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Teas

Karakundah Black/Simple Loose Leaf

Some mornings are no-nonsense; this Monday is one of them. No time for blends. Time for serious faces, email, and caffeine.

This black tea, which I received this month in my Simple Loose Leaf box, is a yummer. (Nope, “yummer” is not a word — or is it NOW a word? Language evolves, guys. Start using “yummer.” Let’s see if we can get it to catch on).

I knew immediately that this tea was from India because of its slightly spicy and raisin-y tones. The name “Karakundah” also helped — the name didn’t ring as Asian. Turns out that this estate is the highest commercial tea estate in the world.

Make sure to share that fact at your next party. You’ll be swarmed with friends in no time.

This black tea’s powerful rich and malty flavor from a single teaspoon made it clear to me from the get-go that it was a high quality pick. And, lo and behold, it turns out that it’s an “orange pekoe,” which is the highest quality of leaf on the grading scale. (The lowest quality is “fannings and dust,” which I’ve heard is what they throw into commercially-available pre-bagged cheap tea.)

Overall, this pick has gusted me into Awake Land in a quality, unfettered way. It met and, I daresay, exceeded my expectations. Nice work, you high-elevation pals. I tip my cap to you.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Simple Loose Leaf

Description

Karakundah tea estates, found in the Nilgiri region of India, produce some of the highest grade black teas in that region. Commonly known for the medium-bodied cup of tea, Karakundah black teas are highly sought after on the world stage making this tea a prize for international buyers. Serve with or without milk and add sugar to taste.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Cucumber Mint Limeade/52Teas

I have been holding on to this sample for a while because I was sure it was going to be good and I wanted to make an event of it. The name promises all the flavors that I associate with cooling and refreshing, and since it is a warm sunny day with storm clouds moving in and high humidity, now is the time!

First – the leaves. My eyes feast on the lovely, long, silvery-white leaves. Beautiful! I fill the basket and it is full of these fluffy, soft beauties. Now steep! Then pour.

The liquor is a medium gold color. I let it cool for a few minutes before tasting so I can experience all the flavors.

The first impression of the sip is mint on the tongue, then quickly afterward my tastebuds say LIME! Not sharp, puckery lime. Rays of sunshine lime! Lime can be too harsh when it isn’t done right, but used skillfully it is a ray of sunshine to a recipe or drink. What a bright and delightful lime! This is perfect lime in my book and now the mint is adding sweetness and a cooling sensation.

My sample is older and had already been opened, and I wonder if that is why I don’t taste much cucumber. Perhaps it is a delicate oil that dissipates easily. But I don’t feel anything is lacking in this tea. It is just as good as I thought it would be. As is my habit of late, I will drink half of this hot and unsweetened in the morning, and chill the rest to go with supper! I can tell it will be awesome cold.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for teas that are.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

My first month with the Tea Mistress’s Tea of the Month Club

After not being part of a tea subscription plan for a while, over the last few months, I’ve signed up for quite a few.  More or less because I was finding myself not as excited with my current stash because I have been on a buying hiatus for so long.  So one day I was on the ol Facebook and saw a post by the Tea Mistress indicating that she was going to start up a Tea of the Month Club and I instantly noticed this club was a bit different than others.  Instead of getting surprised by what teas you are getting, the Tea Mistress sends out a form for you to sign up for which tea blends you would like.  So if you are like me and have a variety of tea you really don’t care for (looking at you red rooibos blends!), you can pick out exactly what you want.  Now, I will say this didn’t help me go out of my tea comfort zone, but I liked knowing that what I was picking out, I would probably enjoy.

Each month you are allowed three different choice for the teas you are sent.  The teas are then packaged up for you and sent in these adorable tins (that I plan to attach a magnet to and use for tea storage down the road).  The tea blends I picked were Imperial Jasmine Mint, Cinnamon Pear White, and Vanilla Lemongrass.  Each tin you are given contains a few servings of each blend. I’ve found myself usually using the entire tin in a larger tea pot and enjoying that pot of tea for the afternoon with several additional infusions. So far that method hasn’t let me down.

Out of the three teas I picked, hands down, Imperial Jasmine Mint was my ultimate favorite and I’ve already contacted the amazing Tea Mistress to see about ordering more of that particular blend.  This tea blend has it all.  The subtle notes of a solid green tea base with the soft tones of the jasmine with a solid punch of mint.  Refreshing, soothing, comforting, and just delicious.  This is one of those blends that you drink and you get all the feels.  Being one that loves jasmine teas, green teas, and mint teas. . .I was in heaven from the start.

Cinnamon Pear White was probably my least favorite. The tea tasted fine and had all of the attributes indicated in the title, but I just wasn’t in love with the tea like I thought.  The cinnamon and white tea just didn’t mingle like I had hoped they would.  Maybe a tea where you need to play with for a bit to get just the right settings for.  I’ve seen this tea offered from other tea companies so I was happy I was able to try it. Just not sure this blend was for me.

The last of my three offerings was Vanilla Lemongrass and wow, is this herbal treat a sweet ditty.    Lemongrass, organic apples, orange peels, raisins, and currant flavor make up this tea blend.  Delicious hot and I can only imagine this tea would be crazy good as a cold brew.  I can’t say that I could drink this tea on a daily basis as is because it is pretty sweet but I’m wondering if I added in a teaspoon or two of chamomile or added in a bit of mint if the sweetness wouldn’t even itself out a bit for my tastes.   Regardless, I’m really enjoying this cuppa and am already thinking about prepping up another cuppa.  Could totally see this tea being a great one when those 2pm sweet tooth cravings start to come my way.

All in all, I’m super happy with how my first month of teas from the Tea Mistress turned out.  What I really love is the serving size you are given is the perfect amount of tea and I’m not finding that I have a ton of tea left over that I have to worry about getting lost in the shuffle like other teas I get from other subscription plans.  Sometimes only getting a smaller size sampling is just what you need to make a decision if that tea blend is for you or not instead of getting 1/2 oz or even an 1 oz.  And if loose leaf tea isn’t your thing, you can even get the teas packaged in tea bags for you.

Looking forward to trying many more blends from the Tea Mistress. She offers quite a range and list of teas along with coffee, teaware, and other goodies!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy:  Tea Mistress
Description

Monthly tea subscription from The Tea Mistress. Click below for more info!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Smart Tea from Wild Leaf Active Teas. . . .

I am a sucker for a tea with a magical claim, friends.

This one is a delightful green, with hints of berry and mint at the forefront. Now, I’ll be honest– I may have brewed this one up a bit too hot, as I hadn’t realized it was a green until after my water went a’boilin’. (Not my– wait for it– *smart*est moment, but I digress.)

But regardless, it was everything I love greens to be– fruity, light, grassy– and nothing I dislike– bitter, or vegetal.

Did it make me any smarter?

I can’t say for sure (and my flub on the boiling temp would surely suggest otherwise), but it was great afternoon sipping, and gave me just enough pep to make it through til the end of the day.

If I’m smart enough to know what’s good for me, I’ll be brewing this one again!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy: Wild Leaf
Description

Channel your inner Einstein with mental stimulating Ginkgo Biloba, Peppermint and Gotu Kola. Whether you need to tackle a job interview, a test or just figure out what’s for dinner, drink this minty flavored tea to bring out the most brilliant you!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the First Day of Christmas, 52Teas sent to me. . . . .

Every December we happily look forward to the Christmas teas that 52Teas puts together for their Christmas box. Our Sister will be giving us the daily low down on which teas made their way into the box this year .  . . . .

The First Day of Christmas

Coconut French Toast with Cardamom Maple Syrup Black Tea

For the First Day of Christmas, 52 Teas gave to me….coconut crusted French toast with cardamom syrup! This was the tea of the week for June 15, 2015 and at that time I had not yet heard of 52 Teas, so I am really excited to have the chance to try this. It sounds like pure Heaven!

The dry leaf smell is creamy, maple-y, and coconut-y! There are big chunks of coconut and cardamom pods. Maple and cardamom tend to go well together and, in my humble opinion, coconut just goes well with almost anything!

I steeped this tea for about 3 minutes with very hot water and I also added just a tad bit of agave. This is so, so good! The cardamom shines through so well, its not overpowering though. Sometimes I feel that cardamom can add such an intense flavor and end up outshining the other ingredients, but here it just accents everything. The combination of coconut and maple add this nutty sweet and creaminess. I am very much enjoying this one, so this holiday TEAson (see what I did there?) is off to a fantastic start! I am going to enjoy the rest of this cup now and also finish the entire sample bag- and can I be honest with you guys? I feel like I haven’t done that in a really long time. I mean yeah I’ve found the teas I’ve been ordering to be very enjoyable, but to finish off the cup and the rest of the tea leaves? That’s rare for me these days so i’m really happy to be loving this tea so much.

So cheers to you and yours, enjoy this lovely symphony of flavor, and come on back tomorrow to see what I have to say about Day #2!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  52Teas
Description

I think we should kick off this holiday countdown with some BREAKFAST – don’t you? How about some delicious coconut crusted French Toast with a touch of butter and some sweet maple syrup that’s been infused with the warmth of cardamom? Sound good? Yeah, it sounds good to me too!

Here’s our original description for this tea:

This tea was inspired by a very memorable breakfast. Coconut crusted French toast that was topped with melted butter and a cardamom syrup. I went a step further and added maple flavoring because it sounded like a good idea. It tastes even better than it sounds!

I stuck close to the recipe here although there’s a bit more cardamom here than in my past versions. I wanted to highlight the cardamom!

organic ingredients: black teas, toasted coconut flakes, cardamom pods & natural flavors

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!