Jasmine from Arbor Teas. . . .

Arbor Teas is a family business based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan which is surprising to me as I did not take Ann Arbor as a town with a tea scene. Nevertheless, Arbor teas is sourcing some of the world’s finest organic teas for those looking for organic options.

My Sororitea Sisters were kind enough to send me a sample of Arbor Tea’s Jasmine tea. Normally I would not pick a jasmine tea for myself but I am happy to try anything once and this tea is no exception. I was given just enough for a hot cup of tea and an iced cup so I got to brewing per the company’s suggested brewing parameters.

The hot tea tastes like most other jasmine teas I have had, dark and floral with an intense briskness that comes off almost drying. The iced tea is more of the same with that drying floral flavor that tastes as if potpourri is what was steeped and not tea.

Basically this is like all other jasmine teas and by that I mean it is not for me. People who like this flavor can always give this a try but nothing stood out to me as distinct or particularly unique so unless you like this flavor and are placing an Arbor Tea order, it might be better to go with a more easily accessible option.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Arbor Teas
Description

This organic, Fair Trade Certified Jasmine Green Tea offers a wonderful jasmine fragrance backed by a fuller-bodied organic chun mee green tea base. This is acquired by picking the jasmine flower late at night when the blossom is in full bloom. The flowers are layered upon the organic tea leaves to impart their fragrance and create the most exquisite jasmine green tea experience around! By morning, the jasmine fragrance has transferred to the organic Chinese tealeaves and the blossoms are then discarded. This process is carried out on multiple successive evenings to impart the superior flavor and aroma of this specially selected organic green tea.

Ingredients: organic Chinese green tea

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Black Tea Infused with Osmanthus Flowers from Zesta Ceylon Tea. . . .

This is my first ever tea from the Zesta Connoisseur Collection, and based on this one I can’t wait to try more.

I am a fan of floral flavor, BUT (and this is a BIG BUT which I why I made the word BUT so big) only when it tastes natural and not like soap or chemicals. My first ever jasmine flavored black tea tasted like pure bubble bath, and disgusted me to the point that I was afraid to try any more jasmine for a long time. Now I love jasmine tea. So let’s see how this osmanthus goes…

I am using the sachets of this orthodox production flower infused tea, although it is also available loose. The leaves are small and twisted, and definitely not CTC. It calls for a very short steep time, which I respected and followed all directions to a T. Or to a “tea”, if you will. (Groan! I’m sorry. I will stop now.)

And…I am really enjoying this. The Ceylon base is nice and light, not one of the puckery strong ones, and there is no question that I am tasting LOTS AND LOTS of osmanthus. And for some reason, it is making me think of Parma Violets, which I also really enjoy.

I am on my third cup and high-fiving myself for choosing this one as my last tea before bed, because it is soooo relaxing. This would also be an excellent soothing tea for an afternoon when you need a little pampering. I am wrapped in my little osmanthus scented cocoon and off to have sweet dreams…


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zesta Ceylon Tea
Description

Native to East Asia, Osmanthus flowers are famous in China for their distinct flavour and scent. This tea combines selectively handpicked Osmanthus flowers with fine Chinese black tea to brew a cup which is fragrant yet pleasantly light with a fruity taste. Just the tea to help you relax at any time of day.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Alice’s Tea from Alice’s Tea Cup. . . .

I grabbed a bag of this loose leaf tea from Alice’s Tea Cup in New York, New York when I was visiting in August. If you are not able to go to New York to pick up your cuppa, they also do loose leaf tea orders online. Be sure to check back frequently because (1) they are moving their primary location so their loose leaf tea orders are on hold and (2) their menu and blends change frequently. The only difficulty with their blends is that when you’re in the store, some of the teas on their menu have different names when you get to the store so be sure to use the amazing knowledge of your tea staff at each location to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want.

The Alice’s Tea blend is a great light morning cuppa. This is a mix of both black and green teas with hints of floral. What is beautiful about this particular blend is how easy it is to see each of the blend’s ingredients. Full blossoms of flowers and large green tea leaves are beautifully blended with a traditional black breakfast tea. I’m typically the type of person who adds cream to just about all of my black teas (I lived with a lot of Britts in my early 20s), but this particular breakfast blend doesn’t require cream or sugar. I would almost say that the addition of cream takes away from the blend’s characteristics and this might be due, in part, to the green tea that is blended in as well.

If you enjoy tea, try to stop into Alice’s Tea Cup if you’re ever in New York. Even if you’re not in the area, it is absolutely worth the time on their online store. The quality of the blends is exceptional. You may want to be prepared with a tea storage solution at home though because the most recent shipment I received came in bags that did not seal very well. Hopefully, they will be working on finding a new bag supplier soon.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black/Green
Where to Buy: Alice’s Tea Cup
Description

Unfortunately this tea shop is currently down but keep a lookout for their online reopening!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tsui Yu Taiwan Floral (Jade) Oolong Tea from Fong Mong. . . .

You can always count on Fong Mong for exceptional Oolongs. The aroma cup reveals some wonderful vanilla and orchid notes in the aroma as it is steeping. A strange very very slight bit of asparagus hit the back of my tongue as I was sipping. This is not a tea for those who prefer strong teas. The flavors of this one are incredibly light. There are definitely some floral notes but if you swish it around in your mouth a bit you will also discover unique vegetable and herb notes. Be it ever so slight.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Fong Mong
Description

Plucking from Taiwan peculiar Tsui Yu (Jade TTES #13) tea cultivar, in addition to stringent management of planting, Taiwan floral oolong tea was made by artisans to refine into traditional oolong tea. In the process of light fermentation, Jadeoolong transpires delicate floral aroma which you, tea lovers, won’t miss it out.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Antivirus from TeaTaxi. . . . .

One thing I never realized until I started drinking tea is that when I get sick, my tastebuds stop working. Sometimes when I’m sick, my food still tastes the same but with tea there is almost a void in my tastebuds. It is like some of my tastebuds work and some are muted so everything is just off and it is all too clear that something is missing. It’s at these times I either try to drink teas I didn’t really love to being with or sick teas such as this Antivirus tea by TeaTaxi.

Made with peppermint, spearmint, rosehips, almonds, apples, ginger, rose, sunflower, calendula, osmanthus, hibiscus, and natural flavors, this is not something I would ever care to drink under normal circumstances. However, the collection of ingredients is tolerable and even nice when sick.

I brewed this both hot and iced, steeping both for 7 minutes in 200F degree water. Then I got suckered into going grocery shopping with my mother so both teas were left on the counter in their respective thermoses for a couple hours.

Starting with the iced tea, I am getting mint…mint and maybe ginger. That void is still present so the flavors are all lost for the most part but the tea feels good on my throat as I sip. Hot (well…warm), this tea has a lot more mint flavor. While the iced tea was more smooth and peppermint-like, hot it is more medicinal/spearmint tasting. Ginger is also more noticeable in the hot tea but as a soothing ginger tingle at the back of my throat. Other than that, everything else is M.I.A.

I don’t mind the lack of flavor because the tea is doing what I want and that’s soothing my sore throat and cough and hydrating me when I am not feeling 100%, especially the hot tea. If I am being honest, my preferred cold tea is probably Cold 911 by DAVIDsTEA but this is not a bad alternative.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy:  Tea Taxi
Description

An infusion of peppermint, spearmint, apples and ginger to help you make it through the winter. It’ll warm you from the inside out.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!