Kitchen 266

    Published on December 20th, 2008 | by Greg


    Celebration of Tea

    If anyone doubted our commitment to tea, take a look at our prior coverage. This season, we bring you our largest meta-review yet, of three different tea companies, and over a dozen types of tea.

    We’ll start with the biggest collection, from Stash, who sent us a seasonal sampler of six different types of bagged tea. Of these, about half were excellent, and about half weren’t. The Pumpkin Spice was the most disappointing, somewhat flavorless, and less than bold. The Organic Mint was one of the best, a surprisingly full-flavored brew. The Holiday Chai also turned out to be among our favorites, with gingerbread and rum flavors as advertised, though it didn’t go well with milk. In the middle were Christmas Eve caffiene-free herbal, Christmas Morning black full-bodied, and White Christmas white tea, all of which were drinkable but unexceptional. The set comes in a nice holiday box, and retails for $25, well worth it for 108 bags of tea- you can simply regift the ones you don’t like! We also tried their healthy loose leaf Acai herbal tea, an interesting blend that grew on us, despite being a tad bitter- available for around $7 for 100g (or in bags).

    Next up is Tea Forte, who had easily the nicest packaging and presentation of the teas in this review. With flavors like White Ginger Pear, Vienna Cinnamon, Belgian Mint, and White Ambrosia, and classy pyramid-shaped ‘silken infusers’ that theoretically allow room for expansion, we had high hopes- but many of the teas were a bit weak, and artificial tasting. The Autumn Collection was pretty good- Apple Pomegranate, Orange Pekoe, African Solstice, as examples- and would also make a great gift for the exotic tea lover. At $24 for 20 bags, they are definitely more expensive than some other teas, but add a definite touch of class to any tea collection.

    We’ll end with our favorite- Tay’s Teas. Their “Better than Sex” lived up to the name, which is quite a feat- strong chocolate, rich peppermint, rooibos tea combined without bitterness regardless of steeping time. We ordered some for friends and relatives this season, and give these hand-blended artisinal teas our strongest recommendation. Their Persian Rose tea was beautiful, both in appearance and taste, and the Raj was a coconut chai with a rooibos base that was strong enough to work with milk, and naturally fairly sweet. $14 for 4 ounces is a pretty high price, but these teas are worth every penny. We’ll be sipping plenty of tea this winter, and suggest that you do the same!

    About the Author

    Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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