Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Orange Blossom Oolong, New Mexico Tea Company

Stephen Daniels, who won my little facebook contest, requested that I do New Mexico Tea Company's Orange Blossom Oolong.

the pictures on their website show a much greener, less roasted oolong, which is NOT what I received.

This tea poses somewhat of a paradox. NORMALLY for oolong teas, I use my gaiwan.
But for flavored teas, I use either a gravity steeper, or basket infuser in either a mug or teapot.

I went the route of gravity steeper today, since I just have trouble getting more than 3 steeps out of this tea, even in a gaiwan.

That would be 2 teaspoons of leaf in my gravity infuser, as you might be able to see, I put cheaters marks on my gravity steeper so that I don't accidentally overflow a mug. (I'll be doing a whole post on my gravity steeper later.)

at the one minute mark you can see the tea is already fairly tinted. 

I almost never go to the 3 minute mark with this tea. I go to 2 minutes then I put the steeper on top of my mug.

This tea has HUGE orange flavor. it does not completely occlude the flavor of the oolong, but almost.

I'm almost disappointed that it is not the tea shown in the photos. I feel that with a greener oolong, this tea could have an almost creamsicle like flavor. 

That being said- it is a very tasty tea. Earthy, with that orange punch.

The higher oxidation on the oolong comes out when I steep this a second and then third time, with nutty, bready flavors.

It doesn't do well past the third steeping though, becoming astringent and wan.

7/10- I wish it were the same version they show on their website, I think it would have tasted much  more smooth and cohesive. the earthiness is nice in later steeps, but it distracts from the orange flavor.

My husband bought this tea for me in my NM Tea Co mini haul.

I am currently listening to Pentatonix radio on my pandora. They have such good harmony and collective tonal range.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Starting small, then going big. Adagio and Simple Tea.

Today I got two packages, one through the regular post, and one through UPS.

The first package was rather small, containing the three samples I ordered from Adagio using frequent cup points (and the fourth I got for hitting the "Share on Facebook" button).
The apricot green and valentine's blends were suggested by one of their tea docents. The other two are just a couple of flavored white teas that I just thought I ought to try.

I have not tried any of these yet, as my second package of the day took up much of my time.

This next package I solicited from Simple Tea, a specialty site focusing on corporate gifting and private label branding.

It gets kind of complicated from here, but hear me out.

My father used to work with the wife of the owner of this company, before he (my father) retired due to ongoing health issues.

Danny, the owner of Simple Tea, agreed to send me some things to review, but only after I asked, and probably only because his wife used to entertain me in her office when I was a child, to keep me out of my dad's hair. His wife is a really sweet person, and it's thanks to her that I got in touch with Danny in the first place. That being said, ON TO THE TEAS (and such).

 That's the front of the card that he sent with the items, the back had a personally written message and his contact info, so I did not feel comfortable taking a picture of that, to avoid spam on his personal email account and phone line.

First off, Oriental Beauty, which I will be reviewing at the end of this post. I am probably most excited about this tea, because I have not ever had a tea of this type before.

This one is really unusual for a jasmine green. It's made of a pearled green tea, with loose jasmine blossoms. It smells fantastic, like a garden.

You all may laugh, but the only Tae Guan Yin I have had previously was one with a bit of roast to it, so I am pleased to see this one is a greener specimen for me to play with.

This is what I assume is his "house" oolong. Very green, large pearls with a slight (not heavy enough to be a Jin Xuan) creamy scent, I am guessing that it is Taiwanese in origin, but I could be wrong.

And next is what could possibly be the COOLEST thing- A tea tumbler with basket!!!!

As you can see the basket is almost four inches long, and maybe an inch and a half in diameter. nice and big, perfect for those oolong teas I just got, perhaps? You shall see.

Another new thing, blooming tea. This one is called "Beauty of the Season" The tea bunches were in a vacuum sealed bag, but I took them out of it to show y'all what they look like pre-brew. I will do a singular post to show you all how they turn out, they are pretty fun.

Monday, April 20, 2015

White2Tea's OBSX (old bush shui xian) oolong

Please note, I am experimenting with lighting and flash during these photos. Also note, I do not have a fancy camera, just a Panasonic point and shoot, and though I love it dearly, I know it does not lend itself well to professional level photography.

White2tea's OBSX may be the single costliest tea I have yet to try. At $35 per 50g, I can only say that this is a tea more suited for someone of  higher social repute than I.

I put 4.4g of tea into my 4 oz gaiwan, which I only filled to the 3 oz mark during this session, ( I really can not wait for my smaller gaiwans to get here.)

I used 205 F water for this, a little hotter than perhaps I should have gone, but I was trying to push the tea a little, maybe make it go a little differently than I thought it was going to.

The result is not far off in color from the picture on the website. It had a very coppery taste to it with hints of honeysuckle and mallow blossoms, as well as a roasty nuttyness. It was very sweet on the back of the throat as well.

I drank on this for the better part of the day, then tossed the leaves into my nalgene with some cold water and the H2Jo! attachment overnight and drank on that the next day.

The cold brew was much lighter with a greater honeysuckle flavor.

8/10 would purchase except for (what I consider) a steep price tag, it was very enjoyable though, and may treat myself to some sometime.

I am listening to Pandora's Emo Genre station, just because I like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

How to make a tea latte for a crowd, featuring VITAMIX and Adagio Tea's Chestnut.

I'm kind of in a goofy mood today, so excuse the hyperness of my writings.

Yummy yummy chestnut black, what shall I do today? I know, I will make a whole pitcher of tea latte and then drink it all, BWAH HA HA HA.....(do not actually drink the whole pitcher in one sitting, you will make yourself sick from the sugar and dairy, not to mention the tannins.)
Take about 2 tablespoons of your favorite tea to have with milk, I used Adagio's Chestnut.

Brew according to package instructions. (Using 12-16 oz of water)

 This is Jack, the tea room cat. he loves my pink chair, even though it clashes with his fur.

1/4 cup of sugar in the bottom of your blender .

one can of regular evaporated milk, NOT SWEETENED CONDENSED, into the blender as well

Meet VITA, my Vitamix of LURVE. 

Start it, crank it to ten, then flip the switch to make it go to eleven, then slowly pour in your very hot fresh STRONG tea. Blend until foamy and steaming

Pour into 3 big mugs, or 6 small cups.

The foam is my favorite part.

I have updated my about me page as well, so go on and take a look.

Monday, April 13, 2015

DAVIDsTEA Goji POP. Done exactly to package specs.

I got this as a free sample in an order a while back, as I am not to keen on Goji Berries, I just kind of threw it in a drawer. BUT- my quest is to review them all. And all I shall review. link for posterity
 LOTS of fruit, very little hibiscus. pretty chunky too, I'm going to start with a 6 minute infusion for this.

 205 exactly.

The result is pretty meh, to be honest. To get any flavor out of it whatsoever I had to add 3 sugar cubes to it, and even then it was just kind of wah. The fruit flavor was fleeting, and there wasn't enough hibiscus to make it taste like anything.

3/10 Would not purchase.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Crazy couple of weeks behind me but, a new review for you. White2Tea's 2008 Often Tuocha.

It is been a rigorously crazy couple of weeks at my house.

 Sorry to say that has kept me from posting until today.

 I have been so busy in fact that I have barely been on Reddit lately. 

With everything that's been going on I have decided to review for you a tea that I have been eagerly awaiting a chance to brew. 

White2Tea's 2008 Often Tuocha has been number one on my list since my last review. 

I just needed to wait for a lazy Saturday morning for a chance to brew it.  

 White2Tea's often tuocha brews up initially a light sunshine yellow. The flavors are mainly medicinal and camphor with a light menthol finish I have come to expect from this vintage of sheng. 

 In the second steep the color turns dark to golden honey, with the camphor notes becoming stronger and more pronounced as well as a certain fermented funk coming on the aftertaste.  

 I noticed a lot of twigs in the wet leaf matter, not my favorite thing to discover, but the taste is not harmed in this one I think. 

Third steep. Very funky and fermented tasting. Almost too funky for me, but I can't even stop myself from sipping it so some part of me must like it a lot. 

4th steep, with a little sugar the camphor notes are back and the funk has dissipated. 

Sidenote: I have been brewing this tea with 195°F water rather than the usual 212.  I find that it makes for an easier transition for the tea, and brings out some subtleties that can easily get overlooked.

I give it a 8 out of 10, I may look into buying a whole tuocha of this the next time I make a tea order.

This tea was provided for review.

I am listening to my Yoshida Brothers Radio on Pandora. It is very atmospheric and the instrumentals just scream "tea drinking music" to me right now.