Mojave Desert Prickly Pear Tea by Mountain Witch Tea Company

MojaveDesertPricklyPearTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Mountain Witch Tea Company

Tea Description:

Quench your thirst with our special prickly pear tea blend. We infused our finest black tea with the flavor of Mojave Desert prickly pear for a delicious & unusual tea. Made with our best black tea, natural & artificial flavors, marigold & safflower petals, citric acid.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I can’t say that I’ve ever had anything like this one before.  I’m not sure what Prickly Pear is supposed to taste like so I did some research and it from what I can gather it is supposed to taste similar to watermelon with a slight bite like kiwi fruit.  I’m not sure if that is what I’m tasting but this is really good!

Another offering from the Mountain Witch tea Company and I am impressed.  So far I’ve had three or four of their teas and they all seem to have a nice fresh crisp taste to them without having the artificial flavoring chemical taste.  I can’t say this is one of my favorites of theirs but it makes an amazing cup of iced tea!

The tea itself has a sweet yet tangy flavor to it.  I don’t pick up any kind of black tea base.  I do pick up a melon like flavor that has hints of a peach or apricot flavor with a side note of honey.  I know, it sounds really different but the flavors work.   The description says that it is a unusual tea and I agree with that. This is a great light tea for the spring/summer months. The dry leaves have a peach and honey like aroma to them.  I would love a candle that smells exactly like these tea leaves.

Taiwanese Dong Ding Oolong from Verdant Tea

Taiwanese Dong Ding Oolong from Verdant Tea
Taiwanese Dong Ding Oolong from Verdant Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

This Dong Ding exemplifies the union of sweet and savory flavors that are a hallmark of Taiwanese oolong craftsmanship.

Taiwanese oolong is an incredible and worthwhile counterpoint to the Tieguanyin growing cross the straights in Anxi. While mainland oolongs tend to be more floral, Taiwanese oolongs edge towards savory. In love with the unique taste, we are pleased to have found this standout example despite difficult growing conditions in Taiwan this past year.

The wet leaf aroma is like being in a small bakery with rising whole wheat walnut currant bread in the oven and redwood bark’s warm smell wafting though an open window. The first steepings start with a bright raspberry tartness followed by a darker note of flax and spicy green peppercorn. These initial flavors swell and then diminish leaving a sweet whipped cream pound cake aftertaste.

Later steepings expand upon the spicy flavor with the sweetness of red bell peppers and the savory satisfying taste of fried cactus paddle. The aftertaste moves towards sweet corn bread and lingers long after the tea is gone.

NOTES: pound cake, raspberry, peppercorn, corn bread, flax, cactus

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A tea like Taiwanese Dong Ding Oolong from Verdant Tea must be experienced over several steeps, otherwise you will miss out on so much flavor and complexity. I won’t say that this is my all time favorite tea from Verdant Tea, but it is very nice and should be experienced.

I will start by saying I am a little disappointed that I never got those pound cake notes, corn bread notes, or even really any raspberry notes, but what I did get was flavorful, and delicious.

Early steeps give off a nice light flavor, white floral notes, a dash of a pepper note, but only very slight, and a wonderful earthy note like well nourished soil, not to be confused with dirt. This Taiwanese Dong Ding by Verdant has a perfectly sweet flavor, not too sweet, but just right. To me this resonates most as a floral milk oolong.

It is slightly vegetal, with some nutty goodness, and in later steeps becomes even more milky and creamy with a full mouth feel. It is weighty, buttery, slightly astringent, and really quite good. I still am looking for some of those dessert notes, but sadly not finding them.

Toward steep four and five I am still getting a wonderfully flavorful cup which becomes even more creamy, maybe this is where the cake note comes in – through all the creaminess, but for me I wish it had a little more because while it is creamy, it never quite develops into a full on cream like flavor, rather teases and hints at it. Perhaps if I were finding that raspberry note I would enjoy it more. This is not to imply I am unhappy with the cup, but I would have been more happy had I not seen those yummy notes that I am missing out on.

This is a really nice flavorful cup with key notes on my palate being floral, creamy, milky, and vegetal. Its not nearly as strong as other Dong Ding I have had, and I do love Dong Ding Oolong. Of course this is a lighter roast but even still it is lacking many of the qualities I am used to in Dong Ding. Again that is not to say I don’t like it. I like it a lot, but I am confused a little by this tea. I plan to work with it more to see if I can uncover more of what it has to offer.