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!

Peppermint Peace Herbal Tea from M&K’s Tea Company

peppermintpeaceTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy

Tea Description:

Can’t we all just get along? Probably not. But at least we have tea, and in this case, it tastes like honey and peppermint! A great tea to relax with before bed, or a great tea to start your morning off minty. Whatever the case, just give (peppermint) peace a chance and try this blend out.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love licorice and I like peppermint, so I found myself curious about this blend.  They are very “polarizing” flavors – it seems that people either like licorice or they don’t, and the same is true of peppermint.  And they are two very strong flavors too, so I found myself wondering how well they’d work together.

The answer:  I really like the way these two ingredients work together.

To brew this tisane, I used my Kati tumbler and poured the entire sample into the basket because I generally like to use extra leaf in my tisanes.  I suspect that the sample might be enough for two 8 ounce cups with a slightly weaker flavor than I’m enjoying now, but for this 12 ounce tumbler, I think that the sample is just the right amount.  I heat the water to 195°F and let the tisane steep for 8 minutes.

As I just mentioned, these two ingredients work very well together.  The coolness of the peppermint helps to curb some of the sharper notes of the licorice while the warm licorice notes help to reduce some of the strong minty tones so that this doesn’t taste like toothpaste.

It has a slightly medicinal taste but not in a bad way, it’s soothing.  Instead, it’s a comforting yet exhilarating cuppa that’s naturally caffeine free.  Like what you’d want to drink if you were feeling a little under the weather.  I am tasting that zesty licorice, a pleasing honeyed sweetness and the crisp minty notes of the peppermint.  It’s a little sweet and a little spicy.

As I sip it, I was trying to think of the word that best captures this tisane:  refreshing!