Tuesday, January 8, 2008

a trip to whole foods: tea installment #3

well, the tea series could go on for quite some time.... just a warning.
yesterday i went to one of my favorite stores, whole foods. i haven't been there in quite some time so there was lots of great new stuff to see and smell. they have installed a small bulk tea section since i was there last--very exciting. i came home with a total of 6 different teas, 5 new and one an old favorite. Probably the most exciting find was a Republic of Tea variety that i had never seen before, Bing Cherry Vanilla. i am constantly on the lookout for a great cherry flavored tea and so far have only found one i really like, Republic of Tea Spring Cherry which, i believe, is a green tea. the bing cherry vanilla is good but the black tea in it is really strong. i had to add sugar to bring out the cherry and vanilla flavors, i haven't made up my mind about this one yet but i do love the canister and it is the first tea i have seen by the republic of tea that has an announcement that they have partnered with whole foods market "by offering the first Whole Trade full-leaf organic and fair trade certified teas. The Whole Trade Guarantee is a commitment to ethical trade, the environment and quality of products. One percent of Whole Trade product sales is donated to Whole Planet Foundation to help end poverty." it's nice to know that drinking tea is helping end poverty. bonus.

one of my alltime favorite teas that i could drink every day is a Celestial Seasonings white tea Perfectly Pear. it is so creamy, naturally sweet and delicious and is on the lighter side because it is a white tea. it has a nice, clean flavor which i do not always find with white tea and it also has my favorite tea character on the box, the painting siamese cat!! kudos to the artist who created this cat--is it a self portrait? while i am on the subject of artwork and packaging i also have to mention this delicious looking, wonderfully packaged, and affordable cereal i found at whole foods. the brand is dorset cereals and there were several different flavors all in wonderful packaging that did not include a huge box that is half empty like the usual cereal box--i know they put that air in there to keep the flakes from getting crushed but come on.... here is a close-up of the box and the goodies within.

lastly, here are the four loose teas i got from the bulk section. i have tried two of them so far. i was most excited about the orange dulce tea by mighty leaf. i am still on the fence about that brand in general and was slightly disappointed in the tea. it has a wonderful, tart, really strong orange flavor but the taste is very mellow and sweet so your nose is telling you "watch out for a great, strong citrus taste" but your mouth is getting a subtle caramel/soft orange flavor. it is unsettling to me when nose and mouth get different messages, a nice tasting tea is almost ruined because each time you take a sip you are expecting something different. kind of like when you think you have been handed a glass of water but it is really lemonade, even though you love lemonade you are shocked and don't know what you are tasting at first because your taste buds are expecting water.

well, that was a long-winded explanation. secondly i tried the tangerine ginger by rishi. i will probably blend this tea with the orange dulce and see what happens. it has a nice flavor but is an herbal tea with no dominant herbal flavor thus ends up tasting like hot, unsweetened fruit juice to me. not a fan of fruity herbal teas, they just don't have that magical zing that the tea leaf adds to a "tea" tea.

i'll save the other two for the next tea installment. thanks! go drink a cup of tea!!


Unknown said...

Tea, tea, tea. I wish I lived near a whole foods! I am currently drinking my new favorite, which is Toffee Rooibos, by The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. It's the first Rooibos Tea I have actually liked! Thanks for the tip about my flytrap, too.

Carol Michel said...

I love tea. My favorite Republic of Tea variety is the rose tea, with little rose buds in it.

Perfect for a cold afternoon.

Critical Mass 11:11 said...

Ah, well hello there, my fellow tea freaky friend!! Yes, I'm finally commenting -- now that I'm a blogger (thanks to you), I get it.

As predicted, I knew the Orange Dulce would be a taste bud disappointment for you. At least the smell is incredible, right? :)

I'm drinking my latest favorite which actually rivals with the Yerba Matte Latte...

It's Matte Chocolatte' by Guayaki.

To make it ultra-tasty I steep it for 5 minutes and make sure to completely squeeze the tea bag. Then I add a little Agave Nectar (great substitute for honey) and top it off with Chocolate Silk Soymilk. Oh, the decadence!!

But if I remember correctly, this wasn't one of your favs, was it?

kate smudges said...

I love the Bing Cherry Vanilla tea container and loved reading about your new teas. I've never heard of the cereal but it sounds good.