I got a sample of Sweet Peppermint from Tea Drops in some teamail from a friend. Most of the tea I drink for fun or for reviews are loose leaf teas, with the occasional bagged tea as well. I personally haven’t tried many instant teas, so at first I was a bit baffled with the right way to brew this sample from Tea Drops. Simply put the tea-cake into hot water and stir. How easy is that?
Let me draw attention to the adorable fact that this Sweet Peppermint sample came pressed into the shape of a heart. The cuteness of this tea-cake is the essential detail here, and is what makes these Tea Drops teas such cute gift ideas. They have other shapes like stars and flowers as well as the heart shape I tried.
Brewed this tea is mildly minty, very sugar and sweet, with some creamy vanilla tones. The little compressed tea-cakes might be an easy solution to brewing tea on the go. Consider stashing a few of these in your desk at work for when the going gets tough and you only have a mug around for tea-brewing.
As a tea, this blend is okay. The cuteness of the presentation is its true benefit and enjoyment. Definitely worth a try for the novelty of their super-cute tea-cakes.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Tea Drops
A fuller bodied Peppermint tea experience that’s refreshing to the senses with a kick of genuine spearmint. Naturally caffeine-free, this is the perfect anytime tea – morning, day, or night.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
The tea of many names! CervanTea’s Tea Blend – Man of La ManChai – DonQuixoTea from Novel Teas! Novel Teas says this is their delicious and adventurous brew of organic and traditional chai spices including red cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, and the root of ginger. It is a full bodied tea experience. I would have to agree. This is a solid chai!
It’s not too over the top but it’s not too weak in the spice department either. It’s JUST RIGHT. The cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, and ginger are all equally wonderful. The black tea base was of medium strength and sang in unison with the spices. CervanTea’s Tea Blend – Man of La ManChai – DonQuixoTea from Novel Teas was pretty impressive and a solid chai to have on hand for when you are craving it or to share with friends.
And speaking of sharing with friends there is a matching tea tin from this company! The perfect partner to CervanTea’s Tea Blend – Man of La ManChai – DonQuixoTea from Novel Teas.
Taste and share the great adventure of Miguel de Cervan Teas. NovelTeas’ spicy black chai is an invigorating ode to western literature’s favorite knight errant, Don QuixoTea™ and this tea was inspired by the first modern novel by Spanish author Miguel Cervantes Don Quixote of La Mancha. Their organically-spiced blend makes for a delectable first addition to anyone’s NovelTeas Library. They encourage book-lovers and tea-lovers alike and take up your arms to a cup of their traditional organic chai spices.
The tea tin itself measures9.4IN X 6.3IN X 2.4IN and makes a great gift for any tea lover or any book lover.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: Novel Teas
This is our delicious and adventurous brew of organic and traditional chai spices: red cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, and the root of ginger. It is a full bodied experience, one ideally served with cream, exceedingly so with sugar.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Our Sister’s Thoughts:
Not only am I reviewing a tea but a tea product and concept with this Jin Xuan Oolong Tea in Goldfish Teabag From Charmvilla . First I will cover the actual tea INSIDE the bag. The Jin Xuan Oolong Tea inside this cute Goldfish Teabag is a pretty straight forward Oolong. It’s a no-muss, no-fuss type. It infuses to a light golden yellow. The aroma is a weaker milky type smelling oolong. The taste is a little creamy, a bit green, and a tad roasted. It’s a fair tasting oolong.
Personally I think the draw of this product is all presentation! I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’m constantly looking for something different when it comes to ANYTHING Tea. That is what I found with this product. This isn’t a product that the average person would buy in bulk. Each bag goes for about $20. It would certainly be reserved for the most special of occasions. I could definitely see these at wedding receptions. I read somewhere that a lady bought one of these for her elderly great grandmother as a gift, too, and I could see where that would be something to treasure and talk about.
After I learned that each bag goes thru a 16-step process I could see why the cost was higher. It was more justifiable to me in my head. This is a gem of a NovelTEA product that is for sure. Jin Xuan Oolong Tea in Goldfish Teabag From Charmvilla is something to be treasured and talked about and not simply thrown away once finished with a simple cuppa. The way it plumps up in the bag and seems to naturally swim around in your cup is totally a sight to see!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Oolong Tea
Where to Buy: Charmvilla
The concept of Charmvilla is to add elements of charm and passion to products. Goldfish Tea Bags are made via a 16-step process. Nine of these steps require exquisite handcrafted skills by Taiwanese artists in order to display the ultimate craftsmanship of the Goldfish Tea Bag. The complex process is to highlights the majestic artistry of the Goldfish Tea Bag.
When the tea bag is brewed in hot water and begins to swell, the shape of a goldfish begins to form. The mouth of the tea bag is designed with a special cotton thread, Pulling the thread enables the tea bag to move in water. Creating a natural rhythm of moment from the fluctuations of the water. A life-like goldfish appears to be swimming in your tea cup. The concept of the Goldfish Tea Bag echoes its manufacturer’s cultural appeal – Creating charming products, enjoying a charm filled life. When the beauty of tea culture is delivered through the elegant shape of a goldfish, Tea drinkers can not only enjoy the taste, but also enjoy the fun and beauty of brewing tea with this highly loved, award-winning tea bag.
Jin Xuan Oolong: Jin Xuan translates to “Golden Daylily” and is also referred to as “Milk Oolong” (Nai Xiang) due to its buttery smoothness. This high-mountain grown tea produces a unique soft, creamy, rich, subtly sweet flavor once it is lightly roasted and rolled into semi-balls. Absolutely no milk is involved in the production of real Taiwan ‘milk’ tea. It resembles milk, but doesn’t taste exactly like milk. Once brewed, the tea produces a dark yellow, goldfish color (the color of Golden Daylily) and yields a fresh aroma, fresh flavor, and a smooth aftertaste with sweet undertones.
Learn more about this tea here.
Leaf Type: Pu-erh
Where to Buy: Teasenz
Made from 2012 “gift-tea grade” leaves selected by the Teasenz team and pressed into a tea bar. Easy to break and steep right away, or store and let it ripen for years. A perfect gift to surprise your favorite tea drinker.
Learn more about this tea here.
I was quite pleased by the aroma of the dry bar, because usually when I take a sniff of the dry leaf of a pu-erh, it smells very earthy, to the point where it smells … well, it smells like earth. Like potting soil with um … well, with maybe a little bit of fertilizer mixed in. Yeah, I’m not all that into that smell. But, while there are some earthy notes to this dry leaf (which has been pressed into a bar shape with little squares, similar to what you might find if you were to unwrap a bar of chocolate), this doesn’t overpower my nostrils with the smell of a greenhouse during planting season.
And the brewed tea doesn’t have a heavy earthy aroma either. Nor does it have a heavy “briny” or fishy smell. BONUS points for that. The aroma here is very soft, almost indistinguishable, which some might find a bit weird, but it’s much more agreeable to this tea drinker than the aforementioned potting soil.
The flavor is so nice! It has a deep, rich, mellow flavor that is a pleasure to drink. There are notes of cacao which is especially nice given the comparison I made to the chocolate bar a bit ago. Absolutely no bitterness. No astringency. Just a smooth, well-rounded, mellow flavor. While there are faint notes of earth here, this isn’t what I’d categorize as an earthy tea.
The flavor is very interesting because it’s quite unlike any pu-erh that I’ve tried to this point. The notes of cacao are there, it’s a very mild dark chocolate note. It’s almost like raw cacao, except that I taste a very subtle roast. Like perhaps they started to roast the cacao but then changed their minds shortly after the roasting process had begun.
The cacao notes are softer than the overtone of molasses that I taste. This tastes to me very much like molasses, with hints of mushroom. Imagine a mushroom that has been slow-roasted to dry it out a little bit (so that it has a slight dry, leathery sort of taste to it) and then topped with raw cacao, and then topped with a heavy drizzle of molasses.
Yeah, it sort of tastes like that, only better, because that description sounds kind of weird and this just tastes unique and lovely. I mean, if a chef put a plate in front of me with a slow-roasted, leathery mushroom that had been dusted with raw cacao and drizzled with molasses, I would think that the chef had lost his mind. It is sweet, rich, a little leathery with a very slight earthy tone. Overall … a really splendid tea experience!
This tea keeps going and going too. I managed eight infusions, and I think I could have gotten even more, but I was ready to move on. The flavors got deeper and deeper with each infusion, until about six. The flavors pretty much began to stabilize at that point, and then wane. My eighth infusion is where I started to notice a loss in flavor, but it was still quite flavorful.
Where to Buy: Sugimoto America
“Washi” Green Tea Gift – Genmai Cha features high-quality Japanese green tea packaged in a beautiful Japanese “Washi” canister. “Washi” is traditional Japanese rice paper printed with authentic Japanese patterns. Genmai Cha is a rich, aromatic blend of green tea, roasted brown rice, and matcha. Currently, it is one of Japan’s most popular teas.
Learn more about this product here.
Not too long ago, I reviewed another Washi Green Tea Set from Sugimoto America, that beautiful blue Washi paper covered tin was filled with a delightful Sen Cha tea, and this gorgeous red Washi paper covered tin is filled with Genmai Cha with Matcha tea!
The dry leaf of this Genmai Cha with Matcha looks very much like other teas of this type that I’ve tried. It looks like a Genmaicha: green tea with roasted brown rice – some of which “pops” to look like tiny bits of popcorn. But they’re not bits of popcorn, they’re pieces of popped rice! Very cool. Because this is a “with Matcha” variety of Genmai Cha, the tea has been dusted with a coat of bright, jade green powdered green tea (aka Matcha).
When the tea is steeped (180°F for 1 1/2 minutes are the parameters that I used) the liquid is a somewhat opaque, beautifully bright, pale green color. The aroma is warm and toasty with a grassy tone.
Mmm! This is a really good Genmai cha! The overall flavor is that of roasty-toasty-nutty goodness. It is sweet from the roasty-toasty nutty flavors as well as from the green tea notes. It doesn’t taste overly “grassy” although there are some grass notes to this, I taste more of a lightly buttered, steamed lima bean flavor than that of “grass.”
I really enjoy Genmai cha because it is one of those “cozy” types of teas that I can enjoy later in the afternoon when I need something soothing and relaxing to sip. This tea offers that with the uplifting boost that comes from the energizing Matcha.
What impresses me most about this gift set is not the fabulous Washi paper covered tin – which is MOST impressive, indeed! – but the fact that the beautiful tin is filled with tea. What a lovely gift something like this would make to any tea lover. When you go to some of the expensive tea shops in the mall (you know which one I’m talking about, right?) these types of tins are very costly, and the price of the tin does not include the tea! With this gift, you not only get the beautiful tin but an excellent quality Japanese tea at a price that is probably about half what you’d spend in that expensive shop in the mall for the same type of product. I’m really impressed with the value of this product!