Earl Grey Sun AKA Earl Grey Mandarin from TeaLeafs

Earl Grey Sun – or Earl Grey Mandarin – I believe they are one in the same – but I could be mistaken.

When I last bought this tea it was labeled Earl Grey Sun but the only one I can currently find on their website is Earl Grey Mandarin but I think they are the same tea because I can distinctly remember the lovely orange notes of the flavored Earl. But it was more than just your standard Bergamot. And more than your common Orange. I’m pretty sure the glorious ray of sunshine in the flavored black tea – flavored Earl Grey (more specifically) was that of the might mandarin.

Regardless – this was a fantastic cup! One of the more impressive flavored Earl Grey’s I’ve had to date. And probably in my Top 5 teas offered at TeaLeafs.

The black tea base itself is that of a High grown Ceylon tea and it’s sturdy and tasty in its own right.

This is surely a tea that has brightened my day and I hope you are able to try it at some point because I think you will, too, be a fan!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Tea Leafs
Description

Ingredients: Black Tea, Bergamot, flavoring from Germany, Mandarin

High grown Ceylon tea with Bergamot and Mandarin

 

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!

Organic Sage Superherb by Republic of Tea. . . .

I steeped this tea five minutes with one tea bag in about one cup of 190 degree water. Although I do normally use loose leaf tea, the convenience of pre-bagged tea is tempting too! Especially when it’s high-quality tea.

After steeping, it’s become a yellowish color and smells a bit pineapple-ish with an undertone of sage. The sage isn’t too overpowering, at least judging by the fragrance.

First sip: Yes, the pineapple may actually be stronger than the sage here. It’s also quite sweet. It has a bit of a stevia flavor, almost. The pineapple flavor blends with the flavor of the sage leaves and, according to the ingredients list, orange leaves as well to create a pleasantly fruity drink. It’s much more palatable than drinking an infusion of straight sage, which is important if you’re going to be drinking this on a regular basis. Yet the woodsy, flowery flavor of the sage does come through as well.

This is listed as an herbal tea for hot flashes, although I wouldn’t know anything about how effective it would be for such a complaint. It’s probably good for colds/sore throats as well; it’s comforting, soothing, and relaxing. Or if you’re looking for a more culinary use it would probably go well with cookies for a snack, although I’m not a tea pairing expert either.

It’s definitely sweet and seems well-balanced in flavor, and whether you end up drinking it on a daily basis or just as an occasional novelty, I hope you’ll be glad you tried it too!


Here’s the scoop!

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

As women, we have the power to create and nurture life, all while juggling hormonal changes and external stresses. For centuries, women have relied upon the same powerful herbs found in our organic SuperHerb Teas to keep them balanced, and now they can easily be part of your daily life as well.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Green Jasmine by The Love Tea Co. . . . .

I steeped this tea with 2 heaping teaspoons of leaf in 1 cup of 200 degree water for about four minutes.

I was a little concerned that the jasmine flowers wouldn’t have much fragrance left because I couldn’t detect much smell in the dry flowers, but when I started steeping the tea it started giving off its perfume right away, so I guess hot water is the magic ingredient to bring that out!

There are tons of jasmine flowers in this tea, too. Like, actual jasmine buds. And they smell like a combination of candy and perfume once they’ve started steeping. The green tea fragrance isn’t really coming through at this point, but I’m not surprised at all given how flowery the smell is.

I let it go to four minutes because I didn’t want to waste any of the jasmine fragrance.

Once the tea is steeped, I noticed that some leaf has escaped the ball; the tea is orange-yellow in color and, as mentioned before, highly fragrant.

First sip: Apparently Jasmine tastes sweet as well as smelling sweet. There’s an edge of bitterness to the green tea, though; there’s also some umami and maybe a little seaweediness to it, rounding the flavor out. I blame myself for the bitterness, because I used 200 degree water instead of 195 degree water like recommended (because hey, my electric kettle only has so many settings. Next time though I’d go with the cooler option, which I think would be 185 on my kettle).

A little sugar helps with any bitterness; or you could just steep at the recommended temperature, unlike me, and do a less intense steeping as well (three minutes instead of four). It’s really great as is, though, and tastes like drinking flowers!! Jasmine is so magical it kind of blows my mind every time I try a good jasmine tea (the reason I don’t try them more often is probably because I’m kind of scared of getting a not-so-good one).

I’m also really impressed by this tea company’s mission and activism; they don’t just say that they support charitable causes, they also give 25% of their proceeds (that’s a quarter of everything they get!) to mental health causes, according to their website.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  The Love Tea Company
Description

Jasmine tea is one of the most pleasant fragrances to all people. To the nose, the dry tea has a floral bouquet, which causes your senses to come alive with pleasant thoughts. This tea is filled to the brim with an abundance of beautiful jasmine blossoms which gives the tea an amazing presentation value.  In China, they declare this jasmine tea as ‘Jasmine #1’.

This high quality green tea – produced between the middle of March and the middle of May – has jasmine flowers that bloom between the 1st of May and the end of May (the time of the most intense aroma). This tea yields a cup with all the concentrated heady bouquet of a garden in bloom, even if its your neighbor’s jasmine bush.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tsuei Luan Oolong Tea by Tea from Taiwan . . . .

I steeped this tea for three minutes with five grams of leaf in six ounces of water at 190 degrees.

It smells so lovely in the packet that I kind of want to eat it. The tiny densely rolled-up leaves (which I let float free in the cup so I can watch them moving around and unfurling) are so cool! It seems about half of them are floating and half are sinking. It smells fruity, orchidy and a bit savory.

First sip: Super rich! So much flavor!! The tea leaves have unrolled into large, intact leaves and the tea liquid is a gentle yellow that reminds me of winter sun.

As I sip the tea, it’s astringent, creamy/buttery, a little grassy, viscous, and a little nutty even, with some floral/orchidy notes flying around too. It’s also a bit “leafy” so I may have steeped it a bit long, or maybe that’s just supposed to be part of the flavor. Either way, it’s a very interesting combo with the buttery and the fruity and the vegetal/savory aspects.

It’s a full and rich cup, and I don’t think it needs sugar or milk. I really enjoyed finishing this cup off and I’d love to have more of it sometime. Apparently this tea is very popular with aficionados of Taiwan teas (according to Tea from Taiwan’s website), and although I myself am not an expert in that area, I can definitely see how that would be the case.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Tea from Taiwan
Description

Tsuei Luan Oolong tea (wulong tea) is grown in the Tsuei Luan district of Li Shan (Pear Mountain). This area is a former fruit producing region which was converted to tea plantations in the late 1970’s. The soil quality of the former orchards is excellent, and the high altitude (more than 2,000 meters) of this district provides a cool, moist climate – ideal conditions for growing tea.

Tsuei Luan oolong tea has an exquisitely sweet aroma and interesting flavour profile. The slightly floral taste has a definite fruit undertone – said to be the result of growing tea on orchard land. This tea has a very pleasing flavour that makes it one of the most popular teas amongst Taiwan tea connoisseurs.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!