1666 Tasting Notes
For the curious, the Ogopogo is a mythical (as far as anyone can prove) sea serpent very similar in description to the Loch Ness monster that folklore and First Nations legends theorize lives at the bottom of Okanagan Lake. At this point it’s become the semi-official symbol of the city of Kelowna (where this tea is from) and people are still reporting sightings to this day.
This sample is labeled as a black tea but it’s pretty obvious that it’s mixed with white tea leaves (and oolong according to the description) so I gave it a lower steeping temp than I would most blacks. Maybe the greenish tea leaves in the blend are supposed to mimic the monster which is supposedly a mix of brown and green in colour..?
The primary component of this blend seems to be Darjeeling – it has that slightly wine-like fruity scent and flavour. It’s less astringent than most Darjeelings though, which might be the white and oolong teas coming into play. I’d describe this as more of an afternoon tea as it’s relatively light and doesn’t pack the caffeine punch of a breakfast blend.
I received a small 10g sample of this tea as part of a Davids Tea sampler that I got for Christmas. This one is a fairly standard CTC-style leaf that brews up into a deep red-coloured tea as I’ve noticed Kenyan black teas tend to. The flavour is alright, nothing especially good or especially bad. It reminds me a great deal of an English Breakfast with that robustness and slightly toasty quality you tend to find. It was nice to drink in the mornings when I had to be at work at 5am because it woke me up quickly, but it’s not a tea I would casually drink for pleasure.
The pearls are neat – small, slightly fizzy and striped with dark green and silver when they were dry. The leaves were a bit slow to unwind and the first steep at two minutes was a little bland. A second steep (@3:15 min) gave the leaves more of a chance to unfurl and the end result almost looked like a bunch of curls. I found the flavour was fuller and much improved on the second steep as well.
This tea is fairly similar to the jasmine green all told – there’s maybe a bit more substance to the base and a bit more character but to be honest in my opinion both of them are nothing special. Part of that I think is because I’m generally not a fan of jasmine teas (Harney & Sons’ Dragon Pearl Jasmine being the only exception) and that biases me against them somewhat.
A few months back I purchase the Tea Taster’s sampler from Golden Moon – 31 new samples to try – whoo.
There seem to be two jasmine teas in the sampler – jasmine green and jasmine pearls – I’m curious as to whether there’s any difference so I’ll try the pearls tomorrow and compare them.
This one is a pretty basic jasmine green tea. I’m generally not a big fan of jasmine – too often the tea blenders over-do it and it’s super-cloying and ends up tasting like perfume or soap. This one isn’t bad however, as the jasmine is pretty mild. The green tea base is rather uninspired though – it’s nothing special just your very basic green tea.
I’ve actually been drinking this tea for awhile but I just couldn’t be arsed to write a tasting note, I’m afraid. I really love the smell of the tea – it’s all very apple-y and cinnamon-y. I’m not really getting apple pie from the flavour, though it’s still quite a nice-tasting tea. I get the fruity apples, and hints of vanilla and cinnamon but it’s just not quite….there. Part of the problem might be the oolong used in this blend – it’s quite a dark oolong with a distinctly roasted flavour – I’d maybe go for a greener, sweeter one like a Tie Guan Yin instead.
This tea has a wonderful, exotic scent even though it’s been sitting in my cupboard for quite awhile as part of a white tea sampler. The flavour doesn’t seem to have suffered either. It’s an interesting mix of tangy orange and nutty pistachio with hints of spice like cinnamon and touch of fruitiness. It’s very well balanced despite the seemingly odd mix of flavours and I’m really enjoying it.
Taking this tea with milk this morning and wow does it ever make the caramel flavours pop. I’m still not getting the ‘salted’ part of the tea but honestly, right now it tastes so good that I really don’t mind. I’m upping the score I gave this blend.
This is the second tea from the white tea sampler I got on the cheap. This one seems to be a different beast entirely from the White Pear, for one I’m pretty sure that this blend is actually more fruit than tea – there’s giant pieces of dried strawberry and apple. To be fair the white tea leaves that are in there are lovely whole leaves and buds, but they make up less than half of the dry tea in the tin.
The flavour of the tea is sweet and fruity without being cloying – it’s strawberry but there’s also other fruit flavours mixed in. Someone else compared it to strawberry Jell-o and I’d say that’s a pretty accurate comparison. It would probably be great iced, though I don’t have enough tea to make a full jug. I might just try sticking a mug of it in the fridge.
I had a craving for some tea late in the day so I dug out the white tea sampler I got for super cheap from Teaopia when it was being taken over.
I have to agree with other reviewers’ assessments that the flavour of the tea is too grassy and astringent even with relatively cautious steeping parameters. The pear flavour is also rather lacking, though I noticed it a bit more when the tea cooled off a little bit. Just as well I didn’t buy a whole bunch of this blend, I suspect.
Sipdown. Now that I’ve had the chance to go through a whole ‘roll’ of this tea, I can’t really say that it’s grown on me. Maybe the opposite. It’s not horrible or anything but I find that it gets too sweet and cloying easily and I sometimes end up adding a bit of extra water to dilute the flavour after I steep it. Probably wouldn’t get this tea again.