Saturday, May 2, 2015

Saturday Tea Talk: New Arrivals

If you are cold, tea will warm you;
If you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are exhausted, it will calm you.
- William Gladstone

This week was an exciting one in my tea world.  I've put an order with David's Tea and my shipment arrived on Thursday.

I love getting David's Tea packages not only for the delicious tea within them that I've ordered but also because of the free samples they send.  They always send three random samples and I never know what I'm going to get until I open the package.

This week I ordered some organic Earl Grey for myself and Pink Flamingo for Angelina.  Pink Flamingo is an herbal tea and Angel simply loves it.  It's her favourite and we've been out for a while. You should have seen the big smile on her face when I told her on Thursday she can have some. After dinner we both had a cup of our favourite tea to savour.

The silver tin you see in the picture comes free with the purchase of 100 grams of tea or more.  I got 100 grams of Earl Grey.

The three samples that arrived with this order were very exciting.  I got a Buddha's Blend which is a white tea blend,  Just Peachy which is an herbal blend of peaches, apples and blackberry leaves, and a Strawberry Colada which is also an herbal blend of various fruits and coconut.

For this beautiful Saturday morning, I decided to try out the Buddha's Blend.  It sounds quite delicious and I couldn't wait to taste it.  The blend contains white tea, green tea, jasmine pearls, white hibiscus blossoms and some flavouring.  The flavouring is said to be of the artificial kind which I am not thrilled about, but let's wait and let my taste buds make the judgement.

As I cut the sample pouch open, the aroma of the dry leaves surprised me a little.  It was sweet and fruity and reminded me of candy.  The leaves were gorgeous, long and mostly intact with beautiful jasmine pearls throughout.   The white hibiscus blossoms on the other hand, were not very much present.  As a matter of fact they were totally missing in action.  I guess it was not my lucky pouch.

I decided to use the whole sample.  There was only 5 grams of tea in the pouch (about 2 teaspoons) and not enough for two full cups by my standards so I made about one and a half cups of  tea to enjoy.

The package said to use 90°C water but I would not dare to steep white or green tea at this temperature.  Instead, I steeped my leaves at 79°C for about 2 minutes.

As it turned out, there was enough tea in the package for two cups.  I ended up adding a bit more water to my ready brew having two full cups in the end.  That's just goes to say one tea does not equal another.  With every new tea there might be surprises waiting at the corner. 

The steeped tea was of lovely golden colour and retained the sweet and fruity aroma the dry leaves had with the jasmine notes now very much present and quite lovely.  The taste was pleasant although slightly astringent which I attributed to the jasmine pearls. Jasmine green tea pearls tends to be very temperamental and can go bitter very fast if not steeped with care. I am pretty sure that steeping this tea at 90°C for 4-5 minutes as the package recommended, would have produced some undesirable results.  Jasmine pearls were also the reason why only a teaspoon of tea was good for a whole cup.

Overall this was a pleasant drink but not something I would feel compelled to have in my tea stash at all times.  I'm still perplexed by the strong fruity flavour and I'm guessing this must have come from the artificial flavouring.  I would be interested to try this blend without the flavouring but with the hibiscus blossoms actually present.  I think that would be more along the lines of what I prefer.


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