Oollo Tea’s Honey Scented Black Tea

Honey Scented Black Tea by Oollo Tea
Black Tea / Straight
$8.00 for 25g

First Impressions

Oollo Tea was a vendor at the 2018 Vancouver Tea Festival, and I’m always pleased to sample teas at their booth because oolong is one of my favourites. And then there’s this tea, which is not quite an oolong. Honey Scented Black Tea is described by Oollo Tea as a “secret hybrid tea” as a mix between a black tea and an oolong tea. Either way, it was delicious when I sampled it which just meant that I had to try it.

The tea itself comes in a silver package – it was actually part of a ‘mystery’ grab bag that was available at the Tea Festival (I love grab bags, I don’t know why – I just like the surprise aspect of it, I think). The packaging is not resealable, which was okay because I do have extra tea tins around. If you lack a tea tin, you can put the packaging into a glass jar or a resealable bag – the important thing is to keep tea from going stale by keeping it away from light, air, and moisture.

Besides the stamped information on the front of the packaging, there wasn’t any other information regarding this tea. Luckily, Oollo Tea keeps information up on their website. The leaves themselves are dark, long, and wiry. The aroma from the dry leaf is primarily sweet like honey, with a hint of honey dew and flowers. Honey Scented Black Tea is from a Qingxin Oolong varietal, which was grown by the Fu family in Pingling, New Taipei, Taiwan at 400m elevation above sea level and harvested during the winter of 2017 – in case you wanted to ever pin point exactly when your tea was harvested.

Preparation

Oollo Tea recommends steeping Honey Scented Black Tea in 90-95°C (194-203°F) water for 2 minutes, and suggests that it can be resteeped two additional times. My initial steep was with 93°C (200°F) water for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Honey Scented Black Tea steeps to a beautiful orange colour, with a lovely honey aroma to it. No surprise, given the name of the tea. On first taste, I can taste the honey sweetness, it has a thin textured mouthfeel to it that easily coats the mouth. I found the honey dew freshness at the end of each sip, which makes the tea all the more pleasant. There’s a touch of astringency at the end of each sip as well, but it isn’t too much to make the tea off-putting. Surprisingly, there is no floral flavours in the Honey Scented Black Tea, despite me initially tasting it.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Honey Scented Black Tea three times, adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavour stated pretty consistent as I drank each steep, I found that the flavour stayed pretty strong through each steep, although was a touch weaker for the third resteep (fourth steep total). I would say that Honey Scented Black Tea is good for at least two additional resteeps, as recommended by Oollo Tea, and I would push it for a third if you really want to get your money’s worth out of this tea!

My Overall Impression

I loved Oollo Tea’s Honey Scented Black Tea. It has a great honey flavour, with the crisp freshness from the honey dew flavours. If you don’t like astringency in your tea, I would suggest lowering the amount of time spent for each steep (perhaps 90 seconds instead of 2 minutes!), and definitely resteep this one to get all the flavour out of those leaves. It is a very enjoyable black tea, I think it’d be a great afternoon tea alternative from the classic Earl Grey because of the honey notes. That said, it’d probably take cream and sugar well since it is a black tea, but I don’t think you need to go too each on the sweetener!

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kyth + kyn’s Digest

Digest by kyth + kyn
Herbal Infusion / Straight
$9.98 for 25g

First Impressions

Coming in a now-familiar kraft paper pouch is kyth + kyn’s Digest. The packaging is a plastic and foil lined kraft paper pouch that’s resealable – one of my favourite features in any good tea packaging. Digest is said to help with poor food decisions (on the front of the packaging, kyth + kyn wrote “For all those times when that extra slice of cake ended up being a terrible idea” – clearly they have never met me because an extra slice of cake is never a terrible idea).

The aroma of Digest is primarily that of peppermint, which isn’t surprising when you look at the blend itself. Digest consists of: peppermint, ginger root, and chen pi. For those who didn’t grow up in a Chinese household, chen pi is also known as sun-dried tangerine peels. They’re left to dry and are commonly used in eastern medicine.

Preparation

kyth + kyn recommends steeping Digest in hot water for 3 to 5 minutes. I opted to steep at 200°F (93°C) for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Digest steeps to a really pretty golden orange. The aroma is pretty much primarily the peppermint, which isn’t much of a surprise considering how prominent it was in the dry leaf. The flavour of Digest is a mix of citrus sweetness, peppermint, and the warming qualities of the ginger. It’s really quite pleasant, and does warm me from the inside out. I can see why this blend would be geared towards indigestion/stomach issues, since the peppermint and ginger are both quite known to help with those. The chen pi is an ingredient also used for enhancing digestion.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Digest once, and found that the peppermint was considerably weaker compared to the initial steep. The ginger and citrus notes from the chen pi were present and more noticeable. If you’re looking for the peppermint taste, I would say that Digest is good for just one steep. If you’re happy to drink an infusion of primarily ginger and chen pi, then do one more steep.

My Overall Impression

I liked kyth + kyn’s Digest. I tried this initially at the 2018 Vancouver Tea Festival, and more recently when I was feeling under the weather. While I didn’t have indigestion or stomach issues, I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry due to being sick and I think that having that peppermint and ginger infusion helped to settle my stomach a little bit. It’s definitely not a blend that I would have every day, because I tend to attribute those flavours to when I’m feeling sick. Digest is a blend that I’m going to keep in my ‘sick time’ tea blend stash because it definitely has a place there. I’d probably rate it higher if I was having bloating or indigestion, because then I would really be able to test the herbal qualities of the ingredients found in Digest.

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Annie’s Tea Treat’s Miss Autumn Black Tea

Miss Autumn Black Tea by Annie’s Tea Treat
Black Tea / Straight
$15.50USD for 50g

Annie’s Tea Treat has provided me with Miss Autumn Black Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Miss Autumn Black Tea came to me in a resealable black foil pouch. Not a whole lot of information is on the packaging, but that was easily remedied by going onto the Annie’s Tea Treat website (and with a little help from Google Translate). The tea itself consists of some beautiful large, wiry leaves.

The aroma of this black tea is a mix of plums and floral notes. These leaves were grown at a high altitude, in Nantou County of Taiwan. Miss Autumn Black Tea is a straight black tea. The aroma of the dry leaf is quite inviting because of the fruity notes.

Preparation

Annie’s Tea Treat recommends steeping Miss Autumn Black Tea in 100°C (212°F) water for 3-4 minutes. My initial step of Miss Autumn Black Tea was for 3 minutes.

First Taste

Miss Autumn Black Tea steeps to a golden orange, with a really fruity aroma to it. I mostly smell plums and some apple notes, with a hint of flowery goodness in the background. The taste of this straight black tea is more complex than I anticipated. I get hints of plum, apple, and floral notes, as well as a honey sweetness that just plays very well with all of the flavours that I’m getting from this tea. I find that the honey notes linger at the end of each sip, which balances well with the initial burst of plum notes.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Miss Autumn Black Tea four times, adding an extra 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that as I continued to steep these black tea leaves, the flavour became less sweet and more floral. The apple and plum notes stayed pretty consistent while the honey and floral flavours became to shift. Overall, the tea had a nice flavour balance to it and was tasty throughout.

Due to the natural sweetness in the leaves, I didn’t find that the tea require any sweetener. That said, it is a black tea so I think it would take to the addition of sweetener quite easily.

My Overall Impression

I loved Annie’s Tea Treat’s Miss Autumn Black Tea. I really enjoyed this tea from dry leaf to resteeping. The flavour profile was well balanced between fruity, floral, and honey notes. I think this is a great tea to try straight, so you can experience the subtle changes in flavour with each steep. I really enjoyed the plum and honey notes the most with each steep.

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