Friday, August 28, 2009

Pearl Tea’s “Chai Chai” Christy Review

Type: Rooibos
Origin: South Africa
Price: Sample (regular price - $15.50 for 3oz.)
Vendor: Pearl Teas
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 teaspoon of leaves, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 194°F-203°F, steeped for 2 - 3 minutes, added ¼ cup of milk
Overall Score: 3.2 out of 5

“Chai Chai” Christy is a blend of rooibos, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. I can smell the cloves and ginger immediately. I can faintly smell the rooibos, but I really have to look for that particular aroma. Overall this dry blend smells really spicy. I can see the tiny bits of the red rooibos along with pieces of ginger. The cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves seem to be ground up in this blend.

While the blend is steeping, the liquor is a yellowish-orange color. I can still smell the cloves and ginger up front. The fruity rooibos aroma hangs out in the background.

The taste is warm and slightly spicy. Once again, the cloves and ginger are the first things I notice. I can barely taste the rooibos in this blend. Most of the rooibos blends that I have come across say to steep for 5-7 minutes. This one suggested 2-3 minutes. I steeped the tea closer to 3 minutes, but I think that a longer steeping time might be a good thing for this tea because it might let the rooibos flavor have a chance to show its stuff a little more.

This blend was not that strong on its own and adding milk made it even weaker – creamier, but still very mellow. So, if you like chai, but don’t want to be knocked off your seat like some chai’s have a tendency to do, then this one might be the way to go.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mighty Leaf’s Marrakesh Mint Green Tea (Iced) Review

Type: Green
Origin: China, Morocco
Price: Sample (regular price - $9.95 for 15 Pouches)
Vendor: Mighty Leaf
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 teaspoon of leaves, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 170°F-180°F, steeped for 2 - 3 minutes
Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5

Marrakesh Mint Green Tea is a mix of Chinese green tea and peppermint. I can smell the cool peppermint instantly just as I begin to tear open the package. The leaves are tiny specks of green and white leaves.

After the tea is steeped and iced, I can smell the peppermint clearly. It is not as pungent as in the dry leaf state, though. The liquor is a yellowish-green color.

Wow, if this does not cool you off on a hot summer day, I’m not sure what will. Surprisingly, even with the overwhelming peppermint taste, I can still taste the green tea. The peppermint does its job of creating a cool, refreshing effect in my mouth. No bitterness, no astringency… just a cool flavor with a hint of sweetness.

I have never had peppermint iced before – I have had it hot, but never iced. I know when I had peppermint flavored hot tea it left my mouth feeling cool despite the hot beverage. The iced version is really nice, especially while drank during a miserably hot summer day. Actually, I’m more of a spearmint fan than a peppermint fan and I enjoyed this tea without ever once wishing it was spearmint.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mighty Leaf’s Organic African Nectar (Iced) Review

Type: Rooibos
Origin: South Africa
Price: Sample (regular price - $9.95 for 15 Pouches)
Vendor: Mighty Leaf
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 teaspoon of leaves, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 200°F-205°F, steeped for 5 - 7 minutes, let cool to room temperature then added ice
Overall Score: 4.3 out of 5

Organic African Nectar is a blend of rooibos mixed with organic hibiscus flowers and organic marigold flowers. A rush of fruity and floral aromas hit me as I open the package. I can pick out the fruity rooibos aroma while the hibiscus and marigold aromas blend together in the background. Overall the blend smells insanely sweet. Reds and yellows make up the color of the leaves for this blend.

After the tea is steeped and iced, I could easily smell the fruity rooibos. I could no longer pick up on the floral aromas, however. The liquor is a pretty yellowish-red color.

The taste is lively and fruity. It is quite sweet and refreshing, as well. I can taste the fruity rooibos while the hibiscus and marigold blend into the background. I can taste more of the floral flavors in the aftertaste than in the initial sip. Admittedly, I thought the rooibos might get overpowered with the floral flavors because of how pungent the flowers smelled before steeping. However, the taste is just the right balance of fruity and floral.

When iced this tea is still full of flavor. The fruity qualities in this tea make it rather sweet and refreshing. I believe there is no sugar or sweetener needed here. Even the pickiest sweet iced tea drinkers may not notice the lack of sugar.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mighty Leaf’s Orange Dulce (Iced) Review

Type: Mix of Black and Green
Origin: China, Sri Lanka
Price: Sample (regular price - $9.95 for 15 Pouches)
Vendor: Mighty Leaf
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 teaspoon of leaves, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 200°F-205°F, steeped for 3 - 5 minutes, let cool to room temperature then added ice
Overall Score: 3.8 out of 5

Orange Dulce is Ceylon and China black and green teas mixed with jasmine flowers, citrus fruits, and vanilla flavors. I can smell the citrus and the vanilla as soon as I tear open the package. It has an overall sweet, floral aroma. The blend is mostly dark, small leaves with a few yellow and white jasmine flowers.

After the tea is steeped and iced, I can noticeably smell the vanilla while the citrus hangs out in the background. The liquor is a deep orange color.

The taste is quite sweet and refreshing. I taste the vanilla throughout and the citrus settles with the jasmine in the aftertaste. I don’t think this would need any sugar. The vanilla makes this blend extremely sweet on its own.

This tea is called Orange Dulce, but I taste the vanilla way more than the citrus. The tea was a refreshing treat overall. However, I wish I could have tasted more of the individual flavors like the citrus and jasmine instead of having to actively look for those flavors through the overwhelming vanilla.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Admittedly, I really didn’t think I needed one of these, but I want to MAKE SURE all of those who come across this blog know exactly why it exists.

This is my personal blog in which I talk about my hobby of tea. This includes, but is not limited to, personal tea notes, thoughts, reviews, opinions, experiences, news, and events.

I do not claim to be a tea expert in any way, shape, or form. It was only in August of 2007 that I started to actively research and understand tea as a substance and as a culture. Thus, this blog was created to document my learning experience.

This blog was not created for the sole purpose of selling products. I advertise for Google Ads and certain affiliated companies, but I have no intention to use this blog as a means to push sales. By that I mean the Google Ads and affiliated links are there for my readers, but if I sell something that is fine and if I do not then that is fine, too. I personally do not care about the commission generated from any sales linked with the tea companies in which I am an affiliate.

Because of that, all of the reviews are written without bias. Most of the reviews come from free samples sent to me by tea companies. However, just because they are free does not sway me to post a review in their favor. I will provide my readers with only HONEST reviews. With that said, there may be times when I have negative feelings and opinions towards certain teas, vendors, companies, etc. But, these opinions are not intended to malign, defame, or injure any company, vendor, group, etc.

The photographs on this blog are personally taken by me unless noted in the actual blog post. Any or all personal photographs may not be used without my written permission.

I hold personal responsibility for the content of this blog except for the comments made by others on individual blog posts. I am not responsible, nor will I be held liable, for anything anyone says on my blog in the blog comments sections. Although, I hold the responsibility to delete any comments in which I feel misrepresents this blog.

There is one other point I would like to make concerning my tea reviews. I have my own parameters in which I brew certain types of tea. However, when I am doing a review I will brew that particular tea the way that the vendor tells the consumer to brew it. I do that because when a consumer buys that particular tea they are going to trust the knowledge of the tea vendor and brew it according to the instructions on the package or on the vendor’s website.

This disclaimer is subject to change at any time for any reason.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mighty Leaf’s Coco Chai Review

Type: Chai (Rooibos base)
Origin: South Africa
Price: Sample (regular price - $8.95 for 4oz.)
Vendor: Mighty Leaf
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 teaspoon of leaves, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 200°F-205°F, steeped for 5 - 7 minutes
Overall Score: 4.6 out of 5

Coco Chai is a blend of rooibos, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, red peppercorns, and coconut. I can smell the fruity immediately followed by the sweet coconut. There is a spicy aroma in the background, but I can’t tell if it is from the ginger or the peppercorns. I can see slivers of coconut, cardamom, and whole peppercorns mixed in with the tiny red rooibos.

While steeping, the tea smells of fruity rooibos and sweet coconut. I can smell the ginger and cinnamon, as well. Those aromas put together give the tea a sweet but spicy smell. The liquor is a pretty orange or copper color.

Just like the aroma, the taste is an awesome blend of sweet and spicy. I taste the fruity rooibos first. Then the sweet coconut settles in the aftertaste. Finally, a couple of seconds later the ever so gentle amount of heat from the cinnamon and ginger creeps up in the aftertaste. The more I sip, the more of the battle between the sweet coconut and the spices becomes noticeable.

Bitterness and astringency is not an issue with this blend. The sweetness from the rooibos and coconut seem to take care of the bitterness while the spices have been kept to the right amount as to not become unpleasant in the mouth.

I would say go ahead and add some milk if you want (since that is how chai is traditional prepared). That would mellow out some of the spices and bring out the coconut even more. However, I think the flavors in this tea are exceptional on their own.