Jade Mountain from T2 Teas

T2 Jade Mountain TeaThe other day I visited a T2 Tea store – a modern, exciting, and colourful store with a HUGE range of premium teas and teaware. And home to a delicious brew called Jade Mountain.

They’re always brewing up some delicious blends, so I often pop-in to one of their stores when passing, even if it’s just for a refreshing brew!

The store clerk on this particular day was brewing up some Jade Mountain – they sold it to me by asking if I liked Ferrero Rocher . . . to which, of course, I replied – who doesn’t!

Now, I’m often skeptical of teas that claim to taste like something – especially when it’s something indulgent like chocolate and hazelnut – but oh wow! This tea delivered the flavour it promised.

It’s a Ferrero Rocher without the fat!

I had to grab myself a box after trying the sample, so I thought I’d share the experience with you guys too.

It’s a loose leaf tea, so you’ll need a filter or a strainer.

On opening the box, and the bag inside, the smell of hazelnut and chocolate hits you – with its base of Genmaicha, the toastiness of the popped rice just intensifies the indulgent smell that escapes from the bag.

On brewing, it has a very delicate light brown colour – despite it being essentially a Green Tea.

Now, for all you green tea haters – let me stop you right there. This is not green tea as you know it. No bitterness, no ‘grassiness’, no nausea after drinking. You wouldn’t even know this tea is based on green leaves – it’s so indulgent, sweet, and rich.

On tasting, the tea delivers just as much in flavour as it does in fragrance – imagine liquefying Ferrero Rocher and adding warm water. It really is that good!

In fact, I think this is officially my favourite tea of all time – and I’ve drank a lot of tea in my time!

Here’s what T2 say about the tea themselves:

Grab a book, curl up and let the utopia of cocoa, brittle pieces and green tea in Jade Mountain whisk you away to somewhere serene.

And I couldn’t agree more. It’s a tea for closing your eyes, sipping, and indulging in the moment.


Ivan Chai from Chaivan Teas

Ivan Chai from Chaivan

I’m particularly excited by this Chaivan Ivan Chai Tea since it is from Russia as opposed to the typical tea-growing Countries like India or China.

The heritage of this tea, however, is just as deep as any Chinese or Indian tea – extending all the way back to the 12th Century where it was widely popular in Russia and across the World.

The difference in climate, humidity, and the mineral density of the soil are what make this Ivan Chai tea very unique and sets it apart from all other teas I’ve tried.

Plus, there’s a catch – this isn’t tea as we know it (it doesn’t come from the camellia sinensis plant), it comes from a plant commonly called ‘fireweed’ – which gives it a completely different nutrient structure and flavour, with one distinct advantage also of being naturally caffeine-free.

That’s enough of the history and origin of the tea, let’s drink . . .

On boiling the water and steeping the leaves, it’s clear that this isn’t a traditional Black Tea – it has very clear floral/sweet aroma.

Upon tasting, it lacks the same level of ‘maltiness’ as a traditional black tea but delivers citrus notes and hints of honey in abundance. I can really see why this Ivan Chai tea was so popular in the 12th Century, and why it is making a strong comeback in recent times.

The tea is still fermented and oxidised so still maintains some similarities to traditional black tea from the camellia sinensis, but without the caffeine and with extra nutrients, plus a sweeter, more floral flavour.

Here’s what Chaivan have to say about this blend:

If you want to experience the taste of pure Russian Ivan Tea – this is the tea for you. A perfect floral aroma with citrus fruit and honey notes. A traditional recipe that has not changed for over 150 years. A classic version of fermented black tea. With its rich composition of minerals and vitamins, willowherb makes for a healthy, caffeine-free tea that does not contain harmful uric acid or oxalate.

With its delicious flavour and unique health properties, we think this is a delicious alternative to traditional black tea.


English Breakfast from Cheeky Tea

English Breakfast from Cheeky TeaOne of my favourite blends in the whole World is good old English Breakfast – particularly first thing in the Morning . . . with, you guessed it, Breakfast!

Now, I’ll apologise in advance to the purists – I’m from Yorkshire, so I like mine with a good drop of milk. To me, English Breakfast just isn’t English Breakfast without it.

When Cheeky Tea’s English Breakfast dropped through my door, it had a lot to live up to. The benchmark on this blend is high – I’ve tried many, and only a select few make it into my treasured tea store.

So – let’s see if Cheeky Tea’s version makes the grade.

Upon opening, it has that classic, earthy, almost toasted aroma. The sign of a good Black Tea.

I steep the leaves, and the fragrance mellows but still lingers, leaving a lovely, mouth-watering toasty aroma in the air.

I add my obligatory drop of milk, and the colour of the tea transforms – to that most Brits are so familiar with when the word ‘tea’ is mentioned. A lovely, soft, light brown.

I take my first sip, and I know instantly, this is one English Breakfast I shall be consuming regularly! Malty, comforting, a very bold black tea with flavours that linger in your mouth for a long while after taking a sip.

Here’s what Cheeky Tea have to say about this blend:

Needing no introduction, this renowned blend contains nothing but rich, malty Assam and full-bodied Sri Lankan black tea for a brilliantly bright and bold cuppa that’s perfect at any time of day.

They say a cup of tea can make anything better. And this one certainly does just that – the liquid equivalent of comfort food, and something I would love to wake up to in a Morning accompanying a nice slice of toast and jam! Delicious.


Jasmine Tea Crystals from Pique Tea

Jasmine Tea Crystals from Pique TeaI was super-excited when Pique Tea’s jasmine tea crystals came through the door.

As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I’m a massive fan of matcha tea. The whole premise of matcha tea is that you consume the actual tea leaf – giving you maximum antioxidants and other health-boosting properties. Now, with Pique’s tea crystals, the concept is pretty similar – there’s no bag, no whole leaves, just delicate, tiny crystals.

These crystals are formed from a concentrated brew – giving it a slight difference to matcha tea, in that you aren’t consuming the leaf itself, but a highly concentrated brew – full of flavour and antioxidants.

Upon opening a sachet of the Jasmine tea crystals, a hay-like, perfumed aroma hits my nose – something I love about Jasmine tea normally, but this version seems even more potent with some fine powder escaping as I tear the sachet open and dispersing in the air.

I pour on the hot water and the fragrance intensifies still.

There’s no waiting for this to steep – as soon as the water hits the crystals dissolve and turn the water a deep yellow/orange.

I take a sip, and this is one fine quality jasmine tea. The bouquet entertains my nostrils whilst in my mouth, the brew has a very thick mouthfeel, almost creamy, with the floral notes of the jasmine flowers and almost grass-like notes of the Green Tea.

This is clearly a high-quality jasmine tea, and I just love the novelty of it having been crystallized – it makes it so convenient to quickly and easily make a high quality tea. I’ll definitely be taking the rest of these sachets to my office.

Here’s what Pique Tea themselves have to say about this blend:

This elegant Jasmine tea is made using spring-harvested green tea from a lush mountain valley in Zhejiang Province in China, and combined with fresh Jasmine flowers petals plucked at the peak of their freshness. According to our unique technique, this green tea is blended 5 separate times with batches of fresh Jasmine petals to create a perfect delicate aroma.

And I concur, this is one of the most elegant jasmine teas I’ve tasted, and one of the most innovative too – keep it up, Pique!


Raspberry Matcha From Tea’s Me

Raspberry Matcha From Tea's MeI love love love matcha Green Tea! So any matcha samples are warmly received.

I’ve never tried the matcha and raspberry combo before, so I’m excited when Tea’s Me’s Raspberry Matcha blend comes through the post.

The packaging is nice and minimalist, in a clean white, re-sealable pouch – which is important with matcha tea since oxygen exposure degrades its quality.

It’s also great to see on the back of the pack that this is a product of Japan – too many matcha green teas are from Korea, Taiwan, China and elsewhere. It’s not true matcha unless it is grown and manufactured in Japan using their traditional techniques.

Upon opening the pack, a strong raspberry smell escapes with undertones of grassy matcha – a combination made in heaven!

When I pour the warm water on the matcha powder, as usual with matcha, the water turns a deep, cloudy green – it just looks instantly like a healthy drink. The raspberry fragrance also intensifies as the water hits the blend, filling the room with a sweet fruity aroma.

I must admit I was slightly disappointed to see sugar in the ingredient list, as I like my matcha unadulterated and unsweetened – but I also appreciate the fact that matcha alone is an acquired taste, so sweetening the blend may make this appeal to a wider audience of tea drinkers.

Upon drinking, it’s a sweet, fruity tea, and I can imagine it working well with milk as a latte or cold as an iced tea.

Here’s what Tea’s Me say about their blend:

Our tea is a premium grade matcha tea with raspberry extract. The matcha is of pure quality from Japan and is not mixed or cut with any other powder. This provides our tea with a deep vibrant green color and rich full flavor or matcha. We have also added pure cane sugar and raspberry extract to give the matcha a little sweeter taste and amazing flavor of raspberry that does not over power the pallet. When you make the matcha, let stand for 1 to 2 minutes this allows the flavor of raspberry to become more distinct.

This is all-in-all a great matcha tea, and I’ll certainly be finishing the rest of this pouch very quickly!