Photo by Nepali Tea Traders
Our Everest First Flush tea is hand-picked in April from the tender buds of the tea plants that emerge after several months of dormancy as the days turned crisp, sunny, and bright. This unique, artisan tea is a vibrant expression of the fresh Himalayan spring. Its beautiful, long leaves reflect the subtleties of the season. Upon delivery of the freshly picked leaves to the Sandakphu factory, it is processed initially by hand by gently rolling the leaves, then allowed to wither overnight. The following day, the leaves are mechanically rolled to achieve natural oxidation while preserving the fresh, spring green color. The liquor is pale and pure. The tea’s gentle, aromatic profile features floral and lilac notes. The first sip reveals a smooth, sweet tea, with refreshing spring astringency. This tea finishes with crisp vegetal notes and hints of roasted corn. Like Nepal’s famed peak, this is the pinnacle of our first flush teas.
Available through: Nepali Tea Traders | Facebook
Very clean, buttery and naturally sweet. This tastes more like a green tea than a black tea and has a nice, clear broth. Absolutely no bitterness or astringency and sips very smoothly. This tea seems like a great beginner point for unflavored teas, but nothing jumps out at me.
Flavors: Sweet, warm grass
Nepali Tea Traders is inspired by the Nepalese people, who live in one of Asia’s poorest countries and have few resources but are incredibly warm and generous with what little they do have. Nepalese farmers work hard, carefully handpicking and crafting premium teas, but buyers have often paid them below market value and sold their teas as fine Indian Darjeelings instead. They want Nepal to gain the recognition it deserves as a world-class origin for tea and are committed to paying fair prices and helping build a sustainable tea economy that can improve quality of life.
Product provided for review. All notes & opinions are my own.
This month’s decision to choose a recipe from Lavender and Lovage for Secret Recipe Club was an easy one. When I saw Karen’s Chinese Garlic, Ginger & Honey Chicken, my mind was made. It’s incredibly fast and healthy. We served this atop of some noodles and napa cabbage we picked up at a local market and it was quite satisfying. We also doubled the recipe because it keeps well for lunch leftover. If I were to make it again I would up the spice and maybe add some nuts.
Karen was born in South Africa brought up in rural England. She was greatly influenced by her grandmother and mother and is currently writing a cookbook based on her British cuisine research. Head on over to Lavender and Lovage to browse her extensive recipe collection or check out the other SRC posts from this month below.
Houjicha is a roasted green tea that has a smooth and mellow roasted nut flavor. Our houjicha is grown on the family farms in the foothills of Mount Fuji that is organically grown for over 25 years and roasted by a tea artisan that has the top quality roasting technique in Japan. Houjicha’s refreshing taste will be suitable when served with a meal, and of course great for after meals and simply for tea time too. Read About Our Farmer.
Available through: ShiZen | Facebook
The dry leaf for this tea might be a bit intimidating for some. Not as strong as some lapsang or genmaicha I’ve smelled, but it is a slightly funky, earthy, and straw-like scent.
The brewed tea is much more mild and smells almost like roasted corn. I was afraid this tea would be similar to barley tea (mugicha), which for some reason I don’t like the taste of, but I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this tea when brewed. It stood up to a nice long brewing of 3 minutes since it is less fragile than a non-roasted green tea. There is absolutely no bitterness, astringency, or even the slight acidity that regular green teas can sometimes have. It does inherit the grassiness and smooth buttery finish of a high quality green tea.
The finish is sweet and smooth, reminding me of a non-salted version of those grocery snack corn nuts. The after taste has a bit of tannin that reminds me of oolong teas served in restaurants to help with digestion, but it is more of a nostalgic reminder and does not affect the overall taste of the tea at all.
Flavors: Butter, Hay, Roasted nuts, Straw, Toasted Rice
Shizen’s mission is to support sustainable organic farming for the better environment and safer health foods by becoming a bridge between organic farmers and consumers around the world. In Japan, there are farmers who have strong commitments to organic farming. Most of these farmers believe that organic farming is the sustainable way to keep their land healthy so that future generations can enjoy the same beautiful nature. However, Japanese consumers do not have as much appreciation in organic products as consumers in other countries do.
Product provided for review. All notes & opinions are my own.
HappyTea Dry Leaf
Mood-enhancing HappyTea contains natural herbs known to combat the blues and promote mental well-being. Chase away the blues with this delicious energizing blend of yerba mate, hibiscus, and orange peel that hits you like a ray of sunshine.
Ingredients: St. John’s Wort, Chamomile, Orange Peel, Hibiscus Petal, Yerba Mate, Stevia, Natural guava flavor
Available through Raizana Teas | Facebook
The added sweetness goes well with the tart hibiscus. Smells grassy & herbaceous with a hint of straw. Then the tart astringency of the hibiscus comes through, but quickly quelled by the stevia. All in all a pretty good tea. I imagine this would be awesome iced, as hibiscus always is.
Flavor: Hibiscus, Straw, Grass
About Raizana Teas
Raizana’s selection of herbal teas taste good and are good for you. Raizana formulates their natural loose-herb teas to combine good taste and the herbal properties that help promote good health. Their herbal teas come from recipes that their families have used for generations, but Raizana herbal teas come with a plus: They are delicious! So enjoy and share Raizana Teas; make their family tradition yours.
Disclaimer: Tea was provided for review.