Thursday, October 31, 2013

Della Terra Teas: Blueberry BOO! A Tea Review

Happy All Hallow's Eve everyone, it is my favorite holiday of the year because it is centered around some of my favorite things: pumpkins, ghosts, monsters, candy, more pumpkins, and select gourds. Obsession with pumpkins aside, this holiday has a lot of spook in it, lots of haunting and booing, in fact I am wearing a white sheet with eye holes cut out as I type this. Ok, no I am not, I would be if there was a white sheet in this house but a golden ghost or one with stupid patterns would be embarrassing. Ghosts are meant to be white, or maybe pale, ectoplasm blue. Just like the ghosts of blueberries!
My Tea is haunted!
Yes, blueberries have ghosts, how else would we have Blueberry Boo! by Della Terra Teas? (which they have run out of *tears, I wanted more* but there are other spooky teas) OH, apparently there are ghosts AND blueberries, well that changes everything. I like having ghosts in my tea! Along with adorable little sugar ghosts there is also Black Tea, Dried Blueberries, Blueberry Flavor, and Mini Chocolate bits. Yes this tea immediately made me think of my beloved Boo Berries cereal, the love of blueberries, chocolate, ghosts, and tea was too much for me. I had to have some of this tea! The aroma is sweet and fruity! Very obviously a blueberry tea, luckily the blueberries smell fresh and sweet and not at all tart like some much hated by me blueberry teas. In the pouch the aroma of chocolate is very faint but once I poured some out for photography purposes the chocolate was much stronger and blended wonderfully with the blueberries. There is no ghost aroma, but that is not necessarily a bad thing because ghosts tend to smell musty.
Ghosts or steam?
Time to turn the ghosties into liquid ectoplasm (no, not Ectocooler) with a bit of hot water. The aroma is much more chocolaty and malty, I would describe the 'tea' aroma as bright, not outshining the flavors but not disappearing under them either. The blueberry is not as strong and comes in as an afterthought. The liquid sans leaves is sweet and creamy with note of malt and a hint of chocolate. I do not detect any blueberries (or wandering haunts) but as I wait for it to cool enough to drink I notice the chocolate becomes less of a haunting and more of a full body apparition.
Best tasting poltergeist ever
The taste is mild and bright, it really lights up the mouth with its Black Tea quality while still maintains its mild, smooth aspects. It is sweet and malty with an initial chocolate taste. Sneaking in like a phantom is the blueberry, it is faint at first and then as the tea cools (hey, just like when ghosts show up!) the blueberry becomes much stronger and sweeter. This tea is pleasantly sweet on its own, but if you want a real kick adding a bit of sugar and cream makes for a treat that is phantasmagorical, also the color is more ghostly so that is a plus. I have certainly learned that if this tea comes back next All Hallow's Eve I am going to need to stock up because I went through my supply of it really quickly.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Republic of Tea: Pumpkin Spice Black Tea, A Tea Review

Today, as you might know, is the day before Halloween, All Hallow's Eve...Eve. It has been a perfectly stormy day complete with hail and a nicely flooded basement, a great sign for a good Halloween. I do have a special tea that I am reviewing tomorrow that is on theme, but I wanted to start off the festivities with a bit of pumpkin goodness (I did not carve one this year, tragic).

Presenting Pumpkin Pie Spice Black Tea by Republic of Tea, an Autumn themed tea made from a blend of Black teas, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cloves. They advice adding a splash of cream but I am a completely out and there is no way I am using the much maligned skim milk that is in the fridge. The aroma is very spiced, and very evocative of pumpkin pie spice. There is of course absolutely no pumpkin and just spice, but the it said that on the tin so you won't get me raging about being misled with squash. There is also a touch of buttered rum aroma which I always enjoy. The most prominent spice aroma is clove, definitely lots of clove!
oooh, I like the round bag, it is cute!
Time to dunk the teabag! The aroma is super sweet and pie like, I can even detect a bit of crust but I am willing to chock that up to ghosts. The spices are well balanced after being steeped, no one spice sticks out unlike the un-drenched bag. The aroma is practically crying out 'drink me on a chilly day! Enjoy me with mounds of Autumnal foods' not to mention the desire for cream.

Drinking the tea the first thing I notice is the sweetness and balanced spices. I do love a spiced tea that is well balanced and nuanced, having one spice drown out all the others is sad. The taste is very much so pumpkin pie spice with a delightful mouth tingling from the cloves. As per my usual gripe, the tea tastes nothing like actual pumpkins, one day I will find a pumpkin spice tea that tastes like pumpkins, but as just spiced teas go this one is pretty good for a tea bag! Not that there is anything wrong with teabags, I just have gotten very spoiled with all my loose leaf. So far this has been my favorite bagged pumpkin themed tea that I have yet tried, so give it a try if you are part of the pumpkin craze!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Yezi Tea: Tie Guan Yin Master Grade Oolong, A Tea Review

Today has been a beautiful day with regards to weather; all day rain, 60 degree air, humid, and a chance for storms. Or at least Accuweather says it is a chance for storms, severe ones with 'a tornado' yes folks, we only get one. I am not sure why I find their wording on their severe weather warning so amusing, but it always makes me smile. On the health front I am still improving, but my taste is still odd so more from the delightful tea notebook today.
Tightly woven leaves.
Tie Guan Yin Master Grade Oolong Tea from Yezi Tea is an Oolong from the famed tea growing region of the Nanhu Mountain Range. To brew this beauty I decided to go all out, sitting outside on a warm sunny day with my Yixing pot, my vintage Chinese tea bowl, and all my fancy Gong Fu tools. I don't use my Yixing nearly as often as I would like to, something I plan on rectifying in the future. The aroma of this Tie Guan Yin is nothing short of heavenly, very floral and sweet. I mainly notice orchids and honeysuckles but for an extra treat I can pick out the aroma of scuppernongs. As an afterthought there is a tiny wisp of green, similar to spring time vegetation and an even more scant ghost of honey. This tea's aroma very much so embodies ideal of Spring.
Steeping peacefully
I was very fortunate to get multiple awesome steeps out of this tea, so I will start with the first soaking of the leaves. The aroma of the brewed leaves is slightly nutty with strong floral notes. There is also a tiny hint of a roasted aroma in the leaves. The liquid is mostly floral, primarily orchid, but there is also a slight hint of vegetal, like spinach. The taste is very smooth and mild! Intensely floral like honeysuckles or possibly lilacs. The tea tastes very clean and fresh, just like a tiny bit of spring time in my mouth. The aftertaste is one of orchids.
Looks like sunlight
The second steep brings in more of a roasted aroma to leaves and a stronger floral aroma to the liquid. The taste of the tea brings in more of a green, vegetal tone. Somehow the tea seems cleaner, like it purifies the water. It reminds me of fresh spring water with a tiny taste of the moss growing near it. Having drank from a mountain spring (it was significantly colder than hot tea) the similarity is surprising.
Hello leaves!
The third steep brings in even more of a roasted chestnut aroma and it is very heady. The liquid has the aroma of orchids, but instead of being freshly opened these are orchids that have been sitting in the sun for hours and start to have that old flower sickly sweetness. The taste is intense! Best steep of the set, it manages to be intense but still mild (ah the magic of Oolongs) the flavor is mildly roasted chestnut at first and then it fills your mouth with intense orchid. The aftertaste is mineral-like, bringing in the mountain spring imagery from the previous steep.
I almost drank it all before I took a photo!
The fourth and final steep, I notice that the leaves have lost most their aroma but what is left is sweet and evocative of honeysuckle. The taste is sweet and floral bringing out the honeysuckle notes that were in the aroma. There is also a slight mid taste of roasted chestnut and then lastly an aftertaste of mineral spring water. This tea was fascinating and very enjoyable, it was like I journeyed through early Spring with the first steep and traveled through to Midsummer. I recommend seeking this tea out if you want a very different experience with each steep.
All unfolded, the journey of the leaf is awesome. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tea Forte: Cherry Marzipan Green Tea, A Tea Review

After an absolutely abysmal weekend I seem to be finally on the recovery. If this keeps up I should be able to taste things again, and that will be a huge improvement (of course so will being able to breathe). In order to celebrate feeling a bit better I decided to do something constructive, before I visited my mom for the summer I discovered mice had nested in my stored stuff and this filled me with the dread of ruined things. After gloving and masking myself up I discovered they were the most polite mice in existence! They only shredded a magazine to use as bedding when they were in my books and didn't touch my plushies, regardless my plushies and cloth stuff needed a washing. The clothes line in the backyards has a copious amount of stuffed octopuses on it right now. Time for a tea review from my notebook! (So glad I logged so many!)

Today I am reviewing another tea by Tea Forte, Cherry Marzipan,a Green Tea blended with Rooibos, Cherry Flavoring, Raspberry Leaves, Almond Flavor, Berry Flavoring, Superfruit Berry Flavoring, and Acerola Cherries (all organic and natural flavorings). I love cherry almond as a smell, for years I used a soap that had that scent and so did my mom so to me it is extremely nostalgic. Instant happy aroma points! Oddly I have never had this combination as a food/drink, I love cherries, I love almonds, but never had them together so this tea excited me. The aroma is very VERY sweet, lots of cherry and almond. It is a great mixture of tart cherries and sweet, nutty almonds. The only problem is I do not smell any tea at all, you could have told me this was just a fruit tea and I would not be at all surprised.

Once the teabag is popped in its hot water bath and given a nice steeping the aroma mellows out a bit. It is still a sweet mix of almonds and cherries (with almonds being more prominent) but there is also a tiny hint of leafy green under all that sweetness. The blend is really smooth and is pleasing to my olfactory bulb.

This tea is surprisingly mellow and smooth! There is absolutely no tartness like some cherry teas can have, and no bitterness like some almond teas can have, bravo for a good blend! The almond is the most prevalent taste and the cherries take the back seat while a hint of hay like green peaks through. I wish the tea would have been a little sweeter, like marzipan and not just almonds, but that was easily rectified with a bit of sugar. There, now it tastes like cherries and marzipan with green tea. This tea is not bad, it certainly gets points due to the nostalgia factor, but I could see myself sipping on this tea when I want to drink tea without having to think about it.
Obligatory Thank You Cat
I also want to thank all my readers for being patient with me while I have been sick. It has been nonstop since I got back from my mom's with both sickness and medical procedures. I certainly hope this is the end of it and there won't be anymore breaks in my blogging.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Minecraft Halloween Texture Pack

Yep, still too sick to function properly so I spent my day playing Minecraft. When I signed in I noticed there as a new texture pack (I should mention now, this is on the Xbox 360 version) that is geared towards Halloween...and best part it, it is FREE! Free things make dirt poor gamers like me very happy. I decided to get into the All Hallows spirit by taking a few shots of the texture pack to show off. There are some things I really like: the lava is clearly Ectocooler, the cats, the stone having skulls, the sheep being mummies, and the Creepers being ghosts. There were some things I was not fond of: Endermen being Slenderman (I really am not a fan of Creepy Pasta stuff) the Zombie Pigmen being Samara from The Ring, and the End being made of brains. But enough yammering, onto some pictures!
Oh no, I woke the Strawman!

So not surprised when this pig did not drop any porkchops :P

No matter how bad things are, it will be ok, because Ghasts are pumpkins now

Is the Slime a blob of Ectoplasm?

I created the Monster! 

I love you Creeper Ghosts, the fact that they hover is the best thing 

Iron Armor looks like a witch's costume, too cool!

Skeleton Cat, ghost Cat, and Black Cat, a perfect combination!
Thank you 4J Studios for another awesome texture pack! I cannot wait to see if there is one for Christmas! As per usual, hopefully I will feel well enough to blog about tea tomorrow and also my sense of taste will be back too!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Autumn, a Photo Blog

I am just feeling too awful to properly write about tea today, my most sincere apologies. I would much rather be blogging about tea than staring vacantly at my notebook trying to form coherent thoughts, but since I like to get blogs out daily and this cold thing has already claimed a few days, here are some photos! They are all a bit old from my time living in Pennsylvania, sadly living in Kansas City means there is not really an Autumn. At least not the way it is in the mountains. So here is a little nostalgic eye-candy to help me remember more beautiful (and less sick) days and for all of you to enjoy.
Nothing like a handful of milkweed seeds!

I really enjoy forest floors full of moss

'Tis the season!

Seriously the best mail ever

Fluff pile!

Beautiful contrasting colors, so vibrant.

I hope you all enjoyed and I hope I am well enough to blog about tea tomorrow. If not, anyone have any requests on subject matter?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Upton Tea Imports: Japanese Ku-Ki Ho-Ji Cha, A Tea Review

This cold...allergies...bronchitis...thing is really knocking me off my feet. I think I spent the majority of yesterday as an amorphous blob on the sofa trying to play Minecraft. And when it became too hard to focus on Minecraft I downed some PM Cold & Flu medicine and became an amorphous blob in my bed. I think I have spent the past month in one constant state of physical misery and would like to go on the record to say I would like a vacation from my body now. Good news though, we had our first freeze last night so if it is allergies that means they will calm down soon. Today I am reviewing a tea from my notebook because I cannot do a new tea justice with this sore of a throat.
You can tell this is older, I am outside!
Today's tea is a Japanese tea from Upton Tea Imports, one Ku-Ki Ho-Ji Cha, a hojicha that is made from kukicha (or as some might know better, twigs) and predictably roasted. I love hojicha (or houjicha) it is probably one of my favorite Japanese teas because it has a huge comforting effect for me. I first discovered it in the form of tea bags when I was recovering from gallbladder surgery and it was so soothing. It has become a go-to tea when I am under the weather or just in need of some liquid comforting. Holy Roasted Sticks, Batman! The aroma of this tea is intense, almost too intense. All I can smell is the intense roast aroma and no real nuances of the leaves (err, actually twigs) it is one of those kick in the face sort of aromas. I should point out it is pleasant, just make sure you sniff it from a distance. Consider yourself warned!

As to be expected introducing the twiglets to some hot water mellowed their aroma out a bit. There is still a strong roasted aroma but it is now joined by notes of earthiness and malt. There is also a very tiny hint of caramelized sugar that sneaks in as an afterthought and following it is a touch of astringency. The stick-less liquid is much the same as the steeped leaves, milder with an added sweetness to the aroma.

Points to Upton for having one of the strongest hojicha I have yet tried! I should point out that the flavor that is so strong is a sweet roast with only a tiny tiny hint of smoke. There is also an underlying taste of pine needles that leaves a lingering sweetness on the tongue. Imagine the distinctive taste of roasted marshmallows with only a quarter of the sweetness and a hint of pine needles and you have this tea. As the tea cools it takes on a slightly vegetal aftertaste similar to green beans. How does this compare to other hojicha? Well for one it is made from roasted twigs which seems to make it a touch sweeter and less vegetal than the typical roasted bancha leaves. I like it, I will keep it on my hojicha arsenal and certainly say it is among my favorites.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Red Leaf Tea: Caramel MATCHAccino, A Tea Review

You all probably know by now that I like trying new things, especially if they are unusual or outside of my comfort zone, especially when it comes to foods and drinks. When I was window shopping for new teas to try I ran across Red Leaf Tea a company that specializes in fancy flavored Matcha. I admit, I did a double take, flavored Matcha? I have never heard of that but I was immediately intrigued, especially when I saw the awesome sale the flavor I am reviewing today was having. I had to try it and see what I think about flavored Matcha.

Caramel MATCHAccino  is a fancy blend suitable for making Matcha Lattes (I admit I am a barbarian, this is my favorite way to drink Matcha) all I need was milk, ice, a blender, and whip cream. sadly I did not have any whip cream and I loathe ice in things (too cold, my teeth are super sensitive to that) so I just whipped up a milky blend. Before I get to the blending I should describe the aroma when I open the bag, and what an aroma it is! Intensely sweet caramel aroma just wafts up and gently slams you in the nose, and I say that as a compliment. With just the powder I do not smell much in the way of Matcha, just caramel sweetness.

Adding the milk and mixing it up the aroma becomes more like caramelized sugar rather than caramel candies, which I prefer actually. I had an incident when I was younger involving a tub of caramel sauce and just can not find the same pleasure as I once did. There is also more of a Matcha aroma as well, fresh and green and very distinctive. One of my favorite smells!

First I am going to try the drink cold since you can have it both ways (woohoo! versatility!) first thing I notice is creamy sweetness and then Bam! Matcha flavor! The taste is grassy and green and the caramel is like caramelized sugar. In fact I would say that this drink tastes like a Matcha flavored Flan! I need to make one of those now. I should also note that this drink feels really good on my sore throat.

Next is warm. I should apologize for the photo, I was a good ways into drinking it before I realized I forgot to take the blasted thing. The first thing I notice is that the aroma is much creamier and even more like a Flan. The taste is very rich and creamy, I would go so far as to say decadent. The taste of the Matcha is much more distinct and the sweetness takes on a burnt sugar taste and a bit of sugar cookies as well. I am not sure which of these versions I prefer since they are both really good! My first foray into flavored Matcha was a success and I am certainly intrigued to try some of my favorite flavors mixed with Matcha. Anyone want to take a guess at which flavor I am most likely to try next?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Yogi Tea: Honey Lavender Stress Relief: A Tea Review

I should apologize in advance, this blog post might not be as long as my usual ones since I am still feeling pretty under the weather. I still have my fingers crossed that it is just allergies and not the warning signs of Bronchitis, but regardless after I write this post I am going to curl up with a book and some warm honeyed water to soothe my throat. And then probably fall asleep face first in my book as I have been known to do on occasion.

Today I am reviewing an herbal blend by Yogi Tea, Honey Lavender Stress Relief to be exact. I am not stressed but a little bit of relaxation would certainly be nice. This tea is a blend of Rooibos, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Spearmint, Lemongrass, Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon Myrtle, Sage, Passion Flower Extract, Stevia Leaf, and Natural and Organic flavorings. The aroma is sweet and minty with delicate undertones of lavender. The tea is only a touch floral and an even smaller hint of grass, there are also bright wisps of lemon balm. To me the aroma is very wintry, like when a novel describes the air as smelling like winter I imagine it being a mix of mint, lavender, and citrus with a hint of sweetness, clean and bright.

As it steeps (and we get to see what neat little phrase is on the bag tag) the aroma is still fairly sweet but it takes on notes of vanilla. There are also grassy and herbaceous notes and of course a hint of floral. But what about the mint you are asking, no worries, it is still there but it has calmed down a good bit allowing other aromas to pop through.

The taste of this tea is sweet and mild, the sweetness is like vanilla, I am assuming it is from the Rooibos since it has that mild earthiness to it. There are also notes of floral and grass with a hint of herbaceous flavors. As it cools it becomes mintier and sweeter. This tea is very soothing for a sore throat and clears up my chest a bit (oh mint, you are so powerful) I do wish the lavender was a bit stronger and less of an afterthought since with a name like "Honey Lavender" I expect it to be one of the main flavors. Taste not matching up to the name aside, I feel relaxed and this tea tastes good. Time for lounging under a pile of fuzzy blankets and cats.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Raizana Teas: PureTea: A Tea Review

Today I was woken up around 4 AM coughing up a lung, hopefully that means that allergy season has started and not that I am developing another lung infection. As annoying as that was the lungs have a silver lining...wait...what I mean is I got to play Minecraft for the first time in almost a month and I got to try out the fancy new Nature texture pack, very lovely new Skeletons. I also was gifted with a nice new teacup, a new journal since I filled my other one up (sadly it is not as fancy, but it was only 50 cents) new boots, and Indian food. Even though I feel icky I have had a good day. Today I am going to review a nice herbal tisane, hooray!

PureTea by Raizana Teas was one of those instant 'I have to try this tea' the moment I saw it, the reason why is because it is formulated to detox the liver and aid in gallbladder health. I do not have a gallbladder, sadly about six years ago it up and died but my liver misses it and just does not know what to do with all its bile (the gall of some organs) so eating can cause it to freak out sometimes. The magical ingredients in this tea are Rooibos, Indian Sarsaparilla Root, Roasted Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, Milk Thistle, Stevia, Mango Flavors, and Chicory, all herbs that are supposed to be good at detox and gallbladder health. The aroma of this tea is sweet and very pleasantly herbal, I am always pleased when a medicinal tea actually smells like something worth consuming. It blends the leafy, earthy, and slightly bitter root aromas with a fruity tropical sweetness for  really intriguing and clean smelling dry leaves.

Time to break in my nice new teacup! Once brewed the aroma of the Rooibos is much stronger, very earthy with a touch of sweet citrus. There is, of course, a strong herbaceous aroma that blends really well with the Rooibos earthiness. The liquid has creamy sweet notes which are a bit mouthwatering, also strong herbaceous notes. The aroma is a mix between a medicinal tea and a dessert tea, if only all medicine smelled so good.

Well, I can certainly say this is one of the best tasting medicinal teas I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. The flavor is a mix of tropical fruit (more papaya than mango) sweetness and Rooibos earthiness with a hint of fresh leaves. There is none of that bitter taste that a lot of medicinal teas have, it is a tea I can see myself drinking for pleasure and not just because I need it for health reasons. As the tea cools it takes on a honey sweetness as well. But with medicinal teas taste is not everything, how I feel is also important. The first thing I notice is my insides feel cooled, similar to the cooling effect of mint tea, it also seems to have a mild expectorant quality since my chest seems to be loosening up. I do not feel as 'heavy' as I had been feeling lately, my body feels cleaner, it also seems to be a mild diuretic so detoxing seems to be happening. I think I am going to have to add this as a daily tea since I also read that Indian Sarsaparilla is supposed to help with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriasis. If I am really lucky this tea will combat bile dumps after eating too, I guess I need to eat a really fatty meal and drink this tea immediately to find out.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Single Origin Teas: White Monkey Chinese Green, A Tea Review

I have learned something very important the last two mornings, Nitrous Oxide (or Laughing Gas to some) is a god-send when you are having a ton of Dental work done. Especially when your body decides to have a panic attack for no reason (I blame my sleep schedule flipping back to diurnal and resulting insomnia). As soon as I found out that it was free I was hooked up and drifting off, thanks to that I was able to have all my bottom teeth fixed and only have one more visit left. Mad props to my dentist for knowing how to deal with a patient who has TMJ Disorder and Sjogren's syndrome, it is nice to have all the work I put into my mouth recognized and that all the problems I have are not a result of poor hygiene. I am very happy that I can smile with pride and eat without tons of pain. But enough about my mouth, I have tea to review! Today's tea is one of my favorites from a company I am becoming rather enamored of with each of their teas I try.
So pretty!!
White Monkey Chinese Green from Single Origin Teas is a delightfully fuzzy tea. I reviewed a different White Monkey at the end of September and spent a large chunk of the review waxing poetically about Trichomes and how entertainingly diverse this type of tea is, I do really enjoy fuzzy teas. White Monkey fascinates me because it seems to have its velvety leaves straddling two worlds bringing the best characteristics of White Tea to a Green Tea. The aroma of this particular White Monkey has a touch of citrus sweetness that mixes with a paper like aroma I always associate with Pai Mu Dan. Yes, I said paper, trust me this is a huge compliment because I love the smell of paper, especially artisan Washi which is what I think some White Teas smell like. There are also very subtle notes of cedar and and fresh greenery.
Farewell fuzz, hello green!
It is time for the leaves to lose their fuzz and steep! The aroma of the steeping leaves is delightfully complex blending the delicate sweetness of citrus with artichoke and fresh greenery. The leaves lose their papery aroma and take on a more vegetal tone expected from a Green Tea. Once the leaves are removed the aroma of the liquid is sweet and vegetal mixing chestnuts and fresh spinach with a tiny note of green beans. The aroma of this tea is drool worthy, not just because the right side of my face is still numb, I promise.
My computer wanted to be featured in this photo
I have fuzzies in my mouth, I love trichomes so much, they really are so wonderful. I have heard some people (my mother for example) say that the trichomes in tea are a bit much and make you cough but I have never had this problem, the only problem with fuzzy teas I have ever noticed is sometimes it makes my mouth itch just a little. The taste is initially savory, blending artichoke with a hint of spinach. The aftertaste is honey sweet with a little bit of an orange blossom sweetness lingering in the back of the mouth for a few moments. As the tea cools it takes on more of a chestnut taste. I decided to give this tea a second steeping and noticed that it has even richer, the mouthfeel becomes buttery and the chestnut taste is much more prominent. I would have taken a photo of the slightly paler second steep, but I forgot to not drink it all first, whoops! I really enjoyed this tea, it is subtle and refreshing, a tea I wish to sip while sitting outside on a spring day or with a delicate dessert. Now, if you will all excuse me, I am going to go brew up some more of it!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Tearanny & Adagio Teas: Friendly Fire, A Tea Review

You all might remember about two weeks ago a little post surgery blog that I posted touting the beauties of Adagio Tea's signature blend function allowing talented people and devoted fans to create their own tea blends. You might also remember that I reviewed the first of three work in progress teas, The People's Blend and was thoroughly impressed by the blending skills of The Tearanny, well today we are back to review tea number two. I feel like I should apologize to The Tearanny, last tea I reviewed while on Vicodin and this one when I am slammed with insomnia and allergies, I promise when I write about the next one I won't be brain frazzled (or at least not more than usual!)
Spoilers: I need a better light source
Be prepared to be hit by some Friendly Fire by The Tearanny! An unusual blend of Pomegranate Green, Spearmint, Sour Apple, and Hibiscus inclusions, that sounds kinda crazy but also very intriguing. I think in the past I have made it very well known that I do not like tart things, it makes my salivary glands scream obscenities at me, I think it is because I overdosed on Warheads and Zotz as a kid, so I am a little worried that I won't like this tea because it has some killer tart ingredients. The aroma, not surprising at all, is very tart but also really sweet, similar to the way fresh rose hips smell. Or like a pomegranate (which is, I should add, one of the only tart fruits I actively enjoy). There is of course mint but it does not come and slap you in the face which each sniff, it just waves hello from amid the fruity tartness. This tea smells really good and does not scare me off with its tartness because it is balanced with fruity sweetness and mint. No longer intrigued but excited.
I see soggy flower petals!
The leaves are bathing and filling my little tasting area (which might be changing soon) with the sweet and bright aroma of spearmint. Once I remove them from their soak the leaves have the aroma of spearmint and apple, it very much so reminds me of a toothpaste I had when I was a wee little thing. The liquid has a sweeter aroma of fresh apples and pomegranate and very little mint. I am sitting here sniffing the steeped leaves and the brewed tea and they have two different aromas, almost like they came from two separate places. That is really fun when that happens, proving that tea can be very unpredictable.
I hope my new tea tasting location has better light
Holly Molly! My salivary glands just exploded from pomegranate tartness. The aftertaste is very sweet and the mint is just a hint. I felt like the mint was a friend who shows up at your house when you are sick with fresh soup, a very pleasant surprise that just sneaks in amid the sweet and tart. I was curious what happens when I add a little bit of sugar and doing so eases the tartness (just like putting sugar on a strawberry would) and brings out the apple flavor that had been hiding before. This tea is intense but also really well balanced, I am amazed at how well these flavors work together because I would have never thought to mix them up. All I can say is, Sir, you have some mad skills in the brewing department. Even though there was the initial salivary explosion I really enjoyed the flavor, I would definitely drink this tea again.
Thank you Sheena for taking photos of the calender! 
**Important note! The last few years I have given my friends and family a Tea Advent Calender and each year I add a new person to the list and since I am making them anyway I thought I might offer them for sale. Being an Advent Calender that means each day you get a new tea, either a tea bag or a nice little bag of loose tea, enough to make a cup (or in the case of Oolongs, at least two). Each day will have a nice handmade Origami envelope with a surprise tea goodness inside, except on Christmas where I usually include more than one. If you want to purchase one, it will be $20 (that includes shipping for the US, if you are outside the US it will be $25) and you need to place your order by Halloween since I would like to have these in the mail by November 15-18th.**