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Stop and Smell the Flowers…and Berries!

September 2, 2010

Today’s Tea: Blueberry Kiwi White Tea by the Boston Tea Company

Sipped by: goodtea

You’re tired. You’re stressed. You’re irritated or frustrated–or both. You can feel your blood pressure rising and your tolerance for everything around you dropping.

That’s when it’s time to make a warm cup of soothing tea. Take five or ten minutes, and watch your troubles float away in the fragrant steam rising from your tea cup.  Carefully sip your tasty tea and remember that there are still simple pleasures for you in life. And then take the time to finish your cup, clean it, put everything away, and you’ll find yourself feeling much better.

That’s how I do it, anyway.

Sometimes my “anti-stress” tea is indeed a typical “afternoon tea” with a solid caffeine punch, but sometimes I like something calmer and less bracing, like a nice green or white tea. Today, for example, some Blueberry Kiwi White Tea from the Boston Tea Company found its way into my cup…

The Boston Tea Company might be better known to some of you as the folks behind Bentley’s Finest Tea. While Bentley’s tea comes in bags, Boston Tea comes in loose leaf form. (Both tea brands are available at the Boston Tea Company website.)

Boston Tea’s Blueberry Kiwi White Tea is a prime example of why I love loose leaf teas: it’s absolutely beautiful to look at! This blend contains a light green and dark green leaves of Chinese white tea, as well as dark purple-blue flower petals and yellow-green flower heads.  Closer examination reveals a generous sprinkling of whole dried blueberries in the mix.  The flowers are apparently Malva flowers, an edible plant enjoyed throughout the world since ancient times.  The tea is further enhanced by natural kiwi and blueberry flavors.

The dry leaf has a very herbal scent–the blueberries and flowers are clearly in there. There is also a sweet, sharp scent that can only be kiwi. The scent of white tea, of course, doesn’t have a chance of making it past these more powerful aromas.

After steeping the tea for 2.5 minutes with not-quite-boiling water (as should be the case for white teas), I had a nice light, vaguely honey-colored liquor in my cup–a bit darker than your typical white tea, thanks to the flowers and berries.  The scent is redolent of blueberries, though the kiwi has vanished to let more of the tea aroma through. It’s a very enticing yet gentle scent–a perfect way to remind yourself to pause and take a deep, relaxing breath.

The flavor likewise is very gentle. Good white tea has a soft mouth-feel that reminds me of silk or velvet (depending on the tea), and in this blend, the added flavors step back behind the curtain to let the white tea base finally have its moment in the spotlight.  It is very smooth, very soft, and lightly vegetal. The kiwi and blueberry flavors seem very light–lighter than the aroma would have you think. The blueberry note in particular lingers pleasantly on the tail end of the tea to give it just a bit more interest than your typical plain white tea.  But I do appreciate that the herbal ingredients don’t overpower the gentle white tea.

White tea aficionados might want to consider giving this blend a try even if you normally eschew flavored white teas, and fruit/herb tisane fans should definitely give this blend a go, even though it does contain proper tea leaves.

Conclusion: This tea is a well-orchestrated blend of flavors, with the kiwi, blueberry, and white tea notes each taking their turn to shine and then stepping back to allow the other flavors and scents to be enjoyed.  This tea is a perfect way to remember the importance of stopping to smell the flowers (and the berries, if you will).

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