Tea Experience: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Vancouver, BC
Notch8 Restaurant & Bar
Afternoon Tea $65 for Adults, $23.50 for Children (≤12)

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A very lovely friend treated me to afternoon tea at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on West Georgia Street in Vancouver. Shortly after arrival, we were whisked away to our table – we walked past people having brunch and the amazing buffet selection with everything in matching Le Creuset pans.

The table settings were beautiful, with the white cloth napkins folded so lovely like a tree. It was my first time having afternoon tea at the Fairmont, so I’m not sure if it was their usual design or if they change it up for their themes. When we were leaving, we were told that the January theme was Hollywood. Read More …

Teazorean’s Hysson

Hysson by Teazorean
Green Tea / Straight
$16.83 for 32g

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Teazorean has provided me with Hysson for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Teazorean describes Hysson as their “premium grade green tea”, and they sent me 10g to me in a cute little tin. The tea is a nice mix of different shades of green, with the pieces of tea leaves being flat. The smell that comes out of the tin of tea leaves is one that’s primarily vegetal and earthy – it reminds me a bit of mushrooms with a salty undertone.

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Hysson is a straight green tea. Teazorean shares details about where the tea leaves are grown on their website if you’re interested in learning about their tea farm on a volcanic island.

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Preparation

Teazorean recommends steeping Hysson at 205°F (96°C) water for 5 minutes. My initial steep of Hysson followed Teazorean’s recommended steep times.

First Taste

I found my initial steep of Hysson to be quite bitter and quite undrinkable due to the high levels of astringency – the initial steep at 5 minutes was a dark, dark orange. I attempted another steep of Hysson with water at 175°F (80°C) for 2 minutes. I found the tea to be palateable, with a mild astringency, no bitterness, and just some earthy mushroom notes in the tea. I really do think that the recommended steep temperature and time was far too hot and long for these leaves.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Hysson again at 175°F and for about 3 minutes, and found that the flavours were quite similar to the first steep. The big difference was less astringency and milder mushroom earthy notes to the tea.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Teazorean’s Hysson. I was really disappointed with this green tea when I steeped it in the recommended temperature water and for the length of time. It was far too bitter and astringent at the recommended steeping instructions. Once I steeped it at a cooler temperature and for less time, I found Hysson was a tasty cup of green tea with delicate mushroom flavours. It’s a nice tea, and I really enjoyed it. I think this would make a great pairing with savoury foods.

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Tisano’s Vanilla Cacao Tea

Vanilla Cacao Tea by Tisano
Rooibos Infusion / Flavoured
$13.99USD for 4oz

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Tisano has provided me with Vanilla Cacao Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

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Tisano’s Vanilla Cacao Tea smelled absolutely heavenly as soon as I opened up the packaging. The smell of this tisane is primarily chocolate with a hint of vanilla. I don’t smell the rooibos at all, which isn’t a bad thing for me because I typically don’t enjoy rooibos infusions. The chocolate aroma reminds me of hot chocolate. I enjoy that Tisano’s packaging is resealable.

Vanilla Cacao Tea consists of cacao shells, organic rooibos, and organic vanilla.

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Preparation

Tisano recommends steeping Vanilla Cacao Tea in 212°F (100°C) water for 5 minutes. I steeped Vanilla Cacao Tea for an initial steep of 5 minutes.

First Taste

Vanilla Cacao Tea steeps to a bright golden yellow after the initial steep time of 5 minutes. The aroma that wafts up from the steeped infusion is malt chocolate and a hint of vanilla – I don’t smell the rooibos at all (another bonus!). I found that the taste of Vanilla Cacao Tea was primarily malt chocolate (if you’ve ever had Milo – a malt chocolate drink powder – you’ll know what I’m referring to), with a touch of bitterness that is found in dark chocolate, and there’s the vanilla flavours at the end of each sip. I did wind up adding a touch of milk to the infusion, and found that it helped to temper the bitterness from the chocolate and make it more like a hot chocolate drink.

I don’t think I tasted the rooibos at all – since I couldn’t smell it or taste it, I’m not sure if it really added anything to the blend by being in it.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Vanilla Cacao Tea once, and found that the flavour was quite watery compared to the first steep. I would say that Vanilla Cacao Tea is only good for one steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Tisano’s Vanilla Cacao Tea. I really enjoyed the malt chocolate flavour with the vanilla notes. It tastes very much like a watery hot chocolate until I added some milk to help temper the bitterness from the cacao shells. I’m not sure if there was a purpose of the rooibos as I couldn’t smell or taste it. I really enjoyed the vanilla notes in this blend, and it makes the cacao infusion that much richer.

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Golden Tea Leaf’s Pine Oolong

Pine Oolong by Golden Tea Leaf
Oolong Tea / Straight
$8.99 for 50g

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Golden Tea Leaf has provided me with Pine Oolong for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

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Pine Oolong came to me in single serving packets, all neatly prepared in pyramid sachets. There are some beautiful, full-looking leaves inside of the pyramid. There’s a slightly salty aroma to the tea leaves that contrasts from the sweet floral fragrance that also come from the tea leaves. I ripped open the pyramid sachets to get a better look at the tea leaves. Pine Oolong is a straight oolong tea, described as a semi-fermented green tea by Golden Tea Leaf.

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Preparation

Golden Tea Leaf recommends steeping Pine Oolong in 95°C (203°F) water for 2-3 minutes for the first steep, and for 3-5 minutes for the second steep. My initial steep of Pine Oolong was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Pine Oolong steeps to a beautiful golden honey colour. There’s a sweet floral aroma that wafts up from the tea. I did notice that the leaves had fully expanded to fill out the entire pyramid sachet – I definitely think that this tea should be steeped in a basket infuser and not in the sachet itself because of the need for the leaves to expand. The flavour of this oolong primarily sweet and floral, with just a little bit of umami at the end of each sip.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Pine Oolong for 3 minutes, and found the flavours to be still true to the initial steep. I managed to resteep Pine Oolong a total of four times (five steeps total), and adding 30 seconds per subsequent resteep. I found the floral sweetness to stay pretty strong up to the third steep total, and got a bit weaker for the fourth and fifth steep. The umami part stayed pretty true to the initial steep all the way through all of the steeps.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Golden Tea Leaf’s Pine Oolong. I really enjoyed the floral aromas and flavours that I found in the dry and steeped tea. The umami notes that I found in this tea made the flavour just a bit more complex and delicious to enjoy. The sweet floral notes hold strong throughout and it was a real treat to resteep over and over again. I think the tea would pair well with a meal because of the umami notes.

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Teazorean’s Broken Leaf

Broken Leaf by Teazorean
Black Tea / Straight
$14.83 for 32g

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Teazorean has provided me with Broken Leaf for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I mentioned some information of Teazorean’s conservation efforts in my last Teazorean (Orange Pekoe). The loose dry leaf came to me in a cute little tin, kind of the perfect size to tote extra tea in your bag around.  The dry leaf has a mixture of dark brown and reddish brown leaves, and there were some small sticks that I noticed in there as well. The sampler tin holds 10g of tea, I used approximately 3g for my small teapot.

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Broken Leaf is a straight black tea. The smell that comes from the black tea leaves was a malty aroma, that reminds me a bit of Assam tea, and there’s some peachy-apricot aromas coming from the tea leaves as well.

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Preparation

Teazorean recommends steeping Broken Leaf in 205°F (96°C) for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Broken Leaf steeps to a lovely light golden orange, it’s more pale that I expected for a black tea when I steeped it according to the length of time suggested by Teazorean. On first taste, the first thing that I noticed was the honey sweetness in this tea. Despite the aroma of the dry leaf having a maltiness to it, I noticed that there was quite the minimal malty flavour to it, and there was an apricot finish to each sip.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Broken Leaf two additional times. I found that the first resteep was slightly weaker than the inital steep – there was more apricot flavour that came out in the tea. The second resteep was weaker still, and not as enjoyable as the initial and first resteep. I would say that Broken Leaf is a good choice for one more steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Teazorean’s Broken Leaf. I found the aroma of the dry leaf and the taste of the steeped tea to be enjoyable. The honeyed sweetness and the apricot flavours are delicious, and I think it’d be a great alternative to the traditional Earl Grey for an afternoon tea because it has a different flavour profile, but still has the robust flavours of a strong black tea.

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