Yoga Month: Getting Started with Yoga

Yoga Month Starts Today:

Lululemon Athletica - via Flickr CC Attribution License

It’s September 1, 2011 and that means National Yoga Month has officially started!

According to Yoga Month the Department of Health & Human Services designated September as National Yoga Month to build awareness of yoga’s health benefits and to inspire people to take responsibility for their own well-being.

Well, I’m inspired!

Making Yoga Part of My Life:

I’ve been thinking about making yoga part of my life for some time now, but I just never made it a priority.

Today, I decided to change that.

My goal is to practice ten-minutes of yoga 5 out of 7 days each week in the month of September. I hope to build a solid yoga routine by the end of the month that I can use year-round.

Choosing to Practice at Home:

In the past, I’ve taken a yoga class here and there, either in a gym or studio setting. Overall, I did enjoy the sessions, but for one reason or another I never returned.

Looking back, I recall one of the reasons why I failed to return was because I found it inconvenient to get to a class.

Usually my schedule didn’t mesh well with the yoga studio’s class times. Not to mention, during the winter months, I couldn’t be pried out of my toasty, warm house for all the tea in China. The same holds true even today.

Another reason why I found myself not returning to yoga class was because I felt a bit out-of-place. Being a newbie, I found the poses too advanced for my out-of-shape body.

As I struggled to find and attempt to maintain each pose, others around me moved gracefully and flowed from one movement to the next. I felt like a prickly weed in a flower garden.

Lastly, I’ve chosen to practice yoga at home because I’m an introvert. Yep, I’ll readily admit that I like being alone, but not in a weird grow-my-armpit-hair-out-sort-of-way. I just like time to think, it re-energizes me.

Actually, learning yoga at home will allow me to spend plenty of time with each pose and really get to learn it inside and out; whereas, in a class setting, I tend to forget the poses as soon as I get home.

Yoga Videos for Beginners:

After concluding that I would begin my yoga training at home, I went online and looked for beginner yoga videos. I found a series on YouTube that I really like. It’s called Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies. Perfect!

I previewed the first 10-minute video which covers deep-breathing, the Cat Pose and the Mountain Pose. The video was super easy to follow and even included modified poses. So, I searched for the rest of the series and added them to my A Girl With Tea YouTube Channel.

Now, I have all six Basic Yoga videos in sequence. Easy Peasy!

Tomorrow, I plan to do the next video in the series and then continue to do one video per day.

Get a Free Week of Yoga Classes:

If you happen to be an extrovert and would prefer to actually attend a class, rather than watch online videos, be sure to check out Yoga Month’s Yoga Studio Finder to find a local yoga studio offering a free week of yoga.

Conclusion:

I’m excited to start my yoga practice, finally, after many years of thinking about it!

If you’ve been considering trying yoga yourself and have never gotten off of the fence, maybe Yoga Month is your call to action?

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

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.

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.

Teapot Review: Adagio PersonaliTEA

PersonaliTEA

Company/Brand Name: Adagio

Teaware Name: PersonaliTEA

AGWT Rating: 4.8/5

I’ll just come out and say it up front, I love it! Of course, I am a bit biased because this is my first official full-sized teapot.

I’ve been using a 6-ounce glass teapot for a few months now and it has worked well for doing tea reviews. But, it was time consuming to keep running back and forth from the kitchen to boil more water for tea.

With my new PersonaliTEA teaware, I can make three cups of brew at one time. Needless to say, I am now drinking much more tea.

Awesomeness Qualities:

Stay Cool Handle – The handle stays cool to the touch even when brewing tea in boiling water. This is a huge plus, because it makes it easy to transport it from the kitchen to another area without having to rummage about for a pot holder or other heat protective gear.

Stay-In-Place-Lid – The lid stays in place even when pouring.

Durable Ceramic – It is made of thick and sturdy ceramic; this isn’t one of those dainty teapots by any means.

Stainless Steel Infuser – A stainless steel mesh infuser basket is included, so you can do more than one infusion if so desired. In addition, small sized tea leaves won’t escape into the brew and give you chunky tea. I don’t know about you, but I hate chunky tea!

Oh, and did I mention that you can purchase extra infusers? I like to have an extra one on hand, just in case the original becomes damaged somehow (use your imagination here).

Dishwasher Safe – Of course this doesn’t cover the human form of dishwasher—the hand washer who is all thumbs!

Well-Designed Spout – I haven’t spilled a drop of tea yet!

The Price is Right – For a meager $14.00 you get all the above, that’s a bargain in my book.

Not So Appealing Qualities:

Infuser Basket Rim Gets Hot – Since the infuser basket is metal, the rim gets hot when introduced to boiling water. This makes it tricky to remove without burning ones fingers. I’ve resorted to using the tip of a knife to pry the infuser up enough to remove safely.

PersonaliTEA Infuser Basket

Infuser Basket Not Large Enough – For leaves that need a lot of room to unfurl, I’ve found the infuser basket to be just not quite large enough. To compensate for this, I’ve tried using less dried leaf and steeping for a little longer or not using the infuser basket at all.

When not using the infuser basket, the spout does work as a strainer. There are holes punched into the body of the teapot where the spout is connected, which stops larger leaves from escaping.

However, then there is the dilemma of having to pour all the tea out at once so as not to over steep the leaves.  This requires having a second teapot on hand. I guess I need to buy another teapot!

Infuser Basket Mesh Too Large for Rooibos – As I had stated above, I don’t like having chunks in my tea. The infuser basket works great for most teas, but teas like rooibos that can have tiny particles would fair better in a product with a finer mesh basket.

Although, I have used this teapot with rooibos blends and the particles tend to stay on the bottom of the teapot and don’t seem to bother my cup much at all.

There you have it. My teaware review of Adagio’s PersonaliTEA teapot. I hope it was helpful.

I Want This Teapot!

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

Adagio

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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.