Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Seven Cups
This tea has a light aroma and rich, smooth flavor with a long finish through multiple infusions. The liquid is light and clear, and the infused leaves are the color of bamboo leaves. You can feel the sweetness of the tea in your throat after a few sips.
Learn more about this tea here.
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I’m love LOVE loving this Da Ye Xiao Qing Tuo Pu-erh from Seven Cups! It’s so remarkably sweet – one of the sweetest Pu-erh I think I’ve ever encountered.
The sweetness was strong from the very first cup, and this sweetness only developed with each subsequent infusion. I taste a very light vegetal tone to the first cup as well, but mostly what I taste is a honeyed sweetness that is absolutely delightful.
The second cup was where I noticed the sweetness developing into a creamier note. I could also taste the vegetal notes a little more with this cup. The combination of the cream and the veggie notes gave it an almost “creamed spinach” type of flavor, although the vegetal notes were sweeter than spinach.
The third cup was a little less sweet and a little more vegetative. The creamy notes were not as noticeable this time. The flavor is more of an earthy vegetation this time. Still very flavorful, but, I found myself missing the sweet creaminess that I experienced in cup number two and the joyful sweetness of the first cup. This is still good, just not as delicious as the first two cups.
I decided to have one more cup to see what flavors were in store for me, and I found that with this cup, there were no creamy notes and the sweetness was not the same. It was more of a sweet vegetative taste rather than a honeyed sweetness or a creamy sweetness of the earlier infusions.
I am sure that this Pu-erh could have gone through many more infusions, but, I think that because I so enjoyed the first two cups so much, that I found myself missing what those two cups had to offer and I couldn’t appreciate the later infusions as much.
A really nice Pu-erh, and I’m glad that I got to try it. Another great tea offering from my Steepster Select box!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Learn more about Southern Boy Teas here.
After trying the Very Big Hill Dew Honeybush from 52Teas, I was very interested in how the black iced tea version from the Southern Boy Teas line differed from the aforementioned tisane. I really enjoyed the honeybush, so I was anxious to try this flavor in a black tea!
And it is really tasty. I do think that with these particular flavors, they work better with a lighter base like the honeybush, but it’s still a really tasty, refreshing black iced tea. The sweet, lemon-y, lime-ish taste shines through in this glass of iced tea, but, I don’t notice quite as much of the effervescent soda-ish taste that I experienced with the honeybush. I do still get some of that soda-like flavor, but, here, it’s less apparent.
The black tea is brisk but not overpowering. I like the way the bright, lemony flavors add a really uplifting flavor to the iced tea. It’s a very refreshing drink, and it’s one that I will probably be ordering again, especially with summertime coming up – this is one that I’ll want to drink on a hot, summer day.
A really good tea from the Southern Boy Teas line.
Leaf Type: Honeybush
Where to Buy: 52Teas
Several people from our Southern Boy Teas Kickstarter campaign requested that we make a Mountain Dew inspired iced tea. I was thinking about how I would do it, and I kept thinking how good this would be as a honeybush blend. So here we have caffeine-free African honeybush with lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemon myrtle and organic flavors. This is YUMMY. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Learn more about this tisane here.
OK … I cracked up laughing when I read the name of this honeybush tisane from 52Teas: Very Big Hill Dew. Maybe I have a twisted, whacked sense of humor. Because when I shared the name of the tisane with my husband, he didn’t think it was funny at all. Maybe his sense of humor is whacked.
Regardless, this is a really tasty tisane. I don’t drink a lot of soda, in fact, I can’t tell you when the last time was that I had a Mountain … err … soda by which this tisane was inspired. It’s been a long time. So, it would be difficult for me to say with confidence that this tastes like that soda. I do know that when I opened the package, it smelled like the soda, and that I know because my husband does drink it (well, the diet version of it), so I’m familiar with the aroma.
And this does have a soda-like taste. I can taste that bubbly, effervescent sort of taste. It’s light and refreshing. And there is a lot of lemon-y, lime-ish like flavors dancing on my palate. It’s very tasty.
The honeybush adds a sort of sweet, honeyed flavor to the cup, as well as a slight earthiness. Not exactly “nutty” the way I usually taste from a honeybush tisane. It’s just more of a slight earthy flavor that complements the lemon-lime notes in a really pleasing way.
It is sweet, a little bit tart and tangy, and very enjoyable. I drank a cup of it hot, and then I chilled the rest that I brewed and drank it iced. It’s better iced (it is a soda-inspired tea, after all), but, it’s still tasty served hot too. I found it to be a calming, relaxing cuppa – nice for the end of a busy day.
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Harney & Sons
This full-bodied yet mellow tea is a great way to welcome the sun each morning. We have chosen Kenya and Kenilworth for this blend. The golden tips of Milima are reminiscent of Assam and the bold leaves of Ceylon’s Kenilworth are very mellow.
Learn more about this blend here.
If I were to select only one word to describe this Big Red Sun Black Tea Blend from Harney & Sons, the word would be pleasant.
Of course … you probably don’t read this blog just to hear me spout one word about a tea, right? You probably want a few more words. OK, so I’ll give ’em to you.
Yes, this tea is pleasant. I don’t know that I’d get a whole lot more flowery with my wordage than that … I don’t think I’d describe this tea as significantly bold or rich or well-rounded. It has a pleasant flavor that is sweet with a slightly bitter/savory/vaguely sour tone that hits about mid-sip. It isn’t an unpleasant bitterness, it’s actually kind of nice because it offers a contrasting flavor to the sweeter notes.
It is moderately astringent. It has notes of fruit and flower within the sip, with a sweet honey-like undertone. This isn’t a tea that I’d reach for as that first cup of the day, because it doesn’t really have that “wake-up” kind of flavor nor the vigor that I look for in a first-cuppa tea. It is more like a mid-morning tea, or perhaps an early afternoon tea.
I like this alright … but I can’t say that this is my favorite black tea blend that I’ve ever tasted, because it isn’t. It’s enjoyable … it’s … well, it’s pleasant. Just like I said at the start.
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Boutique Teas
Legend says this tea restored the health of a Ming dynasty official, who in gratitude honored the tea bushes by leaving his red cape behind as protection. Produced in the famous Fujian province, Big Red Robe grows on the rocky cliffs in Fujian, China. This rare oolong tea brews a unique woodsy character with fruity muscatel notes that can be steeped multiple times.
Learn more about this tea here.
Oolong is one of my favorite types of tea (second only to yellow tea), although, as I’m sure most of you are already aware, not all Oolong teas are created equal, so it is perhaps needless to say that I like some Oolong teas better than others.
Big Red Robe Oolong teas are not my favorite, but I’ve grown to appreciate them more than I once did. This Organic Big Red Robe Oolong form Boutique Teas is one of the nicest that I’ve tried … I think that had I tried this Da Hong Pao Oolong the first time I tried one, I probably would have embraced it immediately! This is really good!
There are hints of fruit notes in this tea that are reminiscent of plum and peach and grape which give the cup a pleasing sweetness. I can even taste the faintest hints of muscatel which took me totally by surprise! These fruit notes mingle with a strong woodsy tone that is slightly smoky, but what I like about this particular Big Red Robe Oolong is that the smoky note is on the subtle side, tasting slightly more like charcoal than smoke.
There is a mineral-y like taste that arrives on the palate toward the finish. This is definitely what I’d call a masculine tea, but it has a smoothness to it … like a sophisticated, charming gentleman.
This is the kind of tea that you want to infuse multiple times, and just sit back and relax as you allow the flavors to play upon your palate. I find that the flavor becomes even more enjoyable with the subsequent infusions … my favorite were the fifth and sixth infusions, which I combined into one cup. The flavor was sweeter, and possessed less of the smoky earthiness of the earlier infusions. Those first infusions were good … but the subsequent infusions were great!