Ginger Green Tea from Teatulia

ginger_greenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Teatulia

Tea Description:

Comforting and rustic with a flirt of ginger. Harmonious blend that enriches the whole.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve had a pretty unusual year weather wise.  We had a very uncomfortably hot and humid summer, and those warm days lingered well into October!  When the cold days finally arrived, they were very welcome, but now we’re having some really cold, wet weather.  I certainly prefer the cooler weather because the hot tea tastes so much better when its cold outside.

And ginger is one of my favorite ingredients to enjoy in a tea blend this time of year.  I love that extra warmth that I get from the ginger.  And I’m really enjoying the way the ginger is celebrated in this Ginger Green Tea from Teatulia – one of their newest blends!

There is a pleasant note of lemongrass that adds a bright, citrus-y note that contrasts with the peppery zing of the ginger.  The green tea is sweet, slightly vegetal and lightly buttery.  It’s a very cozy and relaxing cup of tea to enjoy on a cold autumn evening.

And this is a very forgiving tea too.  I accidentally forgot to set the timer and ended up oversteeping by a couple of minutes.  But – no bitterness!  Yay!

I prefer this blend served hot but that may just be the cold weather talking.  The hot tea together with the heat of the ginger is so warming and wonderful.  But, it’s also good iced!  (Try cold-brewing this one.  Yum!)

Teatulia is one of those companies that you can rely upon for organic teas.  This is a company that is socially responsible.  And I love their environmentally responsible packaging!  A really good company that I like doing business with!

Oolong Tea from Teatulia

oolongTeatuliaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Teatulia

Tea Description:

A stunning, full-bodied cup with hints of fresh pie crust, lemon and sake.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was really excited to learn that Teatulia began offering an Oolong tea!  I’ve tried other teas from this company in the past and have enjoyed them so I was eager to try their new Oolong.

What sets Teatulia apart from other tea companies is that their organic teas are grown in Bangladesh.  You can learn more about the Teatulia Organic Tea Garden here.

I love the packaging of Teatulia.  Their “eco-canisters” are completely biodegradable.  And while I prefer my Oolongs loose, I do appreciate that the pyramid sachets are made from corn silk.  Another plus:  the leaves appear to be large, not chopped into dust the way many teas in sachets or bags are.

Normally, when I steep my Oolong teas, I grab my gaiwan.  But because this tea is in a sachet, I didn’t do that.  (I suppose I could have cut the sachet and poured the leaf into my gaiwan, but I didn’t do that either.  I decided to brew this as the purveyor intended.)  However, I did perform a 15 second rinse on the teabag.  What can I say?  I’m sold on the reawakening of the tea leaves.  Oolongs just seem to taste better when I take that extra 15 seconds to do the rinse.  After the rinse, I steeped one sachet in 8 ounces of water that had been heated to 180° for 3 minutes.

The aroma is intriguing!  I smell notes of smoke.  I also smell something sweet … like butterscotch:  smoky butterscotch!  Notes of earth and wood.  I don’t think I’ve smelled an Oolong quite like this one.

The flavor is delightful!  Sweet!  I taste the notes of butterscotch.  The above description suggests notes of fresh pie crust, lemon and sake.  I’m not a drinker of alcohol and it’s been years since my one and only cup of sake, so I can’t tell you if I’m actually tasting sake or not.  But I do taste notes of lemon!

Bright, sunny lemon.  I also taste a slight pastry note.  The pastry note really pops when I slurp the sip to aerate it.  I can also taste subtle notes of smoke and woodsy tones.  It’s a rather interesting Oolong!

And since it is an Oolong, I decided to take it for a resteep.  The second cup is just as delicious as the first – maybe even better!  I am getting more of that butterscotch-like sweetness with the second cup!  Not so much of the smoke this time, but I am picking up on a slight woodsy tone.  The pastry notes are more subdued now, but I’m still getting light lemony notes.

A really lovely Oolong!

Product Review: Tea Box Express Monthly Subscription, Part 2!

OctoberTeaBoxProduct Information:

Where to Subscribe:  Tea Box Express

About Tea Box Express:  

Tea Box Express is more than a box of tea. It’s an experience. Each month brings a new box brimming with surprises that always include quality brand-name tea and three or four fun tea-things. We are dedicated to bringing you the best teas and the niftiest tea goodies. Our mission is to bring a tea party to your door every month.

Save 20% off your first month’s subscription!  Just use the code SORORITEA20 in the coupon field at check-out to save!


So the last time that I wrote about this box, I shared with you a little bit about the experience of receiving this really awesome box but I didn’t actually review any of the products inside.  Now, with this part 2 of the Product Review, I am going to do exactly that.  I’m going to offer up my thoughts on the tea, the honey and the cookie, as well as the accessories!

So, let’s start with the tea.  The tea in Tea Box Express’s flagship box – October’s Bee Happy box – is the signature black tea from Teatulia.  I have previously reviewed this tea, but I’ve revisited teas in the past and I don’t have a problem revisiting this tea as it is one that I enjoyed before and I know I’ll enjoy it now.

It’s a pleasant, full-bodied black tea.  It’s rich with malty notes and a pleasant sweetness.  I find that this sweetness is more pronounced with the second steeping, so even if you’re one who doesn’t typically resteep black teas, this is one that is definitely worth your while to infuse again!

Which leads me to talk about one of the gadgets that was in this box:  the teabag caddy.  It’s shaped like a little teapot and it’s bright yellow.  I like the cheerful color and it fits the Bee Happy theme appropriately.  I have used teabag caddies like this one in the past but the ones that I’ve used have been metal and after a while, well, I live in the Pacific Northwest and if something is metal here, eventually it becomes rust.  And that’s what happened to the other teabag caddies that I’ve used.  I like that this is ceramic.  It holds the teabag in between infusions.  Yeah, it’s a simple job, but something has to do it, and this is cute and it’s bright, cheery yellow.  So why not this?

To steep:  I steeped one sachet in eight ounces of boiling water for 2 1/2 minutes.  For the second infusion, I used another eight ounces of boiling water, but this time, I steeped the sachet for 3 minutes.

It’s a robust black tea that would serve you well as a breakfast tea, as it takes the additions of honey and milk nicely.  And that’s just what I’m about to talk about now!  Honey!

Bee-cause in this month’s Tea Box Express, I also received a 3 ounce jar of Tea Honey from Savannah Bee Co.  Before drizzling the honey in my tea, I took a sip of the tea to see how it tastes, and it tastes quite fine without the addition, but I find that the honey does soften the astringency of the tea a little bit.

Having never used one of these fancy honey dipper/drizzler/server thingamajigs, I wasn’t quite sure how to use it so I just … rolled with my inexperience and used it the way I thought it should be used.  I dipped the swirly end of the dipper into the jar of honey and let some of the honey drip off of the dipper back into the jar, and then I was satisfied with the amount of honey that was on the dipper, I put it right into my teacup and used it to stir the honey into the tea.  Since I was the only person using the honey dipper, I felt like this was a perfectly acceptable way to use the tool.

Tea Caddy and Honey Dripper from October’s Tea Box Express.

And it is handy.  The wire spiral holds the honey and it’s not as messy a task to take honey from jar and add it to teacup using this device.  It’s not a necessary tool when it comes to tea time (especially since I rarely use honey in my tea), but it is kind of cool, even though I’m not a big tea tool kind of girl.  I am all about less is more when it comes to gadgets and tools.  Tea should be simple.  But, I have to admit that this fancy thingamajig is nifty.

I tasted a little drop of the honey before I added it to the cup, and it’s a delicate tasting honey.  It tastes sweet but it doesn’t have a strong honey-esque flavor to it.  That is to say that I’m finding that it’s adding a light sweetness to my cup of tea without it tasting overly honeyed.  And as I said before, it did help to curb the astringent bite to this tea just a little.  It’s not an overly astringent tea, but what little I detected with my pre-honey sip was diminished significantly after the honey was added.  I like that my cup is now not only less astringent and lightly sweet, but even better is that it’s not overly sweet nor does it taste too much like honey.

The cookie!  The cookie!  OK, first of all, it’s adorable.  It’s a large cookie (I’d estimate it to be something between 3 and 4 inches, which is large for a cookie).  The cookie is a blonde colored shortbread cookie.  I had mentioned earlier that it’s a sugar cookie, but the cookie part is not quite as sweet as a sugar cookie, it’s got more of a shortbread taste and texture.  And the cookie is decorated with a bright yellow icing that has been “drawn” with a bee design in black icing and white wings.  The bee has a happy face.  Bee Happy.

I like that this is more like a shortbread cookie than a sweet sugar cookie because the icing is quite sweet and if the cookie part were sweeter, this would become very cloying very fast.  They are still quite sweet.

The cookie part has a nice shortbread type texture:  it’s got that delicious buttery texture that melts in your mouth.  It’s not a crunchy cookie.  It’s dense like shortbread.  One cookie makes for a very nice tea time treat.

I’m sure I probably said this in part 1 of this review, but this box is really awesome.  It would make a great gift for the tea lover on your gift giving list.  (Oh, please put me on your gift giving list!)  I enjoyed everything in this box from the tea to the honey to the cookie … and even the neat little tools.

This is fun mail:  it’s a tea party in a box!

Product Review: Tea Box Express Monthly Subscription!

teaboxoctoberProduct Information:

Where to Subscribe:  Tea Box Express

About Tea Box Express:  

Tea Box Express is more than a box of tea. It’s an experience. Each month brings a new box brimming with surprises that always include quality brand-name tea and three or four fun tea-things. We are dedicated to bringing you the best teas and the niftiest tea goodies. Our mission is to bring a tea party to your door every month.

Save 20% off your first month’s subscription!  Just use the code SORORITEA20 in the coupon field at check-out to save!


This is a review of Tea Box Express’s debut box – October 2014 – which hasn’t yet begun to ship.  The box came to me early so that I could review it and share my thoughts with you so that you can get in on the goodies right from the very beginning!

OctoberTeaBoxThis box is near PERFECT for people like me.  As some of you may know, besides writing about teas, I’ve also written about other subscription boxes (specifically, foodie/yummy goody boxes) on my Hungry in Portland blog.  I’ve pretty much discontinued those reviews mostly because I find that my time has become limited and tea is more important to me than the goodies, so, I devote my time here.  But that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped getting in on the goodies!

What’s so great about this box is that it combines the best of both worlds!  It’s a tea of the month box and it’s a goody box, plus there are some really neat accessories to go along with it.  For the October box, I received a tube of Teatulia Black Tea, a jar of “Tea Honey” from Savannah Bee Co., an adorable bee shaped, festively frosted sugar cookie from The Decorated Cookie Co., plus a bright yellow, ceramic teapot-shaped teabag caddy and a tea honey dipper/server which allows you to drizzle honey no-mess-style into your cup of tea.  I’ll be reviewing the “tea party” including the tea later, but, for now I wanted to review the experience of receiving this box!

Let’s see what these items would have cost me if I bought them separately:

  • Teatulia Black Tea:  $8.99
  • Tea Honey:  $5.50 (although to get the 3 oz. jar, you need to buy 2 at $11.00)
  • Bee Cookie:  $5.62 (approximately)
  • Teabag Caddy:  $4.50
  • Honey Dipper:  $4.98

Total retail price would be approximately $29.59 if these items were purchased separately, although some of the items can’t really be purchased separately, and these prices do not include shipping charges.  To subscribe to this box, you can pay month-to-month $25.50 plus $5.99 for shipping, or if you pay for 3 months, the monthly cost comes out to $24.67, or for a six month subscription, the cost works out to be $23.17 per month.

TeaBoxSo there is a savings benefit to subscribing, but to me the real benefit is the joy of receiving the box.  The fun part of these boxes is that they’re curated for you.  This month’s theme (if it’s not obvious with the Bee and the honey), is “Bee Happy”!  When you first open the box, the first thing I saw was this card (to the left) that says, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~Abraham Lincoln.

Inside the lid of the box is a “theme card” that offers some suggestions on how to be happy.  Nurturing our positive emotions like joy, gratitude and serenity can make us happier, and I love the suggestion on starting a happy list!

My happy list:


Yeah, there are a few other things that I’d add to that list, but tea is right up there at the top of the list.  Tea is joy.  And this box is all about TEA.  Receiving a box like this every month would be like getting joy in the mailbox!

Tulsi Infusion Black Tea from Teatulia

tulsiteaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Teatulia

Tea Description:

Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum), or “Holy Basil” is native to the Old World tropics and is cultivated for religious and medicinal purposes as well as its essential oil.

Invigorating black tea blend with a rich, full-bodied spiciness. Excellent on ice.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve tasted and previously reviewed this Tulsi Infusion Black Tea from Teatulia for another blog, but when the opportunity arose for me to try it again, I took advantage of that opportunity to see how my thoughts for this tea may have changed.  After all, when I first tried this tea, I was still fairly new to the herb tulsi. I had tried a few at that point, but, since then, I’ve tried a few more and my liking for tulsi has grown.

The flavor of this blend is very balanced.  I can taste the tulsi and the black tea pretty evenly.  The black tea is a strong, robust tea.  In my previous review of this tea I mentioned that there was a “fair amount of astringency,” but, I’m not noticing a whole lot of astringency to this cup.  I am not sure why that is, but I suspect that my brewing parameters are slightly different for this cup.

Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve come to realize the importance of lowering the water temperature for teas and tisanes that contain herbs in them, because the boiling water seems to scorch the herbs and create a little bit of bitterness that I’d rather not be there.  By brewing my teas and tisanes that have herbs in the blend at a temperature of 195°F rather than boiling water, I experience less of a bitter bite from my herbal infused teas – including this tea.

An unexpected side affect of this change in temperature might also be less astringency from the brewed cup of tea.  This is much smoother and more delicious than I remember the tea being in the past.  So, if you’ve been experiencing the same type of issue, try turning the temperature down just a bit and you might find that you’re able to enjoy the herbal blends more.

The tulsi gives this cup a warmth that is just a wee bit spicy (don’t think “chai spicy” … think savory spice) and a crisp flavor that is a little reminiscent of mint, but a more savory tasting mint than peppermint or spearmint.  When united with the flavor of the black tea, I get a cup that offers a rich, earthy, savory flavor that tastes of both black tea and warm spice, and mid-sip, I’m greeted with a crisp, invigorating note.

A really good tea – I find that it soothes, calms and gently restores me, especially nice after a hectic day of holiday shopping!