Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tea House Model

My boyfriend’s parents got me this interesting oriental model carved out of cork. There is a tea house on the left and a bridge on the right. I’ll just let you enjoy the pictures.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Tea Drinker’s Handbook

I received this book for Christmas and I believe it’s the best tea book I own at the moment. I love it because it goes into depth about the growing, harvesting, and processing steps instead of skimming over them like most other tea books. This is NOT just another book that talks about different steeping times and temperatures for different teas.

It also has a list and descriptions of the 50 best teas. This section alone takes up half of the book, but it is very informative. Oh, and by the way, the pictures in this book are absolutely stunning! The Tea Drinker’s Handbook is perfect for anyone wanting to learn more than just a brief history and glazed over brewing parameters of tea.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pearl Tea’s Earl Grey with Lavender Review

Type: Black
Origin: Not Specified
Price: Free Sample (regular price - $12.50 for 3oz.)
Vendor: Pearl Teas
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 teaspoon of leaves, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 200°F-203°F, steeped for 0.5 - 3 minutes
Overall Score: 1.5 out of 5

Early Grey with Lavender is just that… classic Earl Grey (black tea with bergamot oil) with lavender flowers. The bergamot is the first aroma that I smell. I can only smell a hint of lavender, after knowingly looking for the scent, because the bergamot is so pungent. The leaves are long, rolled, twisted dark brown bits with green lavender petals throughout.

The liquor is an orange or copper color. The aroma of the brew is mostly that of bergamot. I can smell a little bit of the lavender aroma in the background. It smells sweet and citrusy.

The taste is pretty much an overload of bergamot. I can’t taste lavender anywhere, even after several sips of searching for it. In fact, it’s hard to taste the black tea itself because the bergamot takes over. The brew is quite astringent and the citrusy tang aids in the dry mouth feel.

I have yet to figure out why Earl Grey is so popular. You might as well just drink bergamot oil, because infusing the leaves with this flavor is a waste of good black tea. Plus, I could not smell or taste any lavender… anywhere.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pearl Tea’s Moroccan Mint Review

Type: Green
Origin: China
Price: Free Sample (regular price - $5.25 for 1oz.)
Vendor: Pearl Teas
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 teaspoon of leaves, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 167°F-185°F, steeped for 0.5 - 2 minutes
Overall Score: 3.0 out of 5

Moroccan Mint is a combination of green gunpowder tea and mint leaves. I barely opened the package and I was hit with an intense minty aroma. The blend looks like an equal portion of tightly rolled gunpowder tea and tiny specks of mint. Every so often I see some woody stems which, I think, are from the mint.

The liquor is a light yellow or golden color. The aroma of the brew is, of course, extremely minty. It smells sweet – kind of like I just steeped a piece of mint flavored gum. At this point I am wondering what the green tea has to offer because it seems to be all about the mint. Maybe that is in the taste…

The taste is not as minty as I thought it would be… the mint is more bark than bite. The overall taste is sweet and refreshing. The green tea provides the medium body and slight astringency, but the main flavor is from the mint.

The vendor suggests trying this tea iced. I can imagine that would be a nice tasty, refreshing treat in the summer months. However, there is snow on the ground now… and I’m glad the tea is warm.