Hot Cross Bun from Bluebird Tea Co. . . .

I was too chicken to order a full supply of this springtime blend, but I did get a free sample so I got to get a taste risk-free.  Hot Cross Bun is one of the Easter flavors released by Bluebird Tea Company. This is a black tea and rooibos tea blend, though rooibos makes up the majority, so you won’t be overloaded with caffeine.

The scent of this blend was vibrant and noticeable right out of the bag.  Some of the black tea was clearly a smoky lapsang souchong, but the smoked flavor was closely followed by a powerful, sweet vanilla scent.  Quite the flavor duo.

Brewed, this tea continued to open up and show off its delicious ingredients.  The smokiness cooled off, and became more like the suggestion of a fire in the fireplace.  The creamy vanilla was heightened to the decadence of buttercream icing. Both flavors were nicely balanced by sweet and tart orange zest to bring it all together.

This is a great tea for those days that you want a sweet dessert blend, but don’t want to feel too much like a pastry chef.  The whiff of rugged lapsang souchong brings a unique boldness to this brew and makes you appreciate favorite flavors like cream and citrus in a new light.  Don’t be a chicken like me and the next time you can-order a full bag of this springtime tea before it’s gone!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black and Rooibos
Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea Co.
Description:

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Glenburn Estate Darjeeling, First Flush 2017 from Yatra Tea. . . . .

Darjeeling teas fall somewhere on the spectrum of black teas, green teas, and oolong teas, depending on their level of oxidation.  This 2017 First Flush darjeeling is a high quality blend from Glenburn Estate and from the Yatra Tea Company.

The dry leaves are a very dark green, and tightly curled.  I used the recommended brewing of 185 F water with a steep time of 3 minutes.  Brewed, the tea was fragrant, green and fruity, and very much in the oolong-family of of scents.

The taste was driven by a muscatel stone-fruit flavors, a green and pleasantly tart, almost fermented, frutiness.  This tea was bright and sunny, with notes of apricot and white grape, coupled with a lush green undertone. The mouthfeel was very smooth in texture, though I don’t taste as much buttery flavors as I might expect.  The more I sipped, the more gentle lemon and citrus notes became apparent.

This is definitely a fruit-forward tea, perfect for springtime brewing.  Even if flowers aren’t quite blooming in your garden, watch these tea leaves bloom in your mug and enjoy the sweet fragrance and experience.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Darjeeling
Where to Buy: Yatra Tea
Description:

High in the Himalayas, overlooking the intimidating Kanchenjunga mountain range, lie the rolling tea fields of the heavenly Glenburn Estate. Founded in 1859 by a Scottish tea company, Glenburn is one of the oldest Darjeeling estates and many of the laborious routines appear to be unchanged till date on this 750 hectare estate.

In addition to traditional Darjeeling black teas, Glenburn produces a superior green tea at specific times of the year. Yatra Tea Company proudly presents an April 2017 offering harvested exclusively for us.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Easter Egg Nests from Bluebird Tea Co.

I had to try Easter Egg Nests blend from Bluebird Tea Company as soon as I heard about it:  marshmallows, puffed rice, cacao shells? It’s the dessert tea of my dreams! This blend is based on an Easter dessert of rice krispie treats with chocolate, shaped like bird’s nests with a few mini chocolate eggs or marshmallow peeps for good measure.

Springtime and puffed rice or marshmallow teas are all the rage.  There are lots of sweet and festive peeps-inspired teas available this time of year.  This blend from Bluebird Tea Co. is a slight rarity, in that it is a puffed rice tea with a half black tea half green tea base instead of the full green tea base more traditionally found in genmai cha.

This tea tastes like equal parts marshmallowy rice krispie treat and sweet and creamy milk chocolate. The natural nuttiness of the cacao shells is a perfect match for the toasty puffed rice, and I’m glad for the bolder black tea to provide a solid base for all these delightful dessert flavors. I love this tea just as it is, without sugar or milk; it has a tasty balance of starchy rice with smooth vanilla that isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, like salted caramels.

However, I’ve seen some amazing pictures of this tea as a latte, complete with whipped cream and Easter candy and that might just have to be my next dessert concoction!  Happy Spring!

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black tea and Green tea
Where to Buy: Bluebird Tea Co.
Description:

The best Easter treats to make as kids: crispy, gooey, chocolatey, goodness! Whether you decorate with chocolate eggs or fluffy chicks we’re all fond of a home-made Easter Egg Crispy Nest (or two!). That’s why our limited edition Easter tea blend is packed with crispy toasted rice, chocolate pieces and (vegan) marshmallows!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Go to Wonderland with a cup of Lewis Carroll tea from Simpson and Vail.. . .

Springtime feels like the time for Alice in Wonderland: flowers blooming, spending more time outside, feeling a little more whimsy after the winter blues.  I’ve seen a few new teas popping up this time of year, themed for just such an occasion.

I recently tried the Lewis Carroll blend of black tea from Simpson and Vail.  In case you don’t know, Lewis Carroll is the author of Alice in Wonderland, among other works.  Alice in Wonderland tends to be a favorite among tea fans for the famous tea party scene featuring the Mad Hatter, not to mention all the cute tea cakes that wreak fantastical havoc for Alice’s adventures.

This Lewis Carroll tea blend features an Indian black tea base, combined with Chinese Rose Congou black tea, highlighted by added violet fragrance and flavoring.  All these flowers are meant to put us in a fantasy world, whether in the queen’s roses, or in the garden beside the tea party.  There are lots of blossoms in the dry leaves, and the brewed cup smells as sweet as a blooming garden.

I enjoy the fragrance of this tea, but strong floral blends aren’t my personal favorite when it comes to taste.  I found I enjoyed the tea more with a touch of milk and sugar, which helped mellow out the strong floral flavors and made the brew more like a flower-scented dessert.

This is a great tea to put you in a springtime mood, perhaps sipped while out-of-doors after a dreary winter.  If you’re one for having fancy tea parties, this may also be a great choice, whether it fits your Alice in Wonderland theme, or just because it feels fancy and ladylike, and makes the flowers on your teacup smell like they are alive and fresh!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Simpson and Vail
Description:

A tea party plays a memorable role in Carroll’s most celebrated novel as the setting for Alice’s nonsensical meeting with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. “A large rose-tree stood near the entrance of the garden” where, as the Mad Hatter told Alice earlier, “it’s always tea time.” To make our Lewis Carroll blend, we added our fragrant violet flavor to an Indian Black tea and Rose Congou tea, a China black that has been scented with rose petals during the drying process, to create a deep amber cup with an incomparable bouquet and a flavor that is absolutely heavenly.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Fresh and Easygoing Green: Tian Mu Mao #FengGreen Tea from @Teavivre

There’s a lot of green teas out there: potent matcha, sour kukicha, toasted hojicha, or smoky gunpowder, to name just a few. After trying this offering from Teavivre, now I can add Feng Green tea to my list.

First of all, the leaves of Feng Green tea were unlike any of the green teas I mentioned. The Feng Green tea leaves were long and tightly curled, tangling into each other as I tried to scoop some tea into my teapot.  This was certainly a different shape than the rolled pellets of gunpowder green, or the flattened hojicha leaves, or the powdered matcha.

The Feng Green dry leaf smelled lightly floral and just a touch sour, like an aged forest floor.  There was just a hint of something spicier, like pine resin or citrus, almost making the leaves smell like a box of Christmas potpourri.  Brewed, the tea is well-balanced, with the expected grassy green notes, a hint of sour fermentation, and a full scent and aftertaste of sweet apple and green grape.
I don’t often reach for green teas, but Feng Green from Teavivre was so drinkable and naturally sweet that I found myself making a cup to help take the edge off my long afternoons.

Try Feng Green when you need something pleasant and easygoing, like sitting on your porch and taking in the fresh grass of spring and the fresh fruits of summer.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Teavivre
Description:

Organic Tian Mu Mao Feng Green Tea is one of the ten famous Chinese teas. This Organic Tian Mu Mao Feng Green Tea origins in organic tea base of Tianmu Mountain in Lin’an, Hangzhou. The organic tea base of Tianmu Mountain, has passed the organic certification of European, USA and Japan, is a significant base of planting organic dragon well and green tea. When brewing, it tastes light sweet and fragrance. In Chinese, Mao Feng refers to the hairy buds—to be covered by pekoes means a super quality of the tea leaves.
This Organic Tian Mu Mao Feng Green Tea is produced by traditional manual frying method and the idea of modern crafts of tea making. Combined with the advantages of organic tea and high grade tea, it is suitable for tea lovers of organic tea,

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!