Types of Tea

Green Tea Review: Honest Tea Jasmine Green Energy

Honest Jasmine Green Energy

Company/Brand Name: Honest Tea

Name: Jasmine Green Energy

Category: Green and White Tea Blend, USDA Organic

Form: Bottled in a glass container

Origin of the Leaf: Unknown

The Leaves: Not Applicable

Additions: Agave syrup, which adds 17 calories per serving, or 34 calories per 16 oz. bottle

Flavor: Sweet and flowery at first, then slightly grassy with a bitter aftertaste

Overall: A strongly flavored bottled tea that will surprise those who are used to a mellower tea concoction and amuse those who enjoy a little bite to their tea.

Tea Review:

I’ve had this bottle of Honest Tea hanging out in the fridge for a while; I was waiting for the right time to give it a try. Today, I wasn’t able to get to my tea kettle because the kitchen was going through a little remodeling, so it seemed like a good day to sample this particular brew.

I found this bottled tea to be quite tart tasting. Yet, I wasn’t turned off by the bitterness at all because the combination of flavors was quite interesting.

When I first take a sip, the flavor is sweet. Then the jasmine expresses itself alongside a hint of grassiness. Finally, as the brew makes its way to the back of my throat, the taste becomes bitter.  Yet, the sweetness still lingers, so a bitter-sweet flavor is my final impression.

Preparation Tips:

Twist the top off and drink!

I Want This Tea!

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

Honest Tea

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

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.

Green Tea Review: English Tea Store Jasmine with Flowers

Jasmine With Flowers

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Name: Jasmine with Flowers

Category: Green Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of the Leaf: Fujian Province, China

The Leaves: The cut, dark green leaves are splashed with pieces of dried yellow petals. The aroma of the leaves is simply intoxicating; a bouquet of sweet and fragrant jasmine flowers.

Additions: Jasmine Petals

Flavor: A sweet and flowery tasting tea

Overall: The Jasmine with Flowers is a delightful green tea that captivates the senses and brings beauty to everyday life.

Tea Review:

The flavor of the Jasmine with Flowers is representative of the exotic scent the dried leaves and petals revealed when I first opened the tea package.

A sweet-flowery taste stands-out, yet it is delicate enough to allow the green tea to reveal its refreshing essence.

Interestingly, as the liquor travels down my throat a sense of creaminess occurs leaving me feeling as if I’ve just sipped something quite remarkable.

This green tea takes me away to some exotic Asian flower garden where blossoms fill the air with a delightful perfume. The enchanting sweetness begs me to linger and enjoy the moment.

Overall, I found the jasmine in this tea both calming and uplifting; a perfect combination for meditation or simply taking a few moments in the day to relax.

Packaging:

I had ordered the Chinese Teas sampler pack and my 1-ounce 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 had to go to the website for brewing tips. On the plus side, the bags are re-sealable.

As a side note: In the sampler pack I had received, the Jasmine Dragon Tears Lychee, Congou China Black and Shanghai Lychee Jasmine where all missing. Instead, I was shipped three packages of the Lapsang Souchong and a duplicate of the Jasmine with Flowers. In all fairness, the sampler pack webpage does indicate that: “substitutions may be made according to availability.”

Preparation Tips:

For the best flavor, the English Tea Store website recommends that the Jasmine with Flowers green tea be steeped for 1 to 4 minutes in steaming water (150-180F). I found these instructions useful, although, I did use filtered water becasue the taste of this delicate tea can be bungled by chlorinated water.

Since there were no instructions regarding the amount of tea or water to use, I went with the general guideline of one teaspoon of tea per cup of water.

I tried a stainless steel, mesh ball infuser and T-Sac paper tea filter; I found that they both worked quite fine for keeping the leaves separate from the drinkable brew. However, I much preferred using my little mini-teapot to allow the leaves plenty of room to unfurl.

Additional Notes:

Iced Tea – The Jasmine with Flowers makes a delicious and energizing iced-tea drink that is sure to please.

I Want This Tea!

If you’d like to purchase this tea straight away, just click the link below, it will take you directly to the English Tea Store web page. Enjoy!

English Tea Store

Vendor Provided Sample: No

Affiliate Links: No

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.

 

Black Tea Review: English Tea Store Keemun Panda

ETS Keemun Panda

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Keemun Panda

Tea Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf: China

The Leaves: The broken, thin leaves are dark brown, almost black in color

Additions: None

Flavor: A smooth, full-bodied tea with a touch of fruitiness that is rounded out by a woodsy-earthy note

Overall: 4.0/5

An interesting black tea, that seemed to keep changing flavor with each cup. But one constant was its smooth taste that was always satisfying.

Packaging:

The Keemun Panda is one of the selections that came in my Chinese Teas sampler pack.

Each one-ounce sample came in a thick-plastic, black bag with the tea name on the label. Unfortunately, as there were no steeping instructions included on the label, I had to go to the English Tea Store’s website for more information. However, the tea pouches are re-sealable, making them easy to use cup after cup.

As a side note, when I ordered this particular sampler package, I didn’t receive all the teas advertised. Three of the teas were not shipped, duplicates were sent instead. However, the webpage does specify that substitutions may happen.

Tea Review:

I found this tea to be difficult to pin down; each cup I brewed seemed to be somewhat different.  However, the hint of sweet-fruitiness was consistent along with the deep-woodsy flavor.

It was the other flavors that kept eluding me. For instance, at times this tea seemed malty and then at other times there was a tease of smokiness. And sometimes, it didn’t say much at all.

When drinking this tea, I am taken away to some wooded area with towering trees. Sitting in the middle of it all, there is a table covered with some lightweight, colorful fabric that is stirring in the breeze. The only thing keeping the delicate table cover from floating up towards the tree limbs is a hodge-podge of teaware.

It seems the woodsy-earthy note reminds me of a forest and the sweet-fruitiness brings colorful images to mind. Yet, the changing character of this tea brings to mind visions of chaos, much like the mélange of teapots and teacups holding the tablecloth in place.

When it comes right down to it, however, I see before me an interesting display that puts a smile on my face.

Preparation Tips:

The English Tea Store website recommends steeping this black tea in water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 2 to 5 minutes.

However, no instructions on how much tea or water to use were provided so, I went with the general recommendation of one teaspoon of tea per cup of water.

For this particular tea, I used a T-Sac paper tea 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]

Black Tea Review: English Tea Store Lapsang Souchong

ETS Lapsang Souchong

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Lapsang Souchong

Tea Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf: Fujian Province, China

The Leaves: The leaves are nearly black in color and have an intense smoky smell

Additions: None

Flavor: A strong and distinctive tasting brew with an intense smokiness and just a touch of pine

Overall: 3.5/5

An interesting taste experience; it’s like drinking a campfire. I am not a huge fan of this smoky flavored black tea, but it is definitely a taste experience worth exploring.

Packaging:

I purchased this tea from the English Tea Store as part of a Chinese Teas sampler pack. My one-ounce sample of this tea was sent in a thick-plastic, black pouch that had the name of the tea on the front.

No brewing tips were included on the Lapsang Souchong sampler bag, so I had to visit the website for more information. On the plus side, the pouch is re-sealable.

As a side note, when ordering the sampler packs, be aware that not all the advertised selections may be sent.

For instance, three of the teas shown on the Chinese Teas sampler pack webpage where not included in my order. Instead, I received three packages of the Lapsang Souchong and a duplicate of the Jasmine with Flowers.

In all fairness, it does state on the website that: “substitutions may be made according to availability.”

Tea Review:

The aroma of the brew is just as powerful as the dried tea leaves. In fact, I could smell the brew from several feet away.

The first sip was a little overwhelming. The smokiness is intense and certainly the primary flavor. However, I did detect just a hint of pine before my allergies started to kick into high gear.

Did I mention that I am allergic to pine trees? Burning wood isn’t exactly my friend either. Although, I do love the smell of pine as well as campfires but, they just don’t like me.

Even though I found this tea intriguing in the taste department, it caused me to feel as if I was experiencing a bit of an allergic reaction. I sensed my chest and throat tighten. Then, a wave of dizziness swept over me and lingered for a while even after the last sip.

The image that comes to mind when drinking the Lapsang Souchong is that of a huge campfire burning in the middle of a pine forest. I can see the flames rise up and lick the stars in the midnight-blue sky. Huge billows of smoke encircle me and I feel trapped within the warmth of the fire.

Needless to say, after my first cup I really didn’t desire any more.

I ended up giving the remaining Lapsang Souchong to my mom. She finds this tea to be quite comforting because of the campfire like flavor. As for me, I don’t think Lapsang Souchong will be my personal tea of choice going forward, but it was fun to try this tea for the first time.

Preparation Tips:

The English Tea Store recommends steeping the leaves in boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes. Since there were no instructions on how much tea or water to use, I went with the general guideline of one teaspoon of tea per cup of water.

However, I wish I had started off with a shorter steep or less tea, because the flavor of the Lapsang Souchong was super intense.

To keep the leaves separate from the brew, I once again used a T-Sac paper filter. As I move away from tea bags to loose leaf tea, I’ve found these bags to be quite helpful in my transition!

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]

Green Tea Review: English Tea Store Pinhead Gunpowder

ETS Pinhead Gunpowder

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Pinhead Gunpowder

Tea Category: Green Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf: China

The Leaves: The leaves are rolled into small, shiny circular shapes

Additions: None 

Flavor: A highly-flavorful, slightly vegetal green tea that has a smooth and sweet smokiness

Overall: 4.4/5

I found the Pinhead Gunpowder to be a nice introduction to the world of green tea because it isn’t too “green tea” tasting. In fact, it has an enjoyable combination of flavors that come together to create a tasty cup.  

Packaging:

I had ordered the Chinese Teas sampler pack and Pinhead Gunpowder was one of the selections.

Each of the one-ounce samples I received in the sampler package came in a thick-plastic, black bag with the name of the tea on the front.

No brewing tips were included on the tea pouch, so I had to visit the English Tea Store’s website for more information. But, the bag is re-sealable which makes it quite convenient.

As a side note, when my samples arrived I discovered that three of the selections advertised on the webpage where not included in my order. Instead, I received three duplicate packages, two of the Lapsang Souchong and one of the Jasmine with Flowers.

In all fairness, the Chinese Teas sampler pack webpage states: “substitutions may be made according to availability.”

Tea Review:

I really enjoyed watching the leaves unfurl as they steeped, especially since I am used to only drinking tea from tea bags and not seeing the tea leaves at all.

Once the leaves were fully infused they took on an ever so slight smoky aroma, the smokiness isn’t harsh, but almost sweet smelling. Perhaps a little like fine tobacco.

The first sip is somewhat vegetal tasting, but not so much as to be a turn-off. Even this lover-of–black-tea found the flavor stimulating and pleasing.

Then there is the sweet-smokiness, which doesn’t sound that appetizing, yet it works. It actually gives my brew some complexity and robustness that I wasn’t expecting.

Lastly, there is a touch of astringency that is refreshing and left me wanting another cup of Pinhead Gunpowder.

On the whole, I liked it especially becuase it reminded me of faraway places where I have never been. It’s like getting a taste of the orient without having to leave my comfy chair! 

Preparation Tips:

The English Tea Store Chinese Teas sampler pack webpage states that green teas should be brewed in steaming water (150-180F) for 1 to 4 minutes.

I fiddled around with different water temperatures and steeping times, but found little difference in taste. I even poured boiling water over the leaves accidently a couple times and still had a drinkable brew. The only difference was the level of astringency, which increased along with the water temperature and/or brewing time. This tea is quite forgiving.

Because there were no recommendations on how much tea and water to use, I went with the general guideline of one teaspoon of tea per cup of water. However, as the leaves unfurl they tend to take up a lot of space, so depending upon the filter method, the amount of leaves used may need to be adjusted.

I tried both a large paper filter as well as my new mini-glass teapot (with a spring like filter in the spout) to steep the leaves. Both methods worked great. But, I do prefer using the glass teapot; especially for this tea because it allowed me to watch the leaves unfold as they steeped.

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

Black Tea Review: English Tea Store Darjeeling Mim

ETS Dargeeling Mim

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Darjeeling Mim (second flush)

Tea Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf

Origin of Tea Leaf:  Northern India

The Leaves: The coloring of the leaves remind me of camouflage clothing because of the variety of natural colors. Juxtaposed to this rugged-outdoorsy look the leaves smell sweet, somewhat floral and fruity.

Additions: None 

Flavor: A unique tasting black tea that has notes of sweet fruit and flower petals, with just a touch of dry-bitterness 

Overall: 3.8/5

This was my very first experience with sampling a Darjeeling tea. I’ll be honest; I was expecting something quite extraordinary because I had read that Darjeeling is considered the champagne of teas.

Even though my socks weren’t knocked off during that first cup, it was still a pleasant and interesting experience that I wouldn’t mind repeating.

Packaging:

I had ordered the Estate Teas sampler pack and one of the samples was the Darjeeling Mim.

Each one-ounce sample was shipped in a plain, black bag that appeared to be thick-plastic. All the bags had a white label with the name of the tea. However, no brewing tips where included, so I had to go the English Tea Store’s website for more information.

The tea pouches are re-sealable.

As a side note: When I received my Estate Teas sampler pack order, I discovered that two of the advertised teas were missing, both the Lover’s Leap and Margaret’s Hope. To compensate for the difference, I did receive duplicates of the Formosa Oolong and Nonsuch samples.

In all fairness, the sampler webpage does state that substitutions may occur, due to availability. Here again, I can’t complain because of the great value I received; about 8 ounces of tea for 8 bucks.

Tea Review:

The aroma of the brew is slightly sweet and flowery, similar to the fragrance of the dried leaves.

I found the taste to be rather distinctive, especially when compared to other black teas I’ve tried. The taste is a tad sweet and fruity, with just a hint of a fragrant flower like jasmine.

To counterbalance the almost perfume life quality is a touch of dry-bitterness. The tartness rounds out the cup nicely and keeps the tea from becoming too in love with itself.

The overall body is lighter than most black teas, more refined even. Nonetheless, a taste experience not to be missed.

Compared to other black teas, which can be strong and robust like prize-fighters, the Darjeeling Mim is delicate and sweet-tempered. For some reason the image of a girl dancing to classical music in a vineyard comes to mind when sipping this tea.

Preparation Tips:

The English Tea Store recommends that this tea be steeped for 2 to 5 minutes in water that has been brought to a rolling boil.

However, based on the reading I had done about Darjeeling tea, I decided to try a lower water temperature, just to see if it would make a difference.

I found that when using water at the boiling point (212F), the brew became slightly more bitter and the leaves smelled as if they were scalded. So, I stuck with using water just under the boiling point, between 190 and 200F.

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

For my filter method, I used a T-Sac in the smallest size (Size 1).

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 Kambaa

ETS Kambaa

Company/Brand Name: English Tea Store

Tea Name: Kambaa

Tea Category: Black Tea

Form: Loose Leaf / CTC (Crush-Tear-Curl)

Origin of Tea Leaf: Kenya

The Leaves: The cut leaves look similar to instant coffee yet the fragrance reminds me of sweet biscuits

Additions: None 

Flavor: A earthy, malty/biscuity and strong tasting black tea that has a touch of sweetness and a slightly bitter finish 

Overall: 4.1/5

I really enjoyed this tea, so much so, that I’ve nearly finished the whole sample before writing this review.

Because of Kambaa’s rich flavor, it is a tea I wish I had tried when I first wanted to switch from coffee to tea, I think it would have made my transition a little smoother. In all, it is a great “starter” tea.

Packaging:

The Kambaa tea I ordered is part of an Estate Teas sampler pack. Each one-ounce sample is shipped in a simple, black bag that appears to be thick-plastic.

All the re-sealable tea pouches are labeled with the name of the tea, but there are no steeping instructions. Consequently, I had to go the English Tea Store’s website for more information.

As a side note: Upon receiving my Estate Teas sampler pack, I discovered that two of the advertised teas were omitted, both the Lover’s Leap and Margaret’s Hope.

To compensate for the difference, I was shipped duplicates of two that I had received. The sampler webpage does stipulate that: “substitutions may be made according to availability.” Plus, I can’t complain since I had recieved over eight ounces of tea for as little as 8.00 dollars.

Tea Review:

The first sip I took of the Kambaa estate tea reminded me of my coffee drinking days because of its robust, rich and earthy taste.

But then I notice the malty/biscuity flavor and memories of my first experience with Assam are renewed. Along with this flavor is a touch of sweetness that brings to mind images of rising dough and jam.

Then, as the tea makes it way to the back of my throat, I notice the bitterness. I personally find the bitterness pleasing; it wakes me up and makes me feel invincible for a brief moment.  

If needing a little superheroine mojo for the day, have a cup of this black tea and feel your superpowers reach their peak. Oh, and don’t forget to wear something to remind you throughout the day that you are pure awesomeness! 

Preparation Tips:

The English Tea Store suggests a steep-time of 2 to 5 minutes in water that has been brought to a boil (212F).

Kambaa brews fairly quickly, so depending upon how strong you like your tea, even a one-minute steep may be long enough to get the flavor you desire. Since I love a good strong black tea, I went for the full five minutes.

I found that a stainless-steel, mesh ball infuser works perfectly with this tea because the leaves don’t expand when steeped. I can’t say that very often!

Also, I found that a T-Sac tea filter works wonderfully too. Plus, you have the convenience factor of not having to wash out the infuser. Simply toss the used T-Sac when done. No cleanup and no fuss.

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!

 

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!

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