Review: Tea District Organic Ginger Peach Apricot

Apricot Tea, Assam Tea, Black Tea, Fruit Flavored Tea, Ginger Tea, Peach Tea, Tea District No Comments »
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"All the flavors resonate both together and separately. Ginger and peach are most prominent in the teas but I can distinguish the taste of apricot in there too."
Jamie’s Teaview: 7.5/10
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This flavored tea is set in an Assam base and features a lovely, spicy cast of characters. The tea itself is short to medium length, twisty and jet black with big chips of ginger and dark chips of dried, unsulphured (hooray!) apricot. The scent is sweet, peachy ginger with an underlying smoothness that is subtle yet fat and definitely apricot.

I infused a teaspoon of leaf in 8 ounces of boiling water for three minutes.

The leaf colors up to a dark copper and the ginger is immediately pleasant and warming. The peach is prominent and sweet, especially when augmented with a bit of sweetener. The peachy-apricot fruitiness has a full, luscious quality of sweetness that seems to match up nicely with the spicy warmth of ginger. The ginger and the fruit both complement and contrast one another. I also like the juxtaposition of summer fruit flavors with the spicy warmth of ginger, which I tend to associate with the colder months. It works well! This is very warming for a cool summer morning. Living in the northern half of the US or any other place where summers don’t tend to get scorching, this is a nice wake up cup.

I also like the strength of this tea. It’s smooth and full-bodied with lots of fruit flavors. I feel like I’ve tasted it before. Surprisingly, too, all the flavors resonate both together and separately. Ginger and peach are most prominent in the tea but I can distinguish the taste of apricot in there too. It lends a fuller more lush fruit mellowness – a little step down from the peach to the close. Good stuff! The tea is organic, too.

A nice flavored fruit blend that succeeds in natural fruit flavor (lots of it) with no artificial weird flavors. I think this would be really great iced, too. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll get some good summer weather worthy of giving that a try!

— To purchase Tea District Organic Ginger Peach Apricot, 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: T-OolongTea.com Sun Moon Lake Hong Yue Black Tea

Black Tea, T-OolongTea.com No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Not really heavy enough for a wake up cup however it is a delicious black tea that is perfect for an afternoon tea. "
Shaiha’s Teaview: 8.2/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 9.6/10, Jamie gave it 8/10, Katie gave it 8.6/10
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This morning definitely calls for a black tea with all the caffeine that I can absorb from it. My tea today is from a vendor that primarily sells oolong so I am looking forward to how they measure up with a black tea. This particular tea was harvested in the summer of 2011 and was grown near the Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan.

The leaves of this tea are a deep black and huge. They almost remind of leaves grown for an oolong but then processed differently. Dry it has a peppery, minty aroma. The liquor once brewed is a lighter golden brown with an aroma that has a touch of malt.

The mouthfeel on this tea is lighter. There is a slight astringency throughout the sip that rather then detracting makes the minty aftertaste come more alive. There are also hints of spice and a light malt.

How does it measure up? Not really heavy enough for a wake up cup however it is a delicious black tea that is perfect for an afternoon tea. They are out of stock right now so keep your eyes open for this year’s crop.

— To purchase T-OolongTea.com Sun Moon Lake Hong Yue 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: Shaiha Shaiha
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Review: Mark T. Wendell Tea Company M.T.W. Formosa Keemun

Black Tea, Keemun Tea, Mark T. Wendell No Comments »
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Sweet grainy notes really make this a special tea as they follow on the heels of wonderful woody, chocolate and remarkably distinct cherry notes. A sweet aftertaste is the perfect kiss at the end of the date. "
Jamie’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Shaiha gave it 10/10, Sophie gave it 7.8/10
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Mark T. Wendell’s Formosa Keemun has medium to long gray black leaves. The Wendell website mentions the leaves having a silvery hue to them and this is in fact the case. You aren’t looking at a silver needle by any case, but there’s an interesting gray hue that you don’t often see in a black tea.

I used a large teaspoon of leaf per 8 ounces of water brought to a boil and then cooled to 205 degrees. The tea infuses to a copper orange color – medium darkness. In terms of taste, this tea is excellent. It’s delicious, woody but also with strong chocolate notes and a mild, dry, sweet light to medium body. A substantial, grainy sweet scent rolls off the infusing cup. The taste is elegant with natural sweetness that is pleasant. I enjoy the play of flavors.

I’m impressed especially with sweet cherry notes that play alongside the woody sweet tones. This tea is smooth. The woody chocolate notes become emphatic at the close of the cup when the tea has had a bit of time to cool.

Mark T. Wendell’s website describes this tea as “a burgundy” among teas. It seems that all teas hailing from Formosa, regardless of oxidation, have a very high reputation. I enjoyed this offering immensely and found the range of flavors wonderfully engaging and compelling while the medium body of the tea was refreshing without being jolting or too heavy. This tea has smooth body and is a very satisfying cup with numerous layers to the taste profile. It makes a refined breakfast cup; while strong enough to be suited for morning drinking, it’s not malty or brisk. It’s fuller and more mellow than that.

Sweet grainy notes really make this a special tea as they follow on the heels of wonderful woody, chocolate and remarkably distinct cherry notes. A sweet aftertaste is the perfect kiss at the end of the date.

Visit Mark T. Wendell Teas for more information on this tea and many more from their extensive product catalogue.

Teaviews Member: Jamie Jamie
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Review: Lochan Teas Jungpana FTGFOP 1 Organic 1st flush 2012 Darjeeling

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea No Comments »
MaryAnn’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Raucous in the roof of my mouth – green and edgy. First infusion wild as early Kandinsky paintings. Crazy but not jangly. Given repeated addictive tastings, endearing."
MaryAnn’s Teaview: 9.2/10
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Alluvial soil and difficult terrain produce this unique and delightful first flush, plucked after the first spring rains to mark the end of the long Himalayan winter. From the remote Jungpana Estate, tucked away at the ‘back of beyond’ on rugged mountainside at altitudes ranging from 3,000 to 4,500 ft., surrounded by pine forests on the upper reaches to the north, and swiftly gurgling mountain streams to the south, east and west, skirted by dense vegetation. FTGFOP 1 = Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe, first grade.

Dry leaves: many leaves quite green, beautifully mixed with dark leaves, odor fresh and grassy layered on top of honeysuckle and toast.

I brewed one tsp. leaves at 194 degrees F for 4 minutes. The liquor is golden and the aroma woodsy earthy Darjeeling.

Tasting experience: This light golden amber tea is alive. Nutty. Full of tannins, its astringency complexified by changes in taste darting about to different mouth locations during the tasting experience. I can taste the wildness of the estate – said to harbor the Himalayan bear, leopards, deer, rare birds and butterflies. Raucous in the roof of my mouth – green and edgy. First infusion wild as early Kandinsky paintings. Crazy but not jangly. Given repeated addictive tastings, endearing.

The garden got its start with the work of Henry Montgomery, a British expatriate who planted the first bushes in 1899. A series of owners have had it in their trust over the last hundred years, the Kejriwal family since 1956. Even by mountain standards the Jungpana garden is particularly hard to get to. Until recently there was no road—the tea came out and supplies went in only by mule. Today the tea still has to be carried down 500 feet on 380 concrete steps to get to the road.

Lochan Tea serves as a merchant for the Jungpana estate teas as well as producing tea from its Doke garden and providing training to European students. This tea was recently harvested and is not currently listed on their web page. Contact Vivek Lochan through the company web site if you’re interested in this tea (you can bet I’ll be doing that).

— To purchase Lochan Teas Jungpana FTGFOP 1 Organic 1st flush 2012 Darjeeling, 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: MaryAnn MaryAnn
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Review: Mark T. Wendell Manhattan Tribute Blend

Black Tea, Mark T. Wendell No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Excellent black tea blend! Highly recommended."
Shaiha’s Teaview: 9.2/10
Other Teaviews: Dan gave it 9.0/10, Jamie gave it 8.0/10
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The weather is rather cold and wet and I have things to do. Definite need for a good black tea for encouragement. My tea today is from Mark T. Wendell, one of my favorite US vendors. They have been in the tea business since 1904 and boy do they know their business. Every tea they put their name to is first rate. I wanted to share what they say about this tea.

We have carefully blended this tea in memory of a dear friend of ours. He liked his tea strong in character, yet smooth enough to enjoy after that perfect meal. Our Manhattan Tribute Blend is the perfect combination of Indian, Formosan and Ceylon teas, devised for late day and after dinner consumption when the palate is satiated. When brewed, it produces a bold cup with a slightly floral note.

The leaves in this blend range in color from a dark flat brown to a reddish gold and are mainly broken. The aroma is rather mild and then an all around sense of ‘teaness’ I get the scent of growing things and baking bread.

Now I usually brew my black teas between 2 to 4 minutes depending on the tea. Mark T. Wendell however recommends letting it steep for 5 minutes using a water temp of 205 degrees. Much longer then I normally would but I decided to follow the recommendations.

The liquor brews up to bold copper deepened into almost black. The aroma is still rather mild with bits of spice, sweet bread and tobacco. I am not actually finding any floral notes.

This tea is full bodied with a medium mouthfeel. There is no astringency and just a hint of dryness at the edges of the tongue. The taste really does remind of sweetbread with the yeast, the cinnamon, a breadiness along the sweetness of flowers that lingers on the roof of the mouth.

What an impressive black tea blend. I am going to have to pick up more when I restock. Oh and the encouragement, this tea has it in spades. And one last thing, 10% of each sale of this tea is donated towards cancer research.

Visit Mark T. Wendell Teas for more information on this tea and many more from their extensive product catalogue.

Teaviews Member: Shaiha Shaiha
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Review: Dream Tea Boutique Forsman Tea Anti-stress Herbal Tea

Camellia Petal Tea, Chamomile Tea, Cream Tea, Dream Tea Boutique, Elderberry Tea, Forsman Tea, Hibiscus Tea, Jasmine Tea, Lemongrass Tea, Pineapple Tea, Rose Hip Tea, Strawberry Tea, Uncategorized No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I can't say that this herbal tea really made me feel less stressed but it certainly makes for a pleasant cup. I would recommend it to those looking for a fruity and slightly tangy tisane."
Sophie’s Teaview: 7.1/10
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Containing hibiscus, lemongrass, elderberries, rose hip, chamomile and jasmine flowers, petals of camellia and bits of pineapple, this tisane claims to be helpful in fighting stress and depression. It’s also flavoured with natural strawberry aroma and cream. The blend has a pretty potpourri look to it, combining an abundance of colourful pieces of fruit, herbs and petals. The strawberry flavouring dominates the aroma completely. While it’s strong, it’s not cloying or artificial seeming.

I brewed a heaping teaspoonful of the blend in 8 ounces of freshly boiled, filtered water. The 5 minute steep results in a deep cherry red cup scented with a gently tart and sweet aroma. The flavour makes me think of an adult version of fruit punch: sweet and lightly tart but less intensely so than the usual sugar and juice concoction. The hibiscus contributes a gentle astringency that works well paired with the lemongrass. Adding the tiniest amount of sweetener turns this cup into a fruity, kid-friendly beverage. Forget about re-steeping this tisane though, unless you’re interested in a washed out lemongrass infusion. All the other ingredients have given up the ghost.

I also tried some of this blend iced. The cold somehow magnifies the hibiscus’ contribution. As a result, the brew is quite tart and isn’t really palatable unless it’s sweetened. Once a bit of sweetener is added however, it’s relatively refreshing in a tangy sort of way. Those who don’t like hibiscus should abstain however – cold this cup is similar to the “zinger” type tisanes on the market.

I can’t say that this herbal tea really made me feel less stressed but it certainly makes for a pleasant cup. I was initially worried that the many ingredients would not work well together but in the end I found this tisane to be a well crafted blend. It’s reasonably priced to boot, especially considering the quality of the ingredients. I would recommend it to those looking for a fruity and tart tisane.

— To purchase Dream Tea Boutique Forsman Tea Anti-stress Herbal 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: Sophie Sophie
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