Tea Spoon

September 1, 2009

Tasting blueberry Rooibos teas – Teavana and Rishi Tea

Filed under: Index,Tea Reviews — Tags: , , — elina @ 6:58 pm

Organic Blueberry Rooibos - Rishi TeaTonight I brew two kinds of Blueberry Rooibos tea. Janine had sent me earlier a bag of Teavana blueberry Rooibos and for my birthday I got some great tea samples from her (thank you!!:), including the Rishi Tea Blueberry Rooibos. I wanted to compare the Rishi and Teavana Blueberry Rooibos but the end result was that I could not decide which one I liked more. The Teavana version was definitely more fruity and the blueberry taste was strong. In the Rishi Tea the blueberry taste was more in the background. I liked the Teavana tea maybe slightly better when I tried the teas without milk, but with milk I preferred the Rishi Tea. Both teas were great and they deserve full five stars!  * * * * *

August 20, 2009

Dragonfly Tea – Organic Rooibos and Organic Cape Malay Rooibos Chai

Organic Cape Malay Rooibos Chai - Dragonfly

Elina sent me a beautiful surprise assortment of bagged teas – for tea on the go when at work, on errands or even for an outdoor hike. These are really fabulous and have a smooth taste too. The organic ingredients make such a difference to me in taste. It is not easy to find purely organic teas, and in a variety of flavours.

The two flavours Elina sent me to try by Dragonfly Tea in the UK are Organic Cape Rooibos Tea, which is a pure Rooibos, low tannin and caffeine free. The other is called Organic Cape Malay Rooibos Chai. The ingredients are organically grown Rooibos tea, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, chicory, cloves, black pepper and citrus peel. Steep time is only 2-3 minutes, though I generally do 4-5 for any Rooibos leaves. Both of these teas are pleasing to the senses and I will look for them in my area; they can also be ordered online. I highly recommend Dragonfly – the company is fair trade and offers a rather large selection of appealing choices. Elina has a unique talent for finding new things, which I admire of her.

It is interesting to note that Cape Malay Rooibos Chai has a similar taste to the Spicy Rooibos tea by Indiska that I liked so much (though it is missing the sweetness from the licorice) and the Auyrveda Knockout Tea by théhuone that has chicory – but is more convenient to steep. Some people really like loose teas, and some will only use tea bags. If you are looking for a quality tea bag to try, this is a great one that may be similar to having loose tea – because the ingredients are organic and wonderful.

My rating: ****

August 3, 2009

Ayurveda – Vata – Tea Gschwendner

Filed under: Index,Tea Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , — elina @ 7:50 pm

VataThis Vata tea from Tea Gschwendner I have been waiting forward to review for a long time. Now when the tea bag Janine sent months ago is finished, it is the last moment to do so. I would have probably already finished the tea a lot earlier but I found a pretty good substitute over here in Finland.  I totally love this tea and it is one of the best teas I have ever tasted.

When I first tasted the tea I was totally amazed. My first thoughts were along the lines “how could I have not tasted anything like this before? This tea is so amazing that anyone would love to drink it”.. I tried it hot and cold, with and without milk, everything works but my favorite is cold and without milk. My morning routine quite often has been brewing a small pot of some strong tea and a pitcher of Aurveda Vata (or substitute) in the morning, consuming the strong tea first and sipping the room-temperature tea from the pitcher during the day.

I’ve been also brewing this for other people  but surprisingly it is not for everyone’s taste. One visitor even left half of her drink because she thought it tasted weird. Most of the people I have served it have liked it, though. For me, it is difficult to imagine how someone could not fall in love with this tea : )

The ingredients of the tea are: licorice, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, anise, and mallow blossoms. Now just a few words about the substitute. I went to Théhuone (a wonderful tea shop in Helsinki) and described this tea to them. They suggested for me to try their tea that is called Ayurveda Organic. The ingredients in this one are anise, cinnamon, ginger, orange peel, gloves, pepper corns, cardamon, licorice, plus some aromas they do not explain in detail. The taste is diffirent but quite close to the Vata tea. The Vata tea is easier to make so that the quality is each time the same because the incredients are smaller and similar in weight. The other tea has a bit of a problem with getting all the ingredients in one brewing.

My rating for the Vata tea is * * * * * .. I would give more if I could!

July 20, 2009

Treasure of the Incas (Inkojen aartet) – The Ounce

Treasure of the Incas

Elina sent me this dreamy tea from The Ounce in Helsinki that tastes somewhat similar to the Sweet Lily White tea, so I am posting them together and she can comment. While they have different ingredients, to me they both have the taste of honeysuckle that I am enjoying, or it could be the lemon grass too.

I am not sure what all of the ingredients are in Treasure of the Incas and will write more soon as I discover them. I am brewing the tea for only one minute, and prefer it hot to warm, rather than cold. This is a complex tea where the warmth holds the flavours together.

The inviting blend is friendly from the opening of the package, with an earthy scent that has a quenching taste. The vibrant colors are ethereal while the texture has a feathery feel. It is quite magical; Elina always finds very special things that spark the imagination and are inspiring. This one is wondrous. Thank you Elina!

Ingredients: ancient secrets and untold wisdom.

My rating: * * * * *

June 30, 2009

Tea Fairies — Artisan green tea

Filed under: Index,Special Features — Tags: , , , , , — elina @ 9:48 am

picture-48

Janine sent me artisan tea a good while ago and just a week ago I brew it for me and the kids. We had a fun surprise when the tea was ready, the artisan tea had turned into a lovely flower! This made me think of pleasurable everyday products that entertain people maybe just for a short while, make them smile and have a better day. Masa Inakage of Keio University has often mentioned in his speeches a concept of “five seconds of fun”. This tea was a bit similar to the fun product concepts I’ve seen him present in conferences. When I told Janine about this, it made her think of fairies. I was going to post this picture in the International fairy day which was on the 24th, but was too busy to do that. Late good fairy day wishes to our readers! : )

June 29, 2009

The best souvenir you can get — some tea! : )

Yumchaa teas

Last weekend I had a great tea weekend at our summer house. Not only I took some Rooibos tea with me that Janine made herself for me (yum yum!!), but also my husband, who came back home from London, brought me a bag of Yumchaa teas as a souvenir! So we were having a lot of different teas both cold and hot as it was a hot summer weekend with a lot of woodwork : ). The green teas were great cold with just a pinch of sugar added to them and some lemon pieces for decoration. All of these Yumchaa teas have been lovely and I have asked Mark to review at least one tea for our blog. The Caramel Sweetheart tea was quite similar taste as the Pecan Pie Rooibos that Janine sent me earlier, but this one is a black tea.. So .. waiting for some more comments from Mark : )

June 14, 2009

Ayurveda – Pharoah’s Dream – Knockout Tea

Filed under: Index,Tea Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — pakua @ 8:03 pm

AyurvedaI must say, I love tea, but I enjoy cold tea’s more than hot tea. Milk in tea? Not for me. So, when Elina started talking about this Knockout Tea (our nickname for it) I was curious. So – you want to get to bed with an easy tea. This is the one for you. Drinking it cold you feel the spices filling your body – the licquorice, the cinnamon, the peppers, the cardamon all circulating in phases that keep bringing you back for more. The first mouthful leaves a taste hanging on the back of your throat, as if it is cleansing you. The thing about this tea is that the brewing time greatly effects that taste, and hot or cold, the tea knocks you out. You feel energised from the first drop, but then, you begin relaxing and pass out nicely. I love this tea! More from the girls!

May 31, 2009

Spicy Rooibos – Indiska

Spicy Rooibos

This is a thoughtful tea Elina sent me last week from a shop in Helsinki called Indiska that I am really loving. It came in a dazzling red cellophane bag, decorated with an intricate paisley mendhi design filled in with hearts that reminded me of some drawings I made, some of Elina’s drawings she sent me and of Batik artistry too.

When I opened the bag, all of these exotic scents came about that made me think of India and Africa, all mixed in together and our connections to these places. Here is a remarkable passage in between mentions of bush tea that comes to mind from Tears of the Giraffe, the Alexander McCall Smith series Elina started me on in the New Year:

“We are all children of Africa, and none of us is better or more important than the other. This is what Africa could say to the world: it could remind us what it is to be human.”

And for me, this tea has done just that, reminding me of my humanness and all of the wonderful people in my life, how every breath we take is truly a gift. With every sip, gratitude filled my heart. THANK YOU ELINA!!

Ingredients: rooibos, fennel, anise, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and black pepper.

My rating *****

May 30, 2009

Azteca Fire – Teavana

Azteca FireI already drank up the whole pot of this tea before writing the review – it was so delicious. Luckily, there is a tiny bit left to drink with this blog entry : ). The Azteca Fire tea has a delicate chocolaty taste mixed with a hint of spicy chili. First, I tried this tea with no milk, but I think this one clearly benefits from adding some milk to it. It brings the chocolaty flavor more to the front. A good thing about this tea is that you can’t really overbrew it since it does not have any herbs or tea that would make it taste bitter. The tea does not only taste great, it also smells amazing and the structure of it is beautiful with all the bits and pieces. I’m not quite sure what are all the ingredients, but Janine told me it has chocolate, strawberries and chili peppers. It seems like there is also some flowers in it and some pieces look like fruit. The smell is more fruity than the taste is. I can easily give this one four stars, it could deserve even more.

Rating * * * *

May 8, 2009

Tulsi – Organic India

Filed under: Index,Tea Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — elina @ 10:40 am

Sweet Rose TulsiYou can’t get Tulsi tea from Finland but Janine has been sending me every now and then various kinds of Tulsi tea bags. The tea is absolutely lovely and I must say I have become addicted. First time I got Tulsi tea bags I was pregnant and needed to find out about it if it is safe for me. Several web sites said that it is actually recommended in India for pregnant women. It has several health benefits and it is referred as Holy Basil tea over there.

As you can’t buy the tea in Finland, I started to think if you could actually grow your own. I grow a wide variety of different basils during the Finnish summer (short but usually quite warm) ranging from the basic one to Thai. I ordered some seeds so let’s see how this will go. We will report back! : )

There are several flavors of the Organic India Tulsi Tea.  My favorite is the Sweet Rose tulsi. The taste is very sweet and smells and tastes beautifully rosy. Another favorite of mine is the Chamomille Honey. This one is the best Chamomille tea I have ever tasted. This tea is very sweet too and there is some interesting side taste that is difficult to identify, it is slightly like licorice. Both of these teas taste good without milk but I prefer to drink them with milk. Definitely no sweeteners needed. I will write later about the other Tulsi teas that I have tasted but these are my favorite ones and I give both of them easily five stars!

Rating: * * * * *

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