Lotus Nut Green Tea from Nature’s Tea Leaf – Tea Review

Lotus Nut Green Tea is from Nature’s Tea Leaf, an online seller of loose leaf teas.

Lotus Nut Green Tea from NaturesTeaLeaf - Oolong Owl Tea Review (2)

I’m pretty tired out today – and I think it is purely a Korean Drama show called “Faith” fault. I spent most of yesterday vegging out, drinking tea and watching (and screaming) at this show. Faith drove me mental with cliff-hanger-must-watch-next-episode endings that made me scream at my computer and give in to the show’s demands to watch the next episode. I gotta get back to swooning over tea instead of korean drama stars.
This tea caught my eye with the lotus nut flavoring which I haven’t seen available as a tea before. I love lotus seed filled things!

DRY LEAF: Very fragrant, almost floral earth scent. I love the silver bits of leaves in this tea – it makes for a lovely yet simple presentation!

Lotus Nut Green Tea from NaturesTeaLeaf - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1)

STEEPED: Lotus Nut is a pale gold colour tea with a nutty shell scent.

Lotus Nut Green Tea from NaturesTeaLeaf - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

TASTE: Full body earthy green tea with a nutty walnut-like taste.  As the tea cools a bit, it is tasting more  sweet and nutty with a hint of lotus paste flavor. Lotus nut leaves a silky texture in my mouth. The aftertaste of this tea is a mix of earthy and sharp  nut shell flavor.

RESTEEP: Lotus Nut’s resteep tastes nice, light and very nutty – however this resteep developed a soft bitter and dry finish. I’d say a 4/10 on the Astringency o-Meter and Bitter-o-meter.  It’s an okay resteep – I’m not really into bitterness and dryness, so I wouldn’t resteep this one again for myself. But it does have a sensation to make this tea more nutty.

COMMENTS: This tea kinda is like a green tea, with a little lotus seed and walnuts steeped up. I would love a bit more nutty flavor, but this tea is nice as a twist to regular green tea. I’d love to have this tea with a lotus seed steam bun.. or any steam bun for that matter. I’m really missing the amazing Vancouver China Town and all the delicious fresh goodies I’d buy after work.

Overall, give this tea a shot if you are into nutty teas, love lotus seed or want something a little different for a green tea.

Coconut Grove from Steep City Teas – Tea Review

Coconut Grove is a Pai mu tan white tea accented with rose and coconut flavoring. This tea is from Steep City Teas, a new online seller of loose leaf teas, based in Miami.

Coconut Grove from SteepCityTeas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (6)

Hmm. Pai Mu Tan? Please correct me if I’m wrong – but I’m guessing that’s Bai Mu Dan? I’m guessing as I’m learning to speak Korean, and if Mandarin is similar, the romanization of sounds “B” and “P”, “D” and “T” and “G” and “K” get mixed up all the time. I find the flipping of the romanization makes learning from multiple sources painful and confusing at time. Ugg, thinking about this reminds me how I suck at pronouncing “ㄹ” and need to practice more… PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF! Okay, enough about learning complicated languages – tea time!

DRY LEAF: Wow, very beautiful dry leaf here! I love it! /swoon

Coconut Grove from SteepCityTeas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

Amazing big rose buds mixed with the white tea leaves, little purple flowers and twigs. The dry leaf smell kinda reminds me of a coconut cream pie including graham cracker crust.

Okay, not that many twigs were in the bag. I searched for some good ones though!

Coconut Grove from SteepCityTeas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (5)Antlers? This owl is entertained easily.

I found more of the little blue flowers drifted to the bottom of the bag, so make sure to give this bag a good mix. I actually regret not buying a tin with this tea. The 2oz bag of this tea is bursting full!

Coconut Grove from SteepCityTeas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (2)

STEEPED: Sweet white tea smell with creamy scent. Light gold/straw coloured tea. I was a little confused with the instructions on the bag, checked off for both 160F and 175F – I went with 175F for 2 minutes.

Coconut Grove from SteepCityTeas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1)

The steeping process looked very lovely with all the rose buds. I’m thinking Coconut Grove would look very nice in a glass tea pot.

Coconut Grove from SteepCityTeas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (7)I feel like I’m in a garden, looking at the fallen petals in the pond.

Coconut Grove from SteepCityTeas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (8)

TASTE: Very sweet and coconutty! The taste is like big fresh, slippery slabs of coconut over top juicy sweet fruity white tea. The white tea is very flavorful and sweet. The floral is light, a 3/10 on the Floral-o-meter. The creamy coconut stays as an aftertaste as well. No bitterness or dryness in this tea.

Sweetened with rock sugar, Coconut Grove is just like a coconut water drink – served hot in a tea cup with rose petals floating in it. Why I’m drinking coconut in a rose garden, I’m not sure. I usually drink coconut water after a jiujitsu work out! The floral pops a bit more with the rock sugar. I think I prefer Coconut Grove unsweetened, but the rock sugar gives it added charm.

RESTEEP: I did a resteep for the hell of it and the tea came out even sweeter and floral, with a quick aftertaste of creamy coconut. I did not add sugar to the resteep – almost think I did add it, as it is so sweet! Probably this is the sweetest tasting tea I’ve had that wasn’t blended with stevia or rock sugar.

COMMENTS: Coconut Grove gives me the impression of something sophisticated classic, with a bit of romance – but with a bit of modern hip from the coconut flavoring. If you like coconut and sweeter teas, you’ll love this one! I’ve been drinking this one for a couple days, while I watch my Korean Dramas.

I’m very impressed with Steep City Teas so far – I’ve reviewed YaYa Strawberry, which blew me away in similar fashion to Coconut Grove being deliciously addictive. Awww crap, that means I’m doing another order for sure.

Oolong Owl’s Bubble Teapot (DavidsTEA)

I’m one of those tea drinkers that spends more money on tea than tea ware. So for me, tea ware has to perform well to put up with my constant use.

The artist in me would really love to have more tea pots and cups, matching my mood, weather, outfit or manicure, but again, I think back that a $20 tea pot is $20 I can spend on tea.

However, I really needed a new tea pot. When I had company over, I would use a gravity steeper (also from DavidsTEA) per person. I purchased a cheap tea pot from World Trade Market and it was kinda meh. There was no infuser (and annoyingly my DavidsTEA infuser doesn’t fit) and the wide spout made tea shoot out, missing the cup or pouring too fast.

Evil tea pot from World Trade market!

So, I snagged a Bubble Teapot from DAVIDsTEA with my last order. A lovely teal one in the 24oz size. I like teal, it was the colour of my wedding dress. Here’s the image from their site.

bubblepot off dtSo pretty!

and here’s what I got:

bubblepot (6)Not really a colour match to the photo. Still teal at least.

The pot I got is lighter and less saturated in colour. I was kinda disappointed as I thought it was going to look like what was on the website BUT out of all the colours available, it be the one I would pick anyways. I know it’s really hard to display colours online – I experienced this with buying art supplies online. Sometimes paints and markers online look either more muted or brighter than person. In the end – if you care about colour you need to see it in person first.
Admittedly, my bubble pot looks pretty close to the website listing in colour when it’s dark.

bubblepot (2)

Colour was the only disappointment with the Bubble teapot. Everything else about the Bubble teapot I was happy with! I quite like the design on this pot.

Let’s look at the design of the Bubble teapot. The top of the pot has a indentation/dip to fit the lid or infuser perfectly.

bubblepot (8)

The lid has a plastic type washer which makes a nice seal around the infuser or pot. Also, the washer makes putting on the lid fairly quiet, no lid slamming noises waking up the house! More importantly, the washer stops the lid from rattling around. It’s pretty easy to remove the washer and put back on – though it be funny if the washer was intended to be a shipping piece.

bubblepot (9)

The lid also lacks one of those bump things locking the lid in place. I quite prefer this lid design as it is easier to remove the lid. Since the indentation is deep, along with the deep lid, I don’t have any issues with the lid falling off.

bubblepot (14)

The lid fits using the infuser – which is a bonus. I’d heard of many tea pots either not fitting with the infuser inside, or not fitting without using the infuser. Yay for a well thought-out tea pot design!

Bubble teapot from DavidsTea - Oolong owl tea blog

However, removing the lid and infuser is interesting. The lid fits pretty snug on the infuser that I can remove the infuser just by the lid. I guess a perk is I can take out the infuser without touching it, but then I have to pop out the infuser. Ehhh. Or I can take off the washer on the lid.

bubblepot (11)

To talk more about the infuser, the holes are very small and do a very good job keeping tea leaves in.

bubblepot (4)(isn’t my water marble manicure awesome?)

I made a pot of tea with 3 teaspoons of a mystery oolong I’m trying to finish. The infuser got 3/4 full and might be a tad small for a full 24oz pot using big leaf teas, but still works well.

bubblepot (13)

But, will it blend pour?

The Bubble Teapot pours beautifully!

bubblepot (15)

The Bubble teapot has a lovely smooth pour with only one small droplet of dribble after pouring. Of course, the heat retention is pretty good.

Overall, the Bubble teapot from DavidsTEA is a very functional tea pot!  I use this pot for epic pots of tea for myself or when company is over. If I ever bust this pot, I’d probably buy another Bubble teapot. Unless I’m buying black or white, I’d want to see the colour in person first.

White Peach from The Persimmon Tree – Tea Review and Promo Code

White Peach is a White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) blend with peaches and osmanthus blossoms. This white tea is from The Persimmon Tree.

White Peach - The Persimmon Tree - Oolong Owl Tea Review

Check out my previous The Persimmon Tree review for more information on them.

Mmm, peaches! I love peaches – I used to can them at home. Hours peeling, removing the pit, slicing and packing ripe peaches into tall mason jars. Even more hours of clean up in the hot dry weather of summer in the interior of British Columbia, Canada. The result: juicy peaches I can eat all year round without the icky, fake sweet and tinny taste of store bought canned peaches!

Can I have a good peach tea? I bet The Persimmon Tree can pull it off. Let’s try White Peach!

DRY LEAF: Wow, I love the look of this tea! There is a beautiful mix of green, creamy, brown, fuzzy leaves accented by dainty yellow petals. I took a few pictures and couldn’t decide which one looked better.

white peach from the persimmon tree - oolong owl tea review

white peach from the persimmon tree - oolong owl tea reviewI’m not sure what is getting more excited – the artist side or the tea nerd side of me!

White Peach’s dry leaf smells like white peaches and earthy leaves.

STEEPED: Juicy cooked peach scent is coming from the golden cup of tea.

white peach from the persimmon tree - oolong owl tea review

What also surprised me was how green this tea gets when steeped. In my Steeper, White Peach looks like fresh leaves floating in a pond. Very fresh, good quality White Peony!

white peach from the persimmon tree - oolong owl tea review

TASTE: Delicate white tea followed by a light sweet juicy peach flavor. The flavor is pretty obviously white peach – which is on the more mild and crisp juicy side of peach. I’m getting an interesting body in this tea – a little floral and fruity custard like – the White Peony (Bai Mu Dan) used in White Peach is very good quality and lovely. No bitterness, dryness or tart in White Peach.

Sweetened with a little rock sugar, the peach peeks more than just an aftertaste. However, I think White Peach doesn’t really need sugar as the flavor on its own does a good job. As this cup cools, the peach pops even more, becoming more juicy. Hmm. I think I need to try this tea iced.

ICED: Okay, I tried something different here for iced tea, and I brewed this tea a little stronger to hopefully bring out the peach flavor.  I steeped this for 2.5 minutes for 185F, just pouring this tea over ice. Interestingly, I found the peachy flavor really pops and is sweeter. I didn’t need to add sweetener! The floral taste pops out a bit more too. Very awesome! I love this tea iced, I didn’t think it was going to be this good!

white peach from the persimmon tree - oolong owl tea review

COMMENTS: If you like white peony/bai mu dan you’ll love this tea. The peach is on the light side, but really compliments the floral fruityness of the white peony. I tend to go for Silver Needle white tea, but I think White Peony was a good choice for White Peach as it is a stronger white and buzzes in harmony with the white peach flavoring.

Looking for a good iced tea? White Peach is amazing and is peachy and sweet without sweetener. I can see this tea becoming a staple for me in the summer.

How about a sweet promo code for White Peach?

OolongOwlWP

for 10% off White Peach! Good until the end of January 2013.

Watermelon Xylophone from Butiki Teas – Tea Review

Watermelon Xylophone is a white organic silver needle tea with amaranth and organic watermelon flavoring. This tea comes from Butiki Teas, a great online loose leaf tea seller.

I love melon teas. Watermelon Xylophone is on my list of my favorite teas.

watermelon xylophone from butiki teas - Oolong Owl tea review

I practice brazilian jiu jitsu – from that, I was introduced to Watermelon juice. Amazing stuff!

After a ragged, sweaty jiu jitsu class, I get home and make watermelon juice. I would get all sticky and gross cutting up watermelon and squeezing out the juice with my gracie juice bag. Totally worth it! The result is delicious, refreshing juice that hits the spot!

However, I can’t have watermelon juice all the time. Watermelon can be expensive, depending on the time of year. Watermelon Xylophone? Next best thing.

DRY LEAF: Beautiful presentation of tea here – pretty pink petals and fuzzy bits snuggled in white tea.

watermelon xylophone from butiki teas - Oolong Owl tea review

STEEPED: Watermelon Xylophone steeps up to a light golden colour, smelling like sweet watermelon juice. I think this tea would look amazing in a glass tea travel mug or glass pot. Unfortunately  I don’t  have the patience for that today – I wanna just get this tea steep and be sipping away ASAP.

watermelon xylophone from butiki teas - Oolong Owl tea review

How does this tea taste? Like this:

watermelon xylophone from butiki teas - Oolong Owl tea review

Okay okay, I kid!

TASTE: Unsweetened, Watermelon Xylophone tastes like crisp, juicy fresh watermelon with a soft floral hint to it. The silver needle tea is delicately soft and sweet, working well with the watermelon. The tea is nicely naturally honey-like sweet. No bitterness or tartness.

As seen on the packaging, Butiki Tea recommends this tea with a little sweetener.

watermelon xylophone (3)Makes 12 cups of awesome

With a couple lumps of rock sugar, Watermelon Xylophone turns into watermelon juice, in tea form. The melon pops out stronger creating a wonderfully crystal juicy tea.

TIP: Don’t underleaf this tea. I’ve done this before to stretch out my tea but it really weakens the watermelon flavor.

COMMENTS: I love watermelon teas, but interestingly I don’t like watermelon candies – artificial watermelon tastes like dirty socks to me, so teas using natural flavoring really are amazing!

Watermelon Xylophone? Very delicious tea! I love the silver needle white used here – just a perfect blend that will make all melon lovers happy! Or real watermelons jealous…

watermelon xylophone - butiki teas - oolong owl tea review

If you love watermelon or looking for a good, juicy fresh white tea blend, check out Butiki Teas!

How to make a cup of matcha the easy way!

Easy matcha (17)

I’ve this question often regarding matcha – same question I had before I started drinking matcha.

The big question – Don’t I need a fancy bamboo whisk, scoop and matcha bowl to make matcha?

51ibupyTbEL._SY450_matcha bowl  (chawan) with bamboo whisk (chasen) and scoop (chashaku)

The answer: No

Thinking I needed a bunch of gear to make matcha put me off from buying good matcha for years. I love matcha – I’d get green tea lattes at coffee shops and bubble/boba tea shops. I’d go to asian super markets and buy “Matcha Milk Tea” kits were all you do is add the pre-measured powder to milk or hot water. I really wanted to make my own matcha tea, being a tea fanatic and all.
I also discovered that the bamboo whisk, scoop and bowl can be pricey – if you are lucky, maybe around $11-$20, but up to $40 for the whole kit. Often, the matcha bowl is $20-$35. Matcha already is on the pricey side to purchase and these bamboo whiskers are only good for matcha (and I have a thing against mono-tasking kitchen equipment).

What do you need? If you want to get your feet wet before buying all these mono-tasking matcha gear, most of the stuff you have already in your kitchen or can acquire cheaply can make matcha.

How to make a cup of matcha without special gear

What you need:

  1. A wide mug, around 12 to 16oz. Wider the better, as it is easier to whisk in. The mug I’m using is 4″ wide. I purchased this mug from a dollar store. Yeah, I’m thrifty!
  2. Small wire whisk. This is another dollar store item. However – in desperation, I think a fork or a regular whisk could work. If you have a Milk frother, those work amazing too and they can be used for other hot drinks!
  3. Measuring spoon – 1/4 teaspoon or 1/2 teaspoon. I use a 1/4 teaspoon to make sure I don’t go overboard with my matcha powder.
  4. A strainer to sift the matcha, in my case, I use a tea strainer.  I think a mesh wire tea ball would work as well. You could also use a small wire strainer used for sifting flour or sprinkling icing sugar/powdered sugar on cakes. Sifting is optional, but recommended.

Easy matcha (4)Easy matcha (5)

5. Hot water. You cannot use boiling water unless you like drinking bitter green tea. If you have a fancy kettle like my Cuisinart PerfecTemp, use the 160f or 175f setting. If you do not have a variable temperature kettle, you can pour the water out into another mug and let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes. You may also use a thermometer to check the temperature.

Easy matcha (11)If you are a regular tea drinker, you should really consider buying one of these variable temperature kettles.

6. Matcha powder. Duh! There are lots of sellers of matcha with a variety of price points. If you want to go cheap, there are some good cheap matchas. Check out my matcha reviews on the price point you want to spend.

Easy matcha (8)look at that beautiful vibrant green!

This is my matcha stash!

Easy matcha (1)The printed label tins – the flavored Matcha – are from Red Leaf Tea

My favorite out of my stash? KaiMatcha is pretty solid high grade matcha, however Red Leaf Tea has the fun flavored matchas. I like the Pistaschio, Egg Nog, and Brazilian Acai matcha.

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

How to make a cup of matcha, easy mode

1. Take 1/2 teaspoon of matcha and sift your matcha powder into your clean, dry mug

Easy matcha (9)

I use the measuring spoon to help it through the sifter.

Easy matcha (10)

Sifting the matcha gets rid of all the clumps and reduces the bitterness. Sometimes you don’t need to do this depending on your matcha. I also sift my matcha before I use it for baking.

2. Pour a little hot water – 160 to 175F into your mug. 

Easy matcha (12)

3. Whisk away using an “M” or “W” motion for like 30 seconds. Or go in with your frother.

Easy matcha (13)

Easy matcha (14)Mmm matcha foam!

Okay, sometimes you don’t get foam. This seems to depend on matcha quality, but also I found heavily flavored matchas just don’t get foamy being made in your traditional hot cup of matcha.

4. Top up your mug with more hot water to get to the desired flavor strength. HOT TIP! Use a milk instead of water for a matcha latte!

Easy matcha (15)

Foam close up!

Easy matcha (18)

Wasn’t that easy? You are done! Drink all the matcha!

Easy matcha (16)

(amazon affiliate links)

YaYa Strawberry from Steep City Teas – Tea Review

YaYa Strawberry is a green tea with strawberries and papaya, inspired by Cuban-style smoothies. This tea is from Steep City Teas, a new online tea seller based in Miami.

I gotta say, I’ve never been to Florida. After watching lots of Burn Notice and Dexter, I wouldn’t mind going to see all the sights (and eat all the seafood). It’s pretty cool to see a tea seller inspired by something – with Steep City creating exotic, Miami inspired teas. I miss some of the references as I’m just a Canadian just figuring the culture here in California, but I enjoy seeing a new spin and passion with tea.

YaYa Strawberry from SteepCityTeas - Oolong Owl tea review

DRY LEAF: Tangy, super strawberry smell! It reminds me of tangy, chewy tart strawberry candies. Very intoxicating smell! Lovely big lumps of papaya and strawberry pieces!

YaYa Strawberry from SteepCityTeas - Oolong Owl tea review

STEEPED: Pouring this tea into my tea pot was WOW – so much fruity smell! It was like a giant strawberry smacking me around! Hint of tropical fruit smell as well. Nice gold green cup of tea. Can I just hang out and smell this tea?

YaYa Strawberry from SteepCityTeas - Oolong Owl tea review

I followed the recommended steep time of 2 minutes with 175F water.

TASTE: Very strawberry with a bit of papaya over green tea (I’m guessing a sencha here) with a slight creamyness. Very fresh and juicy tea! I’m getting a freaking amazing aftertaste of tangy strawberry fruityness. Wow, I never had such a fruity aftertaste – it’s like I swallowed a piece of candied strawberry and it’s stuck there, in a very painless way. The green tea is not bitter and there is a little tart, but it is very slight and participates in the flavor. I’d say a 1/10 on the Tart-o-meter. Actually, it’s more tang than tart, like the tang of a sugared gummy candy.

I admit, I’m iffy on papaya sometimes – but Yaya Strawberry does a great job with the papaya, tasting very lovely to me.

I added a little rock sugar to the rest of my pot of YaYa Strawberry, which I found mellowed out that tangy aftertaste, but made this tea come out a little more creamy and strawberry.

Annnd.. crap. I drank it all. I think I need another round with this tea… for you tea peeps out there! Yeah!

ICED: I steeped this double strength with rock sugar then poured it over ice and water. I threw in a bit of thinly sliced lemons from my backyard. Deliciously tangy, a little sweet, very strawberry and smooth with the lemon adding some freshness. The strawberry really pops in this tea when iced. OOOhh, if I had fresh strawberries I could of sliced into this iced tea, it would of looked and tasted even more amazing!

YaYa Strawberry from SteepCityTeas - Oolong Owl tea review

COMMENTS: YaYa Strawberry brightened my day – a Miami inspired tea lending some sunshine to a rainy Southern California day! The sweet, creamy and tangy strawberry tastes so indulgent to me, like I got into a bag of candy, but not as it’s just a tea! I’m tempted to turn this tea into a slushy or smoothie!

Price wise, this tea is very fair. Actually, I’ll probably order more once I try the other tea I got with my first order. I’ve had many fruity mix green teas, some too tart, bitter and dull – YaYa Strawberry is fresh, tangy with lots of interest of fruityness.

With that said, if you love very fruity, tangy green teas – show some love to Steep City Teas and check out YaYa Strawberry!

Jasmine Daughter Rings from Nature’s Tea Leaf – Tea Review

Jasmine Daughter Rings is a green tea from Nature’s Tea Leaf, an online seller of loose leaf tea. This tea is hand rolled into rings.

FYI, Nature’s Tea leaf two types of this ring-looking tea: Daughter Rings Green tea and the Jasmine version I’m reviewing today.

Jasmine Daughter Rings from Nature's Tea Leaf - Oolong Owl Tea Review

DRY LEAF: This tea is so cool looking – 100% why I wanted to try it. So much fun! The rings are all rolled into rings. I tried to unravel one and it crumbled. It was like “NO! I only steep in rings!”

Jasmine Daughter Rings from Nature's Tea Leaf - Oolong Owl tea reviewJasmine Daughter Rings teaspooned onto a plate. Kinda looks like a tire pile. (I will not photoshop flames!)

Jasmine Daughter Rings (3)All perfectly hand rolled!

Jasmine Daughter Rings (4)I started to play with the dry leaf, as if I was like a 2 year old with a handful of Cheerios.

Oh, Daughter Rings smells like jasmine.

STEEPED: The leaves steeped are pretty cool after steeping.

Jasmine Daughter Rings (5)First infusion

Jasmine Daughter Rings (7)Second infusion

Jasmine Daughter rings really held onto their shape even after steeping! Pretty neat! I’d love to steep this tea in a glass tea pot and watch the rings unfold.

Oh, the tea produced? Haha, I guess I am rambling too much on those funky leaves!

Jasmine Daughter Rings - Nature's Tea Leaf - Oolong Owl tea review

Kind of a roasted and vegetal smell along with jasmine. Undersaturated green/brown colour of steep.

I steeped this tea for 1 minute with 175F water.

TASTE: Vegetal, almost roasted taste with jasmine floral weaving in and out. The aftertaste gives me a hint of dryness. I would rate this Jasmine ring tea as a 5/10 on the Floral-o-meter – you can taste the floral, but it’s not overpowering or like drinking liquid perfume. Dryness? 2/10 on the Astringent-o-meter. With that said, I would not over steep or use hotter water for this tea. I personally would try a lower temperature next time.

RESTEEP: The colour came out even lighter. The floral is still there and kicking, but the taste is much more astringent  I’m not a fan of dryness, so I did not enjoy this resteep. 6/10 on the Astringent-o-meter – it’s obviously dry, too much for me to enjoy, but I’ve had worse.

COMMENTS: Jasmine Daughter Rings is a very beautiful and entertaining tea! Big marks for appearance and entertainment value! Pretty good first steeping with Jasmine Daughter Rings, and I’d probably never resteep this tea. I found the taste to be pretty basic and not much wow factor, but I think the fun appearance makes up for it. I would personally give this tea out as gifts, or serve it in a glass pot to impress others.

Looking for a pretty looking tea with a nice level of floral? Give this one a shot!

Onyx from Physique Tea – Tea Review

Onyx is a single leaf pure aged sheng pu’erh from Physique Teas, online seller of bagged slimming teas.

Onyx blend is promoted as a detox type tea due to it being a pu-erh. I believe it! I find pu-erh during or near the end of a cold does wonders as it gets all the slime out. I can see it being good for hangovers, but I’m not much of an alcohol drinker these days to test it. I’m a tea drinker!

Onyx from Physique Tea - Oolong Owl Tea review

DRY LEAF: Surprisingly Onyx is very light on smell. If I get my nose right on the bag and take a huge sniff, I get some woodsy leaf smell.

STEEPED: Faint classic fishy smell that comes with pu-erh.  Lovely dark oak colour here, with a nice peachy colour pour. I love the colour of pu-erh! /swoooon

Onyx from Physique Tea - Oolong Owl Tea reviewIs it weird to like tea colour?

I did a 3 minute steep with boiling water, the suggested steep time. I totally agree with this steep time as I dislike long steep times with pu-erh teas.

Jade Blend (2)

I did not do a rinse with this pu-erh. Usually I do the usual 2-3 second rinse, but since the smell of the dry leaf was pretty mild, I thought it should be okay. I also crossed my fingers, hoping I don’t drink pure fish pu-erh.

TASTE: This is probably the most gentle pu-erh I’ve tried despite the dark colour. The woody, oak flavor is strong at beginning of sip then gently washes out to a crisp, juicy crystal taste.

There is no bitterness or dryness in Onyx.

RESTEEP #1 – identical to the first steep.

RESTEEP #2 – really close to the first steep, might be a touch lighter.

RESTEEP #3 – Finally Onyx is beginning to lighten in flavor. No changes in what I tasted since the first steeping other than the flavor starting to lighten. I’m impressed the tea bag is holding up perfectly. I can see many other tea bags falling apart after steeping so much.

Onyx from Physique Tea - Oolong Owl Tea reviewKinda looks like mountains in fog

RESTEEP #4 – Much lighter flavor now! The woody oak flavor is in reverse order – I get more of a light juicy taste, which powers to the oaky wood flavor at end of sip.

RESTEEP #5 – Pretty close to resteep #4 but lighter – the flavoring is more of an aftertaste. I’ll stop here, but I think I could get another resteep if I really wanted to. I think Onyx outlasted me, lol! Despite all these infusions, Onyx did not get bitter or dry.

Onyx from Physique Tea - Oolong Owl Tea reviewAfter this bag of Onyx being steeped 6 times, it still has lovely colour!

COMMENTS: Hmmm. I have 2 different perspectives on this tea.

Onyx has a nice light pu-erh taste – no fishyness or crazy strong robustness. The tea bag performed well here and did a good job letting out flavor and keeping all the leaves inside. The resteep ability for this tea is big – very good for a bagged pu-erh! Also, the tea bag held up perfectly with all the infusions – the durable physique tea bag was made for this tea!

I think this tea would be great to take to work, I’m thinking a Monday after a weekend of too much fun. Or, you are just coming back to work after a nasty cold.  This tea is no fuss, reliable, easy to steep and keeps putting out flavor.

My other perspective is as a tea-obsessed drinker. For me, pu-erh is about the journey – flavors changing cup to cup, revealing hidden pearls and new tastes. Onyx stayed pretty much the same flavor the entire resteeping process. This reliability of flavor could be a ultra bonus for some tea drinkers.
Spazzy tea drinkers like me would want to switch to another tea after a couple infusions to have something new, despite this tea’s ability to resteep like mad. Better yet, save the tea bag for the next day. Maybe I just have like Tea attention deficit. Or I see my stash of 190 (gah!) teas and I should really stop resteeping and sip down others so I can buy more tea!

Overall, very reliable, solid tea. Onyx is a good starter pu-erh and does its job. Every time I drink pu-erh I think I should really drink this stuff regularly.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Della Terra Teas – Tea Review

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a black tea blend that tastes just like the name. This tea blend comes from Della Terra Teas, an online loose leaf tea seller.

FYI – Della Terra has AMAZING and creative black tea blends. They do other teas, but the bulk of their lineup is black teas. Their chocolate teas are very chocolately and their marshmallow teas are extremely well done! Della Terra also has lots of good sales – for last black friday, in my opinion, had the best deal going out of all the online tea sellers.

pineapple upside down cake - della terra - oolong owl tea review(I’m a tea nerd, I write the steeping times on the tea package if it lacks one.)

Pictured above is the 1oz sampler size of tea from Della Terra.

DRY LEAF: Strong scented tea! Pineapple Upside Down Cake smells sweet and like cake batter. Interesting!

pineapple upside down cake - della terra - oolong owl tea reviewMmm, lots of nice pineapple pieces to nibble on!

STEEPED: Classic dark brown black tea look. Smell? Bit of a black tea smell, but with cake vapor steaming up. Mmmm, is my tea steeping up a cake? I steeped this at boiling for 2 minutes.

pineapple upside down cake - della terra - oolong owl tea reviewHoot? We don’t see a lump of cake in our tea cup, but it sure smells like cake!

TASTE: Buttery and cake taste up front which are played up by the black tea. This tea clearly tastes like yellow cake batter to me! End of sip, I can taste that caramelly brown sugar flavor – that melted oozy top of the upside down cake. I also get a little bit of creamyness at the end that lingers as an aftertaste. I taste a little bit of pineapple when the tea cools. No bitterness or tart in this tea.

I added a bit of rock sugar to the remainder of my pot. In my experience, adding a little rock sugar often perks up fruit flavors.

pineapple upside down cake - della terra - oolong owl tea review

With rock sugar, the pineapple totally comes out – a fresh pineapple taste soaking in caramel. The caramel flavor pops out brighter as well. However, with rock sugar, the yellow cake flavor goes into the background. Very delicious – just like pineapple upside down cake! I think german rock sugar might do a bit better with this tea to match the brown sugar caramel flavor.

COMMENTS: I like the yellow cake taste, but if you want the full experience of Pineapple Upside Down Cake tea, you need to sweeten it to make the pineapple flavor pop.

I’ve had a few cake teas before (mostly DavidsTea blends) and this one has the strongest cake flavor out of all of them. Very well done Della Terra!

Overall – this tea is dead on pineapple upside down cake. DEAD ON! Don’t believe me? Go order some and see for yourself! Order some Eight Candles, Smores, and Lemon Chiffon while you are at it too. Just saying.