Lemongrass and Ginger. . . .Empa-Tea/Miss TeaSmith

Things have been unique as of late with my family.  We are currently experiencing some life changing news and are working on addressing and processing all of this new info we’ve been given.  Except for me- who has decided to go on this mad teaware and tea buying spree, which is not necessarily a bad thing- I just have not had the mind set to sit down and actually enjoy what I’ve been buying as of late.

Until this beauty showed up at my door.  Empa-Tea is a simple blend of ginger and lemongrass that we’ve seen a few different versions of.  Sometimes there is a bit of rose or lavender in the blend but an herbal ginger lemongrass blend is pretty common.  This particular blend only has ginger and lemongrass listed in the ingredients on the label (on the website the ingredients also list lime peel, lemon verbena, lime leaves, red peppercorns and sunflower petals)  but I am spying some peppercorn along with possibly some citrus peel as well.  The name struck me and it seemed like the perfect time to check this blend out.

I prepped this blend a few different ways but my absolute favorite way was to cold brew this blend over night in sparkling water from my Soda Stream. I can’t seem to get enough of it.  Bright pops of the ginger and lemongrass really blend well with the citrus undertones and the fresh bubbles of the sparkling water.  Our lovely VariaTea creates unique tea concoctions all the time and I thought I’d try my hand with this blend.  And so happy I did.  Bubbly sweet, spicy, with a citrus note. . .you can’t go wrong.  Completely puts the sparkling water flavors you can pick up at the local grocery store to shame or at least a bit.

I did try this blend as both a regular cold brew and brewed hot and all were lovely.  The prominent notes that came across with each brewing was the ginger and the lemongrass.  The citrus notes were more muted when hot brewed but cold brewed you were able to pick up on those.

Versatile blend and classic flavors, you really can’t go wrong with a solid fresh ginger lemongrass blend like Empa-Tea no matter how you prep it.

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Miss TeaSmith


ingredients – Ginger, Lemongrass, Lemon Verbena, Lemon peel, Lime Leaves, Red Peppercorns, Sunflower Petals

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

**This tea was sent to the SororiTea Sisters in exchange for a review**

My Monday Adventure with Raspberry Black Pine/Teaside. . . .

Happy Monday morning tea friends!

Today, I needed a tea adventure. I needed something different than my usual.  Work has been a bit more complex lately and I wanted something unique to enjoy and distract me from what was going on in my inbox. So I closed my eyes and grabbed this beauty from Teaside- Raspbery Black Pine, a Shu pu-erh.  Pu-erh and I are acquaintances and I don’t spend the time I need to with this tea variety.  I’ve tried and tried to really get into pu-erh but for the most part, I become very overwhelmed. I see all of these amazing pics on Instagram and the knowledge those folks have of pu-erh and I so want to be in that crowd- but always seem to see another shiny spoon or dive back into my favorite oolongs or a solid black tea instead.

To get my tea party started, I prepped up my water and brought out my new gaiwan and started to get myself centered. I completed my first rinse of the lovely tea and started working on my first steeping. First steeping in, I was really taken back my how lovely the brew looked. Rich tones of brown with a hint of red almost purple around the edges. Took a sip and really only got creamy notes and not a whole lot of anything else.  I’m assuming I just didn’t steep long enough so I went about setting up my next cuppa.  The next few goes were a bit of the same so I added a bit more leaf, allowed the tea to brew longer, and tried again.

This time, the taste was more what I was looking for.  The earthy notes were really shining and there was a hint of a sweetness here and there but I wouldn’t say it was fruity.  A nutty note is also creaping in.  Delicious and incerdibly warming.

Reading over the views, it appears this shu dose take a few steeps before really opening up and I think I’m hitting that point now. Each sip I’m really digging this tea more and more. The aftertaste is really started to define itself and I’m almost loving that tail end of the sip more than the actual drinking of the tea.

Right here is one of the reasons why I love tea so very much.  The adventure the tea takes you while you are going about your day.  This would be a lovely tea to really sit and enjoy but unfortunately, my days anymore are a bit busy so I will be enjoying this delight the best way I can today.

As a lof of us tea enthusiasts say- there is no wrong way to enjoy tea.  I know that I may not be steeping this tea in a 100% true gongfu fashion but my set and this lovely ripe pu-erh up is truly adding some much needed tea love to my day.  Excited to see what additional steeps bring me today!

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Teaside


Craft Shou (Ripe) Pu-erh made of spring 2018 material from Thai 300-500-year-old trees. Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, 1300 meters above sea level.

Fermented in September 2018.

The dry tea smells milky, raspberry and conifer with hints of salinity. In the taste is an interesting interweaving of coniferous oily tones with raspberries and dairy. Since the 3-4 infusion, sweet woodiness and almonds appear. Aftertaste with pine and walnut tones, slight bitterness.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jin Kong Que/Masters by Adagio Teas

Lately I’ve found myself skipping over the flavored teas and going straight to my straight teas.  Flavored teas just haven’t been hitting it for me and so this am while I was setting up my tea tray with my tea for the day, I grabbed this delight- Jin Kong Que from Masters by Adagio Teas.  Reading the description the mention of roasted sweet potato caught my eye and my tastebuds.

Brewed with freshly boild water and allowed to steep just for about 30 seconds or so, this tea delivers spot on flavors that keep you reaching for your cuppa.  Lovely soft roasted notes with a sweetness that does remind you of a sweet potato are definetly coming through strong.  In the background you are getting this beautiful malty touch that levels each sip out along with a roasted/toasted finish.  Smooth, simple, yet so on point and so delicoiusly addictive.  I did under steep the tea and the parameters on the site indicate 2-3 minutes but since I used a bit more leaf, I wanted to be conservative without overbrewing.

Next steeping, I did allow the tea to properly steep and I think I preferred doing a shorter steep.  The light delicate flavors I was really enjoying before are still enjoyable but there is a harsher after taste of astrigency that I’m not 100% loving.  I could have also over steeped by a moment or two so that harshness could be my bumbling of steeping.

Regardless, this tea shows how simply smooth, rich, and beautiful a black tea really can be.  I’m quite in love with this tea and sad that I no longer have this tea to enjoy but happy the tea is still available on the site so I have a feeling this tea will be a future buy quite soon.

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Masters by Adagio Teas


Jin Kong Que is a remarkable tea handmade in the Yunnan Province of China. It has a rare ability to balance bold flavor without giving off bitterness. Its name, which translates to Golden Peacock, is as flashy as its namesake with fairly large, very golden leaves and leaf buds. The liquor does not disappoint as it boasts intricate notes of honey, toastiness, cocoa, and roasted sweet potato.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hot Lavender/Ruby Lion Teas

Since being sick, I’ve noticed a change in my tastebuds. Flavored teas just haven’t hit the spot for me and I’ve been grabbing and seriously enjoying teas that I never thought I would.  This tea is one of those teas.

Hot Lavender is a tea blend of lavender, black tea, cloves, and chili peppers- all things that have never been in my favorite column.  For some reason last night, the tin for this tea caught my attention and with how weird my taste buds have been- I thought, well let’s give this blend a steep.  I had already (sadly) dumped a few steepings of other teas that just were not agreeing with my taste buds so I wasn’t exactly sure what I expected from this blend.

Steeped up with freshly boiled water and allowed to steep for right around 3 minutes- this tea delivers delicious notes and them some with each and every sip.

I’ve never been a lavender fan- but the lavender in this tea is blended perfectly.  The tea comes off slightly floral and sweet.

I’ve never been a clove fan- but the clove adds this hint of spice and almost texture (dare I say) which really mingles with the chili peppers.

I’ve never been much of a black tea fan- but the black tea is brisk, robust, yet mellow and subtle.  I’m not getting any kind of astrigency at all.

I’ve never been a fan of chili peppers in tea- love them in food- but not in tea yet the spicy notes hit the back of your throat gorgeously and really blend well with the rest of the blend.

Tea has always been a huge part of my life but after starting my own tea business- I’ve found that most of my attention has gone more into blending up flavored teas for my customers instead of teas for myself or even taking the time to enjoy a proper cup.  This blend has renewed my tastebuds and I’m eagerly enjoying this tea.  I even woke up this mroning and one of my first thoughts was- yippiee Hot Lavender for breakfast!

Hot Lavender has hit so many notes with me that I’ve pretty much decided that this blend will always be in my tea stash and I’m currently putting together an order.  I’m now eager to check out all of their blends- especially their Earl’s Gone Wild.  I’m curious to see if Ruby Lion will change my mind on earl grey blends as well.

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Ruby Lion Blends


In an instant, a red-hot avalanche spilled from a cleft in the mountainside, pouring down toward the sea, where the captain stood, watching from his motionless ship. As the cloud of fire sped towards him, death merely moments away, he calmly drank his tea and snapped the perfect shot with his camera, capturing all the majesty of the volcano in monochrome.

Our blend of spicy chili, lavender and black tea is inspired by this intrepid Victorian photographer, who never let anything stand in his way.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Gourmet Root Beer/52 Teas. . . .#sipdown

What a weird time we are in right now. .  .The majority of us are in lockdown and are experiencing feelings and situations that are new to us.  Trying to keep sane with working remotely and e learning for our kiddos is starting to become our new normal.  I typically work remotely anyway but not with my stepsons and kiddos e learning and my husband working right beside me as well.  On top of all those new experiences,  I have been sick for literally over a month now with a respitory infection that seems to be lingering so there is currently a me sized imprint in my couch.  I finally have enough energy ( or should say I just made myself get back to) to start getting my routine back which included pulling out my tea stash and making an effort to drink down some delights that I still have.

One of the first delights that caught my eye was Gourmet Root Beer from 52Teas.  This is an older tea but one that I remember enjoying the first go around.  Instead of brewing this tea hot, I decided this would be a perfect tea to cold brew while I work on hot brewing other teas.  And what a great choice I made!

To start, I used a tea straw, my handy tervis, some ice, and cold water.  I emptied the contents of the loose leaf tea into the cup, added the ice and cold water and let the cup sit for a bit.  There was quite a bit of leaf left probably too much for one serving but I wasn’t paying attention and just dumped the contents into my cup. I’ll blame that oops on my current mediciation that is making me a bit loopy.

First sip in and I was reminded of how much I adore 52Teas.  Not just because of the incredible flavors they are able to create but just the love and passion that goes into each blend.  The rootbeer flavor is the front runner for sure witha touch of the anise falling behind.  Fresh and delightful! I can’t say that I taste a whole lot of black tea notes but since I cold brewed the tea and the brewing hasn’t been going long, I think I’m mainly picking up on the extracts and I’m not mad at that.

Fast forward ten minutes and I’ve added a bit more cold water and took another sip.  Again, the root beer and sarsaparilla flavors are the front runners with notes of the black tea starting to lightly drift in.  Again, still not mad at the flavors coming across especially with all of the medicines.  This bright pop of rootbeer flavor is exactly what I have been craving.

Not sure how this tea would be hot brewed but that is the beauty of tea. . .so many different ways to brew and enjoy.  And now after this afternoon ditty, I’m craving 52Teas. . .looks like I know how I am going to be spending my birthday money!

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas


This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!