Posts Tagged ‘Tho’
Tea Company: TeaFrog (website)
Ingredients: Ceylon Black Tea, China Sencha, Jasmine Flowers, Rose Flowers, Sunflower Blossoms, Marigold Flowers
Vendor Suggested Preparation: 1tsp/cup, 85 deg C water, steep for 3-4 minutes
I like this one a lot better than I thought I would. Even tho it has 4 floral type ingredients it’s not overly flower-like. It’s not that bitter/floral type taste that I sometimes get and am worried about. The Black tea and the green tea along with the flavors all make sense and make it very enjoyable! I think I would have this more than once in a blue moon. The aroma of the dry blend was pleasant and floral but also fruity. I didn’t really taste the fruity tones, but that may be why it wasn’t overly floral tasting. Perhaps those fruity tones helps cancel the potential floral bitterness. I’m not sure how TeaFrog made this happen but I am sure glad they did. This one made it to my 85 percentile of good-solid teas!
You can purchase the 1001 Nights directly from the TeaFrog website.
Tea Company: Da-u-de (website)
Ingredients: Lemon Verbena, Organic Peppermint, Marigold, Violet, Jasmin, and European Organic Rose
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Boiling, 7 minutes
Some teas should just have songs written about them! This is one of those teas!
First, I must say I LOVE the tins and labels from da.u.de …and so far ALL of the teas I have tried! I have sampled 3 of them thus far.
My experience with Seffarine from da.u.de was almost surreal. You can clearly see all of the ingredients in this blend mostly the Lemon Verbena and Peppermint. The other ingredients are NOT hard to find but are more off to the side as a secondary. It has a very mild but pleasant smell and is very relaxing and pretty.
I can taste the peppermint but it’s not over the top considering how much I can see in the blend. Many of you know I like peppermint and (usually) the more the merrier but this works with the other ingredients perfectly! It’s a little minty but mellow, sweet, and lemony. I can pick up a little floral but it’s the perfect amount for my tastes. WOW! Talk about happy herbal goodness! It’s beautiful in EVERY way!
I’m curious about the company’s tasting tip – adding Gunpowder and Sugar Cubes…eventho I don’t add sugar in my tea/tisanes…I just might expand my horizons! I must also say that usually I’m not much for herbal tisanes but will always try them…I do like my MINT, tho. With Seffarine from da.u.de – I just officially moved it towards the top of my favorite Herbals!
You can purchase the Seffarine directly from the Da-u-de website.
Tea Company: Tea GW (website)
Please bear with this review, it is going to be a longish one! I have been putting this off for some time now, simply because I am not really sure how to review the product in question.
A few months ago, Gina Wu, President and Founder of Tea GW mailed me 2 tea travel pillows. Here at It’s All About The Leaf, we will review anything tea related, and I was very happy to receive this product, as it is something truly different. I had never heard of such a thing! Turns out, neither had anyone else that I talked to.
I am in a tough position here. I can talk about (and will) the aesthetic of the pillows. I can talk about (and will) the quality of the pillows. However, what has kept me from doing this review until now, are the health claims.
Gina kindly included an article that she wrote for the Tea Association of the USA on the health benefits of Tea Pillows. Wu claims tea pillows have been used for millennia in Traditional Chinese Medicine. She says the health benefits include the killing of bacteria (non-beneficial I am going to assume), to aroma therapy resulting in calming, relaxing functions, to treating headaches and insomnia. My issue tho is a standard argument when it comes to health – there does not appear to be any research to back it up.
Now I am not one of those people that will believe any “research” put before me, in fact I believe that for every “fact” proven by science, it can be subsequently disproved in other research, especially when it comes to measuring health benefits. I personally believe in my Chinese herbalist. He cured my wife of really bad allergies, ragweed and hay-fever, with a rank, disgusting tasting/smelling tea concoction, and that cure has stuck for 3 years now. We are talking someone who was constantly dripping, sneezing, stuffed up from September until first hard frost. Now – nothing. So there is something to millennia old medicine, no doubt, but it needs to be rooted, I believe, in logic and reason.
So – to logic. The pillow is VERY wrapped up. I mean, cover, then sealed bag. How does the beneficial properties of the tea get out? With no direct contact to the tea leave, absorbing the essential oils, or vitamins or other compounds seems unlikely. Aroma therapy – perhaps, but I could find nothing, and I mean literally NOTHING online to do with a tea pillow except to do with selling them.
No herbalist (certified) or natural-path that I spoke with has heard of anything to do with this before. No other health claims/mentions on the inter-webs, anywhere. That does not mean that there is nothing to it, but it makes this product fall into a category of unproven for me at the moment, and I dislike the fact that a health claim can be made without any proof of any sort.
With that out of the way, on to the pillow! I was sent 2 travel pillows. One Lavender, one Tie Guan Yin (Oolong). The packaging was gorgeous. A nicely decorated box covered with Chinese symbols, and tied with a pretty tassel and coin, all calculated to make it look “authentic”.
I opened the Lavender pillow first, I had some trepidation about it, not sure if it would be a really strong scent of Lavender (which I dislike). However, it turned out to be a very subtle scent, and very nice and relaxing if I do say so! The Tie Guan Yin was my favorite tho, with a sweet, almost woodsy scent to it.
The pillows themselves are of extremely high quality. The covering is well stitched silk, smooth and comforting. The print is rich looking, not at all out of place as high-end decoration in a fancy house (which I do not have…). There is no evidence of sloppy or hurried stitching, even the zipper was a high quality zipper, and well hidden so as not to dig into your head when laying on it.
Using them was a bit tougher, as I could not stand to drive with it behind my head, had no airplane travel plans, and found them way to hard and overstuffed to sleep with. I do wish I could have tried the actual full sized pillows, and maybe then I could have better evaluated my personal experience related to the health claims.
Of course, I HAD to open it up. I found that the tea inside was contained within a bag that was sealed up – no tea bits, no matter how hard I pounded on them, would come out, and I was loath to cut it open to actually check in there – so I cannot confirm that there is actual tea involved here. Perhaps when the one I loaned out comes back I shall endeavor to open it up, and maybe make a cuppa? (too gross? What do you think?)
So the bottom line for me is, they are beautiful, they are expensive (the travel pillow is $40USD and the full sized pillow is $100USD), but you certainly get, quality wise, what you pay for. I reserve judgement on the health claims. I appreciate the chance to review the products, and they would make a great (tho expensive) gift for a tea fanatic that you are lost to get a gift for.
You can purchase the Tea Pillows directly from the Tea GW website.
Tea Company: The Simple Leaf (website)
Ingredients: Green Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: 1 tsp. / 6oz cup, 170 – 190 deg F, 3 minute infusion
As I was sorting through samples that we have received over the past few months, I had a craving for green tea, and came across Chloe from The Simple Leaf. I don’t recall tasting it before, and decided that it would be as good as any to review today!
Chloe seemed unusual for me, as it is a Darjeeling tea from the Pussimbing Estate. Unusual because I have not tried a lot of Darjeeling greens, even tho I know that they are becoming more and more available. I am used to strong, grassy greens from China and Japan, and expected similar here.
The Simple Leaf website describes this tea as: “Light, smooth and refreshing, these gorgeous large leaves make a mellow liquor that is perfect for late afternoon sipping. Subtle hints of fruit and freshly cut grass give this tea a remarkable flavor.”
So, I heated up some water to about 75 deg C (approx. 170 deg F), steeped it for 3 mins, and prepared myself for a great tasting experience.
First of all, the liquor is a light, honey color, light enough that I wondered if I steeped it long enough. The scent was similarly subtle, slightly fruity with the classic grassy tones that I associate with green tea.
The taste, I have to say, is a bit too light for me. As described by The Simple leaf, it was mellow, and I get the hits of freshly cut grass, and was perhaps, a tad sweet, but I did not get any fruity notes at all. It was in the end, a bit bland, and did not have a lot of character. A good beginners green tea to ease you into the complexities, but for the more experienced green tea drinker, I think that this is neither subtle or complex enough to truly enjoy.
All in all, it was not a bad or offensive cup of tea at all, just not interesting enough for me personally to make a staple in by cupboard, and certainly not what I expected from the region known for the “Champagne” of teas!
You can purchase Chloe directly from the Simple Leaf website.
Category of Tea: Oolong
Tea Company: Tea Forte (website)
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Steep for 2-4 minutes, 195 deg F
I love Tea Forte. Every single tea that I have tried to date has been flavourful, without being overwhelming. I also quite enjoy Oolong Tea. To date, I have mostly focused on the darker, more oxidized Formosa Oolongs, and enjoy the robust flavours that they produce. With that in mind, I reached for the Tea Forte Silk Oolong this morning to give it a try.
First of all, Tea Forte has packaging nailed. The Chest that was sent to us contains the teas nicely, and the pyramid tea bags and wrapping are minimalist enough to let you focus on the tea, while giving you the impression that, even tho this is a teabag, you are about to embark on a high quality tea experience. In the past, I found for the most part the bags give enough room for the teas to expand, so I was not too worried about this here, even tho it is an Oolong that should expand enough to release all the flavours.
I have to say, that this is the first Tea Forte that has disappointed me. Perhaps my expectations were too high going into it. First of all, clearly there was not enough room for the tea to expand in the tea bag. After brewing it at about 195 deg F for about 3 minutes, the tea leaves were straining the confines of the bag. Usually, you can get a nice scent of the tea through the bag, and certainly once it has hit the water, but here, I found the scent to be very muted and almost undetectable.
The tea it’s self is nothing to write home about. It is very light, bordering on almost tasteless. It is certainly smooth as the name “Silk Oolong” implies, but has no interesting aftertaste that lingers, and is overall, unmemorable. Perhaps being used to stronger Oolong infusions I was prepared for a stronger tea, but this certainly is not that. It leaves me feeling indifferent enough to it that I am not even going to bother with a second or third infusion.
Maybe if you steeped it for much longer, you could coax more flavour out of it, or even cutting the leaves out of the bag, buy why do that when you receive it in a bag? You can purchase the loose leaves from Tea Forte directly, but for the price (Tea Forte teas can tend to the expensive side), I don’t see the value on this tea.
Overall, Tea Forte is a fantastic company producing fantastic teas, but in this case, it is one tea that I would remove from the lineup, as it does not seem to fit into the flavourful, memorable teas that I have come to know Tea Forte for.
You can purchase Tea Forte Silk Oolong directly from their website.