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!

Chai Houjicha from 52Teas. . . .

I like me a mellow chai. I like roasted green teas. And I often enjoy 52teas’ blends. So I was very pleased to receive a generous taster pouch sample of this blend. It has not disappointed!

The dry leaf smells of clove, cinnamon, and a hint of pepper. Brewed up, it smells of clove and cinnamon. The dominant flavor is the roastiness of the hojicha, with a hint of cinnamon and the lingering bite of clove. Adding rice milk really makes this dreamy. It adds a sweetness and touch of creaminess that just perfectly complements the mellow spices, highlights the roasted note, and smooths out the clove. I tried adding honey for the sake of being comprehensive, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. This blend consistently delivers a solid second steep. I have also found that the caffeine kick here seems to be pretty mild, so I can have it later in the day than most other caffeinated teas. Overall, this is a mild but flavorful chai that is perfect for a chilly afternoon.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Emily Dickinson’s Jasmine Tea Blend from Simpson and Vail. . .

I think it must be very rare to meet a tea lover who is not also a book lover. The Simpson and Vail Literary Blends are an incredible way to celebrate both of our passions – drinking tea and reading. Good books are always better with tea!

This blend is inspired by the flowers Emily loved to grow. The base is listed as jasmine tea, and my best guess is that this is a pouchong. There are jasmine flowers, rose petals, marigold petals, and blue cornflowers as well, making an absolutely stunning presentation. This is a tea that needs to be displayed on the table in a tea scoop or in a little glass before steeping, because it makes a beautiful display to begin your tea time, and shouldn’t tea time engage all of your senses? Your eyes will feast on this one!

The steeped tea is a medium gold color. It is a smooth and lightly brisk tea, which is very fitting for Miss Dickinson. The floral taste is surprisingly light. This isn’t a heavy jasmine and rose blend, but rather a confident green base with light floral notes sweetening it.

“Bring me the sunset in a cup.” Yes, thank you. This is lovely and comfortable with hubby and daughters sipping away and draining the pot as we wind down for the night.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10th, 1830 and lived in a home that was central to Amherst political society thanks to her father and brothers. Growing up around powerful men prepared Dickinson for a life of the same, but society dictated that, as a woman, she was relegated to seemingly less meaningful ventures. Her anger at this slight comes across in her poetry and letters where she explored complex ideas of meaning and self while examining the smallest details of the world around her. She withdrew herself from society and lived in relative solitude until her death. Only a few of her poems were made public during her lifetime, but four years after her demise, a collection of poems was published and met with popular and critical acclaim. Her poems reveal a complicated mind that examined itself with as much attention to detail as it examined the world. Dickinson’s defiance of categorization and simplification make her a popular poet to study even today.

In the years she spent away from society, Emily Dickinson cultivated an extensive garden. In it, she grew jasmine flowers, cornflowers, roses, and many other flowers, plants and herbs. These flowers appear repeatedly in her poetry so our blend had to be floral. We created a delightful combination of jasmine tea and rose petals that brews to a light ecru cup with long green leaves and rose petal accents. This delicate tea hits you with a strong jasmine taste that’s sweetened and mellowed with the subtle flavors of the rose petals.

Ingredients: Jasmine tea, rose petals, jasmine blossoms, marigold petals and blue cornflower petals.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Arabian Nights from Fox Tea Club. . . .

It’s black. It’s green. It’s creamy. It’s buttery. It’s fruity. It’s got complete roses in its blend.

This tea sounds like an indecisive hot mess, I know. The blend’s ingredients sound like someone had a bunch of leftovers and upended them into a vat. (They include, for reference, Black Tea, Calendula, Cornflower, Green Tea, Mango, Pineapple, Rose).

But it totally works. It’s sweet and friendly and flowery. I’m not getting “Arabian Nights” from this (possibly because I’ve never had Turkish delight). I’m getting “Mother Goose.” This tea is a fairytale jumble. All of your favorite stories and flavors, blending together. It’s a dessert potluck. *

* (note: Have you ever had a dessert potluck? Probably the best party I ever threw.)

If you’re in the mood for some sweetness, throw this in your kettle. All the rabbits and sprites in the forest will be clamoring to join you.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green/Black
Where to Buy:  Fox Tea Club
Description

Exotic seductive smoothness and delicate spice aromas float from the cup with each sip of this black and green tea blend, which includes calendula, red rose, and cornflower petals. Remarkable subtle tones of vanilla cream with rich sponge cake recall warm deserts evenings with the crescent moon rising in the starry sky.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Drop That Sweet Beet from Steeped Tea. . . .

I’ve had this one in my stash for a while and after one sip I wondered why it took me so long to jump into a cup of it. Drop That Sweet Beet by Steeped Tea is a Green Tea with plenty of other ingredients coming to the party.

Green Tea, Sultanas, Almond Bits, Apple Bits, Date Bits, Beetroot Bits, Rose Blossom Leaves, are what make up this cup!

Upon opening the package this smells like pure candy…sugary, sweet, and berry-like. Once infused it smelled more like a fruit juice or juicy wine. The beetroot certainly played the main part in contribution to the color of the tea water. The dates added a nice sweetness but also a contrast to the other fruits in this cuppa.

There is a slight spice on the end sip especially if you drink this as an iced tea. Both a hot cuppa and an iced cuppa are stellar with this tea! I can’t choose which one I enjoy more.

This is a very nicely flavored green tea with plenty of surprises in each sip. And a great way to incorporate beets and dates in a flavored tea. Two thumbs up from me on this one!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy: Steeped Tea
Description

Green tea, Sultanas, Almond bits, Apple bits, Date bits, Beetroot bits, Rose petals, Natural flavors. Contains: Almonds. May contain other tree nuts. Naturally contains caffeine.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!