JusTea’s Purple Mint

Purple Mint by JusTea
Purple Tea / Flavoured
$15.00 for 60g

20170526-justeapurplemint

JusTea has provided me with Purple Mint for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

I had never had purple tea before. JusTea’s website is quite informative about purple tea. Purple tea comes from the same plant as all other teas (green, white, black oolong), but it’s a variety that produces dark purple leaves instead of green. The neat thing that I learned from JusTea’s website is that purple tea changes colour! It becomes a purpley pink with the addition of some lemon juice.

20170526-justeapurplemint1

Purple Mint came to me in a resealable paper bag that’s lined with foil. The mint aroma is very strong, there is no question that this tea includes mint in the blend! Because of the strong peppermint and spearmint combination, I wasn’t able to smell the purple tea on its own. Purple Mint consists of Kenyan Purple Tea, peppermint leaves, spearmint leaves, and rose petals.

20170526-justeapurplemint2

Preparation

JusTea recommends steeping Purple Mint in 190°F (88°C) water for 3 minutes. I steeped mine in 185°F water for 3 minutes.

First Taste

Purple Mint steeps to a lovely yellow colour. The mint flavour is strong, and I find that the purple tea taste is quite similar to green tea. There’s some vegetal notes to the tea, as well as some buttery qualities to this tea. The mint flavouring is definitely first and foremost in this minty blend though, I think mint is just such a strong flavour that it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s strong in a tea blend as well. What peeks through from the purple tea is tasty though, and reminds me a lot of green tea. I do wish that JusTea mentioned the processing type of the purple tea (I would put money on it being processed the way green tea is), since purple tea refers to the variety whereas green/white/black/oolong refers to the production process of the tea.

20170526-justeapurplemint4

I squeezed a bit of fresh lemon juice into my cup of tea and was a bit disappointed that the colour didn’t change as much as it did in the video on JusTea’s website. I think the edges are bit more pink? But it’s hard to tell. I do have another bag of tea to try from JusTea (which is the straight purple tea), so I’m hoping that will have more of an adventurous colour change. The lemon does brighten up the flavours, and actually make the mint flavour even stronger. If you’re opposed to the sourness of the lemon, a dash of sugar or a spoonful of honey will fix that right up.

20170526-justeapurplemint5

A Second Cup?

JusTea recommends resteeping their purple teas at least once. I tried twice, because I’m a rebel like that I found that the first resteep tasted very similar to the initial steep. The second steep was a lot milder, and I found that the mint flavouring wasn’t as strong as the first or second steep. I think JusTea was right on the money with the recommendation of one more steep.

20170526-justeapurplemint6

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved JusTea’s Purple Mint. I really liked the mint flavours in this tea, and found that the purple tea reminded me a lot of green tea (which I love!). I was a bit disappointed that the colour didn’t change as vividly as I was expecting it to, but it’s something that I can live with since I don’t typically put lemon into my tea. The buttery qualities of this tea are enjoyable, and I think it tastes really good with or without the lemon.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Grand Tea’s Shi Feng Dragon Well

Shi Feng Dragon Well by Grand Tea
Green Tea / Straight
$70.00HKD for 25g

20170523-grandteashifengdragonwell

Grand Tea has provided me with Shi Feng Dragon Well for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

I have become a huge fan of green teas over the last two years, and Dragon Well holds a place in my heart at this time. My dad drinks it a lot, and we’ve developed a better relationship since I moved out. When I go back to visit and stay with my parents, my dad always makes tea in the morning grandpa style and he usually steeps some kind of green tea (lately it’s been Dragon Well) or some type of pu-erh tea.

20170523-grandteashifengdragonwell1

What is grandpa style? Grandpa style is one of the easiest ways of steeping tea. It’s pretty much just some tea leaves in a cup, and you just keep pouring water in throughout the day. You don’t pay much attention to water temperature or how long you’re infusing the tea leaves for. It’s basically the easiest method of tea steeping because there are no rules.

Shi Feng Dragon Well is a straight, green tea. The tea leaves are flattened in the process of production, and you can definitely see that in the dry leaf. There’s a very mild aroma to the dry leaf – just a bit of saltiness that reminds me of the ocean, and a bit of floral fragrance in the dry tea leaf.

20170523-grandteashifengdragonwell2

Preparation

There were no steeping instructions on the sample packet. Grand Tea’s website suggests steeping Shi Feng Dragon Well in 80°C (176°F) water for 1-2 minutes for the initial steep. I steeped Shi Feng Dragon Well in my tea pot for 2 minutes in 80°C water.

First Taste

Shi Feng Dragon Well steeps to a pale yellow for the initial steep. There’s a light floral aroma that wafts up from the tea while I pour it into my cup. On first taste, the first thing I notice is the floral notes and some salty flavour to this green tea. The saltiness reminds me a lot of seaweed snacks, and adds a nice level of umami to the tea itself. There’s a mild sweetness to this tea, which I think comes from the floral notes. It’s enjoyable to the taste buds with good balance between the floral, sweet, and salty.

20170523-grandteashifengdragonwell3

A Second Cup?

Grand Tea’s product page for Shi Feng Dragon Well suggests that the green tea can be steeped up to four times (three resteeps) so I had to try it out. The tea gets darker and closer to a golden yellow by the last steep. I found for the first resteep, the floral sweetness was more pronounced. By the third resteep, the flavours are still well-balanced, but it does become weaker. I did try a fourth and fifth resteep – the flavours do become weaker, but the tea still has a decent amount of flavour and I think that Shi Feng Dragon Well can handle six total steeps with the same leaves.

20170523-grandteashifengdragonwell4

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved Grand Tea’s Shi Feng Dragon Well. I love a good green tea, and this one meets all the expectations that I have for Dragon Well these days. I quite enjoyed the balance of sweet, floral, and salty in this tea. The great thing about this Dragon Well is how it does with resteeping and how well the tea leaves hold up over a steeping session. The quality of the tea leaves is high, and I think it’s a great tea to have over the course of the day – and it’d be a good tea to try grandpa style steeping if you haven’t tried it already.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

DavidsTea’s Butter Sencha

Butter Sencha by DavidsTea
Green Tea / Flavoured
$12.98 for 50g

20170517-davidsteabuttersencha

First Impressions

20170517-davidsteabuttersencha1

Butter Sencha was a tea that when I first smelled it in the store, I was intrigued. I’ve really grown to love Japanese green teas, and sencha is no exception. I was curious about the butter flavouring, because green teas can be delicate at times that they don’t need extra flavouring to make an excellent cup of tea. The dry leaf of Butter Sencha is short, flat dark green pieces. The smell of this tea reminds me a lot of a mix of butter and brown sugar, there’s some of light molasses notes to this tea. I think that could be attributed to the roasting of the butter.

Butter Sencha is made up of green tea and natural roasted butter flavouring. Usually DavidsTea will mention if there are allergens involved with their teas (warnings about dairy/milk, soy, etc.) but there’s nothing mentioned for this tea. I’m not sure if the ‘flavouring’ that’s been added contains dairy products or not, but that would be something to ask in store or online if you have concerns about it.

20170517-davidsteabuttersencha2

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Butter Sencha for 2-3 minutes in hot water, ‘hot water’ is defined as 75-80°C (167-176°F). I steeped Butter Sencha in my tea pot in 175°F water for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Butter Sencha steeps to a very pale yellow for the initial steep. There’s very light buttery smells to this tea as it steeps and I found it to be quite enticing once the two minutes mark is reached. On first sip, the first thing that I really notice is a buttery creamy quality to the tea. The tea itself is smooth, there’s no bitterness that I can taste and zero astringency. The butter flavours in this tea are rich and there’s a slight sweetness to the steeped tea as well. I wouldn’t say it’s overly sweet, but it’s just enough to be a hint of brown sugar on my tongue.

There was some fine particles of the tea that escaped from the stainless steel infuser that I use. If tiny bits of tea leaves bother you, I’d recommend using a filter bag to contain everything just a bit better.

20170517-davidsteabuttersencha3

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Butter Sencha an extra four times, adding 30 seconds to each subsequent resteep. I found that the tea got darker as each steep went on (to a bright, golden yellow) and the buttery flavours got more pronounced for the first two resteeps, and began to get a bit weaker for the third and fourth resteeps. The brown sugar sweetness that I discovered in the initial steeped stayed relatively strong until the third resteep. The sweetness makes the tea quite enjoyable.

20170517-davidsteabuttersencha4

My Overall Impression

3cups-2

I liked DavidsTea’s Butter Sencha. There’s something really delicious about the flavour of buttery creaminess in my tea, and the brown sugar flavours are just the right touch to this green tea. I do wish that DavidsTea had a bit more information regarding the butter flavouring, since I know there are people out there that can’t have dairy products. That said, Butter Sencha resteeps well and it does get better after the initial steep and the flavours hold up. It makes for a tasty cup of tea and the buttery flavours are delicious (I almost feel like this is how Movie Night should have tasted).

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Yunomi’s Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha

Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha by Yunomi
Green Tea / Straight
$25.00USD for 50g

20170421-yunomiasamushiokumidorisencha

Yunomi has provided me with Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

By now, I’m sure you know I’m a sucker for good packaging. Yunomi doesn’t disappoint. Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha came to me in a sealed white foil bag that is resealable to keep the tea fresh. The label on the front is quite informative, with information regarding how much tea to use, water temperature, what to do if steeping for multiple people, ingredients, where the tea was grown (and when!), and storage information.

20170421-yunomiasamushiokumidorisencha1

When I opened the packet, I was immediately drawn into the tea because of the strong vegetal smell. It reminded me a bit of grass, as well as having salty aroma to remind me also of seaweed. The leaves are a bright and dark green and very flat. Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha consists of certified organic green tea that was harvested in April 2016 in Kirishima, Kagoshima. Storage instructions for this sencha is to have it in airtight storage, in a cool, dry area away from sunlight.

20170421-yunomiasamushiokumidorisencha2

Preparation

Yunomi recommends the first steep in 50°C (122°F) water for 2-3 minutes. For subsequent steeps, the recommendation is to use 70-80°C (158-176°F) water for 30-60 seconds. My initial steep of Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha was for 2 minutes in 50°C water.

First Taste

Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha steeps to a very pale light greeny yellow, as to be expected with a green tea. When steeped for the two minutes, I found the sencha to be very smooth – there’s no bitterness or astringency. Green tea is so easily burnt when steeped in water that is too hot or for too long, I’m glad that Yunomi’s steeping instructions were right on the button for a good cup of tea. There’s a good balance of natural sweetness and saltiness in this tea, a nice mixture that results in a good cup of tea. Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha has a lovely buttery quality to the flavour of this tea, which balances out the sweet and salty well and holds its own in this tea. I generally find sencha to have a natural saltiness to the tea, but a good one is never off-putting.

20170421-yunomiasamushiokumidorisencha3

A Second Cup?

Yunomi suggests that this tea can be resteeped up to three times, which meant that I had to push it for a fourth. I followed their steeping instructions with the resteep temperatures and times (I used the ‘green tea’ feature on my Breville IQ Kettle, which is 175°F). The flavour of this tea remains consistently the same in terms of taste and intensity for the first three resteeps, the fourth resteep (first one beyond the recommended number of steeps) was a bit lacking in flavour. Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha resteeps well and holds up to the recommended number of steeps by Yunomi.

20170421-yunomiasamushiokumidorisencha4

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved Yunomi’s Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha. It’s a quality sencha and resteeps amazingly well. I found that the flavours are good in this traditional Japanese green tea, and the sweet-salty flavour balances out well with the buttery quality of the overall flavour profile. Because of the salty nature of this tea, its quite savoury and I think it would pair well with a meal over dessert.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

TeaHaus’s South Korea Seogwang Sencha

South Korea Seogwang Sencha by TeaHaus
Green Tea / Straight
$14.40USD for 50g

20170414-teahausseogwangsencha1

TeaHaus has provided me with South Korea Seogwang Sencha for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

When I was in contact with TeaHaus about sampling their teas, they asked me what I wanted to try and I went with my usual “send me whatever’s popular” because, like all good things, what is popular tends to be really good. So they did, and this is the first of several TeaHaus reviews.

20170414-teahausseogwangsencha2

South Korea Seogwang Sencha came to me in a sample bag and the first thing I could smell when I opened up the bag was mint. There was also notes of vanilla, light nuttiness, and berries to go along with the mint, but the mint was the first thing I noticed because it’s just a strong aroma. Seogwang Sencha is labelled as a “premium green classic” by TeaHaus and it’s a straight tea.

Preparation

TeaHaus recommends steeping South Korea Seogwang Sencha in 80°C (176°F) water for minutes and suggests that it can be steeped a second time.

First Taste

While I was waiting for Seogwang Sencha to steep, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the colour that it was steeping to. This South Korean sencha steeps to what I can only describe as a light dandelion yellow. There’s a slight salty aroma to the tea and I can’t wait to dive in. After waiting for it to cool just slightly, I’m happy to say that Seogwang Sencha has a very nice smooth mouthfeel to this tea, there’s no bitterness nor astringency to note. The minty notes that I initially inhaled from the dry leaf are more well-balanced in the steeped tea with the vanilla. The nutty flavours come into their own once the tea has been steeped, and the salty aroma adds to the overall umami of the tea. And those berry flavours I smelled in the dry leaf? It’s not as obvious in the steeped tea, but it’s there with the vanilla notes and it makes it tasty. Overall, I found that the tea wasn’t very naturally sweet, but the complexity in the flavour of this green tea makes sipping it worthwhile.

20170414-teahausseogwangsencha3

A Second Cup?

TeaHaus did suggest that South Korea Seogwang Sencha could be resteeped so I did have to try at least once (or twice). The first resteep was done for 2 ½ minutes and I found that the taste of the tea was very similar to the initial steep. The second resteep was done for 3 minutes and I found that the flavours were starting to wane, but were still tasty. The berry and vanilla flavours were quite diminished for the second resteep, so if that was your favourite part of this tea, I would recommend sticking to just the first resteep.

20170414-teahausseogwangsencha6

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved TeaHaus’s South Korea Seogwang Sencha. I just loved how complex the flavour profile of this green tea was because there’s just so many little nuances in this tea that you really have to sit down and sip to appreciate. I must admit that I was confused at the minty notes that were all in-my-face at the beginning, but that’s part of what made this tea quite refreshing. Because of the salty notes in this tea, I think it’d go great with savoury foods over sweets if you’re looking for a food pairing. Something with substance with perhaps a bit of salt (like smoked salmon) would go great.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.