Jade Cloud from The Spice and Tea Exchange. . .

I needed a tea experience tonight. My husband wanted to know what I meant when I asked if he wanted to join me for a tea experience, and I told him, “You, me, the kid, on the floor with the tea tray and NO ELECTRONICS!”

But I had to choose a special tea to gong fu, and I really wanted to try something new. This one looked interesting, with its thin, twisted leaves that are such a dark green.

The first steep was really smokey. The company calls it toasted chestnuts and I’ll buy that. I don’t think I have ever had toasted chestnuts so I can’t say for sure. But definitely woody, nutty, toasty, and earthy come to mind. There is a long lasting aftertaste reminding me of the liquor from cooking mustard greens or turnip greens, a Southern favorite in the USA.

The second steep changes pretty remarkably. As the stronger flavors step back, a light floral taste comes forward – very light, with Southern greens still in play. My husband liked the second steep much better, and the kid did, as well. We plowed through four or five steeps and still wanted more tea, so I got fresh leaves and a new kettle of water and we started all over again.

This time I gave the leaves a ten second rinse to try to duplicate the taste of the second steep in the first. But even with the rinse the first steep had a lot of smokey flavor, which my husband noticed right away. After my “I told you so” we moved on to the resteeps again.

Again, these are earthy green and lighter. Husband and the kid say they enjoyed it, and preferred the later steeps over the first. I have to say that I enjoyed wending our way through all the flavors this tea had to offer.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy:  The Spice and Tea Exchange
Description

Special grade of green tea produced in high-elevation gardens of Hubei, China. A smooth and mellow cup, with a sweet aroma and the slight flavor of toasted chestnuts.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lime Jello from 52Teas. . . .

A friend of mine won a giveaway hosted by 52 Teas awhile ago. The perk of my friend winning the giveaway is that I still got to try the teas she won without adding too much to my ever growing stash of teas. Among her winnings was this Lime Jello Green Tea.

Lime Jello Green Tea is made up of a blend of green teas, lime leaves, limes, pineapples, marshmallow root and natural flavors. It smells like…well, lime jello. Now I have never been the biggest jello fan but the smell of jello powder, with its artificial and candy-like fruit scents, has always appealed to me so this tea captured my nose and with that, my attention.

As I drink the tea, I definitely get lime candy though it is not as in-your-face pungent as the smell of the dry leaf would suggest. Then again, the taste of jello is never as strong as the smell of the powder so I can’t be too upset about that. In addition to the lime, I get a touch of bitterness from the green tea base that I feel keeps this grounded while the marshmallow root makes this come off light, like any jello-inspired tea should be.

One thing that surprised me about this blend is that there is a creaminess here that I wasn’t expecting. Even more surprising is how this tea manages to stay light even with the creamy element, which is much more commonly found in heavier/richer dessert teas.

Lime Jello is not something I would have ever thought I wanted made into a tea but now that I have had it, I will say that I approve. It is bright and fun and a great treat for warmer days.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

Tropical Sunset from Love Some Tea

This is the first time I’m trying a blend from Love Some Tea.  I got a chance to try Tropical Sunset blend thanks to a generous SororiTea Sister.  The first thing I noticed about this tea is its colorful logo and package design. A green stylized tree is set on a bright background of orange and pink sunset rays.  The colors look a bit like a groovy blacklight poster or a flower power mural.

The second thing I notice about this tea is the size and quality of its leaves.  Their description says this includes both black and green teas, but it is hard to tell the difference in the dry leaves, they are all lush, long, curled leaves.  Brewed, the color difference between the green and black leaves is more distinct and you start to notice the layers of flavor in the scent and taste.

This tropical blend is a medium body tea, like an oolong, with a touch of green and mineral flavors.  But the black tea also adds a bit of unexpected starchiness and a tiny hint of woodsy smoke at the end of each sip.

Among all of these intense tea flavors, there are fruity flavors like passionfruit, mango and papaya.  The fruitiness is so lush the dry leaf almost smells like a fresh plum, but the tropical nature of the fruits comes out more in the brewing.

The quality of the tea leaves made it so that I really enjoyed this tea when brewed hot, but something about tropical flavors always makes me think the tea would be even better when served iced.

I was impressed by my first experience with Love Some Tea and I’ll have to try some of their other flavors sometime soon!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black and Green
Where to Buy: Love Some Tea
Description:

Our first green and black blend layered with all the wonderful aromas of Thailand, including dried mango, dried passion fruit, dried papaya, rose flower, blue lotus flower, jasmine flower.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Matsu / Matchaeologist

Finally decided to kick my MMU obsession and try another company. Matchaeologist has a gorgeous website all designed around matcha (obviously). They have four different blends and three different types. Ceremonial, Premium, and culinary, the usual matcha grades. With a coupon on my right clicker I decided to go for the ceremonial grades. On a whim I decided to go for Matsu first. Something about roasty notes just sounds good on winter days. The color of the powder is somewhat unimpressive after the incredible green from MMU but I keep my hopes up. Never had a roasty matcha before. It’s quite nice. Slight chocolatey aroma with interesting roasted notes. Smooth and silky in smell, taste, and feel. Though I didn’t actually feel it, the sensation of softness was given while sifting it into the bowl. The mouth feel is incredibly sleek. No astringency or weird after bite.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Matcha
Where to Buy: Matchaeologist
Description:

Our signature ceremonial-grade matcha is artisan roasted to produce a rich, creamy body and smooth mouthfeel not unlike a perfectly brewed espresso

Boasting the deepest shade of green reminiscent of Japanese pine trees, Matsu™is characterized by its captivating roasted aromas brought to the fore by our artisanal roasting technique handed down through generations of matcha sommeliers. The result is a deeply rich and complex symphony of flavors, with notes of ‘umami’ and savory-sweet undertones that round out the intensity of the roast, culminating in an exquisite blend with a full body and long, creamy finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!