Back from a couple of weeks vacation, and ready to drink some tea! This one is interesting, as it features the manuka plant, native to New Zealand and reputed to have numerous therapeutic uses. The dry leaf is very pretty to look at, with deep red bits of hibiscus and small shards of rose hip mixed in with the small, bright green and shiny manuka leaves.

The hibiscus and rose hip bring it up to a light pinkish-red color on steeping, which gives off a fruity/grassy aroma. It’s got the typical tartness associated with the hibiscus and rose hip, but this doesn’t overpower the manuka flavor, which shows a clear woody and slightly piney presence. As for the green tea that’s supposed to be in the mix, I’m not detecting it, but not particularly missing it either.

Not bad, and from the claims made for the manuka bush I figure it’s probably good for me too.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!


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