Rose Garden Pu Erh from Tocha Tea looks the part right off the bat, with deep, pink rose petals and dark tea tied up neatly in a silk teabag. The dry tea smells strongly of roses, so strongly, the scent verges into being a bit like floral-scented soap.
With the heavy rose smell and the pu erh base, I kept the steep times and temperatures a little lower than the package recommended, brewing for 1 minute at about 195 degrees Fahrenheit, to keep the flavors from getting too saturated.
When brewed, the rose overtones are still the most forward flavor, but there is an added depth from the musky tones of the pu erh tea. This earthiness is a pleasing presence, fleshing out the “garden party” theme.
With the romantic and delicate nature of roses, it makes sense that this is blended with pu erh tea instead of black tea. Black teas have a more astringent bite, while pu erh is smoother and creamier, and this gentler mouthfeel is noticeable.
At first, I wasn’t sold on the rose and pu erh combination from the description alone, but this brew turned out to be lovely. Rose Garden Pu Erh would be perfect with a Beauty and the Beast theme, using the rose petals and earthy pu erh, as stand-ins for Belle and Beast. I say, keep track of your brew times and temperature, and this tea can unlock even your toughest enchantments.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Pu erh
Where to Buy: Tocha Tea
For centuries, pu-erh tea has been treasured for its elegant flavor and health benefits. The unique natural fermentation process gives it an earthy, woodsy essence that is never bitter, even after a long steep. Rose petals add a graceful note to this delicious and versatile blend, a wonderful tea for everyday wellness.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy: Cérémonie Tea
Our Signature Cérémonie Mini Cubes are unique tea experiences in individually wrapped, beautifully crafted cubes, combining enchanting flavors with unique design. The distinctive cube packaging holds a mesh tea sachet that is bursting with the bold taste of whole leaf tea, fine herbs and spices.
Cérémonie cubes convey luxury and attention to design in boutique hotels, fine dining establishments and quality catering venues worldwide.
Available in 80 count cartons.
Learn more about this tea here.
Today I’m reviewing the Sencha Green Tea Mini Cube from Cérémonie Tea. I’m not one to get overly enthused about a bagged tea but this one is different. Cérémonie Tea offers what they refer to as mini cubes and I find they are a wonderfully functional tea to add to any collection. The mini cubes are made up of a mesh tea sachet and some of their popular look leaf tea offerings…in this case…Sencha Green Tea Mini Cube from Cérémonie Tea.
I received one of the gift sets from the company and I have to say the design of it alone intrigued me. I know I shouldn’t judge a tea by its packaging but this was lovely to see and taste!
The taste of this mini cube was nothing less than impressive, too! I seriously forgot I was sipping on a mini cube the tea quality was so good! I figured sencha was the perfect one to put to the test, too! Most bagged green teas really turn me off but this one was a real winner! It was quite fresh, wasn’t bitter, and reminiscent of a greener green tea, sweet peas, and floral notes.
If you are looking for a delicious green tea that is both tasty AND functional try Sencha Green Tea Mini Cube from Cérémonie Tea.
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Buddha Teas
Over the years, many different varieties of oolong tea have been produced, each with their own style and flavor, however traditional oolong tea remains the most popular among these.
Learn more about this tea here.
Oolong has historically been my nemesis, although I have to say at this point that I’ve only ever tried loose leaf oolong with one exception (Teapigs Tung Ting Oolong, which is pyramid bagged). This oolong is also bagged, and in fairly small, square paper affairs that really don’t look like they’ll provide much room for leaf expansion. Even dry, the leaf fills up at least half of the space in the bag. One cute touch is that each paper tag has a different phrase – my current bag declares “love is ecstacy”, and my second “appreciate yourself and honor your soul”. Something to muse upon as you wait for your tea to brew? I added the bag to a cup of water cooled to around 180 degrees, and gave it 2.5 minutes. The resulting liquor is a medium golden brown.
Once wet, it’s clear that the leaf is shredded quite finely, and it becomes waterlogged and soggy quickly. The leaf expands to fill the bag, but not as much as I thought it might. I guess the fine shred means that there are no large leaves to really unfurl. Looking at the leaf, this would appear to be a dark or roasted oolong. It has the signature scent that’s often one of the things I like least about oolong – metallic and a little sweet.
To taste, I’m more impressed that I expected I would be. I’m not the world’s biggest Oolong fan, so when I find one that’s palatable and enjoyable to drink, a bit of a celebration ensues. This Oolong is initially very nutty, in the way of pecans or maybe walnuts. There’s a slightly bitter tang that I associate with walnuts especially, which only reinforces the comparison for me. The mid-sip contains a little of the metallic flavour I so dislike, but it’s not over-strong and I’m finding I can ignore it without too much trouble. There’s a note of slightly burnt toast as well, which puts me in mind of autumn and open fires. It’s a fitting flavour profile for this time of year! The aftertaste is smooth and a little sweet, with an almost honeyed texture. It’s a pleasant, flavourful cup, reminiscent of a Formosa Oolong. I’m not sure which variety it actually is as the packaging gives very little away, but that’s where I would peg it.
I enjoyed this cup, which seems a strange thing for me to say given my history with Oolong in general. The nutty, toasted notes pair well together and are very complementary, which probably has a lot to do with it. I’d drink this one again, and I’d happily recommend it either to those who are just beginning to explore oolong (as an accessible entry tea), and to Oolong-phobes who are looking to be proved wrong. It’s made me reevaluate my feelings about dark and roasted Oolongs, in any case!
Leaf Type: Coffee Leaf Tisane
Where to Buy: Wize Monkey
Juicy mangoes all up in your boca!
Learn more about this tea here.
The packaging of this one didn’t give much away – only the name (Mango Party), and the fact that it’s a test flavour. It’s a bagged tea, but in an unbleached, sizeable bag so there’s plenty of room for leaf expansion. No complaints there. I did a little digging around, and discovered that this is, in fact, a coffee leaf tea. This isn’t something I’ve ever tried before, so it piqued my interest straight off. From what I managed to find out, coffee leaf tea is pretty much exactly what you’d think – a herbal tea made from the shredded leaves of the coffee plant. It contains less caffeine than either tea or coffee, and is described as being similar in flavour to green tea. I added the bag to a cup of boiling water, and gave it 3 minutes. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown, and the scent immediately put me in mind of guayusa.
To taste, guayusa is again probably the best comparison I can come up with. It’s quite prominently earthy in the initial sip, but in a good way – anyone that enjoys guayusa would be quite at home here. The flavouring emerges in the mid sip, and adds a creamy, mildly peppery, mango flavour. It’s juicy and fruity, but it’s a little milder and more fleeting than I really would have liked. There’s maybe a second or two in the mid sip where I can really taste it, and then it’s gone and the earthiness returns. For those who were wondering – this doesn’t taste of coffee at all.
This was a new experience for me, and I’m going to say that I liked it. I’d seek out more coffee leaf teas on the strength of this one, that’s for sure. When a tea is flavoured, I like the flavour to be strong and prominent, so this one lost a couple of points for me there. The flavouring is nice, but it’s a little milder and more fleeting than I’d hoped – more of a mango flash than a mango party. Either way, it’s a pleasing, fruity cup with a lovely, smooth creaminess. Definitely worth a try if you’re a mango fan, or if you’ve not tried coffee leaf tea before and are looking for a new tea experience.
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Rington’s Tea
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.
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.