Kailo Tea’s Zen Out

Zen Out by Kailo Tea
Roobios & Herbal Infusion / Flavoured
$15.99 for 45g (15 sachets)

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Kailo Tea has provided me with Zen Out for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

The second of the teas sent to me by Kailo Tea (the first was Wake Up, which I reviewed earlier this month). This time it’s an herbal infusion with added vitamins so yes, there was another capsule in my tea. This herbal infusion has a great mix of ingredients that smell delightful – I mostly make out the smell of citrus (from the orange and lemon) and the ginger. It smells like a great night time herbal infusion to have since it lacks caffeine.

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Zen Out consists of: rooibos, currants, orange peel, cornflowers, acai, lemon peel, hibiscus, apple, rosehips, strawberry leaf, linden leaf, calendula, rose, natural and artificial flavours, ginger root, vitamin D3, vitamin 3, and magnesium citrate. The packaging mentions lavender and it’s missing from the ingredients list.

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Preparation

Kailo Tea recommends steeping Zen Out in 200-210°F (93-99°C) for 5 to 6 minutes. I steeped Zen Out initially for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Zen Out steeps to a dark orange, and it slightly cloudy (like it’s Wake Up counterpart, I attribute that to the vitamin capsule). It smells mostly of ginger and citrus. I’m a bit surprised that it’s not more pink because of the hibiscus, which I find always turns everything a deep shade of pink. The rooibos base in this tea does give it that usual medicinal smell. On first taste, I primarily tasted the ginger. Pleasantly, the rooibos base wasn’t overpowering the rest of the ingredients. I typically don’t like rooibos, but the ginger and citrus flavours are strong and pretty much rule over everything else. It doesn’t taste too sweet, although I wish I could make out the rest of the ingredients.

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A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Zen Out and found that the flavour to be lacking as it was quite watery. I think Zen Out is best for just one steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Kailo Tea’s Zen Out. I’m not typically one for rooibos, but I found that the other ingredients in this blend overpowered the medicinal flavour that I don’t like from the rooibos which was a major plus for me. The ginger and citrus flavours are delicious, bright, and yet relaxing. I don’t think it makes me sleepy though, but doesn’t make me feel overly energetic so perhaps it managed to do what its meant to do.

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Yunomi’s Shimane Benifuuki Sencha

Shimane Benifuuki Sencha by Yunomi
Green Tea / Straight
$10.00USD for 20g

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Yunomi has provided me with Shimane Benifuuki Sencha for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

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Shimane Benifuuki Sencha came to me in a non-resealable packet with the necessary information on the printed label. The dry leaf consists of flat, thin, small tea leaves that are mostly dark green in colour. The dry leaf smells like a mix of grass and hay, with a bit of salty seaweed aroma from the tea. Shimane Benifuuki Sencha is an organic straight green tea.

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Preparation

Yunomi recommends steeping Shimane Benifuuki Sencha in 70°C (158°F) water for 1 minute. I followed the recommended steeping temperature and time.

First Taste

This beautiful green tea steeps to a bright light greeny yellow. There’s a slight grassy aroma that comes from the tea itself, which is a bit welcoming. When I took my first sip, I was pleasantly surprised by the complex flavour of the tea. There’s some salty notes that are mixed with grassy and vegetal flavours. The saltiness adds to the complexity, as umami flavour often does. I found that the saltiness reminded me a lot of seaweed. There’s just a hint of astringency at the tail end of each sip, but it doesn’t distract too much from the experience of drinking Shimane Benifuuki Sencha.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Shimane Benifuuki Sencha twice. I found that the flavour held up well for both resteeps and I could have probably done a third or maybe even a fourth resteep. I found that the first resteep had the most vibrant flavour – the level of saltiness was highest, and so was the vegetal flavours I found in the initial steep.

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My Overall Impression

I liked Yunomi’s Shimane Benifuuki Sencha. I found that the flavour was a delight on the tongue, and that I really enjoyed the resteep better than the initial steep. There was just something more brighter and stronger with the second steep than with the first. I wasn’t a big fan of the slight astringency I found at the end of each sip, and I do wonder if it’s possible that I should have steeped it even shorter than the recommended steeping time.

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Kailo Tea’s Wake Up

Wake Up by Kailo Tea
Green Tea / Flavoured
$15.99 for 45g (15 sachets)

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Kailo Tea has provided me with Wake Up for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

When Kailo Tea contacted me and asked if I wanted to try their teas, I was intrigued. A Canadian tea company based in Ontario, Kailo Tea pairs tea with supplemental vitamins. Their teas are available in tea bag/sachet form only at this time, as each sachet includes a capsule. Even though I had read online that their tea included vitamins, it still threw me off a little bit to see the capsule inside of the tea bag.

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The dry leaf smells strongly of citrus, mint, and ginger. The aromas remind me a lot more of an herbal infusion than of a green tea, but there is green tea in there. Wake Up consists of: organic orange peel, organic ginger root, organic peppermint, green tea, eleuthero root (Siberian Ginseng), calendula, natural and artificial flavours, vitamin D3, vitamin C, and vitamin B (B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12).

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One thing I appreciated on Kailo Tea’s packaging is that they mention consulting your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, on any medication, or if you have a medical condition. I attribute this extra warning due to the fact that the tea does come with a vitamin capsule. Some medications are poorly absorbed if taken at the same time as vitamin supplements, so it’s always a good idea to check with your physician or pharmacist prior to taking anything with supplements.

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Preparation

Kailo Tea recommends steeping Wake Up in 170-180°F (77-82°C) for 3 to 4 minutes. I steeped Wake Up in 175°F (80°C) for 3 minutes.

First Taste

Wake Up steeps to a bright greeny-yellow. The tea is slightly cloudy, which I attribute to the vitamin capsule as that’s the only thing I can think of that might cause the tea to be a bit cloudy out of the ingredients list. The tea smells sweet, and I can make out the citrus and ginger. I wish I could make out the mint, because I love the smell of mint. On first taste, Wake Up has bright flavours. The citrus and ginger combination is sublime. There’s a minty freshness at the end of each sip that I attribute to the peppermint. I can’t smell or taste the green tea base, but the flavours that I can taste are tasty.

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A Second Cup?

I did try to resteep Wake Up. I found the citrus and ginger flavours to be a lot more subdued and didn’t have the same level of natural sweetness and the flavours weren’t as bright. I would say that Wake Up is good for one steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Kailo Tea’s Wake Up. I’m not sure how the vitamins really made a difference in the flavour, but I found that the tea itself had a great flavour profile with the citrus, ginger, and peppermint. The cloudiness to the tea, once you realize it’s from the vitamin capsule, isn’t off-putting. I wish it had held out for one more steep because the flavour in the initial steep was so bright and inviting. I had this tea hot, but because of the citrus and ginger flavours, I think it would do well being iced. It has a nice natural sweetness that I think doesn’t require more sweetener.

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High Noon Tea Co.’s Maple Smoke

Maple Smoke by High Noon Tea Co.
Black Tea / Flavoured
$11.00 for 50g

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High Noon Tea Co.’s Maple Smoke came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s June themed subscription box.

First Impressions

I should have known from the name of the tea that this was some sort of lapsang souchong, but do I ever listen to myself? (The answer is sometimes.) If you’re not familiar with it, lapsang souchong is a black tea that’s been smoked so it has a very strong smokey aroma and flavour to it.

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If you’ve ever wanted to drink a campfire, lapsang souchong is the tea for you.

Maple Smoke is a black tea that consists of: black tea, natural smoke flavour, safflower petals, and real maple syrup. I love maple syrup, and I think that’s one of the reasons why Deb picked this one to go into a Canadiana themed tea box. This tea smells incredibly strong of smoke. It reminds me of campfires and all the fun things to do with Girl Guides. Unfortunately for the tea, I don’t smell the maple syrup at all.

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Preparation

High Noon Tea Co. recommends steeping Maple Smoke in 100°C (212°F) water for 3 to 7 minutes or to taste. My initial steep of Maple Smoke was for 3 minutes.

First Taste

Maple Smoke steeps to a beautiful golden red and it smells both smokey and sweet (which I will be attributing to the maple syrup). The taste of this tea is, without a doubt, smokey. It’s got a nice smoothness to it in terms of texture, but the overall taste of it is strongly of smoke. I don’t really taste the maple syrup in this because the smoke is so overpowering as a flavour.

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I did attempt to doctor up this tea with a bit of sweetener (I used honey because I didn’t have maple syrup on hand) and some evaporated milk. The milk helps to tone down the smokey flavour, but doesn’t cut it down to the point where I can make out the maple syrup.

A Second Cup?

I did attempt to resteep Maple Smoke, and found the flavour to remain the same – all smoke and no maple syrup.

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My Overall Impression

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I didn’t like High Noon Tea Co.’s Maple Smoke. If you’re a fan of lapsang souchong teas, this one will probably suit you a lot more than it suits me! I wasn’t a fan of the smokey flavour, because it made the tea taste very one dimensional. While I could smell the maple syrup after the tea had been steeped, I wasn’t able to taste it because the flavour of the smoke was so overpowering compared to the rest of the ingredients. If it had been less smokey, I might have enjoyed it a little bit more. If you’re trying this tea out and find it too smokey, a bit of milk or cream goes a long way to cutting down the smokey aroma and flavours.

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Yunomi’s Shimane Aged Black Tea 2015 Vintage

Shimane Aged Black Tea 2015 Vintage by Yunomi
Black Tea / Straight
$8.00USD for 20g

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Yunomi has provided me with Shimane Aged Black Tea 2015 Vintage for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I was a little it surprised by how big this sample was, especially in comparison to the other 20g samples I received from Yunomi from the Takarabako Tea Farm (Shimane Oolong and Shimane Sencha Ou Midori). This black tea is aged at low temperatures and it’s a straight tea, so the only ingredient is black tea.

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The pieces are surprisingly small, with some tiny sticks mixed in with the leaves. There’s a slightly sweet aroma from the dry leaves that reminds me a bit of dried apricots.

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Preparation

Yunomi recommends steeping Shimane Aged Black Tea 2015 Vintage at 90°C (194°F) for 3-5 minutes. My initial steep of this tea was at 4 minutes.

First Taste

Shimane Aged Black Tea 2015 Vintage steeps to a deep orange. There’s a malty aroma that comes up from the tea when I poured it from my teapot to my cup. I found this tea to have a smooth mouthfeel to it when drinking it, and the malty aroma transfers into a malty flavour. There’s a touch of sweetness in the steeped tea that manages to make itself known with the malty flavours. I found that there’s a bit of a sour aftertaste with this tea, which reminds me a lot of Assam with the maltiness and sourness in that tea’s flavour profile.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Shimane Aged Black Tea 2015 Vintage twice – I found that the colour was a lot lighter with the first resteep, and even lighter still for the second. The malty flavour of this aged black tea is robust enough to hold strong for each resteep, and the slightly sour aftertaste eases up after the initial steep, making the subsequent steeps more ideal (in my mind).

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Yunomi’s Shimane Aged Black Tea 2015 Vintage. This aged black tea has a strong flavour profile of maltiness that would do well to replace any breakfast tea if you needed a tea that’s even stronger in the morning. Because of the Assam-like qualities, I think it could handle being doctored up with some sweetener or cream. I was more fond of the second steep than I was of the first, because the sour aftertaste was more subdued. I enjoyed this one and think it has its place at an afternoon tea party if you wanted to branch away from the standard Earl Grey.

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