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Feb 27

Dragon Well Green Tea from Uncle Lee’s Tea

Dragon Well Green Tea from Uncle Lee's TeaIt is certainly appropriate to be drinking this tea this year, as it is the lunar year of the dragon. The Chinese New Year Celebrations have just ended.  However, the box for this tea has a most magnificent dragon’s head on it, so you can continue your festivities if you wish.

This particular tea is a whole leaf tea. As Uncle Lee’s says “”whole leaf, better flavor”. The tea bag is big enough to allow the tea leaves room to move around. Dragon well tea is generally flat-leaved and when there are enough of them, I like to let them slip through my fingers because they are so silky feeling.

I brewed the tea for about 2 minutes with water, about 175 degrees. You have to be a little more careful with green tea, as boiling water and a long brew time equals a bitter brew.

The tea brewed up a deep golden color. This always amazes me, as I still think green tea should brew up green. Ah well, some black teas are quite red and some whites are green, so this should be something I am used to by now. Neither the dry nor brewed tea had a great deal of scent, although the latter began to have a slight vegetable aroma as it cooled.

The taste of the tea was somewhat unusual for a Dragon well, in my somewhat limited experience. I’ve only been drinking them for a couple years, so I have no great fund of knowledge. This one was both vegetable and sweet, leaning more toward the “seaweed” side than I care for. By “seaweed” I mean something briney or slightly fishy tasting, like the seaweed you get in bento boxes at a Japanese restaurant.

Uncle Lee’s Tea describes it as:

Only Uncle Lee’s packs extra-large tea bags with whole leaves.This unique method means a higher-quality tea with more flavor and health benefits for you.Legend has it that a dragon once lived by a small village in the hills of Hangzhou Zhejiang Province, and saved the village from a severe drought. From that province comes Dragon Well Green Tea. Dragon Well Green Tea is now the most popular green tea from China. Regarded as a wonderful elixir, Uncle Lee’s Organic Dragon Well Green Tea has several distinct characteristics like its wonderful jade color, its full-bodied flavour and a sweet, slightly nutty aftertaste. Taste the difference of Uncle Lee’s Organic Whole Leaf Teas — more leaves, more flavors, more benefits, more for you! This product is Made in the USA.

I have only had Dragonwell tea made in the original province, so I really am no expert on any made in the USA. I wonder how they make it here. I know it is generally hand made and hand fired in woks in China.

Marlena A.
Marlena A.

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Feb 05

Pomegranate Green from Uncle Lee’s Tea

Pomegranate Green with Mixed Berries from Uncle Lee's TeaIt’s the middle of winter, and I’ve been trying desperately to boost my immune system. I have two young children, and they come home with sniffles and coughs on a daily basis. When looking for a new tea to try this morning, I noticed Uncle Lee’s Imperial Organic Pomegranate Green Tea with Mixed Berries. I could definitely use an antioxidant punch!

The tea bag had a sweet berry-like smell to it, but I didn’t really notice any green tea. After brewing, the taste is tart with a snappy mix of pomegranate and hibiscus. If you enjoy sour flavors like I do, this tea is a good option. While acidity dominates, a vegetal green tea essence quietly whispers to you. This subtle hint adds a pleasant smoothness to the brew.

Uncle Lee’s describes this tea as:

A subtle tart flavor and rich color makes our pomegranate tea the perfect blend of green tea and natural fruit flavors. Certified organic and kosher, every batch is carefully hand inspected to ensure goodness and purity.

In the listed ingredients I noticed that the pomegranate and raspberry were just flavorings, but there is hibiscus and green tea in the bag. So perhaps not the large hit of antioxidants I was looking for, but there are still positive health benefits in the green tea, and hibiscus does have quite a bit of vitamin C. The tart berry flavor is a nice bright taste for the dreary winter months.

It would be great with a touch of honey, or other sweetener to balance out the tart flavor. This would also be extremely refreshing as an iced tea. This is a tea is so versatile, I could see myself reaching for it all throughout the year.


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Jan 23

Chamomile White Tea from Uncle Lee’s Tea

Chamomile White Tea from Uncle Lee's TeasThis is a teabag tea, but I cut it open to see what was inside.  Both the tea and the herb were too chopped to discern differences, but there was a nice gentle scent of chamomile, which is a favorite of mine, reminding me of the chamomile my grandmother grew and dried for winter.  There is another very faint almost animal aroma, some sort of fresh almost earthy scent.  Perhaps it is the white tea.

Once again I am faced with a brewing dilemma – low temperature or higher, as white likes the former and chamomile the latter.  I decided to do 3 minutes at about 180, a compromise all around.  Surprisingly, the resulting liquor is a very dark gold.  If only I could remember which white tea does that, I’d tell you.  I’ve only had it once, so there you have it.

The aroma of this hot tea/tisane is ever so gently chamomile and that is the taste as well.  This herb is not as powerful as peppermint, but it’s not exactly a shrinking violet, either.  I think the white tea has softened it into something really gentle that lingers so mildly and pleasantly on your palette, but rather insists on more, please.  Nicely done.

Uncle Lee says this about it

Introducing our new line of teas – Imperial Organic. What does imperial mean? It means royal quality of organic degree in teas available today. Our white tea (camellia sinensis) begins as young tender leaf buds, plucked fresh at the height of potency and flavor. Each leaf is simply rolled and gently flash-dried. Combined with 100% organic Egyptian chamomile flowers, our tea has a delicate apple like flavor and aroma that is high in antioxidants. Certified organic and kosher, every batch is carefully hand inspected to ensure goodness and purity. Taste the Uncle Lee’s difference!

You can’t really go too far wrong with all the goodness in this one little tea bag.  Chamomile has been used for centuries to bring peace and calm to folks.

Marlena A.
Marlena A.

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Jan 06

Oolong with Ginseng from Uncle Lee’s Tea

Oolong with Ginseng from Uncle Lee's TeaI am not particularly a fan of ginseng, and since I am generally leery of bagged Oolong teas, I wasn’t really eager to try this tea.  But I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised at how good this tea tastes.  Fortunately, the flavor of the Oolong managed to come through nicely despite the confines of a tea bag, and more importantly, the earthy, woody tones of the ginseng and the deep, rustic smoky tones of the Oolong tea have managed to meld together quite harmoniously, creating a rather tasty cup.

The scent of the tea in dry form was slightly herbal.  The aroma of the brewed liquor is more of an earthy scent, with hints of wood and smoke.  This translates into the flavor as well, offering a smooth yet rustic kind of flavor that evokes thoughts of walk through the woods, with notes of earth filling the air and just a hint of smoke from a nearby wood-burning fireplace.

The first flavor I notice is that of the smoke.  I’m not always fond of a strong smoky note in tea, but, here it is not so strong that it is off-putting.  It is actually quite a satisfying taste when paired with the earthy and woody tones of not just the ginseng but also the Oolong.

Uncle Lee’s Tea describes this Oolong as

Only Uncle Lee’s packs extra-large tea bags with whole leaves. This unique method means a higher-quality tea with more flavor and health benefits for you. Discovered in the mountains of Northern China over 5000 years ago, ginseng was valued for a wide range of reasons. Once worth its weight in gold, the cost of ginseng was prohibitive to all but the privileged few like the emperors of China. It is no wonder then why ginseng Oolong Tea is also known as “King’s Tea”. Enjoy our blend of high grade Oolong Tea with authentic American ginseng. Taste the difference of Uncle Lee’s Organic Whole Leaf Teas — more leaves, more flavors, more benefits.

I found this cup to be quite pleasing.  I like that it’s organic and even though I’m not particularly fond of ginseng I know that it does offer some health benefits so I do appreciate it when I find a tea with ginseng that still tastes good.  This one does just that.


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