Review: The Necessiteas Bubblegum

Cornflower Tea, Green Tea, The Necessiteas No Comments »
Emma’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"There's a gum ball in it! I exclaimed as a bright, blue gumball fell into my on-the-go French press tea tumbler."
Emma’s Teaview: 5/10
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necessiteasgumballThere’s a gum ball in it! I exclaimed as a bright, blue gumball fell into my on-the-go French press tea tumbler. I love the Necessiteas, especially on instagram – I’ve made two of Linsey’s clean chocolate desserts she’s posted – and it’s fun to see the tea making process in full swing. Bubblegum is one that totally intrigued me, the juxtaposition of colors in the tea sample is beautiful reds, greens and even a bit of blue surrounded my gumball in the bag.

What I was concerned with is that this tea would taste like bubblegum toothpaste. Luckily, it did not. Though, I wonder if it may cross that threshold if sweetener is added. The bubble gum flavor of the tea is bright and delicate, I almost imagine myself sipping on a lightly rose colored tea, though it’s green. The sweetness of the gumball is what hits you first and really settles into the midpalate, the finish is rather warming and creamy. When the tea is swished around the palate, the gum ball flavor really shines and reminds you that this is quite a full bodied tea. I’m sure it would be great iced, but I can’t bring myself to do it right now as I watch 3-5 inches of snow fall outside my office window.

I’ve followed the Necessiteas for a number of years, and watching the company grow is a great thing to see. As Linsey creates all of her tea blends herself, everyone is sure that there are no pesticides, artificial additives, or any of the other terrifying chemicals that I’ve read about being found in tea. Recently, she’s been selling out of her teas and I can only imagine it is for this very reason. In a world of mass produced, it’s great to have a high quality tea company that’s committed to healthful teas.

— To purchase The Necessiteas Bubblegum, 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: Emma Emma
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Review: Lu Lin Spiced Chai

Assam Tea, Black Tea, Cardamom Tea, Cinnamon Tea, Fennel Tea, Ginger Tea, Lu Lin Tea, Pepper Tea No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I’m a sucker for spiced teas and this one met my expectations. It warmed me right up."
Alexa’s Teaview: 7.4/10
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lulinspicedchaiLu Lin’s spiced chai is made of Assam black tea. Assam tea is named after the region it comes from, Assam India. Assam tea is known to have a strong, malty flavor. Lu Lin’s chai tea also contains ginger pieces, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, fennel seeds, and whole red peppercorns. When looking at this pretty tea mixture, you’ll surely admire the pretty contrast of the red peppercorn against the black Assam and white ginger. It’s a gorgeous tea.
I steeped 2 teaspoons in 2 cups of tea for 6 minutes. The smell was like many other chai teas, spicy and sweet. The Assam added a little bit of a malty smell to the tea as it brewed. The water turned very light brown. The tea has a very nice flavor. It is spicy and rich. The malty flavor is delicious with the cinnamon and cardamom. It is also a little tart from the Assam. I would say I mainly tasted the black tea and cardamom, as expected.
I’m a sucker for spiced teas and this one met my expectations. It warmed me right up. Since it contains caffeine, I like to drink it in the mornings with a little milk and honey. Assam is known to help with alertness and clear thinking, making it the perfect drink to have before work or school.
On Lu Lin’s website I discovered that in Hindu, chai means “Spiced Chai” and that is how they decided to name their tea. Their goals was to provide a spiced tea with cardamom as the dominant flavor. I would say they accomplished this goals. They also suggested making a “Spiced Chai Latte” with this tea. I think that is what I will be trying next.

— To purchase Lu Lin Spiced Chai, 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: Alexa Alexa
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Review: Teasenz Yunnan Gold

Black Tea, Teasenz No Comments »
Samantha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Yummo, thumbs up! Creamy and malty with a touch of vanilla in this Golden Fleece. "
Samantha’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 7.3/10
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teasenzyunnangoldI honestly have to say, it’s been a while since I’ve had a tea that I just didn’t want to stop drinking. I love writing reviews because I get to try so many different types of tea, but this black kept me from my work. I have been dreading the end of this sample, but that just means I’ll have to order some. I have slowly introduced new flavors to my palate. From the beginning of my journey I enjoyed many green and white teas, then I ventured into darker teas such as oolong. I have finally arrived at black and puer. I have so much to learn, but for now I’m pretty hung up on wild tea and Golden Fleece.

Golden Fleece is a perfect name for this type of black tea. The leaves are golden downy buds, as the name implies, with hints of black. Golden Fleece is a Dianhong tea, which means it is a Chinese black tea grown in Yunnan providence. This tea may also be referred to as Yunnan Gold on other sites.

Some Golden Fleece, when brewed, expands to show a whole leave and bud, some are more broken. The highest quality would be a whole leave as well as wild picked, but there are not many wild picked teas out there. Teasenz’s leaf is very much whole leave, with a few broken, and the majority with bud still attached. One tablespoon was used with water just off the boil and brewed for about 3 minutes. The resulting scent is very sweet and reminiscent of Fall honey. The taste is delicious, with a medium body this tea holds no punches. It’s slightly creamy, with tastes of vanilla and malt. There is a slightly smoked flavor that comes with these leaves as well. In all honesty, I just can’t get enough.

Highly Recommend, the price may be a bit steep, but you won’t regret it!

— To purchase Teasenz Yunnan Gold, 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: Mate Factor Yerba Mate Dark Roast

Mate Factor, Mate Tea No Comments »
Emma’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I can't say enough about this yerba mate! I was early to the Yerba Mate bandwagon and started drinking it about five years ago, but tapered off when I turned to other teas."
Emma’s Teaview: 7/10
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matefactorlogoI can’t say enough about this yerba mate! I was early to the Yerba Mate bandwagon and started drinking it about five years ago, but tapered off when I turned to other teas. Recently, in the grocery store there were samples of this tea and I was intrigued to try Dark Roast. Apparently, the new craze is that Yerba Mate is now the “healthy coffee alternative” providing caffeine and mental clarity without the side effects of coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker, so that doesn’t really sway me either way, but I do love everything about this herb tea.

From the bag, the mate looks like confetti, roasted confetti and it goes everywhere if you aren’t careful. You need about a teaspoon per 8 ounces and I always add just a dash more to be safe. I make this in the morning and use my French press to-go tea mug. The only way I can describe the flavor is that this tea tastes the way a coffee bean smells. It’s smooth, nutty, and bright, almost like a light roast coffee, but not as strong. I also add a tablespoon of vanilla almond milk and it’s heaven. It’s not like traditional Yerba Mate, where one can add water to the same tea throughout the day, I do have to refresh this with each subsequent cup.

Mate Factor, being a Brazilian company, prides itself in packaging its Yerba Mate fresh, rather than aging it for 1-2 years like it’s done in Argentina. They are a fair trade company, founded in 1998 with the goal of providing fair wage jobs to Brazilians. The company is also certified organic, growing most of their tea in native yerba mate areas which grow in dense forests that typically don’t allow for weeds.

— To purchase Mate Factor Yerba Mate Dark Roast, 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: Emma Emma
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Review: Vintage Tea Company Huoshan Huangya

Vintage Tea Company, Yellow Tea No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This leaf makes for a sophisticated, refreshing brew. The flavours seesaw between buttery greens and sweet, tangy flavours. It makes for a nice change, slightly off the beaten path. "
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.1/10
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vintagehuoshanhuangyaThis is my first time trying out an offering from Vintage Tea Company, (not to be confused with Vintage Tea). Based in Australia, their aim is to provide high end, rare teas. This leaf certainly fits the bill: one of China’s prized “tribute teas”, this sappy and vivacious brew is produced by only a handful of tea masters. The young buds are delicately stir-fried, giving them a yellowish hue. Taking a look at my sample, the slender, olive green leaves are whole, and slightly flattened. Their mild scent is sweet and resinous, mixing honeydew and fir notes.

I brew the tea according to Vintage Tea’s directions, infusing 3 grams of leaf in 150ml of water heated to 85 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes. The resulting cup is a pale greenish gold. Its scent is very striking, combining pungent green bean, cooked asparagus and honeydew melon notes. The flavour profile basically mirrors the aroma. I can also detect some buttery fennel, green grapes and clover honey in the mix. While there is a substantial vegetal element to the tea, the finish is quite sweet, with a clean, refreshing feel, bearing only the slightest edge of astringency.

The folks at Vintage Tea specify that this leaf can be steeped up to 4 times. I try a second cup following a 2 and a half minute-long brew. This time the tea is more astringent, with a rougher feel. Artichoke and asparagus notes dominate, making for a more savoury profile. A little grassy bitterness has also developed.

My third steep provides less intense flavours, being more mineral. After a 3 minute brew, the redeeming qualities of this cup are its interesting green bean and grape flavour.

After 4 and a half minutes, my final brew is little more than hot water. There are some astringent and lightly bitter grass notes still. Overall though, it lacks the complexity and sweetness of the previous steeps to make it really worthwhile.

This leaf makes for a sophisticated, refreshing brew. The flavours seesaw between buttery greens and sweet, tangy flavours. I would recommend it to those who enjoy a vegetal green tea, who are looking for something fruity and bright. It makes for a nice change, slightly off the beaten path.

— To purchase Vintage Tea Company Huoshan Huangya, 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: Canton Tea Co. White Peony

Canton Tea Co., White Tea No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This smooth broth not only warms you up but is very refreshing. I definitely recommend this remarkable tea! "
Alexa’s Teaview: 9/10
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cantonbaimudanCanton’s White Peony is made up of silvery white leaves and is an award winning tea. This tea is grown in Fuding, Fujian Province. Some tea drinkers prefer White Peony tea to other white teas since it is said to have a fuller flavor. Smelling these tea leaves is like taking a cantaloupe and smelling the rinds. It has a more savory smell rather than sweet. It also has a stronger, more potent smell than other white teas. The leaves are plump and light green. Canton’s website includes a picture of these leaves before they are dried and they are small, bright green leaves.
I steeped 1 tablespoon in 1 cup of water, as suggested by Canton. The brewing instructions for this tea also say to use a little hotter water then you normally would for white tea. The smell of this tea while it was brewing was quite different from other white teas. I steeped the tea for about 3 minutes. The smell was far more potent or astringent than the last white tea I had. The taste is very smooth. It is grassy with a fruity element. It isn’t as sweet as I was maybe hoping, but it did leave a sweet aftertaste. The flavor was a bit potent. Despite being strong, this tea tastes fresh and pure. As you take a sip, you feel like saying “Ahhhhhh!” and cuddling up on a couch.
This white tea definitely stands out as a white tea. It’s loud, broth-like flavors makes it distinct. Due to the stronger flavor, this would be a good tea for any oolong or black tea lover. It is a fantastic tea to enjoy on a chilly day. This smooth broth not only warms you up but is very refreshing. I definitely recommend this remarkable tea!

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. White Peony, 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: Alexa Alexa
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