Tea of the Week – Sencha Vanilla

Name: Sencha Vanilla

Type: Green

Region: Unknown, Probably Japan

Bought At: The Seasoned Home

Price: $2.49 per ounce

First Impressions: Wonderfully sweet, vanilla scent

Review:

I recently have been trying several teas from a local tea shop – The Seasoned Home, located in Holland Michigan.  I received a few of their teas as Birthday and Christmas presents and so far they have all been very good.  Sencha green is a mild green, mixed with just the right amount of vanilla to give it a nice sweet taste without overpowering the tea.  It lacks any bitterness and has all of my favorite qualities of a green tea.  It’s very smooth, very sweet, very good, and I will be buying more!

Note: If you go into the store to buy this it will be labeled Green Tea Vanilla  not Sencha Vanilla – but it’s the same tea.

My Rating:

3.5 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – Citrus Mate

Name: Citrus Mate

Type: Herbal

Region: Brazil

Bought At: Adagio.com

Price: $2 for a ten cup sample

First Impressions:Very sweet smelling, a variety of citrus flavors

Review:

My  first flavored “mate” tea, I had high expectations for Citrus Mate as citrus teas have typically been among my favorites(Citron Green).  having said that, I was a little disappointed in citrus mate.  It isn’t bad, but the citrus flavor is much weaker than expected.  The typical dark, earthy tones of mate are a little overpowering.  I guess it has more to do with my expectations, but it still just isn’t as good as I was expecting.  Having complained about that enough, it is a decent tea, especially if you are  a mate fan.  The citrus does take some of the edge off of the mate flavor, just not enough for me!

My Rating:

2.5 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – Toasted Mate

Name: Toasted Mate

Type: Herbal

Region: Brazil

Bought At: Adagio.com

Price: $2 for a ten cup sample

First Impressions: Heavily processed, almost like coffee grounds

Review:

Another “mate” tea, toasted mate is a darker, stronger cup than yerba mate.  It has a strong, almost pungent smell when brewed, just short of making it unpleasant. I liked it, although it would probably be easier for a coffee drinker to enjoy than a white or green tea lover.  Had a hint of a nutty taste as well, and no bitter aftertaste.

My Rating:

3 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – Yerba Mate

Name: Yerba Mate

Type: Herbal

Region:

Bought At: Adagio.com

Price: $2 for a ten cup sample

First Impressions: Leaves are more processed/chopped up.  Smells somewhat grassy, but earthy too.

Review:

I bought the Adagio Mate Sampler on a bit of a whim.  I’ve heard the name “yerba mate” tea a lot, but don’t know a lot about it.  It turns out mate is not true ‘tea’ at all, actually a herbal brew that originates from South America.  Having said that, I started with the one I had heard mentioned the most: Yerba Mate.   Once brewed the smell takes on a strong, almost bitter scent.  The flavor is interesting, stronger than most teas, but still pleasant.  It has very earthy flavors, but sets itself apart from black tea in that it finishes with a hint of mild sweetness.  Overall I liked it, and look forward to trying the rest of the mate samples.

My Rating:

3.5 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – Mambo

Name: Mambo

Type:  Black

Region:  Yunnan and Wuyi regions of China

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $3 for a ten cup sample

First Impressions: Large leaves for Black Tea, Pleasant earthy smell

Review:

A black tea I haven’t tried before, Mambo is marketed as similar to the Mamba Dance which “originated from the fusion of Cuban and American Jazz.”  While I don’t know about being “jazz infused”, this is a decent cup of tea.  A solid black tea with a strong earthy flavor, this isn’t a tea for those who like lighter teas.  Be careful because it gets very bitter if brewed even a little too long, but when brewed correctly is a pleasant tea.  I wish I had some milk to try with it because I think it would stand up well and smooth out the flavor a little.  Overall, good but not a new favorite.

My Rating:

3 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – Xue Ya Ballad

Name: Xue Ya Ballad

Type:  Green

Region:  Keemun, China

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $2 for a ten cup sample

First Impressions: Gentle Grassy Smell, looks similar to a white monkey leaf but smaller

Review:

My first unflavored green in a while, Xue Ya Ballad was just okay.  It wasn’t as light as I was expecting, and reminded me more of a gunpowder green than a white monkey green.  Not really bad it lacked the smokiness that I like in darker greens.  It had a hint of nutiness, but also just a twinge of bitterness in the end.  It’s possible that I over steeped it, and will try it again, but all in all a little disapointing.  Given a name with the grandiose of “Xue Ya Ballad” I was expecting a little more.

My Rating: 2 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – Raspberry Green

Name: Raspberry Green

Type:  Green

Region:  China

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $2 for a ten cup sample

First Impressions: Sweet and fruity, smells good!

Review:

I was really nervous about trying this week’s tea for a couple reasons.  First, the last  fruit tea I tried (Cherry Green) was absolutely terrible, and second, I love raspberries.  When I was growing up my parents owned a raspberry stand and ever since they have been one of my favorite fruits, and I was really excited about finding a good raspberry tea.  Luckily, Adagio nailed this one.  The tea is both sweet and a little tart, just like its namesake fruit.  The fruity flavors blend well with the mellow green they used as the base.  I found it interesting that they also included the raspberry leaves in the tea.  I’m not sure why they did that (If anyone at adagio reads this feel free to fill me in), but it seems to have worked.  A solid tea that nailed my personal tastes, try some!

My Rating: 4 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – Cherry Green

Name: Cherry Green

Type:  Green

Region:  China

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $2 for a ten cup sample

First Impressions: Two Words – Cough Syrup

Review:

Wow!  I very rarely come across a tea that I have trouble finishing at least one cup, but this pushed it!  It tasted sweet, but was more like cough syrup than anything, and I HATE cherry cough syrup!  I think it really is the overpowering smell that brings it such a similarity to medicine.  I did think it interesting that they had whole dried cherries in the tea, but that was really the only think that was remotely positive about this.  It gets half a point only becasue I was able to force the rest of the cup down.  In my opinion: stay away!

Side note: If you are one who likes the flavor of cough syrup, you might really enjoy this, but you are weird.

My Rating:

.5 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – Apricot Green

Name: Apricot Green

Type:  Green

Region:  China

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $2 for a ten cup sample

First Impressions: Wonderful sweet and fruity smell

Review:

My first review in a loong time, apricot green was really good.  The smell of the leaves and brewed tea are both awesome without being overpowering.  The tea itself was good, a nice sweet hint of apricots on top of a mellow green tea.  It reminded me a lot of one of my all time favorites, citron green.  The biggest difference between this and citron is the apricot flavor was much more subtle, and a little sweeter.  Overall a good tea, and hopefully a good start to blogging again!

My Rating:
3 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – White Symphony

Name: White Symphony

Type:  White

Region:  Fujian province, China

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $2 for a five cup sample

First Impressions:  Large leaves, looks like white peony

Review:

Upon visiting Adagio’s website I found out why white symphony and white peony looked so much alike to me – white symphony is a type of white peony tea.  Like the other white peony, this tea is very mellow and smooth.  I actually think that it has slightly subtler flavors than the other peony, which, until now I wouldn’t have thought possible without tasting watery.  It does however manage to do this, and quite well.  I feel like I should not give this a 3 / 5 rating because that is where all the white teas I have tried landed so far, but it really is in the same category:  just above average, good, but definitely nothing  overly exciting.  Three it is!

My Rating:
3 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)