Posts Tagged ‘Dry Leaves’
Tea Company: Canton Tea Co. (website)
Ingredients: Pu-erh tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Use the gongfu style. A small teapot (or small amount of water) with 3-4 g of tea and hot water: 95°C (203°F) infused for just 20 secs. Reinfuse at least 6 times.
The chance to try this tea is something very special. Unfortunately, despite how special it was, I am not honestly sure which of Canton Tea Co’ Pu’erhs this tea is. “Canton Beeng Cha” is all that the label says, and from my limited knowledge of Chinese, I know that a “Beeng” or bing is a round cake of pu’erh. “Cha” is merely “tea.” That being said, I can be sure that this is a pu’erh!
I begin this session of tea by bringing some water to a boil, after which I rise my gaiwan, small pot, and teacup to preheat them. It is pretty amazing how much of a difference preheating ones teaware can make on the taste of the tea that follows. Next, I measure out about one teaspoon of this tea into my gaiwan. I typically use more than this for gong fu brewing (quick and multiple infusions), which is what the directions on the label seem to imply, but for now we will merely follow along. I perform a quick rinse of the leaves with hot water to “open” them.
The dry leaves have a very vegetal aroma, suggesting a raw pu’erh. Yet there is an underlying smokiness and clear, fresh smell to them as well. The first 20 second infusion is performed. The wet leaves smell more malty now, yet still slightly vegetal. Much to my surprise, the tea brews a very pale green. This is very interesting, and not at all what I was expecting. This first infusion carries a very thin flavor. It is clear and fresh, with a smooth, vegetal aftertaste. As per the instructions, I go ahead and resteep the leaves, figuring that it will be different in the second infusion.
Mmm, this tea really kicks it in gear with the second infusion. The vegetal pu’erh flavor floods the taste buds. It is incredibly smooth and just slides over the tongue. I am truly impressed. I put it through several more steepings, and this tea just keeps on impressing. Normally, I prefer cooked pu’erhs to raw pu’erhs, but with a tea like this, I can hardly afford to be biased. I would give this tea an 87/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
You can purchase the 2010 Xing Hai Raw Beeng Cha directly from the Canton Tea Co. website.
Tea Company: Golden Moon Tea (website)
Ingredients: Finest Black & Green Tea, Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon, Spice Oil
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Brew at 212° F (boiling) Steep for 4 minutes Use 1 teaspoon per serving Can be re-steeped up to 2 times
Dry leaves are black, wiry, tightly rolled leaves
Smell is of cinnamon
Wet: the leaves completely unfurled revealing black and dark green torn leaves
Finest black and green tea, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and spice oil
I made this tea stovetop. Here is my recipe:
1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup 2% milk, entire sample packet
Simmer for 9 minutes, let stand 1 minute, strain and Enjoy.
As the tea simmered, I was reminded of the homemade cocoa my Mother used to make when I was little. The color was a milky, chocolaty inviting cocoish kind of color that invokes memories of gentler times.
Someone once said that this tea was a tea for all seasons. I agree with that statement, it is a gently spiced tea that is very satisfying. The absence of pepper + the presence of a green tea contribute to the overall mildness of this blend. I could see myself drinking this at night outside enjoying my fire pit.
I believe that you really need more leaf to make this tea really pop, leaving the question in my mind: how much to purchase a full tin or half a pound? It is really one of those teas that warrant a BIG bag purchase.
You can purchase the Kashmiri Chai directly from the Golden Moon Tea website.
Category of Tea: Herbal
Tea Company: Tea Forte (website)
Ingredients: hibiscus, rosehip, apple, blackberry leaves, raspberries, orange peel, flavoring, citric acid
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Steep for 5 minutes, 208°F For stronger flavor, steep longer
Preparing to try out this herbal blend, the first thing that I notice in the smell of the dry leaves is “Hmmm, hibiscus.” After boiling some water, I steep one pyramid infuser in a cup of water for five minutes to prepare to taste the “nectar”! The steeping brew still smells a lot like hibiscus, but the raspberry and orange peel smells are noticeable as well.
The first sip of this herbal tisane is a massively juicy explosion of flavor. Tea Forte’s website had listed the ingredients as “rosehip, hibiscus, apple pieces, blackberry leaves, raspberries, orange peels, flavoring” and there is so much going on in the taste that I believe it has all those things and more. Thankfully, since this blend is called “Raspberry Nectar,” raspberry is one of the dominant flavors. The sweetness of the apple does come out quite nicely, albeit subtly. This would be a decent desert drink, especially if one is looking for something low in caffeine. On my personal enjoyment scale, I rate it a 72/100.
You can purchase Tea Forte Raspberry Nectar directly from their website.
Tea Company: The East India Company (website)
Ingredients: green tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed online
It has been a long time since my last review, but I am finally back in the country and yearning to try a new tea and share my experience with all of you! For this first review, we have “Cannon Ball” by The East India Company. While I would love to tell you exactly what this tea is, I am not quite sure. Their website lists it as a green tea, and the description suggests it is a green tea, yet the label on the container specifically says “It is a lightly fermented oolong tea.”
Well….okay then! This tea basically looks like an oversized version of gunpowder green tea, thus the naming fits, cleverly. The smell of the dry leaves is faintly reminiscent of that smokiness present in gunpowder green tea. Yet the slight floral taste brings to mind…shockingly…light oolongs. This tea becomes more and more mysterious, and I grow more and more curious!
Unsure as to the water temperature, I opt to use 1 cup of water prepared for green tea (to be on the safe side), coupled with 1 teaspoon of leaves. What works for gunpowder greens and oolongs should work for this too, right?
Three minutes of steep time, says the packaging. I can do that! (My time overseas has not taken from my tea-making skills.) The resulting brew is a pale yellow-green and smells like…hmmm…very light, floral oolong. Not overly floral, as one might encounter in the tasting of a jasmine oolong. At the same time, it carries the gunpowder green tea flavor, but with a little extra, as though one took a pouchong and mixed it with a gunpowder. This is definitely different, in a pleasant way. Overall, however, the brew seems a bit weak, and perhaps a longer steep time is required.
I love the smokiness of gunpowder green tea, and the fact that such a quality carried over in a new way to this tea definitely caught my attention. While this is an interesting and decent tea, it might be better to order a small sample to try initially. I thought I would love this tea, yet I now can only see myself drinking it occasionally, not every day. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate it a 73/100.
You can purchase the Cannon Ball directly from the The East India Company website.
Tea Company: Canton Tea Co. (website)
Ingredients: Green Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Use 1tsp to 1 tbs per cup (200ml); water temperature around 80 deg C (176 deg F): and infuse 2-4 mins. A forgiving, easy-to-brew tea – even if the leaves steep for a very long time it still tastes bright and smooth.
I felt that this tea was going to be a very unique experience. After all, pouchong is not a very common type of tea. The people who grow it refer to it as a green tea, yet in reality, pouchong is actually a type of oolong. The oxidisation process is such that the tea is supposed to be very light in flavour.
For preparing pouchong, water of a temperature akin to that which is used for green tea should be used. According to Canton Tea Co’s website, the tea is very forgiving, and they recommend using anywhere from one teaspoon to one table spoon of tea per cup of water. As I was making this tea in a 150ml gaiwan, I chose to just go with their recommendation and use 1 teaspoon of leaves. In keeping with their description of it being a very forgiving tea, they recommend 2-4 minutes for steep time. I went with three, just to be safe.
The dry leaves and the wet leaves smell much the same. A hint of fruitiness and a lot of fresh, light, oolong scent. Even after three minutes, the brew looks incredibly pale, but has a wonderfully light, floral aroma. The initial flavour, when the tea first touches the tongue, is light, too. While it may seem ridiculous, it is almost feathery in how soft the flavour is. One is then surprised when the finishing taste is bolder than expected. In fact, it seems that the finish is bolder than the foretaste.
I can see why this tea wins awards. It really is good. Canton Tea Co’s website says nothing regarding resteeping, but I decide to try anyway, increasing the steep time to four minutes. I cannot say that the resteeping has improved or changed the flavour. If anything, it is a bit weaker than before. However, this tea still maintains its soft mouthfeel and light flavours. An indefinite steep is probably called for in order to get all the vestiges of flavour from these leaves.
I enjoyed drinking this tea, and it is certainly one of Canton Tea Co’s very nice offerings. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give it a 77/100.
You can purchase the Pouchong directly from the Canton Tea Co. website.