Review: Golden Tips CTC Assam Exotic Black Tea

Assam Tea, Golden Tips Tea No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"The flavor was very simple. It’s a strong, malty, bitter black tea."
Alexa’s Teaview: 5/10
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goldetipsassamexotctcGolden Tips is an older tea company that has been around since 1933. I recently tried a darjeeling from Golden Tips which I really loved. Their CTC Assam Exotic is an interesting black tea. CTC stands for “cut, tear, curl.” The tea leaves are rolled into tiny balls for a more robust cup of tea. One downfall of this tea is how it looks. It honestly isn’t a very attractive looking tea and reminds me of rabbit food. Despite the looks, the tea smells very rich and malty.

I steeped 1 teaspoon in 1 cup of water at 200F. I let the tea for about 4 minutes but, being a rather bold tea, I would recommend no longer then 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. 3 minutes was just perfect in my opinion. The leaves smell extra malty as they begin to steep. This tea has a very rich, bitter aroma as well.

The flavor was very simple. It’s a strong, malty, bitter black tea. I would guess it’s got a good amount of caffeine since it’s a second flush and I think it’s a great breakfast tea. It would be good paired with milk and sugar. It’s also good plain if you like a strong cup of tea in the mornings. It would be a good coffee substitute since it’s robust. Apart from tasting very malty, this tea also has some vegetal notes, unlike other black teas. Though it wasn’t as fresh and vibrant as my last cup of black tea, it was a nice morning drink.

— To purchase Golden Tips CTC Assam Exotic Black 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: Teasenz Anji White Tea

Green Tea, Teasenz No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The flavour is mildly vegetal with a brilliant grassy sweetness."
Katie’s Teaview: 9.7/10
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teasenzwhiteanjiDespite having the word “white” in the title, this is actually a green tea, one that is harder to find compared to some other famous Chinese leaves. I’ve had one amazing and one disappointing tea from Teasenz so far, so I’m not sure what to expect from my third sample from this company. This Spring 2014 harvest is from the Zhejiang Province, and the leaves are simple beautiful. They’re uniform, deep green spears, a whopping 1.5-2 inches in length each, and they smell vegetal and sweet. I put two grams in a pre-heated 6-ounce glass pot and brew at 176° for two minutes. The brewed leaves smell vegetal with a creamy sweetness.

The flavour is mildly vegetal with a brilliant grassy sweetness. At the risk of a metaphor that’s too pretentious, the only comparison I can think of is that it tastes exactly like the root of a blade of freshly-plucked grass. It brings to mind lounging around after a spring picnic. There’s zero harshness, bitterness, or acidity. The texture is smooth and buttery.

My second steep has picked up a touch of mineral flavour but is nearly as brilliant as the first. And by my three-minute third steep, the tea has mellowed significantly, but while it isn’t brilliant, it’s still delicious.

This tea is unbelievably sophisticated, tempting me to act more grandiose than I really deserve, but I don’t think it’s so subtle that it would alienate the more casual tea drinker. Chinese green teas can often command comparatively high prices. I don’t mind paying over $10 for an ounce of tea, but I won’t bother doing it unless it’s really worth the expense. And this brilliant leaf is worth every penny.

— To purchase Teasenz Anji White 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: Katie Katie
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Review: Organic India Tulsi Chai Masala Tea

Chai Tea, Organic India, Tulsi Tea No Comments »
Melanie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This is a very nice light bodied cup of tea, and yet with the addition of Assam black tea, you can add a bit of milk and honey and get away with it."
Melanie’s Teaview: 8/10
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organicindialogoOrganic India was formed cooperatively with farms in northern India to grow Tulsi. What is Tulsi you ask? Also known as “Holy Basil” – it is neither basil as we know it in Italian cooking, nor is it tea (camellia sinensis). It is a sacred herb of India considered to have healing powers. Hindus view Tulsi (also spelled Tulasi or Thulasi) as a goddess in the form of a plant bestowed with great spiritual and healing powers. It is still traditionally grown in an earthenware pot in every family home or garden, and the leaves are used to make a delicious and refreshing tea.

I first discovered Tulsi tea when I was struggling with an illness that caused my nervous system to be overstimulated. I was looking for ways to calm it down and read about Tulsi. I found Tulsi to be very calming and a great tea to drink before bed.

This tea, Tulsi Chai Masala is a combination of black tea and Tulsi, with spices added. These spices include Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Clove, Nutmeg, and Mace.

Each teabag makes a great cup of tea. I bring the fresh cold water to a boil and pour it over the teabag in a mug. I cover the mug and let it steep for 10 minutes. This is the time it takes to get a good steep out of the Tulsi, and I found that the black tea did not get bitter with this length of time.

If you expect a strong cup of black tea, you may be disappointed. This is a very nice light bodied cup of tea, and yet with the addition of Assam black tea, you can add a bit of milk and honey and get away with it.

The Tulsi adds a mint like freshness to the flavor. It doesn’t have the cool aftertaste of mint, but still, it reminds me of mint. It has a leafy flavor that is difficult to describe on it’s own. It pairs wonderfully with the black tea and spices. This has become one of my favorite afternoon teas.

I find this tea a little more stimulating because it also has black tea in it. But I often want a late afternoon cup of tea, and there doesn’t seem to be too much caffeine for me in the late afternoon, as there is in other black tea.

If you’ve never tried a Tulsi tea before, I would highly recommend this as your first try. It will have some familiar flavors of the chai spices, a body similar to a light black tea, but will introduce you to the added flavor and health benefits of Tulsi.

— To purchase Organic India Tulsi Chai Masala 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: Ambrosia Herb Pear Delight Organic

Ambrosia Herb, Anise Tea, Bai Mu Dan Tea No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I’m often against adding other ingredients to white tea since it can mask its delicate and subtle flavors. Ambrosia Herb managed not only to keep the delicate nature but enhanced it with other sweet, subtle ingredients. "
Alexa’s Teaview: 8.1/10
Your Reviews: 1/10
1 reader review | Add your review »

Ambrosia Herb’s Pear Delight Organic promises a lot and has even won a first place award in the category of flavored white tea. This tea is certified organic and contains white tea, anise star, and helichrysum. The white tea is a Bai Mu Dan and has a light, fresh aroma. I haven’t had a lot of teas with helichrysum flower. Helichrysum is a yellow weed often used in teas such as Zahraa, a common Middle Eastern tea. This tea has a multitude of health benefits; Helichrysum helps with respiratory conditions and coughs. It can also help cleanse your liver and calm your stomach. White tea is high in antioxidants and can reduce stress. Because of the Bai Mu Dan, this tea also has some caffeine.

I steeped 1 teaspoon in a cup of water at 190F. The leaves smell fruity and a tad citrusy. It’s really amazing how much this blend smells of pears despite literally containing no pears. The anise smells very sweet while the helichrysum smells fruity, creating a pear-like aroma. I let the tea steep for about 5 minutes and then began to enjoy. The flavor of this tea becomes stronger as you drink it. It’s best to have by itself, no additives and no food alongside it. If you eat something sweet before drinking this tea, it will mask the flavor.

This overall flavor is very light and subtle and yet the fruity, pear flavor is very evident. There wasn’t a ton of anise in my leaves but I got the subtle sweetness and spice from it and it really leaves a nice aftertaste in your mouth. The helichrysum helped create a pear-like flavor. Helichrysum is known to add a honey-like sweetness to tea and is known to have a fruity, herb taste. If you really smell the tea you can also detect a straw smell that helichrysum is said to have. The Bai Mu Dan creates a fresh, mellow taste. It’s a very delicate white tea. Though all the ingredients have their own flavor profile, they all seem to come together to create the essence of pears.

I can definitely see why this tea has won awards. I’m often against adding other ingredients to white tea since it can mask its delicate and subtle flavors. Ambrosia Herb managed not only to keep the delicate nature but enhanced it with other sweet, subtle ingredients.

— To purchase Ambrosia Herb Pear Delight Organic, 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: Golden Tips Halmari Gold

Assam Tea, Black Tea, Golden Tips Tea No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"My first sip was enough to make me a confirmed Assam lover for life. It has a well rounded texture that just rolls over the tongue with an exquisite flavor."
Shaiha’s Teaview: 9.5/10
Your Reviews: 8/10
3 reader reviews | Add your review »

goldentipshalmariToday I get to review an Assam from one of my favorite companies to get Darjeeling from. Golden Tips has been in business since 1933 and they are based in the heart of India’s tea country so they are able to get the teas within hours of production. They make sure to vacuum seal their teas so you can taste the freshness.

My sample today has a wonderful blend of dark brownish black and gold leaves with an aroma that is fruity, and malty. Just checking out these dry leaves are enough to make my mouth water.

I set them up to brew using boiling water and a steep time of three minutes. The resulting liquor is a dark reddish brown with a strong fragrance of malt, vanilla and just a hint of fruitiness.

My first sip was enough to make me a confirmed Assam lover for life. It has a well online slots rounded texture that just rolls over the tongue with an exquisite flavor. It tastes of malt, vanilla, dark chocolate blended in perfect proportions. As it cools, a hint of caramel and stone-fruit join the party. Delicious!

This has to be the best Assam that I have had the pleasure of drinking. While it is pricier then the usual, I think that it is well worth it and I am considering picking some up for my collection as a treat.

— To purchase Golden Tips Halmari Gold, 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 So Tea Organic Black Tea

Black Tea, Organic Tea, Tea so Tea No Comments »
Melanie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Unlike most teabags, these are not dust or fannings. Though somewhat broken, once its brewed, you can see that most of the leaves are only broken in half."
Melanie’s Teaview: 5/10
Your Reviews: 5.7/10
3 reader reviews | Add your review »

teasoblackvanillaTea So Tea teas are certified Fair Trade, Carbon Neutral and forest garden grown. These Sri Lankan teas come in beautiful pyramid bags that are 100% biodegradable.

The first thing that I notice when I pull out a Tea So Tea teabag, is that the tea leaves are very large. Unlike most teabags, these are not dust or fannings. Though somewhat broken, once its brewed, you can see that most of the leaves are only broken in half.

The second thing I noticed, is that, though the tea is beautiful and full leaved, there is not as much tea in the tea bag as I would use for a cup of tea. But different teas can require different measurements so I went ahead and brewed it just like I had measured one tea scoop of tea. I used fresh water, and steeped it, covered, for 4 minutes.

I found the cup of tea to be quite weak and watery. I put the teabag in to brew it a bit longer, but that only made the tea bitter. So the next time, I used a smaller cup and didn’t fill it up all the way. It was better. It was a very light cup of tea and I couldn’t steep it more than 4 min or it turned bitter. But once I figured out the measurements, it was a pretty nice cup of tea.

I love that this black tea is organic. I don’t like that the cup of tea is so small. So, I’m kind of on the fence about this one. There’s nothing wrong with it. It just doesn’t jump out at me as being more convenient than loose leaf tea, and it didn’t stand out as having a flavor that drew me back to wanting more.

I tend to want my teaspoon to stand up in the tea (ie: I like a strong bodied black tea). This would be a better teabag for those that want a small light cup of tea, rather than tea drinkers like me.

— To purchase Tea So Tea Organic Black 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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