Blueberry Green Kukicha from Frontier Organic . . . . .

I’ve really been looking forward to this organic Kukicha touting the same blueberry green flavor profile that got me through finals week. This kukicha style of tea includes twigs from the tea plant so it’s a bit lower in caffeine and usually a bit more woody tasting. To be honest I’m a little judgy about low caffeine teas, I have an assumption that they’ll be less flavorful but I’m more than willing to test my hypothesis, especially since this is my comfort flavors! The stars of this blend are plenty of flat greens (I’m guessing it’s Dragonwell tea / longjingcha) dotted with teensy dried blueberries.

As it brews, it smells earthy but pleasant and delicate, like walking through a forest in the summer, with teases of juicy berries begging to be eaten. Not getting as much lemongrass scent, though I see it. The different components stratify themselves by weight in my gravity strainer, producing a really neat effect in the deep caramel-colored infusion. You can blame my geology profs for that last observation 😉

The complex taste of the green tea seems to expand past my mouth! It makes a single sip seem impossibly full of flavor. It’s unexpectedly rich, and then the sweet berry aftertaste lingers for a nice long while. The lemongrass is hiding somewhere in all this, but it’s not undetectable, just subtle. My second steep included rock sugar, which eased the flavor intensity a bit and made it more my taste.

I have to say, despite my bias I’m impressed with how well this low caffeine tea passed my taste-tests. Each flavor amplified the others, but nothing is overpowered. Since I’m already committed to nerdy buzzwords here, I’m going to call this a synergy blend, where the end product is more flavorful than the sum of its parts alone. Yum!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy: Frontier Co-Op

Organic and Kosher loose leaf Kukicha

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!


Gunpowder Green Tea from Frontier Co-Op. . . .

I buy almost all of my spices in bulk. It’s so much cheaper. I never realized how much spice companies charge for the jars until I started buying in bulk. Almost every store I’ve ever bought my bulk spices in sells Frontier spices, and I’ve always been happy with the quality.

Last week when I was picking up some curry powder, I noticed that the store I was at also had a few Frontier teas in bulk. I figured I should give them a try and see if they are as good as the spices. I decided to try Gunpowder Green Tea first. It comes in little pellets that loosen up in your strainer once the water hits. I’ve had gunpowder green tea a few times, but not in awhile so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I brewed myself a cup and was very pleasantly surprised. It’s nice and mellow, with a very faint bitter aftertaste.

But it’s a pleasant, kind of smoky bitterness that I’ve come to enjoy with green teas. It’s pleasant both hot and cold. I had a hot cup this morning when I first woke up, and now that it’s warmer I’m enjoying a glass iced and it’s very refreshing. Something that I really like about the pellets is that it stays in my strainer. Sometimes with loose leaf some of the tea comes out of the holes and although I don’t really mind drinking the loose herbs I prefer a nice smooth clean cup or glass of tea and the pellet form allows me that simple pleasure. If you happen to see a bulk spice section at your grocery store, check and see if they have tea.

It’s a great inexpensive way to try new things and see if you like it. And of course it’s an excellent choice for the earth because less packaging is always better! I give Frontier spices and now teas a huge thumbs up for quality and price!!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green Tea
Where to Buy:  Frontier Co-Op

This tea has a very rich flavor, with a hint of sweet smokiness. The leaves are rolled into little pellets that unfurl and ‘bloom’ in the cup.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Blueberry Green Kukicha from Frontier Organic. . . . . .

When I smelled this tea, I knew right away I needed to make it into iced tea. I prefer fruitier teas cold for some reason. It smells like blueberries right away, and when you pour hot water over the tea, it really smells like blueberries!

Kukicha tea is also known as twig tea. It’s prepared from the stems and stalks of the tea shrub. That’s exactly what this tea looks like, twigs with some dried blueberries in the mix. Twig tea, or Kukicha tea is a nutritional powerhouse. It has six times more calcium than cow’s milk, and more vitamin C than an orange. Kukicha is highly recommended for those following a macrobiotic diet.

I am really enjoying the fruity, slightly grassy taste of this tea. It’s very refreshing. If you enjoy the grassy taste of green tea, you will love this. And if you find the grassy taste too much, you’ll probably also enjoy this because the blueberry flavor really shines. And if you’re like me and watching your caffeine intake, kukicha does have caffeine, but it’s a very small amount.

I had never heard of Kukicha tea before this, other than a random skit on Portlandia, and to be honest i thought they were making it up. After trying this tea and reading about all of the health benefits, I will be looking for more twig teas. If you like blueberries and green tea, I really recommend trying this delicious tea!!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green Tea
Where to Buy:  Frontier Organic

Enjoy this wonderful Japanese organic karigane (green kukicha stem) tea combined with nutrient-packed flash freeze-dried organic blueberries. Fresh fruity vegetal flavors deliver a powerful boost of antioxidants and very low caffeine content in a satisfying, healthy tea that also happens to help satisfy sweet-tooth cravings.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Se Chung Special Oolong from Frontier Co-Op

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Frontier Co-Op

Tea Description:

Oolong (English) or Wu Long (Chinese pinyin translation) tea is a partially oxidized tea and has flavor characteristics of both green and black teas. The fresh leaves are withered for one to two days and the leaves are then rolled to release enzymes (needed for the next step). Then the tea leaves are allowed to oxidize, although for a shorter period than for black tea, and the process is stopped before it is completed. The tea is fired (heated) to prevent further oxidation and to dry the tea. Oolong teas can vary significantly in flavor depending on when the oxidization process is interrupted having more of a green tea character if interrupted early in the process and more black tea character the longer oxidation continues.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is nice.  It reminds me a bit of an Oolong that might be served at a Chinese restaurant – nothing too fancy, just pure, delicious Oolong goodness.

Se Chung Oolong is a darker Oolong, which means that it has been oxidized for a longer period of time.  What I typically notice with the darker Oolong teas is that they tend to have a fruitier profile, while the greener Oolong teas tend to have more of a floral note to them.  This is true of this Oolong as well.  I taste a hint of sweet, fuzzy peaches in the background.

There is also a roasted, nutty kind of taste to this, as well as a warm earthy tone.  Because of this toasty kind of flavor, it gives the peach note an almost caramelized kind of sweetness.

Overall, I find this tea to be light and smooth, not too heavy or overwhelming, which is why I think it makes a good accompaniment to a meal – no powerful taste that will interfere with the flavor of the food.  This also makes a delicious iced tea because of its agreeable, amenable kind of taste.

A very pleasant tea, not as fancy as some, but, certainly nice to have on hand for times when you want to just sit and enjoy some refreshing Oolong tea.

Blueberry Green Kukicha from Frontier Co-Op

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Frontier Co-Op

Product Description:

Enjoy this wonderful Japanese organic karigane (green kukicha stem) tea combined with flash freeze-dried organic blueberries. Fresh fruity vegetal flavors deliver very low caffeine content in a satisfying, healthy tea that also happens to help satisfy sweet-tooth cravings.

Taster’s Review:

This is an interesting tea.

The dry leaf (err… stem?) has a scent that is similar to freshly cut grass and blueberry.  It is a very pleasant fragrance.  Once brewed, the aroma of the tea is different.  It still smells of blueberry, but instead of the grassy scent, I am getting a sort of steamed asparagus essence.  These two scents together – blueberry and asparagus – make for a somewhat odd smell.  Not off-putting, just … odd.

But the flavor is very enjoyable.  It tastes strongly of blueberries (a good thing for a blueberry tea to taste strongly of!), and the Kukicha has a vegetative presence.  It is grassy with a light astringency at the tail.  Kukicha tends to be a lighter tasting tea than, say a Sencha, so the vegetative tone seems relatively strong for the lightness of the tea.  But, since I have grown quite fond of that vegetative taste, I don’t mind that at all.

Overall, I found this to be a tasty cup.  It’s good hot or iced, and with it being so hot, I’m inclined at the moment to say that I prefer it iced.  Ask me again in the middle of winter, and I might flip-flop on that.

I like Frontier Co-Op’s products.  These are good quality, organic teas at reasonable prices.   And they’re tasty too!