Review: Tea at Sea Mountain Organic Indonesian Black

Black Tea, Tea at Sea No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!" This rich Indonesian Black tea tastes like sweet, smokey chocolate. I could drink it all day. "
Alexa’s Teaview: 8.8/10
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teaatseaindonesianblackSince I’ve recently re-located to Canada, I was excited to try this Canadian company: Tea At Sea. Tea At Sea is a company that offers organic, loose leaf tea. They consider tea an adventure and enjoy searching for the best teas. Their Mountain Organic Indonesian Black tea was grown in the Halimun Mountains of Indonesia. The leaves are fully oxidized.

The dark tea leaves smell sweet and malty with a hint of cinnamon. I could smell the leaves all day! While steeping, the leaves smelled more bitter. I steeped one teaspoon in one cup of water at 100C. After about 5 minutes of steeping I tried the tea out. This is a very smooth and sweet black tea. I don’t object to occasionally enjoying my black tea with cream and sugar but this tea needs neither. This rich Indonesian Black tastes like sweet, smokey chocolate. I could drink it all day.

I brewed this tea a second time, letting the tea steep for 8 minutes rather than 5. This resulted in a more full-bodied brew. The flavor was extra malty and I could detect a hint of cedar, as promised in the tea description. The aftertaste in the second brew is much stronger and a little bitter. I enjoyed both brewing methods but probably preferred the first due to the sweeter flavor and aftertaste.

In their tea descriptions, Tea At Sea assures that their organic tea is treated with natural spring water and fresh mountain air. In my tea reviewing experience, I find the teas that are the most natural to be the best quality. Tea At Sea knows what they are doing. I was very impressed by this tea company and I look forward to trying some more of their mountain teas!

— To purchase Tea at Sea Mountain Organic Indonesian 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: Alexa Alexa
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Review: Cameron Tea AliShan High Mountain Oolong

Cameron Tea, Oolong Tea, Uncategorized No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This oolong will please those looking for a creamy, floral brew. Its smooth, velvety feel is possibly my favourite part of the experience, especially in contrast with the bright and crisp floral notes. Highly recommended! "
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.3/10
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cameronalishanoolonghighThis oolong was harvested at an altitude of 1500m above sea level, on the slopes of Mt Ali, one of Taiwan’s most famous tea growing areas. The leaves have been tightly rolled into nuggets of varying shapes and sizes. They seem to be on the small side for a high elevation tea. Their scent is a sweet mixture of cinnamon, peonies and baked peaches. Yum!

I brew one heaping teaspoonful of leaves in 250ml of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes. The pale gold cup is creamy and floral. The sip starts off with some toasted grain notes. The flavours get progressively sweeter towards the finish. The lingering aftertaste mixes flowers and stone fruit notes. The smooth, velvety feel is possibly my favourite part of the experience, especially in contrast with the bright and crisp floral notes.

I manage to pull 3 more pleasant steeps from the leaves. After 3 and a half minutes, my second attempt is grassier tasting and more astringent in feel. There are still lots of baked fruit and floral notes to make things interesting though.

I brew a third cup following a 4 and a half minute long steep. The results are back to being smooth and very floral. A broth-like mushroom undertone has developed as well. This infusion has a remarkably good balance of flavours still.

After 6 mins, my fourth brew is good but more mineral tasting, with a slightly rougher feel as it cools. The leaves still have a good amount of flower notes left but I can tell they are starting to fade.

I’ve been impressed with the quality of Cameron Tea’s offerings so far – this tea is no different. This oolong will please those looking for a creamy, floral brew. The flavour profile is relatively complex, featuring some more subtle baked fruit, grass and broth notes. It’s also competitively priced. There’s really no reason not to buy this tea!

— To purchase Cameron Tea AliShan High Mountain 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: Sophie Sophie
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Review: Ambrosia Herb Garden of Eden

Chamomile Tea, Herbal Tea, Lemongrass Tea, Rose Hip Tea No Comments »
Samantha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Sweet chamomile, tangy rosehips and lemongrass pair together with orange peels, hibiscus and peppermint to create a unique blend that is awakening and refreshing. The fruity scent alone invites you into a garden oasis."
Samantha’s Teaview: 7.2/10
Your Reviews: 3/10
2 reader reviews | Add your review »

ambrosiaherbgardenedenSweet chamomile, tangy rosehips and lemongrass pair together with orange peels, hibiscus and peppermint to create a unique blend that is awakening and refreshing. The fruity scent alone invites you into a garden oasis.

A heaping tablespoon was used to brew at 185 for 3 minutes. Lemongrass and rosehips are first detected with the scent of fresh peppermint. To the tongue the chamomile is present but muted, though it provides necessary stability. Peppermint does its job by adding a jolt of energy to the cup, while hibiscus adds to the tang along with rose hips. The orange peels are only noticed as an aftertaste since there are so many strong flavors initially.

Overall this is a great combination of herbs, I would highly recommend it to those looking for a tangy, sweet herbal sip.

— To purchase Ambrosia Herb Garden of Eden, 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: Spicely Dulce Matcha Spice

Green Tea, Spicely No Comments »
Daniel’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs down."In a latte, the spiced powder was bearable I suppose. On its own, it definitively was not."
Daniel’s Teaview: 2.1/10
Other Teaviews: Alexa gave it 8/10
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spicelydulcematchaWhile matcha has tailored off to a less than infrequent choice of beverage, I do have much familiarity with it. Yet never have I experienced a flavored matcha such as this. Promising notes of cinnamon and vanilla, Spicely’s Dulce Matcha Spice seemed to good to be true. It wasn’t.

To start off on the highest note, the matcha is arguably passable when in a mixed drink (a latte or something of similar sorts, that is). I wasn’t crazy about my results and stopped before finishing the last few sips out of fear that I had merely sipped out all of the milk and sugar. At no point could I distinguish a prominent grassiness expected from any powered green tea.

Whisked under hot water, Spicely’s originally intriguing matcha forces a sensation akin to highly concentrated cinnamon water of a putrid brown liquor. In all fairness, the color of the drink should not be meaningfully scrutinized. With the added ingredients, it seems only natural that the look of the tea would be of a less appetizing nature. But the actual experience of the brew is just inexcusable. My first sip elicited a reaction perhaps replicable only by a sour lemon on some serious GMOs. Immediately upon tasting the prepared drink, I dumped its content down the drain and my head under the sink faucet. Okay, so this all may have been a bit dramatic. Nonetheless, my actions were in self-defense, people, and I was not having the full-blown flavor profile last in my taste buds longer than it had to.

Not a hint of matcha was to be detected in what had resulted from my first attempt. Mind you, I did have a second go at the tea, sifting it into a finer powder and adding more water to the mixture. In both attempts and after fervent whisking, I struggled to achieve any of the desired foaminess, instead ending with a collection of airy, dirty looking bubbles. From a highly concentrated result to a much more watered down one, I failed to escape any of the unfavorable elements.

In all, I was plainly disappointed with Spicely’s seemingly promising and attractively named Dulce Matcha Spice. In a latte, the spiced powder was bearable I suppose. On its own, it definitively was not.

— To purchase Spicely Dulce Matcha 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: Daniel Daniel
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Review: Cameron Tea Black Tea-Ruby, Competition Grade

Black Tea, Cameron Tea, Uncategorized No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea’s honeyed malt profile is quite enjoyable. Best served in the late morning or afternoon, since it's a bit too delicate tasting as a morning jolt. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 7.8/10
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This tea comes to us from Taiwan’s famous Sun Moon Lake area. Grown at an altitude of 700m, this offering uses a relatively new cultivar, imaginatively named #18 by the Taiwanese Tea Research Institute. It’s described as having a natural cinnamon flavour as well as a hint of mint. Looking at my sample, the purplish black leaves are long and spidery. Perhaps it’s the power of suggestion but they really do smell like cinnamon to me!

In the absence of more specific brewing directions from Cameron Tea, I steep a heaping teaspoonful of leaves in 250ml of water for 3 minutes. The coppery cup has a malty, salted caramel scent to it that whets my appetite. The flavour profile seesaws between tannins and malt, ending on a sweet berry note. There are also some more elusive toasted bread and cinnamon tones.

I steep the leaves again for 4 minutes. The results are more cinnamon flavoured this time. Malt and brioche notes lead the way to the sweet and spicy finish. It’s good but I preferred the variety of flavours of the first brew.

I brew a third cup for 5 minutes. The flavours are now quite mild: some honey and malt notes make an appearance, as well as that promised hint of mint. On the plus side, the tea is completely smooth. I don’t bother with another steep, as the leaves seem well passed their prime.

This tea’s honeyed malt profile is quite enjoyable. The first brew offers the most satisfying variety of flavours. Since it’s rather mild overall, I would brew it gongfu style next time for best effect. I would drink this tea in the late morning or afternoon, since it’s a bit too delicate tasting as a morning jolt. This leaf would be a good introduction to the cultivar, given its reasonable price point. It’s definitely a good buy for those who like smooth, sweet teas.

— To purchase Cameron Tea Black Tea-Ruby, Competition Grade, 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: Spicely Sweet Turmeric Kick

Herbal Tea, Spicely, Stevia Leaf Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"It's sweet and distinctly turmeric with a nice spicy kick at the end."
Katie’s Teaview: 6.5/10
Your Reviews: 4/10
1 reader reviews | Add your review »

SpicelyturmerickThis is my first sample from Spicely, and my pre-tasting impression it both good and bad: Their packaging looks both unique and attractive, but their website, while pretty, is bogged down. I find myself digging around for awhile before happening on this blend, and when I do I see the sell by container and while it lists shipping weight, it doesn’t actually say how much tea you get in the tin. In my browsing, however, I did get to notice the part of the FAQ where Spicely boasts their “products contain no sweeteners”. Yet this particular blend contains Stevia. It’s not a big deal, but I felt it was a discrepancy worth mentioning.

I stir a level teaspoon of the bright yellow powder into a cup of 180° water. Flavour-wise, it delivers exactly what it promises: It’s sweet and distinctly turmeric with a nice spicy kick at the end. My main problem actually ends up being the Stevia Spicely adds. In general, if I want a tea sweetened (which I admittedly don’t often), I prefer to do it myself so I can control how sweet it is and use my preferred sweeteners. Stevia, while not a bad choice and a downright good one if you’re counting calories, isn’t my favourite. I don’t mind the added calories, and I prefer the flavour of honey or sugar. But mostly I just prefer not to have anything sweet added to my teas.

Overall, though, it’s an interesting, low-maintenance cup. I’m glad I got to try it. If you like turmeric or spicy blends, it’s definitely worth a shot. At the very least, it’s worth a try.

— To purchase Spicely Sweet Turmeric Kick, 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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