Organic Ming Mei Green Tea from Libre

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Libre

Product Description:

Aroma: well rounded nose, sweet with some ocean and spinach notes.

Flavour: clean sweet feel in the palate with a comfortable, sweet aftertaste. This tea is to be made with water at about 160 degrees – boiling water on this tea will negatively affect the taste.

Taster’s Review:

These little packets hold just enough tea to brew in the Libre Mug.  The first time I steeped this tea, I steeped it inside the filter by fastening the filter lid onto the glass mug, poured the tea into the filter lid, and then fastened the lid onto the top of the mug and turned the mug upside down to allow the tea to infuse.  After infusing, I turn the mug over, remove the filter lid with wet leaves, and enjoyed the tea.  This time, I poured the leaves directly into the mug, poured hot water over, and then fastened the filter, leaving the leaves to continue to infuse as I sip.

While both preparations make for a delicious cup of tea, I think I prefer the first method, which allowed me to stop the infusing process before sipping the tea.  The tea did not become bitter as it continued to infuse, but I prefer the lighter flavor at the start of the cup, and as I reached the bottom, the flavor was quite strong.

My first infusion process produced a cup of tea that was delicate and exhilarating, like a breath of fresh air!  It tasted lightly vegetative with a hint of hay in the background.  There was a very pleasing creaminess to the tea, very smooth and enjoyable to sip.  There was only a slight astringency to this first cup.

The second time I prepared this tea, the tea was more vegetative and much less delicate, and it was obvious to me that this was because of the longer infusion time.  The hay-like note in the background was a little more pronounced.  It still tastes sweet and fresh.  The vegetative taste is grassy, but also a bit like steamed vegetables.  A bit like freshly steamed spinach.  The creaminess is still there, but it is not as profound.  I suspect that is because the astringency seems to develop as it continues to steep, and that seems to interfere a little bit with the creamy tones.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable cup of tea – perfect to brew with the Libre Mug!

Product Review: Libre Glass’n Poly Mug

Where to Buy:  Libre Tea

Product Description:

New! Libre glass ‘n poly mug – enjoy loose leaf tea while on the go, now with as easy hold handle!

The Libre glass ’n poly has a health-conscious glass interior for fresh taste and a durable polycarbonate exterior for ‘on the go’ durability. The stainless steel tea filter is surrounded by BPA free polypropylene as is the lid interior. Can be used 2 ways to brew and travel with loose leaf tea.

Product Review:

I really like my new mug from Libre Tea!  The inner lining is made of glass, and because there is a double wall (inside wall of glass, outside wall of polycarbonate), the outside never gets too hot to handle.  And did I mention that this mug has a handle?  This mug makes loose leaf tea-to-go easy!  It also makes a perfect device to steep blooming teas!

There are two ways this mug can be used to steep tea – the first is simply to put tea into the main chamber, add the hot/boiling water, and then screw on the strainer lid.  After the tea has steeped, simply sip the tea through the strainer.  I find that this method works best for tisanes:  teas that won’t grow bitter as they continue to steep.  My favorites using this steeping & sipping method are flavored honeybush blends and yerba maté.

The second way to steep tea with this mug is to screw the strainer lid onto the mug before you add the loose leaf tea, and then add the loose leaf into the strainer lid.  Pour in the hot/boiling water, screw on the top lid securely, and then carefully turn the mug upside down to allow the water to infuse into the tea leaves in the strainer lid.  Once the tea is finished steeping, carefullly turn the mug back over, and unscrew the lids.  The spent leaves will remain in the straining chamber so that the tea does not over-steep.  This second method works best for green teas and black teas, or any tea that you don’t want to continue to steep. (Such as hibiscus-laden teas!)

This glass is like the one that I've owned for a couple of years now.

When using this second method, I recommend using some caution.  The first time I attempted it, the tea leaked out of the screw top because I failed to screw the lid on securely.  Be sure to screw the lid on securely – making sure to line up the threads properly.  I also recommend placing the mug on a dishtowel … just in case!  Since that first time I used the second method to steep, I have had several successful steeps using the same method, so it really was user-error, not product error!  So, do take some care to avoid this mishap, and you should be fine!

I have owned a similar type glass for several years now, and I must note some significant differences between the original glass and the new mug.  First of all, this mug has a handle.  (That one was pretty obvious, huh?)  More importantly, at least for this tea enthusiast, is the finer mesh on the strainer lid.  This fine mesh works well with chai teas, keeping the fine-ground spices out of the liquor!  It also works well with rooibos.

I like this new mug very much, and I highly recommend it.  It makes tea brewing on the go so easy, I no longer have an excuse to stop at the coffee house and buy a cup of tea there for $3.00 a cup!