Jin Xuan Black Tea from Gabriel Global Trade Co., LTD.

JinXuanBlackTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black Tea

Where to Buy: Gabriel Global Trade Co., LTD.

Tea Description:

Jin Xuan black tea, made from Jin Xuan tea, has a special honey and fruit smell taste. The aroma of tea soup is particularly evident. The flavor is different than the general black tea. It’s suitable for the early adopters who prefer the fragrance.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Jin Xuan Black Tea from Gabriel Global Trade Co., LTD. is a black tea that is not only terrifically tasty – it’s pretty darned special in other ways too!  Let me explain.  Eric from Gabriel Global told me that this specific tea – their Jin Xuan Black Tea – is a new breed of tea.  It’s been grown in between 600 and 800 meters altitude.  It has a similar taste as Oriental Beauty but at just below 1/3 of its price.  It tastes different that a traditional black tea.  I agree with his comment of it tasting different than your average black tea, however, I also think it’s far superior in not only taste but aroma when it comes to comparing it to Oriental Beauty, too.

Upon opening the bag I was overjoyed at the amazing aroma of this dry loose leaf tea.  It was naturally scented – dancing with the combination of sweet honey and fruit – maybe plum – and it was truly amazing!  The  very long and winding dry loose leaves were a sight to see, too!  They were mostly black or grey in color with an occasional light brown or khaki-colored spec morphed in.  The first time I tried a cup of this Jin Xuan Black Tea I had a hard time fitting it in my over-size infuser that went directly into my cup but I hardly saw that as a downfall – it just made this tea more interesting!  Once I added the water on to the tea leaves the aroma was still impressive but it changed a bit incorporating a fairly strong bakey or crusty type of aroma mixed in with the honey and fruit notes I mentioned prior to infusion.  The taste of this tea is out of this world.  I don’t say this often but I give this tea 100 out of 100.  Yes!  It’s True!  This tea is on my short list of absolute favorites in the tea world!  It’s incredible in every way!  I’m going to try and save this tea for special occasions or a bad day when I need a smile – but I will tell you right now – it’s going to be hard because THIS tea – Jin Xuan Black Tea – is one that I could easily drink every day – never getting sick of it while still appreciating it for it’s wonderful quality, taste, and aroma!

 

Rhubarb Oolong from Stylin’ Tea Blends

stylintealogo175x100Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Stylin’ Tea Blends

Tea Description:

Unfortunately no longer available, but if you see this tea, you have to grab it!

Other Oolong offerings from Stylin’ Tea Blends. . . . . . .

Taster’s Review:

I know. A rhubarb tea.. .  how odd, right? I thought so too.  Probably why it took me so long to give it a go.  Let’s start with how this tea looks.  This tea had the most gorgeous oolongs intertwined with a few larger rose pieces.  A really stunning blend.

The aroma this dry leaf gave off was sweet and slightly floral.  I had always thought rhubarb was more of a tart flavor so I was very shocked and pleasantly surprised when my nose encountered this glorious aroma.  This tea released an aroma that I want bottled in air fresheners and candles alike.

I brewed this up like I do my oolongs- about 190F or so and about 3 minutes to start.  I still had my hesitations.  My brain kept saying- This tea has RHUBARB in it!!! And I honestly couldn’t get past it.  Finally the tea had cooled slightly so I could take my first sip.

Ever have a tea that made you hear glorious singing and just made you sigh? Well this tea did just that.  I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever had rhubarb before but I’m seeking it out! This tea was brilliant, bright, and vibrant. The oolong was a mellower base allowing the flavors to really produce a solid feel.  The flavorings were slight, but enough so there was this slightly sweet yet tart flavor with just a kiss of floral love.  I can’t describe how amazingly light and refreshing this tea was. This is a tea that will make you dream about the next cuppa you get to have of the blend.  It was that good and I still can’t get over how much I adore this oolong blend.  I wish it was still available from Stylin’ Tea Blends because I want gobs of this tea.  I actually felt like crying after the 6th steeping and I knew it was getting close to the time I would have to head home for the day.  I knew I would have to say goodbye to this tea but I am hoping a quick google search will get me more of this gorgeous blend.

Chalmun’s CanTeana from Geeky Teas

ChalmunsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy: Geeky Teas

Tea Description:

Beware: you may find yourself buying the death star steeper and watching your boyfriend drink your entire stash in his Darth Vader mug before you’ve had your third cup.

What little I’ve managed to steal back from him has been excellent. Any tea with rose gets a high five, and the inclusion of apple pieces is a rare (delightful) find.

Taster’s Review:

Geeky Teas is one of my favorite places to go on the internet.  I am so sad that I live so far away from Donna’s actual store.  I swear I would be there all the time.  But at least I get to visit online and enjoy the fandom geeky love that is being offered to geeks like myself in the form of tea blends.

I’ve reviewed Geeky Teas before both on SororiTea Sisters and CuppaGeek.  The teas are either hit or miss for me, but when they hit they are marvelous and typically when they miss, with a bit of tweaking they would be superstars. But let’s start by saying this- Donna’s love of tea and of her clients makes her one of my favorite companies to purchase products from.  I can’t get over how much she has listened to my comments and made slight changes here and there.  She has really taken what I’ve said (& others) to heart and made huge improvements.  You can’t ask for a better company to work with than Geeky Teas.

Let’s chat about the blend.  I love my Star Wars.  Anything with Star Wars I’m all over.  When my son told me he wanted to be Jango Fett (yes Jango!) I felt I had done well as a parent.  (Ha!) So when I came across this blend, I couldn’t wait to pick up a sample and see what it was all about.

Brewed up like an herbal tea, this herbal concoction has quite an array of inclusions.  The dry mixture didn’t have much of an aroma to it.  I steeped the tea in my Death Star Infuser (yep, told you.  Love Star Wars).   I allowed the tea to steep for about 6 minutes in fresh boiled water. As I was about to take my first sip, I was hoping I would get a marvelous herbal aroma from the fresh brewed tea, but I still didn’t really pick any one particular note.

Took that first sip and sad to say, this blend just doesn’t do it for me.  I really didn’t pick up any one particular flavor profile or not.  I mainly noted a muddy like herbal flavor.  I could get a hint of a flavor here or there but by the time I noted it, the flavor has faded.  Sadly this blend may not be for me, but to be fair- I did get a sample of this and the pieces looked to be pretty small.  I’m wondering if maybe my tea sample was crushed by being in my tea stash, which could explain the muddy flavor.  I have a feeling that is what happened.  I would be more than willingly to try the tea again. I think it has the promise to be fabulous. Just need to work thru a few more teas before I can make an order.

If you haven’t checked out Geeky Teas and you are a fandom sort of person, I encourage you to check out Geeky Teas’s offerings of over 40 different fandom teas!

Oolong Berry from T2

OolongBerryTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: T2

Tea Description:

Raspberries combined with green oolong tea create a wonderfully fragrant and intense yet delicate flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I had the strangest craving for a fruit tea today which is rather rare! I think it’s the snow outside that is making me crave sunshine and fresh fruit. I wasn’t expecting this tea to have such a strong scent. It smells just like a tart raspberry.. almost a little bit on the verge of a raspberry candy. I can even spot pieces of dried raspberry hidden amongst the pretty green oolong.

Sipping… ah, this tea is lovely and so fresh. I first taste the raspberry which seems to have the perfect balance of tart and sweet notes. What I love about it is that it’s not artificial, but seems like a true juicy raspberry flavor. The oolong comes gliding in after the berry with a smoother character to round out the tartness. I think this oolong on its own would be a little on the boring side. It’s a bit bland and doesn’t have many different flavors as other oolongs do. It seems like the main event in this tea is the raspberry and not so much the oolong, though. As far as letting the raspberry have center stage, this oolong is perfect.

I’m very impressed with this raspberry tea and think that it would be even better iced during the summer! If you’re a raspberry and oolong fan, I suggest you pick this up next time you’re making an order with T2. It’s bright, refreshing and a pleasant change from other fruity teas out there.

Mango Ice Cream Black Tea from 52Teas

MangoIceCreamsmallTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Tea Description:

Black Tea, Freeze-Dried Mango Bits, Vanilla Bean and Natural Flavors

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about 52Teas’ tea of the week subscription here.

Taster’s Review:

I love 52Teas.  The idea behind having a tea company create a new blend each week is just brilliant.  I love the variety that you are able to purchase and the creativity that this sort of company can provide.  With teas like Toffee Bar Chai or Carrot Cake Honeybush. . .I mean you really can’t go wrong.

I can’t remember if I picked this tea up from one of the Kickstarter Campaigns or if I bought this one outright from the site.  It doesn’t look like this particlar one is offered anymore.  That is the only downside to a company like 52Teas. Since they are being mad tea scientists, blending all these crazy and fabulous blends, the inventory is smaller and constantly revolving. So if you are looking at a tea and it looks amazing, you better get it quick because quantities are extremely limited.

Mango Ice Cream Black Tea is a black tea blend with bits of mango that you can actually see.  The dry leaf smells delicious and I couldn’t wait to check out the blend.  Brewed up with water prepped at boiling and allowed to steep for about 4 minutes, this tea looked and smelled so warming and inviting even tho it is supposed to be ice cream based.  I couldn’t wait to check it out!

Unfortunately, this tea just isn’t for me.  First sip in and all I was really getting was the black tea base and hints of a sweetness from the vanilla. Even tho I could visibly see the mango pieces, I didn’t get any of that fruity tropical like flavor in the brew. I did get more of an astringent tone to the tea so maybe I overleafed my serving.

I did brew this tea up again and only allowed this tea to steep for about 3 minutes and I did notice that those flavors I was looking for come thru a bit more but not enough for me to think mango ice cream.  Regardless, the tea was still drinkable and I didn’t feel the need to dump it, I just didn’t get the flavor I was looking or hoping for.  I only had a 1/2 oz of the tea so I won’t be able to try these, but I would love to try this as a cold brew. I bet that is the way to pull out those tropical creamy flavors.

Even tho this tea might not have been my cuppa tea, I still highly recommend 52Teas and encourage checking out their teas if you haven’t yet.  You won’t regret it!

Cinnamon Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong from Stylin’ Tea Blends

PHOENIX DC CINNAMONTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Stylin’ Tea Blends

Tea Description:

Phoenix Dan Cong is a premium variety of china oolong teas, grown and processed in Mountain Phoenix, Chao Zhou, Guangdong. Dan Dong Teas are noted for their ability to naturally imitate the flavors and fragrances of various fruits and flowers, such as honey orchid, cinnamon, sweet-potato. According to history record, Dan Cong was served as an imperial tribute tea in Song Dynasty. This Tea is very popular in China, Japan and Southeast Asia.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was in a mood today for oolong. Been drinking it all day actually. Today was just one of those days were you wanted something rich, comforting, and a bit more complex.

Digging thru my tea stash I stumbled upon this beauty.  The leaves were gorgeous- dark and slightly twisted.  They yearned to be brewed up!

Brewed these up with water prepped at 195 per the steeping parameters and I allowed them to steep for about 3 minutes.  I was greeted with the most marvelous flavor! Rich, deep, well balanced, slightly vegetal, but so incredibly smooth.  This is was of those lush silky teas that give you that whole mouth feel and leave you craving more as soon as you finish your first sip. A gorgeous blend for sure and one that I’ve now brewed up a few times-enjoying each cup.

I can’t say that I picked up any cinnamon like flavors but I did pick up the sweet potato like resemblance and oddly enough the honey orchid profile. Those two flavors mingled together so nicely.  Sounds odd to say that they did but I finished off this tea in no time. A really fabulous tea for those days when you need a tea to comfort you all along your way!

Product Review: White Chocolate with Jumpy Monkey Yerba Mate from DAVIDsTEA

White Chocolate with Jumpy Monkey Yerba MateTea Information:

Leaf Type: Yerba Mate/Chocolate

Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:

Looking for a rich and decadent pick-me-up? Check out this deliciously creamy chocolate bar, a combination of the finest imported white chocolate and our java-spiked Jumpy Monkey tea. With yerba mate, cocoa nibs and coffee beans, it makes for an exotic taste of the rainforest at its finest. Made in partnership with a Montreal chocolatier.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve had this tea before as a latte, and as far as I can remember it wasn’t too impressive. Kind of run of the mill, actually? However I was still pretty pumped to see it in chocolate bar format at the store yesterday because, first off, I love white chocolate though also because even though I’m not a huge fan of coffee I have a special place in my heart for white chocolate coated coffee beans. My Dad used to buy them in bulk, and late at night I’d sneak into the kitchen (when I was around eleven) and eat small handfuls out of the bag in the pantry. And of course, I’d have problems falling asleep after that…

However, this is a slight let down if I’m being honest. I mean, the white chocolate is really good! I love the white chocolate that DAVIDsTEA uses for these chocolate bars. The problem, for me, is that it really over powers the flavour of the tea/coffee. It doesn’t help part of the profile of this tea is white chocolate in the first place. I’m conflicted by this. One thing I dislike about DAVIDsTEA’s chocolate bars is that the infused chunks are often too large but in this rare occasion I really wanted more large pieces because without them the tea is lost. I wish there was a better way to ensure a more consistent size for the pieces used in these chocolate bars, but I don’t know what the best way to go about finding it would be. However, it does at least seems like DAVIDsTEA is trying to do that because these newer bars do at least seem to consistently use smaller pieces and I know that was something that was really being criticized prior to the change. So I commend them for that.

But without the flavour of the tea, this is just a super expensive white chocolate bar.

Leatherbound from August Uncommon Tea

leatherboundTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: August Uncommon Tea

Tea Description:

Dark wooden walls shoulder the weight of endless rows of well-loved books. The brooding tannins and rich, buttery aroma of this tea mimic the inviting yet austere atmosphere of an old library. Hints of cocoa and sweet almond enliven the mix like the occasional contemporary novel whose glossy cover puts the leatherbound classics into relief. A drop of milk tips the flavor towards a dark creamy stout. Like sinking into a crackled leather club chair to ponder the pages between your hands.

Learn more about this tea here

Taster’s Review:

I am really eager to try this blend as I’ve never had a tea blend with caraway included. It sounds like such an interesting combination – assam tea, caraway, cacao.. so unique! Plus, I love the idea of this tea bringing to mind a library and old books.

Sipping… hm, the first thing that I taste is the smooth black tea base and the cacao. It reminds me of other chocolate and black tea blends I’ve had in the past. There is a tiny bit of astringency as well. A strange thing happens after I’ve sipped.. a bit of a buttery flavor blossoms on the tongue. It reminds me of caramel squares and buttered toast. I also pick up on hazelnuts and very lightly, cherries in syrup. The finish is very drying,  but it’s still drinkable despite being slightly unpleasant. I can’t seem to pick up on the caraway flavor… but then again, I’ve never had caraway in a tea.. so I could be tasting it, but just not know it.

Overall, I enjoyed this tea and I appreciate that it had many different flavors to discover. I’m not sure that I really experienced the library comparison just by taste… perhaps the description is slightly far-fetched, but it was certainly interesting. I’m excited to see how my next cup will be when I add a bit of milk!

The Pollenator from AstroloTea

PollenatorTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: AstroloTea

Tea Description:

The beauty of nature’s bounty can sometimes be lost on us if we are walking around feeling like the air is full of irritants! The Pollenator is like a breath of fresh air. This deep, spicy tea reunites you with the magical natural world around you.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

AstroloTea is one of my favorite tea shops.  The care and love that is put into each blend is just amazing.  Pamela is beyond creative and passionate about the teas she concocts.  I’ve reviewed several of her teas for both CuppaGeek and SororiTea Sisters.

This particular blend is one that is supposed to help those with sinus and allergy issues.  Pamela recommended it to me on one of my blog posts and while I was going thru my tea stash I saw that I actually had some.

The Pollenator smells amazing! The dry leaf has this wonderful soothing and warming cinnamon spice note.  One of those smells that you want to bottle into a candle. I brewed the tea up with fresh boiling water and allowed the blend to steep for a few minutes. I adore the Assam blends that Pamela creates and the Assam base she uses.

Once the tea was ready to steep, I sat down to enjoy my tea. First sip in and I was greeted with this soft and mellow silky like cinnamon flavor that is smoothed over by an Assam base. The next flavor I noticed was the ginger. Now I’m very hit or miss with the ginger and unfortunately, I could have done without the ginger in this mix. The rest of the flavors just blend so well, but for some reason the ginger flavoring just stood out to me like a sore thumb. Not terrible and I easily sipped on this cuppa and made myself another pot later.  It was just the one flavor I noted that I could have done without, but that is normally how I feel about ginger anyway.

This blend is one of the better blends I’ve tried for fighting stubborn allergies and sinuses.  One that I would recommend!

Imperial Jasmine Green Tea from Teasenz

JasmineImperialTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Teasenz

Tea Description:

Reserved for the imperial families since the Song Dynasty in 960 AD. All the appeal and flavor of green tea and enhanced by the aroma of jasmine flowers, Emporial Jasmine Green Tea has a subtly sweet taste and blooming fragrance. Light, soft, and perfumy with a delicate mouthfeel.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have been craving a green jasmine tea for a bit now.  I haven’t had any jasmine pearls in a bit so I thought this might be a great tea to try and calm my cravings.

Let’s start with how gorgeous this tea looks.  Just simply gorgeous. One of those teas that makes you sit back and really take it all in. Twisty green and white like tea leaves. I can’t get over how much I love the look of this tea.

Now the aroma of this dry leaf is simply outstanding.  You get everything.  The sweet grassy like aromas of the green tea mingled in brilliantly with the floral aspects.  This is one of those teas that once you smell it, your mouth starts to water.

I prepped my water and brewed the tea for a few minutes. I couldn’t wait to get the gorgeous fragrant brew into my mug.  Took my first sip, and sadly, I honestly didn’t care for the flavor. For me, the floral aspects overtake everything else. Now this could absolutely be an error on my part and probably is. I may not have shaken the pouch up enough to distribute the flavors appropriately.

The only flavor I get is an overwhelming floral taste is even too much for this floral loving gal.  Typically the more floral flavor there is the more I like it but this one isn’t that way.

For how gorgeous this tea is and how beautifully the cuppa smells, I think I need to take another swing at this tea. It has all the characteristics of being an amazing cuppa so I’m thinking I either oversteeped or overleafed.

I have adored all the other teas from this company, this is an ooops on me!