A few weeks ago Tiffany Williams of boutique teas contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a tea or two of hers. Who am I to say no to trying new teas? The teas arrived a week and a half ago and due to yet another cold I put off reviewing them until my sniffer and taste buds returned to normal. Which as luck would have it was yesterday. There were five teas from Tiffany, these are two of them.
Last night I had a pretty hearty meal of chicken, veggies, and something else that escapes me now. But I was feeling very full. Which is also when I remembered that I had some pu’erh to review. Nice how those things turn out right?
So I headed for the kitchen (slowly) and dug out the Tua Cha sample. Set the kettle to boil and got down to unwrapping one of the nest/bowls.
When the water was ready I added one nest/bowl to my steep basket and reminded myself to be very careful when I poured the water. I once had a nasty mishap where the water went right into the nest and back out at me! I don’t think I could recreate that if I tried. Nor do I think I want to!
Anyway, as with most pu’erh teas the dry leaf smelled very earthy, almost like mushrooms to me at least. But the packaging noted hints of maple and brown sugar. On the first cup I’m not getting that. Just more of the earthy goodness I’ve come to expect with pu’erh teas.
Which isn’t a bad thing at all, but the possibility of maple and brown sugar has intrigued me! On to steep number two! As a side note this is the nice thing about most, if not all pu’erh teas multiple (sometimes up to 20) infusions. Something my darling husband now understands. When I spend ten dollars on a pu’erh I actually end up with more like twenty dollars worth of tea!
Back to the tea…this second steep is still earthy, but there is a hint of something on the finish. Whatever it is certainly is subtle. So I’m not ready to call it yet. Time for infusion number three!
So what I think I was tasting on that last cup was in fact hints of brown sugar! It might have come out to play sooner if I had added a little cream and sugar but I typically like to try pu’erh teas straight up the first time around especially when it happens to be a pu’erh I’ve never tried before.
Unfortunately, this was were I stopped last night. My eyelids were starting to get heavy and I knew it was time to call it a night after a VERY busy week at work and still feeling a touch off from the cold.
However, this morning I was determined to try another tea from boutique teas. This time the Organic English Breakfast.
The dry leaf smelled like the usual malty goodness I’ve come to love and expect from a good English Breakfast. Which is nice because the malty part of it reminds me of beer. You know the beer I can;t have because of the whole gluten thing? I will tell you I am coming closer to finding a gluten free beer that fits the bill – stay tuned.
The steeped leaves (sorry no more tea photos) smell like a hearty mix of Assam and perhaps Ceylon teas. The taste is very brisk, malty, and will a very clean crisp finish to it. The tea also has a nice kick to it, to really get you up and going in the morning. I think this one would do really well with a bit of milk or cream and some sugar if you wanted to add some.
I still have three teas to try that I hope I will get to this weekend. Visit boutique teas if you are interested in trying either of these two teas. The Pu’erh Tua Cha, 20 nests will run you $15.00 and for the Organic English Breakfast is currently only available in a $15.00 gift set. But this does get you to ounces of the English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, and Chinese Breakfast teas.
I would love to try all five, but I do have plans for most of the day that will keep me from tea drinking. I’ll be out shopping for a bridesmaid dress for a wedding in July. Let me tell you I hope this dress below is on the list of dresses to pick from…
More tea reviews later this weekend!