Popular Teas from TeaMazeSee All 21 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
You don’t know what you have until you miss it … normally at this time, I’d be in a room we’ve dubbed the Warehouse with 11-year-olds pecking at me like chickens, showing off their phones and dumb photos, telling me about their pets, and asking me if I’ll play a game with them. Our church staff has been fabulous—sending videos and video challenges to our kids; we’re getting ready to connect virtually in a few minutes; our kids’ pastor did several neighborhood drive-by’s, and I’m keeping a steady stream of snail mail headed their way. But, oh, how I am counting the days until they’re driving me nuts again!
However, virtual church has its benefits—like its proximity to a whole pot of this gentle strawberries-and-cream blend. The black tea base is really nothing but a base, the flavors are so pronounced. Authentic sweet strawberry pie flavor; doesn’t taste artificial at all.
It could be the sheer delight of putting my feet up in the sunshine after a high-intensity adventure with kids (more on that in a minute), but my first sip of this novel tea made me go “ah-h-h-h-h!” with eye-rolling pleasure. Sweet strawberries and cream, even without adding milk. Separately, I’m not getting the rum or coconut, but together, this is sweet, creamy, fruity magic. Flavor holds up reasonably for a second steep as well. I’m putting this on my “next trip” list in a larger quantity.
End of tea review. Adventure time:
Eleven kids, four adults, five breakfast casseroles, one coffee cake, 35 dirty dishes, three boxes of plastic gloves entirely used because “these are getting slimy,” one dead battery on the church van and an accidental triggering of the burglar alarm at the homeless shelter. My little team was on sausage-browning patrol. Your heart would grow three sizes like the grinch watching these kids doing grown-up sized acts of service. Mine’s about to bust.
Enjoying an absolutely delicious Sunday break, bathing in a sunbeam aimed directly on my rocking chair (although Tazo is glaring at me because he claims to be the rightful owner of any and all winter sunshine spots).
Close to hand is this nice, silky, buttery oolong from our new favorite shop in the Ozarks. Its fruit flavor and scent is not far from peach cobbler, and while I don’t generally choose oolongs first, I’m glad hubby talked me into bringing this home. Little pricey, so I hope it holds up well in subsequent steeps.
You would have laughed at my Sunday church kids—10 and 11 year olds. They asked me for another tea and cocoa day, and it was fun watching them paw through my chest of random bags and man the electric kettle like grown-ups. Shiloh loves Good Earth Sweet and Spicy with enough sugar to fill a hummingbird feeder; David insists he only likes “sweet tea,” and Jonathan, on a dare, tried a cup of Lapsang Souchong: “Hey, that’s not so bad!”
Just when we laid in supplies for all things winter—fuzzy socks, plenty of cold-weather comfort food, Christmas-y tea…we got a string of 65F sunshiny days that will carry us well past Boxing Day. Mind you, I am not complaining! Just having to rearrange my sipping pattern a little.
Whatever the weather, we gave this one a try…husband loves TeaMaze’s Irish Whiskey flavored black tea and hoped this would be its spicy counterpart. Truthfully, I’m not getting any of the bourbon-y flavor at all, but the cinnamon-clove-orange trio goes well with a rooibos base. It resembles Harney’s Hot Cinnamon Spice, but less sweet, which is OK by me.
Second run-through of this CTC…at its hottest, just off the steep, it is strong (I’m sticking with the dark pumpernickel descriptor I used previously) and smooth; as it cools, it starts acting like those stupid alarm clocks that get LOUDER AND LOUDER IF YOU DON’T SHUT THEM OFF. Sharp and brash. Which is OK. sometimes I need brash to get moving in the morning.
Realistically, this would be best toned down with a bit of milk and sugar. Builders’ tea.
Oh…British tea…(rabbit warning)! If you are a historical mystery fan, have you discovered Maisie Dobbs? Spans post WWI to (currently) early WWII and the London blitz. Delicious storytelling. At any rate, I’m reading the blitz installment and it mentioned a wartime tea ration of 2 ounces per person per week. So today’s tea chat topic…how would you manage?
Our Christmas run to Branson and the Ozarks is steeped in tradition…right down to which booth we occupy at Godfather’s Pizza in Nixa, MO (balcony area, left side in the middle) and precisely which seats we grab at Silver Dollar City’s Courthouse Theater for the “A Christmas Carol” musical (center auditorium, 2/3 of the way back, exactly in front of the sound booth). When Tiny Tim starts to sing, I’m like Pavlov’s dog…it’s the automatic emotional trigger for me to start blubbering. The run was extra misty this year; I’m missing my parents and sister, and when (again, according to tradition) we stopped to smooch in front of the building façade where I met my husband circa 1980, it was GONE. Bulldozed in favor of a water ride. They did not ask my permission.
Sorry, just had to get that out. The tea part’s coming. Day 2 of the tradition involves Christmas shopping at favorite venues, and some of that shopping was embarrassingly self-indulgent at this fun, colorful little tea shop on the strip.
We asked the TeaMaze owner to guide us to her strongest stuff, and this was on her recommended list. It’s a clobber-you-upside-the-jaw Assam CTC. A teaspoon and a four-minute steep was incredibly stout…malty pumpernickel in 10-pound Doc Martens. Second steep at 5:30 was still strong enough for an a.m. tea for most of you, and took milk extremely well. They’re calling for a hard winter in these parts. This will be useful.
I have dearly missed Celestial Seasonings’ Sweet Apple Chamomile, so I just homebrewed my own. This is (truthfully, a little pricey) packet of dried apple cubes that steeps up somewhere between Granny Smith and Fuji. I threw in an equal amount of bulk chamomile and let the whole mess go for about 15 minutes. Bingo!
Once I’ve used up this apple blend, I think I’ll try to hunt down some plain old dried apple bits at our bulk Natural Grocers for a slightly less expensive combination.
I went overboard. We were in our happy place (the Ozarks) and stopped at our happy place in our happy place (TeaMaze) and, well, I was so happy that I just over-happified and pretty much blew my tea budget until spring.
I was persuaded by the sample that the purveyors had all cozied up in a hot pot. It was fruity and sweet with just a tiny bit of tang in the sip. I just finished my first cup at home and concluded that they must have sugared the sample a bit to up the apple-tude. I’ll have to do that next time. However, even straight up, I think the natural sweetness will make this a good and gentle nightcap.
Welcome to just over 18 hours in southwest Missouri: 65 degrees F, severe thunderstorms, tornado warnings, flash flooding, areal flooding, winter storm advisories, freezing rain, and sleet/snow that goes “snick” against the window. Weather that goes “snick” isn’t much fun. Temps in the teens anticipated for tonight.
But as it was a great day to stay in, I made a full pot of this lovely, mocha-y, chocolatey pu-erh. The scent is as good as sniffing the liner of a Whitman’s chocolate sampler :)
One of the chief reasons I choose tea over coffee is that the civilized nudge of morning tea is much kinder than the jolt of morning coffee. With that said, strong coffee scent makes me melt into a happy sensory puddle. I think we’ve landed on a beautiful friendship here with this pu-erh-coffee bean blend. Just enough bean and flavor to add aroma and personality to a very good tea base. The pu-erh is gentle and sweet, and there’s a little creaminess going on here, even without milk. I wish I could attach the smell to this note. You’d love it, too.
Continuing to enjoy this one—it’s not often you can find a plain black morning tea that can give you two good unleaded, caffeinated steeps. Just a tiny bite to it, but this morning I need bit. (Prepping to teach my high octane 10 and 11 year olds.) If you don’t need teeth in yours, this is great with milk.
I didn’t add a picture, because the photo on the TeaMaze website looks like a full-leaf tea, and the contents of my package are little nubblins and granules, like my old faithful PG Tips.
Which is the best comparison I can provide for this strong breakfast tea. The fresh cup was deep ebony, and at first, I thought it was milder and gentler in flavor than the usual British builders’ tea. However, it strengthens as it sits, and now that it has cooled, it’s downright sharp and puckery. Not for the faint of heart.
I anticipate a perfectly acceptable second steep, and next time around, I believe this one will welcome a splash of millk.
Merry Thanksgiving! Normally, I am a stickler about keeping holidays distinct and separate, but we’re making a mashed-up exception today; toodling around in jammies and putting up a tree … after all, December is essentially upon us. How did that happen?
It’s raw and rainy outside, so something a little festive is in order. Not much new to say about this Chocolate Orange blend, other than that the flavors are spot on with no artificiality or chemical-osity.
Lots of blessings to count today: faith and family memories, friends I’ve met, and those I haven’t (that would be you all). Hope you find a few moments today to ponder on what matters most.
They are easier to find around Christmas, but one of our favorite indulgent candies are little orange jelly sticks dipped in chocolate. This is the tea equivalent. The orange peels in the dry mix are sweet and pithy, not bitter, and it tastes as good as it smells, even without sweetening. Second steeps well, too—this morning, I tossed in a little no-brand looseleaf Ceylon to strengthen it back up, and it was still pretty delicious.
This is another selection from my new favorite little purveyor in southwest Missouri. It is precisely what the package says: a classy blend of rich chocolate and tangy orange. Extra points for the orange not being tart or bitter; extra extra points for the chocolate being strong and not watery.
I tried a little milk in mine this morning; didn’t ruin it, but this is best straight up and strong.
This is not normally a breakfast standard for me, but after a weary week on the road with nothing but bagged stuff, after I slept off the jet lag, this is what I woke up craving. Rich and chocolatey with a wonderfully cockeyed bourbon whang. I savored two large pottery mugs full while I watched yellow leaves turn our back yard into a shag rug.
Happy 4th! We’ve been enjoying the freedom to fritter and putter and do things all out of order…a rare and lovely opportunity.
And since the theme of the day has been “unconventional,” I decided to see what happened if you cold steep this nifty blend from TeaMaze. After a hot cup this morning (there were about three minutes after I got up before it got hot and muggy), I steeped the stuffin’ out of the leftover leaves in a pint jar.
Chilled it all day, and I’m now enjoying a happy little tumbler that reminds me of chocolate root beer. Goes great with burgers and brownies.
Isn’t “tippy” just a happy word? It is, when applied to this particular Vietnamese orange pekoe tea—another discovery at the little TeaMaze shop last weekend.
My favorite black teas are those that prompt taste memories of dark, yeasty, wheaty bread. This one reminds me more of light biscuits or sweet cornbread with honey.
One teaspoon to 8 ounces of water yielded one very rich cup and one medium-bodied cup. Then I got stupid and tried a third steep in a 12-ounce tumbler (I’m terrible about underleafing), which resulted in what my son calls “water with aftertaste.” Lesson learned. Again.
You know you’re at my house a week before kids’ VBS when:
a) There’s a laundry basket in the middle of the living room filled with beach balls, plastic iguanas, dollar-shop hula skirts and a six-foot stuffed alligator.
b) You hear me muttering things under my breath like, “I can’t find my good duck lips!” or “I have GOT to glue that frog back together.”
c) I engage my husband in a complicated engineering conversation as to whether one can stick miniature marshmallows onto a hippo’s mouth with adhesive putty.
d) I lose the same 18 by 24 inch leader pack (with things that are absolutely essential to my teaching plans) four times within 15 minutes in three different rooms.
In mild panic, I have collapsed in my glider with a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar in one hand and a cold pint jar of Pine Forest in the other.
This is one of the most unusual herbal blends I’ve ever tried: blackberry, pine nuts, and some other fruity thing going on in the background (the label doesn’t tell you much). The pine is more prominent chilled than hot, but there’s still enough fruit to keep it from tasting like floor cleaner. I’m thinking it might be tasty with a little extra fruit juice added—raspberry, maybe?
Either you love Branson or you don’t…a two-mile carnival of touristy, kitschy shows and shops plunked down in the middle of the Ozark Mountains. Usually we go for the mountains and nostalgia—my husband and I met there. This time around, we put on our “tacky” and hit the strip. But in one of the little glitzy shopping centers is a gem of a tea shop called TeaMaze: quality loose leaf tea, both unflavored and creatively flavored, and a extremely knowledgeable owner who is a delight to tea chat with. (teamazeshop.com)
So I went a little overboard…and with the help of my beloved enabler, came home with more than intended, including this unusual and delightful herbal blend. It leads with deliciously sweet blackberry flavor with pine—yes, you heard me correctly—as a crazy good counterpoint. It does not taste like disinfectant. It tastes like pine and berries, or more poetically, like summer in the mountains.
Overboard, incidentally, was the theme of our little date-cation. We did the “Titanic” museum and attraction; the exterior is an approximate half-sized model of the real thing. As you check in, you’re provided with a boarding pass with the persona of a real passenger; at the end of the tour, you discover how your namesake fared. I am pleased to announce that both my hubby (a widowed farmer traveling in second class) and I (ladies’ maid to one of the socialites aboard) survived.