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.
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.
Tangerine Blossom Premium Red Tea contains organic white tea and tangerine blossoms.
Tangerine Blossom is available in a variety of sizes: sample for $4.00, 2oz for $18.00, 4oz for $35.00, 8oz for $68.00 and 1lb for $135.00.
When I opened the package I did get sort of a nutty aroma, which Shang Tea identifies as red tea. Although in English we use red tea to mean rooibos, in Chinese red tea is the name for black tea. Once brewed I got more of a complex aroma with a bit of the blossom fragrance. This tasted like a good strong black tea with a bit of a floral finish. In one way it was a very plain tea, but in another it was layered with nutty and floral notes. I quite enjoyed it mid-afternoon at work.
From the site, Jasmine White Tea Classic is quality white tea infused 4-5 times with jasmine blooms. Not everyone is a jasmine fan, but I really like it.
Jasmine White Tea Classic is available in a variety of sizes: sample for $4.00, 2oz for $16.00, 4oz for $30.00, 8oz for $58.00 and 1lb for $115.00.
When I opened the package, all I got was fragrant jasmine. The smell always makes me think of hot summer nights. I don’t know if I’ve ever actually been near blooming jasmine, but it certainly conjures up that feeling for me. This was the perfect blend of tea with jasmine – I got the flowery aroma and a bit of the taste, but it wasn’t overly strong. It really was in the perfect proportions.
The tea is a mix of white tea and French vanilla flavor.
It is available in a variety of sizes: 3oz for $8.50 and 8oz for $17.50.
When I opened the package all I could smell was pure vanilla. It smelled AMAZING. Once brewed I could still smell the vanilla, but it also had more of a tea aroma. There were generous sized leaves and pieces of tea in the bag. I added a little bit of sugar and the result was a sweet dessert tea that oozed vanilla. I suspect that this blend will be a permanent addition to my collection.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go on a work errand to a local tea shop, Shang Tea, located in Crown Center. While there, an amazing staff member offered us tastes of several different teas. The shop is very welcoming – there are tables and benches and you can come in an order a pot of tea or just sample the day’s offerings.
Although I was purchasing some supplies for work, I couldn’t resist leaving without a little goodie bag for myself, the contents of which I plan to review in the coming weeks.
Today’s tea is Cinnamon Wu-long.
From the website, this blend is 100% white tea and cinnamon.
It is available in a variety of sizes: 1oz for $12, 2oz for $22, 4oz for $42, 8oz for $84 and 1lb for $165.
When I opened the bag, this one smelled heavily of cinnamon. When I brewed it, the cinnamon smell faded somewhat and there was an almost nutty aroma from the tea. The resulting tea was a little bit smoky, with a cinnamon aftertaste. It was far more subtle than the teas I usually drink, but I really enjoyed it.
I also have to say, I can’t wait to go back and sample some more teas! I’ll share a few more with you next time.
The holiday sampler (30ct) is available for $5.95.
Christmas Eve: Christmas Eve tea contains cinnamon, orange peel, spearmint, vanilla extract, orange oil, cinnamon and clove flavor. You can also purchase it individually in a variety of sizes. When I first opened the package I smelled both the sweet and the spicy – I could easily pick out the spearmint and the cinnamon. The taste was a little bit of everything, but the cinnamon featured the most prominently. This was a beautiful spicy holiday tea and I really enjoyed it!
Christmas Morning: Christmas Morning is a blend of black and jasmine green teas. I really like jasmine green so I was interested to see what this one would be like. I have to say that I didn’t really taste or smell the jasmine green. Mostly this was just a good black tea, which is excellent as a breakfast blend. Of the three in the holiday sampler, this was probably the least interesting to me, only because I have a wealth of good black breakfast brews.
White Christmas: White Christmas is white tea with peppermint and ginger. I didn’t taste much of the ginger, but it was a good peppermint tea. Definitely holiday themed!
From the website, Blueberry White Tea contains white tea and sweet blueberries.
It is available in a 3.0oz canister for $12.95.
When I opened the package I could smell the sweet blueberries most of all. After it brewed, I could smell a bit more of the tea. The taste was mild, with a hint of blueberry finish. I’d actually recommend this one for people who aren’t into super fruity teas, but want to try just a bit of one. The blueberry isn’t overwhelming at all. It was a perfect afternoon cuppa.
From the website, the blend contains: organic white tea, organic rosehips, organic blueberries, organic raspberries, organic schizandra berries, organic strawberries, organic and hibiscus flowers, natural lychee and plum flavors, and organic white tea with jasmine.
It comes in a variety of sizes: 2oz for $16.00, 4oz for $32.00, 8oz for $60.80, 1lb for $115.20 and 2lbs for $217.60.
Based on the description of the ingredients I expected to really like this tea, but my first impression when I opened the bag to take the photographs was that it was overly flowery. When I opened it a second time to make a cup, I got more of the hibiscus and fruity smell. Once brewed the tea was mild, with a bit of a tangy hibiscus/berry taste. Overall, it was ok but it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be.
I was watching a knitting podcast a few weeks ago (I confess I forget which one it was) and the host mentioned she was drinking some Cherry Blossom tea, a seasonal blend from David’s Tea. I was very curious about this blend, and popped over to David’s Tea and ordered a bag. I can’t say enough good things about their shipping – it came from Canada and was in my hands in just a few days!
From the packaging, the blend contains green and white tea, cherries, coconut, and rosebuds.
It’s available in the following sizes: 50g for $11.75, 100g for $23.50, 250g for $58.75, and 500g for $117.50.
When I first opened the bag it smelled heavenly – I could smell the sour cherry and almost a fruity, heady blossom smell. I could also see whole cherries, big chunks of coconut and rose petals. While brewing I got flashes of white and green tea, and milder smells. The tea itself was very light and refreshing with hints of cherry and coconut. I really enjoyed it hot, but I think it would be excellent iced as well. I’m so glad I checked this one out and I suspect it will be on my order each spring!