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!
Late last year I heard about a new tea club that would be starting in 2017, Tea Runners. Tea Runners is the brain child of Jewel Staite and Charlie Ritchie. Each month Tea Runners sends out a box of 4 loose leaf teas along with tasting and brewing instructions.
I was lucky enough to get in for the March box and was delighted when it arrived. The packaging was really nice; it was evident a lot of thought and care went into the presentation.
The teas included in March’s box include: Makalu Mint Green Tea Blend, CTC Black, Annapurna Oolong Tea and Peach Ginger Detox Tea.
I love that the labels are chock full of information including ingredients, brewing and tasting instructions and where the tea came from so that I could find it again in the future.
This week I had a chance to try both the CTC Black and the Peach Detox Tea.
The CTC Black was excellent. It was strong flavored, but extremely smooth. It was a great black tea for a morning cup, and I also enjoyed it in the afternoon with just a touch of sugar.
The Peach Ginger Detox Tea smelled amazing when I opened it – just like ripe juicy peaches. It ended up being a really light tasting white tea with a hint of peach. I got almost no ginger in the flavor. I bet this one would be fabulous iced on a hot day, maybe even with a slice of peach?
If you’re interested in giving Tea Runners a try (and I suggest you do!) head on over to the website to sign up to be notified when subscriptions are open and boxes are available. Do keep an eye on your mailbox as they sell out quickly. There were 300 boxes available in March and they were gone within a few hours! Monthly memberships are $25 per box, or if you want to commit to 3 or 6-month subscriptions they’re available for slightly less.
From the website, Lemongrass Ginger Serenity contains lemongrass, ginger, licorice and peppermint.
It is available in a variety of sizes including 2oz for $9.95, 4oz for $19.90, 8oz for $37.81, 1lb for $71.64 and 2lbs for $135.32.
When I first opened the package the smell of the lemongrass and ginger was overwhelming – I think I even sneezed. But as I prepared the tea and it brewed, I got more of the licorice and peppermint aromas. The tea was milder than I expected, though I made sure not to overdo the measurements nor to steep too long. I think a stronger brew of this would be wonderful during cold season. However, this was a really nice afternoon cup; fresh and full of herbs and just slightly sweet.
From the website, Christmas Cookie contains organic crystallized ginger (organic cane sugar, organic ginger), organic cinnamon, organic apple pieces, organic ginger, organic star anise, organic licorice root and organic barley malt.
It comes in a variety of sizes: 2oz for $8.95, 40z for $17.90, 8oz for $34.01, 1lb for $64.44 and 2lbs for $121.72.
When I got this one and opened the bag I was so excited because it smelled sweet and spicy. The resulting tea was good, but it lacked the spicy punch I had hoped for. I will try brewing it again stronger. It was, however, a really nice afternoon herbal tea and I enjoyed it with some lemon holiday cookies from a friend.
Last week when I visited the Rhinebeck valley, I had the privilege of visiting The Perfect Blend Yarn & Tea shop in Saugerties, NY. What could be more perfect for a knit and tea lover?
The shop was beautiful; warm and cozy on a chilly afternoon. I got to sip a bit of Harvest Apple Spice tea while wandering and seeing a variety of yarns that I have never seen in person before (Isager, Baa Ram Ewe and others). The store was full of color and friendly staff, along with wonderful knit samples and of course, tea!
I spent quite a while staring at the wall of tea deciding which flavors needed to come home with me.
I also got to meet the owner and chat about her favorite teas. Of course they had to come home with me: Tea Forté White Ginger Pear and Sweet Orange Spice.
Today I’m reviewing White Ginger Pear. White Ginger Pear is a blend from Tea Forté that includes Pai Mu Tan white tea with sweet pear and spicy ginger. I purchased 2.1 oz in a beautiful tin for $13.50. It doesn’t appear that you can order from The Perfect Blend Yarn & Tea shop online, so I include a link to Tea Forté’s White Ginger Pear page.
When I opened the package I smelled the sweet pear and a bit of the spicy ginger. As it brewed the two melded together in a sweet tangy smell. The tea itself was mild – just a bit of sweet and a bit of spicy on a mild white tea. I almost think it might have smelled better than it tasted, but it was delicious! I will definitely have to try this one iced as well which I think might give the pear a bit more chance to shine through.
All in all, this was definitely my favorite yarn shop that we visited on the trip – how could it not be with two of my very favorite things? If you’re in Saugerties, definitely don’t miss The Perfect Blend Yarn & Tea.
Welcome to episode 90! Today I talk about my finishing frenzy and what’s next on the needles. Don’t forget that the Shawl KAL ends tomorrow. Knit like the wind and post your finished shawl in the FO thread!
Please come and join the Ravelry group.
- Finished: Vanilla is the New Black by Anneh Fletcher, in Show Me Yarn Bootheel in Aunt Gigi
- Finished: Beach Cove Shawl by Anne Podlesak, my handspun
- On deck: Dream in Color Shrug by Kay Dahlquist, Dream in Color Classy in Rio Verde (Camp Loopy 2016)
- On deck: Wedge by Cookie A, hand dyed yarn by a friend (Sock it to Summer 2016, Knot a Podcast)
- Finished: Hello Yarn Targhee in Shadows Parted
- In progress: The Topeka Twister Merino Silk in Blackberry Citrus Tart
- I’ve started a Corner of Knit & Tea Tour de Fleece team. Are you interest in joining? Please come chat about it in the group.
From the website, Cardamom Cinnamon contains cinnamon, ginger, carob, cardamom, chicory, pink peppercorns, star anise, cloves and cassia oil.
I ordered the Tasters Tin which was $4.50 for 1oz, but the blend is also available for $11.50 for a 5oz tin and $31.oo for a 1lb bag.
When I opened the tin I got a spicy smell that reminded me of the holidays. Once brewed I got the cinnamon and the pepper. The tea was mostly cinnamon flavored, and I found myself missing the body of a black tea underneath. I think this one would be a great substitute for those who would prefer herbal spice teas.
From the label, the decaffeinated herbal blend contains 50% rhubarb and 50% ginger.
I purchased the sample size of 2 teabags for $2.50. There is also a package that contains 15 tea bags for $9.99.
When I opened the package I was overwhelmed by the tangy ginger smell. Again this was a savory sweet. I added a bit of sugar and got the tangy sweet rhubarb taste along with the tangy ginger. It was a nice combination, and a pleasant afternoon drink, especially if you’re looking for something herbal and decaffeinated. I should also say that I do appreciate the simplicity in these teas – with only a few ingredients I really know what I’m getting.
I recently placed an order with the Republic of Tea, which is one of my favorite sites. I rarely get a tea from them I don’t love. Recently I have been enjoying their Orange Ginger Mint at a local cafe, and I wanted a stash for my desk.
From the website, Orange Ginger Mint contains ginger, orange bergamot mint, lemon thyme, anise hyssop, anise seeds and blackberry leaves.
It is available in a variety of sizes (and also as loose leaf) but this time I opted for the tin of 36 teabags for $10.25.
When I open the tin I get a healthy dose of the orange, the ginger and the mint. I really enjoy this one with just a bit of sweetener to sip on in the late afternoon, or as an after dinner drink. I find that the ginger is a good stomach soother, and the citrus and mint also feel good when allergies hit. All in all, this is going into the desk drawer and into rotation.
Another tea I picked up on sale in my last order from Teavana was the Mulled Pomegranate Cider. I have a feeling this was a holiday tea, but it’s still cold here in January and February, and I thought I might enjoy it.
Mulled Pomegranate Cider contains cinnamon, apple pieces, hibiscus flowers, carob bits, ginger, grapes, elderberries, pomegranate seeds, black pepper, black currants, raspberries, cardamom, cloves, red currants and blueberries.
Mulled Pomegranate Cider is available for $6.99 for 2oz and $55.89 for 1lb.
When I opened the package I got a strong berry smell with a bit of the mulling spices. When it was brewed it smelled more of hibiscus and spice. The taste was interesting – it reminded me of mulled wine with the cinnamon and spice and the darker berry flavors. I would drink this as more of a dessert tea, and to warm up on cold nights.