Review: Crazy Bitch Tea Original Herbal Blend

Catnip Tea, Crazy Bitch Tea, Dandelion Tea, Herbal Tea, Holy Basil Tea No Comments »
Samantha’s Teaview Snapshot
Not Great"Most of these herbs are common remedies for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or other issues related to woman's health such as chaste tree berry (breast pain, constipation), skullcap (menstrual cramps, childbirth pains, stress), and shatavari root (fertility issues, hot flashes, irritability, lactation) to name a few. "
Samantha’s Teaview: 4/10
Other Teaviews: Christopher gave it 2.8/10, CJ gave it 8/10
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With claims like “the bitch stops here”, I had to choose this tea and put it to test. I wouldn’t consider myself a very negative or extremely moody person, but hey we all have our moments and to be honest I haven’t recently found myself in a dire situation to be like “okay get that tea now!” but I of course had to try it anyways.

Lynn Higgin, the creator of Crazy Bitch Tea is an herbalist. In her signature blend, she combines Chaste Tree Berries, Dandelion Leaf, Holy Basil, Alfalfa Leaf, Catnip, Meadowsweet, Black Haw Bark, Chickweek, Cinnamon Bark, Cramp Bark, Shatavari Root, Skullcap, and Uva ursi. Quite the concoction.

Most of these herbs are common remedies for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or other issues related to woman’s health such as chaste tree berry (breast pain, constipation), skullcap (menstrual cramps, childbirth pains, stress), and shatavari root (fertility issues, hot flashes, irritability, lactation) to name a few.

This tea came pre-bagged and had a slight floral smell, but more vegetal and earthy than anything. The catnip was the prominent smell to me, but maybe only since I have cats. The tea liquor was an oily golden yellow color with a slight cinnamon scent. The taste reminded me of lemon balm and mint and slightly toasty. I tried this tea a few times and each time I couldn’t get past the mint flavor, I tried to find subtle hints of other herbs but I was stuck with mint.

This tea in my opinion isn’t really advertized towards those looking for a good flavorful sip, it’s clientele is women looking for an herbal remedy to help with PMS. Be aware some of these herbs are not recommended to take while pregnant or nursing.

Of course we’re all different and what works for me may not work for you, but if you like mint and suffer from PMS, it’s worth a shot. Be advised, I was a bit disappointed in the pricing. This tea is $4.99 for only a half ounce (loose leaf) which won’t get you very far, the bagged tea is 9.99 for 12 bags, making it 1.20 per bag, a bit steep for what it is.

I give this tea a 4.0, not the greatest flavor, but if taken regularly may help PMS sufferers.

— To purchase Crazy Bitch Tea Original Herbal Blend, 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: Samantha Samantha
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Review: T-oolongtea.com Shanlinxi Zhu Wan Oolong

Oolong Tea, T-OolongTea.com No Comments »
CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Sort of green, sort of oolong...completely delicious."
CJ’s Teaview: 10/10
Other Teaviews: Dave gave it 8/10, Sophie gave it 8.9/10, Katie gave it 6.4/10
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I was surprised that a tea that looked so dark in the package, became so delicate once I brewed it.   As an un-roasted oolong, it looked and smelled airy and fresh, like a green tea.  But because it was the slightest bit oxidized during processing, it was redolent of cream and orchids and honey.  As a bonus, it maintained a vibrancy and astringency that wrapped it all together with flair.

It was a breeze to brew for such a light tea, (often, the greener oolongs require temperatures around 1750-185 degrees.)  A teaspoon of the rolled leaves per eight ounces of boiling water made a plenty flavorful pot within two to three minutes.  More leaves created a deeper astringency.

With patience and the proper tools -a Gongfu tea pot, cups, tray, pitcher, strainer, and waste water cup, (whew), these leaves can last all day.  Lacking such an array, I brewed according to T-Oolongs “competition” instructions as noted above, and got two tasty pots from the leaves.  Alas, I wanted more.  That’s a good thing.  I rate this tea a 10.

— To purchase T-oolongtea.com Shanlinxi Zhu Wan Oolong, 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: CJ CJ
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Review: Nucha Tea A Touch of Zen

Chrysanthemum Tea, Herbal Tea, Lavender Tea, Nucha Tea, Osmanthus Tea No Comments »
Samantha’s Teaview Snapshot
Not Great"The overall experience was very woody and reminded me of a taste similar to holy basil. "
Samantha’s Teaview: 4/10
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While this definitely has some of the typical characteristics that you’d expect to find in a herbal tisane, there are some characteristics I definitely did not expect to find, nor have I ever really experienced an herbal quite like this. The overall experience was very woody and reminded me of a taste similar to holy basil (tulsi), an ayurvedic herb used in Indian herbal medicine for stress and depression. The ingredients listed are chrysanthemum, lavender, notoginseng, and osmanthus. Notoginseng is an herb in the same genus of ginseng, it’s scientific name, Panax Notoginseng means “cure all”. Notoginseng is grown only in the Yunnan providence of China and is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. Chrysanthemum, commonly known as the mum, or if you’re familiar with Billy the Exterminator, a cure all for exterminating bees, is claimed to rejuvenate the brain and calm the nerves. That it did. Lavender is a common herb used for relaxation and headaches and Osmnathus is for relieving stress.

While these herbs seem like a well thought over choice for a tea called A Touch of Zen, I’m not quite sure if my taste buds enjoyed the zen experience. I followed the directions and brewed the tea at 10 minutes with 1 cup of boiling water. At 10 minutes the taste was very woody, earthy and almost toasty, kind of reminded me of patchouli. The consistency of the tea bag was the characteristic I did not expect to find. Upon squeezing the bag out into the cup I found myself squeezing a bag full of what looked like herbal muck, to put it nicely.

Squeezing the bag was the most unenjoyable part, until I decided to follow Nucha’s instructions and left the bag in. At 15 minutes the tea began to take on a more holy basil taste, stronger and woodier. At 20 minutes the taste was practically unbearable. It suddenly turned very bitter and I couldn’t even bring myself to finish the cup.

Overall, this herbal tea did give me a sense of relaxation which it claimed, though the only way I would choose to drink it is steeped at 10 minutes with honey. To get the most out of this tisane, I would strongly advise not leaving the bag in.

— To purchase Nucha Tea A Touch of Zen, 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: Samantha Samantha
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Review: T-oolongtea.com Honey Beauty Oolong

Oolong Tea, T-OolongTea.com No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Full bodied yet light, this oolong strikes a great balance between fruit and grass notes. If you haven't tried leaf hopper-afflicted teas yet, this is a great place to start! "
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.4/10
Other Teaviews: CJ gave it 9/10, Vanessa gave it 8.5/10
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This tea is in the same vein as Oriental Beauty oolongs, the leaves having been purposely exposed to the bites of leaf hoppers. The attack of these tiny insects changes the leaves’ chemistry to bring about more sweetness. It’s unclear exactly how Honey Beauty differs from the more common Oriental Beauty in terms of processing however. T-oolongtea’s website doesn’t really specify. Taking a look, the leaves are long and spidery. Most display a dark maroon colour, but some have pretty hints of green, tan or gold. Their aroma is faintly sweet and toasty.

Since the leaves are so fluffy, I aimed for 2 level teaspoonfuls. I steeped them in 8 ounces of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes. The pale, tan-coloured cup has an aroma that reminds me of warm bread with ripe stone fruit. Taking a sip, the tea is smooth and herbaceous at first. There is a delicious tannic quality to the top notes of the brew that reminds me of Darjeelings, second flushes in particular. The tea becomes increasingly sweet and malty as it cools. This cinnamon-honey sweetness is present throughout each sip but it’s subtle and changes interestingly over time, eventually coming close to honeydew melon in flavour. The overall results make for a bright, generous, and unique cup that is easy to enjoy.

After a 4 minute-long steep, my second brewing is much deeper in colour. It still has a noticeable honey finish to it and a pleasant herbaceous kick. Otherwise the tea seems rather muted. I would try steeping the leaves a little longer next time – there seems to be little danger of the cup becoming bitter or astringent.

I managed to pull two more decent cups out of the leaves, both of which were nearly identical to the second brew. After a 5 and a half and an eight minute-long steep, these are simple, sweet and well rounded steeps.

Full bodied yet light, this oolong strikes a great balance between fruit and grass notes. The tannins of the initial cup give it a taste that is closer to a black tea than most oolongs. Reasonably priced, especially considering the longevity of the leaves, this tea provides lots of pesticide-free bang for your buck. If you haven’t tried leaf hopper-afflicted teas yet, this is a great place to start!

— To purchase T-oolongtea.com Honey Beauty Oolong, 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: T-oolongtea.com Taiwan Honey Black Oolong.

Black Tea, Oolong Tea, T-OolongTea.com No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Smooth, flavourful and satisfying, this black tea/oolong hybrid is a winner! "
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.4/10
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Harvested in April 2012, this tea is a new arrival to T-oolongtea’s extensive collection of oolongs. From what I understand, it’s a mix between a black tea and an oolong. This is what the website has to say about this offering’s processing:Taiwan Honey Black Tea Oolong is produced following the method of making black tea oolong tea and using the raw tea leaves for oriental beauty. The oxidation of this tea is between black tea and oriental beauty oolong to preserve the flavor of black tea and the taste of oriental beauty oolong. Oriental Beauty is a tea that is made with leaves that are exposed to leaf hoppers. These tiny insects feed on the leaves, changing the flavour of the tea, giving it a sweet, honeyed finish. In order to attract leaf hoppers to produce this tea, the bushes have to be pesticide free. Looking at the leaves, they very much seem like a black tea. Most are ebony-coloured, with a few gold strands thrown in. Long, lean and spidery, I have a bit of trouble taking them out of the bag. Their scent is rather herbaceous, reminding me a bit of the planty of some Darjeelings.

I brewed this tea using a heaping teaspoonful of leaves in 8 ounces of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes. This produced a light coppery brew, scented with malt and toasted bread notes. Slightly drying, planty top notes are followed by intensely sweet honey and cinnamon flavours. Malt and sweet potato also come out to play. As it cools an interesting muscatel quality develops. I wouldn’t add milk to it as it’s quite light-bodied. There is certainly no need for sweetening with a finish like this one. Smooth, flavourful and satisfying, this black tea/oolong hybrid is a winner so far.

After a 4 minute-long steep, cup #2 is similar to the first cup, only less herbaceous. This allows the sweeter range of flavours to shine. The finish now has a hint of berries to it as well. The body feels heavier and thus more decadent. This is also a really enjoyable cup.

I managed to get a decent third brew as well, following a 5 and a half minute-long steep. The tea’s flavour is mainly concentrated around it’s sweet, malty finish at this point. It’s absolutely smooth and gives no hint of wanting to get bitter.

The herbaceous notes of the profile remind me of Darjeelings. This tea also showcases all the highlights of Chinese black teas: smooth, malt and sweet potato notes, with no trace of astringency. At the same time it does have a unique intense honeyed finish. This is an addictive mixture of flavours folks that I highly recommend trying! Well done!

— To purchase T-oolongtea.com Taiwan Honey Black Oolong., 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: Chan Teas Hunan Hong Cha

Black Tea, Chan Teas No Comments »
CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Not a typical black tea by any stretch."
CJ’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 9.5/10, Sophie gave it 7.8/10
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I was sorry to discover that Chan Teas went out of business.  The loss of any tea distributor is a big loss to the tea community in the West.  We still have so much to learn about this wonderful plant that until VERY recently, didn’t even GROW in our countries.

Though unattainable from Chan, this Hunan Hong Cha, (black tea from the Hunan province,) deserves to be drunk and evaluated, so here I go:

In the package it looked like I had  heavily oxidized, large leaves and twigs, with a very few golden pieces.  The aroma was overwhelmingly malty, almost as pungent as pipe tobacco, or a pu-er tea.

I brewed this product in boiling water for five minutes, using two teaspoons per 8 ounces of water. Although the leaves and the resulting liquid were very dark,  the flavor was light and nutty.  It was pleasant, but a bit of a disappointment since my palate was expecting something bolder and more astringent.

In order to make it more to my liking, I brewed longer.  The nutty flavor grew more intense.  I brewed a second pot using more leaves, hoping to elicit that astringent taste I associate with “black” tea.  But Hong Cha leaves just don’t do astringent.  They are malty and nutty at first, and grow more caramel-like with time.

This tea was so mild, it could pass for an herbal tisane. It isn’t MY cup of tea, but I would recommend it for those who enjoy a caramel  vanilla-tasting rooibos.  For those folks, I rate this tea an 8.

 

Teaviews Member: CJ CJ
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