Proud to be a tea-sippin' nerd of a mommy!
Proud to be a tea-sippin' nerd of a mommy!

Mandala Tea

http://shopmandalatea.com/

 

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to have a tea store in Rochester, MN, finally!!!  The attentiveness and knowledge base of the business representatives was impressive.  I thoroughly enjoyed talking with the tea experts at this store.  They offered samples of tea to myself and my kids.  Their store was very clean, easy to see products and sales, and classy.  I would love to have a tea sampling party there sometime! 

 

One thing Mandala Tea has is non-infused teas.  I'm pretty spoiled with my flavored teas that come with chocolate, berries, etc., and herbal teas (see below).  Mandala works with independent farmers from China.  Its all about the leaves.  But its an extremely clean, easily palitable taste that I have enjoyed.  I've never been a pure green/white tea fan, but these teas have changed my attitude!  All the teas I have purchased have been delightful.  I fully trust the recommendations their staff gave me!  I have noted now how overpowering some flavored teas can be.  These teas are great in terms of being refreshing and crisp.

 

Here are a few of my early favorites (I still have more to sample though!!!):

 

1)  Big Red Robe -- Per the website: "An open leaf, or twisted, oolong tea.  It is more heavily oxidized which make the leaves look darker brown in color in their dried form. It produces a smooth, malty, full-bodied cup of tea. Hints of chocolate with an overall rich and roasty flavor."  I love its "roasty" flavor!  A definite favorite of mine from any tea provider.

 

2) White Peony -- I just got a fresh batch of this from the store.  Mmmmm.  A gorgeous white tea.    Per Mandala's website: "The leaves are multi-colored, like autumn foliage, and have a bold taste with hints of oak, nut and vanilla. An apricot colored brew with delicate lingering fragrance and a fresh mellow sweet taste without astringency or grassy flavor."

 

3)  Mao Feng -- This is one of my favorite green teas... ever.  Completely satisfying to drink.  Calms the senses as you indulge in this cup.  Its one of those "just right" teas thats not too powerful but strong enough to give your palete a smooth ride.  From the website: "The flavor is bold and nutty, but if brewed lightly can be smooth and satisfying."  

 

4)  White Night -- This white tea proves that you don't have to be flavored to be flavor-full.  A rich, clean taste.  Light and sweetly flavored for your palate.

TeaSource

This place has excellent service!  Their staff is friendly and helpful.  They are able to offer suggestions based on what you like.  And they take their time with you!  Check out one of their three sites if you're in the Twin Cities area!  I've got my fingers crossed they open a store in Rochester!!!! 

 

www.teasource.com

 

  1. Roasted Chestnut (black tea) -- The scent, INCREDIBLE!  The taste, AMAZING!  Definetly an all-time favorite of mine!  Its nutty, silky, and rich.  Mmmmm. (contains nuts)
  2. Chamomile (herbal) -- Theirs is my favorite.  Its the perfect "bedtime" tea.  You can almost feel your muscles unwind!
  3. Machu Peach-U (white tea) -- Its silky sweet with a prominent peach scent.  Mmmm.  One of the few white teas with a bold flavor!
  4. Genmaicha (green) -- Toasty brown rice, puffed riced, and green tea.  I like its bold toasty taste!  (TOASTY!)
  5. Moon Over Madagascar (black) -- Sumptuous vanilla flavor in a rich black tea blend.

I could go on, but you should check it out for yourselves!  They have an amazing wide variety!  You will be able to find something for any taste palette!

 

Sign up for their newsletter to recieve seasonal coupons for online and in person shopping!  Its a rather gorgous catalogue!

Design a Tea

 

It’s time to order the best tea you’ve ever tasted. Why? Because you choose the flavors! The concept is simple, choose a base and one or two flavors to blend your own unique tasting tea. Top it off with a personalized name and brag to your friends about your gourmet style or give it away as a gift.

 

Wait, you can create your OWN tea?  Heck yes, you can!  I just had my first blend: Pecan Vanilla Oolong.  Mmmmm!  The scent and flavor were both strong and inticing!  I thoroughly enjoyed my own recipe.  I can't wait to try another. 

 

Shipping is lightning fast!  It came within a week of my ordering it.  You can pay through PayPal.  Perk!!!  Plus the owners know how to impress their customers.  They include a personal thank you and offers for your next order.  I got a free sample tea blend! I'm a big fan of free too... how did they know???


Definitely check it out.  Prices are extremely fair.  I ordered two of their signature blends and am impressed with both: ANGRY PUMPKIN TEA (pumpkin nutmeg black) and DINGO LOVE TEA (apple pecan black). 

 

I will be ordering more!  I recommend you check them out as well!  Of course, New York residents get the pleasure of actually checking out the store for themselves!  Lucky...

 

So, for those of us who live outside of NY... If you click the tab that says "Discover Tea," it will explain about the bases in depth and give you a general guideline of the benefits of tea and the ways to enjoy it!  I would recommend highly!

 

 

Design your own tea here:

 

http://www.designatea.com/designatea.php

 

Happy Earth Tea

http://happyearthtea.com/

 

I recently ordered for the first time from this company.  I appreciated that I could pay through PayPal.  My order came extremely fast.  The owner even included a personalized hand-written note thanking me for my business.  Penmanship is a dying art, so to see a couple short paragraphs written by hand as a thank you was very impressive to me.  

 

Other perks of this company is extremely low prices for high quality tea (that I have so far tasted).  When I placed my order, I felt the shipping was a bit high, but within a few hours the owner emailed me and refunded me half of it as it was a glitch in their system.  So that was also impressive.  Excellent emphasis on customer service! 

 

This company has an emphasis on darjeeling tea.  But that does not make them a one trick pony.  Here are a couple samples I have enjoyed to date:

 

The first thing I ordered was a Darjeeling First Flush sampler.  My favorite of the sampler so far has been Darjeeling Singbulli.  This truly tastes like a "champagne" of teas.  I tasted a subtle earthiness with a clean finish.  While I'm not always a fan of "earthiness," I found this tea had a perfect hint of it to its overall flavor.

 

Chai tea is usually a winner with me, and I found Green Mint Chai to be pretty fantastic and unique in flavor.  It does have a strong mint that is never overpowering.  Its, in fact, rather refreshing and relaxing.  The flavor is smooth and yet crisp.  No bitter undertones that mint can sometimes leave on your tongue.  This had an excellent balanced flavor.  

 

I definetly look forward to exploring this company more.  

Harney & Sons

I received my first order from this company.  I was extremely impressed with their customer service.  I think I got more freebies in my package than items ordered!  I ordered a couple sample teas and the Titanic tea tin. 

 

http://www.harney.com/

 

This company has a large variety.  I am truly excited to order more from them and try all they have to offer!  Black, green, oolong, herbal, flavored, organic: this company definitely has something for you.  Many of their teas can be ordered in either loose leaf or in satchels (which is a fancy word for bags).  I would highly recommend loose.  The samples I received were in "satchels," and I have cut the leaves out of the bags so they can steep with more room.  This is very essential to tea leaves.  They need room to brew properly.  Otherwise, the flavor tastes slightly bitter.

 

The only thing I was disappointed with was the fact their package does not include steeping instructions.  I had to go back onto the website to find the instructions. 

 

Here is what I have tried and enjoyed so far:

 

SoHo Tea Blend: Chocolate and Coconut -- My initial reaction -- Wow.  A truly delicious blend of black tea with chocolate, coconut and vanilla flavors, and amaranth petals.  Do you like Almond Joy?  This tea is for you!  The aroma itself is entrancing!!! If you steep for too long, this tea will have a slightly bitter aftertaste. So watch your steep time and then relax with a cup of this delightfulness!

 

 

 

Teavana

  1. Azteca Fire (herbal tea) -- This delicious fare features chocolate, strawberries, and chili pepper.  Don't let that scare you though, its actually the perfect amount of richness and spice.  Love it anytime, every time! (Pictured)

 

I have deleted all other recommendations because of what happened below.

 

DISCLAIMER: My parents recently went to the Mall of America Teavana to get me a gift.  They were outright LIED to by the sales rep.  They were told they only sell tea in tins, and they had to purchase a tin to buy tea!  DO NOT go into this store without knowing that you DO NOT need to buy a tin to purchase your tea!  I have contacted the Better Business about this.  The website for teavana may preach "fully-trained teaologists," but these people know nothing about customer service or helping people understand their pricing (even though my parents asked multiple times about how much the tea itself would cost).  So while others walked out with their tea in bags, my parents were forced to purchase tea tins because they were told it was the ONLY WAY Teavana sells their teas.  Well guess what, Teavana, you've been outed!  They high pressure customers, including myself, into tea tins every time I've walked in there.  

 

I am so furious about this!  They give people a negative experience and complete miss the point of tea... healthier lifestyles!  Not fancy tea tins!

 

Comments

Discussion closed
  • Deles (Tuesday, May 19 15 04:33 pm EDT)

    An extension of National Hot Tea Month? Yes from what I hear, there's dfnieitely a need for more hot tea this week there in Dallas! I'll see what I can do. But in the meantime, stay warm!

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