Orange pekoe teas tend to get that name due to some quality grading and inspections that take place, rating the size and quality of the tea leaf and so on. I once had a colleague who only drank orange pekoe tea, they wouldn’t settle for anything else. So when I find out the tea I’m tasking is an orange pekoe, I already feel fancy before opening the bag.
This time, I brewed Palas Supreme from BOH Teas. Billed as an orange pekoe tea, the leaves looked to be good quality, long and dark and curly that unfurled in shape and flavor as I brewed.
This tea tasted bright and sweet, not too sharp or tart. There were slight citrus flavors and some gentle floral flavors, but main taste of the the brew was driven by a smooth and bright black tea taste.
BOH Teas describes Palas Supreme as a flowery pekoe. While it does have floral accents, it is not the blooming garden of flower flavors and scents that I would expect from a “flowery pekoe.” This tea stands out because it isn’t all about the tart sharpness of the black tea. It actually has a smooth mouthfeel and while there are orange notes, they aren’t biting citrus, instead tasting much more like sweet mandarin oranges.
As the tea cools there are more date and raisin after tones beneath the sweet citrus and smooth black tea.
This is is part of the BOH Teas garden collection and it even ships in a butterfly-and-blossom-themed canister. I didn’t get as much floral flavor as I expected, but this tea is still a delicious orange pekoe fit to brighten any day.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: BOH Teas
When you savour the taste of this tea, the first thing you experience is its aroma. This fine garden tea is cultivated on the cool tropical slopes of Sungei Palas. The Flowery Pekoe of Ceylon and Assam varieties imparts an exquisite and delicate aroma. With its pure and delicate fragrance, this large-leafed amber tea is best enjoyed plain throughout the day.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Herbal/Tisane
Where to Buy: Cupan Tae
A stormy, spicy herbal blend with a breeze of anise taste.
Learn more about this tea here.
This one has a very, very pronounced dry aroma; the leaf practically oozes with the scent of sweet, black licorice! Not licorice root or anise, mind you, but black licorice. While I have no problem with either anise or licorice root – I love black licorice and I’ve found few teas that convey it well.
That love for black licorice probably comes from my Grandpa; before he passed that was his absolute favourite self indulgent treat in the world. He kept huge tins of licorice allsorts by his lazy boy that he’d snack on during Blue Jays games, and he’d buy black jellybeans in bulk and sometimes he’d just let me grab big greedy hand fulls of from the tins. It’s a really good memory I have of him from when I was a child and the smell of the dry leaf of this tea is making me so nostalgic for it. I know there’s not actually black licorice in the blend and it’s a trick that the fennel, combined with the aniseed, is playing on me. But I’m gonna try and be willfully blind to that; because I want this to taste like black licorice.
Hmm, now that this one’s steeped up there’s a very thick, powdery white residue all along the inside of my mug and I can’t figure out why – I’ve never had that issue with any of the listed ingredients I’m familiar with – and the only one I’m not familiar with is ribwort, so unless it’s from the ribwort I can’t explain it. It’s annoying though; almost as bad as gross melted down chocolate goop from blends that use chocolate chips instead of nibs or shells.
Steeped up, sadly, it doesn’t taste like black licorice though. Not in the same way it smells like it, anyway. I do get heavy doses of both fennel and anise flavour which is sweet and delicious, but it’s fairly overtaken by a very dominating savory, herbaceous note and then milder notes of peppermint and a supple fruit note that I suppose could be apple like is listed in the ingredients. Visually I didn’t see any apple in my measured out tea leaf though. That strong savory note tastes very, very weird to me; and I’m wondering if that’s the ribwort leaves. I’ve never had another tea with ribwort leaves and after a very quick Google search I’ve learned that apparently they can have a mushroomy flavour. I have really, really minimal exposure to what mushrooms taste like given that I am pretty allergic to them; any time I’ve had them it’s been really involuntary and, upon realizing I’ve ingested them I’ve had much more pressing things on my mind other than the flavour.
It’s a fascinating experience for me even if it’s not the one I expected to be having and in that regard I’m a little disappointed this isn’t as black licorice-y as I wanted it to be but I also know I was projecting unfair expectations onto the tea. It’s definitely not a bad tea; just so weird. Am I actually tasting mushrooms!? I’d honestly be interested in going back and having this one all over again; I feel like without the expectation of a more licorice-y tea I might be more observant of the herbaceous qualities that are present. Overall, surprisingly sweet and savory!
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Les 2 Marmottes
This Tea will be your partner throughout the day as part of your weight loss mission. Flexible, it adapts to any situation. It is hot, warm or even cold, it is always delicious. Temptations no longer have control. You’re all set!
Learn more about this tea here.
It was exciting to receive this box of samples – all the way from France! This Retour a La Ligne Green Tea Blend is the first that I’m trying from this new-to-me company, Les 2 Marmottes.
When you visit the Les 2 Marmottes website, you’ll find that you need to translate the website … unless you are able to read French. Alas … I am not, thankfully Google Chrome will translate it for me.
The dry leaf smells strongly of mint. Of course, this could be not only because of the spearmint but because of the meadowsweet. It’s a very fresh and uplifting fragrance. The brewed tea has a slightly softer mint aroma and I can detect the notes of the green tea and verbena now.
The flavor is much more subdued than I expected it to be, given the strong minty fragrance. The mint notes here are subtle but refreshing. The green tea has a sweet, buttery taste. There is a herbaceous overtone to this, tasting a bit more like an herbal tisane made of green herbals rather than a green tea.
I taste distant notes of fruit too, but they are a little difficult to discern because they’re off in the distance somewhere behind the stronger herbal notes. It’s a calming drink to sip, I find myself relaxing more with each sip I take.
Overall, this is a pleasant, mild tasting beverage. I don’t know if I taste anything from the tail cherries (or cherry stems), then again, I can’t recall ever having a tea with tail cherries in the list of ingredients so I don’t know what kind of contribution this ingredient makes to the overall flavor of the tea. I do taste spearmint and I do taste green tea. I taste notes of verbena and a slight sharp note from the meadowsweet.
It’s an interesting cuppa! With my first few sips, I was a little unsure if I was liking it, but now that I’ve nearly finished the cup, I find myself wanting a little more, so that’s gotta tell you something, right?
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Upton Tea Imports
We created this selection specifically for use in samovars but it also works exceptionally well in traditional teapots. The tea has a dark cup, well-balanced character, and can be infused for a long period without becoming bitter. The flavor is of a classic medium-grown Ceylon with a smooth profile and hints of ripe apple.
Learn more about this tea here.
I was a little hesitant to try this Samovar OP-A Ceylon Black Tea Blend from Upton Tea Imports … why? Because of the name … well, the word “Samovar” specifically. I’ve come to associate the word Samovar with “Russian”, and when I think of Russian tea, I think SMOKY.
But … NO smoke. Not even a hint of it! This is a sweet, brisk Ceylon. Medium-bodied with lots of sweet fruit tones that (as mentioned in the above description) remind me a bit of a sweet, crisp apple. Very low astringency here, and no sign of bitterness whatsoever. Just a smooth, even-tempered, well-rounded cup of delicious tea. It’s one of the sweeter Ceylon teas that I’ve tried.
This tea makes an outstanding iced tea as well as a delightful hot tea. Try it with a cinnamon stick when its hot – just drop the cinnamon stick right in the brewed tea and sip it while it slowly steeps its flavor into the cup. Yum! It’s also quite pleasant iced with a little bit of mint.