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Golden

Healthier Childhood Fave: Fruit Punch from The NecessiTeas. . . . .

Fruit Punch tea from The NecessiTeas totally smells like a juice I’d have had as a kid…. Not sure if I’m very into it now as an adult though, as there is an grape additive that isn’t quite doing it for me, but we know with teas,  smells can be deceiving. There looks to be more oolong tea leaves than fruits/herbs, which is always a plus.

It brews into quite a beautiful golden pear liquor, I’m so so glad this does not include hibiscus’ neon magenta “punch” color, kudos to the maturity shown with this modernizing twist. Fruit Punch need not be just for children anymore 🙂

OoOoo it tastes very different than it smells! Actually there’s a really beautiful flavor transition through the different fruit flavors, a warm strawberry that becomes citrus. I love the playful complexity of this oolong choice. I want to personify it as similar to me, older and wiser but secretly musing on what shenanigans I can expect at the next high school reunion.  I  think the lemongrass brings some brightness and keeps it away from the saccharine extreme I expected from a “childish” seeming name… yeah, yeah, I’m judgy with names, moving along. There is a short and sweetish aftertaste, even before I added stevia. This blend is good for a resteep, and despite my first-whiff-misgivings, it’s really pretty enjoyable. Aptly deemed a necessary tea when catching up with a school days pal and feeling nostalgic.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: The Necessiteas

This blend brings back childhood memories of me at the pool with a red stained smile on my face. What is even better about this tea, you don’t have to have a red stained smile to be happy. Fruit punch is a spring and summer must have around here! If it’s a party, shower or barbecue, they just seem to go hand in hand. So obviously I had to create a punch inspired tea. If you’re anything like me and enjoyed that sweet red punch as a kid then you’ll love this refreshing combo of strawberry, cherry and orange.

Your tea is hand packaged in an airtight tin at no additional charge.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Halmari Gold Assam by Golden Tips Tea

Halmari-ClonalTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Golden Tips

Tea Description:

Assam is a celebrated tea growing region in the world and there is no doubt over the fact that Assam black teas are the most sought-after in the world. However, even in Assam, there are those rare and special days when ideal climatic conditions backed by intuitive manufacturing excellence garnered by years of experience prepares something as rare as this Halmari Gold Clonal Black Tea.
Handpicked from superior P126 clonal bushes at the Halmari Tea estate, the opulent appearance of the tea is characteristic of an almost equal combination of black and golden tipped leaves with a smooth texture. Carved out selectively from specially plucked tender young shoots, the tea brings in a unique rich maltiness which is only found in select Assams during the peak second flush tea growing season. The flavor is exhilarating with a perfect balance of strength, full-body and smoothness. This unique clonal tea brings in a sweet fruity finish in the mouth with a lingering aftertaste. The highest grade GTGFOP1 CL leaves prepare a sharp infusion which can be brewed several times. A bright golden amber liquoring cup greets your eyes when you strain out the royal dark brownish infusion.
An absolute luxury, the finest of the finest and clearly one of the best Assam black teas.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a second flush Assam from Golden Tips Tea, picked in June 2014 on the Halmari Tea Estate. The dry leaf smells sweet and malty with a rich, nutty undertone, and it’s a treasure to look at. The leaves themselves are fairly thin and a little curly, mostly dark brown but with some lighter golden tipped leaves, and some pure golden leaves, scattered throughout. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a bright reddish-brown, and I added a splash of milk.

When I read the name of this tea, I was hoping that it would be a “Golden Lion” variety. These Assams have a lot in common with Chinese Yunnan black teas, which I absolutely adore. Judging by the scent of the wet leaf, it looks like my wish has been granted. Sweet potato and chocolate notes abound!

To taste, this one is an absolute delight. The initial sip is quite strong – very, very malty, with a strong squashy, yam like flavour. It’s also quite tannic, so perhaps to be avoided on an empty stomach. Successive sips show this to be a very smooth tea, although I’m pretty sure the milk is helping to round out what might otherwise have been quite rough edges. The chocolate notes emerge towards the end of the sip, and add an extra layer of sweet creaminess to what is already a sweet, smooth, malty cup. This is certainly a full-bodied tea; rich and flavourful, and immensely satisfying as a mid-afternoon pick me up.

This is a tea I’d recommend to all Assam fans – relative newcomers and experienced aficionados alike. It’s a very punchy cup, and certainly doesn’t hold back, but it’s also a good, solid example of the variety. I’d also recommend it to those who enjoy Chinese black teas, since it shares some similar characteristics. I really enjoyed my time with this tea, and it’s definitely one I’d look to repurchase in the future.

Himalayan Golden Black Tea from Nepali Tea Traders

Himalayan_GoldenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

This award-winning tea is incredible and unique! Its distinct flavour begins with the soil this tea bush is grown in. In Sandakphu, the soil is golden red and absorbs up the monsoon rains. A mild and silky smooth black tea with flavours of stone fruits and honey.There’s an interesting balance here that is reminiscent of both a Chinese Yunnan and a fine Indian Darjeeling. A Must Try!

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

25% of profits from our Nepal teas will be donated to the ‘Nepali Tea’ Restoration Fund for earthquake relief.  Learn more here.

Taster’s Review:

I was really excited when I learned that Amoda Tea would be profiling Nepali Tea Traders with their May subscription box.  And I’m thrilled to be trying this Himalayan Gold Tea!

As I’m sure that most of you are aware, in April of this year, Nepal was devastated by a major earthquake and a second major earthquake hit them again this month.  Nepali Tea has created a ‘restoration fund’ to aid in the earthquake relief efforts and so I’m very pleased at the timeliness of this box!  This is a tremendous opportunity for you to get some fantastic teas and also help out with the restoration efforts!

And I’ve always been pretty impressed with the teas that I’ve tried that were produced in Nepal.  I can’t think of any teas from Nepal that I’ve not enjoyed, and Nepali Tea Traders are some of the best of the best that Nepal has to offer!

And of the teas that I’ve tried from Nepali Tea Traders, I think that this Himalayan Gold stands out.  The above description suggests that it’s a mild tea, but I don’t know if I agree with that assessment.  I do agree that it’s similar to a Yunnan.  I get those spice notes that I might experience in a Yunnan, although I think that the spice notes here are even more profound than in the average Yunnan black tea.

This isn’t very similar to a Darjeeling in my opinion though, mostly because when I think of “Darjeeling” I think of a lighter, crisper type of black tea that is sometimes more similar to a green tea than a black tea.  I think of the muscatel notes of a second flush when I think Darjeeling.  This might be similar to a first flush Darjeeling, perhaps from the estate of Arya.  It has a more pronounced flavor, with notes of raisin and stone fruit.  I am even picking up on some faint notes of smoke in the distance.

This is more robust than mild, in my opinion.  It’s not as robust as say, a sturdy Assam tea, although I am noticing some similarities to an Assam and this Himalayan Gold.  For example, I taste hints of malty undertones and a slight caramel-y note that I’d enjoy with a good Assam.

Overall, I taste a lot of similar notes to many different teas from different regions – all in this one very delightful tea from Nepal.  I like that I’m getting so many things to enjoy with one tea.  This one deserves high praise – it’s a really, really good tea.

Golden Honeydew from Lupicia

goldenhoneydewTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy: Lupicia USA

Tea Description:

Caffeine-free green rooibos tea is scented with Californian honeydew melon.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yes, this is a rooibos. Now, I have never been a big fan of rooibos. Quite the opposite. I am such a grump about anything with even a little rooibos in it that I avoid it like the plague. While it is a green rooibos, and therefore lighter and grassier in character, I was still skeptical. But a tea friend of mine just had to have me try it. So try it I did. The dry leaf alone sent my nose and I spinning down memory lane. Funny things, noses.

This tea reminds me so much of my favorite flavor of boba, it’s unsettling. For anyone not in the know, boba, or bubble tea, is an incredible liquid substance that comes in a plastic cup. Originating from Taiwan in the early 80s, it’s not so much a tea as it is a delicious, typically creamy beverage that can be made of tea, fruits, or a powdered mix better known as milk tea. Milk tea comes in a crazy variety of flavors, one of the most popular in the world being Honeydew. It’s sickly sweet, and creamy to the core. What makes this into boba is the large, round, gummy-like tapioca pearls. Oh, and the fat straw you sip the pearls through. It’s something that I almost always sneak into a movie. I highly recommend it!

I don’t know, just something about sipping down a creamy honeydew flavored slushie followed by chewing on those yummy gummy tapioca pearls makes me feel all fuzzy inside. Cures any sadness and cools down a sweaty brow.

Everyone close to me at least knows what rooibos is, thanks to my audible distain of the stuff. Now even my man huffs at the mere mention of it. Until this one. I liked it so much, that I almost didn’t tell him what is was when he asked for a little sip. Everything about this tea is delicious, juicy honeydew. The smell of the light green rods of the green rooibos, is exactly like the ripest honeydew you could ever imagine. As I brew this cup, I can just imagine biting into a fresh slice of pale green honeydew melon. I think the realism of the flavoring is what makes this blend. I don’t get that harsh artificial flavor I could have been assaulted with. Even while sipping on a pot of this tea is bringing to mind the velvety smooth fruit and the sweet juice. It’s so uncanny how spot on this tea is! It’s rich, broad, and smooth, I can imagine how great this would be iced.

I’d wager it’s better than the boba version.

Boisahabi Estate Assam SFTGFOP1 Black Tea from Capital Teas Limited

Boisahabi Estate AssamTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Capital Tea Limited

Tea Description:

Potently aromatic attractive deep brown Assam leaves with plenty of golden tips. These leaves infuse to a very rich, strong and sweetly malty tasting tea liquor with an unusually smooth disposition for a tea with such strength. Highly recommended as a breakfast tea to drink with milk!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Boisahabi Estate Assam SFTGFOP1 Black Tea from Capital Teas Limited is a really enjoyable Assam – it’s got a rich, thick texture and lots of malt!

It has that strong, robust character that you look for in a morning cuppa – this is one of those ‘get you going in the morning’ type of teas!  What I’m appreciating most about this is that while it is a bold tasting tea, it’s not overly ‘edgy.’  It’s got a smooth, nicely rounded flavor with sweet, caramel-y undertones.  Quite nice!

To brew this, I put a bamboo scoop of tea into the basket of my Kati Tumbler and added 12 ounces of boiling water.  I steeped the tea for 2 1/2 minutes.  I would caution you to watch your steep time because this tea can and will get bitter on you if you oversteep it – so don’t do that!

If you like your breakfast tea to be latte, this tea will take the addition of milk and honey quite nicely.  It’s also really pleasant served straight up.  I like it hot best, but it’s still really tasty as it cools.