Fantasy by Lupicia – Tea Review

Fantasy is a black tea that features caramel, honey and fruit. I got this tea from Lupicia, off the 2012/2013 Happy bag! This is the first time for me to try this tea – first impressions, ya!

Fantasy by Lupicia - tea review by Oolong Owl.

DRY LEAF: Amazing fruity scent that is mouth watering good. Not actually sure what fruit really, probably a mix of fruit. There is a bit of a smokey caramel smell that kinda reminds me of coffee.

STEEPED: Nice classic black tea colour. Smells slightly sweet and black tea like.

I steeped Fantasy with boiling water for 2.5 minutes, as per package instructions.

Fantasy by Lupicia - Oolong Owl tea review

TASTE: Standard black tea flavor up front – I’m guessing along the english breakfast line. There is a soft fruity flavor, again a mix of fruit. Kinda tropical and apple? There is a smokey ending to this tea with a little caramel flavor.  The black tea here is starting to become bitter. I’d say a 2/10 bitterness on the bitter-meter, so it is very tolerable.

I decided to add rock sugar to the rest of my pot – sometimes this brings out the fruity flavor. The bitterness goes down some and interestingly the tea becomes more caramel and fruity. Nice fruity end of sip as well. Can I identify the fruit better now? Hmmm. Yeah, fruit salad with the pineapple, peach, pear kinda mix. It’s pretty naturally fruit thankfully and not the “red” fruit flavor!

Also, when this tea cools, the fruityness comes out more… this might make good iced tea.

ICED TEA: I tried Fantasy iced – 3tsp of tea steeped strong, poured over ice water and a little honey. I really need to use all this honey. I asked my husband to bring home some honey, and he came home with this:

5lb of honey!5lbs of honey! GAHHH! How will I use all of this?!?!

The taste of Fantasy iced is pretty good. The honey works with the caramel and fruit. There is a little hum of the caramel smokey flavor, which is kinda weird, but it works. The black tea here is much better and not bitter.

Iced Fantasy

COMMENTS: Hot, I prefer this tea with rock sugar. Without the extra sweetness, it’s okay tea. Sweetened, it becomes another animal. A fruity caramel animal. Overall, this tea is better iced with honey – the flavors pop out well, though iced caramel is kinda weird.

I recommend this tea to black tea drinkers who want a little twist with their tea.

Dragon Feelers by Butiki Teas – Tea Review

Dragon Feelers is a light green tea from Butiki Teas, an online tea seller. This tea seller is a personal favorite of mine – very good and unique teas!

Dragon Feelers

DRY LEAF: Hold up. This tea is all about the crazy appearance. Let’s zoom in

Dragon Feelers zoom inAwww, cute! Didn’t take me long to find the cutest leaf out of my teaspoon!

When I saw a picture of this tea I was all, “What is that? The leaves look freaky, like fuzzy little bugs! I have to drink it!” (yes, freaking looking tea is a selling point for me) REST ASSURED, THESE ARE GREEN TEA LEAVES, not bugs. Or dragons… with stripes.

dragon dragon feelers I just had to photoshop it. I’d still totally drink that though. Wouldn’t you?

Ahem, back to this tea. Not much of a scent here from the dry leaf.

STEEPED: Dragon Feelers smells crisp, buttery veggie-like. Nice light golden green colour. The striped fuzzy leaves now look like cooked green beans.

dragonfeelersHey baby, I just made delicious tea ♥

Dragon feelers steeped

Steeping time is 3 minutes over boiling water. Seems a little hot for green tea, but trust me.

TASTE: Dragon feelers tastes like light, fresh, crisp, and buttery sweet pea. There is a bit of natural sweetness, similar to a sweet pea. As this tea cools, it becomes more crisp and sweet. There is no bitterness or grassyness in this tea.

COMMENTS:  Dragon Feelers like “the ugly duckling” of tea – looks kinda scary, but steeps into delicate, buttery magical tea. This is an amazing tea for you green tea drinkers out there – you’ll be schooled on how good green tea should taste like!

Now I want to cuddle a dragon…

Choco Cinnamon by Tea Desire – Tea Review

Choco Cinnamon is a green tea featuring cinnamon sugar, white chocolate stars, orange peel, rose blossoms and cloves. I snagged this tea from Tea Desire.

Choco Cinnamon tea by Tea Desire - Review by Oolong Owl

DRY LEAF: The dry leaf looks very nice – I love the chocolate stars! Smells mouthwatering sweet with light spices. I’ve had this tea a few times, and I think the stars like to float to the top of the bag, so make sure to mix well. I’m near the end of my bag, so I’m running low on stars.

STEEPED: Dark gold colour and light film on the top, most likely from the chocolate stars. Smells creamy this time. I like how the chocolate stars fully melt down. I hate when a chocolate tea’s chocolate doesn’t melt.

I steeped this tea at 175f for 2.5 minutes.

Steeped Choco Cinnamon by Tea Desire

TASTE: Green tea up front, which is on the slight grassy side. Nice creaminess to this tea, which fills the mouth. Very very lightly cinnamon spice flavor. There is a creamy mouth sensation aftertaste which lingers. The tea is lightly sweetened, which I find to be a good level of sweetness. I can just notice it, but it’s not overly sweet for tea drinkers who prefer no sugar. This tea is almost like drinking pudding. I can’t detect the rose or orange. There is no bitterness in this tea.

COMMENTS: This is one of my favourite teas from Tea Desire. White chocolate is interesting in tea as it adds a nice creaminess rather than a flavor. This tea would be perfect to me if it had little stronger spices and maybe some vanilla or more chocolate taste. You can always have more chocolate!

With that said, you choco-holics out there might be sad with this tea and should look for milk or dark chocolate teas instead. But, if you like green tea blends, this is fab! This would be a great tea for those types you prefer sweeter teas, without having to add sugar.

Alas, a mini rant at Tea Desire – I wish they sold samples or one could purchase less than 50 grams or 2oz  in store. Tea shops who do this I often don’t try many of their teas, as I don’t want to drop lots of money on something that turns out I don’t like.

White Christmas by Lupicia – Tea Review

White Christmas is a black tea, with apricot and white chocolate flavorings. It is a limited season tea for Winter 2012 from Lupicia. This tea comes in loose leaf and bagged form.

White Christmas by Lupicia

I received this tea from Lupicia’s monthly newsletter. The newsletter comes with a sample! To get on this deal, check out that link. More or less, you need to do a $30 order online or in store.

Hmm.. why am I drinking a christmas tea in mid January? Well, I did get this sample I think in early December, I should of drank it then. Whatever, it’s still winter.

FYI, this tea I’m reviewing is in bagged form, flavor might vary in loose leaf.

DRY LEAF: Smells kinda fruity. Huh? I guess I feel as if this tea should be minty. You know, like Stash’s “White Christmas”? I loved that tea until I had loose leaf tea.

White Christmas by Lupicia

STEEPED: 2 minutes over boiling water. Annoyingly, the package did not have English instructions, so I guessed the steep time. I was off my 30 seconds, oh well, I don’t want oversteeped black tea. White Christmas smells very fruity.

White Christmas by Lupicia

TASTE: Apricot! Very much like apricot and it is the first thing I taste! The apricot here is pretty natural tasting and well done, mixed with a little sweet and creamy taste. The black tea here is light and more present end of sip. No bitterness or dryness in this tea. Good clean black tea flavor too.

COMMENTS: The apricot flavoring is VERY well done here. Actually, this has to be the best apricot tea I’ve had so far. It’s not bitter and weird-dried-apricoty-sulfur taste. This tea is great on its own, Lupicia suggests using milk, but I probably won’t try this tea with milk as I think that it would take away the apricot flavor.

I drank my small pot of tea in record time and wished I had more! I love when that happens.

If you want to try a good apricot tea, give this one a shot! Even if you aren’t into black tea, this one is quite light – so it could be enjoyed by non-black tea drinkers. I could be convinced to purchase some of this, but I more so will be on the lookout for other Lupicia apricot teas. Lupicia does fruity teas VERY well and one could never have enough fruity teas.

Bojenmi Slimming Tea Review

Bojenmi is one of those classic teas for me. It’s cheap, you can find easily at an asian supermarket along with all the diet teas. Looking at the ingredients, it’s a white tea with a buncha chinese herbs in it.

bojenmi

From the Amazon description: Fukien tea (white tea), crataigus pinnatifida, fructus hordel germinatus, poria cocos wolff, citrus chachinesis hortorum, rhizoma alismatis, massa medicata fermentata, pharbitis nil, phaseolus angularis, raphanus sativus, prunlla vulgaris, cassia tora, pogostemon cablin. Uses (as printed on box): “THIS PREPARATION IS MADE FROM FAMOUS FUKIENTEA TOGETHER WITH 12 KINDS OF MEDICINAL HERBS, A CONCOCTION OF A WELL-TESTED HERBALIST’S PRESCRIPTION FOR RESOLVING BODILY FAT AND REDUCING WEIGHT. IT REDUCES THE CHOLESTEROL OF THE AGED, THUS PREVENTING ATHEROSC LEROSIS AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND HEART DISORDERS. THIS TEA WILL MAKE WOMEN FEEL YOUNG AND SLIM AND FULL OF YOUTHPUL BEAUTY. IT ALSO RIDS YOU OF BAD BREATH AND EROSION OF THE LIP AND TONGUE.”

I’m not really sure what most of that stuff is…

bojenmi tea

I prefer this tea loose leaf. Why? THE BAGS SUCK. The string falls off. The bag has fallen apart a few times on me, spewing tea bits into my cup. You can taste the freaking paper in the tea. The tea is the smashed bits, I’m guessing leftover bits. I dunno.

STEEPED: Strong smell – not really medicinal, but also like walking by a wet tree. An little undersaturated brown/amber colour. Totally does not look like a white, and Bojenmi could be mistaken for an oolong.

bojenmi tea

TASTE: Woodsy and earthy flavor. In woodsy, I mean it kinda tastes like how a tree smells, if it was dried and roasted. This could totally be fooled as an oolong with the level of full flavor and depth. Slight hint of natural sweetness at the end of sip. Oh, and I can taste the paper tea bag here, boo. This tea is not bitter, dry or grassy.

COMMENTS: I know my taste description sounds kinda off, but I think this tea tastes pretty good compared to other supermarket diet teas. I’ve had others that tasted super grassy, mulchy, bitter, medicinal, horrible aftertaste and sour. For beauty tea effects, I dunno if it’s worked or not and will continue to drink this tea anyways, as I’m not concerned with the “effects” and more with taste. Though, it is not a laxative diet tea, eww! I stay away from those.

So, looking for a tasty beauty tea that is very inexpensive? Give Bojenmi a shot!

My Tea Tale – How I got into tea

My first post for this blog, wooot!

So, I was raised on teas. My mom drank mostly asian diet and beauty teas, often every evening after dinner. My family often would go to chinese restaurants very often and I’d drink tall glasses of pu-erh, or share a couple pots of tea that spun around the lazy susan in the middle of the table.

My dad, a huge Star Trek buff, the minute he saw Captain Picard on TNG order “Earl Grey, Hot” stocked bagged earl grey teas and drank it on occasion.

tea_earl_grey_picard_small

As an adult, I wasn’t a coffee drinker. I’d drink it sometimes when I was very tired in the morning, but could not get into the taste and rather not have all the calories from doctoring it with cream and sugar. I also couldn’t justify to spend $2-$5 for coffee everyday on a poor university student budget.

So I would buy LOTS of tea from the super market. All bagged teas. I’d have tea every morning and with meals during university. I’d bring my own tea bags to school as it was cheaper than buying tea at a coffee shop.

Years later, my sister/best friend mentions on Twitter that her local DavidsTEA is very good. I googled around and saw that there was a DavidsTea not too far from me. I made a list (YES, I make lists when I go to tea shops) and visited – I came home with 3 tins of tea: The Skinny, Read My Lips, and Southern Belle. Looking online, this was September 2011, as Southern Belle was tea of the month at that time. They were all amazing! I went back a few days later,  bought a Steeper and all of the Fall Collection for 2011. I’d then go every other week, with a list, buying 12-30grams of tea to try. If I love the tea, I’ll get 50g to 100grams. I love variety and trying new teas, so I prefer to buy in smaller quantities.

I was working as a counsellor, mostly with mental health and addictions clients, and I found tea was my grounding tool. I could work with my clients and have a cup of tea for me to stay calm. It kinda became a trade-mark to see me at my jobs, with a glass tea tumbler, loose leaf teas bloomed inside. My clients would start bringing tea to my groups, and chill out, do art therapy and drink tea with me.

I discovered Steepster, a tea community. For every new tea I tried, I would review. Of course, Steepster is amazing for meeting other tea peeps and discovering other teas, so from there I began to branch out to other online tea companies.

Now my tea stash is pretty nuts. From what I have logged on Steepster.. 187 teas at this time! 390 Tea tasting notes, mostly reviews! I was on the fence for awhile to start a tea blog, as I have other blogs to attend to. However, with the time I spend on Steepster, I might as well blog my teas. Now here I am.

Phew. I need some tea after writing all that!