Holiday Gift Idea: Tipu’s Chai Gift Basket

We all have that one person in our lives who are the hardest to give gifts to, whether they already have everything they need or you don’t know them that well; this gift basket is for you! Or maybe you are searching for a great gift for a fellow tea lover in your life, or for yourself!  Coming from Tipu’s Chai, a great company who sells authentic Indian chai in instant form, this holiday gift basket includes “One 4 ounce bag of Slow Brew Original Chai, a beautiful mug and a tea strainer”, all to help make the perfect cup of chai. This gift basket is priced just under $20, which makes it a very affordable gift!

I have tried Tipu’s Chai before, and I love it. It makes a strong,spicy cup of chai, and is great for these winter months! If you aren’t big on the spiciness of chai, my secret is to make hot cocoa, and add about a half teaspoon of the instant chai in. The chocolate helps to dial back the spiciness of the chai, and tastes delicious when mixed together!

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Or buy this gift for your friends,family or yourself here!

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Arbor Teas’ Organic Pomegranate White Tea

Brand: Arbor Teas Organic Pomegranate White Tea
Tea Rating: 79/100
Steep Time: 2-3 minutes
Steep Temperature: 180 Degrees
Price: 1.5 oz. for $7.50 or 4 oz. for $10.95

This tea is absolutely beautiful. You really have to see it in person to admire it, but I hope this picture does the tea some justice. There are beautiful reddish-orange flower petals mixed with the silvery and white tea needles work well together. The smell of the dry leaf is more candy like than pomegranate, but either way, it smelled sweet, and reminded me of lollipops. I steeped this tea for 3 minutes in 180 degree water. Let’s watch the steep together now:

The liquor is a pale and clear golden yellow. And the tea smells like candy and pomegranate while steeping. It is a very delicious aroma, and really smells the entire room up.The taste is very light, with some underlying apple flavors, but I think I am unsure whether these are apple flavors, or just pomegranate, as to me the flavor is crisp with a hint of sour. The pomegranate flavor is very nice, and is not artificial tasting at all, which is a nice change of pace from other flavored teas I have tried throughout my tea journey. I have been consistently impressed with Arbor Teas’ teas after being given the opportunity to sample a number of their teas! I would recommend this tea if flavored teas are your thing!

Check out Arbor Teas on the web:

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

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

Review of Naiveteas’ Wen Shen Bao Zhong

Brand: Naiveteas’ Wen Shen Bao Zhong
Tea Rating: 93/100
Price: $12.00 for 1 oz. *  $21.00 for 2 oz * $39.00 for 4 oz.
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Tea description: “Premium grade Bao Zhong cultivated at the highest altitude tea farm in Ping Lin. Profuse floral aroma with hints of orchid and osmanthus. Soft mouth feel with light and smooth body. Delicate flavors with notes of fresh flowers. Refined fragrant aftertaste.

This tea, Web Shan Bao Zhong is cultivated at the highest altitude tea farm in Ping Lin, Taiwan.  This oolong tea is a lightly oxidized oolong, which has hints of both green and oolong. Oolong tea is more oxidized than green tea but less oxidized than black tea. Wen Shan Bao Zhong is sometimes referred to as a green oolong.  The first thing that I noticed is that the leaves are much larger than the small hand rolled balls of oolong teas that are popular.The dry leaves are a beautiful deep green color with hints of lighter green. The shape of the tea was twisted and long in length.  The dry leaves smell a bit nutty and roasted,and the tea really smells like it has been toasted.

I steeped this tea for about 2 minutes per steep with 195 degree water. Let’s steep the first two steeps of the tea together now….

The liquor was a bright yellow shade and the smell was intoxicatingly floral with a very slight underlying nutty scent. The first steep of the tea tasted very floral, and reminded me so much like orchids. It was amazing how much it tasted like orchids smelled. There are a lot of oolongs out there that are said to embody floral qualities, or to have orchid flavors, but this one was dead on in this description. The steeped tea leaves still smelled nutty as well as orchid-like.

The second steep was not nearly as floral as the first steep. The nutty scent was still identifiable, however it did not come through in the tasting in either steep. The second steep was much more mellow and was more vegetal. I really enjoyed how this tea was not astringent or tannic at all. It was a very pleasant tea to sip on.

The one thing I really enjoy about oolongs, is following the tea as the flavor changes and morphs with each subsequent steep. I have been consistently impressed by Naivetea’s offerings and this selection is no different. I would definitely recommend this tea!

Check out Naiveteas on the web:

Website: HERE
Facebook: HERE
Twitter: HERE

Want this tea right now? Here!

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

SUPER AWESOME CHRISTMAS DEAL FROM CANTON TEA!

So, I was approached by Canton Tea a few weeks ago asking If i would be interested in helping them promote their christmas deals! Of course I said yes, as I love to bring cool tea deals to my readers! There are a lot of options to choose from… some big, some small, but all of them are moderately priced for what is included! I will post up some of my favorites here, and if you are interested in checking all of their holiday gift ideas out, you can go to their website to see all the fabulous ideas and gift hampers they have put together for the holidays!
HERE IS A SPECIAL JUST FOR EXPANDING LEAVES READERS:USE  promo code EXPANDING which will entitle you guys  to a 10% discount! How awesome is that!

My first favorite gift ideas from Canton Tea are their stocking stuffers, which are all priced around 5 dollars! Here, you can choose from some wonderful tea accessories, like a Pale blue Yixing cup or a Bamboo tea strainer, or 3 tea tasters of 10g each of their Jasmine Pearls, White Silver Needle and Green Pouchong tea. There are some great ideas here for stocking stuffers, and at awesome prices.

I also enjoy their Gold Great Taste award sampler pack, which includes 8 of their award winning teas, if you want to know more about this, you can read my review here!

However, throughout all of the deals they are offering on these Christmas hampers, my personal favorite, and the one I would most like to receive is their Chocolate and Tea Pack! I mean, what pairs better than fine delicious chocolates and superb, quality loose leaf tea?  In this box, there are 16 gourmet chocolates and 5- 10g tea samples! What a steal for $43.00!

ALSO HERE IS A SPECIAL JUST FOR EXPANDING LEAVES READERS:USE  promo code EXPANDING which will entitle you guys  to a 10% discount! How awesome is that!

For more information on Canton Tea Co. teas and other products:
find them on twitter : here
Find them on Facebook: here
Find out more information about their company: here
or find out more about these holiday gift hampers: here

picture is property of Canton Tea Company and was borrowed from their website for the use of visual appearance of the tea hampers.

Final edition to Chocolate Week: Lapsang Souchong Truffle!

Brand: Arbor Teas’ Tea Infused Chocolates
T ea Rating: 100/100
Price: $18.00 for the truffle assortment.
Want these?  Click here!
Description: A rich, smoky combination of dark chocolate ganache and our smoked Lapsang Souchong Black Tea, square cut and dipped in dark chocolate.”

The very last review of the Tea Infused Truffles form Arbor Teas is the one I was most worried about. As, I haven’t been exposed to very much Lapsang Souchong in my tea lifetime and the times I have it was a strange tea. First off, the smell of the truffle itself embodied the tea and chocolate, smelling like a bitter, high percentage of dark chocolate,but also smelling like pipe tobacco and campfire at the same time.  The taste is interesting. Upon first taste,the dark chocolate plays nicely with the smoky and toasty flavors from the Lapsang Souchong tea.

This is a truffle that really opens up your senses and engages all of your taste buds. With the bitterness from the dark chocolate and the bitterness found in the black tea, you can really feel them drying your mouth out directly after you swallow. I attribute this drying, to sticking a handful of cotton balls in your mouth, that is how the dryness feels immediately after swallowing. However, my mouth watered for another few seconds after the initial drying subsided, which was really interesting! I allowed my dad to sample this truffle with me, and he thought  “the after taste tasted like you just finished a bag of barbecue potato chips and tastes like dark chocolate was paired with an ashtray instead of tea”. You gotta hand it to my dad’s first official appearance on my blog for bringing the thunder with his Gary Vaynerchuk like interpretation of the truffle!
I like this truffle, the caramel undertones from the lapsang souchong pair well with the smokiness and the dark chocolate. I think this was the most daring of the entire bunch,and is in the leader board for embodying the most creativity.

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.

Arbor Teas’ Tea Infused Chocolates; Masala Chai Truffle!

Brand: Arbor Teas’ Tea Infused Chocolates
T ea Rating: 100/100
Price: $18.00 for the truffle assortment.
Want these?  Click here!
Description: “White chocolate ganache infused with our spicy Masala Chai Black Tea, coated in white chocolate, and topped with a chocolate marble.”

I love this truffle. Surprisingly, the Masala Chai Truffle was the lightest of the 6 truffles! This truffle is white on white, and is exquisitely creamy and delicious. The chai flavor is light,which balances very nicely with the lightness of the white chocolate. There is a light spiciness from the chai in the truffle, with subtle flavors of cinnamon,anise,clove and the other traditional flavors associated with chai.  The truffle is very smooth, and melts right in your mouth. The only contrast is the ball on top of the truffle, which is crunchy. This truffle reminds me of sipping on white hot chocolate, with maybe a teaspoon or two of chai mixed into the drink. This truffle was the most balanced of all of the truffles, which the Chai flavor not overpowering the white ganache, but instead harmonizing with the ganache to create a lovely truffle.


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.

Arbor Tea Infused Truffles: Earl Grey Edition!

Brand: Arbor Teas’ Tea Infused Chocolates
Tea Rating: 100/100
Price: $18.00 for the truffle assortment.
Want these?  Click here!
Truffle description: “ A milk chocolate shell filled with dark chocolate ganache infused with the citrusy tang of our Earl Grey Black Tea.”

This earl grey truffle smells like bergamot and  dark chocolate ganache. But, the dark chocolate doesn’t smell as bitter as some dark chocolates, so i think it is a lower percentage of dark chocolate. However, there are lots of dark chocolate flavors, the bergamot flavor almost seems absent and gets lost within the dark chocolate flavor. The citrus is light, and not as overpowering as it smells.

This truffle’s mouth feel is milky, creamy with a buttery texture as well. It melts right in my mouth. Overall, this truffle is delicious, the ganache and citrus pair very well together. I would have liked for the tea to be much more prominent, but that could be the tea lover in me.

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.

Arbor Teas’ Tea Infused Chocolates; Pineapple Passionfruit Edition!

Brand: Arbor Teas’ Tea Infused Chocolates
Tea Rating: 100/100
Price: $18.00 for the truffle assortment.
Want these?  Click here!
Truffle description: “Our sweet and fruity Pineapple Passion Green Tea is infused in the soft, creamy which chocolate ganache that fills the dark chocolate shell.”

This truffle smells fruity and  dark chocolate-y at the same time. The flavor is very fruity, tastes exactly like pineapple. The resemblance to the sweetness of a pineapple is uncanny. I also taste some green tea notes on the back end of my palate . I  enjoyed the white ganache very much. This ganache has a melty, buttery consistency in my mouth which complimented the crunchier hard shell of the dark chocolate exterior. The sweetness of the white chocolate and the tart flavors of the pineapple blend together very nicely. The pineapple flavor isn’t overly pineapple, but the sweet and tart notes of a pineapple taste great with the truffle. I love the ganache in all of these chocolates, but this truffle was specifically my favorite! The ganache is so creamy and melts away in your mouth. The dark chocolate exterior must be a high cacao percentage, because of the bitter tones. I loved this chocolate, the bitterness of the exterior, with the sweet and light flavors of the white ganache mixed with the tart/sweet flavors of the pineapple green tea just tastes fantastic together!

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.


Arbor Teas’ Tea Infused Chocolate… Jasmine Truffle Edition!

Brand: Arbor Teas’ Tea Infused Chocolates
Tea Rating: 100/100
Price: $18.00 for the truffle assortment.
Want these?  Click here!

Arbor Teas was gracious enough to offer me a sample of their popular Tea Infused Chocolates! These chocolates are infused with their teas. The description on their website reads “Each truffle assortment comes with one of each of the truffles described above. And, as with all Arbor Teas products, we’ve gone to great lengths to source the most sustainable products and packaging mate rials available, so you can enjoy this treat guilt-free!

You will not be able to resist our gourmet tea-infused chocolate truffles! These tasty little treats are hand-made by our friends at Sweet Gem Confections, using the finest quality chocolate. Each truffle is infused with a different variety of organic tea, carefully matched with the perfect combination of chocolates to highlight the unique characteristics of each.”I could not wait to try these!

Their jasmine truffle is described as “Dark chocolate ganache infused with our wonderfully-floral Jasmine Pearl Green Tea and grapefruit zest, diamond cut and dipped in white chocolate.”

Upon first bite( more like first nibble! Since I savored these truffles down to the final bite!), the dark chocolate is quite overpowering in the truffle. However,I do taste some light floral notes after the truffle ganache melts on my tongue, which are sweet, soft and remind me of jasmine. The sweetness and floral notes on the jasmine pair well with the dark chocolate, but i would have loved to have the jasmine flavor be a bit more prominent in this truffle. The end notes of the chocolate is where the jasmine comes into play. The light jasmine flavor dances with a zesty flavor of grapefruit after the truffle has been chewed and swallowed. The zesty grapefruit lingers around longer on my palate than the jasmine did. This truffle was also creamy and smooth and the ganache seemingly melted right on my tongue as soon as I started tasting the truffle! Finally,  there is a bitter/ mouth pucker after the ganache dissipates, which I believe is the combination of the green tea, high quality dark chocolate and the jasmine all fusing together . The combo of the dark chocolate ganache and the jasmine green tea really dries out the palate a bit and then makes the mouth water….for another bite! This truffle offers a full and satisfying flavor for a chocolate urge.  The grapefruit notes are my favorite attribute of this truffle, as they tingle on my taste-buds as I taste the truffle! So far, this jasmine truffle has been my favorite! Stay tuned for the rest of the truffle posts! If you are considering buying these, I would recommend you splurge as a special treat to yourself because these are fantastic truffles!

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.

Arbor Teas’ Tea Infused Chocolates!

Brand: Arbor Teas’ Tea Infused Chocolates
Tea Rating: 100/100
Price: $18.00 for the truffle assortment.
Want these?  Click here!


Arbor Teas was gracious enough to offer me a sample of their popular Tea Infused Chocolates! These chocolates are infused with their teas. The description on their website reads “Each truffle assortment comes with one of each of the truffles described above. And, as with all Arbor Teas products, we’ve gone to great lengths to source the most sustainable products and packaging materials available, so you can enjoy this treat guilt-free!

You will not be able to resist our gourmet tea-infused chocolate truffles! These tasty little treats are hand-made by our friends at Sweet Gem Confections, using the finest quality chocolate. Each truffle is infused with a different variety of organic tea, carefully matched with the perfect combination of chocolates to highlight the unique characteristics of each.” I could not wait to try these!
First up is their Matcha Truffle!
Description: “ A healthy dose of our organic Matcha Green Tea give the white chocolate center of this milk chocolate truffle a vivid green color and rich green tea flavor.”

This chocolate was very creamy. The milk chocolate paired really nicely with the matcha flavor. The Green Tea flavor is not over steeped at all and instead taste milky, creamy and a tiny bit bitter, to remind you it’s there!  I  taste some light green tea flavors of bitterness and astringency, but the sweetness that can be tasted in matcha is also prominent in the truffle, and pairs really well with the milk chocolate!

I really enjoyed this matcha truffle. It was wonderfully balanced in flavor.  The chocolate stayed true to what a truffle tastes like, while still embodying the matcha green tea as well! If you are considering buying these, I would recommend you splurge as a special treat to yourself!

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.