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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks to Lynne-tea for a sample of this one! Your box of stuff totally got lost in my room, and I found it when I moved :) Happy day!
Anyhow, this one seemed promising, but ended up being fairly boring. Woody rooibos with creamy vanilla. I imagine that age and poor storage are to some extent to blame, but I also don’t think I’m a fan of rooibos that’s not heavily flavoured, and vanilla typically isn’t a strong enough flavour for me. It’s reasonable enough to finish, though!
SEE EDITED NOTE BELOW
Not the most outstanding cup of green tea I’ve made however I’m hoping it will taste better the next time I try it.
Upon opening it, the leaves appeared smushed from the packaging so I placed it in a ziplock bag and put it back in the container for more movement and longer shelf life. The smell was earthy and salty, almost like seaweed, and could not catch that orchid smell or taste. I used a thermometer to measure the temperature to 175 degrees and steeped it for 2 minutes before pulling the strainer out of the cup. The liquid was a faint yellow-green color and the aroma contained a similar scent to the taste.
I definitely caught the salty taste in the cup, something I was not expecting since I’m used to a sweet or grassy flavor from my teas. It was hard to distinguish whether I was tasting the water or the tea due to the dull flavor it emitted. I want to try steeping for longer or add more tea to be sure to do justice for the tea. If it turns out well, resteeping will be the next step.
Previous rating (40), previous temp (175 degrees), previous steep time (2 min)
- Updated ratings applied to this note.
As I said earlier, I wanted to test out this tea again to be sure I was getting the full experience with this tea.
Equipment: a new tea kettle that records the temperature over the stove before it boils and a second thermometer to check the time after pouring it out. Also used a loose tea infuser basket from rishi tea to steep in my mug.
Method: After checking the temperature, it initially read 175 degrees so I poured a little bit of cold filtered water til it read 165 degrees. I added 1.5 tsp of tea in the tea basket and poured some cold filtered water on top of the leaves first before steeping, bringing the temperature down to 160 degrees. For the remaining 20 seconds, I flash steeped it and then dripped it for a few seconds following 2 min of steeping.
The Tea itself: The color was a pale yellowish-green liquid. The smell still had a subtle salty smell with a more encompassing earthy/grassy scent. The salty taste integrated better with the mellow earthy/grassy flavor. It seemed to have that buttery taste as well which continued through its aftertaste. It was pleasant without any sweetness, commonly found with flavored green teas. If you like straight-out green tea, brew this right and it will be a light tea to have any time of the day.
Many thanks to Allie who was kind enough to swap for a generous sample of this tea!
I have to say, I quite enjoyed it. It’s not the best chai I’ve ever tasted, but the chocolate flavour and the hints of vanilla that came through were very enjoyable. It smells wonderful and fills the house with a spicy aroma. I added some sweetener to this, as I always prefer my chais sweetened, and it ended up being a very nice cuppa. Comforting, complex, and overall an interesting blend. Maybe not something I’d keep on hand in bulk, but definitely in small quantities when I get a craving for something like this.
Thanks again, Allie, you rock! :)
Meta: Added this tea just now and accidentally hit the “enter” key which saved the tea in the database before I had a chance to add all the info. Since I joined here less than a month ago, I can’t edit this to include all the right info. Grrrr.
Anyways, I reallly wanted this tea to be a nice bedtime tea for me (it’s rooibos, so caffeine free), and it just didn’t deliver. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by all the amazing loose leaf teas I have right now, but this just tastes really bland. It smells a lot better than it tastes. The smell is sweet and cinnamon-y and like apple pie. The taste is faintly of apples but it just leaves a lot to be desired.
I have other teas from Octavia (that I have yet to review) which I enjoy a lot, so I expected this to be good and it was a disappointment. I (thankfully) had only gotten one of the sample pouches, and not a full tin.
As an aside, one beef I have with Octavia is they don’t include very specific brewing instructions with their teas. If anyone has temperature/steep time recommendations for rooibos (red tea), please post. I never drink it and without guidance from Octavia I was just guessing. I used the generic 3.5 minutes at boiling water that they recommend, and had put 2 tsp in my cup.
This used to be called Winter Mint. The dry leaf smells like after eights. Yum! You can see chock full of white chips and apple bits which I though was strange. The first sip was underwhelming, I was expecting a chocolate mint explosion but each sip thereafter proved to be a pleasant tea experience. The flavor is well balanced, chocolate and mint do not overpower each other. They are well blended due in part to the vanilla and the apple gives it another layer of complexity. The vanilla lends a smooth creaminess which tames the chocolate and mint notes. A demure chocolate mint tea.
I haven’t really had time for anything but study cards (so here I am?)…
I have had this for a couple of months and just recently decided to try it iced. It’s a bit creamy with some apple flavour hanging about and vanilla just being mellow and not trying to take the stage (as per usual I find with vanilla teas).
This is not too bad. I don’t really find a very strong rooibos base, which is really exciting because I do not really like red rooibos (too woody for me sometimes). Green however is a totally different story.
The more I drink this as I write, the sweeter of an aftertaste I get. Vanilla puddingish with some apple bits skattered throughout. YUM.
Thank heavens for iced tea. It takes less time to make then multiple hot infusions (plus, summer finally arrived. And I’m stuck inside. FREEDOM TOMORROW!)
The flavours just keep getting stronger and stronger. I’m enjoying this a lot. Method was 4 tsp for 4 cups, boiling water, stuck in fridge overnight.
sorry if this note is a little skattered. I think I have cabin fever. Check on me if I don’t post in a few days – it would mean I have drowned in the 1000+ study cards that have surrounded me.
Backlogged from last week.
This is a sample I received with my order. I was pleasantly surprised by this tea. I love blueberries, but I’m not typically a fan of them added to my tea. For whatever reason I find that blueberry added to tea just ends up tasting like blueberries and no tea. This was a decent balance. I could taste the green tea base, which usually doesn’t happen with blueberry added. The blueberries were nice, tasted almost like a nice preserves, and didn’t overwhelm the tea. They looked like the little dried blueberries you can by in bags at the supermarket next to the cranberries. If I order from this company again I’ll probably get more of this tea.
Invader Zim was kind enough to send me the rest of his sample packet of this. Octavia’s teas are all VERY expensive so I was curious to see whether or not they are worth the price tag. Judging by this tea alone, I would say that that doesn’t seem to be the case. This was a pretty plain tea, I found it to be slightly smokey in the way that a mild gunpowder tea would be, and I have to agree with Zim on the tobacco flavor. There was also a bit of general earthiness. This one was just okay, but that’s not acceptable when a company’s teas are SICKENINGLY expensive. Go check out their website if you want to see what I’m talking about. But price tag aside, this tea still gave me my green tea fix for the moment and I’m grateful to Invader Zim for sending it to me, thanks again.
Bright green matcha powder covering flat, dark green leaves. The leaves are broken, badly. It almost looks as if I opened a tea bag and dumped the contents. Dry is smells very sweet and grassy, same with the wet leaves and infusion. The leaves, even badly broken, did open fully on the first steep. The liquior was a very bright and vibrant green. Taste was very sweet from the matcha, grassy from the sencha and had an astringent/bitter aftertaste on the tip of my tongue. I know that sounds weird, but that’s what I was getting and I’m assuming that the bitterness was from the leaves being so broken. Even though it was bitter the smoothness of the matcha balanced it out and made it pleasant. The second steep though had lost most of the smooth sweetness, I guess since the matcha went out into the first infusion. Unfortunately because there was no more sweetness the bitterness was much stronger almost making it undrinkable. I know I didn’t oversteep it, temp was 160-165 and the first brew was 10-15 seconds, the second was 15-20 seconds. Maybe i should’ve added more matcha from my stash, but I wanted to try it without doing anything to it first. Maybe I’ll buy my own sencha and add matcha too it since the first steep was really good.
This started out like a typical run-of-the-mill green tea, mellow, vegetal, nothing special about it. Dry smell: mellow vegetal. Wet leaves smell: strong vegetal. After brewing it and taking a sip: mellow and vegetal. I didn’t pick up any of the orchid notes. But when I swallowed I got this interesting taste, seaweed. It was mellow and light, but it was there. I sniffed the cup and I can smell something slightly salty. I take another sip, vegetal, and slightly salty. Interesting. There more I drank and kept looking for the seaweed notes the more I tasted it and liked it. It never did become strong but it was there and i liked it. It was like finding a toy in the cereal box when you’re not expecting one.
I’m surprised that there are quite a few Octavia Teas not in the database here. So, I’m going to keep adding them as I try out my samples.
The dry leaves are small, dark green, curled and smells like grass that is slightly earthy and slightly sweet. The wet leaves are grassy and very vegetal smelling. The infusion is the typically light color of green teas, and again smells grassy but this time I’m picking up the flower notes…just barely. The taste at first seems like an unremarkable grassy green tea. I swish it in my mouth and I can start to taste the flower notes and I get a vegetal aftertaste, it’s slowly gaining character. As the tea is cooling the notes are becoming more pronounced: grassy, vegetal, with a hint of flowers. Pretty good green tea, I like it.
I’m surprised this one wasn’t in the Steepster database. The leaves are a mix of loosely curled and twisted darker green leaves and fuzzy white leaves. There are some broken pieces, not many and this is only a little sample size inside of a packet, so it’s probably in a bit better shape in the full size tin. Dry it has floral and chestnut notes. The floral notes aren’t like a jasmine, it’s obviously not added to the tea. It’s nice and light and not perfumey in any aspect. It’s reminds me a lot of Rishi’s Ancient Emerald Lily. The wet leaves smell more chestnut and slightly vegetal. The infusion in both smell and taste is a wonderful blend of the floral, chestnut, and vegetal notes, no one note overpowers the other(s). Delicious green tea I wouldn’t mind having everyday. Unfortunately one tin (1.41oz or 40g) costs $15. Rishi’s Ancient Emerald Lily is so similar to this and you get more tea for lower cost, I’m going to stick with Rishi.
Silly me, I did the same thing as the only other person who logged this tea. I read the description and believed it…haha….hahahahaha! Figs? nope. Raisins? not even close. Honeysuckle? maybe, no, not really. This is a green oolong that I found similar to Ti Quan Yin. Floral and slightly buttery with large dark green leaves. It’s good, but don’t believe the description.
A very tasty tea to start the day with. It tastes like orange and lemon rind and a spring garden. I never would have thought that jasmine and citrus would blend so beautifully. The flavors are made for each other. Like chocolate and hazelnuts, strawberries and cream, garlic and everything!
So few ingredients and such a beautiful melding of tastes. The oolong is very supportive, letting the citrus and jasmine shine, but it’s definitely noticeable and adds an intriguing depth. I also could have sworn there was vanilla in there. It was so smooth and somehow dessert like.
Thank you for a sample of this silvermage2000. It has certainly made a crappy morning a much better one.
These are excellent pearls, I am very impressed by the fact that I poured the pearls out into my hand to examine them and there were very few broken and/or crushed tea leaf particles amongst the very uniform sized and shaped pearls. Quite often when I come across a jasmine pearl the leaves have some “leaf debris” … broken bits and pieces of leaf that end up sifting their way through the lid of the gaiwan and ending up in my strainer. (I strain the tea “twice” – once through the lid, which I then pour through a strainer, so I do not end up with these errant bits in my cup)
And the flavor is divine! A good balance of flavor – the tea tastes light and a touch buttery while the jasmine is sweet. No sharp or artificial jasmine notes. Nice.
The Octavia Tea Company, Amber Dragon Oolong tea, 100% Organic
Infused for 4 minutes in water slightly below boiling
Nice tea, Crisp body, hints of woodiness and cocoa flavors.
Pictures here: http://vassbox.tumblr.com/post/12573900448
I give it 80/100. Nothing too special but a nice anytime tea.