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Halpewatte Ceylon Black Tea from M&K’s Tea Company

Halpewatte Ceylon Black TeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: MK’s Tea Co.

Tea Description:

The basis of Earl Grey tea! Ceylon tea is a sweet, brightly orange colored (once-brewed) black tea harvested in the lush hills of the island of Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon). This is a fantastic introductory tea, a great tea for the black tea lover, and an extraordinary tea for blending purposes. Ceylon tea is just brisk enough to be uplifting, but light enough to not be bitter or off-putting. It truly is a remarkable black tea that belongs in every tea-lover’s collection.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I started the day with this tea, hoping that it would be clean and refreshing. Thankfully I was right, and it made a great choice in lieu of breakfast. The dry leaf is straight and pretty long (I’d say an average of 2cm), and a fairly uniform black-brown with just a few lighter brown leaves. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a vibrant red-brown, and the leaf itself has also taken on an impressive red-brown hue. It’s very autumnal looking! The scent is sweet and a little chocolatey, which wasn’t something I was expecting from a Ceylon.

To taste, this is pretty much a classic Ceylon in many respects. It’s very fresh and clean tasting, with a bright edge of citrus running throughout. It comes across as a “light” tasting tea, to me. There are no thick or heavy flavours that are cloying on the palate, just the delicate, refreshing sweet/citrus play off. There is a touch of maltiness towards the end of the sip, but it doesn’t dominate the flavour or drown out the fresher notes. I can also detect just the tiniest bit of chocolate, which shifts the balance of the aftertaste away from citrus and more towards the generically sweet. It’s almost like it’s a tea of two halves, but they’re two very good halves so I’m not going to complain.

This tea is delightfully smooth and creamy, with no bitterness or astringency at all. It’s a real joy to drink, and I’m finding it an especially good choice this morning with its bright, citrusy “wake up” profile and edge of comforting sweetness. Delicious!

Peach vs. Bergamot ft. Formosa Oolong from Liquid Proust Tea

peachvsbergamotTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Liquid Proust Teas

Tea Description:

Ingredients: Formosa oolong, marigold, flavoring

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I probably would have never thought to pair Peach and Earl Grey/Bergamot, which is I guess why Andrew at Liquid Proust Teas is the blender and not myself. The idea is intriguing though; and I have to admit I’m incredibly happy to not see apricot or mango thrown in here as well; I get so tired of those flavour combinations. It’s been done time and time again, and it’s refreshing to see something else. The oolong base is really innovative as well; with it’s characteristic fruity flavour Formosa is a fantastic choice.

The dry leaf smells really incredible! You can get a sense of the bergamot as this grounded, lofty sort of flavour but then the ripe, plump aroma of fresh peaches seems to bounce off it! It smells juicy, and I can’t help but picture taking a bite of some sort of fantastic peach/orange hybrid and having the sugary juices running down my chin like some sort of gluttonous child gorging themselves on fresh picked fruit.

In traditional Earl Grey fashion I made sure this was my first tea of the day; however because I got the impression this was going to be more naturally sweet than a lot of EG I’m familiar with so I iced it instead of having it hot. True to my suspicions this was pretty sweet but in a very natural way that was realistic to the sweetness of fresh fruit. The bergamot was actually a lot milder than I would’ve guessed it to be base on the smell of the dry leaf. It ran like a citrusy current throughout each sip, consistently merged with the body of the sip. The peach left me breathless; there was something unnatural about it, but not in an artificial way or anything like that. It was more unnatural in a “how can this taste so plump, rich, and juicy!?” sort of way. I’m not really a fan of actual peaches, but if they all tasted like that I’d go through a crate of them a week. The bergamot and peach compliment each other to a tea; similar to what I was getting from the dry smell the bergamot is this lovely stable flavour and the peach seems to jump off it.

The formosa base was a great choice; while there’s a really faint but of astringency it doesn’t detract and the natural fruitiness of the oolong contributes even more lively fruit flavours. What I specifically observed was a really rich stonefruit like flavour in line with cherry, but a little more of a cocktail cherry type of note, which just goes incredibly well the peach. Plus, oolong means more solid steeps and so more bang for your buck.

As someone who is neither anti-Earl Grey or Peach but who doesn’t seek out those flavours I want to own this. I think I could drink it often; and with a growing list of Liquid Proust Teas that are blowing my mind Andrew is slowly wearing me down to the point where a LP order is probably in my near future despite the poor state of the Canadian dollar. Definitely a blend worth trying!

A final note though, in the battle of bergamot vs. peach I think peach wins…

Beverly Hills Breakfast from Compass Teas

Beverly Hills Breakfast from Compass Teas
Beverly Hills Breakfast from Compass Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Yellow

Where to Buy: Compass Teas

Tea Description:

An antioxidant-rich Mimosa! Champagne & Orange flavors over a rare Yellow tea. Smooth, elegant & refreshing.

Ingredients:

Yellow Tea – High in antioxidants. Smooth, mellow flavor.
Organic Flavoring

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Beverly Hills Breakfast from Compass Teas is a must try. First of all its a yellow tea, which I adore yellow teas, secondly it is a bright, cheerful cup that is an excellent breakfast treat.

This tea can be purchased by the ounce or in a try me size which is really special because yellow teas are not only a little more rare to come by but usually you won’t find a means to sample them easily.

You can learn more about yellow tea here.

I was really happy to find this tea in my most recent package of tea samples from my SororiTea Sister Jennifer. I love yellow teas and am always eager to try a new one. I do recall having seen this tea offered by Compass before but I sort of spaced it out and never got around to ordering any. Also I will admit, orange flavored teas are not generally my “go to” flavor in teas, yet I am so happy to have had the chance to sample this one. It’s quite delightful!

Its sunny, crisp, citrusy, yet there is this champagne bubble like sensation that reminds me of a mimosa!

I suppose I should not be surprised, after all this is how the tea is described, but I’m really happy with how the blend comes over on the palate. Its light, refined, yet flavorful.

Compass Teas did a really good job on this blend!

Nina’s Paris from Nina’s Paris

Nina's Paris from Nina's Paris
Nina’s Paris from Nina’s Paris

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Nina’s Paris

Tea Description:

Blood orange, peach, strawberry, cherry,
This tasty blend will fill you with its exquisite fruity flavour. Orange, peach, strawberry and cherry brightened with sunflowers to please all tastes.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Nina’s Paris from Nina’s Paris tea company is their signature tea.

Upon steeping Nina’s Paris provides a lovely colored cup of an amber burnt orange hue.

The aroma is delightfully fruity with orange essence being most prominent.

The initial sip evokes the cherry flavors in such a pleasant way. Nothing like a medicinal cheery or artificial cherry flavor. As a matter of fact the flavors in this tea are delicious and quite natural with no residual “oily” look or texture floating on top of the cup. In fact the tea is so clear that I am highly pleased as I anticipated some type of oils from all the varied flavorings.

The best way to describe the flavor of this tea is sunny. It will bring a smile to your face. With all the different flavors one may think it is very powerful or strong on the palate but it truly is not. Its flavorful without being overwhelming and has a graceful subtlety.

It is wonderful how lovely the flavors meld, I can distinctly pick up all flavors of peach, strawberry, and cherry, and they blend in harmony.

I do believe this would make a scrumptious iced tea although you would want to use plenty of extra leaf to get it strong enough. It is a cheery, bright, sunny, yummy cup of fruity goodness!

High Country from Trail Lodge Tea

High Country by Trail Lodge Tea
High Country by Trail Lodge Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Trail Lodge Tea

Tea Description:

After a lot of sampling and mixing various teas, we have come up with our very own “house” blend (or maybe I should say “Lodge” blend). The most inspiring places I have ever visited is the Rocky Mountain National Park and the High Country of Yosemite. The mountain springs and lakes were sparkling and the views were magnificent and serene. Visiting these places filled me with tranquility. We can’t often get away to places like this, but you can relax with a simple cup of tea that hopefully can bring some tranquility in your life. That is the inspiration for High Country Tea. It has a clear brisk taste, great for ice teas. The Yunnan gives it a smooth, creamy taste that is perfect for a latte. This tea is a mixture of three Fair trade certified black teas and has a medium body and several golden tips. It is the perfect tea to keep on hand since it is so versatile.

Ingredients: Fair Trade CertifiedTM Organic Ceylon Black Tea, Fair Trade CertifiedTM Organic China Black Tea, and Fair Trade CertifiedTM Organic Indian Black Tea. fair trade new

Learn more about this tea here.

 

 

Taster’s Review:

High Country from Trail Lodge Tea is a mix of Ceylon, Yunnan, and Darjeeling that provides a robust yet bright cup for the morning.

I feel as though Trail Lodge Tea really captured their own House Blend in this tea. Sipping on this tea makes me feel like I am snuggled up in a warm blanket inside of a lodge somewhere in the mountains. I can almost feel the snowy winter right outside of my imaginary lodge’s windows.

Within this tea is a slightly smoky flavor, along with a bright cheery fruitiness, and a light sprinkling of cocoa and malt.

The mouthfeel is on the thick side, a little creamy but more akin to a coffee texture or thickness.

This tea would definitely give you the kick start one would want in the morning!

There is an astringency in the sip, and learns toward a slight bitterness so don’t over steep!

This is my first experience with a tea from Trail Lodge Tea and I would be happy to try more.

The more I sip on this tea the more character it develops. It reminds me of something that my son and his friends would drink while getting up to go skiing in the morning. Its bold, robust, yet has that fruity kick to keep the cup interesting.

Since I was new to this brand of tea I decided to check out their site, I looked under the “sale” tab. I am seeing teas like Black Forest Cake, Pecan Fudge Tart, Maple Cream, Banana Cream, to name only a few, wow I really need to consider getting more from them soon!