MY FIRST PU’ER CAKE! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT! I mentioned previously that I’ve been shopping for pu’er cakes. I did lots of research and set a budget. After checking ratings, I discovered Mandala Tea has a great lineup, along with their own exclusive cakes. They also have really great customer support! This Mandala “Wild Monk” Raw Pu’er 2012 caught my eye for it’s promise of smokey and creamy notes, without any bitterness. It is also a 100g cake, so it is small enough to be affordable and low risk for a new to pu’er cake tea owl like me to try. I got this cake, and … Continue reading, hoot!
What’s a Cha Hai? It is a serving pitcher used in gongfu style brewing. After you steep your tea in a nice gaiwan or small pot, you pour the tea into the cha hai, and from there, serve the tea. Here’s a video from Verdant Tea for more explanation of chinese tea ceremony gear. (isn’t Verdant’s Videos always so calming?) Anyways, though most of my tea sessions are just for me (and stuff Owls), I use the pitcher as a vessel to strain the tea, have another infusion on stand-by to drink, and when I’m drinking out of small cups. When I get … Continue reading, hoot!
Jasmine Blueberry is a floral and fruity green tea blend from Art of Tea. DRY LEAF: Interestingly, the dry leaf smells mostly like blueberries! Just a smidgen of jasmine scent. The dry leaf consists of tightly spun dark green tea accented with dime sized blueberries, with the odd jasmine bud. STEEPED: I followed the steeping instructions of 185F for 5 minutes. Geeze, I haven’t steeped a tea for this long for awhile. While I wait 5 minutes, I grabbed a jellyfish to share my tea with. In the end, I was left with a brown gold cup of tea, that smells interestingly … Continue reading, hoot!
Yunnan White Jasmine is a jasmine silver needle white tea from Verdant Tea. This tea came as a sample with my last Verdant Tea order. I almost ordered this one! It was in my cart, but I was in one of those annoying “I need to order more to hit free shipping, but I’m already spending too much” problems, so I dropped it and requested it as my free sample. DRY LEAF: When I snipped open my sample package – holy moly! It was a blast of jasmine! Really good jasmine! Can I wear this as perfume? The leaves are a … Continue reading, hoot!
Sexy Chai is a black chai blend featuring floral elements of lavender and rose. This fun, sexy take on chai is from Steep City Teas. Hmmm, this is the first chai for me to review here at Oolong Owl. I’ll give you tea owlets some background on my chai history. During my last year of university, I loved SPICY chais. I actually burned my tongue on too much spice once when I added multiple tea bags for one cup of tea. After university, I had a bad run in with cardamon, so I stopped getting chais, especially with cardamon in it. These … Continue reading, hoot!
Mandala Phatty Cake is an exclusive, ripe (shu) pu’er 2011 cake from Mandala Tea! My tea collection is on the high side and as 2013 first flush teas are starting to be sold, I’m freaking out. All those greens and white teas I have in my stash that I need to drink now! I dislike stale tea. Then I started thinking, hey, pu’er teas get better with age! I should get some and I don’t have to worry about my teas going stale. So I researched! Mandala Tea caught my eye for having some good pu’er. After trying to figure out what to … Continue reading, hoot!
I had met some other tea lovers in person from Steepster the other weekend and we had a tea swap. One had brought a baggie filled with pu’er tuochas. I was happy to take some off her hands! The problem? We weren’t sure what tuocha was what, since there was very little English on the packaging. She did inform me there was some sheng/raw pu’er in there, but not sure which ones. I’m not experienced enough to tell any of the little cakes by smell, if that is even possible to do. To my surprise, Tuochas are smaller than I thought … Continue reading, hoot!
Today’s tea review is the lovely Coconut Oolong from ZenTeaLife.com! I got this tea as a free sample awhile back and drank it all! It was soooo good! When I was making a ZenTeaLife.com order, Coconut Oolong was a no brainer addition to my shopping cart. DRY LEAF: Very creamy coconut smell! The leaves are quite large, and a wonderful rich green colour, oooh yum! STEEPED: I did a 190F steep for 3 minutes. Lovely dark gold cup of tea here! Uggg and I filled my cup too high! I was stuck sipping my tea cup off the kitchen counter until it was safe for me to … Continue reading, hoot!
White Pu-erh: Mandarin Orange is an aged white tea pu-erh presented inside a real mandarin orange! This tea is from New Mexico Tea Company. The description of making this White Pu-erh: Mandarin Orange tea: “From the careful plucking of centuries old tea bushes, to the rolling on wide wicker baskets to the natural wood fires used to flash heat the mandarin orange peel, everything is done entirely by hand. Firing the orange peel serves to kill any microorganisms that may be present.” Okay, that is hardcore. However, I purely bought one of these oranges because it seemed really cool and crazy that there’s tea … Continue reading, hoot!
Liquid Jade is an organic green and white blend with bergamont. This award winning blend is from Art of Tea. When I saw this tea in Art of Tea‘s lineup I was intrigued. I do love “fresh” teas that add some relief to this dry, hot California weather. Let’s give this tea a try! DRY LEAF: Liquid Jade, from the package, smells lightly of bergamont. Yum! The tea leaves are a mix of varying shades of green and brown. STEEPED: After 3 minutes of steeping at 175F I had a classic golden cup of tea that smells fresh, grassy, citrusy and a little … Continue reading, hoot!