Darjeeling Black from Teapigs

darjeelingTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Teapigs

Tea Description:

Pinkies out, bone china cups and saucers, silk neck scarf and snorty laugh at the ready – this is the poshest tea around. Darjeeling tea without milk has a unique, clean, refreshing taste. Traditionally drunk in the afternoon it tastes equally good early morning from a chipped mug.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Thanks to one of our sisters, Scheherazade, I got a chance to try a few sachets of this tea! Teapigs is a company I’ve been kind of curious about for a while; the Sobeys I work at carries a small selection of their teas (though not this one) and I’ve always found the packaging cute. I just simply haven’t known enough about the company or seen enough reviews to be interested in trying one of their teas.

I steeped up one of the pyramid style sachets I received from Scheherazade this morning during a heavy downpour and sat on the steps outside of our house, listening to the pitter patter of the rain, while drinking it. It was definitely the perfect atmosphere to enjoy and appreciate the warmth of the mug and the clean, well rounded flavour. I thought in particular it tasted rather floral, with a slight bit of malt and a sort of autumnal vibe – probably from the very slight spice notes throughout the cup. The mouthfeel is very, very smooth and silky. It’s not the best Darjeeling I’ve ever had but it’s far from the worst.

Very pleasant, comforting and unobtrusive flavour overall. I don’t know if I’ve been sold enough on this tea to want to purchase more of it, but I might finally pick up one of the different blends we carry at the Sobeys I work at as my curiosity has definitely been heightened.

Watermelon Barley Herbal Tea from Lupicia

WatermelonbarleyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy: Lupicia USA

Tea Description:

Aromatic six-rowed barley produced in Japan flavored with fresh watermelon. Limited flavor just for summer.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Tis the season of iced tea and delicious summer fruit! Nothing says ‘summer’ to me quite like mugicha (which is roasted barley tea, traditionally sipped on iced as cold as my heart.) and fresh, sweet, and messy watermelon. Lupicia’s Watermelon Barley tea sounded almost too good to be true on their website, I just had to bite. I’m hoping that the hype I have built up in my brain lives up to this fantasy blend.

The combination of roasted and toasted barley with fresh and juicy watermelon sounds like it could be either really great, or really awful. The only way is to drink this tea and find out!

Upon opening the bag, the sachets inside are large and offer a tiny hint of what I am about to brew. The main scent on first whiff was the roasted grain smell, rich and full. Cloyingly sweet in the background is the fruity watermelon. I didn’t let myself investigate further, I was dying to sink my teeth into the brew. I attempted the cold brew in 2 cups of cold water for 4 hours, simply out of laziness. This resulted in the toasty flavor of the barley becoming a little too overpowering for the watermelon to handle. I could only taste a whisper, it might as well have been regular old mugicha.

The next day I wanted to make it right. I knew it was just a user error on my end, and I needed this tea to taste differently than it had when I brewed it cold. So, I used one pyramid type bag in 16oz. of freshly boiled water. Steeped for 5 minutes then chilled in the refrigerator. When I brought it out the next morning and huffed the liquid, I was met with a satisfyingly sweet smell. The watermelon! Drinking it throughout the day was greatly refreshing. The watermelon was so very melon-y, juicy, thirst quenching. It leans on the side of becoming candy-like in flavor, but stays true to the actual fruit. The barley is still the forefront, but not obnoxiously so. The brew as a whole tastes like grilled watermelon, in a good way. (which is a great thing to try for your next barbeque, by the way!) Probably my new favorite go to easy iced tea for the summer!

Irish Breakfast Tea from Epi Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Epi Tea

Tea Description:

Epi Tea’s Irish Breakfast is a great morning brew with a deep malty flavor and a smooth finish.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve been reading about Epi Tea all over Steepster, but this is the first chance that I’ve had to actually try one of their teas.  Epi Tea have been actively promoting their teas offered in biodegradable pyramid sachets.

While I tend to prefer loose leaf, I do occasionally enjoy teas that have been bagged, and I really do like these pyramid sachets that Epi Tea uses for a couple of reasons:  1) they’re biodegradable and I appreciate any company taking steps to protect our planet; and 2) I can see the teas through the silken material that is used in these sachets, and it looks to be very high quality tea – not unlike what I’d use when preparing loose leaf tea.  These pyramid sachets appear to offer offer the quality of loose leaf in a very convenient, biodegradable sachet.

I also like that the size of the pyramid sachet is sufficient to allow the tea to properly expand.  After brewing, the leaves had plumped up, but, there was still a bit of room left in the sachet … telling me that the leaves had plenty of room to do their thing.  That’s important if flavor is important … and flavor is the reason I drink tea!

Which leads me to the real test of these pyramid sachets:  tasting … and this tastes great too.  I love Irish Breakfast tea because it is usually offers a bolder taste than English Breakfast and it is also very invigorating.  And this Irish Breakfast is indeed that.  It is a bit milder than some Irish Breakfast teas I’ve tasted, and along with that milder flavor comes a smoothness that I was not expecting.  Very nice.

But it wouldn’t be an Irish Breakfast (at least, not to me it wouldn’t!) if it didn’t have some of the basic characteristics of an Irish Breakfast tea:  A delicious malty tone.  A sweet, caramel-y undertone.  And this tea brings those qualities to the cup.  It is good and strong, and it tastes really good – and I can feel it start to work on my caffeine needs too.

Yes, I’m addicted to caffeine.  I am sure that comes as no surprise to you.  As a result, in the morning, I usually have a slight headache as a result from caffeine withdrawal.

But this Irish Breakfast has offered me a speedy recovery from my caffeine withdrawal, and I am feeling fit to face the day thanks to this tea.