Vietnam Red Oolong – Kim Tuyen/Simpson & Vail- Skysamurai-

Another advent tea gift. I find it interesting that while this one is a rolled style the others I have come upon are shaped into balls.

So it makes me wonder why the farmer decided to make that change. It is a gorgeous leaf. Dark chocolate in color with light brown flecks here and there. The flavor is mineral, musty, and filled with wet wood notes. There is honey in the after taste. It isn’t strong but the way it lingers is very unique.

My aroma cup doesn’t reveal much for the liquid but the wet leaf is earthy and kinda mineral. I say kinda because it hides. Sometimes you sense it and sometimes you don’t. Some oolongs can last for many steepings but this one seems to have had its limelight in the first and second steepings.

Though as I’m coming upon my 7th? infusion now I’m find some of the sweeter notes are really shining. The instructions also say to brew four minutes, which I assume would be western style. I’ve tried both western and gong fu but so far I prefer the gong fu. It offers the ability to test it out more at more stages, not that you can’t in western but it just doesn’t steep the same.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Simpson & Vail

Description

This exquisite oolong comes to us from Northern Vietnam, where some of the old tea plants are still partially grown wild. Local villagers traditionally process these leaves and the resulting tea is unique and delicious.

The large leaves resemble a black tea, however, the brewed cup is distinctively oolong in character. The aroma is bright with slight spice and floral notes. The amber cup imparts a toasty aftertaste with a slight honey sweet flavor.

Brew tea at 212º – steep for 4 minutes.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Assam Nokhroy Estate Black Tea (STGSOP1)/Simpson & Vail -Skysamurai-

This is a tea for you cream/sugar tea drinkers. Not that us purists won’t enjoy it but I find this one is lacking the appeals of a cup that can manage on its own. No dry aroma.

This is a gifted review tea so I suspect some of the other teas have leached.

However, the wet aroma is quite nice! The smell of wet peeled twigs! I love that smell. The flavor is good but just not what I would expect after smelling the leaves.

The malt is prevalent with this one. Subtle woodsy notes make an appearance at the beginning but they disappear with a bit of astringency at the end. The liquid is dark amber.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Simpson & Vail 

Description

The black, slightly tippy leaves brew to a dark amber cup with a woodsy aroma. The brewed cup has the malty flavor profile that characterizes Assam teas with a pleasing, light peppery finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nepal Guranse Estate Organic Oolong Tea/Simpson and Vail

I have been wanting to write this review for quite a few weeks. It was THAT memorable. This Nepal Guranse Estate Oolong from Simpson & Vail is organic and from a pretty neat estate.

When it comes to the leaves of this Oolong they hail from South Asia…bordered by China and India…you guessed it…the leaves are from Nepal! Nepal is home to some of the largest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest which is the highest point anywhere on Earth. Nepal is comprised of 75 districts, one of which is the district of Dhankuta. Dhankuta is located in the Koshi hill Zone in eastern Nepal. It borders the Darjeeling region of West Bengal, India, and enjoys the same soil and climatic conditions as Darjeeling.

The Guranse Tea Estate has planted pure young and vibrant clonal plants all selected to make high quality teas. They believe in producing only the best, therefore, their tea goes through a series of careful processes before it is packed and finally ends up in your cup for an entirely new experience of health and vitality.

Guranse is NASAA organic certified, JAS certified, and ISO 22000- 2005 certified. 95 % of the workers are women and the Company pays for several of the worker’s children’s education and pays for the salary of teachers at the village school. How great is that? The company also supports an older people’s home that is nearby, by providing meals, rations, blankets, and more.

When I read on the S&V website that Guranse Tea was more than just a beverage – I knew I had to dig deeper into this estate!

As for the sight, touch, taste, and smell of this tea…he strong brown, twisted, tippy leaves brew into a more mellow amber cup with a sweet, mild taste and a delicate fruity sniff and taste. The oolong itself is lightly rolled, semi fermented, and hand sorted!

This Oolong was pretty wonderful and learning about the estate and people behind it made me enjoy my cup even more!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail

Description

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

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

China Snow Dragon Green/Simpson and Vail. . . .

Not too long ago…I knew what I wanted…I wanted a green tea. I wanted a green tea from China…I wanted something mystical like a Dragon and soft like snow…lucky me…I had a pouch of China Snow Dragon Green Tea from Simpson and Vail that I had waiting for me.

I have found my own personal ‘sweet spot’ for infusing green teas and that is just shy of 2 minutes. This one stood up to the test.

These leaves were a FUN mix of green leaf and white downy (snow) buds. The aroma is fresh yet vegetal. It brews to a pale green cup with a light, delicate floral taste, too!

I was happy to learn that this special green tea comes from gardens in Fuding county which is a Fujian province in China. This county is known for its steep mountains and vast seacoast and I have to say you can really taste the difference in the tea!

This was another winner from Simpson & Vail! Can’t wait to see and TASTE what is next!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail

Description

This special green tea comes from gardens in Fuding county, Fujian province in China. This county is known for its steep mountains and vast seacoast.

These leaves are a mix of green leaf and white downy (snow) buds. The aroma is fresh and vegetal. It brews to a pale green cup with a light, delicate floral taste. Truly exquisite!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Athena’s Lemon Olive Leaf Blend from Simpson and Vail’s Monthly Subscription Box. . .

Who doesn’t love a subscription box? I know I love them – especially tea subscription boxes.   For a while I was getting 52Teas, BlendBee, and Plum Deluxe subscription boxes (which I loved) but I wanted to try out a few different companies this go around. So last week I decided I would give our friends at Simpson and Vail’s subscription box a go.  Simpson and Vail have a lot of different offerings when it comes to teas so I was hoping by signing up, I would be able to experience some of their teas that I haven’t gotten around to picking up.  Athena’s Lemon Olive Leaf Blend was one of those blends and I was so excited to see it in my first box.

Athena’s Lemon Olive Leaf Blend is a blend of olive leaf, lemongrass, and ginger root.  So think of your traditional lemon ginger tea with a slight twist.  Brewed with water at boiling and allowed to steep for 5 minutes plus (I actually got a phone call and couldn’t get to the tea right away), this tea hits the spot on this cold midwestern blustery day.  Solid lemon notes, that sweet and spicy hint of ginger, along with this almost herbaceous olive oil finish delivers a solid soothing and comforting cuppa.  (Yep.  There is a slight hint of an olive oil flavor in my cuppa.  And you know what I love it.  )

Smooth crisp spiced lemony goodness . One of those blends where the ginger and lemon are balanced out perfectly and gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling.

This tea is giving me all the loving I need while still battling this awful cold I’ve had for the last few days. One of the better herbal blends I’ve had in a while.  Really digging it and am on my fourth cup as I write this review up.  Can’t wait to enjoy this as a cold brew!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal
Where to Buy:  Simpson and Vail
Description

The aroma of fresh lemon greets your nose as you sip this delightful blend. The golden cup explodes with a lemony goodness that lingers on the palate refreshingly. This all organic brew is great hot or iced.

Ingredients: Organic olive leaf, organic ginger root, organic lemon mytle, organic lemon peel, organic lemongrass

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!