Octavia TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Hauled this one out. Nothing to add to what I’ve said before.
If anyone is wondering what happened to my longwinded rambles of before, I,’all tell you. Still no WiFi chez moi. However, a friend gave me a teeny tablet which makes access out in the world far easier. I am grateful. That said, the thing is a PITA to use and messages disappear. And who in their right mind wants to spend hours in a cafe typing w a little stick. Especially a tea drinker who has mountains of tea at home.
I did not expect this tea to be good as it was. I was looking for a descent loose leaf while I was down in FL, and since this company’s teas were offered, I had to get at least one tea straight. You don’t normally see more mainstream American companies carry more than one type of Dan Cong. The other selections looked decent, but more expensive. I got a whiff of the phoenix mountain one they carried, and it was nice and heather like, but I know what a Dancong like that tastes like, so I opted for the Ba Xian that was more floral.
My brewing parameters were more ad hoc than usual since I used a Ninja Machine for some hot water and a smaller than normal strainer. The shortest steeps were at 45 seconds including the water pouring at 4 grams for a hefty 12 oz mug, the lighter were three grams at 3 minutes.
The lighter I went, the creamier and the more floral it was. The company claimed the tea “offers a creamy, velvety texture with generous notes of warm, buttery cinnamon buns and a lingering, orange-flower-honey finish” and I can see where they were going. The mouthfeel was the highlight, and the notes edged around cream, violets, cinnamon, yeasty sweet rolls, and almonds. Viscosity was a given. The honey notes were in longer steeps or with more leaves-that’s when I got the citrus touch I associate dan congs with, though not quite as fruity as the many others I’ve experienced. The touch was actually kinda welcomed.
It is on the light side, but it did not lack in flavor. It only lacked in staying power giving me 2 to 3 brews on average. Grandpa was also not a bad way to go for this one.
Ordinarily, I would have rated this one in the eighties, but after tasting some of my more “prestigious” teas at home, a part of me is re-evaluating that. The fusion of the cinnamon note and the creamy Dan Cong florals is what made it stand out to me. It was very easy to drink, and it might be a selection I’d welcome to lighter tea drinkers. I’d be interested to see what other people would think of this one, but for me, it was nuance done right.
I am not home, so I do not have access to the ones I’ve been itching to write about. I was, however, able to stumble on this brand at a Spice Shop in Cocoa Village, FL. I’ve been meaning to try this one. I almost picked the Lemongrass Oolong since it was an bergamot blend, but there was something off about the smell. I also hesitated with this one since the dry leaf sample smelled like a dried up orange rind, but I went with it anyway. The dry leaf from the fresh package was much better. This blend had lemongrass too, and citrus and Florida go together.
So trying it out, it ORANGE dominates followed by a lemony accent and a little bit of a jasmine hint. I got the oolong in the body with a light to medium viscosity and an overall green feeling. Otherwise, the orange rind is so prevalent that it almost reminded me of a vitamin c tablet. It’s like fruit loop milk when it’s good, but the latter when I overleaf it.
The main stay is the orange and the citrus, which are things that I personally like, but I could see it being detracting. The taste really is not artificial, but there was too much orange for me personally. 80 in terms of taste, 75 in terms of price.
I am coming down with a cold. Could have something to do with running around with soaking feet for most of the day in all this slush outside.
This was my other travel tea of the day which I made before I started feeling under the weather. Delicious. I have been steeping at a far lower temperature to have the previous sour note disappear, which it has, and bring all the toffee caramel loveliness out, which it did. So yay!
This dark roast oolong gives all the indicators of a black tea: citrusy sharp and gently sour Ceylon really, but it’s not. The hazelnut brittle adds that caramel toffee thing, but the nut element is slight. The scent is very buttery nut brittle though, and that in itself, is quite luscious.
I’ll see how things go as it cools, adding to this then.
Adding…The tea develops a bit of puerh depth as it cools a bit with a caramel overlay. It reminds me very much of a puerh toffee creation by another blender, DTs perhaps.
This sourness though is not working for me. At all.
Cold Brew Sipdown (457)!
Not as sweet and floral as I remember it tasting last time I tried this one as a hot tea, but still equally smooth with that very crisp finish and almost “rain water” like quality. I would have loved a stronger elderflower/peony flavour but it was still a pleasant enough cup. I’m not overly sad to have finished it off though.
First tea of the morning!
Wasn’t totally sure what to expect from this one; it sounds so simple just based on the ingredients and yet the smell of the dry leaf is so… unlike any oolong I’ve ever smelled?
- Very sweet and floral
- Lily/peony/elderflower notes
- Sweetgrass body notes; reminds me of late Spring!!
- Crisp finish; mix of rain/mineral notes
- Balanced overall; medium bodied profile
I enjoyed this one!
I made this one in my tea press because I knew it would hold the temperature well enough I could slowly sip on it all throughout the day Monday, while the boyfriend was over. My mind was strongly on other things though, and despite drinking this one I didn’t actually pay much attention to it.
I mean, I remember that it was pretty medium bodied and just unimposing in general – a nice, mild flavour. Somewhat fruity undertones, but nothing really distinct or memorable. A little roasty, I don’t think nearly as much as last time even with me not paying full attention.
I don’t know – I think overall this was a decent tea, average quality. Probably would make for a good daily drinker, just going off how unimposing it was this time around and my experience last time. For me though? Just another tea sipped down, and not the worlds most memorable one.
I don’t know why, but I kept putting off trying this one. I brought it to work five days in a row to drink and each day it ended up being the only two from my work haul that I hadn’t made a cup of. Eventually, I asked a coworker to pick a tea for me because I was being indecisive and this is what she chose – purely because of the packaging/art on the label, for the record. Turns out, I shouldn’t have waited to try it! I actually really liked it A LOT…
Anyway, here are my notes:
- Quite a strongly roasted oolong flavour overall
- Notes of char/butter/roasted peanut/cinnamon
- With herbacous and almost buttery dill top notes!?
- Finish is a little more well rounded and sweet, with plummy/stonefruit undertones
- Very smooth/pleasant medium bodied tea overall
There’s not much of the sample left at all, which is a shame because I’d really like to see how this would turn out Gong Fu. That just means it’s something to keep in the back of my mind should I ever decided to place another Octavia Tea order, though.
This was my morning cuppa today, with some orange infused honey.
It was a very tasty cup of tea; the Darjeeling itself was quite brisk and full bodied with some heavy hitting notes of muscat and malt, and then some more delicate floral undertones. The sweetness of the honey was great ’cause it softened the astringency, and the orange notes really complimented the muscat and floral notes of the Darjeeling. It also just felt more winter-esque in general paired together.
Overall? I was satisfied with this cup but the Darjeeling itself is a pretty ‘meh’ quality one, and I have better on hand so it’s not one I’m sad to sipdown at all. It’s a welcome departure, actually.
Find yourself a guy who’ll sit aside with you, watch the stars, and write dirty haikus.
Did you know ancient Greece was hella gay? I mean, also hella straight, too. Basically everyone was having sex – it was a very sexually open culture. This is kind of an inside joke between the not-boyfriend and I. Someone will mention Greece and then the other will say something about Socrates getting blowjobs from Greece’s ‘top twinks’. Because even Socrates probably enjoyed a good blowjob.
I mention this, because the other night we were sitting outside drinking tea and he said something corny and poetic like “I imagine the way the moon looks tonight it exactly as beautiful as what it looked like back in ancient Greece”. To which I, equally poetically, responded with this beautiful haiku:
Blowjobs in moonlight
Lips lap up waves of seafoam
Which prompted a whole massive string of dirty haikus. It was pretty great.
Anyway – the tea! It was also pretty good. I haven’t really looked it up, but I’m just guessing it’s probably 1st flush because it had the generous malt and floral notes of a 1st flush and none of the muscatel quality that 2nd flush has. I did really enjoy it, though! It was medium bodied and quite smooth. Not the worlds most nuanced, but that’s not always necessary to have appreciation for a tea.
Finished this one off hot at work.
People come in all the time and comment about how the store smells REALLY good, and it’s weird because as staff I can smell exactly what they’re smelling… the first five minutes of my shift. After that it’s sort of like I go nose blind? There’s just so many different smells/aromas that unless I’m opening up a tin of tea to measure something out or make tea for someone I don’t pick up on the aromas anymore.
Except, when this tea was brewing it filled the WHOLE store. One of my coworkers even went and bought us all blueberry muffins because this tea made her crave them that badly. It’s a good blueberry tea! Like, very smooth and well rounded with a jammy sweetness that doesn’t read as cloying at all – more natural, and fresh. I was pretty infatuated with this one, and I’ll be the first to admit I’m super sad this is a sipdown.
Goodbye yummy blueberry tea.
Had a good mug of this while I introduced my twelve year old sister to Friends!
- Very interesting blue/purple liquor
- Tastes pleasantly sweet; realistic but jammy blueberry flavour
- Hints of sweet floral notes
- Just a little bit grassy, but sweet grass notes as opposed to lawn clippings
- Lingers pleasantly on the tongue
- Reminds me of Spring time!
Iced, with a spot of milk.
I’m definitely enjoying this one more the second time around. Also, I find that the flavours are weirdly more fitting for an iced tea style of prep rather than hot even though I would have personally assumed the reverse would be true. The apple is this lovely mellow sweetness though, and then the combo of the clove and cinnamon along with the sweet, woody quality of the base and extra creaminess of the milk come together in a way that is both warming and spicey but also that vaguely resembles pie crust which really drives home that element of the tea for me.
I also really like DAVIDsTEA’s Spiced Apple but personally this one is better to me because you CAN add milk to it, and DT’s take will 100% curdle. The milk is just the perfect addition to convey the pastry element, and if you’re not feeling the pastry as much and just want the apple and spices you can leave this one straight up and then those elements are more prominent, and delicious in a very different way.
For the record, I still don’t understand what the lemongrass adds.
- Smells INTENSELY of cardamom/cinnamon
- Way more spice notes than apple; the apple is a fainter undertone
- Has a “plumpness”/sweetness to it though!
- All the cardamom and ginger leave an intense tingle along my tongue
- I do get an apple pie vibe, so that was totally acheived
- Don’t really understand the place that lemongrass has in this blend, honestly
Overall my consensus is…
I need to try this one again to form more of an opinion.
Iced Sipdown (229)
After the let down that was DT’s Peachy Lychee I found myself wanting more lychee teas; and this is a sample I’ve been sitting on for a while so that’s what I went with. The sample turned out to be the perfect amount for an iced cup, so this was a “one and done”.
The lychee flavour is prominant, and pretty realistic, I’d say. I wish the black base wasn’t quite so brisk/malty and full bodied because I think it kills some of the sweet, juiciness of the lychee but overall I think this was a pretty good classis lychee black tea. No frills, just sort of straight to the point. Maybe a touch astringent?
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBwS66EBUcY
A continuation of our workplace “Disco Fever” that resulted from someone switching the radio to the Disco Hits station. It was just a fun night though.
Finishing this one off tonight…
It’s kind of boring, honestly? Very, very strong rooibos base flavour – not a good option for those who dislike the taste of rooibos. Lots of wood, notes of honey, even a little bit peppery. The one thing that does set it apart is that it’s also fairly floral, with some stronger rose notes. That’s not enough to keep me personally interested in it, though. Only time will tell, but I imagine the memory of this one will fade away quickly, and it’ll just be another forgettable tea adding to the tally of things I’ve tried.
Grabbed a sample of this one because I thought it had potential to be something interesting, even though the ingredients seem somewhat simple and safe. As well, even if it did turn out to be that sort of simple flavour I thought it was one I’d likely enjoy regardless.
- Iced and straight
- Smooth with strong honeyed/woody rooibos and rose notes
- Just hints of lemon; honestly expected a lot more lemon flavour overall
- In a way, the lemon tasted a bit of generic lemon water
- Not bad but I imagine it’d be better hot, and the flavour combo isn’t new to me
- It was just a sort of average cuppa verging a little on the bland side of things
Kind of glad to finish this one off; while I definitely didn’t dislike it I do think it’s one of those teas that doesn’t really have a long term place in my cupboard. For me to really get into this one, I felt like I needed to add things to it and while that can be really delicious I do want to primarily have the teas in my cupboard be ones I can enjoy without additions.
That said – I made this gal in my teapress with some milk and vanilla agave. It made for a very smooth, rich and creamy flavour with a lot of silky creaminess from the additives and then more of a soft gentle/mild lavender finishing note. It was really pleasant and relaxing; but credit for that can’t solely go to the tea. What I chose to add to this to enhance the flavour did A LOT of the legwork to create the relaxing flavour combination.
I made this one with an extra minute of steep time, a little less tea leaf and then the addition of both milk and cane sugar which resulted in a very thick feeling, creamy cup with a lot of malty sweetness from the black base, some honey notes and then a very soft and soothing lavender flavour. Lavender isn’t my favourite taste at all but with the right amount of doctoring this was actually a very peaceful and relaxing drink that certainly made it easy enough to wind down with for the evening.
It was also my accompaniment on the trip home from work, where I was reading a very, very interesting video game(ish) related article shared to me by someone else. I don’t know AT ALL what I expected the article to be when they said it was really unique and interesting but this was certainly NOT it:
Thoughts? I’m just… confused, I guess? I don’t know – intrigued as well, I suppose.
Heyyooo – tasting note 4800!
So, I ordered this one for myself knowing that I likely wouldn’t like it. I’ve never been a fan of lavender, and the idea of basically a straight lavender tea makes me cringe so badly. The challenge for myself was to push past my comfort zone and find a way to enjoy a tea that was completely contrary to my tastes.
So I brewed this one up hot and straight initially – I had to try it first before deciding what to do with it. It was definitely too intense/floral for my liking, and it reminded me of bath soap. However, it also gave me an idea!
With a bit of added coconut agave, this was the result:
- Very strong, natural lavender notes
- Had a nice freshness to it and a tropical flavour quality
- Resulted in what tasted like a superior/better quality version of DT’s Jessie’s Tea
- Really fresh and with the perfect amount of sweetness!
- It suddenly went from tasting like bath soap to a very serene, peaceful cuppa!
What a perfect fix to a tea I otherwise would NOT have enjoyed!