Review: Martea Elite Teas – Tie Guan Yin

Chinese Tea Company, Oolong Tea No Comments »
Emma’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I love orange, but this brew hot just seemed too tart for me. I tried it iced, and it was much, much better. T"
Emma’s Teaview: 8/10
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Martea says: “This medium bodied Chinese oolong has the sweet essence of orange, perfect served hot or iced.” I didn’t think that the orange was very sweet, to me it tasted quite tart. To be fair, I brewed two cups, thinking that the orange would mellow with another infusion, but it didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love orange, but this brew hot just seemed too tart for me. I tried it iced, and it was much, much better. The orange was sweeter once cold, I had two glasses then, and didn’t even need sweetener.

The look of the tea is very pretty. Dark oolong leaves mixed with bright orange bits convey the crisp scent of orange that wafts up from the tea. As it steeps the orange gets more and more powerful. I loved it iced, if you like a tart orange, you will like this tea hot as well. As for me, ice cubes please!

Elite Tie Guan Yin of the highest category, for its production uses only the best tea leaves are collected manually. Tie Guan Yin – the most famous oolong tea variety produced in the south of Fujian province, Anxi County. Good quality oolong tea is determined by the size of the sheet – it must be intact. Fermentation affects only the edges of the sheet, and the taste of oolong tea is composed of harmony of two colors – the taste of processed tea and natural. Infusion varies from pinkish to golden color with a strong peach flavor and rich aroma; Oolong Tie Guan Yin is inherent in a long honeyed finish. How to cook: 1 teaspoon infuser 150 ml. water. Brew 1 minute at a water temperature of 70-80 C. can be brewed several times.

 

— To purchase Martea Elite Teas – 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: Emma Emma
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Review: Teasenz Xin Yang Mao Jian

Green Tea, Teasenz No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The sort of tea I would buy and drink daily."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.2/10
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Teasenz specialises in Chinese teas, and I’ve had both extremely good and bad experiences with them, so I am never quite sure what to expect. The leaves of this tea are beautiful: 2 inches long, twisted dark green spears. I measure out about a teaspoon or so, mostly guesswork since the leaves are too big to fit into a spoon, and brew it in one cup 175° water for three minutes.

The liquor is a light hay-yellow colour that smells vegetal, mostly like cooked artichoke. The flavour is mostly mild vegetal with a slightly bitter backing and a subtle underlying smokiness. The second steep is slightly milder than the first with more subdued flavours, but it’s a good follow-up.

Overall, it’s a subtle, beautiful green tea. It’s everything I want and expect from an affordable green tea. It’s definitely the sort of thing I would buy and drink daily.

— To purchase Teasenz Xin Yang Mao Jian, 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: Pahadi Tea Single Estate Tippy Assam Black Tea

Assam Tea, Black Tea, Pahadi Tea No Comments »
Melanie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It made a fantastic breakfast tea, and a very nice afternoon tea."
Melanie’s Teaview: 8/10
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Pahadi Tea specializes in tea from the Himalayan Hill Region. They are excited to provide the freshest tea possible, having fulfillment centers located in the heart of each production origin. In their black tea categories they have a wonderful selection of Darjeeling teas, flavored teas, and Assam teas.

When I opened this tea, it smelled so fresh! Then I saw the size of the leaves! They are the largest Assam tea leaves I have ever seen – sprinkled with gold tips!

I wasn’t even able to use a tea scoop or spoon for this tea. A good pinch with thumb and first 2 fingers (gently so I didn’t break the leaves) was the perfect amount of tea for a cup. When I brewed a pot I used 3 pinches.

Of course, I started with fresh cold water and brought it just to boil. I experimented with the time and found 5 minutes to be optimum! I did find if I went above 5 minutes it started to get a bit bitter and if I steeped it less than 5 minutes, it was too weak for me. However, keep in mind that I love my black tea to be bold and strong. So 4 minutes may not be to light for some people.

The tea has a reddish tint to it’s color but it has the softest scent and flavor of honey. It’s is a medium bodied Assam – not the heaviest, nor the strongest Assam I have ever tasted, but it held up well with a bit of milk added.

The flavor reminded me a bit of a blend of Ceylon and Assam. Though medium bodied, it was very gentle, smooth and only slightly malty. It made a fantastic breakfast tea, and a very nice afternoon tea. I must admit, that I was disappointed when my sample ran out!

The tea that I have received from Pahadi is so beautiful and smells so fresh when it comes out of the bag. I can tell they put a lot of effort into the quality and freshness of the tea they sell!

— To purchase Pahadi Tea Single Estate Tippy Assam 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: Melanie Melanie
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Review: Dachi Tea Co. No. 7 Oriental Beauty

Dachi Tea, Oolong Tea, Uncategorized No Comments »
CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Sort of a drama queen. She has many personalities!"
CJ’s Teaview: 8/10
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Oriental Beauty is an odd tea. The flavor bouquet can be so… floral, it reminds me of soap or bath gel. In other words, it is not one of my favorites. Which is surprising, because it is so highly oxidized that it is quite close to being a black tea, and black teas ARE my favorite.

On the other hand, Oriental Beauties tend to be SO fragrant and flavorful, you can get many, many, pots of tea from one batch of leaves. And each batch is a little bit different. For these reasons, OB’s can be pricey. (Dachi sells about 2.7 ounces for 42 dollars!)

In general, a good OB can be identified by two things:
-the slightly sour aroma and flavor lent to it by parasitic leaf-hoppers. They chew on it good and long before farmers ever begin picking;
-a full, honey-like quality.

Dachi’s No. 7 scored high on both counts. Granted, the sweeter, less floral notes didn’t emerge for me until the second and third infusions, but what infusions they were!

During the second infusion, No. 7 revealed a rather cinnamon-like characteristic, just like Dachi promised. I was skeptical, but when it appeared, I was smitten.

The third time around the leaves were at their sweetest and fullest. Only the tiniest bit of leaf-hopper tang remained-just enough to remind me that I was indeed drinking an Oriental Beauty.

My relationship with Oriental Beauty is a melodramatic one. I start out hating those soapy, first dates, but I don’t break up with her. By the time I’ve put her through enough hot water, I’m glad I stuck around. I rate her an 8.

— To purchase Dachi Tea Co. No. 7 Oriental Beauty, 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: Majani White Tea

Majani Teas, White Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It has notes of honey, milk, and vanilla with an underlying faintly floral taste."
Katie’s Teaview: 7.9/10
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“White Tea” doesn’t tell me much about what the leaves will look like so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I opened this tin. I was pleased to find a ‘silver needle’ style leaf: Long, fuzzy white spears that rival any other white tea I’ve seen for beauty. Since they look like silver needles, I decide to brew them that way, steeping 1 tablespoon at 175° for 3 minutes.

Unsurprisingly, I get a cup with a pale, milky yellow liquor and a faint scent. The flavour is very sweet and creamy. It has notes of honey, milk, and vanilla with an underlying faintly floral taste. It has no acidity to balance the sweet creaminess, which I find mildly disappointing. Overall, however, it is a unique white tea. Its prevalent, unbalanced sweetness makes it reminiscent of a sugar cookie, so while it isn’t my favourite white tea, I appreciate it. I try a second steep, which is tasty enough but lacks character. Mildly sweet and floral, I would resteep again, but it isn’t anything special.

My favourite way to brew this tea ends up being the laziest: Throw some leaves in hot water and brew forever, sipping around the leaves and adding more hot water and leaves as I go. The complete lack of bitterness or astringency lends itself perfectly to this style of brewing, since it never gets too strong or bitter. It’s just a sweet, tasty cup, lacking much subtlety or depth as you’d expect from a tea brewed this way, but it’s so delicious and easy to brew I find I don’t care.

— To purchase Majani White 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: Katie Katie
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Review: The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Co Tanzania BOP

Black Tea, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Co No Comments »
Melanie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I'm so glad Kent and Sussex introduced me to this tea! How wonderful to find a tea, grown in Africa - that stands up to the quality of the typical Assam or Ceylon."
Melanie’s Teaview: 9/10
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Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company has an amazing variety of tea choices! So many companies that have a huge selection like this often lack in quality, but all 3 samples I received from Kent and Sussex were of superior quality!

I chose the Tanzania BOP because I love a good strong black tea in the morning. BOP, or Broken Orange Pekoe is a smaller, ball shaped leaf piece, and as such, gives a good strong cup of tea. However, don’t confuse it with the dust that you find in regular teabags. It’s much larger and much tastier.

Kent and Sussex Tea Company is located in the village of Pluckley in Kent England. So it made sense to me to rely on my English tea making skills and drink this tea out of my fanciest porcelain tea cups.

I started by heating my teapot with hot water and letting it sit whilst I prepared the kettle. I started with fresh cold water and brought it just to boil. I used a tea spoon I purchased in England (which are smaller than teaspoons we use in America). I used three heaping spoonfuls of tea and put it in my mesh strainer and poured the boiling water over it.

The website instructions suggest steeping it 3-5 minutes, but from my experience, most black teas are perfect for me when I steep them 6 minutes, so that’s what I did. The tea was perfect!

This tea is strong, but with little to no acidity or bitterness. I get a bit of background notes of tropical fruit, honeycomb and spice.

This tea takes milk well, and sugar if you like. It is an excellent morning or afternoon tea. It goes well with sweet treats, and it goes well with savory food. And of course, it tastes best out of a teacup!

How wonderful to find a tea, grown in Africa – that stands up to the quality of the typical Assam or Ceylon. As much as I love these those two types of tea, I could easily choose this Tanzania BOP as my regular Sunday morning tea (the day I treat my self to a pot of high quality black tea). I would certainly be willing to serve this to company and at a tea party. I’m so glad Kent and Sussex introduced me to this tea!

— To purchase The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Co Tanzania BOP, 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: Melanie Melanie
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