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Recent Tasting Notes
I didn’t get much flavor out of this. The tea leaves smell nice and the tea itself is soothing and wonderful. However, I couldn’t really taste the apricot too much but that wasn’t an issue because the oolong itself is very nice. Smooth on the tongue, very bold in a roasted sort of way. Enjoyable. Disclaimer: I might not have gotten much flavor because I have the sniffles. Still pleasurable to drink.
I received this tea in my Amoda Box back in October. It’s a nice Oolong. Sweet and creamy. Like the others who have previously reviewed this tea, I didn’t get any fig or raisin-y notes. I did taste a slight apple-y note to it though. Delicate vegetative notes. Soft notes of flower.
My first few infusions delivered that soft, creamy taste and texture that you typically would experience with a greener Oolong, with hints of a vegetal background. Notes of flower.
Later infusions is where I noticed the apple-y, fruit notes start to emerge, but, none of the dried fruit sweetness that you might expect from “warmed figs” and “raisins” as suggested in the description of this tea.
Not a bad Oolong though.
It would seem that I tried this tea back when it was called Paradise, but, it had honeybush in it as well as the rooibos back then. This, as far as I could tell, only had rooibos in it.
The aroma is beautiful – very fruity and it smelled delicious. It’s also a pretty yummy tisane. It is a sweet, fruity drink, so if you’re looking for a tea that tastes like tea, you won’t find it with this one. However, I still found it tasty, and not as sweet or cloying as a bottled fruit drink.
Not something I’d drink all the time, but, it’s tasty. It was an agreeable addition to my Amoda Tea box.
I’ve tried a few teas from Octavia, and so I was glad to see that Amoda Tea found some teas that I’ve not yet tried from them to include in October’s Box.
A really yummy blend of black tea and rooibos. The black tea base is a fairly mild one. The rooibos doesn’t contribute a lot of obvious flavors but it does lighten the cup a bit, and it does offer some earthy and nutty flavors to the cup.
The vanilla is prominent. It tastes decadent. The coconut is sweet and creamy, and I love the way the vanilla and coconut complement each other, However, I think that maybe this tea suffers from a misnomer, only because the coconut is not as strong as I feel like it should be since it’s called “Vanilla Coconut.” I found myself wanting more of an obvious, stand out coconut note.
The chocolate is very soft. Softer than I typically want in any tea that has chocolate in it, but, I like the way it accentuates the other flavors, which seems to be the job of the chocolate here. Not so much to be a stand out flavor on its own, but something to provide a background note to enhance the other flavors. The apple adds a little bit of sweetness, and just a hint of tartness which adds a nice contrast.
Overall, a tasty tea.
This was the first earl grey I’ve ever tried so I’m not exactly sure how earl grey is supposed to taste but this was very enjoyable. As with every Octavia tea I’ve had it never went bitter even when oversteeped. I tried another earl grey from adagio later on but I didn’t enjoy it as much since it seemed perfume-y and went bitter very easily. Maybe Octavia set my standards too high.
A mild, smooth cup of fresh mint and milk chocolate with vanilla nuances. The flavors all blend together beautifully, to where none is stronger than another. This wouldn’t be my first pick of tea, but I am away from home and staying elsewhere presently and this looked like the best option this morning. It’s a lovely tea overall, just not something I personally LOVE. I’m not sure if I would drink this again or not, however.
Another tea from TEA BOX B that I wanted to try — I think it was on my shopping list after reading Momo’s note actually. This one is surprisingly brisk after a three minute steep, but it is just enough to make the actual vanilla pieces here taste even better. It’s a delicious balance and is perfect for breakfast. Sweet yet brisk. This cup seems to almost feel like a breakfast in itself — very satisfying! I really love it. The second steep for five minutes seems to have toned down both the vanilla and the briskness. hmm. There is one teaspoon left I might as well take out of the box unless someone after me wants to try it.
We had a fabulous day yesterday in Carmel and Monterey. We decided we would escape the heat and drive down to the coast for the day! It was so cool, like 64 degrees, which was a huge change from our previous day in Davis, where it was like walking through a furnace at 104 degrees. Anyway, we had a blast shopping around Carmel, and eating at some amazing places. We found our new favorite Italian restaurant in Carmel, called Little Napoli…food was amazing! I had a gnocchi dish and they were like little pillows with Gorgonzola cheese melted on top! Yum!!! I also picked up a cute new hat, kind of 1920s inspired!
I was also excited to stop by the Tea Rose shop, which was closed the last time we were in Carmel. I had read she carried Harney & Sons teas, and I knew she had some cute teaware, but she said she recently went to a tea expo, and picked up a bunch of stuff, and I found the Octavia Tea Company teas in her shop as well. Never heard of them before. Of course I had to try them out. I picked up a tin of this tea, since it sounded unique. I mean, I’ve seen English breakfast, and Irish breakfast, and even Scottish breakfast, but not French breakfast. Plus, I like the idea of a vanilla, caramel, rose black tea. The tins are a little funny though. Remind me of a deodorant stick in shape! Haha! It was a little pricey for 3oz., but I figured I was in Carmel (instant rate hike) and the tea is organic, so I went for it. I looked up the company online, and yes, she had hiked the price up by $2.50, but I suppose she needs to make some profit! It does seem like a lot though…like a 17% hike. I made a comment about checking them out online, and I don’t think she appreciated it…ha! You do save on shipping though, by getting it at her shop.
Of course I had to have a cup this morning. This tea did not disappoint! I was happy to see the tea was sealed up fresh in a foil pouch within the tin. When I opened it, the dry leaf smelled like vanilla and rose. Brewed up, it tastes like vanilla, caramel, and rose black tea! Perfect! I steeped it at 195 degrees for 3 minutes, since the instructions said something about letting boiling water cool a bit. This turned out to be a great cup, with no astringency…of course, I added soy milk and sugar too! So I’m super satisfied, and will probably be ordering sample sizes online to try more of this company!! ;)
Thanks for the sample, darby!
I started my day off with a lot of champagne things hahaha. I had this with breakfast and then a mimosa before Skyfall. That would have been a mimosa with Skyfall but those previews take forever. I love Cinebistro. I love James Bond.
I actually liked this a lot better cold. When it was hot I only tasted raspberry, but at least I could taste the hay-like notes of the white tea too, so it wasn’t too bad. And I do like raspberry, but it is raspberry champagne.
Cold, the champagne flavor comes out as well as the raspberry and also notes of honey. The raspberry tastes more tart and juicy, with a nice bubbly flavor to match.
The only thing I wish is I could find how exactly to steep it. I went with just 2 minutes because it’s not on their website at all. I guess they just assume everyone drinking their teas got it in original packaging and don’t swap for them. Then again from what I remember on the tin for French Breakfast, the instructions are very poor to begin with so in the end, it all worked out I guess.
I find it funny how many teas there are called French Breakfast, and they are all different.
And none of them remind me of the tea I drank in France!
I had this in my shopping list on here, and found it at Whole Foods Buckhead. They had a few others but none were other ones I wanted to try. They were even $1 less than online from Octavia, score!
I followed the directions on the tin: water off boiling, 3 1/2 minutes is a good average start. Kind of annoyed they don’t put anything exact, but it seems they just use the same one tin for all black teas they carry.
I’m not getting any caramel, just some vanilla. And like last night, this just isn’t that good of vanilla. Vanille des Îles is my benchmark vanilla, though it’s more of a bourbon vanilla taste, it still has all the nuances I expect from vanilla. And this is definitely missing that. It’s like comparing a homemade vanilla bean extract to imitation vanilla extract.
The tea is very astringent too, which surprises me for such a short steep. Granted, I have no idea what exactly the black tea in here is supposed to be so it makes it hard to figure out how long to steep it.
As it cools it just kind of loses any flavor whatsoever. It’s just a smooth cup of a boring, brisk black tea…with that hint of imitation vanilla. While it was hot there was a bit of a floral note from the rose petals.
I figured French breakfast goes well with watching a race here in Atlanta named for the infamous Le Mans! Except it nearly isn’t as fun to watch without the big teams…I don’t even feel upset about not being there now.
I’ll give it a try with a shorter steep…maybe I’ll even take a minute off instead of just 30 seconds, and see if that helps keep the black tea from taking over the cup.
Backlogging from last week.
I think this was another sample I had received with my order, I can’t recall for certain though. Anyways, I like white teas and I like peach, however me and ginger have a weird relationship. Fresh ginger I can handle and do enjoy in small amounts, dried powered ginger I don’t really care for. This tea tastes like it contains the dried powdered form. I can taste the white tea base and some peach notes and feels like it has potential to be a nice flavored white tea, but the ginger in this makes it impossible for me to truly enjoy it unfortunately.
I’m not a big fan of roasted oolongs but this was a free sample with my package and I’m in the sampling mood today if no one’s been able to tell :) The dry leaves of this are very dark, typical of roasted oolongs and it contains what looks like dried apricot shavings. Its dry smell is slightly smokey and earthy with apricot. I’m picking up what smells like wet stones, that fresh cold stream moving over a bunch of stones and rocks without moss or algae smell, it’s quite nice. Wet, the leaves lose the apricot smell but everything else stays there, only more pronounced. The infusion is a medium brown color and tastes like grilled apricot, the wet stones, and definitely roasty. The apricot flavors are much lighter than what I was expecting, the oolong takes center stage here, the apricot being a supporting role. As I said, I don’t care for roasted oolongs, but this is a good flavored one, especially if you like to taste more of the tea base than the flavors.
I should’ve known better when I read that it’s from Darjeeling area. I don’t care for tea from that area or from Ceylon. But I decided to give it a try regardless. The dry leaves are mostly dark green, there are some lighter green and some brown leaves in there. The smell reminds me of when I worked on a farm, of not quite dried out hay, like a blend of green and black teas. The wet leaves smells like tobacco to me. My dad used to roll his own cigarettes and that’s what I was getting with this tea. The infusion color was a light brown and smelled vegetal, earthy, malty and a hint of a floral note in there. I don’t care for black tea, but I’ve had enough to know that this green tea is from the Darjeeling area. Again, I don’t know why I got this tea, good thing it was only a sample, but I don’t care for this at all and I’m not rating it because I should’ve known better. Perhaps I was thinking of expanding my tastes or something, but I will be sticking with Chinese greens with a Japanese green thrown in there for fun.
I wasn’t expecting much with the campy name, but this is competing with Gyokuro Yamashiro for the best green tea I’ve had. It’s buttery and even almost kind of sweet. I’ve never had a matcha/full leaf mix before. Too bad I only had a sample package of this! I’ve only got enough left for maybe one small cup. It’s expensive but I may have to get a tin of this…
Just a quick note cause I’m about to go to bed…
This tea, in my experience, works best with a long steep time— I did 5 minutes for the first steep and 6:30 for the second. Then it is deliciously fruity and berry-y. The white tea comes through in a big but not overpowering way, which is awesome because in most flavoured white teas that I’ve tried the tea flavour is totally overwhelmed by everything else going on. I drank it next to the windowsill reading A Walk in the Woods!
Augh this tea smells soooooo gooooood. I don’t even know how to describe it except to say that it smells like berries and white tea, but that’s pretty obvious. But trust me it smells awesome. This is actually similar to my other Octavia white tea experience where it smells amazing but tastes weak as hell. What little flavour there is is actually very nice though. The white tea isn’t overwhelmed by the flavouring which often happens with whites, and it mixes really well with the berries. I did my usual short steeping time for flavoured white teas and used quite a bit of tea, but maybe next time I’ll try a longer steep.
Side note, I totally broke my clear David’s mug today. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO
At least I got a lot of use out of it. And I still have its infuser and the lid so… it’s still a nice infuser. And this will give me an excuse to buy the new watercolour print one… but I really like clear mugs so maybe I’ll look for a cheap clear mug too.
Love of teaware + small apartment = bad.
Love of teaware + small apartment + clumsiness = good. Except for the whole spending money thing.
I finished my sample of this today. With a 2-minute steep I actually did get the caramel coming through a little. I still like this and I LOVE the smell of it but there’s that bitterness there that I can’t seem to shake. Not sure if it’s worth it to get a whole tin! I wish Octavia offered a size in between sample and tin. :/