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tea time

Huang Guan Yin/Harney and Sons – Ashmanra –

Huang Guan Yin goes by several names. The tea plant is a hybrid/cross of a Tie Guan Yin cultivar and a Huang Jin Gui cultivar. The name literally translates as “Yellow Goddess of Mercy.” It is sometimes also called No. 105 or simply Yellow Goddess. It is a fairly new cultivar.

This particular one from Harney and Sons is very light. There is none of the roasty toasty or smokey flavor found in many TGY or Wuyi oolongs. No Tung Ting nuttiness. I think some companies do sell this processed a little more roasty if their descriptions are accurate.

The scent cup revealed floral aroma reminiscent of baby powder – that light magnolia or osmanthus scent, and a baked sugary treat smell that made me think of cream filled dougnuts. Then a herbaceous savory note rises.

It was prepared gongfu style. The liquor is yellow. There is quite a mix of flavor here. The floral scents are still there, but there is a savory note overlaid on all the sweetness. Sipping the tea, I taste the floral aspects first and then the savory nips in at the aftertaste like vegetable liquor from leafy greens, like tender greens (popular in the South where I live) or perhaps bok choy, perhaps more well known.

The leaves held up for steep after steep, delivering a lot of flavor. It was a very interesting tea to try. I wouldn’t want to waste this one by drinking it with a meal. I prefer to enjoy it on it own to tease out all the flavors.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Harney & Sons 

Description

This is a light Oolong from the Wuyishan area of northern Fujian Province. We have been buying from Mr. Chao for many years. This Spring we stopped by and saw him and his wife. This is one of the 3 teas that we bought from them. This is a cross blend between Ti Quan Yin and Huang Jin Gui, so you have nice floral notes and a bit of sweetness.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

**this tea was purchased and not gifted in exchange for a review**

Elevating Your Tea Game with Stamped TeaSpoons from Blue Crabb

As tea enthusiasts, we all have our tea quirks on how we make or steep our tea.  I have tea kettles, tea pots, tea infusers, tea sticks, you name it, I probably have one. Each year I add a couple new pieces to my collection.  I have to say this piece maybe on of my favorite pieces I’ve added in a long time.

Blue Crabb is an Etsy shop who creates adorable and sentimental teaspoons stamped with tea inspired quotes.  Anywhere from Best Tea to Tea is a Huge in A Cup.  All heart warming and perfect for any tea enthusiasts.  I love using mine as the perfect companion to my new thrift store tea pot find. It really makes elevates my “tea game”.

My particular spoon says Keep Calm & Make Tea. The spoon is gorgeous and wonderfully crafted. I can easily use it to scoop out a few servings into my teapot and then again use it if I stir in any kind of flavored sugars or honey.  Though, I may not own a matching tea pot, cup, and saucer, but this spoon makes my whole tea drinking session up a notch.  I love the simple elegance the teaspoon brings to my whole tea experience. Any tea enthusiast would be in love with these!

The teaspoons themselves are made with love and care. They are very well crafted and the spoons used have wonderful designs.   Highly recommend these stamped teaspoons  and with the holidays right around the corner, these would be the perfect gift for your tea enthusiasts in your life. I know I  have a few earmarked that I want. They even have a few for coffee lovers!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: TeaWare
Where to Buy: Blue Crabb

isla_75x75.19325661_6lfggnbxDescription

A cup of tea solves everything!!

This adorable KEEP CALM & MAKE TEA complete with a Crown is perfect for your next Tea Party! Also will make a perfect gift for the tea lovers in your life.  Please remember, even though this gently used spoon has been given a new look, it will show some signs of wear.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Black Currant White Peony from 52Teas

52teas3_1430856114__73092Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy: 52Teas 

Tea Description:

This tea is really tasty. The white tea is soft and smooth. It has a delicate, sweet flavor and it offers an interesting contrast to the tart and tangy flavor of black currant. 

It’s a fairly simple blend – just white tea and black currants – but it tastes great!

Learn more about this tea here. 

Taster’s Review:

I have been on a 52Teas kick lately.  I can’t help it! I love the unique variety of flavors they have and offer. I am currently staring at my maple Cheesecake TieGuan Yin and wondering if I should splurge and dive into it or wait for another time.

Today I was more in the mood for a white tea so I went with 52Teas Black Currant White Peony, a tea where the dry leaf has  has a very similar smell somewhat mulled red wine.  I prepped this one at work so I thought I’d share a cuppa with my co-worker. She couldn’t wait to try it.

I prepped this up per the instructions on the package (water at 170F & steep for about 3 1/2 minutes) and I poured us a couple mug fulls.  We both instantly remarked at how that mulled wine aroma was still there with the brew and how delicious it smelled.

We took our first sips and wow our eyes lit up. This is exactly the tea you want to be drinking on a dark and dreary day like we are experiencing today. This tea delivers a simple yet satisfying flavor of sweet yet tangy berries (from the black currants), slight notes of a flora hint now and again, all wrapped up with a lovely wine aftertaste.  Really lovely.  This is one I could see sharing with friends at afternoon tea with a biscuit or two.

Can’t really say enough good things about this one. A depature from the complicated and unique tea blends that 52Teas offers. As much as I love those teas, I love this one just as much. Sometimes the most simplest teas are the most satisfying.

 

 

 

Snowflake Kenyan Earth from Williamson Tea

Snowflake-570x700Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Williamson Tea

Tea Description:

Our take on the classic English Breakfast. Kenyan Earth is named after the coppery red soils that symbolize Kenya and this bright, brisk cup of tea. Grown on the high altitude slopes of Kapchorua and picked in the early morning sunshine our Kenyan Earth is an awakening, full bodied liquor that stimulates the body and mind.

Learn more about this tea here. 

Taster’s Review:

Before you read my review. You have to take a look at the tea tin this tea comes in. That tin is gorgeous! Makes me want to place several orders for the tins alone. Not sure what I would do with them but who cares, they are stunning 🙂

Ok, the tea geek out is over and we can move on to the tea itself. Ha!

Williamson Tea is a tea I’ve never tried before. I’ve see and heard other reviews and pictures of their tea before but I just haven’t ever ordered from them. I have a feeling that is soon to change.

This particular Snowflake Kenyan Earth tea that I tried was tea bagged form and I have to say, you could see some pretty huge tea leaves hanging out in each tea pyramid.  The tea itself has a nice sweetened aroma which I found a little difference since this is supposed to be a breakfast tea.  Typically those tend to be a bit more malty and astringent.

Brewed this up with water freshly boiled and allowed the tea to sit a tad too long, totally my bad, multi-tasking failed me! But after what I’m guessing was about a 7 minute steep, I took my first sip.

For being  a tea that I oversteeped, you really couldn’t tell at all! This tea was delicious at all fronts. Malty and rich with a slightly earth flavor here and there.  This is the kind of tea that kicks your taste buds into gear!  So rich and indulging.  The tea was on the point of asking for a touch of cream or milk to really drink it proper.   Towards the end while it cooled and became astringent (drink this one up hot if you don’t like astringent teas), there seemed to be a need for sweetening but wow. What a lovely tea to really give me a change of pace from the flavored teas I have been drinking. I’m not sure where that sweetness was coming from when I first checked the tea out but I have to say, this cuppa was just fantastic.

This is the kind of tea you want to greet you first thing in the morning!

 

PRODUCT REVIEW: Vanilla Chai Scones Mix from Sticky Fingers Bakeries

scone mixWhere to Buy:  Sticky Fingers Bakeries

Product Description:

A lightly sweet scone bursting with fragrant spices like cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Perfect with tea.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a little while since I’ve reviewed a scones mix, and the reason why is that it’s been a while since I’ve made scones!  And it really should not have been so long since I’ve made scones!  My daughter loves them, I love them … it’s a perfect treat for the both of us.

Sticky Fingers Bakeries makes some of my favorite scones mix, and I really enjoyed this Vanilla Chai flavored scones mix!  As I’ve said before, what I love so much about this scones mix is that it’s so easy to prepare!  Just add water and mix, and then either roll out and cut into wedges, or just drop by large, rounded tablespoons onto the baking sheet.  It really is that simple.

Instead of using water when I prepared this mix, I used milk.  I find that the flavor is just a little bit richer, and I like that.  It’s still really delicious prepared with water, but the milk just adds a little more richness to the scones.

The scones come out fluffy and a little moist.  They aren’t overly dry or too dense.  The scones made with this vanilla chai mix were really yummy.  The spice level was delicious – I could taste notes of ginger, cinnamon and I could even taste a hint of tea in the flavor.  I didn’t get a whole lot of vanilla flavor though.

The spices were on the mild side, though, this didn’t taste like a spice cookie or gingerbread.  It tasted like a biscuit with spice accents.  Definitely enjoyable.  Really good with honey butter.  I just softened some butter and mixed in some honey.  Most honey butter recipes that I’ve seen also call for some orange zest, but, I didn’t have an orange on hand, so I just grabbed some honey and some room temperature butter, and it came out delicious.  Add the honey gradually and taste it as you add it … you can always add a little more honey but you can’t take it out once it’s in there!

A tasty tea time treat!