Tea Writings

A blog about tea from the desk of Cecilia Tan

Teas that “Taste Like “Tea”

March 23, 2010 By: ctan Category: Tea Reviews

I’ve written a lot about things like rose tea (with more to come), and I’m about to write about chocolate tea soon (still tasting), but today I thought I would turn my attention to the recent teas I’ve been brewing that “taste like tea.”

In the American sense, tea is black “orange pekoe”, usually Lipton. I had a horrifying (or perhaps edifying) experience last month. I was helping to run a conference at a fancy hotel, and in our staff room we had continuous catered coffee and tea service. The tea service was not terrific. This hotel, which used to serve a very fancy brand of tea (I can’t remember the name but the tea “bags” came as stand alone pyramids with little leaves at the top), had switched to Tazo for all their flavored teas and, yes, Lipton for their regular black tea & decaf. Yes, it’s the economy.

The mellowness of vanilla

May 07, 2009 By: ctan Category: Tea Reviews

The majority of the vanilla teas I have had are black teas. Both in canned varieties from the Chinatown grocery stores (usually in an oval pink can) and the gourmet flavored teas (like the Mighty Leaf Orange Dulce seem to always mix vanilla with black.

Indeed, one of my favorite recent acquisitions is a black vanilla jasmine from Tealuxe. A friend gave it to me in a sampler pack for my birthday, and not only is the idea of black jasmine a revelation, but the mixture of vanilla with the jasmine makes one of the most incredibly mellow cups ever. Jasmine can sometimes be sharp or the perfume can turn bitter, but not when vanilla is rounding everything out like a white puffy cloud in a blue sky. (more…)