“And I want a tea cozy. I don’t know what a tea cozy is, but I want one!”
– Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I drink tea… a lot of tea. With Mr. Wonderful’s gift of a personal Keurig for my office I drink probably more tea than I should. This tea is different than most of the teas I usually drink. This is a desert tea. This is Art of Tea’s Velvet Tea.
Velvet Tea is fair trade certified. While this does nothing substantial in the flavor of the tea, it does tell you that the quality and standards of life of those that grow and harvest this tea are greater than those who earn below living wage for what they produce. This is neither the time or the place for standing on a soap box… so I will not digress further at this time into the definition of fair trade. There are wonderful explanations on the Art of Tea website and you are more than welcome to go view the videos and learn about what they are doing to ensure a higher quality product.
Please also note that my Keurig is not the recommended way to brew this tea. While it might be the easiest way for me to enjoy tea throughout the day… they recommend steeping 1 teaspoon for 5-7 minutes in 206 degree water. The fill line on my eco-cup is about 2 1/2 teaspoons and I get the best flavor from my 1st and second cup. And yes… I do brew the same leaves all day at I believe is 165 degrees, but I have no setting control for the temperature. Velvet Tea a loose tea. You can order empty teabags from Art of Tea or from Amazon or go to the grocery store and get them there if you do not have a strainer or a eco-cup/my-k-cup.
The first thing you will notice about this tea is the smell. The leaves themselves make my nose a bit itchy, but they smell of chocolate, apples and mint. Once brewed, the tea smells of vanilla and mint. It has a nice creamy texture and a taste that is a bit too weak for me (could be stronger I would imagine if brewed for the full 7 minutes, but I want my tea… when I have a chance to drink it). It has a nice, not to overpowering finish of mint. I think that is my favorite part… the lingering finish.
I prefer to drink this tea cold… but hot is okay too. With all of the great tea that Art of Tea has… this one leaves me a little bit more than a little disappointed. Sorry guys… I cannot recommend this one… unless you’re into desert teas that leave you wondering what you’re drinking.