Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tea Pots n Treasures, Merri Mint

Tea Pots n Treasures Description:
Beautiful green flat China Tea, young hyson green, vanilla beans, blood orange peels, rose hips, peppermint.

My Review:
Almost a year ago, a couple friends came for a visit to enjoy our new porch addition. Our friend Kim, had a shopping bag full of tea with her. She said take what you want. I tried showing some restraint because I have nearly an entire tea store in my den already. All the tea in the bag came from Tea Pots n Treasures in Indianapolis, Indiana. They were closing one of their locations and had the tea on clearance. Well, this is an opportunity to try a new company so I grabbed a half dozen or so that sounded interesting. Well, actually, I grabbed a lot more but slowly whittled the pile down to a manageable level.

Then I got very sick and just wasn't writing and tasting much tea at all. These have been sadly, but not intentionally, forgotten. Until now. I'll take their age into consideration as I taste.

About the time my friend gifted us with the teas, I saw a story on the morning news about Tea Pots n Treasures. One of the owners blends the teas herself in small batches. See currently has over 900 blends! The website is a little hard to maneuver and you won't find all the blends listed as all aren't always in stock. They will even prepare custom blends upon request.

Anyway, Merri Mint - The ingredients sound delicious. I opened the bag (clear plastic but I have stored it in a dark drawer). The aroma is interesting and complex. None of the elements really dominates. The mint may be most obvious but mint is kind of that way. The vanilla, rose hips, and blood orange are all discernible as you stop and dwell on the scent. Really smells nice.

Removing a couple healthy scoops, I see some straight flat green leaf and some that are curled. I also see the orange peel. At first, I thought raisins were in the mix until I realized it was the rose hips (d'oh).

I used an infuser basket today and a clear glass mug. Why? They were feeling neglected. The mug is just a whiner, I use it everyday. I just don't brew in it very often. To the mug I added filtered water heated to 180 F. I steeped for approximately 3 minutes.

When I removed the basket from the mug, I was a little surprised by the color. Doesn't look like green tea. Oh yeah, it's the rose hips again. At first glance it looks like 'tea', you know, standard orange pekoe black tea. Then you notice the purplish red tint. It's kind of festive looking.

My first sip reveals the age of this leaf. That said it is still quite flavorful. It just no longer pops. Because of the age I added some sweetener to revitalize the taste. It worked.

Like the dry aroma, there is a lot going on. First, the coolness of the peppermint. It is my favorite of the mints, especially in tea. It has all the bite without tasting like chewing gum. Next I notice the hose hips and the blood orange merge into kind of their own unique taste. It is tangy, but not quite bitter. Almost floral, and almost fruit. It is sort of deep and earthy. The closest comparison I can come up with is a tart cranberry, plum, and orange. Mixed with the mint it is very different. Then, there is the vanilla pulling the whole thing together in a wonderful creamy way. I can taste the green tea but it has probably suffered the most from the long storage.

Despite the age issue, this is pretty good. My wife liked it as well. She commented on the vanilla. It has caffeine so she can't have much of it but said she wanted to drink it anyway.

You can find Tea Pots n Treasures here.

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