Review: Tao Tea Leaf Rose Buds

Herbal Tea, Rose Tea, Tao Tea Leaf Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Roses are like lemongrass, they don't work by themselves."
Geoff’s Teaview: 6.9/10
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A rose by any other name would...taste like rose. It's a funny habit I have whenever I smell a flower anymore; if it smells nice, I wonder if it will steep well. I can blame rose petals for this messed up mindset. The rose petal's ability to contribute to blends came to my inexperienced palate early on in my tea exploration. I believe it was in the form of a rose petal white tea. The mixture was superb. I bought some on my own to see if I could duplicate the effect, and I did so with halfway successful results - mostly with herbal infusions, though.

Tao Tea Leaf's botanical infusion, however, was the first I ran into where it was the full-on bud, not just the petals. Staring at me in the sample bag were beautiful unopened pink pods of prissy prettiness. Apparently, rose buds - or Mei Gui Hua - are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a menstrual pain reliever, a tonic for IBS sufferers, and an antidepressant. Well, I wouldn't need it for at least one of those things. (Ahem.)

Tea experts have buried into my head that the best rose petals to use - either by themselves or with blends - were pink ones. Reason being, pink rose petals weren't harsh enough to counterbalance a blend or come across as unpalatable. I purchased red rose petals once for steeping purposes...and would have to agree completely. Red roses are for lovers, not liquids.

Brewing - as with all Tao Tea Leaf's wares - were complicated, requiring at least four steeps to get the full effect. They stated that six buds in 8oz of 170F-180F water could last up to seven infusions. One-to-two minutes for the first and second infusion; three-to-five for the third and fourth. I played by their rules with multiple steeps at 175F. The varying results were...

First infusion for one minute: The liquor brewed up clear, no change in color. The scent was perfume-like, though. Taste was mildly floral, dainty, and gentle. It also seemed mildly sweet, which was odd.

Second infusion for two minutes: The color of the infusion took on a light gold, more reminiscent of a Silver Needle white tea this time. The steam aroma was only faintly rose-like, floral but not as strong as the first. The taste, however, differed greatly - very strong on the rose petal punch, almost in a bathwater or candle-ish sense.

Third infusion for three minutes: The liquor was still as pale as ever, but more of a transparent yellow. The smell was an odd mix of clean/clear rose and something buttery, kinda disturbing really. The flavor front was smooth, though - more robust on the rose but floral in a tea-ish way. I approved.

Fourth infusion for four minutes: No visible change in the color of the infusion. The aroma and taste were pretty much the same too. It was like the third infusion...only hotter.

In summary, I think that one could risk a steep at a higher temperature with this. I mean, it is an herbal infusion, and most of those take boiling water well, even the more delicate-seeming chrysanthemum flowers. This also did nothing to change my opinion about rose petals as a beverage. Roses are like lemongrass, they don't work by themselves. They need to be blended with other like-ingredients to really shine. Of course, that's just my opinion. As it stands, this tasted fine, but it didn't "WOW" me. It probably would have that effect on a girl. If served with a bouquet.

— To purchase Tao Tea Leaf Rose Buds, 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
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One Response to “Review: Tao Tea Leaf Rose Buds”

  1. Green Tea Leaf Tea Says:

    [...] Review: Tao Tea Leaf Rose Buds | Teaviews.com Tao Tea Leaf's botanical infusion, however, was the first I ran into where it was the full-on bud, not just the petals. Staring at me in the sample bag were beautiful unopened pink pods of prissy prettiness. Apparently, rose buds – or Posted by juanjleslie 8 hours ago in "Green Tea" » SpecialTeas refugee – where to go? Posted by Geoff 21 hours ago in "Tea Retailers" » SpecialTeas refugee – where to go? Posted by queenofthemountain 23 hours ago in "Tea Retailers" [...]

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