Advent Tea 16: Japanese Sencha

I love that this tea is simply green tea.  No added ingredients no attempt to be something it isn’t.  Just wholesome green tea. After reading about the tea I was careful not to over steep the brew and tried to make sure my water wasn’t super hot.  It steeped a nice light green and had a lovely grassy earth flavour.  A good green tea.

Despite my watchful eye while steeping I should have used one of my finer infusers.  The one I used this morning has larger holes that some of my finer metal based ones which resulted in my tea having bits of leaf floating around in it.  Not a huge deal, but something to remember if I brew it again.  The bit of floating leaf actually reminded me of being served tea in Ireland and it taking me a second to realize that it was loose leaf and I needed to pour through a filter.

Advent Tea 10: Nepal Black

Another black tea! This organic black tea from Nepal is apparently sources from “from a small family-owned tea garden named Jun Chiyabari.” The dry leaves are thin, long, and slightly curled and smell slightly malty.

The tea has a slightly honey note and a very mild astrignecy. It’s a fairly standard black tea and I could see it becoming bitter if you let it over steep — I was at work and not paying a ton of attention to the tea making process and it was borderline over-steeped. A nice simple tea with a dash of honey sweetness.

Advent Tea 9: Organic Cinnamon Rooibos Chai Tea

Today’s tea was the first rooibos tea featured in the advent calendar of tea.  The name of the tea is a very apt description of the ingredients: rooibos, cinnamon, and apple.  Simple with few additives. The dry tea has a beautiful rusty colour to it and when steeped the tea smells faintly of cinnamon.   It’s caffeine free so didn’t provide a morning pick me up but was a tasty warm beverage.

I liked that the cinnamon wasn’t overpowering in this blend.  But I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t really have the flavour that I normally associated with chai.  It’s good just not what I was expecting.

Advent Tea 7: North African Mint

Yesterday’s tea was my favourite calendar tea to date so this morning’s tea had a bit of work to do to impress me.  The organic North African Mint has a slight minty smell and I had hopes that it would be green tea tasting with a hint of mint.  The flavour I associate with green tea is very subtle in this brew and is overpowered by mint, reminding me more of an herbal mint tea than anything.

This green tea has mint, cardamom, ginger and licorice.  There is also fennel, clove, and black pepper in the tea but it’s hard to make out those bits in the dry tea and I didn’t really get a taste of any of those ingredients.  Even the ginger and licorice taste are fairly muted with the mint overpowering everything. It’s a good mint tea – but I think as mint tea’s go I still prefer the St. Joseph Island Coffee Roasters T Line peppermint tea if I’m looking for a soothing, stomach calming tea.

Advent Tea 4: Organic Sweet Almond Green

On the four day of tea, advent tea brought to me an organic sweet almond green tea. I blame CBC for the Christmas style introduction – their radio programming was very holiday centric this morning.

I find flavoured green teas often miss the mark.  The flavour tends to be overpowering and the tea ends up being more like a herbal tea than a green.  The sweet almond green seems to have struck a good balance of added sweetness and green tea goodness.

The tea had a sweet smell and tastes of almonds with green tea.  So the name is pretty accurate.  Good without any additives…though I’m probably a poor judge considering I drink all of my tea plain.