Tropical Mango from TeaJo – Tea Review

Tropical Mango is an assam black tea blend flavored with mango and orange peel. This whole leaf tea blend is from TeaJo.

I received a sample of this tea from TeaJo, hearing about it over Steepster. Very generous sample – 10 cups! Love it!

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DRY LEAF: Vibrant fruity mango smell. Almost reminds me of apricots too.

Nice presentation with the whole leaf black, mango lumps and teeny reddy orange petals.

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STEEPED: Lightly natural mango scented. Yum! Kinda creamy of a mango smell too!

I steeped this tea as per instructions on the package – 212 for 3 minutes. Though I usually use a gravity steeper, I’m feeling lazy this morning. The night before I steeped up a fruity herbal and left it the fruity remains overnight. So I really need to baking soda it or my next tea will taste more fruity than it should be.

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Tools: large mug, DavidsTea perfect infuser thing and a plate as a lid. YEAH HIGH TECH BABY!

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bleh, I should really hurry up and get a new 2 cup tea pot.

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TASTE: A brisk tasting black tea that has no bitterness at all. The black tea, assam, is full flavored and quite nice. The mango comes out at end of sip and as an aftertaste. The mango tastes natural, like that perfect ripeness.

Sweetened with german rock sugar, the mango pops out more, as predicted, but is also kind of creamy. It makes me think of those filipino mangos with that creamy fruity flesh. The mango really peaks in flavor at end of sip, very nice! As the tea cools, the mango becomes more juicy in flavor. This tea is great sweetened, oh yeah!

ICED: I just had to try this tea iced to see how the mango comes out. I steeped Tropical Mango double strength, poured over ice and a little honey. Very nice flavor – it tastes like that classic iced tea, but with a bit of that juicy mango. Of course, this tastes better than store bought as the sweetness is not over the top and the mango tastes more natural. The black tea is not bitter, but has a little maltyness to it.

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COMMENTS: Tropical mango is a black tea for people who love black teas and want a fruity blend that is simple yet effective.

I’d probably would of missed this blend, as I prefer more elaborate blends – but I’m very happy to of tried it. Tropical Mango has a really nice mango flavor and a fantastic black tea base. I’d probably drink the rest of my sample iced, yum! Thank you TeaJo for the sample!

Coconut Creme from The Persimmon Tree – Tea Review

Coconut Creme is a creamy white tea blend from online tea seller The Persimmon Tree.

Ahhh Coconut Creme. My very first order with The Persimmon Tree I bought a sample of this tea and was blown away. I was also blown away with their Coconut Chocolate too!  Coconut Creme is pretty amazing – I was very pumped that The Persimmon Tree sent me some for review. I love coconut, though I haven’t gotten into that coconut water trend – I prefer drinking tea instead! Since moving to the US, leaving my family back in Canada, I’ve been absorbed into my husbands family – who do not like coconut. Now I get my coconut fix in my teas, since its a flavor that isn’t in my house often.

It appears that my little totoro friend decided to help with this review. Or he came to wear a tea leaf on his head.

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DRY LEAF: Leafy bai mu dan white tea – a mix of green and browns, accented with blue cornflowers, orange safflowers, sprinkled with small flecks of white coconut ribbons.

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The dry leaf smells very coconutty and delicious!

STEEPED: I steeped this tea for 3 minutes at 175F (my kettle doesn’t do 180, which is what The Persimmon Tree suggests) and rather not take the chance I’ll overcook it at 185F.

Lovely dark gold tea with a sweet coconut aroma!

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TASTE: Up front coconut taste. I’m talking real coconut taste, like busting open a coconut and chomping on the coconut flesh – the flavor here is the soft sweet top layer that has a little remaining coconut water on it. The white tea base, white peony / bai mu dan, is fresh and refreshing. The aftertaste is a lovely creamyness from the coconut. The white tea base and the coconut flavor is balanced perfectly so that you can enjoy them both!

I added a little german rock sugar to my cup of Coconut Creme and the tea became more refreshing and juicy! The coconut pops into a smooth taste – very lovely! Though this blend is naturally sweet on its own, adding sugar is a nice treat!

COLD STEEPED: 3.5 hours cold steeping of Coconut Creme! I was planning for 2 hours, but I lost track of time. I was a little worried this tea wasn’t going to work cold steeped and I wouldn’t get any coconut flavor.

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The result is a surprisingly sweet and coconutty drink! This is what coconut water should be! Cold steeped Coconut Creme has lots going on, making each sip interesting – Nicely sweet, refreshing and energizing, the white tea is lovely with a hint of floral, the coconut is bright and very creamy. Really good!

COMMENTS: If you love coconut teas – you are gonna love The Persimmon Tree coconut blends, and if you prefer white tea, this Coconut Creme tea will impress you. Fresh and real tasting coconut, not that packaged overly sweet coconut flake stuff. The tea is nicely refreshing too!

The biggest surprise was how good Coconut Creme cold steeped!


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The Perfect Pear from Della Terra Teas – Tea Review

The Perfect Pear is a black tea and pear blend from Della Terra Teas.

Mmmm…. pear tea! I snagged this sample for free with my last Della Terra teas order. They have some really fantastic sales! 25 to 30% off, free shipping or free samples! Totally stalk their Facebook page to stay in the loop for their sales!

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This the a sample size from Della Terra – so I can get a couple cups of tea out of it. All their other sizes have steeping instructions, so I checked the website and wrote them on the back of my package. Really handy for the next time I want to make this tea!

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DRY LEAF: This tea smells like pear candies! Very sweet, but also a little floral, like there are flowers blooming on the pear tree too.

Fantastic appearance of The Perfect Pear too – black tea, metallic gold sugar balls and cubes of gold sugar, accented with white petals and such.

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STEEPED: I’m still lacking a 2 cup tea pot, plus I’ve been too lazy to clean my gravity steeper in the mornings, so I did my awesome DT infuster + plate method. Yeahhh.

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Smells like black tea with a little baked pear thrown in. The tea is a classic browny amber colour, but with a teeny bit of  cloudyness.

I did a 3 minute steep with boiling water, as per instructions on The Perfect Pear page.

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TASTE: Sweet pear flavor that is either a juicy, yet firm ripeness, or that baked or cooked pear taste that is sweating and juicy. The tea is slightly sweet with the golden sprinkles and such. The black tea base really works well with the pear flavoring, I think even making this taste more like pear. End of sip is very pear tasting with the pear flavor hanging out for the aftertaste.  There is no bitterness or dryness in this cup of tea.

I decided I would not add sugar as I think it would be overkill on sweetness.  I’d also not steep this much longer than 3 minutes if you would want to avoid astringency.

As the tea cools, I’m finding the black tea pops a bit more and the pear flavoring is more delicate. Actually, I’m a little apprehensive of trying this tea as a latte to not take away from the pear flavoring. Ditto for iced, as I think sweetening it would mess with the pear. This might be a good cold steeped tea, but I think I want to save the rest of my sample for another cup of hot tea.

RESTEEP: I did a 3 minute steep with boiling water. Very similar to the first steeping but the black and pear flavoring is lighter and a little watery. Not bad for a resteeping!

COMMENTS:  If you like a simple pear tea, The Perfect Pear is for you. This tea is lightly sweet, so you don’t need to add sugar to it!

I find the pear flavor is much better and more natural than the last pear tea I tried, ESP Emporium’s Mango Pear Deluxe. Sorry ESP!

For some reason, I was expecting something more wild, as per other Della Terra Teas I’ve had. You know, pop rocks or corn. However, The Perfect Pear is quite simple in flavor but comes clear as pear tea. Overall, very good – simple yet effective pear blend! I could see this tea being a great gift to a new tea drinker!

Pomegranate Fruit from Georgia Tea Company – Tea Review

Pomegranate Fruit is a herbal fruit tea blend featuring apple, raisins, carrot, hibiscus blossoms, candied papaya, vanilla and pomegranate and cornflower blossoms. This caffeine free tea is from Georgia Tea Company.

I gotta say Georgia Tea Company has some really good tea prices, plus inexpensive samples if you want to try the tea.

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All the teas I got from Georgia Tea Company came sealed in plastic, but inside a paper bag to keep your tea in. I prefer to just seal up the plastic bag as it saves tea stash space.

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DRY LEAF: Pomegranate Fruit smells like dried fruity trail mix with raisins.

This huge chunk of… papaya(?) caught my eye. Always fun finding giant fruit bits in tea – it’s like finding treasure!

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Very interesting looking presentation here – I love the cornflowers!

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STEEPED: Smells like tart pomegranate with a finish of the smell of a dried foods store (if that makes any sense). There’s a weird mix of sweet, stale, fruity, creamy, veg smell from this tea.  This tea came out an interesting dark red with a hint of blue or brown. I steeped this as per package instructions for 5 minutes, with boiling water.

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TASTE: Tart fruity taste that finishes off like watery pomegranate  The tart is around a 6 or 7/10 on the Tart-o-meter. It’s on the tart side but not crazy tart. There a little sweetness in the fruity taste. I get a little creaminess at the end, probably from the vanilla bits.

Sweetened with german rock sugar, the flavor is interesting. I pick up the raisins taste as well as a nice pomegranate flavor with other mixed fruityness. It has a warm taste from the raisins. I don’t get any creaminess this time. The sugar easily removed the tartness from this tea.

ICED: I steeped this double strength and poured it over ice, honey and two thin lemon slices. I like Pomegranate Fruit much better iced. Right away it tastes like pomegranate. The pomegranate flavor is stronger, not as strong as eating the fruit though. Much weaker than store pomegranate juice (which is really strong), but full flavor pomegranate. End of sip is that weird warm raisin taste and teeny bit of creaminess as an aftertaste. This tea iced is not tart at all.

COLD STEEPED: I cold steeped this tea for about 3 hours in the fridge. No tartness at all – very surprised. However, the flavor is more raisiny than ever. I taste no pomegranate, but almost a cranberry like flavor. Pomegranate Fruit is much better iced with lemon and sweetener.


COMMENTS: Pomegranate Fruit is made for being iced – that’s probably the best flavor I got from this tea.

I’ve had a number of pomegranate teas, but this is the first one to be caffeine free. They are all pretty tart, but I find Pomegranate Fruit to be a little less tart. I also find this tea to be more clear of a pomegranate flavor. Those points I mention is what I like about this tea. But I find the end of sip and aftertaste of raisin and vanilla flavor not for me. I think if there was no raisins and went more citrus I’d love this tea.

Overall, I got a bit of love/hate relationship with this tea. If you are a huge pomegranate lover searching for a caffeine free tea option, Pomegranate Fruit is a new twist on pomegranate teas.

Tea Additions – Adding more flavor to your tea without sweeteners

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Wanna add some extra tasty to your tea without adding sugar? Does your tea unfortunately fall flat on flavorings? Need some extra spice in your staple cup of tea?

Try some of my tea addition suggestions!

1. Vanilla Bean Pod

Say what? This sounds expensive! I buy my vanilla bean pods from, which you can get a big package for cheaper than 4 single pods at a grocery store.

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I originally got the pods for making my own vanilla extract, however sometimes I use the pods for baking. When using a pod, you slit the vanilla bean open, scrape out of the inner goodies for use. The left over pod? Most people suggest tossing it in sugar to make vanilla sugar. Well, I didn’t need any more vanilla sugar, so I chopped up my leftover pods and put them into a small tupperware for safe keeping.

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I add the vanilla pod chunks while steeping teas – they add a huge POW of creamy vanilla flavor! You can add them to pretty much any tea you make to add creamyness. Orange Tea is now a creamsicle tea. I’ve added vanilla pods to straight oolongs to add a silky texture.

2. Slice of Citrus

I add a slice of citrus often to my iced teas, but also to my hot teas when I have a cold. A couple thin slices of lemon, lime or orange really bring iced tea to life. Finally, the citrus slices add a really nice presentation to your teas.

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For hot teas, after the tea is steeped, I add a couple lemon slices to my cup or pot. I found citrus slices work really well with whites, green, rooibos or any citrus blended teas. I love orange and lemon slices in earl grey without milk – it really makes the beragmont pop.

For iced teas I pop the slices in after the tea is steeped and poured over ice. Lemon, lime, orange and even grapefruit work very well with many iced teas with black tea bases. My favorite iced tea is a mate-fruit blends loaded with limes and lemon slices!

Tea Additions by Oolong Owl

Guess the tea in the following photo!!

IMG_2892evil lemon headed kitty tea!

3. Fresh Fruit! 

Similar to adding citrus, adding fresh fruit makes your tea very presentable!

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Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, peach slices or dragonfruit – they all look fantastic in tea! They add a touch of fruit, which melt into the hot tea. Iced or cold steeped, the fruit infuses the water along with the tea!

4. Cinnamon Stick or other Spices

I give credit to Butiki Teas for this one. After I tried their Apricot Guayusa, Stacy from Butiki Teas told me she likes to prepare this tea with a cinnamon stick. I tried adding a cinnamon stick and wow! The cinnamon made the tea even more tasty!

Tea addition - Oolong Owl

Steeping a cinnamon stick with an unhappy chai makes for a spicer chai! Also try a stick of cinnamon with  fruity teas like strawberry/apple/pear blends. I found cinnamon also works very well with creamy blend teas.

An old coworker told me this trick of adding cardamon pods and she swore by it being delicious, especially in chais and coffee-like teas. I dislike cardamon with a passion, but admit it does add some really nice spice to teas. If you love strong spices, try popping a cardamon pod or two while steeping your tea! Or if you like to live dangerously, try some black pepper or hot chilies!

5. Flavored Matcha

Adding teas to teas? Why not? This idea came to me when I drank all my matcha-genmaicha. I had lots of genmaicha and didn’t want to buy another just to have matcha added. So, I took my favorite flavored matcha and added it to my genmaicha – it actually came out better!

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It does take a little trial and error to make sure you add the right amount of matcha – and also depends how strongly flavored your matcha is. For me, a 3 teaspoon small pot of tea, I only need 1/4 teaspoon of matcha.

Keep in mind that if you try adding matcha to your teas, it is for use for teas that need no more than 175F steeping temperature, unless you want a bitter tea.

6. Other teas

Perk up your tea with other teas in your stash!

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I’m no master tea blender, but I’ve been able to pull off new tastes with old teas by tossing in other teas. A recent favorite of mine was adding DavidsTea’s Creme Brulee, chamomile and a little peppermint – the result is a custard/sugary tea with more mellowness and a hint of mint. Want to have a relaxing tea? How about use a mix of chamomile, chrystanthum and lavender? I found the chrystanthum offset the strong taste of the chamomile and lavender.

You can use this to tone down some of your stronger teas. Have a really strong floral blend? How about add a little of that to a plain oolong?

The final, EVIL trick I like to do is add plain mate to any tea to jack up the caffeine levels. Especially evil in herbal blends when you want the tea, but want caffeine too.

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This method is easier to control with loose leaf tea as you have the option to add more or less of a flavor, like a touch of lavender.

7. Fresh Herbs 

Adding fresh herbs to tea is a simple way to spruce up your tea, especially good with cold steeped and iced teas!

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Adding mint is my favorite when I have extra mint on hand.

8. Nuts

Your nutty tea not nutty enough? Time to show that not-so-nutty tea who is more nuts!

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Smash up some walnuts, almonds or pecans in a small baggie and add to your tea while steeping.

For a more roasty taste, toast your nuts before hand by putting them in the oven at 350 until brown.

9. Ginger

I add fresh ginger often to my teas when I have a sore throat. Ginger packs a real punch!

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You can peel and slice it into your tea while steeping for a milder effect, or grate it and squeeze the juice right into your tea. For full power, grate it and throw ALL of the pulp and juice in! Ginger gives a nice kick!


The one I do the most is adding citrus, with adding vanilla beans the second most.

What do you tea peeps add to your tea? Any favorites? Leave a comment!

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Bursting Lychee from Steep City Teas – Tea Review

Bursting Lychee is a exotic fruity white tea blend from Steep City Teas.

I’ve had a number of lychee teas, but more often they are black teas. For the longest time, I’d buy this cheap boxed black lychee bagged tea from my local asian grocery store. It was good and kinda lychee, but also bitter tasting as if I ate the hard lychee skin!

I’m really happy to see a white lychee tea – so I bought this with my second order with Steep City! I think the white tea would work the best to show off the lychee flavor and Steep City does a pretty delicious white.

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Hmmm, though it appears Steep City’s image with Bursting Lychee is rambutans! I love rambutans! Mostly because they look scary! They taste pretty close to lychees to me, though I never compared them side by side.

800px-Rambutan_Nephelium_lappaceum_Hello alien fruit!  You are so delicious!

That would be really funny to see that crazy hairy fruit in my tea. Don’t think it add much good flavor though, since the crazy part is the outside skin.

DRY LEAF: Sweet and strong smelling lychee! I wish I could just eat this tea right now!

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Beautiful white tea with chunks of fruit and yellow and orange petal accents! However, those fruity cubes like to lurk on the bottom, so make sure to do a good mix before steeping it up!

STEEPED: I’m still without a trusty 2 cup tea pot – so I decided to go all out and make a 24oz pot for myself!

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Light fruity lychee smell comes from this tea. Really reminds me of fresh lychee – that milky, watery, sweet, juicy smell. Though, it is missing that bitter seedy smell of lychee and stickyness.

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I attempted to steep this at 175F for 2 minutes, as per package instructions. However, I’m not used to making an entire pot, so it might of been around 2.25 or 2.5 minutes.

Time to pour!

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wait a minute. I’m taking pictures. Who is pouring the tea?

Bursting Lychee from Steep City Teas - Oolong Owl tea review (8)Mr. Owly!

TASTE: Very juicy tea! Very much so lychee in taste – I even get a little bit of the milky lychee flavor (if you have eaten lychee before you’ll know what I mean). There is a natural sweetness in this tea which is quite nice. I don’t pick up much of the other fruits (pineapple and papaya) but they really bring out the lychee taste!

I find my tea tastes better hot than if I left it in the cup for awhile to cool. The lychee loses a bit of intensity and I’m left to enjoy the pai mu tan base – which is quite good, fresh and a touch floral.

Sweetened with a bit of german rock sugar, the lychee really pops – I could hardly believe it – this tea already tastes like lychee? MOAR LYCHEE?! This is almost like lychee juice! I prefer this tea unsweetened, but this could be amazing iced!

RESTEEP: The resteep of Bursting Lychee smells floral – interesting! The flavor is white tea floral with the milky hum of lychee. 3/10 on the Floral-o-meter. The resteep lost most of the fruity essence, as well as sweetness. The resteep is a little watery, but still pretty good, though I don’t think I’d get another resteep.

COLD STEEPED: I cold steeped Bursting Lychee for about 4 or 5 hours.

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The result is a refreshing tea that is slightly fruity – I taste a bit of lychee, but I’m also picking up the other fruit flavors – a little papaya and pineapple. The tea is starting to go bitter, so I wouldn’t cold steep this for as long as I did – stick to 2 to 3 hours.

ICED: Now I’m drinking lychee juice! I steeped Bursting Lychee double strength and poured over ice, a thin lemon slice and some honey. Unlike the cold steep, lychee is the fruity flavor here. The honey quite compliments the lychee flavor, but I think german rock sugar would be better here to pull out the tea flavor more rather than add flavor.  The iced tea is still very juicy, fresh and lychee tasting!

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I thought this was pretty darn fruity – enough that my tea hating husband might like this tea. Sigh, he didn’t. He said it tasted like tea still. BOOO! I should really keep score on my husband vs. tea. I know right now it’s Tea 2 – Husband lots!

COMMENTSBursting Lychee has a really good lychee flavor that I’m very impressed with. This has to be one of the most lychee tasting teas I’ve had so far – very closely tastes like lychee! Also, really fresh tasting tea, I love that!

I think the best flavor is when Bursting Lychee tea is hot, right after being steeped. Next best would be iced. Wow Steep City Teas, you guys do really good fruity teas!


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A Rabbits Garden from Della Terra Teas – Tea Review

A Rabbit’s Garden is a green tea blend featuring peas, corn, peaches, carrots and lemongrass. This very unique tea is from Della Terra Teas.

When I saw the description for this tea I had to get it. What the??? PEAS? CORN? SIGN ME UP! Though I’m sure there’s some of you out there immediately would pass on this tea.

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I own a rabbit. In my teen years, I lived on a farm and we had Flemish giant bunnies – very big rabbits! In university I owned a Netherland Dwarf, Bunito, who lived for 8 years. As soon as I moved to California, I got a fun Holland Lop. He’s a small fluffy bundle of rabbit disapproval.

His garden? He owns an entire master bathroom. Well, he took over it. His garden is an obstacle course of chewed up boxes and paper bags. If he blended a tea it be made with cardboard, fur, orchard grass hay, rabbit pellet, broccoli stem, kale, dandelion and strawberries. Sounds.. awful. Thankfully he doesn’t blend tea!


I couldn’t pass on this rabbit tea blend full of veg – my bunny would not forgive me!

DRY LEAF: green tea with lots of lightly yellow peach chunks, the odd large corn and pea, accented with vibrant orange carrot slices.

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I love the colour of the peas – that mint colour is just gorgeous with the yellows and earthy green tea leaves.

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The smell? Very peachy! Mouth wateringly peachy!

STEEPED: Lightly peach scented pale yellow tea.

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Interesting after steeping that the veggies became mushy! I thought they’d be still dried bits. The plentiful peach chunks taste great!

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I steeped this tea at 160F for 2 minutes, as per instructions on the packaging.

TASTE: Very light tasting tea! The base tastes like a soft sencha green. Lots of vegetal going on here! Theres a bit of buttery creamy from the corn and a vegetal flavor I’ve never had in a green before that must be the peas. The tea finishes off with a bit of peach. Really nice vegetal and peach aftertaste. Very interesting tea!

Sweetened, I really taste the corn and peaches. The corn adds an interesting body to this tea, whereas the peach is just delicately sweet adding a touch of cuteness to this tea. With the sweetener, the peach is now juicy and full of flavor.

COLD STEEPED: I cold steeped A Rabbits Garden for 2 hours in the fridge.

WOW! THIS TEA IS REALLY GOOD COLD STEEPED! Full of flavor! Refreshing! Juicy! The peachy taste is lovely with loads of sweet. The green tea base is delicious and buttery with the corn. The corn doesn’t add that weird body effect. The vegetal and peas taste is crisp and tasty, like biting into a fresh sugar snap pea! I am very surprised with A Rabbit’s Garden and I will cold steep this tea again!

A Rabbits Garden from Della Terra - Oolong Owl tea review

COMMENTS: I do love a great vegetal unflavored green tea. A Rabbit’s Garden takes it fuzzy bunny leaps forward by actually adding vegetal to the tea. Cold steeped = amazing! This is the second best cold steeping I’ve done, first being a gyokuro tea! That is saying A LOT!

I’d describe a hot cup of A Rabbit’s Garden to be a light, vegetal, delicate and gentle of a tea – totally a spring tea to sip outside with cute white bunnies bouncing around! Cold steeped, this tea is a crisp, refreshing spring day outside.. stealing fresh snap peas from the garden with the bunny!

Though, in reality. Me sipping tea with the bunny means getting jumped on, nosed until I give him treats, and then I’m picking fur out of my tea cup.

If you want to try a really fun tea, or just like vegetal greens, I’d sample A Rabbit’s Garden!

Three Friends from Butiki Teas – Tea Review

Three Friends is a black tea with orange, chocolate and marshmallow flavoring. This tea is from Butiki Teas.

Okay, I am slightly biased here. I love Terry’s Chocolate Oranges. I’m homesick for Canada and my family, so the smell and taste of chocolate oranges bring me back to spending time with my Dad. He always gave me a chocolate orange for Christmas. The first time I got one, I was insistent I break it myself – but I was a pretty weak of a kid. Heck, despite all my brazilian jiu jitsu, my upper body strength is kinda crap. Dad always smashed these oranges just perfectly! Totally a Dad thing!

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I bought this tea a couple months back and didn’t try it. Oh, I’ve opened the tin and smelled it many times, but couldn’t bring myself to drink it. Recently I decided to dig into this tea. Extra home sick?

DRY LEAF: Dead on Terry’s Chocolate Orange smell. A strong orange smell that penetrates all other smells followed with a snuggly dark chocolate smell.

Three Friends from Butiki Teas - Oolong Owl tea review (1)

The appearance of the dry leaf is very nice – goldy brown fuzzy leaves with a black tip, mixed with chocolate drops and orange peel chunks! The leaves almost remind me of crunchy fall leaves.

STEEPED: Still smells exactly like it does dry – chocolate orange! As I poured in the hot water – wow – the entire room smelled like chocolate orange! /swoooooon

Three Friends from Butiki Teas - Oolong Owl tea review (3)

I steeped Three Friends with boiling water for 3 minutes, as per package instructions.

TASTE: Orange and a dark chocolate flavor upfront, with a lovely earthy black base supporting the dark chocolate. I love the base here, it works very well with the blend, so expertly chosen! I’m getting some marshmallow flavor and sensation and I get I bit of creamyness texture on my lips. FYI, there is no bitterness or tart or sour in this tea. I preferred Three Friends piping hot – about a minute or two after the steep was perfect flavoring for me!

/burp. Mmmm, a tea burp of orange.

Sweetened, the marshmallow really pops out much more. Bit of a illusion of fluffy fullness added somehow with the marshmallow. The orange moves to juicy range and the chocolate softens a bit. The tea is also cooler at this point and the base has lost its powerful back up ability and is wavying with the other flavors. I prefer this tea unsweetened to enjoy the dark chocolate flavor more.

BONUS NOTES: I had a few steeping times that were off due to impatience or not paying attention. I accidentally oversteeped it by 30 seconds and the marshmallows really popped out. The marshmallow was interesting, but I preferred a weaker marshmallow flavor. I found at the 3 minute steeping mark you get a good balance of the chocolate/orange/marshmallow. The 2:45 minute mark there is very little marshmallow flavor  in the first steeping.

RESTEEP: What, this tea is still amazing? The orange is a little softer, the chocolate is still present – still dark chocolately and the main flavor. The base pops a bit more at the end. I do get the cuddly marshmallow flavor now at the middle of my sip and as an after taste. Overall, a little mellower but still pretty good. If this resteep was my first steeping, I’d still be pretty happy!

As this tea cools, the base starts to taste a little watery and teeny bitter finish. This supports my statement that this tea really hot is best.

COMMENTS:  Three Friends is liquid Chocolate Orange without the weird aftertaste and sick stomach of eating too many chocolate slices. No smashing required!

DavidsTea’s Chocolate Orange is a similar tea, which I also quite like, but I prefer Butiki’s Three Friends black tea base instead, it’s less strong as DT’s pu’erh choice, and shows off the flavoring much better. Sorry DT!

It is awesome having food queue up memories – always really strong memories with me. Three Friends, first steeping, is like christmas morning for me. The resteeping of Three Friends is like hugs during christmas, from the snuggly marshmallow flavoring. YAY!

charissa oolong owl - three friends3 snuggly chocolate bunnies?

Butiki Teas‘ Three Friends is now a total favorite of mine! You tea cuties out there should try it if you love chocolately black tea blends!

Nina’s Paris – Sample Tea Review

Hello my amazing tea peeps!

Nina’s Paris is a french tea brand that is about to launch in US and Canada. Check out their Facebook page and Twitter! Their America’s website is

Anyways, I got a handful of samples from them – yum!

Nina's Paris Samples - Oolong Owl Tea Review

I got Marie Antoinette, Mon Secret and Nina’s Japon as samples. I decided to do sample all of these teas and some quick review. I wish I had more than one serving of each so I can do a full review with sweeteners or  as lattes!

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Marie Antoinette is a black tea blend with rose petals and apple flavoring.

Dry leaf, it has a fabulous apple scent! I’d love to have this scent around the house, very lovely!

Taste, very nice black tea base with apple and rose flavor – I keep thinking the apple taste is a cross between a golden delicious in flavor, but has that red apple skin taste as well. The apple is quite delicate over the sturdy black tea base. The apple flavor lingers as an aftertaste. I like how the apple flavor is quite distinct and clean in flavor – I’m used to apple teas being either filler (that you can’t taste), or paired with chocolate or spices, or tart. There’s no tart here! The rose is quite light, but adds a little oomph to the apple – like I’m having tea and there’s a fresh rose sitting next to my cup.

The downside is the black tea is starting to go bitter. I had sampled it at 2.5 minutes, but thought it was weak, so it sat for another 45 seconds or so. I think 3 minutes at 200F is about perfect.

I think I’d buy some of this one – I love the apple in this tea!

Overall, very nice apple flavor – if you love apple teas this is for you!


Mon Secret is a tea that features sunflower, papaya, melon, peach and cream flavor.

Dry leaf, it smells like black tea – different black tea than Marie Antionette as I could pick up this could go astringent.

I steeped this one at 200F for 2 minutes, and went up to 2.5 minutes.

Quite strong black tea flavor with an extra earthy robust flavor. I didn’t get much fruity flavors here, and it was hard to distinguish them from each other. The black is just starting to get astringent on the back of my throat at end of sip, so I wouldn’t steep this any longer. I’m not a huge fan and would like to of tasted the fruits in this tea – I love melon! If this was supposed to be more stronger in fruity flavor, maybe being in a sample baggy the fruityness lost its flavor somehow. Though, the black was quite decent.

This would be for someone who enjoys black teas, with a little secret fruit thrown in!


Nina’s Japon is a blend of black tea, genmaicha, caramel, coconut, cream and vanilla flavors.

This one smelled amazing before steeping as well! Very coconutty – quite different than what I expected for a genmaicha blend!

Nina's Paris Samples - Oolong Owl tea review (1)

Very amazing steeped scent – sweet, caramelly and creamy! I steeped this at 175F for 3 minutes. I wouldn’t steep this tea for longer than that.

Taste wise, the black tea in this takes over, with a bit of green genmaicha in there. With that said, the black adds and extra level of roasty taste that compliments the toasted rice. With the green and black flavors, there is creamyness going on. The aftertaste is a nice caramel, creamy and sweet! I can also pick up the coconut flavor – fresh and creamy!

I quite like what they did with the genmaicha here – it’s different and a good blend of flavors! If you are a genmaicha fan, this one is worth a try!


Anyways, I’d love to see their full line up once their stores are open! Nina’s Paris USA, Canada and South America store is not up yet, but you can be put on the email list to be notified when their store is open, or even request samples and a catalogue.

Until then, you can purchase their teas on their Amazon store.

S’mores Genmaicha from 52 Teas – Tea Review

S’mores Genmaicha is a chocolate and marshmallow green tea blend from 52 Teas, an online tea seller that comes up with fun new blends each week.

Okay my tea peeps. I feel bad. This tea sold out but I’m still reviewing it. Hey, I bet it’ll get blended again hopefully. If it doesn’t I’m sure we’ll campaign and wishlist it until it does. As soon as I saw 52 Tea tweets that it was up, I bought myself a package without blinking an eye. When 52 Teas comes out with a tea you know you’ll like you buy it ASAP. If you sleep on it, it could be sold out.

Smore Genmaicha from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1)ALL MINE! PRECIOUS!

I don’t think there is enough greens or whites that are chocolate flavored so a chocolate marshmallow green is awesome!

I’ve heard many Steepsters say they leave their 52 Teas a week or two to rest for the flavors to meld. You know what? I’M FREAKING IMPATIENT! My tea came from mail slot, to table, to photo’d while the kettle is doing its thing. Then steeped, photo’d again, and sipped!

I gotta drink this tea before Mr. Owly attacks and steals my bag!

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Smore Genmaicha from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl tea review 2 (1)

DRY LEAF:  Smells really strongly like chocolate liquor. I can also smell that sticky brown top of roasted marshmallow! Maybe letting it sit for a week would be a good idea? PHFFFFFFFF!

Great appearance with S’more Genmaicha with toasted rice, tight dark green tea leaves, lumps of chocolate and torn rooty looking marshmallow root.

Smore Genmaicha from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

STEEPED: Smells deeply like chocolate is straight melted into my cup!

Of course, it isn’t a cup of pure chocolate – my tea is a light yellow green in my tea cup!

Smore Genmaicha from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (8)

I steeped this tea for 2.5 minutes at 175F.

TASTE: DROOOOL! Very good! Tastes like dark chocolate melting all over the place, with marshmallow rooty floof fluttering about, with toasty rice flavor, that is quite savory, all with a backing of delicious genmaicha.  The toasty rice really adds to making this tea really taste like smores! There is a slight smokey taste, but it blends moreso with the roasty rice flavor. The tea is also slightly sweet from the chocolate. All this chocolatelyness I thought I should be leaving sticky chocolate fingerprints all over my tea cup! Great chocolately aftertaste that lingers too! FYI, no bitterness in S’mores Genmaicha.

If you have had 52 Teas Marshmallow Treat –  is fairly similar in marshmallow taste, but lacking in the crazy chocolate melted all over department of S’mores Genmaicha.

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Sweetened with a little german rock sugar, this tea is even more smore tasting, if it wasn’t already close enough to smores. The chocolate is still the strongest flavor, backed with toasty rice. The marshmallow flavor teeters a bit to the side when sweetened, but comes out as an aftertaste. I prefer S’more Genmaicha without sweetener as I get more marshmallow flavor.

Even down to the last teeny sip, it was very chocolately. YUM!

I did another first steeping at 175 for 3.5 minutes and found the genmaicha green comes out more, humming with the chocolate and marshmallow flavors, with the tea being a little sweeter. I think any longer of a steeping would become bitter. I prefer the shorter 2.5 minute steep.

RESTEEP: 175F for 3 minutes (off my 175F 2.5 minute initial steep). I’m resteeping just because I have to know if I can stretch this tea out. The genmaicha is the first flavor – light, yet savory and little buttery green with a little soggy toasted rice. Hey, it’s a resteep! The end of sip is chocolately and marshmallowy that echos as an aftertaste. Not bad but kinda light and a little watery – maybe I should do a longer resteep time.

COMMENTS: I am now kicking myself. I SHOULD OF BOUGHT A SECOND PACKAGE OF S’MORES GENMAICHA! FFFFFFFFF!@#$%^&*!*@&*@&!!#$$!!! /faceroll

If you love chocolate teas and all these marshmallow teas that have been coming out lately, snag this one when it is in stock! You will be competing with me though – a tea nerd who spends most of her time on the computer.  I’ll be getting another bag as soon as I see it available!


Smore Genmaicha from 52 Teas - Oolong Owl tea review 2 (3)This was seriously my breakfast this morning!