Monday, February 13, 2017

The Tea Spot "Boulder Blues"

I never used to be much of a green tea fan, I was much more into herbals and black teas.  And besides, the times I had tried green tea was never great. Its pre-made iced tea form at Publix consisted of much too much honey and ginseng (yuck) and another cheap bagged tea I tried was practically unflavored and basically tasted like water.  That changed when I tried Tazo's iced lemongrass green tea (another post for another time), but that is just to say that even if you don't like one kind of green tea, it doesn't mean you won't like them at all. Trying different varieties of green tea and different blends is an enlightening experience, and you might be surprised at just how many green tea varieties there are.
The Tea Spot is one of my favorite tea companies.  They are a company that is owned and operated out of Boulder, Colorado that puts an emphasis on health and philanthropy. The CEO,Maria Uspenski, formed this B-corp in 2004 after being drawn to the health benefits of whole leaf tea during her recovery from cancer. Besides creating a line of teas that promote health and wellness, The Tea Spot also donates ten percent of all sales in-kind to cancer and community wellness programs. So, not only are you getting an awesome product, you're also helping make a difference. The Tea Spot sells lots of tea blends as well as pure teas and herbal teas (they also sell some really great steepware). Besides buying tins of loose leaf tea, you can also buy their tea in biodegradable enviro-friendly pyramid sachets.

"Our best selling green tea! This blend of fine Japanese Sencha and high-grade Chinese Dragonwell combine to create a rich yet refreshing base, while wild strawberries and rhubarb flavors add a subtle twist. This tea yields a bright liquor with a luxurious aroma and brisk, vivid flavor. The ideal accompaniment to dark chocolate. Makes the perfect gourmet iced tea!"

Ingredients: green tea, mallow flowers, cornflowers, and strawberry & rhubarb flavoring

The packaging has recently been redesigned with these color-coded tins.  Boulder Blues is a lime green!

Infuse the Goodness!

The tea by itself is beautiful, loose leaf teas are a beautiful art form, in my opinion. The green of the tea leaves combined with the bright blue of the cornflowers and the creamy gold petals of dried mallow are truly a lovely combination. The smell of the tea dry is soft but alluringly spring-like. There's something fruity and floral about it that reminds me of the beginnings of the season when plants are just starting to bloom.

Boulder Blues tea before brewing, look at the pops of blue from the cornflower petals!

I've gone through quite a bit of this tea since buying it for the first time a year ago, and I have definitely tried it iced as The Tea Spot alternatively suggests. It makes a fabulous cup of flavorful iced tea.  Tonight though, I'm drinking it hot.

The color after brewing for 3-minutes is a beautiful sunshine-y color, not quite yellow, not quite green (very Spring-like, to continue with that theme).  The smell changes a bit after brewing, now it's warmer and makes me think of sunshine on grassy green fields, it's warm and comforting with a slightly sweet underlying scent (mallow or a soft creamy fruit scent perhaps?).

Looks like Spring!
I'm drinking it with two sugar cubes added tonight. The taste is smooth with a velvety mellowness. It's not overpowering or strong: it's a little green, a little floral, and a little fruity. It tastes quite a bit like it smells (there's nothing more disappointing than a tea smelling amazing and tasting like nothing). It lacks the strong "grassy" taste some other green teas have, but also doesn't have a burst of strawberry or rhubarb flavor, the strawberry is there subtly in the background, almost floral-like, not with a juicy or artificial strawberry taste like one might expect upon hearing strawberry and rhubarb. 

I brewed this tea in a disposable filter bag from Tiesta Tea, although I also really like the filter bags from Finum as well.  It's very important when brewing loose tea for your tea to have enough room to uncurl and expand for added flavor.
Boulder Blues after brewing; you can see the way the leaves unfurl and why it's necessary to have enough room in your infuser. 

If you think you might not like green tea or are a little nervous to try it, I'd say The Tea Spot's Boulder Blues is a great one to try out as an introduction to green teas, plus The Tea Spot makes it super convenient to do so, because they sell samples of all of their teas, so you're not stuck with a full tin of something you might end up being ambivalent about. They also have samplers with their most popular varieties to try, which is how I ended up ordering my tea from them the first time. 

You can buy Boulder Blues here. A 2.5oz tin is $10.95, but it's also available in bulk, as samples, and as sachets as well. 

They do, they do, they do.

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