Friday, November 30, 2012

Origins and types of tea

For a better image resolution, go here. Kudos to the author. Great work!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tea Giveaway

If you feel lucky, you can participate in the giveaway organized by SororiTea Sisters. They offer some of the Butiki teas.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gaba Tea from Taiwan

I'm excited because yesterday I received a sample of Gaba tea from a company called Tea from Taiwan.

Gaba tea is relatively new. It was invented in 1987 in Japan. Gaba tea is praised for its long list of health benefits attributed to the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) it contains. Some of the benefits include relieving anxiety, preventing PMS, stabilising blood pressure and stimulating fat burning. The key to the composition of this tea is that it is exposed to nitrogen, not oxygen during processing.

After opening the bag I was excited to see that it is not broken, but that it looks quite a bit like standard gunpowder tea. The leaves show some glossiness and I like how they seem to have kept freshness.

Than I went to prepare the tea. The difficulty I had was that the producer did not say how much tea is required for one tea cup, so I did it the usual way of adding a teaspoon per cup. It is recommended that it brews in hot water (95 C) for 3 minutes. A clay pot should be used, but I brewed mine in a glass pot. 

You can see the result in the pictures below. The colour is light brown, having more yellow hints than I expected in the first minute after brewing. The tea gets green undertones when cold. 

It tastes great. It is mild and refreshing with subtle floral notes. Adding sugar or any form of sweetener has not even crossed my mind. I will be recommending this tea to everybody, especially those avoiding to drink green or black tea due to their bitterness. 

The same tea can be brewed 3 to 4 times, which is a great advantage. I brewed the same leaves twice and I could not detect any difference in flavour.

I hope you'll be able to try this tea and let me know what you think.

Teas on the menu these days

I do have a penchant for teas. While I like adding new flavours all the time, green and black tea are always there. You can see following teas on my shelf these days.

I am new to Kusmi teas, but I can only say praise for Prince Vladimir. It contains a blend of black teas that is flavoured with citrus fruit, vanilla and various spices like cinnamon. So wintery, but also fresh and mild.

In the middle of the picture you can see a flavoured green tea produced by an Italian company called Blend. This is a great tea and currently one of my favourites. It is a mixture of Sencha and Oolong teas with cranberry and vanilla pieces.

Last week I received my order of five different Pu-erh (spelled pu'er as well) teas from Teavivre. Pu-erh  is a kind of fermented tea that has a very intensive flavour. The variety pictured below is from Yunan province, which is considered a home of some of the best Pu-erh teas. This is definitely a novelty in the world of teas for me. I am still getting used to the flavour. At the first taste I could notice overpowering herbal (maybe straw) and earthy tones. I am looking forward to learning more about these teas.

Apart from the flowering tea that I brought from Vietnam, you can see a red tin from A. C. Perch's Thehandel (one of the famous Danish tea stores) in the following picture. It currently holds a great blend of herbal teas: lemon grass, licorice and pear. In the left side of the picture you can see the beautiful china tea jar that was a gift from a friend of mine. There is some Vietnamese green tea with jasmine in it at the moment.

The last picture shows another green tea with jasmine. It's from a German company called Eilles. It was a gift from a friend of mine. I like this tea a lot - rarely good green tea infusion. Here is also some Russian Earl Grey that I still haven't tasted. Finally, a tea in a very interesting box that I bought in an ethnic store around the corner from my apartment. It is a green tea from Saudi Arabia that for me represents a standard, full-flavoured green tea. It is very strong so I usually take less than the recommended 2 g per cup when brewing.