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No. 23 Kandy Black Tea from Steven Smith Teamaker

SororiTEA Sisters - 2 hours 12 min ago
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Steven Smith Teamaker

Tea Description:

Named after one of the most beautiful cities in Sri Lanka, Kandy brings together full and flavory Dimbulla with highly aromatic and intense Uva and lightly scented high-grown Nuwara Eliya. A tea made for sipping with pleasure all day.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I got Kandy no.23 black tea from a friend recently, and with the recent news of Steven Smith himself passing I wanted to pay homage to him by drinking one of his creations. He had many successful companies, one you might have heard of too. If anyone has had any of Tazo’s teas while they were still at Starbucks, raise you hand. If you want to read more about his legacy, there is a great article here.

Kandy is a blend of three different Ceylon teas. I’m going to disappoint anyone who thinks that this tea is going to tastes like actual candy; this tea is named after a city in Sri Lanka, not after a sweet treat. However, I am convinced that there is something sweet about this tea. In the large square sachet, smells of malted milk balls and raisinets waft into my nose. Smells like classic movie theater candy. Yum. Let’s get this started!

Now, I am not one to follow directions on packages, but reading the one on the outside of the sachet I just had to pay attention. The directions are as follows:

“Bring filtered water to a roiling boil. Steep 5 minutes, while googling the ornate Palace of the Sacred Tooth.”

Now you have my attention.

So google I did. According to Wikipedia, The Temple of the Tooth is a Buddhist temple in Kandy, Sri Lanka. In that temple is contained the sacred tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because whoever holds the tooth holds the governing power of the country. Kandy was the last capital of Sri Lanka, so it gets the tooth. Huh. Quite a history lesson for my daily cuppa.

Whilst ruminating on this, I sipped this tea in silence. I got the classic malt notes, as well as bright citrus and raisin notes. It’s smooth without having any trace of astringency. While this is not the most interesting and unique blend on the market today, there is something just so nostalgic about black tea from India and Sri Lanka. It tastes like a hot summer day with a refreshing cup of sweetened sun tea with lemon. It’s a cool rainy morning with a dash of milk. This would make for a great daily drinker for anyone who loves the mellow yet rich profiles of Ceylon teas.

The thing I like the most about this tea is the history that this company wants you to know about this tea. I really enjoy getting to know everything I can about the leaves in my cup. What are it’s hobbies? What music is it into? Is it named after a city who is famous for owning a tooth? This tea demands to be understood. And Steven Smith Tea maker is sure to get it’s point across.

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Friday Round Up: March 19th - March 25th

Tea For Me Please - Sat, 04/25/2015 - 03:43
2011 Braided Sheng Pu'er  Tea Review +Charissa Gascho has a knack for finding the most unsual teas on Aliexpress. That site is a bit of a crapshoot but this cake was pretty unique. I've never seen leaves that are braided like that. Anyone know how that would affect aging? Wymm Tea's Menghai Wangshuji Shou Seventh Grade 2008 I really enjoy +Rah Rah's thorough reviews, especially the detailed Nicole Martinhttps://plus.google.com/103097147251455801975noreply@blogger.com0

Tea Service

The Devotea - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 23:37

“I know the nicest thing I ever had on the Kokoda Trail was a cup of tea given to me by the Salvation Army. And I hated tea that never had milk or sugar in it; this didn’t have any in it and I loved it, I wanted more. I had half a cup, that’s […]

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Chocolate & Strawberry Puerh from Lupicia

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 22:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Puerh

Where to Buy:  Lupicia

Tea Description:

Decadent with chocolate on the nose, finishing with the juicy tart flavor of ripe strawberries. The rich flavors of puer tea and chocolate also work wonderfully with milk.

Learn more about this tea here.  Taster’s Review:

I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest fan of puerh. It’s one of those teas that my tastebuds can’t seem to enjoy. Most of the puerh teas I’ve tried seemed too dusty, earthy and the very worst, fishy! I’ve personally found that there are so many teas out there that I enjoy more so I haven’t gone out of my way to find puerh. I have high hopes for this blend, though, as it’s supposed to have notes of chocolate and strawberry. Lupicia does fruit flavoring quite well, in my experience, so I bet this will be a tasty cup.

Ooh, this is lovely! The beginning of the sip offers a strong chocolate flavor and a bright strawberry. It reminds me a little bit of a melted chocolate bar with strawberry jam. How delicious! The puerh is actually so far in the background that I can’t truly taste it. I suppose it does come out at the end of the sip as something a bit dry and dark. If I gulp the tea, the puerh does become more present. This is where the blend falls flat.. but only because I don’t like puerh. Hah! The tea base does work with the flavorings, though.

I recommend this tea for anyone who loves the combination of strawberry and chocolate. Lupicia could not have made a more perfect blend of the two. Those who enjoy puerh might be a little disappointed as it’s not terribly strong, but really.. it’s all about the chocolate and strawberry!

The post Chocolate & Strawberry Puerh from Lupicia appeared first on SororiTea Sisters.

Tea in the park

A Tea Addict's Journal - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 16:45

At most parks of a decent size in China you’ll find teahouses. These are places where you can sit down and have a cup of tea, and they are, more likely than not, going to have a menu that looks like this


The choices are basically six different grades of green tea, one oolong, one tieguanyin, five floral teas, and one (probably cooked) puerh. You’ll see that prices are quoted in either per cup or per pot, and they are in RMB – not very cheap, by any means. The cheapest and the most expensive are both green teas, and the ones that are 48 are all the non-greens.

The best choice at places like this is actually bring your own tea – you can, for the unlisted price of 10 RMB, just buy hot water and a seat, basically, and use your own leaves. Or, if like me, you didn’t have the tea with you, well, there’s always this

Green is by far the safest choice. This was a mid-priced one. If you go low the tea is going to be a bit nasty. Paying $10 USD for a glass of tea with like 3g of leaves is a bit rich, and is a bit of a waste. Then again, their profit margins on these things are sky high regardless. I’m pretty sure the entire cake of cooked puerh probably costs as much as one order here. I wouldn’t touch those with a ten foot pole.

Old people usually frequent these, and people can sit for hours, getting free water refills that come in these giant thermos

Once you settle in though, it’s beautiful, especially if you’ve got a nice view. At the end of the day, the tea is not the point, the time spent in a park is. Sipping tea, talking with friends, watching the scenery – it’s an afternoon well spent.


Cinnamon Wu-Long Tea from Shang Tea

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 16:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Shang Tea

Tea Description:

This release of our cinnamon wu-long is sure to be one of your favorite teas! Comprised of our finest 2010 white tea wu-long and carefully selected, organic cinnamon bark, this tea accentuates the natural cinnamon notes in the wu-long while maintaining the sweet, butternut and acorn squash flavors of the tea leaves.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about the MidWest Tea Fest here.

Taster’s Review:

When I was approached by one of the organizers of the MidWest Tea Fest to review some teas from companies that would be at the festival, I was excited!  Not only was it an opportunity to try some more tea (I’m always eager to do that!) but it was also about the festival itself.  I am so happy when I see events like this happen for tea.  I feel like there is so much misinformation out there about tea, so many people with uninformed views about tea that maybe events like this one can help to better inform and educate people about the greatness of TEA!

So, when I was presented with a list of different teas that I could try and I saw this Cinnamon Wu-Long Tea from Shang Tea on the list, I believe it was the first one that I asked for!  Shang Tea is a company that I haven’t tried teas from in a while but it is a company that stands out in my memory for wonderful teas like their Bai Lin Kung Fu Red and Jasmine Snow Dragon – just to name a couple!  And if memory serves me correctly, I believe it was my experience with Shang Tea’s jasmine white teas that helped me to realize that while I do love a great jasmine green tea – a jasmine white tea is even better!

Even though this Cinnamon Wu-Long is a blend of Oolong and Cinnamon, I decided to go ahead and brew it the way I would a pure Oolong – in my gaiwan!  This is a darker Oolong, looking almost like an Oriental Beauty type of Oolong, even though the description suggests a gentle fermentation process.  The leaves were almost the same color as the cinnamon bark pieces, so much so that I found it a little difficult to distinguish between the two!

After a 15 second rinse, I steeped the first infusion for 45 seconds and the second infusion for 1 minute.  I combined both of these infusions into one cup and sat back to enjoy the splendid flavors!

What a lovely combination – the cinnamon is well-defined but not overpowering.  Very often, cinnamon can overwhelm a tea but Shang Tea was careful when blending this tea to make sure that wouldn’t happen.  I get a nice, gentle warmth and touch of spice from the cinnamon and I taste the sweet, fruit-like notes of the Oolong.  I like the way these two flavors taste together.

The Oolong tea has an almost ‘peach-like’ flavor and with the cinnamon, it tastes a little bit like a bowl of fresh peach slices that have been lightly sprinkled with ground cinnamon.  Nice!  By the time I got halfway through the cup, I started to pick up on some more savory notes:  notes of roasted squash and just a hint of pepper, just as the description suggests.  I could even taste the faintest note of a nutty flavor.  Imagine toasted walnuts mixed into that roasted squash with a hint of pepper.  Quite intriguing!

My second cup (infusions 3 and 4) was even nicer than the first.  It is here where the savory notes of squash are really strong.  It tastes a lot like when I roast an acorn squash with a little bit of butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper and finish it with a dash of cinnamon.  I’m not getting as much of an obvious peach note, but the aftertaste is much more peach-like.

The tea is a compelling taste of sweet and savory with an emphasis on the savory.  This tea reminds me a lot of autumn, specifically of Thanksgiving!  This tastes like my squash side dish but maybe just a little nicer, because a) it’s tea; and b) I didn’t have to bake it for 45 minutes and scoop out the flesh of the squash from the hot outer shell.  That is my least favorite part of squash.  I love to eat the stuff but I don’t like scooping it out of the shell after it’s been baked.

A really lovely and unusual tea experience – this Cinnamon Wu-Long.  This is something I’d recommend to all Oolong enthusiasts – it’s different yet familiar … and it’s also quite YUM!

And if you’re in the Midwest, do make it a point to check out the Midwest Tea Fest!  Even if you aren’t in the Midwest, I still hope you can make it to the festival!  It’s a really great opportunity for you to check out and become familiar with some top-notch vendors and even purchase some tea and tea ware as well as become better informed about tea through their educational presentations and TASTE some incredible teas!  Sounds amazing to me!

Follow the MidWest Tea Fest on Facebook

follow them on Twitter here.

Check out their Tumblr here!

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Friday Round Up: April 19th - April 25th

Tea For Me Please - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 16:00
Country of Origin: Leaf Appearance: Ingredients: Steep time: Water Temperature: Preparation Method: Liquor: You can find out more about this tea here. { "@context" : "http://schema.org", "@type" : "Review", "name" : "title", "author" : { "@type" : "Person", "name" : "Nicole Martin" }, "datePublished" : "date", "image" : "image url", "itemReviewed" : "item", "Nicole Martinhttps://plus.google.com/103097147251455801975noreply@blogger.com0

Pu’er: why picking season matters

T Ching - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 12:03

Lets keep it simple. There are three different kinds of Pu’er Tea:

  1. Raw Pu’er Tea (purest form and the only tea we offer)
  2. Aged Raw Pu’er (Pu’er that has been naturally aged for years)
  3. Ripe Pu’er Tea (tea that may or may not be old but is artificially aged and is much darker in color).
There is much to be said and learned about each of these, and we encourage you to; however, within the category of Raw Pu’er there is two subcategories that are very rarely discussed: Spring and Autumn.

The season in which any tea is picked greatly determines its taste, look, and value. Many of the World’s famous teas are prized for the Spring harvest, Pu’er is not to be excluded. Spring Pu’er is picked for about three months usually beginning in late January or early February, depending on the region. Autumn is generally picked beginning around September.

Spring Pu’er is known for its smooth and mellow flavor, usually not nearly as bold as a great Autumn Pu’er. The leaves are generally smaller, as they are new to the tree/bush, and after sitting dormant over the winter, sprout with a tremendous amount of vibrant energy and usually caffeine is more noticeable in this tea. Depending on how early or late in Spring, the rainfall rate will effect the growth rate which effects the amount of nutrients that had time to build up in the leaves. The flavor is very refreshing and the feeling is vibrant.

Autumn Pu’er is known for its bolder flavors and reminiscent of a stone-fruit or earthy taste. The rainy season is coming to a close and the leaves grow large and sit on the branch collecting flavor and depth. The energy is much more comforting  and the taste is sweet and smooth. The color is more amber-like as opposed to the bright green of a Spring Pu’er.

Think of it as the difference between Easter and Thanksgiving. During Easter we have flowers just blossoming onto the fruit trees and the weather is cooler and more floral of a feeling, so the tea has notes of those blossoms. In Thanksgiving, we have much bolder and darker colors and the flower that was once on the tree has turned into fruit and the weather is warmer and more comforting. The teas of this seasons are just that, warmer and bolder, tasting more like fruit than like flower. The difference is subtle but certainly noticeable.

Available now is a limited supply of Spring Pu’er from the Same Family and Same Farm as always. Many, in fact most, Pu’er available through others is blended. There is no idea of whether it is Spring or Autumn, or maybe even Winter or Summer(which is usually the teas sent off to factories that produce Ripe Pu’er. If the season and the year are not given, maybe its time to start asking questions.

Thank you so very much for being a part of educating and exploring this world of Pu’er Tea with us. Let us all continue to drink Pu’er and learn more about teas, and about life.


This post is reprinted with permission from Misty Peak Teas.  Loading and post image courtesy of Misty Peak Teas.



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Mojave Desert Prickly Pear Tea by Mountain Witch Tea Company

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 10:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Mountain Witch Tea Company

Tea Description:

Quench your thirst with our special prickly pear tea blend. We infused our finest black tea with the flavor of Mojave Desert prickly pear for a delicious & unusual tea. Made with our best black tea, natural & artificial flavors, marigold & safflower petals, citric acid.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I can’t say that I’ve ever had anything like this one before.  I’m not sure what Prickly Pear is supposed to taste like so I did some research and it from what I can gather it is supposed to taste similar to watermelon with a slight bite like kiwi fruit.  I’m not sure if that is what I’m tasting but this is really good!

Another offering from the Mountain Witch tea Company and I am impressed.  So far I’ve had three or four of their teas and they all seem to have a nice fresh crisp taste to them without having the artificial flavoring chemical taste.  I can’t say this is one of my favorites of theirs but it makes an amazing cup of iced tea!

The tea itself has a sweet yet tangy flavor to it.  I don’t pick up any kind of black tea base.  I do pick up a melon like flavor that has hints of a peach or apricot flavor with a side note of honey.  I know, it sounds really different but the flavors work.   The description says that it is a unusual tea and I agree with that. This is a great light tea for the spring/summer months. The dry leaves have a peach and honey like aroma to them.  I would love a candle that smells exactly like these tea leaves.

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Lemon Meringue Mao Zhen Hair Needle Green Tea from 52Teas

SororiTEA Sisters - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 03:59
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Wow, that’s a mouthful. And this tea is a mouthful of deliciousness. This organic Chinese green tea is sweet with just a hint of almost salmon-like butteriness. I’ve paired it with lemon verbena, marshmallow roots and lemon-, marshmallow- and pastry- organic flavors. Be prepared to have your socks knocked off with this one..

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was excited when I saw the announcement for this Lemon Meringue Mao Zhen Hair Needle Green Tea as the tea of the week for March 23rd from 52Teas!  I love Lemon Meringue Pie!  And I got even more excited after I read our SororiTea Sister Nichole’s review of this tea.  I really couldn’t wait until I was able to find the time to sit back and enjoy this tea!

My first sip or two of this tea were not as impressive as the rest of the cup for me.  I took those first couple of sips when the tea was still very hot because to be honest, I couldn’t wait to try it.  I mean, hello?  Lemon Meringue?  I want!

But the tea hadn’t cooled enough yet for the flavors to really emerge the way they began to after a few more minutes of cool time.  After about six or seven minutes, the flavors really began to establish themselves in the cup.  Now I can taste the tangy lemon notes – imagine lemon curd but not the lemon curd you’d buy on the grocery store shelves!  Think to a homemade lemon curd or even to your (insert name of baking relative here)’s lemony filling for their lemon meringue pie.  That’s the lemon flavor I’m talking about!  It’s bright and sunny and vibrantly lemon-y, but not so tart that I’m puckering.  There’s enough sweetness to the ‘filling’ taste that I’m getting a strong, assertive lemon-y flavor but I’m not puckering as if I just bit into a lemon wedge.

After the lemon note, I taste the fluffy marshmallow notes that mimic the sweet, creamy meringue flavor and even a hint of buttery pie pastry.  Delicious!

And I’m happy to say that the green tea flavor isn’t lost in this tea.  I taste grassy, vegetal notes from the green tea.  Instead of “melding” or “marrying” with the lemon meringue pie flavors to create a unified flavor, this tea tastes very much to me like lemon meringue pie + green tea.  It tastes like a nice balance of the two and I like the way I’m getting a slightly savory flavor from the green tea that contrasts with the sweet, dessert-like flavor of the lemon meringue pie.

The second infusion was even nicer than the first, because the lemon tones down just a little (still a very lemon-y tea!) and the green tea has become a silkier, smoother taste with a hint of creaminess that works beautifully with the marshmallow notes.

A really delightful tea.  I think this particular tea is best served hot.  Not piping hot like my first couple of sips were, but after it’s cooled a few minutes so that the flavors can develop but before it becomes cold to the point that it’s like iced tea.  I find that the flavors become a little more muddied when the tea becomes cold.  So drink it while it’s hot and it’ll be like you’re eating a piece of your favorite lemon meringue pie but without the fat and calories!

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Green Rooibos from M&K’s Tea Co

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 22:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal.

Where to Buy: M&K’s Tea Co

Tea Description:

The non-oxidized, green counterpart to the redbush rooibos you may have heard everyone talking about! Less red, more green, less autumn, more spring! Green rooibos tastes much more vegetal and refreshing and less robust than regular rooibos. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The weather is getting warmer and the spring bug is starting to set in.  I’ve noticed that my iced tea intake has gone way up.  My kids have the bug too.  Everyday they ask me if they HAVE to go to school.  My five year old who goes to a pre-K program has already declared himself as being done with learning and school.  I had to inform him that he has many years ahead of him and that next year he will be going all day next year versus the half day he currently goes now.

This tea reminds me of springtime.  The dry leaves smell very vegetal and have a hay/grass like smell to them.  Brewed up (212F-3tbsp-5 minutes in my Breville-then poured into a tumbler of ice) this is honey goodness.

Beautifully done. Smooth and honey like. A well done yet simple tea.  I’m not picking up any kind of vegetal flavor like the description had said.  That is fine with me.  This hit the spot.  Just wish I would have brought more along with me. I could drink this all day. Yum!

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Matcha from Chiang Rai Tea House

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 16:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green (Matcha)

Where to Buy:  Chiang Rai Tea House

Tea Description:

Matcha -green tea powder- is an antioxidant powerhouse (ORAC rating of 1,300 units/gram compared to 105 units/gram for pomegranates) and its list of health benefits goes on and on -fights viruses and bacteria, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar, L-Theanine relaxes and supports concentration, boosts metabolism and burns calories, contains the unique and powerful antioxidant catechin EGCg.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Matcha.  And even though it’s been a little while since I’ve written about Matcha, that doesn’t mean that it’s been a while since I’ve consumed it.  I try to drink a bowl of Matcha (or do a cold-water shake-up of Matcha in my water bottle) at least every other day.  Occasionally, I might skip a day or two, but, I do try to drink it regularly – the stuff is magical!  It’s not only tasty but it also makes me feel so good after I’ve had it.  It’s one of the most revitalizing, energizing and spiritually uplifting teas I know of.

So, I was really intrigued when Chiang Rai Tea House sent me some of their Matcha to try.  Traditionally, Matcha is a Japanese tea, but the tea that was ground into this powdered green tea is from Thailand.  So, I was interested to find out if it would be different from the traditional Matcha.

The color in this photo is brighter than the color of the tea in the package I received.

The dry powder is not the vivid Apple Green that you’d find with most top quality Matcha teas from Japan.  This tea was more like an Army Green color.  Kind of drab and dull.  This worried me because it’s been my experience that when it comes to Matcha, the color is very telling of what I’ll be tasting.

But, I’m going to try it and see how it goes.  I measured out some of the Matcha into my sifter and sifted into my Chawan and added hot water (160°F) and whisked the Matcha with my Chasen.  The Matcha incorporated quickly.  There was some froth to the prepared Matcha but it disappeared as quickly as it formed.

On their webpage, Chiang Rai Tea House says this about their Matcha:

We are particularly proud of our matcha, which we honestly believe can rival any Japanese matcha. This is a high-grade, 100% pure green tea powder made following strict guidelines. It has a smooth texture, a sweet aftertaste and an intense flavor, without the bitterness characteristic of lesser matchas.

I don’t know if this can rival any Japanese Matcha, but I will say that it’s better than some of the lower quality Japanese Matcha that I’ve tried.  It is smooth and sweet.  I’m not getting any of the bitterness or even the bitter-sweet notes that I’d taste from a lesser quality Matcha from Japan.  I’m actually quite surprised by that – because I expected this to taste a lot like that!  I expected this to taste like some of those average or even less-than-average Matcha teas that I’ve tried over the years.

This has a strong flavor that is a lightly buttery and there are pleasant notes of cacao.  It’s smooth and even though there were a couple of chalky moments, overall, I find this to be a very tasty Matcha.  The powder remained suspended in the liquid and didn’t settle to the bottom which was a big bonus as far as I’m concerned.  I liked that the consistency of the tea remained the same from the first sip to the last.

Overall, this was a pleasant Matcha experience.  This isn’t the best Matcha that I’ve ever tried, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.  If you’re someone who drinks Matcha daily and is looking for a good alternative to the average Matcha, try this.  This has a very pleasant flavor that I don’t always find in the average Matcha.

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Everlasting Teas Mr. Su's Experimental Black

Tea For Me Please - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 16:00
Country of Origin: Taiwan Leaf Appearance: dark, long and twisted Ingredients: black tea Steep time: 30 seconds Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: reddish amber I couldn't resist picking up some of this tea at the New York Coffee and Tea Festival. It turns out that it's experimental because a farmer who usually makes oolong tried his hand at making a Nicole Martinhttps://plus.google.com/103097147251455801975noreply@blogger.com0

The specialty tea manifesto

T Ching - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 12:05

The tea industry is a fifty billion dollar a year business whose fastest growing sector is called ‘Specialty Tea.’ ‘Specialty Tea.’ must be defined to establish value and give meaning to the term.

There are no set standards for excellence in the global tea industry. Merchants, both in the past and now, have been able to get away with defining quality through marketing.  This interpretive and loose value system has not benefitted producers, consumers, or small tea businesses.

The International Specialty Tea Association will strive to establish quality standards in tea making. The Specialty Tea Association will create an unbiased process for judging tea quality. This will result in the best teas setting the bar for standards of excellence, which will thereby define ‘Specialty Tea.’ The evaluating system will be easily understandable and learnable industry-wide and will be made available to the public.

Standards must be established to preserve the art of making tea and will guarantee a stabilized market whose focus and intent is on providing quality products to the consumer. The value of tea will then be determined by its production rather than how it is marketed. This will increase profits to producers and the people they employ. Standards will provide the platform on which small businesses can compete with the corporate tea companies that dominate the global market, and consumers will be able to recognize product value independent of marketing claims. Standards will cause getter transparency in the supply chain, and a better educated industry.

Learn more at Seven Cups. 

Loading Image:            Image 1:

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Dragon Lychee Pearls Black Tea from Tealyra

SororiTEA Sisters - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 10:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Tealyra

Tea Description:

Well rounded, sweet, mellow and flavorsome, our Lychee tea is an exotic and enticing taste sensation! Ripe, fruity and aromatic, Lychee is delicious either served hot, or chilled and served over ice with a sprig of mint or a slice of lemon.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have some fond memories of lychee throughout my childhood, and these Dragon Lychee Pearls from Tealyra (known to my Canadian friends as Tealux) intrigued me, and for the price, I figured it couldn’t hurt.

I decided to take this to work with me, but conveniently forgot to bring any type of brewing vessel along with it. No problem! This type of tea is perfect for Grandpa Style brewing. Any kind of tea rolled into balls, cones or compressed into coins, bird nests, or squares make excellent lazy brew teas. It’s these types of visually entertaining teas that I like to show off to my coworkers. sure most of them think that there is some kind of sea urchin living at the bottom of my cup, but hey, it gets them talking about tea! I threw in 6 little pellets of deliciously scented black tea into a pint glass and poured hot water over it. It didn’t look like that much tea in the glass, but the flavor was not lacking in that department.

The fruit flavoring is pretty true to a fresh, juicy lychee. It’s exactly like any lychee jelly candy you can pick up at your local Asian market. The black tea base is lighter than I was expecting, but I still get that nice, fresh baked bread and cocoa powder notes I was hoping for. The leaves popped open almost immediately after I doused them in water, revealing long and sturdy brown leaves. I was able to refill my glass three times before the leaves gave up the ghost.

This was a great tea that takes to any method of preparation really well. I liked how the tart perfume of the lychee notes persist through many steepings, and the base black tea is mellow but defined. I’m hard pressed to find a better lychee tea, and this is the most unique one yet. This tea is like entertainment for your mouth!

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Summer Solstice Herbal Tea from Tealux

SororiTEA Sisters - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 22:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Tealux

Tea Description:

Summer solstice is the name for the mythical night of the 21st of June ‘ the shortest night of the year. Midsummer is often described as a pause in-between a change in nature and provides us with the opportunity to pause for a moment in order to align ourselves with the energy changes of the natural forces. We have united the taste of ripe sun fruits and fresh herbs with the Swedish midsummer tradition of blossoms, in order to keep the rays of sun a little while longer in your cup.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s not quite the Summer Solstice yet, but the weather is definitely getting warmer! Perhaps that’s why this particular blend really spoke to me today. It’s hard to tell from the description exactly what you’re going to get, so I jumped right in and brewed up a cup. The first thing of note is the size of the fruit pieces contained in this blend. There are whole raspberries, generous slices of freeze-dried strawberry, and large pieces of apple, pineapple and papaya (about 1 inch square.) There are smaller pieces of hibiscus, small flakes of nettle leaves, and a scattering of sunflower blossoms. The blend as a whole is bright and colourful – very summery-looking. It smells quite rich and fruity, rather in the manner of fruit cake.

I used approximately 2 tsp of leaf, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. It’s by no means easy to measure, due to the large leaf size, but I did my best! The resulting liquor is golden brown, and the scent is mildly fruity – I’m picking up blackberry and coconut primarily.

To taste, the raspberry and strawberry are a lot more prominent than I thought they might be. They’re juicy and natural-tasting, sweet initially and then a little tart. The more “tropical” flavours develop in the mid-sip; a lot of coconut, a hint of pineapple, and a slight pepperiness from the papaya. It’s a slightly odd combination, like two halves of two different teas have been unexpectedly brought together. It’s not unpleasant, but the transition from summer berries to tropical fruit is a little jarring. The fruit flavours linger well into the aftertaste, and I can detect a splash of blackberry at this point. It’s tart and a little sour, but again incredibly juicy, and I could see this working well with the initial strawberry/raspberry combination. Somehow, though, it’s not quite what I wanted after the tropical explosion that preceded it.

I quite like this one, purely for it’s accurate fruit flavours and sheer juciness. It’s a great thirst quencher on a warm day. I would have preferred it to be either berry or tropical, though, rather than both. The two flavour sets aren’t a brilliant match to begin with, and nothing is gained when they have to compete with each other for dominance. Still, it’s a pleasing cup on the whole, and I can imagine it working well iced in the warmer months to come.

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Dragon’s Dream Tea (Signature Blend) by Adagio Teas

SororiTEA Sisters - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 16:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green, Black

Where to Buy: Adagio Teas

Tea Description:

In the lair, a dragon dreams sweet, sweet dreams of glittering treasure, ponies, and those who lurk. And destruction. This warm and spicy brew is full of musical depth and fire.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The other day I walked in my living room to see my boyfriend had the second Hobbit on TV. . .again. . for the 10th time. . and I of course had to watch right along with him.  My 9 year old son came in a little after and he was also drawn in to the movie.  He had never seen it before so it was fun to enlighten him on all things Hobbit related.  His eyes lit up when Smaug came on the screen and was rooting for the dragon to destroy the merry band of traveling warriors.   Yep. . he is totally my kid.

While we were watching the movie, I remembered that I had this blend and hadn’t tried it yet.  This one was created as a Fandom blend for the Hobbit.  Honestly, I am not a fan of the Adagio teas on their own, but I do really enjoy them when they are in the Signature Blends.

This one is a interesting and different blend.  Green Chai, Assam Melody, and  Cinnamon (black favored tea).  Not flavors I would have paired together.   It smells very much like a cinnamon cake.  When brewed up, it tastes like a buttered up sweet potato with cinnamon on it and a tart like finish. Maybe even some sort of sweet potato pie.

It is a unique flavor. That is for sure.   I did overleaf it after I checked out some other reviews about this blend on Steepster.  A lot of the other reviews said it was bland and “meh”.  If I hadn’t dumped in about 1 1/2 tsps more I can see that being the case.  I did brew this up at work with my coffee pot water spout and then dumped the tea into ice for a iced green chai.  Maybe if I messed with the steeping parameters more I could bring more flavors out.  As it is,  the cinnamon and spices don’t over take the tea like some chai blends I have had before.  It is a very subtle and enjoyable chai blend with a rich buttery sweet potato finish.

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Wymm Tea Mangnuo Tengtiao "Cane Tea" 2014

Tea For Me Please - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 16:00
Country of Origin: China Leaf Appearance: formerly compressed, sample arrived loose Ingredients: puerh tea Steep time: 5 seconds Water Temperature: 212 degrees Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan Liquor: pale gold My personal puerh collection mostly consists of young, dry stored, fairly easy going cakes. What that means is that I can do anything to them and they'll still be drinkable for the Nicole Martinhttps://plus.google.com/103097147251455801975noreply@blogger.com0

Bowl Four: Cleanliness and Purity

T Ching - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 12:03

Reverence and purity facilitate a life of tea, and the communication of peace and wisdom through tea. Purity functions on all levels, from the body to the tea room, the spirit and the mind. We must respect the space and being-ness all around us, keeping our homes, and especially our tea spaces, clean and bright so that all who come within them—including the many aspects of ourselves—will find stillness here. Even a confused or cluttered mind will find peace and cleanliness here, especially if that cluttered mind is my own. There is a profound peace in the practice of carefully laying out all your utensils for tea, and looking them over in a few minutes of meditation before you even begin. And like all truths, the tea session should leave no trace of itself— all should be cleaned thoroughly after the tea has been served and the guests departed. This applies equally to the inner level, as one should not carry around the dregs of previous sessions which only give rise to the comparative mind and prevent you from connecting to this moment. Wash away all traces of a tea when it is done. Clean thoroughly—internally and externally—so that your guests will know that there is but one encounter, one chance. In that way, true presence and connection have room to grow in your life and tea.

Bowl Five: Physical wellbeing; Diet and Movement April 29
Bowl Six: Healing and Community; Work and Service May 6
Bowl Seven: Connection to the Great Nature; Bowl tea May 13
Bowl Eight: Grace and Beauty; Gong fu tea May 20

Click to read Bowl OneBowl Two, Bowl Three.

“Eight Bowls of Life” was written by Wu De and first published by Global Tea Hut in February, 2013. Post image courtesy of Global Tea Hut. Loading image from T Ching archives.

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Canton Chocolate Tea from Canton Tea Co.

SororiTEA Sisters - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 10:00
Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Specially created for the Chesterfield Hotel in Mayfair, this luxurious blend of Indian Assam, Chinese Yunnan black, Madagascan vanilla pod and Peruvian cocoa nibs is served daily with their famous Afternoon Tea., It is deep, rich and moreish with a velvety mouthfeel. Extremely satisfying with smooth, malty Assam and a hint of plum from the Yunnan black adding an additional layer of dark fruit. The cocoa nibs and vanilla pod provide the depth and sweetness which complements the heady flavours.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Chocolate Tea from Canton Tea Co. is one that I’ve been wanting to try for a while!  Let’s face it, whenever I see a new-to-me chocolate tea from just about any tea company, my interest is piqued, but when it comes from a company that I associate with high quality, top-notch teas like Canton Tea Company, then let’s just say that my interest sizzles into very lusty desire.

Yes, I lust for chocolate.

And this tea lived up to my crazy high expectations that I put on it.  This is deliciously chocolate.  Even with the hint of Madagascar vanilla in this, the flavor is still delightfully dark chocolate-y.  Rich and decadent and sweet.  Mmm!

The black tea base is rich and satisfying.  The combination of Assam and Yunnan is a thoughtful one.  The rich, malty notes of the Assam add to the sweetness of the tea.  The fruit notes of both teas play to the deep berry notes of the cacao nibs.  The slightly spiced notes of the Yunnan enhance the overall experience.  The black tea base tastes robust and it’s a solid background of flavor, allowing the flavor of the key ingredient (the chocolate!) to really come out and express itself in a sumptuous, seductive, chocolate-y way.

So good!

The chocolate is a rich, dark chocolate-y flavor as I mentioned before.  It has a luscious, creamy taste that Canton describes as velvety and I find myself in complete agreement with that assessment.  The vanilla is not overly done, there is just enough vanilla here to add that velvety texture and taste.  There is just enough to give the cup some dimension and depth without diminishing that deep, dark chocolate flavor.

If you’re a fan of chocolate teas – put this at the top of your must try list!

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