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Guest Post: Mana Organics Tea Review by Super Tea Drinker Marshall Stephens

Avantika Jalan

I met Marshall when we served together as Peace Corps Volunteers in Thailand. He has always been one of the most giving people I have ever met. I think he might be a Bodhisattva. He spreads joy everywhere he travels by just engaging with people in their lives. He is infinitely curious. Not about the big questions or science or politics but about the everyday things that make life, well life.

I only know Marshall to have strong opinion about four things: bread, honey, fruit, and tea. Back in our Peace Corps days when everyone else reached for a beer, Marshall would be seeking hot water for the tea bag stashed in his coat pocket. When Marshall went to Malaysia, he didn’t want to go to the beach, or hike in the mountains. He found a nice spot in a tea estate, sat down, and chilled. Almost until his flight left without him. Once he got back to site, he wrote me a letter—not an email. He attached a copy of self-compiled collection of George Orwell’s essays, including of course, “A Nice Cup of Tea.”

So, when I joined Mana Organics, I gave myself one condition: Marshall had to approve of the tea.

Marshall expressed his typical exuberance regarding the condition. “Duder, I love black tea. But I had to stop drinking it because I was just drinking too much of it. Like Duder, I was drinking aaaa loooot of tea! A lot of black tea, man. Had to quit. Too much Duder. But, you know, it’s been a long time so maybe I can have some again. I will try this Mana Tea stuff.”

Marshall Stephens with Molly Starke

Ninety Degrees at Three-thirty on a July Afternoon in Michigan

Ninety Degrees at three-thirty on a July afternoon in Michigan. Tea Time O’clock. My Dad and I are relaxing on our back porch after finishing lunch…. “Could you make up some more of that really good iced tea?” Sure.

I pull out a bag of delicate, fluffy and thin tea from Mana Organics. In the light from the window they seem to take on a sort of… purplish hue? No… they’re black and gold and maybe every color of the rainbow mixed into one… small variations of the Crown Chakra vibrations…

I bring some purified water to a rolling boil and pour it over two table spoons of loose leaf MANA ORGANICS black Assam tips loaded into a metal diffuser ball the ball into a three-liter glass pitcher. A few buds escape through the tea ball… and a golden wavy magical hue begins to permeate the water... delicate earthy aroma generously wafts up from the broad top of the pitcher…

As an experiment, I’ve left MANA ORGANICS BLACK ASSAM TEA to steep in the pitcher overnight before (a thirteen plus hour tea steep!!!) and the final brew was an exquisitely developed, flavorful product that maintained a pleasant subtle sweetness and placatory Ph.

For this specific batch of iced tea, however… I choose a twenty-eight-minute steep time… allowing the delicate buds to fully open up and transform the water into a Divine Tonic.

By the time the (To Be) Iced Tea is “ready” …  I’ve already managed to drink about a third of it… hot!... in a series of four ounce cups ‘sampled’ throughout the process!

The iced pitcher of MANA ORGANICS ASSAM BLACK TEA isn’t going to last long… I’m going to have to make up another full pitcher tomorrow… and the day after that… and the day after that….


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