The Tea That Smells Like Lemon Drops. . . Green Lemon/Newby Tea

“If a cup of tea won’t fix it, you really do have a problem.”

I don’t remember where I read that recently, but it seems pretty true at times. I was in a bit of a grump and decided to have a cuppa. This one is new to me, not just the flavor but the brand itself. Mine is an individually wrapped tea bag but the company also sells sachets and loose leaf.

Green lemon had the potential to go bad, very bad. Green tea can be pretty astringent and raw, and lemon can be puckeringly sour, so a combination of the wrong types of those two could be a mistake of epic proportions. Okay, it could turn out to be a bad cup of tea, but when you are in a grump, that is a pretty big mistake.

Instead, I started singing as soon as I picked up my cup. “Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops, that’s where you’ll find me!”

This tea smells just like lemon drops! Which I love! Bright and sunny, sweet and happy! Yes, it is a little brisk as most green teas are, but it tastes great and I feel the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. No puckering here, just a smile.

Since I needed tea fast, I appreciate the instructions that said to only steep for one to two minutes, and I kept it short. I could handle cup after cup of this. It is so lemony good you might almost hope for a sore throat just for an excuse to sip it all day long.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Newby Tea

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for blends that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pearls of Jade/Silk Road Teas

This tea is gorgeous. I actually tipped a spoonful into my hand and examined it in the light, over the top of my glasses so I could really enjoy the detail. These are little curls of army green with swirls of white – real, true, pearly white. In appearance it seems more like an oolong than a green tea.

The odd thing is that this does not taste even remotely like the Bi Luo Chun I have had before, which we refer to in my house as “Cheerios Tea.” That’s how much it tastes like oats and specifically just like the cereal! But does anyone expect tea from Silk Road to taste like something you have had before? I look upon Silk Road as an exotic treat.

So if it doesn’t taste like I expected, what DOES it taste like? And furthermore, why does it taste so different?

The answer to the different taste may lie in the fact that this is a pre-Ching Ming tea. This means that the leaves are some of the very first ones picked of the new spring season, usually at the end of March and beginning of April.

After steeping, I run my fingers through the leaves, now unfurled and beautifully green, in the steeping basket. They are unbelievably soft! They are silky and smooth, and so irresistible that I can’t help but eat a couple of them.

The liquor is pale, a soft yellow, and the second steep is paler still.

My perception of the flavors does not match the description of the website. While it is smooth, it also is making a tingle on my tongue with a gentle and light briskness. There is definitely a floral overtone but it is ghostlike, appearing and disappearing. There is also a vegetal flavor that reminds me of rutabaga, but softer. The body is thin. And I detect a bare hint of roasty flavor, or at least a deep tone under the briskness.

What this tea doesn’t taste like is oats, or buttery, or creamy. And for my Bi Luo Chun, I think I may prefer the oat-y ones.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Silk Road Teas

Description

This tea appears to no longer be on the site but click below for their offerings.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Gunpowder – Tightly Rolled Green Tea/Oliver & Pluff

It’s been too long since my last decent, straight-up gunpowder cuppa tea! I was digging deep into my stash and came across Gunpowder from Oliver & Pluff and knew I HAD to have a cup…PRONTO! You see, it’s been way too long since my last sip of a tea from Olive & Pluff, too! GOSH! What’s wrong with me!? That’s a post for another day and another blog!

In the meantime, here are my thoughts on Gunpowder from Olive & Pluff!

It’s labeled on the package as Gunpowder – tightly rolled green tea. On the website it’s also referred to as Pinhead Gunpowder. And said to be ‘Temple of Heaven’ grade. With a product description of ‘Lightly roasted and tightly rolled green tea. Named due to its similar appearance to actual gunpowder’…it seemed like a pretty standard explanation.

But the flavor profile? They say…it’s a combo of refreshing lemon and light vegetable. An excellent green tea for everyday brewing. Witness the “agony of the tea leaf” as the tightly rolled leaves fitfully unfurl to fully expand in hot water.

I say…I would agree with that claim for the most part. I have to point out that I think the natural lemon notes in this Gunpowder are of the more impressive I have sipped from a Gunpowder. That, I LOVE. I found the vegetable pairing was pretty sturdy, too. I would consider it ‘light’ but more of a 60/40…lemon…vegetable.

What I also love about Olive & Pluff is that you get a little bit of history with their tea. With this one comes the Colonial American History. They state – In 18th century British America, tea was an expensive, exotic import, first popular with more wealthy colonists, then with the middle classes as well. According to mercantile records, various grades of gunpowder tea were a common import to America.

Interesting tidbit of history and lovely cuppa Gunpowder! CHEERS!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Oliver & Puff

Description

Lightly roasted and tightly rolled green tea.  Named due to its similar appearance to actual gunpowder.

Notes:  Refreshing lemon and light vegetable.  An excellent green tea for everyday brewing.  Witness the “agony of the tea leaf” as the tightly rolled leaves fitfully unfurl to fully expand in hot water.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Dragon Pearls/Rivertea

Looking for a little cup of calm this evening, ready to sit and sip on the porch in the cool evening air, I decided to make this new (to me) jasmine dragon pearl tea. I will be using a small tetsubin and using the whole sample of pearls.

Like most jasmine dragon pearls that I have tried, this calls for one teaspoon per cup. Unlike most, it calls for much cooler water at 158F and a 2-4 minute steep. I like to follow instructions for new teas and then change up the steeping parameters to suit my taste. I gave it just two minutes.

The first steep is almost completely clear. It really looks like water with the tiniest tinge of gold if I really use my imagination! At first sip, I think it is far too weak, but as I keep sipping and really pay attention to the tea, I find that it has lovely subtle flavor, nice jasmine taste, and is indeed a very calming cup. (I have had some jasmine green that was a bit arresting and harsh to me.) As subtle as it is, I would never serve this with food as it would simply taste like a cup of hot water. I really did enjoy it by itself, though.

For the second steep, I decided to go with my usual parameters. I raised the water temp to 175F and gave it a three minute steep. Now I have tea with a decidedly golden color and more flavor. As I drink, a pleasant briskness is building. Now THIS is how I would make it to serve with a meal.

As a stand alone sipping tea, I think my perfect cup would happen at their recommended temperature of 158F but for a longer time than I gave it, probably three to three and a half minutes.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Rivertea

Description

For those moments when you need some inspiration, this Jasmine Dragon Pearls will bring your imagination to life. Dragon Pearls green tea is a rare specialty from China. Only the youngest and most tender leaves are repeatedly blended with fresh, very fragrant jasmine flowers, a process that is repeated at least 8 times, at the end of which the flower petals are removed and the tea leaves are carefully hand rolled into small, tight pearls. The jasmine aroma is closed in and unfolds fully when infused giving the tea an exquisitely fragrant perfume and taste. Its colour is so intense and palpable that the tea almost appears like a syrup. A pleasure for the eyes, nose and palate, a fragrance that will inspire your days!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Green Tea Masala Chai/Vahdam Teas

I have been seeing Vahdam Tea in the news lately and thought a spicy cup of chai would settle me right in for the night.

This isn’t your traditional black tea boiled with water and milk and heavily sugared. This is a fine darjeeling green with cardamom (YUM!), cinnamon, and clove. When I pour the dry leaves out to investigate them, it LOOKS like black tea, but don’t be fooled. Darjeeling tastes best to me prepared with slightly lower temperature water and a short steep to keep astringency low. If you like very brisk tea, increase your temp and time.

The green darjeeling is a tad brisk. The long boiling time of traditional chai makes the tea strong and bitter or astringent, and that is why milk and sugar are added, and a good dollop of milk, too! I am not adding anything to this, though, and it is enjoyable just as it is. The spices are at a great level for me. I have never been a fan of chai made with tons of black peppercorns, and I really feel that the cardamom and cinnamon lead the spices in this one. The scent of the dry leaves and the steeped tea is scrumptious.

And it is working! The strong flavors of the tea are keeping my cravings at bay and I don’t feel deprived at all.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Vahdam Teas

Description

A superior green tea blend with the finest, aromatic Indian spices for a unique Chai experience!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!