tea with milk and water for 5-10 minutes, so that’s what I did. (I know this means my review won’t be much use to people who can’t drink milk, and I apologize. I once tried to make my lactose-intolerant brother a chai latte but I was unprepared to adapt to using soymilk and to make a long story short, he probably still dislikes spiced chai. But I digress.) I then strained it into my tall latte mug and added a few teaspoons of sugar and a little cream.

After taking a few sips I concluded that it’s everything you could hope for in a chai. The spice blend is harmonious and contrasts well with the creaminess of the milk, just as it should. It blends well enough that no one spice flavor jumps out at me, which is great. Some chais try to make up for any deficiencies with an overwhelming amount of cinnamon (I mean, cinnamon is great, but so are the other spices!), so I’m glad this one is so well-balanced. They’re strong spices too, and of course I mean that in the best way. There’s a warmth that lingers after each sip, past the milky aftertaste, until I give in and take another sip. Fortunately, the next sip is just as amazing, so the cycle of happiness tends to self-perpetuate and everything is great (until you run out of tea!).
Overall, I find this tea to be unequivocally awesome and would gladly drink any amount of it. Also, being organic and fair-trade, it naturally has an ecological advantage (as well as a sociological advantage and a health advantage) over other similar teas.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Hope and Glory

login-logo_sans-sunDescription

A full-bodied blend of organic Ceylon black tea and spices, Masala Chai derives from the Hindi literally meaning ‘mixed-spice tea’. Spices such as cardamom and cinnamon have been expertly blended to give a warming, rich blend of flavours and a sweet aroma.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Rajah Collection Organic Masala Chai from Hope & Glory

I have to say I have being having so much fun going thru the Hope & Glory Shipment that was sent and Rajah Collection Organic Masala Chai from Hope & Glory is one of those teas that I am VERY MUCH enjoying thus far!

I LOVE the packaging!  It goes along with their brand.  It’s colorful and clean.  The packaging also explains a lot with very little wordage.  It’s eye-catching and easy to comprehend while on-the-go!  On the back of the package I am looking at for the Rajah Collection Organic Masala Chai from Hope & Glory offering I noticed the ingredient breakdown and ratio.

The leaf grade of the Rajah Collection Organic Masala Chai from Hope & Glory is Orthodox Leaf – FBOP.  This blend of ingredients are 70% Organic Ceylon Black Tea, 30% fresh blend of organic spices which are made up of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, and black pepper.

I really appreciate the fact that Hope & Glory used 70% for the ratio of black tea base to the 30% chai spices.  The chai spices are perfectly done to my own personal liking.  The spices are not over powering nor are they too weak – they are JUST RIGHT!  Rajah Collection Organic Masala Chai from Hope & Glory is quite thrilling and certainly a tea I will be sharing with MANY.

 

 


Caddie-Small-beige-800-180x180Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Chai (Black Tea Base)
Where to Buy: Hope & Glory
Description: A full-bodied blend of organic Ceylon black tea and spices, Masala Chai derives from the Hindi literally meaning ‘mixed-spice tea’. Spices such as cardamom and cinnamon have been expertly blended to give a warming, rich blend of flavours and a sweet aroma.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea

RichmondTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Upton Tea

Tea Description:

Description:
A mellow, whole-leaf blend of Keemun, Ceylon, and Darjeeling. An exceptional tea that is smooth enough for drinking plain, and sturdy enough to take milk or lemon. From our London blender.

Origin:
England

Steeping Suggestions:
Leaf Quantity: 2¼ g/cup
Water Temp: 212º (boiling)
Steep Time: 4-5 min.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

According to the production description Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea is ‘mellow’.  I disagree.  That’s not a word I would use to describe this tea at all.  However, the product description for Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea does go on to say that it is sturdy enough for the addition of milk or lemon.  Eventho I don’t add anything to my cup of tea I will agree that it’s a more sturdy tea overall.

At first sip I wasn’t sure if this tea was on a level playing field when it came to the other black teas offered from Upton Tea.  This was a tea that I’m glad I didn’t judge at first sip.  It ended up growing on me.  It took me a little time to understand Richmond Park Blend from Upton Tea.  Once this tea and I ‘became friends’ I ended up enjoying it a lot more.

Keemun, Ceylon, and Darjeeling are blended together for this offering.  The flavor layers are ever changing throughout the sip.  It’s heavy, then malty, then sweet-woodsy, then smoky, then earthy.  This does live up to multiple infusions but be careful not to over infuse!

This is a complex blend that I encourage you to try but be patient with because it’s ever changing and taking the time to get to know will pay off in the end!