Holistic Hearts (Black) Tea from Beleave Teas

Holistic Hearts (Black) Tea from Beleave Teas is the second tea I have had from this company and I have to say both impressions have been positive ones!  As soon as I opened the package of this Holistic Hearts (Black) Tea from Beleave Teas I could smell a fruity yet crusty combo – much like a jelly croissant!  As you can see from the photo above Holistic Hearts (Black) Tea from Beleave Teas comes in the shape of hearts.

My first infusion of this Holistic Hearts (Black) Tea from Beleave Teas was a lighter to medium black tea liquor in the cup and a semi-sweet and bit of fruity notes on the first few sips.  I knew this would be a black tea I would want to infuse multiple times and I am glad I did.  I actually prefer my second cup of Holistic Hearts (Black) Tea from Beleave Teas to the first because it was stronger!

The second infusion was much more hardy, more strong, more malty, and a deeper flavor all around.  It was like I was drinking to completely different teas and I am ok with that.  I love doing a compare and contrast with the multiple infusions.

With the third infusion the tea color was much like the first infusion but the flavor was somewhere in between the first and third infusion taste-wise.  The differences in the taste in the third infusion that I didn’t notice in prior infusions was the creamier maltiness rather than a hardy maltiness.

This Holistic Hearts (Black) Tea from Beleave Teas is a real thinker.  I like that in a tea.  One that makes you think.  One that forces you to take your time.  Sometimes we all need that, don’t we?


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy:  Beleave Teas


Dark Tea and rose petals from the Hunan province of China are compressed into single cup heart shaped pieces. Very smooth with a natural sweetness. Probiotic tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Hunan Mao Jian from Harney & Sons

hunan_mao_jianTea Information:

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Harney & Sons

Tea Description:

While looking for the best teas in Changsha, we found this organic green tea. Not every occasion demands the best tea, so this is a nice one to drink more often.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mao Jian has become one of my favourite green tea varieties over the last year or so, and I’m always pleased to try one that’s new to me. This Hunan Mao Jian from Harney and Sons looks pretty much as I’d expect – thin, wiry leaves that are a little curly and twisted, a fairly uniform dark green in colour, and pretty long (most around 2cm, but some more like 5-6cm). Dry, it doesn’t seem to have a great deal of scent. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 170 degrees.

 Once brewed, more variegation in terms of colour is revealed. The wet leaves are a mixture of bright grass green at the tip and a darker kelly green towards the stalk. There are a few yellowish tinges, and the odd patch of brown. The scent is delightful, like freshly steamed green vegetables. Really fresh, vegetal teas like this one are what finally won me around in terms of green tea, and this is a perfect example. The liquor itself is a very pale green, with a mild vegetal scent.
 To taste, this is beautifully sweet and delicate, and very reminiscent of freshly shelled peas. It’s a pretty mild flavour all told, but smooth and buttery with absolutely no bitterness or astringency. There’s a slightly stronger vegetal flavour in the mid-sip, reminiscent of green beans, but it doesn’t linger very long and it’s still very much at the mild end of the flavour spectrum. The aftertaste contains a hint of floral, although it’s not too perfume-like or overpowering. It reminds me a little of lillies. As it cools, I’m picking up an edge of sharpness that puts me in mind of lemon zest. It adds a savoury twist to an otherwise relatively sweet ensemble, and works well as a refreshing, clean tasting element of the overall flavour.
 I’m enjoying this one for its fresh, sweet flavours, and ultimately clean, refreshing flavour. I actually think it’s a green tea I’d enjoy drinking most in summer, possibly cold brewed or iced. It’s good hot, too, and it’s really making me think of warmer days while I sit here in the middle of my centrally-heated winter. This is a really great green tea, and one of the most unique Mao Jian’s I’ve tried. Delicious!

Yunnan Graceful ‘Zi Juan’ Purple Varietal Green Tea from What-Cha Tea

YunnanZiJuanPurpleGreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Purple/Green

Where to Buy:  What-Cha Tea

Tea Description:

A brilliant and rare tea produced from purple varietal tea plants, with a smoky aroma and taste combined with a wonderful smooth texture.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:


It’s been a long time since I’ve had a tea grown from the purple varietal tea plant, so I was excited to try this Yunnan Zi Juan Purple Varietal Green Tea from What-Cha.   And it definitely did not disappoint!  This is LOVELY!

The texture is smooth and silky.  There is a mild overtone of smokiness with a sweet undertone.  There is a delightful fruit note to this tea that evokes thoughts of melon and plums.  There are faint vegetal notes that are nicely accented with a buttery tone.  

YunnanZiJuanPurpleGreen1It’s a really delightfully complex tea, reminding me more of an Oolong than of a green tea because of it’s silky smooth texture and its deliciously creamy butter notes.  But just as I’m thinking that this is more of an Oolong tea the vegetal notes come through to say, “Hey, I’m green!”  In the distance, I’m picking up on some light florals.

With all the amazing complexity of this tea, I decided to steep the leaves a second time to see what more I could discover with these leaves.  The second steep is even more flavorful than the first!

The smoky notes have softened somewhat now, and the fruit notes have melded into a unified flavor.  The vegetal notes are still there, but they are still faint … and there is still a beautifully creamy butter note to complement those vegetative flavors.

I’m tasting a little more floral notes.  These floral tones are moving forward, out of the distance and a little more into focus in the foreground.  This tea is still delightfully sweet.  With the first cup, I mentioned how this tea reminded me a bit more of an Oolong than a Green … but with this cup, this tastes much more like the green tea that it is.

This is a truly delightful cup of tea.  If you resteep it, this becomes two truly delightful cups of tea.  And you really should resteep it!

Hunan Dark Tea from Tea Source

Hunan Dark TeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Dark Tea

Where to Buy:  Tea Source

Tea Description:

This loose Hunan dark tea is very fragrant and steeps up medium-bodied, slightly sweet, and meadowy. Good for multiple infusions. This is a great introduction to Hunan dark teas.

Learn more about this tea here.

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Taster’s Review:

I am not sure exactly what the difference is between “dark” teas and pu-erh teas, but, Tea Source explains it like this:

The category of China dark tea is shrouded in mystery. They are almost never seen in the West. Dark teas from Hunan Province steep up medium-bodied, very smooth, and usually with a natural sweet note as opposed to the dark earthiness of puer. Technically, dark tea is a tea that has gone through a secondary fermentation process. Like puer, dark teas age well and are probiotic.

Since it would seem that it is similar to, but different from pu-erh, I have created a new category under the “parent” category of pu-erh called “Dark Tea,” and this Hunan Dark Tea from Tea Source is the first tea that is being categorized as a Dark Tea here on the SororiTea Sisters Blog.

However, since it is similar to pu-erh, I gave the leaves a quick rinse before I brewed the tea, just as I would a pu-erh.

I will say that this doesn’t taste as earthy as pu-erh, nor does it have that sometimes “fishy” taste that pu-erh can have.  This tea is what I’d categorize as a medium-bodied tea and the additional fermentation has given this tea an almost “vinegar” like note.  Not so much a sour taste like vinegar, but I can taste a fermented note, tasting perhaps like a grape-y balsamic vinegar that’s been thinned with wine.  But that’s just one dimension in this complex tea.

There is also a sweet, creamy sort of taste to this, and that is something I can’t recall tasting in a pu-erh!  It’s almost like a vanilla frosting note!  Wow!  Notes of sweet honey and molasses, but again … lighter than these.  Almost like a thinned molasses.  Notes of earth, but I like that the earth tones aren’t dominating the cup, instead, I’m experiencing more of the grape-y and sweeter flavors of vanilla cream.

What an enjoyable tea experience!  This is remarkably smooth and mild.

My second infusion proved to be sweeter than the first.  It was a little less creamy than the first infusion.  Not quite as “vanilla frosting” as the first, but I still taste the honey notes and the fruit notes are emerging.  I am also noticing a mineral-y sort of taste that imparts a slightly dry note toward the tail.  I’m also noticing an ever so slight grassy tone to this cup.

The mineral notes seem to have replaced the “fermented” note that I tasted in the first cup, because I’m not getting that fermented wine/balsamic flavor that I experienced in the first cup, but, as I said, the fruit notes become more focused in this second cup.

It’s hard to say which cup I preferred – the first or the second!  Both were delightful.  This is a really good tea, I highly recommend it.

Mao Jian Green Tea from Little Red Cup Tea Co.

maojianTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Little Red Cup Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Our Green Mao Jian Tea is pure whole leaf organic Chinese tea, Fair Trade certified and sublimely drinkable. A marvelous tea to accompany you throughout a busy morning and into the early afternoon, a tea both for the dedicated tea consumer and one for the casual tea drinker as well.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I just came in from a massive marathon of holiday shopping, and I can’t think of another tea that revitalizes me quite the same way as a sweet, lush green tea like this Mao Jian Green Tea from Little Red Cup Tea Co.  There is something just so … enlivening about green tea that seems to re-energize my drained “batteries.”

Mao Jian is one of my favorite green teas, because it has a sweet, vegetal flavor that is very fresh tasting but without a bitter grassy taste.  This is more like a young, spring-green grass note that evokes thoughts of the dew that might form on the grass early in the spring mornings in a grassy field.  There is a slightly savory quality to this cup as well that hits just after mid-sip.  Savory … yes.  Bitter?  No.

And this is an excellent Mao Jian.  It tastes light and refreshing, and I can feel it revive me as I sip after what has been a very long day of shopping.  I like that this tea is organic, I like that it’s fair trade … and I like the way it tastes and how it’s giving me a much-needed jump-start!