Pondi Cherry from New Mexico Tea Company – Tea Review

Pondi Cherry is a herbal fruit blend featuring cherries, cranberries, raspberries, elderberries, hibiscus and blackberries. This herbal tea is from New Mexico Tea Company.

Pondi Cherry from New Mexico Tea Company - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1)

 

Similar to the Lady Hannah tea review, this 1oz sampler wasn’t labelled, thus my terrible handwritten label. I keep a stack of labels next to the tea stash as I stick on notes about the tea, like steeping instruction changes. 

DRY LEAF: Well.. not actually leaf in this tea. Dried fruit chunks and bits? Yeah!

Pondi Cherry from New Mexico Tea Company - Oolong Owl Tea Review (2)

 

The smell of Pondi Cherry is like sweet cherry fruit leather. Mmmm! I made fruit leather once. I snacked on most of it while it was in the dehydrator! Ooops!

Steeping Instructions: I followed the instructions off the website – 6 minutes at 212F for Pondi Cherry tea.

Pink owl is impressed with the colour!

Pondi Cherry from New Mexico Tea Company - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

 

While we wait the 6 minutes for the steeping, Pink owl and I ate some cherries!

Pondi Cherry from New Mexico Tea Company - Oolong Owl Tea Review (4)

 

The result is.. well… the tea smells pretty tart.

Pondi Cherry from New Mexico Tea Company - Oolong Owl Tea Review (6)

 

TASTE: TARRRRRT! I knew it was going to be tart, but I was also hoping it wasn’t going to be tart, so I let my tart-guard down. Pondi Cherry tastes like watered down sour cherries. 7 or 8/10 on the Tart-o-meter. This tartness might be drinkable for some and I can sort of sip it, but no thanks.

SWEETENED: I added german rock sugar to make this tea not as tart.

Pondi Cherry from New Mexico Tea Company - Oolong Owl Tea Review (7)

 

It’s still slightly tart, 3/10 on the Tart-o-meter. The main flavor here is cherry, yay! The cherry flavor is similar to fruit punch cherry juice. I can taste a bit of tart raspberry and as well as juicy blackberries. Throughout the sip, lots of hibiscus! Pondi Cherry finishes off with a pretty strong tart dryness to the throat, say a 6/10 on the dry-o-meter. No flatness or bitterness in this tea.

Okay okay, I purchased this tea not to drink hot. This is iced tea bait!

ICED TEA: Pondi Cherry iced is more cherry and hibiscus in flavor, with the other berry flavors not very noticable. Again, this tea finishes off with dryness, but not as bad, say a 4/10 on the Dry-o-meter. I think I added too much ice as it was a little weak.

Pondi Cherry from New Mexico Tea Company - Oolong Owl Tea Review (8)

 

COMMENTS: Pondi Cherry is pretty cool for being a cherry herbal, setting it apart from the usual strawberry and orange fruit only teas. What I really like about this tea was it wasn’t flat compared to a few other fruit herbals I’ve had. The berry mix is quite nice and the cherry flavor is great. There is a dry aftertaste, but to be expected with all that tart going on.

If you like a bit of tart, or looking for a caffeine free fruit herbal, Pondi Cherry is cherrytastic!

Bonus pic!

Pondi Cherry from New Mexico Tea Company - Oolong Owl Tea Review (5)

 

la Fleur d’ Oranger from Le Palais Des Thes – Tea Review

la Fleur d’ Oranger (aka Orange Blossom) is a chinese green tea with orange. This tea is from Le Palais Des Thes, a Paris tea seller.

This is my first time trying a Le Palais Des Thes tea. I believe I’ve seen them for sale at a gourmet shop in Los Angeles. It was very much out of my price range, so I didn’t try any.

Really cool is I won this tea from an online giveaway from the FoodNetwork blog. Hey, always worth entering these things right? I’m actually surprised how often I win tea!

Le Palais Des Thes win - Oolong Owl

 

I received a 100g tin of la Fleur d’ Oranger, a package of filters and a book. Oh and lots of tissue paper. Owly enjoyed nesting in the box. He got to nest in the box for a week, as I was on vacation in Utah.

Unfortunately no tea adventures, but I came back with a new Owl that I got from Zion National Park – both of us ready to try this tea out!

la Fleur d' Oranger from Le Palais Des Thes - Oolong Owl Tea Review (5)

 

Zion is a pretty place by the way. Layers of reddy brown mountains, vibrant green and waterfalls. Lots of lizards too.

la Fleur d' Oranger from Le Palais Des Thes - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1) la Fleur d' Oranger - Oolong Owl Tea review

 

 

Dry Leaf: Grassy green smelling tea with a hint of orange rind.

la Fleur d' Oranger from Le Palais Des Thes - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

 

The appearance is quite nice – the leaves are long and deep green, accented with orange peel chunks and curly looking petals.

la Fleur d' Oranger from Le Palais Des Thes - Oolong Owl Tea Review (4)

 

Steeping Instructions: la Fleur d’ Oranger steeping instruction are 170F for 3 minutes. The box my tea came in has 10g for 17oz of tea.

My variable temperature kettles doesn’t do 170F.. either 160F of 175F. I went with 175F – at the 2.5minute mark, I had a sip and thought it was too light, so I went for the full 3 minutes.

The result was a sweet orange smelling tea that is yellow with a faint earthy green hue.

la Fleur d' Oranger from Le Palais Des Thes - Oolong Owl Tea Review (6)

 

Taste: The sip of la Fleur d’ Oranger goes down really smooth and velvety – the green is slightly grassy and fresh, perfectly complimenting the orange flavor mid sip. The orange has a slight tang, not tart, that perks end of sip along with a slight floral note. The aftertaste is more dainty orange with a creamy lip texture.

Thinking about the orange flavor, it’s somewhat candy like and gently sweet. The sweetness is just enough that I feel I shouldn’t add any sweetener. I can pick out the orange peel flavor, but there is no bitterness present. The orange flavor level is at par with the green tea, so one could enjoy both flavors.

Zion Owl enjoyed this cup of tea!

la Fleur d' Oranger from Le Palais Des Thes - Oolong Owl Tea Review (7)

 

Resteep: The green base is the main player here – grassy and buttery! The orange lightly perks up at end of sip and aftertaste, still tangy. Pretty good resteep!

Iced: Surprisingly, iced la Fleur d’ Oranger is less orangey and more grassy. The orange flavor is upfront, but mid and end of sip is grassy. Hmmm, I prefer this tea hot.

Comments: la Fleur d’ Oranger is quite a classy tea. It is like I’m having a lovely summer tea service with candied orange slices and coffeecake. I love how the orange flavor is nicely balanced with the green tea.

A great summer tea! I’d love to try more  Le Palais Des Thes stuff, though it is on the pricey end side. However, quality of la Fleur d’ Oranger is quite good!

TEAS’ TEA Review and Giveaway! – CLOSED

TEAS’ TEA® is providing a GIVEAWAY for Oolong Owl readers and a larger giveaway on their Facebook.

TEAS’ TEA® is an all natural ready-to-drink tea, named from the Japanese expression Ocha no Naka No Ocha, simply meaning “The Tea of ALL Teas!” With thoughtful sourcing and meticulous brewing methods, TEAS’ TEA® proprietary filtration method reduces sediment creating a clean finish. The company has been a pioneer and leader in the unsweetened tea market for over 10 years, and continues to expand its distribution in natural and mainstream markets.

TEAS’ TEA® is available nationwide in natural and specialty grocery channels…

Sounds tasty! So, I used Ito En’s Store Locator and found quite a few vendors that sell TEAS’ TEA® near me, and I grabbed a couple bottles. The suggested price online is $1.79, but I was in luck and I found some onsale for $1.19! My local store had the entire line of tea!

I snagged 3 flavors:

TEASTEA Review and Giveaway by Oolong Owl (1)

 

Let’s try them!

First, TEAS’ TEA Matcha Green Tea Latte. This tea landed Word Tea Expo’s Best new product of 2013.

TEASTEA Review and Giveaway by Oolong Owl (2)

 

I found this in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. It contains cane sugar and skim milk powder. From what I gather from the bottle, this tea latte it is brewed with green tea, with some stone ground matcha added as well.

TEASTEA Review and Giveaway by Oolong Owl (5)

 

Owly does not like these bottles as he can’t dip his beak into them.

TEASTEA Review and Giveaway by Oolong Owl (8)

 

Good thing I have straws!

TEASTEA Review and Giveaway by Oolong Owl (9)

 

Taste, the milkyness is light, with the focus on the green tea and matcha. The TEAS’ TEA Matcha Green Tea Latte is sweet, but not overpoweringly so – I can pick out that there is green tea in this plus matcha – both having a vegetal beany flavor. Despite being a latte, the tea is refreshing, light and easy to drink.

TEAS’ TEA Plus half & half Green Tea with Green Apple is the second bottle I snagged. All their half & half line is sweetened with cane sugar and stevia, for 50 calories a serving. I snagged the Green Apple flavor as it was a  North American Tea champion second place winner in 2012.

TEASTEA Review and Giveaway by Oolong Owl (4)

 

This flavor seemed popular as there was very little left at my store!

TEASTEA Review and Giveaway by Oolong Owl (6)

 

I chilled my bottle in the fridge before tasting. First sip, I get a bit of a green tea flavor, which quickly develops into a crisp, candy-like green apple that is at the right level of sweetness. The apple is stronger than usual tea blends, but not outright strong like apple juice. The tea finishes off with some buttery green tea flavor. I’m getting no crazy stevia aftertaste which is total win for me! I can see non-tea drinkers would enjoy this Green Tea with Green Apple as the apple flavoring is quite nice and the tea is not bitter. If I’m in the mood for juice, I’d probably snag more.

Golden Oolong Tea is an unsweetened tea that is steeped with a blend of Huan jin guei and Tieguanyin Iron Goddess. The ingredients on the bottle is purified water, oolong tea and ascorbic acid (vitamin C 220%).

TEASTEA Review and Giveaway by Oolong Owl (3) TEASTEA Review and Giveaway by Oolong Owl (7)

 

I also chilled this tea. Taste, yum! Now, this one is for a tea drinker! I can tell I’m drinking an oolong – the full flavored tea has earthy woody and amber notes, with a delicate floral taste and slightly sweet.  Mid sip, a bit of cinnamon spice and savory smokey notes. This tea is like a forest tree, the sun beaming through the leaves, with tiny white flowers vines climbing up the trunks. No bitterness or dryess! Overall, I love the Golden Oolong Tea the most – since I’m a nerdy tea owl, I’ll probably try more of their unsweetened line of teas.

(1 bottle of tea provided for review, the other ones I purchased myself)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oolong Owl GIVEAWAY TIME – Closed! Thank you everyone for entering!

Enter to win a TEAS’ TEA® tote bag and free tea!

******Please leave a comment to this post – ensure you leave your email address in the details (not the actual comment) so I can notify you!******

Giveaway is for US residents only… or tea lovers with a US tea mule. I’ll be random.org selecting the winner.

Ends July 30th 2013!

 

But more importantly, TEAS’ TEA® is doing a bigger giveaway – a TRIP TO AUSTRALIA and other goodies!

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, TEAS’ TEA® is kicking off a sweepstakes that includes a grand prize trip to Australia inclusive of a VIP tour of ITO EN’s Tea Farm.  To participate, fans can register at TEAS’ TEA® Facebook page and then use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to capture a refreshing summer moment and share it via the hashtag #Teafreshing.  On top of the grand prize, fans will receive hundreds of other prizes all summer long such as cameras, tablets, beach gear, and free beverages.

If any of you tea owls win, take pictures of the handsome Australian Masked Owls for me! I’m going to enter too, cuz you know, I like free stuff.

French Toast Black Tea from 52 Teas – Tea Review

French Toast Black tea is a funky, limited time blend from 52 Teas, an online tea seller that releases a new blend each week.

French Toast Tea! OMG! If you tea owls read my Pancake Breakfast tea review, when I make pancakes, I make a huge batch to last the week for my husband. Do I do that with french toast? I do! However, I own a bread machine, so I make a 2lb loaf of bread the night before, leave the loaf out, and slice and french toast the entire thing in the morning for a crazy stack of french toast. My husband then takes it to work with his bottle of maple syrup for a week of breakfast. Making your own bread for french toast is crazy good since the bread goes stale and stiff quickly since there are no preservatives in the bread, thus sucks up all that eggy mixture!

So by request, my amigurumi World of Warcraft Boomkin amigurumi, Boomy, will be helping out with this review. He’s not really into tea, but since there is french toast and eggs involved, he decided to help. You can read more about Boomy on my crochet blog.

French Toast Black Tea from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1)

 

Dry Leaf: Opening the package of tea, French Toast Black smells very maple sweet and cinnamon spicy.

Appearance wise, quite similar to Pancake Breakfast tea, though with cinnamon chunks and less marigold petals. Hmm.. that’s not the right tea photo…

French Toast Black Tea from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

 

Okay, now here’s the correct photo of French Toast Black tea.

French Toast Black Tea from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (4)

 

Steeping Instructions: There are no steeping instructions on the package or online, so I steeped this tea on how I usually steep 52 Teas blacks – 200F for 3 minutes.

I had a nice deep brown cup of tea that smells of spice.

French Toast Black Tea from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (5)

 

Hmmm. Where’s Boomy? Think he got bored and went off the moonfire the bugs in the backyard. Let’s get the french toast out to increase the maple cinnamon scent in the kitchen.

French Toast Black Tea from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (6)

 

Yay, Boomy is back, and he brought a fork!

French Toast Black Tea from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (7)

 

Tea close up!

French Toast Black Tea from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (9)

 

Taste: French Toast Black tea has a brisk, earthy roasty black tea base, that turns cinnamony and maple syrup sweet till end of sip. The tea finishes off with a bit of a pastry like taste finish, and a slight lingering buttery creamyness on the lips. The black tea compliments the french toast flavors – it is like I can taste the toastyness of the bread, but it is actually the black tea base. The cinnamon spice level is low-moderate, just enough for you to taste it and remind you of french toast, but not be the dominate flavor. Very nice!

Sweetened, with a little german rock sugar, oh man, this is good. The cinnamon pops! I love my french toast more on the cinnamon side (whereas my husband likes no cinnamon) and the maple sweetness is very smooth throughout the sip.

Boomy prefers this tea sweetened, but he likes real french toast more. However, he likes being fat and egg-shaped – he thinks he needs that extra insulation for PVP on wintery Alterac Valley.

French Toast Black Tea from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (8)

 

Comments: 52 Teas mentioned that French Toast Black tea is similar to their Pancake Breakfast tea. I reviewed 52 Teas’ Pancake Breakfast awhile back, so let’s compare! The French Toast Black tea is a bit sweeter and has cinnamon, and more of a bready flavor. I think the maple flavor is stronger in Pancake Breakfast. Both teas are very smooth!

French Toast Black tea is a fabulous tea, I think I like it a little more than Pancake Breakfast, but I enjoy them both very much! I’d suggest getting your paws on this tea ASAP if you love black tea blends, or quickly wishlist to get it reblended.

Bonus Pic, bribing the Moonkin:

French Toast Black Tea from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (2)

 

The eggs don’t have spikes on them like in World of Warcraft, but he is okay with this.

Oolong Owl’s Special New Teapot

I have a new tea pot! A piece of teaware I’ve been questing for!

Here’s the box:

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (1)

Owly is here at the unveiling of this awesome teaware. Owly and I decided that he will be present for all Oolong Owl achievements and fan mail. This teaware is certainly an achievement. Can you guess what it is?

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (2)

Attractive purple owl will be our owl hand model, unwrapping the box.

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (3)

Opened, the box is full of tissue.

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (4)

Let’s take out the tissue.

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (5)

Folding away some of the tissue, Owly is confused what he is looking at.

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (6)

Ah, it’s a teapot!

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (7)

A very small tea pot that smells like clay!

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (8)

A Yixing tea pot! From Hong Kong! My In-laws recently went on a trip and river cruise through China. I asked if they could find me a yixing pot and gave them photos. It was discovered to be a tough task, as there were lots of fakes and such – but on the last leg of their trip, the tea shop near their hotel had it! Here is the bag from the shop!

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (15)

EEEEE! My first yixing tea pot! So cute and amazing! It will be my lifetime tea partner in crime!

I’m tempted to make this a “facebook life event” – hahahahha I’m a Tea NERD!

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (9)

The bottom of the yixing tea pot – I hope I’m holding it right side up!

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (10)

Inside the pot – the strainer is super cool and kind of cute!

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (11)

Owly is protecting the precious teapot until I season it.

Oolong Owls first yixing tea pot (14)

I’m still trying to decide whether it’ll be dark oolong or sheng pu’er. I’m leaning on sheng pu’er as that has been my favorite, special tea which would be great match for my first yixing pot. However, if I go with dark oolongs, I’d get more use out of the pot. Decisions, decisions!

Rhubarb + Custard from Bluebird Tea Co. – Tea Review

Rhubarb + Custard is a red rooibos blend tea. This funky tea blend is from Bluebird Tea Co.

Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1)

 

I love rhubarb! I’m very happy that rhubarb is back in season. My husband waited months and months for rhubarb to come in season, and I immediately made him 2 pies that he ate on his own. Sadly, it seems our local stores rhubarb is pretty sad looking nor could I grow it where I live now, thus rhubarb is a special treat.

When I saw Bluebird Tea Co. had Rhubarb + Custard, I was like “OMG MUST BUY” even though this tea has two things I’m not a fan of: Red Rooibos and Stevia. I still can’t get over red rooibos wood shavings taste, and stevia is hit and miss for me in tea.  However, my desire for rhubarb is strong, so I bought this tea with my Bluebird Tea Co. order.

Dry Leaf: Hello lots of flower petals! My package has been sitting on my table for awhile, under piles of tea I need to try – the tea must of settled, as all the yellow petals were on the top.

Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (5)

 

I went in with clean hands and broke apart all the flowers and mixed the tea as best as I could without taking it out of the package. Rhubarb + Custard has generous amounts of those yellow petals, mixed with red rooibos and shredded lumps of pinky red rhubarb.

Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (6)

 

The leaves smell sweet and tangy, like rhubarb crumble with generous brown sugar oat topping. Another close up!

Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (7)

 

Steeping Instructions: The package says 4+ minutes, and I’m guessing 212F as there is no temperature listed on bluebird tea co’s brewing instructions page.

Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (4)

 

Love the packing date stamp by the way. I got this tea shortly after it was pack, which was pretty cool. Of course, I took awhile to try it /sigh.

Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

 

Blue owl relaxing on my tea pot while Rhubarb + Custard steeps away.

Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (10)

 

Ah, rooibos – I always get great photos of you!

Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (12) Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (11)

 

The tea has a deep reddy orange brown colour with the scent of caramel and fruit – interesting!

Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (14)

 

Taste: Very different! The blend is perfectly sweet to me and sips down very creamy and smooth. The flavor of cooked, smushy, tangy rhubarb is certainly there throughout the sip, carried with a delicious creamy-thick-milky custard taste. The rhubarb isn’t tart at all! The red rooibos taste is fairly masked, contributing to the rhubarb and custard flavors. The aftertaste is more loads of custard flavor that slowly melts away, leaving a slight hit of stevia and rooibos. Rhubarb + Custard also has a slight creamy mouth sensation.

Comments: This is the FIRST rhubarb tea I’ve tried that isn’t hibiscus-red-face-imploding tart! FANTASTIC! The sweetness in this tea is just right and the creamy custard flavor makes this tea taste almost like a latte already! A huge surprise I saw on the shop listing for Rhubarb + Custard is that this tea is vegan! Wow!

Overall, Rhubarb + Custard is very lovely and expertly blended rooibos tea!

Bonus Pics!

Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (13) Rhubarb Custard from Bluebird Tea Co - Oolong Owl Tea Review (8)

 

Butterscotch Tea from The Persimmon Tree – Tea Review

Butterscotch is a white tea blend featuring cinnamon, pink peppercorns and marigolds – all ingredients are organic. This tea comes from The Persimmon Tree.

Butterscotch is a new arrival of The Persimmon Tree. I’ve been waiting (and asking The Persimmon Tree) when they would have some new teas, and they are finally here! Butterscotch was the big eye catcher for me – white tea? BUTTERSCOTCH? YEAH!

I had great blogging plans for this tea – photos with piles of butterscotch candies. The problem is I’d end up eating all that candy! So we have Owlbear hanging out with us today.

Butterscotch from The Persimmon Tree - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1)

 

Dry Leaf: Butterscotch smells great! Like savory sweet candy! Opening the tin and smelling this tea is a treat!

Oddly, I found a large twig mixed in with the leaves when I was digging for my teaspoon of tea. /shrug it happens. What I love about loose leaf tea is finding such treasures!

Butterscotch from The Persimmon Tree - Oolong Owl Tea Review (2)

 

Owlbear took it despite me thinking it would add flavor to the tea. The stick smelled like butterscotch! Owlbear examines the stick…

Butterscotch from The Persimmon Tree - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

 

Owlbear realizes this tea stick is a weapon, adding +10 to Tea Steeping and +5 to smelling like butterscotch! He equips it! I’m not sure why he needs a weapon, he’s got claws.

Butterscotch from The Persimmon Tree - Oolong Owl Tea Review (5)

 

Without the twig, this tea is a nice assortment of green and light brown white tea leaves, mixed with yellow petals and mysterious looking pink peppercorns. The peppercorns seem an unusual ingredient in this tea, but I trust The Persimmon Tree not to disappoint.

Butterscotch from The Persimmon Tree - Oolong Owl Tea Review (4)

 

Steeping Instructions: The tin has basic instructions of 180F for 2-4 minutes. Online, 175f to 185f for 1 to 3 minutes. I ended up steeping this tea at 175F for 3 minutes in my gravity steeper.

Butterscotch from The Persimmon Tree - Oolong Owl Tea Review (6) Butterscotch from The Persimmon Tree - Oolong Owl Tea Review (7)

The result was a caramel coloured tea that smelled like brown sugar, oh yeah!

Butterscotch from The Persimmon Tree - Oolong Owl Tea Review (8) Butterscotch from The Persimmon Tree - Oolong Owl Tea Review (9)

 

 

Taste: First sip, I taste the white tea base, which is lovely and sweet with a hint of juicy. Further onto the sip, I get sweet and smooth notes of spun sugar with a little butteryness and a smokeyness. The aftertaste has a spice hit that adds a wonderful savoryness to the tea. The spice is maybe 50% or so less than a typical chai spice intensity.

Sweetened: I wonder how Butterscotch would be sweetened?

Butterscotch from The Persimmon Tree - Oolong Owl Tea Review (10)

 

The german rock sugar pulls the tea closer to candy territory, bringing out the butterscotch taste, with a fun spice zip of an aftertaste.

COMMENTS: Butterscotch is a very interesting blend! I’ve only seen a handful of white tea blends that aren’t fruity blends, so this is a nice, light candy treat! A nice dessert tea! Chai drinkers would also love this tea for something more sweet, light on caffeine while getting their spice fix.

Tea lovers with a sweet tooth? Give The Persimmon Tree‘s Butterscotch as try!

(tea provided for review)

2012 Autumn Yiwu Sheng Pu’er from Misty Peak Teas – Tea Review

Misty Peak Tea’s 2012 Autumn Yiwu Sheng Pu’er!

Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1)

 

Another Misty Peak Tea sheng from 300-600 year old trees? Yes please! I can’t say no to sheng pu’er – the stuff is THA BOMB! Just something so magical about raw/sheng pu’er. I’ve been a green/white/oolong drinker the last few months, and I find raw pu’ers really appealing in flavor – they aren’t strong robust like black teas, but not really grassy vegetal like a green. I’ve been recommending raw pu’er to fellow green/white tea drinkers. Be adventurous, hoot!

Dry cake: The tea has a lovely earthy floor scent.

I had no issues breaking off a piece of tea – no drilling or jack hammering involved! The tea was pressed just enough to keep its shape, but not a dense lump – I can tell this cake wasn’t pressed with a machine!

Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (2) Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

 

Steeping Instructions: I was given steeping instructions with this pu’er: 3 grams of leaf, 2 rinses with 180F, then I start with 10 second steepings.

Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (4)

 

I used 185F water due to my kettle. 3 grams of tea seemed not much, but hey, more tea for later? hehehehehe! I added 10 seconds to each early steepings, and from there added 15-30 seconds for later infusions.

Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (6) Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (7) Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (8) Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (9)

 

 

Tea owls, I’m getting fast with the camera – one hand making tea and pouring, the other hand holding the camera! Hmm, I just remembered my husband has a camera tripod, I should try it sometime.

First Infusion: The colour is quite light, but once on a white background, the tea is a lovely champagne colour! Smells slightly smokey.

Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (10)

 

Taste, a little light, but surprisingly sweet and bright. The flavor is warm, like an autumn glow. There are slight cherry blossom notes, but no tartness. A little savory mineral and smokey notes end of sip. Hmmm, I wish I steeped it longer than 10 seconds, but hey, lets see how the next steepings go.

Second Infusion: As I was pouring the gaiwan, I was getting lovely smokey and spice smells. The flavor is even more fruity and 30% stronger! The sip starts off a little smokey, then a sweet fruityness sweeps through the mouth. The fruityness reminds me of apricot, with a little cherry blossom mixed in. The tea finishes off with a savory mineral, but this time with a bit of lingering silky creamy sensation on the lips.

Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (11)

 

Third Infusion: An even more flavorful steep! 20% stronger than the last steeping, but with the same apricot, cherry blossom and savory smokes mineral notes. Misty Peak Tea’s 2012 Autumn Sheng Pu’er is very relaxing and easy to drink so far.

What I found interesting is the leaves have broken apart already. The colouring already seems different to the 2013 Spring Sheng Pu’er as it has more brown tones.

Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (12)

 

Fourth Infusion: How is this tea getting better and better? The flavor is getting stronger making all the notes stand out more. The fruityness is blowing my mind – I can’t decide if it’s apricot or cherry. The cherry vibes between that floral cherry blossom and canned deep flavored savory cherry.

I’m getting a little astringency, 1/10 on the Astringe-o-meter. The dryness is purely in my teeth, not the throat. It doesn’t take away from the flavor or the tea or the experience.

Fifth, Sixth Infusion: Okay, I’ve decided this is apricot with a touch of floral. A bit more savory of a finish this infusion, but with that lingering flavor of sweet apricot. Oh my, getting better and better!

I took a long time to drink these infusions, noticing that the apricot flavor lingers for a long time!

Seventh, Eighth, Ninth Infusion: The tea is getting more stronger savory, with a bit of coppery mineral with some spice starting to appear. The smokeyness has pretty much disappeared, leaving the tea very smooth to drink. The apricot sweet notes are still there, especially at end of sip. The astringency here is very interesting. I don’t normally like dryness, but it is so mild, sticking to the teeth – with the apricoty flavors latching on.  I can taste that my breath is apricot!

Time to take a moment to enjoy the appearance of this tea again. The leaves are a lovely autumn brown with hints of green and red.

Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (15)

 

Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth Infusion: 2012 Autumn Sheng Pu’er is finally starting to lighten in flavor with the apricot notes gone. The tea starts off sweet, but that silky smooth unami savory flavor takes over and is simply fantastic! The savory is slightly different, a mix of woody earth and wet stone mineral – all with a clean finish. Occasionally, I will get an echo of apricot aftertaste. The astringency is gone.

Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (16)

 

Fifteenth Infusion: I’m finally left with a cup of tea that tastes like mineral. The sweetness is all gone. I figure I could get a cup or two more after this, but I’ll stop for now. I’ve seriously drank over 2 liters of water at this point.

Comments: Misty Peak Tea’s 2012 Autumn Sheng Pu’er is a lovely raw/sheng pu’er that develops a great flavors, peaking around the 6th to 9th infusion, with some great mineral savory flavors in the late infusions.

No “Oolong Owl Pu’er party time” with this pu’er – it is very relaxing and contemplative. It is like this autumn pu’er  is relaxing me to prepare for winter. I feel more wise drinking this tea, if that makes any sense. Though, I didn’t think about anything ground breaking – mostly about video games and my brazilian jiujitsu practice! I’d love to curl up to this tea in the late fall on a cold afternoon.

From my review of Misty Peak Tea’s 2013 Spring Sheng Pu’er, I found this 2012 Autumn Pu’er to be more chill – the flavoring is less complex and buzzing – it’s like this cake has just figured out its personality and is settling down. The astringency is much less and the flavor output is much more – the flavor develops stronger and I got more steepings!

Overall, very lovely pu’er – if you want a solid tea, give this Misty Peak Tea’s 2012 Autumn Sheng Pu’er a try!

BONUS PIC!

Teal owl with Pu’er pick. Hmmm… not sure if an owl handling a pu’er pick is safe, but I don’t see anything on the internet warning that an owl shouldn’t have a pu’er pick, you know?

Autumn 2012 Sheng Pu er from Misty Peak Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (5)

 

(tea provided for review, thank you!)

Peach Oolong from Della Terra Teas – Tea Review

Oolong Peach is an oolong and green tea blend featuring peach flavoring and rose hips. This tea blend comes from Della Terra Teas.

I snagged this as a free sample with my Della Terra Teas order during one of those “30% off and free sample” deals. Nice sample size – enough for 2-3 cups of tea.

Peach Oolong from Della Terra Teas - Oolong owl tea review (1)

DRY LEAF: Interesting dry leaf appearance – theres a mix of tightly bunched dark oolong with some longer thinner tea leaves, as well as some finer green tea pieces, along with a couple peachy colour rose buds. The smell of the dry leaf is sweet like peach candy.

Peach Oolong from Della Terra Teas - Oolong owl tea review (2)

STEEPED: I steeped Oolong Peach for 2.5 minutes at 185F in my gravity steeper.

Peach Oolong from Della Terra Teas - Oolong owl tea review (3)

The result was a richly coloured reddy brown oolong lightly scented of peach.

Peach Oolong from Della Terra Teas - Oolong owl tea review (4)

TASTE: First sip, I taste light peach – moreso a yellow fleshy peach flavor. The base pops mid sip, full flavored and slightly savory green tea, with a full body oolong that has a teeny peak of floral. End of sip is a light juicy peach flavor again. No bitterness, tart or dryness in this tea.

I find this Oolong Peach more on the “enjoy the tea base” type of tea, with the peachyness being a bonus flavor. The peach here is not super sweet or candy like, despite the dry leaf smell.

RESTEEP: The peach flavor only lingers as a gentle aftertaste. Oolong Peach resteeped is now a more earthy, slight floral oolong with a bit of buttery savory green tea, finishing off with a barely there sweet peach taste.

ICED:  I was debating whether to do Oolong Peach iced or cold steeped. I do love cold steeped oolongs, but the peachyness might be better iced.

Peach Oolong from Della Terra teas - Oolong Owl review iced

Iced and with a little german rock sugar, Oolong Peach right off the bat is a fleshy ripe yellow peach flavor – I can almost taste biting into the peach and it smushing juice all over the place. Though, I don’t taste peach skin, so it’s like biting into a skinned peach – reminding me of one of my grandmas who always took the skin off peaches.  The peach flavor lasts the whole sip, with some nice floral sweet oolong and savory green tea as backup.

COMMENTS: Oolong Peach hot is for oolong lovers wanting a little fruity twist. Also for tea peeps who like their teas to be lightly flavored with fruit. If you are a fruity black tea drinker, this would be a good jump to try a fruity oolong.

I finished off my sample, if I had any more, it would all go into iced teas. Oolong Peach from Della Terra Teas makes a killer iced tea –  I like this better than a black peach tea iced as the base is lighter and the floral oolong and savory green compliment the peach better. If you love iced tea, give Oolong Peach a try!

BONUS PIC!

Peach Oolong from Della Terra Teas - Oolong owl tea review (5)

Milk Oolong Tea from Mandala Tea – Tea Review

Another Oolong Week tea! Go OOLONG WEEK!

Milk Oolong is a high-end Taiwanese oolong from Mandala Tea.

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1)

 

Milk oolong is yet another tea type that I’ve had a couple times and wasn’t super impressed or blown away with. The first  milk oolong I tried was bland. The other milk oolongs I tried after that were okay and slightly creamy.

I was looking around Steepster and noticed Mandala Tea‘s Milk Oolong was on the first page of being the “best tea” and one of the top rated Oolong teas. The reviews of Milk Oolong looked fantastic, so an ounce slipped into my Mandala Tea order.

DRY LEAF: Looking at the dry leaf, the appearance is nice wads of bundled up green oolong leaf with the odd stem sticking out.

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (2)

 

The smell. OMG THE SMELL! YOU ALL MUST SMELL THIS TEA! I can’t believe how good this tea smells!!!!

I’m sure I could blind fold random people at the mall, have them smell Milk Oolong and none of them would think its tea and try to eat the leaf! Milk Oolong smells spun sugar sweet, creamy buttery caramel popcorn! OMG! This Milk Oolong smells is so delicious, I’d break my diet on.. err.. if this tea had calories.

Oh geeze, the photobomb owl crew has arrived! Oh boy, Owly needs more badges on his owl-scouts sash, he looks really silly.

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

 

Steeping instructions: Mandala Tea suggests Milk Oolong to have a rinse, then 15-20 second infusions, increasing by 10-20 seconds after the first couple infusions – all using 195F water. I’ll be following those instructions, but at 190F (due to kettle limitations, blasted thing does 190F!)

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (4) Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (5)

 

Rinse: Heck yes I’m drinking the rinse! This tea smells sooo good! Light, sweet, creamy caramel yummy!

First Infusion: Lovely golden cup of tea that smells slightly creamy sweet!

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (6)

 

Smoooooth! Very slick, creamy tea! The flavor isn’t too light, but not overpowering either. First sip, the tea floats in on a cloud of cream. The cloud is made of thick notes of sweet caramel and buttery peas. The tea ends on a sweet crisp note. The sweetness is at the perfect level and not too sweet, but enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. I chugged the rinse and my cup very quick – it was like eating candy!

Second Infusion: The flavor is very similar to the first infusion, but the creamy texture has gotten much stronger! The creamy sensation sticks to my lips, yummmm! It’s like I’m drinking vanilla buttercream icing! Creamy sensation in teas are always nice, it’s like having ice cream all over your face, but without the appearance!

The leaves looking like they went through a crimping iron.

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (7)

 

Third, Fourth Infusion: The creamy cloud is breaking up, giving me spots of sunny vegetal notes and slight citrusy floral notes. However, the creamy caramel milk cloud is still thick and dominate.

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (8)

 

Fifth, Sixth, Seventh Infusion: It’s like the sun is shining through the clouds! Very balanced creamy caramel toffee notes, but mixed in with sunny floral (3/10 on the Floral-o-meter). Bit more fresh grassy notes too with a clean sweet aftertaste. Very amazing!

HOLY COW, lookit the size of this leaf!

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (14)

 

Eighth, Ninth Infusion: Milk Oolong is now mostly citrus sweet,  floral 5/10 on the Floral-o-meter. End of sip, the tea hits a sweet mango-like fruityness with a lingering creamy fleshy mango aftertaste. OH MY THIS IS GOOD! The whole tea trip to this steeping was amazing, but these steepings are incredible!

The gaiwan, she’s full! I probably didn’t help it when I was pulling out leaves to see how big they were!

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (15) Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (16)

 

Tenth, Eleventh Infusion: The creamyness is 90% gone – just a little aftertaste of creamy caramel. The tea is all floral and grassy oolong. The gaiwan is bursting, I swore I didn’t overleaf! The leaves are just huge!

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (18)

 

Big leaf! WHOA!

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (17)

 

COLD STEEPED: I cold steeped this tea for… 20 hours or so, and the leaf is still not fully opened. The flavor is a moderate intensity with shimmers of toffee sweet cream with a floral sweet aftertaste, finishing off with a lingering creamy sensation. Overall, not bad, but I think to fully enjoy this oolong, it should be made hot.

COMMENTS: Mandala Tea’s Milk Oolong is simply luxury! This isn’t your ordinary milk oolong – this tea is excellent quality with the milk flavoring taken to the next level – ULTIMATE CREAMY! The magic is how naturally creamy Milk Oolong tastes – I’ve had vanilla and coconut oolongs, but Milk Oolong does it the best!

Creamy tea lovers, this tea is a MUST TRY! Doing an Mandala Tea order? Sneak Milk Oolong in, you won’t regret it! This tea is on my Oolong Owl Favorites list!

BONUS PIC!

Milk Oolong from Mandala Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (9)