Review: Culinary Teas Assam Borengajuli

Assam Tea, Black Tea, Culinary Teas No Comments »
Dan’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A 5-minute steep resulted in the best cup. A dollop of milk and a teaspoon of sugar brought a new dimension to the cup, extracting a stronger, bolder character out of the tea, while enhancing it with sweet creaminess. "
Dan’s Teaview: 7.3/10
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The Borengajuli Estate has come into excellence at a slow and painstaking pace. At one point many years ago, the estate managers selected only the best bushes that yielded the highest-quality tea leaves, and began to propagate new plants from them (natural cloning). The lesser-quality plants on the estate were replaced with these new “perfect” tea bushes. The process was repeated over and over, and years later the estate was replete with 100% high-quality bushes.

The dried leaf gives off an aroma that has that warm, banana-nut toastiness to it that I love about Assams. The leaves are broken, medium-to-small in size. Upon researching this tea, it was apparently the guinea pig for a developing vacuum sealing technology, which proved so successful that Borengajuli uses it for all of their teas they produce. As such, this Assam is exposed to oxygen for 2 hours or less, resulting in a very fresh product.

Experimenting with 3, 4 and 5-minute infusions, the 5-minute steep resulted in the best cup. A dollop of milk and a teaspoon of sugar brought a new dimension to the cup, extracting a stronger, bolder character out of the tea, while enhancing it with sweet creaminess.

High expectations come with such deep history of perfection and freshness. I was anticipating a perfect Assam cup, straight-up, but feel that I have had better. That said, this is a very nice, and great quality tea. I particularly enjoyed it with sweetener and cream. But on its own, to me it just seemed “good”, not “perfect.”

— To purchase Culinary Teas Assam Borengajuli, 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: Dan Dan
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Review: EuroTcup Lemon Whirl

Chamomile Tea, EuroTcup, Fruit Flavored Tea, Lemon Tea, Lemongrass Tea, Rooibos Tea No Comments »
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"As the tea cools in the cup it comes into its truest flavor profile -a candy like lemon flavor that's just on the cusp of tasting "too lemony to be true" with a chamomile/rooibos creaminess that is smooth and tasty and stays a part of the cup throughout."
Jamie’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: Chantal gave it 9/10, Geoff gave it 8/10
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Lemon Whirl is the second tisane I’ve sampled from Euro T Cup. This one is a blend based around organic green rooibos. The blend is full of lemon grass and chamomile as well as some curious sugary looking pieces that have a vague resemblance to mini marshmallows. The Euro T Cup website mentions lemon and lemon peel being part of the mix of ingredients as well. The scent of the blend is highly lemony, but more in a creamy sense than a zingy, sweet and sour sense. I wonder if this is partly to do with the inclusion of chamomile in the blend, which with lemon and green rooibos seems an interesting pairing that I’m looking forward to trying. The scent is pretty good overall, but there’s something just a bit over the top in the lemony-ness and I wonder if the curious sugar bits (they are shaped a bit like tiny capsules) have something to do with this.

I started out steeping a teaspoon of blend per 8 ounces of boiled water for 5 minutes, but found this yielded a cup that tasted too dilute. So I upped the ratio by doubling the amount of tisane and leaving other parameters the same and this seemed to be closer to correct. I then used a tablespoon per 8 ounces, and this was the case where more was better. Increase the amount you use and you get a completely different tasting cup. I enjoyed the strong brewing most of all, while I didn’t care for the weak brewing much at all and found the middle brewing was pretty good too.

I had been worried that this might be a really weird tasting beverage due to the candy-like scenting, but brewed, it’s more toned down and is fairly light and somewhat natural tasting. The blend is sweet and lemony and balanced – despite there being a pretty good showing of both lemongrass and lemon as well as chamomile in the blend, no one flavor completely takes over, and the rooibos provides a nice body. The tea is light and lemony and not too heavy. It could be a nice nightcap and it could work equally well as an iced drink or something warm on a rainy afternoon. As the tea cools in the cup it comes into its truest flavor profile -a more candy like lemon flavor that’s just on the cusp of tasting a little “too lemony to be true” and a chamomile/rooibos creaminess that is smooth and tasty and stays a part of the cup throughout.

My only disappointment with this blend was that the scent and generally the taste was a little too intense – there were times I would be enjoying a sip and then get an aftertaste or some tingle along the way that just tasted a bit fake to me. I enjoyed the inclusion of lemon as well as chamomile in the mix and thought that it made an important contribution to the taste, but for someone seeking a very natural tasting lemon tisane, this one fell just a little short. The tisane was just a little too candy-like for me to want to seek out for the cupboard, but I can’t say this was a bad tasting tea when I found a brewing strength that I liked. If strong or intense flavors in tea delight you and don’t intrude in your pleasure with the product, then I would recommend this tea as being lemony and sweet and nicely smooth/creamy as well.

— To purchase EuroTcup Lemon Whirl, 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: White August Silver Threads

White August Tea Co., White Tea No Comments »
Chantal’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A refreshing white tea with a subtle floral essence. "
Chantal’s Teaview: 8.5/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8.5/10, Raven gave it 7/10, Katie gave it 6.4/10
Your Reviews: 6/10
4 reader reviews | Add your review »

Silver Threads is a white tea that has a very special claim to fame. Once a year at dawn the silver buds are picked from their branches and processed lightly to form this refreshing white tea. It is a flavourful tea that lends itself quite well to a daily drink. The tea would be good for those who enjoy mild tea with a bit of a floral essence to it.

White teas are usually grown in the Fujian province of China. They are from the young leaves and buds of the Chinese camellia sinensis plant. The name “white tea” comes from the silver-white hairs on the buds of the plant. While observing the tea leaves before brewing, there was a distinct variation in colouring noted. The leaves themselves are a mix of silver and greens; the colors made me anticipate my first try of this tea, and upon first sniff, I knew that this tea would also excite my palette as well.

I brought the temperature of my kettle to 175F and steeped the tea for 3 minutes as advised by the company website. The liquor of the first steep was a pale green and there was a flowery hint in the aroma. The first sip was full of flavour. This is a very refreshing and delicate tea which contains subtle pine undertones which continued to a brilliant floral finish.

I steeped this tea several times and found each steep to be flavourful and enjoyable. I would drink this tea often and is definitely on my must buy list. It is light and refreshing. A perfect drink for a relaxing afternoon or following a light evening meal.

— To purchase White August Silver Threads, 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: Chantal Chantal
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Review: Tao Tea Leaf Iron Goddess (Tie Guan Yin) Top Grade

Oolong Tea, Tao Tea Leaf No Comments »
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"This is probably something that would appeal to those that like delicate white teas, but personally I was hoping for a bit more flavor."
Vanessa’s Teaview: 5.5/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 5.5/10, Raven gave it 7/10, Geoff gave it 7.7/10, Bryan gave it 7.4/10, Dan gave it 8.4/10, Katie gave it 7.1/10
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The dry leaf of this oolong tea takes on the characteristic pellet shape and has a dark green color. The aroma is heavily floral in nature, perhaps best comapred to orchids or lilacs. I used 195-degree water and infused the leaves for three minutes. The liquid is very pale yellow, so light that I wonder if there will be much flavor in the cup. The leaves opened up during infusion but were not as voluminous as other comparable oolongs I have previously sampled. The flavor of the tea turned out to be very mild, almost too hard to really taste. As I have found that cooling often allows the tea’s flavor to become a little more prominent, I left the tea aside for a few minutes. Within cooling just a few degrees, the flavor was more apparent, though clearly still very light-bodied in profile. Although the overall effect was very light and watery, the most obvious flavor among the subtle flavors was a floral component, with a very subtle buttery hint, then followed by a weak tinge of mineral-like flavor in the end of each sip.
I attempted a second infusion, steeping the leaves for five minutes this time. But as weak as the first cup was, I was pretty certain that these leaves were already spent. The infusion was actually slightly darker in color and perhaps just a bit more fragrant on the nose. Still, the flavor was very mild. A floral quality remained, while the buttery quality was all but lost on the second infusion.
In all, this wouldn’t be my top choice for a Tie Guan Yin. With “top grade” in the tea’s name, I was expecting much more from this tea. This is probably something that would appeal to those that like delicate white teas, but personally I was hoping for something with a bit more flavor.

— To purchase Tao Tea Leaf Iron Goddess (Tie Guan Yin) Top 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: Vanessa Vanessa
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Review: Sweet Leaf Sweet Tea

Black Tea, Sweet Leaf Tea No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The perfect blend of sweetness and the the taste of a good quality black tea. "
Shaiha’s Teaview: 8.5/10
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Sweet Leaf Tea is a Texas based company that started in 1998 that is committed to using organic ingredients only. When they started out they were putting the tea leaves in pillowcases and filling the bottles up by hand. They have grown since then and you can find their teas in your local stores.

They have eleven different flavors and the one that I am sampling today is their Sweet Tea. The only ingredients are filtered water, organic cane sugar, organic black tea and citrus acid. I have to say that I am impressed by the flavor in this bottled tea. I tend to love sweet teas but I have found that the ones you can grab thru your local drive-thru tend to be way too sweet to where I really have trouble tasting the tea. Of course that might not be a bad thing considering the quality to tea you can get from them. Sweet Leaf’s Sweet Tea on the other hand is the perfect blend of sweetness and the the taste of a good quality black tea.

I can see already that I will be picking up a case to keep in my fridge. Pick up a bottle today and give it a try.

— To purchase Sweet Leaf Sweet 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: Shaiha Shaiha
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Review: De Vos Tea Coffee Blossom Black Tea

Black Tea, De Vos Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It's a great pick-me-up and a great substitute for coffee."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.4/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 7.5/10
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This is my first sample from De Vos Tea, a company with an interesting strategy. All of their limited line of teas come from the Handunugoda Tea Estate in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). It took me a few moments of being disappointed that there’s no origin country listed for this tea to remember that it’s unnecessary. All of these teas are Ceylon.

The leaves are beautiful – long, black, twisted and decorated, with toffee-coloured blooms. They smell like molasses and dried apples. I steep 5 grams in 12 ounces water at 212° for 5 minutes. Prepared, the tea smells creamy and rich. The scent has notes of malt, toffee, hazelnut, and molasses. It makes me think of a Keemun black tea with coffee creamer in it.

The tea is rich and hearty with a fantastic creamy aftertaste. It has notes of toffee and malt which add a certain sweetness. It’s slightly floral with a hint of bitterness. The bitterness isn’t unpleasant; it blends well with the creaminess, causing the tea to further resemble a cup of coffee. It’s a creamy, smooth, pleasant, and very satisfying cup. The aftertaste is pleasant, but I would like it to have lasted longer. However, that’s my only real complaint about this tea.

Steep two is also five minutes, and there isn’t much to say about it. Its flavours are more muted, making for a calmer cup, but it’s up to par, and I’d definitely resteep this tea again.

The tea is surprisingly mellow and among the best breakfast teas I have ever tried. Because it is so gentle, I could drink it in the morning on an empty stomach, something I definitely cannot do with coffee. It’s a great pick-me-up and a great substitute for coffee. It’s simple and satisfying, and something I’d happily drink this any time during the day. Definitely something I’d buy and enjoy.

— To purchase De Vos Tea Coffee Blossom 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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