Review: Tiger Spring Tea Lazy Green Tea

Green Tea, Tiger Spring Tea No Comments »
Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"With its relaxing suave, the tea coaxes with an interestingly different vegetal character of ferns and brussel sprouts, yet it may be a bit too dozy to awaken everyone’s tastes. "
Raven’s Teaview: 6.4/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 7.5/10, Vanessa gave it 7.2/10, Jamie gave it 8.0/10, Katie gave it 7.4/10
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tigerspringlazygreenAmidst the day to day rush of the rat race, I often think instead of the race between the tortoise and the hare. When there are times when I feel like I could never have enough hands to do all that I’d like, the tortoise’s victory over the slick hare is kind of a beacon. Does slow and steady win the race? And can one achieve more with a lazy pace? As much as I can revel in what can seem the frenetic pace of Gongfu cha, there are days when it is the sloth in me that sounds the bell for tea. When I saw Tiger Spring Tea’s Lazy Green tea, a green from Vietnam, I couldn’t help but be curious. “Did the tea make itself?” perhaps after uttering some Vietnamese abracadabra to conjure the leaves to water? But as I know too well, nothing is ever that easy outside of the land of fables. So the ease of Tiger Spring Tea’s green is the lackadasical brewing style they suggest. With ‘a pinch of leaves and water just off the boil’, one can snooze through a steep for a minute or two for a lazy cup without any fine measures, stopwatches or precise instrumentation or one can just drink up with the leaves still tucked in at the bottom of the cup.

The leaves don’t look all that lazy though, presenting a wiry bluish green mix of curly-q’s and twists as if to underscore one needs to unwind. However, the powdery matte cover of the large frenzied leaves and stems does lend a dozy air. Similarly, the leaves’ scent is pretty laid back, to make one come to it, rather than it coming to you. Yet a light talc in the fragrance languidly stretches out with a dense vegetal character that is unique and refreshing. The vegetal notes seem hardier than Chinese or Japanese greens I’ve come to know that suggest brussel sprouts or cabbage and bay leaves with a kelpy edge.

In order to relax through a cup, I brewed for two minutes. Although I tried to be as lazy about it as I could, my anal tendencies, small hands (big pinch or little pinch) and bad sense of timing still required some guidance so I used two teaspoons at 175°F. There’s nothing idle or sleepy about the colour of the lively yellow green brew that radiates after steeping yet a slight haze yawns from the cup. The cup awakens with a medium aroma of ferns and brussel sprouts that ends with a wink of blackberry to arouse one for a sip. The light to medium body comforts with a light vegetal character without any bitterness, making it a real smooth talker. It is also an easy going, moderately rounded character, with a taste reminiscent of canned green beans with bean and swiss chard notes highlighted by a touch of saltiness that suggests a dash of butter. Though a bit savoury, warm and amiable, the smiling surface doesn’t quite have the depth to offer a richness to the vegetal flavours as it seems almost watery. Perhaps suitably, as one lingers on the lazy buttery greens, the tea slips off the tongue quickly with little aftertaste.

After a short nap or siesta, another steeping for slightly longer brings a nicely darker yellow cup as the leaves still seem leisurely laying in the cup, hardly tousled. One can notice the difference in the thicker veined leaves from the Vietnamese plants while there is quite a lot of stems to the large leaves. The scent of the cup is quite light with only a marine and mineral freshness in the taste that is a bit more sleepy than many may favour. Yet even after steeping for longer, the tea isn’t bitter with only a hint of dryness so it would likely be forgiving if over-brewed.

With its laid back attitude and unique flair, Tea Spring’s Lazy Green is a pleasant change for dazy days you don’t want to get out of bed or when you’re more interesting in playing with your remote control than a timer.

— To purchase Tiger Spring Tea Lazy Green 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: Raven Raven
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Review: Hibisca

Hibisca, Hibiscus Tea, Vanilla Tea No Comments »
Laura’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Ok, well now that I have completely sucked down this entire 5 fl oz bottle in record time and have a nice buzz going from checking out it's merits as a cocktail mixer (this is a tough gig), I have to say that I am quite impressed with it."
Laura’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 9/10, Dan gave it 8.5/10, Katie gave it 9.0/10
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hibisca-750“Hibisca is a gourmet beverage that can be used in the kitchen to behind the bar. It can be enjoyed stand alone chilled or mixed with your favorite hot tea or fruit juice.” —Hibisca website.

When I originally requested a sample of this, I wasn’t sure if I was doing it a dis-service or not as I am not a huge fan of hibiscus in general—at least when used in fruit tisanes as I usually find it to be too tart. However, when I went out to check the TryHibisca website, they were marketing it a cocktail mixer and I got to thinking about the rum and vodka in my refrigerator and became intrigued. Hibisca lists the ingredients in this as filtered water, brewed organic hibiscus sabdariffa, pure cane sugar, natural vanilla extract and spices. The Hibisca is dark in color and looks a lot like red wine. My sense is that this stuff would stain and I would hesitate in giving it to small children or to adults as a cocktail mixer when milling around my house with light colored carpet. I digress.

I first prepared a bit of the Hibisca poured over ice cubes and braced myself to be disgusted by it’s tartness. While this is a tad on the tart side, I think a better description of it is tangy. It also has a delicious vanilla backdrop. The combination of the tangy yet sweet hibiscus juice and the vanilla flavor is really quite interesting and tasty. I spent a little time trying to figure out what the spices are in it and I sense there is some pepper and maybe some nutmeg? Regardless, it is delicious. I don’t know that I would drink this in large quantities without diluting it a little as it is a tad syrupy though not excessively so. Also, like any sweet drink or juice, this is not low in calories (130 cals per 8 fl oz) and it contains a fair amount of sugar (33 grams per 8 fl oz).

After trying a bit of this plain, I decided to check this out as a cocktail mixer. Hibisca actually has a number of cocktail recipes on their website and has one that sounds particularly good called a Caribbean Breeze, which includes Hibisca, Malibu Coconut Run and pineapple juice. Since I don’t have any pineapple juice, I just mixed it with the Malibu Coconut Rum and can I just say, “Oh, freakin YUM!!” I also happen to have a little bit of Vanilla Grey Goose and have to say that this paired with that to make a delicious and smooth drink as well. I also actually tried this mixed with a bit of coconut milk and that is also very yummy (though there is a tendency for the coconut milk to curdle a bit). I can see that this would be good as a sorbet or ice cream. Hibisca indicates on their website that this makes a great vinaigrette and I would very much like to see an actual recipe for that if it involves something more than mixing with vinegar.

Ok, well now that I have completely sucked down this entire 5 fl oz bottle in record time and have a nice buzz going from checking out it’s merits as a cocktail mixer (this is a tough gig), I have to say that I am quite impressed with it. This is a very versatile drink that isn’t too tart as is the case with many tisanes that contain hibiscus as an ingredient. I can see why they wanna market this stuff to tea peeps though I didn’t actually mix any of this with tea (though I suspect it would be tasty). This is also an excellent mixer with alcohol and one that I think is a must-have in the refrigerator during the warm summer months. It appears that you are only likely to find this in a local store in NC at this time, but I would recommend picking some of this up off of their website for the summer months ahead of us if it sounds appealing to you. I just placed an order for a 12.7 oz bottle for $5.99 through the Hibisca website and received free shipping when checking out through Amazon. Totally worth it.

— To purchase Hibisca, 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: Laura Laura
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Review: Teas Etc. Raspberry Rose Petal

Apple Tea, Herbal Tea, Hibiscus Tea, Rose Hip Tea, Rose Tea, Teas Etc No Comments »
Chelsy’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"There's no raspberries in this Raspberry tea, but the herbal fruitiness is something to enjoy. "
Chelsy’s Teaview: 5.5/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 8/10, Sophie gave it 7.5/10
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teasetcraspberryroseI am not sure how I feel about the names of food items that we associated with a certain flavours being in the names of a tisanes when the actual food item is not present in the tisane. For example, this tea is called “Raspberry Rose Petal” and contains no raspberries or their leaves. The ingredients list includes: Hibiscus flower, lemon peel, red rose petals, rose hips, apple pieces and flavor. That little afterthought, “and flavour” means that someone who is connected with the naming scheme has a palate memory that suggests raspberry.

There happen to be many fruits that have a tart and crisp taste to them, strawberries, black berries, kiwi, to name a few. I have a different idea of what a raspberry tastes like, and attempting to capture one aspect of it doesn’t really qualify it for such a name in my opinion, however it is a fruitful bouquet that will be an adventure to figure out exactly what it reminds each individual of. For me, raspberries are tart and sweet. Juicy and slightly crunchy, because of their seeds.

This tea was a bit bitter (at certain brew times, the more lenghty ones) and tart. It brewed a pretty reddish orange colour. So basically, a tea that needs custom fit to each consumer, but a lovely iced tea, especially in the up and coming summer time. I have an inkling it could be a crowd favourite at the next outdoor excursion I hold.

Special Offer! For a limited time, Teas Etc is offering deep discounts on their product line. If you're interested in purchasing this tea or others from Teas Etc, shop now by clicking this link: Teas Etc

Teaviews Member: Chelsy Chelsy
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Review: KTeas Captain’s Blend Earl Grey

Bergamot Tea, Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Earl Grey Tea, KTeas No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Not my cup of tea but one I recommend others give a try as it uses top rate Darjeeling and Bergamot."
Shaiha’s Teaview: 6.2/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 7.5/10, Geoff gave it 8/10, Sophie gave it 7/10, Laura gave it 5.75/10
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kteaslogoFor years I thought that I didn’t care for Earl Grey teas perhaps because I am neither British or captain a star ship. But then I tried one that knocked my socks off. So I have been trying a few others and have come to the conclusion that I am not an Earl Grey drinker regardless of that one exception. I just wanted to get that out of the way as it will color my review.

In Captain’s Blend Earl Grey, KTeas uses the finest ingredients such as First Flush Darjeeling and first rate bergamot oil. The aroma of my sample is all about the bergamot. There is something about that scent that wakes me right up and I can easily see why it has so many followers as a morning beverage. The tea leaves themselves are thin, wiry and golden brown in coloring.

I set up my tea-maker using a tablespoon of tea to 32 ounces of water. The settings I used were for a water temp of 210 degrees and a three minute steep time. The resulting liquor is a golden brown in color. I can now pick up the fruitiness of the Darjeeling in the aroma as the bergamot has faded a bit.

Now the taste is where it gets me. I wasn’t able to pick up any of the Darjeeling thru the bitterness of the bergamot. And I am even sure why I don’t care for bergamot as I love the smell and I love the sourness of lemons and grapefruit. The mouthfeel is light and crisp with a medium dryness.

I do recommend that folks that like Earl Grey teas give this one a try. KTeas does have excellent teas and I see that other reviewers have rated this tea highly. So please ignore me and form your own opinion.

— To purchase KTeas Captain’s Blend 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: Shaiha Shaiha
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Review: CoffeeWiz.com King’s Tea Rose Oolong

Coffeewiz.com, Oolong Tea, Rose Tea No Comments »
Chelsy’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I have always been a sucker for oolong and rose; put them together and the angels sing. "
Chelsy’s Teaview: 8.7/10
Other Teaviews: Katie gave it 7.0/10
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coffewizroseoolongWith whole miniature rose buds and jade coloured Oolong leaves, how could I possibly resist? Essentially, I am a sucker for rose, which I did not truly understand until date night rolled around and we tried some rose gelato. That gelato reminded me of this tea in wide ways, and good news is that I love them both. The amber liquor of the brew is has a fantasy appeal, reminding me of a smooth and hintingly creamy drink with a viscosity of pure water. A nutty aroma given off by the leaves post-steep is darling, and well fitting to the cup. There’s also a warm, fresh cut garden aroma that glides up with the steamy evaporation. The finish and aftertaste is sweet and simple rose. Obviously, if rose is not something the drinker enjoys, they will dislike this tea. On the contrary, I found this gem wonderfully enjoyable and uplifting.

The one mistake I did make with this tea was to drink it when I had no access to food. I had three cups in one morning and I was famished by 10 am. I don’t know what it did, or I this is a “health benefit,” all I know is that it should be drank when there’s food in the tummy and/or close by.

— To purchase CoffeeWiz.com King’s Tea Rose 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: Chelsy Chelsy
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Review: Life in Teacup Dong Ding Cui Yu Oolong Competition Grade IV

Life in Teacup, Oolong Tea No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"An engaging, complex and constantly evolving tea, it's well worth the price, especially given the number of infusions that can be had from the leaves. Something lovers of floral oolongs should investigate."
Sophie’s Teaview: 7.3/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 8.8/10, Raven gave it 8.5/10, Laura gave it 8/10
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dongdinglifeteacupThe name is a mouthful but it almost all makes sense once it’s broken down. Dong Ding translates literally to “frozen summit”. This mountain is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious tea plantations in Taiwan, some going back to the XIX century. Cui Yu is a cultivar developed in Taiwan that is known for its delicate floral aromas. Life in Teacup’s website informs me that this particular batch was harvested in winter 2009 and roasted according to traditional standards. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to include any information regarding the grading process, so I’m not too sure what to make of it.

Tightly rolled little balls of leaves tumble out of the light-proof, vacuum-sealed bag. Dark green verging on black, they have a beautiful spring-fresh scent to them, evoking a bouquet of lilac, lily of the valley and cherry blossoms. Short of a gaiwan, I decide the next best thing for this review would be to use my Korean teacup with it’s built-in strainer. Following the detailed instructions on the website, I first rinsed 5 grams of leaves in water heated to 95 degrees Celsius. I then proceeded to the first 20 second infusion. The greenish gold brew retained some of it’s initial floral perfume, albeit in a much more subdued fashion. Buttery vegetal notes are followed by a delicately dry, lingering finish with a fruity undertone. More strongly scented with warm grass and straw notes, the flavours of the second 20 second infusion seem more evenly balanced. Smooth vanilla, orchid and narcissus aromas meld with a lightly astringent asparagus-like finish. The next 20 second infusion is again beautifully perfumed with the scent of springtime blooms. In fact the flavour profile seems more focused on the floral notes this time around with a muscatel kick to the aftertaste. The body of the tea, which had been pleasantly liquorous up to this point, seems to have lightened considerably. For the fourth infusion, I decide to steep the leaves for 45 seconds. Again thinner in body, this brew is more subtle but still engaging. Sweet grainy notes lead to a more mentholated finish. For my final fifth infusion, I let the leaves steep for a full minute. Although completely unfurled and cooked-looking at this point, the leaves are still fragrant. The flavour is now gently reminiscent of honey and cooked fruit, with a vegetal undertone. The dryness of the aftertaste has all but disappeared by now. One could probably push this tea through several more infusions. However in the interest of time, I will have to pause here.

An engaging, complex and constantly evolving tea, it’s well worth the 6.30$ for 28 grams, especially given the number of infusions that can be had from the leaves. Although I didn’t find it down right irresistible, this offering is definitely something to investigate for all lovers of floral oolongs.

— To purchase Life in Teacup Dong Ding Cui Yu Oolong Competition Grade IV, 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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