Posts Tagged ‘Teas’
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.
Tea Company: Grand Tea (website)
Ingredients: Green Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: 85 Degree Celsius Water, steep 1-2 minutes
Sometimes, I get a tea for review, and I go through the entire sample trying to figure out what the heck to say about it. Usually, I’m having problems coming up with something nice about the tea, or just something interesting to say.
I drank through the entire sample of this tea while coming up for the review, but for a pleasantly different reason. It was because I was a LOT more interested in drinking the tea than in writing any silly words about it. It was such a pleasant drinking experience I just didn’t want to stop.
It had plently of the slightly masculine, vegetal flavors, but it’s missing the astringency that can often come with dragon well teas. It’s a light, flavorful, and very sippable. The flat green leaves were not as as large and bright green as some other dragon well teas, but they were fragrant and brew up wonderfully.
Good overall tea, a nice example of this category. Have a cup!
You can purchase the Xi Hu Premium Dragon Well directly from the Grand Tea website.
Tea Company: Arbor Teas (website)
Ingredients: green tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: detailed preparation is found on their website.
I received this matcha as part of a sample pack from Arbor Teas – a company that prides itself in carrying only organic products. What I didn’t expect was an entire tin of the stuff. I guess they knew how quickly I go through matcha. (Heck, I drink a bowl a day as is.) Also a surprise was the fact that their matcha was sourced from another company I had prior dealings with – Aiya, from Nishio, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. I had sampled their Organic Ceremonial Matcha before, but that came in a bag. This time around, I had the opportunity to do it right – from a refrigerated tin.
When I snapped open the pop-top to the tin, I was greeted by bold green powder within. It wasn’t the brightest powder I’ve ever encountered, but it was still welcoming enough. The aroma reminded me of untamed grass and mochi cakes. Just what I was expecting from an Aiya-made product.
For the first time, I was finally able to prepare an Aiya matcha with an Aiya-sourced chawan (matcha bowl). I used 3 small chashaku (bamboo teaspoonfuls), sifted them with a strainer into the bowl, and added roughly 4-5oz. of 160F water. Then I proceeded to vigorously whisk them with my chasen (bamboo whisk) for approximately thirty seconds…or until bubbles appeared.
It frothed up rather nicely to a velvety foam that covered the green tea soup beneath. The aroma was slightly rough, mildly sweet, with an impression of artichoke hearts on the end. The taste reflected this as well with a grassy forefront, a subtly bitter transition, and a wonderfully wildernessy feel for the rest of the body. Needless to say, it was not the most delicate of matchas out there. It packed a mid-grade wallop with a high-grade intro.
This should never be prepared koicha-style for fear of producing a vegetal brew. A thin tea (usucha) prep brings out the jewel-’n-jade crispness it promises. A more-than-pleasant matcha, whatever your ceremony might be.
You can purchase the Organic Matcha Green Tea Ceremonial Grade directly from the Arbor Teas 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.
Tea Company: Canton Tea Co. (website)
Ingredients: white tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Use 1-2 tsp per cup (200ml); water temperature around 75C (167F) and infuse for 2-3 mins; and infuse 2-3 times
This tea is made of contractions. Lovely, lovely contradictions. It’s both mild and brash. Untamed and civilized. Light yet strong.
The leaves are big and twisty and unruly with the typical white tea fluffiness. Darker than I expected. They’ve got a sweet, hay-like aroma, similar to other white teas.
Brewed up, it’s a pale yellow color. And the flavor is very strong for a white tea. Very bold. But it’s still a white tea, so while strong and bold, it’s still delicate and light. It’s a hay flavor, with some fruit overtones. Other tasters mention citrus or melon tones which I don’t really get. I do get a generic fruity flowery bright tone. But, it’s lovely. This is my perfect type of white tea I like stronger flavored teas, and this has the best of both worlds. White tea flavor turned up to 11.
This may be for you if: you think white tea is interesting, but too wussy for your tastes
You can purchase the Ye Sheng Wild White Tea directly from the Canton Tea Co. website.