Lemon, Ginger & Ginseng Herbal Tisane from Rington’s Premium English Teas

Lemon-Ginger-GinsengTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Rington’s Premium English Teas

Tea Description:

Naturally caffeine free, the Lemon, Ginger & Ginseng Herbal Tea is a refreshing and invigorating infusion that balances the lemon and ginger flavours.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Do you ever go through that moment when – as you’re brewing a cup of tea – you think to yourself:  what was I thinking, choosing this tea?  I actually go through that sort of moment more than I care to admit to.

And I experienced that moment as I was brewing this Lemon, Ginger & Ginseng Herbal Tisane from Rington’s Premium English Teas.  I mean, I like lemon and I like ginger and I actually enjoy the two together quite a bit.  But ginseng?  I think I’ve mentioned more than once here on this blog that I’m not a fan of it.  So, what possessed me to grab this tea to try it?

I don’t know.  But, now that it’s brewed, I might as well try it, right?

I brewed one bag in 6 ounces of hot water (195°F) for 5 minutes.

The aroma offers a strong lemony note with hints of ginger.  I also detect an earthy ginseng aroma.  Ugh.

Fortunately, the ginseng smells stronger than it tastes!  Happy day!

The lemon is the strongest flavor of the cup and it’s bright and invigorating.  It’s not overly tart, it’s more of a sweet lemon note with hints of tangy.  But I’m not puckering here.

The ginger is somewhat subdued, it’s not an overly peppered flavor from the spice of the ginger.  It’s warm enough to offer some contrast to the zesty flavor of the lemon but not so spicy that it distracts from the lemon.  This cup is really all about the lemon!

I can also taste the slightest hint of a cinnamon-y flavor to this.  It’s very slight and it complements the ginger in a very enjoyable way.

What I don’t taste a lot of – thankfully – is ginseng.  Even when I attempt to focus on the ginseng flavor to determine how much of it I actually do taste, I don’t taste a lot.  A slight earthiness – that’s it!  And the earthy notes meld favorably with the earthy notes of the ginger and cinnamon.

It really is as I said earlier, this tea is really all about the lemon.  This would be something nice to keep on hand for those times when you’re feeling a bit under the weather and want something lively to sip.  It would go nicely with a dollop of honey and would be soothing on a sore throat.

It’d also be nice if you’re cold-brewing some basic black tea – add one of these tea bags in along with the black tea and you’ll have a pleasant lemony flavor to your iced tea.

Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised by this tea!

Matcha from Chiang Rai Tea House

ChiangMatcha1Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green (Matcha)

Where to Buy:  Chiang Rai Tea House

Tea Description:

Matcha -green tea powder- is an antioxidant powerhouse (ORAC rating of 1,300 units/gram compared to 105 units/gram for pomegranates) and its list of health benefits goes on and on -fights viruses and bacteria, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar, L-Theanine relaxes and supports concentration, boosts metabolism and burns calories, contains the unique and powerful antioxidant catechin EGCg.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Matcha.  And even though it’s been a little while since I’ve written about Matcha, that doesn’t mean that it’s been a while since I’ve consumed it.  I try to drink a bowl of Matcha (or do a cold-water shake-up of Matcha in my water bottle) at least every other day.  Occasionally, I might skip a day or two, but, I do try to drink it regularly – the stuff is magical!  It’s not only tasty but it also makes me feel so good after I’ve had it.  It’s one of the most revitalizing, energizing and spiritually uplifting teas I know of.

So, I was really intrigued when Chiang Rai Tea House sent me some of their Matcha to try.  Traditionally, Matcha is a Japanese tea, but the tea that was ground into this powdered green tea is from Thailand.  So, I was interested to find out if it would be different from the traditional Matcha.

The color in this photo is brighter than the color of the tea in the package I received.

The dry powder is not the vivid Apple Green that you’d find with most top quality Matcha teas from Japan.  This tea was more like an Army Green color.  Kind of drab and dull.  This worried me because it’s been my experience that when it comes to Matcha, the color is very telling of what I’ll be tasting.

But, I’m going to try it and see how it goes.  I measured out some of the Matcha into my sifter and sifted into my Chawan and added hot water (160°F) and whisked the Matcha with my Chasen.  The Matcha incorporated quickly.  There was some froth to the prepared Matcha but it disappeared as quickly as it formed.

On their webpage, Chiang Rai Tea House says this about their Matcha:

We are particularly proud of our matcha, which we honestly believe can rival any Japanese matcha. This is a high-grade, 100% pure green tea powder made following strict guidelines. It has a smooth texture, a sweet aftertaste and an intense flavor, without the bitterness characteristic of lesser matchas.

I don’t know if this can rival any Japanese Matcha, but I will say that it’s better than some of the lower quality Japanese Matcha that I’ve tried.  It is smooth and sweet.  I’m not getting any of the bitterness or even the bitter-sweet notes that I’d taste from a lesser quality Matcha from Japan.  I’m actually quite surprised by that – because I expected this to taste a lot like that!  I expected this to taste like some of those average or even less-than-average Matcha teas that I’ve tried over the years.

This has a strong flavor that is a lightly buttery and there are pleasant notes of cacao.  It’s smooth and even though there were a couple of chalky moments, overall, I find this to be a very tasty Matcha.  The powder remained suspended in the liquid and didn’t settle to the bottom which was a big bonus as far as I’m concerned.  I liked that the consistency of the tea remained the same from the first sip to the last.

Overall, this was a pleasant Matcha experience.  This isn’t the best Matcha that I’ve ever tried, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.  If you’re someone who drinks Matcha daily and is looking for a good alternative to the average Matcha, try this.  This has a very pleasant flavor that I don’t always find in the average Matcha.

Celebration Medley Rooibos Blend from Sloane Tea Company

CelebMedTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Tea Information:

Sweet spice and delightful seasonal aromas! Meet the perfect tea to get you through the cold months. Warm baking spices of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg blend seamlessly with citrus and the natural sweetness of apple and rose petals. This is a unique blend destined to become one of your favourites.

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I loved how apple-y this smelled when I opened the pouch.  And as it steeped, I was treated to more apple notes – it smelled a bit like apple cider!  YUM!

The apple notes are well-defined as are the spices.  The cinnamon and clove add warmth and I’m getting a hint of “spicy-hot” cinnamon, like someone added a red-hot candy or two to my cup and let it dissolve.  It’s not overly ‘hot’ but there’s just a hint of that candy-like cinnamon-clove-y hot-sweet flavor.

The nutmeg adds earthy and nutty flavors that meld nicely with the rooibos.  The orange is more of a background note, but it adds a tangy, bright taste that is rather pleasant.  The orange note also plays with the red-hot flavor of the cinnamon and clove.

I don’t taste a strong rose note, but every once in a while I get this lovely floral note.  It seems to weave its way in and out, not always making itself obvious or apparent, but this blend wouldn’t be the same without that gentle whisper of rose.

To steep, I used my Kati Tumbler and added 1 1/2 bamboo scoops of tisane to the basket and 12 ounces of water heated to 195°F.  I steeped it for 10 minutes.

I enjoyed this and would be happy to drink it again!  It’s a little spicy-hot, it’s sweet, it’s fruity, and it’s got enough going on with it to keep the palate interested.  It’s a fun and tasty blend!

Assam FTGFOP Black Tea from Simple Loose Leaf

AssamFTGFOPTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf here.

Tea Description:

A rich, whole leaf Assam with dark leaves and golden tips produces a bright copper, full-bodied tea. Floral and citrus hints are followed by a malty aftertaste. Lovely with milk and sugar, and a wonderful stand-alone tea.

Ingredients:  Assam Fine Tippy Golden Flower Orange Pekoe Black Tea

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf’s Selection Club subscription program here.

Receive 25% savings on the Selection Club from Simple Loose Leaf.  Just type in SISTERSELECTION25 in the coupon field and save 25%!  This discount is applicable only to the monthly Selection Club subscription and not the retail selection of teas.

Taster’s Review:

Mmm!  That’s the first sound that came out of me as I took a sip of this tea.  There is something that is just so … delectable when it comes to a high quality Assam tea like this one from Simple Loose Leaf.  Is it the sweet caramel undertones?  The malty notes?  The hints of cacao that intermingle with the notes of fruit and flower and earth?  Or is it a combination of all these?

For me, it’s how the cup comes together.  It’s the sum of the parts.  The tea is rich and full-bodied.  It has a certain gusto to it that invigorates me, which is why I tend to reach for teas like this as my first cup of the day.

I also love the sweetness of the tea.  The creamy caramel low notes meld with the malty notes of the tea to create this decadent sweetness that compliments the cacao notes.  Then I taste the notes of flower and fruit in the distance.  It’s earthy and warm.  And as you’re starting to feel just a little cozy with the sip, those fruit notes come through to add a touch of brightness to the cup.

But how to brew it?  I have found that Assam teas tend to be rather finicky.  They don’t like to be kept in hot water too long or they’ll become quite bitter on you.  Sure, this is true of many teas, but I find it to be particularly true of Assam, and even a matter of 15 – 30 seconds too long can mean a cup that’s more bitter than you want it to be.

For Assam, I go with 205°F rather than the full-on boil, and then I steep the tea for no more than 2 1/2 minutes.  If I steep the tea in my Breville One-Touch tea maker (which is what I did today), I steep the tea for only 2 minutes.  500ml of freshly filtered water with 2 bamboo scoops of tea in the basket and I pushed the button to make my magical machine go.  Two minutes later, I was treated to a fragrant, delicious cuppa!

This is a really good Assam.  I like this tea best served hot, and it takes the additions of milk and honey well if that’s what you like in your tea.  I personally like this straight up, it’s edgy and it gives me a good shake awake.  When I want an indulgent treat, I sometimes drizzle some pure maple syrup in my cup and yum!

Another awesome tea from Simple Loose Leaf!  Have you joined the Selection Club yet?

Orange Oolong Tea from Aromatica Fine Teas

Orange-OolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Aromatica Fine Teas

Tea Description:

Taste the richness of the oolong at this tea’s base. This darker, roasted oolong presents upfront toasty notes and a hint of chestnuts. The orange is natural and balanced, but builds to a stronger citrus finish. Together, this is soft and smooth.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

Yay!  My Amoda Tea Box for November arrived yesterday!  I’m always so excited to get this special parcel in my mailbox every month.  I’m expecially excited about this package because all three teas are ones that I’ve not tried before.  The first tea that I’m tasting is this Orange Oolong Tea from Aromatica Fine Teas.

The dry leaf has a very strong orange aroma.  It smells as though I had just cut into a ripe, juicy orange!  The scent filled the room as soon as I opened the pouch.   Ordinarily, I will brew a flavored Oolong in my Breville One-Touch tea maker, but, I decided to grab my gaiwan to fully enjoy the strong, amazing orange fragrance.  The tea brews up a dark yet transparent chocolate brown color and the aromatic wisps wafting out of the teacup are beckoning me to take a sip.

The first cup is very flavorful and has a nice balance between Formosa tea flavor and sweet orange notes.  The tea has a pleasing earthy flavor that is slightly woodsy and warm with notes of roasted nut.  There is a background note of fruit that is slightly peach-like, and I like the way this melds with the bright citrus notes.

Subsequent infusions were also quite flavorful.  I found that as I continued to infuse this tea, the flavors became smoother and almost seamless.  The orange notes remained a “sunny” kind of flavor in the cup, while the Oolong maintained it’s earthy, slightly nutty tones, but everything melded together in a very pleasant way.

A delightful and complex tea.