International Tea ImportersEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a catalog blend tea from International Tea Importers; I purchased it from what (was at the time) my most “local” tea shop (err… in a larger city two hours away), Snake River Tea. Sadly, like so many businesses, Snake River Tea closed shop to their physical location during 2020. They still operate online, but other than the option of being able to order by-the-ounce (so few tea shops allow purchasing less than 50g at a time!), I have little reason not to get catalog blends elsewhere. For me, what I really loved was being on vacation for Anime Oasis in Boise and stopping into their shop every day to enjoy a pot of tea and relax from the bustle of fandom convention. I’ll really miss that.
The tea smells so strongly of spearmint, both in dry leaf and steeped form. I notice little else on the nose, except for perhaps a light spice note which could be from the tulsi. The flavor on the sip is mostly spearmint, but it does seem to be soothed a bit by the tulsi, feeling welcome on the throat while not being abrasive in menthol. I can also taste the lemon myrtle too (my favorite of the lemon herbs), which pairs nicely with the spearmint. I’m really not tasting the rose hip at all, other than a fleeting hint of tanginess at the end of a sip or two which enhances the lemon quality; I could really do with more of it. Since tulsi always tastes a bit minty, citrusy, and peppery to me, it is a natural fit with spearmint and lemon myrtle, though I don’t distinctly taste its own flavor much in this blend, aside from a hay-like quality in the background.
Nothing special as far as herbal blends go, but certainly not offensive, either. Good on a healing sore throat and as a relaxing companion to Bob Ross ASMR.
Flavors: Citrus, Hay, Lemon, Mint, Smooth, Spearmint
Sara told me that the tea shop we usually go to in Boise on Memorial Day weekend, Snake River Tea, has closed and is only doing online orders. I ordered this tea because I remembered drinking it there. Looks like I never got around to reviewing it.
There’s something almost sparkly-tasting about it. So I can see calling it a “champagne” flavor. But it’s more like grape soda… which isn’t bad. I like grape soda pop. Ooh, I’ll bet this would be good with one of those carbonating devices.
There’s also a nice raspberry note. I could see drinking this out of a champagne glass. Or having another pot at a tea shop that’s now gone. Bittersweet memory tea. I hope they manage to reopen in another location.
Flavors: Grapes, Raspberry
I got this as a sampler from Blue Monkey Tea because I attended their virtual event at a virtual tea festival. I quickly discovered that it’s an ITI blend and added it under them. I have Sara to thank for my tea detective skills.
When I opened the pouch, there was a strong mango scent, possibly from the “mango flavor.” The brewed tea smells similar. By the time I’d added it to the database, it was cool enough for me to drink. It’s very mango-forward. I only notice the chai spices towards the end of the sip. I do like it as a mango tea, but I was hoping for more of a rounded masala-chai-plus-mango experience. I can pick out a bit of cinnamon and ginger if I really concentrate.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger, Mango
I don’t have many reviews left to move now… here is a Fusion Tea sampler I tried some time ago that they called “Lemon Rose Bud” that they are no longer carrying, but since it is an ITI blend (International Tea Importers) it is available from many other sources.
I really enjoy floral blends at this time of the year (well, to be fair, I enjoy them year-round, but at least they seem especially appropriate right now!) so I decided to use the majority of the sampler to make a quart of this iced, and then use of the remaining bit of leaf to have a nice warm evening cuppa.
The warm cuppa is very relaxing. The base oolong reminds me of the orange ginger oolong in my collection, and I almost wonder if that’s the very oolong used as the base, because I swear I’m getting a bit of a mandarin flavor mixed with the lemon zest citrus notes in the background, with some subtle earthy notes and just a hint of ginger. The dominant flavor is a very sweet rose flavor; often I get a slight peppery note from rose, but here it is all sweet and floral.
The iced tea is also very nice! It’s very smooth, with a bit of a creamy mouthfeel, and very refreshing. The flavor is very close to the warm cuppa, though I’d say the earthy and orangy base flavors are a little more subdued, with the lemon zest and rose notes really coming to the forefront.
Overall I really like this flavor combination, and am a little sad this oolong was discontinued. It was a really enjoyable cuppa with a lot of natural sweetness, a really strong rosey flavor, and a nice lemony-orange citrus background note.
Flavors: Earth, Ginger, Lemon Zest, Orange, Rose, Smooth, Sweet
Onto my next packet of 2017 tea from Snake River Tea! Snake River Tea called this tea “Bronco Buzz” (after Boise State University’s Broncos, likely because it already has the orange and blue petals included, the team colors, giving it a “local tie-in”) but it is a very popular wholesale blend called “Mate Carnival” from International Tea Importers; I’ve found a ton of tea shops that carry this that I stuck on the entry list that you can check out, and if you search “Mate Carnival” on Steepster you can already find tons of reviews that have been put up under a handful of those individual tea shops.
So, coffee teas. I know they are not very favorable. Folks either like their coffee, or they like their tea, and there seems to be a consensus that the streams definitely SHOULD NOT CROSS. I was a big coffee drinker for years before I became a teahead, so I don’t really have such strong aversions. I do find that I haven’t really gone back to coffee these days because with the GI issues I have from migraines (yes, migraines aren’t just a head problem, they affect your whole GI tract) coffee doesn’t sit well in my stomach (I will still partake in a rare mocha since the thick milk can help with that). But I figure something like this should be fine, as it is mostly flavor, and not actual coffee that could feel all acid-like in the tum; and I have never fallen out of love with the aroma or taste.
The brewed tea has a strong coffee aroma; it also smells a bit of wood and roasted nuts. It is actually a quite pleasant flavor from the sip, with a strong coffee note, but I’m also getting a hint of wood and nuts and toward the end of the sip a sweeter touch of cinnamon spice and honey; I think the rooibos is actually complimenting the roasted mate in just the right way here to bring a fuller flavor profile to cup so the coffee flavor isn’t too overbearing and there is some natural sweetness coming through. I think my one complaint is the coffee flavor is just a tad artificial… like, it feels slightly syrupy on the tongue, somehow? Or just a little too obvious that it is added to the cup, even though the flavor itself is a rather decent replica. On the whole it is still a nice blend for a coffee-flavored tea.
Flavors: Artificial, Cinnamon, Coffee, Honey, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Wood
Another of my oldest Snake River Tea purchases. It’s called “Wisdom Chai” and has a pu’erh base, but it isn’t the sort of tea I’d think of as what the west brands “chai”… this is a very strange tea. It’s an International Tea Importers wholesaled blend, and you can find some other reviews for this listed under the tea name under the multitude of tea shops that carry it, since ITI is about as prolific as Metropolitan Tea Co.
So, this tea is called a chai, but doesn’t really evoke a strong spice profile to me… it’s an odd flavor profile that tastes strongly of licorice and fruit. Two things that shouldn’t really work together, and for many people probably will not, but for me… I actually kinda like this. It is definitely weird, there is no doubt about that, but I really like the somewhat overbearing, strong licorice taste (I admittedly love licorice, strong black licorice, the kind everyone else can’t stand), and that anise is really pulling out the licorice flavor here, with the licorice root adding a hint of sweetness to really bring the taste of the candy center stage, but there is a backdrop of… stonefruit? It’s supposed to be mango, but I’m getting apricot, with maybe just a touch of very subtle undefined berry. It shouldn’t work at all, but I prepared it as an iced tea (brewed hot and then chilled in the fridge overnight, rather than my typical coldbrew preparation; I worried the pu-erh wouldn’t cold brew well) and am finding the licorice and fruit flavor is pairing well, like an odd food pairing that works, and it’s really refreshing. I do wish the licorice root didn’t linger on the tongue even when iced, but it is more cleansing than when warm, at least. And the pu-erh is surprisingly very mellow, I’m not even getting the typical dank/earthy notes. The anise/licorice is dominating the flavor enough I think the base tea doesn’t hold out much through it. I don’t notice the ginger at all… maybe it’s just me, or the iced preparation?
It’s an odd one, but I like it. But I’m an odd one, too.
Flavors: Anise, Apricot, Berry, Candy, Licorice, Stonefruit, Sweet
This is another of my older Snake River Tea purchases, and another blend wholesaled from ITI (just search “Green Plum and Pear” to find lots of reviews for this tea from other tea shops, since New Mexico Tea Co., Mahamosa, Roundtable Tea Co., and others all source this blend from ITI).
Other than occassionally taking a warm cuppa first thing in the morning, I’ve pretty much been drinking lots and lots of cold brew lately, and flavored greens are good cold brew material for me. The leaf for this smelled a bit odd to me; I’m not sure if it’s age (though I wouldn’t put that past it, since greens don’t hold up the best, though the Moroccan Mint was bought at the same time and that held up okay), but I can only describe the aroma as… rotten fruit. Like, it doesn’t really smell of plums or pears to me, but a fruit bowl that has been out too long. I sort of get pear, but not crisp, juicy pear. It’s just… odd.
The tea also is just… ya. This is not a favorite. It does have more of a pear-like flavor coming out on the sip, but it’s reminding me too much of mushy canned pears, which I don’t like at all, rather than nice, crisp, juicy pears. I suppose one would say those things taste the same, but to me, they somehow don’t. I don’t really get a plum note, because I would expect there to be a nice tartness coming through, which I’m not getting. I almost wonder if these two flavors just don’t really mesh to my palate, and are coming through together as something else… which tastes a bit too much like mushy pear/rotten fruit. Or maybe the base green is just a little too old and bringing a mustiness that is throwing the flavors off; hard to tell, as I’m not really getting a musty or “off tea” note, just… a weird flavor taste. Really hard to make the call here. But I don’t really like it.
I only had an ounce though, so I’ll probably trudge through it making liters of iced tea until it’s cleared out of the cupboard.
Flavors: Musty, Pear, Tree Fruit, Vegetal
This is another of my older teas from Snake River Teas, a Moroccan Mint blend sourced from International Tea Importers. It’s a traditional blend of gunpowder green tea and peppermint, so nothing particularly exciting; I’m not a fan of gunpowder green tea because I don’t like the smoky notes in it, but if I do have to drink it, strong, crisp peppermint does help mask some of that for me so I don’t mind Moroccan Mint too much, especially cold brewed, as I’ve found sipping this down almost entirely cold brewed those notes seem even more subdued. There is a subtle touch of a somewhat earthy, smoky vegetal taste, but the mint provides a very sharp, clean, refreshing taste that pops on the tongue and settles in the aftertaste, so I’ve actually found this quite nice. I’d still prefer to restock a non-traditional Moroccan Mint blend using a different green tea base that isn’t gunpowder green for my collection now that this is gone (such as Steven Smith Teamaker’s Fez), but this certainly wasn’t difficult to finish off, which I was somewhat expecting given my dislike of the base tea.
Flavors: Earth, Menthol, Mint, Peppermint, Smoke, Vegetal
This is one of my oldest teas, so I put a priority on finishing it off by making a few quarts of it as iced tea. I got it from Snake River Tea in Boise, Idaho, and it is wholesaled from International Tea Importers (there is a similar blend with the same name from Adagio, but they are different; notably in the rose petal department, and this blend was strong in the rose floral notes! Snake River Tea in Boise uses ITI as a source for a lot of their blends, though it does appear they have stopped carrying this one at some point… proof I’ve held onto this one for far too long.) I don’t really like rooibos iced, but I do like green rooibos iced, so this blend worked well for me. The tea is mango/passion fruit flavored, but to me it tastes strongly of peach, with a punch of floral rose toward the finish. The green rooibos is very light with some subtle hay/vegetal notes that is mostly hidden under the strong fruity/floral flavors of the tea. It makes a very refreshing iced tea.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Hay, Peach, Rose, Stonefruit, Sweet
Yes, I’m still alive. Since May I’ve been very preoccupied with first-time homebuyer stuff, and am working on trying to close on a house at the end of this month and the stress of packing up my home. At present, the vast majority of my tea collection is in boxes (I’ve only left some of the samplers/boxed tea currently unpacked, and have mostly been drinking iced tea trying to clear some of that out before it gets added to my last massive tea box). I’ve also felt quite stressed because back in June my job basically backed me into a corner to pull my FMLA rights away from me, and things have been going quite slowly with the DoL trying to get those rights reinstated, so I’ve been having to work through all my chronic migraine attacks. This gal is exhausted. But next week I’m going to Portland for the PDX Tea Fes! Honestly at this point, I’m more excited for some days to not be dealing with the house stuff and work than the tea. Sad, but true.
Anyway, I’m down to my last three servings of this one. It’s an old flavored rooibos I got from Snake River Tea in Boise, and it’s wholesaled from International Tea Importers. The dry leaf has a strong creamsicle aroma. The steeped tea is a deep red-orange and has a strong stonefruit and sweet vanilla fragrance. The base is slightly brassy/woody, but mostly the flavor is strongly orange, leaving a citrusy tanginess on the tongue; like most orange flavors it does come off to me a touch artificial, but not enough that I’m finding it bothersome, especially compared to other orange-flavored teas I’ve tried. It actually pairs pretty nicely with the noticable sweet vanilla flavor, which lingers in the aftertaste. I also can taste just a hint of a peachy/stonefruit note in the tea, which also may be helping balance and take the edge off of the artificiality of the orange flavoring. Overall, the balance is actually really good in this one, and I’m surprised that the flavor has held up so well since this is one of my older teas. It has a nice creamsicle taste, with a slightly more tangy/fruity hit before the sweetness of the finish kicks in.
Flavors: Artificial, Orange, Peach, Smooth, Stonefruit, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
I’m on Day 2 of a severe migraine, but back at work, because I’m so tired of the underhanded harrassment any time I’m “out of work for more than a day for a headache” because they don’t understand how chronic migraine works (and this is with FMLA from my doctor on file… I seriously wonder what good it does). So I feel like utter shit, but just have to get through these eight hours. Meeeeeh. This is one of my old “vacation teas” that I got from a vacation to San Diego from a tea shop called The American House — they appear to source the majority of their blends from International Tea Importers, a quite prolific tea blend wholesaler. Metropolitan Tea Co., another large blend wholesaler, also has a Black Currant black tea blend, but their ingredient list is different, which is the taletell sign of which is which.
I remember when I tried this before I found it horribly bitter/astringent, but since then, I’ve really refined how I make black teas for my personal tastes (I use a lot less leaf and shorter steep times than is typically “recommended” by most) and using my typical parameters (this cup was 3g for my 400ml work thermos with a 3 minute steep in 205F water) I am not having that problem… there is some mild drying, but it’s mostly quite smooth and really tasty! I wouldn’t put it up there with Lupicia’s Cassis and Berry, but the base is a nice mix of malty and autumn leaf notes, with just a hint of spice toward the end of the sip, and the black currant flavor is rather full and juicy. It isn’t naturally sweet thanks to the fruity, so a bit of sweetener may make the fruity notes pop a bit more; I’m finding it fine as is, though, as a rather rounded black cup with a strong currant presence. I think I’ll make this as an iced brew next time.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Berry, Black Currant, Drying, Fruity, Malt, Smooth, Spices
This is a sampler I purchased as “White Thunder” from Fusion Teas quite some time ago; it is wholesaled from International Tea Importers and hey, Fusion Teas didn’t even bother changing the blend name, what a pleasant surprise.
I made this as an iced tea; even during the bitter cold months I like to have an iced tea on hand, I just drop down to only having a single quart mason jar in my fridge at a time and don’t work through it very fast (in the summer I usually have 2-3 mason jars constantly in rotation). Right now mint teas have been a nice balm because, though I have chronic migraine, the winter months tend to be a bit worse due to barometric pressure changes from snow fronts moving in and out, and mint helps with the nausea, so it’s good to have on hand.
I drank a lot of different mint teas last month but didn’t have a chance to get to this one. And I have to say, this might be one of my favorites (if not my favorite!) that I’ve tried. The white tea base is just sort of perfect for the minty flavors, because it is light and delicate and doesn’t overwhelm those notes. It has some very subtle refreshing melon or vegetal cucumber qualities to the flavor, and a touch of a sweet floral note, but they really give it a nice touch, especially iced. The peppermint is also a really nice flavor, being a mix of peppermint and spearmint. Nothing artificial tasting, it’s very clean and refreshing, with a brisk, cooling flavor. It’s really thirst-quenching, and soothing on the stomach, too.
It’s a simple tea, but seriously… I’m loving this stuff!
Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Melon, Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint
A Berry Frui-tea July! I originally tried this tea at Snake River Teas when I was on vacation last May, then realized I had a sampler of this tea sitting in my collection from Fusion Teas (no doubt they also wholesaled it from International Tea Importers). Well then!
I had mentioned before I was curious if the flavors would present themselves better in an iced cup rather than a warm pot of tea, so discovering I had this leaf at my disposal and didn’t even realize it, I made myself a quart of cold steeped tea and decided to find out. My experience really wasn’t much different than what I remember from having the warm cup, though. The main aroma off the cup was very grapey (like, that artificial grape in candies or Kool-Aid), and I was still getting that as the dominant flavor, rather than raspberries. There was still a nice floral/fruity element to the tea, but the fruitiness seemed more an element of the white tea itself than an obvious raspberry note. I will say that the iced tea had one noticable improvement over the warm cup, in that the mouthfeel had more of a slight alcohol bite on the close of the sip, which was very pleasant and did make it feel more “champagne” like. But if there is raspberry here, it is really subtle. They should’ve called it White Champagne Grape tea…
Increasing my score slightly for the improvement to the champagne quality from the iced brew, but I’m still overall not entirely impressed by missing the mark on the raspberry flavor.
Flavors: Alcohol, Berry, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Rose, Smooth, Sweet
Since it has been nearly a month now, I figured I should finally get around to copying over the reviews I hastily scribbled in a portable notepad I carried in my purse when I was on vacation Memorial Day Weekend.
This is a pot of tea I shared with Todd at Snake River Tea during my Anime Oasis convention weekend in Boise. It is one of the many teas that they wholesale from International Tea Importers. You can find plenty of iterations of it in the database under many different teashops that carry it from this wholesaler, but I prefer to list under the wholesale source rather than add yet another small teashop to the list, so there you have it.
The aroma of the tea was very floral, almost rosy. The tea was a very pale color and so light and smooth. It had a sweet berry flavor with a subtle floral note. There was a bit of a grape flavor (like an artificial grape flavor, like you find in grape candies or sodas rather than grape fruit) but I didn’t really get any of a champagne like taste or bite, and I’ve certainly tasted a champagne or wine sort of taste in tea before, like I get in Angry Tea Store’s Sparkling Wine or even from International Tea Importers other white tea I’ve tried, Black Fruits Bai Mu Tan. Perhaps this would just present a better flavor iced rather than as a warm pot of tea? In any event, I was unimpressed on the whole. It had a nice delicate floral-fruit taste, but failed to come off with any hint of champagne as advertised… yet the one fruity white tea I’ve tried by the same company tasted far more like wine than this one. Meeeeeeh.
Flavors: Berry, Floral, Fruity, Grapes, Rose, Smooth, Sweet
A coworker found a nice teacup set for a bargain at a local thrift shop and is giving the cups away as graduation gifts to her friends and asked where to get good tea, and of course my answer was, “Around here? Honestly, from me.” So this was one of the teas from my stash she asked for, and after measuring out her sampler, I just had enough left for a sipdown. A single ounce can go pretty fast when you are a charitable individual. :-)
I got this tea from Snake River Tea in Boise last May, where they call it “Orange Vanilla White Chocolate,” but thanks to my Nancy Drewing, I’ve determined that they stock it from major wholesaler International Tea Importers (hey, at least I can applaud them for having teas that aren’t just Metropolitan Tea Co.). In any event, expect to see this same tea all over Steepster under various names and with various tea shops as the “company” name. ITI teas are wholesaled all over the place!
This tea does have a very nice dreamsicle flavor. This is a flavor combination that I typically find in rooibos, and I have to say, I probably do prefer the dreamsicle rooibos teas I’ve tried as that base seems to compliment the orange and vanilla notes a bit better with its natural sweetness, but for a black tea, this is all right. The citrus adds a nice warmth to the cup and the vanilla brings a sweetness that keeps the dark base from having any bitterness. There is only a very mild drying astringency left after the sip, and the orange and vanilla flavors are still very prominent on the tongue. My only complaint is that it’s a bit easy to tell that the flavor here is very much the product of flavoring — it isn’t unpleasant, but has an obvious artificiality to it. It’s that bold sort of orange taste that just comes off to me as trying a little too hard, but to be fair, at least paired with the vanilla, it tastes better than the mandarin green and white teas I’ve had where the orange just tastes way too fake and unpleasant to me, so I really don’t mind this. The vanilla, too, has that sweet confectionary vanilla taste, as opposed to the more subdued, creamy essence of vanilla I get in teas that use vanilla beans. So you get quite a whollop of flavoring here, which may or may not be your thing, depending on your tastes. In a tea with a lighter base, I’d probably be more turned off from it than I am, but in a dark black base like this, eh… it’s doable. Not my favorite, but certainly a pleasant enough cup. For my last teaspoon I’ll probably try it with a bit of vanilla almond milk, and see if latte-style adds a bit of creaminess and cuts back some of the overwhelming flavor. That may be the way to go with this one.
Flavors: Artificial, Orange, Sweet, Vanilla
I picked up this tea when I was on vacation in San Diego last fall from The American House, where it was simply called “Tropical White” — the blend is obviously sourced from large wholesaler International Tea Importer, since it has an identical ingredient list and appearance to the leaf.
I really enjoy blends like this iced, so I cold brewed up a quart of this. The tea smells a bit like mango, but softer and sweeter than the heavily-infused mango greens that have caused me issues in the past, and there also was a bit of a floral quality here, as well. The flavor is very refreshing; it is sweet, with hints of mango, grapefruit, melon, and a smooth, floral finish that must be coming through from the Bai Mudan base. I was personally expecting it to be a little more tangy having a tropical note, but at least iced, it is very very smooth and sweet on the tongue, with only very subtle hints of a lingering fruity tangy note. It’s a refreshing iced tea, and one of the few tropical blends I’ve tried without a pineapple element.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Grapefruit, Mango, Melon, Sweet
Green March! Another International Tea Importers blend that I picked up at Snake River Tea in Boise the last time I was there. This one took a bit more researching on my part to hunt down the blend source, since the blend is called “Cholestea” but Snake River Tea had renamed it “Capitol City Market Spice.” As far as I’m concerned, it should just be called, “Nastea,” because that is what it is (and for the most part, I usually really like ITI’s blends!)
The ginseng in this is just really, really overwhelming, to the point that the tea really doesn’t have much other flavor. There is a slight cinnamon note on the finish, but you have to really be looking for it… the tea just tastes overwhelmingly musty and medicinal to me. It isn’t even really an… earthy sort of flavor, to me it just feels… dirty somehow, like ginseng roots fresh from the ground were just steeped in water and just left this really unpleasant dirty flavor behind.
I have a full ounce of this stuff, so I was trying to find some way to make it palatable, and thought maybe some honey would help. ………I swear this is the one time adding honey to a tea actually made it worse! You know those ginseng and honey cough drops? Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. I wanted to mask that icky medicinal taste, and actually made it taste more like medicine! Bleeeeeech! So honey was a big fat no. I really don’t know if there is a saving grace for this one…
I’ve had ginseng in other tea blends and it has been just fine. I think it’s just the presentation. It is just such an overwhelming flavor here, and not blended with a proper balance with the other flavors, so you just get nothing but this strong, heady ginseng taste. I’m sure there are some folks out there that would really enjoy that, and this is the tea for them. I just happen to not be one of them.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Dirt, Medicinal, Musty, Wet Earth
Ah, another International Tea Importers wholesaler blend, so this will probably pop up over and over under different tea shop’s names. I made my purchase from Snake River Tea in Boise, Idaho. I already see that places like “Roundtable Tea Company” and “Grandpa’s Cheese Barn” (Really? Grandpa’s Cheese Barn?) are listed in Steepster… shame they don’t allow the merging of records… (It’s my weekend off and my librarian cataloger brain can’t get “merging records” off the brain…)
I’m supposed to be preparing a tea talk for National Library Week in April, so I’m trying to find a good white tea to share from my stash. I was going to use Machu Peach-u but after I tried it again and found it just too autumn leaf pile-tasting than I remembered, I just don’t think that is a good one to introduce onto the general public, and I wanted at least one blend that I can make a nice iced tea out of (as I can prepare iced tea ahead of time, and that’s one less tea I have to brew “live” during the program) so now I’m going through others in my stash before I resort to ordering more in a mad dash to find a good one. This one… might be okay? I want a nice white tea flavor, but don’t want it to be… overwhelming, and I want it to have some nice blended flavoring, too, if that makes any sense. (Most of the teas in the talk will be pure teas, as it is focused on history/culture, but I want a few blends in there since they appeal well to the general public/new tea drinkers, and this will very much be an “introductory” sort of talk…)
I made this iced using the cold brew method, steeped overnight. I do get very slight vegetal notes from this tea, but not that overwhelming autumn leaf sort of flavor I was getting from Machu Peach-u, so this may be more on par to what I am wanting. Subtle base notes, without being too… strong and possibly off-putting. This has a really brisk, refreshing taste, with a flavor that reminds me of white wine (or at least what I can remember of it, I haven’t been able to have it in decades thanks to chronic migraine). There is a bit of a sweetness to it, but not overly so; there is a fruitiness to the tea, with a subtle tart grapiness and blackberry flavor. Overall, I really like it; it’s much nicer than the Machu Peach-u, thanks to the base being softer and a little more subtle, so the fruit notes feel better suited to the blend. This is one of those iced teas that somehow brings me the appeal of chilled wine (something I can’t have), so I think I’ll keep this one around!
Flavors: Blackberry, Fruity, Grapes, Hay, Sweet, Tart, Vegetal, White Wine
Love You An Oolong Time! I’m continuing my month-long exploration of the oolongs in my collection, and this one I picked up at Snake River Tea in Boise last May. After a bit of reference librarian skills, I believe I’ve tracked down that they wholesale the blend from International Tea Importers. I’ve sampled it a few times since then and quite like it, and since I’m still in “ward off the plague” mode, I’ve been craving citrus and ginger flavors.
This tea is really nice… it doesn’t have that strong, spicy ginger heat like the orange ginger tea I tried yesterday. It’s actually very smooth, with just a touch of sweetness. The orange flavor tastes more of mandarin than orange to me, and mixed with the mellow ginger, I’m reminded of a sweet Chinese sauce. The base has this lovely subtle earthy taste which compliments the orange ginger flavor very nicely. I’m really enjoying the gingery flavor without the spicy heat!
Flavors: Earth, Ginger, Orange, Smooth, Sweet
I originally got this tea from Snake River Tea in Boise, Idaho, but they stopped carrying it, and I really loved this blend, so I hunted it down and found a shop in Florida that did online orders, Beleave Teas, that carried it and stocked back up. It is worth mentioning that I had a very good customer experience from them and lightning fast shipping! The tea blend is wholesaled from International Tea Importers.
This is such an interesting tea! The scent of the leaf is this combination of floral fruity sweetness that smells like bubblegum to me! The name of the tea is very misleading, as the tea does not have a thick, tart hibiscus flavor at all; it brews up a yellow color, and is a very light, sweet tea. It has a sort of sweet, lychee flavor with a lot of floral notes, and the scent wafting up from the cup reminds me of flower blooms in a warm breeze. The tea almost has a candy-like quality to it from the sweetness of the combined fruit and floral notes. This is one of my favorite floral teas, hands down. It just has such a unique flavor. It also makes an amazing iced tea, which I enjoy preparing as a cold brew! The only thing to be mindful of is this tea can be a bit fussy about water temperature and steep time; I find the flavor is best when it is prepared delicately, so I use 160 degree F water and a brisk two minute steep. Using water even a little warmer and a steep a little longer (175 degree F with a three minute steep) tends to bring out a slightly more tart finish to the drink… which isn’t necessarily bad, but isn’t my preferred way of taking this one.
Flavors: Candy, Floral, Lychee, Rose, Sweet
I tried this tea at a cafe and really enjoyed it. It’s strong and spicy and perfect for a really cold day. Cinnamon is really apparent on the nose and also very present in the sweetness, but the spicy ginger balances it so that the taste isn’t overwhelmingly sweet.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus Zest, Clove, Honey, Spices
“What’s in your cup?”
This morning I brewed Organic Keemun Mao Feng by International Tea Importers:
1.5 tsp (3 g) / 8 oz / 212*F / 4-6 min. without sweeteners, milk, or cream.
– Leaf: dark chocolate brown, short, & uniform
– Fragrance: fine pipe tobacco
– Liquor: clear coppery
– Aroma: Very mild Keemun
4 min.: it was not yet full-bodied so I let it steep another minute.
5 min.: This Keemun was full-bodied, smooth, & enjoyable with a classic Keemun profile. There was no bitterness. There is a mild sense of astringency but nothing objectionable. Perhaps 208*F might be helpful. However, it was not as quite as rich or as complex as TeaVivre’s Premium Keemun Hao Ya or Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant.
Re-steep: This tea did not re-steep well at 6 min or even 10 min – a one-cup wonder.
RO water re-mineralized with an Aptera filter http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/39532-puregen-aptera-alkamag-water-filter
Brewed western-style conveniently in a tea mug with a Finum brew basket http://steepster.com/teas/teaware/29177-finum-brewing-basket.