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!

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!