Happy Holidays!

It’s been awhile, but I’m back and better than ever! I plan on doing a lot more updates in the new year and trying as many new teas as possible! For now, here is a picture of my tea stash and the new stainless steel teapot that was waiting under the tree for me.

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I’m utterly infatuated with this teapot- it keeps my tea warm for almost an hour and its a joy to look at. Both Teavana and David’s Tea have great sales happening this week. I see a mini shopping spree in my near future!

Blueberry Zabaglione – 52 teas

I have heard so many good things about 52 teas.   I couldn’t wait to try out a few of 52 Tea’s blends since they come highly recommended on Steepster.   I received a sample of Blueberry Zabaglione in a swap with a Steepster user.    I steeped 1 and a half teaspoons in boiling water for approximately 5 minutes.

I can really smell the blueberries!  The tea reminds me of walking into a local bakery and being enveloped by all of the wonderful scents that linger in the air.
Aside from the blueberries there is a rich home baked smell, that makes me think of the baked custard I love.

The first sip was wonderfully complex! A hint of sweetness, that compliments the blueberry and custard flavors wonderfully.  I also got a slight wine after taste, that was surprising but pleasing all the same.     I could definitely see this tea becoming one of my go to after dinner teas!   I think its perfect for people who want a complex dessert like tea without the extra sweetness.

I had no idea what to expect when I received this sample.    I can definitely say I was pleasantly surprised.  I’ve never tasted anything like it before.   I smiled at my first sip and I’m still smiling as I write this review!  I can’t wait to try more fantastic blends from 52 Teas!

The 52 Teas web site can be found here: 52 Teas

Twinings Lady Earl Grey

This has always been one of my “go to” comfort teas at the office. I love the combination of citrus and bergamot scents this tea gives off while steeping. The taste is average and overly exciting. I tasted mainly black tea with a tiny bit of citrus and bergamot. Even though the flavor isn’t phenomenal, I still find myself going back to this tea over and over again. Something about the scent is intoxicating! It is one of the few tea bags I keep stocked at the office.

Sleeping Beauty Tisane

This tea was a nice change from all of the caffeine I’ve been drinking lately!
I have been searching for the right bedtime blend for quite some time now and I decided to give Sleeping Beauty a try. Its main ingredients are: Valerian root, ginger, apple, lemon verbena, lemongrass, burdock, cardamom and dandelion. The tea smelled interesting; lemon and floral with a slight medical quality. The medicinal smell wasn’t unpleasant or overpowering- I find this scent is common with the majority of herbal sleep blends.
I steeped 2 teaspoons in 85 degree Celsius water for 10 minutes. I always steep my tisanes a long time because I like them strong. I’m sure this tea would taste just as good with the steeping time cut in half. I used a lower water temperature than normal to get the maximum effectiveness from the valerian root. According to the reading on did online, valerian can be a natural relaxant and sleep aid. It may also help to reduce anxiety. **Please note, I am not making any claims in relation to the medicinal benefits of this tea, I am merely restating what I have read**
I was a little worried that this tea would be bitter, due to the mixture of unusual plants it contains. As it turns out I had nothing at all to worry about- It was love at first sip. It was very soothing. I could taste lemon, spice and strong herbal notes. Each sip was smooth and didn’t taste bitter at all! The herbal notes are quite strong, but I suspect that has more to do with how long I let it this tea steep. This is the first sleep / relaxation tea I’ve really loved. I didn’t add anything to my cup, but I’m sure it would go well with a touch of honey.
Overall, I was very pleased with how well the unique smells and flavors blend together to create a perfectly relaxing cup of tea! I drank my cup an hour before bed and I had the most restful sleep I’ve had in a long time!
If you’re interested in purchasing this tea go here: Tea Store

Link

1987 Hualien Oolong from Cha Yi Teas

This 1987 Hualien oolong originated in Taiwan.   I steeped 1 tsp for 5 minutes in 98 degree Celsius water.

This is my first 25 year old oolong.   Dry, this tea has a complex, earthy aroma with some fruity undertones.   It reminds me a little of my favorite milk oolong.   While steeping these aromas became much stronger – I almost forgot to remove my infuser because I was completely taken away by the lovely smells coming from my cup!

The quality of this tea was immediately apparent- This is the vintage wine of oolongs!    The  first infusion was smooth. smooth, smooth!  The rich earthiness lingered pleasantly on my tongue.  I also got a little sweetness with some very slight floral undertones.

I steeped for 4 minutes on the second infusion.    The earthiness was still there, but there was also a crisp sweetness in every sip.

Overall, this tea is fantastic!  It’s rich, complex and economical since it handles multiple infusions so well.   On just the first cup, it has already garnered a place in my permanent tea cupboard.

The vendor’s website can be found here: Cha Yi

The Leaves before steeping:

Isn’t it beautiful?

Gyokuru Green Tea

Thank you to Pekko Teas for this delicious sample!   Dry, this tea smells grassy and light with a touch of sweetness.  I steeped 1.5 tsp for 3 minutes in 75 degree Celsius water.

This may be one of the best smelling green teas in my cupboard! As you can see from the picture, it has a lovely golden green hue that reminds me of honey.   The scent is light and vegetative, with just a hint of sweetness.

Finally! A taste that matches the scent.  My first sip was pleasantly vegetative, with a lingering sweetness and absolutely no bitterness.    This was the perfect tea for my afternoon reading.

I highly recommend this tea to anyone who likes straight green tea.

If you’re interested in purchasing it, please go here.