Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Bonggamom's note: Ever since I began reviewing products I've relied on the opinions and advice of my family: my husband Alfie, and my kids Pea, 3Po and Jammy. Not that I don't value my own opinion, but declaring products to be family-friendly just doesn't carry much weight unless my family has actually tried the products and liked them. From trying new foods to playing with new toys (a true sacrifice indeed) to posing for photos and performing for videos, they've always risen magnificently to the occasion.
But I know my limits. And when I received an invitation to try some tea, I knew the only one who could do it justice would be Alfie. Once upon a time, I did drink a few cups of tea, when we were dating, to impress him, but tea isn't really my thing; it's Alfie's. It's a dry day when he takes in less than 3 cups of tea, and whenever we travel his electric teakettle is as much a part of our packing list as his toothbrush. Today I'm proud to introduce Alfie's first guest review post for Teasatia tea.....
When my daughter was about 11 months old, my Mother suggested putting some tea in her bottle! Naturally, I was flabbergasted at the thought of putting a caffeinated beverage into my young child’s bottle, but my Mother quickly, and happily, informed me that I had been drinking tea at a “much earlier age” and “it hadn’t done me any harm.”
Clearly, I acquired a taste for tea much earlier in life than most people do; but it’s never too late to discover the wonderful assortment of tea that is now readily accessible from online stores. Fortunately for me, I recently got to sample a few teas from one of these online sites called Teasatia: http://www.teasatia.com/
The site at Teasatia is easy to navigate; it groups the teas into four categories (Black, Oolong, White, and Green) making it easy to find what you are looking for, and it provides information about the various teas that is useful for both novice and connoisseur tea drinkers.
Let me say this up front: loose leaf tea is better than tea that comes in little bags. I’m not a tea snob, in fact most of the tea that I drink comes in tea bags; they are quick and convenient, but then so is instant coffee! Loose leaf tea is simply more flavorful than tea bags – making it thoroughly worthwhile to take a little time to prepare a really good cup of tea.
So how do you make the perfect cup of tea? - The internet will provide ample help on this subject but I use infusers like the ones shown in the pictures below.
It’s simple to use a cup infuser: just put a spoonful of tea and add hot water.
Alternatively, you could use a ball infuser like this one. You could argue that it’s just like a tea bag – except that the tea inside comprises big loose leaves, not the finely chopped variety in the regular tea bags!
You don’t need to use very much tea per cup. The tea is essentially dried leaves which expand in water. The picture below shows a single spoonful of green tea after it has been used.
So what kind of tea do you like? My personal preferences range from Earl Grey Black Tea to African Rooibos Red Tea. I basically love tea, so I was very excited to try some new varieties from Teasatia.
The first thing you notice with Teasatia teas is that they come in a re-sealable bag to keep in the freshness; this is a nice touch and is really useful.
Here are the four types of tea that I sampled from Teasatia
Lapsang Souchong is a black tea with a smoky flavor; I call it the Guinness of teas! Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the heavier, smokier, more robust versions of this tea but the Teasatia variety took me by surprise. It’s not as heavy and pungent as some Lapsang Souchong’s that I’ve tasted, but it’s a flavorful tea and it’s remarkably refreshing. I would recommend this tea for people who would like a milder Lapsang Souchong or as an introductory tea for those people who haven’t tried this type of tea before.
I’ve learned that teas vary considerably by brand and Oolong is no exception. If you’ve only ever tried Oolong once, then you really should sample some more: it’s full of surprises. The Milk Oolong that I sampled from Teasatia was very smooth had a distinct and interesting milky flavor. I like to drink Oolong after a meal to cleanse the palate and thus prefer a more robust flavor, so I’ll be trying a different Oolong in the near future but I can see why this Milky Oolong is appealing to some tea drinkers.
I realize the health benefits of tea, and especially of green tea, but it’s never been one of my favorites. My Mother once said that green tea tastes like aquarium fish food and I’ve always agreed. However, Teasatia’s ‘Bi Luo Chun’ was one of the best samples of green tea that I’ve tasted and there’s no fishy smell at all. This one could be a keeper!
Not many people know about white tea; it’s certainly less common than black, green, and herbal teas, but hopefully that will change as more people discover this wonderful, refreshing, beverage. It’s a very mild tea - but this shouldn’t be confused with weak tea. It has a subtle flavor and has less caffeine than other teas, but the real surprise is that it has even greater health benefits than other types of tea. Of the four teas that I sampled from Teasatia this was definitely my favorite, primarily because it is big on flavor for a white tea. If you haven’t tried White Tea before, I highly recommend that you try this one!
Some people like wine tasting but I love to sample tea! In the same way that one can find a great Merlot or Pino Noir, I like to find a great Lapsang Souchong or an Earl Grey. I’m forever seeking the ultimate cuppa and sites like Teasatia help by providing access to many teas that aren’t available in your local stores and supermarkets. So give Teasatia a try, it might change your drinking habits - and improve your health to boot!
Disclosure: I received a product sample to facilitate my review, but have not been paid to review the product or give my opinions. . The views and opinions expressed here are Alfie's. Thanks to Alfie for providing his first (and hopefully not last) product review for Bonggamom Finds