vendredi 2 décembre 2011

Central New York: TAZO, Awake

This combination is warming and refreshing at the same time. The milk helps to round out the flavour of the Awake tea, which I honestly find a bit hollow on its own. The blend of black teas is nice in theory, but I think the balance is somewhat off. There doesn't seem to be anything binding them together and I feel a little disjointed whenever I drink it plain (plus it doesn't wake me up at all!). Adding milk helps Awake actualize its depth potential and the touch of spice from Silk's fantastic Pumpkin Spice flavor is a really nice added touch. This combination is, as I said, refreshing since it's not heavy on the spices and you don't need sweetener.

dimanche 23 octobre 2011

ebay: Mini puer #1, square

I've been lonely here on campus without my human boyfriend, so I've been spending a lot of quality shopping-therapy time with my other one, tea. I've got a LOT of posts to catch up on!

Pretty recently, I scored on ebay with a good-sized box of assorted mini puer cakes! Over 30 varieties!
Only problem is, I don't know what they are!


Well, here goes the first one! This little square guy, so cute!

It would be funny to trick somebody into thinking this is a piece of chocolate!

The first infusion is very dark, nearly black. A wonderful full-bodied, earthy flavor, slightly astringent in the back of the mouth as you swallow. Rich. This tea has a more fermented aroma than the other puer I've been drinking. (A post on that to come!)

If I find out what the flavor is I will edit the post so that anyone who happens to read it can try to purchase a sample for his/herself. Recommended!

dimanche 25 septembre 2011

Broomfield, CO: Tea of Life Red Tea Collection

This collection was purchased at TJ Maxx/Home Goods (they have a great selection of teas you don't see at the grocery store!) for my 20th birthday party, but there's still a lot left.
And it isn't because it was so good that I've been savouring it for over a year.

With a selection of flavours like pomegranate, Lemon Tangerine, Tropical Sorbet, Melon, Black Cherry and Raspberry, you'd think these would be delicious, but they're just not. A little sweetener helps bring out the Raspberry, and the Pomegranate is pretty nice and smooth.
The Black Cherry however, is a different story.
A pretty funny one:

So my family was sitting around the kitchen table this summer, playing a board game and my sister made herself a cup of tea. The Black Cherry one. She lifts the mug to her lips and exclaims "BEANS!" Now, my sister is known for her love of refried beans. So we do the nod and smile. But she takes a sip and - "BEANS!"

That's right. This tea smelled and tasted just like bean-water. I kid you not.

Just like beans!

The melon flavor is way too fruity for me (and I typically like fruity things). I actually disliked rooibos tea for a long time, until I realized you're supposed to drink it with milk and honey. This does help round out the flavour and now I quite enjoy drinking it. This sounds kind of silly, but I find it a comforting drink! I haven't yet braved the bean -ahem, Black Cherry- flavor this way, though. Still a little chicken!

jeudi 25 août 2011

Ahh, the sweet smell of college

My roommate tea and I are all settled in for a great final year of undergrad!
He's got bunk beds and everything, thanks to a great find: the tiered corner shelf!

Boulder, CO: Sadaf Special Blend Tea with Cardamom Flavor

I purchased this 5-pack for a dollar this summer in my hometown of Boulder, CO. Walking in to the Caspian Mediterranean Market and Deli just off Pearl street, I was amazed at the huge selection of teas they offer, among lots of other items. This small place is packed full with great things! Next time I'm back I'll have to try their gyros, I hear they're great. I'll pick up another pack of tea as well. Almost all of the teas are a variety of ceylon, which is less "different" than I was expecting, and since I can't read the packaging on many of them, it is hard to figure out if what I'm buying is something special or something very similar to teas I've had before.

That's why I chose this Sadaf Special Blend Tea with Cardamom Flavor. I've never had cardamom tea before and it comes in this handy small package, which makes it very affordable to try something new! There's two "pluses" right off the bat!

And here's another one:
The spicy cardamom scent hits you as soon as you open the box. Mmm!
But once you pour on the water, all you smell is that astringent scent typical of ceylon tea. Not that this is a bad thing, but I was expecting to taste that cardamom!

Actually, you do sort of taste it in the back of your throat right after swallowing and in your whole mouth post-swallow when you are close to finishing the drink.

Over all, nothing too special, but definitely worth trying. And if you're a black tea drinker and you're running out of your supply, you might consider switching to a one with this subtle cardamom flavor. According to numerous sites, such as
cardamom is a great wellness aid. The spicy, uplifting aroma seems to help aleviate depression, improve lung circulation, reduce chest congestion, soothe acidic stomachs, and is an antispasmodic, which makes it helpful for stopping hiccups or easing menstrual pains and pregnancy-induced nausea. Though since you shouldn't drink caffeine while pregnant, so you might want to just add cardamom to your foods or make an herbal blend ;)

I'm glad to have found out about the possible health benefits of cardamom through drinking this tea!

mercredi 20 juillet 2011

Minnesota? Traditional Medicinals: Organic Bancha

Sometimes when I'm at college, my grandmother sends me care packages. She's a wonderful woman, with great taste. I don't think in my whole life she's ever given me a gift I didn't love. She also happends to consistently pick winners in the tea she sends me. (Which is more than can be said for my mother...but more on that comedy another time!)

I usually avoid bagged green tea like the devil. I'm pretty sure the increased surface area causes more tannin to be released more quickly into the water, resulting in a bitter, over-steeped tasted, even if you've only had the bag submerged for a minute or two. But sometimes I want a quick cup of green, without leaves/strainer to clean up.
Side note: I had no idea things mold so easily in the East! In my Colorado hometown, I leave a strainer lying on a dish until it is dry, as this facilitates clean-up. I did this my first week at college, and was shocked to find that two days later it was not only still wet, but moldy! Lesson learned!

This green tea is the bright green color that I've come to expect from Japanese green tea, and was frustrated not to find in cups at home during my tragic Celestial Seasonings* green childhood. If you look at the bag after a cup or two, you will find that the leaves are actually slightly larger than your standard tea-bag leaves, perhaps a manifestation of Traditional Medicinal's pharmacopoeial-grade herbs. This tea doesn't become horribly bitter, even when over-steeped, and makes a pretty nice cup or two, per bag. It doesn't have a lot of body to it, like you get when brewing loose-leaf green, but it is a great quick-fix. If you bring tea in your purse like I do, I'd definitely recommend carrying around a pack or two of this.

Oddly enough, TM's website no longer lists this tea. Instead we have "Golden Green Tea," on the American site. Though if you look at the Canadian French version, it is still called Bancha. I'm almost out of my Bancha, so I will try to get my hands on some "Golden Green" to see if they're the same.

Anyone else drink TM tea? I swear by their "Organic Lemon Echinacea Throat Coat" when I'm sick.

mardi 19 juillet 2011

Florence: Tisana Della Buonanotte

Okay, it is a tisane, not a tea.

Ingredients: (courtesy of
Lime blossom
Lemon balm
Orange blossom
Petals of wild poppies


After going to Morocco, I made a point of buying a tea in every country I visited while in Europe, so I was very excited to find this tisane in Florence. I think it cost me three euros at the market in the Piazza Santo Spirito. (Here's a shout-out to Gusto Panini in the same piazza, the best and cheapest place to get lunch in Florence!)

I didn't end up opening this until I got back to America the following month. Would I have brought it with me if I had? I doubt it! The liquor is a cloudy purpleish black and it tastes extremely earthy. As in, the earth. Maybe I'm just not preparing it properly? I'm keeping it around for now in hopes that I find out something that will make it magically turn delicious.

lundi 18 juillet 2011

Tea is my boyfriend.

Yep, that's right. We've been dating for, gee, about 13 years now, I guess. I'm not quite sure when we started seeing each other, but we are childhood sweethearts!

"_____ is my boyfriend" is a phrase I've used since high school to describe how much I love something. My other steady boyfriend is "eggs." I have a steady human boyfriend too, and since he also loves tea and eggs, I think he's alright with being the newest addition to this polyamorous relationship ;)

I like reading blogs, but never succeeded in keeping up with any of the ones I've tried to make. But this time, I shall not fail!

From Tea is my Boyfriend