Octavia Tea

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50
drank African Rose by Octavia Tea
4825 tasting notes

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

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70

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!

mrmopar

Knock them out Ros!

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83

Cold Brew Sipdown (229)!

Welp, I definitely think this one is just a bit better hot but it’s not unpleasant as a cold brew either. It’s very lemony, and in that way it tastes a lot like a traditional Southern iced tea. It’s also just a bit pithy, but in a way that seems pretty balanced with the rest of the bright citrus.

Honestly, I’d totally consider ordering this one again.

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83

Happy Mother’s Day Steepster Moms!

My little sister made our mom breakfast in bed today, and I contributed the tea! I chose this one because I thought the bright, citrus flavours would compliment the platter of chocolate chip waffles and fruit salad that Sister Strange had concocted. I was pretty spot on; it was sort of like having a glass of orange juice on the side. Hot orange juice.

Actually, really what this reminded me of was DAVIDsTEA’s La La Lemon blend. It’s got the same strong, sturdy black tea base with notes of lemon and orange. However, my biggest complaint with that tea has always been that it’s rather pithy and lacks the brightness and sweetness that I would want from a citrus black tea. This tea, though? Not the case! Everything I’ve wanted from La La Lemon – the juiciness/brightness and strong lemon/orange notes – was there! So delicious, and really perfect for a first cuppa in the morning.

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68

Cold Brew Sipdown (232)!

- Very roasty/nutty top notes
- Strong, full bodied flavour
- Only hints of apricot in the undertones and tail sip
- Finish is very clean/doesn’t linger

Bottom line… I wish there was more apricot.

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68

Hot cuppa.

It’s a little roasty, a little floral, a little nutty, and a little bit of apricot.

What I’m getting at, is that it feels like there’s a few different things going on but none of them are really major focus points for the flavour OR background notes. At the same time, the flavour doesn’t really feel muddled; it’s actually a pretty good balance of the complexities of the oolong base and the added apricot. Smooth mouthfeel, and pretty decent overall. I know I have a cold brew of it steeping right now, so I’m excited to see how a cold prep style with more time to allow the apricot to infuse will compare to this hot cup.

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_ajIr90b28&list=LL1M1wDjmJD4SJr_CwzXAGuQ&index=5

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40
drank Mint Julep by Octavia Tea
4825 tasting notes

Iced tea.

Man, I wanted so much from this tea but it was just disappointing…

Basically, Moroccan Mint but spoiled by the gross, cloying taste of licorice root coating each and every taste bud and lingering for way too long than is comfortable. I’m going to have to get creative finishing off the last of this one, I think…

VariaTEA

Well this sounds terrible. Maybe the leaf would make for a good tea bath?

Daylon R Thomas

Do you have any of Octavia’s oolong on your repertoire? I’ve been looking for one to buy in bulk for a daily green drinker with flavor…

Roswell Strange

I’ve tried Apricot Oolong; and I have untried samples of Champagne Oolong and Amber Dragon. I don’t think that I’ve tried any of their other oolongs, though.

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55
drank Lime Blossom by Octavia Tea
4825 tasting notes

Iced Tea Sipdown (237)!

Made this one as an iced tea at work, but to be honest there was something about it that I REALLY didn’t like, and so I actually ended up giving away the last cup or so of the sample to a coworker. The lime taste itself was actually really nice; very bright and both sweet and tangy. It reminded me a lot of that “Green Skittle” sort of flavour that DT’s Sweet Lime has, but without the apple-y undertones. The part that didn’t work for me was the aftertaste – something about it was just… wrong.

Maybe it was too much linden? I don’t know – it just didn’t sit right for me, and I couldn’t even finish the iced tea that I’d made.

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94

Hmmm…

Not nearly as mind blowing as the last time I had this. I mean, it was still really delicious and it totally had lots of vanilla flavour, but also lots of average quality black tea base coming through which kind of negated some of that delicious vanilla flavour. The nuanced rose and other floral notes in the backdrop of the sip are pleasant though; I didn’t really observe them the first time around – but they’re present here.

I wonder what the difference in flavour is? I think I used the same amount of leaf as last time but maybe not the same steep time or temperature? Hard to say.

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94

First tea from yesterday.

I actually didn’t pick this one out myself when I placed this recent Octavia Tea order, though if I had seen it on the site I probably would have. Instead, this was one of a couple free samples that the company added into my order. It’s very much something that appeals to me though: a “Breakfast Tea” with vanilla and caramel.

Steeped up, man does this smell heavenly! It’s almost all vanilla rather than caramel but I have to say it’s a really silky, sweet and rich tasting vanilla that does not mess around! It is there and it wants you to know that! I’m absolutely enjoying the creaminess and richness of it. Even with zero additives this has the flavour and mouthfeel of something with milk in it. I can’t even imagine how creamy it would taste WITH milk. As for the other things, the caramel and the rose, I think more than anything else the caramel is acting as a ‘booster’ to the vanilla and making it sweeter and more richer. The rose is light, but present in the finish as this gentle floral detail that adds the perfect touch of layered flavour/depth.

This is the first tea so far from this order that I’ve actually been like “You know what, I should actually order more of that!” and honestly, I think it gives 52Tea’s awesome Amethyst’s Gold blend a real run for its money…

EDIT: Well what do you know, this was tasting note 4700!

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78
drank White Chai by Octavia Tea
4825 tasting notes

So, the description for this tea says to enjoy it straight instead of with milk, like one traditionally does with Chai. However, I am a spice baby so I added milk anyway ‘cause that’s typically the only way I like Chai.

I actually thought this was super pleasant! Even with my added milk, I thought the flavours all came through really nicely. The strongest ones were cinnamon, coconut, and lemongrass which made for this lovely, sweetness with a bit of a warming quality internally. I mean, tea is usually ‘internally warming’ but I mean in the sense that I felt like I was getting a hug from the inside. Those three notes were the strongest, but after that there were some nice undertones that provided a really nice support for those main body notes: ginger, clove, a bit of pineapple sweetness (less so the distinct taste of the fruit itself). I want to say I tasted the cardamom too, but I don’t know if I really got a distinct taste of the cardamom more than I just kind of wedged the idea of it in there since I was tasting all those other chai spices.

The peppercorn, as well, I didn’t really taste but I did get that tiny peppercorn tickle in the back of my throat that I normally do with blends that have a lot of peppercorn. Sometimes it bugs me, but in this case I liked it in conjunction with the warming spice notes, creamy mouthfeel, and more tropical tastes. It’s so weird to describe a Chai as tropical as well, but that’s sort of what this one was! I mean, it had lemon, pineapple and coconut – that all works together to sort of give off a tropical vibe.

I probably will try this one straight in the future since I found it enjoyable overall with milk – it’s more promising now that I have some flavour familiarity.

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57

Sipdown (233)…

More of a chamomile flavour than last time, which resulted in a much more unpleasant flavour overall. I still enjoyed the bright mango notes, but they were fleeting and drowned out by that nasty, floral sickly sweet and gross chamomile bullshit.

Oh well, at least I was out like a rock not twenty minutes from finishing the cup.

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57

Well, I don’t like chamomile and I’m pretty neutral towards mango but I ordered this one anyway because I thought it’d be a good idea to push a bit outside of my comfort zone.

I steeped this one up as a teacup worth last night just to dip my toes in the water, so to speak. Also, because it was late at night and I figured chamomile would be good for that. Plus, smaller amount of water means less of a chance I’ll need to pee in the middle of the night.

It’s not actually bad; like, I was bracing for a totally disgusting taste and while I do think there’s a grossness to the chamomile I also know that’s something I’m probably always going to dislike. The mango was the surprising thing! It was actually very strong, and really juicy and ripe tasting. It almost covered all the nasty chamomile – though some still managed to come through both in undertones and finish. I don’t necessarily think this is the most natural tasting mango flavour – the degree of sweetness gives it a bit of a candy vibe, but it’s pleasant and I think it works pretty well with the chamomile.

I’m glad I ordered this one against my better judgement – I wouldn’t reorder it in the future, but it was better than I’d have expected and resulted in a pretty good before bed/late night cuppa.

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69

So, recently I placed a decently large Octavia Tea order for a whole bunch of different samples. Fifteen, in fact. It arrived today, and I figured I had to dig in an try at least one tea. I let my sister pick out which one and, well, here we are!

I have to admit, I’m a bit skeptical about the quality of the straight teas from this company; I’ve sampled some of their teas before and they seem to excel much better at flavoured teas, not unlike companies such as Teavana or DAVIDsTEA.

The flavour isn’t bad, but certainly not a superb quality. Middle of the line, maybe? It’s a little grassy both in top note and body, with some other interesting tasting notes. The undertones and finish are somewhat nutty, as is kind of ‘trademark’ of Kukicha. The top notes is oddly herbaceous; it tastes very faintly of dill to me? Not totally sure where that’s coming from, but I do think it’s complimentary to the rest of the flavours.

It’s light overall, and somewhat buttery with some good aspects of green tea and then some other unique, tasty flavour notes. I’m feeling it!

Fun Fact: According to the Wikipedia stub for Kukicha it’s often added to juice for a children’s drink? I’d never heard of that BUT now that I have I’m tempted to try it. Do they do it like a juice infusion where it’s steeped right into the juice? Or it more the kind of thing where they brew up a strong batch of Kukicha and then combine it with the juice? I guess experimentation is the perfect way to find out.

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40
drank Orange Spiced Chai by Octavia Tea
495 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping TTB

This had a strong orange scent when I opened the bag. Steeped, the orange faded and the chai spices and earthy black tea took center stage. It was okay, but not something I care to drink again.

Flavors: Earth, Orange, Spices

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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40

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.

Flavors: Dirt

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100

This is the first whole leaf tea I tried. Its is to this day my favorite. Very light and refreshing,

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Honeysuckle

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Berry Mocha Truffle by Octavia Tea
3389 tasting notes

Sipdown (136)

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

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec
OMGsrsly

WOO! Congratulations on 2500. :D

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85

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Tropical Green by Octavia Tea
3389 tasting notes

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.

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drank Tropical Green by Octavia Tea
3389 tasting notes

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.

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60
drank Apricot Oolong by Octavia Tea
8487 tasting notes

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.

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40
drank Passion Fruit by Octavia Tea
697 tasting notes

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40
drank Passion Fruit by Octavia Tea
697 tasting notes

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.

Flavors: Tart

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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