Posts Tagged ‘Petals’
Tea Company: Shang Tea (website)
Ingredients: Winter Dew White Tea with fragrant orange petals and zest
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Brew with 195-205 degree F water Use 1 heaping tablespoon (3-4g) per cup of water For the first steeping, try brewing only 30 seconds to 1 min This high quality tea can be steeped 3-4 times
The first time I tried this tea, I thought it tasted like floor cleaner. Unfortunately, this result was a direct result of my own hubris. I’d been researching and learning about tea for a year. And everything I’d read about white tea dictated a very low steeping temperature, and a brew time around 3 minutes. But this package said hot water, just cooled from boiling, and a very very short steep time. And this wasn’t too long after I had a horrible experience with another tea where I’d followed the directions on the package and gotten something that could strip paint (http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/1370/tea-review-samovar-tea-lounge-royal-garland/). So I decided I knew better. I brewed low and slow.
And it tasted like floor cleaner. Blea.
I whined about it on Steepster, especially since I’d just tried their Tangerine Red, which is like manna from heaven. And someone told me to try it again, but follow the instructions. I ignored it, thinking I could be very happy without this tea.
Then, I went to their brick and mortar storefront. They explained a lot of their processes to me, and gave me samples of almost every tea they carry. This one included. Wow! What a difference following the instructions made! This was a really interesting, really good tea.
This tea is a big tea. The white tea leaves are big. The pieces of orange blossom are big. And the taste is big. It’s not a sweet taste. It’s on the bitter side. The orange blossom petals remind me slightly of the pith of the orange. (It’s supposedly got lots of vitamin C as well.) It’s an acquired taste, but I like it a lot. I don’t get a lot of the hay or grass tones on this one, just the orange peel and a mellowness imparted by the white tea. The astringency is very low, but it does leave just a hint of pucker after the initial flavors, the kind that leaves you wanting to drink more. And with the short steeps recommended, you can get quite a few cups out of this tea!
Try this tea if you want something original and bold but make sure you follow the directions on the packet!
You can purchase the Orange Blossom White directly from the Shang Tea website.
Tea Company: SpecialTea Brew (website)
Ingredients: Hibiscus Flowers, Rose Hips, Orange Peel, Cornflower Petals and Blueberries
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed online
SpecialTea Brew is an online outfit out of my neck of the woods – the Pacific Northwest (of the U.S.). According to their origin story, the op was inspired by tea with a grandmother. This is the third “tea with grandma” foundation tale I’d heard, and – you know what? – it works on me every damn time. I never had tea with my grandparents, so I feel like I missed out on something growing up. Perhaps my tea exploration would’ve begun sooner had I a “tea with grandma” story of my very own. But I digress.
Their Mountain Berry herbal blend consisted of hibiscus, rosehips, orange peel, cornflowers, and blueberries. The last bit, they did NOT skimp on. There were big, plump pieces in the medley; same with the rosehips. Usually, freeze-dried fruit additives are small or cut-up in blends like this. Not so here. My only nitpick was the fragrance; it was dry and tart, usually a sign of too much hibiscus. However, there was a citrusy follow-up thanks to the many chunks of orange peel present.
Brewing instructions per the vendor site recommended a four-to-five-minute steep in 208F water – 1.5 tsp. per cup. I did about a tablespoon in 8oz. for the full five. It was a berry blend, so naturally it could take a lot of infused abuse.
The liquor brewed up cherry red – as is to be expected from anything with hibiscus. The nose was, oddly enough, mostly berry and citrus – hibiscus tartness was a distant second. There seemed to be sweetness to the scent as well. Hibiscus did rear its red-tart head in the taste, dominating the forefront, although I welcomed it. The fruity aspects picked up right after, and the flavor lingered to a rind-like finish. Other than the blunt introduction, I rather liked this blend. I’m certain that the best way to have it would be sweetened and/or iced. On its own, though, it holds up well enough.
You can purchase the Mountain Berry directly from the SpecialTea Brew website.
Tea Company: Shanti Tea (website)
Ingredients: Rooibos Blend
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Leaf Per Cup: 1 tsp. Water Temperature: 90-100 degC Steep Time: 4-5 minute
Ah, this tea smells tasty. The aroma of the dried leaf is very fruity, if also a bit floral. There are some spicy tones as well. It would appear the mixture is composed of rooibos, rose petals, and perhaps some dried citrus, among other things.
For my first infusions, I steeped a teaspoon and a half of this for five minutes in a cup of just-boiled water. The Shanti Tea website does not give many details regarding this tea, but judging by the fact that it has rooibos, I decided on the tea measurement and steep times. The steeped cup smells of sweet fruit, with big hints of apricot and citrus of some sort. The impression of the first sip is…subdued. Quite a bit of lemon and orange flavours, but not a lot else that stands out. More sips bring out the rooibos and mixed fruit flavours. They blend quite well, and the tea makes for a pleasant evening cuppa.
On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate this tea a 68/100.
You can purchase the African Carnival directly from the Shanti Tea website.
Tea Company: Shanti Tea (website)
Ingredients: Hibiscus, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Rose Petals, Red Clover, Calendula, Shatavari Root
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Leaf Per Cup: 1 tsp. Water Temperature: 90-100 degC Steep Time: 4-5 minutes
As I peered into the sample bag, I was struck at the beauty of this blend. It needs to be stored in a glass container just to admire the tapestry of colors. Think miniature potpourri.
The smell of the dry leaves reminds me of spearmint gum.
7 minute brew with boiling water
Burgundy colored brew
The first sip is sweet and minty. I really enjoyed this cup of tea. Sweet, but not too sweet. The mint is nicely balanced with the other flavors.
You can purchase the PITTA BALANCE directly from the Shanti Tea website.
Tea Company: TeaFrog (website)
Ingredients: Pai Mu Dan, coconut pieces, pink rose petals and flavour
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Water: 180˚F / Leaves: 1 tablespoon per 8 ounces / Infusion Time: 3–4 minutes
To be a white tea fan, one must generally appreciate tea that whispers, not shouts. Most white tea is subtle and only hints at having a flavor. Thus, Coconut Vanilla Flavored white is a pleasant surprise to a drinker of louder, bolder flavored teas. It doesn’t exactly shout but it speaks audibly, firmly, and pleasantly!
The dry tea is beautiful–big, long-legged leaves, complemented by white coconut shavings and tiny rosebuds—and would be lovely in an apothecary jar. Its aroma is smooth and sweet, not greenish or grassish.
But don’t spend too much time with your nose in the dry mix–get on with making yourself a cup, because you’re in for a treat. The steeped tea is pale, but don’t let the color fool you. It’s velvety-thick and every bit as coconutty sweet as “advertised” in by dry aroma: very, very similar in character to white chocolate cocoa.
The quality pai mu dan leaves take a second steep well. A good thing: you’ll want seconds!
You can purchase the Jasmine Green Tea directly from the TeaFrog website.