Staring at the Sea from August Uncommon Tea

staringattheseaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: August Uncommon Tea

Tea Description:

Comfort from the hearth while gazing at fog as it gently drifts over the sea. The odor of warm buttery country bread rises to your nose, tenderly warming your face. A faint note of macadamia and bits of crust browning on a brick oven floor linger on the tongue. Hints of sweet grasses spring forth to brighten and balance the thick, chewy texture. Come in from the cold.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have heard so much about this company on Steepster that I was very excited to see it in one of the traveling tea boxes that hit my house late last week.  This was the first one I grabbed to try.  I’m such a green tea fan that I couldn’t wait to dig in and try out some new green teas.

August Uncommon Tea has unique tea blends that I’ve heard varied reviews about.  This particular blend is a Japanese Green Tea with Barley in it.  I brewed this delight up like all my green teas with the help of my handy dandy Breville and allowed the brew to cool off for a few moments.

Took my first sip and this is a different tasting green tea for sure.  And one I’m enjoying. The green tea base is buttery and smooth.  The barley that has been added in provides a nice nutty background that gives the tea an added richness.  Like the description says, there is a crust like flavor and even faint notes of macadamia nuts.

This is one of those teas where the description really matches and translate well into the flavor you are given.  I’m curious what this one would taste like as a cold brew and hope to be able to try that soon.

The more I drink of this one, the more I really like it.  This could easily be an every day sort of tea for me for sure!

Butterscotch Potion White Tea Blend by Tealyra

ButterscotchTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White blend.

Where to Buy: Tealyra

Tea Description:

The delicious sweet creaminess of butterscotch that is popular the world over now melts seamlessly into your favourite tea! Exclusively blended by Tealux’s expert tea artisans and not available to buy from anywhere else, Butterscotch Potion is certified organic.

Light and delicate organic white tea forms the base of the blend, melting into mid-notes of spicy pink peppercorn and cinnamon and balancing out the sweet, creamy top notes of marigold and natural butterscotch flavoring. The natural sweetness of butterscotch is perfectly complemented by the deep but never overpowering spiciness of pepper and cinnamon. Producing a light gold-coloured infusion when steeped in hot water, Butterscotch potion is the perfect naturally sweet treat for any time of the day.

Ingredients: Organic White Tea, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Pink Peppercorn, Organic Marigolds, Natural Flavors

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Let me start by clearing something up from what I understand. Originally I bought this tea from Tealux which is a well known tea company across Europe and America and for good reason. However, when I went to get the information and links for this review I found that they have since changed their name. So Tealux does not exist any more and is instead replaced by Tealyra as of the start of October 2015. We are ensured that the company itself is remaining the same in regards to suppliers and blends for what it has to offer, but that the head office has decided to change their name which in turn changes the name of the company and ergo the website. This means that even though my bag says Tealux on it that any orders under the new name of Tealyra will contain the same blend but in a different bag. With this new information dealt with lets get down to the review.

Butterscotch is a pudding I remember well from my school days and thinking about it again has put a smile on my face. For anyone that has not tried butterscotch before the best way I can describe it’s flavour is a mixture of toffee, caramel, treacle and cream all in one delicious goo. A tall order for a tea but I’m excited to try it non the less.

Upon opening the packet I am met with a large leaf and floral blend, which was not quite as I imagined it somehow. I was expecting pieces of butterscotch in the blend to create the flavour, instead we have ‘natural flavours’ in their place to create a synthetic version. With that in mind I give it a sniff, and while it’s sweet (and again floral) it just is not butterscotch like. It does smell creamy and well it’s still a pleasant scent but not quite right.

This will be interesting! I put two teaspoons of leaf (as it’s large leaf) into my steeping mug with 90C water for roughly 3-4 minutes.

The resulting tea liquid is golden brown in colour and bares a sweet scent that actually does resemble butterscotch rather well. Less floral than it’s raw blend form but not as creamy or thick as actual butterscotch.

In terms of flavour this is very pleasant, a dark, toffee and treacle mix (without a lot of sweetness) with some creamy, floral undertones that linger in the after taste. It’s not bitter but I think the flavours would be enhanced a bit better with some sugar or honey, just to make it more butterscotch like. Even without anything extra it still does have a butterscotch essence and though it may not be perfect it’s still very well created.

As it cools it becomes creamier and a little thicker in the after taste, particularly the floral tones. At this point I can taste the white tea a little better and it’s also becoming increasingly dry.

Overall I would say this blend lives up to it’s name. It’s butterscotch enough to please the nostalgia of my youth for little to no calories in the process. Both of those facts make this blend a winner.

Siam Blend Black Thai Tea Blend from Siam Tea Shop

SiamBlendTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black blend.

Where to Buy: Siam Tea Shop

Tea Description:

Siam Blend Black, an aromatic Thai tea blend based on a wild black tea collected by the local Lahu tribe in Fang province, reminiscent of Thai cuisine through an added blend of typical Thai food ingredients such as lemongrass, lime leaf, chili and ginger root.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Hello fellow tea lovers,

Today I’m reviewing a blend that was inspired by the aromatic and beautiful flavours of Thai cuisine, think of this as an ode to Thai food in tea form. This sounds delicious but also a little strange at the same time, though I think it’s wonder outweighs my doubts. Thai food flavoured tea…that just sounds so creative…and delicious, right?

The loose leaf is large and hosts an array of colours, most noticeably the lime leaf. The black tea is also large and thinly rolled into long, squiggly pieces. The blend as a whole has a spicy and rather aromatic scent. Not as strong as I expected nor as Thai food strong.

So 2 teaspoons (since it’s large leaf) of blend into my steeping mug and boiling water added for roughly 3-4 minutes.

The resulting tea liquid is dark brown and in colour and has the most amazing Thai scent I have ever smelled from a tea. It truly does smell like Thai green curry, or another similar dish. It’s spicy with citrus highs and a creamy underlayer, before becoming spicy again. Wondrous indeed!

And here comes the taste test (which I can hardly control my excitement about). ..sip..sip. Holy moly, that has a spicy kick! The chilli burns the throat (well rather tingles than burns) and is quickly neutralised by a touch of cream and citrus (which matches the smell) before becoming spicy again in the after taste. The chilli is definitely the main character. I gave a sip for my husband and he stated “I’ve never had such a spicy cup of tea” and considering I’m on 1291 (including this tea) steeping notes of which I pass onto him to try; it’s saying something about this ‘unique’ blend.

I think you would either love or hate this one. As for me I like the inspiration of it and can enjoy the spicy chilli kick at the start of the sip. It’s even making me sweat a little, but it gives you that ‘warm and spicy glow’ that you get when you eat something a little hotter than what you are used to. Hopefully someone else will understand what I mean by that :)

So yes, for originality and a unique experience plus a spicy food (or in this case drink) glow I declare this a winning blend. I shall no doubt enjoy the rest of my 20g pouch, and with instructions to ice this tea on their website I even get a chance to experiment a little.

Until next time,

Happy Steeping!

Honeybush Malaika Tisane from Nothing But Tea

honeybush-malaikaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Honeybush

Where to Buy: Nothing But Tea

Tea Description:

Honeybush is gaining a lot of attention at the moment for its benefits. This blend sees honeybush blended with strawberrys, kiwi, elderberry, passionfruit and rosehip for a new take on the fruit infusion.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Hello fellow tea lovers.

Today I’m reviewing this Honeybush Malaika which I have to admit that I have not had a lot of Honeybush tea compared to the likes of Rooibos. So if you’ve heard of it but don’t really know what it is or much information about it then hopefully this will help.

Some brief information on Honeybush: The name of this plant is Cyclopia but it is better known as Honeybush purely because it’s flowers smell sweet like honey. While Cyclopia is one plant it has many different cultivars, all of which originate across South Africa. Technically speaking Honeybush is not a tea but a tisane and considering this; is also low in tannin. Similar to Rooibos in flavour but Honeybush is considered to be sweeter and with a fuller body, though similarly it is also caffeine free.

Comparing it to Rooibos is interesting as I don’t usually like Rooibos but the few Honeybush I’ve had I loved. Rooibos has a chemical flavour (at least in my opinion) and that tends to overpower any flavours added to it. Honeybush does not have that issue and while it is perhaps a little sweeter I find it does not dominate additional flavours but rather enhances them.

Back to this tea in hand. I received a sample pack of 10g from NBT a while ago as an exclusive pre-release taster before it was launched on the site. Now it’s up for sale I decided the best thing for me to do was ice it to try and get the most flavour from it. So for two days I have had 10g of this blend steeping in my fridge using 1litre of water. Coldsteeping is much softer and keeps delicate tones, it’s my preferred method of icing tea/tisanes.

I haven’t mentioned much about the look or scent of the blend but honestly there was not much to it. The blend looked floral and multi coloured which bared a subtly sweet yet herbal scent. The fruit was too delicate for me to really say much about it and I decided to let it’s flavour speak instead. So I waited for the outcome with enough time to thicken with flavour.

Today is the morning I try this and the resulting liquid is a light brown/orange colour with a delicious sweet, fruit scent. Particularly like apple and strawberry with honey. A real contrast to it’s unsteeped scent. It’s flavour is just as wonderful! Sweet honeyed fruits with a touch of floral after tones that leave my mouth feeling sweet and refreshed. The fruit tones are mixed but notable berry with a touch of sourness with an exotic fruit affair behind them.

Honestly this tisane gave me a lot more pleasure than I thought it would and I’m happy to say this Honeybush blend is a winner. I don’t think I would have liked this if it was a Rooibos base and the Honeybush really does make this blend stand out.

Until next time,

Happy Steeping!

Lychee Burst Black from The Persimmon Tree Tea Company



Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: The Persimmon Tree Tea Company (On Hiatus)

Tea Description:

Lychee Burst tea is a fruitful blend of lychee essence and organic, black loose-leaf tea. It steeps a sweet infusion; with delicate notes of apricot, osmanthus and ripe pear. Bring out the flavor with rock sugar, and pour over ice for a refreshing change to regular iced tea.

Learn more about this tea on Steepster!

Taster’s Review:

Recently I received a sample of this tea from a tea friend in the mail! I didn’t even realize that The Persimmon Tree Tea Company offered a black lychee tea, but I was certainly excited to learn that they do and be able to try it. The last black lychee tea I fell in love with, The Tea of Kings, was from RiverTea so I can’t buy it anymore. I need a solid replacement.

My thoughts about this cold brew are that the flavor level of the lychee and black base are pretty equal, which is how I feel it should be. The black base is brisk, clean and full bodied with malty notes and slightly more floral notes. It reminds me vaguely of a high grown Ceylon? The lychee is juicy and realistic and doesn’t taste overly floral or chemical which is a trap that flavour often falls into with lower quality lychee teas. I taste the pear notes a little too, but they’re fairly flat and certainly not the focal point of the blend.

I don’t think this is my new lychee black to keep on hand, but it’s definitely one of the better ones I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. If you’re looking for a black lychee tea, my suggestion would be to start here after The Persimmon Tree’s hiatus is over.

Cocoa Amore from Whispering Pines Tea Co.

cocoaamoreTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Whispering Pines Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Blended with two rich and chocolaty black teas and the irresistible cherry-chocolate notes of top-grade Tahitian vanilla beans, Cocoa Amore is pure decadence. The aroma of the dry and wet leaf is pure cherry chocolate with a hint of malt. The flavor is unimaginably smooth with creamy melting chocolate and rich vanilla fudge. An ever-present cherry note stands out in front of the warm barley sugar background. Light mineral notes play through the sip along with a light hint of sweet cinnamon and a malty finish. Later infusions are just as creamy and rich, eventually presenting a beautiful powdery mouthfeel reminiscent of cocoa powder.
Learn more about this tea here

Taster’s Review:

I am so excited to try this tea since it’s been on my wishlist for ages. This tea is quite expensive so I’m really hoping that the cherry and chocolate flavors come through and that it’s just as delicious everyone says it is.

The scent of this tea is certainly malty with a strong vanilla note and a touch of rich chocolate. I’m so impatient that I might just burn my tongue! The start of the sip is weirdly fruity.. and not something that I’d necessarily pin as cherry. The more that I think about it, the more I think I really do taste cherry, but with a strong floral touch. It reminds me of a fruity perfume. I really like that this cherry flavor doesn’t come across as artificial, but bright and natural.  The cherry fades into strong vanilla and chocolate flavor that reminds me of fudge. What’s amazing is that sipping this tea makes me feel like I’ve eaten a piece of dark chocolate with a sliced cherry center. It’s so good that you want to keep sipping!  I will say that you have to sort of look for these flavors and that they are a bit on the soft side.

Before I know it, the cup is empty and I’m left a little bit confused. While I did enjoy the chocolate and cherry, I’m not sure that the cup as a whole was what I wanted it to be.. the notes were too light for me. I’m not sure if I would buy more of this tea simply because it’s so expensive. I wouldn’t pass up a cup, but I certainly can’t afford to have this as a regular pick in my cupboard.

Rington’s Kenyan Gold Tea from Rington’s Premium English Teas

kenyanRingtonsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Rington’s Tea

Tea Description:

Unlike some traditional teas, Kenyan teas are produced in ways that make them perfect for teabags – fast infusing and full of flavour. Tea grown east of the Rift Valley is widely considered to be some of the best quality tea in the world, that’s why our Kenyan Gold blend is sourced exclusively from this region. We specially seal these teas on the estates to ensure they are as fresh and flavourful as possible, producing a fuller, smoother taste. It’s what Ringtons are good at.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Kenyan Gold Black is a bagged tea from Ringtons, a UK tea company. At first glance, it looks like a typical bagged black tea. It’s in a square paper bag, and is about half full with finely shredded leaf. The scent is typical “black tea”. I used one bag for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. It brewed up to a fairly dark golden-brown, so I added a splash of milk.

I half expected this one to be either bready or chocolatey, given that it’s a Kenyan tea and described as “gold”. Possibly my previous experiences led me astray a little, though, as this one really isn’t either of those things. What it is is moderately malty, with the molasses-like sweetness that implies. It’s fairly one-note in that respect, though, except for a very mild smokiness kicking around in the background. It’s quite a strong, hearty brew with a lot of body, and is almost thick-tasting and chewable. Such texture! The flavour lingers nicely into the aftertaste, making this a very satisfying, flavourful cup. It doesn’t have much subtlety, but that’s a very small criticism.

I enjoyed this one. It’s a reliable, everyday kind of tea – not particularly unique, but strong and wonderfully malty. It’s a tea I’d definitely revisit.

Ana’s Green Tea from Nepali Tea Traders

AnasGreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Nepali Tea Traders

Tea Description:

Succulent green leaves from select bushes with high chlorophyll content are selected for our signature green, second-flush tea. The result is a liquor with an exquisite lime brightness and sweet vegetal aroma and flavor. This tea reflects the best qualities of our high-altitude Himalayan green teas, vibrant, fresh and flavorful. Ana’s also reveals a smooth mouthfeel and lovely sweet finish.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Thanks to an amazing Steepster tea pal, I was able to try this one and I’m so glad I was. I have been impressed by the teas I’ve had from Nepali Tea Traders and I am looking forward to trying more.

This tea is a delicious green tea.  Vibrant with a gorgeous color.  There is a distinct vegetal profile but there are also hidden notes of sweetness that appear in every other sip or so.

What I think I love the most are the smooth rich velvet rich mouthfeel (just like the description of the tea) you get with every sip.  The tea coats your mouth giving off such a warm and fuzzy feeling.  This is one of those teas you drink while you are cuddled with your favorite book and blanket on a rainy day.

This is a tea that I can’t wait to share with the twins.  They have been really getting into tea lately!

Assam Gold Black Tea from The Persimmon Tree

AssamgoldTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: The Persimmon Tree

Tea Description:

This smooth, malty infusion is the perfect alternative to coffee. Assam Gold can be steeped multiple times while retaining its flavor. Golden in color, this import from Northern India is a thick, comfortable black tea brew that warms and energizes after a tough, bitter, cold day.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I think of “Gold” in relation to “Assam”, I’m usually thinking of “Golden Lion” varieties where the leaves really are golden-brown in colour, frequently accompanied by what I think of as “lots of golden dust”, a little like the grey/white dust that white tea sometimes exudes. This Assam clearly isn’t one of those – the leaves here are mostly a black/brown colour, with the odd golden-tipped leaf. They’re mostly fairly small – around 1/4cm in length, although some are as long as 1cm. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.

To taste, this one is deliciously malty. It’s sweet and almost thick-tasting, in the way of molasses. It’s also deliciously smooth and creamy, with a very mild bready note at the end of the sip. It’s slightly tannic, although not nearly as much as Assam can be. It’s a cup I’d happily drink on a morning, as it’s strong and full-bodied enough to be a good “wake-up!” tea, yet still fairly gentle.

I enjoyed this cup – it’s a classic Assam. I didn’t find it especially unique, but sometimes that’s not what’s required. It’s a good, solid example of my favourite tea variety, and would make a great introduction for the uninitiated. Lovely stuff.

Dark Chocolate Oolong from Liquid Proust Teas

Dark chocolateTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Liquid Proust Teas (No Longer Listed)

Tea Description:

Ingredients: Roasted Oolong, Cocoa, Flavoring

Learn more about this tea on Steepster.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of Andrew, from Liquid Proust Teas, crazy ideas but one which certainly looked interesting to me. I can’t actually remember ever trying a mind blowing chocolate oolong and so the possibility of this tea filling that whole intrigued me a lot! The dry leaf looks really interesting; and it has a soft, sweet cocoa smell and some floral notes too.

Hmm, this didn’t brew up to be the most appetizing smelling or aesthetically beautiful. It’s very murky/cloudy looking, and I get the impression it may have an oilier mouthfeel. However, the really concerning thing is the aroma of the liquor coming from the cup: it’s like the most floral oolong smell I’ve ever come across mixed with mildew and wet dog? And I know that’s harsh – but honestly that’s what I’m smelling and it’s making me gag just a little bit.

The weird thing is that it actually doesn’t taste bad; and I don’t know if I’ve ever come across a tea with such a disconnect between the taste and smell since those two senses are so incredibly intertwined. I mean it’s certainly not the delicious cocoa tea I was expecting but it’s actually nice enough. There are very strong nutty notes and then more medium notes of burnt toast and cocoa in the body of the sip. There are also subtle moss and floral notes. I don’t really like the way the more natural/floral notes pair with the toasty notes and sweet cocoa – it’s kind of like some sort of unholy Frankenstein’s monster of tea.

I’m gonna call it; this is the first offering from Liquid Proust that I dislike – I could probably handle it if, when I went in for a sip, I didn’t have to smell the steeped tea but that just kills it for me. That said, every other review I’ve read has been favourable so if you get the chance to sample this I encourage trying it and forming your own opinion. It’s just not for me.