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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Hey…did you miss me?

Yeah I missed me too. Not that I lost me or anything. But I seriously lost my love of tea for a while. Why? Well, I love my tea. But I like taking my time with it, which is something I had little of with a kid under one. Honestly it got a little difficult after he turned one. But Then I started getting more asks for reviews and finding new companies to try.

So it was time to dust off the the blog, twitter, etc. and just back in. So here I am! The goal is to get at least 3-4 posts up a week. But there will be a lot of posts on Instagram so go on and give that a follow too.

Really Root Beer & Glass Slipper Rooibos {@NelsonsTea Review}

Finally!

Finally!

It’s only taken me two months to finish up these reviews. My apologies, but boy is it easier to pop a K-Cup in the machine than to make a proper cuppa with a little in the house. So when hubs got home tonight I told him it was tea time and headed off to taste these last two from Nelson’s.

First up is their Really Root Beer. First impression on opening the packet? I half expected to hear a can opening because the smell of root beer had me expecting A & W and not tea. It really smells like root beer! Good news is it doesn’t just smell like root beer. That’s right it actually tastes like root beer too!! Then again with these ingredients how can it not: sassafras bark, sarsaparilla root, birch bark, burdock root, dandelion root, licorice root, fennel seed, anise star pods, ginger root, cinnamon and flavoring. The good thing is that the licorice root and anise star pods don’t take over this herbal. As neither is my favorite. But they plays so nice in this herbal I kind of forgot they were there. I only wish I had some club soda or plain seltzer to make my own iced “root beer”, but we don’t. Hands down this has been my favorite of the samples from Nelson’s.

Next up is Glass Slipper Rooibos. This one had a lot of promise when I opened the package. The vanilla and almond flavors were so strong. However, once steeped they all but vanished. They were there on the finish, but I tasted more of the cherry flavor, which I admit is not my favorite. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t try it out for yourself. Sometimes a tea just isn’t for me and this was one such tea.

My thanks again to the folks at Nelson’s for sending all of these teas my way to try. If you want to try any of them they are available on their website or at Amazon.com.

The return of PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!

I interrupt your usual tea talk to speak of the other delicious caffeinated beverage – coffee. Hey the tag line does say…and sometimes coffee. Why you ask? It’s simple really, it’s September! Which I feel is a respectable time to start talking about pumpkin anything. For example I have had my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte which was ok, not great, but ok.

But I figured that Green Mountain Coffee or some other Keurig cup producing company would have their pumpkin spice beverage out soon. Well, Target did not disappoint! There was a whole end cap thing full of 18 cup/pod boxes and yes I grabbed one. I will grab more as the Fall weather returns to the Northeast. Hey it’s cheaper than going to Starbucks for a latte.

It's like pumpkin-ception up in here!

It’s like pumpkin-ception up in here!

So this morning the little woke at quarter of 7 and thankfully went back to bed until 10! Which meant momma and daddy also got to sleep in….good baby! But once we were all up for the day I remembered I had some pumpkin spice deliciousness to get to. So I pawned cereal feeding of smalls off on daddy and got down to business. Which also reminded me that I had Pumpkin Spiced (and gluten free) Cheerios to try. Yup those are a thing and they are delicious!

 

Nom, nom, nom!

Nom, nom, nom!

As for the coffee I opted to make a latte out of it. So while the Keurig was doing it’s thing I got to work on the frothy awesomeness. I used SO Delicious dairy-free creamer which I popped in the microwave for 15 seconds and then frothed with my handy dandy frother for another 15 seconds and oooh was it tasty!

This is totally a new Fall favorite in my house. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be delicious Fall teas either! Oh no, I plan to get my hands on some Pumpkin Chai as soon as possible as well as any other Fall fun teas that I can get my hot little hands on. Stay tuned….Fall is coming!

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!

 

Pumpkin Matcha/Matcha Maker {@davidstea}

Super easy to use and perfect matcha every time!

Super easy to use and perfect matcha every time!

*These items were purchased by me and not provided for by DAVIDsTEA*

I’m behind in my reviews because it has been hotter than Mordor here for the last two weeks. But finally “cooler” weather is here (yeah I consider 85 cooler) so I’ve gotten back to tea. This time it was trying out my new matcha maker and pumpkin matcha from DAVIDsTEA.

So first about the matcha maker. It’s so easy and fast, which when you have a crawling 7.5 month old is exactly what you need before he’s into the cat food or trying to get down the cat door to the cellar! Needless to say he now lives in a “gated community” in our living room! Anyway, what you do is simply add your matcha to the tumbler, fill with hot water to the fill line (heated to 165), attach the matcha maker and lid and SHAKE. The only real thing you have to remember is to release the pressure button at the top after shaking. A step you really shouldn’t forget.

Seriously it’s that easy the little ball in the lid does all the work while you shake your little heart out. I have never had a good matcha until now. Which is why I had totally given up on matcha’s until I saw said maker was on sale. When I picked up the maker I also grabbed some matcha which included their new pumpkin matcha. I wasn’t sure how it would taste I’d had some not so great flavored matcha’s in the past.

But oh my gosh this was delicious! Like no more Pumpkin Spiced Latte’s for me delicious. Mostly because it reminded me of the PSL’s at Starbucks minus the atomic orange color and who knows what else? Don’t get me wrong I’ll still have one because it’s a right of fall passage, in August. But I can save myself some green after and make up one of these anytime I want at home. I’ll call that a delicious win! If you want to try either of these for yourself head on over to their website and check it out.

More tea reviews coming later this week!

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.