China Bancha/Herbie Organic. . . . .

This is intriguing! Bancha usually refers to Japanese tea, specifically the second harvest from the same tea bushes that produce sencha. Bancha is considered to be an every day tea grade rather than something to reserve for special occasions, so I am drinking this as my after brunch cup.

This tea is harvested in China but is processed like Japanese bancha. The leaves are not terribly long – not like Hou Kui – but they are similar in that they are pressed flat. They are quite dark green in color.

The steeped tea is a rich gold color, not pale at all. It looks a lot like apple juice! My first sip gave the impression of mint, but the more I drink, the more I realize it is a very light briskness that builds over time. It is not creamy, buttery, or very vegetal. It is not sour when sipping. There is a bit of mineral flavor. By halfway through the cup, my tongue is feeling rather dry. And dry makes you want to drink more.

As is so often true of brisk tea, the follow up to the sip is a slight rising sweetness. There is only a hint of that here and it seems to come and go, being the most noticeable in the very back of the throat. Once the aftertaste establishes itself, though, it does linger well.

With its palate cleansing tendencies, I think this is a tea I would serve with or immediately after a meal. It is not a favorite for me, as I tend to like highly vegetal or buttery green tea, but is the sort of thing my daughter loves.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Herbie Organic

Description

Green tea produced by combining the best Chinese and Japanese tea making traditions. Grown on the northern side of the River Yangtze at altitudes of up to 250 meters, pressed and long leaves give this green tea light and gentle taste and a mild character.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bananas! from 52Teas. . . .

Banana is a flavor that 52 Teas does well. Very well. So when I saw they had a new banana tea, Bananas!, I was itching to buy it. Lucky for me I did not have to since I won a Steepster giveaway and got this tasty sounding tea in a subscription box. Thank you, 52 Teas!

I brewed up this black tea per the recommended steeping parameters, 3 minutes at 200F. I let it cool as I read the ingredients and wrote a yelp review about a burger joint I tried the other day. The ingredient list is short and simple: single estate black tea, banana, and natural flavors.

Just like the list of ingredients, the flavor is simple too. Black tea with banana flavors. Neither in-your-face and both nicely balanced. This has a fresh banana flavor that is not too sweet and pairs nicely with the gentle malt of the black base. It is a flavored tea that is not so flavored you could grow tired of it quickly. A nice everyday sort of tea you can skip on while doing other things since it does not demand much attention.

Some of my favorite banana blends from 52 Teas have been Banana Pudding, Anne’s Gone Bananas…and a Little (Coco)Nuts, Buttered Banana Bread, Banana Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha….this list goes one. However, what this list has in common is that they are banana blends with a little something else. This tea is just bananas and while I definitely recommend it for purists who might want more simplicity, I think personally I prefer some of the other blends more.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
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!

Reading Nook Blend Organic Black Cream Loose Leaf Tea from Plum Deluxe. . . .

Feeling fretful and restless, unable to decide which of the many tasks at hand I ought to start, frustrated over adulting and situations that are somewhat out of my control for now, and tired of the rain, rain, and more rain, I decided not to do anything for now, but to pick a tea that needed reviewing instead. The chores will wait for me.

As I went through my box of tea, the title of this one grabbed me and said, “This is exactly what you need right now. A great book to escape into and a great cup of tea.”

I always listen when tea talks to me, so I headed over to the internet and downloaded a book I have been wanting to read for ages and made a whole pot of this beautiful blend.

Before I even started drinking it, I was already feeling more relaxed. The top of my infuser basket held the loveliest colors of pink rose petals, little lavender blossoms, and golden bits of chamomile floating lazily over the black tea leaves. An aroma wafted up that felt like a gentle hand patting the shoulder with a “there, there.” Now, feet up, tablet on lap, one chapter down, and two cups in me, I have a new attitude.

Ah yes, this was just what I needed, indeed. Every element of the tea is nicely balanced and making me feel more peaceful. The black tea is soft and smooth but still strong enough to make a nice “real tea” base for the blend. The floral elements are soft and sweet. I added nothing to this and it doesn’t need a thing in my opinion. The rose is sweet and creamy and adds roundness to the texture, the lavender is soothing and so much more interesting than just lavender by itself, and the chamomile would be the lightest touch here to me, adding to the sense of peace, as I associate it with unwinding and letting go of worries and cares. The tea says, “Breathe.” So I do, deeply and slowly.

The overall effect is just what I desperately needed – enough of a break to relax and restore the strength to do what needs to be done next. But not tonight. Tonight is going to be just me and a good book and a full pot of Reading Nook Tea. Breathing.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black/Herbal
Where to Buy:  Plum Deluxe
Description

The reading nook blend is our signature organic tea created for enjoying while perfecting some of our dearest passions: reading, writing, and enjoying conversation with friends.

One needs a touch of caffeine to keep the conversation flowing, the pages turning, or the pen on the move, so we start this blend with a wonderful cream black tea. We then added rosebuds for creativity and sustenance, lavender for flavor and aroma, and top it off with a bit of chamomile which adds a calming balance to it all. Customers often tell us this is our prettiest tea!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Farmer’s Market Strawberry from Farmhouse Teas. . . .

Farmhouse Teas aka St Fiacre’s Farm Teas are among some of my favorites.  These teas are hand crafted and created with such love that you can literally taste the care in each sip.  I have been a fan of their teas for some time and belong to their monthly tea club.

Last month I received a sample of Farmer’s Market Strawberry along with my other goodies.  So far I have devoured the majority of the teas I’ve received from the Farmhouse Teas lineup and I couldn’t wait to try this one.

Brewed up my water at 180 and allowed the tea to steep for about three minutes.  The moment this tea started brewing you can smell the strawberries and a few of the other inclusions.  This tea blend consists of sencha green tea, strawberry leaf, rosehips, hibiscus, licorice root, lemon peel, rose petals and strawberries.  The look of this tea is just stunning and I was hoping the tea would taste as amazing as it looks.

Unfortunately for me, I think this tea has a bit more licorice root than I care for.  The rest of the tea is simply divine- green tea, strawberry, hibiscus, rose petals, etc but there is this bite that I keep getting and I have a feeling it is coming from the licorice root.  Normally licorice root doesn’t bother me too much but I think in this instant since the other flavors are delicate and tart, the licorice root is just shining.

If the licorice root wasn’t so dominant, this tea would be out of this world amazing.  The sweet and tart flavors play very well and provide this happy brew that just leaves you smiling.  I’m wondering if the licorice root was replaced with marshmallow root if I would like the blend more.

Regardless, I’m super happy I was able to try this blend and hope to try more Farmhouse Teas soon.  I’m eagerly awaiting my March package of tea goodies!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy: Farmhouse Teas
Description

Welcome to our FarmHouse Teas line! Earthy Sencha Green Tea paired with Oregon Strawberries straight from the local farmer’s market! This is the tastiest way to enjoy Oregon strawberries year around. This tea offers light strawberry notes followed by a hint of citrus. Great brewed hot but perfect for summer time iced tea brewing as well.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lime Jello from 52Teas. . . .

A friend of mine won a giveaway hosted by 52 Teas awhile ago. The perk of my friend winning the giveaway is that I still got to try the teas she won without adding too much to my ever growing stash of teas. Among her winnings was this Lime Jello Green Tea.

Lime Jello Green Tea is made up of a blend of green teas, lime leaves, limes, pineapples, marshmallow root and natural flavors. It smells like…well, lime jello. Now I have never been the biggest jello fan but the smell of jello powder, with its artificial and candy-like fruit scents, has always appealed to me so this tea captured my nose and with that, my attention.

As I drink the tea, I definitely get lime candy though it is not as in-your-face pungent as the smell of the dry leaf would suggest. Then again, the taste of jello is never as strong as the smell of the powder so I can’t be too upset about that. In addition to the lime, I get a touch of bitterness from the green tea base that I feel keeps this grounded while the marshmallow root makes this come off light, like any jello-inspired tea should be.

One thing that surprised me about this blend is that there is a creaminess here that I wasn’t expecting. Even more surprising is how this tea manages to stay light even with the creamy element, which is much more commonly found in heavier/richer dessert teas.

Lime Jello is not something I would have ever thought I wanted made into a tea but now that I have had it, I will say that I approve. It is bright and fun and a great treat for warmer days.


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!