Mist Valley Estate TGBOP1/Upton Tea

I usually drink black tea from China, but today I am making a little excursion to Nepalese black tea! My expectation is that it will taste more similar to tea from India than from China, and I was correct. It even had a tiny darjeeling vibe!

This is a high-grown tea from an estate that has been in operation since 1989 and has been processing their own tea since 2004. They are currently converting their operations to all organic, so I am looking forward to trying it again in the future!

This is indeed a broken orange pekoe with shades ranging from golden tan to deep brown. In the photo online it shows a lot of green like a darjeeling but my own sample is more tan and almost a cream color mixed with the darker leaves.

I kept the steep on the short side (two minutes) in case this was more reminiscent of an Assam, a tea that is tasty but wreaks havoc on my tender tummy, but I must say it was very well-behaved and perfectly drinkable without additions.

Being high-grown, I thought it might be a bit on the astringent side, but it is only pleasantly brisk. It has a truly classic black tea aroma and taste, mild but not wimpy, lightly brisk but not tart and puckery, and I would call it all around a good basic black tea. It is not overly complex drinking it western style as I am, but at this price I do not expect complex tea. It was a very good accompaniment to my lunch.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Upton Tea

Description

In hues ranging from light to dark brown, the small, neatly made leaves of this Nepal black tea offering are sprinkled with silver tips. The golden amber liquor is fragrant with a light, fresh aroma. The flavor is rich with floral notes and a sweet, lingering finish.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Unicorn Dream/DAVIDs Tea

Law school has meant no time and not much spare money. That means that not only have I not had a lot of time to write reviews but I haven’t really been buying tea. So, even if I wanted to write a review, a lot of my teas are so old that I don’t think my reviews would have been fair assessments of the teas. However, like so many of you, I am stuck at home riding out this coronavirus storm which means my schedule has just opened up. Plus, a wonderful friend of mine has shared plenty of teas with me and I have splurged a little so I also have new teas in my cupboard that I can review while they are still in their prime. One such new tea is a super cute blend from DAVIDsTEA called Unicorn Dream.

First of all, while some little girls (and boys) like princesses or mermaids, I was in the unicorn camp. Literally obsessed with unicorns. And while I am older now, I am still a unicorn fan. For my 25th birthday (a few years back now), I had a unicorn-themed sweet table complete with balloon trees. When my sister placed the order for the balloons, the party store thought she made a mistake and actually said it was for a birthday for a 2 and 5 year old, not a 25 year old. Basically, I am sharing this story to make it clear that I am 100% the target audience for this tea.

DAVIDsTEA doubles down on the unicorn fantasy with one of the prettiest blends I have seen in a while. This comes complete with gold sugar pearls, mini marshmallows, pink heart sprinkles, and pink and white unicorn sprinkles, all on top of a colorful fruity/herbal base. It has butterfly pea flowers in it too which means when it brews up, it is a lovely purple color. It really is quite awesome and would probably appeal to the kid in everyone on looks alone.

Looks aren’t everything when it comes to tea though and thankfully it delivers on flavor as well. It is meant to be cotton candy flavored tea. I like to cold brew it because in addition to a berry cotton candy flavor the comes through, it has a marshmallow fluffiness. This is honestly what I imagine a cloud would taste like in a world of unicorns. It is sweet and fruity and definitely candy-like. I might be a bit bias but I genuinely believe this is the perfect tea for any kid, whether they be a young child or a 28-year-old kid at heart like myself. It’s nostalgia in a cup and certainly a ray of sunshine in these crazy times!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Herbal

Where to Buy:  DAVIDs Tea

Description

Warning: This tea will add some magic to your day. Our caffeine-free fruit infusion is filled with smile-inducing ingredients – from blue butterfly pea, yellow everlasting flowers & pretty pink hibiscus blossoms to unicorn & heart-shaped sprinkles. The result is an enchanting & addictive herbal tea that’s tart and lightly citrusy, with dreamy notes of sweet cotton candy and creamy marshmallow.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nettle/Republic of Tea

I have had a few of the SuperHerb teas sitting around to be tried but kept putting it off. If it’s good for me, it’s going to taste nasty, isn’t it? I want a lovely evening cuppa, not something medicinal that builds character! But it is time to take courage and go for it!

Nettle is traditionally used to combat inflammation and allergies. And pollen and dust allergies really are inflammation, in a way, aren’t they? I am plagued with allergies so much that I don’t really know what it is like to hear clearly or breathe without feeling stopped up. But can I stand nettle tea well enough to drink it often and hopefully put these allergies at bay?

I lift my cup to my lips. Wait, what’s this? This smells like….CAKE. Really. Bless their hearts, they have added vanilla and mint to nettle and pulled off a relaxing, soothing aroma that smells like vanilla cake. Vanilla is the strongest component of the aroma, and the taste is mint and nettle with a touch of vanilla. Mint does relax me, and vanilla is always a “feel good” flavor, so this is a good bedtime choice for me.

The aftertaste of this tea is very herbal but pleasant, with a mineral flavor mixed in, like the smell of water on stone in a forest. This is definitely on my “to buy” list now to see if it drinking it regularly will help with my allergies. And I will look forward to it without fear now!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Republic of Tea

Description

Nettle leaves have been known to support the body in a variety of ways. Studies have shown that it can help reduce joint inflammation and can help support kidney function.* Nettle tea has also been popular as a tonic for centuries to help women through all phases of life, from menstruation, through pregnancy and breastfeeding, to menopause.* A touch of mint and vanilla makes this tea a joy to sip.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Dragon Pearls/Rivertea

Looking for a little cup of calm this evening, ready to sit and sip on the porch in the cool evening air, I decided to make this new (to me) jasmine dragon pearl tea. I will be using a small tetsubin and using the whole sample of pearls.

Like most jasmine dragon pearls that I have tried, this calls for one teaspoon per cup. Unlike most, it calls for much cooler water at 158F and a 2-4 minute steep. I like to follow instructions for new teas and then change up the steeping parameters to suit my taste. I gave it just two minutes.

The first steep is almost completely clear. It really looks like water with the tiniest tinge of gold if I really use my imagination! At first sip, I think it is far too weak, but as I keep sipping and really pay attention to the tea, I find that it has lovely subtle flavor, nice jasmine taste, and is indeed a very calming cup. (I have had some jasmine green that was a bit arresting and harsh to me.) As subtle as it is, I would never serve this with food as it would simply taste like a cup of hot water. I really did enjoy it by itself, though.

For the second steep, I decided to go with my usual parameters. I raised the water temp to 175F and gave it a three minute steep. Now I have tea with a decidedly golden color and more flavor. As I drink, a pleasant briskness is building. Now THIS is how I would make it to serve with a meal.

As a stand alone sipping tea, I think my perfect cup would happen at their recommended temperature of 158F but for a longer time than I gave it, probably three to three and a half minutes.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Rivertea

Description

For those moments when you need some inspiration, this Jasmine Dragon Pearls will bring your imagination to life. Dragon Pearls green tea is a rare specialty from China. Only the youngest and most tender leaves are repeatedly blended with fresh, very fragrant jasmine flowers, a process that is repeated at least 8 times, at the end of which the flower petals are removed and the tea leaves are carefully hand rolled into small, tight pearls. The jasmine aroma is closed in and unfolds fully when infused giving the tea an exquisitely fragrant perfume and taste. Its colour is so intense and palpable that the tea almost appears like a syrup. A pleasure for the eyes, nose and palate, a fragrance that will inspire your days!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jin Kong Que/Masters by Adagio Teas

Lately I’ve found myself skipping over the flavored teas and going straight to my straight teas.  Flavored teas just haven’t been hitting it for me and so this am while I was setting up my tea tray with my tea for the day, I grabbed this delight- Jin Kong Que from Masters by Adagio Teas.  Reading the description the mention of roasted sweet potato caught my eye and my tastebuds.

Brewed with freshly boild water and allowed to steep just for about 30 seconds or so, this tea delivers spot on flavors that keep you reaching for your cuppa.  Lovely soft roasted notes with a sweetness that does remind you of a sweet potato are definetly coming through strong.  In the background you are getting this beautiful malty touch that levels each sip out along with a roasted/toasted finish.  Smooth, simple, yet so on point and so delicoiusly addictive.  I did under steep the tea and the parameters on the site indicate 2-3 minutes but since I used a bit more leaf, I wanted to be conservative without overbrewing.

Next steeping, I did allow the tea to properly steep and I think I preferred doing a shorter steep.  The light delicate flavors I was really enjoying before are still enjoyable but there is a harsher after taste of astrigency that I’m not 100% loving.  I could have also over steeped by a moment or two so that harshness could be my bumbling of steeping.

Regardless, this tea shows how simply smooth, rich, and beautiful a black tea really can be.  I’m quite in love with this tea and sad that I no longer have this tea to enjoy but happy the tea is still available on the site so I have a feeling this tea will be a future buy quite soon.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Masters by Adagio Teas

Description

Jin Kong Que is a remarkable tea handmade in the Yunnan Province of China. It has a rare ability to balance bold flavor without giving off bitterness. Its name, which translates to Golden Peacock, is as flashy as its namesake with fairly large, very golden leaves and leaf buds. The liquor does not disappoint as it boasts intricate notes of honey, toastiness, cocoa, and roasted sweet potato.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!