Birgit asked me a while ago if I would be interested in trying Mandy Aftel’s new fragranced organic teas. I love tea and cannot go a day without it. Also, I have never tried anything from Mandy Aftel and this was an honour for me.
Mandy Aftel sent her three tea creations – Organic Frankincense GABA Oolong, Organic Rose and Ginger Oolong and a Organic Matcha Chai Green Tea.
Finally a moment to myself…. I know I am supposed to be doing a dozen other things this morning, but I shooed the men out of the house and eagerly went back to the kitchen.
I was most curious about the oolong with frankincense as frankincense is very dear to me. I am blessed because a dear friend of mine brings me frankincense from Oman whenever she can. Normally I burn it in the house. However, this time my friend mentioned in passing that I could put a piece of frankincese in water and have scented water. I did that this past summer and loved the effect it had on my soul and my palate.
So, I set my water boiler to 95 degrees, poured the tea leaves into my cup and waited. When you smell oolong it comes across as earthy and slightly roasted, unless it is green oolong. Mandy’s oolong smelled faintly of frankincense when dry. I poured the water onto the leaves and was struck by how beautiful the frankincense diffused with the steam. I held my nose to the cup and inhaled deeply. Ahh, this could be something for my inner peace – I could get used to drinking this. I sipped slowly at first and was surprised how sweet this oolong tastes. The frankincense is subtle and soothing. Beautiful.
Next I tried the rose ginger oolong tea. Usually rose essence in food is difficult for me to like. Opening up the small packet of rose ginger oolong I was pleasantly surprised at the initial rose smell. It was there but not as artificial as some drinks and desserts can be. Imagine my surprise when I poured water over the leaves and as the leaves were unfurling the most tender smell of ginger with rose hit my nostrils. I find that the ginger tempered the rose and really rounded out the perfume of the tea. I really tasted the rose when I sipped the tea. There was nothing brash about the rose and I believe it was because of the added ginger. Usually ginger tea makes my throat tingle and I drink ginger tea when I have a cough or a sore throat. This rose ginger oolong is so well balanced and fresh that it is a perfect cup of tea for every day.
Matcha tea is a staple in my house. I used to drink it pure until I travelled to Japan and was served a soy matcha latte and it is now a favorite of mine year round. However, for the purposes of this review I chose to try Mandy’s chai matcha pure. I was intrigued with the notion of having matcha and chai flavoring together. Chai tea is black tea in my house and usually full of soy milk and sugar. The spices in Mandy’s tea unfurled in the steam coming out of the cup and I inhaled before sipping. This chai matcha is full bodied, spicy and smooth. Wonderful.
All three teas are different enough to warrant having all of them in the house. They are beautiful. The healthful properties of oolong and matcha tea have been enhanced with these subtle flavors.
Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Sandra for this excursion into the world of teas. I am intrigued and ready to try teas more complicated than Twinings Earl Grey now.
What about you, dear reader? Are you a tea drinker? What is your favorite kind?