Review: ESP Emporium Punch Green Rooibos Tea

ESP Emporium, Fruit Flavored Tea, Rooibos Tea No Comments »
Melanie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"ESP Emporium has created this delicious blend containing green Rooibos, sunflower petals, freeze—dried blueberries, flavoring, cornflower petals. "
Melanie’s Teaview: 8.5/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 7.6/10
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espemporiumpunchrooibosVisiting ESP Emporium’s website is a feast for the eyes! They have some the most unique blends of herbal and herbal/tea mixes I have seen anywhere!

“Punch” is an herbal, green rooibos tea blend. Rooibos or “red tea” is not actually a tea at all, but comes from a bush most commonly grown in Africa. It is most common to find the oxidized form which looks like small red needles and has a sweet unique flavor.

Green rooibos is the same as red rooibos, only it made by stopping the natural fermentation and oxidation of the tea just after it is cut. It too, looks needle like and is a more greenish brown, rather than red.

Both red and green rooibos are very high in antioxidants, some minerals and vitamins. Both are naturally caffein free. It has been thought that green rooibos is even higher in these antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

There is, however, a great difference in the flavor. While red rooibos has a unique sweetness to it, green rooibos does not, and has more of a vegetal flavor. Personally, I prefer the green rooibos.

ESP Emporium has created this delicious blend containing green Rooibos, sunflower petals, freeze—dried blueberries, flavoring, cornflower petals.

I found it to be amazingly refreshing. It does take on quite a flavor of a tropical “punch”, and yet, it has a gentle taste of the vegetal green rooibos and is not at all sweet. Trying to count calories, I really enjoyed this tea with no sweetener, but add a bit of honey or sugar and you get an even stronger sense of the fruit flavors and more punch flavor!

This is a great tea for the evening time, as it has no caffeine. I love a hot, tasty tea in the evening – especially when I also know I am drinking something that is so good for my health!

The only negative I find with ESP Emporium Punch, is that it is not as brightly colored as the picture depicts. That seems to be the case in many of their teas, but they are not the only company guilty of sprucing up the color. Green rooibos is not a bright grass green. But to be honest, that really doesn’t matter much when a tea tastes as good as this one!

Visit ESP Emporium for more information on this tea and many more from their extensive product catalogue

Teaviews Member: Melanie Melanie
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Review: Davidson’s Tea Sun, Moon and Stars

Davidsons Tea, Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, Oolong Tea No Comments »
Chelsy’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Figure out how to personalize this tea to meet your palates fancies and Sun, Moon and Stars is bound to be a favourite."
Chelsy’s Teaview: 8.4/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 5.8/10
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Lovely organic jasmine scented tea, rounded organic Chinese oolong, and a light organic green tea from India is what the blend from Davidson’s tea contains. “Oolong is the sun for its round full flavor, jasmine the moon for its changeability and shape and the India green the stars for its lively flavor and light color.” says Davidson’s Tea Rep. I would also add that Jasmine is the moon because that is what it the flowers bloom beneath, moonlight. Sun, Moon and Stars from Davidson’s tea is quite the symposium of though provoking interest. The aromas of dry leaves, brewed leaves, and the tea itself are altogether outstanding and highly complex.

My only hesitation about the mixings of such diverse teas, the oolong and green, is that the standard oolong and green steeping time and temperatures don’t mesh well. Standard (which is a guideline, not a rule) time and temp for oolongs is 90-100 Celsius (195-212 Fahrenheit) and time ranges between 2 to 6 minutes. The much more delicate green has a standard temp of 79 Celsius (175) Fahrenheit with a smaller variable time of 2 to 3 minutes. How do you bring a down to earth negotiation out bickering tea specificities to get more than just a drinkable cup? Experiment. So that’s what I did.

I decided straight off that about 85 Celsius (185 Fahrenheit) was most likely to brew the oolong well, while maintaining the sanctity of the green. By eliminating one factor and varying the other, it should be decently simple to deduce the differences between different brew times. The final obstacle is to pacify the jasmine. Jasmine has a tendency to be very stringent and can be perverted into a very acidic disgustingness if it is not considered into the calculations. The odd thing about jasmine is that there is a crowd of people who typically adore a very pungent, briny jasmine flavour, and I am not one of them. However, if there are slightly over brewed Jasmine lovers out there I would recommend an 85 and 6 minute steep. Realistically, I don’t think that Jasmine was intended to be the domineering flavour of this cup, so I moved on to lesser brew times. The 4 minute brew was good, floral tasting all around and that was the flavour that lingered for about 90 seconds, and only that long. The Jasmine and the green from India cooperate very well together in this time steep. Very crisp, clear and fresh tones dominate the 4-minute. The smell is very interesting and highly alluring. A sort of candied carrot or creamed corn with nutmeg and sweetness comes out to play in the olfactory. The aroma, which was by far my favourite part, pair well with a brisk and cleansing taste. Finally, a 2-minute brew is mostly a balanced cycle of the sun, moon and stars. A bit weaker than I had intended, but a 3-minute compromise negates this fret.

Over all this tea has depth and wonderfulness woven all into it. My recommendation would be for Davidson’s tea to maintain this mixer of enmities, because they do mingle quite nicely if the drinker knows what they inherently prefer, what they want to taste and then how to reconcile the clashing time and temp regulations for a customized forbidden blend. Essentially, the brewer chooses which ingredient will be center stage, making the other two delicious supporting roles. 2.5-3 minutes for green, 3.5-4.5 for oolong, and 5-6 for jasmine.

The only issue is that experiment is necessary to yield the most pleasing cup, and this means that individuals must experiment or Davidson’s tea needs to publish a “How to” for Sun, Moon and Stars.

P.S. I like the buttery smooth coating quality found only in the 2-minute brew, but the 3.5-minute was by far and away my personalized pick.

— To purchase Davidson’s Tea Sun, Moon and Stars, 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: JING Assam Breakfast Black Tea

Assam Tea, Black Tea, JING Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I find myself drinking cup after cup until to my dismay, my entire sample is gone."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.9/10
Other Teaviews: Joe gave it 5.0/10, Jamie gave it 9.5/10, Vanessa gave it 8/10, Patty gave it 7/10, Dan gave it 9.0/10, Shaiha gave it 8.3/10, Lynn gave it 8/10, Erika gave it 8/10
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jingassambreakfast.jpgJING has only once come anywhere close to even resembling disappointing me with one of their teas, and since it was flavoured, it was more due to personal taste rather than the tea not being quality. So I expect big things from this company and jump at the chance to try their samples. The leaves are unimposing: Medium to small, somewhat choppy, black-brown with the occasional touch of gold. They smell exactly as I’d expect and hope, which is mostly malty with caramel notes, though this is heavier on the latter.

Three minutes, 185°, heaping teaspoon. The tea is malty, honey-like, and smooth. It is a very satisfying cup with a robust character. The beautiful rich burgundy liquor adds to the quality of the experience. It’s a wonderfully rich jolt, making it the perfect wake-up/breakfast tea.

Try as I might, I can’t pull a worthy second steep to match the first one. The price is low enough that even for a one-steeper, it’s a fine deal. After writing tasting notes, I find myself drinking cup after cup until to my dismay, my entire sample is gone. Despite how bold it is, this tea goes down smoothly and easily. Smooth, easy, and robust are all words I want to describe my breakfast blends, and this hits it on the nose. Add in the fact that I only have to worry about one steep and that it’s a reasonable price, and this is probably my new morning commute tea.

— To purchase JING Assam Breakfast 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: Katie Katie
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Review: Red Leaf Tea Rooibos Earl Grey

Bergamot Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Herbal Tea, Red Leaf Tea, Rooibos Tea No Comments »
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It seemed very close to - and I know this is an odd comparison - a rose wine."
Geoff’s Teaview: 7.8/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 4.2/10, Raven gave it 8.3/10
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Some two (or so) years ago, I was at a tea shop with my mother. While I was eying some shards of ’07 sheng puer lovingly, she opined about it being too late to have caffeine. We looked at the menu to find something herbal to sate her. She usually didn’t go for tisanes unless they knocked her out at night, such as chamomile. A few options down, we saw a “Rooibos Earl Grey” available. Since she was already a staunch Earl Grey sipper, that seemed the best faux-tea alternative.

Red Leaf Tea finally popped up in Teaviews circulation again. I happen to be rather fond of this company for two reasons; the first black tea I not only liked but loved was produced by them, and they had wine-scented teas. Props are due for a company that produces wine-scented teas. One of their offerings available to me was their Rooibos Earl Grey. Being my mother’s son – an Earl Grey convert – I had to try it once. Bergamot knows no bounds.

Brewing instructions called for 1 flat teaspoon of loose herb per 6oz cup of boiled water, steeped for five-to-six minutes. It being rooibos, I went the full six minutes, but used a tablespoon in 8oz of water. One can push the envelope with the South African herb.

The liquor was the usual color one expects of strongly-steeped rooibos – dark red. Close to the color of a Bloody Mary. The aroma was an unusual mix, the nut-sweet aspect of the roobios was there but also in tandem with something citrusy. It’s hard to call the scent pure, sour bergamot, though. It seemed very close to – and I know this is an odd comparison – a rose wine. Or an alcohol-laden chocolate like tiramisu, that unusual. The taste settled on something a bit more familiar. Bergamot was definitely present in its citrus-sour rind regality, but allowed the lovely rooibos to impart its wares to the water. It is what you expect.

Does it beat a regular Earl Grey? Or is it just “near-tea”? The answer to both is “no”. It is its own beast. Giving it an Earl Grey title puts a lot of pressure on a legume, but it wears the badge well in parts.

— To purchase Red Leaf Tea Rooibos 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: Geoff Geoff
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Review: Teas Etc. Tropical Madness

Mango Tea, Marigold Tea, Rooibos Tea, Teas Etc No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This blend is an instant ticket to the tropics! The perfect remedy for the dreariness of the cold time of the year short of going way south for the winter."
Shaiha’s Teaview: 9.1/10
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Something tells me that fall is coming. The nights are starting to get nippy and I am already dreaming of wintering in the tropics. Well since this is something that I can’t really afford, I go for the next best things which are teas that bring the tropics home. My sample this evening is one that should do just that.

I am rather excited to try Teas Etc.’s Tropical Madness because I have never tried a green rooibos before. I am slightly baffled though because when I read the blurb for this tea it claims to be a mix of both red and green rooibos but the ingredient listing shows just green rooibos, marigold petals and flavoring. The sample shows rooibos bits that are rather orange in color. Now I am not the expert but I would have thought that green rooibos would be…well green. Now there is no confusion about the aroma, it is delicious, mouthwatering mango.

I set this up to brew using the standard rooibos programming. I have to admit that my major complaint about rooibos is the amount of time that it takes to brew. I mean really. You get all revved up by the wonderful aromas and you have to wait like ten minutes when it is all said and done.

The resulting liquor is reddish in coloring. Maybe not as dark as I normally get with red rooibos but I was surprised at the coloring. I am really beginning to think that someone swapped out ingredients in my sample. The aroma again is delicious, mango with perhaps a hint of brown sugar.

That first taste…aw…now where was I? Okay now I don’t care if someone kidnapped my green rooibos. The taste as it rolls over the tongue is good enough that you forget all your concerns. The mango is the first flavor bursting thru to satisfy the tastebuds followed by a sweetness that is just slightly grassy. I am finding a bit of the characteristic nuttiness of the red rooibos but just a hint. Hmmm..okay now I am thinking that someone didn’t kidnap my greenness but instead disguised it.

Would I buy some of this blend for myself? You bet! Unfortunately, it is currently sold out. But it is going on that famous list for future consumption.

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: Shaiha Shaiha
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Review: Norbu Tea 2010 Spring Jade Dragon -Yunnan Green Tea

Green Tea, Norbu Tea No Comments »
Lynn’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The Norbu site uses the word “assertive” several times, and it is quite apt. One might call this dragon fierce."
Lynn’s Teaview: 9.5/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8.5/10
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“This extraordinary green tea comes from Tengchong county in the Baoshan Prefecture of Yunnan. Tengchong is in the far west of Yunnan on the border with Myanmar, and is very well known as the center of the jade & jadeite trade in the region. It was grown at an altitude of approximately 8,200 ft (2,500 M) near a village known locally as “Village of the Returning Dragon.” Our Jade Dragon is a traditional Yunnan green tea, which is characterized by a quick, high temperature wok firing step in processing which creates a unique look, penetrating aroma and flavor.” —Norbu Website

This interesting green tea is aromatic both dry and steeped. Dry, the curly, frosted green leaves , comprised of young leaves and buds, have a strong fruity, grassy fragrance.

Norbu’s brewing directions are fairly loose, so I tried using a tablespoon of dry leaf in 6 oz. of 175F water for two and a half minutes. The liquor was a pale green gold, with a strong fruity, toasty, grassy, somewhat vegetal fragrance. The flavor was a revelation, the most unusual of any green tea I have tasted to date: strongly fruity—sort of apricoty— with interesting little sparkles of tartness on the tip of my tongue. As it flowed over my palate it took on toasted, grassy notes, ending in a pleasant bitter sweetness, or Hui Gan. It was smooth, round, and mouth filling. The slightly drying finish was a mix of all the flavor notes, with a sweet toastiness the most prevalent, and lots of pleasant fragrance in the mouth. It squarely hit my three F’s: fragrance, flavor, and finish. The Norbu site uses the word “assertive” several times, and it is quite apt. One might call this dragon fierce.

Returning to the pot, I examine the steeped leaves. They were tremendously aromatic with all the scents I have described, and the leaves and buds measured anywhere from one to three inches in length. I tried a second three minute steep. This cup was equally fragrant and almost as complex, if not quite as intense. But it was very tasty and definitely worth a second steep.

This reasonably priced tea is a real winner, and a must-try for green tea lovers.

— To purchase Norbu Tea 2010 Spring Jade Dragon -Yunnan 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: Lynn Lynn
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