Review: Zest Tea Blue Lady Black Tea

Black Tea, Hibiscus Tea, Lemon Tea, Orange Peel Tea, Passion Fruit Tea, Uncategorized, Zest Tea No Comments »
Melanie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The flavor is strong and fruity, but the citrus and hibiscus makes this a bolder sharper flavor than most tropical teas I've had."
Melanie’s Teaview: 7/10
Your Reviews: 8/10
1 reader review | Add your review »

ZestblueladyI am a huge fan of tropical fruit flavored teas. They are one of my favorite afternoon treats. When I was offered a sample of Zest Tea Blue Lady Black Tea and saw that the main flavor is passion fruit, I knew I had to try it.

I was able to sample 2 teabags. They are very nice pyramid silk bags, and the tea is dark, sprinkled with blue cornflowers. The picture on the website is very precise and a good example of the product I received.

Zest Tea was started as a personal endeavor by Rickey and James. They wanted to create energizing (highly caffeinated) tea blends instead of drinking coffee. Of course this spread quickly amongst their friends and soon turned into the business they have today. You can find a variety of energy infused tea blends on their website.

Blue Lady Black Tea begins with a beautiful dark black Indian Tea. It is flavored with passion fruit a variety of citrus peels, and hibiscus.

The first cup of tea I made was OK, but I left the teabag in 6 (or more) minutes and this was too long. The tea was quite bitter. Being a strong black tea (which I enjoy) it took sugar and even milk pretty well and this toned down the bitterness. But I was more careful with the second cup. I brewed it in a smaller cup and for only 4.5 minutes. This was perfect!

The flavor of passion fruit is one of my favorites. You can smell and taste it immediately. The citrus is a little more in the background and blends really well with the passion fruit. I am not a big fan of hibiscus. I find it just brings a sour note to tea and I tend to avoid hibiscus based teas. But it actually blends pretty well with the passion fruit as well. The flavor is strong and fruity, but the citrus and hibiscus makes this a bolder sharper flavor than most tropical teas I’ve had.

I enjoyed this tea quite a lot. Even though I didn’t brew the first cup quite right, the next afternoon, I was craving another cup of this tea. Is it the infusion of caffeine already drawing me? Well, probably not, though it was a nice pick me up!

It’s a really unique tea that I think everyone who enjoys tropical flavors should try. If I was blending it for myself, I would probably leave out the hibiscus because it I like my black tea with milk and the sour note of hibiscus doesn’t quite couple with milk well. But overall, I enjoyed this tea quite a lot!

— To purchase Zest Tea Blue Lady Black Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Melanie Melanie
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Review: Cameron Tea Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong, Premium Grade

Cameron Tea, Oolong Tea No Comments »
Daniel’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Expect a sweeter, deeper, and perhaps fruitier complexion from this tea, but it cannot be stressed enough that the overall liquor does not fail to provide a delightful and dominant floral body."
Daniel’s Teaview: 8.8/10
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cameronalishancompgradeEssentially a lighter, more floral counterpart to Cameron’s other Alishan, this Jin Xuan oolong is incredibly aromatic, smelling strongly of clover honey and even of cinnamon. While arguably less complex than its warmer companion, it is still plenty complex and not merely a flowery bouquet. A medium-roasted Dong Ding comes to mind when drinking this tea’s liquor, though it still harbors less of a full-bodied, fruity, and mildly savory composition in favor of a sweeter and more aromatically intoxicating one – this likely due to its lack of roasting.

Despite the notable differences between this Jin Xuan and Cameron’s other Alishan leaf, the two share a memorable distinctiveness grounded in the subtleties of their flavor profiles, a result stemming from its obvious, slightly higher oxidation level. Of course, I make my comparison from the greenest and most floral of Alishan and similar Gao Shan teas, which do not typically harbor characteristics even close to resembling those from moderate-to-heavy oxidation levels.

Expect a sweeter, deeper, and perhaps fruitier complexion from this tea, but it cannot be stressed enough that the overall liquor does not fail to provide a delightful and dominant floral body. If given the chance to really experiment with this tea, try aiming for an ever so slight underbrew or cooler temperature (e.g. 175 °F), as anything too rich may infringe on the many nuances of the tea’s flavors.

Without question, Cameron Tea afforded me the opportunity for yet another excellent drinking experience. For a unique and clearly high-quality experience, Cameron’s Jin Xuan is a valid buy.

— To purchase Cameron Tea Alishan Jin Xuan Oolong, Premium Grade, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Daniel Daniel
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Review: Ambrosia Herb Raspberry Rose

Ambrosia Herb, Apple Tea, Herbal Tea, Hibiscus Tea, Orange Tea, Raspberry Tea, Rose Tea No Comments »
Alexa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I often find some raspberry teas to be too tart but this tea was well balanced. It’s a very fruity tea with light, floral undertones. "
Alexa’s Teaview: 7/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

ambrosiaherbraspberryroseRaspberry Rose is a fragrant, herbal tea by Ambrosia Herb. Though this particular blend wasn’t on their website, I would guess the ingredients are dried raspberries, dried apples, dried orange peel, rose petals, and some potentially some hibiscus. The colorful tea leaves smell like a raspberry perfume- sweet and fragrant. I steeped 1 teaspoon in one cup of water for 5 minutes.

As the leaves steeped the water turned a lovely shade of red. The smell became more citrusy as the orange peel steeped. The flavor is bright and refreshing. The rose isn’t overpowering, but just a nice accessory to the raspberry. Though this tea smells like perfume, it doesn’t taste like perfume. You first taste the tart raspberry as you take a sip and you’re left with a subtle rose aftertaste. I often find some raspberry teas to be too tart but this tea was well balanced. It’s a very fruity tea with light, floral undertones.

Being an herbal tea, it is caffeine-free and perfect for evening teatime. It is sweet and smooth on its own. It doesn’t need any sweetener. I tried this tea iced, steeping is twice as long. It would be perfect for a hot, summer afternoon.

This sweet tea also has some health benefits. The rose petals and orange peel contain vitamin C, raspberries help reduce inflammation, and apple contains antioxidants. I definitely recommend a nice hot cup of this tea to complete any romantic winter evening.

— To purchase Ambrosia Herb Raspberry Rose, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Alexa Alexa
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Review: Wise Owl Tea Corsican Olive Leaf

Apple Tea, Pineapple Tea, Wise Owl Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Not Great"It's mildly fruity, punctuated by a hefty acidity and a dry finish."
Katie’s Teaview: 3.9/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

corsicanoliveWise Owl Tea is a small, company, one they describe as a ‘labour of love.’ They only have a few blends, all of which are organic and herbal. I enjoyed my other sample from them, so I was excited to try this one. The tisane is similar to a “Turkish apple” blend, a mix of apple and pineapple, only it has olive leaf as well.

I steep one bag with six ounces of boiling water, letting it infuse for over 5 minutes. The resulting liquor is very pale, with almost no colour and basically no scent, I’m not very optimistic about a bold flavour, and in fact it falls flat. I try again with a new bag and use only 4 ounces of boiling water, making sure to preheat the glass with hot water beforehand and covering the glass while it steeps.

Despite several tries, I never do end up getting a terribly satisfactory flavour. It’s mildly fruity, punctuated by a hefty acidity and a dry finish. It’s not a bad cup; it’s just too bland for my taste.

— To purchase Wise Owl Tea Corsican Olive Leaf, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Katie Katie
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Review: Craft of Tea Fancy Rose & Peach

Craft of Tea, Peach Tea, Rose Tea, White Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"The peach is somewhat heavy-handed, overbalanced with the rose and overpowering the white tea entirely."
Katie’s Teaview: 6.6/10
Your Reviews: 8/10
1 reader review | Add your review »

craftrosepeachCraft of Tea has teas available to buy and subscription plans, and while they’ve got some interesting blends to look at, I’m finding myself distracted by one major sticking point: Flat rate shipping to Canada is $55 (although you can get it to you faster for the bargain price of $89.95). Now, don’t get me wrong, I realise that shipping internationally can be pricey, and I don’t have a major problem paying sticker price for shipping. I find, when I put in a bigger order ($100 worth of tea or so), the shipping is around $20, and while I love a company that gives me a discount, it’s not a deal-breaker. So either I’m spending so little that dropping $55+ to get it here isn’t worth it, or I’m spending so much that a discount would be nice and even without they’re still charging me twice as much as it’s worth. Which means, in short, I’d never buy from this company. I kind of wish I’d realised that before I volunteered to sample this.

But on to the tea… I brew 1 tablespoon per cup at 180° for three minutes and get a cup that smells delicately earthy, peach, and floral. The flavour is less delicate than I expected, especially since it has “fancy” in the title. The peach is somewhat heavy-handed, overbalanced with the rose and overpowering the white tea entirely.

I try a 5-minute second steep, but it has a weird, soapy aftertaste. It’s too earthy and floral without the sweetness to back it. I wouldn’t resteep it again.

I almost feel like this would be better as just a rose white tea, but the peach is what makes it interesting. It’s not particularly balanced, and I don’t love the flavour. I’m guess I’m just not that excited about it overall.

— To purchase Craft of Tea Fancy Rose & Peach, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Katie Katie
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Review: Teavivre Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea, Teavivre No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The cup is very aromatic, with a robust smokiness, earthiness, and strong apricot notes."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.5/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

teavivrephoeixdancongThe leaves of this tea are small for a dan cong tea, only 0.5-1 inch in length. Other than the size, they’re appealing; they’re curled, dark brown with flecks of gold, and they smell brilliantly of apricot and smoke. Teavivre gives directions for either gong fu brewing or Western-style, but they’ve sent along plenty of leaf, so I go with gong fu.

I fill my porcelain gaiwan about 1/4 full of leaf, rinse, and steep at 195° for 30 seconds. The cup is very aromatic, with a robust smokiness, earthiness, and strong apricot notes. Because of the smaller leaf size, I’m not surprised to find the cup a bit harsh, a little acidic at the front of the sip and dry at the finish, but despite these notes it’s not really bitter, and the dry finish leaves me wanting more. And it’s backed by a brilliantly rich apricot flavour.

My second steep is already much milder. It’s easier to drink, and though still a bold cup, the apricot isn’t as shocking. Steep three is a little bitter but robust enough to handle it. I get a total of seven steeps from my leaves.

I brew it again western style, and though it’s got the apricot and some added lilac, there’s no smokiness now. It’s a bit of a let down after the gong fu – a tasty enough cup, but not interesting.

It’s definitely a commercial dan cong, but it’s also one of the most affordable ones I’ve seen. An everyday dan cong in both flavour and price.

— To purchase Teavivre Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Katie Katie
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