Tea Review – Try Something New

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 Tea Drawer

 Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Tea?  NO!

Dear Tea Friends,

My drawers are currently FILLED with tea.  I have been sampling tea till it comes out my ears, in order to write this article for you.   Are you ready to try a new tea?  Are you ready to support a small tea company?  Do you need a special birthday, Valentine or St. Paddy’s gift?  If so, this article is for you.   Here are the simple steps I would like you to take.

 

Step #1 – Read the article and decide what sounds yummy!

Step #2- Order it and support the vendor mentioned. (tell them you read about them on Tea Party Girl)  Don’t wait.  Take action.

2012_darjeeling_first_flush_sourenee_black_tea_dry_leaves_1

 

 

 http://www.darjeelingteaxpress.com/

 

 

The first company to send  me teas was Darjeeling TeaXpress.  They sent only Darjeeling and it came straight from India to my home in Kansas. (pretty cool).  I enjoyed a variety of their first and second flush offerings and it is surely some of the freshest tea I have ever reviewed.

Here’s a bit about the company:

DarjeelingTeaXpress is a Darjeeling based progressive Tea Brand with a singular focus on delivering the best Darjeeling Teas to tea connoisseurs and consumers worldwide. Founded by tea entrepreneurs with a strong knowledge about the Darjeeling tea industry, DarjeelingTeaXpress was started with a vision of sharing authentic Darjeeling teas with the world, the way it was meant to be enjoyed- a fresh cup of the highest quality.

The aim at DarjeelingTeaXpress is to reach as many customers, consumers and Tea Connoisseurs as they can all around the world. It is their passion to share our Darjeeling teas in their freshest and finest state so that customers get full value for their money and can enjoy a cup of tea to its fullest anytime of the day.

DarjeelingTeaXpress  is a brand that believes in innovation and we took the first step in reaching our customers personally by creating the first online tea store dedicated only to Darjeeling Teas at highly reasonable prices. It is the perfect place for tea connoisseurs, retailers, wholesalers and tea lovers who only want the best Darjeeling teas.

The teas:

I was sent a set of samples each from specific plantations in Darjeeling.  Giddapahar, Goomtee, Sourenee Blossom, Gopaldhara.  They sent a variety of types including first and second flush, green and black muscatel.  The teas were exceptionally fresh and even an untrained palate would be able to enjoy the different tastes of each region.

My personal favorite was the Sourenee Blossom – Special Black Muscatel.  This single estate tea stood out from the rest.  It has a natural sweetness and a flowery scent.  It is very smooth and mellow with an astringent finish.  This means it is a great cup of tea for any afternoon gathering you might have.

Here is the link to this tea: http://www.darjeelingteaxpress.com/2012-darjeeling-first-flush-sourenee-bio-organic-black-tea.html

If it is out of stock try another tea from the Sourenee region.  You will be very satisfied!

 

red-hot-chai-tea

WWW.THETEASPOT.COM

The Tea Spot, known for unique tea innovations, was the second company on my list.  Based in Colorado, the Tea Spot has had products and teas featured in Oprah’s magazine and all over the media.  They have a fun approach to tea and they sent me some flavored teas perfect for the winter months.  I love their “steepware” particularly the no drip teapot and their super cool, steep and go.

In addition to cook steeping products they also carry a full line of quality teas.  I personally sampled their Harvest Spice and their Red Hot Chai both of which would be fantastic hot or iced.

Harvest Spice is a limited edition product originally designed for the holidays but honestly, this tea makes ANY DAY a holiday.  Imagine a cup of black tea wrapped in layers of orange peel, cinnamon and cloves.  The aroma is simply heavenly.  The tea tastes fresh and flavorful and over ice becomes exceptionally refreshing.  You can order Harvest Spice at: http://theteaspot.com/black-spiced-tea.html  but remember it is a limed edition.  SO ACT NOW!

Red Hot Chai is perfect for those of you who love spice but want to avoid caffeine.  This Chai blend uses Rooibos as its base so there is no caffeine only natural, healthy antioxidants.  This herbal blend has a spicy kick that again would be great iced or hot.  Filled with ginger, cinnamon, cardamon, cinnamon and a splash of vanilla, Red Hot Chai indulges your Chai cravings without all the calories.  You can order Red Hot Chai at http://theteaspot.com/red-hot-spiced-chai.html .  This herbal tea is also a limited edition.

Personally, I liked the Harvest Spice, iced with a touch of stevia.  YUM.

 

teaconnemaramorning-2WWW.TRAILLODGETEA.COM

Lastly, our featured advertiser, Trail Lodge Tea, sent me a great collection of unique samples.  Trail Lodge Tea not only offers fantastic products but one of their teas help support a mission work in Mexico! ( which makes it even more special).  Trail Lodge main emphasis is Fair Trade and cause related tea programs which makes buying from them extra special.

March is right around the corner and with it comes, St. Paddy’s Day.  As an Irish decedent I love celebrating afternoon tea on March 17th so what could be better than offering my guests Connemara Morning from Trail Lodge Tea.  Connemara Morning is an Indian black tea with a splash or Irish cream flavor and a dash of Shamrock sprinkles.  This tea is not only fun to serve your guests, it makes a terrific party favor for each and every Irish wannabe!  You can order Connemara Morning at http://www.traillodgetea.com/Connemara_Morning_p/teaconnemaramorning.htm

My favorite tea from Trail Lodge is their Mexican Cocoa Rooibos which is extremely unique.  It blends Rooibos, Honeybush, Mexican Cacao and a kick of chili!  This tea will wake your taste buds up naturally.   Drink this tea hot or iced and remember that each and every cup gives back to the Ninos De Mexico charity.  http://ninosdemexico.org/   The tea is available at http://www.traillodgetea.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=cocoa+rooibos.  

 

Frequently asked questions about Chai

chai tea, chai, chai spice, chair latte

What is Chai?

Chai is a spiced milk tea drink from India that is centuries old. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular throughout the entire world.

 

What is in Chai?

Chai is made up of rich black tea, heavy milk, several spices, and a sweetener such as sugar. Depending on your particular taste or even upon the geographic region in which you live, you may use different spices in your Chai than someone else.

chai tea, chai, chai spice, chair latte

Have You Tasted Chai?someone else.

The tea base for Chai is typically something strong, such as Assam tea. Strong tea is almost always used so that spices and sweeteners do not overpower its tastes. However, this is not always the case.

For example, Kashmiri Chai is made with Gunpowder green tea, and sometime even Rooibos tea or Yerba Mate are used to make Chai. Of course, these ways of making Chai are Westernized, and not done in India.

As stated above, the sweetener in Chai is usually sugar. However, molasses and honey are sometimes used as well.

The most common spices that are used include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, cloves, peppercorn, nutmeg, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, licorice, and pepper. The Kashmiri Chai is often brewed using almonds, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, and saffron.

 

Where did Chai come from?

Chai is a common drink in India, and many Indians cannot believe how popular it has become across the world. In India, Chai is much more popular and preferred than coffee. Many forms of Chai are popular across India, and the recipes for Chai are abounding. The more creative the recipe is, the better!

 

How is Chai prepared?

Chai is prepared by boiling tea leaves, spices, sugar, and milk/creamer together. This produces a strong flavor and brilliant color. After it simmers for a few minutes, the mixture is then strained and served.

 

assam chai tea

Assam makes a good base for Chai Tea

 

Why do people drink Chai?

Not only is Chai deliciously tasty to the palate, but it also produces an extremely soothing effect and sense of well-being in the body. Furthermore, it acts as a digestive tract aid. Once you have one cup of Chai, you may not be able to pass up another. Soon you will find yourself addicted!

 

 

What is Masala Chai?

Although many people consider Masala Chai very popular in India, it is actually more popular among Indian people living outside of India. Masala Chai is basically Chai that is flavored with a particular spice that is known as masala chai.

 

Who drinks Chai?

People from all across the India, the United States and around the world drink Chai. Chai knows no boundaries. It is enjoyed by one and all!

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