Review: Culinary Teas Jasmine with Flowers Green Tea

Culinary Teas, Green Tea, Jasmine Tea No Comments »
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The jasmine is the prominent player here, and while it does dominate the cup, it is not overwhelming. The green tea is delicate and sweet, and the perfect companion for the jasmine flowers."
Vanessa’s Teaview: 8.2/10
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I’ve been stuck on black tea lately, so I was very much looking forward to a change of pace with Culinary Teas’ Jasmine with Flowers Green Tea. This tea is described as having jasmine that is graded just below the top-graded (exotic) jasmine, and the website states “It has all the flavor, aroma and good green tea qualities but not the exorbitant price”. The tea blend is visually very attractive, with large, loosely curled green tea leaves mingling among whitish-yellow jasmine flowers. The aroma is seductive- a wonderful balance of sweetness and flowers, yet not too heady or pungent. I prepared this tea using 185-degree F water and I infused the leaves for two and a half minutes. The tea is a yellowish-green translucent color and bears a detectable jasmine aroma. This is a high-quality offering that I really enjoyed. The jasmine is the prominent player here, and while it does dominate the cup, it is not overwhelming. The green tea is delicate and sweet, and the perfect companion for the jasmine flowers. As a warm tea this was very soothing and relaxing. As an iced tea, it was surprisingly refreshing. This is a great tea for the money, and while it is perhaps not as good as some more costly jasmine tea alternatives such as jasmine pearls, it certainly satisfies and delivers a wonderful floral flavor.

— To purchase Culinary Teas Jasmine with Flowers 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: Vanessa Vanessa
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Review: American Tea Room Nirvana

American Tea Room, Berry Tea, Fig Tea, Green Tea, Japanese Tea, Kiwi Tea, Sencha Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Kiwi."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.1/10
Other Teaviews: Laura gave it 8.75/10, Lynn gave it 9.5/10, Shaiha gave it 8.6/10
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American Tea Room (ATR) stands out as having some of the best plain teas I’ve ever had. Unfairly enough for everyone else, they also have some of my favourite flavoured blends. This is just one more tea to join the growing list of ATR teas that stick fondly in my memory.

After 1.5 minutes at 175°, the cup is a pale yellow colour that smells divinely fruity. The berry hits my tongue first, but the kiwi lingers on afterwards. Kiwi flavours are often unrealistic and usually paired with some sort of sickeningly sweet strawberry flavour. I love kiwis, but kiwi flavoured things are usually an injustice to the fruit. But this is a thing of beauty. It is unmistakably kiwi and unbelievably realistic. All other kiwi teas want to taste like this.

Steep two is more basic than the first, but it’s still delicious and a good way to stretch out your leaf. It’s not a one-note blend; there’s some floral flavour, a hint of fig, and berry galore, but the kiwi is magical and demands my attention. I even have trouble picking out the base tea, which is rare for ATR blends. It’s a shame because they use quality teas for the base of their blends, but I have a hard time caring because all I can care about is the kiwi. I feel like I should be ashamed of loving an added flavour so much, but I’m not.

Special Offer! Free shipping on all purchases over $50 from AmericanTeaRoom.com.

Teaviews Member: Katie Katie
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Review: Tealicious Yuzu Berry Rooibos

Citrus Tea, Rooibos Tea, Safflower Tea, Tealicious, Yuzu Tea No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Creamy and nutty, with a tart lift to the finish that is reminiscent of raspberry and grapefruit."
Sophie’s Teaview: 7.8/10
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Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit that looks a little like a shrivelled grapefruit. It’s flavour is described as a cross between a mandarin’s and a grapefruit’s. It’s apparently all the rage in chichi restaurants’ menus these days. Containing rooibos, safflower and yuzu, this is a caffeine-free blend. Taking a look at my sample, I can’t spot any yuzu but the red safflower petals make for a nice splash of colour. The blend’s aroma is softly sweet and citrusy, like lemon chiffon pie.

Tealicious’ brewing instructions came as a bit of a surprise to me. In the past I have used boiling water to infuse rooibos but they recommend brewing this blend in water heated to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. It does make sense not to completely cook the needles, so I went with their suggestion, infusing the blend for 8 minutes. The brewed cup bears the typical rusty red of rooibos. It smells pretty much like plain rooibos except for a little bit of tartness to the aroma. Taking a sip, the brew tastes creamy and nutty, with a tart lift to the finish. This fruity tinge is reminiscent of raspberry and grapefruit, especially in the finish. Smooth and refreshing, I could see this blend working well iced.

After a 10 minute steep, my second cup’s flavour is acceptable but not something I would seek out again. The results seem rather thin. The citrus flavour is still present but less pungent than before while the creaminess of the rooibos is gone.

Yuzu should appeal to those who like Earl Grey. It’s flavour is more subdued and less “perfumey” than bergamot oil but in the same sweet, citrus-like vein. This is one rooibos blend I would advise to not over-steep. The yuzu’s flavour does become overly intense and bitter over time. I would definitely seek this blend out again, particularly to make iced rooibos. Kudos to the folks at Tealicious for featuring this unusual ingredient!

— To purchase Tealicious Yuzu Berry Rooibos, 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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Review: The East India Company Imperial Qing Lapsang Souchong

Black Tea, East India Tea Company, Lapsang Souchong Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I prefer one that has more acidity to cut through the other flavour."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.6/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 7/10, JennH gave it 8.0/10, Chelsy gave it 10/10, CJ gave it 8/10, Dave gave it 4.5/10, Troy gave it 8/10
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As one would assume from the name, this is a Chinese version of the classic campfire tea. Other than that, I can’t give you much preamble to this tea because I know nothing about the company, this being my first sample from them.

The small, flat, uniform black leaves brew up, after three minutes at 200°, into a characteristically aromatic cup. It has a sweet and savoury campfire scent. The flavour is everything a Lapsang Souchong should be. It is distinctly campfire-flavoured rather than generically smoky, and the base tea provides a nice sweetness to balance the rich smoke.

On a personal level, this is good, but it’s not my all-time favourite LS. I prefer one that has more acidity to cut through the other flavour. However, this is everything a smoked tea should be, and if you like the style, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

— To purchase The East India Company Imperial Qing Lapsang Souchong, 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: The Persimmon Tree Earl Grey Creme

Bergamot Tea, Black Tea, Earl Grey Tea, The Persimmon Tree Tea Co, Vanilla Tea No Comments »
Melanie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"I was a bit disappointed in the tea base itself. While it's flavorings were wonderful, I did not find the black to be robust and bold as it is defined on the website."
Melanie’s Teaview: 6.8/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 6/10
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This is my first introduction to The Persimmon Tree tea. I like their website and really enjoy the pictures that not only show the tea before brewing, but also the tea after brewing! It’s easy to navigate and each tea is clearly described with a list of ingredients and steep time and temperature and other details.

Most of The Persimmon Tree tea’s are organic and many are also fair trade. I really appreciated that this Earl Grey Creme was organic.

The picture on the page for their Earl Grey Creme looks very much like the tea I received, a black tea sprinkled with cornflower petals. It smells very strongly of vanilla with a faint background of bergamot.

I loved the strong vanilla flavor. It is very reminiscent of fresh vanilla bean, which I always prefer to vanilla flavoring. The background bergamot is a bit stronger in flavor than in scent, but remains a background flavor to the vanilla. It’s luscious and creamy.

However, I was a bit disappointed in the tea base itself. While it’s flavorings were wonderful, I did not find the black to be robust and bold as it is defined on the website. I tried several cups, adjusting the amount of tea and the time steeped. I did find that a well rounded teaspoon increased the strength of the tea, but it was a bit bitter and still disappointing.

If one is looking for a vanilla flavor with a citrusy background, this is a nice tea. But I am always looking for the black tea base to stand out and it did not in this one.

— To purchase The Persimmon Tree Earl Grey Creme, 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: Empire Tea Services Sangria de Seville

Berry Tea, Black Currant Tea, Black Tea, Blueberry Tea, Empire Tea Services, Fruit Flavored Tea, Marigold Tea, Peach Tea, Raspberry Tea, Rooibos Tea, Safflower Tea, Uncategorized No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Fans of intensely berry flavoured tea would do well to check this one out. Those looking for a wine-like flavour will be thoroughly disappointed though. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 5.3/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 7/10, Shaiha gave it 6/10, Troy gave it 7/10, JennH gave it 5.6/10, Chelsy gave it 7.9/10
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Before talking about this tea per se, I must first comment on Empire Tea Services’ entirely frustrating website. With names such as this one or “Blue Clouds Over Dakota”, it’s quite hard to locate teas under the many current categories at hand. Short of clicking on each one and reading through their extensive catalogue, I see no other way of tracking down teas. A search engine would be a most welcome solution here. This particular offering can be found under the “Black Teas (Flavoured)” heading by the way.

Now onto the tea… This offering is a fun and festive-looking blend with a strong fruity aroma. I was interested in trying this blend because I’m a big fan of sangria and because of its unusual mixture of rooibos and black tea. It also contains a slew of other ingredients: unidentified dried fruit pieces, Spanish safflower petals, marigold petals, as well as blueberry, raspberry, peach and blackcurrant flavours.

Other than this list of ingredients, there is no other information available about this tea. Having never brewed a blend of black tea and rooibos before, I guesstimated at the brewing parameters. I used a teaspoonful in water heated to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 minutes. The resulting golden-brown cup is perfumed with an intensely fruity scent. This tea is very easy to drink being smooth and naturally very sweet. The fruit flavouring is rather strong and completely dominates the blend. The tea base lends faint malt notes. I wasn’t able to pick out anything coming from the rooibos. Having this blend cold balances out the tea base’s contribution and the fruit flavours, working better iced than warm. Overall it’s a fairly tasty cup, for a flavoured fruit blend. If it wasn’t for the expectation of a wine-like dimension to the profile, I would be fairly satisfied. As my fellow reviewers pointed out, it does not taste at all like sangria. It comes across more as a fruit punch, with lots of berry notes and a touch of citrus to the finish.

My second brew comes across more as a tea, rather than warm fruit juice. After a 4 minute steep, the berry flavours are subdued but still relatively strong. The tea base now contributes a small amount of tannins to the cup, as well as the previously noted malt. As a fan of “tea” flavour in my tea, I preferred this cup to the first.

This light, fun and fruity cup perfect for a sunny day. Perhaps this is what the blenders had in mind when they titled this tea “Sangria”? Fans of intensely berry flavoured tea would do well to check this one out. Those looking for a wine-like flavour will be thoroughly disappointed though. Perhaps Empire Tea Services should consider renaming this blend for better effect.

— To purchase Empire Tea Services Sangria de Seville, 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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