Tea Reviews

Rooibos Tea Review: The NecessiTeas Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Company/Brand Name: The NecessiTeas

Name: Carrot Cake

Category: Rooibos (Tisane)

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: A beautiful display of red rooibos with noticeable chunks of dried carrot, cinnamon stick, coconut curls and walnuts, with a green cardamom pod or two.

Additions: Real Carrot, Cinnamon, Coconut, Maple Crumble, Walnuts, Natural Flavors (from label on bottom of tea tin)

Flavor: A highly-flavorful, creamy and sweet blend that has just enough spice to pull it all together.

Overall: I am a big fan of real carrot cake, but don’t like the calories. So, when I heard how good the Carrot Cake tea from The NecessiTeas was, I just had to give it a try. I’m glad I did!

Tea Review:

When I first opened the lid of the tea canister and took a whiff, I was spellbound by the sweet and spicy scent. I couldn’t wait to brew up a cup, so I did. No delayed gratification for this girl!

Once I took my first sip, I knew I had made a wise purchase.

At first the fragrant aroma of the brew helps to enhance the sweet taste, which is simply tantalizing. Then the spice kicks in, but not too much, just enough to make this blend quite captivating. To round it all out is an impressive creaminess that gets even more pronounced as the tea cools.

The finish is spicy and creamy. The spiciness leaves a little tingle on my tongue and the creamy texture lingers reminding me of the delicious treat I had just sampled.

The flavor of cinnamon really stood out for me, but I wasn’t able to detect the carrot, walnut and coconut flavors individually. Instead, they seemed to all came together, complementing each other quite brilliantly.

The result is a delightful blend that even won the heart of this hard-core, black tea lover.

As a sip this tea, I am reminded to slow down and enjoy each sip, because just like this Carrot Cake tea, life can be sweet too.

The NecessiTeas Tea Canister

Packaging:

I usually like to “test drive” new teas by ordering a sample size. But, I had read so many positive comments about this tea that I decided to go all out and purchased a 4-ounce size.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that my tea purchase came in a silver canister with stylish label. Sweet!

Preparation Tips:

On the bottom of the tea canister, it was recommended using one heaping teaspoon per 8-ounces of boiling water and a steep time of five minutes. I ended up using about two level teaspoons per cup.

Usually, I use my six-ounce glass teapot for brewing up a single cup of tea, but since this tea has many small rooibos shreds, I decided to use a Finum Brewing Basket. This worked quite well, keeping all the little particles in the basket and all the taste in my cup!

Although, I do recommend filtered water, instead of tap water, to really enjoy all the nuances this tea can provide.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – This Carrot Cake tea is definitely sweet enough for a delicious calorie-free indulgence anytime of the day. Since rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, this blend won’t keep you up at night.

Iced Tea – I also tried this tea iced, just to see how it would taste chilled. The smell isn’t quite as aromatic as when the tea is hot, but it still retains its wonderful sweet and spicy flavor. I think this will make for an interesting treat come summer.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to The NecessiTeas web page. Enjoy!

The NecessiTeas

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credits: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: American Tea Room Kensington

Kensington

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Kensington (English Breakfast Blend)

Category: Black Tea Blend

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Assam, India and Yunnan, China

The Leaves: Dark brown to midnight black leaves with a splash of golden tips. The dried leaves have an inviting sweet-earthy scent.

Additions: None

Flavor: A full-bodied and malty tasting brew with a touch of sweetness and just enough oomph! to get you going in the morning

Overall: Yunnan and Assam are two of my favorite black teas, but I had never thought to combine them. Good thing that the American Tea Room did it for me! This tea blend combines the best of two worlds and makes a rich and luxurious cup of tea.

Tea Review:

Since this English breakfast tea brings together two black teas that I adore, I was kind of expecting fireworks overhead when taking my initial sip. Even though the sky didn’t light-up with splashes of color, I was still dazzled by the combination of flavors.

At first, when the tea was still rather hot, I detected a note of sweetness. Just behind the scenes is a subtle, yet tantalizing flavor of bittersweet chocolate.

As the tea cooled, the maltiness seemed to really kick in, which made my cup even more interesting and enchanting.

The Kensington blend has a nice refreshing finish, just enough astringency to eloquently round out a robust and sumptuous brew. Plus, I love that little tingle on my tongue after each sip!

The overall experience left me feeling rather revitalized and empowered, ready to tackle whatever the day may bring.

American Tea Room Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of the Kensington loose tea, which came in a black bag with colorful label that included steeping directions.

However, one little annoyance with these bags is that they don’t re-seal, but on the plus side they do have a thick foil-lining to keep the tea tasting fresh longer.

Preparation Tips:

On the tea package, it recommended using a water temperature of 200F and an infusion time of four minutes.

I tried to follow these instructions fairly closely; occasionally I did let the leaves steep a minute longer out of habit, but I didn’t find that it made a significant difference in the taste.

As with most of my recent reviews, I used my six-ounce glass teapot. Since there were no specific directions about the amount of water or loose tea to use, I decided to go with the general guideline of one level teaspoon.

I do recommend using filtered-water, if possible, to allow all the wonderful nuances of this tea to really shine.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – I was able to get two infusions from the Kensington tea. The first was definitely much more robust and the second retained the maltiness of the first infusion, but was mellower tasting.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the American Tea Room web page for the Kensington tea. Enjoy!

Kensington

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Puerh Tea Review: Persimmon Tree Tea Coconut Cacao

Coconut Cacao

Company/Brand Name: Persimmon Tree Tea

Name: Coconut Cacao

Category: A Flavored Organic Puerh Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: A beautiful display of rich-brown-colored leaves with bits of curled coconut.

Additions: Organic Cocoa Nibs, Organic Coconut Pieces, Natural Flavors

Flavor: A robust blend that is creamy and sweet, flavored with hazelnut and embraced by a warm-earthiness. Underneath it all is just a hint of cocoa and coconut.

Overall: This tea provides a unique arrangement of flavors that intrigue the senses. The overall feel is slightly decadent because of its lush and highly-flavorful taste profile.

Tea Review:

My initial reaction when taking the lid off the tea container was that the leaves smelled a bit like sweet-licorice.

Once I brewed up a cup of the Coconut Cacao, I found the overall taste to be quite unique. The flavor was definitely sweet and rich tasting, but to identify the other flavors was a bit perplexing.

As I explored the flavor profile and took my time experiencing each sip, I discovered that the slight licorice-like smell of the leaves was also apparent in the taste. After further investigation, I realized that it was the hazelnut flavoring I was experiencing. I would have to say that this particular taste really stands-out and plays the leading role.

Nestled behind the hazelnut is just a hint of bittersweet chocolate and an almost vanilla like taste. This is all folded into a rich, yet mellow, earthiness.

Lastly, there is the coconut, which really doesn’t present itself much at all, except to perhaps lend this tea its creamy and smooth texture.

I almost forgot to mention that this tea has a superb finish. After each sip there is sweet, hazelnut taste that lingers for several minutes. This left me feeling as if I had experienced something quite remarkable.

For some reason whenever I drink this tea, I feel as if I’ve been transported to some chic teahouse with a warm, relaxing and unique atmosphere. As I sip my tea, in this cosmopolitan setting, all the mundane and trivial details of modern life seem to melt away. For a few moments I am living a sumptuous life.

Persimmon Tree Tea Packaging

Packaging:

I just love the packaging that Persimmon Tree Tea provides its customers.

Each tea, no matter what quantity ordered, is delivered in an attractive tin with the name of the tea right on the label. This makes it incredibly easy to find just the tea I’m looking for in my not-so-organized kitchen cabinets.

Preparation Tips:

According to the Persimmon Tree Tea canister, 1.5 teaspoons are to be used per cup of 210F water for 3-5 minutes.

Since I tend to like my tea on the stronger side, I steeped the leaves for about 4-5 minutes in my 6-ounce glass teapot. This resulted in the rich tasting brew described in this review.

For larger amounts, I also used my PersonaliTea teapot.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – If desired, this tea can be infused multiple times, but I found that after three infusions this tea started to get a little too weak tasting for my personal taste.

Dessert Tea – This tea has a sweet and somewhat nutty flavor, so perfect for an after dinner treat.

Iced Tea – The Coconut Cacao is quite exquisite when iced, retaining its smooth and luxuriant flavor. It makes for a very distinctive glass of iced-tea that will have the neighbors talking.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the Persimmon Tree Tea web page. Enjoy!

Persimmon Tree Tea

Vendor Provided Sample: Yes

Affiliate Links: None

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: Adagio Black Dragon Pearls

Black Dragon Pearls

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Name: Black Dragon Pearls

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan, China

The Leaves: An abundance of full leaves, with some golden buds. The leaves are wrapped into small, marble-sized balls and are spectacular to watch unfurl as they steep.

Additions: None

Flavor: A wonderfully rich and earthy cup with tantalizing notes of bittersweet chocolate.

Overall: This has become another one of my favorite black teas. Not only does this tea provide an entertaining presentation, it also delivers a sumptuous taste experience that one would expect in a fine dining setting.

Tea Review:

When I first started drinking this tea, I used two pearls per six ounces and received a satisfactory cup. There was nothing extraordinary about the brew, other than a sharp taste I had not encountered before in a black tea.

However, once I discovered three pearls, magic happened.

The sharp taste was no longer there. Instead, I found a well-rounded, robust and earthy brew that had a distinct cocoa note; an ideal combination of flavors that left me feeling rather decadent and certainly wanting more.

For some reason while I was drinking this tea, I found myself transported to a handsome study with huge bookcases filled with leather-bound books. A fireplace is glowing and lights-up the exotic treasures from far-away places that adorn the massive room. I’m sitting in an overstuffed chair and listening to some sultry jazz as I sip my decadent tea. It’s as if all my worries have turned into gold, at least for one brief moment.

Adagio Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I ordered the sample size of this tea, which came in a good-sized, foil-lined pouch with the name of the tea and steeping instructions. The pouch is also re-sealable. Sweet!

Preparation Tips:

I used three pearls in my 6-ounce glass teapot and allowed the leaves to steep for 5 minutes in water that was approximately 200F.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – If desired this tea can be infused at least twice, but I found the first cup to be the best.

Dessert Tea – I really enjoyed this tea after a meal. In fact, it is a wonderful replacement for dessert, especially if you’re looking to save a few calories. Although, if you’re feeling rather indulgent, go for the chocolate. Then put the perfect finishing touch on your meal with a cup of Black Dragon Pearls.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Enjoy!

Adagio

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: Persimmon Tree Tea Earl Grey Crème

Earl Grey Creme

Company/Brand Name: Persimmon Tree Tea

Name: Earl Grey Crème

Category: An Organic and Biodynamic Flavored Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Beautiful midnight black leaves with bits of delicate cornflowers

Additions: Organic Cornflowers, Organic Oil of Bergamot, Natural Flavors

Flavor: An intoxicating dance of rich tasting black tea, French vanilla and bergamot, with a touch of citrus.

Overall: Not only does this tea have a stunning presentation, it also captivates the senses with a tantalizing fragrance and brilliantly delicious blend of flavors. I have to say that this is the best Earl Grey Crème tea I’ve sampled to date! It’s soooo rich and creamy tasting!

Tea Review:

When I removed the lid, I was immediately enchanted by the perfume of the leaves. Momentarily, I was transported to some far off imaginary place where the warm night air whispers tales of young love and exotic mystery.

Once I came back to reality and got around to actually brewing up a pot of tea, I was not disappointed.

The smell of the brewed tea is just as captivating and beguiling as the dried leaves. Each sip is a dance of robust black tea, warm notes of vanilla and sensuous bergamot. Behind the scenes is just the right touch of delicate citrus to underscore the melody of flavors.

The overall feel is one of sheer luxury.

Persimmon Tree Tea Packaging

Packaging:

First off, I have to tell you that I was swept off my feet as soon as I opened the box that this tea was shipped in.

What met my eyes was a charmingly decorated mini-tea tin nestled in light-brown paper shred. I felt like I had just received a gift in the mail from a very special someone.

For some reason this beautiful display encouraged me to open the tea tin right then and there.

Preparation Method:

According to the Persimmon Tree Tea canister, one teaspoon is to be used per cup of 195F water (preferably filtered) for 3-5 minutes.

I tend to like my black tea on the strong side, so I steeped the leaves for about 4-5 minutes in my 6-ounce glass teapot, which resulted in the luxurious flavor reported in this review.

For larger amounts, I also used my PersonaliTEA teapot.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – If desired this tea can be infused at least twice, but I found the first cup to be the best.

Iced Tea On the tea tin I received with the Earl Grey Crème, there were iced tea directions, so I decided to give this tea a try over ice.

All I can say is that it makes a brilliant glass of ice tea; all the wonderful flavors that this tea reveals when hot are also present when chilled. This is going to be a wonderful treat come summer!

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the Persimmon Tree Tea web page. Enjoy!

Persimmon Tree Tea

Vendor Provided Sample: Yes

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: Adagio Yunnan Noir

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Yunnan Noir

Name: Yunnan Noir

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan, China

The Leaves: Unique looking leaves, with plenty of golden tea buds that are swirled and curled into snail like shapes.  Once the leaves are steeped there are many full leaves to be found.

Additions: None

Flavor: A rich, malty, brisk, full-bodied and sensuous tea with a hint of bitter-sweet dark chocolate.

Overall: The Yunnan Noir has wonderful bold and rich flavor, which is simple yet extravagant.  It has become one of my favorite black teas.

Tea Review:

I have so looked forward to writing this review; because I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every sip of Adagio’s Yunnan Noir.

My first impression was that this was a rich and robust tasting black tea, which immediately reminded me of my coffee drinking days.

As I searched deeper into my cup I found an earthy-maltiness which really seemed to give this tea its full-bodied flavor.

Then there was the hint of bitter-sweet dark chocolate that lingered in the back ground, just waiting to be discovered. This note of chocolate adds to the overall richness of the Yunnan Noir. 

This is actually the first tea I’ve sampled that has a distinguishable and consistent dark chocolate flavor, or maybe I’m just getting better at detecting it!

To top it all off, this tea has a nice briskness to it which rounds out the tea very nicely and leaves a tangy taste sensation on the tip of my tongue after each sip.

For some reason, when trying to describe this tea the word sultry keeps coming to mind. I think it is because this tea has some sexiness to it.

It has a beautifully warm and rich taste that is simply captivating. Then it gives you a light, sensuous slap of astringency, just enough to engage the senses, not so much as to leave you feeling turned-off. Lastly, you’re left with a tingly tongue that begs for more tea.

See tea can be sexy!

Adagio Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I ordered the sample size of this tea. It came in a foil-lined pouch with the name of the tea and steeping instructions on the front. Plus, the bag is re-sealable.

Preparation Tips:

I followed the instructions on the Adagio bag: 1 heaping teaspoon per cup for 3-5 minutes at 212F. Then, I steeped the leaves for about 5 minutes, which resulted in the nice strong and sensuous flavor reported in this review.

I used my one-serving glass teapot, which holds about 6 ounces of liquid.

I also used my PersonaliTEA teapot to sample larger quantities of this tea.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – If desired this tea can be infused at least twice, with acceptable results.

When doing multiple infusions, I did the first infusion for 2 minutes. This gave a nice brisk and malty tasting brew, but lacked depth. For a second steep I did 5 minutes, and had pretty much the same result.

I found that one infusion of the Yunnan Noir gave the best cup of tea.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Enjoy!

Adagio

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Chai Tea Review: Stash Holiday Chai

Stash Holiday Chai

Company/Brand Name: Stash

Name: Holiday Chai

Category: Black Tea Blend (Seasonal)

Form: Tea Bag (Paper)

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Not applicable because the leaves are finely ground and hidden inside the typical tea bag exterior

Additions: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger Root, Allspice, Clove, Gingerbread, Rum, Nutmeg Flavors

Flavor: A spiced black tea, where the nutmeg flavor seems to play the leading role

Overall: A mixture of spices that seem to hide the flavor of the black tea, rather than compliment it.

Tea Review:

I admit, I’m not a big fan of Chai flavored tea and therefore have not made many attempts to drink it. In all, I have only drunk two types of Chai tea, other than this one, all of the bagged variety.

I guess I should explain why I don’t like Chai tea just to set the stage here: It’s too spicy.

Of course, that is the point of Chai and why I presume that so many people select it as their tea of choice.

Knowing this about myself, I did try to approach this tea review with an open mind and did drink several cups of the Holiday Chai to get a good feel for the tea’s overall flavor.

I’ll be honest, I’m still not impressed. The spicy flavors in this tea seem to be chaotically mushed together to cover up a poor quality black tea.

If I were to have an expectation for Chai, I would want the flavors to be crisp and distinct; coming together in a dance of spice and enhanced by a creamy, robust black tea.

Perhaps I am asking for too much. Although, I’m starting to think that I might actually like Chai if I could find the combination I had just described. But, it is not to be in this version of Chai tea.

In addition, to not being impressed with the overall flavor, I was disappointed to not experience any gingerbread or rum flavors, which the label on the box claims to be present in this tea blend: “A warming winter drink infused with gingerbread and rum.”

Unless, of course, that strange acidic taste is the rum…not having tasted pure rum my entire life, I guess I am not one to question the rum flavor. But, I do love gingerbread and I certainly didn’t experience that flavor in this chai tea.

What I did taste, without a doubt, was nutmeg. It really stole the show.

Just to make sure I was on target, I rummaged through my spices and took a taste of nutmeg straight from the jar and bingo, definitely nutmeg. That could be the reason I am not a fan of this version of Chai, I like nutmeg behind the scenes, not as the lead actor in my food and drink.

So, if you love nutmeg, this may be just the tea for you!

Packaging:

Stash Holiday Chai Packet

This chai tea comes in a cardboard box and each tea is sealed in a foil packet.

Preparation Tips:

I followed the directions printed on the box: “Bring fresh water to a rolling boil. Pour hot water directly over the tea bag in a pre-heated pot or cup. Brew 3-5 minutes or to desired taste.”  Since the directions didn’t specify how much water to use, I went with the general guideline of one cup.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea from Amazon.com just click the link below. Enjoy!

Stash Holiday Chai

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: Trader Joe’s Vanilla & Cinnamon

Trader Joe's Vanilla & Cinnamon

Company/Brand Name: Trader Joe’s

Name: Vanilla & Cinnamon Black Tea

Category: Black Tea, Flavored (Seasonal)

Form: Tea Bag (Paper)

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Not applicable because the leaves are finely ground and hidden inside the typical tea bag exterior

Additions: Vanilla, Natural Flavors, Cinnamon

Flavor: The cinnamon and vanilla flavors are a bit muddy tasting, yet they still work well together

Overall: I’m a sucker for any vanilla and cinnamon tea combination, even if the brew is a bit weak!

Tea Review:

When I first purchased this tea, I was wondering if it would taste similar to one of my favorite holiday teas, which is Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet. They both have exactly the same ingredients: vanilla, “other natural flavors” and cinnamon.

As soon as I got home and opened the wax seal, I knew that I had been correct in my assumption.

While allowing the tea to steep, the resulting fragrance pales in comparison to the Nutcracker Sweet’s inviting aroma.

I had a similar experience with the taste. The flavor is suggestive of vanilla and cinnamon, but it makes for a rather weak brew. Although, I found I could compensate for this by simply using less water.

At times, I got a little bit of a paper-y taste. Overall, the flavors were rather muddied; not clean and crisp tasting. It was difficult to distinguish the vanilla and cinnamon individually, but the combination somehow works out to make a sweet tasting holiday treat.

In conclusion, the Trader Joe’s brand just didn’t have that extra oomph of the Nutcracker Sweet, but would do in a pinch.

Packaging:

This holiday tea came in a rectangular cardboard box. The tea bags are square in shape and layered in twos on top of each other in a wax-lined paper seal. Because two tea bags are connected, you’ve got to tear them apart to use just one.

Trader Joes Vanilla and Cinnamon

Preparation Tips:

Per usual, I simply followed the directions printed on the box: “Pour boiling water directly over tea bag in a cup and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove tea bag.”  Since no instructions were given regarding the amount of water to use, I went with the general guideline of 8-ounces. However, I would recommend 6-ounces to obtain a better flavor.

One thing I did find out accidentally, is that this tea can steep for quite a while without getting bitter.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – I would classify this as a dessert tea, because it does taste sweet due to the vanilla and cinnamon combination.

Holiday Tea – For some reason the warms notes of vanilla and cinnamon seem to be well suited for the holidays.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, you’ll have to live near a Trader Joes (because it isn’t available online) and wait until the holidays when it will be in stock again 🙂

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit:  A Girl With Tea 

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Black Tea Review: Adagio Yunnan Jig

Yunnan Jig

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Name: Yunnan Jig

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan, China

The Leaves: I thought the leaves were quite fine-looking; a mix of brown-black leaves interspersed with golden tips. They smelled as good as they looked with just a hint of cocoa scent.

Additions: None

Flavor: A smooth, malty black tea that is slightly spicy. It has a clean finish and never seems to go bitter.

Overall: I really enjoyed the malty, rich flavor of the Yunnan Jig, but its flavors were a bit elusive. In addition, I was never able to detect a cocoa flavor that the dried leaves had revealed.

Tea Review:

Over the last seven days I consumed my entire sample of Yunnan Jig from Adagio. It wasn’t because this was the best tea I’d ever tasted.

Rather, I went through all of the tea leaves trying to pin down the flavor profile. Once I found that nearly perfect cup, I wasn’t able to replicate it, no matter how hard I tried.

It all started the moment I opened the package.  Once I saw the abundance of lovely golden tips and inhaled the beguiling aroma of the dry leaves, I had high expectations for a delicious cup of tea.

But, that ideal cup would elude me.

Each cup seemed to tease me with indistinct flavors hidden behind a strong, malty black tea. I could sense this tea had more to give than simply its robustness.

Yet, the leaves didn’t seem to want me to decode their inner secrets.

Then one day I had a glimpse of glory. Perhaps on that day my good mood encouraged the leaves to reveal themselves fully.

What I experienced in my teacup was a creamy richness that had a touch of spice to it. The almost peppery flavor actually enhanced the earthy-maltiness to give this tea that special something.

Lastly, the Yunnan Jig has a nice clean finish. In other words, there was just enough astringency in the tea to leave a refreshing sensation in my mouth.

The taste of that ideal cup reminded me of the tango; a sultry and fiery dance that tantalizes you with bold, controlled moves and then surprises you with a dip here and there. The mysterious hint of spiciness is the unexpected dip of the tango. It surprises you, but delights you as well.

Adagio Sample Packaging

Packaging:

I purchased the sample size of this tea, which came in a foil-lined pouch. The name of the tea and steeping instructions where provided on the re-sealable pouch.

Preparation Tips:

I followed the instructions on the Adagio bag: 1 heaping teaspoon per cup for 3-5 minutes at 212F. As I have done in my last several tea reviews, I once again used my one-serving glass teapot from China to steep the leaves.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – I thought this tea was best when steeping it only once because I found the subsequent infusions to a bit weak for my taste. I even attempted to keep the first infusion under two minutes, with the hope that the second infusion would be a little more robust. However, I just ended up with two weak cups of tea.

On the plus side, I accidently left this tea steeping for a good 20 minutes and it was still drinkable. It never got bitter.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Enjoy!

Adagio

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

 

Black Tea Review: Teavana Copper Knot Hongcha

Copper Knot Hongcha

Company/Brand Name: Teavana

Name: Copper Knot Hongcha

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan Province of China

The Leaves: A beautiful black tea with lots of golden tips, all of which are hand-curled into a spiraling knot

Additions: None

Flavor: A rich, malty and earthy black tea with notes of dark chocolate and just a touch of sweetness

Overall: I found this tea to be absolutely captivating cup after cup. The Copper Knot Hongcha has wonderful depth and complexity that makes it quite intriguing. In addition, I really enjoyed playing around with different infusions in an attempt to acquire the perfect cup. I would definitely purchase again!

Tea Review:

I’ve been drinking the Copper Knot Hongcha for about a week now and I still find each cup to be a bit of a mystery, which made drinking this tea lots of fun! However, I think I may have unlocked one or two of the secrets this tea has to tell.

For instance, when using water just under boiling, the tea reveals its chocolaty undertones and malty flavor. But, when its lovely leaves are steeped in boiling water, a rich brew is produced with some bite too it; reminding me of my coffee drinking days.

In addition to this tea’s interesting flavor profile, I found it quite entertaining to watch the leaves unfurl as they steeped. Not to mention the imagery that came to mind when sipping this tea.

I often imagined a log cabin nestled in the woods on a cool spring-like day, when the snow is just starting to melt. This imagery came to mind, I believe, because this tea has sweet-earthy taste to it, reminding me of how the ground smells when it is allowed to see the sun after several months of a snowy, cold hibernation. A perfect tea on a cold, dreary winter day when springtime seems to far away.

Washi Tea Tins from Teavana

Packaging:

I had purchased the Copper Knot Hongcha from the Teavana store at the Mall of America. Since I didn’t have any canisters at home, I decided to also purchase a Washi tea tin. I had the friendly Teavana guy place my loose leaves in the red canister for safe keeping!

Preparation Tips:

Teavana suggested using one teaspoon of tea per eight ounces of water, heated to 195F. The leaves should steep for about 2-3 minutes. I found these directions to be fairly accurate.

I used my one-serving, glass teapot to steep the leaves, which worked okay. However, I would recommend using a larger teapot to give the leaves even more room to expand, because the unfurled leaves are quite large.  Adagio’s PersonaliTEA teapot worked very well for this purpose; I took out the brewing basket, which gave the leaves plenty of room to unfold.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – You’ll want to play around with different infusion times to find your perfect cup. I personally found that I was able to get two delicious infusions from the Copper Knot Hongcha. For the first infusion, I steeped the leaves for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, for the second infusion, I allowed the leaves to brew for a good 5 minutes.

I do like my tea on the stronger side, so if you prefer a lighter brew you may be able to get a few more infusions out of the leaves than I did.

Oh, I even forgot about my brew a couple times. When I finally remembered to check on it, the leaves had been steeping for a good ten minutes or more. Yet, this tea never got bitter.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea or shop for over 100 types of other healthy, gourmet teas, as well as teapots and other  accessories, then click the link below. Teavana offers free ground shipping on orders over $50.

Teavana

Vendor Provided Sample: No

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Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.