DMDQ’s Tie Guan Yin

Tie Guan Yin by DMDQ
Oolong Tea / Straight
$7.27 for 250g

First Impressions

This Tie Guan Yin was one of those grocery store impulse buys from my favourite Asian grocery chain. The packaging caught my eye because of the decorative knot on the side. And for the low price of under $8 for 250g of oolong tea, it turned out to be an easy impulse buy. Plus, the packaging was nice. Sadly, there was no website or any other information.

The tea itself comes a vacuum-sealed foil pouch that’s sealed (but not resealable), and came inside of the cardstock carton with the decorative knot on the side. There’s minimal English on the packaging, aside from what’s required. The ingredients are: tie guan yin oolong tea from China.

The aroma of the dry leaf is lightly floral, the leaves tightly bunched up. There’s a blend of spring green to dark green – it’s a pretty dry leaf to look at.

Preparation

There were no steeping instructions that I could find on the packaging, which was fine. I used my regular steeping temperature and time for an oolong for this Tie Guan Yin. I used 195°F (91°C) water and did a steep for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Tie Guan Yin steeps to a pleasant yellow, with some fine tea dust that escaped the stainless steel infuser that I was using. The aroma is lightly floral, and grassy. The tea itself has a smooth taste to it, with a light floral sweetness. I found it to have a crispness to it, with a pleasant mouthfeel. I found that there’s a slight creamy undertone to the tea, despite having a lightness to it.

A Second Cup?

I did five resteeps of the same leaves, six steeps total. The subsequent steeps had an additional 30 seconds on top of the prior steep time. The flavour deepened and got a bit more creamy, with a fuller mouthfeel.

My Overall Impression

I loved DMDQ’s Tie Guan Yin. I found that the tea was tasty, and resteeped well. It has a very familiar flavour and is very similar to other tie guan yin teas that I’ve had previously. This Tie Guan Yin is pleasant to drink and have a nice afternoon resteeping session with, and the tea also has the benefit of being inexpensive for the volume of tea.

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Garden’s Uji Matcha Flavoured Cream Wafers

Uji Matcha Flavoured Cream Wafers by Garden
Green Tea (Matcha)
$2.79 for 200g

First Impressions

I’m constantly on the look out for tea-flavoured or tea-themed treats, so when I spotted these Uji Matcha Flavoured Cream Wafers on the shelf at my local favourite Asian grocery store – they just jumped into my shopping cart.

For those unfamiliar with Garden Cream Wafers, the packaging is a shiny metallic plastic, and instead of the usual plastic tray – the Uji Matcha Flavoured Cream Wafers comes into 4 packets inside – also in the foil packets with each containing cookies instead. Each packet comes with 6 cream wafers inside. The one nice thing about the (excessive) packaging is that it keeps the cookies from going stale.

Uji Matcha Flavoured Cream Wafers consists of: wheat flour, vegetable shortening, sugar, whole milk powder, corn starch, matcha powder, artificial flavouring, leavening/raising agent, salt, and emulsifier. There’s a very light matcha aroma to the wafer cookies, I mostly smell the cookie base, which has a vanilla-esque cream aroma to it.

First Taste

Based on the packaging, I had expected the matcha cream layers to be darker in colour and, perhaps, more aromatic. The flavour of the Uji Matcha Flavoured Cream Wafers was pleasantly more vibrant that I had expected from when I had opened the smaller pack of cookies. The wafer layers have a nice crunch to them, and the cream layer has a decent matcha flavour to it that is both sweet and grassy at the same time. I feel like the matcha was recently fairly well. It is quite light in colour, but artificial colouring wasn’t listed as an ingredient (which is always a plus!).

My Overall Impression

I liked Garden’s Uji Matcha Flavoured Cream Wafers. I thought the overall cookie itself had a good crunch, and the matcha cream was both sweet and had those matcha qualities that I was looking for. While I appreciated the separate packaging inside for that freshness factor, it was also a bit disheartening to see because not everyone lives in an area where you can recycle soft plastics, especially soft plastics with metallic coatings. The cookie itself is great, and I appreciate the smaller servings for portion control and a snack, but the packaging leaves something to be desired from an environmental standpoint.

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Chatime’s Pearl Milk Tea

Pearl Milk Tea by Chatime
Black & Oolong Tea / Flavoured
$11.99 for 290g (4 servings)

First Impressions

Pearl Milk Tea was an impulse grocery store purchase – because why not? It’s from Chatime and features 4 servings of bubble tea – 2 Original Milk Tea, 2 Oolong Milk Tea and 4 brown sugar pearls. Because I had recently reviewed Original Milk Tea, I will be focused on Oolong Milk Tea option.

Each packet of Original Milk Tea and Oolong Milk Tea are each 20g, which is the same as the packets of Original Milk Tea that I had previously purchased. The Original Milk Tea is orange, Oolong Milk Tea is green.

Original Milk Tea consists of: sugar, non-dairy creamer, black tea powder, and flavour.

Oolong Milk Tea consists of: sugar, non-dairy creamer, oolong tea powder, and flavour. The aroma of Oolong Milk Tea smells very similar to Original Milk Tea – mostly sweet with a bit of milky aroma.

Preparation

Chatime has recommendations for preparing the boba pearls by microwave or boiled water.

By microwave – tear open the packet, microwave for 30 seconds. Pour the heated pearls into 60ml of hot water and mix with milk tea powder. Top with 60ml of hot water or 60ml of ice.

By boiled water – place packet into boiled water, allow it to heat up over 1 minute. Pour heated pearls into 60ml of hot water and mix with milk tea powder. Top with 60ml of hot water or 60ml of ice.

I opted to prepare the Oolong Milk Tea with the boba pearls that were heated in the microwave.

First Taste

The boba pearls soften up a lot in the microwave, and the Oolong Milk Tea mixes up very easily with the hot water that I used. I topped up the cup with ice. The colour of the Oolong Milk Tea is a milky brown, the boba pearls are large and dark brown.

The boba pearls themselves are soft, chewy, and sweet. Oolong Milk Tea has a creamy flavour, but also nutty and floral. The pearls are large, and not all perfectly circular, so make sure you’ve got a large straw to accommodate them. The tea itself is decent – not overly sweet and I can taste the nuances of the oolong in the mix.

A Second Cup?

As Oolong Milk Tea is a drink mix, there can only be one tea preparation with this mix.

My Overall Impression

I liked Chatime’s Pearl Milk Tea. While Chatime’s Original Milk Tea was $0.90 per packet, Pearl Milk Tea has each boba tea at $3 per serving – which makes it more expensive for sure. I found the flavour to be good, and the texture of the boba pearls is great – I love how soft and chewy they were. It’s a great deal compared to ordering the equivalent from their actual shop ($6.10 for pick-up), but there are also cheaper methods of making boba at home. For the convenience, I like it and will definitely make it again at home (and at work!).

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