Nepali Breakfast/Nepal Tea

When prepping breakfast, I learned that I can’t use my toaster oven and kettle at the same time. That was an interesting discovery that made for a two-step breakfast: bagel first (since the toaster oven was already on) and tea second.

Another discovery: Nepali Breakfast by Nepal Tea is not a straight black tea like I thought it was. When I opened the package, I immediately got a big whiff of masala spices which surprised me. Upon closer inspection of the package, it turns out the package says black tea + spices so I guess this confusion is just on me. Oops.

Anyways, when brewing this up, I did so according to the company suggestion on the package which is to steep the tea in boiling water for 5 minutes. That is against my usual steeping parameters but hopefully Nepal Tea knows best.

After steeping the tea I brought up the Nepali Breakfast page on the Nepal Tea website only to notice that the site says to use not quite boiling water for 4-5 minutes. I also noticed on the Nepal Tea website they recommend steeping this with milk and/or sugar. Again, I did not see this until after I steeped the tea so I did not do this.

Trying the tea, the first thing I noticed is how much sugar probably would have helped this tea. I normally don’t add anything to my tea (unless I am having a latte or smoothie, etc.) but this tea is more bland than the scent of the dry leaf would have you expect. I think perhaps sugar might coax out those spices nicely since nothing really stands out. With that said, despite the fairly harsh steeping parameters, there is no bitterness or astringency here. Mostly just some cinnamon, a touch of clove, maybe a little pepper and a smooth black tea that doesn’t really impart much flavor.

I think this tea has potential but for me it fell short. The smell of the tea really had me thinking I was in store for a punch of spice but barely got a tap on the shoulder.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Nepal Tea

Description

Start the day the Nepalese way with our unique Masala Chiyah.

A blend of Orthodox, CTC teas and our special masala spice mix. Experience the color of CTC, flavors of Orthodox with the ‘zing’ of the home-made spice mix.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Victorian London Fog/Harney and Sons

This Earl Grey variation won Harney’s customer creation contest! And I see why, because it’s super-tasty.

Imagine, if you will, Earl Grey — with lavender, oolong, and vanilla added. The contents of this tea SOUND like a sock drawer, but they work together well. The oolong adds a gentler, rounded-out tea note, and the lavender & vanilla sweeten up the citrus of the bergamot.

I’ve never BEEN to London, but I like to imagine it’s classy, rounded-out, and fun like this. Everyone’s tastefully, liberally dressed; there are fun activities like art museums and bookstores; and the breeze is always crisp. Oh, and I’m dating one of the Queen’s Guard with the fuzzy hats. (In this vision, my husband is just himself, with an accent, and, of course, the hat. I can’t even have a fantasy without him intruding. Go. AWAY. Ugh. Married life.)

SO ANYWAY. I’m glad this tea won the prize, because it’s tasty and fun. Next time you want to pretend you’re in London with your fuzzy-hatted partner, get on a double-decker bus with this one


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black/Oolong

Where to Buy:  Harney and Sons

Description

Victorian London Fog was the winning blend in our customer creation contest! Thousands of blends were submitted and we let you all choose between the top 5 flavors!

The beverage called London Fog originated during the Victorian era. Traditionally, it is an Earl Grey served with steamed milk.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Strawberry Black Tea/Adagio Teas

Strawberry teas are favorites with my crowd and we love how well they pair with chocolate and decadent desserts. Some of the ones we have tried have been very finicky and others forgiving. I think this one might fall in the somewhat finicky category, but I didn’t realize it at first.

This is a Ceylon base, and I usually find Ceylon tea to be still palatable at four minutes steep time, but this one says to only give it three. I do prefer low grown Ceylon to high, as the high elevation tea tends to have strong lemon notes and higher astringency.

When I first tried this tea, it was with cookies. It went very well with them and the strawberry flavor was a good strength. I was pretty shocked to see reviews ALL OVER THE PLACE. Too tart, too dry, too astringent. Not enough strawberry, not enough tea flavor. Then others said it was their perfect strawberry tea, there was plenty of tea flavor, their favorite strawberry tea, so much strawberry aroma.

So what’s up? Lots. Different people may have made it differently. People who called it too astringent may have been drinking it plain while folks saying it was perfect were adding milk and/or sugar. Some batches may have been freshly purchased and other reviews may have come from people who were sent a sample by a friend and the tea was no longer fresh. And opinions differ because people differ.

My take on it was this – it was great with food with no milk or sugar added. The strength of the base and the strawberry flavor helped it to “stand up” to the food and not disappear. When I tried it by itself, I did find it to be very drying and to have a bit of tartness. A tiny splash of milk and a sprinkle of sugar fixed that. If you don’t want to add anything, try dropping the temp just below boiling and keep your steep a little shorter. Or just do like me and eat a cookie.

While I enjoyed it with sweets very much, I would prefer to have it on a Keemun base if I were planning to drink it by itself.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas

Description

Strawberry black tea combines the succulent taste of sweet strawberries with bright Ceylon black tea. Fresh sweet-floral and berry flavor, smooth and sugary texture. It’s a treat you’ll want to keep for yourself!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Strawberry Crepes with Cilantro Cream/A Quarter To Tea

There is a new craziness in my life and it is called law school. Yay! But also boo! One step closer to my dreams but a whole lot of miles farther from my friends and family. I do have one great comfort from home though and that is my tea. My tea and (almost) all my teaware which is now proudly displayed on a bookshelf for all to see.

With this new chapter of my life beginning, I have been thinking about the past chapters and I think that’s what made this tea, A Quarter to Tea’s Strawberry Crepes with Cilantro Cream, stand out to me. Crepes have always said Montreal to me, my home for so many years during one of the best times in my life…my undergrad. Here’s hoping this tea is as delightful as the crepes I remember…and also that law school ends up being as amazing as my undergrad.

Drinking the tea, it is definitely a tasty tea however it is hard to discern any particular flavor at first. As I continue to drink, I am picking up some of the strawberry, sweet like a puree you’d find in/on a crepe. Though cilantro isn’t fully clear, there is a savory note at the end of the sip that is different but I can’t decide if I like it or not. The oolong seems to be bridging the gap between the sweet strawberry and the savory end note. At the top of the flavor is baked goods that is light and could be crepes but it could also be a puff or a bun or whatever bakery concoction I am told to look for by A Quarter to Tea.

This is a good tea but I don’t know if this stands out. A Quarter to Tea has made some outstanding blends but this seems to be more middle-of-the-pack. I am enjoying what I have and I am glad I have another cup worth of leaf remaining but at the end of the day, I don’t think I would reach for this tea over another tea.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea

Description

It appears A Quarter To Tea is taking a short break but check out their FB page for updates.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hazelnut Cookie/Spice & Tea Exchange. . . .

The official description for Hazelnut Cookie by Spice & Tea exchange ends with: “Add cream and sweetener for a delicious dessert beverage.”

Wait… so… they’re saying… I need to do all the work? Shouldn’t something called “hazelnut cookie” do the job on its own? Why is the buck being passed to me?

I NEEDN’T HAVE WORRIED. This is creamy & sweet on its own.

It has a smooth, rich flavor that works its way through your mouth and into your spirit. (Turns out that what we once thought was “the esophagus” is actually where your soul resides.) There’s almost a citrus-y tang to the sweetness, which I think *might* be the Ceylon’s natural spices.

Does this taste like a hazelnut cookie? I’m not actually sure. I don’t think I eat hazelnut cookies often.

But it definitely tastes like dessert, drank straight, and that’s enough for me.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Spice & Tea Exchange

Description

The rich taste of Ceylon black tea is paired with the natural flavor of toasted hazelnut in this smooth and aromatic tea. Add cream and sweetener for a delicious dessert beverage.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!