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Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Lemon Lily
While the first tea was floral and earthy, this little blend goes full throttle on the floral. A blend of leaves from raspberries and strawberries with dusting of rose and rosehip, this tea is a natural relaxant. While some may say these herbals all hold some amazing capabilities in the world of natural healing, lowering blood pressure or relieving bloating and cramps, we like it because it’s full of flavour without tasting like a bar of soap. You can actually taste all the subtle notes of each leaf and flower as the sip develops on your taste buds.
Learn more about the eighth edition of Postal Teas shipment here.
Learn more about subscribing to Postal Teas here.
The three teas that were showcased in the eighth edition from Postal Teas all had several things in common. The first and most obvious is that they were all three from Lemon Lily. The second (and also pretty obvious) is that they were all white tea blends. The third is that they are all blends that focus on floral flavors.
They were all unique too: the Maple Leaf is indulgent and maple-y and Beauty & The Beet has a pleasant earthy tone with the beetroot powder and this blend delights with it’s soft hints of berry. But all three have strong floral overtures.
I like that while they are very flowery, they don’t taste soapy. I don’t feel like I’m drinking Aunt Matilda’s perfume. The flavor of the white tea is delicate but discernible and keeps this cuppa tasting like TEA.
This particular blend focuses more on the rose notes than do the previous two blends from this edition. But I like that the sharper floral notes are softened with mellow fruit flavors from the strawberry and raspberry leaves. These components add a soft, sweet fruit note without overwhelming the beautiful floral notes.
And the softness accentuates the lovely floral notes of rose perfectly. I like that all the flavors seem to unify in a very seamless way, but each note is discernible. I experience the nuances of each component in the blend. A sweet, earthy, hay-like note from the white tea. Mild fruit notes from the strawberry and raspberry leaves. And of course, the beautifully sweet, soothing flavor of rose.
I steeped this tea in my Kati Tumbler, using 2 bamboo scoops of leaf (again, this is a highly flowery loose leaf blend and I find that a little more leaf is appropriate when steeping it). I heated 12 ounces of water to 165°F and steeped the tea for 3 1/2 minutes. And again, I am in agreement with Postal Teas: you really should allow this tea 10 minutes to cool after steeping. The flavors really pop after the 10 minutes.
The eighth edition from Postal Teas was a big WIN in my opinion. Thank you, Postal Teas for putting together this remarkable box of tea joy!
All thoughts of that lovely, historical, whimsical post that I had planned for this week (after delaying it from last week) were swept away as a red mist descended across my eyes. Who are YOU calling Stupid? It started with a news item about the latest weapon in the War. War with a capital ‘W’, […]
Of all the tea commercials featuring singing donkeys this one may be the best.
Nowadays Tea Guy Speaks has an active Twitter feed with more than 5,000 followers and registers about 15,000 page impressions per month at the Web site. Which is a modest number compared to many sites, but it's safe to say that as we embark on our ninth year we've amassed a rather substantial following in the tea community.
If you'd like to try targeting some of the tea lovers who visit us, either through advertising at the site, on our Twitter feed, or a combination of both, send an email to wileng3|at|gmail.com. We'll be happy to send information on our advertising rates.
One of the consequences of having a child who is physically mobile is that having tea the usual way, which means with a piping hot stove, with various breakable teaware, is becoming a bit less practical. I could close the door and drink to my heart’s content, but I prefer not to do that. What it means is many more teas that are drunk grandpa style than ever before.
Doing so has affected the choice of tea I drink. One of the things I reach for most frequently now is actually the cheap tuo that I bought a lot of – one reason, of course, is that I have kilos of this tea, but it’s also because it does very well in a grandpa setting. Tea, as we know, is sensitive to preparation methods. When the tuo is drunk with a gongfu setup, it is mediocre – not very interesting, a bit boring, a bit bland. It doesn’t quite have the punch of better teas, and while it has 10 years of age, it’s not particularly exciting. In a grandpa setup, however, it actually brings out some nuances that are easy to miss in a gongfu setting. I would in fact say that the tea has improved doing so – I am rather happy drinking it day in, day out. It’s a joy.
Another tea I’ve been reaching for a lot is a 2002 Mengku cake that I bought years ago in Beijing, back when this blog was first starting. I have two tongs of this tea, and can get more at reasonable prices simply because there isn’t a huge demand for this tea. It’s not the best either – but certainly quite decent.
One type of tea that I do not grandpa, almost as a rule now, is newly made puerh. They are, by and large, terrible in that context. That is partly because most of the teas that I would subject to grandpa drinking tend to be on the cheaper side, and cheaper newly made tea is usually just horrible things. It’s also because without any aging, the rough edges are still, well, rough. You end up with really astringent, bitter, and unpalatable teas. If you add just a bit, then it’s nice and soft, but not as nice and soft as a fine green tea, which I would infinitely prefer to a new puerh as a grandpa option. In other words, they are never picked first.
This may also go some ways to explain why puerh has always been considered an inferior tea – when new they are simply not very good. When aged they are fine, but with prices now astronomical, they are no longer practical drinks for most people. Already, aged and new puerh tea of decent quality are being priced out of the market for regular tea drinkers. That is really a tragedy.
Origin: Pothia, Kishanganj, Bihar, India Harvest: 2nd flush Score: 86 Price (as of post): 50 g = $8.00 to Walker Tea Review. Get complete access to Member Content. Sign Up For The Newsletter. Sample provided by Lochan Tea. Walker Tea Review- a tea blog with tea reviews and tea tastings. Want to see a tea […]
My original blog of this week will become my blog of next week, and this week has been rather trying. Not for me, apart from minor issues of earache, toothache and headache, it’s been a good week otherwise. It’s been far worse for many others. In Ferguson, Missouri, USA, a Grand Jury listened to a […]
Origin: Harendong Green Farm, Indonesia Score: 90 to Walker Tea Review. Get complete access to Member Content. Sign Up For The Newsletter. Sample provided by PT Harendong. Walker Tea Review- a tea blog with tea reviews and tea tastings. Want to see a tea reviewed? Contact me: email@example.com
by Naomi Rosen
We’ve been slowly swapping out teas that were being sourced through outside blenders and replacing them with teas that are being sourced directly from the growers. It has been an extremely educational process and I am continually learning through every encounter with a new tea garden. The hard work has paid off too! Introducing the newest members to our tea line-up:
This black tea from Sri Lanka is incredibly unique, just like the tea garden it is grown in. About a year ago, I came across Amba Estate and shared their wonderful story. I’d encourage you to read about the revoluntionary steps being taken to cross-train employees and their profit sharing initiatives! The tea itself is true to Ceylon – brisk, honey and apple notes with beautiful dried tea flowers to make it so very different from any other tea you’ve tried!
Also from Amba Estate, this herbal creation is organically cultivated lemongrass that has been hand plucked and processed. The expected citrus notes are simple and refreshing, and this lemongrass serves double duty as it can easily be used for cooking or garnishing a favorite dish or soup!
Suprabhat, translated from Hindi, is “good morning”. This breakfast blend of Darjeeling and Assam teas, grown by the Prakash family, puts the “good” in “good morning”. If you are familiar with teas from either region, you know that each has a unique flavor profile and aroma. When I cupped these teas for the first time, I was ecstatic to find that you can still pick out those characteristics even though the teas have been blended. It takes cream/sugar very well…but I loved it on its own merits.
I swear we didn’t name this tea after Johnny Depp, although, as I type, I’m jotting down my idea for a Johnny Depp inspired tea line. This black tea is our first single orthodox/unblended tea from Indonesia and it does not disappoint. The leaves have been rolled into a ball, similar to an oolong, and offer a honey-like sweetness that we fell in love with. Also similar to an oolong, these leaves take awhile to release all of their flavor so we were able to re-steep up to 4 times and were pleasantly surprised with each of those cups.
The first loose leaf teas that I ever tried were Chinese (Dragonwell). The first loose leaf tea I ever tried that I became obsessed with was an Indian Assam. In my 4+ years in the tea biz, I have become acquainted with some amazingly passionate people trying to make a difference in the conditions, pay, and benefits for Indian tea workers. It is through these people that we came across Monsoon Magic and Heritage Teas. Having been plucked after the summer rains (thus monsoon), it is malty and brisk but lighter than the first and second flush Assams that would be close relatives.
I’ve been on the lookout for some great Japanese green teas. This is the first Sencha we’ve carried from Japan (the others have all been Chinese). While both countries can produce beautiful Sencha’s, we fell in love with this one at World Tea EXPO. It’s sweet and the vegetal/grassy characteristics aren’t overwhelming. The steep time is 1 minute at the most and subsequent steepings literally just took a hot water pour over. We’re impressed with this tea and we think you will be too!
Genmaicha has been a part of our tea family since the first 32 teas were launched! We did the old switcheroo on this one and discontinued the old blend and replaced it with this tea from an organic green tea farmer in Japan. We know that there was a bit of a price increase once we switched to this blend, but we think it is worth the increase. The flavor is toasty, nutty, and the green tea base is fresh and the perfect compliment on this tea. Added Bonus: this blend is organic!
Well, when buying things there’s never a real “correct” answer. There is always someone who’s willing to buy a beachfront property in Kansas. The first thing you might notice about those choices is that they are largely anonymous – the stuff on the left side are mostly cooked puerh, and the right side are raw. The cooked pu are mostly CNNP wrappers, which doesn’t tell you much of anything. The stuff on the right are named, but only just – they are anonymous named tea cakes, in the sense that nobody would’ve heard of them anyhow. The green big tree you see half of is not the real deal, so it’s more or less the same as a CNNP wrapper.
The prices seem good – quoted in HKD, they are from about 180 to 500, with the 500 actually a cooked cake. The thing is, while these are sort of cheap (for this day and age), they are terrible value. The tea is likely to be bad – of the “this is awful” category. I tried a few of these while looking over these, just for the fun of it, and wouldn’t choose any of them, at any price. The rest – well, if the samples I tried are no good, chances are the others aren’t gems either.
To be honest though, I didn’t need to try to know that these were going to be bad. A few friends have commented to me privately after I posted this photo, basically saying “uh, these are all terrible”. If there’s anything like a general rule, it is that anonymous CNNP wrapper teas are going to be bad – you may find one out of a hundred that’s decent. The rest are just, well, horrible teas that were made in the dog days of the puerh industry, and ever since.
No-name brands like the ones on the right are no better. They are, 99% of the time, bad teas that are no good for aging. Some may be ok for current consumption, if it’s cheap enough and you’re not picky enough. The days of when no-name brand could be decent tea is behind us now – in the early to mid 2000s that may have been possible, because there were so many new outfits that were making tea. Now, however, it is most likely just trash tea that will age into nothingness.
Vendor choices, or lackthereof, is really a problem with buying tea. It is possible to choose a “best” tea within a given selection, yes, so even in this heap of what is basically no good tea, there will be one that seems better than others. It does not, however, mean it is a good idea to buy it – best among a bunch of junk is still junk. Within the online world, it is harder to make that judgement. I think a good way to try though, is to compare across vendors as much as possible. Even then, as I’ve said before, what’s available online is only a small fraction of total teas available in the real world, and much of the best teas never even leave the confines of China simply because the market demand for them is the highest there. The prices that online buyers will be willing to bear is simply not high enough for vendors to realistically bring the best goods to them. So, the pool of available choices are already poisoned, so to speak. Sometimes saying no is the best choice.
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Hostmaster Pattern / teacup by New Martinsville Glass Company
Vintage Youngsware China Fantasy Pattern
Noritake China April Cook N Serve Teacup ¿dónde consigo la taza? My Eclectic Heart
Details from Willow / colección Teapot diseño by Richard Brendon