Korean Jeju Island Second Flush {Review}

Teas and chocolate!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Teas Unique to see if I wanted to try out some Korean teas. At first I wasn’t going to. I honestly thought I was out of the tea game for good. Little ones take up a lot of time! But then I thought it would be cool to try as the only Korean tea I’d ever had was buckwheat tea I’d had at a local Korean eatery. Long story short I received the teas last week and finally had time today to try one.

First up is a Korean Jeju Island Second Flush Organic Single Estate Whole Leaf Black Tea with Mandarin Orange…bit of a mouthful…

So I tried it out this morning instead of my usual cup of coffee delivered quickly from the Keurig. Sp while the little was busy stuffing his face with cereal I cracked into the sample. I went with the suggested temperature (195 degrees) and got about my business. I did think a head to snap some pictures of the leaves before I tossed them into my cup. These were some huge leaves let me tell you. Plus little bits of the mandarin orange.

Nice right?

Like I said the leaves were long and huge! The dry leaf smelled pretty earthy, more like what I would expect from a puer. It smelled really earthy with a hint of orange. Once the water was ready I poured the water and waited the suggested 2 minute steep time.

As the tea was steeping I smelled more of a malty smell to it. But it was also still earthy. But there was very little smell of the orange that I noted in the dry leaves. Bit of a bummer there. But two minutes later and a few cheerios picked up off the floor and my tea was ready for the tasting. I took my first tentative sip, careful not to burn my mouth. The taste of the tea was smooth, but not bitter. Bonus there was the mandarin orange flavor on the finish! There was also a little bit of a bite on the end too.

Over all it was a good cup of tea. One I would add to my cabinet? No, I have a similar puer that I’ve got that has more of the orange flavor I was looking for. But it’s a nice cup of tea. You can find it on their website or on Amazon.

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rwanda rukeri {@AdagioTeas review}

Fun fact this is take two of this tea picture because well the measuring spoon flipped out of the bag with a spoonful of tea on it...into the only water left on the counter...

Fun fact this is take two of this tea picture because well the measuring spoon flipped out of the bag with a spoonful of tea on it…into the only water left on the counter…

My week got away from me, as it usually does these days, but here I am with another tea review! This time I’m trying Adagio Teas rwanda rukeri. As a reminder this was one of the teas I selected for review from Adagio because frankly it sounded pretty different/awesome.

In celebration of a certain someone getting back on their not up ever hour during the night schedule I chose to make myself this. The dry leaves smell very earthy to me with a hint of fruit. But I’m not getting the scent of biscuits that I read in their description of this tea. Hey ever nose is different, right? Right! So I measured out a spoonful and added it to my mug and set the water for 212 degrees and waited. Which meant making some cinnamon raisin toast (pro tip it helps to turn the toaster oven ON), and grabbing my notebook and laptop to write this review.

Just look at those leaves!

Just look at those leaves!

Once the water was ready I went through the usual motions and set a timer for 4 minutes and let this bad boy steep. The suggested steep time is 3-5 minutes so I typically go for the middle marker on time. While waiting I dug into my toast and sorted out the photos I wanted to use for this post. Oh and wrangled a baby into his high chair and got his eats ready for dad to serve up. I then took a sniff of the steeping tea and there was the fruit again and the delicious smell of malty goodness that I’ve come to expect from a tasty Assam. But how would it taste?

Mmmm.

Mmmm.

While it reminds me of an Assam tea, there’s something else… Something a little rough around the edges if you will. It’s not bad either, just different. It’s certainly strong that’s for sure! Let’s put it this way. I’d bring this tea to a fight, because it’s sure to have my back!

 

Summer Sol Ambrosia Black {@NelsonsTea}

I like the different colors on their packaging.

I like the different colors on their packaging.

I know it’s been a while since I received the teas from Nelson’s but with a baby in the house, not every morning can be for tea. No sometimes coffee is called for. But last night someone was having a party in their crib from 2am-3:30am and sadly I was invited. While I could have reached for the ease of coffee from the Keurig I chose to try this one instead. Added bonus the little was down for a nap.

The dry leaves smelled super fruity. though I’ll admit I couldn’t put my finger on what the fruit was, but I suspected strawberries, grapes, and maybe cherries a bit like the ambrosia salad my Aunt makes for most every gathering (minus the coconut). I tried it hot first because I didn’t have the time to waste adding extra steps to make it iced. Which was a good call on my part as my little guy woke up just as my tea was ready!

IMG_1668Once steeped I smelled more of the what I’m 85% sure is (white?) grape and strawberry. The taste? It’s hard to say what it tastes like. I’ll say that it doesn’t taste bad, but I can’t tell you more than it tastes fruity. Mostly due to the fact that I can’t put my finger on what fruits it actually tastes like.

But I did finish the cup, as I said it wasn’t bad, I just can’t put a finger on what fruit flavor I’m getting in the cup. Which will probably bother me the rest of the day. If you know me you know this to be true! Perhaps I should have added some of the vanilla soy creamer to see if that helped to narrow down the fruit flavor. But I didn’t, instead I poured the rest of the loose leaf I had from the sample into my Ice Tea maker and popped it in the fridge overnight.

Flash forward to this morning (smalls is asleep) and the iced tea is ready! The weird thing is the color looks like a green tea when I poured a glass (my phone is in the baby’s room and I’m not risking waking him up to get it). But I’ll tell you this it has a Fruit Loops/Fruity Pebbles taste to it when cold brewed. Which takes me back to Saturday Morning Cartoons. So maybe there’s some blueberry mixed in with the strawberry and grape I tasted before?

Either way I liked it. But I don’t think I’d keep this one in the house on a regular basis ONLY because I can’t nail down what I’m tasting. Yes, I’m weird like that I know. If you’d like to try it out have a look at their website or you can also purchase from amazon.com.

Hizen Black from #Steepster Select {Tea Review}

First a little background before I jump into this review. I’ve talked about Steepster a bit here. But what you might ask is Steepster? Simply put it is a tea community where members share their reviews of tea and discuss tea in the online forums. I’ve been a member since 2011. And while my user handle has changed and my posting has been sporadic over the years I love the community. In fact I’ve “met” some great tea friends there too.

Recently I started noticing a lot of my friends had a little orange box with the word “select” next to their name. I was curious and checked it out. Within the last year or so Steepster began what they called Steepster Select. Which is a monthly subscription plan providing five sourced teas from around the world to members. I noticed I could get $10 off my first box and thought “why not”.

My first Steepster Select box!

My first Steepster Select box!

My first box arrived yesterday. This months teas were sourced from Japan. To my horror most of the teas were green teas. Green teas and I have what I’d call a love/hate relationship. I want to love them, but usually I just hate them. BUT there was a black tea in the bunch so I chose to try that one first.

Yes, yes I am a creature of habit and went with the tea type I know and love first. I can’t help it. And I will be trying the green teas later this week. Now that I have the one touch…it should be very hard to mess up these teas.

Packaging contains all information for proper prep.

Packaging contains all information for proper prep.

I used the one touch’s tea basket to make four cups of tea from the sample provided. Which leaves me with 1 tsp. left to sample. Note to self with the rest of the teas use the one touch as a water boiler only and prep the teas in the cast iron pot!

As you can see from the photo at the right, this tea has a short steep time. But you also get two steeps out of it. Which is nice considering how much tea I just used. It also gives some information on the flavors I should get from the tea. I always find it funny when I’m given information on what I should taste in a tea, because I almost never have the same or similar tastes in my teas.

Pre-steeping.

Pre-steeping.

The loose leaf did not smell very floral or fruity to me. Instead it smelled more earthy like a pu-erh tea. This could perhaps be due to the organic fertilizer the farmer used when growing the tea. It isn’t a bad smell at all. In fact I really like it. Two and a half minutes later I was almost ready to take my first sips of tea. Steeped the tea smells more like a malty beer with a hint of olives. Weird right? I don’t get it either. It isn’t bad, just different and I tend to like different!

In my cup.

In my cup.

The taste? I do get a little of the fruity taste promised on the package. I also detect a little honey and hops/malt to it too. Plus the taste of olives. I’m not sure why olives, but hand to kettle I’m tasting olives. Lucky for me I love olives. I’ll say it again NOT all tastebuds are the same. So you may taste sweet potatoes were you to try this tea. Big bonus there is a really clean finish. Meaning there isn’t any leftover taste in my mouth like I have found with other black teas.

Too long didn’t read….I liked it. I don’t know that I would buy more of it only because I have so much tea already (another reason I joined Select). But this isn’t a MUST HAVE for the tea cabinet.

I look forward to trying the rest. Stay tuned for those reviews coming throughout the week.