Happy Black Friday! I wanted to start off today with a nice tea review! Coalition tea is a company run by a US veteran. Through his deployments, he found himself having tea quite frequently in Iraq and Afghanistan. His goal was to bridge the gap between those serving and those back home. I received three tea samples from Coalition Tea: Golden Kahwa – Afghan Spiced Tea, Mesopotamia – Iraqi Spiced Tea, and Assam Black Tea. Here are my thoughts:
Analyzation of the Teas:
Golden Kahwa – Afghan Spiced Tea: This was lovely. The aroma was spicy and sweet, and I could smell hints of saffron basically over everything. I was quite surprised at how sweet the aroma was, there were other elements that I could smell but was unable to pick totally up on. The taste of the tea was just as relaxing as the aroma. Again, the saffron kind of takes over the tea, but in a very mild way. There was the feeling of the black peppercorn in the tea, right on the tongue as I swallowed. I also tasted a lingering of saffron and cardamom on my tongue after each sip, allowing me to really savor the taste. I think the fact that this is a green tea instead of black really allows the flavors to burst out and not be overwhelmed by a tannin taste. I quite enjoyed the delicate nature of this tea, with the slight punch of spice. Very delightful.
Ingredients: Certified Elephant Friendly (TM) green tea, organic cinnamon, organic cardamom, organic saffron, organic ginger, organic peppercorn.
Mesopotamia – Iraqi Spiced Tea: This tea was quite strong and spiced, everything I honestly expected. I made my mom and I a small pot of tea and her reaction was and I quote “Mhhhh….I like this one.” It was quite interesting, there are only a few differences between this one and the Afgan spiced tea, but it was completely different experiences on my palate. The spice in this tea laid primarily on my tongue (much like the Afgan tea) and the taste completely lingered on my tongue after swallowing, but there was a much stronger tannin taste that I associated with the black tea. It was very different than the Afgan tea (which is green tea-based). I think it was mostly the cardamom that I tasted throughout my mouth. I ended up steeping the leaves for a second time and discovered that while it lost some of the spice, the character of the tea remained nearly the same. It actually seemed to be slightly less astringent the second time and still had some calming spice to it.
Ingredients: Certified Elephant Friendly (TM) black tea, organic cinnamon, organic cardamom, organic ginger
Assam Black: As soon as I measured out the tea and poured the boiling water on the leaves, I got a hint of vanilla that rushed up from the cup. Once properly steeped, I eagerly rushed to drink the tea. It was all the things a proper black tea should be: tanniny and smooth (I have no idea where that vanilla came from or went to). It was quite a nice cup to start my morning too, and I ended up extending its life to my early afternoon as well. I steeped it a second time to see if it could withstand another steeping, and it passed with flying colors! The taste was slightly different, with the first one being slightly more mellow and a tiny bit of astringency coming out for the second brew. However, I was mildly impressed by its consistency brew to brew. The leaves also looked very beautiful after the second brew, with whole leaves proudly on display.
Ingredients: Certified Elephant Friendly (TM) black tea
What is Elephant Friendly Tea?
This question plagued me ever since I saw it on the packaging of this tea. How can tea be elephant-friendly? Or better yet, how is tea not elephant-friendly?
All Coalition Tea blends start with Certified Elephant Friendly (TM) Tea. The Asian elephant is endangered, with its numbers continuing to dwindle. Unfortunately, tea farms can be dangerous and even deadly for elephants. Traditional farming methods can lead to electrocution, poisoning and drowning for these beautiful creatures. Certified Elephant Friendly (TM) Tea is sourced from tea plantations that meet high standards for protection of elephant habitat and water resources; reducing human-elephant conflict; and reducing barriers to elephant movement.Coalition Tea
So, in conclusion, tea farms can be quite detrimental to Asian Elephants. By sourcing from tea farms that strive to protect the elephants, you are helping this endangered species through drinking tea!
Analyzation of the Price:
All samples of this tea (which is what I received) are $3. For larger quantities of the teas, the Golden Kahwa tea is $19.50 for 3 ounces, and the Mesopotamia tea and Assam Black tea is $14.50 for 3 ounces. I think the prices definitely live up to the quality and the message behind these teas. For one, the samples are quite inexpensive, which I love because I always like trying out teas before buying large quantities. The larger prices are justified because I now tried out the tea samples, and the quality of them leads me to want more!
Analyzation of the Packaging:
One thing I will warn any consumer about the samples is that it is hard to find a way to keep them fresh after opening. It is not resealable, so I had to use a little clip to make sure I would not spill any of the tea out. However, I also understand that this might have been a way for the company to provide these samples for a discounted price. I cannot comment on the 3-ounce packaging (for obvious reasons).
I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and is ready for some holiday shopping! Please remember this holiday season that shopping small can be a great way to get all of those holiday gifts! Thank you for your service to all of those who have served or who are still serving, and Happy Brewing!