Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 from Butiki Teas – Oolong Owl Tea Review

Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 is a Doke Rolling Thunder Oolong with vegan pumpkin flakes, organic lotus stamens, organic vanilla beans and organic natural flavors. This unique tea blend is by Butiki Teas, online tea seller based in New Jersey.

I recently received my small order from Butiki Teas, as I was unable to resist some of her new blends. My household loves pumpkin pie. In the event I have leftover pumpkin, I make pumpkin milkshakes, saving me calories. Even off pumpkin pie season, I do like a good pumpkin tea, DavidsTea’s Pumpkin Chai as a good standby. By the way, I try to not mention wanting pumpkin food off season to my father. He will always tell the tale how he makes carrot pie, a scary not-so-master piece with hard lumps of carrot in a pie crust.

I find Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 interesting as it uses a tea base I’m not too familiar with, Doke Rolling Thunder. This hand picked oolong is from Bihar in Northern India.

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Dry Leaf

When I opened Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 packaging, there was a strong pumpkin spice scent, yum! The dry leaf consists of thin, wiry oolong twists. The leaf speckled with some creamy coloured dust, I’m guessing it’s from the pumpkin flakes.

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Steeping Instructions

I always find Butiki Teas has spot on steeping instructions, but with my variable tea kettle, I had to make some minor adjustments. The steeping instructions of Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 are 170F water for a 4 minute steep (1.5 teaspoons of tea, 8oz of water). I went with 175F – a tea rebel!

After my steeping, I had a copper and gold coloured brew that smell as if I just cracked open a tin of pumpkin puree. MEGA PUMPKIN!

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Tasting of Butiki Teas’ Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0

Hoot! That’s a lot of pumpkin! Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 sips full of pumpkin flavor, with a great full bodied oolong tea base. The pumpkin here is pretty natural tasting, not the sugary pumpkin flavor in other pumpkin tea blends or tinned can pumpkin taste. The oolong here is a great pairing with the pumpkin – it has a rooty vegetal flavor, like carrots (or is that still the pumpkin talking or flashbacks of my dad’s carrot pie), almond flesh notes and a bit of malt. Very interesting oolong! End of sip a bit of creamyness sets in – creamy in both flavor and texture, leaving a soft creamy mouth feel. I do not detect any bitterness or astringency.

Sweetened: I added a bit of German Rock sugar to the remainder of my cup, with a Tea Owl’s face pressed up against the tea mug.

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Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 sweetened is also pretty good. The pumpkin flavor goes more into pumpkin pie territory, without the spice. There is also a caramel note finish this time! As the tea cools, I’m picking up a hint of clove and ginger (or is that brain trying to fit it into a pumpkin pie taste?)

Resteep: MUST GET ALL THE DELICIOUS PUMPKIN! I did a 5.5 minute resteep. Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 has lightened in flavor, as expected. There is a bit less pumpkin and a lot more oolong almond and malt flavor going on. I’d actually accept this as a good first steeping as the pumpkin flavor is about the same here as other pumpkin flavored teas. The base is sweet like almond flesh, bright, and still quite creamy in texture. There is a bit of dryness after each sip, but it is very light.

After the resteep I noticed the leaves expanded quite a bit – nice looking leaf!

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Comments

Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0 is the most pumpkin tasting tea I’ve tried to date. Similar to other Butiki Teas‘ blend line up, the tea is vegan and very natural tasting, making for always a delicious cup of tea. I thought this tea would be more creamy, but the focus of this tea is the awesome mega pumpkin flavor with well matched oolong base!

Pumpkin lovers – check out Butiki Teas‘  Pumpkin Milkshake 2.0! This blend is also perfect for someone looking for a really unique tea experience. If you haven’t already, check out Butiki Teas - she has excellent teas!

 

Jin Xuan Oolong from Eco-Cha – Oolong Owl Tea Review

Today’s tea is Jin Xuan Oolong - a lovely milk oolong sold by Eco-Cha, online seller of Taiwanese oolongs. This Jin Xuan Oolong was grown at 400m elevation by a co-op farm that does not use chemical weed killers and little or none chemical fertilizers and water soluble pesticides.

I’ve been feeling in an Oolong mood lately. Last week I reviewed, by accident, all Pu’er teas. After that, I feel I need to go binge on some oolong while I do some spring cleaning.

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Dry Leaf

What a smell! Jin Xuan Oolong smells amazing! There is a strong floral creamy butter scent coming from the tight clumps of oolong. Very fresh smelling and intense! Can I have this tea as a perfume?

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Steeping Instructions

Eco-cha has steeping instructions for single mug brew, cold brew and gong fu brew. I do love a good gong fu brew, so I went with that using boiling water starting at 45 second steeping, adding 15 seconds to each additional infusion. Around the 5th infusion, I added 30 seconds and at the 10th infusion I added a minute. I went a little lighter on leaf than recommended, 6.5 grams instead of 8 as I was using a smaller gaiwan.

Steeped up, Jin Xuan Oolong comes out a lemon yellow brew that smells like a blooming orchid.

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Tasting of Eco-Cha’s Jin Xuan Oolong

First and Second Infusion: Jin Xuan Oolong starts off light and sweet, developing mega buttery flavor. Man, wish I could have this much butter all the time, I will have to cheat the cravings with this tea! Mid sip there is a glimpse of green bean vegetal. Jin Xuan Oolong finishes off with an orchid floral and peaks in intensity end of sip. Throughout the entire sip there is a light silky texture.

Oh the floral in this tea! Jin Xuan Oolong orchid floral is sweet and crisp. I’d say its a 6/10 on the Floral-o-meter – a good, moderately strong floral that is on the perfumey side, yet natural and not over the top. Some sips I swear this couple be tulip in flavor with the mix of the vegetal.

Third and Fourth Infusion: Jin Xuan Oolong is beginning to ramp up. Maybe I should of done a longer rinse? Jin Xuan Oolong shifts its focus from mega butter to orchid floral notes, with the vegetal at end of sip. The tea has steeped up a bit darker as well.

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Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Infusion: Best infusions! Jin Xuan Oolong clicked here for me – the balance of floral, hint of vegetal and a bit of green woodsyness was a great tea drinking experience. Jin Xuan Oolong also has a great fresh and clean flavor to it.

Ninth, Tenth Infusion: I began having issues with the tea. Jin Xuan Oolong still tasting great, still buttery floral lovely. However, the leaves decided they had enough of my gaiwan, expanding so much lid doesn’t sit right.

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I’m not sure how I got tea out of these later steepings. The gaiwan is packed with expanded leaf, plus leaves made my gaiwan sputter out water while it steeped.

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Eleventh and Twelfth Infusion: Jin Xuan Oolong has gotten light here with a bit of a woodsy astringency, 1/10 on the Astringe-o-meter.

Cold Steeping of Jin Xuan Oolong

I used about 2 teaspoons of Jin Xuan Oolong and 11oz of water, steeped cold in the fridge for 9 hours. Super buttery in flavor and an also a sweet milky texture. The floral is really tamed down, a 2/10 on the Floral-o-meter, with the vegetal notes blended a bit with the buttery flavor. Jin Xuan Oolong makes an excellent cold brew as it was fun to taste another side of this tea.

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Comments

Eco-Cha‘s Jin Xuan Oolong is a delicious buttery floral oolong that would be much loved by floral lovers.  As a milk oolong, I found Jin Xuan Oolong more of a classic super buttery flavor than other varieties that are more on the milky sugar side. Overall, a very gorgeous oolong perfect for spring tea drinking both hot or cold steeped!

(tea provided for review)

Chocolate Strawberry Puer from Lupicia – Oolong Owl Tea Review

Chocolate Strawberry Puer is a pu’er, chocolate and strawberry tea blend. This decadent dessert tea is from Lupicia.

Chocolate Strawberry Puer has been on my tea bucket list for a long time! I don’t know why, but I kept passing it up or forgetting about it when I was visiting my local Lupicia. When I was in Hawaii, I snagged a bag of Chocolate Strawberry Puer at Lupicia’s Honolulu store.

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I’ve been wanting to explore pu’er blends, which have been popping up more and more these days, which also can be hit or miss. However, I have faith Chocolate & Strawberry Puer will be good, as I’m quite a big fan of Lupicia’s Champagne Rose as the strawberry flavor is flipping fantastic.

Dry Leaf

Not the most exciting dry leaf here, just black crisp pu’er leaves with small fruity bits, the bits smaller than shown on the Lupicia site. The smell – dannng, Chocolate Strawberry Puer dry leaf smells like a strawberry milkshake! The smell is mouthwatering, but where’s the chocolate?

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Looking at the ingredients list… what is heath? A shrub? Bad translation? Weeeeeiird.

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Steeping Instructions

My package of Chocolate Strawberry Puer states to steep this tea with boiling water for 1.5 to 2 minutes. Confusingly, the website says 45seconds to a minute. I’ll go with the longer steep.

After 1.5 minutes of steeping, I had a rich, brownish red cup of tea that smells like a strawberry milk shake. The colour here is interesting – it’s not cloudy black brown that pu’er blends tend to be when steeped for more than 30 seconds.

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Tasting of Lupicia’s Chocolate & Strawberry Puer

MMmmmm! A desserty treat! Chocolate Strawberry Puer sips in with a lovely melted milk chocolate flavor followed by an earthy background of pu’er. The pu’er here is mild – no fermentation or fishyness here.  I feel the choice to use pu’er tea instead of a black was a great one – the pu’er has a more mellow base and pairs really nicely with the chocolate adding a lovely richness! End of sip a lightly tart strawberry flavor appears combining the flavors of chocolate and pu’er nicely. To top it all off, there is a lingering strawberry aftertaste. As the tea cools, the strawberry flavor comes out more throughout the sip.

The strawberry flavor at end of sip tastes fairly natural with the hint of tart. The aftertaste is more on the artificial side.

If you are familiar with Japanese candies, Chocolate Strawberry Puer reminds me a lot like Meijii Apollo Strawberry Chocolates

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And quite similar in flavor to Meiji Melty Kiss

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Resteep: I did a 3 minutes desperate I-hope-I-can-get-another-round resteeping. The 2nd infusion of Chocolate Strawberry Puer is similar in flavor, with the melty chocolate and strawberry tart, but say 30% lighter. The pu’er base is a little more out there, but still blending nicely with the chocolate. Worth resteeping!

Comments

Lupicia‘s Chocolate Strawberry Puer is mega delicious! I’ll be keeping this pu’er blend in stock! A must try for desserty tea lovers, especially if you like black tea blends. Lupicia does some fantastic fruity tea blends, so be sure to check them out!

If you are new to pu’er, rest assured the pu’er in this blend isn’t strong and very easy to drink. Chocolate Strawberry Puer is a great tea blend to get an easy to drink and steep pu’er into your tea diet.

Chocolate Strawberry Puer also was “Tea of the Month” sample from the Lupicia Tea Magazine a month or two back. I highly suggest getting the Lupicia Tea Magazine (it’s free with a $30 order at Lupicia) as getting a free sample every month for a year is a sweet deal!

April Simple Loose Leaf Selection Club – Oolong Owl Tea Review

A new month, a new box of teas from Simple Loose Leaf!

To recap on Simple Loose Leaf‘s selection club. Each month you get to choose from a selection of 5 teas. You may also select the option of sampling all 5 teas, or choose 2 you like. Each tea is 1 to 2 oz, or for the sampler, a 4 oz sampler pack. Simple Loose Leaf also gives you a quick preview of the teas for the following month and lets you also get a 6 grams sample to try ahead of time. Within the 5 teas, Simple Loose Leaf aims to have a good variety to choose from, straight teas, blends and a herbal.

** For the month of April, Simple Loose Leaf has a discount code to try the first box for $1! The promocode is 1DOLLARMONTH

This is my second month on Simple Loose Leaf‘s selection club. For April, I was able to choose from Gen Mai Cha, English Breakfast Black, Madagascar Coconut White, Hazelberry Pu’er and Cranberry Breeze Herbal. I decided to get more Hazelberry Pu’er and a sample of Sweet Peach White.

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Actually, I chose to get a lot of Hazelberry Pu’er. What I liked about Simple Loose Leaf‘s selection club was being able to get a sample from next month’s teas. I was very curious about Hazelberry Pu’er. From experience, pu’er blends can be hit and miss, so being able to sample it was perfect! I loved the sample of the tea, so for April I got more of the tea I enjoyed!

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Let’s dive in and sample Hazelberry Pu’er – this tea is a ripe pu’er with cocoa nibs and cream, strawberry and hazelnut flavoring.

Dry Leaf

Hazelberry Pu’er has an earthy pungent pu’er scent that is perfumed with cream and strawberries. The dry leaf looks like a fairly standard loose leaf ripe pu’er.

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Steeping Instructions

A no fuss steeping method here – I steeped my Hazelberry Pu’er for 4 minutes with boiling water.

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At the end of my steeping, I discovered some strawberry bits floating at the top – aha, they were hiding in the woods of pu’er!

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Hazelberry Pu’er steeps out black as coffee with a fermenty pu’er scent and a sweet finish.

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Tasting of Hazelberry Pu’er from Simple Loose Leaf Selection Club

Hazelberry Pu’er sips in mega watt rich. The ripe pu’er has a deep earthy and mushroom flavor. However, that deep tea base dissolves into a thick cloud of cream. SO much creamyness going on in this tea! End of sip is a sweet and lightly tart strawberry. The contrast between the heavy pu’er and cream works, with the transition from cream to strawberry being quite delicious. There is a slight fermentation aftertaste with a hint of hazelnut and berryness. To sum up Hazelberry Pu’er, it’s like eating a strawberry shortcake while camping.

Sweetened: I prefer Hazelberry Pu’er unsweetened, but this tea actually does very well with a bit of german rock sugar. If you are new to pu’er, adding sweetener would be a good idea. With some german rock sugar, my cup of Hazelberry Pu’er became more focused on the strawberries and cream, with an interesting rich tea background. Much more rich than a black tea!

Comments

This crazy owl tea drinker had a great experience this month with Simple Loose Leaf‘s selection club. I really like how I was able to choose the tea(s) I wanted, and was able to sample one the month before! Simple Loose Leaf has a huge lineup and it was super cool they have some really neat teas like Hazelberry Pu’er, which are on the unique and wild side to please a seasoned tea drinker. At the same time, Simple Loose Leaf‘s selection club selection has a good amount of variety to get a new tea drinker to try a bit of everything.

Hazelberry Pu’er was an excellent offering for Simple Loose Leaf‘s selection club for April. I’m still thinking about what teas to select for May – Japanese Sencha Saga Green, Darjeeling Second Flush, Sweet Peach White, Formosa Oolong, and Citrus Hibiscus Herbal. June’s tea line up looks amazing (there’s another pu’er blend!)

(tea provided for review)

Meng Zhr Pu’er from Jalam Teas – Oolong Owl Tea Review

Meng Zhr Pu’er is an Autumn 2012 harvested, unfermented (sheng/raw) pu’er from South Yunnan, China. This tea is from Jalam Teas.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jalam Teas, they have a monthly tea club. For $19 a month they will send you a 100 gram pu’er cake, with lots of information, photos or videos on the work that was put into making your pu’er cake. Each tea is hand sourced and in limited quantities.

Before I crack into my sample pu’er cake, I gotta mention how much I love the card that came with Meng Zhr Pu’er. Gorgeous photography!

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Dry Leaf

Meng Zhr Pu’er is tightly woven bundle with a grassy scent. A change of pace from other unfermented pu’ers I’ve tried, which have more of a dry scent.

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Steeping Instructions

I find the instructions interesting. Go heavy on the leaf, longer rinse time, and longer steep time. Jalam Teas recommends that since Meng Zhr Pu’er doesn’t get astringent, you can be more generous on steep time and leaf, giving you more flavor. I used 6 grams of dry leaf, with my small yixing tea pot.

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After the 15 second rinse, the tea had a glowy golden rod colour with a super fresh, vegetal and almost peppery spice scent. Quite unique! For all steepings I used boiling water, starting at 30 second steeps, adding 10 seconds per each infusion.

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Tasting of Meng Zhr Pu’er from Jalam Teas

First, Second and Third Infusion: Meng Zhr Pu’er sips in light, but quickly bursts to a strong level of flavor. The flavor is crystal crisp, clean and sweet vegetal. There vegetal here is strong and quite sharp, but not grassy. The closest vegetal I can compared Meng Zhr Pu’er to is green peppers. My tea tastes like biting into a freshly picked green pepper that is still warm from the summer sun. It’s sweet, crisp, bursty refreshing flavor, with a hint of strong bitter vegetal skin. With that said, there is a “healthy” flavor to this tea. Again, Meng Zhr Pu’er is not grassy or astringent. No fermentation or smokeyness either.

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Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Infusion: Really good infusions here. Each steeping the vegetal sharpness mellows out, paving the way for more sweetness. That sunny, crisp, vegetal sweetness gives me an invigorating feel with each sip! Very nice! What I find interesting with Meng Zhr Pu’er is the aftertaste. It’s a little vegetal, maybe coppery, but it doesn’t stay due to the lack of dryness.

Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Infusion: I’ve discovered that Meng Zhr Pu’er gets better with each infusion. At this point the strength of Meng Zhr Pu’er‘s flavor is reducing, but the intensity here is similar to a first infusion of a raw pu’er (not the 8th!). These infusions developed some more personality – along with the crisp, clean vegetal flavor, there is also a bit of a wet stones and copper mineral flavor. A bit of astringency has finally appeared in these later steepings, adding a longer aftertaste similar to other pu’er, a stone fruit and floral note.

Eleventh and Twelfth Infusion: Meng Zhr Pu’er became very light here, with just a little vegetal sunny flavor with some light astringency.

Comments

Overall, Meng Zhr Pu’er is a very refreshing and radiant tea. I quite like how each steeping the tea got better and better, mellowing out and developing extra character. This tea tastes healthy – on a similar wavelength of drinking freshly juiced vegetables, but in tea form. Meng Zhr Pu’er can be a strong, intense tea too if you add extra steep time.

If you like a green or green oolong that has a strong flavor, but not grassy, that can be resteeped many times - Jalam Teas‘ Meng Zhr Pu’er would be your tea! Be sure to check out their monthly tea club!

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(tea provided for review)

Coconut Matcha from Red Leaf Tea – Oolong Owl Tea Review

Coconut Matcha is from Red Leaf Tea‘s huge flavored matcha line up. Red Leaf Tea is an US online tea seller, known mostly for their customizable flavored matcha and matchaccino mix.

I’ve had quite a number of Red Leaf Tea‘s flavored matcha, though I tend to drink through them slowly. The caffeine in matcha hits me hard with crazy energy that I feel like I could scale a wall. With that said, I restrict matchas as a morning or early afternoon tea. I was recommended to try Red Leaf Tea‘s Coconut Matcha as I heard it is really good, especially for coconut fans. With my last order, I couldn’t resist buying a package to try.

So, for Red Leaf Tea‘s flavored matcha you get a bunch of options. You can choose the grade of matcha (basic through superior), get white/red/black/50green50white matcha, organic matcha and also choose how strong the flavoring is. The flavor ratings are Delicate, Distinctive, Robust and “there’s matcha in there?”.

Oolong Owl flavored matcha preferences:

  1. If you want just a hint of flavor but enjoy more matcha-greeness, go Delicate. Delicate mixes tend to froth up better. For all fruity flavors go Distinctive (or delicate). Everything else – Distinctive or Robust. I quite like Robust, but Distinctive gets me through if I want to save.
  2. For matcha quality, I like basic as I drink all my flavored matchas as lattes.
  3. Go with green matcha first. I’ve tried both white and black matcha and wasn’t too impressed with it, so I recommend getting a sample before you try any of the other adventurous matchas.
  4. Ensure you have or buy a tin to keep your matcha fresh. I’d also try to not buy a whole bunch of matcha at once unless you can drink it all in a timely manner.

My Coconut Matcha, the specs are: Small, Classic basic grade matcha, non organic, Distinctive flavoring.

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Dry Leaf

Oooh the smells! Coconut Matcha smells just like my Body Shop Coconut body butter! Smells nice and coconutty that isn’t sweet.

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Traditional Matcha made with Coconut Matcha

I used 1/2 teaspoon of matcha, whisked into 175F water. From experience, this flavored matcha doesn’t froth up the greatest. I also was having one of those days where I made a huge mess whisking and probably added too much water.

If you don’t know how to make a cup of match, check out my How to Make a Cup of Matcha (easy mode) post.

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The flavor of Coconut Matcha very smooth. Big matcha flavor that is grassy and crisp with a smooth sweetness. The coconut flavor comes out at the end and lingers after each sip. The coconut flavor is really good – not too sweet and like real coconut out of the shell (not the shaved sugary coconut used in baking).

Ice Latte Coconut Matcha

Lattes are my preferred method for flavored matchas. First you start with a mason jar or blender bottle. Remove the Tea Owl too.

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Ice

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Milk (soy milk used here)

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Sweetener of your choice (you don’t need much, especially for iced lattes)

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Matcha. Depending on the morning, I use 1/2 teaspoon to 3/4 teaspoon.

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Shake! (that was some good pomegranate jelly I made back in September 2013)

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As an iced latte, Coconut Matcha is soooo goood! Again, very smooth and grassy, but the sweetener, milk and cold temperature really bring out the coconut flavor. Very natural coconut flavor, even with a bit of nut taste from nibbling off the coconut shell!

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Comments

Coconut lovers, you should of had this matcha yesterday! You need this matcha. I need this matcha!

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Coconut Matcha is up there on my favorite flavored matchas. I quite like Pistachio matcha and Brazilian Acai Matcha. If you never had matcha before, don’t be scared of it, it’s super easy to make! If you don’t like coconut, Red Leaf Tea has a huge lineup with many more flavors of matcha.

Tentacle Tea from Pelican Tea – Oolong Owl Tea Review

Tentacle Tea is a habanero-infused pu’er blended with meyer lemon, home toasted brown rice, cinnamon and mint. This tea is blended and sold by Pelican Tea, US based online tea seller.

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I came across Pelican Tea on /r/tea on reddit. Another new tea seller? I decided to check out their tea line up – HOLY HOOTS their tea line up is wild and quite unique! Habanero-infused teas. They habanero infused whites, greens, blacks, pu’ers and oolongs!

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Tea peeps, I love spicy food. If you see me eat a burrito, before each bite there’s a dash (or 3) of hot sauce. A work friend of my tea-hating husband gave us a jar of home canned jalapenos and I ate them like pickles. I’m the type that finds commercial, regular grocery store or fast food place’s “hot” condiment to taste like ketchup level. I do like my chais spicy and have sampled a few “spicy” teas, but nothing listed with habanero.  The hottest peppers I’ve had so far are habaneros and they are at my limits.

Tentacle Tea is an interesting choice of name. We must also note, on the packaging this tea is rated a 2 pepper. I have another sample from Pelican Tea that displays 3 peppers.

Dry Leaf

A confetti looking dry leaf – curls of pu’er, small lumps of cinnamon stick, dried lemon and green mint. The dry leaf of Tentacle Tea is nice and fragrant – fresh, citrusy and minty – like a very fresh nighttime herbal tea. Then it hits you… a spicyness that burns your nose. Whoa! I’ll be sure not to rub my eyes after handling this tea.

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Steeping Instructions

I followed the instructions on my package of Tentacle Tea, so about 1.5 teaspoons steeped in boiling water for 5 minutes. Check out my sweet octopus cup!

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After 5 minutes I had a dark woodsy brew that smelled pepperminty citrus with a delicious cinnamon, quite similar vibe to a cinnamon stick laced hot apple cider. No spicy smell. I wonder if I’m prepared for this tea.

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Tasting of Pelican Tea’s Tentacle Tea

Unique and busy! Tentacle Tea sips in with a delicious fresh lemon flavor followed with a cooling peppermint sensation. These two flavors are so fresh, I could be mistaken for using a lemon out of my backyard. The main flavors I’m getting is the lemon and peppermint, but there is a nice earth pu’er base. The pu’er here is pretty forgiving – it’s not fishy or strong, it just adds a grounded effect to the tea. I don’t taste the cinnamon here, but the scent is quite strong. After all that, and with each further sip the spice catches up to you, and wow it’s hot!

Tentacle Tea‘s spice I’d give a 7 or 8/10 on the Spice-o-meter – it’s spicy! It lingers too! Personally, this is a perfect heat level to comfortably consume without breaks so I would consider this a medium hot, but I can see this being too much for others. If I was eating this at CoCoCurry, this would be a 7, so it’s not blistering heat, but pretty hot. This tea does have habanero essence, as it’s a clean intense heat, without any bitter, grassy, smokey or tart flavor.

Altogether, Tentacle Tea is busy in flavor, like I’m losing track of all the tentacles with a final sting like I got poked in the eye – pleasantly. I guess if you are a crazy hot food lover, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Resteep: I resteeped Tentacle Tea for 6 minutes and discovered the busy storm subsided. What I’m left with is a lovely light pu’er earth flavor, strong cinnamon spice with a citrus finish. It is like a spicy apple cider with citrus. The spice level here is a 4/10 – like a good chai level. The tea evokes a sweet effect, maybe my association between sweet and cinnamon. A very good resteep, however I found further resteeps the pu’er base was too light to be enjoyed.

Comments

Spicy Heat lovers – you need to check out Pelican Tea! Pelican Tea also sells a sampler pack, so you can get their entire line up in 20 gram sized samplers.  So far, I’m impressed with how fresh their teas are, with Tentacle Tea being a interesting offering of refreshing citrus, mint and earth. This tea is one of a kind!

Tentacle Tea would be 100% perfect to drink while having a cold. The citrus and mint would feel amazing on the throat. I also always drink ripe pu’er when sick as I find it does double duty at getting rid of congestion and throat issues. No longer will this tea blogger be dumping cayenne pepper into my tea! Other than colds, I could see this being a great tea to wind down after work with the refreshing flavors and a reset button of heat!

Bonus: Tea Owl and Tea Octopus bonding over tea

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(tea provided for review)

Oolong Owl Tea Tip #1 – Get organized by adding notes to your tea

There is a point a tea drinker reaches when you have so much tea stashed and you lose track of specifics for each tea in your collection. As a tea drinker with a big stash, I’ve come across tea stash organization problems like:

  1. Steeping a cup of tea that was fantastic, especially after experimenting with the steep times or amounts, and forgot what I did when making the next cup.
  2. Finding a package of tea in the back of your cupboard and have no idea how old it is.
  3. The tea came without steeping instructions, no ingredient list, or isn’t in your language. 

This is what the Tea Owls and I do: I keep a pen and some labels with my tea stash. Ideally, you want a pen that is odorless, unless you want to risk sharpie marker scent contaminating the teas. You can also get really fancy here, like colour code your labels or pens to match DAVIDsTea‘s tea type colouring scheme.

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I stick on the information I need for my tea on my tea package or tin. For example, I added steeping instructions to my Eco-Cha tea so I don’t have to check the website every time I want to make a cup. Many tea sellers list steeping instructions on their website. Sometimes, a pamphlet is enclosed with your order with steeping instructions – however I find a label on the tea package is faster so I don’t have to flip through or keep a stack of papers with my tea stash.

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Some cases, I write in the tea type and ingredients list, especially for teas that have names that don’t give you a clue on what it is. An ingredient list, especially for tea blends, is handy to have near especially if you have friends or family with food allergies.

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I like labels and have lots around my house, but you can use just scotch tape or just simply write on the package. For this tea, I stuck on a note to revise the steeping time listed on the package.

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*** A very important tip, that I need to do myself more often, is Date the Tea. Quite often, especially with tea blends, the tea seller does not list a date the tea was packed or blended on. I Teas generally are good for a year (not counting pu’er of course!), though I’ve had well stored tea taste fine at the 2 to 3 year mark. If the tea has extras like fruit or chocolate bits, in my experience, you should drink it within a year.  I’ve had a couple fruit and chocolate teas that have spoiled, turned weird colours and tasted off despite proper tea storage.

In the end, adding notes to your tea is like writing on a cookbook on what you changed or simply “good!” Heart label = I’m not sharing this tea!

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pssst! Labels (along with some small bags) are also handy to keep with your tea stash. That way, you are prepared when a friend needs a tea sample and they’ll have all the information they need to know how to make the tea and what tea company it’s from!

Do you have any helpful tea organization tips? Feel free to comment and share!

Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha – Strawberry and Peanut Butter – from 52 Teas

It’s time to review more Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha Teas! 52 Teas / ZoomdweebiesStrawberry Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha and Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha!

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I’ve previously reviewed S’mores Genmaicha and I also own the regular Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha. Both are excellent teas. I was happy to see 52 Teas came out with Strawberry Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha and Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha.

I make some killer rice crispy treats. My secret is extra marshmallows, a generous splash of homemade vanilla extract (made with brandy) or sometimes a whole vanilla bean pod scraped in. My favorite variation of rice crispy treats is to add caramel squares or peanut butter, YUM! I’ve never added strawberry or tried making it with other cereals. Anyways, let’s give these teas a go!

Tasting of Strawberry Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha

The dry leaf has a strong red scent with a bit of a bubble gum finish. Lots of strawberry lumps!

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I went with my favorite green tea steeping method: 175F for 2 minutes with 2 tsp of tea for a big 12oz Owl mug. While Strawberry Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha it smelled really good – like toasty rice and strawberries.

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Strawberry Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha sips in with POW strawberry! Very good strawberry too, despite the strong “red” scent of the dry leaf. The strawberry has a nice natural flavor with a great balance of sweet and tart. As the sip goes on, a bit creamy, some toasty rice and lightly grassy genmaicha sencha flavor comes out.  Strawberry Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha tastes like I mixed in freeze dried strawberries in my rice crispies. No bitterness, though a touch of tart from the strawberry.

With a little sweetener, this blend tastes more candy like. Not as sweet as making marshmallow treats out of Crunch berries, but similar vibe of sweet strawberry and marshmallow, with the background of green tea.

Tasting of Peanut Butter Treat Genmaicha

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha has a light peanut roasty scent with a charred marshmallow background. Mmmm!

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Steeped up, Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha has a mellow nutty creamy scent. Each sip has a melty peanut flavor that is on the gentle side, that progresses to the genmaicha flavor. The pairing here is pretty good as the nuttyness goes great with the toasty rice genmaicha.

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I added a bit of light agave and the tea tastes closer to actual peanut butter rice crispy treats, with marshmallow creamy, though with just a little bit of peanut butter. Not the generous “Cheat Day hahaha make it count!” glob of peanut butter flavor in my rice crispy treats. I kinda wished there was chocolate flavor in this tea too – go all out!

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Comments

The fun and creative 52 Teas / Zoomdweebies‘ Strawberry Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha and Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha are both exciting blends, spicing up genmaicha tea! One of these teas should appeal to a tea blend drinker.

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha has a great nuttyness that pairs great with genmaicha. This blend is great if you just want a twist of fun (with the option of adding sugar to get more of a desserty treat).

The Oolong Owl favorite is Strawberry Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha. I love the strawberry flavor here. Actually, the flavoring seems more potent in flavor that other 52 Teas blends. This tea blend would be also fantastic for kids!

52 Teas / Zoomdweebies comes out with a new tea each week, so there is always a fun new tea available!

Bonus: These marshmallows didn’t last long! I should know better to use treats as props!

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Moonlight White from Jingmai Raw Pu’er from Bana Tea Company – Oolong Owl Tea Review

Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er is a 2012 loose leaf raw pu’er. This tea is sold by Bana Tea Company, online pu’er seller located in California.

I had the pleasure of sampling this tea at the 2013 Los Angeles Tea Festival. I had a cup of Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er and thought about it throughout the entire time I was at the festival. I tried so many teas at the festival and had many bathroom trips. Before I left, I felt this tea was the gem of the tea festival and I had to buy it!

As a side note and not to get confused with, Bana Tea Company also has a 2007 Moonlight White Cake. I’ll be sampling the 2012 loose leaf with the same name.

Very attractive packaging. The pale spring green is quite attractive, reminding me of spring (which is here! Well, more like summer where I am, it was 31c the other day!)

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Unboxing!

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Dry Leaf

Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er has a very dry woodsy herb scent, as if I opened a package of planting seeds. The appearance looks like silver needle white tea – long curved spears of silver, mixed with thin black leaf. This doesn’t look like any raw pu’er I’ve come across so far.

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Actually, this tea looks similar to Mandala Tea’s White Night that they could be twins.

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Mandala Tea’s White Night!

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Hmmm, the Tea Owls and I will compare the two teas later in this post.

Steeping Instructions

I followed Bana Tea Company‘s instructions, but using 200f water.

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First infusion I had a pale pale yellow cup of tea. Actually, the camera was being very fussy on picking up any colour in my steep, but it’s there.

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The scent of Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er is very soft, like fresh blooming wild flowers.

Tasting of Bana Tea Company’s Moonlight White from Jingmai Raw Pu’er

First through Fifth Infusion: Wow, very creamy! Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er has a super creamy texture throughout the sip. There are interesting nectar and malty notes. The nectar note is quite sweet – it’s like a peach with all the peachy flavor removed and just the sweetness. The tea is very very smooth and full flavored, despite the super pale colouring. Also exceptionally clean taste too as if I’m drinking from a spring. Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er could be seen as pretty close to a white tea, but stronger bodied with no floral or grassy notes. Just pure nectar, cream, and malt flavor. The creamy texture lingers after each sip, like I’m drinking cream. With all that said, Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er is also very easy to drink with no dryness.

Moonlight White from Jing Mai pu’er also is very consistent in flavor after many infusions. The first through fifth infusion were pretty much the same, each sip addictive and delicious.

Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Infusion: At this point I’m more aggressive with steep times, adding a minute by the eighth infusion. At the sixth infusion mark, the tea has steeped a more noticeable gold colour. Flavor is still the same!

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Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh Infusion: Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er has began to shift – as if I stayed awake under the moonlight for too long and I’m getting tired or the moon is waning. Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er developed some astringency, 1/10, which keeps the flavor sticking around longer, with each infusion the dryness getting stronger, up to a 3/10. With the astringency, the texture shifts from creamy smooth to more abrasive. Still quite nectar in flavor and delicious – though at this point I’m doing long steeps to keep the late night party going.

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Comparison: Though appearance wise Bana Tea Company‘s Moonlight White from Jing Mai pu’er looks very much like Mandala Tea’s White Night (which is a white tea). I decided to compare the two teas, using the same steeping method. I found the teas tasted very different! Mandala Tea’s White Night is much more earthy, bright and green grape sweet, whereas Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er is more mellow, creamy and malty. Very interesting how the teas can look the same, though different families, and taste very different!

Comments

Bana Tea Company‘s Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er is a lovely raw pu’er with a very unique flavor. I love how creamy this tea is, it is like drinking a milky custard! This tea would be perfect for someone who wants a full flavored tea similar to a white, but without the floral crispness that comes with a white tea. Moonlight White from Jing Mai pu’er also resteeps very well, maintaining full flavor over many infusions.

I usually enjoy more complex teas that change with each infusion, but the consistent flavor and texture of Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er was so good, I couldn’t get enough of it! Overall, Moonlight White from Jingmai raw pu’er is fantastic and highly recommended!

Bonus: Tea Owl – Hey, I was sitting in that gaiwan!

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