Paksong Green/ Rakkasan Tea Co

A bit of a cold has taken hold of me. So I apologize in advance as my taste buds are a bit perplexed. This tea is reminiscent of other roasted greens with the roasted notes but the impact isn’t quite the same. It hits you like a light tap and then the entire flavor wheel just disappears. Not even an aftertaste. The light flavors are of asparagus with slight grassy undertones. The wet leaf smell, even with my nose somewhat clogged, is a wonderful wok roasted smell. You know that smell you get from a lovingly cared for, nicely aged wok? That homey vegetal scent. If you are a fan of green tea definitely give this one a try.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Rakkasan Tea Company
Description:

Paksong Green is a large-leaf, green tea grown on the Bolaven Plateau of southern Laos. This fine green tea owes its character to the careful hand-processing of artisan farmers. After plucking and withering, the tea leaves are hand-rolled. Then a short roast on a wood fire gives the tea a subtle, slightly smoky finish with notes of baby corn, young asparagus and seaweed.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate PuErh from Numi Organic Teas

Numi’s Chocolate Pu-erh bags are the perfect intro to flavored Puerh: organic yet inexpensive, and bagged for easy travel. In fact it was the very first tea I pulled from my very first sampler, an inexpensive add-on in my amazon cart. This is also sold loose leaf by the pound.

I have to admit I was skeptical because not only did I dislike chocolate, but I also had heard “fishy” things about the fermented tea. But as a scientist, I had to test these assumptions, and the evidence supported the null hypothesis. This was a light bodied, full flavor tea, that I’ve found is impossible to screw up in the brewing process.

This silky brown infusion reminds me of a hot cocoa with toasted marshmallows fresh from the campfire, and ooooooh that tiniest hint of that nutmeg. Alton Brown would be proud.  As a final touch of perfection, cue a chef’s kiss, no sweetener was needed!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Flavored Pu-Erh
Where to Buy: Numi Tea

This velvety infusion combines black Pu∙erh tea and organic cocoa. Accented by whole vanilla beans and sweet orange peel, this decadent blend is rounded off with nutmeg and cinnamon for a spicy finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Raspberry Jam from Perkse Tea

I’ve been on a berry kick lately. I just can’t get enough of that sweet, tangy, juicy goodness.

Today’s pick comes from Perkse Tea, a shop I found on Etsy when I typed in “tea sampler.” (Yes, this is how a LOT of our posts come to you. We tea reviewers can’t resist a sampler kit. So many new things to try and report back on!) They’re a Canadian company that encourages you to “embrace a positive mind-set and live a beautiful life.” Hard to find fault with that plan!

This tea really nails that raspberry vibe. It’s sweet and a little bit tart, just like chomping on the real thing — minus those aggravating seeds. There’s also a touch of blueberry and rose floating along to vary and deepen the flavor profile. The base is robust enough to hold up these flavors without losing itself. This reminds me of the base of a delicious cobbler. Throw some crunch and cream on there and you’d be SET. I’m currently out of my Almond Breeze, but I think that this tea would take it with aplomb.

I feel like I’ve fast-forwarded to a season of late outdoor dinners. There are citronella candles everywhere and I’m eating off a red gingham-check tablecloth on a picnic table. There are friends, and maybe even their kids, chatting and laughing. Dogs sitting at our feet. Like a country music video depicting good ol’ Amurrrica.

Oh man. This tea is SUMMER at its BEST.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: Perkse Tea
Description

A deliciously hardy black tea infused with freeze dried raspberries cultivated from California.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Silver Needle from Whispering Pines

Usually, I’m like “WHITE TEA, WHAT IS THE POINT OF YOU?” but with this one, I think that I might have an inkling. I think that this tea bottles the spirit of that static electricity feeling that happens before a storm. It tastes like sweet flowers and quivering, excited air. It has a very distinct, kinetic-energy vibe.

My difficulty in untwisting this tea’s flavor is transparent. You, dear reader, are not sure whether you want to try this tea. My description is mangled and unhelpful, and I know it.

So I went over to the official description of the tea on Whispering Pines’ site for an assist. Surely THEY know what they made.

Um. They said, “Silver Needle has a dry leaf aroma of summer bluegrass and clover, where the wet leaf opens with wildflowers, jasmine rice, cinnamon, and a light touch of cannabis.”

This smells like… THE DEVIL’S LETTUCE? Really? I have a tragically limited knowledge of the Mary Jane, but I’m pretty sure this doesn’t. I sniffed it carefully and declare it Not Dank.

No, I’m afraid it smells like a summer storm on a bed of flowers.

But if you’re a more free-spirited type, please feel free to try some of this tea and get back to me about whether I’m right or wrong on this one.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  White
Where to Buy:   Whispering Pines
Description

Our Silver Needle White Tea was harvested in early Spring 2017 and carefully processed to preserve the purity of the leaf. With pure nearly-opened buds covered in down white hairs, this tea is as beautiful to look at as it is to taste! Silver Needle has a dry leaf aroma of summer bluegrass and clover, where the wet leaf opens with wildflowers, jasmine rice, cinnamon, and a light touch of cannabis. The taste begins with a velvety sweet body with base notes of honeysuckle, horchata, and ripe pear. Mid sip presents a creamy feel similar to avocado and also hints at sweet clover and papaya. The aftertaste is reminiscent of osmanthus flower and a sweetness lingers on for minutes after the last sip. A fantastic silver needle!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Keemun Chinese Black Tea from The Tea Spot

I love the discovery of new tea flavors, finding their nuances, comparing and contrasting from a baseline. I started educating myself on tea with subscription boxes, and still have a soft spot for them. Looks like Tea Spot will be my next choice. They offer a monthly subscription box for $16 for about an ounce worth of 5-6 teas and also a quarterly loose leaf club at $45 for 3+ teas of one chosen style, in larger portions obviously. This selection seems to be from the former.

The dry Keemun smells very gentle, a bit like the coriander in my cupboard. There are uniformly tight, straight, leaves, appearing medium on the spectrum of browns. I see some broken bits in wet leaves and a tamarind color brew. It smells subtly sweet, and reminds me of cherries – cheerful but with a slightly tart finish.  1 heaping tsp per 8 oz from the brewing instructions, does not make a strong tea, which some people prefer. I’m not the type to drink this flavor straight, because tannins and I are frenemies.  I think it is It may leave a slight orange taste in my mouth but, this tea is still excellent at its job of caffeinating me!

Just like the Beastie Boys, I like my Sugar with [Keemun] and cream, too sweet to be sour, too nice to be mean.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy: The Tea Spot
Description:

A splendor of toasty flavor and aroma! The most refined and perhaps the most well-known of Chinese black teas, this Keemun is handpicked in Anhui Province. This tea has an indescribable flavor, with the most delicate hints of smoky pine, orchid, crushed apple and a rich, sweet body.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!