Review: The Tea Spot Organic Sencha

The Tea Spot Organic Sencha

Overall Rating:

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 180 degress
Steeped: 2 minutes first steep, 3 minutes second steep
Served: Nothing added

The Tea Spot Organic Sencha is a beautiful tea with its fir-tree green, long flattened leaves. It steeps to a bright and springy green. It has the classic grassy taste of quality green tea, but also has herbaceous and sweet flavors as well. There are hints of chives or young onions and also light floral/sweet touches. It is a light-ish tea with more subtle flavoring. It is interesting to drink because of all these mingling flavors and at the same time is cleansing and refreshing. Drinking this tea will make you feel relaxed.

After my first cup, I went back for another. This time steeping the tea one minute longer. It was just a flavorful as my first cup, but the aromatics were somewhat reduced, though still made for an enjoyable cup. The Tea Spot Organic Sencha is the perfect tea for green tea lovers and for those looking to branch out from black teas. It is a completely different experience, in a good way.  :)

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 180 degress
Steeped: 2.5 minutes
Served: With honey

Sometimes I think about having my review be “what Abby said” but then I think she might drive down from Maine just to roll her eyes at me. In this case, however, I really do agree. This was a light but unique green tea. The sign of a good tea is often it’s leaves and you could just tell that this was a quality tea. Nice green taste, I would keep this in my tea cabinet for sure. My only regret is that I didn’t try a second steep like miss Abby!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.:

Review: Green Terrace Tea Bi Luo Chun Green Tea

Green Terrace Teas was kind enough to send us tea samples for us to review.* Thank you!

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

 

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @195 (below boiling point)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: Nothing added

At our most recent tea party, Katie, her mother, and I sampled this tea. We all like green tea, but Katie’s mom prefers herbal teas most of the time and Katie and I typically steer more toward strong black teas, though really we love them all!  Our individual preferences made this tea tasting even more interesting. We all had our own perspective and picked up on different things.

I, for example, picked up on the slightly bitter earthiness right away. This tea has a nice vegetal flavor, a light grassy taste to it that I noticed and really enjoyed. For me the lingering taste was asparagus, but no one else got that. Maybe I just really like asparagus! If you like green tea, you will likely like the Bi Luo Chun from Green Terrace teas – we found it both light and flavorful.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

 

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @195 (below boiling point)
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: Nothing added

 

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 3 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

This green tea was very pale but had a nice light green tea flavor. I got a sort of grassy green taste. I could see this being that kind of tea you’d make up in a big batch and just sip (hot or iced) all day long. It’s mild enough to drink a lot of but has just enough flavor to not be boring.
 

*Please note that we are just as critical of free teas a we are of ones we purchase. If we receive a tea we can not rate at least 3 or better we sill simply not review it!

 

Katie’s Mom says: pretty good, more flavor than expected from the color.

Pumpkin Cornmeal Cake

Pumpkin Cornmeal Cake

Who’s ready to jump on the pumpkin bandwagon again this fall? I am! I love the flavor of pumpkin, and the wonderful spices that go so well with it. I’m always looking for new pumpkin recipes this time of year. For this post I wanted to share this Pumpkin Cornmeal Cake recipe that I’ve had for a while. The best part about it is that you can really taste the pumpkin itself, not just the spices that go with it. Also, although it’s a cake it really isn’t too sweet.  It’s more like jazzed up cornbread for the fall!

The recipe was adapted from Fresh magazine, a Hannaford production. So for those of you in the New England area may have already seen this recipe there.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
6 Tbsp. salted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9in. square baking pan with cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

2. Using an electric mixer on medium-high, cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs. Add pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix until well blended. With mixer on low, add in flour mixture, mix until just blended. Scrape batter into 9in. square pan.

3. Bake until cake is golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Optional: dust with confectioners sugar.

Then eat it!  My favorite time to eat this cake is for breakfast with a chai or some strong black tea…

And what better to enjoy this cake with than a tasty chai latte that I didn’t have to make myself! Cheers.

Pumpkin Cornmeal Cake 2

Review: Yorkshire Gold

20140910-213200-77520621.jpgOverall Rating:

Taste: 4.75 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — This tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged tea
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

With “Gold” in the name you might think this is fancy tea.  It isn’t, not from the outside anyway.  This tea comes in a box of 80 tea bags. Big, plain tea bags with no quotes or funny sayings on it.  In fact, once the large rectangular tea bag is separated from its home in the box you don’t know where it came from. It doesn’t look pretty in its plain tea bag and it isn’t blended with anything fancy. Those are the things that it isn’t. Here is one that it IS: good!  This tea is good and tastes great!

Yorkshire Gold is a blend of three different high quality black teas from around the world.  Or, as Yorkshire put it:

” 100% of the tea in Yorkshire Gold comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, meaning we pay good prices and help protect the local environment.”

Sounds pretty awesome, right? Yep.  This tea is the real deal. Because of that the packaging can be simple and plain and people will still love it. This tea is strong, has big earthy flavors with the classic black tea astringent mouth feel without being at all bitter. It is a great representation of black tea. If that’s what you love, then you will love Yorkshire Gold.

 

Taste: 4.5 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — This tea is easy to make!

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged tea
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: milk & sugar

My cousin-in-law, Adam, who is a true Brit, swears by this tea. When he isn’t at home he travels with it. The travel stash of tea is actually how I first sampled Yorkshire Gold. We were all at my aunt’s house and at breakfast I was without tea. Adam to the rescue! Ever since I have been buying this tea myself. This has become one of my absolute favorite black teas. I like a nice strong black tea so it can hold up to good amount of cream & sugar. I also love that this tea has a nice full flavor without any bitterness. I always keep some in my tea cabinet!

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – A MUST try!Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — This tea is easy to make!

Basic Easy Pancake Recipe

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The best part of this recipe is that you likely have all of the ingredients at home! Even if you do have to buy something you’ll easily use it again. Serve with coffee or TEA!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them we’ll with a fork so they are evenly distributed. (This is the lazy way to sift)

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Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients: egg, milk & melted butter.

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Stir.

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Melt butter on medium heat. Let the pan get good and hot then pour in your batter. Pancakes are ready to flip when you start to see bubbles in the batter surface.

*note, this process will take twice as long with a “helpful” sous chef.

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Don’t worry, he is too short to reach! ;) Pancakes makes Sunday mornings awesome. Enjoy!

Review: The Persimmon Tree White Peony

The Persimmon Tree Tea Company was kind enough to send us tea samples for us to review.* Thank you!

The Persimmon Tree White Peony

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: Nothing added

This week Katie was unable to review tea with me, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one as I’m reviewing solo.

The dry White Peony tea from The Persimmon Tree smells good, fresh and green. The leaves are very dry, flaky and I had to submerge them into the hot water with a spoon because many were just floating on top. It then steeped to a pretty yellow color. The flavor was medium bodied with a strong earthy, chocolate-y flavor. There is a mild sweetness, but this tea is not sweet. I found that nothing extra was needed, no sweetener or milk/cream. It has a nice flavor of its own. Give this tea a try if you like white tea or green tea.

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves –  A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

The Persimmon Tree White Peony

*Please note that we are just as critical of free teas a we are of ones we purchase. If we receive a tea we can not rate at least 3 or better we sill simply not review it!

Digestive biscuits aka “tea cookies”

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Just last week we posted about Delecteable’s 3rd birthday. It’s pretty cool that we’ve been blogging for that long! In that time we’ve reviewed a lot of tea! Abby and I still plan on reviewing new teas, but we’ve decided to change it up a bit too. Some of our most popular posts have been tea recipes for baked treats. So, we’re doing more of what our followers like: recipes & tea reviews. This blog will still be about all things tea but we’ll be adding in recipes & reviews of things that are perfect for teatime: foods to pair with tea. We hope you enjoy the new direction, but don’t worry, we’ll keep the tea reviews coming too!

Katie says:
Digestive cookies are a British staple. These chocolatety biscuits pair perfectly with a strong black tea. I like that they’re made with wheat flour. The biscuit part is not sweet and the hint of bitter dark chocolate is really tasty with a sweetened cuppa. I’ve posted the amazon link below but if you have a local British imports store I highly recommend a trip there. While you’re there, pickup a nice strong black tea like Yorkshire Gold.

Abby says:
These cookies are the bomb! They aren’t too sweet, too big, or too complicated. They’re juuuust right. A simple crumbly cookie with a layer of not-too-sweet chocolate. Yum! I agree with Katie, these cookies pair well with a strong black tea like Tea Forte Breakfast or Joseph Wesley 04 (Dian Hong Congfu).

Review: David’s Tea Chai Guarana

 Screen shot 2014-08-24 at 11.39.02 AM

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.75 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: Nothing added to start

I first tried this tea on a Monday morning after a very busy weekend. Needless to say, I was looking for a pick-me-up and was hoping David’s tea Chai Guarana would do it. Guarana, a berry from South America contains one of the highest concentrations of caffeine of any plant. If that’s not a pick-me-up, I don’t know what is.  And don’t say “five-hour energy”, gross. Anyway, looking at the tea – it was very pretty as most chai teas are and the little berries made it even prettier. The Chai Guarana smelled great too, both and after steeping, like a good chai should, strong and spicy.

The first thing I noticed after a few sips was the cinnamon. I tasted a lot of cinnamon, but in really good way. It was spicy, but didn’t have any of the fake/candy cinnamon flavor that tea sometimes has. It tasted like real, delicious, cinnamon. The other spices like ginger and anise blended to give the hallmark chai flavor. However, the taste of the tea was not lost. There is a distinct earthiness present from the tea and maybe the guarana (not sure what that tastes like on its own). There is also a defined astringent mouth feel that often comes with strong black tea. As far as the caffeine hit, yeah, this is a strong tea. After one cup I felt like I had at least two! If you are looking for a strong tasty chai tea, give this one a try!

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

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Katie says:

Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: tired with cream and sugar but liked it with just a touch of sugar best

Check out all of those big chunks of cinnamon after steeping! (see above) This is a strong tea with lots of cinnamon-flavor. What the heck is Guarana? David’s tea tells us: “Guarana is a highly stimulating tropical berry, making for a delicious way to wake up and get energized.” And they are right. Wow, this tea has some real ZIP! I really enjoyed that it’s strong, and had nice tea flavor, but for me there was a little too much cinnamon and less other spices for this to be a chai. I love traditional chai with milk and honey, but this tea is really nice with just a little sugar. So i like this tea, I just wish it was called “cinnamon guarana” instead of chai. If I didn’t feel like the name was a bit misleading I’d give it an even higher ranking.

Taste: 3.5 of 5 tea leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Delecteable!

Black tea cake with lemon buttercream frosting

Today is our third birthday! Wow, that time has passed quickly.  Just think of all the tea we’ve tried and written about over the past three years. To celebrate, we’ve made a delicious black tea cake with lemon buttercream frosting! Happy birthday to us! To give credit where credit is due, we found the recipe for this awesome cake over at Freutcake! Follow the link to get the recipe for yourself and to see the beautiful photos of Leah’s version of this tasty cake. Or, just look at the sweet photos I took, though they aren’t nearly as cool.

Ingredients - cake

The ingredients! I was skeptical about how much tea flavor would come through in the cake, but the cake REALLY tastes like tea – I promise!  The frosting is bursting with lemon flavor as well.  As we all know tea and lemon are great friends, so this works so well!

Black tea cake with lemon buttercream frosting - batter

The batter was much thinner than I’m used to, but it turned out just fine. I tried the batter before it went in the oven, it tasted great!

Black tea cake with lemon buttercream frosting
The bottom of the first cake coming out of the pan – looks like a bear print! Fun!

Black tea cake with lemon buttercream frosting

Make sure the two cakes are COMPLETELY cooled before trimming and adding the frosting, otherwise the cake with  tear and the frosting will separate and melt – no fun :(

Before we sign off to go enjoy our birthday cake, we just wanted to shout out a huge THANK YOU to all of our readers, supporters and tea companies who have kept us going all this time.  We love our blog and have so much fun adding to it, but it would be nearly as much fun with out all of you!

SLice

 

Newport, RI Tea Shops

Empire Tea and CoffeeWhile in Newport, RI recently we were on the hunt for a good cuppa! Lucky for us, we found some at Empire Tea and Coffee on the conner of Bellevue and Memorial. We tried the Cream Earl Grey (with milk added) and the White Tea Pomegranate (with a bit of sugar). It was down pouring all day, so nice hot tea really hit the spot! BTW, I snapped the above photo about 2 nanoseconds before the clouds opened up. How awesome am I?

We also stumbled across Teas and Javas down by the water on Thames the following day, but didn’t get a chance to stop in.  Its on the list for next time!Tea and Java
A note about other tea options: A while ago Katie wrote about her teatime trip to Spring Seasons Inn.  A great spot if you are looking for a sit-down tea. On the flip side, The Spice and Tea Exchange on Thames has moved downstairs to a new location. We have reviewed several of their teas. One of our favorites is the Mystic Dragon.

Oh yeah, we also stopped by The Breakers while we were in the neighborhood…
The Breakers