by Little Yellow Teapot (a tea steeping marvel and occasional contributing author to this e-zine)
We’re here for the second batch of teas from that set of 10 samples from JAS-eTea.com. My humans have pretty much narrowed down the list of vendors they will even accept samples from – the key is consistent quality. And this vendor makes that list pretty easily so far. In Part I you saw how please my humans were with those first 3 teas. Time to see how these teas do.
The Second Batch – Three Teas
#4 – Raspberry Soother – Another flavored black tea with some cornflowers sprinkled in for good measure. Open the package and inhale the raspberry aroma, then get ready for that taste experience. The one thing that bugs my humans (and me, too) about flavored teas is the discrepancy between the aroma of the dry tea and the liquid in the cup. Too often the former is stronger than the latter (except, it seems, where cloves and cinnamon are concerned where they are stronger in the cup). So you can imagine the anxious expressions on their faces and the tea steeped… tick, tick, tick… Well, the good news is that the raspberry, though lighter in the cup, was still very present and in a good way. My humans chilled some overnight and found it to be tasty the next day. To them that means a good all around tasty tea. (Oh, my ‘she’ human wants me to tell you that raspberry goes great with dark semi-sweet chocolate and even white chocolate.)
#5 – Parisian Delight – Orthodox black tea, natural vanilla flavoring, and carob (per the vendor) combined in a teacup! My humans have started wearing those silly beret style hats (everyone knows that a teapot cozy makes a much better hat!) and saying “Oo la la!” Vanilla is one of those flavors that can linger a long time in your mouth, but it’s a nice flavor so that’s not a bad thing (and certainly better than the flavor of sardines lingering). There’s also a bit of nutty quality they detected, almost like hazelnuts. And smooth with no bitterness. They tried it with milk and sweetener just for the heck of it and seemed quite pleased (meaning they didn’t spit it out and were heard to exclaim things like “Mmmmm!”).
#6 – Asian Chai – You humans here in the U.S. use “chai” to refer to tea with various traditional spices added (and there are quite a few different versions out there). This one has cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, mandarin orange peel, natural flavor, and anise seed (the stuff that gives licorice its distinct flavor). Don’t be misled by the orange peel. This isn’t the bitter part of the rind but the zest, used in countless recipes. It adds a sweet and citrusy touch. But you can still add milk if you want – no curdling occurred here when my humans did that. The cinnamon and cloves are a bit overstrongly in the dry mix but tempered in the cup and contribute to a fairly balanced flavor.
Gee, that’s 3 more teas meeting the expectations of yours truly and my human caretakers. Intriguing! Will have to see how the next 4 teas do. TOOOOOT!
Disclaimer: all items were furnished by the vendor but all opinions expressed here are totally unbiased.
© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text