Rose Royal from Lupicia

RoseRoyalTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Lupicia

Tea Description:

A black tea with enchanting aromas of sparkling wine and sweet strawberries. LUPICIA’s Signature tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

If you haven’t taken a whiff of this tea while its steeping, you are missing out.  This tea had such an amazing sweet candy with an almost berry dessert wine profile.

I received this tea bag from a fellow tea pal from Steepster and was excited to try it.  Lupicia has some amazing teas.  With a name like Rose Royal, I just knew this had to be amazing.

Steeped this up like a traditional black but made an error.  I left the tea bag in.  This tea turned bitter quickly.  The first few sips were fabulous.  The taste matched the aroma I was loving.  Sweet Berry Wine with a strong black tea base.  Oh so good.  Hit all the right notes.  A flavored tea that isn’t overwhelming.

But then I got distracted with a phone call here and an email there.  When I went back to the tea, it was a bitter sad brew.  I could still smell that amazing aroma but the taste had turned on me.

Even tho my first jaunt with this tea didn’t turn out the way I wanted to, I still loved those first few sips.  This tea will be on my list to pick more up once I sipdown some more teas.  Which this is #14.  Woot Woot!

Dayuling Premium High Mountain Oolong from Beautiful Taiwan Tea

dayulingTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy: Beautiful Taiwan Tea

Tea Description:

The premium teas of Taiwan are known for their smoothness, the quality of their soup and their “Chaqi”.   Only grown in the highest areas, theses leaves take their time to grow and soak up all the cool mist and the High Mountain air.  You’ll feel calm and attentive with this Dayuling sourced High Mountain Oolong.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve heard great things about Dayuling Oolong; and I’m very happy to finally get the chance to try one! The high, high altitude at which this tea is grown (greater than 2500 meters) and limited quantity that can be produced because of the geographical location are a giant part of what makes this tea so special. At $20 an ounce, this isn’t the priciest tea in my cupboard but it’s certainly up there – I can’t help but cross my fingers and hope it’s worthy of the price tag.

I have to say, the leaf is very beautiful; dry the rolled up leaf gives off a very large, ‘thick’ appearance and has a weight in my hands. After the first infusion I could see why; the leaves are so giant – some of the biggest I’ve ever had the pleasure to brew up. Almost every single one is a completely full leaf, and I even picked out a stem that had not one, not two, not three, but FOUR completely intact leaves branching off it. Just stunning!

I certainly wasn’t going to squander this sample by Steeping it Western Style; so I enjoyed a lovely evening Gong Fu session. Sometimes I feel I can get a little stuck in my head when I’m drinking tea or doing Gong Fu in particular and I focus too much on the technical side of things while trying to pick apart flavour – and I didn’t want to do that with this tea so I just kept doing infusions without really taking physical notes; and I just kind of let the tea ‘speak to me’ while I drank it. It’s so delicate and fragile with very lovely, complex nuances! Teas grown at higher altitude tend to be more complex because, due to the altitude, they grow at a slower pace – and that comes through here for sure.

It’s quite a floral tea, that’s for sure – while the infusions I did blend together I remember the first couple had really lovely, pronounced floral notes of orchid, lily, and a bit of violet as well. Incredibly well balanced though; not ‘perfumey’, forced or over the top in the slightest. Other things I noticed were this very cool, crisp freshness. I kind of instinctively want to call that flavor ‘the smell before it rains’ but I don’t know if there’s a technical word for that. I know petrichor is defined as the smell of rainfall on dry soil/earth (and that’s my all time favourite smell) but this wasn’t quite that: it’s the smell of rain before any has actually fallen. No earthiness.

This was such a pleasant, relaxing tea though! I’m not sure how many infusions I got in total but it certainly lasted quite a while and made my evening magical. Probably well worth the price tag just to say I’d tried a Dayuling, but all in all a very delicious, serene taste experience too. I definitely felt a little tea drunk’buzzed afterwards.

Aries from the Zodiac Collection by AstroloTea

Zodiac-AriesTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black/Floral

Where to Buy:  AstroloTea

Tea Description:

An energetic dance of flavors to initiate the courageous and enterprising new beginnings of the Ram.

Every sign rules a different part of the body, Aries rules the head and the face. The Aries blend, a light and subtle flavor with tones of fruit and flowers, helps promote mental clarity, new beginnings, and fresh perspective.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

First thought when I saw this tea was YES! Chrysanthemums!

Over the summer, I discovered these delicious floral teas with Chrysanthemum in it.  Wow. My taste buds squealed in delight!

This tea is a unique blend of floral, spices, black tea, and a few herbals sprinkled in for good measure.  This tea looks amazing. The dry leaf mixture had such a nice sweet slightly savory/floral aroma.  Really nice.  I couldn’t wait to brew this up.  I poured the entire sample I bought into my tea pot, added the water and let it steep for 4 minutes.

While this tea was steeping, I swear I was drooling. This tea smelled just so good!

Finally it was time to try it.  Took my first sip and yes, there is the good stuff.  This tea really gives me the “wow” factor I look for.  There is a unique sweet taste with hints of floral notes and a slightly savory sage finish.  The tea base is nice and gives the tea a nice background depth.  There are also notes of lemon here and there.  Such a silky like smooth tea.  So rich and full of flavor! I can’t get enough!

What is fantastic is that when you order this tea, you can order it caffeinated or not.  Of course I choose caffeinated.  I need something to get me thru the 2pm hour! I was also able to steep this tea about 4 times before noticing a lack of flavor.

If you aren’t familiar with AstroloTea, take a moment and check out the site.  The owner is amazing and has such a great variety of teas for everybody!

By the way, if anybody is following my epic adventure to sipdown my teas. . .This makes #9! Woohoo!

Lord Grey from Do You Tea

lordgreyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Do You Tea

Tea Description:

A delicious, classic, full-bodied tea – perfect for breakfast or anytime.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Earl Grey teas and I don’t always see eye to eye.  Sometimes these tea think they need an overwhelming amount of bergamot oil.  I think a light touch of bergamot is the way to go.  Or a peach tea with bergamot oil or even vanilla.  Very few earl greys are staples in my cupboard.

Do You Tea has a nice selection of teas that are unique and catch your attention.  Their Backyard Bliss, a mix of jasmine, orange and oolong tea is one of my favorites.  From the limited experience I have with Do You Tea offerings, they are crisp and taste fresh and clean.  While I was going thru my tea stash and organizing it a bit, I noticed I had this tea that I hadn’t tried yet.

Lord Grey is a mix of Assam & Darjeeling black tea with cold-pressed bergamot oil.  I don’t think I’ve had an earl grey blend like this before.  I brewed this up with my tea infusion bottle and 195F per the instructions on the package.  Let this steep for about 3 minutes and was pleasantly pleased when I took my first sniff of the brewing tea that the bergamot oil wasn’t crazily swirling the air. I only got a subtle gentle note of bergamot.

Took my first sip and Huzzah! The same effect. This tea is perfect for those who like tea that has been lightly kissed with bergamot.  The Assam and Darjeeling mix well together providing notes of a buttery texture with malty finishes.  This would be a great tea served at afternoon tea with a few sweet treats!

So for all those out there that want to like an Earl Grey but find them a bit too “bergamoty” for your taste. . check out this tea.  I think you’ll be glad that you did!

Jungpana Special Spring Darjeeling Chinary Black Tea from TeaBox

ffmhb-dry-leafTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: TeaBox

Tea Description:

With prominent chinary characters, this black tea comes as an opulent offering from Jungpana this spring.
Its dark amber-colored liquor makes for a beautiful sight to behold. Look for sweet notes of honey in its refreshing aroma. Its smooth, full-bodied liquor boasts prominent flavors of citrus and green chili. This tea signs off with fruity accents, particularly those of citrus, that linger on for the good haul. Savor a cup of this medium caffeine spring delicacy at any time in the day.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Jungpana Special Spring Darjeeling Chinary Black Tea from TeaBox is lovely.  This is one of those teas that I was intrigued by the origin of the loose leaf and found that Jungpana is within the hills of the Darjeeling Region so it seems these little leaves were once smack-dab in the middle of everything.

I found out that Jungpana is a small estate nestled in the hills of the Darjeeling region and is known for the muscatel flavor of its teas.  Pure china bushes is primarily used, coupled with different manufacturing techniques resulting an the finest example of richness in flavor and bouquet that Darjeeling teas are renowned for.  Jungpana is a garden of highest quality in Darjeeling, it enjoys the most unique micro climatic and soil conditions. This location and climate produces a distinct flavor and consequently has been established as the the leading quality estate of Darjeeling.

I appreciate the freshness of this tea.  It has a delightful aroma – both before and after infusing.  It has a smooth body with unique flavor featuring this high quality loose leaf tea.  Eventho this is a black tea base it’s a weaker black tea base but can be enjoyed morning, noon, and night.  Be careful with this one, tho, it can get a bit bitter if oversteeped.

Back to the aroma because I think that is what really caught my attention with this one – other than the flavor on the tongue – of course.  Pre-infusion the aroma is sweet and toasty but also floral and hints at subtle chili notes.  The post infusion adds the warmness of honey to the mix.  The best part is the long lingering fruit-floral finish.

This aroma and flavor may be a hard one to pin point as you can see.  So I guess that means you will have to try it for yourself to see what I mean!

 

Black Tea from Naveya Tea

NaveyaFitnessBlackTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Naveya Tea

About Naveya Tea:

Our fitness tea select best 100% natural detox tea,using flowers and teas to heal your body and soul.We promise all of our ingredients are renowned for their positive effects on metabolism and detoxification.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I drank this tea the other day after having their Jasmine Tea which was very good and a solid green jasmine tea.  I had high expectations for this one.  This is a straight black tea.  Their site that has recently been revamped to market their line of teas as Fitness Teas has quite a nice assortment of teas to choose from.  I was glad they sent me this tea and the Jasmine Tea to try.

Brewed this up like a black tea but errored on the side of caution and went with a 2 min steeping time.  I didn’t want to oversteep this one.  The dry leaves of this tea had a very nice robust malty aroma that I didn’t want to turn bitter.

Let this cool for a few minutes and took my first sip.  This tea was delicious and hit the spot.  There is just the right amount of malty notes to company the full bodied taste that you get each and every sip.  Even as this tea cooled in my traveler mug, I didn’t get any bitterness hitting me or even strong astringent notes.  Each sip was a smooth refreshing almost silky like black tea that I found myself wanting more of.

Since my first experience with this tea, I’ve had it a few more times and each time this tea is spot on.  So good! I really like this and I am one that likes to take a black tea with me along with my water bottle for my hour drive to take the kids to school and me to work.

My only issue is that they are marketing this as a fitness tea and that seems to be the new craze lately.  I read in a Vogue article that we wold be seeing more and more of that this year.  I don’t have a problem with companies marketing their teas as fitness teas at all.  As long as there are disclaimers were they need to be.  Like I said in my review of the jasmine tea.  I just really liked the look of their older site with the beautiful floral arrangements and tea pots galore.  Those kind of sites are what attract my attention.  When I see the site now, it gives me two feelings.  1) I need to go work out and 2) Guilty for not working out. Again, no issue here with them marketing their teas however they want.  I just think the tea enthusiasts out there would like the previous site just a bit better.

Regardless, they make some amazing teas!

Rose Oolong Tea from Tea Ave

0000s_0000_teaave-wet-rose_largeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong Tea

Where to Buy: Tea Ave

Tea Description:

Our Rose Oolong is a flower tea prepared using the ancient method, in which the tea absorbs the flower fragrance during the baking progress, producing a scented tea that’s aromatic and flavorful without using any additives or chemicals.

We blend our Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong with fresh Taiwanese roses to create an elegant flower tea that is both full-bodied and mellow, with rose petals lending delicate floral notes to a robust oolong body. Rose Oolong has a floral fragrance and a rich, sweet taste. Smooth and exhilarating. Dare we say a little bit like falling in love.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Rose Oolong from Tea Ave is a very ‘pretty’ oolong tea.  I say PRETTY because it really DOES have rose petals IN the tea not just rose liquid flavoring.  Another reason I’m impressed with the rose in this tea is because it’s incredibly FRESH.  Many rose teas I have had in the past the actual rose petals go stale easily and quickly but Tea Ave must have something up their sleeves to keeping them prim and proper!

On to the leaves themselves, shall we?  I must start off by saying the Tea Ave is very upfront about their tea profiles as it takes up a good amount of the packaging and product page on their online shop.  I really like this about them and appreciate the time and transparency they show by doing so.

The Oolong they use in this rose flavored tea is an Ali Shan Jin Xuan originating from the Ali Shan Mountain Region of Nantou, Taiwan.  These leaves are functional for about 4 sturdy infusions.

I found the flavor to be elegant, sweet, rich, and smooth all at the same time.  The surprising feature was that it was thirst-quenching as opposed to other rose flavored teas.  For this reason I continued with my ‘two thumbs up’ rating.

 

Mandarin Doce et Noisette from Fauchon

MandarineFauchonTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Fauchon

Tea Description:

Fruity tea with zesty sweet mandarin and warm hazelnut flavours.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The smell of these tea leaves is amazing! I want a candle made from this fragrance.  This tea is a black tea with mandarin orange and hazelnut flavoring.  I swear there is also dark chocolate in there somewhere but I’m not seeing it on the ingredient list.  I hope this tea smells as good as it smells.

I brewed this up like a black tea (212F-3 min) and sat and inhaled the wonderful citrus hazelnut -chocolate aroma.  I took my first sip and. . . .

Wow.  I’ve heard people talk about Fauchon teas before, but this is my first experience.  This tea is delicious.  There is a definite mandarin orange flavor with notes of sweet hazelnut swirling around.  I typically am not a fan of hazelnut but this one is an exception! The mandarin orange flavor is the more prominent of the two flavors so that may be way I’m really enjoying this.  Orange flavors are hard to do just right without tasting like Tang or just artificial.  The black tea base is nice because it is allowing the flavors to come thru without overshadowing them.  There is a nice malty note in just about every other sip.

Really stellar tea.  I only steeped this for 3 minutes but I feel like maybe another 30 seconds or so and the flavor would have even been more pronounced.  I wish I had a bit more of this left to try this as a latte.  Yum!

For this being my first experience with Fauchon, I’m impressed.  Now to dig out other samples of Fauchon that I have. . .

Chamomile Creme from Yellowstone Tea Co.

chamomilecreamTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy: Yellowstone Tea Co

Tea Description:

Need a little time to unwind after a long day? Chamomile Creme is the perfect blend of vanilla bean, twig tea, lemongrass, licorice, toasted coconut, chicory, stevia leave, and of course, chamomile. A perfect nighttime tea that’s naturally caffeine free.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Chamomile is one of those ingredients that people either love or hate.  I am in the pool of tea drinkers that love it.  I drink it all hours of the day, not just night time.  Chamomile blends iced are delicious and I love drinking it after a larger lunch, like today. I ate just a bit too much so I reached for this tea, hoping it might help.

I brewed this up with boiling water and steeped it for 5 minutes. Then I allowed this to cool off so I could add ice for an iced tea treat.

How did it taste? This was quite good.  This definitely isn’t an ordinary chamomile tea blend.  I love the additions of the lemongrass and the coconut.  The flavors give this blend a unique flavor.  What I really take away from this tea is the creamy silk like texture that I’m getting.  Very good.  I don’t really pick up the stevia and the chicory gives the tea a hint of a roasted profile.  The licorice adds in a hint of sweeetness.  This is a keeper!

Breakfast Americano Black from Simple Loose Leaf

BreakfastAmericanoTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Simple Loose Leaf 

Tea Description:

A blended black tea with smooth cocoa beans gives a rich and malty cup of tea. Breakfast Americano makes an amazing start to your day and we recommend you try it with a touch of steamed milk.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Still on my Epic Sipdown Journey, I came across this fellow who I bought from other Steepster friend in a Stash Sale a while ago.  I’ve had a few Simple Loose Leaf blends before so I was looking forwarded to this one.

I have to admit right off the bat, I think I steeped this guy wrong.  The whole description of this tea doesn’t match what I’m drinking.  The description is a malty rich cocoa like black tea.  Exactly what the dry mixture smells like. When I brewed this up like a black tea with water at 212F and 3 min, I got a very smoky malty tea with no hints of cocoa beans and a very astringent finish.  This is a new tea cup and tea pot that I hadn’t used before so I’m very curious on how this happened.

I think even if the smoky notes weren’t there, this wouldn’t be the tea for me.  There is an overwhelming amount of malty notes and nothing but the astringency to offset them.  I wish I could get those cocoa beans to pop.

My apologizes to Simple Loose Leaf.  I think I royally screwed up this tea and won’t be able to give you the proper review.   Maybe another time I’ll get this right and we can try this again!