DavidsTea’s Flamingo Fresca

Flamingo Fresca by DavidsTea
White Tea / Flavoured
$9.98 for 50g

Flamingo Fresca was available as an online exclusive.

First Impressions

I’m forever a sucker for pretty teas, and even though I know better than to trust how good a tea will taste based on how pretty the dry blend looks, I still want to give it a try. Flamingo Fresca is one of those teas that snuck into my house based on how pretty it looked in photographs. I know, I know, I’m my own worst enemy sometimes. But this is Flamingo Fresca, it comes in a sealed, resealable silver pouch with a pale blue label across the front with all the information you’ll need about this pretty tea blend.

Flamingo Fresca consists of: apple, pineapple, hibiscus blossoms, white tea, sprinkles, carrots, orange peel, lemongrass, strawberry, passion fruit, marigold blossoms, and natural flavouring. Flamingo Fresca basically smells like all the tropical fruits in the world fell into a blender. It has really strong aromas of pineapple, strawberry and passion fruit. I really don’t smell the white tea, but I’m also not surprised based on the other ingredients present in this blend. Plus, look at the cute pink flamingo sprinkles!

Preparation

Davidstea recommends steeping Flamingo Fresca in 90°C (195°F) water for 3 to 5 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions and did an initial steep for 4 minutes.

First Taste

Surprise, surprise, Flamingo Fresca steeps to a bright, deep pink. Thank you to the hibiscus in this blend because it has that beautiful, rich pink colour. The aroma is very similar to the dry leaf – pineapple, strawberry, apples. It’s very fruity and quite sweet, but not to the point that I feel like it’s too much. It has a great flavour, there’s the tartness from the hibiscus that makes me think that this really needs to be made as an iced tea (and perhaps with a fresh squeeze of lemon or lime). Good thing that summer is just around the corner!

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Flamingo Fresca, but I was unsurprised to find that the first resteep (second steep of the same leaves) did not render a very good tasting cup of tea. Such is the nature of a fruity blended tea.

My Overall Impression

I liked DavidsTea’s Flamingo Fresca. I think the flavour was good and it’ll be really nice as an iced tea versus having hot. The level of fruitiness is good, but I feel like it really needs more of a citrus punch to make me think of fresca (which has grapefruit), and it would be perfect for patio if prepared with ice, a splash of lemonade, and an extra lemon wedge for that punch of flavour.

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Teakan’s Qi Lan

Qi Lan by Teakan
Oolong Tea / Straight
$30.00 for 66g

Qi Lan is part of Teakan’s Volume 3 Exploration Kit, a collection of five single origin teas. Qi Lan makes up 10g of the 66g kit.

First Impressions

Oolong is the type of tea that sort of intrigues me the most. There’s such a wide variety, and they typically resteep really, really well. To the point where it almost doesn’t matter what the price is set at because a good quality oolong means that you can get at least 7-8 steeps out of the same leaves at the bare minimum. Qi Lan is a spring harvested tea from 2020 and came to me via Teakan from Wuyishan, Fujian, China. The leaves came in a sealed, resealable kraft paper pouch with a familiar minimalism label on the front and the back of the pouch.

The leaves themselves are dark – ranging from a green and grey, with slight twists along the leaves. They’re pretty big, and not bunched up too much. There’s a nice aroma to it – it has floral aroma to it that reminds me a bit of jasmine, with an earthy aroma in the background that reminds me of that fresh, after rain smell. It’s a pretty tea to look at.

Preparation

Teakan recommends steeping Qi Lan in 98°C (208°F) water for 2-3 minutes for western steeping and 10-15 seconds for the gongfu steeping method. I opted to do the western style steeping and followed the steeping instructions with slightly cooled down boiled water (100°C/212°F).

First Taste

Qi Lan steeps to a beautiful golden yellow – just look at it! Pure sunshine in a cup. It has a lovely floral aroma to it, and that earthiness that I found earlier has changed a bit – it’s less noticeable. Taste wise, I do taste floral notes, some earthiness that reminds me of raw mushrooms and moss, with a slight mineral-water aftertaste at the tail end of each sip. It’s quite tasty, and it has a very pleasant mouthfeel to it.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Qi Lan a total of nine times (ten steeps total with the same leaves). The tea became less mineral and earthy in flavour and became more buttery and floral. The colour stays a pretty golden yellow and just has a nice flavour to it throughout all the steeps.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Qi Lan. From the lovely low twisted leaves to the flavour from the first cup, this oolong delivers on taste. I think it performs beautifully and love that it steeps so well repeatedly – a good ten steeps with the same leaves is nothing to sneeze at. This is definitely a tea for a long tea steeping session throughout the day, and one to share with friends over a good laugh (when appropriate to do so).

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Masters Teas’ Rohini First Oolong

Rohini First Oolong by Masters Teas
Oolong Tea / Straight
$19.00USD for 2oz

Masters Teas has provided me with Rohini First Oolong for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

When you get asked if you want to try out teas that were just harvested a couple of months ago, the answer is always yes. It’s such a treat to get to try out a brand new first flush tea that I will almost always jump on the opportunity to give a try. So when Masters Teas asked me about trying some early harvested 2021 teas, of course I said yes. This is Rohini First Oolong, which is described as being a very early first flush tea and comes from Darjeeling, India and is grown at 2000m above sea level.

Rohini First Oolong comes in a sealed, resealable pouch with a nice label across the front. No steeping instructions on this sample, but I was able to find that information on the product page off of the Masters Teas website quite easily. The leaves are quite pretty – there’s a wide range of colours from light to dark green, and browns throughout. The leaves are wiry, with light twists throughout. I found the dry leaf to be a bit floral, with more vegetal undertones than I was expecting based on the description of being fruity.

Preparation

Masters Teas recommends steeping Rohini First Oolong in 180°F (82°C) water for 3 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions for my initial steep.

First Taste

Rohini First Oolong steeps to a very pale yellow for the initial steep. The aroma is a light floral perfume, and grassy vegetal aromas in the background. I found the flavour to be very similar to the aroma of the tea. It has a light floral flavour, with a strong vegetal flavour that really does come through strong. There’s the sweet floral finish at the end of each sip and it just lends itself well to being sipped on. It has a full bodied flavour that has a surprisingly amount of flavour for a tea that’s so pale.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Rohini First Oolong seven times (eight times total with the same leaves), adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the tea became more golden yellow, much deeper in flavour but also changing at the same time. After the first resteep, the tea got much more floral and sweet with the vegetal notes fading away. There was also an increasing fruity flavour to it that reminded me of the crispness of biting into an apple (specifically gala – which is also one of my favourite apple varietals).

My Overall Impression

I loved Masters Teas’s Rohini First Oolong. While I didn’t enjoy the initial steep as much as I did the later ones, I found the increasing sweet floral flavours and apple notes to be really inviting and delicious. The vegetal flavours captured my attention, but the floral sweetness kept me drinking the tea repeatedly through the steeping session. This oolong is definitely one to dedicate time to so you can enjoy all the nuances in the flavour profile changes with each steep.

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