Organic 2014 Risheehat Darjeeling First Flush from Happy Earth Tea

RisheehatTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Happy Earth Tea

Tea Description:

A fragrant tea with floral-fruity notes and a classic Darjeeling first flush briskness from one of the most popular Organic tea gardens of Darjeeling.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:  

Another HAPPY SPRING first flush Darjeeling from Happy Earth Tea.  The aroma of the brewed tea is beautiful – a fruity scent mingling with notes of flower and hints of wood.  It is a wonderful celebration of spring.

And it tastes so lovely!  It is sweet with notes of fruit and flower, and it has a light, crisp body.  The fruit notes are somewhere between sweet peach and apple, with the crispness of a green apple but the sweeter flavor of a red.  It is very smooth and there is only a mild astringency that is slightly dry, sort of like the finish of a dry wine.  The aftertaste is cool and clean.

The description on the Happy Earth Tea website suggests a hint of vanilla too, and after a few sips, I started to pick up on the soft vanilla undertones.  It is sweet and silky … not so much ‘creamy’ as it is silky.

There are hints of vegetation to this cup too, as well as woodsy tones and earthy flavors.  I would describe the complexity as a balance between masculine and feminine notes:  Imagine crisp, light airy notes that deliver whispers of flower that rustle the leaves as you’re walking through a fruit orchard while the trees are blossoming.

A remarkable Darjeeling from Happy Earth Tea.  I love that this is Organic, it’s also Fair Trade Certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified!  I love that these things are important to Happy Earth Tea.

Organic 2014 Puttabong Darjeeling First Flush from Happy Earth Tea

puttabongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Happy Earth Tea

Tea Description:

A delicate floral first flush with layers of complex and exquisite notes. This tea proclaims the arrival of spring!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:  

The more I think about it, the more I’m loving spring!  My favorite season of the year is autumn, but, I’m adoring all these amazing first flush teas that I’ve had the opportunity to try this spring!  And this Organic Puttabong Darjeeling First Flush from Happy Earth Tea is absolutely dee-lightful!

The dry leaf aroma is earthy with notes of flower and hints of fruit-like sweetness.  The brewed tea has a delicate fragrance:  very light floral and fruit notes.  The earthiness is also subdued once the leaves are brewed.

The flavor is sweet and tastes much the way the scent suggests.  Hints of earthy tones with a warm, woodsy note.  Sweet, crisp floral notes.  And just beneath the earthy/woodsy notes, I start to pick up on the fruit-like flavors.  There are grape-y notes that are especially noticeable at the finish and in the aftertaste.  I can feel that “tingly” sensation on the tongue from the grape notes.

This has some dry, tangy astringency develops slightly as I continue to sip.  My first few sips I didn’t notice much astringency at all, and now that I’m halfway through the cup, the astringency is more obvious.  The astringency and the grape-like notes give this a delicate wine-like finish.

As the tea cools, I pick up on more of those lovely grape-like notes.  I find that the earth notes seem to soften, and the fruit and flower intermingle, offering a sweet, stunning flavor.  I think my favorite temperature to drink this is after it’s cooled about ten minutes – it’s still on the warmer side, but not hot.  Not cold.  The astringency is softer at this point, and I’m enjoying a really beautiful tea with intriguing fruit notes and delicate whispers of flower that dance on the palate.

Another lovely tea from Happy Earth Tea!  Really, you can’t go wrong with their selection of first flush teas – no matter which one you choose.  I’d have a difficult time trying to choose a favorite!

Organic Sungma Darjeeling Black Tea First Flush 2014 from Happy Earth Tea

SungmaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Happy Earth Tea

Tea Description:

An enchanting Darjeeling first flush with a highly refined floral bouquet and well rounded flavors.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:  

I was so excited to receive a selection of the fresh, spring harvested teas from Happy Earth Tea!  This Organic Sungma Darjeeling Black Tea First Flush is the first that I’ve tried from their 2014 teas.

Ahh!  It is crisp and invigorating when it washes over the palate.  If your tea repertoire tends to be of the “usual” teas like blacks and greens, you really should incorporate a Darjeeling tea in there every once in a while.  It really wakes up the palate!

And the flavor is smooth and sweet with notes of flower and fruit.  I don’t get a strong “muscatel” from this Darjeeling, then again, it is a first flush and you can expect more muscatel from the second flush than the first.  But this does have some wine-like notes that are muscatel-ish and make this fan of Darjeeling happy.

It has a nicely round flavor and less astringency than I would have expected from a Darjeeling.  A really nice sweetness comes from the fruit notes.  A sweet aftertaste.  I find this to be more fruity and less woodsy than a typical Darjeeling.

Overall, this is one of the nicest first flush Darjeeling teas that I’ve tasted in a while.  I love that it’s so fresh, I love that it’s Organic, and I love that it’s a Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance tea.  I love Happy Earth’s dedication to our planet!  Everything about this tea – rocks!

Australian Daintree Black Tea from McIver’s Tea & Coffee Merchants

DaintreeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  McIver’s Tea & Coffee Merchants

Tea Description:

The Daintree Tea Company is located on the Cubbagudta Plantation, situated in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest and Wilderness area in North Queensland.  The plantation was established in 1978 by the Nicholas Family who still own and operate the business.  Daintree tea is grown pesticide free.  Low in tannin and caffeine, this is the perfect afternoon cup.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Australian Daintree Black Tea from McIver’s Tea & Coffee Merchants is a tea that was sent to me by a friend and I was happy to try it.  I’ve not tried any tea from this company, and I love trying new teas from new-to-me companies.

According to the description of this tea, it would seem that this is a tea that is grown in an Australian rainforest without pesticides.  Cool!

Very tasty!  This is a robust tasting tea, but as the description above suggests, it’s not a tannic flavor.  No bitterness here.  It is sweet with a molasses-y type taste and notes of freshly baked bread.  I also taste notes of malt and raisin.

I really like the flavor of this tea.  It reminds me of a bold, breakfast-y type black tea.  However, I don’t know if this truly has a low caffeine level and for those of us who need that caffeinated energy thing in the morning, this might not be the right choice for a breakfast tea.  Instead, I envision that this might make a great afternoon tea for a high tea type of occasion when you want to add milk and honey to your tea and drink with your pinkies up.

Then again, I’m finding it quite lovely without the milk and honey, in my tea mug, with both hands cupped around the mug to enjoy the warmth.

A really good tea, I’m happy I got to try it.

Guayusa Tea with Lemon from Stash Tea

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Guayusa

Where to Buy:  Stash Tea

Tisane Description:

GUAYUSA (gwhy-you-sa) is a rare herbal tea produced from the leaves of a holly tree (ilex guayusa) native to the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador. Guayusa is naturally caffeinated and has an awakening effect similar to coffee and yerba mate. For this signature blend, we’ve combined Guayusa with lemony herbs and pure lemon oil for a slightly tart, refreshing taste.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

Having trouble staying awake when you need to?  Need some caffeine, but you don’t want the ordinary cup of coffee, you want something bright and flavorful … something that will put a spring in your step?

This is the beverage for you!

Guayusa is very caffeinated – I find it to be on the same level caffeine wise as coffee but, while coffee tends to upset my stomach a few hours after I’ve consumed it, I don’t have those same ill aftereffects with Guayusa.

What I’m enjoying about this particular blend is that the vibrant, coffee-esque taste – rich and flavorful – of the Guayusa marries so well with the sunny notes of the lemon.  It is sweet yet tart, but not so tart that I feel myself wanting to pucker after a sip.  The tartness sparkles lightly on the tongue in the aftertaste.

I’ve tried a few Guayusa blends by now, and I really like what I’ve tasted.  I can’t say that the lemon blends are my favorite (I think that I prefer chocolate!  I know, duh!  right?) but I do enjoy the lemon-y Guayusa blends quite a bit.   Very nice, and I could see how this would be a perfect choice for those mornings when you just can’t seem to shake that groggy, sleepy feeling.  This has a refreshing, energizing taste to go with the natural invigorating qualities of the Guayusa.