Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea Review: Thé Des Songes from Le Palais des Thés

The Des Songes

Company/Brand Name: Le Palais Des Thés

Name: Thé Des Songes

Category: Flavored Oolong Tea (Wu Long)

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Twisted black tea leaves with noticeable pieces of lemon peel and flower petals

Additions: Flower Petals (Safflower, Lavender, Mallow), Lemon Peels, Aromas

Flavor: A medium-bodied, calming tea blend that has notes of dark chocolate, citrus and lavender

Overall: I was simply captivated by this tea. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. Overall, I unique blend that is perfect for quiet, contemplative moments.

Tea Review:

When I opened Thé Des Songes tea canister and inhaled the aroma of the dried leaves, I was met with an enchanting fragrance that was both lovely and exotic. My senses detected a delicate floral scent with notes of citrus and lavender.

Although, I have to admit that before I even opened the tea canister I had been feeling a bit wary of what I might find inside. For when I saw lavender on the list of ingredients, I feared that I would not enjoy this tea at all. I’ve sampled other teas that included lavender, all of which were entirely undrinkable.

But, no worries with this tea blend; the lavender was subtle and didn’t overpower. Rather, it complemented the other aromas, which made this blend absolutely splendid.

Of course, you’re probably wondering what I actually thought of the taste and I have to say that it didn’t disappoint.

The fragrance of the leaves was a good indicator of the flavor of this oolong tea, except for one intriguing taste that I wasn’t expecting: dark chocolate.

My first impression of Thé Des Songes was an enticing note of cocoa. Then hints of lemon and lavender made their way to my awareness, giving my brew a rich and satisfying taste. But that was only the beginning!

As my tea cooled, I discovered even more depth in my cup. Not only did a slightly creamy texture evolve, but I also noticed a touch of spice and even a slight minty-ness, making the whole experience feel rather decadent.

Before I swallowed the last drop, I let the tea wash over my tongue and there I found a slightly bitter, grassy taste. This added yet another level of depth to this flavored tea that I wasn’t expecting.

Lastly, the finish was smooth and slow with notes of lavender. Before it was all said and done a final note of minty-coolness lingered on my tongue teasing me to take another mouthful of goodness.

This is one of those teas that you want to drink unhurried to savor each and every sip; otherwise you may miss some small nuance. It is all the little sensations that make this oolong tea so entrancing. It’s definitely worth exploring!

Packaging:

The Des Songes Tea Canister

Thé Des Songes tea came in a beautiful and striking red canister decorated with a delicate flower print.

I appreciated that the tea canister had been encased in tear-away plastic wrap to keep the tea secured inside the tin during shipping. Plus, it kept the canister from getting nicked and scrapped, so it looked divine upon arrival.

This is the kind of tea tin that you don’t want to tuck away in the cupboard; instead, you want to have it on display for all to see.

As I explored the Le Palais Des Thés web page, I realized that many of the teas in the “Les Créations” collection came in their own uniquely decorated colored canister.

However, you do have a choice of how you would like to have your tea packaged. For instance, if ordering Thé Des Songes you have the option of a large silver pouch, a slim silver tin, gourmet tea bags, or the colorful tea canister.

I love having these packaging options; this tells me that Le Palais Des Thés puts their customer’s preferences first.

Preparation Tips:

The directions on the tea canister were quite helpful. A recommended brewing temperature, amount of tea to use and infusion time were all written in English, as well as in French, on the bottom of the tea tin.

I experimented with different brewing times within the range suggested (5-7 minutes). I really didn’t detect much variance in taste with the longer or shorter steeping times.

In fact, this oolong tea seemed to be quite forgiving; there were several instances when I wasn’t watching the time at all and I still had a very drinkable cup.

I tried a variety of filter methods for brewing, such as my mini-glass teapot, a tasting cup and a Finum brewing basket; all of them resulted in an exceptional cup of tea.

Lastly, I only used filtered water to sample this oolong tea.

Additional Notes:

Evening Time Tea – This oolong tea is perfect for after a late supper or as an evening indulgence. Not to mention that the soothing fragrance and flavor of this tea invites the mind and body to relax. A true comfort tea. Plus, it has a low caffeine-level according to Le Palais Des Thés website.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea just click the link below, it will take you directly to Thé Des Songes web page. Enjoy!

Le Palais Des Thés : Thé Des Songes

Vendor Provided Sample: Yes

Affiliate Links: No

Photo Credits: A Girl With Tea 

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

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

 

Types of Tea: An Introduction (Video)

Enjoy this lively, quick video that will walk you through the six types of tea. Plus, a few tisanes too!

Watch it in full-screen mode to get the total, awesomeness effect from the types of tea video. Have fun!

Photo Credits:
Flickr.com/Creative Commons Attribution License ~
Camellia Sinensis: Gwydion Williams
Puer Tea: Teajournaling
Rooibos: Akuppa
Yerba Mate: Juan Pablo Olmo
Fruit Tea: Moonlightbulb

Fotolia.com/Standard License ~
White Tea: Esolheim
Yellow Tea: Delphimages
Herbal Tea: KateP

Wikipedia/Free Art License ~ Guayusa: Anna Premo
Wikipedia/GNU Free Documentation License ~ Oolong Tea: Lateasquirrel

A Girl With Tea ~
Green and Black Tea

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

Remember to live, laugh, love and drink plenty of 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]

 

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]

Oolong Tea Review: Stash Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong

Stash Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong

Company/Brand Name: Stash

Name: Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong

Category: Oolong Tea, Flavored

Form: Tea Bag (Paper)

Origin of the Leaf: Fujian, China

The Leaves: Not applicable because the leaves are finely ground and hidden inside the typical tea bag exterior

Additions: Orange Peel, Pineapple, Coconut Flavor, Mango Flavor

Flavor: A sweet and fruity blend with coconut leading the way

Overall: A taste of the tropics will greet you when sipping this tea. I hope you love coconut! Oh, and don’t forget to bring a flower lei with you!

Tea Review:

The aroma of this brew is simply beguiling. A delightful scent of sweet coconut breezes through the air, reminding me of tropical fruit and suntan lotion.

The first sip is a bit weak, especially after experiencing such a strong fragrance from the steeping tea leaves. But, the more sips I take, the more prominent the taste becomes.

Even though orange peel is second on the ingredients list, I really didn’t taste orange in my cup. Coconut is the primary flavor and steals the show.

To round off the overall flavor, there is a delightful creaminess to this oolong tea that creates a nearly perfect finish.

This tea is a great pick-me-up when feeling a bit tired. Visions of tall palm trees, white sandy beaches, and bare feet liberated from synthetic pantyhose, take me away for a moment to some exotic getaway.

Packaging:

This oolong tea comes in a cardboard box and each individual tea bag is encased in a foil packet.

Preparation Tips:

The brewing directions on the box state: “To savor the full flavor of our teas, bring fresh water to a rolling boil. Pour hot water directly over the tea bag in a pre-heated pot or cup. Brew 3-5 minutes or to desired taste.”

I found that I preferred to use water just under the boiling point when steeping this tea, it tended to enhance the flavor.

Additional Notes:

Dessert Tea – This tea would make a wonderful dessert tea because of its sweet-coconut flavor.

Iced Tea – The flavor seems to really to express itself as the brew cools. In fact, I tried this tea chilled and the flavor was almost as intense as the initial aroma.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea from Amazon.com just click the link below. Enjoy!

Coconut Mango Wuyi Oolong

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: Yes

Photo Credit: A Girl With Tea

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

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