Review: Sanne Tea Jin Xuan

Oolong Tea, Sanne Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It's very delicate, largely creamy with a hint of floral undertone and mineral aftertaste."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.5/10
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I haven’t tried anything from Sanne Tea (pronounced, according to the website, like “sanity”), but they’re exactly the sort of company I love. They specialise in pure Taiwanese teas and have a limited selection of leaves, all of which look spectacular.

This Spring 2015 offering is a lightly roasted and oxidised, hand-picked oolong grown at around 300 metres. The leaves are mid-to-large in size, dark, shiny green, and balled up. I put 5 grams in a 5-ounce yixing, rinse, then brew at 195° for 40 seconds. My first cup has a light amber-yellow liquor with a delicately milky and floral scent. Jin Xuan is also known as milk oolong, so I’m happy to find the milky scent translates beautifully to the flavour. It’s very delicate, largely creamy with a hint of floral undertone and mineral aftertaste. It’s so mild it walks the line between bland and delicate, but the brilliant creamy taste saves it.

My second infusion is 1 minute, and it has a much thicker body than the first. It coats the mouth with a vegetal and mineral flavour. It’s still a mild tea, but it’s much less delicate than before. Unfortunately, while there is some creaminess left, it is largely overpowered now.

My 1.5-minute third infusion has an edge of woodiness to it now. There’s no creaminess. It’s largely mineral, coating the mouth and leaving a tingling, acidic finish that lingers on. By steep four, the tea has mellowed out significantly. It’s still very flavourful, but the mineral, oak, and acidity are all blended together in one delicious taste. I increase my time by 1 minute for each of the remaining steeps and end up with 8 cups total before the leaves give out.

After brewing this gong-fu style, I have enough leaf to brew it the Western way: 1 teaspoon per cup for 3 minutes. It’s still brilliantly aromatic and has a strong cream flavour with mild lilac and mineral notes. In short, it’s delicious either way you want to brew it. I have grown to appreciate companies that only have a few teas as long as they do those few very well, and based on this sample, Sanne Tea does their teas well. I look forward to trying more from them in the future.

— To purchase Sanne Tea Jin Xuan, 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: Pahadi Tea Pahadi Masala Chai Tea

Assam Tea, Chai Tea, Pahadi Tea, Uncategorized No Comments »
Melanie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I really enjoyed this tea and was disappointed when I had used up my sample."
Melanie’s Teaview: 8.5/10
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Pahadi tea is a tea company based in Temple, AZ that specializes in teas from India, specifically, the Himalayan Hill Region. They carry a variety of blended black teas, Green teas and nice selection of Chai teas.

I chose the Pahadi Masala Chai tea to taste and review. I was very interested to see that their Chai tea was made with Assam. Many times, tea companies use a lighter tea and the spices are emphasized. But I love a good strong cup of tea, and Assam tea is often the base I prefer for my flavored teas so that they have a good body.

The ingredients of this spicy chai tea are listed on the website as: Fiery Ginger, Black Peppercorn, Aromatic Cinnamon, Crushed Fennel seeds, Dried Mint, Green Cardamom, and Cloves blended with the finest Assam black tea.

When I opened the tea, I saw that it was a nice dark black tea. I was also pleased to see that the spices were obvious with nice sized pieces, including a whole cardamom seed!! It smelled wonderful. I could see the mint pieces that made this Chai Tea so unique, though I didn’t smell it.

I brewed this tea, one cup at time. I used a teaspoon of tea for each 8oz of fresh cold water that I had brought just to boil. I started with a steep time of 4 minutes and increased each cup by a minute… up 6 minutes. I am pleased to say that this tea never got bitter, and the increased steeping time only served to make a stronger flavored tea.

The tea is very rich and pleasing. I instantly tasted the the unique addition of mint and the spices are fantastic! It took sugar well, though I preferred using honey. It took milk fairly well, though, when I had only steeped it 4 minutes it was a bit weak to add milk.

I really enjoyed this tea and was disappointed when I had used up my sample. I would definitely choose this tea for my next Chai flavored tea because it was so smooth and perfectly balanced.

— To purchase Pahadi Tea Pahadi Masala Chai Tea, 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: Terrace Bloom Teas Yunnan Gold Black

Black Tea, Terrace Bloom, Yunnan Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Smoky and mild with a subtle chocolate undertone and a a peppery finish."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.3/10
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The leaves of this tea are beautiful – black and gold, curled, but partially rolled as well. I brew at 195° for three minutes and get a deep brown liquor with a tinge of red. The scent is brilliant, with notes of chocolate, smoke, and red fruits.

The flavour is milder than the scent, smoky and mild with a subtle chocolate undertone and a a peppery finish. It is slightly acidic. I’m disappointed the chocolate scent hasn’t translated fully to the flavour. There is still a brilliant chocolately scent in the second steep. It’s a solid second overall, some chocolate now in the flavour, and again with a peppery finish.

I don’t try for a third brew, but I don’t often get a third infusion from teas like this. It’s not the most brilliant Yunnan I have ever tried, but it’s a very solid tea. My main complaints are that the chocolate scent doesn’t translate to the flavour, and there is none of the malty flavour that is classic to great Yunnan gold teas.

— To purchase Terrace Bloom Teas Yunnan Gold 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: Katie Katie
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Review: That Tea That Skinny Tea

Burdock Root Tea, Chrysanthemum Tea, Peppermint tea, Rose Tea, Stevia Leaf Tea No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"This tea is meant to help you achieve a goal weight and detox your body. It is also supposed to "give the body a beautiful glow.""
Alexa’s Teaview: 5.7/10
Your Reviews: 6.1/10
216 reader reviews | Add your review »

That Tea has a very lovely website and clean look. They offer teas that are very health focussed. Their front page states – “Achieve your goals with our specialized range of teas.” I ended up reviewing their That Skinny Tea. This tea is meant to help you achieve a goal weight and detox your body. It is also supposed to “give the body a beautiful glow.” This all sounded good to me so I decided to try out their 14 day Skinny Tea Detox.

That Skinny Tea is made of senna leaf, peppermint leaf, rose flower, stevia leaf, chrysanthemum, and burdock. I was familiar with most of these ingredients but not all. I started by researching senna leaf. Senna leaf is an herb often used to help with weight loss. It is known for having laxative effects. Burdock, is known to increase urine flow, kill germs, and reduce inflammation. I steeped one tea bag in a cup of boiling tea as the directions suggest. The smell is interesting and consists mainly of the peppermint and rose flower. The flavor is pleasant and very sweet due to the stevia leaf. Though this tea isn’t bad at all, it’s definitely not a tea I would drink for flavor.

I was a little hesitant as I began regularly drinking this tea – some reviews on ‘skinny teas’ are a bit horrifying. Some people say they can’t go anywhere because of how often they need the restroom. This was not the case with That Skinny Tea. This tea didn’t keep me from leaving my house or anything extreme like that. I didn’t feel any better, but I also didn’t feel any worse from this tea.

After 2 days I began drinking 3 cups a day (re-steeping the same teabag). I continued this for about 5 days until I began to feel awful. The tea made me bloated and my stomach did not feel good what-so-ever. I think the senna caused me to be dehydrated. Because of how I felt, I went completely off the tea for two days. I felt back to normal after that and I did loose a pound from this tea. I also had a clearer face and less breakouts. So this tea does have some perks.

Some people handle senna leaf and burdock better than others. This is definitely not a tea you should drink long-term. I also think more than one cup a day isn’t a good idea. If you struggle with constipation, this tea would be very helpful short-term. If you want to have a clear face for a special occasion, one cup a day for a week would be a good idea.

— To purchase That Tea That Skinny Tea, 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: Alexa Alexa
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Review: Canton Tea Co. Glenburn “Peach Blossom” White Darjeeling

Canton Tea Co., Darjeeling Tea, White Tea No Comments »
CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Provides everything that black Darjeelings do...with a few surprises."
CJ’s Teaview: 9/10
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If you blindfolded me and served me a cup of this tea, I might guess it was an herbal tisane. I’d venture it was a perfect combination of lemongrass, chamomile, rose, lavender, with a touch of honey and a slice of lemon.

I said “I might guess,” though, for two reasons:

  • Rarely is a tisane as complex as this.
  • Herbals don’t contain the solid-backbone richness of camelia sinensis.

This unusual leaf was hearty enough to cause this black-tea lover to consider adding more white tea to her collection. Likewise, if you’re a tisane lover who is not afraid of caffeine, Glenburn’s Peach Blossom White Darjeeling should be in your tea chest.

This had the characteristic Darjeeling  floral bouquet, fruity, (muscat…sweet wine) note, and dry aftertaste. As good as it was, I didn’t detect anything peach-like about it. Despite the hints of wine, I’d say the overall personality of this tea is citrus. I urge you, though, to try for yourself.

Speaking of wine, the idea of tea estates and tours was inspired by vineyards who invited the public to observe the wine-making experience, say’s Glenburn’s website. If you’re ever in Darjeeling, you might visit the Glenburn Estate. The place is billed as a luxurious vacation spot where you can roam hillside tea gardens and then break for a lunch by a river amidst a bamboo forest.

Or not. But Darjeeling, white tea, and tisane fans would do well to at least order some of this. If a black tea palate can appreciate it, more delicate taste-buds will delight in it.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Glenburn “Peach Blossom” White Darjeeling, 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: Dachi Tea Co. No. 7 Oriental Beauty

Dachi Tea, Oolong Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It's more aromatic than flavourful, but while the flavour is delicate, it is in no way bland."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.9/10
Your Reviews: 6/10
1 reader reviews | Add your review »

This is my first sample from Dachi tea, a small artisan tea company. They have a small collection of high-end teas, including this one that can be found under their “Rare & Limited” category. These companies tend to be very expensive, and they run a big risk because unless every tea they have is amazing, there isn’t much point. This particular leaf is priced like a limited edition artisan leaf, but that doesn’t bother me too much. I’m willing to part with cash for a great tea, but only if it really is a great tea. So the question is, Is this worth it?

I put 5 grams of tea in an 8-ounce preheated glass teapot. After a flash rinse, I steep it for 40 seconds. The cup is extremely aromatic, with notes of honey, spice, and a strong note of muscatel grape.

The flavour is beautifully sweet and surprisingly creamy. It has a smooth, soft mouthfeel, but there’s enough sharpness from the muscatel to cut through the smoothness, keeping it interesting and adding to the depth. They website describes it as tasting like “muscovado sugar,” but since I’ve never tried that (not that I’ve had muscatel grapes either), I’m content with saying it tastes like honey.

I steep another 4 times, and each infusion has a milder, more blended flavour than the steep before it. But despite the aroma mellowing out a little, it remains comparatively strong through the remaining cups.

It’s more aromatic than flavourful, but while the flavour is delicate, it is in no way bland. So to answer the question in paragraph one: I would say this is worth the price. It’s unique, interesting, has a brilliant scent and flavour. It’s the complete tea, and I look forward to any future interactions I have with Dachi Tea.

— To purchase Dachi Tea Co. No. 7 Oriental Beauty, 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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