Bukit Cheeding No. 53/BOH Tea -VariaTEA

Photo Credit: BOHTea

The fun thing about tea is that there are so many different varieties from all over the world. I have had tea from Zimbabwe, tea from China, tea from Israel, tea from the UK, tea from Sri Lanka and the list keeps going. Today I get to add to that list with a tea from Malaysia, BOH Tea’s Bukit Cheeding No. 53, a full-flavored Broken Orange Pekoe breakfast tea.

I have never been one for breakfast teas. I like the more smooth and sweet dessert teas as opposed to the robust breakfast ones. This tea is certainly in the latter category. In fact, it’s description highlights the robustness of this tea when it says “Its strong, brisk character stimulates the mind making it a perfect start to the day”. This is not a tea I would have picked for myself but my SororiTea Sisters were kind enough to send me a sample so the least I could do is give it a try.

My first sip really woke me up. When they say strong, robust, brisk, etc., they mean it. It’s certainly an orange pekoe with its sharp citrus zest flavor atop a drying and slightly astringent base. Normally I like my teas plain but I took BOH’s advice and added just a splash of milk. They also suggest adding sugar but I think that might take me too far outside my comfort zone.

The milk helps with the drying aspect of the tea. It’s creamy and has a nice citrus flavor, albeit more pithy than bright. It is still brisk.

This truly is a morning tea and for those who enjoy a great breakfast blend, this could be a nice one to try, especially if you’re a milk and sugar type of person since this tea can hold up to all additives.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy:  BOH Tea

Description

Robust and full bodied. Strong and brisk for breakfast.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Original Earl Grey (TE10)/Upton Tea Imports -VariaTEA

Photo Credit: Upton Tea

I don’t really like strong bergamot flavor. Every now and then I’ll reach for an Earl Grey Cream or a flavored Earl Grey but a straight Earl Grey has never been my thing. However, a friend was kind enough to share a sample of Upton Tea Imports’ Original Earl Grey (TE10) and so I figured it was at least worth a try. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to try and make the best of it so I found a London Fog recipe online and got to prepping.

I steeped 3 perfect teaspoons in 8 ounces of boiling water for 4 minutes per the company’s steeping parameters. I used the 3/4 of cup of leftover coconut milk in my fridge, topped with some 1% milk to get to 1 cup. I frothed the milk with 2 teaspoons of honey and one removed from the heat I added 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract. This got poured over the steeped tea.

This is a super creamy latte with a whole lot of coconut and vanilla flavor. Coconut milk is always very rich but to me it is always a touch heavy and seems ever-so-slightly savory (for lack of a better word and maybe because I associate it with thai food more than anything else). I am glad I diluted it down with the 1% milk as well. The honey comes through as a nice balance to the coconut and vanilla, adding some sweetness but not as much as I expected, which is preferable for my tastes.

Of course, how could I talk about a London Fog without mentioning the earl grey itself. I actually am happily sipping away at this one because the bergamot is very nicely balanced. It adds a freshness and a nice citrus flavor but one that is more suited to the cool fall weather. Whereas lemon and lime are typically bright and zingy and make for a nice and refreshing tea in the spring and summer, London Fogs are more cozy. This definitely fits that description.

Unfortunately given all the other ingredients I can’t definitively say that this tea is good or bad but as a base for a London Fog, this tea is perfect. It’s got enough bergamot flavor to push through everything else in the mug without being too harsh or overbearing. Furthermore, from what I can taste, I would say this is good quality given the base is not bitter or astringent either. I still have a fair amount of leaf left in the sample but with this new recipe, courtesy of the Nourishing Gourmet .  I am sure I will make quick work of it.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Upton Tea Imports

Description

China Black tea base with bergamot flavor. Produced for the British market, this tea has less bergamot than some American counterparts.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hot Mama Jama/Bird and Blend Tea Co -variaTEA

Photo Credit: Bird and Blend Tea Co

The weather is quickly cooling down and though I am glad to see the humid days behind me, I am going to miss not having to walk a half hour in the freezing wind to get to/from campus. In light of this conflict over the weather, I went with a hot/spicy tea that also has a tropical vibe, Hot Mama Jama by Bird and Blend Tea Co.

This tea is a Chinese green tea blended with lemongrass, lime leaves and pieces (large pieces at that), chili seeds, hibiscus, rosehip, apple pieces, orange peel, passion fruit pieces, mango pieces, and flavoring. I steeped it for 3 mins in 175F water and I am drinking it plain.

The chili has a strong scent as I lift the mug to take a sip and though the flavor is definitely present in the cup, I wouldn’t say this tea is particularly spicy. Instead I get the flavor of chili upfront and a tiny bit of warmth in the back of my throat throughout the sip. That chili flavor melts into a (mostly tropical) fruity flavor that comes out exceptionally sweet in contrast. Sweet but not cloying. The lemongrass can be more prominent than I like at times but mostly there is just a bright citrus note thanks to the lime and orange. I also definitely get a lot of mango with some bursts of passion fruit here and there. The foundation flavor here keeping everything grounded and underlying the entire sip is the familiar hibiscus/rosehip flavor that is found in so many fruity teas/tisanes. Thankfully it is not strong here as it typically is.

This makes me think of a mango sprinkled with chili powder as the two flavors are both present and compliment each other just as well in tea form as they do when enjoying that treat. With that said, this isn’t necessarily the highest quality tea or the best tea but it is unique and tasty. It is the type of tea that I can enjoy every now and then because it is something different than my usual go-tos.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Bird and Blend Tea Co

Description

Turn up the chilli tea heat and join the tropical carnival with a cup of Hot Mama Jama chilli green tea. But be warned… this blazing remix of refreshing reggae limes and calypso chilli beats will have your taste buds dancing all night long.

Hot Mama Jama is well-loved by our fans in the Brighton Gospel Choir for its amazing abilities to soothe a sore throat. It is the ultimate sore throat tea and when you mix it up with lemon and honey, see sore throat tea recipe it is the best natural remedy for a sore throat that you can find!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pumpkin Chai Maple Latte/DAVIDs Tea -variaTEA

Photo Credit: DAVIDs Tea

Being in the midst of Fall, pumpkin is everywhere. So is Chai. DAVIDsTEA decided to bank on the two beloved flavors at the same time when they combined the two in their Pumpkin Chai tea blend complete with cute little pumpkin sprinkles. This tea has been a fan favorite for years which has led to it being incorporated in several recipes on the DAVIDsTEA blog. One of the recipes, the Pumpkin Chai Maple Latte, caught my eye.

The recipe includes the following ingredients:
1 Perfect Spoonful of Pumpkin Chai tea
1½ cups 95°C/200°F water
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 cup canned coconut milk (coconut milk from a carton will make the latte thinner)
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup or to taste

 

It is a fairly simple recipe. The steps are as follows:
1. Add water, tea and spices to a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil.
2. Lower heat and simmer for 8 min.
3. Add coconut milk, pumpkin puree and maple syrup, and let simmer for another 3-5 min.
4. Strain into mug(s) and enjoy!

One thing I will note is that the last step, straining the mix, is not easy if you don’t have the right utensils. I tried my gravity steeper but that almost immediately got clogged. I think I had to use about 4 strainers from my nordic/perfect tea mugs and slowly let the tea drain out as I stirred the mix in the strainer to push it through. In the end, I got about 12-16 ounces out of the pot and the rest was stuck in the steeper and strainers.

So with that in mind, is it worth the straining disaster? Well, that depends…do you like pumpkin? This is like a rich, creamy, sweet pumpkin soup – a little touch of spice from the cinnamon and ginger and a lot of sweet from the brown sugar and maple. It is very thick which is what is making me think soup as opposed to a beverage, which means it is also very filling. If I am being honest, I’ve never had pumpkin pie, but if someone took the filling, slightly liquefied it and added some ginger to make it a touch more savory, this is what I imagine the result would be. Except with some caramel maple syrup drizzled on top.

For me, this is a little bit weird. I think the slight hint of the pumpkin puree texture that still remains is making me feel like I am trying to drink something that I should be eating with a spoon. It also has a disconnect between the sweet and spice. At first, I get the pumpkin’s natural sweetness with spice but then caramel and maple pop out at the end of the sip and though they are nice flavors, they don’t blend smoothly.

For me, this is likely a recipe I won’t repeat. I have never been a HUGE pumpkin lover and this was too much work (after all the cleaning especially) for something I didn’t love. It was certainly fun to try though.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: DAVIDs Tea

Description

The forever fall must-have. This rich premium black tea is the perfect way to kick off the season. It’s got all the warmth of cinnamon and cloves, plus the sweetness of caramel and pumpkin candy. For a truly unforgettable pumpkin chai latte experience, top it up with steamed milk and stir in a spoonful of brown sugar.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Tea Care Packages/Brewed in Solace -variaTEA-

Photo Credit: Brewed in Solace

Brewed in Solace recently reached out to me via our Instagram asking me if I was interested in one of their Tea Care Packages. My answer was a very fast and excited, “YES!”

The package features a very simple but very pretty teacup and saucer. It is available in a bunch of colours including pink, blue, green, purple, yellow and white. When Brewed in Solace informed me I would get to pick which colour I wanted, I struggled because they are all beautiful. I ended up going with purple, and I am not disappointed.

That was not the only choice I was asked to make. The tea care package I was sent also came with a tea filter in either gold or silver, a candle that was either in fresh linen or lavender, and two different teas. Also, included was a candle label of anything I wanted and a personalized note. These options to personalize make the gift suitable for someone close to you, but it could also work for someone you aren’t as close with since the options are still general enough they should appeal to all!

As for the teas, they are fairly generic tea options. I went with Black Peach and Summer Rose. Nothing truly unique about either, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Today, I am enjoying the Black Peach tea and it is very smooth and with a distinct peach flavor. Basically what you would expect from a tea called Black Peach.

The package costs $65. Given that a teacup and saucer can easily be half that amount, if not more, I would say the price is fair. You get a whole lot of bang for your buck. In fact, the filter was one of the things I was most excited for since I tried to buy something similar and it was going to run me about $20 just for that.

What I really liked about this gift idea was that it was packaged with so much care and love. From the minute I opened the box that it was shipped in, I felt like I was being treated to a beautifully wrapped gift, complete with flowers to make it feel more fun and festive.

The company itself was wonderful to work with – very kind and accommodating. They kept me updated each step of the way, something I did not ask for but made the experience that much better.

So, if you didn’t gather it from this review, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND Brewed in Solace for your tea gift needs if you are looking for something fun and a bit different for anyone on your list!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Package

Where to Buy: Brewed in Solace

Description

All of the coziness in one care package. Included in the care package: tea cup & saucer, gold floral teaspoon, two loose-leaf teas, 2oz natural soy wax candle with custom quote, gift message & tea poem.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!