Earl Grey Le Creme from The NecessiTeas. . . . .

 

I’m not normally a bergamot fan, but my high school partner-in-crime, code-named Tiny Salutations is, so welcome her along on today’s adventure!

This is a delightful blend that ignites the romance at first sight, and pictures don’t do it justice. Beautiful blue corn flowers are sprinkled throughout, which is a special flower that she would grow and send to husband back when they first dated. She says she’s kind of in love with this tea before even drinking it. The dry leaves need to be cross-marketed as an air freshener!

The corn flowers float to the top as it brews and lose their color becoming translucent and elegant like dragonfly wings. That initial carmel smell mellows out as well, and the brew just smells like standard Earl Grey. The combination of small tea leaves and delicate flowers mean the brew time is quick and more caffeine is released into the light amber infusion.

There is not as much flavor as color implies, so it’s great way to get caffeine if you don’t like the bitterness of the tannins. There’s a slight milky aftertaste. It tastes like a Standard cuppa black tea, but you don’t need to add any cream or sugar! (Unless you’re an absolute sugar fiend)

Upon resteeping, the tea still has some oils to give off and it has a good earthy taste but not as much caramel flavor.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Flavored Black Tea
Where to Buy:  The NecessiTeas 

Our Earl Grey Le Creme is a forgiving indulgence essenced with bergamot, vanilla and cream. Go ahead, treat yourself!

Your tea is hand packaged in an airtight tin at no additional charge.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nonpareil Taiwan Li Shan Oolong Tea by Teavivre

Recently I’ve been going through an all-black-teas-all-the-time phase, so trying this oolong was a refreshing change. In addition to the great flavor, I also loved how intact the leaves were, and how they were rolled into neatly compact pearls.

I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for 2 minutes (using the entire sample packet). The packet suggested 1-2 minutes; I sampled it after 1 minute and decided I wanted it stronger, so I left it in for another minute.

The rolled leaves start to expand as soon as they’re submerged. They’re pretty tightly rolled, but they expand a LOT. I’m not really good at determining the level of oxidation in an oolong but I’d say it was fairly light to medium, based on the color of the leaves (and of the liquor). They seem to be high-quality, fairly intact leaves; I was able to pull out one crumpled piece and tease it open to discover that it was actually a couple of entire leaves attached to a bud by the associated stem. So cool! It makes me feel a lot closer to the plant, somehow, than when the leaves are pre-measured into a sachet and/or chopped up into eensy bits.

The tea liquor when steeped is a mid-light yellow, not quite as light as the average green tea, with that distinctive oolong-y fragrance (a bit floral and a bit savory).  

First sip: tangy. There’s a definite presence of acidic/astringent aspect. A warming, slightly roasty flavor travels over the top of the tongue while the astringency pulls at the sides of the tongue. By “roasty flavor” I mean an almost nutty, hearty savoriness. It’s not exactly roasted (and certainly not smoky) but it’s a very hearty presence with more depth than just the floral/orchid oolonginess.

The flavor is overall quite smooth with no noticeable bitterness. This smoothness combines with the savoriness to give an almost buttery impression. There’s maybe a tiny bit of mineral-y-ness as well, combining with the green (in a good vegetal sort of way) and slightly roasty/hearty/buttery flavor to create a very satisfying flavor profile. 

The tea is fairly sweet already, so I added just a pinch of sugar. I don’t usually prefer milk with oolongs, so I didn’t add any. I imagine you could re-steep this tea with good results as well, based on the quality of the leaves. 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Teavivre
Description

The Nonpareil Taiwan DaYuLing High Mountain Cha Wang Oolong Tea is grown in the area at the altitude of 2500 meters, in which the climate is cold and forests grow well. This cold and moisture condition is suitable for tea trees’ growth. In addition, the soil here is fertile, meanwhile performs well in drainage. Thus the tea leaves carry a natural scent of flower and fruit.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Anxi Tie Guan Yin from Teasenz

I can’t remember the last time I drank a Tie Guan Yin, which is something of a surprise as it’s become one of my favourite oolong varieties. I was more than pleased when I came across this one, not least because it’s a good opportunity to reacquaint myself. This particular Tie Guan Yin is from the Anxi Nature Reserve in Fujian Province, a major Chinese tea growing region (although one I seem to associate more with black tea than with oolong, strangely enough!)

tie_guan_yin_wulong_tea_1I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water slightly cooled from boiling. The resulting liquor is a clear, pale green with a light yellowish tinge. The leaves are beautifully variegated, encompassing pretty much all shades of green from the palest to the darkest, and just a hint of brown. It’s like walking through a forest in the sunlight! The leaves are rolled, and after three minutes they haven’t entirely unfurled, suggesting that this one might be good for at least another couple of steeps.

The scent of the brewed tea is light but noticeably floral. It reminds me primarily of orchids, lilies, and jasmine – heady, scent-heavy flowers. This carries through into the taste, which initially is very heavily floral. So floral, it almost tastes thick. It doesn’t cross over into territory that’s too perfumey or cloying, but it’s definitely distinctively floral. The mid-sip brings a green beany sweetness that helps to freshen up the overall flavour profile, and towards the end of the sip there’s a hint of nuttiness that puts me very much in mind of hazelnuts. It’s an interesting flavour combination, but one that ultimately works well.

I’m also pleased to find that it very smooth in terms of mouthfeel, with an almost-silkiness about it. There’s no bitterness or astringency at all,tieguanyin_tea even though the water was quite hot and the brew time reasonably long. As the cup cools, it develops a creaminess that complements the flavours (and particularly the lingering nuttiness) beautifully.

This reacquaintance with a Tie Guan Yin has reminded me why I enjoyed these teas so much in the first place. I’m impressed with the quality of this tea, and I’ll definitely be checking out more of Teasenz’s offerings in the future. Impressed!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Teasenz
teasenzlogoDescription

An all-time favorite of Chinese oolong tea lovers. This beautiful emerald green tea is named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin. Poets of the Middle Kingdom have described this premium tea for its purifying taste, bringing you into a peaceful, meditative state of mind.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Boomstick Tea from Geeky Teas

Boomstick-teaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Geeky Teas 

Tea Description:

Sometimes you want to sip tea and contemplate. Sometimes you want tea to kick your backside and get you going. For those times, this is your tea. It’s got muscles.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh Geeky Teas! How I love and adore you!

Geeky Teas is the perfect amount of fandom sprinkled into your tea. I have always said this but there is something so very satisfying about drinking a tea dedicated to your fandom. Just makes you love the tea even more!

This particular tea is based off of Ash, my first love when it comes to my love for horror  movies. Bruce Campbell is my favorite actor and the Evil Dead series are among my favorite movies, so of course a tea dedicated to these loves, I would be all over.

This tea is a lovely tightly rolled gunpowder that once you add your water and allow the tea to brew, the teas uncurl and dance in the water providing you with an amazing brew.  Brewed up with water at 180F and allowed to steep for about 2 minutes, this tea was just fun to sit and watch.

Finally it was time to try the tea and oh, yes. This tea is exactly how it showed me. Strong, to the point, with that whole mouth feel.  This tea really delivers a gorgeous flavor that has a slightly nutty yet slightly smoked flavor that is so satisfying with a touch of astringency coming about.  So smooth and well balanced! One of those teas that make you sit back and really indulge yourself in the tea. Or a tea that will get you prepped and ready to take on the day.

I am just loving it and can’t wait to try this tea as a cold brew or an iced tea mixed with some fruit. I bet the flavor combinations will be amazing!

If there was ever a tea to represent my beloved Ash, this would be it!

 

Wild Black Tea from Teabook

 TeaBoolTea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Teabook

Tea Description:

Our red tea comes from Yunnan, Fujian, and Hunan provinces in China. The original name for black tea is red tea because of the general color of the infusion; it is still referred to as red tea in China today. Flavors that can define red tea are often robust, woodsy, or toasted and might have notes of walnut, raisin and chocolate. From a health perspective, some studies have established that red (black) tea may help protect lungs from exposure to cigarette smoke; new studies are starting to look at its possible role in helping to reduce the risk for stroke. Black is aggressively rolled/shaped during the processing to bring out its distinct flavors and aromas and are fully oxidized, thus creating darker deeper teas with more tannins (astringency).

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love the idea and concept behind Teabook and have really thought about getting a subscription. I love the convenience factor of having my loose leaf already measured out for me in convenient packaging. Such an alluring idea and so far I’ve enjoyed the teas I’ve tried.

And this one is no exception! This is another great offering from the Teabook. This particular offering is a Dian Hong from Lincang, Yunnan Province, China.

Brewed up with water at 195F and allowed to steep for about 3 minutes, this tea is giving me a gorgeous spot on black tea flavor that is woods, smooth, slightly astringent, with a lovely malty flavor running thru every sip! Such a well balanced tea. Really love how complex the tea is but yet so simple. Crisp and lovely!

This would be fabulous offering for the cool brisk spring evenings that are coming our way. I really like this one! This may have been the tea that gets me to subscribe!