Monday, April 4, 2016
Eastern Shore Tea Co. - Wonderful teas, reasonably priced, beauty for all the senses.
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).