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Drink Me: La Creme, Guava Gold

One of the inclusions in my recent Tearunners box was the Guava Gold Detox Tea from La Creme Coffee and Tea.  This blend has the distinction of being a 2013 Flavored Green Tea championship winner.

From the website, Guava Gold contains Bai Mu Dan White tea, Silver Needle White tea, Japanese Sencha Kyoto Green tea, Formosa Oolong Choicest tea, blue flowers, rose petals, natural and artificial flavoring.

It is available in a variety of sizes: 1/4 lb for $21.00, 1/2 lb for $32.35 and 1lb for $55.00.

When I opened the bag the first thing I noticed was the sweet and spicy scent of guava. Once brewed I could smell a bit of strawberry as well. (As a side note – I wish tea makers wouldn’t just include “natural and artificial flavoring” but tell me WHAT the flavoring is. For instance, if it smells like guava, tell me there’s guava in there!)

The tea was actually quite a bit milder than I was expecting.  I really enjoy Guava Cadabra from David’s Tea and while this definitely had notes of guava, I think I wanted more fruit taste.   That said, it was a pretty smooth blend of tea with light, sweet notes.  I think it would make a good tropical iced tea.

Drink Me: Rishi Tea, Genmaicha

One of the things that I love about my Tea Runners subscription is that it introduces me to new teas. One of these is the Genmaicha in the May box.

Genmaicha translates to “brown rice tea” and was discovered when Japanese monks brewed green tea in their rice cauldrons.  This particular blend includes organic green tea and organic roasted sticky rice.

Genmaicha is available in a variety of sizes: teaser for $2.00, 50g for $9.00 and 250g for $39.00

I have to say that I was completely skeptical about whether or not I would like this blend.  When I opened the bag all I smelled was the green tea which was sort of overwhelmingly grassy smelling.  However, as the tea brewed, all I could smell was the toasted rice, smelling almost nutty.  The taste was more of the nutty brown rice and not much of the green tea flavor at all.  I added just a touch of sugar and it was sweet and nutty and really enjoyable.  I would definitely try a Genmaicha if you get a chance because this one was delightful!

Drink Me: Tea Runners, Ajiri Tea, Kenyan Black

I’ve been falling down on the tea reviews, but my collection of tea just keeps growing!  One of the selections from my Tea Runners club from a few months back is Kenyan Black Tea from Ajiri Teas.

Kenyan Black Tea is black tea grown in Kenya.

Kenyan Black Tea is available for $10.00 for 3.5oz/100g of loose leaf tea or for $9.00 for a box of 20 teabags. All profits from sales of Ajiri Tea are donated to the Ajiri Foundation, which pays school fees for orphans in western Kenya.

When I got this tea I wasn’t sure whether I would like it. Primarily, I was surprised that it was almost the consistency of coffee grounds.  I used a paper filter to brew up a cup and I was pleasantly surprised that it was delicious. It was a good strong black tea without a bitter finish.  I added a bit of sugar to mine, and I suspect this one would be excellent with a bit of milk or cream.  This was a really great find for Tea Runners and I suspect I’ll be trying more of Ajiri’s teas in the future.

Drink Me: Tea Embassy, Secret Garden

Another tea I picked up in my last Tea Embassy order was their Secret Garden blend.

From the website, Secret Garden contains Pai Mu Tan, Darjeeling and Chinese green teas, sencha, dragonwell, gunpowder, jasmine jade pearls, candied mango bits, candied pineapple bits, orange peels, strawberry bits, red currants, sour cherry bits and apricot bits.

Secret Garden is available at $6.50 per ounce in 1oz, 2oz, 4oz, 8oz and 1lb packages.

When I first opened the package, I got the overwhelming tropical scent of the mango and pineapple. As it brewed I also detected the cherry and strawberry scents.   The tea itself was light and fruity.  The blend didn’t taste strongly of any of the actual teas: I didn’t get a black tea feel from it, and the green tea was very light and not grassy.  Overall, it was a really nice light fruity blend. I think it would be fantastic iced and I really enjoyed it.

Drink Me: Tea Embassy, Snow Flake

When I placed by last order with Tea Embassy, they slipped in a sample of their Snow Flake tea.

From the website, Snow Flake contains black tea, almonds and coconut rasps.

It is available in a variety of sizes: 1oz for $3.25, 2oz for $6.50, 4oz for $13.00, 8oz for $26.00 and 1lb for $52.00.

I was interested in trying this blend because there is another Snowflake tea that I’m quite fond of and I wanted to see how this one compared.  This one smelled quite good – I got a lot of coconut and almond aroma right away.  Once brewed, the tea was quite smooth with a lot of coconut flavor, but I didn’t get as much of almond flavor as I wanted. The tea was still quite good, and would be a great dessert tea.

Drink Me: Tea Embassy, Fancy Formosa Oolong

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to try a new tea provider and I placed an order with Tea Embassy. I ordered several selections, but today I’ll be reviewing the Fancy Formosa Oolong.

From the website, Fancy Formosa Oolong contains white-tipped oolong from Taiwan.

It is available in a variety of sizes: 1oz for $6.00, 2oz for $12.00, 4oz for $24.00, 8oz for $48.00 and 1lb for $96.00.

When I opened the package, I got a delicious aroma.  I’ve mentioned before that I love oolongs because, in my opinion, they tend to be the smoothest teas.  This tea was delightful.  It was a strong tea, but not quite as bitter as some black teas.  With a bit of sugar, it was sweet and full bodied with just a hint of peach and apricot flavors at the end. This is the perfect morning or afternoon tea, especially with a jam-filled cookie.

Drink Me: Tea Runners, Moonlight Jasmine

Whoops! I fell off the tea bandwagon there for a few Fridays, but I’m endeavoring to catch up.

Another lovely selection in my last Tea Runners box was Moonlight Jasmine courtesy of Rishi Tea.

From the website, Moonlight Jasmine contains green tea and jasmine blossoms.

It is available in a variety of sizes: Teaser for $2.00, a Quarter Pound for $45.00 and 250g for $80.00.

As I’ve said before, I LOVE Jasmine tea. In general I’m not a huge fan of florals, but something about Jasmine gets me every time.  I was delighted to try this one from the moment I opened the package until the last sip.  The green tea was smooth and fresh tasting, not grassy at all.  And the Jasmine was almost like an afternote – I got the taste mostly as I was swallowing. It wasn’t as strong as some teas I’ve tried, but it was light and perfect. I plan on brewing a large pitcher of it iced to keep me going through the summer and I’ll definitely be ordering more of this one!

Drink Me: Tea Runners, English Breakfast

This month I received my third subscription box from Tea Runners.  So far I have been really impressed by the offerings and this month is no exception.

This month’s selections include: Fellini’s Folly (rooibos), English Breakfast, Kenyan Black and Moonlight Jasmine.

Today I’m review the English Breakfast tea from Rishi Tea in Milwaukee, WI.  This black tea is sourced from the mountains in Thailand.

English Breakfast is available in a variety of sizes: a “teaser” sample for $2.00, 4oz for $13.00 and a full pound for $45.00.

I really liked this blend. It was a good strong black tea with a full bodied flavor, but it didn’t end up at all bitter.  It was an excellent way to start my day and I’d definitely try it again.  Stay tuned – next week I’ll review the Moonlight Jasmine.

Drink Me: Tea Runners, Creme de la Berry Green

A second tea that I got from my last Tea Runners box was Creme de la Berry Green, which actually comes from Simpson & Vail from whom I have recently purchased tea.

From the website, Creme de la Berry Green contains green tea, organic cacao nibs, flavoring and strawberry fruit pieces.

It’s available in a variety of sizes: 2oz for $4.15, 4oz for $7.20, 8oz for $13.20, or 1lb for $26.40.

When I opened the package, the first thing I could smell were the strawberries; it was like they were sweet and tart and fresh in the package.  The tea itself was light without a grassy taste, and the strawberry flavor really came through. I didn’t get as much of the chocolate taste, but I was so delighted with the strawberry flavor that I don’t care.  I can’t wait to try this one iced as summer rolls around!

Drink Me: Tea Runners, Black Masala from Sahpat Teas

This week I was delighted to receive my second shipment from Tea Runners (I blogged about my first shipment here.)  This month featured four wonderful selections. Today I’m reviewing the Black Masala from Sahpat Teas included in the shipment.

From the package, this is another award-winning black tea with a “spicy south Asian kick to it,” as well as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and black pepper.

I love Masala and was so excited to receive this one. When I opened the package I got the best spicy aroma and I couldn’t wait to brew it up.  This one was super smooth, with a full bodied flavor with lots of spice. I had mine with just a touch of honey, but I’m sure it would be delicious with milk as well. Usually I share my samples with my friends, but I am tempted to keep this one all to myself!