Stanley’s blend – A review

I have been drinking a lot of Earl Grey teas recently, last night I decided that I wanted to try something a little different. I had purchased some “Stanley’s Blend” black tea from a while back and decided I would try a cuppa.

Full boil water, half a clam shell of tea leaves.
Steeped for a little more than 5 minutes.
Initial aroma was kind of malty. Smooth
Flavors, of honey and citrus appeared on the pallet. Very warm and friendly flavor. Very much the flavor that you would expect from traditional tea. It was a bit astringent, but not overwhelming. Almost an “Assam” lite, with prominent traditional Darjeeling tea.
This Assam and Darjeeling mix was made by a true tea master, Stanley Mason. Stanley left a huge impact on the tea industry when he met John Harney. Here is a lot of history with those two names. Which I will be posting about at a different time.
Stanley blend is a tribute to the great influence Stanley Mason had on John Harney while he was mentoring John. This tea is a wonderful, medium bodied tea, that would handle milk well. I really don’t care for milk or sweetener in my tea as a general rule. This tea has a subtle sweetness of its own and is a nice lighter version of a breakfast style tea. It changes flavor and strength as it cools down. At a lesser temperature it still holds up nice, it has a smooth sweet after taste.
If you get the chance to,try it, you won’t be disappointed. For me I am going to prepare some loose leaf tea bags with Stanley’s blend so I can take it with me to work.

If you need some loose leaf tea bags you can get them from my store on

Silver Needle Tea – Bai Hao Yin Zhen

About Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle)

silver-needle-teaWhite tea is made in four counties in Fujian province, Fuding, Zhen He, Jian Yang, and Song Xi, though Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle) white tea is only made in Fuding and Zhen He. These counties grow unique cultivars of the tea bush, Fuding Da Bai and Zhen He Da Bai, which are capable of producing the large and stylish tea buds that Silver Needle is known for. Seven Cups’ Silver Needle is made entirely from Fuding’s original Da Bai bush type, known for having buds that are bigger, richer, fatter and more numerous than the Zhen He cultivar. Additionally, Fuding’s Silver Needle white tea touts the claim of being the original, invented in 1796, much earlier than Zhen He’s.

Even at its beginning, white tea was a popular export to Europe. Its conspicuously large buds were some times blended with simple black tea to enhance its visual appeal. The First World War halted the export of white tea in 1918. Exports resumed briefly in 1926 but only to be stopped again by the escalation to the Second World War. White tea finally returned to the Western market in the late 20th century where it has been viewed with renewed curiosity.

Gaiwan Preparation

gaiwan-darkThe Chinese gaiwan or covered cup is considered the preferred method for brewing teas with delicate flavors, such as green and white teas, but is suitable for any type of tea. This method has been used in China since about 1350. The gaiwan consists of a saucer, bowl and lid. It is extraordinarily versatile and can be used in place of a teapot, as a combination teapot/teacup (in the traditional Chinese style) or simply as a drinking cup.

All that is needed to prepare tea in this style is a gaiwan, since the tea can be brewed and drunk from the same vessel. Alternatively, the gaiwan can be used primarily as a teapot and the tea decanted into either a small pitcher or individual tasting cups.

Prepare the tealeaves and have them ready to be placed into the gaiwan as soon as it has been warmed.

Rinse the gaiwan

This step signifies the purification of the gaiwan so that it is free of any dust or residue. It also warms the cup. Rinse the gaiwan with hot water. If using a serving pitcher and tasting cups, pour the hot water from the gaiwan into these vessels and then discard the water.

Rinse the tealeaves

This step opens up the leaves to release the tea’s aroma. The aroma should be savored prior to infusion in order to prepare the palate to appreciate the tea’s full flavor. Add about one to two teaspoons of dry leaves to the gaiwan. With a little experimentation, this quantity can be adjusted to your taste. Pour hot water over the tealeaves and immediately pour this water off. Remove the lid and savor the aroma of the leaves.

Infuse and serve 

Fill the gaGaiwaniwan with water of the appropriate temperature. Experiment with both the quantity of tea and brewing time to find what works best f
or each tea. As a general guideline we suggest using 2-3 tablespoons of tea, and steeping the tea for just 20-30 seconds on the first infusion, extending the steeping time for each subsequent infusion. This method of brewing allows you to infuse the same tea leaves many times over, each infusion yielding a new and different experience.

To drink from the gaiwan, hold the saucer in the palm of the right hand and use the thumb to steady the cup. Using your left hand, lift the lid by the knob, tilt the lid away so that it holds back the leaves and sip the tea. Alternatively, the tea can be poured into the serving pitcher and then into the tasting cups.


One of the benefits of using high quality, loose-leaf teas is that they can be resteeped several times. Keep adding water as many times as yields a flavorful cup. To resteep, increase the steeping time slightly with each infusion. Experiment with steeping times to accommodate your taste. However, excessively long steeping can result in a bitter infusion. It is not recommended that tealeaves be left for a long period of time between infusions.

Here is a video that demonstrates Gaiwan method of preparing tea, the maker of the video is preparing gyokuro.

Singbulli Summer Oolong

I just received my monthly tea subscription, inside was a wonderful oolong tea. Singbulli Summer Oolong is a very smooth oolong from India. I prepared it Gaiwan. First infusion I set my water to 190 degrees F. I let it steep too long at 1:00, it was strong but still smooth, a touch of bitterness due to the over steeping. Second cup I let set for :30, third cup :40, and the fourth :45. I am really enjoying the difference in the cups, still really smooth and a velvet feel in the mouth. The fourth cup was a little astringent.

singbulliReading up on the origin of this tea I found the plantation is  Located in the Mirik area in Darjeeling, the Singbulli estate is spread across 9 rolling hills over an area of 13.6 miles (22 km) with altitude varying between 1,180 to 4,100 feet (360m to 1250m) above sea level.

“Originally established in 1924 by British planters the garden has four divisions, namely Singbulli Division, Manja Division, Tingling Division and Murmah Division. The plantation is very active in ecological upgradation and maintaining bio-diversity at the garden and has initiated various programmes for soil conservation and environmental protection.” (Excerpt from

The Singbulli Estate was established in 1924, in 2003 it was acquired by Jayshree Tea & Industries LTD. To create this oolong, they make smaller batches ensure a high quality and taste. The partial oxidization gives a unique nutty taste along with a muscatel aroma to this oolong. This estate is known for it’s world famous Muscatel teas.

If you would like to receive a credit to the site to try this tea please visit this site I purchased it from by following this link.