Review: Temple Road Tiger Monk Oolong and Giveaway

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Temple Road Tiger Monk Oolong Giveaway! Just comment for a chance to win. (see below)

Mandatory Entry:  (comment to tell us) Is there a time of day or a type of food that you think is perfect for Oolong tea?

(One Extra Entry for Each – comment once for each entry to let us know!)
-Follow @Delecteable on Twitter.
-”Like” DelecTEAble on Facebook
-Share this giveaway via Twitter or Facebook. (Once Daily) Feel free to copy/paste:
I entered @delecTEAble’s giveaway for a chance to win free Oolong tea! You can enter too! http://wp.me/p1LDej-vU #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. *This giveaway is sponsored. We were given enough product to sample & giveaway from Temple Road.

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Our Review & Overall Rating:
Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ below boiling
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: Nothing added

Oolong is one of my favorite types of tea, simply because it has a distinctive, unmistakable taste. When you are drinking oolong, you know you are drinking oolong! I’ve also found that oolong (maybe not as much as Earl Grey) can be quite polarizing. You love or you hate it.  I love it!

Tiger Monk oolong from Temple Road is a beautiful dry tea, the tea leaves all balled up. After steeping the tea leaves unfurl creating a lovely bourbon colored cuppa. This tea has great flavor with strong earthy and sweet smoke notes with lighter herbal and caramel flavors appearing here and there. The complexity of all these flavors coming together makes this tea interesting and fun to drink. I steeped this tea twice and both cups were good and I could probably have steeped it again for another tasty cup full. I left the tea leaves in hot water for a full six minutes each time.

Because this tea is on the lighter side for oolong, I think it would appeal to both seasoned oolong drinkers looking for a flavorful tea and tea drinkers new to oolong tea.

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

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Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: @ below boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

As Abby said, the loose tea is very pretty and steeps to a lovely color. I typically like my teas with cream & sugar. However, that’s not really how you prepare oolong. I have added sugar to other oolongs, particularly the greasy-spoon chinese restaurant variety. This one has a really nice earthy taste that is good all on it’s own. No sugar is required; even for the proud owner of a sweet tooth like myself.

They say: “At Temple Road, we firmly believe that tea can improve our daily productivity, as Isaac Newton famously said, ‘A body in motion tends to stay in motion.’” If you are looking for a good afternoon pick me up this would be a great tea to try. It is caffeinated, not as strong as a traditional black tea, but you do feel a nice boost of energy. The malty toasty flavor is nice and satisfying. Sometimes when I have cream & sugar in tea I want a cookie to go with it. This tea, however, is very satisfying all on it’s own.

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

*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.

Deep Tea Diver

A friend at work brought her deep tea diver by my studio. Isn’t this the cutest little tea infuser? Not only is it adorable but it has nice small holes so you don’t end up with bits of tea in your mouth. We were in agreement that is THE WORST! Leaf between the teeth? No thanks! Anyway, this post is short & sweet like this product! Do you have a favorite tea gadget? Let Abby & I know!

Matcha Biscuit Recipe (From Kiss Me Organics)

Matcha Biscuits

Recently Kiss Me Organics gave us samples of their organic matcha and tons of recipes for different ways to incorporate matcha into baking, cooking and specialty drinks.  To enter to win your own Kiss Me Organics matcha, click here! Giveaway ends 4/4/14 (that’s Friday), so get on it!

I love the idea of baking with tea!  In fact, we have posted lots of recipes for baking with tea: Earl Grey Lemon Squares, Green Tea Shortbread, Matcha Frosting, and Iced Green Tea Latte (Starbucks Copycat).   Baking with matcha is super easy because it just gets mixed in with all the dry ingredients – most of the time no steeping is required!

Kiss Me Organics Matcha

 

This time I decided to try out a matcha biscuit recipe. Here is the recipe from Kiss Me Organics that I used:

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk, cold
4 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¾ kosher salt
4 tbsp. cold butter
2 tsp. matcha
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, *matcha*, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
3. Rub butter into flour mix with your fingers until the mix looks crumbly.
4. Create a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in buttermilk then stir until dough comes together; it will be sticky.
5. Turn the dough out onto a cool floured surface and sprinkle flour on top of dough.
6. Fold dough about 5 times on itself and press into a 1-inch thick disk.
7. Using a 2-inch cutter, cut biscuits and place on baking sheet. Rework scraps and form more rounds.
8. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden green-brown.
Makes 12 biscuits.

 

Matcha Biscuit Ingredients

The biscuits turned out pretty well!  They have a lovely green tea hue and the matcha adds a lovely depth of flavor that goes very well with the tangy buttermilk. They didn’t come out as light as I would have liked, so I may have to give this recipe another go at some point to see if I can perfect it, but I was happy with the out come on the first try.  Let us know if you have a fail-safe tea recipe, we are always looking for new adventures in baking!

Matcha Biscuits

 

Review: Kiss Me Organics Matcha & Giveway

***UPDATE*** After much delay (sorry about that folks) we have a winner!!! (Drum roll, please…) And the winner is: Chelle!  Thank you to everyone who entered and Chelle we will be contacting you about receiving your winnings!

True Random Number Generator Result: 4    Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Matcha Green Tea Giveaway! Just comment for a chance to win. (see below)

Mandatory Entry: What is your favorite way to use matcha? Do you drink matcha lattes, add match to smoothies or do you prefer to bake with matcha? (comment to tell us)

(One Extra Entry for Each – comment once for each entry to let us know!)
-Follow @Delecteable on Twitter.
-”Like” DelecTEAble on Facebook
-Tell your friends about Kiss Me Organics on Facebook
-Share this giveaway via Twitter or Facebook. (Once Daily) Feel free to copy/paste:
I entered @delecTEAble’s giveaway for a chance to win free matcha green tea! You can enter too! http://wp.me/p1LDej-vm #giveaway

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Remember, each entry must be left in a separate comment. A winning comment will be chosen at random at noon on 4/4. 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.*This giveaway is sponsored. We were given enough product to sample & giveaway from Kiss Me Organics.

Our Review & Overall Rating:
Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 3 of 5 — this tea is a bit delicate.
Abby says:
Served: Matcha latte using Kiss Me Organics recipe (see @ bottom of post)
Tea lesson: matcha is finely ground green tea leaves. To be called matcha the powder should come from high quality green tea.  This yields a beautifully rich, emerald-green powder used in Japanese tea ceremonies and also for matcha lattes and cooking and baking.  In cooking and baking matcha provides a distinct flavor, but also adds color. Because it is ground tea leaves, matcha is more potent that loose leaf tea.
Kiss Me Organics is just what I look for in a high quality matcha.  It has a bright, deep green pigment and a distinct matcha tea aroma when you open the bag. This is strong stuff. It is also USDA certified organic and we LOVE that! My matcha latte turned out to be delicious, and very pretty. It has that classic matcha grassy, earthy flavor and the almond milk I used added a nice nutty and sweet  taste.  My latte was so tasty, that I am looking forward to trying some other recipes using matcha. I’ll be sure to post those experiments too!  In the mean time check out the recipe I used for my match latte (below).

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 3 of 5 — this tea is a bit delicate.

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Katie says:

Served: As a tea latte, I used our Starbucks copycat recipe but doubled the sugar since Kiss me Organics matcha is unsweetened and I used a sweet matcha powder with the original recipe.

Ditto what Abby said about we LOVE that this tea is organic and it is GREEN! It you are drinking this as hot tea I highly reccomend a whisk like this bamboo tea whisk to blend matcha into the hot water.

I really enjoy this particular matcha as an iced tea or in baking. It has a very strong green almost grassy taste. This means it holds it flavor well when blended with milk (I used coconut & almond) or in baked goods! Keep a look out for recipes for matcha biscuits & green tea chocolate truffles later this week.

Taste: 5 of 5 leaves – Outstanding! A MUST try.
Steepability: 3 of 5 — this tea is a bit delicate.

*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.

Kiss Me Organics Green Tea Latte Recipe:

Ingredients:
1 tsp. Matcha powder
¾ cup almond milk (or soy or cow or goat milk)
¼ cup boiling water
1 tsp. agave syrup (I used honey)
Instructions:
1. Place matcha in the bottom of a coffee mug or other heat-proof cup.
2. Bring almond milk to a simmer in a small pot.
3. Whisk boiling water slowly with the matcha powder in the mug, then pour in almond milk. Tip the cup to up the foam factor.
4. Sweeten with agave syrup if desired.

 

Review: Joseph Wesley Black Tea 06 Bai Lin Congfu

Joseph Wesley Black Tea was kind enough to send us tea samples for us to review.* Thank you!

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

Just another beautiful and delicious tea from Joseph Wesley Tea. To start you should be impressed by how striking these light brown hand-crafted twisted tea leaves are. They look like tiny bits of dried rope all tangled up together. …And then you taste the tea. It has a wonderful subtle sweetness with a soothing toasted, nutty flavor. With hints of chocolate, this tea reminds me of dark chocolate covered almonds. With such a comforting flavor, it is so easy to drink, either paired with food or by itself.

This tea is clearly very high quality and will appeal to any tea drinker.  It has complexity and depth of flavor, at yet the same time it is very simple and approachable. I highly recommend it, along with any of the other Joseph Wesley Teas (o3, 04, and 07) we have sampled.

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

Joseph Wesley Tea 06

Katie says:

Oops, I didn’t yet get a chance to review this tea. I will add my comments soon but wanted to publish Abby’s lovely review in the meantime!

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*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!

Getty’s Images Now Free for Bloggers

Getty opens up images for personal use. Bloggers everywhere rejoice! Hey look, now we can use this illustration:

Or this photograph:

The news media was a buzz the other day with articles like this one announcing that Getty was opening up images for personal social media use. Up until now on our blog Abby & I have only used out own images or ones that are available for free use through Flickr. I wonder if this news will alert more bloggers to the fact that you cannot use photos without permission. I still believe many bloggers are unaware that they are doing something wrong when they post photos without permission. Luckily this doesn’t seem to be a move that will hurt photographers as free photos are available for personal use only. Personal blogs were unlikely to be able to license or commission photography.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this news & some tea photos with you. Not to worry, we’ll be back to tea news next week. Also, stayed tuned for two upcoming giveaways!

Review: Galleon Tea Golden Snail

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(Photos left to right: Before, steeping, after)

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose
Temperature:  195 - 200 (just below boiling)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

This tea steeped to a rich chestnut-brown color, so I expected strong black tea flavor.  Instead I got a pleasant and complex, yet decidedly light flavor.  I wouldn’t go as fas as calling it weak, but it was certainly lighter than expected. Right away there were malty and slightly sweet flavors with a nice roasted finish. What I liked best about this tea is that although it steeped for about five minutes there was absolutely no bitterness and it was not astringent at all with a nice clean finish, making it very easy to drink.

It seems that Galleon Tea‘s Golden Snail would be a good choice for people who like the flavors of strong black tea without some of the boldness of other, stronger teas.  Next time I would like to try it with a bit more tea leaves for steeping.  Because I had a small sample, I made a small cup, but I think it would have had even more flavor if I had more tea to steep for the cup.

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability: 4 of 5 leaves — this tea requires very little effort.

(Photo from Galleon Tea)

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose
Temperature:  195 - 200 (just below boiling)
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: honey then tried honey & milk

With a name like golden snail, how could I not be excited about this tea? While I recieved the sample in a bag I just had to cut it open to share how cute the little curled leaves are! (see photos above) My biggest regret with this tea is that I had a small sample. I did use a small mug but I found the flavor to be a bit light. It did have very nice, but mild, black tea flavor. I think this would be worth another try with a bit more tea.

While I typically enjoy black tea with cream and sugar, this was more like an oolong tea. I tried it with just honey before I added the creamer and preferred it this way. It had that light chinese-restaruant-tea taste that is easy to drink with many different food flavors. Steep in a strainer or clear glass mug because this is a beautiful tea!

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

TeBella Tea Company

TeBella Tea Co

On a recent trip to Tampa, FL I stopped at a terrific tea shop, TeBella Tea Company in Davis Islands. The main street that TeBella sits on is just the cutest thing. There are shops, bars and restaurants all of which are well maintained to give you a unique neighborhood feeling as you take it all in. We also stopped at Yeoman’s Road Pub for a pint, but that’s a story for another day. Now… more about the tea!

TeBella Tea Co

Look at all that tea! A dream come true. There were tons of beautiful teas to choose from and the staff was friendly and knowledgeable about the teas they had to offer. They were also very patient and let me see and smell many, MANY teas before I settled on my favorites. Thank you friendly tea folks!

Tea

One of the teas that I took home with me is their White Coconut Dulce (pictured above). A beautiful tea with bright white coconut shavings mixed it.  It smelled and looked amazing.  Hopefully you will find a review of it posted here soon. Spoiler alert: it was delicious.

Chocolates

They also had the gorgeous chocolate made by locally by William Dean Chocolates.  For some of these chocolates TeBella tea is used. Almost too lovely to eat, but not quite.

Chocolates

After drooling over the tea and chocolate offerings we finally made our selections. Opting for hot and iced teas. BTW, Tampa has wonky weather in February. Then we made out way into the pouring rain and quickly flooding streets, off to our next adventure in Tampa. Cheers!

Tea Cold and Hot

Review: The Spice & Tea Exchange Black Chocolate

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Overall Rating:

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

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose Leaf
Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: Nothing added

A classic dessert tea, Spice and Tea change Black Chocolate is a tasty treat. It is a blend of keemun tea and chocolate essence.  I’m not sure what chocolate essence is, but it tastes good. The keemun provides a base of light sweet, earthy black tea flavor with hints of smoke. The chocolate flavor adds another dimension to the cup. Put it all together and you have a chocolate tea that doesn’t just taste like chocolate. Easy to make and easy to drink, it makes for a quick snack to satisfy a tea lover’s sweet tooth.

If you like black tea blends on the sweet side and you aren’t too scrupulous about the ingredients in your tea, this tea could be a good choice! I enjoyed trying it and you may too.

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

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose Leaf
Temperature: @200 (just below boiling point)
Steeped: 3 minutes
Served: A touch if honey & coconut milk creamer

If hot chocolate & tea got married and had a baby it would be this tea. With strong notes of both tea & chocolate this tea has a really overall flavor. I wanted to know what gave it such a delicious chocolate taste but the ingredients just say “chocolate favoring.” For this reason I suspect there to be artificial chocolate flavor which is the reason I’m giving this tea a 3 instead if a 4. Still very tasty, but I like tea companies who give a less vague ingredient list. This would be a great choice for a hot cocoa lover on a diet! Also, coconut milk creamer has just a slight coconut taste but it was quite good with this tea!

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

Check out another dessert tea form spice & tea here:

http://delecteable.com/2013/06/14/review-the-spice-tea-exchange-hazelnut-cookie-tea/

Tea Room: Spring Seasons in Newport, RI

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This time of year I’m dreaming about spring. So, what better way to help you all daydream than to post about Spring Season’s Tea Room & Inn? They are located in Newport, RI and well worth the visit! Like any good high tea the scones, desserts & sandwiches are both beautiful & delicious.

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Their tea offerings include:

  • Earl Grey Organic
  • English Breakfast Organic
  • Himalayan Peak Darjeeling Organic
  • Earl Grey Decaf
  • Orchid Oolong
  • Green Tea Passion
  • African Amber
  • Chamomile Citron
  • Verbana Mint Organic
  • (and many more)

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The main room is super cute and you choose your own cup from around the room. How fun is that? They also host groups up to 12. I highly recommend making a reservation as they are only open Saturday and Sunday 12-5. Owner Susan served us tea and she was a wonderful hostess! They are closed for the winter but Spring Season’s Tea Room is just one more reason we can’t wait for spring!