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Springtime and new beginnings!

Hello everyone! Just wanted to drop in and let you know that we are working hard to bring you new,exciting content,reviews and videos in the upcoming week! Looking forward to sharing our tea moments with you!



Libre Tea Mug!

Brand: Libre Tea Mug
Rating: 100/100
Price: $32.50 CAD

I won a facebook photo giveaway from Libre Tea. My prize for winning the contest was their new Tea Mug and a package of their new Organic Ming Mei Green Tea!  I will write a separate review of the green tea. For now, let’s focus on the new Libre Tea Mug!
Let’s start off with a video displaying how the Mug steeps!
A few changes that I noticed with this mug is Libre Tea changed the screw top, where it is much easier to get on and off of the mug, and it no longer has a plastic area where the tea tannins can collect and make it look quite messy. I really like the redesign of the cap!
I also noticed that they made the new mug a lot easier to screw on and off, which is great for on the go. Plus, even though it is easier to screw on and off, the tea mug is still very sealed, and does not drip at all while brewing up some tea!
All in all, I really like my old Libre Tea Glass & Poly,but I love the new mug even more! The mug handle is extremely convenient, and makes sipping on tea that much easier. Libre Tea has gotten on to go tea brewing down very well! I love that they now offer small on the go loose leaf packs of tea for you to put in your libre tea mug when your out and about. It sure saves the time of packaging your own loose leaf to bring along with you. If you don’t have a Libre Tea Mug, I would definitely recommend getting one if you’re looking for a great on to the tea mug!
Find Libre Tea on the web:

on Twitter
On Facebook
or buy this tea from their website!

All photographs included in this post are property of Melissa Wrzesniewsky and are not to be taken,shared, or used without the artists consent.

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)

And the winner is…

Thank you to everyone who helped to make my first ever giveaway a complete success! You all are fantastic and I am so lucky to have met all of you through my journey with this blog! Also, a HUGE thanks to Tipu’s Chai for hosting this wonderful giveaway!

And the winner is… Teawench!

Yay! Congratulations!  I hope you enjoy this as much as I have! Many thanks to all the participants, please look for more giveaways in the future on Expanding Leaves!

If you didn’t win, and really had your heart set on getting some Tipu’s Chai, don’t fret… I was hooked up with a discount code! Use this coupon code: CHAI4LEAVES, for 10% off your entire order of Tipu’s Chai in their online store. Just enter it at checkout on the site! Cheers everyone!


Well, my dear readers!  I am very excited to announce Expanding Leaves’ very first giveaway! What might you win? Only the most delicious instant black chai tea. Tipu’s Chai Tea is an instant black chai tea, which is very spicy, as if you had made it on the stove with your on fresh ingredients, except without all the work! Tipu’s Chai tea is a blend our their own mix of spices that has been passed from generation to generation within their family! this recipe has traveled a long way from Gujarat in India to America and now to you!

This chai tastes great, and is extra spicy when you get towards the bottom of your cup, because there is a bit of spices left in the bottom of the cup for an extra spicy sip at the end!

Watch this video to learn about how you can win 4 oz. of Tipu’s Chai Instant Black Tea!

Rules for entering in the giveaway!

1) Follow Tipu’s Chai on Facebook and/or Twitter

2) Follow Expanding Leaves on Facebook and/or Twitter

3) Leave a comment below of your favorite way to make chai and your favorite chai blend!

My favorite way to make this Tipu’s Chai is to add equal parts hot cocoa mix and Tipu’s Instant Chai mix with steamed milk! It is like a spicy hot cocoa and is delicious!

The Giveaway is over! Thank you to all who participated!

This Giveaway will end at Midnight EST Friday, October 1!

Good Luck and thank you to Tipu’s Chai (And to all of my faithful readers!) for helping make this happen!

Mellow Monk Tea is Blissmo’s Deal of the Week!

Sustainability and Eco- Consciousness are some things that are very close to my heart and the way I like to live my life. To see a tea brand, that is my passion, following the similar green philosophies that I have is very exciting for me!  Even if you don’t check out this particular deal, I would  recommend you still check out Mellow Monk Tea!  The deal from Blissmo this week is only good for another 4 days and offers you $10 dollars for $20 worth of Mellow Monk Teas! That is a pretty great deal!

Blissmo is a website that connects  conscious shoppers with Eco- conscious brands and products through weekly discounts. This weeks certified green business is Mellow Monk Tea, located in San Francisco, CA. Mellow Monk was chosen for this weeks deal because their business is certified as sustainable and is a certified Bay Area Green Business.

To become a green business,  Mellow Monk has to go through an evaluation to display how they have ‘green’ed their company. Some of the things Mellow Monk has implemented as day to day business practices are:

  • They minimize paper usage by doing all-electronic promotion (no mailings or print catalogs, for instance) and record-keeping, as well as using recycled papers whenever possible for labels, order slips, etc.
  • All Mellow Monk growers in Japan are family-owned and -operated, as well as being certified under the Japanese government’s Eco Farmer Program.
  • Aso is the perfect natural environment for growing tea — a high elevation, plenty of rain, sunny spring, not-too-hot summer, and cold winter, which allows the plants to hibernate
  • The growers also rely on strictly organic fertilizer to supplement the natural richness of Aso’s volcanic soil

Learn more about their sustainability practice here!

Here are some of the teas that Mellow Monk recommends!

If you are interested in the deal, you can head over to Blissmo.Com and follow these steps:
* Purchase with credit card or PayPal account
* After the deal closes they’ll send you a unique voucher code which you will need to redeem with Mellow Monk online at their website.
* If purchasing as a gift, you will be able to forward the unique voucher code you receive.
* Questions? Email Them… support {at}

Everything but the Kitchen Sink!

Find 52 Teas online:
Click here to buy there fun teas!

Review of Cha Cha Tea’s Caramel Rooibos

Brand: Cha Cha Tea’s Caramel Rooibos
Tea Rating: 75/100
Steep Time: 4-6 minutes
Steep Temperature: 212 Degrees

Rooibos, also known as Red Tea, is an herbal plant that grows in South Africa. Rooibos is a caffeine free tea, which makes it perfect for people who are looking to eliminate caffeine. Caramel is essentially melted, almost burned sugar. It is primarily used to flavor candy, drizzled on Caramel Corn or used for dipping fruit in. Cha Cha Tea’s Caramel Rooibos has a delightful smell of caramel, and even has small chucks of caramel in the tea! The caramel is pretty overpowering, and I do not get a very rooibos scent from the dry tea at all. This is good because the Rooibos smell is kind of woody and could scare some novice tea drinkers away from the non caffeinated treat! The taste is more rooibos, and less caramel flavor. Some Rooibos can seem overpowering and woody in flavor, but this description does not fit Cha Cha Teas’. Instead their tea is mellow, and soft cup with some subtle red qualities, like earthiness.

The caramel flavor is not as strong in the steeped tea, it is there, but is more of a complimentary flavor than an overpowering primary flavor. My favorite part of the tea was how the caramel chunks melted to create a bit of creaminess and thickness in the cup. The melted caramel made the tea taste like I added milk to it, when I didn’t, which was interesting! It also added sweetness to the cup, where If you usually add sugar to your teas (I don’t add sugar to hot tea) you wouldn’t have to! To ensure that your rooibos doesn’t get overpowering, I would recommend experimenting with rooibos amounts, by increasing the amount of loose leaves used or the infusion time if you want a more intense flavor, or back off and use less leaves and a shorter steep time for a more subtle cup that won’t overwhelm you at first. I really enjoyed this tea, and actually made my second try of the tea into an iced tea! It tasted so good with a little bit of sugar and ice in it! Definitely one I would want to sip on the patio after a hot summer day!

Cha Cha Tea is a small tea company located in Madison, Wisconsin. She almost exclusively sells organic teas, meaning she supports growers and farmers who farm using organic and natural methods. These methods yield a much healthier and tastier cup of tea! AlsoCha Cha Tea is a small tea company, that focuses on providing small amounts of artisan teas to their customers. I’ve had a wonderful experience with Maleah at Cha Cha Tea and would definitely order from them in the future!

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Want to buy this tea? Click here!


Tea Review- Adagio Teas Maestro Collection Fujian Jasmine Pearls

The Jasmine Pearls come from the Fujian Provence in China. With it’s mixture of a subtropical climate and mountains, the Fujian Province has the ideal climate for growing tea.Tea has been produced in this area of China for more than 1600 years, and many of the production techniques that are now implemented by tea farmers originated and started in the Fujian province.

First off, I love the way the hand rolled pearls look- they are dainty,delicate and just beautiful. The pearls are much smaller than I have seen before, but interesting nonetheless. The strong smell of Jasmine is a bit overpowering at first. Although Jasmine is a naturally strong scent that some people don’t enjoy, I do.  The  sweet and floral mixture of Jasmie goes straight to your nose upon opening the container, which automatically either invites you in for more. The liquor of this tea was a very light yellow, with The taste of this tea is not as strong as the smell by any means, the liquor is very delicate and wonderful all around. It’s light, it’s floral, it’s just great. I really think this tea would be wonderful to drink on a summer or spring day when it is not warm or cold, but just in between. All around, I think this tea is great and I respect Adagio for offering higher quality teas in their new Maestro Collection.

For More Information on Adagio’s Maestro Collection Click : HERE

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Adagio Tea Maestro Collection- Fujian Ti Kuan Yin

Adagio Tea’s has long been a favorite distributor of fine quality teas.On April 10th, they are releasing their Maestro Collection, which features 8 high quality teas that have been chosen for their complex flavors and aesthetic appearances. I was lucky enough to get my hands on these teas in advance and I have to say I am very impressed! The tea I will be reviewing is their Fujian Ti Kuan Yin.Oolong teas are some of the best teas that come out of tea farms in China, Taiwan, and sometimes even regions in India. “Regional competitions are dedicated to selecting and recognizing the best farmers every season. Oolong teas are full bodied in flavor and aroma ranging from green and floral to dark and roasted with many notes between. Many oolongs undergo a unique roasting process which can last from 12 to 36 continuous hours under the careful eye of a tea master.” (Information from

This tea was fantastic and even more than I had hoped it to be. Oolongs are some of my favorite teas, and this one was a bit of a surprise. The liquor is a very pale color, which could be a tip off for a light tea, but the flavors are exquisite. On my first sip, I just enjoyed the complexity of the flavors unfurl on my palette. Upon my next few sips, I started to taste some subtle floral qualities that were especially pleasing. Paired along with these floral notes is a sweet honey taste as well as some tropical fruits, I can’t define the tropical fruit, but it really works for this tea and all the flavors pair well together. I steeped this tea 4 times and even on the 4th steep,I was still impressed by the amount of flavor left in the leaves. Next time, I am going to try and steep it 5 or 6 times to see when the flavors dissipate.

Needless to say, this is one tea that I will definitely be picking up when Adagio debut’s their new Maestro Collection and I am excited to try the rest of the collection’s samples! Thanks Ilya at Adagio for hooking me up!

For More Information on Adagio’s Maestro Collection Click : HERE

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Adagio on Facebook