Darjeeling Thurbo Tea by Curious Tea | Day 31 of 100 Days

. Written by leafinhotwater. Posted in 100 days of tea, black tea

Today’s post is about the second tea from the Curious Tea subscription box – a Darjeeling tea from the Thurbo Estate.

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The Thurbo Estate is well known for producing fine quality Darjeeling teas. This tea is harvested from the 1st flush, meaning the first leaves of the season in spring. Thus 1st flush teas have the best flavour and are more highly prized.

Indian teas, have a grading system based on letters, I won’t get into it in this post as it can get more technical but in short, FTGFOP is one of the top grades, meaning it has high proportion of good quality tea buds and young leaves that have not been broken in processing = the most highly prized grade of tea. You can tell from the abundance of orange and lighter coloured leaves that are mixed in with the black tea.

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As you’d expect with from all the fanfare on this packaging the tea is quite delicious. Dry or steeped, the leaves have a wonderful fruity and floral character, with dominant notes of stonefruit – peach to be exact. The liquor tastes light and refreshing. Even though this is technically a black tea, it tastes amazingly light and refreshing, even when brewed up the liquor is a faint peach toned clear liquid. It has virtually no dryness or astringency that you’d associate with black teas. Although Darjeeling is technically a black tea, because in processing it is less oxidized than other black teas, the tea doesn’t develop the malty taste that other black teas, which are fully oxidized, have.

With its fruity, floral bouquet, I’d say this Darjeeling lives up to the reputation that Darjeeling teas have as the ‘champagne’ of teas. Drink this and you’ll be sniffing, and swirling the tea without even knowing it!

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Slimming Tea by Honey & Tea Culture | Day 30 of 100 Days of Tea

. Written by leafinhotwater. Posted in 100 days of tea, green tea, oolong tea, rooibos tea

Honey & Tea Culture’s Slimming Tea is like your favourite striped shirt. Both slimming, flattering, and shows better taste – whether from the jeweled purple tones in the shirt, or the sweetness of the fruity tea blend.

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Its a green tea based blend, with oolong wu yi, organic green tea, organic rooibos, ginger, pomegranate, , guarana, senna, birch, corn, stevia, natural flavours.

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When brewed, the tea is quite fragrant with fruity, and honeyed notes from the pomegranate, rooibos, and stevia. I don’t taste the oolong as much in this, but more of the green and rooibos.

Granted, with this tea being a sample size, I didn’t get to try this in terms of its ‘slimming’ capabilities but with the 3 kinds of tea in this there’s definitely a good amount of health benefits here from the oolong, and green teas themselves. The rooibos and stevia, having that sweet note definitely helped keep my sweet tooth at bay, as it was satisfying enough drinking it rather than trying to find unhealthy, sweet snacks.

Worth a try as an afternoon tea or nighttime to fight the dessert cravings!

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Curious Tea’s Liu An Gua Pian Green Tea | Day 29 of 100 Days of Tea

. Written by leafinhotwater. Posted in 100 days of tea, green tea

With the spring weather I’ve been bringing out green teas more due to their light, fresh, clean flavours. One of my favourite green tea discoveries has been Curious Tea‘s Liu An Gua Pian (Chinese: 六安瓜片; pinyin: Lù’ānguāpiàn), which roughly translates to Liu An Melon Seed.

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Before I dive into the tea, here’s a look at what Curious Tea offers in their subscription boxes. Each month you receive 2 varieties of tea, in generous 50g sizes. The company offers a ‘light’ tea subscription, and ‘dark’ tea subscription which is nice if you lean towards one side of the spectrum. You can also ask for a mixed type – 1 light and 1 dark, which is the one I received here. The package labels helpfully provide information on the origin of each tea, as well as brewing instructions. There are also separate cards for each tea that you can write your tea tasting notes on, especially helpful if you have a lot of tea and like to remember how each differs from the other.

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This is one of China’s well-known teas  – not as famous as say, Dragonwell (Long Jing), but still widely popular. The leaves are plucked from the second leaf, so they tend to be larger, vs. many other teas that get plucked from the bud and first leaf.

The name Liu An Melon Seed was coined because the leaves have a flat-ish shape that resembles melon seeds. The colour is a nice rich dark green colour, a bit more green in real life than this picture shows.

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Once brewed, the liquor is a light yellow colour similar to other Chinese green teas, with a light toasted aroma but mostly dominated by the taste and flavour of steamed vegetables – if my senses aren’t deceiving me, the tea actually smells quite like Chinese greens (‘yu choy’ to be specific). Its a great tea that I wouldn’t mind pairing with noodles or fried rice because of that freshness that would help offset a greasy meal. The fresh yet savoury taste of the vegetables taste is why I’d prefer it for savoury, Asian-style meals rather than a greasy brunch of eggs/bacon which would likely overwhelm the lightness of the tea.

I also cold brewed this one overnight – 1 tsp of leaves, in a mug of room temperature water that was then refrigerated overnight. It turned out quite refreshing and light, not unlike the bottled unsweetened green teas you get in Japan.

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Overall, a light refreshing tea that brews up nicely whether cold or hot.

Detox Tea by Honey & Tea Culture | Day 28 of 100 Days of Tea

. Written by leafinhotwater. Posted in 100 days of tea

Detox Tea by Honey and Tea Culture is one of the teas in their cleanse program, and like their other teas, smells delicious, whether dry or steeped.

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The tea is a unique blend of rooibos, honeybush, lemon myrtle, lemon peel, juniper, ginger, licorice root, anise, lemongrass, marigold, stevia, birch leaves, willow bark, and natural flavours.

The multitude of ingredients plus stevia gives it a complex but sweet, juicy flavour the minute you open the bag, and the flavour lasts for 3 infusions or so before fading off.

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Being a natural sweetener, I find stevia played a large role in bringing out the flavours of the tea. Its great that the tea is calorie free, but I do wonder how the blend would taste like with less of it, as sometimes it feels like the sweetness is a bit overpowering. Luckily, stevia doesn’t add calories, so my complaint is really more about wanting to taste more of the natural tea flavours without the distraction of the stevia sweetness.

Due to the sweetness of the tea, this is a tea that reminds me of dessert tea that would be perfect for after meals, like a dessert wine, but better!

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Ceylon Tea Vithanakande Estate by Capital Tea Ltd | Day 27 of 100 Days of Tea

. Written by leafinhotwater. Posted in 100 days of tea, black tea

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Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, produces some gems in the world of tea, even though tea is relatively new as an agricultural crop when you compare their history to that of China or India.

This tea from Capital Tea Ltd. is harvested from the Vithanakande Estate.

The leaves are sorted well, being of a uniform size, and are twisted nicely, looking quite good even though this particular tea is a BOP grade. BOP stands for broken orange pekoe, which is one level below whole leaf orange pekoe. BOP indicates that the leaves have been broken up and not kept whole.

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Preparation:

1 heaping tsp of tea

250 mL of freshly boiled water

Steep for 3 min

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Tea notes:

The top notes are malt, honey, caramel; some sweet potatoes as well in the mid notes. It has a smooth, full-bodied texture, very satisfying sweet-savoury presence that goes well in the morning.  The finish is smooth with hints of dryness at the end, not too astringent.

I did a second and 3rd infusion, and can note that the tea gets increasingly drying (unsurprisingly) with subsequent infusions, while the caramel/malty flavour is still there, just a tad weaker.

What I enjoyed about this tea is how it isn’t the brisk type of tea one normally associates with breakfast, that has you reaching for milk and sugar immediately, but instead goes down smoothly. I drank this tea straight, for all 3 infusions and it was quite pleasant on its own each time.

My pairing suggestion for this tea? Definitely something you can serve with brunch! Think eggs, hash browns, toast, pancakes, etc.

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