Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spotlight: Cerra Teas

loving kindness tea
One of the reasons I drink tea is because it gives me an opportunity to pause, relax, and reflect. While I'm sipping I'll take a moment to think about how I'm feeling, what I'm tasting, and how it is changing my mood. All of my senses are enhanced when I drink tea. Cerra is a company looking to help complement your tea drinking experience. They offer teas and other products to help you 'be your best self'. They are about taking a moment to breathe and observe the world around you. Of course drinking tea fits in perfectly with this mission.

It is an interesting idea for a line of teas, although I'm a big believer that tea will provide you peace, balance, and awareness no matter what type you are drinking. It's about the personal sensory experience which can be found in all teas, as long as you pause and truly experience it.

A friend of mine generously gave me two Cerra teas of my choice. I decided on the Loving Kindness, and Gratitude teas. Their packaging is well thought out. The tins are a good size, with tasteful graphics that enhance their brand message. The teas have 'spiritual' names such as loving kindness, gratitude, and grounded. At first I thought loose tea would be in the tins because of the foil vacuum packed bag inside. But opening it up reveals large pyramid shaped bags.

I am always skeptical of blends, especially those that have added mystery 'flavors'. I abhor flavors that don't usually exist in beverage form such as 'blueberry cheesecake', 'maple waffle', etc. But, I keep telling myself to try...try to keep an open mind. It takes all my effort to accept the fact that the teas in front of me smell good. I actually love the aroma of the dry mixture for Loving Kindness. It's...well, delicious. Sweet, juicy, fruity. It is a strong aroma. Not what I'd expect when I'm drinking oolong tea, but pleasing nonetheless.

The brew is sweet with a slight sourness. There is a mellow hint of something like dried grass, which must be the oolong. It's a tasty brew, but doesn't quite give me the punch of tea flavor that I enjoy. This would be a nice as an iced tea, the tart flavor would work well as a summertime refresher. I'd also be interested to try it in ice pop form.
gratitude tea
The Gratitude dry leaves smell like a peach. It's a strong, sweet smell. It permeates my senses and I can almost feel the fuzzy peach exterior. The brewed tea does not have any of this fruity sweetness. It smells mostly like earthy white tea with a distant hint of peach. It tastes mellow with a subtle floral sweetness and malty background. Much more like a white tea and not just a flavored blend. It is quite soothing, like many white teas I've had. Again, I'd prefer more 'tea' taste, but it is an enjoyable experience.

Even though I'm not in love with these two blends, I think if you like flavored teas you should give the Cerra products a try. Perhaps the Cerra teas have finally opened my mind to embrace flavored teas. Cerra includes a sweet little booklet with the teas which has room to write your reflections as you sip. A nice touch for those that don't have a tea blog for such a purpose!
I always use my tea breaks as a special moment for myself. I don't need a specialized blend to give me awareness or peace. But the two teas I tried certainly were tasty, and the company does have some interesting ideas that I'd like to explore on my own.

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