Review: Bao Zhong (Taiwanese Oolong) from Dobra Tea

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A close up view of the opened up tea leaves. I think it makes them look delish, but what do you think? Yum or yuck?


Overall Rating:

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

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose Leaf
Temperature: @95 (below boiling)
Steeped: 1.5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

We’ve written about Dobra Tea before so you may already know how much we love it there. It’s such a happy tea house right smack in the middle of Portland at their new location on Exchange Street. If you find yourself in the area, get to Dobra for sure!

Bao Zhong is the lasted tea we’ve tried from Dobra. It’s a beautiful full-leaf oolong that steeps to a light, yet flavorful tea. The recommended steeping time is 1.5 mins with an additional 30 seconds for each additional steep. For this tea, I found that sticking to those times is important, otherwise it gets bitter. However, when steeped correctly this tea has a beautiful grassy and buttery taste!

For me this tea is perfect for the spring  and summer time because it reminds me of new growth and the tea itself is light and pretty. Give this one a try if you are looking for a tea to bring the gap between the strong black teas of winter and the fruity green tea blends of summer.

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

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose Leaf
Temperature: @95 (below boiling)
Steeped: 1.5 minutes
Served: With a touch of honey

More often than not Abby and I have similar tastes when it comes to tea and here is shows! What a delicious tea. Normally I like a darker tea but I really enjoyed this light Oolong. Even though it was light in color it had a very nice earthy nutty flavor. For me adding a light touch of honey brought out these flavors more. I enjoyed it hot, but this tea would be nice hot or iced. Unfortunately it didn’t stand up to a 2nd steep. (It was so yummy that I tired) I agree with Abby, this is a great summer tea. My suggestion? Make a nice big pot in the morning and enjoy it later iced!

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

Tea and Cake Happy Hour at MAPS, Portland, Maine

MAPS tea

Believe it or not, one of the newer local bars here in Portland, hosts a daily tea and cake happy hour. From 4-6PM at MAPS you can get a pot of tea for one and a generous piece of house-made cake for $5. It sounds good, because it is good!

MAPS doesn’t have an an abundant selection of teas to choose from, but they’ve got their bases covered: traditional black tea, jasmine green tea and an herbal tea. I didn’t get a photo of the tea menu, but I recall about four tea options. Also the tea is served with all the accompaniments tea lovers need, all on a super cute tea tray.

The cake is really where it’s at! MAPS cakes are made by one of the owners. She typically has two options to choose from. The photo below shows a sponge cake with salted caramel frosting. She also has a chocolate cake with peanut-butter frosting and last week there was a chocolate-cherry cake up for grabs.

MAPS cake

MAPS hosts a more traditional happy hour as well with discounted draught beers and wines daily. If you find yourself in Portland, Maine make time to stop in to MAPS for some tea and cake, or a beer if you prefer. It will be well worth it.

Review: Joseph Wesley Black Tea T2 White Tail Blend

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Overall Rating:

Taste: 4.75 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!

Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged

Temperature: @ 195 (just below boiling)

Steeped: 2.5 minutes

Served: Nothing added

Once again, Joseph Wesley Black tea has impressed me with great tea. This time we are talking about T2 White Tail Blend, a chinese black tea from the province of Hunan. In the past we have reviewed several Joseph Wesley loose leaf teas, but the T2 comes bagged. Don’t worry the tea bagged holds whole leaves that unroll as they steep, so the tea flavor is nice and strong. Another fun surprise – this tea is certified organic! Love! This White Tail Blend as all the features I look for in black tea. It steeps to a rich chocolate-brown with a nutty aroma. The taste provides the typical black tea flavors with nut and chocolate and cinnamon hints with bright fruit notes as well. Each sip leaves your mouth slightly dry, in a good way. This tea is easy to drink, yet is each sip is interesting. If you enjoy black loose leaf tea and are looking for something more portable give this one a try. That being said, if you typically drink bagged black tea and want to trying something more flavorful and interesting T2 White Tail Blend is the way to go!

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.

Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged

Temperature: @ 195 (just below boiling)

Steeped: 2.5 minutes

Served: With a touch of honey

Joseph Wesley does it again with another delicious tea. If you haven’t tired his teas you really must, he has quickly become one of our favorite tea suppliers. All of his teas are black tea based, and there is something for every tea drinker’s palette. While I am usually a drinker of super strong black tea (the kind that can stand up to milk & honey) I very much enjoyed this lighter black tea. While lighter in color, this tea isn’t light on taste. I liked it with just a hint of sweet and found that really brought out the nutty earthy flavors of the unique black blend. This chinese-sourced tea is like a fancy version of what you might get a a Chinese restaurant. I also loved that with this tea you get the convince of a bagged tea without skipping on quality. Inside the bag are nice big leaves!  After steeping you’ll see the the bag looks fuller because the leaves have unrolled. Make sure to save the bag, this tea can hold up to one or two re-steeps. White Tail Blend is a limited edition tea, so be sure to check the Joseph Wesley website for more unique flavors in the future!

Taste: 4.5 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!

Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

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Review: Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers *Giveaway*

UPDATE: The giveaway has now ended. A winner will be notified shortly. Thank you!

 
Finest Kind Tea Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers Giveaway! Just comment for a chance to win. (see below)

Mandatory Entry:  (comment to tell us) This tea is a concentrated brewed tea to use hot, iced, or as a mixer :) How would you take your Finest Kind Tea? Hot, iced or in a cocktail? (One Extra Entry for Each, please comment once for each entry to let us know!)

– Share your idea for a cocktail using Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers !
-Follow @Delecteable on Twitter.
-“Like” DelecTEAble on Facebook
-Follow Finest Kind Mixers and Modifiers on Instagram

-Share this giveaway via Twitter or Facebook. (Once Daily) Feel free to copy/paste: I entered the @Delecteable giveaway for a chance to win @FinestKindTea! You can enter too! http://bit.ly/1DYZAPb #giveaway

Remember, each entry must be left in a separate comment. A winning comment will be chosen at random. The winner has 48 hours to reply and claim their prize before a new winner is selected. Only U.S. residents can win but others are welcome to comment. Note this post is set to auto publish at noon on 4/19. The comments will be closed and a winner will be chosen at 9PM EST Tuesday 4/28

*This giveaway is sponsored. We were given enough product to sample & giveaway from Finest Kind Tea Mixers & Modifiers.

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Our Review & Overall Rating: 1753 Green Tea, Hibiscus & a Touch of Honey
Overall rating:
Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Abby says:
Tea Type: Bottled 
Temperature: Over Ice
Served: Nothing added

Finest Kind Mixers & Modifiers makes fun, stylish and tasty mixers and modifiers using a tea base. Sounds good, right? Yep. The 1753 is my favorite of the blends we tried. I love it because it isn’t sweet at all. This allows the mixer to lend itself well to a variety of different drink styles. I sampled this one just over ice because I really wanted to be able to taste the blend and all it has to offer. I liked it a lot and found it flavorful, tart and easy to drink. The hibiscus keeps it interesting without being too flowery or tasting like perfume. It compliments the green tea nicely. The honey is very light, thankfully! I didn’t taste it in every sip, but it keeps the mix from being too tart. Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa! Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Katie says:
Tea Type: Bottled
Temperature: Over ice
Served: as iced tea at first, added a touch of honey to sweeten more

I liked this tea, the hibiscus gives it a very unique taste. I did want it to be a bit sweeter so I added a touch of honey. The hibiscus flavor was nice, but I felt that it overpowered the green a bit. Like Abby I tried an iced tea version of this drink and found it very refreshing. I think this would make an excellent mixer with an herbal liquor like St. Gremain. Or, if you like cocktails, try it with this Elderflower tonic.

stgermain-bottle-ko

Since I am currently pregnant I didn’t test out the alcoholic cocktail recipe. If you do try it please let me know how it is!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa.

Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

Finest Kind Tea

Our Review & Overall Rating: 1960 Black Tea, Lemon Juice, Cane Sugar
Overall Rating:
Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Abby says:
Tea Type: Bottled 
Temperature: Over Ice
Served: Nothing added

The 1960 blend from Finest Kind is the most similar to what you would expect to find in an “iced tea” mixer. Don’t worry, it’s much better than what you typically find, but it’s a blend of the traditional black tea, lemon and sugar. After following the directions of 1 part mixer to 7 parts ice water, I found it a little too sweet for me. To even it out I added a touch of fresh lemon juice and it was perfect for me. If you like sweet tea, you’ll love it as is. Again, I sampled it over iced to get the full flavor. it was a bit too sweet for me in that form, but I suspect that the extra sweetness would work well when using this as a mixer for a tasty cocktail! The black tea, lemon and sugar match each other pretty well and a smooth blend of all three. On a side note: I just LOVE the tiny glass bottles our tea samples arrived it and have been trying to think of good ways to repurpose the bottles since all of the tea is long gone. Then I remembered Katie’s post about tiny tea-party flowers and found my use – tiny wild flower vases! Love!

 

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves: A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 — this tea is easy to make!

 

Katie says:
Tea Type: Bottled
Temperature: Over Ice
Served: As directed, diluted with water over ice

I think this tea is fabulous! I tired it iced, loved it, and must acquire a big bottle ASAP. Since my sample bottle said it makes 2 servings I let my co-worker Justin try some and he also thought it was delicious, no modifications needed! I find the strength of the black tea to be perfect with just the right amount of lemon and sugar. This iced tea is perfectly yummy! Also, do note that Abby and I have very different tastes when it comes to the sweetness of tea. While this is a sweetened iced tea I did not find it to be overly sugary. It’s a New England version of sweetened tea. If southern sweet tea is your thing your thing then you’ll want to add a bit more sugar.

*Please note that we are just as critical of free teas as the ones we purchase. If we get a sample we don’t like we won’t include it on our blog.

Quiche recipe for brunch

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This quiche is quite yummy so it doesn’t last long. It might be worth doubling the recipe to make 2! Prep time 25 mins the bake for 40 mins.

6 shallots or 1 medium onion
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped ham
5 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded cheese
1 pre-made pie crust

1) Preheat oven to 325. chop onions/shallots.

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2) Sautée onion in 2 tablespoons of butter.

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3) Place sautéed onion in the bottom of the crust in pie plate.

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4) Chop ham.

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5) Add ham and 1/2 cup of cheese to the pie crust.

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6) Whisk together eggs & cream

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7) Pour egg & cream mixture over pie crust.

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8) Top with remaining cheese.

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9) Stir gently with a fork and place in oven on center rack.

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10) Bake at 325 for 40 minutes. Let cool 10 mins before serving.

Review: Yogi Lemon Ginger

Yogi - Lemon Ginger

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: @Boiling
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Lotta ginger, not much lemon! Because I let this tea steep as long as I did the ginger was strong. Thankfully it wasn’t too spicy, just the right amount of bite. The scent of lemon is there, but I didn’t taste it. Maybe if it steeped for five minutes or less the lemon might come through a bit more. Though I didn’t get lemon, I still enjoyed this tea. For me it makes just the right cuppa for cuddling up with a good book or movie after a long day. Flavorful and comforting. Also note that it’s made with organic ginger though it is not a certified organic tea like some of other Yogi teas.

Ginger is known to settle the stomach, so it’s nice to have a stash of ginger tea in the box just in case. I prefer loose ginger tea, but this works well in a pinch. Especially if you don’t feel well, and don’t feel like preparing loose tea.

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Yogi - Lemon Ginger

Katie says:

Tea Type: Bagged
Temperature: @Boiling
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: with honey

If you are looking for a tummy-taming tea this is really fantastic. I may not choose this spicy for my daily morning cuppa but its a medicinal tea that still tastes yummy. I really like the spicy flavor of real ginger that I got from this tea. With the addition of honey it has a similar flavor to ginger candies. Nice flavor and it makes indigestion oh so much better. I’ve tired other teas with blends of chamomile but for me, the predominately ginger tea with a touch of lemon has much nicer taste than more blends of more ingredients. I particularly recommend it to anyone suffering from the many unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy, but (of course) check with your doctor or midwife first!

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

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Recipe

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

If you’re anything like me, you are planning already looking ahead to planting a spring garden, though there may still be three feet of snow covering it at the moment. I’m currently trying to use up the frozen zucchini in my fridge to make room for the bounty of my sure-to-be amazing (read: weeds growing in every square inch) garden. The best way to do that is a double batch of chocolate chip zucchini bread, one for me and one to share!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

3 Cups – all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 large eggs

2 cups white sugar

1 Cups canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 Cups grated zucchini

3/4 Cups (generous) chocolate chips

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 5-9in. bread-loaf pans with butter.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and spices.

3. In large bowl beat eggs until fluffy, while continuing to blend add sugar until combined. Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini and chocolate chips. Stir in dry ingredients and pour into pans.

4. Bake for about 45 minutes. Let cool before serving.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

This recipe makes two loafs of bread, so keep that in mind prior to whipping this up. It make a great gift, or surely your office mates will love it!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Our Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread goes very well with tea. Obviously! We love pairing our recipes with tea. There are a few that we will think work well:

Marks and Spencer Everyday

Joseph Wesley Black Tea )6 Bai Lin Congfu

Tega Masala Chai Roobios

Steven Smith Teamaker Fez

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

 

Review: Golden Tips India’s Original Masala Chai and Okayti Silver Needle (White Tea) Darjeeling

Please note that while we were sent free samples of this tea to review we are just as critical of free tea. If we receive something we don’t like we give an honest review or skip it all together!

Golden Tips India’s Original Masala Chai Overall rating: 

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves: Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added, then as a latte

Chai is one of my favorites. I just love spicy and warming it is. I like to drink it black with nothing added (unusual, I know) and of course, I love a good chai latte. Because of my chai love affair, I was especially excited to try this tea. We reviewed another Golden Tips tea recently and really liked it. This gave me high hopes for their chai.

This tea smells amazing while it steeps. It gives off a spicy and inviting aroma that fills the room with the ginger and clover really standing out. The taste is just how you imagine, strong tea black tea flavors mixed with bold spices. For me it tasted great without anything added, but for fun I decided to make a latte for my second cup. Using frothed skim milk and a touch of honey, the chai latte was just as good. The milk toned down the spices somewhat, but it was still very flavorful. I would certainly recommend this chai to any chai-lover such as myself.

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves: Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: With milk & honey

Real chai has a very different texture than other loose leaf teas with tiny little bits of tea and cardamom pods. As soon as I opened this tea I could tell it was the real deal. This is a delicious and authentic chai. In India it is poured back and fourth or from a kettle hight up to a cup on the ground to create a nice frothy drink. I love most black teas with cream and sugar but chai is extra delicious this way. If you like a traditional chai I highly recommend this one!

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves: Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 4 of 5 — this tea requires very little effort.

 

 

Golden Tips Okayti Silver Needle Darjeeling White Tea Overall rating: 

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 3.5 of 5 leaves — this tea is a bit delicate.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 175-180 below boiling
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Maybe it’s all the snow we have piling up around here, but I have a serious thing for white tea right now. I’ve always loved white tea, but it has become my go-to style these days. This means that I was super pumped when Golden Tips sent us a white tea for review. I’ve never tried a white tea darjeeling tea before. In fact, I’m not sure I knew it was really a thing. It is!

This tea is beautiful with long thin green leaves and it steeps to a pretty light yellow. It has a light floral and slightly grassy flavor that makes it very easy to drink. It tastes great on its own and because it’s mild it will also pairs well with many foods. I first had this tea in the morning with a breakfast of chocolate-chip zucchini bread (recipe to come shortly) and I thought it was a perfect match for a cold winter morning. White tea is lower in caffeine, so give this tea a try if you are caffeine sensitive or if you a looking for a nice light tea to drink anytime of day. Be careful not to steep it for too long! Like green tea, white tea can become bitter quickly if steeped for too long.

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves: Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 175-180 below boiling
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: with honey

Some white teas are so light in flavor that they have almost no flavor at all. That isn’t the case with this white tea. I really love the rich floral notes in this tea! The only difficult part for me is that it is so easy to over steep both from leaving the leaves in the cup too long or from a temperature that is too hot. Be careful with this delicate tea and it will be well worth the trouble!

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

Peek-A-Boo Tea Review: Sanctuary T Lunch Ching

Hey kids!  I just me, Abby, posting today. Sanctuary T sent us a bunch of samples and I just wanted to get one up here for you all ASAP. Katie doesn’t have these teas yet, so you will just have to trust my review for this one. Hopefully soon we will get together for a tea party to try some of the other samples they sent so you can get input from both of us!  Please note that while we were sent free samples of this tea to review we are just as critical of free tea. If we receive something we don’t like we give an honest review or skip it all together!

On to the quick sneak-peek review…

Lunch Ching

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 180 below boiling
Steeped: 2 minutes
Served: Nothing added

This Lunch Ching tea sample didn’t come with any information about it aside from the name, but looking at it you can see that it is a beautiful green tea. It tastes like one too! This tea has a strong grassy flavor with a satisfying umami taste. On this (well below zero) winter day it brings hope of summertime with bright green leaves and flavors!

Great for green or white tea lovers!  This tea has big flavor. Beware of steeping times and water temperature when making this tea.

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

Lunch ching

 

Look for more Sanctuary T reviews soon!

Review: Golden Tips Gopaldhara Gold Darjeeling

Happy Valentines Day! You know what pairs well with chocolate? Tea! Please note that while we were sent free samples of this tea to review we are just as critical of free tea. If we receive something we don’t like we give an honest review or skip it all together!

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Overall rating: 

Taste: 4.5 of 5 tea leaves — quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 3.5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

First things first, I was impressed with how this tea is packaged. It arrived from India in air-tight black packages with all of the tea information readily available on the label.  Not only does the label provide the expected information about the tea, like tea type and steeping times and temps, but it also has much more detailed information as well such as the date of picking, the estate and the tea grade. For the average tea drinker this information isn’t necessary, but I think it’s pretty cool anyway and it provides a lot of insight about the tea.

Secondly a note about Darjeeling tea. You haven’t seen much from us about this type of tea, so I thought I’d give you a quick rundown before moving into the review. Darjeeling tea is known as the “Champagne of tea” not only for its flavor, but also because Darjeeling tea only comes from the Darjeeling district in Northern India just as champagne only comes from Champagne France. Darjeeling is typically a lighter black tea with terrific flavor that you can drink all day long.

OK, review time.  Golden Tips Gopaldhara Gold Darjeeling tea steeping to a pretty light brown with a roasted coffee or cocoa aroma. The taste was earthy and flavorful with a slight sweetness. There were hints of fruit and flowers in each sip. Though it is a black tea, it isn’t strong or robust. Instead it’s lighter and easier to drink. I found the flowery notes to be very interesting and kept me sipping.  I did steep this tea for a second time for five minutes. The second steep tasted different from the first, as expected. I note more black tea flavor and less sweetness, but it was still a tasty cuppa!

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves — quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 — this tea requires very little effort.
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Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ 200+
Steeped: 3.5 minutes
Served: with a touch of honey

First off, ditto everything Abby said about the packaging. It arrived wrapped in cloth looking very mysterious and exciting to open.

Darjeeling tea is not your typical black tea. These teas are intended to be light-bodied and are popular as “afternoon teas” for this reason. If you’re looking for a rich dark tea that holds up to milk and sugar keep looking! However, if you are in search of a nice light yet flavorful tea try this! I like my tea sweet and this tea holds up well with a touch of honey. Don’t let the light coloring fool you, this tea has an earthy almost bittersweet chocolate richness to it. It’s good for a 2nd steep. Another nice thing about this tea is that it’s good hot or iced. If you find your nearly-full cup of tea abandoned and cold (as I often do with a toddler at home) just pour over ice and it’s just as nice! (Couldn’t resist the rhyme)

Head on over to Golden Tip’s website to order some for yourself! A quick note about our ratings. Taste is pretty self-explanatory, but Steepability tells you how easy the tea is to make. This tea isn’t tricky, but we’re giving it a 4 instead of 5 because loose-leaf teas require the extra step of an infuser but are SO worth it! Just look at those big beautiful tea leaves!

Taste: 4.5 of 5 tea leaves — quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 4 of 5 — this tea requires very little effort.

More Golden Tips reviews coming soon!

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