Mao Feng from Global Tea Hut. . . . .

My holidays started early with the surprise receipt of  Global Tea Hut’s Magazine and tea tin subscription from Taiwan.

I’m the type of person to read the manual first before trying something new, and was a little worried that this 80 page magazine would require me to brush up on my rusty Mandarin, but there were no parts lost in translation! It was both poetic and relatable, mixing Chinese tea history and culture as well as modern processing techniques used for the very Mao Feng Tea I was about to taste.

This months sample of bright colored organic buds and leaves from China’s Yellow mountain brewed into a clear liquor. After brewing there is an aroma of browned butter and a remarkable hint of sweetness – the lingering scent on a lovers sweater.

The sipping flavor was muted, but the long-lasting, sweet aftertaste was wholly unexpected! This is perhaps the purest tea I’ve ever consumed.

Reading the magazine along with my multiple resteeps, I felt a very meditative connection to this experience. There was even an invitation to contemplate the Personality (qi) of the tea. The care that went into its preparation and the lingering feeling of comfort I felt drinking it, led me to think of this Mao Feng as the embodiment of love. A very special surprise indeed!

When you subscribe, they offer to send a free gift to anyone.  This company has won itself a great deal of my appreciation. I’d highly recommend their subscription for anyone who wants to learn more about teas, or who enjoys non-flavored leaves. Recently they’ve also started an App to connect Tea enthusiasts from around the world.

The tea by itself is a treat, but there is something even more beautiful in making a connection to the growers. It’s exciting and grounding at the same time. Is this Zen?

Here’s the scoop!

Loose Leaf:   Green

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Creamy Eggnog Tea from Butiki Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Butiki Teas

Tea Description:

Creamy Eggnog is part of our holiday series that encompasses a number of holidays from different religions. Many people might not think of eggnog as their number one choice for a Christmas flavor but Eggnog is particularly important in my family’s tradition of celebrating Christmas. Eggnog always marked the beginning of the Christmas season and was the last thing we would drink before we would try to go to sleep Christmas Eve. As a child, getting any sleep Christmas Eve would have been a miracle. There was always so much excitement and anticipation building. Creamy Eggnog pairs our buttery Organic Huangshan Mao Feng with a rich creamy eggnog flavor. The tea and flavor work well with each other and neither overshadows the other. This tea is sweet with a heavy cream and eggy quality. Add a little brown crystal sugar and the tea becomes extremely creamy, rich, and very much like eggnog. Some vanilla notes become pronounced and so do the egg notes. We added safflower for a touch of red for a festive Christmas colored tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

OH goodness … this is so good.  So creamy and delicious – you’d swear you’re drinking something incredibly sinful and fattening, but, it’s not.

The dry leaf is a simple yet beautiful looking tea with the curly green tea leaves and just a few red safflower petals to add a pretty holiday look.  The aroma has a strong vanilla tone that smells so sweet and creamy.   My mouth started watering before I even started the tea to brew.

The brewed liquid smells much more like eggnog.  It has a custard-y note to the fragrance, with an almost egg-y kind of scent.  And I like that I am tasting what I smell … a very egg-y, custard-y kind of flavor that is distinctly eggnog.  The flavor of the Organic Huangshan Mao Feng comes through nicely, and there seems to be a very pleasing balance between tea and eggnog taste.

I’ve tried a couple of different eggnog teas, and I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve tried, but if I had to choose the best that I’ve tasted thus far, this one would be the absolute best.  Butiki Teas never ceases to amaze me with their ability to create amazing flavored teas.

Really, all that’s missing for me with this eggnog tea is a touch of nutmeg, because I always like to grind a little bit of fresh nutmeg to top my eggnog.  But, I think that can probably be easily remedied if I were to grind a bit of nutmeg into my teapot before the tea brews.  Just a wee little bit, enough to add a little bit of warmth and delicious nutty flavor to the cup.

Yum.  Just YUM!

Black Keemun Mao Feng from Tea Horse

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tea Horse

Tea Description:

A high grade black tea from Qimen, China, known as one of the world’s best.

Taster’s Review:

I tried to find this tea on the Tea Horse website, but, was unsuccessful.  Which is a shame, because this is a Keemun that you should REALLY try!

It is delightful!  And it’s just what I needed this afternoon!

Today has been a trying day for me, and I want something that will invigorate me so that I can feel motivated again, and also something that will give me that inner comfort I seek after enduring the trials of my day.

This tea is doing all that for me, and more!  It is rich and smooth.  Earthy with hints of smoke in the distance – but far fewer smoky tones that I often experience with a Keemun! – and a sweet, caramel-y undertone.  It’s one of those black teas that provides some strength and substance to start you on your day, but is also so delicious and comforting that its one you’ll want to curl up with while sitting in front of the fireplace, reading a good book.

An excellent Keemun.

Keemun Mao Feng from Life in Teacup

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Life in Teacup

Tea Description:

Production Year – 2011

Production Season – Summer

Production Region – Qimen, Anhui Province

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Keemun is among my favorite black (or red) teas.  Such a wonderful complexity to Keemun tea – at once it is a deep, smoky tea, but it isn’t too heavy.  It is light enough to allow the drinker to experience its delicious fruit notes.  It is rich and bold and flavorful, and it has gusto to spare!

This Keemun Mao Feng from Life in Teacup is an excellent tea.  It has all the flavor components I mentioned above and more.  I love the sweetness to this, it is like a honey caramel and it melds nicely with the smoky tones.  The sweetness of the caramel curbs the smoky tones just enough so that they do not taste too harsh, creating a very smooth, well-rounded flavor.

This would make a delicious breakfast tea (0r that all-important first cup of the day), and it has such a pleasant set of fruit tones that it would also make an agreeable afternoon cup.  And while I personally prefer a Keemun served straight, with no additions, this Keemun would accept the additions of milk and honey quite well, if you like to take your tea that way!

Shangrila from Tea Licious

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Tea Licious

Tea Description:

Green Mao Feng, safflowers, marigold, passion fruit and peach.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is so yummy!

When I first saw the leaves in the package, I thought that this might be a white tea, as the leaves look soft and fluffy like a silver needle tea.  And the flavor is light and crisp … but not quite as delicate as a white tea.  This definitely has that vegetative taste that one experiences from green tea.

And that is a good thing, in my opinion, because I love how the vegetal notes marry with the flavors of peach and passion fruit.  I’m sure that these flavors would have been excellent with a silver needle tea as well, but, I’m loving this just the way it is.

The green tea has adds a freshness and a light sweetness to the cup, accenting the sweetness of the fruit.  The passion fruit and peach notes work very well together, and they bring a deliciously juicy flavor to this.

Since it has been so cold lately (we are just starting to get some hints at warm weather … it was actually SUNNY today!), I chose to drink this hot – and it was tasty – but I think it would be even more fabulous iced!

Yet another winner in the impressive collection of teas from Tea Licious!