Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Starting small, then going big. Adagio and Simple Tea.

Today I got two packages, one through the regular post, and one through UPS.

The first package was rather small, containing the three samples I ordered from Adagio using frequent cup points (and the fourth I got for hitting the "Share on Facebook" button).
The apricot green and valentine's blends were suggested by one of their tea docents. The other two are just a couple of flavored white teas that I just thought I ought to try.

I have not tried any of these yet, as my second package of the day took up much of my time.

This next package I solicited from Simple Tea, a specialty site focusing on corporate gifting and private label branding.

It gets kind of complicated from here, but hear me out.

My father used to work with the wife of the owner of this company, before he (my father) retired due to ongoing health issues.

Danny, the owner of Simple Tea, agreed to send me some things to review, but only after I asked, and probably only because his wife used to entertain me in her office when I was a child, to keep me out of my dad's hair. His wife is a really sweet person, and it's thanks to her that I got in touch with Danny in the first place. That being said, ON TO THE TEAS (and such).

 That's the front of the card that he sent with the items, the back had a personally written message and his contact info, so I did not feel comfortable taking a picture of that, to avoid spam on his personal email account and phone line.

First off, Oriental Beauty, which I will be reviewing at the end of this post. I am probably most excited about this tea, because I have not ever had a tea of this type before.

This one is really unusual for a jasmine green. It's made of a pearled green tea, with loose jasmine blossoms. It smells fantastic, like a garden.

You all may laugh, but the only Tae Guan Yin I have had previously was one with a bit of roast to it, so I am pleased to see this one is a greener specimen for me to play with.

This is what I assume is his "house" oolong. Very green, large pearls with a slight (not heavy enough to be a Jin Xuan) creamy scent, I am guessing that it is Taiwanese in origin, but I could be wrong.

And next is what could possibly be the COOLEST thing- A tea tumbler with basket!!!!

As you can see the basket is almost four inches long, and maybe an inch and a half in diameter. nice and big, perfect for those oolong teas I just got, perhaps? You shall see.

Another new thing, blooming tea. This one is called "Beauty of the Season" The tea bunches were in a vacuum sealed bag, but I took them out of it to show y'all what they look like pre-brew. I will do a singular post to show you all how they turn out, they are pretty fun.


Oriental Beauty by Simple Tea

 Isn't that pretty! lots of gold tips, with a dark olive green twisty leaf. It has a fragrance that reminds me of freshly baked honey infused bread.

The tumbler is 16 oz, so I put a little over a tablespoon into the basket.

I like how the little tabs are designed so that the handle of the basket is well clear of hot water.

The water is at 195 F. The top picture is at the beginning of brewing and the next one is me pulling out the strainer at the 3 minute mark.

The tea reminds me of a particularly sticky baklava. Warm, with lots of honey notes, spiked with the occasional taste of walnut and pistachio.

The flavor intensified in the second steeping, where I let it brew for a full 6 minutes, and the third steeping ( at 9 minutes 30 seconds) was much lighter. I can not wait to try this in my gaiwan!

AGAIN: I would like to remind my readers, that although this tea was provided for review, I DO NOT PLAY GAMES. I will tell you the truth, and the truth is:

TEA: 9/10: Would again acquire!
Tea Tumbler Final Verdict: 10/10: does not leak unless turned upside down and then ONLY from the mouthpiece,  not the seal. Since this IS NOT EVER going to be thrown in a bag while full of tea, I see no problem with this. I will be taking it this weekend out of town, and if it survives, I will tell yall.

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