Friday, 19 November 2010

Chah- Milk Oolong

Chah is a fabulous site selling high quality Asian teas. What I like about the website is that they have pictures of their travels in the 'About Us' section, which shows a connection with the plantations the tea comes from.

Milk Oolong has interested me since I first heard of it. It's a special tea that is affected by the area in Taiwan where it grows. Due to the climate, the tea grows and develops an interesting taste that is, in accordance with the name, slightly milky. It's a delightful tea with a little bit of sweetness.

When brewed, it has a smell that is common to many oolongs- slightly vegetable and earthy, but very clean (some teas can be 'earthy' in the sense of 'muddy'; not this one!) The taste is fragrant and lovely, the tea giving a gentle flavour on the back of the tongue.

I was a bit unsure as to what to expect, but this is a great oolong for a first timer wanting to venture away from the usual teas and try something a bit different. Very, very yummy!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Yumchaa- Regent's Park

Today is one of my favourite kinds of autumn day- gloomy, crisp and ever so slightly menacing. I like these days because they make staying at home cosy and I find myself baking and reading peacefully, rather than rueing the fact that I have to go out to make the most of the day.

I'm currently drinking a mug of Yumchaa Regent's Park, which I bought at a little market I came across in Soho a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, their website doesn't seem to let you order, but I would think that you would be able to call them if you wanted to buy anything. They also have two cafes (one in Soho and one in Camden) where you can buy the teas.

Anyway, Regent's Park is one of my favourite types of green tea, China green tea. I prefer this because I find it less astringent than Japanese teas, but each has their merits. The tea provides a refreshing base with a hint of grassiness, although this is not overpowering. The tea itself is flavoured with fruits, papaya and pineapple being the most dominant, with strawberry and raspberry hints. Apparently there are also rose petals in the mix, but you can't really taste them, so I think they might just be there for aesthetic purposes. The taste is sweet and fruity, a little bit like posh fruit pastilles without sugar. The aftertaste is clean and sharp.

Overall, a very pleasant tea. Let's hope that they get their website sorted!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A selection of my favourite autumn, winter and festive teas

I love autumn and all the festivity that comes with it. I've decided to list some of my favourite teas that are perfect for the upcoming season:

Cup of Tea is selling a cracking Winter Tea selection. It can be a gamble to choose a tea just by looking at the descriptions on the website, so this little box is a perfect way to try all of their festive blends. For £4.60, you get a selection of 10 loose teas (enough for 2-3 cups of tea in each sachet), including green, black, oolong, rooibos and herbal. My current favourite is the Oolong Plum Pudding- fruity and malty, almost like a Christmas pudding. Yum. The great thing about the pack is that most of the teas are for sale in larger quantities on the site, so if you can't bear the thought of not having your favourite in February, you can order up some more. (I will be reviewing each tea in the box in detail at a later date.)

Grey's Bitter almond with pieces- this one has become a favourite in the house, due to its strong black taste and lovely marzipan/almond flavour. A China black tea that works especially well with cakes, I would recommend this one as a tea to get home to on a dark night. Lovely.

Teapigs Spiced Winter Red- a rooibos, which means caffeine free. I took this with me on a residential trip for work last week (I knew I would be cold!) A decadent spiced tea that certainly warms the cockles and helped me sleep. I was very grateful for it!

Eteaket's Chocolate Abyss- a combination of chocolate and tea with a slightly coconutty taste (and a slightly boozy smell!) this is a delicious black tea. I have it at work to combat any chocolate cravings- I'm trying to give up junk food til December- and have now begun to have it in place of hot chocolate in an evening. The China black tea and the chocolate pieces melt together and it is taste heaven.

Tea Palace have a range of festive blends which I am hoping to try this week. I will get back to you asap on that.