Spotlight on Fraser Tea Bags

Sustainable business models are so hot right now. Seriously, Zoolander aside, I’m all about capitalists that care about future generations. Fraser Tea sells organic tea blends in corn-based, sustainably produced pyramids. I think it’s a great option to consider bringing in to your cubicle or on vacations. I received several of their pyramids in my tea mail this month, so their spotlight is a little from Column A and a little from Column B…

Spicy Chocolate Chai – flavored puerh

First things first, a girls gotta have her chocolate. There were oils on top of brew, which always equate to having been carefully handled and thus retain more of the goodness we expect from full leaf teas. A sneaky Chai taste followed by a  mellow chocolate aftertaste. The tiniest bit of sweetener rounded out these flavors. I want to point out for later on, those of you hardcore readers, that this tea has 60 mg caffeine.

Chamomile Dream – herbal

To me, Sleepy-time teas are the most swoon-worthy. There’s always something about them that is so restorative and comforting.  This pyramid has sweet smelling dry leaves. As soon as that scent connects in my brain, there’s that instant calming response. I know i’m not the only one!

The blend of wet leaves smell just as sweet, and I notice an enticing hint of a berry red in them now. This tastes like soft, pillowy, dreamy meadows… full of sheep, so many sheep, mmm and it feels like time to say goodnight.

Turmeric Ginger Green – flavored green

Ok, preface, turmeric and I got off on the wrong foot when it stained my gravity strainer for no good reason. I have been suspicious of its health claims ever since… but that’s a personal bias which does not discount dozens of peer-reviewed scientific studies…  I also need to state that my toddler helped me brew this and ripped the bag 😬 kay, so still waiting for the great feelings. Moving on, I found I prefer this ingredient in bag form because it eliminates my first problem with staining. So my palate has started to open up to tea for health reasons, as opposed to familiar tastes. There is an acquired taste to this tea, but it is not in your face. It certainly would be a perfect finish to a savory lunch.

Yerba Mint – alternative tea

Until now I never realized how powerful other plants could be in the caffeine department! I guess I should have known that from coffee beans, but I never put it all together until I saw there was 70+ mg caffeine in this non-camellia sinensis plant!!! Yikes! That probably explains a few restless nights after “just some herbal” tea… The juxtaposition between earthy and gentle is juuuuuuust right here. I can imagine putting this over ice would be a delightful way to ignore a humid summer.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Variety
Where to Buy: Fraser Tea

https://frasertea.com/products/organic-spicy-chocolate-chai

Spicy Chocolate Chai Organic Pu-erh Tea is a fusion of cocoa nibs, spicy chili peppers, and delicate, sweet oranges combined to craft a flavor sensation with maximum health benefits. Striking a delicate balance between heat and sweetness, spicy chocolate chai is a smooth and flavorful tea that supports weight management and wellness.  Enjoy any time. Try it as-is or add milk and sugar.

https://frasertea.com/products/chamomile-dream-organic-herbal-tea.

Chamomile Dream Organic Herbal Tea soothes the mind and body.  Supporting health and digestion, this relaxing organic tea blends gentle, floral notes of chamomile, cleansing and bright lemongrass, tart hibiscus and refreshing peppermint. Try it anytime throughout the day, with a book before bedtime, or following a restorative meditation practice. Chamomile Dream offers gentle, soothing relaxation for mind, body and spirit.


https://frasertea.com/products/organic-turmeric-ginger

Turmeric Ginger Organic Green Tea delivers a multitude of health benefits in a delicious and flavorful way.  Green tea is blended with cinnamon, ginger, pink peppercorn, lemongrass, and turmeric offering a sweet and unexpected fresh taste. Known as a “superfood”, turmeric’s list of health benefits include boosting your body’s immunity, anti-inflammatory properties, improved brain function and heart health.

https://frasertea.com/products/organic-yerba-mate-mint

This Yerba Mate Mint Organic Herbal Tea is an energizing blend. At Fraser Tea we formulated this vibrant tea to maximize focus or help make the most of your daily workout. We combine the South American yerba mate plant with invigorating peppermint, a sophisticated green tea and an array of floral’s to amplify the natural benefits. Yerba mate is considered the healthy wonder drink grown in South America thanks to its energizing effects. Traditionally yerba mate is consumed with a gourd and a straw, however you can use your favorite teacup. Our Yerba Mate Mint tea is delicious iced or warm.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Zesta Connoisseur Collection Jasmine Green Bags. . . .

Let’s face it, pre-bagged teas have a bad rap in our circles. I saw some broken leaves, similar to Cut-Tear-Curl but not as uniformly cut.

Although Zesta recommends boiling water for this Jasmine Green, I’m much too impatient for all that waiting to heat up then waiting to be drinkable. I brewed at 160F and discovered a sunny, pollen-yellow liquor, with a strong jasmine scent.

Half the amount of sweetener I usually use brought out the green tea flavors considerably. I can taste the quality in the perfume of the Jasmine flowers, even though they’ve been removed from the pyramid. Jasmine really is the star of the show here.

All in all, Zesta offers a strong floral, yet inexpensive Jasmine tea bag.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy: Zesta

This delicately fragrant green tea adds a touch of beauty to your day with its imprint of natural Jasmine petals. Zesta’s Jasmine green tea is an exotic tea that can be enjoyed any time of day and is great as an accompaniment to food.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Huang Shan Mao Feng by Driftwood Tea. . . . . .

I steeped a tablespoon of leaf in about a cup of 175-degree water for three minutes. (The directions said to use a tablespoon per pot but didn’t say what pot size to use, so I just stuck it in my mug because I was like, it’s probably not going to turn out too strong anyway. And I was right!)

The dry leaf smells a bit vegetal, a bit astringent. Some of the leaves are more intact than others but on the whole they’re long and thin, dark green, and some even slightly fuzzy. They seem to be the growing tips of the plant (a leaf and a bud).

The tea is still almost perfectly clear after it’s finished steeping; it just has the faintest off-white, almost peachy tinge to it. It’s even clearer in color than many white teas I’ve seen!

First sip: it’s light, almost floral, and has vegetal flavors only on the back of the tongue. None of the flavors are very “forward” in the mouth except maybe the light floralness that comes at the front of the sip. It’s not too astringent, but it has a little brightness to it and even offers a comforting, energizing aftertaste. It’s definitely not too overpowering; however, the high-quality leaves should stand up to multiple steepings.

I’ve had to use my sneaky detective skills to find out more about this tea because the info isn’t up on the company’s website right now. Huang Shan Mao Feng is apparently a type of green tea, judging by the processing techniques (no oxidation time, et cetera) but the flavor really reminds me more of a white tea or even maybe a super-mild sheng (raw pu-erh) tea.

Altogether it’s a light, gentle cup that I’d recommend for relaxed, pensive afternoons where you’re not necessarily looking for something super dark or highly caffeinated.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Driftwood Tea
Description

This tea doesn’t appear to be on the site now but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Warm Fuzzy – Hand-blended tea from PaperBoxGoodies

Today’s blend, Warm Fuzzy, comes from Etsy shop PaperBoxGoodies. This teabag came with a cute tag and tea charm, helping remind me that each bag is hand-filled by the small Etsy shop.

Warm Fuzzy lives up to its name,  With fuzzy chamomile blossoms and green tea, this is a cozy, relaxing blend.  The grassy green notes pair easily with the floral, lemony chamomile.  For a tea with blend of herbal ingredients, this was gentle and sweet, definitely not bitter or medicine-like.  I think this blend is best with touch of honey to bring out the natural sweetness in the chamomile. I prefer teas with a bit more spice or boldness, but this is a kind, comforting brew for when you need to calm down and drink something nice-and-easy.

I don’t see Warm Fuzzy in stock on PaperBoxGoodies’ Etsy shop, but there are other intriguing flavors with names like Purple Snozberry, Bluesfest Green, or Passionmint Green.  After the quality of Warm Fuzzy, I look forward to trying other blends from PaperBoxGoodies.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: PaperBoxGoodies
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

The Stuff of Fairy Tales: Organic Nettle Tea from Republic of Tea

Nettle makes me think of ancient forests, fantasy novels, or fairy tales.  I imagine a character moving through the woods getting stung by nettle, or collecting herbs like nettle for a tea or potion.  The herb’s prickly reputation is featured in folk tales where the hero needs to grasp a bunch of stinging nettles, or make a cloak of nettles to fend of some malicious force or break a spell.  (As a side note, apparently there is a world nettle eating championship.  Who knew?)

All that magic in mind, how does nettle taste as a tea?  The Nettle blend from Republic of Tea tastes slightly green with a strong flavor of creamy vanilla, and just a hint of mint.  It’s unclear to me if the creaminess if from the vanilla flavoring or part of the nettle.  This brew has a smooth and buttery mouthfeel like certain green teas.

I did a little research and the internet tells me that nettle leaves should taste reminiscent of spinach or cucumber, green and mineral in flavor.  I’m not picking up on anything strongly like that in this blend, the vanilla clearly takes over.  Maybe I’m in luck, as a spinach tea doesn’t sound all that appetizing.

On its own merits, the Nettle blend from Republic of Tea is a easygoing herbal vanilla brew, with a hint of something green and minty.  I’m glad such a prickly herb was transformed into something so soft and comforting.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Republic of Tea
Description:

Nettle leaves have been known to support the body in a variety of ways. Studies have shown that it can help reduce joint inflammation and can help support kidney function.* Nettle tea has also been popular as a tonic for centuries to help women through all phases of life- from menstruation, through pregnancy and breastfeeding, to menopause. A touch of mint and vanilla makes this tea a joy to sip.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!