Acai Matcha from Shanti Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Matcha (Green Tea)

Where to Buy:  Shanti Tea

Product Description:

Matcha tea is kind of like a super-powered green tea—since you’re ingesting the whole leaf instead of just the brewed beverage, you get up to ten times the antioxidant effect and nutritional value of your standard green. Matcha’s rich in antioxidants, as well as chlorophyll and fiber, and has been found to have natural mood enhancing effects. All in all, matcha’s got no match when it comes to healthy teas.

Taster’s Review:

This is a really good flavored Matcha.  Flavored Matcha is not as common a product as other flavored teas, so it’s an exciting thing to find one.

The flavor is a bit different than other flavored Matcha teas that I’ve tried, I don’t know if that is because this is intended to use to make Matcha Lattes.  The first time I tasted it, I enjoyed it as I would normally prepare Matcha – that is with some hot water in my chawan and whisk with my chasen.  And this results in a pretty tasty tea.

The flavor is smooth and rich, with very little bitterness.  It is a lot less bitter than I usually experience with Matcha (which is typically a little bitter and a little sweet – a delicious contrast).  It is also not quite as vegetative.  Prepared traditionally, what I taste mostly is a creamy, sweet and rich tasting tea with mere hints of a vegetative taste (it’s kind of in the background!) and a tart note from the Acai berry.  It isn’t an unpleasant tartness, though.  I’m really enjoying it.

My Chawan from Koide Studio

But because I didn’t feel like I was truly experiencing this tea as it was intended, I decided that I should also try this as a latte.  I put a few heaping scoops (I used my Chashaku) of the Matcha in my Chawan, and then I made a thick paste using two tablespoons (I eyeball it) of hot (not boiling) water.  Then I added steaming milk and whisked it until blended and frothy.

As a latte, I notice that I get more froth than I did preparing it traditionally.  The flavor is much creamier, and I notice more of the vegetative notes as a latte, but less of the acai berry, which slowly creeps up to the palate in the finish and imparts a lovely tart note.   Not a pucker-y type of tart, just a pleasant, fruity tart taste.

After trying it as a latte, I decided to get a little more adventurous and try it with some orange juice.  So using the same method as before (a few heaping scoops, a little hot water, thick paste), I replaced the hot milk with a little bit of cold orange juice.  This may be my favorite way to enjoy this particular matcha because I like the way that the acai berry and the orange flavors mingle.  There is very little vegetative taste, it is sweet, slightly creamy, and pleasantly tart.

This Matcha is incredibly versatile.  It would also make a great addition to a smoothie, if you’re so inclined!  I like that the acai berry is subtle, but just enough to help smooth out some of the bitter notes of the Matcha.  I really enjoyed my time with this Matcha!

Strong Assam from Shanti Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Shanti Tea

Product Description:

Fair Trade Certified & Organic Black Tea

This lowland tea known for its rich aroma and strong, malty flavor is named after its origin, Assam, in North-East India. Our Strong Assam tea is cultivated at the famous Rembeng Estate, a 100% organic tea garden and the pioneering organic estate in the region, making their teas highly sought after. Dark and copper-colored, it is a full-bodied broken leaf black tea that is great for lovers of a strong morning cup of tea. The rich flavors are accentuated by adding milk and sugar.

Taster’s Review:

W0w!  When they say strong, they mean STRONG!  This is one seriously bold, in-your-face Assam!

This is a bold and robust tea, but, there is a lot more going on than just mere strength.  It has such a lovely complexity to it.  There are delicious undertones of sweetness that remind me of caramelized fruit.  This is a note that comes through on the aroma, and carries through to the sip:  when I first inhaled the fragrance, I could smell the distinctive caramel scent, and then upon tasting – DELICIOUS!

There are also hints of fruit and spice, as well as a very malty quality to this tea – the combination of the malt and caramel is quite yummy.  This combination is further enhanced with a splash of milk as it lends a creaminess to the malt and caramel.

I recommend careful steeping parameters with this one.  You don’t need to use a little extra leaf because this tea is plenty strong without it, in fact, you might find that it’s too strong with extra leaf.  So I recommend using just 1 teaspoon for your first tasting, and then experimenting to find your perfect cuppa.  Also, watch your timer carefully!  2 1/2 minutes is the perfect time for this tea (at least, for me!) but don’t go over 3 minutes for your first tasting, as it will become bitter.

This is delicious hot or iced, but I prefer it hot, it is a delightful “cold, foggy morning” kind of tea!  It helps you clear the fog in your head after a not-so-great night’s sleep (or even if you’ve had a good one!)  If you’d rather head back to bed, but can’t because you’ve got to “seize the day” – this tea will get you headed in that direction!  This tea has got bite to it, so if you need to soften that edge, a little drizzle of agave nectar will do the trick.

An excellent Assam!

Blueberry White Tea from Shanti Tea

Tea Type: White Tea

Where To Buy: Shanti Tea

Product Description:

Certified Organic White Tea

Tin / Bio-bag: 45g / 50 cups • Sample: 5 to 7 cups

Light and fragrant, the taste is delicate yet satisfying. This organic sensation is of antioxidants. Rather than covering the delicate body of the tea itself, our blend enhances and reveals even more of the natural qualities of the tea. Never bitter or overly strong, you can enjoy this tea any time of the day.

Story

Blueberries are one of the only fruits native to North America. Blueberries are high in vitamin C, a strong antioxidant offering support for the immune system. Blueberries also contain fibre, folate, iron, manganese, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, zinc, copper, B vitamins, vitamin E and silicon. All in one little, tiny berry!

Tasters Review:

A few years ago when my good friend’s son was a toddler – I went over one summer afternoon for a visit to find him not only eating but devouring a HUGE bowl of blueberries!  And I don’t mean just part of the bowl…the whole bowl!  Back then…you could only get this kid to eat blueberries and hot dogs!  The Blueberry part is what had me excited!  What a wonderful thing to have a craving and love for, eh?  And especially for a toddler!  I sat beside him and watched him mow down on those Blueberries for at least a half hour!  Another great thing about this blueberry story is that his mom grew the blueberries herself!

Over the past few years the area I currently reside has been promoting “Shop Local-Buy Local” and other Buy Local Produce Programs…which I think it wonderful!  Blueberries always seem to be a favorite and rightfully-so!

If you are anything like me – or my friend’s son – and LOVE blueberries you have to look into this tea from Shanti!  It’s a lovely flavored White Tea.  It’s nice and pleasant and fruity-tasting…naturally!  As far at tea strengths go – this is a milder tea but still very tasty!  I did notice that the white tea as well as the blueberry flavors really start coming out to play after it has the chance to cool at room temperature a bit.

Thanks for reading my Blueberry Ramble!  AND my Tea Ramble!  It’s what we do best here – at SororiTEA Sisters!

Enjoy the rest of your day, everyone!

 

Shanti from The Simple Leaf

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  The Simple Leaf

Company Description:

Shanti is a Sanskrit word meaning peace and tranquility, which is exactly how we feel every time we drink it. The beautiful green leaves and prominent tips of this tea will be the first thing to grab your attention. When brewed, these leaves unfurl and produce a wonderfully mellow, light green liquor that is exceptionally smooth. The flavor is fresh, slightly vegetal and fruity. Little known Arunachal Pradesh, in the north eastern part of India, has arrived! Remember: never use boiling water or milk with green tea as they will ruin the flavor. Let the water cool down a bit after it comes to a boil. Enjoy hot or iced.

Taster’s Review:

I have been amazed by the quality of tea that I’ve received from The Simple Leaf.

The Simple Leaf operates under the simple philosophy of “fresh tea.  Uncomplicated.”  Yes, their tea is fresh!  Although, I don’t know if I would consider a tea this delightful, delicious and complex to be “uncomplicated.”  Certainly, it doesn’t become complicated with added flavors or bits and pieces of fruit, nut, petals or other things.  This is as pure and “Simple” as tea can get.  So, I guess, in that respect, yes, it IS uncomplicated.

The dry leaves are long and curly.  They slowly unfurl (I am currently on my third infusion, and still some of the leaves have not completely opened up) to reveal beautiful, full, young green leaves.

The first infusion of this tea was very vegetative.  Not exactly what I would call “grassy” – but more like freshly steamed, lightly buttered vegetables.  It is light-bodied with a very silky mouthfeel.  Not a thick or heavy mouthfeel, but very smooth, light, and sumptuous.  Delicious!

With each subsequent infusion, the flavor becomes more delicate – smoother.  As the flavor softens, it begins to reveal more layers of complexity.  There are pleasant fruity tones that offer interesting contrast to the vegetative qualities of the tea.  I can also detect a slightly sharp floral note to the tea in this third infusion, giving this tea even more character and interest.

As I indicated above, after three infusions, this tea has still not completely unfurled, so it is still good for at least one more infusion.  That’s a fantastic value for such a delicious and high quality tea.

When it comes to exceptional quality in tea – The Simple Leaf does not compromise!  I recommend brewing a large pot of this tea, wrapping your teapot in a cozy to keep the liquid warm, and enjoying the company of this tea for hours!  This is a tea that you should share with your dearest friends.  This tea is truly a treasure.

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