Up Beet from Teapigs. . . . . .

Beets were a contentious part of my family dinners.  Every Easter my grandmother would make a cold beet salad and our seating arrangements had to be coordinated to put certain beet-haters at the other end of the table from the beet salad.  I was firmly on the side of the beets, and couldn’t get enough of grandma’s beet salad.  Needless to say, I was excited to try a beet tea.

Up Beet from Teapigs is a green tea blend with hibiscus, beetroot, ginger, and carrot.  The green tea is really just a base to carry the bolder vegetable and herb flavors.  I didn’t think any flavor could hold up against powerful hibiscus, but beetroot is a formidable ally in this blend.  The sharp hibiscus is balanced out by the iron-sweet earthiness of the beets.  Carrots bring their own natural sweetness alongside the beets, and the ginger adds a hint spice to give more texture to the flavor palette.  The longer I let the tea brew, the more ginger heat and mineral beet flavors came to the forefront.

Punchy, strong, and sweet, this is truly a unique blend.  If you enjoy fruit and veggie juice blends, you should try this tea.  It is a sweet and savory blend, with the umami-earthiness of the beets, the lightly sweet carrots, and the fruit-punch hibiscus, all coming together for a bold, full-flavored cup of tea.  As a beet-lover, I’m happy to have this tea on my shelf anytime I’m craving their bold, earthy flavors and I don’t have grandma’s beet salad at hand.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Teapigs

This blend will give you the kick you need to jump into your lycra, tie up your trainers, skip to the gym and throw that scary giant kettle bell way over your shoulder. This blend of beets, spice and hibiscus which helps give you extra energy, is fruity and punchy (enjoy with or without lycra!).

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Persimmon Gelato Rooibos from The East Indies Tea Company

EastIndiesTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy: The East Indies Tea Company

Tea Description:

There is nothing better than sitting on the porch on a warm Spring day with a cup of creamy gelato. Imagine the taste of fresh, ripe persimmons in the gelato, just dancing around your taste buds!

Learn more about this tea on Steepster.

Taster’s Review:

…Persimmon Gelato?

…Persimmon Gelato!

That’s such a unique and fascinating flavour idea, and the minute I saw it on East Indie’s website I knew that I had to try it. For anyone who isn’t aware of East Indies Tea Company, they’ve got some really interesting and well executed flavoured blends. Their ‘specialty’ is probably dessert blends. Also, for people not aware they seem to be the supplier for most of, if not all of, Della Terra Tea’s blends – a company pretty well known for having wonderful flavoured dessert blends.

When I cracked open my sealed up package of this the smell was really overwhelming; I honestly have only had persimmons once or twice and I found that they tasted like a very sweet tomato, almost with an orange-y flavour. The aroma of the dry leaf certainly causes me to relive that experience; it’s intensely sweet and fruity with a strong citrusy scent that makes me think of really ripe mandarin oranges or perhaps very ripe mangoes. Visually, there’s lots of dried fruit (Persimmon? I wish there was an ingredients list for this blend) in the leaf as well as a multitude of little yogurt drop type things. All of this in conjunction had me very, very pumped to get this tea steeped up!

I gave this a nice, long steep to make sure I drew out as much flavor as I could and to also give the many yogurt drops time to fully melt. I was somewhat worried that when they did melt the liquor would either get a little oily or I’d get “yogurt scum” similar to what happens with melted chocolate chips but neither really happened and the liquor was very smooth and thick. The flavour was quite wonderful too; while I ultimately think the gelato aspect of the blend could have come across better, as it was basically just added creaminess from the yogurt drops, the persimmon was very well executed! Persimmons, simplified, are basically just very sweet tomatoes and that came through. I got that wonderful umami flavor that a tomato has that manages to linger all over your mouth, but also fruity notes that made me think of very, very ripe mango or either naval oranges or really ripe, in season mandarin oranges.

Anti-rooibos tea drinkers be warned though, while the flavor is strong and lively it doesn’t completely mask that rooibos base so expect to taste it alongside the lovely persimmon/citrus notes. But overall this is just a really wonderful, unique flavored rooibos and I’m extremely happy with it and definitely recommend trying it if you find yourself with the chance to.

Organic Sencha Superior Green Tea from Shi Zen

Organic_Secha_SuperiorTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Shi Zen

Tea Description:

Our organic green tea are from the family farms in the foothills of Mount Fuji. From the farm that has been practicing organic plantation for more than 2 decades. This organic green tea superior will be the teas that are harvested in spring, which is the very first pick that is evaluated as the highest quality in Japan. You will taste the deep umami (savory) from this tea, which can only be tasted from the spring harvested organic teas.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When Shi Zen contacted us recently to inform us of their new line of loose leaf Japanese green teas, I was excited to try them.  I really enjoyed their powdered green teas, and I figured that if these new teas were up to the standards that I experienced with Shi Zen’s powdered tea products, then I knew that I was in for a treat.

And I was right!  This Organic Sencha Superior Green Tea from Shi Zen is an excellent Japanese Sencha!  First of all, I LOVE that it’s an organic product.  The flavor here is so crisp and vibrant!  As the tea washes over the palate, it feels energized and I feel my body revitalize.  I love how a good green tea does this to me … and this is a really good green tea.

The flavor is sweet with a savory bitter tone toward mid-sip.  This Sencha has a sweeter flavor than most Japanese Sencha teas that I’ve encountered, and the bitterness is more subdued.  Normally, I expect the sip to start off sweet and the hint of bitterness to arrive right around mid-sip, as it does with this tea.  But the sweetness was longer lasting with this Sencha Superior, and the bitterness is more restrained.

It is vegetative, of course, and I find that the vegetal notes here are more like a mild vegetable that’s been lightly steamed with delicate notes of butter than it is a grassy vegetal flavor.  There are underlying notes of a kelp-like, salty note that brings forth a savory flavor, giving this a balance between sweet and savory notes.

A really, really good Sencha!

Award Winning Premium Gyokuro Tea from Den’s Tea

Tea Type: Green Tea

Where To Buy: Den’s Tea

Product Description:

As we announced on January, this year marks our 10th anniversary of serving the North American Tea Market. To celebrate our anniversary and to show our appreciation for your love of green tea, we have prepared several gifts for you through 2010. The second is “Award Winning Premium Gyokuro”.

This Gyokuro was grown on the Omura farm in Asahina, Shizuoka and was harvested in 2009. The Gyokuro grown on the Omura farm won an award at the last Shizuoka Tea Exhibition. In fact this tea is a frequent award winner at the exhibit.

This Gyokuro is obviously one of the best teas manufactured in Shizuoka. Its taste is quite special and is likely a taste you have not experienced. One sip will enrapture you and you’ll wish that the powerful herbaceous and Umami flavor would remain with you just a little longer.

Tasters Review:

Award Winning Premium Gyokuro Tea from Den’s Tea!  This is FANTASTIC!

I received an EXTRA Surprise from Den’s Tea – a while back – one that is NOT FOR SALE!!!! This is a lovely lil gem! It’s an award winner…this 10th Anniversary celebration tea!

It has an oh-so-slight aroma of fresh green fields. The taste is so light and airy, even! It’s VERY clean tasting and thirst quenching with a very small hint of earthiness to it.

I makes me think of sunshine!  Which is great because it’s fall with cooler weather and I am not ready to let go of summer!

This is wonderful! In every way!  If you ever get a chance to try this – PLEASE DO!