Grand Tea’s Bai Yu Luo Jasmine Tea

Bai Yu Luo Jasmine Tea by Grand Tea
Green Tea / Flavoured
$40.00HKD for 25g

Grand Tea has provided me with Bai Yu Luo Jasmine Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Bai Yu Luo Jasmine Tea came to me in a gold sample packet with enough tea to have three pots of tea. The tea leaves are beautiful with each leaf curled, with varying colours of dark olive green and a pale, cream colour. The lighter part of each leaf has visible downy feathers on it. The aroma from the dry leaf is primarily that of the jasmine – the dry tea is bright and floral.

Bai Yu Luo Jasmine Tea is a Chinese green tea that has been scented with jasmine flowers and is from the Yunnan Province. I’m really quite fascinated by how the tea leaves look, since the colours have such a high contrast which makes them beautiful to look at.

Preparation

I couldn’t find any steeping instructions for Bai Yu Luo Jasmine Tea. My initial steep of this green tea was in 79°C (175°F) water for 90 seconds.

First Taste

Bai Yu Luo Jasmine Tea steeps to a light yellow with a very floral aroma. It smells almost sweet with the strong jasmine fragrance. The taste of this tea carries a light sweetness, there’s the jasmine/floral notes with a slight creamy flavour to it – almost buttery. I found that the tea was smooth with zero bitterness or astringency at the temperature that I steeped it for.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Bai Yu Luo Jasmine Tea six times (seven steeps total with the same leaves), and I added an additional 30 seconds for each steep. I found that the flavour profile stayed fairly consistent throughout, although it did become less sweet despite the floral notes remaining strong. The flavour began to decline by the fourth resteep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Grand Tea’s Bai Yu Luo Jasmine Tea. I found that this tea was both beautiful in the dry leaf and in the flavour of the steeped tea. I really enjoyed the floral sweetness that I found in the initial steep, and the creaminess I found in this green tea was a pleasant surprise. I think that this tea did beautifully when resteeped and would really recommend resteeping it to get all of the flavour out of the leaves.

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DavidsTea’s Rhubarb Cream Soda

Rhubarb Cream Soda by DavidsTea
Fruit Infusion / Flavoured
$8.98 for 50g

First Impressions

I was a little bit confused when I first read the name Rhubarb Cream Soda because a rhubarb-flavoured cream soda is just not a thing that exists in my world. This was another of DavidsTea’s new releases that I first sniffed in store and got a small sample back to try out at home. The aroma of Rhubarb Cream Soda is mostly fruity – I can definitely make out the apple and mango, there’s also something that reminds me a little bit of coconut but I’m not sure what’s that from.

Rhubarb Cream Soda consists of: apple, rosehip shells, mango, pineapple, hibiscus, red currants, rhubarb, and natural flavouring. Perhaps the natural flavouring is where the coconut aroma is coming from?

Preparation

DavidsTea’s recommended steeping temperature is “near-boiling” for 4 to 7 minutes. I did an initial steep of Rhubarb Cream Soda for 5 minutes in 93°C (200°F) water.

First Taste

Rhubarb Cream Soda steeps to a very cheerful bright pink – I attribute the pink to the rosehips, hibiscus, red currants, and rhubarb. The aroma is sweet and fruity, I can still smell the apple and mango, but there’s also another depth of layer in the fragrance that reminds me of cream soda. There was quite a bit of an oil slick across the surface of this infusion when I poured it into my tea cup. I’m not sure which ingredient it’s from, I think some of the natural flavouring might have been in the form of oils and that’s why it’s there.

The taste of this fruit infusion is actually really surprising. It actually tastes like cream soda! I’m not sure which of the ingredients is the reason for this, but I’m not complaining. The rhubarb and hibiscus are both definitely present – there’s just a touch of tartness with this fruity infusion. There’s some natural sweetness from the fruit, and the (magical) cream soda flavour that is quite strong.

I would honestly recommend having Rhubarb Cream Soda mixed with some soda water to add some bubbly to make it more like a cream soda. I would also recommend having this one iced.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Rhubarb Cream Soda and found that it was a no-go. The flavour just wasn’t there the second time around.

My Overall Impression

I liked DavidsTea’s Rhubarb Cream Soda. The flavour was pleasantly just like the name suggested, which is always a big bonus when it comes to fruit infusions. I really enjoyed the flavour of Rhubarb Cream Soda, and wish that it was something that resteeped a little bit better. Because this is a fruit-heavy tisane, I found that I didn’t get a lot in my bag because it’s a heavy/bulky blend – which means it makes for an expensive cup. I bought 28g of Rhubarb Cream Soda and probably used a quarter of the bag just for one cup. That said, Rhubarb Cream Soda is a fruit infusion that tastes like its name suggests, so it’s worth giving it a try!

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Tea Experience: Honeybee Centre

Honeybee Centre
Surrey, BC
Fry’s Corner Beestro
Afternoon Tea $20 for Adults, $12 for Children

I went to the Honeybee Centre a few weeks ago with a friend for their afternoon tea. I think the last time I ventured into the Honeybee Centre was probably for some sort of field trip in elementary school to learn about bees and pollination. If you’ve never been to the Honeybee Centre, there are tours offered for school and seniors groups, a shop to buy all things honey, and their Beestro – where you can have afternoon tea or a more practical meal.

Each table included a honey bear for all your honey sweetening needs – I quite liked that touch. The servers were friendly and enthusiastic whenever they stopped by the table. While I was there for tea, there was a very large (read: 3 large tables worth of people) party that was loud and did manage to take up a lot of the servers’ attention, as one might expected. There’s also an outdoor patio if you want to eat outside.

I usually opt for a black tea with afternoon tea, but because it was such a hot day when we visited, I wasn’t really feeling it. For my tea choice, I had Nana’s Fruit Garden, which is described as a “bright, flavourful fruit tea with berries, apples, and hibiscus” while my friend had the Blossom Organic Green Tea. Our teas came in French presses. Nana’s Fruit Garden steeps to a deep red. It has a lovely fruity sweetness to it, I could taste both apples and berries in it, and it had a touch of tartness from the hibiscus. Nothing a little bit of honey couldn’t fix!

 

The afternoon tea goodies were placed on a two-tier stand. The bottom tier contained all the sandwiches. There was the chicken, brie and red pepper jelly panini (2 pieces per person), egg salad roll, and the artichoke ciabatta. I wasn’t blown away by the egg salad roll or artichoke ciabatta, but I loved the chicken, brie, and red pepper jelly sandwich. It was a delicious flavour combination.

Chicken, brie, and red pepper jelly panini.

The honeycomb scone was paired with a devonshire cream, which also had honey in the small bowl. The devonshire cream wasn’t as thick as I’ve experienced it before in other places, but it was tasty. The scone was really tasty, it definitely had a nice sweetness to it.

Honeybee cupcake.

The sweets included French macaron (we received a strawberry macaron and what tasted like vanilla bean), honeybee cupcake, and salted honey tart. The salted honey tart had an alright tart shell, but the salted honey filling was divine. I’m not sure what they put in there besides salt and honey, but it made my mouth so happy to be here. The cupcake was moist with a sweet frosting on top, and it had a great honey flavour. My friend and I wound up getting a knife to cut the macarons in half so we could each experience both flavours. My favourite was the strawberry, it had a very nice brightness to the berry flavour.

French macarons.

After the tea, we took some photos of the blossom trees, and shopped the gift shop – I picked up some honey and bee pollen (to help with my seasonal allergies!). There’s some beautiful blossom trees right out front, and I saw a lot of honey bees flying around!

I had a really fun time with afternoon tea at the Beestro at the Honeybee Centre. The service was great and I really enjoyed the food. I think next time I go, I’d opt for a more traditional black tea with the afternoon tea service. It’s a fun location, definitely kid friendly if you opt to take any children with you. There’s honey facts everywhere, so you might even learn a little something.