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

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!

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: * * * * *

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

Powered by WordPress