Tea Spoon

February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year

This is a special weekend – it is the birthday of Teaspoon – and Valentine’s Day too, the birthday of Okakura Kakuzo, author of The Book of Tea, and this year, it is Chinese New Year. In celebration, here are a few favorites that we have exchanged with each other – but really, they are all favorites to me ; ) Thank you Elina!

Croco Rooibos
Punainen Bambu
Spicy Rooibos
Lucid Dream
Sweet Rose Tulsi

Pictured here is Wei Chi Cha from Samovar Tea Lounge – which is one of the few teas I am able to refill that Elina has sent me, as it is available in the U.S. from San Francisco. In a word, it is mercurial, with a super boost of energy that has a calm underlying feeling to it. The ingredients are organic orange peel, organic, fair trade hibiscus, organic lemongrass, organic licorice root, organic clove, organic lavender and organic stevia (sweetleaf) from the U.S. Steeping times depend on how deep you like the flavors, and the same with the water temperature. I prefer this one steeped for 4 minutes and to drink at room temperature. I have refilled my order and recommend other blends by Samovar, including Nocturnal Bliss which is really beautiful when swirled with a spoonful of cherries at the bottom of the cup and Ocean of Wisdom, a chai rooibos tea, “custom blended for His Holiness The Dalai Lama.” The ingredients are Rooibos and Honey Bush from South Africa blended with Ginger, Clove, Cinnamon, and Licorice from United States. It is very smooth and mindful:

“When you contemplate the big, full sunrise, the more mindful and concentrated you are, the more the beauty of the sunrise is revealed to you. Suppose you are offered a cup of tea, very fragrant, very good tea. If your mind is distracted, you cannot really enjoy the tea. You have to be mindful of the tea, you have to be concentrated on it, so the tea can reveal its fragrance and wonder to you. That is why mindfulness and concentration are such sources of happiness. That’s why a good practitioner knows how to create a moment of joy, a feeling of happiness, at any time of the day.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

February 7, 2010

Stabili-tea (Ayurvedic) – SereneTeaz

Filed under: Index,Tea Reviews — Rooibos @ 4:34 pm

If you like Ayurvedic teas, this is one of the best ones I have tasted! Quite similar actually to the Vata tea that is also one of my definite all time favorites. This tea does not have quite as much coriander in it as the Vata tea and, does not have anise seeds, and has rose petals in it instead of mallow petals. So the taste is slightly different, but very similar in style, with strong licorice taste making it sweet and tasty.

The tea is also beautiful to watch when you open the package, with the whole cardamom pods in it, and other ingredients in such large chunks as well that they are easy to recognize. Sometimes I have had problems with this kind of teas with some heavier parts sinking in the bottom. In that case, the package really needs to be stirred before making the tea so that you get an even distribution of everything in your tea. Does not seem to be a problem with this tea, though, which is great because all this extra stirring causes some extra work for tea cooking (and sometimes, as a mother of three, I tend to be rather busy : ).

The brewing time is not that long, even if the ingredients are in large chunks, according to the package eight + minutes. It does get tastier and tastier though the longer you brew it and I could easily give this one half an hour of brewing time and drink it warm but not hot. I think the flavour comes out even more nicely when the tea is not too hot. I drink this tea without milk, but it could go nicely with milk too. Sweeteners are definitely not needed, this one is naturally sweet and lovely : ) Thank you for sending this one to me Janine!!

Ingredients: cardamom, licorice, coriander, fennel, ginger roots, rose petals.
My rating: * * * * * (easily!)

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