Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Story of Lapsang Souchong

Today I'd like to share the story behind my favorite tea, Lapsang Souchong. This tea has a distinctive smoky aroma and taste that people generally either love or hate. I love this tea which is smoky because the tea leaves are actually dried over smoking pinewood!

One day the villagers of Tongu in the Wuyi region of China were drying their tea leaves near the forest. During the night soldiers marched through the area and, not seeing the leaves, trampled them. When the villagers awoke they saw their tea leaves ruined. The villagers decided to try to save the leaves by drying them over an open wood fire. They then took the tea to sell, without much hope, so they sold it cheaply. Imagine their surprise when they returned to the market the following year. Instead of their regular teas, people were clamoring for their special smoked tea! Not only that, they were willing to pay more than they ever had for tea from the Tongu Village! Thus the tradition of Lapsang Souchong began.

I'd like to thank my friend, Niraj Lama, who not only introduced me to Lapsang Souchong, but told me its story as well.

The photograph is the Wuyi Mountains copied from

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pippin's Lady Grey Black Tea

Karen here, my birthday was yesterday and a dear friend sent the most wonderful tea themed birthday gift (and most perfect card! I love the Witches tea party/Welsh Woman's Tea photo! )  The adorable tea party to go set in the photo above  fits in the tin is one of the sweetest tea accessories I have ever seen! Worth mentioning this Tea Party In A tin has four cups and saucers, a table cloth, 4 teaspoons and tea pot. You can find one for yourself by clicking here.  A selection of Pippin's tea that included the tea I am reviewing today called Lady Grey.

Lady Grey tea is a black tea that is lightly scented with bergmot oil and lemon and orange peel. This blend by Pippins includes rose petals . Lady Grey tea gets it's name from the wife of the most famous Charles Grey (the 2nd Earl Grey). Mary Elizabeth Grey was born in march of 1776 and married Charles at age 18  in 1794. Mary Elizabeth Grey went on to have 16 children! Truly someone I can lift my teacup too, having only had three children myself!
Pippins blend has a lovely color, a light and bright citrus flavor with a heavenly floral scent.
It is fruity and perfect for an afternoon spring tea.
You can learn more about Pippins Tea by visiting their website by clicking here. 
Learn more about Lady Grey and her life by clicking here. 
I would love to have you join me for tea daily by visiting me at 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Queen locked up her Darjeeling. She loved it so.

This is not about Queen Elizabeth. A happy belated birthday to her majesty, but today we talk about her grandma, Mary of Teck who was the Queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress consort of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V, (1867-1953). Queen Mary loved her favorite tea so much she kept it locked up in a cupboard.

If you are wondering what tea that could possibly be, I will spare you the suspense. Open the book The Tea Lovers' Treasury by James Norwood Pratt, which many of tea lovers must have if not should have, and there you will see the author disclose that it was nothing less than "a fine Darjeeling with a pronounced muscatel flavor." According to Pratt, who is the demigod of American tea devotees, Twinings later marketed this tea as "Queen Mary Tea" describing it as the personal choice of the late Queen Mary.

A bit of internet "research" shows that Twinings launched Queen Mary Tea in 1916 and discontinued it only in 2007, after a 91 years run! It is amazing the brand lasted so long. Wonder why they did not go for the centennial. Seems like there was quite a bit of followers after all: we found a Facebook page called Bring Back Twinings Queen Mary Tea, Please.

According to the posts in this page, some of which seems to come from informed sources, Queen Mary Tea was actually a blend of Darjeeling and Keemun. The latter is a robust tea with a smoky and honey flavor, used in the traditional English Breakfast Blend. We can imagine it brought more depth and sweetness to Darjeeling's floral spiciness.

But where did the knowledge of the Queen locking up her tea actually come from? Pratt finds it the book Dinner at Buckingham Palace by former royal chef Charles Oliver. Notably, Oliver credits Queen Mary for bringing the English tea-time to perfection.

Queen Mary with her granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth.

Talking about the tea tradition within the palace, Oliver notes: "The ritual of English tea-time was brought to perfection by the late Queen Mary, for whom it was the favorite time of the day. Everything had to be fully ready by 4pm punctually, with sandwiches, cakes and biscuits invitingly set out on gleaming silver dishes upon a smoothly-running trolley. The teapot, cream jug, hot-water jug and sugar bowl were always the same antique silver service which had been a favorite of Queen Victoria...[Later] Queen Mary would take over and meticulously measure out her favorite Indian tea from a jade tea-caddy she kept locked in a cupboard. Then she would pour on the boiling water and complete the tea-making ritual by snuffing out the spirit stove before sitting back for the footmen to pour tea and hand round sandwiches and cakes. But before Queen Mary gave the signal for this to begin she would always let exactly three minutes elapse from the moment she poured hot water on the tea leaves so that the tea leaves so that the tea would be perfectly brewed."

Queen Mary was known to have exquisite taste in all things and she obviously had one for tea - that she liked Darjeeling, referred to as the champagne of teas by tea connoisseurs around the world, is no surprise.

But this story does make one curious about the state of the royal security. For the Queen to have to lock up her favorite tea in her own palace is a rather unfortunate situation. Guess the Queen figured that a good Darjeeling was worthy of her own personal protection!

 Alas, there is no more Queen Mary Tea. But there is still Darjeeling!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Thinking like an English teacher?

While pondering my entry for this week, my thoughts went from when did I first try tea to why I drink tea at home far more often than coffee.  And here lies the irony.  Traditionally, drinking tea has a certain formality.  Whether in Japan or England, drinking tea is often part of a ritual.  It is not required, but we are aware of the formality surrounding tea.  However, I have only been to a formal high tea once.

For me, the joy of tea is in the anticipation that comes in the few minutes it takes to prepare.  The minute the water boils, I pour it over the tea bag in a mug.  A good strong black tea doesn't need five minutes of steeping: two or three minutes is long enough.  Making a pot of coffee takes longer.

And there you have love of tea is certainly influenced by how quickly my impatient, sometimes desperate, self is satisfied.  I want that cup of tea, and I want it now!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review - Chakra Balance Tea

Since I developed the idea for this blog I've become more aware of tea and all the ways it makes its appearance. Every time I go to a store I check to see if there's a tea section. If there is, there's a good chance I'll be coming out with something. Such was the case last week. A friend recommended an online shop for oils, Moon Goddess Magick Apothecary. While perusing some interesting blends I saw that the woman made teas too. Well, tisanes, really-no Camellia sinensis here. There were many interesting names that tempted me, but looking at the ingredients I was a bit concerned if I'd actually like any. I generally don't care for floral teas, and most of the blends sounded decidedly floral and sweet. Still, I was getting two oils so decided upon a tea as well. I went with the least floral one which happened to be Chakra Balance Tea.

As I said, Chakra Balance Tea is actually a tisane, an infusion of herbs and spices. The packaging is utterly delightful; a resealable insulated bag with a gorgeous illustration, and the cherry on top was the wax seal! So what's in it? Chakra Balance Blend consists of calendula, gotu kola, lavender, ginko, red clover, dandelion root, nettle leaf, meadowsweet, chamomile and stevia.

When I opened the bag I could see the various leaves and blossoms. The aroma was grass and floral. After steeping I admit, it looked like lawn clippings!

LIQUID: The liquid is a lovely yellow with a slight greenish tinge. The aroma is floral and musty, yet pleasant. I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. It had a buttery feel at first, but finished clean. It was very lightly floral in taste and I got the flavor of mint. It was slightly malty. It was naturally sweet, but not overly so.

ICED: This tisane was just as lovely iced. It was refreshing and hit basically the same notes as well I drank it hot.

I was worried I'd find this blend too floral and sweet, but it was definitely not the case. I really enjoyed it. So, what exactly are chakras? Chakra is the Sanskrit word for wheel or disc. In a simplistic nutshell, the body has seven energy centers along the spine, running from head to toe. Each center, or chakra, correlates to different levels of consciousness, body function, color, and more. When chakras are blocked or out of alignment, energy flow is interupted and illness or other problems may occur.I don't know if my chakras were out of wack, and I don't know if this tea got them back in line. But, I found Chakra Balance Tea by Moon Goddess Magickal Apothecary to be a delightful beverage.

Be sure to check out the Etsy store Moon Goddess Magickal Apothecary to check out this and other tisanes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tea and Reflexology

Karen here. I was not a tea drinker before 2009. I enjoyed my first cup of tea a green Jasmine tea while at a reflexology appointment and only drank it at the insistence of  my reflexology practitioner. I actually left that appointment went straight to the tea shop, bought a tea pot and some loose leaf Jasmine Tea, thus beginning my foray into the tea world.
Fast forward to 2016 and my appointment last Friday night. I treated myself to an hour long session which is a true indulgence and the effects I am still happily feeling today.

As I was letting my mind wander through the treatment I wondered why  I am always served tea at my appointment so I though I would ask and share that information with you. I honestly thought it was just my practitioner being hospitable, but with all the health wonders associated with green tea I wondered...

  "Chinese reflexology is a traditional Chinese form of medicine, which has been used for many centuries in China. Reflexology itself is a massage technique that focuses on the pressure points in the feet and hands. The Chinese and many others believe that by stimulating different points in the feet you can stimulate different parts of the body. The benefits of reflexology are improved circulation and a strengthened immune system.
I find that when I sip the tea during my treatment I feel revitalized and as if I could run a marathon after treatment! When I asked my practitioner why they served Jasmine tea at our sessions he said it was "to improve circulation and encourage toxins to leave the body", 
Today I made myself a pot of Jasmine Tea With Flowers from The Granville Island Tea Company, this particular version of Jasmine tea is much more floral (hence the name) then the blend that my practitioner uses. I love adding a green tea to my daily tea routine  especially now that spring has arrived, There is a clean and crisp feeling I find with Jasmine Tea that makes me feel warm and refreshed just like spring it's self. 
To learn more about my Jasmine Tea with Flowers from The Granville Island Tea Company please click here.  
Join me for tea daily at 

Monday, April 18, 2016

April is National Poetry Month

As a semi-retired teacher of English and lover of reading, I decided it would be appropriate to share two of my favorite poems on the subject of tea.  Consider them as tea leaves of thought.

“A  Pot  of  Tea”
By Richard Kenney
Loose leaves in a metal ball
Or men in a shark cage steeping,
Ideas stain the limpid mind
Even while it’s sleeping:

Ginseng or the scent of lymph
Or consequences queasing
Into wide awareness, whence,
Like an engine seizing

Society remits a shudder
Showing it has feeling,
And the divers all have shaving cuts
And the future’s in Darjeeling—

Blind, the brain stem bumps the bars
Of the shark cage, meanwhile, feeding,
And the tea ball’s cracked, its leaves cast
To catastrophic reading:

Ideas are too dangerous.
My love adjusts an earring.
I take her in my arms again
And think of Hermann Göring,

And all liquidities in which
A stain attracts an eating,
And of my country’s changing heart,
And hell, where the blood is sleeting.
From The One-Strand River by Richard Kenney. Copyright © 2008 by Richard Kenney. Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf. All rights reserved.

“Tea  at  the  Palaz  of  Hoon”

 By Wallace Stevens, 1879 - 1955

Not less because in purple I descended
The western day through what you called
The loneliest air, not less was I myself.

What was the ointment sprinkled on my beard?
What were the hymns that buzzed beside my ears?
What was the sea whose tide swept through me there?

Out of my mind the golden ointment rained,
And my ears made the blowing hymns they heard.
I was myself the compass of that sea:

I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw
Or heard or felt came not but from myself;
And there I found myself more truly and more strange.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Southern Tea Time And Mason Jars, A Visit With Patricia Neely- Dorsey

Today our Southern Friend Patricia Neely- Dorsey is back to share with us some more Southern Tea Tips with us.

There's something that you may not know about us southerners.
We LOVE drinking our beverages out of a Mason jar..
We are obsessed with Mason jars almost as much as we are with sweet tea !
In fact, we ESPECIALLY like drinking our sweet tea from mason jars !
It just almost seems to make it taste better ! 

Actually, we use Mason jars in any and every way imaginable.
We try to find and make up new ways to use Mason jars !
We use Mason jars for canning,  for jelly and jam.for storage, for loose change, for flower vases, and even  for wedding decorations
You name it and we can come up with a way to use a Mason jar for it !

A Little History :
In 1795 the accepted methods of food preservation are pickling, salting and drying—unreliable, unsustainable means for an army on the move.
To ensure his men would  have rations they can safely consume, Napoleon Bonaparte offers a prize: 12,000 francs to anyone who can devise a better way to preserve food.

Fifteen years pass before confectioner and distiller Nicolas François Appert claims the cash. Now known as “the father of canning,” he discovers, over the course of a decade, that food wouldn’t spoil if boiled and then stored in airtight glass containers.
His lids are made of wax and wire.They were sticky, sloppy, and potentially a breeding ground for bacteria.

It takes almost fifty years for John Landis Mason, a New Jersey native, to patent the design that would endure: a glass jar sealed with a threaded zinc cap and jar mouth.
The new model is easy to use and reuse, and is quickly improved upon in 1869 with the addition of a removable rubber ring for a more powerful closure.

Thank you Patricia! I love this idea in your photo above for an outdoor tea party! I am going to use this idea at my next party! Offer guests a range of iced teas and sweet teas in mason jars just like this! Actually I think I will make some up for my own fridge as well! 

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems
" a celebration of the south and things southern"
"Meet Mississippi Through Poetry, Prose and The Written Word"

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Water and Lu Yu

Oftentimes when making tea and even talking about it we forget about a most important part. No matter the tea, tisane, or infusion, there is one common element...water! It is important when you make your tea you use the best water possible for the water will impact the taste of the tea. Some say the best water is water taken from the place where the tea was grown. Not quite practical for me here in WNY. I can't pop by the Fujian province in China every time I want a cup of my Lapsang Souchong! Purified or Spring water is said to be best. If you use tap water, run it through a Brita or other filtering system first.

To illustrate the importance of water I'd like to share a story my friend Niraj told me. Lu Yu is considered the Sage of Tea, a prominent and respected expert who lived in the 8th century Tang Dynasty. Lu Yu wrote the first book about tea entitled Cha Jing; The Classic of Tea in English. One day Lu Yu was traveling and told the soldiers with him to gather water from the middle of the river so that he could make some tea. They returned and Lu Yu took a taste of the water they brought and said, "No. I told you to get it from the middle of the river." The soldiers insisted that they had done just that. Lu Yu took another sip and again said, "No this water is from the bank of the river." Everyone could tell his displeasure and tensions ran high, the soldiers swearing they rowed out to the middle of the water. Lu Yu then emptied half of the water and took another drink. "Ahh," he smiled, "Now this water is from the middle of the river!" The soldiers then admitted what had happened. They had indeed rowed to the middle of the river and filled the jug with water. As they were getting out of the boat after returning, however, they accidentally spilled half of the water. Instead of going back out to the middle, they merely filled the rest of the pitcher with water from the riverbank.

 The next time you prepare your tea, consider your water. Did you get it from the middle of the river?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Happy Birthday Month To Me! A Pretty Vintage Tea Cup and Connemara Tea

Karen here. It is my birthday month. In a few weeks I will be 41. Last year My husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday and what I really wanted was to know where I came from. My mother was adopted at age 5, in the French speaking part of Canada where I am from, and where not only are adoption records difficult to have unsealed but getting information when your mother has passed away is even more daunting, as a family we searched for years to help my mother solve her own adoption mystery to no avail, she passed away before this type of testing as available and affordable.  I had heard many things about DNA testing and went with a company called 23 & Me. You may be wondering what the heck this has to do with tea but you need the back story to understand just how important to me this information has been on my tea journey. Longish story short (You can read the full story on my blog by clicking here) This is the first birthday I will celebrate with the knowledge that I am of Irish heritage!  On my table and in my cup I now proudly have a cup or two of Irish Breakfast Tea in a nod to those who came before me, so that I could be here today, it is a connection to my past and future.
  Fast forward to now and upon my table this week my sister in law gave me an early birthday gift. This beautiful fluted edge Shamrock Salisbury Fine Bone China Tea Cup. I have wanted an Irish themed tea cup and saucer set ever since I found out I was Irish. She bought this one for me at an auction and I could not love it more!
In my cup this morning is The Connemara Kitchen Irish Breakfast Tea that was sent to me by a friend in Ireland, whom I can not thank enough for introducing me to this lovely tea. It is rich, creamy and slightly malty tea which I do take black. It is truly a delight to have on my table and in my cup.
My sister in law shared the following quote from C. E. Murphy on her Tanglewood Tea Shop Instagram this week:

“In Ireland, you go to someone's house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you're really just fine. She asks if you're sure. You say of course you're sure, really, you don't need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don't need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn't mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it's no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting. In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don't get any damned tea.I liked the Irish way better.” ― C.E. MurphyUrban Shaman

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Peppermint Will Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Once upon a time, we cut down a plum tree in our yard. Termites had eaten it hollow and it would only bear withered, bitter fruit. Because we didn’t have stump removal equipment, I decided to plant peppermint around it to disguise the bit of stump.

Peppermint. In my yard. Not in a pot. Right smack in the middle of the yard.

I’ll pause while you all laugh.

Fast-forward about 15 years. This is my vegetable garden. Note the cucumber leaves waving a white flag of surrender as the peppermint executes a victorious siege. 

I spent a few years trying to contain it.

I’ll pause again while you all laugh.

Now I know better and I’ve acknowledged the dominance of my peppermint overlords.

I’m not much for herbal teas, but I do like peppermint, a lot. I’m fairly well addicted to Celestial Seasonings peppermint tea. I’ve tried Stash and Bigelow, but Celestial Seasonings tastes best to me. 

One summer I figured I’d save a few bucks and dry my own. I grow many herbs—in pots now, thank you very much—and dry them in my kitchen.

This is what I get when the peppermint has dried:

I put some in a tea ball and steeped it. Eh. The next time, I doubled the amount of leaves. Double eh. I brewed a bag of Celestial Seasonings. Yum!

I have no idea why my own peppermint tastes nothing like the peppermint used by Celestial Seasonings. The water? The soil? Even if the tree stump I planted it around isn’t the best place for it, it’s spread into my vegetable garden which gets fertilizer and peat moss and all kinds of good treatment to make things grow. 

So I’ve given it up and spend money on Celestial Seasonings again. Because fresh peppermint is good for two things: Tabbouleh and mimosas.

I can live with that.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Tangerine White Tea

This week I am reviewing a loose tea: a first for me on this blog.  I have had many loose teas in the past but until being asked to help with this blog, I had stopped using them and stuck with bags.

This past week I visited Honeygirl Gourmet, a small specialty shop in Geneseo, NY.  The store has teas, coffees, and a mixture of organic food items.  With limited time, I picked up a couple of teas and intend on a followup trip.

Tangerine White Tea is a loose tea bagged specially for this store.  The wrapper is a plain brown paper with a zip top allowing it to be resealed.  No photo is included of the bag; however, tonight I decided to show the tea leaves after brewing.

 The ingredients for this tea are simple: white tea, orange peel, and tangerine flavor.  I wish I could report that there is a delicious citrus flavor, but after tasting three cups, I have not been able to discern a citrus scent or taste.

The tea has an interesting texture including tea leaves and stems.

There are bits of orange visible .                                                                                                          

It was fun taking these photos.

And I enjoyed the tea!  My first cup was, as is my usual choice without any sweetening agent.  I enjoyed it but could not find any particular flavor.  It was simply an enjoyable cup of tea.  With the second cup I tried a bit of honey.  The honey did not overwhelm the tea, and unless I was imagining it there was bit of mint taste.  The same thing happened with my third cup when I used sugar.  I'm not sure why the mint taste came through with honey or sugar, but it did.

The tea is enjoyable; I have no regrets with the purchase, but perhaps tangerine requires a stronger flavoring technique.  I will discuss it with the owner the next time I visit.  The second tea I purchased was a British bagged tea, and the flavor was quite accurately described but saving that for next week.

Not sure how to rate this one, but a 2/5 seems fair as it was nice but not the flavor advertised.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

My Go To Teacup

While I love the look of a delicate teacup (perhaps a Royal Doulton with hand painted periwinkles?), and enjoy my gong fu cups, as well as mugs sent by my favorite authors, my go to teacup is my Lucidity Glass Brew-in-Cup.
This cup is perfect for the solo tea drinker who enjoys loose leaf tea. As you see the cup comes with a stainless steel infuser and lid. The infuser has super tiny holes, so even small leaves should remain inside! After warming your cup, put your leaves in the infuser, add the hot water, and cover to steep. When done, you put the cover to the side and the steeper can sit right on it, ready for the next infusion! I like that it's glass so that you can appreciate the color of the liquid as well as the aroma and taste!

Do you have a go to teacup?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Granville Island Tea Company In Vancouver BC, Canada

Karen here, over March break I took my boys and headed to Granville Island, one of Vancouver BC's amazing attractions. This shopping area is 20 minutes form my house and filled with artists, farmers, independent crafts people of all kinds and home to The Granville Island Tea Company. Located in the main part of the food market I was delighted to pop in and purchase three black teas to try.
 This small but stacked tea shop has something for everyone's taste and the prices were really quite reasonable.
The staff were knowledgeable and friendly. I asked about their creamy black teas, which I what I prefer and the sales person select three teas that I just loved. I have been enjoying the Caramel Black tea, the Double Cream Earl Grey and the Vanilla Nut Supreme Scented teas. I asked for 50 grms of each and was pleased that my bill was less then $20 Canadian.
If you find your way to the West Coast of Canada and have a chance to visit Vancouver has some lovely tea rooms and some great loose leaf tea companies. The Granville Island Tea Company can also be found on line by clicking here. 

Thank you for joining me here today and I would love to have you daily for tea over at 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Eastern Shore Tea Co. - Wonderful teas, reasonably priced, beauty for all the senses.

Okay, I am not sure how these teas appeal to my sense of hearing but think of all the times we read a label, Blueberry-Lemon, and think, "that sounds good."  I can't be the only person who does that.  Think about how many ways our imaginations are working and what sensory images are zipping by in nanoseconds as we evaluate trying something new to eat.  It isn't all about taste, and it isn't always possible to say exactly what is giving us pleasure.

I discovered Eastern Shore Teas at Wegmans and have experimented with several of them over the past few months.  The Wegmans Hornell location has quite a large selection of teas aside from the standard varieties.  Glancing over the display, I saw many familiar brands: Celestial Seasons, Twinings, and the Republic of Tea among others but wanted to focus on brands new to me.  I was drawn to the lovely illustrated white beribboned bags and that first time decided to try two: High Energy and Green Tea with Peach.

The High Energy Tea has become my go to travel standby, so it was lovely to experience it today brewed properly, in a pot, for five minutes.  The scent and taste are delightful; both refreshing and relaxing.  The ingredients are black and green teas, ginger, orange peel, lemongrass, yerba mate (pronounced yer-bah mah-tay and made from the naturally caffeinated and nourishing leaves of the celebrated South American rainforest holly tree known as llex paraguariensis), eleuthero root(reportedly strengthens the body, enhances performance, and gives a tremendous boost to sexual vigor and function), and ascorbic acid.  The taste and aroma are hard to categorize.  I cannot say the ginger is pronounced and don't really sense a strong citrus element; I do know that I love the experience.  The benefits of yerba mate and. eleuthero root are beyond the knowledge of this reviewer, and I will not even attempt to judge the energy claim, but it is good tea.  I can say with confidence that this tea can take a beating: I usually take this tea to work in a 12 ounce, stainless steel travel mug.  I use one tea bag and seal it in before leaving the house.  It steeps for at least 30 minutes.  The bag is removed when I arrive at work.  This tea is delicious like that and sometimes I finish it when it is cold.  It could be lovely iced.  This tea is a definite 5/5.

The Green Tea with Peach is one I enjoy in the evening when I want a bit less caffeine.  This tea is created with fine Sencha Green tea, chamomile, peach flavoring and real peach pieces.  The aroma and taste are redolent with peaches, and it has the pale green color of green tea.  I love peaches and enjoy this tea.  It is also good iced and a 5/5.

Finally, last month I picked up a few more varieties including Blueberry-Lemon.  This is a black tea with lemongrass, blueberry, and lemon flavoring.  Straight out of the package I noticed the scent of blueberry, and then I was surprised!  After pouring boiling water on the tea, the lemon scent arose. This marvelous blending works through with taste as well.  As with the Peach tea, I added just a bit of sugar.  The Blueberry-Lemon is a dominant blueberry taste with lemon highlights.  I have not yet had it iced, but the package recommends it as a refreshing summer tea.  It has the rich amber color missing from green teas or even black/green tea blends.  I chose to have a blueberry lemon biscotti with this tea.  The cookie had a stronger lemon taste with whole blueberries.  It made a nice complement to the tea.  For me this one earned another 5/5.

I have sampled five teas from Eastern Shore Tea, but there are many more available.  Prior to writing for this blog, I did not take much time thinking about the teas I consumed.  I either liked them or not and many aged in the cupboard before being tossed.  But I have made a few discoveries about my own tea-drinking habits.  I generally still avoid adding any sweetening agent but have decided that honey has an overpowering flavor that sometimes blots out the taste of the tea.  I realize it is a healthier choice, but I prefer it on my toast.  I may experiment with agave.

Finally, thanks to Guayaki Brand Yerba-mate  for the information about its product, and Medicine Hunter for the information on the eleuthero root (also incorrectly known as Siberian Ginseng).

Friday, April 1, 2016

Tea Quote - P.G. Wodehouse

The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured coziness. ~P.G. Wodehouse