InNature Teas’ Alpine Oolong (Jie Guan Yin) Tea

Alpine Oolong (Jie Guan Yin) Tea by InNature Teas
Oolong Tea / Straight
£5.45 for 50g

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InNature Teas has provided me with Alpine Oolong Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Alpine Oolong Tea came to me in a sturdy cardboard box, much like Red Rose Tea did. The tea itself came in a gold foil package, which was not resealable. I remedied this issue by folding the foil package back up and putting it into a sealable plastic bag and into the box. I like keeping teas in original packaging if possible, especially when it’s packaging that’s labelled with information. Alpine Oolong Tea is also known as Jie Guan Yin – you may be more familiar with Iron Goodness or Tie Guan Yin or Tie Kwan Yin.

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Alpine Oolong Tea is a straight oolong tea. The dry leaf has a strong floral aroma to it. The leaves themselves vary from a bright to a dark green, all tightly bunched and rolled together. I’m really looking forward to steeping these tea leaves and seeing how much they expand.

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Preparation

InNature Teas suggests steeping Alpine Oolong Tea in 100°C (212°F) water for 1-2 minutes and suggests that this tea can be steeped up to three times. My initial steep of Alpine Oolong Tea was for 1 minute.

First Taste

The initial step of Alpine Oolong Tea steeps to a pale golden yellow. I found that the aroma to be fairly similar to the dry leaf – mostly floral sweetness. The taste of this tea is surprisingly not as sweet as I expected. There was a smooth floral flavour to this tea, with subtle grassy notes, and a light honeyed sweetness for a finish. There’s a certain level of complexity to this tea that is enjoyable to explore.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Alpine Oolong Tea a total of five times (six steeps total with the same leaves) and the tea did not disappoint. The oolong steeped to a darker golden yellow with each subsequent steep. The flavour gets a bit stronger – the floral becomes more pronounced, but the sweetness in this tea doesn’t get stronger (which is nice).

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Because I did so many steeps of this oolong, I did pour the excess Alpine Oolong Tea into a mason jar that wound up in my fridge. Bonus – this tea is excellent cold/iced as well!

My Overall Impression

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I loved InNature Tea’s Alpine Oolong Tea. I loved the complexity in the flavours and exploring the subtle changes with each steep. I would wholeheartedly recommend resteeping this tea, as the flavours get stronger. This tea would be excellent paired with a meal, I’d think, because it isn’t too sweet to detract from a savoury meal. It’s definitely a tea to resteep over a morning or afternoon, since it holds up so well to being resteeped.

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ShakTea’s White Grape

White Grape by ShakTea
White Tea / Flavoured
$12.50 for 50g

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First Impressions

White Grape was one of my acquisitions at the 2017 Vancouver Tea Festival back in November, and it was one of the teas available to sample at ShakTea’s booth – so I knew I liked it before buying it. White Grape came to me in this small silver tin, the tea was in a plastic package inside of it prior to me opening it (I wound up pouring the dry leaf directly into the tin. This tea has a remarkable aroma – it’s floral, fruity – undeniably grape, with the pleasant fragrance of a light tea. It’s a very inviting aroma that this dry tea has.

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On the packaging, it states that White Grape consists of white tea and grape bits. On the product page (at the time of writing), White Grape consists of: white grape flavour, rose hips, blackcurrant, mallow flavour, cornflower blossoms, and white tea. I’d say the latter is more accurate as I can very clearly see cornflower petals and blackcurrant in the white tea blend.

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Preparation

I didn’t find any preparation recommendations on either the packaging or the website for this tea, so I steeped it at 185°F (85°C) for an initial 2 minutes.

First Taste

White Grape steeps to a very pale yellow. The aroma from the steeped tea is primarily that of sweetness and grapes. When I tasted the tea, I noted that the white tea base has some grassy flavours to it – thankfully smooth and not bitter when steeped for the 2 minutes that I did. Zero astringency was noted with this tea, and I happily continued to drink it. The grape flavour is sweet, and reminds me a lot of purple grapes (and thankfully not raisins) with just a touch of tartness. I found that the aroma of this tea kept me wanting to have more and more of it.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped White Grape twice. I found for the first resteep, the flavours were still present, although a bit weaker. For the second resteep, the flavours were mostly waned and I was left with the white tea base flavour. To be fair, the grassy notes from the white tea are quite delicious so if you’re a white tea fan, you’ll still be able to enjoy the tea without the grape notes.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved ShakTea’s White Grape. I really enjoyed this white tea when I first sampled it, and I was quite happy that I still liked it when I steeped it at home. I just really enjoyed the mix of sweet and tart with the flavours that were blended in with the white tea, and the grassy notes were pleasant. As it is a white tea, I was quite cautious regarding burning or oversteeping the leaves, and was happy to find that it steeps nicely to a smooth, pleasant tea. I think the fruity flavour would lend itself well to being cold steeped or iced, as well as being paired with sweets.

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Tea in Texas’ Prairie Green

Prairie Green by Tea in Texas
Green Tea / Flavoured
$10.00USD for 3oz

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First Impressions

I got a trio of teas blended from Tea in Texas as a birthday gift this year, and this review is of the first one that I tried – Prairie Green. What drew me most of this tea as I was smelling the aroma from the dry leaf is the bright freshness of the orange and lavender in the blend. The citrus is fresh smelling, and the lavender has a sweet floral aroma.

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Prairie Green is a blend of green tea, orange peel, and lavender. All of the three ingredients are visible in the green tea blend.

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Preparation

Tea in Texas recommends steeping Prairie Green in 180°F (82°C) water for 3-5 minutes. My initial steep of Prairie Green was for 4 minutes at 175°F (80°C).

First Taste

Prairie Green steeps to this beautiful yellow. The aroma that wafts up from the steeped tea as I poured from teapot to teacup was one of mostly citrus and lavender. The aroma is so inviting. The lavender is light and strong enough to be noticed over the orange peel. The citrus notes are fresh, bright. I can make out the green tea base – it has a vegetal undertone that is nice. When I sip this tea, I can taste the individual ingredients and yet they’re blended so well. I find that there’s a great floral taste, a sweetness to the citrus, and there’s the vegetal earthiness to the green tea base that’s so inviting. The tea lacks bitterness and astringency at the temperature and length of time I initially steeped it for.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Prairie Green twice, adding an extra 30 seconds per steep. I found the first resteep to be just as bright in citrus flavours, although the lavender wasn’t as strong. The green tea is beautiful to watch unfold, and the vegetal flavours are delicious. The second resteep is less vibrant in flavour, but still tasty.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Tea in Texas’ Prairie Green. There’s just something really inviting by this blend of green tea, orange peel, and lavender. I really enjoyed the citrus notes in the dry leaf and steeped tea, while the floral notes from the lavender carried over well to the tea. I thought the tea steeped well, and would definitely recommend a second steep of the same leaves. It would go great with savouries, but I also think it would be an excellent tea iced because of the citrus flavours.

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Aroma Tea House’s Jasmine Pearls

Jasmine Pearls by Aroma Tea House
Green Tea / Straight
$16.00 for 100g

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First Impressions

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This was a tea that I picked up from Aroma Tea House’s vendor table at the 2017 Vancouver Tea Festival. Jasmine Pearls came to me in a resealable bag with a little window to see the tea leaves. The tea leaves are tightly wound into tiny pearls, and they’re quite fragrant. These green tea pearls have a beautiful floral aroma, the tea pearls have a sweet floral aroma that is inviting.

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Preparation

There were no tea preparation notes on the packaging, or on the Aroma Tea House’s product page. I did the initial steep at 175°F (80°C) for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Jasmine Pearls steeps to a very pale yellow after the first two minutes of steeping time. I found the flavour to be very mild and noted that the pearls to be only partially opened. There’s a mild earthiness that I noted with the tea, and the tea has a very smooth texture to it. I enjoyed having the first steep.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped the Jasmine Pearls a total of four times. With the first two resteeped, the leaves opened up a bit more each time. I found that the colour got darker, and the flavour got more pronounced. I kept the steeps short (adding an additional 30 seconds with each steep), and found that there was zero bitterness or astringency with this green tea.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Aroma Tea House’s Jasmine Pearls. The pearls are beautiful to watch unfurl, and I really enjoyed the jasmine fragrance from the dry tea leaves and the steeped tea. The tea steeps well at the temperature and length of time I picked, and found the lack of bitterness or astringency to make the tea quite enjoyable. I think it’d be a nice tea with sweets because of the light floral sweetness in the tea.

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InNature Teas’ Red Rose Tea

Red Rose Tea by InNature Teas
Black Tea / Flavoured
£5.95 for 50g

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InNature Teas has provided me with Red Rose Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

With a name like Red Rose, it makes me think of the long-standing brand of orange pekoe that I grew up drinking. InNature Teas sent me Red Rose, a black tea, in a thick, square cardboard carton. On the outside, the packaging details the health benefits to drinking tea. On the inside, the tea came in a sealed paper packaging with a piece of paper titled Pure Fresh Teas Instructions. There’s some information regarding the history of tea, how to make the perfect cup of tea, and health benefits.

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Red Rose Tea is a black tea, from the Zhejiang region, and red rose buds, from Jiangsu. The aroma is that of floral and woody earthiness.

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Preparation

The piece of paper that InNature Teas provided suggested hot water, with no suggested temperature for black teas. The product page for Red Rose Tea suggested 75-80°C after describing the tea as a silver needle (white) tea. With that in mind, I used 80°C (175°F) water and steeped it for 3  minutes.

First Taste

Red Rose Tea steeps to a deep orange. The tea is quite aromatic, the aroma of the roses is strong with the natural woodiness from the black tea base. There’s an earthiness that mixes well with the floral rose fragrance that is tasty. I found that there’s a lovely sweetness at the end of each sip, and it is a nice finish. InNature Teas suggests that Red Rose Tea can be had straight or with a bit of milk and sugar.

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A Second Cup?

InNature Teas suggests that Red Rose Tea can be steeped up to three times. I resteeped Red Rose Tea three times (four infusions total), and found that the flavours seemed stronger for the first resteep, but became gradually weaker with each subsequent steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved InNature Teas’ Red Rose Tea. This black tea blended with red rose buds is delightful – I really enjoyed the floral flavours and the woodiness from the black tea base. I really enjoy the sweet, floral finish at the end of each sip. This tea is really tasty, and a nice change from a straight black tea. This tea also does well with a bit of honey and evaporated milk, and I think it would be a nice addition to an afternoon tea as it would couple nicely with savouries and sweets.

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