Sunday, November 22, 2009

Red Alert! Put the Kettle On! ~ Monty Python

Even if Monty Python's humor is not your cup of tea, you can appreciate this funny quote from a Pepperpot Ladies sketch. And, of course, if you're a tea lover like me, you like a nice cup of tea even when you're not under a Red Alert! This past week I've been trying a variety of teas from the Two Leaves and a Bud tea company and can highly recommend their sachets of organic teas.

There is a caveat; I'm not a professional tea taster, and I don't even play one on television! So, these are the thoughts of someone who loves tea (hot and cold) and drinks several cups each day (sometimes even several pots!). Even though I have attended a few tea tasting seminars, I will not attempt to use the lingo as it would probably just reveal how much I don't know! But, here's my opinion of the seven teas I've tried thus far:

Peppermint (Herbal, caffeine free) - Any fan of peppermint tea will love this! It's a light golden color with a heavenly minty fragrance and it leaves just a hint of a peppermint bite on your tongue. This is just the thing to pep you up when you're tired - very refreshing and energizing! Stock up now to get you through the holidays . . .

Darjeeling (Afternoon Tea) - I'm partial to Indian teas and always enjoy a nice Darjeeling. Did you know it's grown in high-altitude Himalayan foothills? If you're interested in different tea regions, check out the map at Two Leaves and a Bud - it's interactive and you'll be able to see where your favorite teas are grown. But, back to the Darjeeling - it was a beautiful golden color as seen below, with a nice, clear taste. I would be happy sipping this every afternoon!

African Sunset (Red Tea) - I wish I'd taken a photo to show you how beautiful this tea is. It's red (!) and tastes more organic than black or green teas - kind of woody or shrubby and a bit lemony. It's very nice and I think you could get hooked on it!

Mountain High Chai (Spiced Black Tea) - This was my least favorite of the seven. It has a great spicy fragrance, but the flavor was a bit diluted (I steeped it for 3 minutes as suggested, perhaps a minute or two more would have helped). I don't typically add milk to my tea and I suspect this was the problem and that Mountain High Chai would be great with milk (like the Chai you get in Indian restaurants). So, while I would not pick this as a favorite, you should try it for yourself (with milk, of course).

Pomi-berry (Herbal, caffeine free) - This is a nice Chamomile tea blended with pomegranate, apple, lavender, hibiscus, and lemon grass (and, no, I couldn't distinguish all those flavors on my own - I checked the TLAAB website). I really do not like Chamomile, but I liked this. It's sweet and fruity and the pomegranate balances out the Chamomile flavor.

Tamayokucha (Green Tea, light caffeine) - This tea is a beautiful light green/brown color with a subtle flavor. I liked the taste very much, but the fragrance was a bit grassy - keep in mind that I much prefer black tea to green . . . If you're a green tea fan, I think you will be quite pleased with Tamayokucha!

Assam (The Original Breakfast Tea) - Loved it! I start most mornings with either an Assam or Formosa Oolong and this Assam was perfect. It was a dark golden color with a nice robust flavor - just what I needed to wake up, but not at all bitter. If you like breakfast tea, you'll love this!

To steal a line from Dorothy Parker, who famously reviewed Katherine Hepburn's performance by saying she, "ran the whole gamut of emotions from A to B" - these Two Leaves and a Bud teas run the whole gamut from excellent to just . . . very good.

Check out the Two Leaves and a Bud website for lots of great teas, info, and tea gifts!

Disclosure: I received free tea samples as described above to review. Two Leaves and a Bud did not compensate me for reviewing their product beyond providing me with samples.

15 comments:

  1. great review! I admit I am not a big tea drinker anymore but my husband loves tea (somehow that seems backwards to me) but this seems like a great site in which to check out little Christmas gifts! Thank you!!

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  2. I was so distracted by the lovely cup that I had trouble focusing on the tea.

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