Grand Tea’s Chrysanthemum Tea

Chrysanthemum Tea by Grand Tea
Herbal Infusion / Straight
$35.00HKD for 25g

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

First Impressions

Chrysanthemum Tea is a floral infusion that I’m quite familiar with – it’s a common option available to be paired with dim sum (yum!). These floral buds came to me in a gold sample packet from Grand Tea, the chrysanthemum in this floral infusion are quite a bit younger than what I’m used to since they’re only partially opened. I found these chrysanthemum buds to be quite fragrant, it’s quite distinctly the floral aroma of chrysanthemum that also has a honeyed sweetness to it.

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This is a straight infusion, with no additional ingredients. There is quite a bit of health information surrounding Chrysanthemum Tea on the Grand Tea website, surrounding health benefits – help with dizziness, headaches, and digestion; as well as potential side effects – interference with medications and allergies. When in doubt, always have a chat with your primary health care provider or pharmacist before trying new-to-you herbs, there could be an interaction with your medications.

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Preparation

Grand Tea recommends steeping Chrysanthemum Tea in 80-90°C (176-194°F), there was no time included but I opted to steep for 5 minutes.

First Taste

The initial steep of Chrysanthemum Tea was a pale yellow that was surprisingly quite fragrant despite the lightness in colour. I found that it smells exactly like the dry floral buds, and might even be a stronger aroma. The buds opened up a little bit, and I found that the infusion is delicious. There’s just a hint of sweetness when I sip it that makes it quite enjoyable. There is a mention of mild bitterness on the Grand Tea website about this tea, but I didn’t find that to be noticeable at all.

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A Second Cup?

I generally don’t resteep herbal infusions because I find that the flavour can be quite lacking compared to the initial steep. For Chrysanthemum Tea, I resteeped the floral buds twice, adding an extra minute per subsequent steep. I found both resteeps to be quite delicious, although a touch weaker than the initial steep. Despite that, I found that this herbal infusion resteeps decently enough that I would recommend doing it at least twice to get more value out of your tea.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Grand Tea’s Chrysanthemum Tea. This is definitely an aromatic floral infusion that is delicious, has just the right amount of honeyed sweetness naturally occurring as the floral buds get steeped. I found that there was no bitterness at all, which made this floral infusion more enjoyable. Bonus, because it doesn’t actually contain tea leaves, this infusion is naturally caffeine-free and can be enjoyed at any time of day.

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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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Grand Tea’s Organic Jin Xuan White Tea

Organic Jin Xuan White Tea by Grand Tea
White Tea / Straight
$29.00HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Organic Jin Xuan White Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I love a good white tea, which is why I was happy when Grand Tea sent me some of their Organic Jin Xuan White Tea to try! For those that don’t know, white tea is the most minimally processed tea there is available. The extent of processing white tea is essentially picking it, letting it dry out, and applying a minimal amount of heat.

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Organic Jin Xuan White Tea is a beautiful straight white tea. The leaves aren’t rolled or squished in any way at all, and you can really see the details in the leaves when laying them out. The leaves are a mix of green and brown, which is nice to see. The dry leaves have a very light floral aroma to them, which is quite inviting.

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Preparation

Grand Tea didn’t have any steeping instructions on their product page. My initial steep of Organic Jin Xuan White Tea was in 85°C (185°F) water for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Organic Jin Xuan White Tea steeps to be quite clear, it’s barely pigmented at all after the initial steep. The fragrance from this tea is a mixture of floral and buttercream, Organic Jin Xuan White Tea definitely has some sweet notes to it. I found when I sipped it, I was pleasantly greeted with a smooth, creamy tea. Despite how clear the tea appears, it has a nice smoothness to it as I sip my cup. The floral notes are a bit milder than jasmine, I can’t quite place what the flower is. The buttercream taste to it adds to the creaminess of the tea and lends itself to the buttery flavour of this tea. Despite buttercream being a fairly ‘heavy’ flavour, I found that the white tea did have a bit of lightness to it overall.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Organic Jin Xuan White Tea seven times, adding an extra 30 seconds per additional steep. I found that the tea remained smooth and creamy throughout all of the subsequent steeps, and the the floral-buttercream taste stayed fairly true throughout. The flavours were deepest on the first resteeep, and slowly began to fade out throughout all the steeps. Overall, I found that the idea did quite well and would recommend resteeping it to get the best value from the tea leaves.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Grand Tea’s Organic Jin Xuan White Tea. I do love a white tea that can hold up to being resteeped, and thankfully this one does beautifully with being resteeped. The floral and creamy notes to this straight white tea are delicious and easily enjoyable. I’d definitely recommend resteeping this tea, and the sweetness of this tea might lend itself well to contrasting with a savoury breakfast or to amplify the sugar in a sweet dessert.

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Grand Tea’s Yixing Black Tea

Yixing Black Tea by Grand Tea
Black Tea / Straight
$28.00HKD for 25g

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

First Impressions

Black teas are one of my favourite teas to have in the morning before I head off to work or just to start off my day. They just tend to put a bit more pep into my step whenever I need a bit more motivation or energy to go and do things. Luckily, Grand Tea sent me a sample of Yixing Black Tea (Yixing Souchong Black Tea on their website).

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This straight black tea comes from the Jiangsu Province of China. The dry leaf has a subtle aroma to it that reminds me of dried apricots.

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Preparation

There were no steeping instructions for Yixing Black Tea on the Grand Tea website, so I followed my usual steeping time for a black tea: Steep in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 minutes.

First Taste

Yixing Black Tea steeps to a golden orange colour, it’s quite beautiful. The tea itself has a soft aroma to it, there’s a mild honey smell and a subtle fragrance that reminds me of roasted cashews. There’s a slight nutty flavour to this straight black tea. The mild honey smell lends itself well to this tea because there’s just a touch of a sweetness to the tea that makes it quite palatable.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Yixing Black Tea three additional times, and added 30 seconds per subsequent steep. I found that the cashew flavour got a bit stronger as the honeyed sweetness faded into the background. By the third resteep, I found the tea to be a bit watery so I would suggest a maximum of two resteeps for this tea before the flavours get too weak.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Grand Tea’s Yixing Black Tea. I enjoyed the different flavours in this tea – the roasted cashews/nutty flavour with the honey sweetness. I do wish that the sweetness held on better with each resteep though, as that was one of the nicest parts of the flavour profile for me. It performs well when being resteeped, which is nice if you want to have this tea again and again during the day. Due to the sweetness in the initial steep, I think this tea would do well paired with either dessert or breakfast.

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2017 Autumn Tea Round Up

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It’s been remarkably warm around here earlier this week, but I’m ready for autumn full on with the crisp leaves underfoot and it being the perfect weather for hot cups of tea and hand knits. Last year around this time, I shared of my favourite teas for the autumn and while I still love all of those, I thought I’d share five different teas that I’m heavily relying on this autumn as the weather gets cooler and I’m more in the mood for snuggling up under a quilt than going for a stroll along the water.

Out of DavidsTea’s Chai collection for the early autumn, I’m crushing on their S’mores Chai and love it at a latte over plain. A lot of stores have sold out of this one, so if you’re wanting to get your hands on some S’mores Chai, I’d recommend visiting your local shop earlier rather than later.

Grand Tea’s Premium Pearl Jasmine makes the list because I love jasmine green teas and this is one that I’ve found myself reaching for repeatedly the last few weeks. It makes such a great cup of tea and when I (accidentally!) leave it a bit too long, it’s still great cold.

For a more ‘normal’ Chai, I’ve been drinking Chai from The Virginia Tea Company and loving every moment of it. It makes for a nice cozy cup of tea with the lovely warming properties of cinnamon and ginger – delicious!

I caved and bought a tin of DavidsTea’s Cardamom French Toast lately and have been greatly enjoying it as a latte. When I take it to work, I’ve been steeping it at home and then adding milk later at work. It helps cool it down (since my travel mug keeps tea way too hot!) and I can instantly enjoy it.

For the days that I’ve actually been at home, I’ve been enjoying Oollo Tea’s Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong. A delight for my taste buds, for sure! It makes for a great at-home tea because of how many times I can manage to resteep this tea and still enjoy it. It’s been a joy to have when I’m at home and just to have throughout the day.

What has been some of your favourite teas to have so far this autumn? (And if you’re in the southern hemisphere, what are you having during your spring?) Share with me below in the comments!