Goji Berry Green

3.5  / 5

This is another tea from Great Lakes Tea and Spice that I have gotten a few times over the last few years. To be honest, I’ve only had about half of it because it was my wife’s favorite tea for a while. It’s a nice green tea, grassy and mellow, the goji berries add a nice tart fruit taste. It reminds me a little bit of Adagio’s citron green, but with a little bit more floral flavors. Overall it makes a great late afternoon drink. 

Tea Leaves: Citrus, but still grassy aroma
Region: Unknown
Brewing: Heat water until steam just starts to rise, steep for 30 seconds the first time, and one minute the second. (Note: These are the official directions, to be honest though, I brew it like any other green tea, 170-180 degrees, 3-5 minutes. 
Purchased: Great Lakes Tea and Spice – $16.95 for 3oz*

*Prices are at time of review and may have changed.

Mackinaw Breeze

4.5  / 5

This week I get to share one of my favorite teas over the past few years: Mackinaw Breeze. It starts off with a base of Ceylon tea, one of my favorite black teas. A lot of times when you get a flavored tea they skimp on the quality of the base tea, but this is a great Ceylon tea. The juniper berries, black currants, and strawberry pieces take that and add a lightness to it with the fruit notes that they provide. You wouldn’t think that you could add three different fruits to a black tea and maintain a good balance, but that’s exactly what this tea does. It smells absolutely amazing. I almost always drink this hot, but I know that a lot of people like it as an iced tea as well. Either way, if you get a chance you should give it a try, you won’t regret it.

Tea Leaves: Delicious berry scent

Region: Sri Lanka 

Brewing: 3-5 minutes @ 212º F.

Purchased: Great Lakes Tea and Spice – $16.95 for 3oz*

*Prices are at time of review and may have changed.

Persian Peach White

4  / 5

My biggest complaint about white tea is that they can be too subtle, and in the worst case, almost tasteless. Not so with this tea, which has become my favorite white tea. The peach aroma leads to a pleasant taste which matches. The tea provides a good base (silver needle and some other white tea), while the peach and citrus flavors shining through. Complimenting without overpowering.

Tea Leaves: Pleasantly strong floral peach aroma

Region: Unknown

Brewing: 5-7 minutes @ 180º F.

Purchased: Great Lakes Tea and Spice – $19 for 1.5oz*

*Prices are at time of review and may have changed.

Tea Review: Bai Mudan

First Impressions: Large brittle leaves, sweet grassy smell

Region: Fujian Province, China

Purchased at Samovar – $19 for 1.5oz when reviewed

Review:
A very delicate but flavorful white tea, this tea has a really smooth sweet aftertaste. Not nearly as grassy as I would have guessed based on the smell of the dry leaves. This would be a good first white tea to try if you are used to something a little darker. It shows of white tea’s high points without suffering from the lack of flavor they sometimes can have.

Rating: 3.5  / 5

Tea Review: Wuyi Dark Roast

Name:  Wuyi Dark Roast

Type:  Oolong

Region: Wuyi mountains in Fujian, China

Bought At:  Samovar

Price:  $21 for 2oz

First Impressions:  Dark Leaves, Roasted, Earthy Smell

Review:

Has it ever been a while since I have tried to review tea! This is part of a large tea order I bought from Samovar a while ago, so look for some more reviews coming soon. Wuyi Dark Roast is a different kind of oolong tea than any I have had before. It is dark and has a roasted scent and flavor that is usually found in black teas. Along with that it has a sweetness that is more similar to a greener oolong. It makes for a nice combination, a light tea that still has a full flavor. Definitely worth a try.

My Rating:

4  / 5

Tea Review: Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess”

Name:  Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess”

Type:  Oolong

Region:  Anxi, Fujian, China

Bought At:  Teavivre.com

Price:  $10.50 for 3.5oz

First Impressions:  Tightly compacted, very green leaves

Review:

It has been a little while since I have had any oolong teas, so it was nice to have one again.  This “Iron Godess” tea has a bright, leafy, almost floral aroma, and brews to a very vibrant yellow color.  It has a very mellow but still pronounced green tea taste, but it has a heaviness  to it that distinguishes it from a green. A very good tea, I can see this filling the gap between wanting more flavor than a green but not the caffeine of a black.  Overall, it had everything I would look for in a oolong tea.

My Rating:

4  / 5

brent

*Disclosure (And Thanks!): This was part of a free sampler I got from teavivre

Tea Review: White Peony (Bai MuDan)

Name: White Peony

Type:  White

Region:  Fuding, Fujian, China

Bought At:  Teavivre.com

Price:  $5.90 for 1.75oz

First Impressions:  Large leaves, grassy, sweet smelling dry leaves

Review:

I was anxious to try this as I have liked white peony teas in the past and was curious to see how teavivre‘s would stand up to them;  I wasn’t disappointed. It is a warm, smooth tea that has a lot of flavor. It is not quite as naturally sweet as some other white tea varieties.  That isn’t a bad thing though, as it has a buttery, grassy complexity that a lot of white teas lack.  Something you are more likely to find in a green tea then a white.  This tea is forgiving to over brewing, which is great for a forgetful person like me, and stands up well for many infusions. I have been making it when I get to work and brewing it several times throughout the morning. This one also came in a fun little one-use package, I know it’s silly, but I love it!

My Rating:
3.5  / 5

brent

*Disclosure (And Thanks!): This was part of a free sampler I got from teavivre

Tea Review: Bailin Gongfu Black Tea

Name: Bailin Gongfu

Type:  Black

Region:  Fuding, Fujian, China

Bought At:  Teavivre.com

Price:  $8.90 for 3.5oz

First Impressions:  Awesome little one-use bag!

Review:

This is the first tea I have reviewed from Teavivre, and I was impressed. This black tea has a deep richness and gentle sweetness that I immediately loved. It’s a very dark black tea with a roasted nutty finish and if brewed correctly is one of the best “plain” black teas I have had. The smell when brewed is strong and delicious. Be careful to brew it as directed, below boiling.  If brewed incorrectly (too hot) it will pick up a little bitterness. Nothing horrible, but it’s a shame to waste it. Another thing I loved is that the tea came in little individual baggies.  I don’t know if this is just because it was a sample, but it was a fun little surprise that made me feel like I was in China, if just for a little bit.

My Rating:
4  / 5

brent

*Disclosure (And Thanks!): This was part of a free sampler I got from teavivre

Tea Review: Hazelnut

Name: Hazelnut

Type: Black

Region: Sri Lanka

Bought At: Adagio

Price: $2 for a ten cup sample

First Impressions: Sweet, Nutty Smell.  Reminds me of flavored coffee.

Review:

Finally, something that tastes as good as coffee smells! I like this tea in no small part because it reminds me of the flavored coffee  that always smells so delicious, but tastes so bad. A darker black tea, it tastes very warm and nutty. It has an amazingly smooth finish for a black tea, and has just a hint of sweetness that leaves you crazing more.  I like this extra strong, a really nice way to put a hop in your step on and a smile on your face, especially on a cold winter morning.

My Rating: 4 / 5

Tea of the Week – Caramel

Name: Caramel

Type: Black

Region: Unknown

Bought At: Adagio

Price: $2 for a ten cup sample

First Impressions: Sweet, sugary smell

Review:

A somewhat disappointing tea. You can definitely taste the caramel, but it isn’t the sweetness of the caramel, it’s the aftertaste.  It isn’t bad, just not sweet enough for my tastes.  It does have a fuller, roasted caramel flavor though, which is still nice. It smells delicious, and doesn’t taste bad. A decent tea, just a little bit of a tease for a sweet tooth like me.

My Rating:3 / 5

brent