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This evening I am sipping on a soothing Moroccan Mint green tea from Upton Tea Imports. The vegetal flavors normally associated with a green tea are absent, but instead are replaced with peppermint.

For a background on Moroccan tea culture, please read Wikipedia’s entry here. According to this entry, “tea occupies a very important place in Moroccan culture and is considered an art form.” We, at BookofTea, can get behind that.

The mint flavor, while not subtle, can be brought out even more by adding sweetener. My selection this evening was pure cane sugar. It was absolutely wonderful.

As previously mentioned, this tea was made with peppermint, but it can often be found with spearmint. The peppermint is blended with a gunpowder green tea. Make sure you pay attention especially if you dislike either type of mint. I would have enjoyed this tea even more had I some fresh mint sprigs.

Moroccan Mint green tea is good both served hot and on ice.

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Today I received a box from Upton Tea Imports of tea tins and samples I had purchased over the weekend. As the picture above shows, it is a beautiful thing.

From Upton I received the following:

125g tin: Bond Street English Breakfast
Sample: Original Blend Russian Caravan
125g tin: Moroccan Green Mint tea
Sample: Orange Spice Imperial
Sample: Creme Caramel
Sample: Christmas Tea
Sample: Jasmine Pi Lo Chun
Sample: Chinese Oolong Bai Hao Imperial Organic
Sample: Tie-Guan-Yin (Top Competition)

I look forward to digging in and telling you all about it!

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While in theory the Wild Berry Plum green tea from the Republic of Tea seems like a good idea, in execution, it falls flat. To be fair, I did oversteep this delicate green tea, so it was rather bitter near its conclusion. It is hard to correctly brew tea when you are working, but one must live in the present and enjoy the time spent anticipating what one is about to experience in drinking any fine tea.

You must not do too many things at once while steeping green and white teas. Black teas, on the other hand, are very forgiving. While I am not one for tisanes, I have been told that they can be left to steep for hours.

I am finding myself less enthusiastic by blended, fruity teas lately. Perhaps I will have to revisit this subject on a later post. For now, I conclude by saying that the Republic of Tea selections are hit or miss. I do enjoy their Vanilla Almond and English Breakfast black teas, but I would say stay away from the Pink Grapefruit and Wild Berry Plum green teas.

I have been on hiatus from this lovely place for several months, and I am happy to say that I have decided to return. My love for tea has been re-inspired by a visit to my favorite tea cafe in Harvard Square with a friend a couple of weeks ago.

While visiting the aforementioned cafe, I enjoyed a personal favorite oolong tea Ti Kuan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy). My tea-drinking companion had a pot of darjeeling, which I can attest is quite delightful from this establishment.

In other news, the nice people at Mighty Leaf have continued to send me tea to review – despite my failings as a blogger of tea. Below you will find a picture of a thermos – or brew mug as they call it – and some samples I received from them. As I sip my tea, I can say that the thermos keeps the tea extremely hot. Today I am enjoying their Green Tea Tropical tea, which as the name suggests is a green tea blended with tropical fruits. Mighty Leaf recommends this tea as a good introduction to the world of green tea to those of you who are a little hesitant to try this type of tea. I highly recommend this tea.

For those of you reluctant to try loose tea, Mighty Leaf’s biodegradable tea pouches are the perfect solution. They provide a convenient, no-hassle way to enjoy tea, and many of their tea pouches can now be found at your local grocery store.

Here is a video showcasing how to use the brew mug. While I found it is very intuitive, I must admit that the video really does an adequate job of explaining the product.

If you have a brew mug or have tried Mighty Leaf’s tea, please let me know your thoughts.

Mighty Leaf Tea

Tonight’s before bed teatime gave me the opportunity to taste an Organic Sencha from Rishi Tea.

To me, this Japanese green tea reminds me of a fine beer. It has a full-bodied flavor like that of the aforementioned beverage and tastes of the land. I kept the temperature at 180 degrees, which according to my tea thermometer is the maximum for a green tea, and steeped for four minutes. I used one and one half teaspoons of the tea leaves for a bolder flavor, as suggested by the packaging. Another recommendation stated that the tea held up to multiple steepings. I will have to try it the next time I brew this sencha.

This green tea is very high quality. Sencha is a personal favorite of mine. While many say that the green tea genmaicha is a comfort tea for them, I would argue that sencha is a soothing companion to the ailing stomach or for those with the winter blues.

I was given the great honor of reviewing two new teas from Mighty Leaf Tea that were introduced this month. Mighty Leaf just released three new teas in their popular biodegradable silken tea pouches: Chocolate Mint Truffle, Organic Detox Infusion, and Organic Green Dragon.

This evening I am enjoying a cup of their Organic Green Dragon. This green tea according to the package is “delicately pan fried, these smooth highest-grade China Longjing green tea leaves brew a nutty and buttery cup.” It is made from organic Dragonwell, and reminds me of a few oolongs I have tried in its complexity of flavor. I can think of one Ti Kuan Yin I have tried that compares to this tea in chestnut flavor. It is hard to tell this tea came from a tea bag insofar as its quality is that of loose leaf tea.

The only word of warning to you fellow tea drinkers is when brewing green tea make sure you are steeping your tea in 140 degree Fahreinheit to 185 degree Fahrenheit water. Don’t mess around with this delicate tea. With that said, Mighty Leaf proves that it gives you consistent tea each time you brew a cup with its convenient pouches.

I have been on hiatus for awhile.  Very little tea has been drunk by me over the last two months, outside of the morning iced chai for the walk to work.  I have been known to mix it up a bit in the morning, and on occasion have had iced green or black tea.  I have been meaning to try Starbucks passionfruit tea, which I will make it a point to do tomorrow. It is really hard for me to be inspired while not being close to any tea dens. I have, however, made it a point to use a gift certificate at Adagio to purchase tea, including the one I will be reviewing today: cocomint green.

I bought a small sampler of cocomint green and was intrigued by one tea reviewer claiming it tasted of peppermint patties in a cup. I do so enjoy the combination of chocolate and mint, and am also fond of mint in tea, so I thought I would give this a try. The green tea flavor is hardly noticeable, because it is dominated by the mint and chocolate. This is a very enjoyable cup of tea: one that I return to when I feel in need of restoration from a long day or a head cold, which I am currently recovering from. I would like to point out that this tea does smell much better than it tastes, so don’t let your sniffer predispose you to forming an opinion of the tea before you have even tried it, for you will be disappointed.  

I apologize for my long absence.  Please note that posts will not be updated on the previous schedule, but I hope that you will check in periodically to see what new things I have been brewing.  Look for a post tomorrow on Starbucks passionfruit tea.  Until then…namaste.

I purchased 2 oz. of Moroccan Mint at Teavana today against my better judgment. It’s not that the tea is bad; it is quite the opposite, but the salespeople are so pushy. I know that they work on commission, but when I say I want 2 oz., do you really think I might be interested in purchasing 1 lb. of tea despite the 10 percent discount? (Edit: Maybe I should have bought one pound. I am really going through it.)

Had I gone to yoga today, I would have picked up a Moroccan Mint from Kookoo Cafe, but alas, sleep was more important to me this morning.

While at Teavana I also bought a new mug (w/lid) for my new job. I am really excited about all the tea and teaware I can store at my new desk. My prior job was pretty much open to the public, so it was hard to have any personal effects. I think I might be on the market for either a perfect teamaker from Teavana or a ingenuitea from Adagio. If you own one of these, please let me know what you think.

I did have a cup of the Moroccan Mint tea after coming home from a day of shopping, and it was so refreshing. I think Moroccan Mint is a tea that works well both iced and hot. I was pretty sure that I preferred green tea with peppermint, but I do so enjoy the spearmint with gunpowder green tea in a Moroccan Mint.

Do you ever put sugar in your Moroccan Mint? I have seen it various places that sugar in this type of tea is a good combination. Your thoughts, please.

After watching STeaPTV’s tea showdown over the weekend, I decided to locate the winning tea, Rishi Tea’s Jade Cloud organic green tea. This evening I made a trip up to Whole Foods to take advantage of their sale on Stonyfield Farm yogurt and to look for the highly praised tea.

I was in luck. The tea was in stock. And I came home and brewed a pot of tea. I used a heaping tablespoon of leaves, probably half a tablespoon more than directed. Steeped for three minutes, and drank a very familiar drink. This tea was very reminiscent of another tea I have tried, one that I can’t exactly place.

Needless to say I was unimpressed by this tea. It’s a rather mild tea, not too vegetal. It could be said that the quality of the tea was not very good. This is not to say that the leaves were dusty, which they were not: very little residue was left in my cup. All in all, I will drink this tea, but I had higher expectations for it. Maybe I will have to enter the next STeaP showdown. I am thinking a Mariage Freres tea would be a nice selection.

As you might have gathered from recent posts, I am hitting the iced tea lately. I have always been partial to iced drinks, and really had to adapt to hot beverages in Massachusetts’ capricious weather that was unthinkable in my former home, Florida. I think it is important to drink what your own personal whims dictate, and mine have been enjoying the four offerings of iced tea each day at Tealuxe. Over the past four days I have enjoyed four teas, which all are available hot, so I will be able to enjoy them even when they cannot be found cold.

kir royale iced tea from Tealuxe (0 Brattle Street, Cambridge)
Tealuxe description:
A warm and sweet mixture of various red berries and fruits. Set apart by the tangy flavor of black currant. Give yourself the royal treatment, Kir Royale treatment.

Tastes a little of blackberry juices. This is an herbal tea, and I am really not one to compliment an herbal tea.

vanilla jasmine iced tea from Tealuxe (108 Newbury Street, Boston)
Tealuxe description:
A “must have”. Start with the tastiness of good Ceylon vanilla tea and add sweet jasmine. The result: two flavors that were meant for each other.

Neither jasmine nor vanilla was very strong in this black tea blend. I have recently grown tired of jasmine tea, but decided to try this one insofar as none of the other offerings interested me and I had a hankering for tea. This was a nice surprise, and my first experience with jasmine in a black tea.

pear & green tea (iced) from Tealuxe (108 Newbury Street, Boston)

Wonderful combination of green tea and pear flavor. I just love the pleasing yellow/green color of a green tea especially when it is iced and in a transparent cup.

white blueberry iced tea from Tealuxe (0 Brattle Street, Cambridge)

Tealuxe description:
Rare White Tea from the Fujian region flavored with sweet blueberries. A wonderfully smooth and subtle treat. Try it hot or iced.

This is my third chance to try white tea, and each time I have come away with the feeling that white tea does not have a very strong flavor. This was also true of this tasting, but this time it was suited to the subtle blueberry flavor.