Saturday, March 3, 2012


Today's tea for review....Ripened Aged Puerh Mini Tuocha from Teavivre.

First off, I must share their link .
I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful their teas are!

I love being able to drink my loose leaf tea at work.  It means having to use the paper filters, I am partial to the ones from Adagio, to be able to brew a proper cup.  I don't mind having to do this since it means I get a great cuppa tea.

After going to the Coffee & Tea Festival last weekend, I now have another way to brew loose leaf tea at work.

Behold....the Tea Travel Mug from Tavalon....

This wonderfully made tea travel mug is perfect!
In the cap, there is a filter that you can store loose leaf tea.  You add hot water to the mug, put the cap on, then flip down the handle & it drops the infuser filter into the water & thus starting the process of making a great cuppa tea. 

I love this travel mug for when I am at work.  It helps me make a great cuppa tea & also allows me to enjoy the cup over time.  Plus for most of the teas I love that can be re-steeped over the day, this mug is truly perfect!!

Today I will use the mug for my favorite tea....Ripened Aged Puerh Mini Tuocha from Teavivre.

Thank you Angel for contacting me through Steepster & generously sharing your amazing teas with me!  I have several reviews that still need to be done.  I expect to have them posted soon.

Puerh tea has become my newest favorite tea.
Puerh, pronounced poo-air, comes in two types of tea.
Ripened or shou refers to those varieties that have gone through a proper post-fermentation process.
Raw or sheng refers to those varieties that go through the process of gradual darkening through exposure to the environmental elements.

Puerh teas, either type, can often be stored for maturity before consumption.  Most are often labeled with year of picking as well as the region of production. 

Puerh tea can often get very costly due to it's aging ability.

This Puerh from Teavivre is the first puerh tea I have tried.  And I have to admit, I love it.  It definitely sets the standard for which all future Puerh teas to be compared to.

This Puerh from Teavivre is pressed into a bowl shape.  It's then wrapped & stored in the silver bag. 

There is a fish smell to this tea.  Fear not.  It's not found in the taste!

Instead, there is a wonderfully Earthy taste.  Dirt almost, but not in a harsh way.  Very simple & wonderul.  And I love it dark!

The first cup....

And yes, I let it brew that dark.  It's not bitter....just really strong.  And I love my tea strong & bold & with a good kick to it!

No sugar.
No milk. 
I love my Puerh in it's raw natural form. 
The flavor speaks volumes to me & I must have it this way. 
Any other way & it's ruined for me.

So here's how the lovely travel mug works....add the tea to the infuser filter....

Add hot water to the mug & screw the cap back on....then drop the handle to drop the infuser into the water....

The steeping time takes a few minutes.  No longer than when you brew it at home.  And then you have a wonderful cuppa tea at work!

I love that Puerh teas can be re-steeped throughout the day.  I can normally get four to five good re-steeps from one little cake.

Cup #2....

Cup # 3.......

I am so thankful for finding this travel mug from Tavalon. 
Find it here -->

I have only had it a few days & I can give it a 5 star rating!  It works great for my loose leaf tea addiction & allows me to use it at work.  While I will still use the paper filters, this travel mug is perfect!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Adagio Rooibos Earl Grey

I've come to the conclusion that I love Earl Grey tea.  Just wanted to set the record straight.  I love the taste & that smell of bergamot.

Earl Grey tea is commonly a black tea with bergamot oil.  According to my on-line research, thank you Wikipedia, bergamot oranges are grown commercially in Italy.  They have a dstinct flavor, often used in teas.

There are various varities of Earl Grey teas...
Lady Grey -
     Lavendar Lady Grey is flavored with lavendar.
     Citrus Lady Grey is flavored with Seville oranges.
London Fog is Earl Grey with steamed milk & vanilla syrup.
French Earl Grey is flavored with rose petals.
Russian Earl Grey is flavored with citrus peels & lemongrass.

Earl Grey Green is obviously green tea leaves with bergamot.

Rooibos Earl Grey is Earl Grey with red tea (or South African herbal tea) & bergamot.

And that brings me to tonight's tea...Rooibos Earl Grey from the wonderful people at Adagio.

Oh Earl Grey how I love your warm wonderful flavor.
And rooibos tea always calms me down.  
I love a good cup of rooibos at the end of the day when I want to unwind & settle down before going to bed.  Rooibos has a way of relaxing me & helping me drift off to sleep.....

Tonight I'm excited about brewing this pot of tea.  I'm using my new cast iron teapot.

Since I started my obsession with loose leaf tea, I have been looking for the perfect cast iron teapot.  After much on-line research & searching high & low for the perfect teapot, I will stumble across one at a favorite store....V&T Supermarket in Hempstead.  I luck out & find some great deals there on tea accessories.

Nothing overly fact, it's quite plain.  And you would probably expect me to want something over the top exotic, but I went for something simple.  Something functional.

Here it is....

Simple...but functional.
For the record, the teapot warmer is also cast iron.  Found on Amazon for a mere $11.

I will 'wash' the pot before I brew my tea tonight.  By washing it, I merely run boiling hot water through it.  I will take the time to care for this pot.  No soap.  Just hot water to clean it.  And I leave it air dry on the drain board.  Let's hope I can keep it clean & not get any rust.

After I wash the pot, I open the bag of tea.  I love the smell.  It's definitely a strong orange scent that first greets you.  But then there is something behind it.  I can't quite place it, but it's wonderful.  It lets you know this tea is going to be delicious.

Adagio lists this tea as rooibos tea with citrus peels, blue cornflowers & natural Earl Grey flavor. 

Here is what the tea looks like in the bag....

You can see those lovely blue cornflower pieces.  They offer up a wonderful floral note to compliment the citrus.

I am now faced with the decision of which teacup & saucer to use.  I seem to have amassed quite the collection of teapots, teacups & saucers since the loose leaf tea obsession has taken over.  I seem to find new stuff that I MUST HAVE!

Hey Hoarders now!  I expect to be found burried in a large mass of teapots!

Tonight I will use a new addition to the collection.  Found for a mere $6 at Home Goods, I lucked out & bought two of these...

I love floral patterns on teacups.  I also love solids & funky designs....but floral patterns will always grab my attention.  I lucked out at the Home Goods in Hempstead recently & found these.  I have seen them on Amazon for $50 for a set of I was glad when I found the two for $6 each.  Ahhh....Home Goods.  Have I mentioned how much I love that store?

So tonight I am relaxing.....sipping this wonderful cup of flavorful deliciousness.  Warm citrus with that light floral's perfect.


Such a great flavor filling my mouth....I let the citrus & floral notes entice me into finishing the entire pot....which I will gladly do. 

I am amazed at how long I will linger over this pot. 
I don't want to rush it. 
Tonight I want to relax & savor the flavor. 
I want to let the tensions from work roll away. 
I need to destress.

Sometimes I wonder if the people who grow these teas realize at how much I enjoy their teas!

So thank you Adagio for this wonderful flavor.

For the record, yes, I would share this lovely pot with others....just not tonight.
Tonight, it's all mine.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Red Velvet in a tea?

If you have a sweet tooth that needs to be fed, it can ruin you when you are trying to lose weight.  Even worse, it will wreck you when you are doing the Biggest Loser at work & the first weigh in is after Super Bowl Sunday!

So when your sweet tooth tries to call the shots & its' demands for their sweet fix is at an all time high, feel free to carelessly give in to its demands.  Just be sure to have a tin of Red Velvet Chocolate tea on hand.

Found the first time by chance, The Republic of Tea's Red Velvet Chocolate is a definite must have in my stash of teas.  It's one that I could drink daily, but would rather have it less often or face the possibility of being bored with the same tea time after time.

Caffeine free herb blend with rooibos, chocolate, vanilla & beer root, Red Velvet Chocolate is truly sinful!  When I first tried this tea I was amazed at how I felt like I was drinking red velvet cake batter.  I was certain this was going to add weight to my hips.

Luckily, it hasn't!

Instead, it satisfies my sweet tooth's demands.  It kept the sweet tooth amused & allowed my body to relax & enjoy the red velvet cake batter....without the high calorie guilt!

I swear the wonderful tea magicians at The Republic of Tea have added the vanilla to magically add a cream cheese frosting to the flavor.  I dare not ask how they do it.  I am merely going to allow them to mystify me.  I'll just remain in oblivious awe as I sip this wonderous potion.

Thanks to Wikipedia for some of the following information...
Rooibos pronounced ROY-BOSS, is Afrkaan for red bush a plant that is only grown in a small region of the Western Cape province in South Africa.

It's often called bush tea, redbush tea, South African red tea or just red tea.

In South Africa, rooibos is often served with milk & sugar.

Rooibos is known for high levels of antioxidants & its lack of caffeine.  It's been found to help aid with nervous tension, allergies & digestive problems.

I find it helps me get to sleep easier.

Oh this lovely flavor.
That warm & wonderful taste.
So sinful.
So delicious!

Tonight I will use my pretty tea for one set bought from Distinctive Decor.  I stumbled upon the site from a link on Steepster.  While checking out various tea sets, I spotted this one set.  It's so girlie, that I had to have it.

I love feeding my tea accessory collection!

The set caught my attention with the cool handles on the teapot & cup.  They look like butterfly wings.  The floral raised patterns make it dainty.  And the pretty pink color makes it feminine.  I love it!

I love my tea obsession!  I love trying new flavors & finding something wonderfully delicious to excite my taste buds.

Feel free to check out Distinctive Decor, follow the link here....

And follow me on Steepster, follow the link here...I'm SunnyinNY.....

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sometimes a sample is necessary... decide whether or not you should buy the big bag of tea.  And thankfully, I won't have to spend a dime on this sample bag.  Thanks Raul for the taste, but I'm not going to buy this tea.

Sunday brunch at 3 Brothers in Rockville Centre, followed by a trip to Home Goods always puts me in a great mood.  I enjoy brunch with Raul.  It's the only time we get to sit & really chat about our tea addiction.  He works crazy pastry chef hours & I have a normal day job, so seeing my BFF is sometimes a challenge.  I love when the stars align & give us some time to get together.  And brunch at 3 Brothers is always a great place to catch up.

For the record, I love their pancakes.  Fresh fruit on top of light & fluffy pancakes!!  OMG!  So yummy!!!  And I highly recommend the cappaccino!  It's delicious. 

During the meal we are talking about the new teas we've tried.  We're talking about our reviews on Steepster...seriously, I love that site!  And we are talking about all the tea companies out there that we have to try.  The list is long!  Just thinking about all the blog material I'm going to have makes me happy!

Raul was kind enough to share a little taste of a tea he loves.  He knows I am hooked on the Lime in the Coconut, seriously it's my #1 tea these days.  So he offers me a taste of a Pistachio Lime Yerba Mate from the Fusion Tea Room. 

I've read the reviews on Steepster for Pistachio Lime & they were pretty good, so I had high hopes for this tea....

...boy was I seriously let down!

I made the tea in my favorite teapot.  Seriously, I love this set!  Definitely glad I bought it.  I brewed it according to the directions....boiling water, steep for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve. 

I liked the smell of the tea dry in the bag.  It smelled a lot like lime, while no pistachio scent was detected, I could see pieces of pistachios in the tea.  I figured the taste would come out in the brewing... didn't.

The first cup smelled good.  I got the lime scent.  It was faint, but it was there.  And I had a scent of something herbal & strong.  Almost medicinal.  No pistachio.

As for the taste?
Slight lime citrus, something medicinal & then the aftertaste like someone had added Splenda when I wasn't looking.  It was harsh.  Very strong & very unenjoyable.

I decided to try a piece of cake with the tea to maybe make it more enjoyable.  So I served myself a slice of this lemon lime poke cake I had made.

For the record, the cake came out delicious!

So what did I really think of the tea?
A bit harsh, not too much of a lime flavor, some funky aftertaste & a medicinal taste that made me cringe.
For my first venture into a yerba mate tea it was a bad experience.  I didn't like this tea at all.  It was way too harsh & there was nothing positive about my opinion.

Definitely glad I got a free sample from Raul.  I was tempted to buy at all.

Oh well.
You don't know how it tastes till you try it.

There are plenty of more teas out there to be tried & I'm looking forward to my next cup....

Friday, January 13, 2012

For those times you want to share....

Tonight's pot of tea is from California Tea House.  It's a lovely white tea called White Peony.  It is a simple, yet delicious flavor.  There is a sweet almost fruity scent about it.  And it's delightful in taste!  Definitely adding it to the favorites list. 

Hmmm...maybe I need to start keeping a list of my favorites?  There's a thought.....

So tonight I get home from work & receive a phone call from an old friend.  Someone I used to work with a few years ago.  She is back in town for a few days & wants to stop over to talk to me.  Of course I say sure, no problem.

I have two hours before her arrival so I start making some cupcakes.  If there's one thing you are guaranteed when you get to my home, it's good conversation, lots of laughs, something to drink & of course cupcakes!

Ahh...the might cupcake!  Just the promise of one brings people to my door.  And throwing a pot of tea into the offer lately, seems to help.

While the cupcakes are baking, I now have to decide what tea to make. 

Hmmm...what tea will work with a strawberry cupcake? 

It needs to be something white or maybe a light fruit flavor? 

Definitely a white tea. 

And it's then I realize I need to make the White Peony sample I have. 

And of course there is no need to stress over which teapot is being used.  I am going straight for my favorite....

I love smelling any tea before brewing it.  It helps me get a feel for the tea. 

The tea smells delightful!

White teas are normally very light in color.  Their leaves are often fuzzy & this can make for some unusually great flavors.  I tend to like white teas because they are light.  Their flavors are more Earthy...almost like a green tea, but sometimes more sweet.

White teas often come in citrus flavors, but they can also come with floral tones.

This is what an amazing White Peony loose leaf tea will look like....

The smell of this tea is typical of a white tea.  It's both pleasant & promising.  It's sweet with a hint of Earth.  Yup, I like white tea.

The cupcakes are done & cooling.  I'll wait till it's time to frost them before the tea gets started.  Luckily I have time before my guest arrives.

After I finish frosting a few cupcakes, I put my mind towards making the tea. 

I take out my favorite teapot & put in five teaspoons of the White Peony tea.  I love the smell of these leaves dry.  I just know it's going to be a great pot of tea.

I add the water, not boiling, but just before boiling.  The tea leaves come alive.  They let off an inviting aroma that is still promising a great flavor.

And now it's time to pour a cup....

My friend was nervous about trying this tea.  She claimed to not be a fan of white tea.  After my first sip, I'm sure she is going to change her mind!

After a few sips, she is looking to take some of this tea home with her!


It's a success!!

Also a success are the strawberry cupcakes. 

I love sharing my home with my friends.  Everyone is always welcomed here.  Cupcakes will be made & tea will be shared.

I enjoy my tea addiction.  I love sharing my notes on the teas I have tried.  I don't care whether it's good or bad, as long as I'm honest about it.  And I love sharing my tea addition here in this blog.

I'm learning a lot about tea on  It's a great site for tea addicts or people looking to learn about tea.  I recommend it to anyone looking for some great teas to try.  The people are very friendly & quite helpful.  And while I've only been on the site for a short time, I've made several friends.  And I'm already swapping tea! 

I'll never run out of blog material until I have tried every tea ever made....oh come on...not even this tea addict is ever going to drink that much tea!  Although I'm sure I'll come close in my lifetime!

So stay tuned.  You never know when the next great pot of tea is going to be served at my home.....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I put the Lime in the Coconut in the teapot...

...but I didn't drink it all up!

Thank you to the wonderful people at California Tea House for making what is currently my #1 favorite tea....Lime in the Coconut.

I love the flavor of lime.
I love the flavor of coconut.
And I love green tea.
Mix them all together & you have Lime in the Coconut.  And the making of a new favorite tea!

I stumbled upon several reviews of this flavor on Steepster (check out their website  I can't recommend that site highly enough!  It's for tea addicts like myself.

So the reviews on Lime in the Coconut were good.  Everyone was saying how strong the lime flavor is in this tea.  That made me check out the California Tea House site.  A great place for tea! 
Check them out -->

For $5 I ordered a sample bag of the tea.  I figured I'd try it without making a serious commitment to having to buy the big bag.

After my first cup, I not only commited to owning more of this tea, I bought the biggest bag available!

This tea works hot or iced.  And I'm seriously going to pick up a bottle of rum to make this a potent iced tea!  I'm already looking forward to having this in the fridge during the hot NY summer.

Now let me backtrack a little...
I started becoming a tea addict a little over a year ago.  It started when I was planning my 40 celebrations (see my other blog).  I put a tea party on my list of things to do.  I was really looking forward to it, so I made it happen.

It started with finding loose leaf tea.
I searched the web & ended up on Adagio Teas.  After reading the reviews on the site, I decided to try their teas.  Sample bags start at $2, so it was time to try as many as possible. 

Then I ended up looking at teapots.  Hey, for loose leaf tea you're going to need a good teapot.  So I treated myself a glass teapot.

That's when the shopping frenzy for teaware started.

I was looking on Amazon, ebay, & every site I could find for teapots, teacups & saucers, tea sets, strainers, tea & all things needed for a tea party.

But this tea set had caught my eye on Amazon....

I had bought the teapot in Home Goods sometime last year.  They didn't have the complete set, but I thought the pattern was pretty.  Plus I had plain white cups, so it would match okay.  After doing some research on the brand I found it on Amazon.  However, the set had been out of stock since sometime before my birthday.  Oh well.  I waited....

The waiting paid off!
Just last week the set became available again & I went for it!  I ordered it early on Friday morning & by Monday night, it was waiting for me when I came home from work.  I love Amazon!

I was anxious to use this set.  But Monday night would be too busy for me.  I washed the set & left it to dry on the drainboard.  I wanted to really break it in properly & make myself a great tea worthy of my new favorite tea set.

Yes, I'm a dork like that!  :)

So Lime in the Coconut would be used to break in this new beautiful tea set.  My favorite tea in my favorite tea set.

The set includes a four cup teapot, a creamer, a sugar bowl & four teacups & saucers.  Even with all the teapots & teacups & saucers I own, this is the only complete matching set I have.  And I love it!

I used five teaspoons of the tea & a slice of lime in the pot.

I love the smell of this tea from the time you open the bag, to the brewing & steeping & then as I drink it.  It definitely has a strong lime scent.  I love that.  And the flavor is strong as is the coconut.  Mixed with green tea, this is a wonderful cuppa tea.

I enjoyed the first three cups warm & relaxed after a long day at work.  Then I let the candle in the teapot warmer go out.  I left the tea leaves in the pot & waited a little while for the tea to cool down.  Once it did, I poured a glass over some ice.  OMG!  This tea rocks iced or hot!

Before going to bed, I strained the rest of the tea & put it into a water bottle to let it cool overnight in the fridge.  I was glad I did.

This morning I added a slice of fresh lime to the bottle & it was wonderful!  It was perfect.

I'm definitely going to keep this tea on hand at all times.  It was amazing hot or iced.  The flavor was delightful!

I'm looking forward to sharing this flavor & my new tea set with others!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride...

Tonight I am drinking Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride from Celestial Seasonings.  It's one of their Holiday Teas.  After having tried two other Holiday Teas based on reviews on Steepster, I am once again shaking my head.

When you open the box, there is a wonderful aroma of sugar cookies.  You will almost expect sugar cookies to actually be in the box.  Don't be let down when you see there are in fact none in the box.

I make myelf a cup & while the tea is steeping, I cut myself a piece of this amazing blueberry crumb cake that I had made.  I tweaked my recipe again & I'm looking forward to seeing if it's an improvement.  Plus I'm testing out a new cake pan.

The tea left a wonderfully sweet smell in my kitchen.  And bringing the cup to my nose for a quick inhale, I am still craving sugar cookies.

And now for the first sip...
Not bad...not great, but not bad.  But it needs a little something.  A little agave perhaps...

I add a little light amber agave & try another sip.  Not too bad.  Nothing overly impressive, but not bad.

I'm still on the fence about this tea with only a few sips taken.  I am guessing a second cup is going to have to be made to really make up my mind.

The cake turned out delicous which made me happy.  The tea however, still needed to convince me I had to like it.

So on to the second cup....

I read a few reviews of this tea on Steepster & I saw that someone mentioned they sweetened the tea with light brown sugar.  Luckily I have some light brown sugar available since I just used some earlier in the blueberry crumb cake.

It darkened the tea a little, but didn't do much for the flavor.

Overall, I wanted to like this tea because of the initial smell when I opened the box.  I had a craving for sugar cookies, but the taste of the tea didn't deliver.  I got a funky aftertaste that maybe is supposed to be a sugar cookie.  Too hard to tell.  I just know I won't buy this tea again.

Oh well.
C'est la vie!
There are plenty of other teas yet to be tried & blogged about.