Teazorean’s Orange Pekoe

Orange Pekoe by Teazorean
Black Tea / Straight
$15.83 for 32g

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Teazorean has provided me with Orange Pekoe for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

When Teazorean got in contact with me about trying out their teas, I was intrigued. Teazorean describes themselves as a “socially conscious” tea company, where 5% of net proceeds of their products goes towards Whale and Dolphin Conservation. Also to set them apart is the fact that their tea originates from a tea farm in Europe (the only commercial tea farm in Europe!), and can be found in part of the Azores Islands in Portugal – which is a series of volcanic islands.

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Orange Pekoe came to me in a sampler-sized tin with 10g of the classic straight black tea. The tea leaves themselves vary in size, with beautiful golden orange tips at the end of some of the leaves. The aroma from the leaves is quite subtle, but there’s a sweet mixture of floral and a robustness that reminds me of Assam.

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Preparation

Teazorean recommends steeping Orange Pekoe at 205°F (96°C) for 5 minutes. I followed the recommended steeping instructions for my initial steep of Orange Pekoe.

First Taste

Orange Pekoe steeps to a beautiful golden orange, with a very subtle aroma that wafts up from the tea. I smell a touch of honeyed floral sweetness in this black tea. On first sip, I taste a slight sweetness, floral, with a touch of astringency. I found the flavour to be complex and inviting, while being fairly similar to the orange pekoe teas that I’ve enjoyed in the past. I found the Assam-like qualities to this tea to add a bit of oomph behind this tea, and reminds me of the strength of a classic breakfast tea.

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I added a touch of honey and cream to my cup of Orange Pekoe to make it reminiscent of the milk tea of my childhood. I found that the honey helped boost the floral flavours, while the cream helped to tone down the astringency of the tea.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped the Orange Pekoe leaves a few times and managed to resteep them an extra three times. I found that the flavour of the tea stayed true to itself for the first two resteeps, while becoming considerably weaker by the third. I would say that Orange Pekoe would be good for an additional two resteeps.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Teazorean’s Orange Pekoe. The natural sweet, floral aroma and flavour to this volcanic island black tea is such a delight to the senses. I’m not terribly fond of the mild astringency that I found, but when I added the sweetener and cream (like I often do with some black teas), the astringency disappears. The robustness of this tea reminds me of breakfast teas, so this could do for a good coffee replacement if you’re looking to switch from coffee to tea. It takes sweeteners and cream/milk very well, so it’d also do well as a latte as well if you’re into tea lattes.

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Fox Tea Club’s Orange Cookie

Orange Cookie by Fox Tea Club
Black Tea / Flavoured
$9.95USD for 2oz

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Fox Tea Club has provided me with Orange Cookie for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I was intrigued by the idea of a tea named “Orange Cookie” mostly because I really like cookies. This black tea blend came to me in a sample packet from Fox Tea Club. I ripped opened the packaging and could smell the orange right away. The citrus aroma is rich and deep. There’s a mixture of spices in this black tea blend that mingle well with the black tea base – I can definitely make out the cinnamon in this mix and I can see the cardamom.

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The listed ingredients at the time of writing are: black tea and orange. The description of the tea on the Fox Tea Club includes the mention of cinnamon and cloves, but they’re not mentioned in the ingredients list.

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Preparation

Fox Tea Club recommends steeping Orange Cookie at 205°F (96°C) for 3 to 5 minutes, and suggests that the tea can be steeped twice. My initial steep of Orange Cookie was for 4 minutes.

First Taste

Orange Cookie steeps to a beautiful golden orange colour. The smell that wafts up from the steeped tea is primarily that of the spices. I can smell the cinnamon and the cloves, and the gentle hint of the orange. On first sip, I found the black tea base to be strong with a hint of astringency. I found that the orange fragrance of the dry leaf to translate well in the steeped tea. It’s light and adds a hint of refreshing citrus flavour to the steeped tea.

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I added a touch of honey to the cup and found that the sweetness helped to boost the citrus flavour in this tea and made it taste more like orange.

A Second Cup?

As Fox Tea Club had suggested that this tea could be steeped twice, that meant I had to try a total of three steeps. The first resteep of Orange Cookie tasted quite a lot like the initial steep – the black tea based was more pronounced with the spices playing less of a strong role in the flavour profile. The amount of citrus I found to be similar to the initial steep. For the second resteep, I found that it was mostly the black tea in the flavour of the tea blend and the spices were all by forgotten. I agree with Fox Tea Club’s suggestion of two steeps for Orange Cookie.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Fox Tea Club’s Orange Cookie. I really enjoyed the flavours of this tea – from the dry leaf to the steeped tea. I do agree with Fox Tea Club’s recommendation of steeping this tea twice. The orange flavour is enjoyable, but I didn’t really find that it reminded me of cookies. I think a touch of vanilla or a vanilla simple syrup would go a long way to making me think of cookies. Additionally, I luckily do not have any food allergies (that I’m aware of), so I don’t need to scour through ingredients lists constantly, but I do wish I knew what all the different ingredients present in this black tea blend are.

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Tisano’s Chai Cacao Tea

Chai Cacao Tea by Tisano
Black Tea / Flavoured
$13.99USD for 4oz

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Tisano has provided me with Chai Cacao Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

The idea of chocolate tea confuses me at times – mostly because I love hot chocolate, and I love tea, but I’ve had some bad experiences with them in the past. A chocolate tea? For me, that usually means chocolate in tea, but the interesting thing is that Tisano doesn’t actually put chocolate in the tea. The dry leaf smells remarkably like milk chocolate. It reminds me of a bar of milk chocolate or hot chocolate. Just the chocolate aroma with the sweetness of chocolate. I’ve found in the past that “chocolate teas” don’t have the richness of actual chocolate aroma, so this one is nice to smell.

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The ingredients of Chai Cacao Tea include: organic Tisano cacao shells, organic Assam black tea, organic cloves, cardamom, and other spices. All of Tisano’s tea products have a cacao shell base. Beyond chocolate, I do smell the cardamom, but not the cloves. It was a bit disappointing to see that not all the ingredients were listed – if you have any food allergies that you’re concerned about, I would recommend contacting the company directly to inquire about allergens.

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Preparation

Tisano recommends steeping Chai Cacao Tea in 200°F (93°C) water for 4 minutes. My initial steep of Chai Cacao Tea was prepared according to the recommended steeping instructions.

First Taste

Chai Cacao Tea continues to smell like chocolate as it steeps. It steeps to a clear yellow, but the smell makes me think that it should be brown like hot chocolate instead. On first sip, it tastes like chocolate, but it isn’t as sweet as chocolate would be. It has a very mild flavour to it – there’s the flavour of chocolate and I’m pleasantly surprised that it doesn’t remind me of watery chocolate. While it lacks the creamy richness that a cup of hot chocolate would provide, Chai Cacao Tea reminds me a bit of a dessert tea because of the chocolate aroma and flavours. There’s no bitterness or astringency, which I appreciate. I didn’t really find it had a spice to the flavour of this tea, which was a touch disappointing as I was hoping to experience the spices in this blend.

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I poured a second cup of this cacao shell tea and added some sugar and milk. I found that the sugar and milk helped it to taste more like a cup of hot chocolate. It lacks the thickness of hot chocolate, but it still has the flavours of hot chocolate, which I greatly enjoy.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Chai Cacao Tea but found the flavours were quite dilute compared to the initial steep. I would say that Chai Cacao Tea was good for one steep.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Tisano’s Chai Cacao Tea. I’m still a bit perplexed by how this tea blend actually smells and tastes like chocolate, but if you’re a chocolate lover I think you’ll enjoy this one! It was okay straight, but I enjoyed it a lot more with the addition of sugar and milk. Milk chocolate is one of my favourite types of chocolate, so I’m glad that this doesn’t have any bitter notes (although if you’re a dark chocolate fan, you’d probably enjoy a touch of bitterness). I do wish that the spices had shone more in this tea after it had steeped, since it is called a chai (for a fun fact, chai means tea!).

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Grand Tea’s Keemun Black Tea

Keemun Black Tea by Grand Tea
Black Tea / Straight
$30.00HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Keemun Black Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

The teas I grew up loving were all black teas, so whenever a tea company asks if I want to try black teas I’m always game. Grand Tea sent me some Keemun Black Tea and I was so curious that I just had to try it. According to Grand Tea, Keemun is a high quality black tea that is loved by the British Royal family. Keemun was exported to Europe as a “high class beverage”. Well, if it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s certainly good enough for me!

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Keemun Black Tea is a straight black tea. The tea leaves themselves are fairly uniform in colour. They’re short, dark, with light twists. There are hints of red in the tea leaves that may be a bit difficult to see in the photo. The dry leaf has a beautiful aroma – it’s a nice mix of flowery and fruity aroma that reminds me of lychee.

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Preparation

There were no preparations on the Grand Tea website at the time of writing. Because it’s a black tea, I opted to steep at 100°C (212°F) at 3 minutes.

First Taste

Keemun Black Tea steeps to a deep orange, and it has floral and fruity aromas that waft up. It has a beautiful aroma that’s quite inviting. If you’ve never had a cup of tea that just invites you in, this is the one. It felt like it took a while for the tea to cool down before I could drink in, but when I sipped at the Keemun, I was greeted with some bold flavours – there was a sweetness, the floral notes, and a touch of refreshing fruitiness. I found it to be well-balanced. This straight black tea has a great mouthfeel to it, it’s very smooth but just a touch of astringency at the tail end of each sip.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Keemun Black Tea three times, adding an additional 30 seconds per subsequent steep. I found that the flavours were not as strong as the initial steep, and got a little bit weaker with each steep. The sweetness got continually weaker. The additional steeps are still drinkable though, and I found them to be enjoyable.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Grand Tea’s Keemun Black Tea. The tea is bright and strong, I think that the tea would be a fantastic replacement for a morning cup of coffee – the initial steep is that strong. I really enjoyed it though, and found that the mixture of fruity and floral flavours was delicious. I wish it resteeped a little bit better, and it’d be a nice tea for an afternoon tea option.

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Fox Tea Club’s Chocolate Tea

Chocolate Tea by Fox Tea Club
Black Tea / Flavoured
$9.98USD for 2oz

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Fox Tea Club has provided me with Chocolate Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I will be honest, I was a bit apprehensive about seeing a Chocolate Tea in the goodies that Fox Tea Club sent me, but I’m game to try just about anything as long as it doesn’t contain coffee. Chocolate Tea actually does smell like milk chocolate, which always a good start. I found that I couldn’t smell much of the black tea base, but given the name of the tea and the fact that the smell matches the name, all is forgiven.

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Chocolate Tea is made up of black tea, cacao beans, caramel, foxberry, and sea buckthorn. One curious thing is that the sprinkles aren’t mentioned in the ingredients list at the time of writing, but are very much present in the black tea blend itself. They remind me a lot of snowflakes, so perhaps this an early winter-themed tea review for you all.

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Preparation

There were no steeping instructions on the Fox Tea Club website, but the label suggested steeped in 205°F (96°C) water for 3 minutes and that the tea could been steeped twice. I followed the steeping instructions for my initial steep of Chocolate Tea.

First Taste

Chocolate Tea steeps to a beautiful reddish-brown colour, very much like a regular black tea. There’s small flecks of oil across the top which I’m attributing to the snowflake sprinkles that melted in my tea. The steeped Chocolate Tea stills smell remarkably like milk chocolate, which I am pleasantly surprised by because usually teas that smell like chocolate prior to being steeped don’t necessarily smell like chocolate post-steep.

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I found on first sip, this tea was like a watery hot chocolate. It does taste like hot chocolate, but I can also taste the black tea base which is quite bold in comparison to the chocolate flavours. There’s a nice sweetness to it, which I think can be easily attributed to the sprinkles.

I did add some evaporated milk to this tea, and found that the taste was a lot more to my liking. Straight, I found the chocolate flavour be quite watery. With the addition of the milk, I found the tea to be more of a creamy chocolate flavour and it tasted more like hot chocolate.

A Second Cup?

I did attempt to resteep Chocolate Tea, but found the flavours were lacking compared to the first steep and I didn’t enjoy it. I would say that Chocolate Tea is good for one steep only.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Fox Tea Club’s Chocolate Tea. If I were given a cup of this tea straight, I probably wouldn’t finish it because it tastes like a weak and watery hot chocolate. I would highly recommend adding some cream or evaporated milk into this tea to make it more creamy and it gets to be a lot closer to a hot chocolate flavour. It does smell a lot like chocolate both with the dry leaf and when it’s steeped, which is a nice quality about this black tea blend.

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