Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea by Teavivre

TaiPingHouKuiTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Teavivre

Tea Description:

A premium quality green tea, renowned as one of China’s top ten 10’s

  • Produced in TaiPing HouKeng(太平猴坑) in Anhui province
  • Harvest time: April 16, 2015
  • Long, flat leaves of one bud and two leaves
  • Tea Liquid: bright and clean in light green color
  • Flavor: sweet and smooth with strong aroma, has long-lasting sweet aftertaste
  • Low caffeine (less than 10% of a cup of coffee)

Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui grows in Hou Keng on Huangshan Mountain, which is the center producing area of Tai Ping Hou Kui green tea. In China, Tai Ping Hou Kui is famed as one of the most famous ten Chinese teas. Leaves of semi-hand Tai Ping Hou Kui are even in thickness, and have brighter color thanNonpareil Tai Ping Hou Kui. First crafted in 1915, it went on to win gold medal for best tea at the 1915 Panama World Expo. TeaVivre’s TaiPing HouKui is an excellent example of this fantastic tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have moments when I absolutely crave green tea. Crave. I find this amusing since I’m usually a black tea drinker, but I’ve learned not to question it. Some days are green tea days, and on those days I’m lucky to have teas like this. The Premium Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea from Teavivre is quite good and unique in many ways.

The leaves of this tea are absolutely beautiful. They’re long, wide and bright green but also flat and thin. Their size and color make them nice to watch while steeping, so if you have a glass teapot this would be a lovely served in it.

The feel of the tea is thick and creamy, but the taste is light and deliciously simple. There’s the flavor of green bean with hints of butter. There is also a bit of a grassy flavor that is more of a background note. It plays well off of the vegetal note giving the tea a bright, clean taste.  While this is not an overly sweet tea there is a hint of sweetness throughout the cup that I found pleasant.

I enjoy the juxtaposition of the thickness of the liquid and the subtly of the flavors in this tea. It’s something I will continue to enjoy as summer is winding down, but it’ll also be nice this autumn when I’m looking for thicker, more substantial teas in my cup.

Pure Peppermint Herbal Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

PurePeppermintRingtonsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy: Rington’s Premium English Teas

Tea Description:

An exciting and invigorating herbal infusion of pure peppermint leaves to revitalise and refresh.  Peppermint has been shown to aid digestion.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Peppermint is a classic herbal if ever there was one. It’s hard to go wrong with something so simple, and it’s a good stomach settler to boot. Rington’s pure peppermint is provided in a standard square paper tea bag, each one containing a generous amount of finely shredded peppermint leaves. I gave 1 bag approximately 3 minutes in boiling water for my cup. The liquor is a mediun golden brown, the scent mildly minty.

To taste, this is pretty much a standard peppermint tea. It’s exactly as you would expect – fresh tasting mint, with the wonderful hot water/cooling mint contrast that makes peppermint tea such a refreshing choice (and particularly suited to summer, if hot tea is your drink of choice when it’s 30 degrees out, as it is for me!) It’s a reasonably gentle mint, not too strong or reminiscent of toothpaste, but still identifiably mint. A well balanced choice.

There are so many similar peppermint teas available that it’s hard to make one stand out. Peppermint is an evergreen staple of the herbal tea world, after all. This one has no bells and whistles, but it’s clearly of quality – that much is evident in the drinking.

Rington’s Kenyan Gold Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

kenyanRingtonsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black,

Where to Buy: Rington’s Tea

Tea Description:

Kenyan Gold is a luxury, top quality tea. Bright, golden with a full, refreshing flavour. From our “Extra Fresh” family of wholesale teas. This includes two cup Kenyan Gold tea bags that are flavour locked for freshness and shipped from the US.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It is always nice to have a steadfast bagged tea to grab quickly as I am trying to join the rat race on time in the morning.  I am NOT naturally a morning person. The irony is that I start my commute at 6am.  Bagged tea is my friend on those mornings when the snooze button was just too tempting…like this morning.  Fortunately, Ringtons Kenyan Gold was there for the rescue!

Kenyan Gold is a lovely amber gold in the cup.  The smell of the liquid is of lightly toasted biscuit and malt, which are my favorite notes in tea…so I was pleased that the smell translated wonderfully into the taste in the cup!

There is a slight astringency that touches the back of the tongue and adds to the “brightness” of this tea, but not so much that it leaves the tongue feeling dry.  This tea accepted a touch of milk graciously and and deliciously as well.  I steeped this for 3 minutes and it was “Goldilocks” strength….not TO strong and not TO weak.  Just right for the tea drinker who likes a cuppa as a boost to their day, but not enough to knock their socks off.  Ringtons Kenyan Gold is a bright and pleasant way to start your day, and I’m glad I did!

Lemon, Ginger & Ginseng Herbal Tisane from Rington’s Premium English Teas

Lemon-Ginger-GinsengTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Rington’s Premium English Teas

Tea Description:

Naturally caffeine free, the Lemon, Ginger & Ginseng Herbal Tea is a refreshing and invigorating infusion that balances the lemon and ginger flavours.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Do you ever go through that moment when – as you’re brewing a cup of tea – you think to yourself:  what was I thinking, choosing this tea?  I actually go through that sort of moment more than I care to admit to.

And I experienced that moment as I was brewing this Lemon, Ginger & Ginseng Herbal Tisane from Rington’s Premium English Teas.  I mean, I like lemon and I like ginger and I actually enjoy the two together quite a bit.  But ginseng?  I think I’ve mentioned more than once here on this blog that I’m not a fan of it.  So, what possessed me to grab this tea to try it?

I don’t know.  But, now that it’s brewed, I might as well try it, right?

I brewed one bag in 6 ounces of hot water (195°F) for 5 minutes.

The aroma offers a strong lemony note with hints of ginger.  I also detect an earthy ginseng aroma.  Ugh.

Fortunately, the ginseng smells stronger than it tastes!  Happy day!

The lemon is the strongest flavor of the cup and it’s bright and invigorating.  It’s not overly tart, it’s more of a sweet lemon note with hints of tangy.  But I’m not puckering here.

The ginger is somewhat subdued, it’s not an overly peppered flavor from the spice of the ginger.  It’s warm enough to offer some contrast to the zesty flavor of the lemon but not so spicy that it distracts from the lemon.  This cup is really all about the lemon!

I can also taste the slightest hint of a cinnamon-y flavor to this.  It’s very slight and it complements the ginger in a very enjoyable way.

What I don’t taste a lot of – thankfully – is ginseng.  Even when I attempt to focus on the ginseng flavor to determine how much of it I actually do taste, I don’t taste a lot.  A slight earthiness – that’s it!  And the earthy notes meld favorably with the earthy notes of the ginger and cinnamon.

It really is as I said earlier, this tea is really all about the lemon.  This would be something nice to keep on hand for those times when you’re feeling a bit under the weather and want something lively to sip.  It would go nicely with a dollop of honey and would be soothing on a sore throat.

It’d also be nice if you’re cold-brewing some basic black tea – add one of these tea bags in along with the black tea and you’ll have a pleasant lemony flavor to your iced tea.

Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised by this tea!

Organic Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

organicTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rington’s Premium English Teas

Tea Description:

As you can imagine, organic tea cultivation is time consuming and requires careful attention. Over the last 10 years we have worked closely with selected organic tea gardens where careful crop husbandry and leaf quality is at the heart of everything they do. Our selected blend delivers a classic smooth flavour with a golden colour.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

After having tried several of Rington’s Premium English Teas offerings, I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed a few and there have been a few that I wasn’t too crazy about.  And then there are some that I was kind of just ‘meh’ about.  That is to say that while I didn’t dislike the tea, it wasn’t something that had me jumping out of my seat with excitement either.

This Organic Tea from Rington’s falls into the latter category.  I don’t dislike it, but it’s not got me all giddy with joy either.  I’m feeling just sort of ‘meh’ about this tea.

It’s got a rich flavor:  earthy and robust.  It has notes of leather and fruit.  The finish is moderately astringent.  Not overly so, but I notice that the dryness from the astringency seems to build as I continue to sip.  On the down side, I can also taste the paper from the teabag.  Not my favorite flavor profile.

The tea isn’t ‘bad’ or unpleasant.  It’s just sort of boring.  It tastes like a bag of tea fannings which is essentially what it is.  The problem is, I’m not wild about a bag of fannings and generally, when I drink a bagged tea, I’m looking for something that doesn’t taste like a bagged tea.  I want something that convinces me to think twice about bagged teas – but this one isn’t doing that.   This is the kind of bagged tea that makes me feel like a tea snob because it makes me realize just how inferior a bagged tea can be.