Monday, June 30, 2014

365 Days of Tea - Day 10: Coconut Cabana.

I'd like to start off by making one thing very clear to my readers; I will never, ever sell my opinion. Someday, I may or may not have sponsors or people who donate product to me, but I will always be honest about my feelings in reviews. If a company sends me a bad product, I'll tell you its a bad product. I will also make it clear to the company sending the review products as well. It also seems that one or two companies are starting to pay attention to me, this is good, and exciting.

This isn't actually the tea I'm going to review, but I wanted to talk a little bit about the packaging. (I actually already opened, and discarded the packaging for the tea I'm reviewing - whoops!) Now keep in mind that this isn't their regular packaging, this is for a sample product. They also have these really awesome tins. I'm totally heart-broken that I didn't get a cool tin, so I could be in the cool people club. I guess I'm not cool enough. A lot of review products are typically sent in less then appealing packaging, companies don't realize that your first impression is literally the packaging. The Tea Spot's packaging is actually really nice. Although I kinda wish I had a cool "The Tea Spot" sticker. So I can stick it all over my face. My only complaint is that I wish it was resealable, because a lot of first time tea-seers wont have a tin or two laying around. I was lucky because I had one.

The real tea I'm reviewing is called Coconut Cabana.

You can clearly see a very pretty looking oolong. Oolong almost always appears like a burnt or roasted green tea. This oolong is called "milk oolong" which tells me that it is from Taiwan, since it was developed there in the 1980s and supposedly creates a milky, smooth taste.The coconut is unsweetened, which is ideal. I ate a piece of it raw, it was horrible. I expect the milk oolong and coconut to pair perfectly. 

Very nice golden color - as expected from most teas. 

Smell - It smells amazing. Its a very pure coconut scent, it doesn't feel faked either. Its a very "raw" scent, and carries a little earthyness from the oolong. Its not prefumey at all. It is very pleasing and excites the pallet. 

Taste - Its a very mild taste. Very earthy, and carries sort of a creamyness to it. I think the coconut actually added a bit of oil, which makes it taste slighty more thick then regular tea. The coconut favor almost seems absent at first, and you might only notice the smell of it until the second or third sip, then you suddenly notice that towards the end, you get a very smooth coconut favor. Not sugary, but still sweet in a very natural way. This favor is complex, its deep, yet subtle. I get the sense that I'm on the beach, but a beach full of earthy forest.

Overall - I am extremely impressed with The Tea Spot's first tasting so far. I could and pretty much did drink this tea all day. Not to mention that oolong has a decent amount of caffeine, gives you energy, and helps with weight-loss. The coconut also aids with a lot of these things, too. Its an extremely healthy tea (As long as you don't add a ton of sugar) and its also a very delicious tea.

(4 out of 5 tea leaves.)

Tea can be found here.

I also want to mention that - I'm always a huge fan of companies giving back to charities and The Tea Spot donates 10% of all sales to cancer research. The CEO - Maria Uspenski is also a cancer survivor.  (More details on this can be found here.) Companies like this who, support the little guy (like me) and charities definitely deserve my business and respect.

365 Days of Tea - Special Unboxing - The Tea Spot.

I woke up briefly to a text this morning, and I opened chrome on my phone. I noticed I still had the tracking page open for my package, so I decided to refresh and see if there is any changes.  It was in Maine! I was definitely getting the package today. Although it was suppose to be here Saturday. Stupid dumb postal service.  Anyway, couple hours later my roommate texted me and told me my package was here. So exciting!

Handcrafted from rare imported Chinese trees, this artisan box is created with such delicate and precise skill. You can tell just by it's looks alone; this wasn't a regular box, it was a box filled with a tea-seer's soul. It's soul radiates a package-like energy, it was warm to the touch, but not the warmth of the sun, the warmth of a loving mother.

  I had to paint my entire room black. The overwhelming light exploding from the box made it impossible to capture a photograph without blowing up the sensor. This photograph is actually taken with the lense cap-on, and through 6 feet of cinder block. My palms were sweaty, a new world was awaiting me, my life was about to change - forever.

Strange white object. Felt light, but thick. Contained strange cryptic letters. Perhaps a ancient language created by the tea gods. "Corey" it says, I have no clue what that is about.  I brutally ripped it's flesh open to discover it's innards.

Cryptic sheets containing various letters in the ancient language. One of them even appears to be sticky on one end. How strange. Tastes kind of weird, too. I guess this isn't food.

Life-packages. These contain, rare, heavenly plants to which one brews tea. The cryptic language is starting to make a bit of sense to me now;

  • Bolder Breakfast; Black tea, pu'erh & chocolate.
  • Ginger tea.
  • Black Pu'erh.
  • Matcha Green Tea.
  • Climber's High. "High-enegry blend of yerba mates, teas, herbs, and flavors."
  • Coconut Cabana. Taiwanese mily oolong & fresh coconut.

I know that typical unboxings are pretty dull, and uninteresting, so I had to do this in my own taste. Keep in mind that I meant to disrespect, and I hope I didn't offend anyone. Hopefully you had fun and enjoyed it. I'm excited to try all of these, and I can't wait to see where this journey is leading me.

Special thanks to The Tea Spot for sending these to me for my journey.


Wilma also likes TheTeaSpot.

365 Days of Tea - Day 9.

This is going to be a rather short post (at least I think so) and I might even edit it later to go into more details. I'm kind of having a day, and I started this really late because a lot of things didn't go as planned. Also in the near future, I'm going to make a short video on how to brew loose-leaf tea. So that might something to look forward to!

So this is another herbal tea. I'm assuming it will contain dried strawberries, dried lemon pieces, and dried lemon rinds. It might even contain a bit of apple, to add sweetness.

As you can tell from the imagine there is definitely a small piece of apple, and a lot of little strawberry bits.  I only see little shreds of lemon, but I imagine that lemon gets stronger when dried. I'm hoping that the fruits add a bit of sweetness to counter-act the natural tart favor of the lemon.

A less golden color then our typical herbal teas so far, but it carries over some nice lemon coloring. Its actually kind of pretty.

Smell - It smells very strongly of lemons, but almost candy like. Sort of like the smell of lemon drops. A very faint smell of strawberry carries a back note over the edge of your nose. Its very perfume-y. Its kind of nice.

Taste - At first it was nothing a mildly tart lemon favor that rolls over your tongue, but it slowly gets complimented by a mild sweet favor, which I'm assuming is from the strawberries and apples. Although, I get a little bit of strawberry scent now that it is brewed, but I can't really taste the strawberries. I know that it is there, but if you didn't know there were strawberries in it, you'd have no idea where the favor comes from. Honestly it is a very light tea, and I would probably enjoy it more if it was brewed all day and turned into ice tea, but maybe at the point I'm better off just drinking lemonade.

Overall - There isn't whole lot more to be said about this tea that isn't already said. I think it taste good, but it lacks depth. It lacks a common complexity that a lot of teas have that I am spoiled with. Its generally a good tea, but I would recommend it as something memorable or fantastic.

(2 out of 5 tea leaves)

Can be found here.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

True Addiction and Me.

Accepting others for who they are is the easy part. Dealing with their issues and lower-standards of living, makes things complex. I don't consider myself anywhere near a "straight edge" but I rarely drink and I don't do any drugs. I have no interest in it either. I think that it is a lot harder to take life head-on and not subject my body to things that mask the pains of unfortunate-life tolls, but I would rather live in the real world. Although I do consider myself a romantic dreamer, I am still quite able to look at this realistically. I think that a lot of substance abuse comes from people not being strong enough to deal with the reality that life isn't perfect, and never will be. People die, people fall out of love, and people break up constantly, and this is the reality of the world. It can be difficult to swallow that you're going to have your heart broken, and whole world destroyed, many, many times.

Over the years I think I've become a lot more cynical, and sometimes down right mean. But cynicism is usually from a selfish perspective, and I do not think I live entirely selfishly. (Although it could be argue all human-actions are in some sense or another are selfish actions, but I disagree) I think that from my experiences; from being homeless, from being stabbed, from being in jail, that, although those are terrible things, I was still able to exist at certain moral standard. I'm not saying that, that in anyway makes me a better person, but I'm saying that, I cannot pick my friends whom live with very-low-moral standard. Alcoholics, druggies, these are people who are sick and carry an addiction (I speak in terms of addictions, as those who do not seek help or at least try to battle there addiction, and simply embrace it) I feel like they are in a fog between truth and illusion, and the truth scares them too much so they embrace the illusion. Though, I'm not saying these people are low-lives, but I cannot embrace true friendship with them.

The hardest part about life is living it and I will not deal with people who can't be at the standard.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

365 Days of Tea - Day 8.

I was suppose to get one of my review tea boxes today at least according to the 3 days shipping and what the tracking said, but it hasn't move an inch since it was "sent". Oh well, hopefully I'll get it on Monday. I'll do an unboxing as soon as I get it though.

(Man, what a bad photograph - sorry!)
It seems like I have a lot of sweeter, less "pure tea" teas. Which is true, but it isn't entirely my fault. My girl friend more or less picked most of them when we were at teavana last. With this tea and a lot of the other teas that contain cinnamon - I would usually assume the cinnamon would be the strongest flavor and scent. I would also expect this to taste like apple pie. Hopefully not the kind from that one movie.

It looks like bark mulch. You can see a lot dried apple skins and cinnamon bits. I also realized it contains dried oranges as well. The rooibos tea itself is rather hidden in the rough, but its still there. It also feels very mulchy to the touch, but not sticky. You can see larger apple pieces in the back, too. That will probably add some natural sugar. I have high hopes for this tea.

 It brews a really deep red - it actually started to change colors right when I put the tea in. It really had a "apple red" glow. Its like a thin apple cider beer color. Typical 6 minute steeping time.

Smell - If you could take all those spices from your mom's most amazing apple pie, that is exactly the smell you'd get. You can smell cinnamon, but it isn't nearly as strong as the regular teas with cinnamon in it. Its quite a light cinnamon smell. It also mixes with a slight orange smell, and it all gently graces your nose. None of it is overwhelming at all, and its actually quite warming to the heart. Hop on the nostalgia train with this tea.

Taste - It is almost strange to me when a taste tastes sweet, but doesn't contain any unnatural sugar. This tea is unexpectedly sweet. It comes from the apple pieces so it isn't too overwhelming or teeth-hurttingly-sweet. Its a delightfully sweet. The cinnamon is actually a back note, to my surprise. Its a very subtle cinnamon flavor that you don't really notice right away. The base favor is definitely apple, with a tiny bit of sourness from the orange, but the sourness is complimented by the apple's natural sweetness.

Overall - If you miss mom's apple pie and for whatever reason have a desire to drink it instead of eating, I would highly recommend this tea. I can imagine myself drinking this tea on a cold night in the winter, and it would constantly remind me of the holidays. Its a good heart-warming tea, for even non-tea lovers to enjoy.

(3 out of 5 tea leaves.)

It's a seasonal tea - at this time it is not sold online.

365 Days of Tea - Day 7.

I've sort of realized by now that I probably wont be able to acquire 365 teas by myself, and although I might be growing in readership, I'm not growing financially. So that means that at some point when the review products stop coming in and when I'm out of money to spend on this project, I'm going to have to mix some teas, and create my own infusions. So maybe I should make Friday's posts always be custom infusions. (Infusion Friday) Today's tea is actually a blend (another name of an infusion) of 3 different teas that teavana sells. This is their own blend and nothing I came up with.

Body + Mind is a blend of  Monkey-Picked oolong with Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls green tea and Mao Feng white tea. Which can all be bought separately on their website or you can buy this blend. Supposedly monkey picked oolong used to actually be picked by monkeys that were trained by monks, but now its picked by human hands. According to the website its considered one of the highest gradest oolongs. This probably means that there isn't very much in the blend to save costs.

You can't really see it in the image but there is some jasmine pearls that look exactly like the pearls from the other tea. The black-ish green bits are the "legendary monkey picked oolong", and I would assume that the threads are the white tea. White is picked young and isn't left to oxidize nearly as long as other teas. Its usually extremely delicate favor. I don't have any images of the tea itself, it brews the same color as the last one.

Smell - The tea offers a pretty similar scent that most jasmine teas have. Jasmine itself is pretty strong so I imagine it would be hard to have a tea containing jasmine that would smell like anything but. It is a lighter jasmine smell, but only because it is blended with other teas as well. None of the other teas give off a strong enough scent for me to pick up anything other than that. I still enjoy it however.

Taste - There is a lot of potential complexity here, the oolong implies a woods-y favor, the jasmine gives a flowery favor that slowly rolls onto the tongue, and the white tea allows a gentle but subtle favor of the forest to carry all the back notes. Only this isn't really the case, though. The jasmine favor is there, and the other favors are very subtle. You can barely taste anything but jasmine, although it isn't a strong jasmine favor. It is a very light-favored tea. There is two real favor components here; the jasmine that weakly tingles your pallet, and the "tea" favor. If you took the jasmine favor out, it might be more complex.

Overall - Although I did generally like this tea, I expected more from something that contained so much. This is one of this "less is more" things. I had much higher expectations, for something containing "Monkey-picked oolong" but perhaps I need to experience it by itself to fully judge this tea better.

(2 out of 5 tea leaves.)

Can be found here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

365 Days of Tea - Day 6.

Some really awesome graphical changes to the blog thanks to Chris B. Pye. This blog is really coming along and seems to be becoming something a lot more than I'd ever hoped. I've had a little bit of trouble getting today's tea done. I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so this one might be a bit short.

For those who don't know jasmine is a wonderfully scented shrub. It is almost always paired with green tea, but you can also have just plain jasmine tea, as well as oolong, or white. I've personally never seen a jasmine black tea. Dragons are magical creatures which consume the tea and jasmine while leaving pearl shaped droppings in it's wake. I've read that the general idea of rolling the tea into pearls is to help it release more favor, supposedly as it heats up it unrolls and that allows move favor to develop. Also as a side-note; its good to know that research has show that the smell of jasmine helps people sleep, so that might make this an appealing night time tea.

As far as looks are concerned, there isn't anything special. Its looks like tiny dragon poops  pearls of tea. They're sort of hard to the touch, but not as hard as a rock.

It has a fantastic golden color. Its almost the same color as a flat beer. The tea is very clear, and contains almost no residue.

Smell - Out of all the teas I've had in my life-time, jasmine has always maintained the most appealing smell. Jasmine has a special kind of smell. You'd assume because its a flower that the smell would be quite perfumey, but it's not. Its sort of like that smell you remember from when you were a child, and you can't quite understand where it was coming from, but you loved it anyways. Very lilac-y, scent without any notes from the green tea, and that is okay. The smell alone is very relaxing, and soothes the mind.

Taste - Ever heard the saying "It tastes like it smells"? That fully-embodies the favor of this tea. It taste just as good as it smells. Its a soft, yet complex favor, Its flower-y but in a very gentle way. Its not sweet, or bitter, its perfectly balanced.

Overall - If you want a absolutely amazing tea, that nearly fits into every aspect of that a perfect tea could be, then Jasmine Dragon Pearls is what I'd recommend. If I had a complaint, I'd say that I wish I could taste the "green tea" more in this. This tea not only warms up your soul, it soothes your heart. It can take any bad mood, and make you smile. This is what tea is all about.

(4 and a half out of five tea leaves. I would have given it a perfect score if I could have tasted more green tea.)

(They stopped carrying this exact tea, but the closest one can be found here.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

365 Days of Tea - Day 5.

So The Tea Spot reached out to me and is sending me some teas for review. This is pretty exciting that people are interesting in being on-board with me. I'm hoping this will create more opportunities in the future. The tea spot carries an interest steeping mug that I'd love to get my hands on.

This next tea came in a sort of paper-y container and wasn't interesting enough to photograph. I bought it in a gift set a while back so it didn't have any special tins. I think all teas should have special tins, its what makes tea special. This tea is called Orange Chocolate Sweet Spice Herbal Tea. Its a mouthful.

(The lighting wasn't working for me so it isn't a fantastic photo)
You can see the huge orange piece. It also looks like they might have used both cocoa nibs, and milk chocolate. The red little stems are probably chili pieces. Oh, and I see cinnamon as well. It seems like herbal teas, LOVE cinnamon, though I can't entirely blame then because cinnamon is yummy. (I realize now that I have a lot of herbal teas, but a lot of what I'm getting in the mail isn't herbal). 

I'm using a different mug this time. Its a glass mug with it's own infuser (you can buy it here.) The color is very red, with an orange hue. It looks a little like there is grease in it, but I think its just from the milk chocolate melting. It doesn't make it thick or give it a weird texture so I think its okay.

Smell - Its smells exactly like a chocolate orange. You can't pick up any cinnamon notes, or chili. It mostly smells like chocolate with an orange-y background. Its pretty nice and makes you hungry. You would expect the tea itself to taste like chocolate milk with orange in it. Its the kind of smell that could lift anyone's mood.

Taste - I would have assumed that the chocolate would be the base favor and everything else would resonate from that. I was very wrong though, to my surprise it tasted very orange-y. It also carries a slight bitterness, but its not a bad bitter taste and the chocolate notes really come through right after the bitterness goes away. It is a lot less sweeter than I would have originally thought but I actually prefer it this way. Its also pretty strong, but I don't think it would make very good ice tea.

Overall - If you looking for a great gift tea, or dessert, this would be fantastic for that. I personally love oranges, so I really enjoyed this tea. I imagine if you have a sweet tooth, this might also help. Its a good way to enjoy both oranges and chocolate. However, a lot of the other bits in the tea go rather over-shadowed by its strong orange taste. It seems like you might be able to just use orange and chocolate and take the rest out and I'd never know the difference.

(3 out of 5 tea leaves. Recommended.)

Can be found here.

What Tea(s) May Come

It is true that I am not very well educated in terms of tea, but I do have a rather complex pallet. I'm usually pretty good at processing and explaining favors, and I have a lot of experience cooking and baking. Some of this seems to translate well into my tea reviews everyday. One of my biggest vices has always been soda. I can't tell you if its because its sugar-y or the carbonation. Let's talk about how bad my addiction is.

In the past two weeks I've consumed 24 cans of Dr. Pepper.
@ 64g of Sugar
@ 100mg Sodium
@ 66 Carbs
@ 250 Calories
(Each can)
So that translates into
A little more then 3lbs of sugar. Holy shit.
2.4g of sodium.
1584 Carbs
6000 Calories

Its kind of a shocker huh? Even with this information, right now, my body still craves it. Its actually driving me a little nuts because I keep wanting to go buy more soda, but I won't. I think what really started my addiction was how easy it was to get. I didn't have to mix it with water or brew it or anything, I went, grabbed it, and opened it. That's it. Its cold, bubbly, and it tastes great. Converting to unsweetened tea is becoming harder because I'm actually off soda right now, and its literally all my body craves. Its probably the sugar my body misses the most. I should try to find some way to carbonate some tea, as well. I'm kind of surprised I haven't started having any bad withdrawal issues. This also goes to show you how other things, besides drugs, can still be dangerously addictive.

 This is my current collection of tea. (I have some in tea bags, too but that stuff is meh) I'm slowly going to convert completely to tea and water. Its going to be a journey but its going to be for my health and piece of mind. Also: TeavanaTea at Sea, and The Tea Spot are all sending me teas for review. Not only does this help me keep up with the 365Days of Tea project, but I also see it as a bit of encouragement. 

I'm hoping this will encourage others to try to become healthier, too.

365 Days of Tea - Day 4.

I've had an interesting morning. On day 1 I contacted teavana and told them I've reviewed one of their teas, and I didn't really think much of it at the time. I just assumed it would go ignored, but I actually got a reply.

So this is pretty exciting. I wonder what they will send. I'm a huge fan of teavana teas.. I will post photos of what I get as soon as it gets here!

I can't really find out what tree nuts it contains, but I'm also going to label that it contains tree nuts, so that people don't get sick or anything. Even with a bit of googling I can't seem to pin-point what. From my research; mate is an infused caffeine-rich drink. So basically herbal tea with caffeine. Sounds fantastic. I just hope it doesn't not contain real samurai. That might be sharp. 

For whatever reason you can't see any fruit bits in the photo, but it does contain pineapple, orange, and papaya. You can see however, bits of green stuff, which looks very much like rooibus (And according to the website, it is.) you can also clearly see some lemon grass, and cinnamon. All of it kind of feels paper-y to the touch.

It almost looks like there some strange bug infestation going on in adventuremug, but I didn't remove the filter when I poured it. I actually prefer tea this way. Its a mild brown gold-ish color. Another one with a long steep time of 6 minutes. Lets get down to business. To defeat the huns.

Smell - At first the smell is a mild cinnamon smell. Surprisingly it changes into a more sweet almost apricot scent on the back of your nose, and grows stronger as the cinnamon smell disappears. Its really nice and makes me think that the tea will taste complex.

Taste - I was seriously expecting basically a cinnamon tea, something similar to another one. To my surprise though, the cinnamon flavor was more "spice" then favor. It was a pleasant tone. It carries a very sweet, but complex favor. I can't exactly pin point each thing because they overlap in such a perfect way that, but you can tell there is a bit of citrus and cardamom. Its less of a tea favor and more of an herbal favor, and that is okay.
Overall - If you're looking for a really good, naturally sweet dessert tea, then I'd recommend this. It carries a surprising complexity, which is noted by it's aroma. I would also recommend completely filtering out the bits, it seems that I chewed on a cardamon seed a few times, which didn't bother me, but might bother others. It could also translate well into an ice tea. Its very soothing, and definitely gives a mild energy boost. It's one of those teas that just puts you in a good mood. Really cold day in the winter, make a huge piping hot pot of this.

(4 out of 5 tea leaves. Highly-Recommended.)

Can be found here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

365 Days of Tea - Day 3.

Day 3 begins. So when I pick the tea of the day, I decide completely at random. I take the teas I've already reviewed from my shelf and put them a side then just grab a tea tin and roll with it! I usually have no idea what I'm getting myself into but I think that is what makes this special. Though, I do not have 365 teas to select from, I will have to find the financial means to acquire them. I also like the idea of readers sending me samples of their favorite tea to review as well it'd be a nice surprise to see what other people like out there. At this time, though, my readership isn't substantial enough for that. 

(Random Stock Photo. Don't sue me.)

I wanted to talk a little bit about what I brew with. Its a pretty typical tumbler (I wonder if you can guess the brand. lol.) It has this metal strainer looking piece that you put the tea leaves in, and you can push this button down and sip right out of the top. Depending on the tea, I don't even remove the leaves from the tumbler. Some of the herbal teas are best like this. I also realize I have a lot of herbal teas. For my reviews, however, I stick to the instructions because that is how it is expected to be consumed. I try not to alter any of the tea in anyway, so I can get as much of the intend favor as I can. Ideally, I'd like to get Breville One-Touch Tea maker, but that is a little... out of my price range. Maybe I should make a gofundme? Haha 

I don't have the typical label photograph today. Sorry!

Apple Lemon Pomegranate Rooibos Tea is today's favor. Rooibos is actually a legume. I'm drinking bean tea. Delicious. Rooibos is from a small area in South Africa, and its fermented and oxidized. 

You can see that there is also lemon grass, and strawberries in here, too. I'm drinking a fruit salad. There also appears to be some flower petals, apple stems, and yellow-ish seed things. I can't really tell the difference between the lemon grass and the tea, but supposedly it is in there. Since this is a rooibus tea, and they are usually closely related to herbal teas, steeping time was 6 minutes. (As stated in the instructions)

Color/Smell - It has a very strong fruity smell. I can usually pin-point what each component is adding to the smell, but in this case, I can only slightly tell the difference between the lemon smell and the rest. Its a good scent though, at least I thought so. It doesn't really brew dark at all. Its a rather golden hue, even after 6 minutes. After brewing the smell is all but gone. Rather disappointing.

Taste - Rooibus tea leaves don't really carry a lot of favor, but that is why it is usually pared with other herbs, dried bits.I should probably try my own infusions someday. It carries a very sweet taste, but its light. The sweetness isn't there in full force right away though, it kind of rolls onto the tongue. The rest of the favor is mostly a light lemon taste. I don't notice any notes from the pomegranate, but it might be adding the general sweetness. Afterwards it kind of leaves a mild strawberry sourness it in's wake.

Overall - It is a pretty light tea, I was expecting a lot more favor considering the brew time and the amount of stuff involved. I would imagine if you brewed it all day in really hot water, then added some sugar, it would make really good ice tea. This is a tea I would probably drink in the morning, or when I have an upset stomach. It tends to be rather gentle on you. I did enjoy it, but its definitely not my favorite. Actually, you might even consider putting some of the raw tea in a loaf of bread, or scones. Or brew it really strong and use it in place of water.

(2 and a half out of 5. Mildly-Recommended.

Can be found here.

Its my girl friend's favorite tea, she might kill me for this.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

365 Days of Tea - Day 2.

I recently reached out to a few tea companies in search of some review products. I probably contacted at least 20 of them. Only one replied. I can't really blame most companies for ignoring me, I'm still a no body in the blogging world. I'm decided also to inquire about creating a custom theme and some more tea-centric graphics. Perhaps this will bring some more appeal to the blog and be more interesting to people as well as companies. So the company that replied is called Tea At Sea, they offer some teas I've never heard of, and I look forward to reviewing their samples.

Now lets talk about today's tea.

From my limited understanding, Maharaja is a Sanskrit title for king, and chai is just a fancy name for tea. Maybe they should have called it King Tea! Anyway, oolong is a tea that has been dried under the sun and curled and twisted. (Realistically it is probably dried in a dryer) I've also heard of fire roasted oolong as well, I'd like to get my hands on that someday.

The Tea

(You can click the photograph and view it larger)(Yes I photographed this)

Its quite nice, smells very strongly of cinnamon, and a hint of cloves, maybe some ginger, too. The tea leafs seem to be far and few, some of the black pieces are not actually leafs. Upon further inspection they look more like raisins, but much harder to the touch, so I think its safe to say there are not raisins. You can definitely see the cinnamon and gloves. I would assume the yellow-y bits are dried ginger. Ginger usually makes a fantastic addition to tea.

(In my awesome Adventure Time mug)
Color/Smell - It brews pretty much the same color as the last tea, however a bit more red-ish. The cinnamon smell carries over and reminds me of the holidays. I want pie now, stuffing, and eggnog. Eh..hem.. Yes it is a wonderful smell.

Taste - When I think of oolong and what oolong is, I'd assume a deep, almost woody roasted flavor. However, I honestly don't taste "tea" at all. I wouldn't even define this as an oolong tea. Its a herbal tea that just happens to have a little bit of oolong tea in it. All I can taste is a mild cinnamon flavor, with a subtle ginger backing, and some light clove notes. Its also unexpectedly sweet. If I brewed this more on terms with it being an herbal tea, it might have more favor, usually herbal teas are brewed a bit longer to get the flavor out of the bits.

Overall - If you're looking for a woods-y oolong tea, you'll be disappointed. If you're looking for an herbal time, you'll be quite happy. I really did enjoy this tea, and can see myself drinking it during the holidays, or during the cold months. I would highly recommend brewing it at least 3 more minutes longer then it recommends, actually, if you can, don't even bother removing the tea leafs. Let it steep forever, it'll only grow strong flavors out of the different components.

As an oolong tea:

(1 and a half tea leaves out of 5. Not-Recommended.)

As an herbal tea:

(3 and a half out of 5. Recommended.)

Can be found here.