H’mong Kings Tea from Rakkasan. . . .

Generally when you think of green tea you think of Japan or China first. What about Vietnam? Wasn’t on my radar until I spotted this one. This rare wild grown tea is a true splendor to behold. The dry leaves have an incredibly unique aroma. This scent is what I think of when I think umami. It’s almost like they cooked something on the pan before they roasted it. Somewhat vegetal but nothing like the usual vegetal flavors found in tea. SMOKY! Smoky vegetal! But not like Lapsang Souchong. The wet leaves smell like passion fruit. NO I am NOT joking. They don’t taste like it though… Don’t taste the leaves. And the liquid? Awesome. Grassy sweet with just a very slight amount of bitterness. I need more.

More in my cup. The leaves slowly un-twisting in my cup are lovely. The Agony of the leaves. It is interesting how pan firing a tea can give it such a different flavor profile.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Rakkasan
Description

This is a rare wild-grown, green tea produced by Black H’mong families in Hà Giang Province, Vietnam at over 5,200 feet. It is different from other green teas in that it is fired and dried by hand in a wood-fired cast iron pan rather than a drum oven. It has a smoky aroma and earthy and woody notes reminiscent of the surrounding pine forest where it grows. Like other wild green teas, it is naturally sweet with little bitterness.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Green Cinnamon Spice from Fava Tea

Holy hot tamale, Green Cinnamon Spice from Fava Tea is a sweet and fiery brew!  The description of the tea says there are three different types of cinnamon in this blend and you can feel the heat and herbal intensity from all three.

I believe Fava Tea also has a version of this blend with a black tea base.  I find the green tea base appealing. The cinnamon is so powerful on its own, you don’t need the astringency of a black tea to compete with it.  The green tea provides a suitable, subtle background to let the herbs and spices dance center stage.

Beyond the cinnamon, this tea features orange peels and cloves which pair seamlessly with the cinnamon and make the brew naturally full and sweet.  This tea is perfect for lovers of cinnamon candies, or for those who like an extra sensory experience with their tea. Drank hot, the cinnamon spice feels hot and tingly all the way down your throat, providing a comforting warming feeling from within.

I know there are lots of specialty tea brews that come out in the fall and winter, but this delicious brew is available year round.  It is the perfect heat to help with a stuffy nose or sore throat. It is the most intense cinnamon brew to accompany your season dessert, like apple pie.  Feel festive, berry, and bright with a cup of Green Cinnamon Spice.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Fava Tea
Description:

This green tea contains THREE types of cinnamon, sweet cloves, and orange peel. There’s no added sweetener in this tea, but you’d swear there is! The natural sweetness of the cinnamon really shines through!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nakamura-en Tea Shop Kyoto Karigane Hojicha from Nakamura-En Tea Shop (available at Yunomi)

Nakamura-en Tea Shop Kyoto Karigane Hojicha is a premium green tea that is made of roasted stems filtered from kabusecha which is a shaded green tea.

The tea shop itself is a quaint, 100+ year old shop near Ryogoku station on the JR Sobu line. The owner is Mr. Nakamura who speaks a bit of English, and selects some amazing teas from around Japan….including this one. The promoter of this wonderful tea is Yunomi Life and it’s available for purchase on their website.

The harvest is spring and the region is Kyoto Pref, Japan which contributes to the overall experience of this tea. The aroma is intense – right out of the bag! The flavor on the tongue is smoky and roasted up front with a sweet end sip.

The layers of flavor have you craving more. This is certainly a tea that you will take your time with. One to contemplate and appreciate. One that you will remember long after the cup is finished. A mighty fine roasted and toasted green!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Yunomi
Description

Roasted leaf stems filtered from the production of gyokuro (the most premium form of leaf green tea with lowest level of catechin) in Kyoto, Japan.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Green Mojito from The Love Tea Company. . . .

I’ve never had a mojito. I didn’t even know what was IN a mojito. But when I opened the pouch, I could tell you right away that a mojito must have lime and mint. The base of this tea is Japanese sencha. I decided to try it hot sans additions, hot with sugar, and iced sweetened. Then…drum roll, please….I found a person who has had an ACTUAL mojito to give judgment on whether the taste is accurate.

I thought this tea might not be too great as a plain hot tea since it was designed to mimic a cocktail, and the powerful smell of limes made me close my eyes and brace myself when I took my first sip. To the contrary, it was quite good sans any additions at all! The lime is natural yet doesn’t pucker your lips and dry your mouth. The mint is refreshing. The sencha is smooth.

I added sugar and had another small cup and also passed some along to my daughter. It was good this way, too.

The hot, sweet tea was poured into a carafe and left to chill in the fridge and to await the verdict of a true mojito drinker. I enjoyed the sweet iced tea with my supper, and poured a small glass to be tested with a wee splash of rum. My test subject declared that, aside from the lack of bubbles from club soda, the taste was to a “T” in the mojito tea!

Check out The Love Tea Company and their mission of awareness and compassion for those struggling with mental illness. Check out their Tea It Forward tea gift – so bright, so special! It is a great way to cheer someone’s day with a colorful gift box of tea, filter bags, and tea measuring spoon. It is a great way to send a message of love or a “thinking of you” for someone who needs it. And did I mention that it is incredibly economical? I have both received and sent these, and they really bring a smile – just like tea should!


Here’s the scoop!

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

This mojito concoction explodes with flavor.   It starts with Japanese style Sencha, has lime and mint pieces, and all-natural mint flavoring.  Enjoy it with a splash or milk and sugar, over ice, or blended as a mixer for rum and tequila.  If you ask Uncle Google, he’ll give you the famous Hemingway recipe for a Mojito Martini.  This tea will take you across the river and into the woods and down to the deep south where Hemingway certainly enjoyed a similar concoction one sunny sumer day in Key West.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Anhui Maojian from Tea Runners. . . . .

This is a green with a bite. It has a pleasant, slightly sweet vegetal tartness that’s surprising and unexpected. The description on the tea’s site describes this exciting sensation as “a lively and vibrant piquancy,” a phrase that I am bitter about not having created myself. The person who wrote it is a scholar.

This isn’t a neutral, pleasant green that fades into the background. It has a distinct personality. It won’t take no for an answer. It’s in charge of your attention. Every time I sip it here at my desk, I glance over at my mug in surprise. Aha! Yes! THIS GUY! STILL DELIGHTING THE SENSES.

When Jewel Staite (Space Cases/Firefly actress) started up Tea Runners, I wanted to be hype about it. I loved this actress — but did I love her taste in tea? Obviously, she probably has advisors and experts that help her with the company. But still. I wasn’t sure. My brother got me a month to be nice (his personality is a good one), and I’ve loved both of the teas I’ve tried so far. (There are 4 in each subscription). GOOD ON HER. So I’m happy to endorse what I’ve tried of Tea Runners.

I’m ALSO happy to endorse Space Cases and Firefly. They are late 90s/early 2000s science fiction. If you get nothing else from this post, just know: television in the pre-HBO era was a SIMPLER TIME. A delightful, innocent time. Pure, like this tea. Get on board.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Tea Runners
Description

This lovely green tea from the Anhui province in China is not only pleasant to look at– its young leaves are touched with mao jian or “downy tips”– but it also brews to a lively and vibrant piquancy. We love the fresh green grass scent and the slightly sweet umami finish in its taste, a welcome combination that makes this green one to savour.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!