Octavia TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Six – Tea #24
I’m not going to lie, the fragrance of the leaves here was 100% dirt… which I never noticed in a tea before. Still, it was a shock when I took the first sip and it definitely tasted like really healthy top soil, the kind you buy in a bag. It’s also a little uncanny that it’s a CTC black tea, so it is the tea that most looks like dirt. At least it reminded me of spring. There isn’t really any spice or orange flavor to this one. Uncannily, 100% dirt. Weird. It was in a nice pouch and everything.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!
Thank you Roswell Strange for sending this to me so long ago. For some reason, I always kept passing it by when it came to picking teas and I honestly have no idea why because this is definitely a flavor that I would pick myself. Today I decided it nicely suited the theme of Valentine’s so why not finally give it a go.
Unfortunately for me, I either waited too long or simply knew deep down that this is one tall cup of nope for me. There is a dark chocolate vibe to it, but one that is musty and old…like a chocolate bar or hot chocolate powder that has been sitting open for a bit too long. As for the berry, while abundant in the smell, I got none in taste. Honestly, I am hoping the leaf has simply gone rancid as this was undrinkable. Still, I am crazy grateful to Roswell Strange because this was one I considered ordering back when I was checking out Octavia’s website and now I know better.
Edit: Just realized this is my 2,500 tasting note!!
Flavors: Artificial, Dark Chocolate, Dust
This tea has a very light and fruity flavor that is both tasty and relaxing. I thought the peach flavor was much heavier than the ginger, but the two seems to blend together quite seamlessly, which is an improvement over other ginger teas that I have tried. While this tea didn’t wow me, it is the first white tea that I have actually liked. I had bought a whole tin of the tea, rather than a sample and I am pleased with my purchase.
Sipdown (168)…or I should say pour down as the last of this got dumped.
Turns out that vegetal base I praised this for not having was just hiding in the cold brew. All the fruity deliciousness of the hot cup was buried under mounds of grass. I think this may be a result of the leaf used for the cold brew was all the crushed bits left in the pack as opposed to the long leaf used for my hot cup. Whatever it may be, the end result was rather unpleasant. Life’s too short for bad tea so this got poured down the drain.
I got this in an Amoda box and I’m not a lover of greens so I wasn’t quick to jump on this but the base is completely undetectable. Seriously. I am only getting a cup of tropical fruits. Fresh and delicious. It’s like drinking juice. Papaya is the strongest element but pineapple is also lurking in the mix, as is mango.
another from variaTEA and one i was looking forward too, as i do enjoy a good apricot. I’ve fallen out of love with peach but apricot is still a good time for me. Sadly, this one really didn’t have much in the way of flavour for me. it was largely just a toasty oolong with hints of a fruit like taste. No apricot here for me :( drinkable, but not what i wanted or hoped for.
I had a few sips of this with breakfast this morning. What little I tasted, I didn’t really like. It was watered down and the flavor itself was not good to me. The flavor is tart but I could not pick up on any specific fruit flavors.
I wasn’t sure I would like this tea since I haven’t been a huge fan of oolong in the past, but I was really excited to open the pouch and smell the sweetest fragrance of juicy apricot. The leaves are thick and long and dark. After steeping, the leaves smell a little roasted but mostly fruity. The liquid is sweet on its own, but I did add just the smallest amount of honey to it to add to the natural sweetness. I love this!
I just got back to work after a week-long vacation without any good tea and this is just what I wanted. We were in south Florida for a few days and it was so HOT. It was nice to come home to unseasonably cool temperatures. I’m sure it won’t last, but I hope we have just a few more days of it. It really makes me excited for the fall and everything that comes with it.
Flavors: Apricot, Fruity, Roasted, Sweet
Sipdown! And backlog from two Wednesdays ago.
Thanks to Roswell Strange for giving me the last of her samples of a couple of these Octavia tea! They really are quite cute little sample packs, and a perfect size, it looks like. I didn’t take a ton of notes while drinking it, but I did note that it seemed to be a pretty good lychee black; a malty base with no astringency, and an authentic juicy lychee flavour (somewhat floral, but not overly so). Good for a lychee black, but lychees generally are a bit too floral for me, so not a personal favourite.
My tea twin Roswell Strange is really trying to get me into pu’erh I noticed. She is trying sneaky ways to entice me, like sending me this adorable heart (which my mom thought was hash so…). I couldn’t resist this so I brewed it up and it’s actually not that bad. It’s not going to be my new love or anything but it’s not as dirty as pu’erh usually is for me. It is more mushroomy but that’s balanced slightly by the florals. It’s nicely balanced and a fun tea but I’m glad it’s just the one cup. Thanks Roswell Strange!!
Apparently I never added this to my cupboard which means I don’t get the satisfaction of taking it out of my cupboard but this is a Sipdown of my sample, courtesy of Roswell Strange. I am getting pineapple for sure but it’s candied pineapple which is not as satisfying as the actual fruit. It’s actually not bad but I doubt I will miss this now that it’s gone.
Thank you Roswell Strange for the share as this is one I would not have picked out for myself and I think I would have missed out. This is really a nice tea. The acai is really pronounced though more than a juicy drink, it is coming off sweeter and more jam-like. The base also adds some sweet honey notes which adds to the jam effect. It really is quite nice. I would consider picking up more of this if placing an order.
We found this tea at a local international market. It smelled so good. Even better brewed, I get a nice floral scent, with some nice notes of sweet vanilla. Having my third cup while watching Star Trek. The base tea is nice, and pairs well with the floral/ vanilla flavour.
Flavors: Rose, Vanilla
Cold Brewed this sample from the January Amoda box!
It’s funny that I ended up with an Octavia Tea blend in the box because I did a big(ish) Octavia Tea sample order on Black Friday – I ended up with 10+ teas from them that, for the most part, I was the first to review here on Steepster. I easily could have wound up with this one, though in the end I decided against it because of the green base.
To my surprise, I got to try it anyway!
Smell wise, this one reminded me a lot of Tea Desire’s Asia Cocktail blend – both smelled heavily of mango and a jumble of other tropical fruits, passion fruit for this one and lychee for the former.
Taste wise, this came off fairly close to having a single flavour note for me; it was solidly a mango flavoured tea. The mango flavouring was good though – it reminded me a lot of the mango flavour in the Mango Sorbet white offering from this company, and that tea was one that I was pretty impressed with. As someone who isn’t typically a mango fan, I like how this company conveys that flavour! It just works for me; would is work for someone who actually likes the fruit? I don’t know…
It wasn’t totally a flat mango taste though; while I couldn’t taste the grapefruit at all I did pick up on the passion fruit a little bit. It’s not a flavour combination I would have really thought about prior but it works well. The green base was pretty grassy, but smooth and silky. I’m sticking with my initial impression based on the smell; despite a slight difference in flavourings this really reminds me of Tea Desire’s Asia Cocktail blend, though with a better quality base?
I wouldn’t purchase this one again; while I initially also really liked Asia Cocktail I soon grew very tired of it and I fear the same would happen with this blend, and since it’s a green I know I wouldn’t turn to it that often – but it was a good offering from Octavia Tea and Amoda and I’m glad I didn’t miss out on trying it!
Amoda Tea Monthly Box – January 2015
Dry leaf: colorful rose pink and gold flowers. IDK what they do for this blend, but ah, well. It’s smells sweet and tangy. The Chinese sencha-esque leaf lends a light vegetal flavor.
Liquor color: Happy and healthy looking green
Leaves: Dry – thin and flat green leaves. The colors are not quite as vibrant as the photo
Wet – dark green leaves with those little pink and yellow flowers. Had an unpleasant sour smell.
Notes: I love the combination of drinking tropical or summery things whenever it snows! Funny enough, Amoda tea had the same idea. They even mentioned it in my monthly box. The pineapple was fresh and juicy, the body was light and bright. It was quite refreshing. I am sure it would taste great iced! The green base was quite complimentary, the palm tree-like leafy greens quality gave the brew a spinach like freshness. Once I got away from the oddly sour-smelling leaves, I really enjoyed sipping on this while I watched snow fall outside.
I brewed this in my French press and decanted it into my favorite travel tumbler.
Flavors: Fruity, Pineapple, Vegetal
Sipdown! Thanks to Roswell Strange for the last of her precious sample of this tea! Also, super pleased that Octavia’s samples are in small resealable pouches.
Anyhow, I found this tea kind of interesting. The initial aroma smelled quite appealing, and reminded me of a 52teas blend I enjoy – Apricot Cheesecake Shou Mei. I think that’s the one… So clearly my brain wasn’t wanting to process a difference between apricot and mango, which was a little odd. Either way, once brewed up, it tastes rather similar too, so I think the base tea must be the same and contributing something in each case, and the flavourings, both being fruity, aren’t different enough for me to distinguish. Regardless, it’s tasty, and in the aftertaste, I get a sort of tanginess that makes me think of sorbet. To be honest, though, it’s probably not mango-y enough for me, but I haven’t really ever had a mango tea that was.
This sample was in my package from Roswell Strange. I was curious as to what the “Grand” part of the title was referring to, as the ingredients list only black tea and bergamot oil. Turns out, they think their Yunnan base tea is “exceptional”. Hmm, not sure I would agree there, the leaves are small and dark. So basically it’s a plain Earl Grey, got it. The bergamot smells pretty strong in the dry leaf, which isn’t a good sign for me as I like my Earl Grey teas milder.
The steeped tea smells like bergamot, but it’s not terribly strong. Ugh, yeah this one is not for me. For some reason it came out a little bit bitter, even though I only steeped for 3 minutes. And the bergamot is very perfumey and floral, and it’s quite strong. I find that I generally don’t enjoy plain Earl Grey teas, it needs something like vanilla, cream, or other citrus/fruit flavors. So I won’t rate this since it’s not my jam. :)
Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Floral, Perfume
After getting home yesterday afternoon from my file maintenance shift I made myself lunch and then fell asleep, finally. I had gotten maybe two hours of sleep the night before because I just couldn’t make my body fall asleep so early in the day – and then I had to get up at 3AM to get to work on time for 5AM. Yuck.
Consequently, I ended up sleeping last night for a SOLID 13 hours. So; definitely rested now, that’s for sure. Sadly sleeping so much yesterday means I never got to tell you guys the word of the day! So I can do that now, I suppose. Yesterday’s word was Symbiosis; the living together in close association of two different organisms especially when mutually beneficial. I suppose you could say Tre and I have a symbiotic relationship of sorts.
Today’s word is another new one for me (though yesterday’s wasn’t new): Dross; the waste slag or scum that forms on the surface of molten metal ; waste or foreign matter : impurity ; something that is base, trivial or inferior. This one might be harder to use in a sentence; but the challenge to do so still stands!
But lets get back to the tea itself…
This is my last Octavia Tea blend to try (but not my last to sipdown); and I think I really only saved this one for last because it was so adorable and I liked looking at it when I opened up my sample drawer. Seriously, the little teeny tiny formed mini cakes are flippin’ precious!
I used one of the cakes for my mug of this; if I’m remembering correctly the recommended amount was one cake for 8 oz. but I used one for 12 oz. and after having doing so I can say that two would definitely have been too much tea for the water amount. And sadly, once my cutie pie little tea cake hit the water, it quickly started to come apart. Boo. I mean, I expected it to but it still would have been hella adorable if it hadn’t.
Taste wise this was surprisingly smooth with some very nice, well rounded sweet earth or, rather, loam notes to it. I drank it early in the morning on my way to work, and it just felt very appropriate to be having it as a “breakfast blend” of sorts; the way it was very bold and robust flavour wise to kind of slap me awake, but with a softness to it that kind of apologized for doing so. As for the rose, it wasn’t as present as I expected it to be but it was faintly there contributing a caress of floral flavour that likely added to the overall softness of the blend.
Surprisingly to me, I think this is a blend I would buy for myself. Partly for the taste, which was definitely better than I had anticipated and partly for how aesthetically pleasing it is to look at tiny little heart shaped Pu’Erh cakes – but a lot because of the convenience that the formed cakes provides. I can definitely imagine travelling with one or two of these cakes with me – the convenience of taking loose leaf tea on a trip, but without sacrificing the flavor or quality.
- Timolino with milk
- Bonus sample in my Octavia Tea order
- Very strong bergamot flavouring; ALMOST a bit too strong for my tastes
- Also got a lot of lavender in the dry smell of it
- But not quite so much in the taste (still present though)
- Milk made for a thick mouthfeel and extra richness
- Hardly masked the bergamot at all though
- good overall, maybe better for bergamot lovers but not exceptional
So, I had this one on Christmas and, like they did last year, my Aunt and Uncle (the ONLY family I have in the city) had me over for Christmas supper again this year. I’m honestly getting the impression that my family thinks I’m depressed or something. Every Christmas card I’ve got from them this year has said something along the lines of “We know it’s lonely up there but stay positive” or “Remember to be happy”. What makes them think I’m not?
Seriously; I’m FAR from depressed right now. Tired and overworked, yes – but not even close to depressed. I have a very full life right now between both jobs, and have made an awesome best friend (Bobbi) and still hang out with my best friend from before I moved (Robyn), a pretty good roommate (despite what I sometimes write), and am now working with some awesome coworkers who really brighten my day too. Plus you Steepster people. So seriously, just because I’m “not in school” and work at a grocery store and don’t see you constantly does not mean I’m “not ok”.
Don’t interpret that to mean I’m not grateful to be asked to go to my Aunt’s for Christmas though. Just because we aren’t close doesn’t mean I don’t like her or recognize the hospitality there and free food is always welcome.