Review: Red Leaf Tea Oolong Earl Grey

Bergamot Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Jasmine Tea, Oolong Tea, Red Leaf Tea No Comments »
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"There was a mild astringent note followed by citrus-sour-floral trifecta but no real oolong character. I can't say this was a flaw, but rather a surprise. "
Geoff’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Raven gave it 8.0/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

It was 11:30AM on a Tuesday. I had every intention of getting up earlier to get some writing done. (Yes, I write things other than reviews!) Unfortunately, the morning was almost gone. I heard from an e-tea pal that oolong helped her wake up physically and creatively. But I was craving an Earl Grey. There had to be something in my sample arsenal that could act as a concession.

Even better.

Amidst my review samples was an Oolong Earl Grey put out by Red Leaf Tea. It combined Formosan (Taiwanese) roasted oolong, jasmine flowers, and bergamot; what an unusual combination. I could see the jasmine petals in the dark brown oolongy mass, and they certainly contributed to the scent. Coupled with the bergamot, the scent – and I swear this rhyming scheme’s accidental – was “sour-flower”. The decision of what to drink was made for me.

Brewing instructions called for 1 tsp of leaves brewed in 6oz of 190F water for up to eight minutes. That left a lot of wiggle room, almost too much. Ever the moderate, I went the middle road with a four-minute steep – 1 tbsn in 8oz. I had to treat it as close to a normal oolong as possible. Some tend to get too dry on the tongue if overdone.

The biggest surprise was how dark this brewed. One would expect an oolong – even roasted – to brew to a green, gold or amber. This brewed auburn-to-brown like a normal Earl Grey with a Ceylon black base would. The aroma almost tricked me into thinking so as well; it smelled like Earl Grey. The oolong base was effectively masked by a medium-sour aroma. Same went for taste, too. There was a mild astringent note followed by citrus-sour-floral trifecta but no real oolong character. I can’t say this was a flaw, but rather a surprise.

I would recommend this to those who like their Earl Greys strong in taste but not in delivery. Oolong retains about two-thirds the amount of caffeine as a good strong black tea. This has the color and taste of a lighter black but without the wallop. True, some want the wallop. But if an afternoon Earl is needed, this would make a perfect option. And on a subjective note, it got me writing this review while I was still in my pajamas. Gotta give it props for that.

— To purchase Red Leaf Tea Oolong Earl Grey, 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: Geoff Geoff
Teaviews.com Reviewer
» Read more about this reviewer on Geoff's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Geoff.

    


Review: Grand Tea 2009 Nan Nuo Shan

Grand Tea, Pu'er Tea No Comments »
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I enjoy it more than many young shengs, but I also doubt it will age particularly well."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.6/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 8.9/10, Raven gave it 8/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

This exceptionally young raw pu erh comes with an exceptionally small price tag. At only $12 for a 400 gram cake, it doesn’t seem like a big commitment, but considering the fact that you get a bajillion steeps, and as of right now, there are no samples of this tea for purchase, you probably want to be sure before dedicating yourself to this leaf.

I decide to gong fu this in a 100 ml porcelain gaiwan. I follow two quick washes with a 5-second first steep. The cup is young and hearty with a mild overall character. It is very woody with a young astringency. Notes of hay, honey, and a very slight fishiness. Very light yellow liquor.

Steep 2 has the aroma of honey and wood, and the smokiness begins to come out in the third steep while the fishiness has already dissipated. It is a very woody and very young tea. By steep 4, I am at 10 seconds, and the texture and flavour have mellowed out somewhat. The following infusion, a meaty flavour has crept into the base of the sip, and the cup has a long, sweet aftertaste.

By my 30-second 10th steep, the tea has a richer, deeper liquor and a subdued flavour. It is very mellow and sweet. It has become gentle as most of the young astringency has gone.

The 90-second 15th steep has a sweet scent and the slightest hint of berry. The flavour is mostly bitter with little depth, and while all right, I feel the leaves are almost ready to give up. I pull it out for only 3 more steeps, so 18 in total. Once finished, the leaves are very green and quite large with several twigs throughout.

This tea is more mellow and has less depth and character than most of the other young uncooked pu erhs I have had. That means that I enjoy it more than many young shengs, but I also doubt it will age particularly well. It doesn’t have a broad range of flavours to enhance with age, and since it is already mellow and mostly lacking bitterness, it doesn’t require ageing to make it more palatable. This is a good candidate for drinking now while young or dry-storing to keep the flavour as is. This is the sort of tea you’re perfectly allowed to lose in the back of your tea cupboard for years at a time without consequence.

— To purchase Grand Tea 2009 Nan Nuo Shan, 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
Teaviews.com Reviewer
» Read more about this reviewer on Katie's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Katie.

    


Review: Joy’s Teaspoon Sun Kissed Jasmine

Green Tea, Joys Teaspoon, Rose Tea No Comments »
Chelsy’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Delightful! Joy's Teaspoon at it again with another captivating blend of intoxicating teas and floral splays. Well balanced interests. "
Chelsy’s Teaview: 9.4/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

joysteaspoonsunkissedjasmineChina Sencha, Lung Ching, green Yunnan, and Pai Mu Tan is the rather lengthy list of tea types that are jumbled into one captivating blend known as Sun Kissed Jasmine. The comprehensive break down of the starring roles follows:
Lung Ching (dragon well); origin: China.
China Sencha is obviously from China, but the leaf care techniques are doubtlessly from the Japanese traditional style of green tea preparation.
Green Yunnan is similar to the black Yunnan preparation that made the Yunnan province famous for its highly acclaimed sweet golden tips that foster a sweeter leaf, and would perform this function similarly as in this green version.
Finally, Pai Mu Tan, aka Bai Mu Dan or White peony also is a classic that hails from China, typically the Fujian province.

I confidently determine that the Pai Mu Tan and Green Yunnan most likely add much of this blend’s natural sweetness to the mix, as they have the most glucose containing tips of the Camellia Sinensis (tea) plant. The additional ingredients, namely, the rosebuds, rose petals, mallow blossoms contribute much to the jasmine esk flavours.

While brewing the tea gave a miel like essence and a highly fruity smell. It made me think of a very tropical fruit that is so saturated with juice that, while you are sitting on the beach in the warm tropical sun and sweet but subtle ocean breezes dance over your bare shoulders, as you pierce the skin of the fruit, the juice coats the hands and chin with a delicious and sticky sauce. However, the mess doesn’t matter because you are about to take a dip in the waving ocean salt bath. That’s where the brewing smell transported me.

The taste is great. A bit of time sensitivity is required because of the blending between green and white teas, but nothing a tea timer and a planned brew time cannot handle. There is a fruity redolence, but a sweet flowerbed taste (without the soil). The tea is a goldenrod color, which lends itself to the sun kissed theme very well. Sun kissed Jasmine is well balanced in the sweet, floral and green department. Not too much of one, nothing too overbearing for its fellows. Well done.

— To purchase Joy’s Teaspoon Sun Kissed Jasmine, 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: Chelsy Chelsy
Teaviews.com Reviewer
» Read more about this reviewer on Chelsy's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Chelsy.

    

Review: JING Tea Jasmine Chun Hao

Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, JING Tea No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"This would be the perfect tea for anyone that likes their jasmine tea to be more green tea and less jasmine. Myself I like it the other way around."
Shaiha’s Teaview: 6.8/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 8/10, Sophie gave it 7.4/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

It has really been one of those days. I got up this morning, had a cup of tea then hurried to get ready to go and meet my obligations. The only problem is that I was trying to do everything one week too early which doesn’t really work when you are meeting other people. So I was more than ready for a comfort tea when I got home. Now anyone that has read my reviews knows that I am a jasmine junkie so a jasmine tea from JING Teas is just what I need to cure all ills.

My sample consists of thin olive green leaves with a few golden tips mixed in. There are also a few jasmine petals that I almost think tiptoed in but they are a most welcome party crasher. There is a heavenly aroma of jasmine that wafts up from the leaves. All is almost all right in my world.

I set up my tea-maker using four teaspoons of leaves, the green tea setting and a three minute steep time. The resulting liquor was was quite the surprise. It is the color of a rich gold and well I am used to green teas being well more green. The jasmine aroma has also really faded to where I am hardly able to pick it out. Instead the predominant aroma is that of melons.

I can’t say that the taste is really a winner with me. I like my jasmine teas to have the sweetness of jasmine. This tea is just a little too green for myself as I am not a lover of plain green teas. I am able to pick up bits of spinach and perhaps some green beans. This would be the perfect tea for anyone that likes their jasmine tea to be more green tea and less jasmine.

— To purchase JING Tea Jasmine Chun Hao, 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: Shaiha Shaiha
Teaviews.com Reviewer
» Read more about this reviewer on Shaiha's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Shaiha.

    

Review: Culinary Teas Brandied Apple Tea

Apple Tea, Black Tea, Culinary Teas No Comments »
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"too bland in apple flavor and too astringent to really be enjoyable"
Vanessa’s Teaview: 6/10
Other Teaviews: Laura gave it 7.25/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

The Culinary Tea website posts the following about their Brandied Apple Tea: “Our Brandied Apple tea has delicious astringency and Macintosh-like caramelized apple hints with just a whisper of brandy”. This does sound enticing, making me very eager to dive into this sample. When looking at the sample, I noticed that there were flower petals, what appeared to be yogurt or white chocolate chips, and an occasional piece of what I assumed to be apple. The dry blend has an enticing aroma that is somewhat astringent and fruity. When I prepared this tea, I found myself very disappointed in the finished product. The aroma of the tea, which was quite nice, did not translate into the flavor. I found the tea to be harsh and bitter, even though I had used a fairly short (three minute) infusion. As with another apple-flavored tea from this same vendor, I had difficulty in tasting much of an apple flavor. I am not sure if the bitterness I was tasting was a residue of the brandy flavoring or from the black tea base. I tried added milk and sugar, and while this made the drink sweeter and creamier, it did nothing in the way of enhancing the brandied apple flavor. In all, I ended up being rather disappointed with this blend. I would have enjoyed a stronger apple flavor with a smoother tea base. As it was, I found this tea to be too bland in apple flavor and too astringent to really be enjoyable.

— To purchase Culinary Teas Brandied Apple 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: Vanessa Vanessa
Teaviews.com Reviewer
» Read more about this reviewer on Vanessa's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Vanessa.

    

Review: ThepuriTea Ali Shan

Oolong Tea, thepuriTea No Comments »
Shaiha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A sweetly floral Taiwanese oolong with a bit of a kick in the aftertaste."
Shaiha’s Teaview: 7.6/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 6.9/10, Raven gave it 8/10, Shaiha gave it 8.9/10, Katie gave it 8.1/10, CJ gave it 9.5/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »

Today is a typical fall day here in the Pacific Northwest. Very gloomy without a hint of blue skies. However it is the perfect day for an oolong scented with fresh flowers. It just washes the gloom away.

My sample today is an Ali Shan from thepuriTea. This is a high elevation oolong from Taiwan. Other names from this type of oolong are Alishan and Ali Mountain.

The dry tea leaves have been rolled up into little fists that range in color from a bright spring green to an evergreen. The aroma one of spring being sweetly floral combined with fresh alfalfa. Closing my eyes, I can picture myself walking thru a garden.

I used a tablespoon of the leaves with a temp for black tea and a steep time of 3 minutes as recommended on their website. The resulting liquor is a pale gold with aromas of fresh cut alfalfa, orchids and honey.

The taste is well rounded with just a bit of a creamy mouthfeel. It is naturally sweetened by both the floral and honey tastes. The lingering aftertaste has a bit of a bite to it almost as though it had been seasoned with white pepper.

This is another oolong that truly shines with the second steep. The creaminess is certainly the star the second time around with the honeyed floral flavors remaining strong. This tea is even worth steeping a third time however the tastes are starting to fade.

While not my favorite of the oolongs I have tried, this Ali Shan does make a respectable showing. Oh and the sun came out just as I was finishing my cup.

Special Offer! For a limited time, thepuriTea is offering deep discounts exclusively for Teaviews readers. Get 20% off (no minimum purchase) with the coupon code: TEAVIEWS. Shop now at thepuriTea.com.

Teaviews Member: Shaiha Shaiha
Teaviews.com Reviewer
» Read more about this reviewer on Shaiha's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Shaiha.

    

WP Theme & Icons by N.Design Studio
Entries RSS Comments RSS Log in