Review: Tea At Sea Mountain Organic Indonesian Green

Green Tea, Tea at Sea No Comments »
Daniel’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"There is not a grand amount of complexity, nor is there a memorable aftertaste, but all of what composes the liquor is quite rewarding. "
Daniel’s Teaview: 7.7/10
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teaatseaindonesiagreenNever have I encountered a rolled green tea such as this. Of course, there are plenty of varieties (gunpowder green notwithstanding, for example) that are rolled as opposed to twisted or pressed, but Tea At Sea’s Indonesian Green resembles more of a very green oolong. The flavor profile, however, very much warrants the label of green tea. Tea At Sea’s descriptor of a “seaweed aroma” is dead on, and it is in every way a pleasant one, as the fragrance of the leaves both before and after initial infusions is enjoyably sweet and thankfully devoid of and sea-like funkiness.

The palate is equally pleasant and original. Tasting just as much of seaweed (or perhaps more exactly, nori) as it smells, this Indonesian Green features as well a sweetness that directly accompanies the aforementioned characteristic more than it exists on its own. There is not a grand amount of complexity, nor is there a memorable aftertaste, but all of what composes the liquor is quite rewarding.

Brewing lightly more accentuates this sweetness and to the drinker’s benefit. Moreover, this allows for a longer steeping session. As such, it is hard not to recommend a “delicate” water temperature around 160°F. But this quirky green is quite sturdy and yields enjoyable results with any temperature customarily used for green teas.

Even with the above recommendations, expect no more than three or four infusions, unless brewing gonfu style and according to a very high leaf-to-low water ratio. Cups following the first two soon give off little more than slightly vegetal body along with a stark reduction in sweetness. In other words, the eventual product of this green isn’t unlike many other greens. Even so and comparably, the tea gives out somewhat quickly and the notable positives aren’t enough to make up for this.

— To purchase Tea At Sea Mountain Organic Indonesian Green, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Daniel Daniel
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Review: Dachi Tea Co. No. 10 Four Seasons Oolong

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CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Complex in a most harmonious way."
CJ’s Teaview: 9/10
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dachifourseasonsoolongVanilla.  Fresh grass. A drop of tangy-ness. A nice, dry finish. Those are the words that sprang to mind upon tasting this tea.

Dachi promised flavors like oatmeal cookies, jasmine and mineral rocks! (Is that a flavor?) I used to collect and taste rocks as a kid. They were usually dirt-like or metallic. Number 10 failed to transport me back to my rock-licking days. And that’s a good thing!

Yet there was something nourishing about the mixture of this tea’s flavors. The bouquet was rich and harmonious and fruity and earthy. Rather reminded me of Flinstone vitamins, also something I licked (and chewed) as a child. And guess what? Those little colored pills also contained minerals. O.K. Dachi. Mineral rocks is a flavor.

My favorite quality of this tea, though, was the aftertaste. As someone whose favorite teas are usually black, I value astringency. Number 10 is rich with astringency. Those with a delicate palate may not like it. Although it has a nice, gentle sip, you will get what Dachi calls,  “the rare and desired lump in the throat,” after downing a cup of this tea.

For me, it was more like an lingering coat on the tongue than a lump in the throat. Either way, I liked it a lot. I rate it a 9.

— To purchase Dachi Tea Co. No. 10 Four Seasons Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: CJ CJ
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Review: Terrace Bloom Pearl Green

Green Tea, Terrace Bloom No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The flavour is rich - All roasted green vegetables balanced by a subtle smokiness."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.6/10
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terrracebloompearlgreenOnce upon a time, my husband worked at Starbucks. As anyone who works there knows, you’re allowed to take a product home once a week: A pound of coffee or tin of tea or box of Keurig pods. We don’t drink a lot of coffee, so aside from the occasional pound to give away, he mostly brought home boxes of tea. Tazo’s China Green Tips, to be precise. A mid-grade Chinese green tea that came in silken pyramid bags, each of which would give me two steeps, I kept it in my locker at work and went through almost a box of week. Then Starbucks bought Teavana tea and switched out all their Tazo teas for Teavana, which means I could get my China Tips fix any more. At least not for free, and while it was perfect, it wasn’t perfect at $9 a box. So I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement.

I brew my bag in 6 ounces of 180° for two minutes. The flavour is rich – All roasted green vegetables balanced by a subtle smokiness. The aftertaste is mostly cooked artichoke with a mild lemon acidity. I steep again for three minutes and get a cup that’s more lemon than veggies and much smokier. It’s a richer green tea, but it isn’t harsh, and it doesn’t have any bitterness or too much smokiness. It’s a quality, solid, everyday green tea.

Like the Tazo, this is still $9 a box, and it’s similar in all the other ways I want, too. It’s got depth, but it’s not complex enough to be difficult to drink or brew. It’s simple and easy to drink and good for two steeps, all things I want from a bagged tea. The one thing it isn’t, and the one big reason it doesn’t get a higher rating, is that it isn’t very accessible. I would absolutely buy it if I found it in a grocery store, and I’d think long and hard about buying it if it had free shipping for me, but the cart estimate says it’ll cost me $15 to send it to Canada. That’s not unreasonable, but it does make it less practical. Still, it’s nice to know replacements are out there, and I look forward to following Terrace Bloom as they grow as a company.

— To purchase Terrace Bloom Pearl Green, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Katie Katie
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Review: Jing Tea Earl Grey

Bergamot Tea, Black Tea, Ceylon Tea, Earl Grey Tea, JING Tea No Comments »
Melanie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The balance between this Ceylon tea and the flavoring was excellent! "
Melanie’s Teaview: 9/10
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I really enjoyed visiting JING Tea’s website. They offer an amazing variety of loose leaf teas as well as tea bags , tea ware and tea gifts. JING Tea is enjoyed by customers in over 75 countries.

I’ve tried a lot of Earl Grey teas in my years as a tea reviewer. Some are good, some taste so strongly of bergamot I have no idea what the tea was like. A very few are really good. I’ve found it’s pretty difficult to know how the Earl Grey is going to taste just by the look and smell of the tea.

This is a very pretty tea. The leaves are large and fairly dark and as is often found, sprinkled with blue cornflower petals. The tea smelled fresh and just like an earl grey – full of bergamot.

I drank this tea in single cupfuls, using a teaspoon of tea and 8 oz of water. After bringing fresh cold water just to boil, I steeped the tea 4-6 min. My favorite cup was steeped for 5 minutes.

The true test comes with the first sip. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this Earl Grey tea fell into the really good category! The teas was a nice golden brown and the bergamot was so perfectly balanced with the tea! There was no bitterness from the bergamot and the tea has a nice smooth taste on the tongue.

I read on JING Tea’s website that most Earl Grey teas use a lower quality of tea. I can believe that because bergamot, the flavoring in Earl Grey, is a very strong sharp flavor and can easily overpower a tea. I can imagine that many companies just figure no one will know. But JING Tea uses a high quality Ceylon tea. And I could tell!

I was worried that a Ceylon might be the wrong tea to use because many of them are light bodied. But there’s a reason I am a tea taster and not a tea creator. The balance between this Ceylon tea and the flavoring was excellent! They used a good full bodied Ceylon, and I found this to be a much gentler Earl Grey than most.

— To purchase Jing Tea Earl Grey, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Melanie Melanie
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Review: The Tea Shelf Glendale Nilgiri Black

Black Tea, Nilgiri Tea, The Tea Shelf No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea has a very smooth almost silky texture. The base note in this tea is a dark, rich chocolate lightened up with sweet floral top notes"
Shaiha’s Teaview: 8.1/10
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teashelfnilgiriblackI was recently introduced to a new tea vendor, The Tea Shelf, who opened up in 2014. They are based in India and are able to source directly from the major tea estates. They offer free worldwide shipping on any order over rs1899 which converts to a little less then $30 US right now. They also offer some wonderful sampler sets at very reasonable prices which I feel is a wonderful way to meet a new tea vendor.

Now onto the tea itself. My sample arrived in vacuum sealed foil package with all of the online casino important info on a label on the outside. This tea is a black Nilgriris picked in 2015 during the Winter Flush. The leaves are full and a nice blend of dark brown and gold. It has a pleasant fruity, flowery aroma.

I set it up to blend using 210 degree water and a steep time of 3 minutes. The resulting liquor is a medium golden brown with a jasmine and honeysuckle aroma.

This tea has a very smooth almost silky texture. The base note in this tea is a dark, rich chocolate lightened up with sweet floral top notes. There is a spicy aftertaste that lingers on and one. It has an almost decadent feel when it is hot but does develop a slightly astringent note as it cools.

I found this to be a delicious tea that I have already added to my wishlist especially as it is so reasonably priced. I also like the fact that I can add it to a subscription service where I can have more delivered automatically.

— To purchase The Tea Shelf Glendale Nilgiri Black, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Shaiha Shaiha
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Review: Zest Tea Pomegranate Mojito Green

Green Tea, Lime Tea, Peppermint tea, Pomegranate Tea, Zest Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It's fruity and minty, well-balanced, though not as sweet as I expected."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.4/10
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zestpommojitoZest Tea’s whole shtick is they make tasty tea blends then add extra caffeine to them so they pack as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. As someone who has been working nights for over two years and doesn’t like to drink coffee often, this is actually an idea I can get behind. There are a few teas guaranteed to pack a caffeine punch, like matcha and yerba mate, but sometimes you want all that energy boosting in a different flavour. As of this write up, Zest Tea only has four blends, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to try one.

The pyramid bag my sample comes in is huge and smells amazing. I brew for two minutes and get a murky brown liquor that doesn’t look particularly appealing but smells really intriguing, of pomegranate and mint. I wouldn’t go so far as to call the flavour brilliant, but it is really good and really interesting. It’s fruity and minty, well-balanced. It’s not as sweet as I expected. The aftertaste is a little too bitter, but the bitterness mellows as the cup cools.

I try another steep of the tea iced, and as you might expect with a tea that has mojito in the name, I might like it more cold than hot. It’s interesting and refreshing, though it’s slightly less minty and more bitter than the hot version. I think it could be amazing if you added a bit of fresh mint, maybe a touch of sweetener, perhaps even a splash of rum?

Zest Tea has a couple more classic flavoured blends, such as Earl Grey, but I’m impressed that with their limited selection they chose to do such a brave blend, and I think they pulled it off. The website promises more blends as they grow, and I think it’s a company worth keeping an eye on. At least until I start sleeping like a regular person again.

— To purchase Zest Tea Pomegranate Mojito Green, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Katie Katie
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