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Champagne

Champagne and Apricot from Mountain Witch Tea Company

ChampagneApricotTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Mountain Witch Tea Company

Tea Description:

This light and fruity blend combines notes of delicate champagne and real pieces of sweet & tart apricots in a base of our finest black tea. Delicious hot or iced.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Who wouldn’t love a Champagne & Apricot tea? The name alone sounds delicious.

I adore Kelly’s blends @Mountain Witch Tea Company.  And this one is no exception.  I think Mountain Witch Tea Company is one of the only companies I would blindly buy 4 oz of tea without hesitation.  I adore her blends that much.

Brewed up like a traditional black tea (212F-3 min), this tea had a pretty high astringent factor.  You could taste a  stonefruit like flavor but the astringency was a bit overwhelming.

Where this tea sparkled and shined was when I cold brewed the tea for a few hours in the fridge.  Yummy Nommy Nom! This tea as a cold brew was bright, refreshing, and down right tasty.  The apricot flavor is vibrant and very distinguishable.  The black tea is smooth and the astringent factor is gone.  I have already been told I need to pick up more of this tea for the upcoming hot days of summer.  This blend cold brew is just that good.

Do yourself a favor, take advantage of Kelly’s 3 for $24 sale on her teas.  You won’t regret it!

Mimosa Black Tea from Lupicia

MimosaBlackTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Lupicia USA

Tea Description:

A black tea is scented and inspired by mimosa flowers that denote the arrival of spring. Floral and refreshing citrus aroma.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

They say that America runs on Dunkin’, but I think that old saying needs to be updated. I manage a small breakfast-oriented restaurant and if I am not mistaken, the humble mimosa reigns supreme. Nothing like a slab of bacon, a couple waffles and a mimosa to cure a hangover. We oftentimes sell more mimosas on the weekend than coffee.

Even though, I still love the smell of orange juice and cheap champagne. It smells like breakfast to me. I don’t care for alcoholic beverages in any way, but I like the flavor profiles. The idea is  much more romantic than actual execution and resulting effects it may have. When I stumbled upon the funky gold tin on Lupicia’s website, I was completely sold. tea. Now if only I could get it in bulk to sell it in my restaurant… the possibilities!

The tea leaves give off an aroma that is so eerily exact to the combination of fresh squeezed orange juice and champagne that it’s a bit confusing at first. I wouldn’t have thought that a  black tea would have been the best choice for a such light and effervescent drink. But when I steeped this tea in a small teapot, it turned into a surprisingly delightful drink. Comforting, bright, it’s got that great orange zest flavor and a slightly boozy tang of the champagne. I have tried this tea both hot and cold, and while the hot version is quite nice, i like my citrus-flavored black teas iced much better.

Sometimes certain special and limited edition teas on the Lupicia website are rather hard to find. You really have to dig if you want to find any interesting or different blends than what you’d see at first glance. There is a treasure trove of cool teas and beautiful tins just waiting to be taken home and loved forever. This is a great find, and I can soundly recommend it for those of you who enjoy a great citrus flavored black tea.

Golden Monkey Champagne Black Tea from 52Teas

Golden-Monkey-ChampagneTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Here’s an awesome Golden Monkey black tea blended with marigold petals and organic champagne flavors. Not only that, each pouch contains a unique fortune for 2015. We are only making 70 of these, so get yours today.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve had a sip of champagne.  As I’ve said before, I’m just not all that big on drinking alcohol.  (I’m a TEA-totaler!)  But this Golden Monkey Champagne Black Tea from 52Teas is a nice way to enjoy some ‘champagne!’

First of all, I have to mention the fortune!  What a fun idea!  I liked opening the pouch to discover what my fortune for 2015 will be.  Here’s what mine said:

This year: someone will do something “for all the tea in China” and then have a monopoly on Chinese teas.

Yeah, it’s a little corny and silly, but it’s fun.  It’s a little ‘out of the box’ and that’s what I’ve come to love about 52Teas – the whole concept is a little out of the box!  A different tea every week?  That’s a little crazy!  But it’s crazy good!

And that’s why I want to keep 52Teas going.  Check out my Kickstarter campaign and help me keep this company going – I need your support!  Every little bit will help!

But, let’s talk more about THIS tea, shall we?

The base of this tea is a Golden Monkey, and it’s delicious!  It’s rich, robust, and full-flavored.  It has chocolate-y notes along with that earthy, leathery flavor that I’ve come to love about a Golden Monkey.  A hint of smoke in the distance.  Undertones of caramel.  It’s very smooth and has a pleasant, thick texture to it.  There is some astringency at the tail but it doesn’t disrupt from the enjoyment of the overall flavor.  It’s not bitter.  It’s just really, really LOVELY!

The champagne flavors have been added in a smart way – they don’t go overboard.  They’re not too much.  It has a light, champagne-y flavor that complements the overall tea.  I can taste the champagne but more importantly, I taste the nuances of the Golden Monkey and when you have a tea like this Golden Monkey – you WANT to taste it!  I like how the champagne is represented here, in a way that I can taste it (it’s especially noticeable in the aftertaste) but not so much so that it overpowers the excellent flavors of the tea itself.

This is a really enjoyable cuppa.  I’m surprised that more people haven’t grabbed this one up!  It’s a really lovely tea.

Elderflower Champagne Oolong Blend from Bluebird Tea Co.

elderflower_champagneTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Bluebird Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Oolong is considered to be the very best, the champers, of the tea world. Oolong is the prettiest tea to watch unfurl in your cup too! Our combination of fresh zingy citrus + delicate floral elderflower won’t get you tipsy but it is tip top indeed. You can also rebrew this one up to 7 times!

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a really tasty and refreshing blend!  I usually prefer pure Oolong teas as opposed to flavored Oolong blends but this one really is quite delightful!

The scent of the dry leaf is beautifully floral with bright citrus notes.  It’s beautifully aromatic, smelling a bit like something I’d want to fragrance my home with!  This would make a great potpourri!

I brewed this tea in my Breville One-Touch tea maker.  I don’t usually brew Oolong teas in my Breville but I do sometimes make an exception when it comes to blended and/or flavored Oolongs like this Elderflower Champagne blend.  I measured out 2 bamboo scoops of tea into the basket of the tea maker and then poured 500ml of freshly filtered water into the jug and set the settings for 180°F with 3 minutes steep time.  For subsequent infusions, I simply added an extra 30 seconds onto the steep time, keeping the amount of water and temperature the same.

The result is a very tasty tea indeed!  The aroma of the brewed tea is a little different from the dry leaf – this smells much more citrus-y and less floral than the dry leaf did.

The flavor is a stunning balance of citrus fruits and floral notes.  I taste orange and lemon and I like the way the sweeter orange softens the tartness of the lemon so I’m not puckering as I sip.  I taste soft, sweet flowery flavors too.

The ingredient list shows that there is hibiscus in this blend too, but I am happy to say that I don’t taste it … nor do I really see any evidence of hibiscus in this blend.  The tea does not brew up “pink” in color (it’s more of a light, clear champagne color) nor does it have a thick or syrupy texture, and I’m not tasting hibiscus tart.  So hooray for that!

In the first infusion, I didn’t taste a lot of obvious Oolong contribution to this.  I did get a nice, buttery texture which is very Oolong-ish to me.  I think that this buttery quality is perhaps the only attribute of the first infusion that speaks to me and says, “This is an Oolong tea.”  I get hints of vegetation and notes of floral – and it could be that these are from the Oolong or at least these characteristics are highlighted because of the Oolong’s presence in this blend.  But neither the vegetal notes nor the floral qualities are saying to me that they are here because of the Oolong.

That said, this is a very enjoyable drink, and I was very happy with the first infusion.  I found that the subsequent infusions started tasting more like a Chinese Oolong tea and I noticed that some of the stronger citrus-y notes began to wane.  I’m still getting plenty of citrus-y flavors – especially in the aftertaste! – but the citrus notes are softened now and allowing more of the Oolong notes to shine through.  The elderflower notes are also softer in later infusions, and again, no real distinct hibiscus-y attributes.  Yay!

I really like this tea a lot and I’d recommend it to those that appreciate a fun and interesting tea blend.

Picnic in the Park Oolong from 52Teas

Picnic-in-the-Park-OolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:  

This week has been crazy.  I can’t believe it’s Friday night and I’m just posting the Tea of the Week.  Well, better Nate than lever… Here’s a fun new blend inspired by a suggestion from my wife.  It’s a nice Fujian oolong with freeze-dried strawberries and watermelon, strawberry and champagne flavors.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Every year when my birthday comes around, I send a message out to Frank that I expect a really exciting tea for my birthday.  Unfortunately, I don’t think ahead enough to give him enough time to really THINK about the exciting tea that he’s going to create for my birthday.

So the tea that ended up being released during the week of my birthday was the Strawberry Banana black tea … and while I ended up really enjoying that, I wasn’t all that excited about that tea, so when this tea was announced for the week following, I considered THIS to be my birthday tea.

Next year for my birthday, I hope that Frank will be releasing a new tomato tea.  Right, Frank?

This tea is simply YUM!  And … it really does taste like a picnic in the park!  I taste the strawberry and the watermelon and the champagne notes, as well as the soft, creamy notes of the green Oolong tea.  There is a really good balance of flavors – the Oolong isn’t overpowered, and I taste about equal parts of strawberry and watermelon while there is just a hint of champagne “bubbly” dancing around on my palate.  Nice!

It tastes really good hot … but I like it even better as an iced tea.  And because it’s an Oolong, a little bit of the tea goes a long way – a couple of teaspoons produced a half gallon pitcher of delicious, flavorful iced tea!  Seriously yummy refreshment!

Before I forget … Frank (the chief Zoomdweebie at 52Teas and Southern Boy Teas!) is trying to raise funds to attend the ASD Trade Show in Las Vegas in a matter of weeks.  This will boost his visibility and potentially put his product into the hands of those who can get his business off the ground!  Please consider helping fund his Kickstarter campaign so that he can set up a display at the retail trade show!