White tea is harvested from the spring buds of the tea plan, and this tea is peony silver needles.
When I opened the package, I found White Pearls to be gently fragrant, mostly smelling of flowers. Upon steeping it, I did find the blend to be a little flowery for my tastes, but still very light and refreshing. This one was a good afternoon blend, a little sweet and not too strong. If I’m going to drink a tea that is light and flowery I usually prefer jasmine, but this was lovely to try.
I’m awash in samples from Tea Runners! This week I brought Water Sprite Oolong to work to try.
Water Sprite Oolong is pure oolong tea from a family farm high up in the mountains of Southeast China.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag is how smoky this tea is. The packaging suggests there is some honey sweetness “balanced with strong earthy tones,” but all I got from this one was a smoky smell and taste. In general, I find oolongs very mellow and I enjoy them, but I think this one was too smoky for me. I enjoyed trying it, but I wouldn’t add it to my permanent collection.
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.
Whoops! I fell off the tea bandwagon there for a few Fridays, but I’m endeavoring to catch up.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.