Review: Mountain Tea Imperial Pearl

Mountain Tea, Oolong Tea No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"In some ways, this oolong really does remind me of a black tea in the richness of flavor without any of the bitterness that one would expect. "
Shaiha’s Teaview: 8.1/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 9.6/10, Alexa gave it 9/10, Raven gave it 8.9/10
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mountainteaimperialpearlIn digging through my samples today, I found one that had been overlooked and yet was waiting patiently for its time to shine. Being vacuum sealed in a foil package, I know that it hasn’t had the opportunity to get stale during its time in the wings. The vendor, Mountain Tea, is one whose wares I have had the pleasure of sampling before. They specialize in growing their own high grade oolong.

My sample today is a dark oolong which Mountain Tea calls a brandy oolong. I wasn’t able to find out just what a brandy oolong is but I can tell you that it has a wonderful deep, dark aroma which bears no resemblance to the alcohol. Instead it reminds me of deep forests and dark molasses.

I set it up to brew using 195 degree water and a steep time of 3 minutes. The resulting liquor is a dark reddish amber and sweet thick aroma of dark brown sugar with a hint of spice. It reminds me almost of molasses cookies fresh out of the oven.

The mouthfeel of this tea is thick and it has a wonderfully sweet flavor that coats the tongue. It brings to mind a fresh honey, baking apples, a faint earthiness and just a hint of spice to wake up the flavors. In some ways, this oolong really does remind me of a black tea in the richness of flavor without any of the bitterness that one would expect.

This tea is a real treat and one that I can see reaching for in the mornings when I have the time to really enjoy a cup. It has the strength and kick that I look for first thing in the mornings without needing the sweetener to avoid the bitterness. Pure goodness all the way around.

— To purchase Mountain Tea Imperial Pearl, 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: Spicely Dulce Matcha Spice

Cinnamon Tea, Green Tea, Matcha Tea, Stevia Leaf Tea, Vanilla Tea No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Though this is very different from the traditional matcha, it is was wonderful treat. If you love vanilla, caramel, and spicy flavors then this matcha is for you."
Alexa’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Daniel gave it 2.1/10
Your Reviews: 5.5/10
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spicelydulcematchaI often have matcha in the morning in place of coffee. Matcha has a similar amount of caffeine to coffee, but unlike coffee, it gives you a boost that normally lasts longer than coffee. This morning I had a big cup of Dulce Matcha Spice. This matcha is made with organic matcha, vanilla, cinnamon, and stevia leaf. The powder smells rich and spicy and very sweet, unlike a plain matcha powder. Rather than being bright green, the powder is a creamy, light green color.

I tried this matcha tea three different ways. First I heated one cup of water to about 180 degrees and added 1 teaspoon of matcha. This method of making matcha is called usucha in Japan. Usucha means “thin tea”. The smell of cinnamon immediately wafted from the steamy water. It reminded me of fall when I make vanilla cinnamon oatmeal. This matcha is not your typical matcha! It is very, very sweet and doesn’t need any addend sweetener. As you swallow this tea, you can feel the spicy cinnamon go down your throat. It is a little gritty from the cinnamon so I would suggest straining this tea. This matcha is very overpowered by the vanilla and cinnamon and is definitely more of a special dessert tea.

The second way I tried this tea was like a latte. I heated one cup of milk and added 1 teaspoon of matcha. I also added 1/4 teaspoon of cocoa powder and some honey. This drink was delicious! Adding this matcha to milk rather than water, created an extremely rich, creamy drink. I would warn against adding any sweetener to this tea though. It is plenty sweet on its own!

Lastly, I tried this tea chilled. I put one cup of almond milk in a blender with 1 1/2 teaspoon of matcha and 2 teaspoons of coconut sugar. I topped it off with some ice cubes. This was probably my favorite way to drink the matcha. The chilled milk balances out the spicy cinnamon. In cold milk, I could detect more of the matcha flavor.

Though this is very different from the traditional matcha, it is was wonderful treat. If you love vanilla, caramel, and spicy flavors then this matcha is for you. If you aren’t a fan of the traditional, bitter matcha, then you’ll love this sweet version. In the winter you can drink this matcha hot and in the summer you can drink this matcha cold. It will energize you and satisfy your sweet tooth.

— To purchase Spicely Dulce Matcha Spice, 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: Teayama Tai Ping Hou Kui

Green Tea, Teayama No Comments »
Raven’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The tea's wide, smoother leaves afford a bit more mature natured green with a sweet side. "
Raven’s Teaview: 7.3/10
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teayamataipingWith slimmer pickings of tea shops here in Canada, next to our American kin, it’s always fantastic to stumble upon a new tea company, to always wondering how I’ve missed them. So Teayama was quite the eureka of a find which, became even more golden upon finding their wide array of tea of all kinds, including flavoured blends. Despite being among China’s famous ten teas, Tai ping hou kui is not an everyday find either so, it seemed a fitting intro to Teayama’s selections.

The leaves of Tai Ping Hou Kui are always amusing as a two leaf and a bud pluck that is pressed flat as if ironed. Although they are frequently imprinted with a characteristic cross hatch pattern, as vestiges of the basket pressing, Teayama’s version are smoother with a light dotting on one side, displaying the streaks of olive green, tannish cream and brown hues, like an artist’s canvas. With some vees and more single silhouettes, the leaves are long and wider, about half an inch wide, seeming a bit more brown tinged than often seen. They are fragrant though, with an unexpected scent that bears some reminders of sheng pu erh. A touch wiry, the bouquet has a figgy, plum-like metallic sweetness and slight caked hay quality. The scent is quite fruity with an aged calm perhaps, suited to the leaves’ pronounced stature. They rise to salute in the glass as they brew, as Teayama kindly suggests, using one and a half grams, which makes quite the cluster of leggy leaves. Once steeped, the golden tea is moderately fragrant, awakening more of its green tea heart although, it isn’t as green a scent. Instead, the scent retains the sweetness and slight metallic of the dried leaves, commingling with a salty, almost smoky quality, that brings to mind canned bamboo or palm hearts. It’s an interesting scent with a warm peacefulness but it doesn’t seem so lively. A sip finds a similar paradigm, as the tea invites with a smooth feel that easily envelopes one’s tongue from the medium body yet, the taste has less presence. It’s a light, mellow flavour with a tinge of metal and a plum-like finish, leaving a slight saltiness on one’s tongue. Although there’s little aftertaste, the tea builds with a faint piney echo. The tea does have an ease in the relaxed flavour but doesn’t really have the draw befitting its langly leaves.

Into a second infusion of the leaves yields a darker brew that develops more body to its scent, adding a tinge of brothiness. As it retains a hint of sweet and tinny notes, the aroma is reminiscent of canned artichoke liquor while drier notes lend a slight chalkiness. The tea remains smooth, although a tad drier, riding the mild palm hearts or cooked bean sprouts kind of flavour. The tea’s flow seems less easy and slightly blunting while it finishes with a tingle on the tongue and a light wave of saltiness.

At one glance at the leaves nonchalant pose, it is hard not to try for a third steep. Although the tea is paler, it retains a light scent, still somewhat sweet and salty as it brings to mind soaked raisins and cornflakes with a powdery splash. The medium body is just a touch wiry, continuing to have a mellow elemental tinged vegetal, now similar to cooked celery leaves and reeds, that progresses to fresh celery leaves as it builds.

Just as Teayama was an unexpected find, Teayama’s Tai Ping Hou Kui brings it’s own unexpected twist. Perhaps their description of the tea as having a dark rustic tone should have been a nod to the tea’s more mature ilk. While the tea does have an amiable nature with a sweet bouquet and easy flavour, it’s not as green spirited as other Tai Ping Hou Kui’s I’ve had. That could be a good thing for some or apt for times when one wants to shake a leg with a mellower brew.

— To purchase Teayama Tai Ping Hou Kui, 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: Raven Raven
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Review: Craft of Tea Summer Fusion

Black Tea, Craft of Tea, Peach Tea No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This has to be one of the best black tea and peach blends that I have tried."
Shaiha’s Teaview: 8.9/10
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craftteasummerBeing a beautiful summer morning, I decided that a tea with the name of Summer Fusion would be perfect. This is a gorgeous tea from a ‘new to me’ vendor, Craft of Tea. They offer a monthly subscription service with a twist where you can choose what samples you would like to sample in your monthly package. It reminds me of the Netflix of tea because you add to your favorites and you will get either samples or full size selections each month. Your choice. Of course, you can also purchase teas the old fashioned way.

My sample this morning has the wonderful aroma of fresh peaches. It is a pretty blend of black tea and what I think is marigold petals. I set it up to brew using boiling water and steep time of four minutes. The resulting liquor is dark and now the fragrance is more of baked peaches.

The base black tea is very smooth with just a hint of spice which really highlights the peach flavor. The peach flavor is bold and tastes just like a ripe peaches. Even though it is a flavoring, it has an all natural flavor to it. This has to be one of the best black tea and peach blends that I have tried.

I am impressed. This is tea is really like having a touch of summer in your cup. If you are planning on signing up for Craft of Tea’s subscription plan, I recommend adding this selection to your favorites.

— To purchase Craft of Tea Summer Fusion, 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: Mountain Tea Medium Roast Tie Guan Yin

Mountain Tea, Oolong Tea No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea requires multiple steepings in order to uncover all the flavors is offers. It’s a good tea to slowly enjoy on a rainy day. "
Alexa’s Teaview: 7.9/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 7.8/10, CJ gave it 10/10, Samantha gave it 8.0/10, Shaiha gave it 7.8/10
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mountainmediumtieguanyinMountain Tea is a tea company that began in Taipei, Taiwan. They have high elevation gardens in Taiwan and aim to offer high quality, sophisticated tea. Their tea is organic and free from pesticides and chemicals. They offer a wide range of oolong, including their award winning Medium Roast TieGuanYin. TieGuanYin is a variety of Chinese oolong.

The oolong is dark green and smells grassy. As the leaves steep and begin to unfurl, the steam smells brothy and vegetal. I brewed one teaspoon of oolong in one cup of water at 190 F. This oolong has many layers of flavor that can be detected at different amounts of steeping. After steeping for only 3 minutes, the tea tastes like a typical, medium roast oolong. It is similar to green tea but richer. The aftertaste is sweet and reminds me of peppermint.

After re-steeping the tea leaves for about 4 minutes, I was able to detect more of the flavors that Mountain Tea uses to describe their tea. The tea is more rich and bitter, reminding me of a dark roast coffee. It has a more acidic, fruity aftertaste that one might relate to a nectarine. As the tea sits in your mouth you may be able to taste caramel and brown sugar as well.

All in all it is an enjoyable oolong with layers of flavor. This tea requires multiple steepings in order to uncover all the flavors is offers. It’s a good tea to slowly enjoy on a rainy day. For me, this isn’t a tea I’d drink everyday, but maybe once a week.

— To purchase Mountain Tea Medium Roast Tie Guan Yin, 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: Yezi Tea Dragon Well Master Grade

Dragonwell Tea, Green Tea, Yezi Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It's an honest to goodness quality tea from what looks like a quality company."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.6/10
Other Teaviews: CJ gave it 10/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

yezidragonwellmasterThis is my first sample from Yezi, but I can tell already they’re the kind of company I live to buy tea from. Their website is beautiful and helpful, and the notes on this tea include information on the specific farmer who grows this leaf. It’s those kinds of facts that make me okay with a higher price tag for a tea because obviously it’s not hiding behind fancy words or frilly packaging.

This is the higher of two grades of Dragonwell available from the site, and the leaves a broad, flat, and grassy green. I put 5 grams in my 8 ounce glass teapot and brew at 176° for thirty seconds. I get a pale milky yellow liquor with a creamy, vegetal scent.

The flavour is mildly creamy and vegetal. It’s delicate yet rich with a beautiful brothy texture. It’s completely smooth with no bitterness or astringency. I steep again for a minute this time, and I’m disappointed to find the cup is already extremely mild, even for a tea as delicate as a Dragonwell. I drag out a reluctant third steep

It’s an honest to goodness quality tea from what looks like a quality company. My only complaint is that, while the first steep is amazing, it goes downhill shockingly quickly. The latter steeps aren’t bad by any means, but they aren’t remarkable. I’m definitely interested to try more from Yezi Tea if I get the chance, though. I like their style.

— To purchase Yezi Tea Dragon Well Master Grade, 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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