from the Tea Review Blog's reviews of Scones Mixes by The Tea Guru:
Our scones, as it turns out, are the first food product reviewed on The Tea Review Blog, so they did not have a tea-food category. We are pleased that they chose to review our scones anyway and filed the reviews under "Tea Accessories". Some points made about our scones mixes in general:
one unique part of the scone mixes from KTeas is that they come in a bag with a BASIC scone mix, then with some of the “key” ingredients packaged separately so you can control whether you add them, and how much you add.
The scones mix is sent to you in a professionally labeled paper bag that includes the dry ingredients of the mix, and complete instructions. To the dry ingredients that you are sent, you also need to provide some ingredients of your own, such as lemon juice*, butter (get the real stuff!) (chilled as recommended), powdered sugar* (that’s icing sugar to those of you in the UK) [*see the Lemon Poppyseed-specific highlights below], Vanilla Extract, buttermilk and of course the white chocolate chips to stir in as well [see the Butter Brickle-specific highlights below]. I recommend really going all out and purchasing really high quality ingredients, because that’s what will really make the difference with these (and other) scones.
Slightly dense, but definitely moist, these are heavenly when served warm, and are great for days afterwards (being very easily ‘revived’ with a zap in the microwave!).
You can also prepare the batter ahead of time and then shape it into scones and freeze those, which can be baked at any time.
Think of the creative possibilities for holiday office baked goods exchanges and involving your children & their imaginations in the kitchen!:
When baked according to directions, the scones mixes from KTeas produce delicious scones that are incredibly easy to prepare, and even easier to adjust ingredients to your liking. The mix is very forgiving to the beginning baker — would also be a great project to prepare these with the kids, letting them add their own ingredients to their own scones by preparing the basic scone mix first then separating it evenly and then add the ingredients to each separate batch.
The Tea Guru also provided the newcomers to Tea-dom with an explanation of what scones are:
For those who aren’t familiar, scones are a type of rich, slightly savory pastry which is often served at breakfast or tea, especially in Britain. Traditional English scones slightly resemble American biscuits, as both use a flaky, dense pastry, but scones tend to be a bit sweeter, and also incorporate ingredients like dried fruit. Delicious when eaten warm, scones are also served cold with a variety of toppings including clotted cream, marmalade, jams, honey, and butters.
from the Tea Review Blog's review of Butter Brickle Scones Mix
by The Tea Guru:
Remember the mention above of white chocolate chips? In reviewing this particular mix, The Tea Guru speaks of giving your creativity free reign and the fun to be had when friends turned theirs loose:
in the Butter Brickle scones mix, there is the basic scone mix, a lovely bag of deep brown sugar, and a bag of toffee butter brickle bits to stir in to the blend as well. We thought this a genius idea, and then thought of other possible additions to the blend. Standing in the baking aisle, we settled on buying a package of Hershey’s White Chocolate Chips to add to this gorgeous scone mix as well. Really you can make literally ANY type of custom scone mix you could ever think of.
The mouth-watering results---we are going to have to go bake some more of these scones and try the white chocolate chips, ourselves, after reading this!:
The butter brickle and white chocolate flavors made fantastic scones, with a delicious, buttery and golden flavor.
There is a delicious warm toffee flavor in the background that lingers on the palate, making you want more!
This particular flavor of scone, with the warm caramelized flavor, goes best with plain black teas (the stronger the better!) such as KTeas Red Dragon Pearls [see the Red Dragon Pearls review below], which is what my friend and I chose to drink with these scones) or Oolong teas that are more darkly oxidized. These scones are definitely worth buying the highest quality ingredients for. They are a delight to wake up to, or as an “afternoon delight”.
from the Tea Review Blog's review of Lemon Poppyseed Scones Mix
by The Tea Guru:
While the scones were baking, I prepared the lemon glaze, which at first I was skeptical of because it is only a simple mixture of powdered sugar and lemon juice. However I highly underestimated just how well that tart flavor would work with the delicious flavor of the scones. But I prepared it as directed, and when the scones came hot out of the oven, I dabbed the (rather thick) glaze on top of the hot baked scones which melted it slowly and gave it the most lovely “drizzled” appearance.
What was most impressive was the flavor, which was absolutely unbelievable. The lemon flavors — and there were more than one! — were balanced absolutely perfectly for the most impressive combination of sweet and sour flavors. And the glaze is a MUST HAVE — without the glaze, while remaining delicious, these scones just aren’t the same. The glaze is sweet yet tart with the taste of real lemons through it. The scones are a warmer, softer lemon flavor, with the appealing texture and subtle flavor of poppyseed.
You can read the reviews above in their entirety and more articles penned by The Tea Guru at The Tea Review Blog.
Many thanks to The Tea Guru. We bow before your knowledge and expertise!
from the Tea Review Blog's reviews of Teas:
from the Tea Review Blog's review of Darjeeling 1st Flush by liber-teas:
We can identify, as we are sure you can, too with liber-teas' cautionary tale:
One thing I learned very early in my years of tea tasting is this: when you find a tea that you truly love, be sure to never forget where to get more! I learned this because the very first Darjeeling that I tried, I fell so in love with, but when it was gone, I somehow lost the tin that it came in, and did not remember the company that supplied that uncommonly good Darjeeling.
Since that time, I’ve been searching for a tea that would take the place of that extraordinary Darjeeling, and mind you, I have tasted quite a few exceptional Darjeeling teas… but none have quite measured up to that first Darjeeling. Some have come very close… so close, in fact, that I’ve thought that maybe they were just as good, and maybe I’ve just somehow undeservedly elevated that first Darjeeling onto a level so high that no Darjeeling could possibly match it — that my memory of the tea was better than the actual tea truly was.
We are so glad we could help:
And then, I tried this Darjeeling from KTeas. And, oh… it is lovely… perhaps even more lovely than my memory of that first Darjeeling! Yes, it is truly that good.
Darjeeling is oft dubbed the Champagne of Tea, and we savor with relish the bouquet of liber-teas' evaluation of our Darjeeling 1st Flush:
The color of the un-brewed tea is brown with green tips, which become deeply green with tips of brown when brewed, and produce a gorgeous coppery color liquor. It is because of this green characteristic of the Darjeeling tea leaves that I refrain from bringing the brewing water to a full boil; instead, I bring it to a near, but not quite boiling temperature. This seems to be just about right, delivering a tea that is full of flavor but without bitterness.
The fragrance of the brewed tea is extraordinarily pleasant: notes of musk, spice, earth and floral tones are an absolute delight to the olfactory sense. And the flavor is remarkable! The muscatel in this tea presents itself immediately and lingers in the finish. There is a piquant fruit note that is very delicate. The tea is medium-bodied, fairly brisk, with a pleasantly light astringency.
liber-teas also supplies this helpful tip to keep in mind next summer:
This is a perfect afternoon tea that is best enjoyed hot. I say that a lot… but, here’s the thing: tea tends to lose some of its complexity when it is chilled. Of course, not all teas do; there are some exceptions, but the general rule is that you should chill a good tea but not an exceptional one. And this truly is an exceptional tea. No sweetener is needed for this tea, but if you choose to, use a light hand to sweeten so you do not overpower the cup.
Note to self: Do not forget where to buy this tea — it’s far too good to not have on hand at all times.
from the Tea Review Blog's review of Jasmine Leaf Green Tea
In general regarding green teas and jasmine:
Jasmine is a favorite among green tea enthusiasts and for good reason. While the green tea may possess a slight grassy note to it, the light, floral nature of the jasmine smooths the grassy edge of the tea and creates an exceptionally palatable experience. The aroma is beautifully engaging, and the flavor is delicately sublime.
Specifically about jasmine green tea from KTeas:
I do like this Jasmine Leaf Green Tea from KTeas: a light-bodied, fresh-tasting green tea scented with jasmine petals. The green tea leaves are from China, and tossed amongst the tea leaves are tiny, white jasmine blossoms and petals. The green tea is faintly vegetal, and my palate can detect only the slightest amount of astringency to this cup, which lent itself to the clean, fresh taste of the tea. The floral essence of the jasmine lingers nicely in the finish, as well as in the fragrance of the tea.
This is a very simple yet high quality Jasmine green tea, but really, what more would you need from a jasmine tea? It doesn’t need to be extravagant or fancy, because the flavor is perfect enough to stand on its own without further embellishment.
Again, liber-teas provides helpful practical advice in addition to well-crafted descriptions:
I pulled the kettle a little earlier than I normally would for a green tea, because I wanted to extend the brew time and help develop the flavor. By doing so, I did not need to add any sweetener (and sometimes I do add sweetener to jasmine tea to bring out the softer jasmine notes) because the jasmine became very well defined without any bitterness to the cup.
We begin to think we could include these reviews in a subsection of Tea 101, they are so full of imparted knowledge, experience, and expertise. liber-teas even addresses the matter of multiple infusions which can heighten the value of your tea:
Each measurement of leaves produces two delicious infusions. The second infusion has slightly less floral essence to it, but it is still very good. This tea is also quite good served chilled; just add a small amount of sugar (or agave nectar) to bring some definition to the muted flavors of the cooled tea, making this a very economical jasmine tea that would work for year ‘round enjoyment.
from the Tea Review Blog's review of Nutz Over Lychee by liber-teas:
The scent of the dry tea is very strong and fruity with a definitive floral note to it and virtually no discernible “black tea” leaf scent. However, upon brewing, the fruity/floral fragrance mellows somewhat, and some of the earthier qualities of the black tea become apparent in the aroma.
The flavor does have a sweet overtone to it, but I don’t find that off-putting. Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that I do have a bit of a sweet tooth! However, this would be a great tea for those who are looking for a tea that possesses enough of its own sweetness without adding additional sweetener.
. . . the flavor is quite resplendent. The fruity flavor is difficult to describe, similar to a very sweet, floral grape. If you could cross-breed a rose, a jasmine, a grape, and a sugar cube, you might get something that tastes similar to this tea. The flavors of the black tea are somewhat lost in the very powerful lychee essence, but, because it tastes so delightful, I’m not complaining. It is a medium-to-full-bodied tea; and because of the sweet, sultry quality of the lychee, it is difficult to detect any bitterness whatsoever.
liber-teas is a font of iced tea wisdom:
As we are experiencing a rather chilly day, I opted to serve this tea hot. However, I did note that as the tea cooled somewhat, the flavors became less defined — so as an iced tea, you would probably want to add a little bit of sweetener (just a little bit!) to liven up the flavor. However, when serving it hot, you should probably try the tea out before you add any sweetener, because as I said before (and as the above description suggests), this tea possesses its own abundant sweetness, and adding more may make it way too sweet.
And, again! Looking to your investment in your teas:
If you like to brew tea leaves multiple times (to add value to your tea investment), this is a tea that works well for two very flavorful infusions. And I do recommend that you do brew your leaves a second time — the myriad of flavors in this tea really harmonize quite well in the second steeping — for a smooth and stunningly delicious cup of tea!
We are so grateful to liber-teas for the abundant sharing of insights!
You can read the above reviews in their entirety and more of liber-teas' writings at The Tea Review Blog and on blogspot.
from the Tea Review Blog's review of Chocolate Maté by The Tea Guru:
Once again, we are honored to provide The Tea Review Blog with a "first" for their reviews:
This tea review is very unique. Out of the nearly 1,000 tea reviews we have here at The Tea Review Blog, this is the very first Yerba Maté Rooibos blend we’ve reviewed! This is certainly the first Maté/Rooibos blend that I’ve tasted, and I was not disappointed at all.
Remarks specifically about KTeas Chocolate Maté:
The ingredients in this groundbreaking tea from KTeas are simple: Yerba Maté, red tea (Rooibos), chocolate pieces and flavor. I’m very pleased that the ingredients are so simple because that is the perfect recipe for one terrifically smooth sweet cup of chocolate tea.
I was so pleasantly surprised to find out that this tea tastes exactly like chocolate tea, not hot cocoa, or anything like a chocolate chai. There are no spices or other ingredients — the chocolate is pure and delicious.
The smoothness of the Yerba Maté, which tastes very mellow and golden on its own, with no sharpness or tanginess, along with the rich saccharine sweet red rooibos, is what really makes this herbal blend stand out amongst the rest. It’s a recipe for a very, very smooth and succulent brew, and the chocolate is the perfect complementary flavor to it.
If you have concerns about caffeine content, The Tea Guru addresses that, also:
Since there is no actual “tea” in this blend, this is considered an herbal blend; however Yerba Maté might have small trace amounts of caffeine as may the chocolate, so if you need to avoid caffeine altogether, then this is not a good tea for you. However if tiny amounts of caffeine don’t bother you, this is actually quite a relaxing beverage that I think anyone would enjoy!
Dessert tea? Impossible to over-steep? These reviewers at The Tea Review Blog cover everything!
It makes a great no-calorie dessert tea if drunk without sweetener; however I feel that sweetener really brings out the delicious, naturally sweet flavors of all of the ingredients. And the best part about this blend is that no matter how long you steep it, and no matter how hot the water is, there is *never* any trace of sharpness or bitterness, the flavor just intensifies! A fantastic and nearly perfect herbal tisane from KTeas!
from the Tea Review Blog's review of Red Dragon Pearl
by The Tea Guru:
We at KTeas are thrilled to have made it to the Tea Review Blog's "Favorite Teas" list:
This is my new favorite black tea, hands down and without question. I cannot praise this lovely tea enough.
A little history-of-tea knowledge is imparted:
The term ‘red’ is used in the title because in most Asian countries, what we know of as ‘black’ teas are actually called ‘red’ teas because they brew up to a deep crimson color.
And then The Tea Guru gets down to the particulars of KTeas' Red Dragon Pearl tea:
The tightly rolled long tea leaves are shaped into balls, much like Jasmine Pearls made of green tea, however these beautiful pearls unfold black tea leaves of the highest quality, with a rich nutty and slightly muscatel flavor and aroma.
The dried pearls are a rich dark brown color interwoven with strands of gold, making their appearance beautiful even before brewing. Brewing brings out long mahogany strands of tea leaves, 2-3 inches in length or more!
It does have a VERY smooth body, with a golden finish, and as is typical of Yunnan black teas, is a mellow medium-bodied tea that is just as pleasing to wake up to as it is to drink in the afternoon.
I used approximately 8 pearls in my 13oz cup, and that seemed to be just about perfect to me, but because of the nature of this tea, it’s very hard to mess this one up… it’s very forgiving to the tea neophyte! I adore everything about this tea, and will be keeping a lot of it on hand!
Lovely photos of this Red Dragon Pearl tea courtesy of Zippy at Virtual Distortion.
Again: Thanks to The Tea Guru for blending such knowledge and appreciation of Tea with KTeas teas.
You can read the reviews above in their entirety as well as more articles penned by The Tea Guru at The Tea Review Blog.
You can always find all the reviews with which The Tea Review Blog graces KTeas at: KTeas | Tea Review Blog, and benefit from the vast array of tea acumen presented at The Tea Review Blog!