Darjeeling The First Flush from Lupicia. . . . .

The First Flush.

For those of you who are curious Darjeeling (and Assam) teas, when harvested, are done so in flushes. The first flush is considered to be the finest of the flushes. Usually this is done in March – April.

The one I am drinking currently is in a bag and so I am not tasting it at it’s optimal flavor (leaves that float uninhibited will present more flavor). Regardless, I am still impressed. It is a triangle tea bag and so there is a bit more room then your usual square tea bag.

The dry and wet leaf have a wonderful, sweet, earthy aroma. Maybe somewhat on the woodsy side. Darjeeling does not seem to be ther type of tea you can steep twice and get better or equal flavor from. The first time the mouth feel was of a gentle woodsy breeze; which is still present now but less pronounced.

If I close my eyes while I sip it I can imagine the misty tea gardens.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Darjeeling
Where to Buy:  Lupicia
Description

DARJEELING THE FIRST FLUSH is an exclusive blend of spring-picked Darjeeling leaves. This tea has a green, fresh aroma and crisp astringency. The tea is so delicate in flavor and light in color, if you drink it thinking it’s just another cup of ordinary black tea, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Enjoy its gentle mouthfeel like a spring breeze.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jelly and Ice Cream from Teapigs. . . . .

I recently tried a cheeky box set of tea samples from Teapigs, and their packaging and labels were so cute and irresistible.  One flavor that wasn’t available in the box set was a blend made in honor of the Teapigs 10th anniversary in 2016.  It was meant as a limited edition blend, but it made such a hit that you can still place fresh orders for the blend today.

Jelly and Ice Cream was such an unusual flavor name and profile, I just had to check it out.  This is an herbal blend, made with lots of fruit pieces and natural flavoring.  The dry leaf smells both fruity and nutty, almost like sugary cereal, and brings to mind sticking your nose into a box of Crunch Berries.  The blend brews up as a rich, amber-pink color and tastes much like its scent, only smoother and sweeter.  The great news is that even though the tea is pink, there’s no sour hibiscus petals, so fruity-tea lovers of the world can rejoice that this blend isn’t overpowered by hibiscus tartness.

The flavors are just balanced enough to give me a full taste of both the jam-like raspberries and strawberries, and the sweet-cake tones of vanilla, cream, and biscuits.  Despite the dessert-like name, there’s something bright and breakfast-oriented about this blend, like toast with jam, or fruity cereal in milk.  This blend entices me to make it part of my balanced breakfast! Besides, it makes me feel whimsical and like a kid eating dessert-first.

Not being British, I’m not sure if this tea is based on a type of dessert in real life, but no matter what side of the pond you’re on, it’s hard to argue against flavors like jelly and ice cream and cake.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Teapigs
Description:

In 2006 the Iphone didn’t exist, the Kardashians were not a (big) thing, nobody #HASHTAGGED anything, people asked directions, smoking in pubs happened, Lance Armstrong was liked, Desperate Housewives ruled our lives, Woolworth’s pick’n’mix ruled our kids lives, avocado’s were not cool and teapigs was launched. We celebrate 10 years of great quality tea with this blend of strawberry jelly & ice cream. Grab a mug and raise a Birthday toast to teapigs!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Ashwagandha Root in Atman Tea Co. . .

When it comes to trying new flavors, sometimes ignorance is bliss, but once you have a strong mental image of something associated with a flavor, you’re done for. If you’d like to pretend you were with me during this mystery tasting, imagine Mr. Bean, but with more eyebrow wiggles and puckered lips, and that would be an appropriate approximation.

Upon receiving this pyramid tea bag (just the perfect blend of fancy and convenient) from Atman Tea Co, I was ready to test those taste buds. After a 2 minute brew at 160F, this pyramid really surprised me for a number of reasons! First and foremost, these tea leaves are FLA-VOR-FUL (sorry for caps yelling, but that’s how my mouth felt). I can’t imagine I over-brewed this with such a low temp and time. Follow-up tests with an “independent” second party (ok,ok my Dad) supported my initial findings.

Then I wondered where this smoky taste was coming from. Was this a Puerh? A mate?  I’ve never known those to end with an astringent apple flavor. The dry leaves were so innocuous. And it can’t be from sweetener, because I added none. Really loving my wonderful new year’s resolution right about now. Hmmmm, internet sleuthing we go…

Hello, hello Gunpowder green tea, (BOOM! Found it), and ashwagandha root (aka Indian ginseng). So this has some medicinal value to it, and I’m sure if you weren’t feeling 100%, this would have just-enough taste to it, but for me right now its overwhelming.

Hmmm ashwaganda, haven’t heard that one yet, what’s its etymology? Oh, **SPOILER ALERT** , it literally translates as …. “horse smell”… Well great, now my one militant vegan friend is going to harangue me for enjoying a tea that smells like animals. Uh oh and now that I sip more, I’m envisioning Seabiscuit rather than Jasmine and Gunpowder green…. aaaand I’m done for, gotta put it down. But at least I’ve consumed an anti-stress drink while the haters gonna hate hate hate hate. **SPOILERS OVER**

What have your experiences with ashwagandha root been?


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green/Herb
Where to Buy: Atman Tea Co.

This expertly crafted custom blend consists of Ashwagandha Root and Jasmine Green Tea. Ashwagandha reduces stress while combating fatigue. Jasmine Green Tea eases anxiety, calms the mind, and boosts mood. The resulting flavor is subtly sweet with a tasty undertone, which emanates a beautiful aroma. Together they make the most delicious and relaxing herbal tea one could ever brew.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Honeybush, Red Rooibos Vanilla, and Red Rooibos Chai Spice Tea Bags from Top Quali Tea. . . .

 

Being the insane tea drinker I am, I want to love all of the amazing dessert honeybush and red rooibos blends that are out in the tea community.  It seems that banana flavored teas for the most part have red rooibos in them. Just makes me sad since I am not a huge fan of red rooibos and sometimes even stray away from honeybush.

But when these huge boxes of honeybush and red rooibos tea bags arrived at my door, I had to prep my tea pot up because I was bound and determine to experience these teas.

The first one I tried was the Red Rooibos Chai Spice.  This tea bag smelled amazing and I could barely pick out the red rooibos familiar smell.  Familiar Masala Chai notes swirled around me while I steeped this tea.  Unfortunately, first sip in, I was greeted with the familiar red rooibos taste and I couldn’t go any farther.  The spices in this tea were delicious which made me sad this same recipe of spices wasn’t attached to a green tea or even honeybush- that would have been dynamite.  As a side note, my hubby really enjoyed this tea.  He thought this tea was smooth with a spicy kick.

Next up was the Red Rooibos Vanilla. Again, I prepped myself up a cup with fresh boiled water and allowed the tea to cool for a few moments.  I loved the sweet notes the vanilla gave off, but I was also picking up that familiar red rooibos smell.  I did take my first sip-and again- unfortunately- I just wasn’t able to go any further.  The vanilla was quite nice, but I couldn’t get past the medicinal woodsy flavor the red rooibos was giving of.  My husband also tried this tea and really liked it.  He loved the sweet vanilla tones.

For the finale, I prepped the Honeybush Tea Bag .  Brewed hot, this tea was a nice change of pace.  I added in a lemon and enjoyed quite a nice cuppa while I helped my son with his homework. The honeybush was simple but mingled well with the lemon giving me this lovely honeybush lemon treat to finish out my day with.  Cold brewed with lemon and limes, I was able to keep my tastebuds happy while I crossed off tasks  at work.  The honeybush in both instances gave way to a sweet background.  I can see this tea being great cold brewed with fresh herbs like mint and fruits-I’m thinking strawberries- to enjoy over the last few days of summer we have left. My husband and I both felt this was the best tea of the three.

Even though I may not have been a huge fan of all of these teas, for the price you really can’t go wrong. I can see where these could be a huge hit with the rest of the Sisters and I can’t wait to see what they have to say. I’m hoping they expand their line to include possibly some herbal teas that do not include honeybush or red rooibos.


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Top Quali Tea
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Everyday Green Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

EverydayGreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Ringtons

Tea Description:

Naturally easy to drink with a mild, mellow flavour. Very refreshing! From our ‘Speciality Teas’ family of teas.  Gas-flushed. 2 x 50 tea bags. 200g/7oz.

Our modern version of green tea. The unfermented tea leaves are processed gently, encouraging the mellow tea flavours to come through to give a smoother flavour with no harshness. Ideal with or without milk! 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Being a huge green tea fan, I thought for sure I would not love this tea.  To be honest, I thought my tea snob would come out and say No- I will not like you.  You are a tea bag.  Mind you, I have been drinking tea bags from Paper Box Goodies all week but I still had that feeling.

Yep, my inner snob was shut up right quickly with one sip of this tea.  I am surprised how good this is.  Clean and refreshing green tea.  No fuss.  No mess.  Just a solid smooth almost sweet green tea with a hint of vegetal going on here and there.

I prepped this tea up using just the water spout on our coffee maker at work and VIOLA! Green tea on the go and in a flash! This tea saved me in a meeting that I thought for sure I was going to fall asleep in.  This tea is a great every day kind of tea.  One that I could drink all day every day!

Nicely done Ringtons.  This is the first tea I’ve had from them and I can say it won’t be the last.  Tasty!