Jasmine Oolong Tea from Enjoying Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Product Description:

Jasmine Oolong is a favorite beverage for all seasons. It produces a pale yellowish brew with a rich and distinctive flavor expertly infused with the sweet, delicate fragrance of fresh summer jasmine. The tea has a very light and subtle jasmine flavor.

Taster’s Review:

I love this Jasmine Oolong!  It is wonderful!

The Oolong tea is light in flavor with a smooth, silky mouthfeel.  Just slightly vegetative but with very little buttery taste that is often associated with the greener Oolong varieties.  It has a hint of fruity taste as well, just barely there, lingering in the background.

There is a light astringency to it that seems to wash over the mouthfeel just enough so that it doesn’t impart a slick feeling in the finish.  The aftertaste is lightly floral.

The jasmine is so beautifully delicate in this cup.  It doesn’t overwhelm the palate and it isn’t too sweet or too sharp… a pleasant balance of characteristics to this jasmine, and I like that it doesn’t interfere with the complexity of the Oolong.

I steeped this in a gaiwan – steeping just 45 seconds for the first steep, and increasing the time by 15 seconds for each subsequent infusion.  I managed eight very flavorful infusions this way.  The sumptuous flavor is so comforting and delightful!

This is a tea I’d recommend to those who wish to explore jasmine but find some of the green jasmine teas to be a bit too sharp or overwhelming.  This jasmine may just be the perfect jasmine for you!

Oolong from Enjoying Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Product Description:

This oolong tea offers a smooth roasted nutty flavor and has a sweet lingering aftertaste. The Chinese traditionally treasure the slimming effects of this tea.

Taster’s Review:

The picture of the tea bag package above looks different from the packaging that I have of this tea, however, of the bagged Oolong teas on Enjoying Tea’s website, the above description (that accompanies the above photo) matches this tea’s characteristics best.

As a rule, I tend to be highly skeptical of any Oolong that is in a tea bag.  Oolong teas – more so than any other tea, in my opinion – need room when they brew, and most commercially processed tea bags just don’t offer that kind of space.  So, to say that I was skeptical when I first tasted this Oolong several months ago is putting it lightly.

But, this is actually really good.

The flavor is nutty and sweet and it reminds me of the type of Oolong tea I might enjoy in a nice Asian restaurant.  It has light floral tones in the background and a somewhat fruity note that hits about mid sip.  The sweetness of this tea lingers through the astringent-free finish.

This doesn’t have the same complexity as most loose leaf Oolong teas and whether that has something to do with the fact that this is a bagged tea, I don’t know, but I believe it does.

As an Oolong enthusiast, I prefer a more complex Oolong when I’m sipping tea for tea enjoyment, but this is my Oolong of choice to serve along with my meals, because it has such a pleasant and mild flavor that does not interfere with the flavors of my food, but rather enhances my experience.  A more complex Oolong would be distracting.  So, it’s quite nice to have both on hand depending upon the occasion.

Indian Mocha Chai from EnoyingTea.com

Tea Type: Chai Tea (Black Tea)

Where To Buy: EnjoyingTea.com

Product Description:

This Sri Lankan Chai is made from Indian spices and high-grown Ceylon tea with natural cherry and chocolate flavors. The combination of ingredients gives this tea the depth and character of those served in Chai stands prevalent in India and Sri Lanka. This tea has a superb body with mellow Indian spice notes and overtones of mocha. When brewed this chai is coppery and bright in color and is wonderful served with milk.

Tasters Review:

I was pleasantly surprised with this one…it was mellower that I expected and I am grateful for that.  I was thinking it was going to be all-spice…and nothing more but it was part cocoa and and partially spicy-E but full and a nice black chai.

I have spent 3 nice sit-downs with this chai and it is one that has made it to my favorites list.  Mostly because it is different than most of the chai I have tasted thus far.

Another reason I like this is because it’s from EnjoyingTea.com and I have tried several of their teas and think this is one of the many that have stood out to me.  Another reason I like EnjoyingTea.com is because their shipping is extremely reasonable – it’s a flat rate shipping fee of just $3.98 and if you buy $60 or more…it’s FREE.  They will also send you some free tea with the purchase of a tea pot or tea set!  AND they will even send you a FREE Tea Cup with the purchase of loose leaf tea(s) over $80!

They are a very giving company and have a nice selection as well as offer some unique tastes that I haven’t found elsewhere!

Wild Bitter Tea (Tianshan Lushui) from Enjoying Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Company Description:

This is a rare and expensive tea grown in Zhejiang province. In Chinese medical journals the Tianshan Lushui is known to lower cholesterols and help with weight loss. This tea produces a green color liquid. The better its quality is, the greener the color. This tea has traditionally been used as a diet tea in palaces by the empress and princesses of ancient China. Because this tea is very concentrated, we suggest using one teaspoon of tealeaves for every 500ml of water.

Taster’s Review:

These tiny leaves are so much fun to watch as they brew.  When I first watched them, the first thought that came into my head is that this is “instant gratification for tea watchers” – because it unfurls much like a gunpowder or pearl, but much faster.  It is kind of like watching a gunpowder tea unfurl in fast forward.

I was a little afraid to taste this tea, to be honest.  When the name of the tea is “bitter” – I get a little worried.  But, really, this is “bitter” in a good way.  Kind of like dandelion greens.  And that is a really good description of this tea, because when they unfurl, the damp leaves look like baby dandelion greens!  Really tiny, baby dandelion greens!

This is actually quite good.  It has a savory quality that I’m finding very rewarding.  The key is to not over brew it, I found that with a short brew time (I brewed it for about 1 1/2 minutes in hot but not boiling water) the flavor is lightly bitter, with an interesting sweet background note.  It’s a very crisp, bright, herbal taste that I’m finding rather energizing.  Vibrant!

I also recommend not using too much leaf when you brew this, because the flavor is quite intense.  Too much leaf will result in a cup that is quite bitter, and because the bitter is so overwhelming, it is difficult to enjoy the other flavors that this tea possesses.   A lighter infusion allows the many dimensions of this leaf to come alive in the teacup!

By now, you might be wondering what “Tianshan Lushui” is – is it a tea (as in Camellia Sinensis) or is it something else?  Well, I was not entirely sure if it came from the Camellia Sinensis plant, so I contacted Enjoying Tea for more information.  I was very impressed with the speed in which they responded!

They informed me that it is in fact an herb and not from the Camellia Sinensis plant.  I also did a little research of my own, and found that this herb is also often called “small-leaf bitter tea.”  It is often utilized to help cool the body temperature, as well as help to lower cholesterol and improve blood circulation.  It’s also supposed to be good for the skin!  So while it’s not a true tea, it is a tasty herb and very good for you!  Cheers!

Lemon Grass from Enjoying Tea

Lemongrass Plant - Photo from Wikipedia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Company Description:

This perennial herb, native to Southeast Asia is noted for its lemony scent and ginger undertones. In Thailand, lemongrass is believed to calm the nerves and restore the spirit. The lemony flavor of lemongrass is used to flavor everything from curry to Thai milk shakes. Lemongrass is delicious brewed on its own or enjoyed with your favorite tea.

Taster’s Review:

This Lemon Grass has such a pleasant, bright flavor.  Like the name of this herb suggests, it has a lemony taste – but what I like about lemongrass over a lemon is that lemongrass doesn’t have the same tangy/tart/pucker-ish character of a lemon.  Instead, it is like the sweeter side of a lemon – fresh, vibrant, and appealing.  It also has a delicate buttery taste to it that I really like.

Over the past few months, I have really become a fan of this lemongrass from Enjoying Tea.  It has that light, lemony flavor that I really enjoy.  It is soothing when I have a sore throat; restorative when I feel drained; and refreshing when I want a hot beverage but desire something a little lighter than tea.  It also blends so well with other teas – I like to add a little to unflavored white tea or honeybush for a little extra flavor.

Lemongrass is also excellent served hot or iced.  I especially like it hot on chilly evenings.  It is naturally caffeine free and very uplifting.  For an extra treat, try adding just a little candied ginger to the brewed lemongrass – it sweetens it just a little bit and accents the natural ginger-like undertones of the lemongrass.  Delicious!

Spearmint from Enjoying Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Company Description:

This wonderful field grown and sun-dried spearmint is from Washington State. Spearmint is highly appreciated for its digestive properties and its ability to relieve nausea. It’s often used to help relieve headaches and tension. Use spearmint to add a kick to your favorite tea!

Taster’s Review:

I really don’t drink a lot of herbal teas.  I prefer teas with Camellia Sinensis (the tree from which tea leaves are harvested) rather than herbal tisanes, but later in the evening, I really like to sip on a “tea” – but I don’t really want all that caffeine keeping me up all night.   That’s when I usually turn to herbal teas.

And, sometimes, it’s nice to wind down after a long (and spicy!) day with something fresh and pure like this Spearmint.  Spearmint is often used to help with digestive discomfort, so it’s especially good after eating something spicy (tonight we had tacos!)  Plus … it leaves the mouth feeling minty fresh – a nice bonus.

This is pure Spearmint from Washington State (which is where I live), and the taste is crisp and clean.  It has a natural sweetness to it – so it doesn’t need any sweetener.   It doesn’t taste medicine-y or like mouthwash – it tastes light and refreshing.

Not something that I drink all the time… but I’m really enjoying it right now!  It is also a great “tea” to keep on hand, because it makes a great addition to other teas should you wish to “kick it up a notch” (to borrow a catch phrase from a well-known chef).  I especially like to add a little Spearmint to plain, organic honeybush for a minty, sweet, late-night treat!

Lapsang Souchong from Enjoying Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Company Description:

Lapsang souchong is a special Chinese black tea. This tea produces a reddish hue liquor with a smooth crisp taste and a smoky aroma of pine wood fire. The lapsang souchong is considered to be heavy and overpowering by many.

The method of production for this tea is the following: The leaves are first withered over fires of pine wood. After pan-frying and rolling, they are presses into wooden barrels and covered with cloth to ferment until they give off a pleasant fragrance. The leaves are fired again and rolled into taut strips. Then they are placed in bamboo baskets and hung on wooden racks over smoking pine fires to dry and absorb the smoke flavor.

Taster’s Review:

I feel that I need to preface this review with this:  I am not a fan of Lapsang Souchong teas.  I am one of the “many” as depicted in the above review that find Lapsang Souchong tea to be “heavy and overpowering.”  The pine smoke aroma and taste is a bit overwhelming for my personal taste.   And because my first experience with a Lapsang Souchong was not a positive one, and since that time, I’ve steered myself clear of Lapsang Souchong teas.

That being said, I have learned since that first experience that not all teas are the same – including Lapsang Souchong teas! – and it’s not fair for me to now judge all Lapsang Souchong teas based on one bad experience years ago… I mean, who knows?  Perhaps my tastes have changed.  Perhaps that one Lapsang Souchong was not a good representation of all Lapsang Souchong teas.  I need to not allow myself to become confined based upon my opinions.  I need to experience things to make sure I truly dislike them… only then can I be sure.

So, summoning up all the courage I can muster, I brew myself a cup of this Lapsang Souchong from Enjoying Tea.  I awaken the tea leaves first, giving them a quick “rinse” (or pre-infusion) with boiling water for about 10 seconds before I steep the tea.

The flavor and aroma is quite smoky (no surprise there, this IS a Lapsang Souchong tea).  But I do think that the pre-rinse did help, because it’s not as smoky as I seem to remember Lapsang Souchong being.  I can smell the pine scent, it reminds me of the scent of the smoke when one burns pine needles.  It isn’t my favorite scent, but it isn’t unpleasant, either.

This is a very complex tea.  I can taste the smoky essence and the presence of the pine.  But beneath those rather heavy layers there is a nice (yes, I said NICE) and delicious (yes, delicious) caramel-y sweetness that complements the smoky and pine flavors well, and while it is still not my favorite tea, I can see what others love in this tea.  It is not as terrible as I once made it out to be.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t let your opinions you’ve formed years ago shape who you are now.  Be willing to try something new and out of your comfort zone, and you might find something rewarding when you do.   Trying this tea was way out of my own comfort zone but I am really very glad that I tried it because I got to taste that delicious caramel flavor to this tea and I now understand this tea just a little better.

Strawberry Black Tea from Enjoying Tea

photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Company Description:

This tea is made from top grade orange pekoe Ceylon with natural strawberry flavoring. The Ceylon tea is grown at the altitude of 7000 feet above sea level from the Sri Lanka region. When brewed this tea produces a bright coppery color liquid with fresh strawberry flavor and with touches of mild astringency. A fantastic fruit tea.

Taster’s Review:

Yum!  Is there any fruit that screams out “summer” like a strawberry?  Sweet and juicy, vibrant red flesh – even those little seeds that get caught in between the teeth.  OK… maybe that part isn’t so great, but, I’m willing to trade the small inconvenience of getting tiny seeds caught in between my teeth for the deliciously sweet flavor of a fresh strawberry, anytime!

But with this tea, I don’t have to!  I get that sweet, delicious flavor of a strawberry AND no tiny seeds!

The flavor of this tea is true to the fruit – juicy sweetness with just a hint of berry tart that dances on the tip of my tongue in the finish.  It is incredibly yummy!

Ceylon tea is a good choice as a base for this tea.  The Ceylon used here is mild with a light astringency.  It produces a lovely coppery cup that is full-flavored with a pleasant medium body, while being mellow enough to not interfere with the amazing fruit flavor.

This tea is delicious served hot and extraordinarily refreshing served chilled.  As I mentioned in a previous review, my favorite way to serve this iced is blended with a 50-50 ratio of Strawberry Black Tea and English Breakfast Black Tea (also from Enjoying Tea).  This gives it more of a tea flavor with a hint of strawberry flavor.  It is guaranteed to revitalize even the most heat weary soul!

Zhejiang Silver Needle, (Zhejiang Bai Hao Yinzhen) from EnjoyingTea

Tea Type: White Tea

Where To Buy: EnjoyingTea.com

Product Description:

This white tea with a white downy appearance comes from the province of Zhejiang. The Silver Needle, highest quality white tea, is picked during the spring before the buds open to preserve its tenderness. Exquisite and delicate, Silver Needle has a fresh, sweet fragrance and produces a pale yellow brew. Brewing with a Yixing teapot can best show the aroma of Silver Needle. This tea has high concentrations of polyphenols (antioxidants that help fight against cancer-causing radicals and heart disease)

Tasters Review:

I tried this tea both HOT and ICED.  I like them both.  Here is why…

Zhejiang Silver Needle, (Zhejiang Bai Hao Yinzhen) from EnjoyingTea is VERY Flavorful for a unflavored white.  My palate was telling me it was sweet with hints of pepper on my HOT attempt.  When I tried this one COLD there was no pepper-likeness at all.  For both HOT and COLD it was very slippery on the tongue. It leaves a Lovely aftertaste. I had no idea I would enjoy this one THIS much!  But am so glad that I did.

Chamomile from Enjoying Tea

photo from Wikipedia

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Company Description:

Chamomile is one of the oldest herbs still very popular around the world today. It was first used by the ancient Egyptian as medicine. Chamomile is often sipped for relief of ailments ranging from toothache to insomnia. Many people today use this herb as both a remedy to relieve anxiety and as a tisane herbal tea for enjoyment. The chamomile infusion has a floral aroma and fruity apple taste. Since it is caffeine free, it can be enjoy during any time of the day.

Taster’s Review:

OK, I am kind of iffy when it comes to chamomile.   I’ve liked many blends that I’ve tried that contain chamomile, but when it comes to chamomile on its own… well, I’m not usually a big fan.  Sometimes I do come across a chamomile that is pretty good – and yes, I’m saying that some chamomile is better than others.  Some tea companies seem to demolish their chamomile buds, turning the little golden blossoms into dust.  The resulting brew from the chamomile “dust” is not very good.  As a general rule:  the larger the chamomile flower, the better tasting the tisane it brews.

I am usually very hesitant when it comes to trying plain chamomile (to the point of trying to find someone else to give it to!), and I generally cringe when I receive chamomile as a gift or a sample.  And when I received this sample from Enjoying Tea – I did cringe.  And I did hesitate when it came to trying it.

When I opened the tin, the chamomile blossoms were fairly large and there was very little pollen-y dust.   Feeling slightly more confident, I measured out the chamomile and put it into my smart tea maker, and poured in the hot water and allowed it to steep for 6 minutes.  The liquor is a lovely golden color – and it possesses a beautiful, inviting fragrance.

And you know what?  This isn’t bad – not at all!  The flavor is slightly fruity (similar to an apple taste) with very subtle floral notes.   It is a very serene flavor – and I do feel calmer and more relaxed as I sit here, sipping it.  It’s nice.

As I continue on this journey as a tea drinker (which I hope will be a life-long passion!) I am discovering more and more about myself.  I am learning more about the proper way to brew teas, and in brewing teas properly, I am learning that teas that I may have thought at one time I did not like, I actually quite enjoy.  This Chamomile is an example.  I used to brew all my herbals using boiling water – only within the last two years have I discovered that most herbal teas are better when brewed at a slightly lower temperature (just below boiling).  Perhaps it was my brewing method that caused me to dislike chamomile so much.

Because as I sit here, sipping this cup of Chamomile, I am thinking that I’m really enjoying it.  It’s actually quite good!  These are words I never thought I’d use to describe chamomile!  But there it is.  I like this Chamomile Tea!

English Breakfast from Enjoying Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Company Description:

This is a classic blend of Sri Lanka Ceylon flowery pekoe (FP) black tea. Although usually served in the morning, it is the perfect refreshing and invigorating tea for any time of the day. When brewed the English Breakfast produces a bright, full bodied, and amber tea. It is especially enticing with milk and sugar.

Taster’s Review:

Ceylon Tea.  This is generally the tea that most people think of when they think of tea.  For most of us, this is the tea that we grew up with.  For some people, Ceylon tea is a simple, straightforward black tea, even verging on the boring side.

But the Ceylon black tea blend in this English Breakfast tea is anything but boring!  It has a smooth yet rich taste.  It is perhaps not as strong as some breakfast blends I’ve encountered, and yet, I find myself quite enamored with this cuppa.

The fruity notes of this tea are captivating and encourage me to keep sipping.  I can also detect a faint floral note in the background which is quite pleasant.  There is a very nice complexity to this tea with multiple layers of flavor.  This tea is certainly not boring!

I tried my first cup of this tea without any addition – no sugar, no cream.  It is very good like that – a bit on the mellow side, but, quite enjoyable.  Then I tried it with a little honey.  I found the honey highlights the fruit and flower of this tea very nicely.  Delightful!

But where this tea really excels is with the addition of milk and honey!  Now it becomes a creamy, almost decadent treat that is welcome at my breakfast table any time.

It is also quite good iced!  Try mixing this tea with Enjoying Tea’s Strawberry Black Tea (which I’ll be reviewing in a few days time!) and brewing it up for a very refreshing, delicious iced tea that both kids and adults will enjoy.

Smart Tea Maker from Enjoying Tea

Product Information:

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Company Description:

An excellent tea maker that is practical and simple to use. Made of durable food grade plastic. Stainless steel filter included. Dishwasher Safe. Approx capacity: 600ml (20.4 fl oz).

Basic Instructions

  1. Place tea leaves in the Smart Tea Maker.
  2. Add boiling water.
  3. Steep tea to your taste.
  4. Place the Smart Tea Maker on top of a cup or mug and let the tea drain into the cup.
  5. Remove the Smart Tea Maker to stop the flow. Your tea is ready to serve.

Product Review:

I drink a lot of tea (you may have already noticed this about me!)  And when I drink my tea (all day, every day!) I like to do so out of a rather large mug (16 – 18 ounces!)

What I don’t like to do is use a lot of gadgets when I make my tea.  For me, when it comes to tea, the fewer gadgets and the simpler the preparation… the better!  I just want to have a full mug of tea without having to drag out all my fancy gadgets.  I just want my tea!

This Smart Tea Maker from Enjoying Tea understands this!  It is the perfect size to fill my mug – and all I have to do is add the right amount of tea to the chamber, pour in the hot water (or boiling water, depending upon what type of tea I’m brewing), and let it steep for the correct amount of time.  When the tea is finished steeping, I just sit the Smart Tea Maker on top of my mug and the tea drains into my mug – strained and ready to enjoy!

No additional strainer necessary or other fancy gadgets necessary.  Just my favorite mug, my electric tea kettle, tea leaves, a timer and this Smart Tea Maker.

The only thing that would make this Smart Tea Maker any simpler would be if it actually heated the water for me and had a built in timer… but then… it would probably cost a bit more.  As it is, you can get this amazing device at the unbelievable price of just $12.98 (on sale, it is regularly priced at $14.98 which is still quite reasonable in my opinion!)

I love this Smart Tea Maker!

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