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

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: * * * * *

February 19, 2009

Pitta Herbal Spice Blend – TeaGschwendner

Pitta Herbal TeaReview (1-5): Hot 3, Cold 5
Brand: TeaGschwendner
Type: : Herbal

I am writing my first tea review about one of my favorite teas. I got this tea from Janine about a year ago when she visited in Finland. The tea consists of a wide variety of herbs. A very special thing about this tea is, that it tastes absolutely lovely when it is cold but I’d say it is average when hot. When I drink this tea, I usually brew it in the evening, let it stay in the tea pot over night, and consume it during the day when it is cold. I have noticed that quite often mint gives the tea a bitter taste if you brew it for too long, but this tea does not get bitter at all even if it has mint. The lovely taste of licorice gets very strong when cold, but is quite absent when drinking the tea hot.

This is what the tea package says about it: A spice and herb blend with lemony freshness, slightly sweet. Ingredients: lemon grass, mint, raspberry leaves, cardamom, licorice, mallow petals and rose petals.

- elina

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