Review: Chateau Rouge Jasmine Downy Pearls

Chateau Rouge, Green Tea, Jasmine Tea No Comments »
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The dark, cidery gold liquor has a fantastic, slightly "smoky" flavor that merges perfectly with a sultry jasmine."
Jamie’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 5/10
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chateaurougejasminedownypearlsChateau Rouge offers this jasmine green tea in an attractive format, tightly wound, tiny little pearls about half the size of the “usual” pearls I have tried. The fragrance of the pearls has a lovely scent of jasmine, and the introduction of hot water brings out a rush of sweet floral fragrance that is extremely appealing.

The green leaves breathe out fragrance as they unfurl completely – letting go of watery white petals of jasmine in the process. The dark, cidery gold liquor has a fantastic, slightly “smoky” flavor that merges perfectly with a sultry jasmine for a flavor impression that makes you sit and pay close attention to what you are tasting. I say “smoky” but I mean that not in the sense of something like a Lapsang Souchong at all. In fact, it’s more smoky in the sense that you are tasting a bit of the processing of the leaf itself. The “smokiness” is more like a step up from a roasted flavor – and perhaps is somewhat the taste result of an alchemy between leaf and flower. Whatever it is that produces it, it’s incredibly pleasing!

Aside from the fantastic flavor of leaf and flower, the tea is wonderfully textural, filling the mouth and nose with full feeling and rich scent and flavor. The finish is very dry but doesn’t seem especially astringent or puckery. As the tea cools a bit, a high, fresh and lightly vegetal taste is discernible – peeking out intriguingly from the interesting “smoky” floral brew.

A second infusion is worth making, but even with a longer steep time loses much of the jasmine effect and is much more vegetal, offering a new dimension to the tea. Overtones of a roasted or very faintly charcoal like nuance are engaging and fresh paired with the vegetal and make the second infusion a lively cup as well.

I highly recommend this jasmine from Chateau Rouge!

— To purchase Chateau Rouge Jasmine Downy Pearls, 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: Jamie Jamie
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Review: Azafran de la Mancha Saffron Tea Green

Azafran de la Mancha, Green Tea, Saffron Tea No Comments »
Troy’s Teaview Snapshot
Not Great"A bagged green tea with a hint of saffron, but sadly only a hint."
Troy’s Teaview: 4/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 8.2/10, Raven gave it 5.8/10
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The Saffron Crocus is a bit of an odd duck botanically, bred for its flavorful stamen the Crocus only blooms in late fall, as apposed to the late winter, early spring of most of the crocus family. The Saffron crocus is also practically sterile due to its freakishly large, but rather tasty, reproductive organs. I suppose it is the size that counts…

At any rate I’m reviewing Azafran Los Molinos De La Mancha Saffron Tea Green, not the reproductive biology of the domesticated Saffron. Although I don’t know in what order these reviews will appear on the site, since I’ve already reviewed their black tea, I’ll go ahead and reference that just a bit.

As with the Black tea blend I was a bit taken aback by the limited effect of the saffron. The saffron is present, but its very mild and really just sits in the background, the green tea blend isn’t anything particularly special, just another bagged generic green tea, but the saffron should be a bit stronger to differentiate itself. Again, as with the black tea, lots of potential, its drinkable, and it’d be fine in the very same situations any bagged tea is fine, but it really doesn’t stand out.

— To purchase Azafran de la Mancha Saffron Tea Green, 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: Troy Troy
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Review: Tea Needs Silver Nail

Green Tea, Tea Needs No Comments »
Chelsy’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Gossamer of the greens, artsy hand twisted nail shape and a smile on my face."
Chelsy’s Teaview: 6.4/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8.6/10
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teaneedssilvernailA green tea, of utmost quality, hand twisted into the shape of a nail. The twisting speaks to the strength of the leaf and the colour also says it is a delicate flavour bringer.

The first time that this tea was made I left the brewing to a dear friend of mine. Although she meant well, she neglected everything that she has ever known about tea and scorched the silver nails at 212 Fahrenheit, 100 Celsius, death to green tea temperature. Don’t ever do that with this delicate beauty, or for that matter any green or white tea.

The second and other progressive brews of Silver Nail, were much more successful at about 175-180 Fahrenheit, about 80 Celsius. I brewed at these temperatures for a small range of two to two and a half minutes. The tea brews a very lite green-yellow colour that honestly, doesn’t look like it has much flavour at all (I have seen white teas brew more colour than Silver Nail). However, since the tea looks like its a silvery-metallic green when it is dry, it should come to no surprise that it produces those colours in water. There isn’t a whole lot to sniff while the tea is brewing, but once decanted a smell of the leaves/nails reveals a vegetal and solid green aroma.

The taste and smell of the final product of Silver Nail is a finespun green bean and sauteed green pepper flavour. The last cup that I drank was when I was studying molecular genetics, and this tea kept interrupting my studies making me want to figure out the chemical composition that gave the tea this particularly delicious, yet highly distracting taste. Definitely a fine treading tea on the palate, I believe I would classify this under delicate and after lunch.

— To purchase Tea Needs Silver Nail, 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: Canton Tea Co. Jiu Qu Hung Mei

Black Tea, Canton Tea Co. No Comments »
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Strong malty notes really lead the way, but there is also a distinct fruitiness which provides a pleasant and natural sweetness. "
Vanessa’s Teaview: 8.7/10
Other Teaviews: Raven gave it 8.1/10
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cantonquanhungUnlike its name, the flavor of Canton Tea Company’s Jiu Qu Hung Mei is easy and accessible. The dried leaves look pretty much like any high quality loose leaf black tea, not standing out for any particular reason. However, after brewing, this tea does indeed stand out among a crowd of black teas. The brewed tea is a reddish-coppery color, with a very pleasing fruity aroma. I found that this tea drinks much like an Assam black tea, with strong malty notes really leading the way. There is also a distinct fruitiness which provides a pleasant and natural sweetness and takes an edge off what might otherwise be a too-strong maltiness. The tea is brisk and bold, therefore certainly well-suited for morning consumption. However, I found that this tea was also just as enjoyable and appropriate at later times of the day. Although this tea had a wonderful mouthfeel quality to it, I didn’t notice any unpleasant heaviness that can sometimes accompany a strong black tea. This tea is a self-drinker; no need to add any dairy or sugar to this brew. Jiu Qu Hung Mei is one of many Canton tea offerings that I have had the pleasure to sample in the last month or so, and this tea just reaffirms my impression of Canton Tea Co. as a reputable and high-quality purveyor of Chinese teas. I plan on purchasing some teas from Canton Tea Co. very soon, and this selection will be one of the first items dropped into my online shopping cart. This tea is highly recommended, and I think it will appeal to seasoned black tea lovers as well as those who don’t necessarily always prefer black tea.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Jiu Qu Hung Mei, 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: Vanessa Vanessa
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Review: Teatulia Bengal Breakfast

Black Tea, Teatulia No Comments »
Nicole’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Brisk enough for a wake up call but did not have the bite that one would expect from a breakfast tea"
Nicole’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Stephen gave it 8/10, Erika gave it 8/10, Dave gave it 6/10, CJ gave it 9/10
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tetulia-bengal-breakfast.jpgTeatulia’s teas are all grown in their garden in Northern Bangladesh. I love that their teas are packaged in eco-friendly containers. I steeped this tea using an infuser basket with 212 degree water for two minutes. The leaves were a rich brown color and the shape of them was elegantly long and twisted. They were actually quite large for a breakfast style black tea. Typically the leaves are prepared in the cut-tear-curl style so this was refreshing change.

I’m a big fan of this type of tea (especially on Monday mornings) but sometimes they can be a bit too astringent. This tea was brisk enough for a wake up call but did not have the bite that one would expect. It was smooth and slightly malty with a sweet finish to each sip. I tried this one iced and it was just as delicious. The package of this tea says “Let the Sun Shine” and I think that sums it up pretty nicely. I would definitely recommend this tea.

— To purchase Teatulia Bengal Breakfast, 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: Nicole Nicole
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Review: Azafran de la Mancha Saffron Tea Black

Azafran de la Mancha, Black Tea, Saffron Tea No Comments »
Troy’s Teaview Snapshot
Not Great"A basic Bagged black, the saffron is more gimmick than cup presence. Not a bad tea, but it doesn't really stand out either."
Troy’s Teaview: 4/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 6.9/10, Katie gave it 7.0/10, Erika gave it 5/10, Raven gave it 6.7/10
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Saffron threads seen through the bag of a black tea are rather enticing. I don’t think there is a foodie alive who can’t identify Saffron at a thousand paces. King of Spices, Queen of herbs, Red stamens of a somewhat tricky crocus plant, lovingly coaxed to full flavor in the rich waters and bright sun of the Mediterranean.

It brews quick and smells.. like breakfast, I think the black tea might be one of the many British breakfast blends. Its not really stunning on its own, its only particularly interesting because of the mellow saffron notes. A part of me wonders what the point of this blend is. I mean the saffron should take center stage really, the Parent company (Natural Ecologic Saffron) of Azafran is a Saffron importer that would seem to be the whole point of the brand.

Being a black tea I thought to try it with Milk and Sugar, but both are only good at mellowing abrasive flavors and heightening spicy flavors, neither of which is at issue. I did, however, ice a batch to try and bring out the floral saffron, but the difference in intensity was negligible.

I wouldn’t rate this poorly, i don’t think its bad, its definitely drinkable, and for the tea-bag friendly set it’d be a nice change of pace. Though, really, why not produce a slightly higher quality product with more saffron for a premium price rather than diluting it with a fairly standard breakfast blend?

— To purchase Azafran de la Mancha Saffron Tea 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: Troy Troy
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