Okay, I admit it, I haven't posted much about tea lately. (Although the most awesomest beverage in the world does make a lengthy appearance in my novella. Hint, hint, hint.)
I still drink tons of it, but I've been in a little rut lately, just slurping down my usual custom Lapsang Souchong/Russian Caravan mix.
So it was nice to get an email from the fine folks at Indonique Tea today. They're revamping their entire line-up of tea! Exciting news all on its own.
But wait, there's more! They're clearing out existing stuff to make room:
In the meantime, we're selling off our existing stock at an outrageous 50% off. Just use coupon CodeTEAwhen ordering. This sale is While Supplies Last. When they're gone they're gone.
So, go get some tea now, at rock-bottom prices. Then keep tabs on their blog to see their new line-up of
more exclusive blends and rare finds.
Make yourself a little papercraft tea cup. Well, actually, you send it to a friend. But, it also lets you preview it, so you could really just give it a fake friend address.
Anyway, it's cute. Try it out.
I ran across this page of really cool tea-bag designs.
I've used the Ineeka bags in the past. It's an inspired design that allows for a decent amount of room for the tea, while also aiding bag removal. All in all, a nice design and probably as good as you can get in terms of practical tea-bag design.
The other bags are mainly just graphically clever. A few have some sort of added feature to help remove the bag. But, in general, they're just exercises in creativity.
And there's nothing wrong with creativity, as long as you remember that tea-bags are a crappy way of making tea!
White Ginger is exactly what the name says, white tea with ginger root chunks.
This isn't a strong tea. The flavor is very subtle. I was initially worried that the ginger would completely overshadow the tea. But, instead, they meld into what I can only describe as gingerbread.
It's not a strong taste of gingerbread. But that's the resulting flavor. It would probably rock my socks with a larger sample size. It's just not strong enough, as is.
Second steeping is washed out. Which isn't surprising.
Today's tea is the exotically named Sinharaja.
It's strong and rich. There's a roundness there. The taste lingers for awhile, but not unpleasantly. This tastes exotic, but I can't really pin-point why.
The official description mentions
ripe berry notes and a caramelized finish. I'm not getting that. But it does have a really good complex flavor.
Second steeping is much like the first. Good and strong. The flavor is still much the same.
I don't see this as a tea I'd drink all day long. It's more for an occasional exotic treat.
Sugar Caramel Oolong is simply oolong tea with
sugar-caramel flavor added.
And, gee, that's what it tastes like, too. I was a little apprehensive when I first saw the sample. I wasn't sure how well sugary flavors would go with the tea. (Maybe that's because I don't sweeten my tea with anything. I started drinking tea to get away from sugared beverages.)
It's a nice complement. The tea has a good amount of flavor, with the sugar-caramel adding just a touch of additional flavor. And it's really adding flavor rather than sweetness. This doesn't taste sweet. Just caramelly. And just a little bit. It's good.
Second steeping tastes much like the first. I was worried that the sugar-caramel flavor would all end up in the first steeping. But it didn't. The second steeping is also still balanced. Nice.
Interestingly, the online description says:
The fanciest silver-tipped leaves provide a remarkable durable blend good for many infusions without a loss of flavor.
And, indeed they do.
It's good. Grassy, or maybe more like straw? Basically, you know your basic
Chinese Restaurant Tea? Well, this is what it tastes like if it's really good
Chinese Restaurant Tea.
I'm not actually a big oolong fan. But I still like this just fine. I wouldn't go buy myself a bunch of it. But an oolong fan might.
Holds up well under a second steeping. A little weaker, of course. But still tasty.
Today's tea flavor is Twizzler Tea. It's made with red Twizzlers rather than black. I think that's a wise decision. Using black Twizzlers would have made it too similar to the Licorice teas I've already tried.
Instead of large pieces, the Twizzlers are ground up pretty fine. I suppose that makes it easier for the essence of Twizzler to enter the water.
It brewed up a pleasant reddish-amber hue. There's a nice, but not overwhelming, scent of Twizzler rising from the cup.
The flavor is well-balanced. The Twizzler doesn't overpower the tea, but there is also no mistaking that this is Twizzler Tea. The dissolved Twizzler also gives it a wonderful mouth-feel. It almost coats the throat as it goes down. This would be an excellent tea if you had a cold.
The second steeping was disappointing. The Twizzler flavor was gone. Apparently, the very fine grind means that it gives its all in the first steeping. I wonder if including some larger pieces would help extend the flavor to subsequent steepings?
Overall, this is an excellent tea and I would buy ginourmous quantities of it, if only it existed.
In a continuing effort to find a flavor that Anne likes, today we're taking a shot at Vanilla Mint.
There's a lot going on in this one. It's a mix of black and green teas, plus mint and vanilla.
The end result is a strong flavor. But, oddly, one I don't like. There's something oppressive about it. As if the mint flavor was plastering itself to the roof of my mouth. It's kinda weird.
The second steeping was much better. The mint mellowed out and was more in balance with the other flavors. Much, much better.
Today we have White Persian Melon. It's a white tea with some melon essence added.
As a white tea, it's certainly not a strong one. It's not supposed to be. The melon works well with it, adding a bit of flavor without threatening to overwhelm the white tea.
Again, I'd really like this quite a bit stronger. But that's going to be true for all these samples.
This one didn't hold up well to a second steeping. The second one tastes like mildly flavored warm water. That's not really a criticism. That's just the nature of white tea.