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Late night tea 4.26.08:

floral tie-guan-yin from Upton Tea Imports

This comes from a 6 gram sample I purchased from Upton. My order was a little green tea and oolong heavy, but I am learning the nuances in these two types of tea. This tea felt so luxurious. It tasted as if I was sipping on flower petals. While some of you might not find this appealing, please be rest assured that was an incomparable experience. I can tell that this tea drinking is going to really cost me a lot of money.

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Afternoon tea on 4.24.08:

Numi Tea Simply Mint, Moroccan Mint Herbal Tea

A gift from a coworker. I did not tell her my love for the moroccan mint green tea from Kookoo Cafe, so I was pleasantly surprised. I must admit that I was a little apprehensive, however, to try this tea insofar as I am not one for herbal, or tisane, teas. But I gave it a shot anyway. And my instinct did not let me down. The mint is this was too powerful and artificial tasting. It reminded me a little of mouthwash, and made me feel like I was rinsing my teeth in sugar water. There was no artistry or aesthetics in this cuppa. It was very crude in my opinion, albeit a strong one.

Dinner tea:

green oolong from Dado Tea (50 Church Street, Cambridge)

I thought it was about time I tried a green oolong. This was a much milder flavor that what I have experienced with other oolongs; however, I am not overly familiar with floral oolongs. The leaves were full like the body of this tea. Dado offers premium quality tea at excellent prices ($2.25-2.50/16 oz.). Now that it is warming up here in New England, I will have to start experimenting with their iced teas, but I will be staying away from their iced chai. While their hot chai is top notch, the iced chai tastes too water laden.

Breakfast tea on 4.19.08:

moroccan mint from Kookoo Cafe (7 Station Street, Brookline)

Description:
“Organic China Gunpowder (rolled) green tea with balanced addition of specially selected mint; aromatic, rich and refreshing. Takes sugar well. Low caffeine.”

An excellent mint green tea. I can see where this would also be good iced. I will have to visit Cardullo’s to pick up a bag of this tea for the summer. The mint was very mild, just how I like it, so that it did not overpower the tea. This is my first experience with mint tea, and I am positive it will not be my last.

Everyday tea:

orchid oolong by Mighty Leaf Tea

I have been sipping on this tea since I received it in the mail on Friday, so it is hard to say when I would have it. It seems to be good for breakfast, afternoon, and late evening consumption. It is pure coconut goodness. I am having a hard time deciding how it would compare to other orchid oolong teas insofar as this is my first experience with a orchid oolong, but if they are half as good as this one, I would definitely be pleased. I could not recommend this tea more. The tea pouch it comes in is biodegradable and very elegant. Jason said he would add milk and some shredded coconut, but I think it is perfect just the way it is. Thanks, Alexis!

Breakfast tea:

genmaicha extra green with matcha from Den’s Tea

You could really taste the quality of this tea bag. (Yes, this was a tea bag, but I don’t wake up in time to prepare myself a cup of tea, so I settle for a tea bag at work.) This was a pyramid tea bag, which supposedly gives more room to the tea leaves and perhaps it does; it’s hard for me to say. This was my first time trying matcha outside of eating it on baked goods, and I could have really used a bamboo whisk insofar as the powder settled to the bottom of my cup.

I received a green tea kit from Den’s Tea yesterday for only three dollars, and it included this tea bag, a sencha tea bag, a 10 gram sample of genmaicha extra green with matcha, and a 10 gram sample of sencha fukamidori. Three dollars well spent. I will definitely be ordering Den’s other products when it comes time to place a new tea order.

Afternoon tea:

Guayaki yerba mate (tea bag)

This tea, from the rainforests of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina, has a very strong aroma and taste. The first thing that came to mind today was the barbecue soy crisps I had for lunch. It has a very strong smoky flavor, and not one I liked. I only steeped the tea bag for five minutes, but I guess you can steep for as long as ten according to Guayaki’s web site.

Lunch tea:

tra que chai from Tealuxe (0 Brattle Street, Cambridge)

Description from Tealuxe’s web site:
The principal ingredient in this Chai is cinnamon imported from Vietnam A blend of nutmeg, clove and black teas round out this brew. Usually served with 1/3 steamed milk.

Cinnamon strong. It was really hard to make out any of the other flavors in this tea other than the cinnamon. I am learning that I do not like cinnamon in my beverages. I asked for masala chai, but they were out.

I drank my chai with an almond biscotti: muy excelente.

Late night tea:

roasted oolong from Upton Tea Imports (Hopkinton, MA)

Description from catalog:
A classic, medium-oxidized Tie-Guan-Yin, processed in the traditional style, but finished with a process of curing, with a slow firing in bamboo baskets over a charcoal fire. The result is a tea with smooth, rich and inviting character.

This was my first test of my new samples of Upton, and it did not disappoint. This was a very smooth cuppa tea drunk from the new tea cup I purchased from Teavana over the week. (Sorry my camera is dead.) The brewing temperature for this tea was 190 degrees, and it was steeped for 3-4 minutes. It came out a golden brown color, which was easily detected in my new green cup. There was very little dust at the bottom of my cup unlike the genmaicha from Tealuxe and rooibos tropica from Teavana I have been drinking, which was an added treat. I am very pleased with the quality of the tea. While my tap water leaves much to be desired, the oolong had a nice, robust flavor with a hint of nuttiness.

Today Jason and I went to Whole Foods to pick up lunch and dinner. While grabbing my drink of choice other than tea, Poland Spring Raspberry-Lime Sparkling Water, I bumped into a sample table full of Steaz Green Tea Sodas. I was intrigued by the concept, so I decided to give one a try. There were three options to choose from: root beer, raspberry, and orange. Upon careful consideration, I thought raspberry would match well with a green tea flavor, so that is what I opted for. According to a review site of beverages, I think I chose poorly. I could not taste any hint of green tea, but this did not make the beverage any less pleasurable. I did enjoy the drink, despite it taking like cough medicine (think Robitussin). The carbonation added to my enjoyment. And it’s organic.

A description of the sodas offered by Steaz:
One sip of Steaz Green Tea Soda (formerly Steap), and it will be obvious that this revolutionary beverage is going to change the way you feel about soda forever. Each bottle is micro-brewed fresh from the finest Ceylon green tea, grown high in the fog-shrouded, mystical mountains of Sri Lanka. We have miraculously blended the smooth, mellow taste of green tea with the highest quality organic sugar on Earth — the result is tantalizing.