Hello old friend…

And it’s all mine!

So as some of you might know I used to be VERY into tea. I sold it for a time and I even went to the eastern World Tea Expo a time or two. That’s how into tea I was. But then life happened, and work, and now a baby toddler. However, recently I realized I needed to get back to the things I loved. That I was more than just a mom. Here I am kicking the blog back off. Getting samples to try and buying my own teas to try and review too.

That’s what this tea it. It’s one I had close to five years ago, when times were simpler, and less of my attention was demanded in eight different directions at once. I first picked up the Ancient Phoenix Fermented puerh when I first attended the World Tea Expo East in 2011. It’s also where I met many tea friends I still have today. I think I stopped at the Wild Tea Qi booth on the last day of the event and they were serving up this one. Well, I fell in love and instantly bought a package.

Ready and waiting!

I tried not to drink ALL of it too quickly, but it was good. I also recall sending some off to various tea friends who could not attend the expo so needless to say the tea went quickly. Flash forward to now. Now that I was jumping back into blogging and drinking ALL the tea I was immediately on the hunt for this tea again. Yes, it was that good! I found it easy enough on their website and ordered it. I expected it to turn up in at least two weeks, maybe more. Color me surprise when it turned up in under a week! (It was coming from overseas)

The minute I heard the tell tale sound of the USPS scanner I jumped the baby gate and scared the hell out of the mailman. But I didn’t get to try the tea until now (aka nap time). I used one brick as instructed. Which was really hard to break off. Looks like I need a pure knife, oh darn. Anyway, I warmed up my pot and then popped the brick inside. It took a few steeps of the hot water to break up the brick and actually make the tea. Which I was expecting. Boy was it worth the wait!

So dark and so delicious!

My first cup was earthy and simply awesome. It was better than I remembered it. With each infusion the liquid got darker and the taste smoother. To the point where I imagine this is what silk would taste like if you could drink it. I also picked up hints of chocolate in this tea, which was interesting and not unwelcome. I saved the leaves to try them again tomorrow morning (it was suggested in a tea vlog I watched to try this out so we’ll see).

It’s interesting to me that puerh teas have become a favorite of mine. I mean they aren’t for everyone. I have tea friends who have tried it and tell me it tastes like dirt and how can I drink dirt. Well, yeah it does have a really earthy taste to it. But I wouldn’t call it dirt. To me they typically taste very rich and super smooth. I think it might be because I also enjoy coffee. Though the tide is turning there. I haven’t had a cup of coffee in over a week now!

Tea is just better! That’s not to say I won’t have coffee every again. I will, but now that I’m making time for tea again, the coffee is going to be taking a back seat. Especially now that I have this puerh again. Which I consider the perfect substitute for coffee.

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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.

Champagne & Raspberries White Tea {@NelsonsTea Review}

Five teas to try and review!

Five teas to try and review!

Not long ago I was contacted by Nelson’s Tea to see if I would select a few teas for review both on my blog and on Amazon. Seeing as it had been quite a while since I was last asked to review I jumped at the chance. First up, thanks to those who participated in the Twitter poll is their Champagne & Raspberries White Tea. I actually finished sampling these Saturday, but due to a dying laptop I had to wait (new replacement was purchased yesterday). Plus little man is napping so I’m cashing in!

Even in the high heat of summer I always have to try a tea hot first.

Even in the high heat of summer I always have to try a tea hot first.

Now, usually I’m not a fan of White teas or rather my belly isn’t a fan. But this one was different. No problems after trying it both hot and iced. Trying it hot was up first. Yes hot tea in July…I know it’s mad right? But honestly I always try it both ways as I’ve found it can change how the tea tastes. Which was true for this particular tea.

The dry leaves smelled heavily of raspberry which I LOVED. After all raspberry screams cool and summer to me. So I set my One Touch kettle to the suggested 175 and waited. Once ready I poured and waited again. While waiting I took a few sniffs of the steeping tea and noted the strong smell of the raspberry – awesome. I wasn’t really picking up the champagne flavor yet.

I love the color.

I love the color.

Once my tea was ready I let it cool a little more so as not to burn myself (the worst) and dug in. Again the raspberry flavor jumped out at first, but there was a hint of the champagne on the finish. Which was nice and also light and crisp. I happily finished my cup and really wanted another. BUT for iced tea double the amount of tea is called for. So I wanted to make sure I had enough for that.

How lovely does that look?

How lovely does that look?

 

 

I tried this tea iced last Saturday when I had some time (and help with the babe). This time as I mentioned above I used double the amount as suggested by the packaging. I also opted to used a large pyrex measuring cup as I wanted a lot on such a hot morning. Again, I noted all the same smells as I did with the hot version. Once it was ready I poured it over a huge cup filled with ice – and added a few more cubes for good measure.

This time when I took my first sip the champagne was front and center. Though the crispness I experienced on the finish when prepared hot was still there and it was lovely. The raspberry flavor took a back seat this time which was a shame as I hoped there would have been a more even mix of the two flavors when served iced. However, I will say this was a great way to start off a very hot day.

I still have enough left to try it hot or iced again and I’m torn which to try. If I do try it iced I think I’ll add a little plain seltzer or tonic water to give it the fizz of champagne. Fun right?

If you’re interested in this tea you can find it here or you can purchase it from their website here. Thank you again for sending me the sample to try out!

 

*I was not paid for this honest review, only given a sample to try and review.