Rose Chateau by The Love Tea Co

I steeped this tea at 200 degrees in about a cup of water for about four minutes.

This is another selection from the Love Tea Company, who donates a quarter of their proceeds to mental health causes. Their teas also come in cute little reusable canisters!

The dried leaf has rose petals and other flower petals too, it looks like. According to the ingredients list these could be hibiscus, calendula, or sunflower petals, which are all included in the blend! In addition, there’s green tea in here and some curled oolong bits and some pieces of dried fruit (which turn out to be rosehips based on the ingredients list). It smells mainly fruity, with some rose/floral scent.

The steeped liquid looks almost pinkish-peach and smells like strawberry with floral notes and some savory green tea flavor.
I steeped for four minutes because it didn’t seem very strong at three (and I prefer getting stronger flavor out of my tea when I can).

First sip: it tastes a little astringent and strawberryish; the rose flavor isn’t overpowering here (maybe I just didn’t get any rose petals in my scoop of leaf?). It’s delicate and reminds me the most of a strawberry-flavored green tea, which is quite nice and desserty. There’s a bit of seaweedy vegetalness in the back of the throat. A few particles of tea escaped the strainer so I’d recommend a fine mesh if you don’t like that sort of thing (although mostly they’re just sitting on the bottom of the cup not causing a problem).

Overall it’s light, floral/fruity, but with a hint of buttery aftertaste (from the oolong), so I’d say it’s great for afternoon or evening relaxation (unless you’re super-sensitive to caffeine; green tea generally has just a little).


Here’s the scoop!

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

This blend was created by a Canadian Master to evoke the character and spirit of France’s best rose vintages.  It’s combination of some of the most luxurious green and black teas available today.  Like wine, it goes perfectly with cured meats and fine cheeses.  Milk and sugar are NOT recommended with this one.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

D’s Teas– Pancake Breakfast, Marshmallow Treat, Graveyard Mist from 52Teas . . . ..

If you missed the announcement in my previous post, our beloved and super-talented tea-blending friends at 52 Teas have recently launched a permanent line (yes friends, you heard me correctly) of teas! D’s Teas features all of the ultimate fan favorites from 52 Teas over the years: Pancake Breakfast black tea, Marshmallow Treat genmaicha, and Graveyard Mist green tea. If you’re curious about the history behind these beloved blends, check out my previous post. If you’re ready to hear the low-down on their delightful sip-ability, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s chat about each one individually:

Pancake Breakfast: is where we start. A robust black tea with calendula petals offering a lovely, maple-syrup-y variance in color, this tea smells like straight-up starchy, delicious pancakes. When my samples of these three arrived, this was the one that I could smell through the package. THIS was the one that my dark-and-malty-tea-loving fiance was ready to tear into at a moment’s notice. It brews up beautifully strong, almost like an English Breakfast, with syrupy maple notes perfectly balanced alongside the starchy, bread-y flavors of cooked breakfast cake. There’s something magical about 52 Teas’ flavors: a maple tea is never just a one-note maple tea. Sure, you can add maple to a black tea and call it a day, but this blend harnesses all the nuance of a true pancake (sweet, bready, starchy, slightly savory, fully syrupy, a little buttery) and packs it all into one cuppa. This one, I’m happy to say, makes an incredible tea latte, sweetened with a hint of– you guessed it– maple syrup.

Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha: As a fairly new fan of genmaichas– roasty, toasty, popped-rice greens– I was eager to dive into this one. How would the flavors vary from the few standards genmaichas I’ve begun to dip my toes into? First things first– this one boasts the addition of marshmallow root, my favorite creamy-herbal addition to tea, kicking the flavors to next-level sweet n’ creamy. Still harnessing the traditional toasty-green that I’ve come to love from genmaichas, this one uses a matcha-infused genmaicha (as Anne explained in our interview) that gives this green the perfect vegetal kick to round out the sweetness of the marshmallow-y notes. I drank this one straight, but I’d love to see what a touch of foam on top does for that already-present creamy factor. Yet again, D’s Teas knocks it out of the park!

Graveyard Mist: Oh, this tea. This delicious, magical tea. I’d been lucky enough to give this one a try before, when Sororitea Sister Nichole aka CuppaGeek- shared a sampling from her precious stash. I’d heard Nichole rave about this one– minty, creamy, green, fresh– so frequently that she practically had me salivating. This tea truly lives up to the sense of place set by its slightly spooky name– picture a foggy, chilly morning, mist rolling in across a centuries-old stone graveyard– yup. If that mist had a flavor, it’d be green tea-meets-marshmallow-with-some-spearmint-for-fun, yah? Yeah. This tea is crisp and bright, with a pillow-y vanilla mouthfeel that is unmatched by any green I’ve ever had. It’s minty, sure, but it’s a more delicate, fresh, and vanilla-y mint than say, a traditional peppermint. Think those green star mint candies as opposed to the red. But better. This one is as spectacular on ice as it is hot, and defies all logic to be perfectly appropriate morning or night, any season, in any mood. It’s one of those tea, you guys– simply magical.

It’s clear why these three are the teas that Anne and her team chose to bring back permanently. 52 Teas devotees and newbies alike can now stock up on some of the blends that make this brand such a crowd favorite! And if these three are any indication, I’d recommend you stock up on as much as you can find. Even permanently-stocked, these are bound to be snapped up quickly.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Green
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

Every once in a while, we craft a very special tea – well, we think all our teas are pretty special! But sometimes, one is so special that it’s beloved by our customers and requested for reblends on a regular basis.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

RYCBAR by Fandom Teas. . . .

I’m a Doctor Who fan and, even with the information that this is an “impossible girl” inspired tea, it still took me several seconds to figure out what the name of this blend meant. Maybe my brain was just really slow today? Hopefully you can figure it out faster. 😉

I steeped two teaspoons of this tea in ten ounces of 175-degree water for three minutes.

While steeping, it starts smelling fruity right away. This is a flavored tea (raspberry-pomegranate flavored) and the tea liquid is much darker than an unflavored green tea would. That might be from the raspberry, although it’s not really pink; it’s a sort of clear and handsome brown color with a reddish tinge.

First sip: It’s definitely fruity and sweet. Pomegranate and raspberry are both quite tart fruits, but the tartness isn’t coming through too strongly here, although yes, there is quite a bit of astringency. The fruity flavors complement each other well, and the green tea base sings backup; I’m hard put to it to distinguish its flavor components separately, yet I can still tell it’s there.

With sugar: Sweeter, of course. But surprisingly, I can taste the green tea base a bit more now. The sugar tames the astringency but doesn’t really bring out the fruity flavors like I hoped/assumed it would.

I bet this one would be great as iced tea too, but wouldn’t want to try milk with it because it might be too acidic for that.

All in all a fun tea, and one that I’d like to try iced (or as cold-brew) if I ever have the chance to try it again!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy: Fandom Teas
Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Assam Black Tea by Mana Organics

 I haven’t bought from this tea company before, but it seems to have a social conscience. Mana Organics isn’t just focused on producing organic tea and selling it, but instead takes a more holistic approach to getting the products from farmers to customers. They focus on community development and sustainable farming in rural areas, then help the farmers get products out to the world by doing marketing and retail work. So I’m really excited about this company and I’m planning to do more research and potentially start sourcing some of my tea from here.
But on to the review!
I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for about five minutes, using 1.5tsp of leaves in about 10 ounces of water. It turns out to be a handsome teak /cedar color after steeping. It smells deep, malty, and strong. It’s very aromatic, promising good things to come.
First sip: It’s astringent, but not puckery, with a deep and bright flavor profile. There’s just a hint of bitterness at the back but then it’s gone (fortunately; it’s not my favorite thing when bitterness hangs out with me all day). But on top of that, I’m detecting sweet potato and baked squash notes! Nice. Next to chocolate, I think this is one of my favorite flavor types for black teas. Actually I’ve been looking for a good squash/sweet potato flavored tea so this is good news.
Anyway. With milk, which brings baked-squash and maltish flavors to the front, this tea is just great. In fact I’m almost finding it has a little brown sugar flavor to go with the squash flavor. So fun! (Come to think of it, I hope I’m not the only person who thinks it’s funny how similar sweet potato and baked squash flavors are. Isn’t that just strange?) There’s no bitterness now, and practically no astringency; milk is an excellent buffer for such things, which is one reason I almost invariably have milk with my tea. (Another reason is that I sometimes drink tea when I’m hungry, or even in lieu of a meal, and the milk helps keep my blood sugar from crashing.) I’m also thinking maybe I’m detecting a hint of a floral note? But then again maybe I’m making that up–it was too fleeting to be sure.

 

All in all this is a solid, strong, great tea blend and goes well with food at meals (or even without food at meals if you’re like me) and is excellent with milk. <3

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy:  Mana Organics
Description

A brisk tea with a malty, honey-sweet aroma followed deep character of taste and a pleasant pungency that will please even the most discerning of palates.Only Tippy Golden Flower Orange Pekoe Premier Grade (TGFOP1) Assam tea direct from our family’s estate, Chota Tingrai.  Healthier for you and the environment thanks to our USDA certified organic practices.  Packed onsite in re-sealable bag so you get that garden-fresh taste again and again.  Tastes, smells, and looks so delicious that we got an award in the Global Tea Championship 2017

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Oaks SFTGFOP 1 CL SPL 2nd Flush 2016 Darjeeling Organic from Lochan Tea Limited

I steeped this tea for about 3 min at 212 with almost 2tsp and 1 cup water. I couldn’t find the product on the company’s website, so I just guesstimated the steeping specs. Which is always fun. I prefer to use the recommended specs if possible, in order to give the tea a chance to put its best foot forward (as it were), but I’m also fine with just doing whatever seems to work if there aren’t any recommendations.

The water started turning amber pretty quickly after I put the leaves in to steep. I used a generous amount of leaf due to not knowing the specs; probably a heaping teaspoon would have been sufficient, but of course that’s all up to personal preference. The leaves seemed to be chopped pretty small, but they’re not crushed into dust or anything. The fragrance was a bit malty and flowery while steeping, but also a bit astringent.

After steeping, the tea was a warm golden-brown color, transparent enough to see a stray leaf at the bottom of the cup. It smelled very inviting. Once I tasted it, though, I decided I’d steeped it a bit strong. The astringency was prominent, although fortunately the tea wasn’t bitter at all (despite using boiling water). The flavor wasn’t as malty as I expected, but there were still floral notes especially at the end of the sip. It’s a solid black tea, especially astringent but also somewhat sweet.

With sugar, the astringency is wonderfully mellowed and the floral notes emerge a bit more–I’d definitely recommend this. With milk added, I love it even more. (But what did you expect? I always do.) I’d consider this a great breakfast tea, and steeping it strongly is a good plan if you’re going to add sugar and milk, otherwise I’d recommend steeping it not quite so long (maybe 2 minutes?).


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Darjeeling
Where to Buy:  Lochan Tea Limited
Description

This tea is no longer on the website but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!