Well, this isn’t what I expected, and am I ever glad!
When I saw the name “Apple Delicious”, I assumed this was a fruit tisane. I expected to open the pouch and find big chunks of dried apple and other fruits. Instead, the most gloriously dark green, thick, twisted leaves spilled out. The aroma was not the fake apple and berry flavoring I had expected, but instead – a lovely and light apple – REAL apple – scent wafted gently up.
I looked up the company as I prepared to steep the tea and saw that this is hand harvested in northern Thailand with an eye to being ecologically friendly, and that the company gives back to local communities as well. It is well worth the read so head on over to their website and check them out, because you are probably going to want to order some tea after you read this.
So the tea is made, and we sip. At first I think the green tea base is very light and the apple is a sweet and light addition. But with each sip the flavor builds and builds and now the green tea is the star of the show and there is a lovely briskness making it sparkle. The fruit flavors – it isn’t just apple – complement this tea so beautifully. I am really impressed. In addition to the briskness of the tea, there is a rich-bodied follow up with the ginger and fruit tastes. Again, the green tea is the star here, and the fruit is a fantastic supporting cast. Hold a sip in your mouth for a moment and you will taste the whole blend with the fruit and ginger building and swirling. The ginger is mild and is definitely not the hot, spicy ginger you find sometimes.
I am really glad I tried this, and I can’t wait to taste more blends from this company!
Here’s the scoop!
Where to Buy: Love Some Tea
Green Tea Flavored with deep notes Ginger and Fruits including: strawberry, cherries, cranberry, and apple.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Charcoal baked oolong….interesting! Ive never heard of charcoal baked oolong before or seen it in any other blends so of course this was an intriguing blend to me.
The dry leaf of this one smelled like apple crisp! Once steeped, it smelled slightly grassy and like green apples. I’m not quite sure what charcoal tastes like, but I can taste a slight smokiness to this blend and i’m going to attribute it to the charcoal baked oolong. The taste also was slightly grassy like green tea and i’m going to attribute that to the oolong as well. As far as caramel goes, I could taste it as I swallowed and definitely on the aftertaste. But, cinnamon apple? Honestly I feel like the charcoal baked oolong and the caramel kind of overpowered the cinnamon apple flavor a bit. I really couldn’t detect as much of the cinnamon or the apple as I had been hoping for.
However, I did find this blend comforting and delicious regardless. It was perfect for being snowed in. I was also really glad I tried this oolong because now I can say I’ve had charcoal baked oolong! It just sounds so unique and it is definitely a must try. I saw that this blend was actually re-blend, as it was named “version 2”. I wish I had tried version 1 so that I could compare it, but I never had. In any case, I will definitely be finishing up my sample of this one and would recommend that you give it a try!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Some time ago, shortly after I started doing this thing as the Mad Tea Artist, one of my online friends suggested that I create a caramel apple Oolong and he suggested using a roasted Oolong base. I liked the idea but the thing was that Frank had already crafted a Caramel Apple Oolong using a Fujian Oolong. (Click here to read my original review* of that tea.)
So here is a tea that was previously imagined and then later re-imagined based on an inspiration from a tea friend. I started with a charcoal roasted TieGuanYin which is delightfully nutty and sweet. To this, I added a combination of freeze-dried apples: Granny Smith and Fuji (which, interestingly enough, are my two daughter’s favorite apples. Amethyst loves Granny Smith and Lilith loves Fuji.) I added some caramel essence and then – just because I felt that it needed some warmth, I added some cinnamon.
This is a tea that’s deliciously, apple-y sweet but also pleasantly spiced – with a creamy, nutty background of a truly delightful Oolong tea.
Taster size is approximately 15g
ingredients: oolong tea, organic apples, organic cinnamon and organic natural flavors
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Full Leaf Tea Company
This black tea blend steeps to a rich caramel color with subtle hints of apple to the taste.
The tea in Full-Leaf is a mix of marigolds, apple bits, caramel bits, and almond chips
Country of Origin: India
Learn more about this tea here.
I love discovering new companies and new tea company owners that really care about what their customers think. Matt@ Full Leaf Tea Company is just that kind of owner. He cares about what his customers think and really takes the time and care to listen. When I come across that kind of a company, I tend to keep going back. On top of the awesome customer service you reciceve, there is also an amazing selection of teas to try. And I have tried several.
Recently I had their Caramel Apple and Almond Black Tea. I couldn’t wait to try this one. Threw some tea leaves into my Breville One Touch and set this up with the black tea setting (212F-3 min). The dry leaves had a slight almond like aroma with hints of a sweetness. Didn’t exactly smell like caramel or apple but you can tell there was something there. You could actually see the caramel bits, apple bits, and the almond chips right in the blend. You have to love that!
Poured myself and Jason (my boyfriend) a cup. Brewed up hot, this had a very pu erh flavor and smell. The tea was very earthy and I couldn’t taste any of the caramel, apple, or almond. We both thought this tasted like a pu erh blend so much that I actually emailed Matt and asked him if pu erh was in the black base tea. He said there wasn’t. I was a bit confused by this.
Typically when I don’t like a tea brewed hot, I will enjoy it cold brewed. Threw some leaves in my cold brew bottle and let it steep overnight. In the morning I had a fantastic blend of sweet and earthy caramel apple tea. The earthy flavor was still there but the flavor blended so well with the sweet caramel apple. I didn’t taste the almond but I have a feeling the almond was more subtle and aiding in the rich earthy flavor.
I think I just need to go back and play with the steeping parameters on this tea. I have a feeling that the 3 min steep was too long and maybe should go with a 2 min steep when trying to brew this up hot. I also want to try and steep this up in my glass tea pot instead of the Breville. This is a tea that just needs a bit of experimenting to bring out all of those lovely flavors and I am up for the task. Just need to get some more.