Category Archives: fair trade month

FAIR TRADE MONTH/AUTUMN GIVEAWAY!

Hey Everyone! I am very exciting to take a short break from tea reviews to bring you this exciting news! We here at Expanding Leaves are hosting a giveaway in to celebrate the culmination of fair trade month and the autumn season! Watch the video below to learn more!¬† A huge thank you to Leaf Spa Tea for offering up the teas for this giveaway! We’re so gracious!

You’ll have to watch the video to see what you can win if you enter! ūüôā

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!

CONGRATULATIONS TO JACKIE AND AMANDA!

How to Enter?!

1) Follow us on twitter: twitter.com/expandingleaves
2) Follow Leafspa on twitter: Twitter.com/leafspatea
3) Comment below with you favorite 2 candies!

Click here to see my thoughts of the LeafSpa Teas I’ve tried!

This giveaway will end on Friday 10/29 at 12 midnight EST!

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Arbor Teas’ Organic Makaibari Oolong Tea

We are very excited to celebrate fair trade month! Not sure what fair trade means? Let us break it down for you…What does fair trade mean? When something is Fair Trade Certified, it protects the environments,through helping farmers and workers to practice sustainable farming,remove dangerous chemical and preserve their land. This is very important when it comes to tea, as you don’t want to be ingesting those harsh chemicals without knowing. Fair Trade gives you the confidence to trust the tea company and the tea farmers, and also reminds you that your tea is socially sustainable as well as environmentally sustainable.¬† The social sustainability goes towards empowering families to keep their children in school,and enables these people with access to health care, and representation. If you want to learn more about Fair Trade Practices and tea, check out Jim at Shui Tea‘s blog post “Soulja Boy Teaches Fair Trade” to go more in-depth! What can you do as a consumer? If you are unsure whether the tea you are buying is fair trade, or sustainably farmed, contact the company and ask, most companies are more than happy to have a customer relationship with you and will answer promptly!

Why Arbor Teas? Their tea catalog of nearly 100¬†teas are all completely certified organic¬†by the USDA. Roughly¬†two-thirds of those 100 teas are also¬†Fair Trade Certified! “Sustainability is a major focus of our business.¬†We recently became¬†the first (and only) tea company to offer¬†our whole selection of¬†teas in 100% backyard compostable packaging.¬† We‚Äôve also carbon-offset¬†the entire supply chain of our products, from origin to the customer, making¬†Arbor Teas¬†the greenest option for Earth-conscious tea¬†drinkers.”(Arborteas.com)

Brand: Arbor Teas Organic Makaibari Oolong Tea
Tea Rating: 85/100
Steep Time: 2-3 minutes
Steep Temperature: 195 Degrees
Price: 2.5 oz. for $7.95 ~ 7 oz. for #13.95
This is an oolong tea from the Makaibari Estate in Darjeeling, India. The Makaibari Estate is the oldest estate in Darjeeling, and was established in 1859. The dry leaves are pretty, and have some dark green, brown and silver tips visible.The dry leaf has a sweet floral scent, that pairs with a vegetal, more nutty scent that reminds me of peanut butter. The steeped tea smells lightly like nectarines and lemons, but overall has that traditional black tea scent. Upon first sip, this tea is crisp, and delicious. The flavor profile is slightly astringent, and makes my mouth pucker a bit, but overall has a clean and light flavor. After swallowing, there is a lingering citrus and floral note, which reminds me of the scent in the beginning. I really enjoyed this tea, I have never really had many darjeelings, since when I first started dappling with loose leaf tea a few years ago, I had a bad experience with darjeeling, but I think that was my own fault of not knowing what I was doing. This tea has made me want to try more and more darjeelings!

Check out Arbor Teas on the web:

Website: HERE
Facebook: HERE
Twitter: HERE
Want this tea right now? Here!

All photographs included in this post are property of Melissa Wrzesniewsky and are not to be taken,shared, or used without the artists consent. The logo is from the google images and is property of Arbor Teas.

Arbor Teas’ Chun Mee Green Tea!

We are very excited to celebrate fair trade month! Not sure what fair trade means? Let us break it down for you…What does fair trade mean? When something is Fair Trade Certified, it protects the environments,through helping farmers and workers to practice sustainable farming,remove dangerous chemical and preserve their land. This is very important when it comes to tea, as you don’t want to be ingesting those harsh chemicals without knowing. Fair Trade gives you the confidence to trust the tea company and the tea farmers, and also reminds you that your tea is socially sustainable as well as environmentally sustainable.¬† The social sustainability goes towards empowering families to keep their children in school,and enables these people with access to health care, and representation. If you want to learn more about Fair Trade Practices and tea, check out Jim at Shui Tea‘s blog post “Soulja Boy Teaches Fair Trade” to go more in-depth! What can you do as a consumer? If you are unsure whether the tea you are buying is fair trade, or sustainably farmed, contact the company and ask, most companies are more than happy to have a customer relationship with you and will answer promptly!

Why Arbor Teas? Their tea catalog of nearly 100¬†teas are all completely certified organic¬†by the USDA. Roughly¬†two-thirds of those 100 teas are also¬†Fair Trade Certified! “Sustainability is a major focus of our business.¬†We recently became¬†the first (and only) tea company to offer¬†our whole selection of¬†teas in 100% backyard compostable packaging.¬† We‚Äôve also carbon-offset¬†the entire supply chain of our products, from origin to the customer, making¬†Arbor Teas¬†the greenest option for Earth-conscious tea¬†drinkers.”(Arborteas.com)

Brand: Arbor Teas Chun Mee Green Tea
Tea Rating: 93/100
Steep Time: 2-3 minutes
Steep Temperature: 175 Degrees
Price: 5 oz. for $9.95

First things first: This tea is hand rolled with a slight arch to make it look like eyebrows! How Bizzare and intriguing! The dry leaves do look like very tiny eyebrows…maybe for a mouse, or a chipmunk.The dry leaves smell very sweet and grassy. After steeping,the first thing I noticed was that all the leaves almost completely expanded and unfurled! The unfurled leaves¬† are the tea liquor was a medium amber color and smelled almost cinnamon-like, with hints of fruitiness and a darker scent, that reminded me of fresh-baked cinnamon chocolate chip cookies. With a smell like that, I could not wait to taste the tea!

The flavor was very full-bodied in my mouth, and smooth upon swallowing. The taste was a bit astringent and tart,which reminded me of the tart flavor in plums and peaches. I get a very faint sweetness in the tea, but the tart flavor overpowers the sweetness. I also taste a slight hint of smokiness,which reminds me of roasted chestnuts. Finally, the mouth feel is heavy, and full, like you just sipped on melted butter. The slight astringency in the tea left my mouth feeling clean, slightly dry,but overall very refreshed after sipping on the liquor. All these flavors meshed together to create a very pleasant cuppa. I really enjoyed this tea, it was different from other green teas, and I would recommend it to someone who isn’t very fond of the greener, more vegetal teas.

Check out Arbor Teas on the web:
Website: HERE
Facebook: HERE
Twitter: HERE
Want this tea right now? Here!

All photographs included in this post are property of Melissa Wrzesniewsky and are not to be taken,shared, or used without the artists consent. The logo is from the google images and is property of Arbor Teas.

Shui Tea Act Normal

We are very excited to celebrate fair trade month! Not sure what fair trade means? Let us break it down for you…What does fair trade mean? When something is Fair Trade Certified, it protects the environments,through helping farmers and workers to practice sustainable farming,remove dangerous chemical and preserve their land. This is very important when it comes to tea, as you don’t want to be ingesting those harsh chemicals without knowing. Fair Trade gives you the confidence to trust the tea company and the tea farmers, and also reminds you that your tea is socially sustainable as well as environmentally sustainable.¬† The social sustainability goes towards empowering families to keep their children in school,and enables these people with access to health care, and representation. If you want to learn more about Fair Trade Practices and tea, check out Jim at Shui Tea’s blog post “Soulja Boy Teaches Fair Trade” to go more in-depth! What can you do as a consumer? If you are unsure whether the tea you are buying is fair trade, or sustainably farmed, contact the company and ask, most companies are more than happy to have a customer relationship with you and will answer promptly!


The first tea we will be reviewing in honor of fair trade month, is Shui Teas’ Act Normal Black Tea, which is “Processed by hand by good people and fairly traded.”

Brand: Shui Tea Act Normal Black Tea
Tea Rating: 93/100

Steep Time: 2-3 minutes
Steep Temperature: 190 Degrees
Price: $6.25 for 2 oz/ $$12.75 for 4 oz

This is the second tea sample I received from Jim at Shui Tea to review! I am excited to share my review because this tea is delicious! On first smell, this tea embodies a very rich earthiness,both in the dry leaves and in the liquors aroma. First sip..? This tea is bold! I can taste some sweetness,peppery notes and some citrus-y flavors (which may be the tannins o f the tea coming out). I really like the boldness of the tea, and it makes

the tea a great introduction to tea from coffee. The tea has a sweet, creamy flavor, that reminds me of caramelized sugar. This sweetness really balances out the bitter/tannic flavor and makes you want another sip! I steeped this tea 4 times, and as my steeps went on, the bitter tannins went away, and the sweet flavors really came out in the tea. The subsequent steeps also got much milder in flavor, so if you like your black teas bold, I would recommend just steeping this twice, or adding some more tea to the subsequent steeps to keep the bold flavors in play! I really enjoyed both teas that I was given to try from Shui Tea! They were both excellent, and very moderately priced. If you’re looking for good tea, be sure to check out Shui Tea! Also, if you are in the Chicago Area, Jim hosts events from time to time, which most recently has included his Tea Cocktails (tea infused vodka, and Sweet Revenge on a Manhattan to name a few!).¬† You can also schedule your very own tea tasting with Jim, where he brings everything along to have a great tea time at a reasonable price.

To learn more about Shui Tea:
Follow them on Twitter
Like them on Facebook
Or visit their store to buy this tea!

All photographs included in this post are property of Melissa Wrzesniewsky and are not to be used without artist authorization(minus the logo,which is property of Shui Tea)