Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Winter Begins

The temperature in Ohio is an unseasonable 52 degrees this morning.  Our yard is green.   Our windows are open.  This cannot be winter!  The only thing that looks like snow around here is some of the goodies we made last night.  This morning, to welcome winter, I am enjoying some puppy chow and a snowball along with my Yunnan Imperial tea.
My morning cup is often a Yunnan.  This one is from TeaHaus in Ann Arbor Michigan.  The leaves have an abundance of golden buds, as you can see in the dry leaf above.  My morning cup is often this, or a Three Cultivar Red from Red Blossom Tea Company.  Both of these companies sell their tea online.
TeaHaus offers a monthly tea tasting sample.  Approximately 10 grams of three different teas are offered monthly for $4.99.    The package arrives with the tea samples carefully packaged and detailed tasting notes.
Dry leaves from left to right - Christmas, Candy Cane and Advent
Tasting Notes for Christmas
Tasting Notes for Candy Cane
Tasting Notes for Advent
Brewed Tea - left to right - Christmas, Candy Cane and Advent
The tea sample packets are in front of the cups.  Each sample would make several cups or a nice pot.  

I found orange to be the predominate flavor until the tea cooled, then the clove became stronger.  I could detect a slight hint of almond.  The tea is smooth and didn't get a bite, even when cool.  I would pair this with some Christmas sugar cookies or perhaps some gingerbread.

Candy Cane
Strong peppermint oil flavor.  Very strong as it cooled.  Would pair well with a slice of chocolate cake or a vanilla custard based dessert.

I'm not a fan of herbal teas.  This has the definite tart from the hibiscus.  I did not detect the spices or fruits.  The hibiscus was the dominating flavor for me.  I do love the color of tea when hibiscus is added.   I only brewed the tea for 2 minutes the first time.  After looking at the directions, I went back and brewed a second cup for 10 minutes.  That made a difference!  It tamed the hibiscus a bit!  The tang was still there, but you could find hints of the other flavors.  I believe sweetener would also help the tang.  The longer brew was a bit sweeter in taste, probably from the candied fruits.  The color was a much richer burgundy color with the longer brew time.  It would be beautiful in a Christmas punch. 

The TeaHaus also offers a tea of the month club - you can select from the classic wall, aroma wall, caffeine free wall or anywhere on the wall.

Many other tea samplers are offered - Black or Green Classic Teas, Earl Greys, Seasonal, Evening, Herbal, Premium and TeaHaus Classics.  

I have enjoyed afternoon tea at TeaHaus.  Since they are in a college town, there are options for all types of diets.  They specialize in macarons, varying the flavors with the season.  Her scone recipe has been handed down through the family.  I am hoping to get to an afternoon tea here before I have to send the teapot on to the next hostess.

Sips and Smiles,

1 comment:

  1. Tasting samples sound like a great way to go.
    Thanks for sharing the tip.
    Rochelle, ATAA