Oriental Beauty from Tea Ave – Tea Review


Today’s oolong is Oriental Beauty from Tea Ave, a new oolong only tea seller from my home town of Vancouver, Canada. A few months back I was able to preview a bunch of Tea Ave’s oolongs. Now that they have launched I am able to try their loose leaf!

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I also have Tea Ave’s aroma cup set. After the Tea Owls were messing around with it, I had to sit down with them and watch videos on how to use an aroma cup.

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The Tea Owls placed a $5 bet I’ll burn myself, those brats!

Dry Leaf

Oriental Beauty has a squishy dark raisin scent! Pretty dry leaf with the colors of fuzzy silver, gold, reddy brown and black.

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Steeping Instructions

I love how the sample pack has all the tea information on it as well as various steeping instructions.

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I’m going with their gong fu instructions, using a gaiwan and 85c /185 f water temperature.

Tasting of Tea Ave’s Oriental Beauty Oolong

First Infusion: The flavor is of linen and butter with a soft floral. Hmm… needs more steeping! The colour of the tea is a light yellow cream.

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Second Infusion: Now we are talking! Tea Ave’s Oriental Beauty is sweet raisin, bready with a very heavy creamy texture. The aroma cup smells like cinnamon buns to me, very cool!

The aroma cup is quite easy to use! You fill the narrow aroma cup with tea.

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Place the bigger cup on top, like a mushroom (OMG TEA MUSHROOM)

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Then you flip the cup pair over…

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… and remove the aroma cup. You can smell the tall aroma cup right away, or roll it in your hands to get the air flowing before you smell.

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Did the Tea Owls win the bet? They did. There’s a photo missing in there where I paused mid flip to take a photo… and burn myself with tea.

Third and Fourth Infusion: Oh yeah that’s good, best infusions here! The flavor is still sweet juicy dark raisins but now with toasty bread, honey and a bit of spice. There is a lingering floral aftertaste. The body is still very thick, adding a comforting mellowness to the entire sip. Look at that colour!

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Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Infusion: The Oriental Beauty is now easing off the thick body and getting brighter in taste. The fruit has shifted to a honey pear instead of raisin. Yum!

Eighth and Ninth Infusion: The texture has a bit of thickness left, with the flavor being quite light and mostly of honey notes. That colour though, wow!

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Desperation steep: I jacked up the water temperature to boiling and steeped this one for 30 minutes to an hour (admittedly, I forgot about it.) The flavor is a punchy strong sweet pear with a thick body. However, this infusion was on the dry side. Out of all the infusions, this was the only dry one.

Different Water Temperature: I decided to try Oriental Beauty with a higher water temperature using boiling water, steeped in a gaiwan. The flavor is actually quite different. The infusions had black cherry and honey with a powdery dryness that fills the mouth, 4/10 Astringency. Totally try brewing Tea Ave’s Oriental Beauty both ways and see which one you like!

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Tea Ave‘s Oriental Beauty is a wonderful oolong! This Oriental Beauty is more on the fruity side than roasty or floral. I really enjoyed the thick texture, fruity and toasty notes. Steeped with a lower water temperature of 185f/ 85c, this Oriental Beauty is an easy steeper with lots of flavor!

Be sure to check out Tea Ave‘s other oolongs – their website is gorgeous! Right now they are having a scented oolong sale too!

Bonus Glamour shot!

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(tea provided for review)

Steepster Sheng and Shu Pu’er Traveling Tea Box

I was lucky to participate in a Steepster community Pu’er Traveling Tea box!

A traveling tea box is a community put together box full of different teas that is shipped around the country (or world) to signed up participants. Participants sample teas from the box and put in their own teas to replace the teas that were tried.  I’ve been in a few large traveling tea box with variety, ones with sample sizes and ones with a specific tea theme. I’ve seen a few pu’er tea boxes not get off the ground as to start a traveling tea box one needs a big selection of teas as well as participants to have to contribute. It’s really cool to see more tea drinkers into pu’er!

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This box arrived to me with 63 different varieties of pu’er, with the box being 2.5lb shipping weight! The Tea Owls and I had to go through the teas on the pool table instead of the kitchen island. So much tea! We are going to need a bunch of Tea Owls on hand to deal with all this tea!

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Out of all the traveling tea boxes, this one took the most work to go through. There was a lot of pu’er I wanted to try. For many pu’er I could literally drink 1 or 2 all day and if I wanted to sample a dozen teas I’d have this tea box for too long.

As usual, I’m glad to see some favorite tea sellers!

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I went through all the pu’er with the Tea Owls and put aside the ones I want to sample.

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In the kitchen, Tea Owls are weighing pu’er into 5 gram samples and labeling.

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In the dining room, more Tea Owls are packing the samples. I tend to use the sealer when dealing with pu’er samples so I know they won’t contaminate and I can take my time with them.

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Teas I’m adding to the Pu’er traveling tea box – DAT DENONG!

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The perk of being involved in the tea community is getting in on traveling tea boxes like this! With only paying shipping (though shipping can get pricey with the size of some of these traveling tea boxes and distance to be traveled) will get you the opportunity to try new teas and put in teas you want to share. With that said, totally get involved with the tea community!

52 Teas Reboot and Review

There is a 52 Teas Kickstarter going on right now and it’s going to fund! Only a few days left! If you love tea blends you really need to check out The 52Teas Reboot Kickstarter! Let’s get’em stretch goals! I’m really excited for Lime Jello Salad Green tea and that Maple Cheesecake Tie Guan Yin!

I’ve done a number of 52Teas reviews, all really fun blends. A trend I noticed, even though the flavors can be adventurous, the tea is still the center piece.

They release a new tea blend every week, occasionally reblending some. I always recommend getting on the newsletter and when you see a blend you like to purchase it right away. The tea could sell out and may not come back! My stash has a number of 52Teas I purchased that I haven’t sample yet. Let’s give one a try.

Buttercream Toffee White

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The dry leaf smells amazing like icing and sweet nutty pieces.

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I steeped Buttercream Toffee White for 2.5 minutes with 185F water temperature.

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Up front, the tea is a sweet juicy white with hearty straw and floral notes. I’m thinking this has to be a shou mei white base since the flavor is strong. Checking… yes, this blend is a shou mei white tea base! The background flavor is creamy vanilla with a finish of a light buttery caramel flavor. The main flavor is white tea and sweet cream. What I like about this tea is the blend isn’t too sweet or vanilla. which is nice to enjoy the white base.

If you like the sounds of this tea, or the idea of teas like Mango Sticky Rice Custard Genmaicha, Rainbow Sorbet, Cinnamon Roll Honeybush, Hot Buttered Banana Bread Black and Pancake Breakfast Black be sure to check out The 52Teas Reboot Kickstarter!

Jiaogulan Dragon Pearls from M&K’s Tea Co – Tea Review

Today’s review is a tea from a new tea seller! M&K’s Tea Co, located in California! Today is also a really neat tea review – Roasted Jiaogulan Dragon Pearls. This is a herbal caffeine free tea harvested from Pingli, Shaanxi China in 2014.

I wanted to try this tea so badly – any tea rolled into pearls is an adventure to steep!

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The name of this tea sounds familiar to me, I’m guessing I saw this tea in the tea isle of Asian grocery stores. M&K’s Tea Co has good information on the tea, but I decided to google search it some more.  With a quick google search it turns out people drink this tea as some sort of herbal remedy. I saw a few posts on “Drink this miracle herbal 3 times a day for a month…” Okay, once they use the word miracle I hit the back button hella fast. Anyways, here’s the jiaogulan wikipedia for more information on the plant.

Dry Leaf

The ball of Jiaogulan is twiggy and lumpy. Kind of looks like a hay ball treat I’d feed my bunny. M&K’s Jiaogulan is roasted and rolled into pearls for a fun, serving sized ready tea!

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Steeping Instructions

I steeped one pearl of Jiaogulan in boiling water for 3 minutes. I used a small glass tea pot to hopefully see some cool tea effects.

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Wow, does this tea ever steep up pretty! I wish I took video – it unfurled quickly!

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Jiaogulan Dragon Pearls steeps up a crazy saturated yellow with a light roasty scent.

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Tasting of M&K’s Tea Co’s Roasted Jiaogulan Dragon Pearls

Oh wow a neat flavor! Roasted Jiaogulan Dragon Pearls has a strong barley and corn flavor with a hint of roasty notes. If you’ve had Korean barley and corn tea, the flavor here is pretty similar. However, this herbal has a mellow sweet finish that is difficult to describe. It is pretty sweet, like sweet potatoes and herbs. The sweetness hits my mouth similar to stevia as a full mouth sweet experience. I’m not into stevia so I wasn’t a big fan of the sweetness here in this infusion, but I enjoyed the roasty grain vegetal notes.

Second Infusion: I did a 5 minute re-infusion and it was better than the first. The flavor is just as strong and of barley corn roast, but is less herby sweet. There is a bit of sweetness, but it’s enough to compliment the grain vegetal notes.

The Jiaogulan is still breaking apart – looks super cool!

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Third Infusion: 10 minute run here. Roasted Jiaogulan came out mostly corny in flavor with a bit of sweet herb finish. Flavor is lighter, so I think this is all I’m getting out of this tea. Nice third infusion!

Iced: I prefer my Korean Barley tea iced, so I refrigerated the leftovers of the three steepings (hey, I’m a solo drinker, that’s a lot of tea to get through in a sitting!) overnight. The iced version has a more vegetal sweet corn flavor than barley.

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M&K’s Tea Co‘s  Roasted Jiaogulan Dragon Pearls is a fun to steep, caffeine free tea! I enjoyed the roasty vegetal grain flavors and the resteep ability is excellent compared to other caffeine free tea options (which is usually nil). The flavor is familiar if you’ve had barley corn teas. I’d give Roasted Jiaogulan Dragon Pearls high on the scale for tea adventure! Check this tea out if you are looking for something really different for caffeine free tea!

By the way, M&K’s Tea Co has an interesting line up of tea. They have teas I’ve never seen sold from other sellers, as well as teas that are in-house roasted!

(tea provided for review)

Steep & Go Cold Brew Tea Infuser from The Tea Spot

Back at the World Tea Expo in 2014, I was at The Tea Spot‘s booth and they had these Steep & Go cold brew bottle adapters that were super popular! With the Steep & Go bottle adapter, you can turn your water bottle into a cold steeping tea vessel! All you need is tea, though The Tea Spot also has cold brew teas to go with it!

The Steep & Go comes with a drink top, filter and two adapter rings.

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This took me awhile to get around to review as times I ended up buying water I didn’t have this on hand or I’d forget and recycle my bottle. The two adapter rings are different sizes to fit various bottled water styles. In my case, the white adapter ring fits me Ito En bottled Jasmine Green. Whoops I’ll just take the label off!

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If using your own tea, add 1 Tablespoon of tea. The tea goes into the bottle and the filter stops the leaf going through the drink lid. For The Tea Spot’s teas you then cold brew for 10 minutes. Regular tea will vary, my experience is usually takes at least 1 hour of cold brewing.

Testing of The Tea Spot’s Steep & Go

Let’s sample the tea that I got with my Steep & Go, as well as test out the device.

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Keep Fit
Keep Fit is an organic tea with green tea, green rooibos and lemon myrtle. The dry leaf smells zesty lemon – very refreshing! The tea is looks pretty diced up which is probably why this is a 10 minute cold brew.

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The main flavor is the lemon myrtle that is nice lemony without being tart. Also in the tea is the green tea that’s a little herby in flavor. I liked this cold brew, it is very refreshing for a hot day or for a workout!

Chill Out
This one is a herbal cold brew is also organic with hibiscus, peppermint and licorice root.

Chill out cold brews a pretty pink with a taste not tart as I was expecting. It’s lightly sweet fruity, with a hint of fresh mint, with the main base being licorice. If you like licorice you’ll enjoy the freshness of this one for its soothing taste. As a cold brew, I found the first sips the debris got through the Steep & Go as this blend had some finer tea particles.

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Steep & Go Comments

Now for the Oolong Owl testing of terror – I shook and rolled my bottle around like it was in my purse and no leaks or bits falling out!

The bottle top is like one of those classic sport drink style tops and works well. The filter does a good job keeping the majority of the tea bits filtered out while I drink tea. I didn’t get any particles in the Keep Fit blend (which contains small bits like rooibos), but I had some bits in Chill Out, which had finer bits.

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I did a 2 hour cold brew run with a whole loose leaf tea (a Dragonwell), the Steep & Go did exceptionally well at filtering!

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I like the Steep & Go cold brew device. It works very well in being leak free and decent at keeping tea filtered.
The cold brew blends were fair, but I wish I could try a few more that were my style (I dislike licorice). However, the convenience is nice of having prepackaged tea if you are on the go.

I packed up my Steep & Go in a little tupperware, with a couple samples of tea with me. Into my purse it goes for when I need tea!

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What I think would get the biggest use for me is taking the Steep & Go while flying. The size of the Steep & Go is compact to put in your carry on. Since you can’t bring liquids through security. When you buy your water after security, bam you have tea ready for the plane! There’s been a few airports that I couldn’t get hot water which was rough for a tea drinker like me.

Not the type who buys bottled water and prefer a reusable bottle? The Tea Spot also has the Steep & Go Cold Brew Bottle, which includes the Steep & Go top, as well as a nice reusable bottle. I wasn’t able to get one of these during WTE as they were super popular and sold out!

(tea ware and tea provided for review)

Tea Owl Tea Blending!

Hoot, Char is out sick. It appears if you are a tea blogger, you need a sense of smell and taste to write about teas. With it now being the first of April, we need to get a tea blog post up. With that said, the Tea Owls will be doing a tea blend and review, hoot!

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At the last Tea Owl union meeting, we discussed and voted on our favorite teas, flavors and blend options to create the ultimate tea blend! Our exceptional owl tastes will create the ultimate tea blend and we will rise from being tea cup warmers and tea blogging models to selling teas! With those extra profits, we can eat prime rib every week!

Assemble the tea blending ingredients, hoot!

It’s Oolong Owl, so you need oolong in the special tea owl blend!

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We are adding some ripe loose pu’er too. Tea Owls like pu’er. For pu’er, people either love it, want to love it or don’t know what pu’er is. Well now you know, hoot. Drink pu’er!

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We decided to add some red rooibos in there. It’ll act as cheap filler plus with all the other tastiness going on no one will notice the yucky wood chip flavor. We also added a dragon black pearl – a signature owl tea that looks like owl pellets!

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Now on to the flavoring – fresh strawberry, chocolate chips, coconut and pecan! YUM! Hoot, who didn’t clean the tea table!

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Pistachio was another flavor we wanted to add, so in goes some Pistachio matcha!

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And our final, secret (not so secret now) ingredient – PRIME RIB RUB! HOOT! Tea Owls love Prime Rib!

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The dry leaf looks so pretty, hoot! White coconut adds great contrast to the red berries and dark leaf! Look at the glistening prime rib rub!

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Time to introduce the water – 200F here.

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Hoot Steep Hoot! 4 minutes!

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After 4 minutes the tea is a murky dark color. Do not despair, the cloudy color is from the chocolate chips.

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Served up, it lightens to an apple cider shade, with smells of sweet chocolate, fruit, creamy and savory.

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Time to taste!

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Tasting of the Tea Owl Blend

… (> v <);;;

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…Eww, hoot! The Tea Owl special blend doesn’t work! I think it’s the coconut strawberry as it added a weird watery tart cream flavor over the savory mix of mushroomy pu’er, prime rib and chocolate. We did a good call to steep this over a tea table as you can owl barf it down the grating.

Hmm, maybe the second infusion will be better, wanna try? Hoot? I guess not.

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Have a good April 1st! HOOT HOOT!

Curious Tea – Monthly Tea Box Subscription Review

Our final Tea of the Month subscription review for March – Curious Tea!

This tea subscription box is based in the UK at £14.95 to $£16.95 per month depending on the subscription length. You get 2 teas, with a total of 100 grams of tea. Even though I’m in the US, my box didn’t take that long to arrive, so this Tea of the Month subscription is totally do-able if you are outside the UK.

What is unique to this tea subscription is you get to choose between a Light, Dark or Mixed selection of teas. Their light teas are whites, greens and lightly oxidized oolongs, whereas their dark tea box is black, pu’er and higher oxidized oolongs.

As a blogger special, I got to choose which box to sample and I went with their February Light tea box as I found their light tea selection to be a fun line up. That and I don’t think I’ve had a Lu An Gua Pian before.

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Tasting of Curious Tea’s February Light Tea Subscription

Formosa Jade Oolong

The dry leaf of Formosa Jade Oolong is a sweet floral scent. I decided to follow the steeping instructions on the package, which was a western style long infusion of 185 f /85c for 3.5 minutes.

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Formosa Jade Oolong is a light oolong with straw notes with a floral finish of buttercups. In the background there is a bit of that mystery peachy floral essence. The floral intensity is a light to moderate 3/10 on the Floral Meter.

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The second infusion I steeped for 5 minutes and turned out to be better than the first infusion! The flavor is not as delicate and more moderate in flavor. It is a moderate peachy buttercup floral with a bit of sweet tang end of sip.

Formosa Jade Oolong would be a great light tea to balance out sweets at afternoon tea, or a great spring tea. I can see this tea being awesome cold steeped!

Lu An Gua Pian

Lu An Gua Pian, aka Lu’an Melon Seed tea is a green with the leaf that is only leaf, without buds, middle vein and stems. I don’t recall having this type of green tea before so I’m excited to try this green out. Again, I followed the steeping instructions on the package which was 175f/ 80c for 2.5 minutes. The Dl is tight, long rolls of leaf.

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Lu An Gua Pian steeps up a pale citron green with an interesting almost smokey scent. The taste is vegetal and delicate with a mellow avocado and pumpkin notes with a bit of sweetness. I didn’t find this green astringent at all. The steeped leaf is quite beautiful as it comes out looking like vibrant green, like blanched spinach.

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Steeped a few rounds gongfu style (175f, 5 grams of leaf, 120ml gaiwan) and the tea was just as mellow and smooth, getting sweet each infusion. Both steeping methods are pretty good!

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Lu An Gua Pian is a neat green for those who do not want a grassy tea. I like how delicate


Both teas from the Curious Tea Light subscription box are indeed light and delicate! The Formosa Jade Oolong was nice and trying a Lu An Gua Pian was a great treat. I like the box Light and Dark (or mixed!) format as it caters to one’s tastes and you can explore within it. I do a number of “Of the Month” clubs that aren’t tea related as well, and I’m a fan of having my clubs have a bit of customization or consider my preferences. Anyways, if you are looking for a simple tea subscription with a bit of customization give Curious Tea a visit.

(tea provided for review)

March White2tea Club – Tea Review

Time for the second Tea of the Month box to arrive for March – White2Tea!

In this month’s White2tea club box2001 7542 P.O. Raw Pu’er, 2004 Yang Pin Hao Raw Pu’er and OBSX Oolong, 10 grams each. It’s a small amount of tea but when you look up each tea you’ll realize all the teas are kinda pricey. Yeah, expensive tea drinking time!

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Also with this month, deals for us White2Tea club members – 10% off cakes, 20% off tongs and 15% off the yancha. A pretty sweet deal!

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Tasting of March White2Tea Club

Turns out all the teas in this month’s club are complex and intensive to review. With that said, me and the tea owl with drink two of the teas from this month.

2001 7542 P.O. – this raw pu’er is from a small factory under a private order, stored in humid conditions. Right off the bat the tea smells different. I cannot think of a better description than wet kitchen sponge. It doesn’t have that dry near scent less scent I’m used to smelling for probably dry storage puer. Have I had wet stored tea? I should as I have samples of wet storage pu’er… which I haven’t gotten around to yet, sigh. #toomuchtea #teabloggerproblems #ineedtoliveforevertodrinkalltheteas

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I steeped 5 grams of this raw pu’er in a 100ml ish gaiwan using boiling water. I did a quick rinse then did a second since it tasted too light.

First Infusion: Pretty dark yellow peach color. What is this scent? The scent reminds me of the beach on a rainy day – steaming sand and a little marine.

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2001 7542 P.O. tastes quite different than other pu’er I’ve had. It sips in smooth and mellow woodyness that peaks to an after taste of peaches. The flavor is light, but yet not. the body hums with mineral flavor and stone fruit sweetness. 2001 7542 P.O is really easy to drink with lots of head scratching to figure out the taste and how to describe it.

Second Infusion: Flavor shift! 2001 7542 P.O has a wet leafed forest floor note with peachy aftertaste. I also keep thinking of the flavor of “organic” but not how the word is used these days.

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Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Infusion: Best steepings! The flavor stabilized here. 2001 7542 P.O. is stronger flavor and with less leafy taste but with more like wet wood, forest floor, sweet amber with that fruity peach sweet after taste. So good! There’s a hint of dryness that’s drying the back of my teeth. There was a bit of gritty for steeping 4 and 5 when the cake piece broke apart.

Eight, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Infusion: 2001 7542 P.O. is staring to lighten and sweeten more with each infusion getting sweeter. By the end of these infusions I was aggressively steeping them to get every drop of flavor out. The aftertaste is getting stronger either by the duration of the tea session or the aftertaste flavoring winning over the waning main taste of the tea. This tea session was LONG! It didn’t feel like 12 infusions, more like 5 as I took my time trying to figure out what was going on, the long aggressive infusions, then weird tea drunky effects.

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I got the relaxing tea feels and memories throughout my 2001 7542 P.O. session. I had memories of walking through Stanley park sea wall, over the beaches on a standard rainy Vancouver day. After all that marine and rain smells, memories of walking by the trees to be protected from the rain in the park, dodging the gulls and crows trying to steal my sandwich. Back to reality, I got big tea owl stealing my tea! Late in the tea session the tea drunk started and I have manic ideas of involving crocheting bigger tea owls and carrying them during the World Tea Expo like I’m at a anime convention.

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Obsx Oolong – OBSX (Old Bush Shui Xian) is a yancha (rock) oolong with a medium roast. Sounds like my kind of tea! The dry leaf is super long with black, red and brown hues.

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A few of the leaves are really long!

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To steep Obsx Oolong I used a gaiwan, 5 grams of tea, boiling water and did a quick rinse.

First Infusion: Obsx Oolong has a lovely woodsy scent with a dark amber color.

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The flavor of Obsx Oolong has a light woodsy roast note with a bit of a fruity finish that I cannot peg yet. The oolong is really smooth.

Second and Third Infusion: The fruit is cherry – dark ripe fresh cherries skin and all! There are also  leafy woody and roasty notes with a cherry finish. Like I’m nibbling on the cherry tree. I know from experience actually as I used to climb cherry trees to get at all the fruit and eat the cherries with my barky hands. When I had access to cherry trees I’d eat them until I’d get sick then eat more the next day.

Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Infusion: There is a floral essence creeping in the background and aftertaste snuggling with cherry. With each steeping in this bracket, the more roasty notes are emerging along with a bit of buttery. Just when I think the cherry leaf should be going away I get a strong aftertaste of it!

Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Infusion: Obsx Oolong has now developed a roasted barley and mineral flavor (no more woodsy) with the background in cherry and leafy. Each steeping is getting sweeter and more roasted barely in flavor, yum!

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Tenth and Eleventh Infusion: The flavor is going fast, so these are long infusions. Obsx Oolong is mostly mineral sweet in flavor with essence of roasted barley. The cherry is barely present, with the 11th round finally dropping the cherry.

Twelfth 10 minute mega steep: Really light that is mineral and barley flavor. Nice run!

I very much enjoyed Obsx Oolong, it was certainly my style! It never got dry and was complex with awesome gongfu flavor changing tea journey. The fruity and roasty notes were nice! Yum!

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March White2tea club was a luxury indeed. I got a glimpse into nice pricey oolong and 2000s pu’er that I probably wouldn’t of purchased on my own. Despite the small amount both teas I had took the entire day to drink and I only used half a sample each, so I felt I got a lot of out my samples.

I’m still very happy with the White2tea monthly subscription tea club. Keep taking my money white2tea!

Bonus: This Tea Owl is huge! Hellhoot is too big to sit in the gaiwan!

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March Simple Loose Leaf – Tea Review

Time for the attack of the monthly tea box reviews for March!

First up, Simple Loose Leaf, a monthly Co-op tea box that sends 4 to 6 loose leaf tea samples (1/4oz size) – you get a wide assortment of different teas such as straight teas, blends and herbals. With being in the Tea Co-op, you get a membership ID. If you enjoy and want more tea that you’ve sampled, you can purchase it from the Simple Loose Leaf Tea Shop for 50% off.

For your first box, you can enter OolongOwl for a 50% off your first Simple Loose Leaf’s Tea co-op box!

The teas this month for Simple Loose Leaf are Gunpowder Green, Thai Chai Tea, Spearmint Herbal, Sungma Estate Darjeeling and Senna & Anise Herbal Pu’er.

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This month came with some organic sugar packets and more cloth infuser bags (not shown, the tea owls were using them as beach blankets.) I’m going to sample Sungma Estate Darjeeling and a do-it-yourself blend.

Tasting of March Simple Loose Leaf Teas

Sungma Estate Darjeeling
The dry leaf has a sweet, lightly smokey and woodsy scent. I steeped 3 grams of leaf for 3.5 minutes in boiling water.

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Steeped up, Sungma Estate Darjeeling smells like freshly baked bread with that bronze shiny egg wash crush. The tea color is quite nice with a pretty clear amber gold.

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Sungma Estate Darjeeling sips in sweet green grape, bread and a hint of floral end of sip. This is a light sweetness with the grape which matches will with the bready and floral notes, as well as the light flavor. The tea is very smooth in texture with no dry or bitterness. Interestingly, Sungma Estate Darjeeling is not heavy thick or strong in flavor, making for a light cup of black tea.

I found Sungma Estate Darjeeling really easy to drink and I love the sweetness. This black eould be a perfect afternoon tea for something light to drink, paired with some heavy creamy snacks.

Morocccan Spearmint tea

Enclosed with this month box was an extra card with a recipe for Moroccan Spearmint tea in which you use the Gunpowder Green, Spearmint herbal and the sugar packets. What a cool idea!

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I followed the recipe card, but halved it (forever alone tea drinker here), so 2 grams gunpowder green and 1 gram of spearmint. I used 2 packets of sugar (which was less than the recipe, but I wished I used only one packet). I cringed as a steeped the green tea with boiling water, but I will follow the directions!

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Morocccan Spearmint tea sips in really nice despite the 212 water. The green isn’t bitter (or is that all the sugar?) The tea is sugar sweet, super fresh with plenty of spearmint buzzing in my mouth. This tea blend is like drinking a grassy green combined with ultra fresh spearmint candy. My breath must smell fantastic! I need to go breathe on people to confirm… confirmed!

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I made the rest of my sample into more Moroccan Spearmint tea (with a bit extra gunpowder green from my stash) but iced. Turns out Gunpowder Green + Spearmint = awesome mega refreshing iced tea and doesn’t need to be sweetened as the spearmint adds lots of love to the mix!


This was a really interesting Simple Loose Leaf box this month. I really liked the Moroccan green blender, that was fun! The Darjeeling was a nice luxury to drink. I wasn’t a fan of the herbal pu’er (I personally dislike licorice with a passion) nor was excited about the Thai Chai, but otherwise was a fun box of tea for the month!

(tea provided for review)

Sencha Naturals Tropical Mango Green Tea Latte Mix – Tea Review

Usually I’m pretty good about reviewing a tea early on, as in I’ll drink it a few times before I review it. I got this Tropical Mango Green Tea Latte mix from Sencha Naturals back at the Los Angeles Tea Festival in August 2014. The sample I tried at the festival was really good so I purchased a bag. Since then, I’ve been drinking up my bag of Mango Green Tea latte mix and I need to review this sucker before I drink it all!

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The ingredients on this green tea mix product is interesting – Organic Coconut Sugar, Organic Coconut Oil, Algae Flour, Organic Matcha Powder, Mango & Vanilla Extract. If you are the type that prefer organics and a natural sugar source this green tea mix would be of interest to you! Correct me if I’m wrong, but this product is also Paleo friendly for some. It is a little calorie dense at 130 calories (160 on the website) that’ll make 10oz serving.

Dry Leaf

The color isn’t a vibrant green that one usually sees in straight matcha. The mix is a pale pea color with a sprinkling of orange beads.

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I prefer this product cold made with a milk, but you can make it with water. Sencha Naturals Tropical Mango Green Tea Latte mixes needs to be shaken well or used with a frother/blender as the orange bits will not combine and settle on the bottom.

Tasting of Sencha Naturals Tropical Mango Green Tea Latte Mix

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Sencha Naturals Tropical Mango Green Tea Latte Mix has a strong juicy mango flavor, with a backing of mega thick creamyness from the coconut base, with light fresh grassy matcha and green tea flavor. The mango is the main flavor and is sweetened. The mix has a thickness to it making for a great full experience latte. I find you do not need any further sweetening but maybe too sweet for some people.

Next day I made the Tropical Mango Green Tea Latte mix with just the mix and hot water (175f). I still prefer using a milk base, but with water the tea is surprisingly really thick and creamy mouth feel from the coconut oil. It is kind of watery, so not as strong in flavor as using a milk base, but not bad as the mango flavor is still strong with a great creamy backing. The green tea is drifting around in the background.

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If you love mangos and sweet treat lattes, Sencha Naturals Tropical Mango Green Tea Latte Mix is amazing! If you love creamy sweets, this tea mix is the ticket! Sencha Naturals also has a chai flavor and unflavored mix versions at this time. I find the green tea taste is on the low side, so it is pretty friendly for people who don’t like grassy strong tea flavor. My tea hating husband likes this tea mix made with both milk and water.

I find Sencha Naturals Tropical Mango Green Tea Latte Mix works especially well with protein powder. The flavoring is strongly mango and with the thick texture can hide the pasty protein powder.