Posts Tagged ‘Boiling Water’
Tea Company: The Necessiteas (website)
Ingredients: Rooibos, vanilla chips, natural flavors
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Use 1 tsp per 8 oz boiling water, steep 5 min
Wow…the smell of this tea is great! It truly does smell exactly like vanilla cola. Yet this is the part where my mind catches up with my nose and hits me over the head, telling me to stop and think for a moment: Vanilla cola tea? As in…a hot liquid that tastes like vanilla cola? (I must be careful here to not call rooibos “tea,” for the sake of the tea-political correct.) While my mind is still trying to make a judgement call about whether or not it likes the idea of hot vanilla cola, my body forges ahead into the unknown to investigate and make some of this interesting mix.
It truly is a mix, according to the label. Rooibos, vanilla chips, and “natural flavors” come together in some magical manner to emulate the smell of this carbonated drink…minus the carbonation! Steeping is incredibly straightforward. 1 teaspoon per eight ounces of boiling water. I double this for my teapot and steep the blend for the recommended five minutes.
I had mentioned that the loose blend smells entirely of vanilla cola. Upon removing the infuser from my teapot, I catch my first whiff of the prepared drink…and now I get more variety to the aroma. The rooibos smell is much more prominent, the cola scent itself is there, and the vanilla laces the whole of the aromatic profile. Still charging onward with this endeavor, I pour my first cup and sit back to sip.
The taste of the brew is not as strange as I had anticipated. The rooibos comes through heavily in the flavor, causing this tea to be better described as “vanilla-flavored rooibos with light hints of cola.” The first thought that comes to my mind is “Well, this is fun.” The spiciness (meant, theoretically, to emulate the cola) adds a nice touch. Having experienced great vanilla rooibos in the past, this twist was novel and tasty.
Overall, this rooibos definitely made for an enjoyable and fun experience to try. If you like vanilla rooibos, or even rooibos in general, I highly recommend checking out The NecessiTeas Vanilla Cola. I would give it an 83/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
You can purchase the Vanilla Cola directly from the The Necessiteas website.
Tea Company: Gorreana Tea (website)
Ingredients: Black Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed online
A couple of months back, when the time came for me to select my IAATL samples, I squealed with delight when I found a new growing region listed. Portugal. There was tea. Grown. In PORTUGAL! I was stoked and immediately requested it. Alas, I was a hair to slow for the loose leaf Orange Pekoe, but the teabag version was still available. Silver medal ain’t bad.
For those that don’t know, Gorreana Tea (yes, I know what the name sounds like – stop giggling) is the only tea plantation in mainland Europe. It was founded in 1883, and it was “green” before the environmental connotations even existed. And since the tea plants they grow are in the Azores region (i.e. high altitude), they are naturally pest and pesticide free. Yes, that means “organic” to you hippies out there.
It wasn’t easy judging the contents of the OP teabag. After all, they were mostly hidden from view. That and I didn’t feel like tearing it open to view the fannings. I knew they would be fannings just by the feel of the bag. So, I put nose to filter and whiffed…and was greeted by something sweet. Splendid start.
I guess I “could’ve” adhered to some formal brewing instruction for this…but I didn’t. It was a teabag; I treated it as such. 12oz. cup of near-boiling water and a three-minute steep. Seemed a reasonable approach.
The liquor brewed to something I can only describe as “soft cherrywood red”. It had a very gentle-seeming appearance – beguiling even. The aroma was slightly tannic, incredibly floral, and welcoming in its gentleness. The same was the case with the taste. It started off with a midly astringent intro but cascaded into something different. This was an orange pekoe through-and-through – lacking the Darjeeling spiciness but possessing the subtleties of a soft blanket in beverage form. This was the most perfect teabag that I’ve ever dunked. I wish I had more of ‘em for early afternoon tea fixes. Hopefully, an opportunity will come in my fantasyland future to try the loose leaf version…at the plantation itself. *Le sigh*
You can purchase the Orange Pekoe directly from the Gorreana Tea website.
Tea Company: Shepherd (website)
Ingredients: Organic white tea, organic strawberry leaf, organic licorice, organic peach flavor
Vendor Suggested Preparation: near boiling water, 4-5 minutes
For a bagged tea purveyed by a modestly small little-known operation in Montana, this is pretty tasty stuff! The sellers, www.theshepherdsgarden.com, have a limited number of bagged tea varieties, with more evidently to come, and a line of mugs, accessories, warmers, and other giftware that leans toward the froofy and flowery.
This tea is neither froofy nor flowery, but fruity, and in a very pleasant way. The white tea leaves are torn and tiny, typical for a bagged tea. However, they steep into a nice base for the flavoring, even after 4-5 minutes–a bit on the longish side for white teas. No bitterness. A finished cup yields an attractive, clear gold liquid. The peach flavor tastes natural and not chemical. The strawberry leaf is detectible and a nice complement. Best of all, the licorice is not cloyingly annoying.
If you examined the means and motives of most tea drinkers, the ritual is as important as the recipe. Tea, steeped well and appreciated properly, takes time and patience to prepare and enjoy. And the good folks at Shepherd’s Tea have added a lovely packaging tweak to pass that time peacefully–a carefully chosen Scripture verse (King James for Elizabethan flavor) to refresh your weary spirit while you wait. The cup I prepared for this review reinforces the value of biding one’s time: But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (James 1:4).
You can purchase the Organic Peach White Tea directly from the Shepherd website.
Category of Tea: Black
Tea Company: TeaFrog (website)
Ingredients: Black Tea, Broken Cocoa Bits, Chocolate Chips.
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Boiling water, 3-4 minute steep.
In previous reviews, I’ve made it no secret that I am a chocoholic, some stressful weeks more than others. Betty Crocker Double Fudge frosting eaten straight out of the tub with a spoon soothes a myriad of mental and emotional ailments.
And if you’re having a similar “make-it-all-better-I-need-sweets” spells, and you’ve gnarfed every speck of chocolate in the house and are still about to gnaw your arm off, this lovely flavored blend from TeaFrog is the next best thing.
As I’m playing “Where’s Waldo?” with the little zip-lock bag sample, I’m seeing nice large tea leaves, the cocoa bits, and cocoa-dusted mini-chips, enough for 2-3 per teaspoon. If you close your eyes and did a side-by-side sniff test with Chocolate and Cream and a box of devil’s food cake mix, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any differences.
Steeped and sipped straight up, the cocoa flavor backs off a little; but it’s a gorgeously creamy, cookie-pastry taste treat. It’s just fine on its own, and a little milk and sugar just increase the cakey goodness.
Highly recommended as an alternative to (or an accompaniment for) a large box of Russell Stover candy.
You can purchase TeaFrog Chocolate and Cream Flavoured Black directly from their website.
Tea Company: TeaFrog (website)
Ingredients: Rooibos, Pineapple Bits, Dried Coconut, Rose Blossoms
Vendor Suggested Preparation: One heaping teaspoon per cup. Steep 5 min in boiling water.
As the attention-deficient progeny of Depression-era parents, I tend to want to be chintzy on the amount of dry leaf I allot to a cup, and far too impatient to wait six…whole…minutes for my tea. As an exercise in liberality (tea-wise) and self-control (timewise), I made myself give my test cup the full measure. And, boy, was it worth the wait!
The bits of flower and flavor in my sample were small rather than chunky.. The scent of the dry roobos-and-goodie mix is light, but once it was steeped the coconut sweetness was strong and very pleasant. Pineapple presence was a little hard to detect; it was more of a light aftertaste rather than a leading flavor. (May have just been the sample; with tiny packs, sometimes it’s a little difficult to scoop up a uniform bundle of ingredients.)
I opted not to mess with milk. This is plenty thick, a little opaque, and perfectly sweet on its own. But a splash certainly wouldn’t hurt this creamy, island-y dessert in a cup.
You can purchase the Tahiti Cream directly from the TeaFrog website.