Review: Aap Ki Pasand Fine Darjeeling Dark Roast

Aap Ki Pasand, Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This is a very nice Darjeeling, with lots of flowery muscatel notes. It’s not the most sophisticated tea I’ve had but certainly an enjoyable cup for everyday use."
Sophie’s Teaview: 7.8/10
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aapkipassandlogoThis is my first time trying a tea from this company. Browsing through their website, I wish there was more emphasis on the features of their teas versus labelling them by the colour of their cloth bags. This particular offering is available in “deep brown velvet packaging”. Like a dutiful boyfriend, it promises to deliver chocolate and flowers. The choppy-looking leaves are a rich shade of chocolate brown. They don’t have much of a scent as far as I can tell, just a hint of grass.

I brew a level teaspoonful into 250ml of freshly boiled water for 3 minutes. As I pour the water, a lovely muscatel scent wafts from the leaves. The dark coppery cup features some soft malt, toasted bread and flower notes. There is also a tinge of cocoa, muscatel and crisp celery. The overall effect is quite balanced and smooth, without any acidity or roughness.

I re-brew the leaves again for 3 and a half minutes. The taste and feel are a little more rugged this time, mint and burnt bread flavours leading the way. The cup gets smoother as it cools, malt notes becoming more prominent. It’s really a decent second steep, especially as far as black teas are concerned.

I try a last attempt, following a 4 and a half minute long infusion. It’s quite bland. Really I should have quit while I was ahead. There are some malt notes, with vegetal undertones, but not much else. On the plus side, the results are still completely smooth.

This is a very nice Darjeeling, with lots of flowery muscatel notes. It features a good amount of natural sweetness. I found no milk or sugar were necessary. It’s also very cheap. It’s not the most sophisticated tea I’ve had but certainly an enjoyable cup for everyday use. The fancy cloth bag would also make this a good choice for a gift.

— To purchase Aap Ki Pasand Fine Darjeeling Dark Roast, 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: Sophie Sophie
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Review: Lalani & Co 2nd Flush Himalayan Imperial Black

Black Tea, Lalani and Co No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This is an easy drinking tea with just a hint of dryness at the end of each sip. And the flavor. Oh my! "
Shaiha’s Teaview: 8.2/10
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lalanihimimperialblackToday I am in for a real treat in that I get to sample a tea from Lalani & Co. They are a family ran company that specializes in single batch teas. They don’t have a large catalog but it changes frequently as they sell out of the batches.

The leaves of this tea are a dark charcoal black with a spicy, sweet aroma. I set up the leaves to brew using boiling water and a steep time of two minutes. The resulting liquor is a rich reddish brown with a malty fragrance that has a touch of cocoa.

This is an easy drinking tea with just a hint of dryness at the end of each sip. And the flavor. Oh my! It’s almost like drinking a cup of rich hot cocoa without all the calories. Along with the dark chocolate, there is bit of malt that works perfectly to cut the sweetness. Pure decadence. My only regret is that this batch is sold out so learn from my mistake and if you find one you like, snag it immediately.

— To purchase Lalani & Co 2nd Flush Himalayan Imperial 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: Tea Drops Cardamom Spice

Black Tea, Cardamom Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Ginger Tea, Tea Drops, Vanilla Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The cardamom is strong, as it should be, but it doesn't overpower the black tea, and the sweetness is surprisingly well balanced."
Katie’s Teaview: 7/10
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teadropscardspiceTea Drops is a niche company, specialising in one product: A nugget of ground tea and sweetener that you throw in with water, stir, and drink. No mess, no fuss. Like a dish detergent or laundry pod that you don’t have to measure, it’s unbelievably easy to use and comes in a few different flavours. They’re perfect for travelling, somewhere you don’t have access to steepng equipment (like work), or for the supremely lazy. They’ve definitely sold me on the concept of Tea Drops before I’ve even tried one, so the big question is whether they taste good enough to make them a great product or if the flavour means they aren’t worth it.

I toss my flower-shaped drop into a cup then pour in hot water. The drop dissolves instantly, and I find I don’t even need to give it a token stir for it to be ready to drink. The liquor is an opaque, murky brown, not exactly pretty, but not a surprise either.

The scent is an appealing sweet and spicy, and the flavour matches. The cardamom is strong, as it should be, but it doesn’t overpower the black tea. The sweetness is surprisingly well balanced, and the fact that they don’t overdo it is a huge plus for me. The cup has the bitterness and astringency of a CTC-style leaf, not too strong, but balanced by the added sweetener. It benefits from a splash of milk, but it’s not necessary. I’m actually a little surprised by how smooth the cup is. Top of the line leaves, when ground into powder and whisked like a matcha, give you an extremely smooth cup, but if you prepared a very low grade leaf this way, it would be basically inedible. This falls somewhere in the middle, not devoid of harshness, but not overly bracing, either.

One big downside is that there ends up being quite a bit of sediment in the bottom of the cup, rendering the last sips undrinkable. There also aren’t many flavours available on the site, but I imagine that will change with time. Finally, unsurprisingly, the price per cup is high, not unfairly so, but higher than I tend to pay for my teas. But as the occasional splurge for desperate situations, like when you’re travelling, it’s a great idea.

— To purchase Tea Drops Cardamom Spice, 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: Madame Fung’s Oolong and Black Tea Blend

Black Tea, Madame Fung's, Oolong Tea No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"It falls flat compared to similar loose leaf teas I’ve tried but could serve as a decent grocery store option in a pinch."
Sophie’s Teaview: 6.1/10
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madamefunglogoIt’s rare to see these two types of tea come together and I am curious to try it out. Besides telling us that both of these are of Taiwanese origin, and Madame Fung’s favourites, there is little information about the teas used. My sample comes in the form of leaf powder, bagged in a traditional paper teabag, wrapped in a foil envelope. It has a generic bagged, black tea scent, slightly tannic and woody.

I followed the directions on my sample’s package, infusing the teabag in freshly boiled water for 2 minutes. The results are a deep mahogany coloured cup. It starts off with lots of woody, tannic top notes. A pleasantly sweet, fruity finish follows, with lots of ripe peach and malt tones. It’s better than your average bagged black tea but it doesn’t exactly knock my socks off.

I steep the teabag again for 3 minutes. The results are a bit rougher in feel, the woody tannic notes taking a turn for the bitter. These also remind me of almond extract. There are still some malty notes present but they have receded far into the background. It’s still a passable cup for a second brew.

I also try a third steep following a 4 minute-long brew. The cup is so bland, it’s really not worth talking about. The leaves don’t hold up to more than two infusions, despite the oolong component to the blend.

Similar to her Sun Moon Lake black tea, this blend has woody, tannic top notes, followed by a sweet finish. The oolong seems to add more fruit flavours to the mix. It’s interesting enough and quite cheap but I’m not sure I would go out of my way to try it again. It falls flat compared to similar loose leaf teas I’ve sampled. It could serve as a decent grocery store option in a pinch. Otherwise I don’t really see a reason to purchase this tea.

— To purchase Madame Fung’s Oolong and Black Tea Blend, 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: Sophie Sophie
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Review: Blue Chai Organic Herbal Blue Tea

Blue Chai, Herbal Tea No Comments »
Samantha’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Blue Chai is incredibly fun to drink and would make for a great iced tea at a kids party or summer picnic. What's really cool about this tea is that it can be used as natural food coloring in baking. "
Samantha’s Teaview: 6/10
Your Reviews: 7/10
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BluechailogoBlue chai offers a unique herbal tea made strictly from butterfly pea flowers. Though the name entitles this is a chai, it’s far from it, there are no addition of spices.

Butterfly pea flowers are bright blue and once brewed produce the most unique tea. The liquor is so blue, you’d think someone put Kool Aid or food coloring in your cup, it’s almost a bit unsettling. The taste is not what I would have expected, it’s definitly herbal, very smooth. Though this tea is composed of flowers, there is no floral taste present, it’s very earthy and very pea like.

Though this tea is lacking in flavor, it sure makes for great entertainment. It’s incredibly fun to drink and would make for a great iced tea at a kids party or summer picnic. What’s really cool about this tea is that it can be used as a natural food coloring in baking and with the addition of a few drops of lemon or lime juice, the tea turns from blue to purple. Blue Chai could even be used for a tea cocktail.

Give it a try, the flavor isn’t horrible, it’s nothing impressive but it is incredibly refreshing.

— To purchase Blue Chai Organic Herbal Blue 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: Samantha Samantha
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Review: Ambrosia Herb Cocoa Coco

Apple Tea, Black Tea, Chocolate Tea, Coconut Tea, Rooibos Tea No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The combination of bitter cocoa nibs with sweet coconut and nutty rooibos is beautiful. It’s a very well-balanced tea."
Alexa’s Teaview: 7.5/10
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ambrosherbcocoacoAs a major chocolate lover, I could tell I was going to love this tea just from the name. AmbrosiaHerb is a California based tea company that specializes in natural, herbal teas. Their organic Cocoa Coco tea is a blend of rooibos, black tea, cocoa nibs, coconut flakes, and apple pieces. I love chocolate teas but only when executed correctly, which is rare in my opinion. Since AmbrosiaHerb is known for more natural teas, I had high hopes for this chocolate mixture.

The leaves are a beautiful mix of black tea and rooibos. The smell of these leaves is heavenly. I want to capture the smell of these leaves and turn it into a candle. The smell reminds me of a chocolate coconut tart I made a few months ago. I brewed two teaspoons of leaves in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. The water turned a rich brown color and the smell of chocolate coconut filled my kitchen.

The taste of this tea is more bitter than the sweet smell. It is a very rich, full-bodied brew. The combination of bitter cocoa nibs with sweet coconut and nutty rooibos is beautiful. It’s a very well-balanced tea. The chocolate is the star while the coconut enhances, rather than overpowers the tea. I can detect a slight hint of apple in the aftertaste as the tea runs down my throat. The chocolate flavor meets my high expectations – it’s very natural tasting.

I tried this tea a second time with some honey and cream. This transformed the tea into a chocolatey treat that could rival a cup of hot chocolate. This tea is a great substitute for any chocolate craving when you want a healthier option.

On top of being delicious, this tea has a long list of health benefits! The apple helps cleanse the liver and kidney, cocoa is an antidepressant and contains antioxidants, coconut speeds up metabolism and improves heart health, rooibos helps boost your immune system and helps with the aging process. So if you want a guilt free chocolate fix, this is your cup of tea!

— To purchase Ambrosia Herb Cocoa Coco, 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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