Upton Digital Pocket Tea Scale/Upton Tea – Ashmanra

Photo Credit: Upton Tea

One thing teaheads love almost as much as tea is tea accoutrements, all the little doodads and helpers and tea making paraphernalia that money can buy. Some tea people specialize in Chinese or Japanese accoutrements, some in Yixing clay or Korean ceramics, but most have an eclectic array of helpers, like timers and infusers of every size and style you can imagine.

I finally purchased an item that I have had my eye on for a very long time. You see, most of the accoutrements are not actually NECESSARY. They can be very helpful and a lot of fun. This one will be helpful. I am sure of it. Also fun, because I will be playing with tea when I use it!

When you are trying to get the very most out of your tea and you have purchased some really fine quality leaf, you want it to taste the very best. But some leaf almost defies measurement. Sometimes silver needle can be too long to rest in your teaspoon. Shou mei can be so large and fluffy that guessing what amount it takes to weigh 2.25 grams can be daunting, and again, it refuses to behave itself in a teaspoon. Loosely pressed puerh and iron cake puerh can be hard to gauge.

I tried measuring tea on my kitchen scale, but it wasn’t sensitive enough and I had to keep piling leaves on before the scale even knew tea was there. That’s when I decided to order the Upton Tea Company scale.

The scale arrived very quickly and was very well packed. I ordered the calibration weight as well, because why have a scale if you don’t know if it is accurate?

The scale was so easy to use, right out of the box. It has a nice little case and feels like it will last. It has a tare feature, naturally, and was easy to check and calibrate. It would fit in most pockets so it isn’t going to be a space hog and is very portable.

In addition to weighing in grams, pennyweight(dwt), and ounces, Upton had it programmed with a cupweight mode, meaning you place the amount of leaf you have or wish to use on the scale and it tells you how many cups of tea you can make with that amount of leaf. That is a great feature when you are determined to do a sipdown or when you just want to know which capacity teapot to pull out.

Is it necessary? No. Is it going to be helpful when I am reviewing a new tea like a super fluffy white or a very compact puerh, or when I have guests and I want to get the proportions right the FIRST time? Absolutely!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Where to Buy: Upton Tea

Description

The tremendous range of leaf styles in loose leaf teas makes measuring by volume imprecise. Our digital pocket tea scale solves this problem in a unique way, by introducing a special ‘Cupweight’ mode. In this mode, the scale displays the precise number of cups that a portion of tea will yield, based on the industry standard of 2 1/4 grams per 6-ounce cup. Note that this scale will also weigh in grams, ounces and pennyweight (dwt mode). One year limited warranty. Each scale is precisely calibrated at the factory.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Christmas Morning/Stash Tea -teaequalsbliss

Photo Credit: Stash Tea

I realize I might be a little late to the party here, but, us TEA LOVERS usually don’t mind sipping on seasonal teas just about any time of year. Enter…Christmas Morning from Stash Tea.

This is a blended base of Black Tea and Green Tea. And that’s it. No other ingredients. Nothing else added. Which was strange to me at first sip because it really tasted like there was something else there. Perhaps it’s just because it’s was technically a Jasmine Green Tea, I guess.

I agree with the company description and claims saying that this tea has multiple layers. To me, it proved to be a nice pick-me-up while offering that brisk, and bright taste I was looking for.

I really don’t see why we couldn’t or wouldn’t sip on this year-round. It’s decent for a bagged tea and I think it’s one of Stash’s more memorable offerings.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Black/Green

Where to Buy: Stash Tea

Description

Remember the excitement on Christmas morning when you were a kid? The warm feeling, the energy that rushed through your body, and anticipation of what the day would bring? This blend captures all that special holiday cheer with flavors that grow in intensity with every sip. When you brew it, the full-bodied aroma of brisk black tea with a hint of floral jasmine are the first clues that a special day is on its way. But what is it that makes this a great choice for your holiday morning treat (or for any morning)? Let us share with you a well-known black tea benefit: caffeine. With this blend you will get a well-deserved and welcomed boost that will help you keep up with those who didn’t stay up late playing Santa Clause.

This is called a Christmas tea, but you don’t have to limit yourself to one day a year. As our reviewers say: this is not just a tea to drink during holidays. Stock up with a case of our seasonal tea bags and enjoy it all year round. It’s great as an iced latte, or hot with sweetener and a little creamer for a decadent warming treat.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Charlotte aux Fruits Rouges/Damann Freres- Ashmanra

Photo Credit: Dammann Freres

My first “gourmet” flavored tea was by Dammann Freres, and it felt like a whole new wonderful world had been opened up to me. It astonished me that they could put so many flavors into a single tea without them competing and turning it into a pure mush in which one flavor could not be distinguished from another. I remember seeing “biscuit” flavor listed and thinking, “Hah! How can you make tea really taste like biscuit? It probably just tastes like vanilla!” And then I sipped and my eyes widened and I said, “OOOOOOOOH! It tastes like biscuit!”

Not flour-y buttered biscuits from the good old Southern USA, but a lightly sweet European biscuit. They NAILED it. Oh, delightful pastry, how I love thee!

That first tea had lots of different flavors, but this one boasts of just biscuit and four red fruits. They have achieved marvelous balance with this tea, as the sweetish biscuit flavor rises hand in hand with the fruit flavors in a perfect blending. I detect mostly strawberry, not tart but not candy sweet.

The biscuit flavor keeps it feeling like a decadent grown-up tea and not a candy tea for a children’s tea time. The base has nice heft. I steeped it just below boiling and at about three minutes. (I have found that I prefer those parameters for almost all black French teas.) I definitely made nommy noises. We all cried, “Encore!” when the pot was finished.

The good news is that the second steep was just as good as the first. Bravo, Dammann.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Damann Freres

Description

A blend of black teas with the delicious scents of red fruits, combining the aromas of cherry, strawberry, raspberry and red currant for an irresistibly fruity tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

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!

Irish Breakfast/Barry’s Tea -Karatics

Photo Credit: Barrys Tea

Greetings fellow tea drinkers! I come with a review that is from my ancestor’s homeland of the Emerald Isle. After a good search, I found that Barry’s Tea is one of the most popular Irish tea brands. And being that it has been family owned since 1901 I believe this was the best way to taste my Irish heritage. And as a bonus, this brand is from County Cork which is where most of my family is from!

Now I believe that this blend has the typical blend of black teas featuring Assam. But this tea has a lot smoother finish to the malty flavor. Now I am not saying that is better any of the other Irish Breakfasts that I have had but it is definitely different in its flavor compared.

Now I bought my box from Amazon for $7.84 for a 40 count box of bag tea. And it seems for US customers Amazon seems to be the best option. It also not surprising that you can’t get samples of this tea but I don’t think spending about $8 for a 40 count of tea is not too bad. Also looking on the official site they don’t seem to have samples either so if you are not in Ireland I would just use Amazon to order the tea. So doing the math it is basically .20 cents a cup of tea if you get the 40 count box.

In summary, this was a good tea to help me experience my heritage and also to enjoy what I believe to be a true cup of Irish Breakfast. While this tea won’t be replacing my other Irish Breakfasts I believe it still belongs in the ranking of a good Irish Breakfast tea.

See you for the next cuppa!

Kara


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Barry’s Tea

Description

Blended for the Irish Palate, our Irish Breakfast Tea has a brisk refreshing taste and a bright golden colour.  We select this blend from the Assam Valley of India and the gardens of Rwanda and Kenya,  but it’s the bright freshness of the African leaves that make this tea so refreshing.  It’s the perfect blend to enjoy anytime of the day.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!