East Frisian/Harney and Sons

I purchased this tea to use as an enrichment lesson for some young ladies to whom I am teaching elementary German. Tea and cookies make for a fun lesson! And who knew that if East Frisia was a country instead of a region, they would have the highest per capita consumption of black tea in the world?

I wanted to be as authentic as possible and did a test run today. Their “Teetied” is different from any other.

First, a large piece of rock sugar (Kluntje) is put into a porcelain or china cup. Then the rich tea is poured over it and the rock sugar should crackle. After the tea is poured, a small ladle of cream is added to the tea gently, pouring along the side of the cup so that the cream makes a cloud (Wolkje) in the tea. You must never stir!

It is considered polite to drink at least three cups of tea, although more than that is fine. When you finished, you place a spoon (the one you definitely did NOT use to stir your tea!) in your cup or you can turn your cup over on the saucer.

The tea is usually a strong Assam blended with a bit of Darjeeling and some Ceylon. This one is very dark, earthy, and bready. It is a tad brisk but less so than I expected.

The cloud in the tea fascinated me and really made this Teetied a mindfulness session as I watched the cloud roll and change shape after each sip. The cream coats your lips and takes the edge off the strong tea, then the tea dominates, and at the last you get a small sip or two that is incredibly sweet. The rock sugar should be large enough to last through all three cups of tea and each cup that you drink should be finished completely so that the subsequent cup doesn’t look muddy when you add the cream.

I think this lesson will be a success, and I can hardly wait to try it again with some cookies or pastries!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Harney & Sons 

Description

Fortify yourself with East Frisian, our popular full-bodied black tea blend of Darjeeling, Ceylon and Assam. It’s named for East Frisia, Germany’s cold, wet, and dreary North Sea coast – the ideal spot to drink hot tea, and the East Frisians do! They consume more black tea than anyone else in the world. They do drink it with cream and crystalized sugar.

(Credit- Harney & Sons)

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Bai MuDan/Teavivre – Ashmanra

Someone told me once that white tea just tasted like a cup of hot water to them. I probably would have agreed early on in my tea journey. When your tastebuds are accustomed to strong root beer and sweet, fizzy, highly flavored soda it takes a while to train your palate to find subtle flavors, at least it did for me. Perhaps the real foodies “get it” right from the start.

I haven’t had unflavored white tea in a while and decided that today would be a good day to take a cup of Bai MuDan outside and enjoy its simplicity while sitting in the sunshine, a rare treat in late winter. Though very windy, it is warm and the sun is welcome after many days of rain.

The packet called for two grams of leaf for twelve ounces of water, which I thought seemed to far too little at first. I used my new Upton Digital Tea Scale since large leaf white tea can be tricky to judge. Teavivre recommends five to eight minutes, and I steeped for about five because I was ready for my break!

First, this is a beautiful golden cup of tea. The color is rich and deep and it actually LOOKS full bodied in the cup. The flavor did not let me down. No one could mistake this for a “cup of hot water!” The flavor lingers for quite a while, too.

I see a lot of white tea described accurately as tasting like sunshine on hay, mainly Shou Mei, but this Bai MuDan tastes like golden stalks with a hint of spring in the air, with the scent of distant flowers laid over, and maybe even a little soft, sweet vegetable like snow pea or sugar snap peas.

I think this is going to be my go-to quiet time cup for a while.

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Description

Teavivre’s White Peony Bai MuDan tea is farmed and produced on Mt. Taimu, using material from Dabaihao tea trees. While this is a slightly oxidized white tea, it is produced with the same minimal processing as Silver Needle white tea, with the main difference between the two being that silver needle uses only buds, while bai mudan includes opened leaves as well.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Agave Chai/Spice & Tea Merchants – TeaEqualsBliss

Agave Chai from Spice & Tea Merchants was MADE with vegans and diabetics in mind! I have to say I was thrilled because I’m vegan and my father is diabetic and we are both tea fans!

This black tea base hails from Australia and contributes to this unique black chai. It’s blended with healthy natural ingredients – without any additives or preservatives. It’s a chai created with vegans and diabetics in mind because it has low GI, is fully consumable by vegans, and is a healthy substitute for diabetics.

One thing I did notice and knew right away I had to mention is upon opening the package of loose leaf there was a stickiness to the leaves and other ingredients but I knew this was because of the agave in the mix. Just a heads-up in case it takes you by surprise!

Ingredients include: Ceylon back tea, organic light agave syrup, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, peppercorns, cloves, fresh ginger, and salt.

I’m pretty sure the reasoning for the bit of salt is to do a nice yin and yang with the sweetness of the agave. It wasn’t noticeable…that is how little they used of the salt. The spices were nicely done. I wouldn’t change anything with the ratios of the ingredients they used.

This tea was TOTALLY worth it at $6.99 per ounce and was as fresh-as-fresh-could-be! Sweet, Semi-spicy, delicious!

 


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Spice & Tea Merchants

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

2017 Wild Arbor Bai Mu Dan/Verdant – Skysamurai

The best part about a portable gaiwan is that you can bring it places that would be too awkward for other tea accessories.

Nothing quite like a good session on the beach. Though our MN sand is kinda rough. 1st steeping. Couple of minutes.

Light yellow liquid. Mellow with no astringency.

Beautiful fuzzy leaves and gorgeous pale green leaves. Velvety and oddly floral in aroma. Or maybe more akin to a very dark chocolate?

Flavor is earthy. Slightly rough on the tongue with the third steeping.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: White Tea

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Snickerdoodle/The NecessiTeas -Ashmanra

Photo Credit: The NecessiTeas

I had a large sample pack of this, enough for a small pot of tea and not just a cup. Since it is caffeine free I thought it would be perfect for some after dinner snacking and would satisfy the sweet part of my sweet + salty cravings! The base is honeybush, thank goodness, and not rooibos. I don’t usually sweeten my teas and this already contains both white and brown sugar, but I am going for dessert here so I don’t mind.

The instructions call for a seven minute steep. I thought that was perhaps to give the cinnamon chips time to melt. It is worth waiting for! If you could melt a Snickerdoodle cookie (one of our favorite kinds) and pour it in a cup, this is exactly what it would smell like and taste like. The aroma was so incredibly sweet that I thought it was going to be TOO sweet for me, but it wasn’t. I am glad it was paired with popcorn and not a sweet dessert, though, because that would have been too much sugar for me! This was so rich, full bodied, and full of cinnamon goodness! The cinnamon is sweet and not hot. The brown sugar gives it real mouth-roundness, as Graham Kerr used to say.

I should have added a touch of milk, in retrospect, to get that dunked cookie vibe! This would also have made an astoundingly good latte. I may have to get my hands on some more to try that!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Honeybush

Where to Buy:  The NecessiTeas 

Description

Snickerdoodles are the perfect holiday cookie. Packed with that classic cinnamon and sugar flavor, this tea will quickly become a family favorite!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!