T By Daniel’s Garden Party

Garden Party by T By Daniel
Oolong Tea / Flavoured
$11.00 for 50g

T By Daniel’s Garden Party came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s June themed subscription box.

First Impressions

Garden Party came in a familiar matte foil bag, branded with T By Daniel’s information (and if you’ve never seen one of his bags, you should – they’re just so bright and cheerful!). This oolong blend is incredibly floral, with a sweet aroma to it and quite beautiful dried ingredients to be seen. You can really pick out most of the ingredients, if you know what you’re looking for. Garden Party smells like walking through a garden without smelling like a bottle of perfume up your nose – which is much appreciated.

Garden Party consists of: oolong tea, mooring leaves, rose petals, bamboo leaves, and natural orchid flavour.

Preparation

T By Daniel suggests steeping Garden Party in 90°C (194°F) water for 2 to 3 minutes. I used the oolong setting on my Breville IQ Kettle, which is 91°C (195°F). My initial steep of Garden Party was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Garden Party steeps to a light yellow, this tea has such an inviting floral aroma to it. I can’t really pinpoint which flower that I smell the most – either rose or orchid. It’s not overly floral at all though, which is nice. On first taste, I can taste the floral sweetness, which balances well against the creamy oolong base. The oolong just has a note of buttery creaminess to it, going really well with the floral notes

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Garden Party three times, adding an extra 30 seconds for each resteep. I found that the flavour profile stayed fairly consistent throughout – by the last steep it was more oolong base than floral ingredients. But the oolong stayed true to itself with the buttery notes with each steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved T By Daniel’s Garden Party. I think the oolong base lends itself well to the added floral ingredients. The mix of floral and oolong would pair up well with afternoon tea goodies, I think. The buttery notes from the oolong would play off of the baked goods while the floral notes would balance well against the sweets (cupcakes! macarons! cookies!).

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Chai Castle’s Berry Blend

Berry Blend by Chai Castle
Fruit Infusion / Flavoured
$8.00 for 50g

Chai Castle has provided me with Berry Blend for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

When Chai Castle first approached me about reviewing some of their teas, I was asked which ones I wanted to try – and honestly that kind of question makes me feel like a little kid in a candy store because I just get heart eyes about the idea of choosing teas. Berry Blend spoke to me because I’m pretty sure it was in the mid 30s (… Celcius…) that day and all I wanted was iced tea, or an ice bath. The aroma of Berry Blend really speaks to its name – it smells very fruity, you can see all the different fruit ingredients in the blend, and the aroma really reminds me of a mixed field berry jam or yoghurt.

Berry Blend came to me in one of Chai Castle’s sample baggies that are resealable. I really appreciate how clearly all the information is laid out about the teas on their labels. Berry Blend consists of: apple pieces, raisins, beetroot pieces, rose hip peels, elderberries, flavour, red currants, blackberries, black currants, and raspberries.

Preparation

Chai Castle recommends steeping Berry Blend in 100°C (212°F) water for 8 to 10 minutes. My initial steep of Berry Blend was for 10 minutes.

First Taste

Berry Blend steeps to a very bright reddish-pink, and I think we can all thank the beetroot for that amazing colour. The aroma is very fruity and still reminds me of mixed field berry jam like the dry leaf did. The flavour is sweet, fruity, with a touch of tartness that I believe can be attributed to the raspberries in the blend. The natural sweetness from the fruit is really pronounced, and I wouldn’t dare add any additional sweetener because it does not need any – and that really speaks to the ripeness of all the fruits used prior to them being dried.

I had Berry Blend both hot and iced. While it is quite delicious hot, I think it’s even better iced and that kind of mixed fruit flavour is just ideal for an iced tea.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Berry Blend, it didn’t do very well. However, I wasn’t particularly disappointed by it because most herbal or fruit infusions just don’t do well with being resteeped, since the flavours get tapped out with the initial steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Chai Castle’s Berry Blend. Sometimes I find it rare that a fruit or herbal infusion smells the same from dry to steeped tea, and then tastes as what you’d expect it to. There’s usually something missing or less pronounced than what I’d like, but Berry Blend definitely surpassed those expectations. I agree with the 10 minute steep time, and would really recommend having this one iced because it’s so fruity and sweet. If you’re a fan of mixed field berry anything, this fruit infusion is essentially mixed field berry jam in a cup.

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Lemon Lily’s Cherry Vanilla

Cherry Vanilla by Lemon Lily
Black Tea / Flavoured
$9.00 for 50g

Lemon Lily’s Cherry Vanilla came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s August themed subscription box.

First Impressions

Cherry Vanilla came to me in a matte white resealable foil bag. What I enjoy about Lemon Lily is that they do take care in selecting their ingredients for their tea blends. For example, this black tea blend contains all certified organic ingredients: black tea, cherries, vanilla bean, safflower, and natural flavour.

The dry leaf mostly smells like vanilla to me with a hint of cherry. Vanilla in teas always remind me of baking or making me want to bake, so it’s probably good that I’m having this tea as the weather starts to turn cooler since I can stand having the oven on now.

Preparation

Lemon Lily recommends steeping Cherry Vanilla in 93°C (200°F) water for 4 to 6 minutes. My initial steep was for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Cherry Vanilla steeps to a golden orange. There are hints of cherry and vanilla in the aroma of the tea. On first sip, I do note that there’s a nice sweetness to the tea, it’s very pleasant on the tongue. I find that the cherry flavour is a bit lost, I think that the vanilla is a bit stronger and so is the black tea base. At a five minute steep, there’s just a subtle hint of astringency behind the base of the tea that may be overpowering the delicate fruit flavours.

With the natural sweetness, I think this tea may fair better being had iced or even cold steeped, which may help preserve some of the more delicate cherry flavour.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Cherry Vanilla once and found that the flavour of the vanilla was mostly gone, and couldn’t find the fruity flavours. The black tea base is, however, very nice on its own and does well in being resteeped.

My Overall Impression

I liked Lemon Lily’s Cherry Vanilla. I think that the black tea base is a bit too strong for some of the more lighter flavours of the vanilla and the cherry, although I really do think the flavour concept is great. I would recommend having this tea iced or cold steeped, to help temper some of that astringency from the black tea and to also help the vanilla and cherry notes shine through a bit more.

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