Leaf Type: Pu’erh
Where to Buy: The Persimmon Tree
The Honeysuckle pu-erh tea delivers a deep red infusion with a sweet woodsy, floral aroma. The finished brew is mild and earthy, with a lingering hint of honeysuckle. This honeysuckle tea can be steeped multiple times in a sitting without becoming bitter. This particular pu-erh is cooked and has been aged for about 4-6 years.
Learn more about this tea here.
The urge to drink Pu’erh comes and goes with me, perhaps largely because I initially found it a very acquired taste. Even though I’ve now tried a significant variety of different Pu’erhs, I still feel that I’m learning about the variety and discovering new things. This tea, for instance. I’ve never tried a floral Pu’erh before, or any variety flavoured with honeysuckle, come to that. It’s a real first! I treated this one as I would generally treat a loose-leaf Pu’erh, using 1 tsp of leaf in boiling water. I tend to vary the brew time based on the individual tea and the strength/scent/liquor colour, but went with a fairly standard (for me) 1 minute this time. The resulting liquor is a medium red-brown. The scent once brewed, and while brewing, is very evidently a Pu’erh – it has quite pungent manure notes!
To taste, this has to be one of the most unique Pu’erhs I’ve tried so far. I was expecting a fairly standard earthy/manure flavour based purely on the scent, but it’s actually nothing like that. Instead, there’s an initial almost-sharpness, which blossoms into a heavy, sweet, nectar like floral. Honeysuckle! There are virtually no earth or manure flavours to be found, which is a big surprise. The sweetness seems very natural, and isn’t at all overpowering. I think it’s helped by a sort of yogurt-like note which contributes a cool, tangy freshness to the overall cup.
I really like this one. I’m definitely the kind of person that objects to strong manure flavours in their tea, although I don’t mind earthiness at all. This one is pretty unique amongst those I’ve tried in that it has no earth or manure notes (despite the scent). The flavouring is sufficiently strong that the honeysuckle is front and centre pretty much the whole time, although as it cools this does dissipate a little to reveal just a hint of what lurks beneath. I’m pretty sure a fairly conservative brew time helped here – a longer one might herald more of a “traditional” Pu’erh flavour. I personally like the honeysuckle, though, so I’ll always err on the side of caution when brewing this one. It’s an outstandingly flavourful cup!
Leaf Type: White/Bloom
Where to Buy: What-Cha
A hand tied ball of silver tip white tea, possessing delicate fruity tones which become stronger with subsequent infusions. Tangy apricot notes become apparent with some subtle malt tones in latter steeps.
Learn more about this tea here.
I have to admit, the only reason I bought this tea was because it has ‘mushroom’ in the title and it intrigued me since I’m very allergic to mushrooms. Though the tea itself has little to nothing to do with mushrooms, it still felt kind of cool to get to say I was ‘having them’. #TeaOnTheEdge #ButNot2Edgy
I only bought a sample amount; two blooms. When I opened up the package I was pretty taken aback because the smell was very pungent and defined. It certainly smelled strongly of apricots but also something sort of akin to sweet and sour sauce? I wasn’t expecting that level of smell at all, though it was intriguing to say the least.
I made three 12 oz. infusions of this one over the course of a work day, making sure to take note of the differences. I certainly freaked out a few coworkers at my new job; they saw this unfurled tea bloom from a distance/in passing in my mug in the breakroom and assumed something fungal was growing in my mug and that’s because the bloom certainly wasn’t the most attractive one I’ve come across – there’s no “flower” tied into it just an arrangement of white tea leaves tethered together. Which is fine: I wasn’t drinking this tea for the aesthetics however I’ll admit I did expect the “mushroom” to tie in with the overall shape of the bloom but it certainly didn’t look like any mushroom I’ve seen.
The first infusion was a mix of sharp, lively, tangy notes of apricot and peach. Again, the intensity of the ‘tang’ reminded me a little of sweet and sour sauce. Actually, in particular I couldn’t help but think of a very particular flavour from highschool cooking class I’ve only experienced once: we made vegetarian meatballs with a “sweet and sour sauce” that used apricot jam and ketchup in the sauce and this was quite similar to my memory of that sauce. There was also a very slightly malty taste to the finish of this infusion.
The second infusion was about 50/50 malt and apricot/peach with less of the piercing tang. It was probably the smoothest infusion overall and I’d say my favourite. Finally, the third infusion was more malt than anything else with light notes of apricot and a bit of a peppery finish. I swear there were also very light cocoa notes on the top of the sip as well.
Overall, I thought this was surprisingly delightful – more so than I actually expected it would be if I’m being completely honest/transparent. What started off as a bit of a ‘gag’ purchase actually resulted in a wonderful tea session and intriguing learning experience. Also, credit where credit is due: What-Cha has done a marvelous job describing the overall flavour of this tea on their page for it. While I was taken back by the intensity of the apricot notes there’s no doubt in my mind that their flavour description was super accurate. I absolutely recommend trying this tea!
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Camellia Sinensis (However it’s no longer listed)
Here is an wulong composed of leaves varying in hue from light green to orange by way of delicate shades of silver which adorn its numerous buds. The light rolling typical of this type of clonal offers lovely large leaves which, once infused, release rich floral and herbaceous fragrances. The liquor, soft and of a substantial texture, is supported by fruity and spicy notes. Its long tangy finish evokes the lightness of spring.
Learn more about this tea on Steepster!
This is definitely an interesting looking tea, one I probably wouldn’t have chosen for myself had Camellia Sinensis not included it as a bonus sample in one of several orders I’ve placed with them this year. Personally, I don’t have much experience with Darjeeling teas, and I’m almost certain that this is the first Darjeeling Oolong that I’ll have tried.
The dry leaf of this blend it fascinating to me; it definitely doesn’t look like a lot of oolong I’ve encountered. I know it’s definitely on the lower scale of oxidation, for sure – but it doesn’t even look like they even attempted to roll it which is definitely something I’m accustomed to with greener oolong. More so, it just kind of reminds me of Bai Mu Dan, but a little twisted up.
I brewed this one in one of my Gaiwans because it felt more right to be brewing it that way instead of in an infuser mug, though I did brew it Western style instead of Gong Fu. Normally I’m not one to resteep things, but I got three resteeps of this blend before I decided that was enough for the day.
The first infusion was very soft and delicate with such a lovely silky mouthfeel (which was definitely a consistent trait between all three infusions). The flavours were kind of in line with green teas and greener oolong; crisp and sweet sugar snap peas, lighter fruit notes like slightly under ripe honeydew, some floral notes, and a slight creaminess. However, the overwhelming gentleness of the brew reminds me a lot of white tea as well. I was looking forward to experiencing the “tang” like described by Camellia Sinensis, but I definitely didn’t taste anything close to that. Nor did I taste anything “spicy”.
The second infusion definitely brought about a change in flavour though; while the liquor was still very smooth and delicate and I still got some lovely snap pea notes there was also a touch of a herbaceous quality and the more floral notes were traded in for something quite a bit fruitier. More like over ripe honeydew than under ripe, and with an almost white wine like quality. I also experienced the “tangy finish” like described. I was definitely a little taken aback; the body dramatically and quickly shifted into this long, drawn out pleasantly sour finish that I wasn’t expecting. This was easily my favourite infusion of the three I did; it had a great balance between the flavours of the first and third infusions.
The third infusion was still delicate but that tangy note was even more vivid and instead of just being present in the finish it started to creep up into the body of the sip as well. In this infusion I definitely thought it was much more distinctly like white wine. In fact, I almost immediately was reminded of the few Reisling wines I’ve had (I’m not a huge wine person). It was super interesting, and still quite enjoyable but quite different from that first infusion. I can only imagine how much more interesting this would be Gong Fu brewed.
It’s a shame I can no longer find this on the Camellia Sinensis site; I want to learn more about this tea as it was very different from other oolongs I’ve tried, and quite memorable. I 100% recommend trying it, even if oolong isn’t your jam.
Leaf Type: Pu’erh & Black Tea
Where to Buy: DAVIDsTEA
Something magical happens when you combine rich, earthy pu’erh with sweet, juicy orange. Somehow the result is so much more than the sum of its parts – deliciously fresh and fruity, yet undeniably good for you. Whether you sip it hot or over ice, it’s super-soothing and addictively refreshing. With a tea this happy in your arsenal, who knows what else might go your way? Things are looking cup…
Learn more about this tea here.
This is a relatively new offering from DAVIDsTEA and it appears to be a part of their regular line up of teas, and not a limited edition seasonal blend or from one of their constant limited edition collections. It’s nice to see the company expanding their Pu’Erh offerings, though I was skeptical about this one even before seeing other people review it; it seems relatively similar to their Garcinia Goodness blend.
Reviews on this one seem to be fairly polar, and I was actually relatively sure I’d land on the side of people who dislike this blend. This smells very juicy, and tangerine-like dry though. Enough so that I didn’t let my prejudice get the better of me and I picked up a small sample in store to try.
Steeped up this actually isn’t anything like I thought it’d taste. Which I suppose is good because, like I’ve already expressed, I was doubtful this would be that good. There’s a sparkling effervescence to this blend. Right off the bat it comes through clear as crystal in the smell and is capture very well in the taste as well. I can see it making a phenomenal tea soda!
I’m really, really tasting the tangerine in the blend which is so lovely and different from a lot of citrus heavy blends. The regular orange flavour is quite strong too and has a wonderful, fresh taste but it’s not nearly as interesting as the tangerine. Overall the flavour reminds me loosely of orange tic tacs? Sweet, candy orange with a little bit of tang to it. Surprisingly I don’t really taste anything that particularly reminds me of hibiscus? That’s certainly a relief. Maybe there’s not a lot of it in the blend, or it just blends into the tangerine really well.
As for the base; it’s hard for me to believe this is pu’erh or black tea (the blend uses both). It’s just really light overall and the flavourings are really the focus here. I suppose I do taste the pu’erh just a little though; there’s a rawness to the fruit that tastes a little earthy in the finish. The mouthfeel of this one is nice too; kind of thick with that sparkling quality.
I’m pleasantly surprised by the blend. I didn’t buy a lot but I’ll be able to have a few more cups and if they’re like this one at all I could, in fact, see this as a blend I’d buy more of! It seems like it’d work as an iced tea as well, so it could be a wonderful spring or summer companion.
Leaf Type: White
Where To Buy: The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants
Tangy Grapefruit White is a blend of organic Chinese Baimudan white tea, grapefruit essential oils, organic calendula petals for color, organic lemongrass, and organic lemon myrtle, brewing a true-to-life grapefruit burst.
Learn more about this blend here.
When I go into my local grocery store – Chuck’s Produce – I’m always happy to see teas from local purveyors on their shelves … like this Tangy Grapefruit White Tea Blend from The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants. Of course, it makes sense to have a locally based grocery store like Chuck’s Produce to carry some of the locally crafted products like this tea, but it still makes me happy to see this store supporting local businesses.
And of course, I found the flavor intriguing, as I’m always happy to try a new grapefruit flavored tea. And while I can’t say that this is my favorite grapefruit tea that I’ve tried, it’s a really tasty grapefruit offering. I think that it might be the lemon myrtle and the lemon grass that’s throwing this off just a little bit, because I’m tasting a distinct lemon note along with the grapefruit and even a hint of lime.
Not that that’s bad, of course … lemon and lime go quite nicely with the grapefruit and add an interesting dimension of flavor. And the grapefruit notes are not lost in the presence of the other citrus tones. This is a very flavorful, tangy citrus-flavored tea. But it’s not as much grapefruit as I was expecting.
But, let’s focus on what this tea is. There is a nice Bai Mu Dan base that is sweet and offers hints of an earthy flavor. I like that contrasting note with the bright citrus tones. There is a very nice grapefruit-y flavor here that is sweet and tart. There is just a hint of that grapefruit bitterness to it too. This tastes like grapefruit and I notice that flavor before the palate picks up on the lemon and lime notes.
And I like their contributions here too. This is a very “sunny” tasting tea, and it’s quite a nice tea to be sipping on a rather dreary looking autumn day. And I don’t mean dreary looking in a bad way … this is my favorite kind of day and I like it when it’s cold and dreary! All the sunshine I need is coming from my teacup right now!
A very enjoyable tea blend. I like this hot but it’s really nice iced too!