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Was shopping at Giant Eagle this morning with the toddler, went down the tea aisle for some crackers (hazelnut nut thins) when I decided to glace at the tea. Twinings did have some tins of loose leaf but nothing excited me, I thought about getting some Irish Breakfast for the husband but passed. Their Prince of Wales and another brand’s Lapsang Souchong tempted me as well but they were both bagged.

Then there was another curved section with organic teas. Stash caught my eye and got me excited (as I’ve seen people log about it on here) but I didn’t like any of the choices. However this and Choice’s bancha made their way into my cart along with another brand’s coconut chai green tea (mainly because it had a nice tin).

So yes this is bagged, but its twigs and organic, so how important can whole leaf be in this case? The fannings are still smaller than I would have thought, but I’d have to order some loose leaf kukicha to compare. I disregarded their brewing instructions, boiling for 4-5 mins no thank you. If it hadn’t said it was twigs and leaves I might have gone for it. I brought the water to 180ish and steeps for about 2 mins (I watched and smelled and when it was brown and sweet I pulled the bag).

But this is actually quite delightful. Its roasty and nutty and sweet and I think the husband is actually going to love it, which is a miracle because although he loves Japanese culture (studied it in college) he doesn’t care for their food or green tea. There is something in both the smell and the taste that does remind me of coffee, but a really light coffee with some hazelnut soy creamer. Will also have to take this into work to share, but really I can see myself buying this again (convenience certainly plays a role in that).

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec
TeaBrat

This was one of my favorite teas for years!

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TeaBrat

This was one of my favorite teas for years!

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

Location

Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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