Hot Tea

Green Tea Review: Fleur De Geisha from Le Palais Des Thes

Fleur De Geisha

Company/Brand Name: Le Palais Des Thés 

Name: Fleur De Geisha

Category: Delicately Flavored Green Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Japan

The Leaves: Fragrant, dark green leaves

Additions: Aroma

Flavor: A high-quality green tea with a touch of sweetness and loaded with flavor

Overall: This tea is perfect for those quiet, spring and summer time moments. I found myself quite taken by the flowery, cherry blossom aroma. It was subtle, yet fragrant enough to captivate my senses.

Tea Review:

Upon opening the Fleur De Geisha tea canister, I was met with a delicate and exotic cherry blossom fragrance that was simply intoxicating. When I finally got around to brewing a cup, I once again took a moment to inhale the aroma of the green tea before taking my first sip.

Upon taking my first taste, I was taken aback momentarily because the flavor was much more powerful than I had anticipated. I had been expecting a more subtle taste experience. Yet, there was a delightful grassiness that was complimented by a touch of tanginess on the tongue that I rather enjoyed. It certainly made me take notice.

At this point I really could not comprehend the sweet-floweriness of the Fleur De Geisha, so I experimented with a simple method that I had learned from watching a tea master.

I deeply inhaled the steamy, lush fragrance and then took a sip of hot brew. Voila! There is the sweet, cherry blossom taste I was looking for!

Overall, I discovered that you’ve got to really relax into this tea to enjoy the complexity of it. If you try to rush the experience, you’ll be disappointed.

Take it slow and remember to deeply inhale often for a luxurious experience.

Packaging:

Fleur De Geisha Packaging (Colorful Tea Tin)

You’ll find that if you explore the Le Palais Des Thés web page, that you have several options when ordering any one selection of tea.

For instance, if ordering the Fleur De Geisha green tea, you have the option of a large silver pouch, slim silver tin, gourmet tea bags, the colorful tea canister I had received or, a stunning cherry blossom designed washi (Japanese paper) tea canister.

I don’t know about you, but I love having choices!

Preparation Tips:

The tea canister I received recommended an infusion time of 4-5 minutes. The Le Palais Des Thés website recommended a steep time of 3-4 minutes at 167F.

However, I found that a steep time of 2 minutes at a water temp of 160F led to the most enjoyable cup for my personal tastes. This tea can easily get bitter, so a lower steeping time and water temperature really does the trick.

I used my mini-glass teapot to for brewing the leaves. And, as with all the teas I review, I used filtered water, which is simply a must for the best flavor.

Additional Notes:

Iced Tea – This green tea is also brilliant as an iced tea. In fact, it became my preferred beverage as the days got longer and hotter!

Plus, this tea encourages you to slow down and savor all the nuances. You could drink this tea on the go, but why? Take a great novel out to the deck, or even poolside, and give this delicious green tea a try. It will tantalize your taste buds while also soothing your need for a bit of dramatic flair.

I Want This Tea!

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

Le Palais Des Thés : Fleur De Geisha

Vendor Provided Sample: Yes

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.

 

Tea Collection Review: Art of Tea Holiday Sampler

Holiday Tea Sampler Pillow Box

Company/Brand Name: Art of Tea

Collection Name: Holiday Sampler includes Cran Marnier, Butterscotch, Santa’s Little Helper and Pumpkin Pie

Category: Various Organic Blends – White, Black, Puerh and Rooibos/Honeybush

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Various

The Leaves: Various

Overall: At first I was a bit disappointed with the four Holiday Sampler teas, because the flavors were quite different than what I was used to, being the black tea lover that I am. So, I had to remind myself that I had purchased the sampler set to step outside the box and try something new.

To fully enjoy the experience, I had to let go of my preconceived taste preferences and allow each tea to speak to me in its own distinctive way. That is when I really started to enjoy each sample and appreciate the nuances of the four unique blends.

As the Art of Tea website states, “This is a great way to expand and engage your palate on teas and beyond. I have to say that I whole-heartily agree.

Tea Review:

Sample 1

Name: Cran Marnier {Available Year-Round}

Category: Tisane; Organic South African Honeybush and Organic South African Rooibos

Cran Marnier

The Leaves: Red rooibos shreds with visible chunks of dried apple and cranberry, plus various spices

Additions: Organic Cinnamon, Organic Licorice Root, Organic Apple Bits, Organic Cranberries, Organic Cloves, Organic Nutmeg, Natural Flavors

Flavor: When I first opened the sample pouch, I noticed that the leaves smelled like orange and spice; I just had to brew up a cup right away.

This caffeine-free rooibos blend had a subtle spiciness that was reminiscent of chai tea, but with a smooth-creaminess that was a bit of a welcomed surprise. Speaking of surprises, if the creamy-spiciness wasn’t enough there was also refreshing, citrusy finish that made for a brilliant cup.

The overall flavor reminded me a bit of Tang Spice Tea Mix that my mom made for us as kids. This mixture had Tang and instant tea in it, plus cinnamon and cloves (if I am remembering correctly). Anyway, it was a tasty treat. But, the Cran Marnier is a much healthier option!

I have to say that out of the four holiday samples, I most enjoyed the Cran Marnier. My cup had plenty of character and each sip was a new delight. Luckily, this tisane blend is available year-round as a dessert tea.

Preparation Tips: As recommended by the Art of Tea website, I used nearly boiling water and let the leaves steep for a full 5-7 minutes. For best flavor, be sure to use one full tablespoon (not teaspoon) of rooibos per cup of water. Also, I Finum Brewing Basket will come in handy to keep all the tiny rooibos shreds separated from your brew.

Sample 2

Name: Pumpkin Pie {Seasonal Only}

Category: Tisane; Organic & Fair Trade South African Rooibos and Organic South African Honeybush

Pumpkin Pie

The Leaves: Red rooibos shreds with bright yellow marigold petals and noticeable chunks of spices

Additions: Organic Cloves, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger, Organic Marigolds, Natural and Artificial Flavors

Flavor: This caffeine-free blend is quite delicate tasting, so much so that I could barely detect any flavor at all at first, except for the rooibos itself.

Once I quieted my mind and focused on my cup of tea, that is when I tasted real pumpkin pie. However, the flavor was quite elusive. Each cup seemed to reveal just one brilliant sip and then the brew became just a gentle swirl of sweet-spiciness with a hint of creaminess.

Overall, I liked this rooibos blend because it made me concentrate on the taste and nothing else. I will often drink a cup of brew will working, only stopping to take a sip, experience the flavor and move onward. But this tisane, demanded my full attention and for that I am grateful.

Preparation Tips: I used one heaping tablespoon (three teaspoons of rooibos) per eight ounces of boiling water and let steep for 5-7 minutes. Due to the elusive tastes in this tea, filtered water is a must. In addition, to keep all the tiny rooibos shreds from sneaking into your cup, consider using a Finum Brewing Basket. I really love mine!

Sample 3

Name: Santa’s Little Helper {Seasonal Only}

Category: Organic Puerh, Organic Black Tea

Santa's Little Helper

The Leaves: Dark chocolate colored leaves punctuated with tiny candy cane and pine tree sugar confections

Additions: Sugar Confections, Natural Flavors

Flavor: When I opened the sample pouch the leaves smelled of mint and dark chocolate, so I was pretty excited to brew up a cup. But, when I took my first sip, there was a musty taste that caught me off guard. If I hadn’t been willing to investigate further, I would have poured the rest of the concoction down the sink because I found the initial flavor to be quite displeasing to my untrained palate.

During my second attempt, the musty taste became more of an earthy flavor, which I assumed was the puerh talking to me. Not entirely dissuaded, I took a third sip and that is when I noticed the bittersweet dark chocolate note, the subtle sweetness and the cool minty finish.

After several more sips, I began to enjoy myself and started to notice the complexity in my cup. Each taste experience was slightly different and as the tea cooled the cocoa note became quite pronounced.

However, the musty-earthy taste continued to linger to the very last drop. This key taste is what will keep me from purchasing the Santa’s Little Helper in the future. But, I’m glad to have given it a try for something different.

Overall, this is a high quality blend, but for my personal tastes it wasn’t a winner.

Preparation Tips: As recommended on the Art of Tea website, I used water at 206F (just under boiling) and stepped the leaves for about 3-5 minutes. In addition, I found one-teaspoon per eight-ounces of water sufficient for a quality cup.

Sample 4

Name: Butterscotch  {Available Year-Round}

Category: Organic White Tea

Butterscotch

The Leaves: Beautiful green leaves with bits of yellow marigold petals, punctuated with round, pink peppercorns

Additions: Organic Cinnamon, Organic Pink Peppercorn, Organic Marigolds, Natural Flavors

Flavor: The leaves have an intriguing aroma, quite similar to butterscotch. I was expectant of a fascinating cup. But, I just never found it. Instead, I got a slightly sweet, light tasting tea that was satisfying, but not extraordinary.

The butterscotch flavor did play the leading role in each cup, but I could find little depth. I have to admit that I am not a connoisseur of white tea and perhaps someone with a better trained palate may find the complexity I was missing.

Although, there were moments when I had steeped the leaves just right and a nuance of creaminess was present. This added some character to the infusion.

I also discovered that if the leaves are steeped too long or in water that is too hot, this resulted in a bitter tasting brew. While it wasn’t displeasing, it was a tad bit annoying because I was trying to find that perfect cup that kept eluding me.

I’m not sure I would purchase this tea again, only because I would want to try other white teas first. But, for a white tea lover this may be a wonderful treat.

As with the other teas in this holiday sampler set, I am glad I stepped outside my comfort zone I gave something new a try, especially since I’ve tried so few white teas this past year.

Preparation Tips: Since there were no directions on the sample pouch other than a steep time of 3-5 minutes, I went to the Art of Tea website for more thorough instructions.

The website recommended a water temperature of 175-185F and a steep time of 1-3 minutes. I followed these instructions, playing around with variations. As suggested, I also used one heaping tablespoon per eight ounces of water; you’ll need this much Butterscotch for maximum flavor.

Art of Tea Sample Packaging

Due to the delicate tastes in this blend, filtered water is a must.

Packaging:

Each blend is packed in a resealable, foil-lined pouch. The four pouches come together in a kraft pillow box with decorative label and brown ribbon.

I love this packaging because not only does it make for a stunning presentation, but it also makes it perfect for gift giving any time of year.

Each sample contains around 1-2 ounces or 15-20 servings.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this holiday sample pack, or any of the other unique tea blends from Art of Tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to the Art of Tea main web page. Enjoy!

Art of Tea

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

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.

 

Green Tea Review: Thé Du Hammam from Le Palais des Thés

The Du Hamman

Company/Brand Name: Le Palais Des Thés

Name: Thé Du Hammam

Category: Flavored Green Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: China

The Leaves: Long, flat green leaves sprinkled with large flower petals

Additions: Flower Petals (Rose, Sunflower, Mallow), Aromas

Flavor: A light, floral green tea with sweet notes of exotic fruit

Overall: A scrumptious, flavored green tea that inspires the imagination and tantalizes the taste buds. I think we’re going to be long-time friends!

Tea Review:

When I first opened Thé Du Hammam I was briefly mesmerized by the glorious perfume of the leaves. The smell reminded me of luscious strawberries with a touch of vanilla, wrapped in a flowery bouquet.

It’s the kind of fragrance that lifts the spirits and excites the senses.

Because I was so fascinated by the smell of the leaves, I brewed up a cup straight away!

As the leaves and petals blossomed in the hot water, I detected a faint aroma of berries and vanilla in the air. My anticipation was nearly unbearable.

Then, to fully enjoy the moment, I settled into a comfy chair and took my first sip and it was simply divine.

On the nose there was a sweet, almost sensuous scent with hints of vanilla bean, exotic flowers and berries. Then as the green tea cascaded into my mouth, the intoxicating fragrance lingered.

At first, I detected a flavor that prompted a memory of marshmallows; fluffy, light and sweet. Then notes of orange blossoms and exotic fruits engaged my senses before the underlying vegetal note made a subtle and refreshing appearance.

Next, a slight tanginess on my tongue left the final impression before the last bit was swallowed.

The finish was graceful and soft like a delicate flower.

One of the key pleasures of this green tea was the fragrance, so inhale deeply and slowly before each sip for maximum enjoyment!

Packaging:

The Du Hammam Packaging (Silver Pouch)

Thé Du Hammam tea came in a foil-lined, silver pouch with label that was printed in both French and English.

Upon exploring the Le Palais Des Thés web page, I discovered that there are several packaging options for the “Les Créations” collection.

For instance, if ordering Thé Du Hammam you have the option of a large silver pouch (like the one I received), a slim silver tin, gourmet tea bags, or a colorful tea canister.

I just love having options!

Preparation Tips:

The directions on the bag where straightforward, just use a water temperature of 170F and a steep time of three minutes.

However, I found that I preferred the taste of Thé Du Hammam when infused for about two-three minutes in water that was about 163F. By reducing the water temperature, there was less bitterness and I was able to enjoy all the subtle flavors more fully.

Lastly, I only used filtered water to sample this lovely, flavored green tea. The flavors are too fine and elusive for tap water.

Additional Notes:

Iced Tea: I really enjoyed this green tea iced; the sweet-berry-fruitiness really stood out when the tea was chilled. There was also a slight creaminess to the overall taste, that made Thé Du Hammam a delightful and uplifting chilled drink.

I Want This Tea!

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

Le Palais Des Thés: Thé Du Hammam

Vendor Provided Sample: Yes

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.

Oolong Tea Review: Thé Des Songes from Le Palais des Thés

The Des Songes

Company/Brand Name: Le Palais Des Thés

Name: Thé Des Songes

Category: Flavored Oolong Tea (Wu Long)

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Twisted black tea leaves with noticeable pieces of lemon peel and flower petals

Additions: Flower Petals (Safflower, Lavender, Mallow), Lemon Peels, Aromas

Flavor: A medium-bodied, calming tea blend that has notes of dark chocolate, citrus and lavender

Overall: I was simply captivated by this tea. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. Overall, I unique blend that is perfect for quiet, contemplative moments.

Tea Review:

When I opened Thé Des Songes tea canister and inhaled the aroma of the dried leaves, I was met with an enchanting fragrance that was both lovely and exotic. My senses detected a delicate floral scent with notes of citrus and lavender.

Although, I have to admit that before I even opened the tea canister I had been feeling a bit wary of what I might find inside. For when I saw lavender on the list of ingredients, I feared that I would not enjoy this tea at all. I’ve sampled other teas that included lavender, all of which were entirely undrinkable.

But, no worries with this tea blend; the lavender was subtle and didn’t overpower. Rather, it complemented the other aromas, which made this blend absolutely splendid.

Of course, you’re probably wondering what I actually thought of the taste and I have to say that it didn’t disappoint.

The fragrance of the leaves was a good indicator of the flavor of this oolong tea, except for one intriguing taste that I wasn’t expecting: dark chocolate.

My first impression of Thé Des Songes was an enticing note of cocoa. Then hints of lemon and lavender made their way to my awareness, giving my brew a rich and satisfying taste. But that was only the beginning!

As my tea cooled, I discovered even more depth in my cup. Not only did a slightly creamy texture evolve, but I also noticed a touch of spice and even a slight minty-ness, making the whole experience feel rather decadent.

Before I swallowed the last drop, I let the tea wash over my tongue and there I found a slightly bitter, grassy taste. This added yet another level of depth to this flavored tea that I wasn’t expecting.

Lastly, the finish was smooth and slow with notes of lavender. Before it was all said and done a final note of minty-coolness lingered on my tongue teasing me to take another mouthful of goodness.

This is one of those teas that you want to drink unhurried to savor each and every sip; otherwise you may miss some small nuance. It is all the little sensations that make this oolong tea so entrancing. It’s definitely worth exploring!

Packaging:

The Des Songes Tea Canister

Thé Des Songes tea came in a beautiful and striking red canister decorated with a delicate flower print.

I appreciated that the tea canister had been encased in tear-away plastic wrap to keep the tea secured inside the tin during shipping. Plus, it kept the canister from getting nicked and scrapped, so it looked divine upon arrival.

This is the kind of tea tin that you don’t want to tuck away in the cupboard; instead, you want to have it on display for all to see.

As I explored the Le Palais Des Thés web page, I realized that many of the teas in the “Les Créations” collection came in their own uniquely decorated colored canister.

However, you do have a choice of how you would like to have your tea packaged. For instance, if ordering Thé Des Songes you have the option of a large silver pouch, a slim silver tin, gourmet tea bags, or the colorful tea canister.

I love having these packaging options; this tells me that Le Palais Des Thés puts their customer’s preferences first.

Preparation Tips:

The directions on the tea canister were quite helpful. A recommended brewing temperature, amount of tea to use and infusion time were all written in English, as well as in French, on the bottom of the tea tin.

I experimented with different brewing times within the range suggested (5-7 minutes). I really didn’t detect much variance in taste with the longer or shorter steeping times.

In fact, this oolong tea seemed to be quite forgiving; there were several instances when I wasn’t watching the time at all and I still had a very drinkable cup.

I tried a variety of filter methods for brewing, such as my mini-glass teapot, a tasting cup and a Finum brewing basket; all of them resulted in an exceptional cup of tea.

Lastly, I only used filtered water to sample this oolong tea.

Additional Notes:

Evening Time Tea – This oolong tea is perfect for after a late supper or as an evening indulgence. Not to mention that the soothing fragrance and flavor of this tea invites the mind and body to relax. A true comfort tea. Plus, it has a low caffeine-level according to Le Palais Des Thés website.

I Want This Tea!

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

Le Palais Des Thés : Thé Des Songes

Vendor Provided Sample: Yes

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.

 

Tea Collection Review: Adagio Holiday Cheer

Adagio Holiday Cheer Sampler Collection

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Collection Name: Holiday Cheer

Category: Flavored Black Teas

Form: Loose Leaf in Pyramid Tea Bags

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Midnight black tea leaves that are chopped into half-inch pieces

Overall: I really enjoyed Adagio’s Holiday Cheer tea collection. In fact, I went through all the individually wrapped teas from my original order so quickly that I have already ordered another box!

It was fun to try all the different flavors. I definitely found a couple of new favorites for the holiday season!

Each tea is highly flavorful. However, if you don’t like flavored teas, then this sampler set probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you’re a bit adventuresome and like to try new tea flavors, then this holiday tea collection may be just perfect for your inquiring tastes!

Tea Review:

I’ve listed the following six holiday teas in order. My favorites are listed first.

Tea Name: Cranberry

Cranberry Pyramid Tea Bag

Additions: Cranberries, Raspberry Leaves, Cranberry Flavor

Flavor: Initially, while the tea was steeping, there was a faint fragrance of cranberry that floated through the air. The first sip had a note of cocoa and then the fruity-sweetness shined through. I have to say that I really didn’t taste cranberry much at all; it was very subtle, if it was there at all. The overall experience reminded me of Cella’s Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries for some reason. It was love at first sip.

Tea Name: Gingerbread

Additions: Ginger, Cinnamon, Orange Pieces, Gingerbread Flavor

Flavor: There was a warm-spicy fragrance to this Gingerbread tea. When I took the first sip I noticed the spiciness, but it wasn’t chai-like. Rather, it reminded me of the subtle spice you would find in a spice bread. There was even a subtle hint of rum flavor, which added a little extra something to this holiday tea. Lastly, a tangy, almost tart taste rounded out my cup giving this tea plenty of depth and character.

Tea Name: Chestnut

Additions: Sunflower Petals, Chestnut Flavor

Flavor: I’ll admit that I have never eaten a chestnut, so I can’t say how close this comes to the real thing. For some reason, the taste did remind me of amaretto liqueur, which I haven’t had for years, so I can’t vouch for accuracy. The overall taste was sweet and nutty. There was just a touch of creaminess that brought all the flavors together harmoniously.

Tea Name: Pumpkin Spice

Additions: Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves, Pumpkin Flavor

Flavor: The Pumpkin Spice tea was quite flavorful with a touch of spice and a hint of sweetness. The saying, “Sugar and spice and everything nice,” came to mind when sipping this blend. The pumpkin flavor can be a bit “fakey” tasting, as if it was trying too hard to be pumpkin. Nonetheless, I was captivated and wanted more. I even discovered an ever so faint dark chocolate note that added some extra character to this holiday tea.

Tea Name: Candy Apple

Additions: Apples, Cinnamon, Caramel Flavor

Flavor: There was just an ever so slight touch of apple and cinnamon flavor in the Candy Apple tea. I really didn’t get a caramel flavor at all. Rather, my first impression was an almost too sweet, candi-like taste. It wasn’t overpowering by any means, rather it nestled in the background to add a flavorful touch. Overall, a sweet tasting tea that somehow grows on you.

Tea Name: Candy Cane

Additions: Candy Cane Pieces, Peppermint Flavor

Flavor: I have to admit, that I am not a big peppermint fan, so this was not my favorite tea of the bunch. Although, I did find that the Candy Cane tea had a nice warm-vanilla flavor that was punctuated by a touch of peppermint. Overall, a sweet tasting, peppermint tea that reminded me of the holidays.

Holiday Cheer Package

Packaging:

The presentation of this Holiday Cheer tea collection is simple yet elegant. The box is well-constructed and once you open the lid you are rewarded with a beautiful display of individually packed teas. Each tea flavor is gathered together in its own little, perfectly sized, compartment! This would make a wonderful gift for that special someone who loves seasonal, flavored teas.

Each individually wrapped tea comes in a foil pouch and the tea itself is encased in a silk pyramid bag, which gives the leaves plenty of room to unfurl. Not to mention the convenience! All you have to do is pour boiling water in a cup and plop in a tea bag for a delicious holiday treat!

Preparation Tips:

On the back of each individually wrapped tea package are the steeping recommendations. I found these instructions to be quite accurate in producing the best tasting tea. Although, I do suggest using filtered water for a premium experience.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – I especially enjoyed drinking all these  scrumptious teas after a meal because the flavors where interesting enough to keep me from raiding the holiday cookie stash! In fact, I found myself enjoying a lovely cup of Holiday Cheer tea even more than a high-calorie treat. Win for me! Especially since I’ve been trying to cut back on desserts and other goodies!

Holiday Cheer – Why not spread some joy around to co-workers, family and friends! The individually packaged teas (one pyramid tea bag per pouch) are perfect for the office, holiday parties, tucking into a holiday card, or handing out randomly to people who might need a little holiday cheer!

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea, just click the link below. Please note that the Holiday Cheer collection is a seasonal item.

Adagio

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: The NecessiTeas Cafe Latte

Cafe Latte

Company/Brand Name: The NecessiTeas

Name: Cafe Latte

Category: Black Tea/Coffee Blend

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Twisted black tea leaves with noticeable whole coffee beans and chunks of cocoa beans

Additions: Barley, Coffee Beans, Chicory, Cocoa Beans and Natural Flavors

Flavor: A medium-bodied tea that tastes like java with a hint of sweetness and cocoa flavor

Overall: I love the smell and taste of coffee, but coffee and I don’t get along. As a result, I’ve avoided coffee for years. Until now.

This interesting blend of black loose tea and coffee beans allowed me to enjoy the robust taste of java without the jittery side effects. Plus, the touch of cocoa really rounds out the cup nicely. I would definitely purchase this tea and coffee blend again.

Tea Review:

When I opened the sample package, the first fragrance to hit my senses was the uplifting smell of coffee. Then, I took another whiff and I noticed a sweet aroma, similar to fine tobacco leaves with notes of chocolate. I was definitely intrigued!

As the tea steeped, a sweet-smelling, java-like aroma encircled my teapot tantalizing me to take that first sip.

When I finally poured my steamy brew into a cup and took a drink of the Cafe Latte, I was surprised to find that my tea tasted like coffee. The coffee beans seemed to add just the right amount of java flavor to give my teacup an extra-special zing.

I also discovered a sweet, cocoa note that was malty tasting like Whopper’s Malted Milk Ball candy or instant malted chocolate milk. To bring it all together, there is a slight creamy mouth-feel that makes this tea blend live up to its name.

As I was mindfully drinking my tea in solitude and trying to grasp all the taste sensations I was experiencing, something interesting happened. I had a ghost taste memory. All of a sudden Bailey’s Irish Cream came to mind. But, I wasn’t sure why.

I couldn’t seem to remember ever having consumed Bailey’s Irish Cream. Perhaps, I had smelled Bailey’s in coffee at some point, or had a sip of an “adult drink” during my formative years. Wherever that recognition memory came from, it stuck with me for the rest of my tea session, which made for an intoxicating experience!

Once I reached the last drop of Cafe Latte, I found a lingering aftertaste that was a mixture of java and cocoa with just a touch of tanginess. This final moment reminded me of my premium coffee drinking days.

After my first cup, I indulged in several more before depleting my Cafe Latte sample. I was disappointed it was gone, yet comforted by the fact that I could always order more.

The NecessiTeas Cafe Latte Packaging

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of the Cafe Latte from The NecessiTeas, which came in a thick, silver bag with foil-lining and a clear-plastic cover.

The front of the sample package included a sticker that listed the name of the tea, content ingredients, tea preparation instructions and the vendor’s web address.

Preparation Tips:

On The NecessiTeas loose tea sample package it recommended using one and a half teaspoons of tea with eight-ounces of boiling water. The suggested steeping time was 4 minutes. I followed these guidelines, except that I used my mini-glass teapot, which only holds about six-ounces of water.

In addition, I only used filtered water to brew the Cafe Latte because I didn’t want to run the risk of ruining the taste. I only had a small sample to experiment with, so I repeated the instructions above and didn’t vary from them. Although, I did allow my tea to steep to almost 5 minutes a couple of times.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – I enjoyed drinking this tea after a meal to satiate my craving for some sugary treat. I think this tea and coffee blend would be delicious chilled and mixed with milk, but I didn’t have any milk in the house to give it a try. Maybe next time!

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 Tangier

Tangier

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Tangier

Category: Black Tea Blend

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf:  Sri Lanka

The Leaves:  Stunning ebony leaves punctuated by intriguing orange-colored blossoms

Additions:  Saffron and Apricot Petals

Flavor: A medium-bodied, fruity-floral tea that tastes of apricots, citrus and honey

Overall: The Tangier is delicious both hot and cold, making it an indulgent beverage year round. This has fast become one of my favorite loose leaf teas.

Tea Review:

As the tea steeps it releases an enchanting fruity-flowery fragrance that intrigues the senses. I can’t wait to take my first sip. Then, as the warm liquid wraps itself around my tongue, a feeling of sheer joy washes over me.  I am at the mercy of an intoxicating dance of apricot and orange blossoms.

When I sink deeper into my cup and try to understand all the nuances that the Tangier provides, I find myself even more fully captivated. The apricot taste, which definitely plays the leading role, reminds me of alcohol for some reason, as if there were a drop of apricot schnapps in my tea. Good thing I wasn’t driving!

Next, I notice a hint of sweetness that is both fruity and honey-like.  Then hiding in the wings, waiting for the right moment to make its entrance, is a tart lemon taste that adds a bit of briskness to my cup.

Playing a supporting role, is an earthy, medium-bodied black tea that rounds out the Tangier perfectly.

Lastly, the finish is quite lovely, leaving me with a creamy mouth-feel with notes of apricots and honey that linger for quite some time.

As I sip this tea I am reminded of my days, as a child, in California picking fresh apricots from a neighbors tree. I had forgotten about that delicious memory until this moment. Interesting how certain flavors can bring old memories to the surface; I guess that is one of the reasons I love drinking tea.

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of the Tangier, which came in a well-constructed black bag with foil-lining. I am always pleased to see a foil-lined bag because this indicates to me that the vendor cares about keeping their teas fresh.

The bag was adorned with a helpful and colorful label that included the name of the tea as well as steeping tips. On the downside, these pouches are not re-sealable.

My New Tea Tasting Cup

Preparation Tips:

On the loose tea sample package it recommends using a water temperature of 200F and an infusion time of 4 minutes. I found these instructions to be quite accurate for obtaining the best tasting cup.

Since there were no specific directions about the amount of water or loose tea to use, I used one level teaspoon in my six-ounce glass teapot. I also gave my new tasting cup a spin!

I found that I preferred filtered water, as opposed to non-filtered water (plain tap water), to brew the Tangier tea. There are some beautiful nuances this tea has to provide that chlorinated tap water tends to bungle.

Additional Notes:

Iced Tea – The Tangier tea makes a perfect chilled drink. What’s especially fantastic is that no sugar is needed. This tea has a natural honey-like sweetness that shines through when it’s iced.

Infusions – I found that I was able to obtain two excellent tasting infusions from this tea.

Other – When I tweeted how much I enjoyed this tea, I was rewarded by receiving a tweet from the American Tea Room. They suggested adding some apricot slices and sparkling water to the tea and then let it sit overnight. I haven’t tried this yet because apricots are not currently available in our area. However, I hope to do so this 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 American Tea Room web page for the Tangier tea. Enjoy!

Tangier

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: American Tea Room Grand Yunnan Imperial

Grand Yunnan Imperial

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Grand Yunnan Imperial

Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Yunnan, China

The Leaves: The leaves are dark-brown to black in color with a sprinkling of golden tips

Additions: None

Flavor: A robust and slightly malty/biscuity brew with plenty of complexity

Overall: As I sit here writing this loose tea review and drinking the last of my sample, I am wishing I had ordered more of the Grand Yunnan Imperial. I really enjoy a strong and multifaceted black tea and this one certainly packs a powerful punch on both fronts.

Tea Review:

At first, I notice the robust-maltiness of the Grand Yunnan Imperial. As I explore further, the complexity of the brew starts to emerge. That is when I notice the unsweetened dark-chocolate note, which gives this black tea a richness that I really like.

Yet, there is something else there, another taste I can’t quite comprehend. Then it comes to me, a slight smokiness further enriches my cup along with a touch of spiciness.

As I finish off the first infusion, a decadent bitter-sweet dark chocolate flavor leaves my palette begging for more.

The second infusion is quite brilliant as well, especially for a black tea. I found that the smoky-spiciness has dissipated a bit and in its place is a honey-like sweetness. Overall, the second cup is mellower, but sweeter.

This is the kind of tea that you really want to savor in quiet contemplation so as not to miss any underlying flavors.

When I sip this tea, I find myself transported to a mountain top far above the din of the world. On that peak I feel one with nature and my warm brew reminds me that I am indeed alive—fully alive.

Sample Packs from American Tea Room

Packaging:

I had ordered a sample size of this tea, which came in a black pouch with colorful label. The label included the name of the tea as well as steeping instructions. One little annoyance with these bags, however, is that they don’t re-seal. On the plus side, they do have a thick foil-lining to help keep the tea fresh.

Preparation Tips:

On the loose tea package it recommends using a water temperature of 200F and a brewing time of 4 minutes. I found these instructions to be quite accurate for obtaining the best tasting cup.

Because there were no specific directions about the amount of water or tea to use, I decided on one level teaspoon in my six-ounce glass teapot.

In addition, I used filtered water, which doesn’t make a big difference in taste for the first cup, but does impact the flavor of the second infusion.

Additional Notes:

Infusions – For the second infusion, I allowed the leaves to steep for about 5 to 6 minutes. I was quite pleased, but a little surprised as well, that I was able to get two very good cups of tea from a single teaspoon.

Dessert Tea – I found that I really enjoyed this tea in the morning as my wake-me-up brew, but I also found myself craving this tea after eating a rich tasting dessert. It helped to keep me from going back to the kitchen for more chocolate!

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 Grand Yunnan Imperial tea. Enjoy!

Grand Yunnan Imperial

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: American Tea Room Brioche

Brioche

Company/Brand Name: American Tea Room

Name: Brioche

Category: Black Tea (Organic Blend)

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves:  Beautiful ebony leaves sprinkled with delicate orange-colored blossoms and large, thin slices of almonds

Additions: Sliced Almonds, Safflower Blossoms, Cinnamon

Flavor: A rich black tea blend that has notes of cinnamon, almonds and sweet pastry

Overall: After my first sip, I fell in love with this tea. It’s that good. Period.

Tea Review:

As the Brioche tea steeps, it fills my kitchen with warm tantalizing notes of cinnamon and sweet almond pastries. I can’t wait to take that first sip.  

But, I am a little uneasy. I fear that the taste will be disappointing, especially after experiencing the delicious aroma of the brew. However, I needn’t have worried.

That first sip is absolutely perfect. I actually do a little happy dance inside my head because I am so delighted by the pleasing taste in my cup. It’s love at first sip.

As dive deeper into the flavor and take time to enjoy all the nuances, I find that this tea reminds me of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. The taste is sweet with a touch of cinnamon-spice that is complemented by a bakery-like quality.

But then, I a little bitterness comes into play.  This touch of tartness balances the sweetness nicely and gives my cup some robustness and depth.

The aftertaste is bitter-sweet, like any love story ending.

American Tea Room Sample Packs

Packaging:

Unfortunately, the sample-sized pouches are not re-sealable. However, they are constructed of thick material with a foil-lining to help the tea stay fresh longer. Plus, there are handy brewing instructions on the decorative label.

Preparation Tips:

On the tea sample package, it recommended using a water temperature of 200F and an infusion time of four minutes. I found these instructions to be quite accurate for obtaining the best tasting brew.

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

I tried both filtered and non-filtered (plain tap water) to brew my tea and didn’t find a significant difference in taste.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – This is such a wonderful dessert tea, especially if wanting to watch calories because it doesn’t need milk or sugar. This decadent and entrancing tea can stand on its own.

Infusions – The Brioche can be infused twice with good results. I found the first infusion to be robust with an enticing sweet note and touch of bitterness.

The second infusion retained the intoxicating sugar and cinnamon fragrance and flavor, but the brew was definitely weaker. Interestingly, there was no bitterness to be found in the second cup, even after an 8-minute steep.

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 Brioche tea. Enjoy!

Brioche

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.

Rooibos Tea Review: Persimmon Tree Tea Chocolate Banana

Chocolate Banana

Company/Brand Name: Persimmon Tree Tea

Name: Chocolate Banana

Category: Organic Fair Trade Rooibos Blend (Tisane)

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: An interesting display of red rooibos offset by reddish-pink peppercorns and noticeable chunks of chocolate. The aroma of the leaves is sweet and inviting.

Additions: Organic Cacao Nibs, Organic Apple Bits, Organic Banana Chips, Pink Peppercorn, Chocolate, Natural Flavors

Flavor: A sweet treat that tastes of real banana, with a little spice, and just a hint of dark chocolate.

Overall: This rooibos blend is both complex and interesting; it definitely kept me interested cup after cup.

Tea Review:

My first cup of this tea was amazing. I couldn’t believe that the banana flavor actually tasted like real banana. I was quite impressed especially since I was prepared for this tea blend to taste like imitation banana.

Once I got over my initial delight, I found that the Chocolate Banana tea also had a touch of spice to it. Not a lot of spice, just enough to create some depth.

Next, I noticed just a hint of dark chocolate flavor. It wasn’t very pronounced; rather it stood in the background supporting the lead.

Lastly, there is a soft-creaminess that brings it all together brilliantly.

Persimmon Tree Tea Packaging

Packaging:

I really love how Persimmon Tree Tea packages their teas. Each tea is shipped  in a high-quality tin that has the name of the contents, as well as steeping instructions, right on the label. The tea canister even provides iced-tea instructions, if so desired.

I was also impressed by the presentation of the packaging. The tea canisters came nestled in brown paper shred, which made me feel as if I had just received a gift in the mail from a dear friend.

Preparation Tips:

According to the Persimmon Tree Tea canister, 1.5 teaspoons of tea is to be used per cup of water. The recommended steep time is 3 to 5 minutes in water that is 200F.

I usually prefer to use my six-ounce glass teapot for brewing up a single cup of tea. However, because this tea has many small rooibos shreds, I decided to use my new Finum Brewing Basket, which worked like a charm!

I also suggest using filtered water so as not to miss any of the nuances this tea can provide.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – Since this tea provides a low-caffeine cup, it is perfect for the evening when desiring a little something sweet as a nightcap.

Iced Tea – The Chocolate Banana tea is wonderful when chilled; it really brings out the spiciness of the tea.

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.