Loose Leaf Tea

Oolong Tea Review: English Tea Store Oolong Orange Blossom

ETS Oolong Orange Blossom

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Oolong Orange Blossom

Tea Category: Oolong Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: The leaves are dark green to brown in color with bits of yellow-orange colored petals. When opening the tea pouch, a sweet and flowery fragrance escapes and entices the senses.

Additions: Orange Blossom Petals 

Flavor: A delicate fruity-flower blend that that has touch of honey-like sweetness and dry finish 

Overall: 3.9/5

I really enjoyed this tea because it was a nice departure from my usual black tea habit. Plus, the bouquet of the leaves kept me coming back for more.

Packaging:

I ordered the Estate Teas sampler pack and in this collection was the Oolong Orange Blossom. My sample came in a simple black, re-sealable bag that seemed to be constructed of thick-plastic.

On the label of my one-ounce sample, was the name of the tea. However, no steeping instructions were included so; I had to visit the English Tea Store’s website for brewing tips.

As a side note: In the sampler pack I had received, two of the advertised teas were missing. Instead, I was shipped two packages of the Nonsuch and Formosa Oolong to replace the absent items. Even though I was disappointed, I recalled that the website did specify: “substitutions may be made according to availability.” And I really can’t complain because I received about 8 ounces of tea for under 9.00 dollars.

Tea Review:

The initial flavor is fruity, like oranges and flowery, like jasmine. The combination is exotic and captivating. There is also note of honey-like sweetness that really brings it all together nicely.

Rather quickly, however, the taste becomes a bit oaky (as in oak tree) and dry, with a touch of bitterness. This second note comes too fast, because I want to revel in the sweet orange blossom flavor a bit longer. I am left feeling saddened that I couldn’t enjoy the first taste of the fruity-floral-orange a little longer.

But then, after the last drop of tea has been swallowed, I am left with a dry, but creamy-orange taste in my mouth. I am quite pleased and want to take another sip because the fragrance of the Oolong Orange Blossom tea takes me away for a brief moment to an imaginary exotic garden.

In this garden I am sitting on an old, weathered oak bench and flourishing orange blossoms surround me. The beauty of this natural space reminds me to enjoy the moment.

Preparation Tips:

According to the English Tea Store’s website the Oolong Orange Blossom tea is best when steeped in water that has been brought to a light boil (165-190F) for 1-3 minutes.

Although, I found that a water temperature of about 170F and a steep time of one-minute is all that is needed to bring out the best flavor. A higher water temperature and longer steep time destroys the delicate orange flavor and will leave you with a bitter tasting brew.

Since there were no recommendations on the website about the amount of tea to use per cup of water, I went with the general guideline of one teaspoon.

I used a T-Sac to brew the leaves. I find these paper filters to be quite convenient, but a little cumbersome to use at first. On the plus side, I can just toss them away after they’ve done their job.

Vendor Provided Sample: No 

Affiliate Links: No

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Amy

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

If you’d like to purchase this tea from the English Tea Store just click the button below. Enjoy!

[button link=”http://agirlwithtea.com/english-tea-store” type=”big” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] English Tea Store[/button]

 

Black Tea Review: English Tea Store Nonsuch

ETS Nonsuch

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store  

Tea Name: Nonsuch

Tea Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf: South India

The Leaves: The leaves appear dark brown to black in color. The smell of the leaf is slightly sweet, with a hint of citrus fruit

Additions: None 

Flavor: A medium-bodied tea with fruity and floral notes that are rounded out by a touch of maltiness and tartness

Overall: 4.5/5

I found this tea to be quite interesting and complex. Each cup revealed new nuances that kept me engaged cup after cup.

Packaging:

The Nonsuch was part of an Estate Teas sampler pack I had ordered. My samples were shipped in plain, black bags that appeared to be thick-plastic. Each one-ounce sample had a white label and on the label the name of the tea was included. In addition, the pouches are re-sealable.

Unfortunately, no brewing instructions were included with my order, so I ended up going to the website for steeping tips.

As a side note, I didn’t receive all the tea samples in the Estate Teas collection. Instead, I was shipped duplicates of two teas to compensate for the two that were missing. The webpage does stipulate that substitutions may happen, due to the unavailability of some types of tea. In addition, I received a great value; only eight bucks for about 8 ounces of tea!

Tea Review:

The initial flavor in my cup is fruity, almost lemony. Then there is a delicate floral note that reminds me of orange or jasmine blossoms.

Next, as the warm liquid washes over my palate, just a hint of maltiness is apparent. There is also a tobacco like quality. Not like cigarette smoke which is harsh and overpowering, but sweet and smooth like a fine cigar or high-quality pipe tobacco.

Lastly, my cup has a tart taste, an almost lemon-like finish that lingers until the next sip.

Interestingly, as I drank the Nonsuch, the image of a beautiful garden with blooming citrus trees came to mind. I am sitting on a bench and next to me is a dainty porcelain plate filled with juicy lemon slices. Then, a light breeze drifts by carrying the sweet and subtle fragrance of fine tobacco smoke. What a great escape even if only for a moment!

Preparation Tips:

For the best tasting cup, the English Tea Store recommends that the Nonsuch tea be steeped for 2 to 5 minutes in water that has been brought to a rolling boil. I usually like to steep black tea leaves for a good 4 to 5 minutes, but this tea doesn’t need it. Within 2 to 3 minutes, I found the perfect brew.

Although, it is fun to play around with different steeping times because this tea has lots to reveal. You never know when a new taste might appear.

No instructions where given on the English Tea Store’s website about how much tea or water to use therefore, I went with the general recommendation of one teaspoon of tea per cup of water.

For my filter method, I used a T-Sac, which can be a little tricky to use, but is quite convenient; no filter to rinse out. All I had to do was steep and toss.

Vendor Provided Sample: No 

Affiliate Links: No

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Amy

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

If you’d like to purchase this tea from the English Tea Store just click the button below. Enjoy!

[button link=”http://agirlwithtea.com/english-tea-store” type=”big” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] English Tea Store[/button]

Oolong Tea Review: English Tea Store Formosa Oolong

ETS Formosa Oolong

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Formosa Oolong

Tea Category: Oolong Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf: Taiwan

The Leaves: The leaves appear dark brown to black in color, with the occasional greenish-looking leaf. Upon closer inspection, I found many stick like steams among the leaves.

Additions: None

Flavor: A grassy tasting tea that has a slight roastiness to it, reminding me of how the leaves might smell as they are being heated during processing.

Overall: 3.6/5

I just couldn’t get excited about this tea; I found myself feeling bored and craving to move on to something more remarkable. On the plus side, this oolong does have a simple taste profile that could be pleasing if you’re looking for an unpretentious thirst quencher.

Packaging:

My samples were shipped in plain, black bags that appeared to be thick-plastic. On the label was just the name of the tea, no steeping instructions were included; I ended up going to the website for brewing instructions. The tea pouches are re-sealable, which does make them quite convenient.

The Formosa Oolong was part of an Estate Teas sampler pack I had ordered. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive all the teas in the collection. However, the web page does stipulate that substitutions may occur and I did receive duplicates of two teas to make up for the two that were missing.

Not to mention that the sampler packs are a great value; I received 8 ounces of tea for about eight bucks. So, this sampler pack was a great way to start my loose tea drinking experience without breaking the bank!

Tea Review:

The English Tea Store website describes this oolong tea as: smooth and slightly sweet, with a touch of dryness. I would agree that it is definitely smooth tasting, mellow in fact. But, I really couldn’t detect the sweetness.

When drinking the Formosa Oolong, the thought that kept coming to mind was that it’s flat tasting. The tea seems to have only one constant flavor, thereby creating a taste experience that lacks depth and character. If only there would have been a hint of any other flavor, this tea could have been quite interesting.

However, I did experience some curious imagery when sipping this tea. I found myself laying in a lawnchair on a lazy sunny afternoon. I am surrounded by the smell of lush green grass being cooked by the sun’s rays, which I find somewhat stifling rather than relaxing. And there perhaps, is my issue with this oolong tea—I find that I have a hard time relaxing!

Preparation Tips:

I ended up following the tea preparation recommendations from the English Tea Store, which included steeping the tea for 1-3 minutes in water that has reached a light boil or about 165 to 190F.

To steep the leaves, I used a T-Sac paper filter. It was a little tricky getting the leaves into the bag, but once there in, they tended to stay. I’ve also found these filters to be a nice way to transition from tea bags to loose leaf tea.

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Amy

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

If you’d like to purchase this tea from the English Tea Store just click the button below. Enjoy!

[button link=”http://agirlwithtea.com/english-tea-store” type=”big” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] English Tea Store[/button]

Black Tea Review: English Tea Store Assam TGFOP

ETS Assam TGFOP

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Assam TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)

Tea Category:  Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf: India

The Leaves: The leaves are dark brown to black in color with a few golden colored tips

Additions: None 

Flavor: A smooth, earthy and robust black tea with a comforting biscuity/malty flavor, and just a touch of sweetness

Overall: 4.0/5

This was my first time tasting a loose leaf Assam and I really enjoyed the experience. It is one I plan to repeat a zillion times over!

Packaging:

In the Estate Teas sampler pack I had ordered, I received a one-ounce sample of the Assam TGFOP. My sample was mailed in a thick-plastic, simple black and re-sealable pouch with white label. The label indicated the name of the tea, but did not include brewing instructions.

Disappointingly, two of the teas advertised were not sent. However, I did get duplicates of two other teas to compensate for the difference.  In addition, the sampler webpage does state: “substitutions may be made according to availability.” Not to mention the incredible value I received from ordering the sample pack; I got 8 ounces of tea for eight bucks!

Tea Review:

The aroma of the brew brought to mind warmed tortillas; a pleasurable fragrance that invited me to take my first sip.

There is a nice earthy-robustness to the brew that is enhanced by a biscuity flavor that I have not experienced before. I say biscuity rather than malty because the taste reminds me of warm dough. Overall, I found this dough-like quality comforting and engaging.

Then, there is a just touch of sweetness. Lastly, the finish is smooth and leaves me wanting more.

Preparation Tips:

I could not find steeping directions for the Assam TGFOP on the English Tea Store’s website, but the Estate Teas sampler pack webpage recommends: “For the best brew, these teas should steep in water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 2 to 5 minutes.”

Because there were no tips on how much tea or water to use, I went with the general guideline of one teaspoon of tea per cup of boiling water. Next, I allowed the leaves to steep for about 4 minutes using a T-Sac paper filter.

Vendor Provided Sample: No 

Affiliate Links: No

This is “a girl with tea” signing off once again.

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of tea.

Amy

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

If you’d like to purchase this tea from the English Tea Store just click the button below. Enjoy!

[button link=”http://agirlwithtea.com/english-tea-store” type=”big” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] English Tea Store[/button]