Rara Willow White Tea from Nepali Tea Traders

rarawillowTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Nepali Tea Traders

Tea Description:  

There are special days in the summer when sunshine is at its best and the tea fields of Jasbirey are shining and almost white. This white tea from Sandakphu is carefully hand-picked during this time to ensure that only one leaf and a bud is plucked. This delicious summer flush is highly aromatic, with hints of orange and lemon. Full leaf, loose tea. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I know I say this a lot when I review a tea, but this tea is:  AMAZING!  Seriously, this is one of the best white teas I’ve had.  It is so sweet, evoking thoughts of the time when I was a kid and I’d go to Disneyland, and I’d go into the candy shop on Main Street and buy a bunch of rock candy on a stick.  It has that kind of sweetness, but with a hint of fruit flavor, just like the rock sugar lollipops from the “happiest place on earth.”

But there’s more to this Rara Willow White Tea from Nepali Tea Traders than just a sugary, fruity sweetness.  Light notes of vegetation (slightly hay-like), hints of melon, and a dewy note that is very refreshing.

This tastes a lot like a white Darjeeling tea, which tends to be my favorite when it comes to white teas.  This is crisp but also juicy, and it seems to sparkle as it washes over the palate.

The sip starts out with a sweet, juicy taste of fruit, and as the sip progresses, I notice the sugary notes.  About mid-sip, the hay-like notes peek through -these are very subtle – and the notes of melon become more defined, as do the notes of citrus.  The finish offers a very light, dry astringency, as if to gently pat the palate dry to ready it for another sip.  If you wait just a moment to enjoy the aftertaste, you’ll notice a more focused citrus note.

A really remarkable white tea.  I’d recommend this to any tea drinker, from the novice who is new to white tea, to the experienced drinker.  If you’re one who feels white tea is too delicate, this tea might convince you of the lovely flavor that white tea has to offer.  If you’re one who likes white tea, you’re going to absolutely adore this one.  I love it!

Sinharaja from Golden Moon Tea

Sinharaja from Golden Moon Tea
Sinharaja from Golden Moon Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Golden Moon Tea

Tea Description:

For Sinharaja we use rich, dark loose leaf tea leaves that are nourished by fertile rain forest streams in the hills of Ceylon. It has a toasty, molasses-like character with ripe berry notes and a caramelized finish. Serve with a touch of raw sugar and cream for a taste that is smooth, full-bodied and warming.


A sweet, full bodied Ceylon Tea

Natural notes of cocoa and honey with a finish of molasses

A personal favorite of our Owner, Marcus Stout

Pairs excellently with milk and honey

Grown at the basin of a rainforest giving it a wonderfully rich flavor


Sinharaja has a touch of astringency, which is great for first thing in the morning

A bold flavor that is heavier than most Ceylon Teas

While good as an iced tea, it actually tastes better hot

Not as malty as other Black Teas (like Assam)

If you drink the tea without milk and sugar/honey, then the second infusion is better than the first

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The aroma of Sinharaja from Golden Moon Tea is delightful. It smells rich, robust, sweet, and full of molasses. Yet to balance out this sweet tea we have an almost spicy, woodsy flavor. It is quite delicious. Now I can’t say it is the most robust black tea, nor the heaviest in the mouthfeel. Actually I have had teas with far more depth of flavor than Sinharaja, however I do love this tea. I like the subtle astringency indicative of a breakfast tea, without the ability for it to easily become bitter when oversteeped. Let’s face it, if I am going to over steep a tea it is going to be when I am barely awake, in the mornings. Well in honesty my mornings are more early afternoon, but you get the idea.

If you like to add creamer, milk, sugar, etc to your tea this is an excellent one to do it with. Although I find this tea to have plenty of flavor on its own and does not need additives, I have to admit that the milk and sugar do bring out new and exciting qualities in this tea. It enhances the richness and makes the tea a bit more robust, rather than drowning out the flavors. I also only added a slight hint of milk, and sugar.

There is a earthy yet sweet balance in this tea that keeps drawing me back. Chocolate notes that seem almost creamy as the cup cools some present. Bright berry notes do liven up the cup giving an almost sparkly like sensation to the palate. The berries taste more red berry, perhaps even a slight cherry or perhaps raspberry note to the cup. Based on the sparkly sensation I am going to have to go with very sweet raspberry.

I particularly love the after taste and while I know that Golden Moon says this is better hot I can’t wait to try it iced. I feel like this is one of those teas that can really match any weather. I can see this being so comforting on a dreary day, or really refreshing on a hot day. I need to get my hands on some more of this.

Maiden’s Ecstasy Organic from Samovar Tea Lounge

Maiden's Esctasy by Samovar Tea Lounge
Maiden’s Esctasy by Samovar Tea Lounge

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Puerh

Where to Buy: Samovar Tea Lounge 

Tea Description:

Wild-crafted from 30-foot trees in the jungles of Southwest China, this tea is a traditional wedding gift and evening mood-setter. Dark, creamy, and luxurious with notes of bittersweet chocolate and espresso.


Tea Type: Pu-Erh

Origin: Jing Mai Mountains in Yunnan, China

Caffeine Level: Medium-high

Processing Details: Tender, young-leaf, vintage, loose leaf Pu-Erh

Tasting and Aroma Specs: Very balanced, smooth, rich and dark, with a slightly sweet, wildflower honey finish. Deep, strong forward notes of earth and moss with a lingering raisin sugar sweetness.

Food Pairing: Dim Sum and Samovar’s Mushroom Quiche

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It is really difficult to sum up a puerh in a review without mentioning each and ever steep. Especially when it is such an excellent puerh like this Maiden’s Ecstasy Organic from Samovar Tea Lounge.

Maiden’s Ecstasy is one of the first pureh that I ever tried and is still one of my favorites. I stopped drinking coffee shortly before I found my love for loose leaf tea, and this Maiden’s Ecstasy provides such a rich, full, and robust cup that it brings back memories of my once loved coffee, but is so much better, and far more flavorful!

With a creamy, heavy mouthfeel, this tea has notes of german rock sugar, brown sugar, raisins, tree bark, oak moss, and so much more. Sometimes you will taste a more woodsy note, while other times you get a taste of chocolate, and other times a savory note of mushroom!

There is something otherworldly about this tea. It is the kind of tea I like to drink while watching a movie such as Avatar, or The Never Ending Story. I would take this and drink it at the Renaissance Festival every year if I could find a way to keep steeping it! It makes me feel like jumping from toadstool to tree trunk and swinging from branches of friendly tress and cavorting with gnomes but beware of the trolls because this tea does have a sparky, spicy kick to it at times as well! Its not dangerous though, it won’t burn your tongue at all, its just a little spark of playful now and then in the middle of an otherwise dreamy cup.

It does evoke thoughts of sipping on a very luxurious espresso, a good one though, one you could probably only find at one of those quaint cafes in Italy, as you sit writing in your diary at a white linen clothed table, dreaming of a romantic interlude. Flavors of molasses peek through resembling the sweet desires playing out in your mind as you gaze into nothingness, while someone, sitting at a table not too far away can see everything emoting through your eyes.

Yes, this tea is that special.

Jasmine Ancient Beauty from The Persimmon Tree

Jasmine Ancient Beauty from The Persimmon Tree
Jasmine Ancient Beauty from The Persimmon Tree

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: The Persimmon Tree

Tea Description:

Our Jasmine Ancient Beauty tea features fragrant jasmine blossoms permeated with pure hand-harvested oolong loose-leaf tea, giving an amber peach color with a fresh aromatic bouquet and sweet refreshing taste.

This beautiful oolong jasmine tea comes from thousand year-old trees on the Jing Mai Mountain in China. The protected forest reserve is enshrouded in mist and located approximately 5,000 feet above sea level. The best buds and leaves are hand plucked by scaling the tall trees and then oxidized using a traditional oxidation process to reach a specific maturation point. They are then crafted with traditional scenting techniques using whole jasmine blossoms. Drink the Jasmine Ancient Beauty Tea and experience a real one-of-a-kind treat.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Jasmine Ancient Beauty from The Persimmon Tree is a cup that is full of flavors. It is by no means your typical oolong!

As a lover of oolong teas I can see how some people could be disappointed in this tea if they go into with expectations of it tasting like any other oolong they have ever had before.

Or if you are one who loves jasmine teas, I could see some disappointment there as well as this is not your typical jasmine tea either.

What this tea IS however is a tea with some amazing depth to it. The flavors are heady, hearty, and full, yet there are these berry like notes that give the cup a lightness that is just so cheery.

This is not robust like a morning black tea, yet there is an earthiness to the tea that makes it very full, almost thick.

Honestly, if no one told me, or I had not read the label before hand, I would have thought this to be a puerh. The leaves do come from a tree that is over a thousand years old according to The Persimmon Tree’s description and I believe it as this tea does have an aged flavor to it for sure.

Other notes I pick up on aside from honey, berry, jasmine, and oolong, are mushroom, earth, woods, brown sugar, toasted oat bread, to name a few. You really need to discover this tea for yourself.

The other thing I love about this tea, other than the wonderful flavor, is the look and feel of the leaves. They are quite stunning!

I really respect a company that gives back. You can read more about The Persimmon Tree and how it is working toward bettering our earth here.


High Country from Trail Lodge Tea

High Country by Trail Lodge Tea
High Country by Trail Lodge Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Trail Lodge Tea

Tea Description:

After a lot of sampling and mixing various teas, we have come up with our very own “house” blend (or maybe I should say “Lodge” blend). The most inspiring places I have ever visited is the Rocky Mountain National Park and the High Country of Yosemite. The mountain springs and lakes were sparkling and the views were magnificent and serene. Visiting these places filled me with tranquility. We can’t often get away to places like this, but you can relax with a simple cup of tea that hopefully can bring some tranquility in your life. That is the inspiration for High Country Tea. It has a clear brisk taste, great for ice teas. The Yunnan gives it a smooth, creamy taste that is perfect for a latte. This tea is a mixture of three Fair trade certified black teas and has a medium body and several golden tips. It is the perfect tea to keep on hand since it is so versatile.

Ingredients: Fair Trade CertifiedTM Organic Ceylon Black Tea, Fair Trade CertifiedTM Organic China Black Tea, and Fair Trade CertifiedTM Organic Indian Black Tea. fair trade new

Learn more about this tea here.



Taster’s Review:

High Country from Trail Lodge Tea is a mix of Ceylon, Yunnan, and Darjeeling that provides a robust yet bright cup for the morning.

I feel as though Trail Lodge Tea really captured their own House Blend in this tea. Sipping on this tea makes me feel like I am snuggled up in a warm blanket inside of a lodge somewhere in the mountains. I can almost feel the snowy winter right outside of my imaginary lodge’s windows.

Within this tea is a slightly smoky flavor, along with a bright cheery fruitiness, and a light sprinkling of cocoa and malt.

The mouthfeel is on the thick side, a little creamy but more akin to a coffee texture or thickness.

This tea would definitely give you the kick start one would want in the morning!

There is an astringency in the sip, and learns toward a slight bitterness so don’t over steep!

This is my first experience with a tea from Trail Lodge Tea and I would be happy to try more.

The more I sip on this tea the more character it develops. It reminds me of something that my son and his friends would drink while getting up to go skiing in the morning. Its bold, robust, yet has that fruity kick to keep the cup interesting.

Since I was new to this brand of tea I decided to check out their site, I looked under the “sale” tab. I am seeing teas like Black Forest Cake, Pecan Fudge Tart, Maple Cream, Banana Cream, to name only a few, wow I really need to consider getting more from them soon!