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loose leaf green tea

Hot Mama Jama/Bird and Blend Tea Co -variaTEA

Photo Credit: Bird and Blend Tea Co

The weather is quickly cooling down and though I am glad to see the humid days behind me, I am going to miss not having to walk a half hour in the freezing wind to get to/from campus. In light of this conflict over the weather, I went with a hot/spicy tea that also has a tropical vibe, Hot Mama Jama by Bird and Blend Tea Co.

This tea is a Chinese green tea blended with lemongrass, lime leaves and pieces (large pieces at that), chili seeds, hibiscus, rosehip, apple pieces, orange peel, passion fruit pieces, mango pieces, and flavoring. I steeped it for 3 mins in 175F water and I am drinking it plain.

The chili has a strong scent as I lift the mug to take a sip and though the flavor is definitely present in the cup, I wouldn’t say this tea is particularly spicy. Instead I get the flavor of chili upfront and a tiny bit of warmth in the back of my throat throughout the sip. That chili flavor melts into a (mostly tropical) fruity flavor that comes out exceptionally sweet in contrast. Sweet but not cloying. The lemongrass can be more prominent than I like at times but mostly there is just a bright citrus note thanks to the lime and orange. I also definitely get a lot of mango with some bursts of passion fruit here and there. The foundation flavor here keeping everything grounded and underlying the entire sip is the familiar hibiscus/rosehip flavor that is found in so many fruity teas/tisanes. Thankfully it is not strong here as it typically is.

This makes me think of a mango sprinkled with chili powder as the two flavors are both present and compliment each other just as well in tea form as they do when enjoying that treat. With that said, this isn’t necessarily the highest quality tea or the best tea but it is unique and tasty. It is the type of tea that I can enjoy every now and then because it is something different than my usual go-tos.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Bird and Blend Tea Co

Description

Turn up the chilli tea heat and join the tropical carnival with a cup of Hot Mama Jama chilli green tea. But be warned… this blazing remix of refreshing reggae limes and calypso chilli beats will have your taste buds dancing all night long.

Hot Mama Jama is well-loved by our fans in the Brighton Gospel Choir for its amazing abilities to soothe a sore throat. It is the ultimate sore throat tea and when you mix it up with lemon and honey, see sore throat tea recipe it is the best natural remedy for a sore throat that you can find!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Notes on Gyokuro Superior/Sorate -skysamurai-

Lush, deep green.

These leaves are a fantastic color. If you are going to call it superior it better be a green like this.

The liquid is a clear, light amber. The mouthfeel is very smooth. Barely any astringency. Wet leaf smells of umami.

Not sure of how to explain that smell besides umami. It is warming and reminds me of soft Japanese udon. The flavor is slight grassy with vegetal notes. Garden veggies.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Sorate

Description

Gyokuro was developed in Uji, Kyoto, home of our beloved farm.

The deep ties to Gyokuro’s homeland and production, making it the finest grade of Japanese Tea. It contains an elegant aroma and taste with soft tones presented in a light green color.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Gojiberry Infusion/Tea Barr Company -Ashmanra-

A box of samples from the Sisters is a lot like Christmas! It is so exciting to paw through the teas and see new blends to try and companies you have never heard of. What a surprise to look up this company and find that they are fairly close to me, just a couple of hours away.

We are having a little cold spell so I tried this hot first while sitting by a warm fire. The sencha base is not too grassy, and while you definitely taste the green tea the overall impression from this tea is a light and lovely fruitiness. I don’t know that I have ever had gojiberry by itself, but what this reminds me most of are pomegranate blends I have tried. There ARE pomegranate seeds in this, so I may be tasting those plus some natural flavoring or it could be that gojiberry tastes a lot like pomegranate.

This is SO light and fruity that I could almost feel a spring breeze caressing my face and I knew I needed to make a pitcher of iced tea with it as well. Here in the South we drink iced sweet tea all year. The golden tea is so pretty as is, but in summer I would serve this with a few frozen berries swirling in each glass. This would be a wonderful picnic tea, or refreshment for an afternoon tea party!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy:  Tea Barr Company

Description

This is a fine, pure combination of fresh Sencha tea, masterfully infused with juicy goji berries, and decorated with bright cornflowers. This tasty combination creates a unique and healthy treat.

Ingredients: green tea, goji berries, lemongrass, pomegranate seeds, cornflower blossoms, and natural flavoring.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Pearls of Jade/Silk Road Teas

This tea is gorgeous. I actually tipped a spoonful into my hand and examined it in the light, over the top of my glasses so I could really enjoy the detail. These are little curls of army green with swirls of white – real, true, pearly white. In appearance it seems more like an oolong than a green tea.

The odd thing is that this does not taste even remotely like the Bi Luo Chun I have had before, which we refer to in my house as “Cheerios Tea.” That’s how much it tastes like oats and specifically just like the cereal! But does anyone expect tea from Silk Road to taste like something you have had before? I look upon Silk Road as an exotic treat.

So if it doesn’t taste like I expected, what DOES it taste like? And furthermore, why does it taste so different?

The answer to the different taste may lie in the fact that this is a pre-Ching Ming tea. This means that the leaves are some of the very first ones picked of the new spring season, usually at the end of March and beginning of April.

After steeping, I run my fingers through the leaves, now unfurled and beautifully green, in the steeping basket. They are unbelievably soft! They are silky and smooth, and so irresistible that I can’t help but eat a couple of them.

The liquor is pale, a soft yellow, and the second steep is paler still.

My perception of the flavors does not match the description of the website. While it is smooth, it also is making a tingle on my tongue with a gentle and light briskness. There is definitely a floral overtone but it is ghostlike, appearing and disappearing. There is also a vegetal flavor that reminds me of rutabaga, but softer. The body is thin. And I detect a bare hint of roasty flavor, or at least a deep tone under the briskness.

What this tea doesn’t taste like is oats, or buttery, or creamy. And for my Bi Luo Chun, I think I may prefer the oat-y ones.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Silk Road Teas

Description

This tea appears to no longer be on the site but click below for their offerings.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Green Tea Masala Chai/Vahdam Teas

I have been seeing Vahdam Tea in the news lately and thought a spicy cup of chai would settle me right in for the night.

This isn’t your traditional black tea boiled with water and milk and heavily sugared. This is a fine darjeeling green with cardamom (YUM!), cinnamon, and clove. When I pour the dry leaves out to investigate them, it LOOKS like black tea, but don’t be fooled. Darjeeling tastes best to me prepared with slightly lower temperature water and a short steep to keep astringency low. If you like very brisk tea, increase your temp and time.

The green darjeeling is a tad brisk. The long boiling time of traditional chai makes the tea strong and bitter or astringent, and that is why milk and sugar are added, and a good dollop of milk, too! I am not adding anything to this, though, and it is enjoyable just as it is. The spices are at a great level for me. I have never been a fan of chai made with tons of black peppercorns, and I really feel that the cardamom and cinnamon lead the spices in this one. The scent of the dry leaves and the steeped tea is scrumptious.

And it is working! The strong flavors of the tea are keeping my cravings at bay and I don’t feel deprived at all.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Vahdam Teas

Description

A superior green tea blend with the finest, aromatic Indian spices for a unique Chai experience!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!