Nepal Guranse Estate Organic Oolong Tea/Simpson and Vail

I have been wanting to write this review for quite a few weeks. It was THAT memorable. This Nepal Guranse Estate Oolong from Simpson & Vail is organic and from a pretty neat estate.

When it comes to the leaves of this Oolong they hail from South Asia…bordered by China and India…you guessed it…the leaves are from Nepal! Nepal is home to some of the largest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest which is the highest point anywhere on Earth. Nepal is comprised of 75 districts, one of which is the district of Dhankuta. Dhankuta is located in the Koshi hill Zone in eastern Nepal. It borders the Darjeeling region of West Bengal, India, and enjoys the same soil and climatic conditions as Darjeeling.

The Guranse Tea Estate has planted pure young and vibrant clonal plants all selected to make high quality teas. They believe in producing only the best, therefore, their tea goes through a series of careful processes before it is packed and finally ends up in your cup for an entirely new experience of health and vitality.

Guranse is NASAA organic certified, JAS certified, and ISO 22000- 2005 certified. 95 % of the workers are women and the Company pays for several of the worker’s children’s education and pays for the salary of teachers at the village school. How great is that? The company also supports an older people’s home that is nearby, by providing meals, rations, blankets, and more.

When I read on the S&V website that Guranse Tea was more than just a beverage – I knew I had to dig deeper into this estate!

As for the sight, touch, taste, and smell of this tea…he strong brown, twisted, tippy leaves brew into a more mellow amber cup with a sweet, mild taste and a delicate fruity sniff and taste. The oolong itself is lightly rolled, semi fermented, and hand sorted!

This Oolong was pretty wonderful and learning about the estate and people behind it made me enjoy my cup even more!


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Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail

Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Chocolate Puerh/Numi

Sometimes I read up on a tea before trying it. Sometimes I just make a cup and start sipping. I figured “chocolate” and “puerh” were pretty self-explanatory so I boiled some water and got down to business.

I expected the earthy flavor of puerh tea and rich chocolate or cocoa taste. Before I even tasted it, I smelled something more akin to Mexican hot chocolate. What’s going on here?

The first sip offered a sweet spice that I wasn’t expecting. I knew I tasted cinnamon and something else…nutmeg! And cardamom! The puerh flavor is pretty light, the chocolate flavor is mild enough not to cover up the spices and thankfully doesn’t have that horrible mildew odor that some chocolate teas have. There is honeybush and rooibos in this, which must be part of the foundational symphony of flavors because they don’t stand out on their own to me. I actively dislike rooibos so for me to enjoy this means there isn’t much here, or it is adequately covered by the other flavors. I am not really picking up the orange flavor, and I am glad because orange + cinnamon has been done to death!

We don’t do tea bags much. Bags that are dirt cheap usually aren’t a quality that we enjoy. Bags that are not dirt cheap need to resteep for us or they just aren’t worth buying. I am on steep three for this one. I approve!

TLDR: light earthy puerh that tastes like cocoa with cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon, reminiscent of Mexican hot chocolate.


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Leaf Type:  Puerh

Where to Buy:  Numi Organic Tea

Description

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!

Earl’s Paradise/Bird & Blend Tea

Strawberry and papaya punch up Earl Grey in this tea by Bird & Blend!

Now that it’s the end of summer, I’ve been looking for the Perfect Fruity Morning Blend, and this one’s definitely a contender. If you’re tired of the same-old-same-old Earl Grey, there are plenty of other ones out there with additional flavors. Like this one.

I’m not sure I’d know a papaya if it hit me in the face, honestly. But I imagine it’s tropical. This tea tastes like eating a strawberry and then running under a sprinkler. It tastes like an afternoon in Disney World. It tastes like someone took sunshine, ground it up, and tossed it into a wishing fountain.

I feel like my clothes are going to disappear and I will be left in a yellow polka dot bikini. Which is awkward, because I’m at work.

Send clothes.


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Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  Bird & Blend Tea

Description

No one at The Nest (Bird & Blend HQ!) can start the day without a cup of this fruity, refreshing tea. Didn’t think you could improve the classic? We will happily prove you wrong! No words are gong to do it justice, it simply is paradise! Insiders tip: try it without milk for perfection.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Brewed Awakening/Down The Rabbit Hole

Jim Thorpe, PA, has an old jail, a train, mansions and a lot of stores that are magic-themed. For example, there are places called the Muggle’s Mug and the Conjured Soap Boutique.

There’s also a place called Down The Rabbit Hole . As a person with an Alice in Wonderland tattoo (visible here  or here ), I couldn’t resist.

Imagine my surprise AND DELIGHT when I found tea in the back. The place was custom-made for me, basically.

I bought two blends, the first of which I tried today: Brewed Awakening. It was recommended for coffee drinkers looking to transition to tea. Its ingredients include pu’erh tea, cocoa beans, green coffee beans, chamomile petals, and green tea.

David’s Tea carried a similar blend called Espresso Yourself for a while. I liked it, but it was too aggressive/bitter for me.

Down the Rabbit Hole’s Brewed Awakening is much smoother. The pu’erh and the cocoa mellow down the tartness of the coffee beans. There’s a slick mouthfeel that I really like (despite not liking the word “mouthfeel” itself). There’s a calmness about this tea. It’s not yelling at you. It’s not kicking you. It’s ushering you into the morning gently.

This promising blend has me excited to try the other one I bought. Keep your eyes peeled for that one, which I’ll write up as soon as I get a chance to try it.

If you’re ever in Jim Thorpe, PA for some reason, you should check out this shop.

And the jail. . .   too. It’s allegedly haunted.


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Leaf Type: Puerh

Where to Buy: Down The Rabbit Hole

Description

Check out Down the Rabbit Hole’s FB page below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Banana Pudding/A Quarter To Tea. . . .

I like banana bread. I think chocolate covered bananas are tops. I’ll even eat a pb + banana sandwich from time to time.

But friends, it’s rare that I’ll pick a plain banana over the abundant array of other delicious fruits at the grocery store. Frankly, something about their mushiness + flavor just isn’t all that appealing to me. (A peel-ing? I crack myself up.) A perfectly ripe banana on its perfect day of ripeness? Sure! Sign me up. But that window is so short that nine times out of ten, my bananas go bad before I’ve even glanced at them on my countertop, and then it’s banana bread for all.

Alllll of this to say: I’m pretty picky about banana flavored things, because truly– the OG fruit isn’t exactly my first choice. I was skeptical when this blend showed up in my monthly tea subscription from AQTT, but I figured I’d give it a shot as a nice light, morning cuppa in the summertime. Friends: I. was. hooked. I slurped down my entire cup and immediately rebrewed a second. This tea is spectacular– creamy, vanilla-banana flavor that is perfectly complimented by a splash of milk (don’t hate me, white tea purists) that’s not all all fake or icky (or mushy, hallelujah!). I don’t exactly know what it is about this one that suddenly made banana flavor so immediately delicious to me, but I’ll just chalk it up to typical magic from A Quarter To Tea and call it a day. It’s been a day and a half since I’ve opened my small bag, and it’s already 3/4 gone. Time to order me some more! (And maybe make some banana bread…)


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  A Quarter To Tea

Description

This tea is currently sold out but you can learn more about the tea, please click below.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!