Endurance Citrus Mint from Sportland Tea Co. . . .

This is my first time brewing matcha powder and leaves together, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I didn’t want to whisk fibers out of the leaves, but I also didn’t want to lose out on any matcha goodness in a filter bag. I settled on using a gravity brewer to trap the leaves but let matcha through.

This Endurance citrus mint brewed a unique opaque army green. We start with a definite mint smell, but I don’t taste it…and it’s subtle on the green tea … perhaps my tastebuds are too busy with the strong lemongrass flavor? There’s a soft aftertaste tingle on the tongue that travels down the throat with a gentle ginger zing – hello, I’m awake now! The density of the particles in this tea causes a heavier, fuller mouthfeel, to the point where I felt as if it were starting to coat my tongue. This was especially true on those last, sediment-rich sips.

I love the idea of matcha teas as a midday or workout time pick-me-up. I’ve seen some brands who sell pure fine-ground matcha, who also sell this hybrid with larger flavor bits at a lower cost. Though I am frugal, I’m too much a traditionalist at heart to be able to fully embrace this ”best-of-both-tea-worlds” bag and powder offering from Sportland Tea Co.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea and Matcha
Where to Buy: Sportland Tea Co.

Sportland Tea Co.’s Endurance Blend is a unique mix of matcha green tea and herbs. With ginger, mint, and ginseng. This blend is an invigorating option any time of the day.

Drink approximately 15-30 minutes before a workout, run, or when you are having a long day at the office. Try it over ice for an even more refreshing and hydrating option!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Easy Like Sunday Morning from Plum Deluxe. . . . .

A love letter to this delightful, chocolate-y lavender tea, from Mary (a fan).

Dearest chocolate-lavender honeybush, you unexpectedly tricky surprise. Prior to our first meeting, did I think you might be a little much? Perhaps– and yet, I added you to my tea order regardless. And when you arrived, did I not shove you to the kind-of-back of my tea cabinet, purposefully ignoring you a little bit until the time was right? YES. And YET: when your brewing time arrived, did I know we’d soon fall in tea-sipper-and-tea-leaf love? Certainly not. Did I assume your notes of chocolate would be that strange combination so often found in chocolate teas, that of overwhelming, fake, and flat– all at once? Did I doubt that you’d be the one in a million to change my mind and actually make me believe that could chocolate tea could be delicious? I mean– I hoped. But I was skeptical.

(Interlude: I’m well aware that if this were a REAL love letter, there sure would be a lot of caveats in my profession of love. Let’s be grateful that tea isn’t a sentient love-letter-recipient.)

OH, but you chocolate lavender tea– you are just perfect. You’re mild and sweet, comforting and cozy and rich just as a chocolate tea should be, but rarely is. You require no added sweetness, but you’re a match made in heaven with a dollop of decadent coconut cream on top. You’re the standard I now hold all other chocolate teas against– this is now a much, much higher bar than it ever had been before.

Dear chocolate lavender honeybush tea, you truly are as easy as a Sunday morning. And any Sunday that involves chocolate is a win by me. Mmm.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

When we launched our line of hot chocolate blends, we found our favorite flavor was chocolate and lavender.  The rich decadence of the chocolate was enhanced by a tiny flourish of floral calm.  So that’s when we realized it would make the perfect herbal tea!

Everything feels easier after a calm cup of this blend.  Honeybush tea and cacao nibs are paired with fresh Oregon lavender to make a dreamy cup of perfection.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Omija Berry Blush from Story of My Tea. . .

This tea found its way into my cup on one of those fake-out spring days. You know– it’s April and you’re mourning the fun of spring and are just itching for some green grass, chirping birds, and a pitcher of iced tea?

Except here in the Midwest– the birds have all flown south for the winter, the grass looks like the color of that “green smoothie” (yeah right) you tried to make this morning to bolster your winter blues– and you haven’t made a pitcher of iced tea in MONTHS because hello, it’s cold outside!

And then, you dig through your tea stash and find something fruity and light– maybe not to make iced (you prefer a 24 hour cold brew method, after all, and tea is needed posthaste), but makes such a tart and tangy, sweet and fruity hot cuppa that you’ll allow it?

That was TOTALLY this blend for me, friends. Something about the berry blend used here was just a liiiiittle more fun/interesting than your average herbal bear, too– it was tangy and tart, but not mouth-puckeringly so. The berry flavors were vibrant– a little reminiscent of a fruit-by-the-foot in-a-cup… just sans all that sugar.

In a few months, I bet this one will be DELIGHTFUL iced. Until then, though– pile on those warm winter clothes, hunker down in your cozy bed, get the kettle boiling, and serve it up hot.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Story of My Tea

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Healthier Childhood Fave: Fruit Punch from The NecessiTeas. . . . .

Fruit Punch tea from The NecessiTeas totally smells like a juice I’d have had as a kid…. Not sure if I’m very into it now as an adult though, as there is an grape additive that isn’t quite doing it for me, but we know with teas,  smells can be deceiving. There looks to be more oolong tea leaves than fruits/herbs, which is always a plus.

It brews into quite a beautiful golden pear liquor, I’m so so glad this does not include hibiscus’ neon magenta “punch” color, kudos to the maturity shown with this modernizing twist. Fruit Punch need not be just for children anymore 🙂

OoOoo it tastes very different than it smells! Actually there’s a really beautiful flavor transition through the different fruit flavors, a warm strawberry that becomes citrus. I love the playful complexity of this oolong choice. I want to personify it as similar to me, older and wiser but secretly musing on what shenanigans I can expect at the next high school reunion.  I  think the lemongrass brings some brightness and keeps it away from the saccharine extreme I expected from a “childish” seeming name… yeah, yeah, I’m judgy with names, moving along. There is a short and sweetish aftertaste, even before I added stevia. This blend is good for a resteep, and despite my first-whiff-misgivings, it’s really pretty enjoyable. Aptly deemed a necessary tea when catching up with a school days pal and feeling nostalgic.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: The Necessiteas

This blend brings back childhood memories of me at the pool with a red stained smile on my face. What is even better about this tea, you don’t have to have a red stained smile to be happy. Fruit punch is a spring and summer must have around here! If it’s a party, shower or barbecue, they just seem to go hand in hand. So obviously I had to create a punch inspired tea. If you’re anything like me and enjoyed that sweet red punch as a kid then you’ll love this refreshing combo of strawberry, cherry and orange.

Your tea is hand packaged in an airtight tin at no additional charge.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Da Yu Ling Oolong Tea from Tea from Taiwan. . .

I am having a really emotional day*, so I decided to treat myself with the best option available: a bracing cup of tea.

*To be fair, most of my days are emotional. I am a person with a Lot Of Feelings.

This was a more delicate cuppa than I was in the mood for, but no fear, it is still quite the taste sensation.

It’s really LEMONY! Light, and toward the green side of oolong, and there’s a little bit of a sweet-n-sour lemonade twist. I feel like they could serve this in the South, maybe iced, and people would love it.

It comes from a place that translates out to “Pear Mountain.” I have this weird thing where I fear unfamiliar fruit (please don’t make fun of me), so I honestly am not sure if this tastes like a pear. But it definitely IS fruity. It’s got a surprising amount of extra flavor for a straight tea. Wow.

If you were to go to Mount Li, from whence this tea originates, you would be close to — and possibly able to visit — China’s Terracotta Army.

It’s a giant underground tomb-necropolis that houses a miniature version of the first Chinese emperor’s army. They protect his (still unopened) tomb. You really need to read the Wikipedia article about this. It’s fascinating.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Tea from Taiwan
Description

Da Yu Ling oolong tea (wu-long tea) is a premium-grade oolong tea from the Da Yu Ling area of Taiwan’s Taichung county. Its high altitude (more than 2600 meters) makes this one of the highest tea plantations in the world.

Da Yu Ling has a wonderful fragrance and taste. It is a lightly oxidized oolong tea with a refreshing palate that is sought after by the most demanding tea connoisseurs. Da Yu Ling is produced in limited quantities and is one of the most prized teas of Taiwan.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!