Review: The Necessiteas Orange Creamsicle

Green Tea, Orange Peel Tea, The Necessiteas, Vanilla Tea No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Not Great"I was hoping that this tea would be a good substitute for the popular summer treat but I do have to admit to being disappointed. "
Shaiha’s Teaview: 3.6/10
Other Teaviews: Stephen gave it 8.5/10, Vanessa gave it 8.8/10, Sophie gave it 8.3/10, Jamie gave it 8/10, Melanie gave it 9/10, Emma gave it 5/10
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necessiteas-orange-creamsic.jpgEven though I thought that I was done with needing to run the heat for the spring/summer, the weather decided to play one last joke on me. So today is a day for curling up with a good book and a cup of hot tea though I decided that I at least wanted a tea that would remind me of the warmer days coming.

Creamsicles are one of my favorite summer treats and this green tea containing orange peels and natural flavors has the aroma almost spot on. One can tell that the vanilla ice cream isn’t the real thing but how can it be in a tea? I set it up to brew using 165 degree water and a steep time of 3 minutes.

The resulting liquor is a pale greenish gold with a strong vanilla aroma with just a whisper of citrus. It has a creamy taste with a bit of a bite and bitterness. The citrus and a taste that reminds me of artificial sweeteners comes out in the aftertaste which thankfully doesn’t linger for too long.

I was hoping that this tea would be a good substitute for the popular summer treat but I do have to admit to being disappointed. The bitterness doesn’t seem to want to go away even after adding sweetener so this isn’t a flavored tea that I would recommend.

— To purchase The Necessiteas Orange Creamsicle, 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: Lalani & Co 2nd Flush Himalayan Imperial Black

Black Tea, Lalani and Co No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Despite being bold, this tea is not overpowering what-so-ever. It is a great tea for any black tea lover looking for a one-of-a-kind buy. "
Alexa’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 8.7/10
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lalanihimimperialblackLalani & Co is a really intriguing tea company in London that offers unique batches of tea. Their selection of tea, from family run tea gardens, changes seasonally. This particular Himalayan Imperial Black was grown in Nepal at a high elevation of 6,000 ft. The tea garden it comes from is organic and is known for unique styles of tea. After being picked in May 2013, the leaves were heavily oxidized.

I brewed 1 teaspoon of leaves in 1 cup of nearly boiling water. As the leaves steeped, the water immediately turned a reddish brown. The smell was rich and reminded me of caramelized black tea and sugar. The taste is mellower than the smell but still packed full of flavor! This tea is smoother than expected. As the tea sits in your mouth you can taste some sweeter flavors like sugar and vanilla. It is a full bodied, highly oxidized brew, making it perfect for those who love stronger teas. It isn’t bitter as you may expect due to the oxidation. It isn’t very sweet but it is just right for a black tea.

This was a very enjoyable cup of bold black tea. It warms your insides and gives you a good boost of energy. I love this tea plain but I also think it pairs well with either lemon, or a splash of cream. The leaves, being so strong, can easily be re-steeped a few times. Despite being bold, this tea is not overpowering what-so-ever. It is a great tea for any black tea lover looking for a one-of-a-kind buy.

— To purchase Lalani & Co 2nd Flush Himalayan Imperial Black, 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: Nudo Darjeeling First Flush

Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Nudo Darjeeling No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It's a cool company and concept; I definitely recommend you head over to their website to learn more and maybe give it a try."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.2/10
Other Teaviews: Samantha gave it 7.3/10
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NudodarjeelingYou can’t really talk about this tea without first talking about the company that sells it. If you’re already aware of the way they work, feel free to skip ahead. So basically the way it works is you ‘adopt’ a Darjeeling tea garden. You pay a fee every quarter (the first time is slightly more expensive, but every season after is less money), and they send you a packet of the seasonal harvest from that garden. It’s actually pretty affordable, since with shipping, it still works out to less than $10/ounce, a reasonable fee for quality, farmer-fresh Darjeeling. So it’s a very specific, and very cool, tea of the season club, and I don’t know the numbers, but I assume it’s proper fair trade, too, allowing a good chunk of your coin to make it to the producers themselves.

I don’t know what garden this sample is from, which isn’t something I find troubling. The leaves are surprisingly brown for a first flush Darjeeling, but there are still ample splashes of green. They’re small and choppy, as Darj teas often are. This tasting suffers from the fact that this year’s first flush harvest is already starting to come in, so this leaf is probably about a year old, but I assume if you get it through the program, it’ll be much fresher.

I brew with my usual Darj parameters, one teaspoon per cup at 195° for three minutes. The scent I’d surprisingly earthy with a touch of puerh-like fishiness. The flavour is likewise very unique for a first flush Darjeeling, earthy and malty with just the tiniest hint of muscatel fruitiness underneath, a feature I think I only noticed because I was looking for it. It’s mellow enough that I doubt it will stand up to second steep, but it pulls through nicely and gives a great second cup.

I prefer brighter, crisper FF Darjeelings, so I’m not in love with this leaf, but it’s a good cup. And who knows, it being fresher might be enough to brighten up the flavour. Either way, I wouldn’t jump to adopt whatever garden this is, though if you enjoy more robust and autumnal harvests, this may be more your style. It’s a cool company and concept, though, and if you’re at all intrigued, I definitely recommend you head over to their website to learn more and maybe give it a try.

— To purchase Nudo Darjeeling First Flush, 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: Eco-Cha Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Black Tea

Black Tea, Eco Cha No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea is the perfect cross of an oolong and black tea. The texture of the tea has a creaminess that you will find in some oolongs yet I hadn't found in a black tea before. "
Shaiha’s Teaview: 9.4/10
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ecochashanlinhighIt’s no secret that I lean towards teas from Taiwan and I have found some of the best ones from vendors that are based there. I am willing to bet that is because they are able to develop closer relationships with the growers such as Eco-Cha has done. Most of their sources are people that the owners have known for years and you really can make a difference.

My tea today is a black tea from Taiwan and was actually a mistake because the tea master had forgotten about them overnight and they oxidized too much to be made into an oolong. What a happy mistake.

The dry leaves are a dark pine green and give off a woody fragrance. Some of the leaves are longer while others are rolled up like an oolong. I set them up to brew using boiling water and a steep time of two minutes. The resulting liquor is a light golden brown and has a faint aroma of cooked apples along with spices such as cinnamon and pepper.

This tea is the perfect cross of an oolong and black tea. The texture of the tea has a creaminess that you will find in some oolongs yet I hadn’t found in a black tea before. It tastes of apple pie seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla when just poured yet as it cools a berry flavor emerges. It then reminds me of a flavored black using an excellent tea as a base. There is just the tiniest hint of dryness that lingers after each sip.

Another nod back to its oolong heritage is the fact that you can resteep this tea a few times before the leaves give out. The second time around, a woody flavor also emerged while the berry tastes faded some. Nice complexity.

— To purchase Eco-Cha Shan Lin Xi High Mountain 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: Nudo Darjeeling Monsoon Flush

Black Tea, Nudo Darjeeling No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The flavor of this tea is very rich! If you are into strong black tea and no nonsense, then this tea is a great choice."
Alexa’s Teaview: 7/10
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Nudo Darjeeling is a very intriguing tea company. Looking at their website, I discovered that they allow you to adopt your own tea garden and they send you tea from your garden. Their tea is organic, biodynamic, and fair-trade. They have four flushes from all four seasons and you receive tea from your garden quarterly. You can even take a picture tour of your tea garden. Monsoon Flush is harvested in India during the rainy season.

This black tea smells surprisingly floral. The leaves are very dark. I steeped 1 teaspoon in a cup of water for 3 minutes. The boiling water seemed to turn dark brown almost immediately as the leaves steeped. The light floral smell was slowly overtaken by an earthy, malty smell. The flavor of this tea is very rich! I was surprised at the deep strong flavor of this tea after only 3 minutes of steeping. It has a barley-like flavor. It isn’t too bitter and isn’t very sweet; but it is strong! This tea would be great for coffee lovers since it has bold flavor and a bitter aftertaste that’s very similar to coffee. I tried this tea with a little cream and sugar. The sweetness blends beautifully with the rich, earthy tea.

If you are into strong black tea and no nonsense, then this tea is a great choice. This tea also contains antioxidants and caffeine to give you an energy boost. The only downfall with this tea is that you cannot buy just a bag of it, you have to commit to a whole garden! And buying your own tea garden is not the cheapest thing. The great thing about adopting your own tea garden is that you get a new tea quarterly and you know right where it’s coming from. If you’re looking for a gift for a tea lover, then this company gives you a great option. Who wouldn’t love to have their very own tea garden?

— To purchase Nudo Darjeeling Monsoon Flush, 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: Yaupon Asi Tea Roasted Osceola Blend

Yaupon Asi Tea 1 Comment »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It has a similar profile of hay, fruit, and nuts with less sweetness than guayusa and an added spiciness."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.1/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 7.5/10
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yauponausilogoI had never heard of this herbal before the sample came into Teaviews, but once I did some cursory research, I knew I wanted to try it. According to the website, yaupon is a holly plant, one of the three species of holly that contain caffeine. The other two are yerba maté and guayusa, both of which I have tried and enjoyed. All of this company’s yaupon is “sustainably harvested from secure, wild populations in Florida.” This is the air dried, as opposed to roasted, version.

The amber brew smells similar to its guayusa/mate cousins: fruity and herbal. The flavour is easy to compare to guayusa, and like guayusa, I find it a little hard to describe. It has a similar profile of hay, fruit, and nuts with less sweetness than guayusa and an added spiciness. So it’s similar, but it’s its own unique leaf. If you like either guayusa or mate, this is worth trying because it’s just different enough to make it special.

The website linked below has a wealth of information about this interesting herbal, but if you want to purchase it, you actually order it from Amazon, which is mildly irritating if you live in a country other than the U.S. and don’t like using Amazon.com. But I only really have one major complaint about this herbal, and that’s expense. Right now it works out to about $1 per cup. I understand that it’s probably a small company, and it’s a niche market, but as of right now, you can only buy this in bags, and I assume making it available in a loose leaf version would cut down on the costs? But one tin of it probably won’t break your bank account, and if you think it looks interesting, I definitely recommend trying it at least once if you can.

— To purchase Yaupon Asi Tea Roasted Osceola 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: Katie Katie
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