Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Harney & Sons
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.
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.
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea
Hold on to your summer year round, with this cuppa. Combines the flavors of cherry, apple and blueberries with a hint of rum and wine to make the perfect sangria year round.
Learn more about this tea here.
This is my second sample from A Quarter to Tea! I chose it for a couple reasons; the big one was that the other two samples I picked out were oolongs and I wanted to get to taste at least one of Lauren’s other tea types. However, I was also interested by the fairly unique ingredients. I’ve never seen Sangria with blueberry, for starters. Finally, I wanted to find a Sangria tea that was an improvement on the other two I’ve tried. DAVIDsTEA had a seasonal Sangria blend which I didn’t mind but didn’t love, and Red Leaf Tea has a Sangria flavour of matcha I currently own but don’t particularly like. And the idea of Sangria with a white base sounds awesome, too!
It was hard to form much of an impression of the tea dry: I could see several chunks of the dry ingredients in the blend, but there wasn’t a distinct aroma. Part of that, I feel, is that in the package Lauren mailed to me the Cherry Chocolate Latte was really a dominant flavour and I think possibly may have contaminated the other teas it was packaged with or, at least, “cancelled out” their aromas – which weren’t as potent/strong. Since Lauren suggests on her Etsy page to ice this and since Sangria really is a drink best consumed cold I decided to go with a cold method of preparation. However, instead of icing I went with cold brewing because that style of preparation is a favourite of mine.
I do find this tea to be very mildly/delicately flavoured overall, with softer and less prominent notes of apple and blueberry and a jammy stonefruit quality which I suppose is the cherry. I want to point out that mild and subtle isn’t actually a bad thing, however Sangria doesn’t have a ‘delicate’ flavour to begin with so it’s not reading as the most accurate flavour profile. Plus it’s a little odd for me to neither taste “orange”/citrus which is such a common Sangria flavour or the wine/rum. As such, while I really like the flavour that I do taste, I find it very hard to drink this and think of it as ‘Sangria’ flavoured. The name just doesn’t seem to match, you know?
I’d be interested to see this tea rebranded as another flavour, maybe even some kind of ‘punch’? This is a refreshing, light, fruity cuppa but in my ‘quest’ for the perfect Sangria tea my expectations just haven’t been met.
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Luhse Tea
Arrr! You’re a rum drunk pirate. Those that mess with your chocolate booty will walk the plank!
Learn more about this tea here.
Luhse Tea is a very interesting company that plays around with the idea/theme of a teabag “Prohibition” in order to free you, the consumer, from the restrictions of bagged tea and allow you the freedom of exploring loose tea. Their site is very fun to navigate, and seeing the way they’ve tied this theme into each blend is definitely entertaining and worthy taking the time to check out. This is one company that has definitely figured out their ‘brand’ – and that’s not a bad thing! I’ve been personally wanting to order from this company, to sample teas, for a while now but I actually received this tea in a swap. This tea has journeyed from the United States to the United Kingdom to Canada and finally into my mug!
Steeped up hot and enjoyed during a heavy rainfall, this definitely has a well rounded, smooth flavour and clean mouthfeel. I was nervous the mouthfeel would be rather oily because this blend uses chocolate chips instead of nibs or shells but that wasn’t a problem. Honestly, I feel like I’m getting more flavour from the base tea than anything else though; there’s a nice mild malt note that carries through all of each sip, and some baked bread notes. I’m not complaining, ’cause the base is really nice, but generally with a flavour tea I expect at least some aspect of the added flavour to be the strongest element.
The chocolate flavour is totally present, but while I was expecting something some rich and indulgent, this is pretty gentle. It’s more just a hint of cocoa, with a sort of powdery taste/mouthfeel which I’ve grown to associate with French teas. I also expected the rum to be stronger, and instead it’s very mild and watered down. Combined with the chocolate it’s a little like a very dull/lackluster rumball – the kind my family always makes around Christmas.
Initially I was quite disappointed by the flavour distribution: for a tea that’s describing the drinker as a “rum drunk pirate” I felt more like I was drinking tea with my Grandma around the holidays. However, I took a moment to set aside my disappointment and preconceptions about what the tea ‘should have’ tasted like, and after I did that I was able to appreciate the brew a little more. It’s not bold or vibrant, but the flavours it does offer are smooth and tasty, and it’s a comforting, mellow brew with hints of both chocolate and rum. I can appreciate that.
I’m still excited to explore the company a little more; but I can probably scratch this one off my wishlist. Though I’ll enjoy finishing the rest of what I received in that swap.
Flowering Tea/Blooming Tea (White Tea)
Where To Buy:
Direct link to this tea in their store: http://www.persimmontreetea.com/halo-tea.html
A beautifully hand-crafted blooming white tea that displays a ring of jasmine and amaranth flowers, with blueberry and peach essence.
Halo from The Persimmon Tree Tea Company is just outstanding and AMAZING!!!
It perfectly opened/bloomed the first time around without any imperfections whatso-ever and smelled of blueberry and peaches and that’s on top of the floral aroma…how awesome is that for a blooming tea!!??
I could taste the blueberry, peach, and flowers and it’s very yummy!
I tried a 2nd infusion on this and it was still very tasty! The only notable difference was the 2nd infusion was more floral. It was still an overall wonderful flavor tho!
This is probably one of my favorite blooming teas or flowering teas I have tried to date! This is VERY special!
Where To Buy: TeaScapes
Herbal Lush tea consists of a bright blend of delicate chamomile and spicy cinnamon with bits of strawberry and rose petals. The brewed tea produces a relaxing combination that has a mild fruity spark. It is a great evening tea to aid with relaxation and end the day with a smile.
Over the past week or two I have been REALLY pushing the envelop – I have been purposely forcing myself to taste teas that I usually don’t go for. Many of them have had Chamomile and/or Hibiscus.
I’m not too fond of Chamomile unless the other ingredients impress me! With this specific herbal from TeaScapes – the name and the look of the ingredients blended together is what interested me. It just seemed different. I had also been very pleased with the other TeaScapes Teas I have tried lately so I thought this one would give me something to write about either way!
The little bit of cinnamon that is coming thru is a nice touch and helps calm down the intense chamomile. Sure, the chamomile is still present but not as much as I thought it would be. The strawberry notes are barely there and I would LOVE to taste a little bit more but understand their reasoning for this…it’s not supposed to be about the strawberry! The rose somewhat works hand-in-hand with the chamomile to bring that floral bouquet type taste.
This is a nice twist on Chamomile and for that I do enjoy this herbal from TeaScapes!
It’s not my preference in flavor combos but a good calming and floral mix that certainly surprised me! This is pretty good, indeed!