Pine Oolong from Golden Leaf Tea

The dry leaf and the first brew of this oolong smelled like sour green fruit, like white grapes.  Brewed, the tea reminds me of a kukicha green tea, with a slightly fermented flavor with notes of sweet grass and new hay.  There’s an extra mineral sharpness to this tea, and that might be the “pine” part of this oolong.  There was an almost-lemon citrus flavor that made my mouth pucker with tartness.  I brewed this tea twice, and by the second steeping, the blend had more warm roasted tones and notes of honey, making for a smoother experience than the first brewing.  
I like the idea of an evergreen tea, such as pine or spruce…. maybe not hemlock (which is poisonous, just ask Socrates). Still, I love the smell of pine resin in the woods and the smell of green Christmas trees.  This tea doesn’t quite satisfy that evergreen feeling, but Pine Oolong from Golden Leaf Tea is a solid oolong with a nice balance of sweet and sour fruitiness.  

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Golden Leaf Tea
Description: Pine Oolong Tea is a semi-fermented delicate green tea from the pristine hills of Taiwan. This tea brews to a light honey color with a slightly floral fragrance that lingers after the last sip. A light and delicate green oolong.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Wintergreen Woods from David’s Tea

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  David’s Tea

Tisane Description:

Looking to get in touch with nature? Try this outdoorsy blend of wild herbs and plants handpicked in the Canadian wilderness. We swear it’s like drinking a fresh forest breeze. It has wintergreen leaves for a lightly minty taste, cedar and pine for a bright, evergreen aroma, and sumac berries to add tartness and a pretty pink colour. Overall, it’s delicately sweet and totally refreshing. Now that’s a breath of fresh air.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of the most unusual looking tisanes I’ve yet to come across.  It looks a bit more like something that might be blanketing the woods in the summertime:  large, whole leaves, pine needles, and berries all tossed together.  It smells a bit like the woods too:  leafy, evergreen-ish, hints of mint.  The aroma is very fresh and lively.

The brewed tisane has a stronger minty kind of fragrance, with mere hints of the woodsy/leafy kind of notes I was experiencing with the dry leaf.  The above description suggests a “pretty pink colour” but, my cup has a golden hue, no pink-ish tones to be seen.  It’s still quite beautiful though.

The flavor is almost as interesting as the presentation.  It is very crisp and exhilarating with its wintergreen minty tones.  I like that the wintergreen is not overwhelming here, the way mint can sometimes be.  It doesn’t overpower the cup, and if I were to compare it to other minty tisanes, this is actually quite light.  Distinctly mint, but, light.

However, the overall cup is on the light side.  With no hibiscus to thicken the cup, the leaves, needles and berries create a somewhat softer tasting tisane … but that is NOT a bad thing!  In fact, I think David’s Tea should be commended for not jumping on the “hibiscus in every tisane” wagon here, and letting these more delicate herbs speak for themselves rather than being bullied by the often aggressive hibiscus.

The sumac berries are said to offer some tartness to the cup, and they do, but again, the berry-ish flavor is soft … but its soft in keeping with the overall profile of the cup, where it is pretty evenly matched with the other ingredients.  The same is true for the cedar and pine, they offer a slight woodsy tone to the overall cup but these flavors marry well with the others, and help to provide a pleasantly balanced tisane that is both refreshing and soothing.

Quite unusual, yes, but also quite enjoyable!

Jun Chiyabari Himalayan Evergreen from Rare Tea Republic

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Rare Tea Republic

Product Description:

Beautifully crafted leaves and well-balanced flavor speak to Jun Chiyabari’s mastery of the art of tea making. This splendid selection, grown ecologically in Nepal’s Dhankuta district, is a tea with a rich, buttery aroma, a smooth mouth-feel and a sweet, clean flavor reminiscent of asparagus and lemon. Plucking date: May 15, 2011.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a fantastic green tea.

The above description is pretty spot-on.  I can taste the notes of asparagus and lemon, in fact, that is exactly what I tasted when I first took a sip, before even reading the description.  It reminded me of asparagus that had been steamed with thin slices of lemon on top; the lemon slowly infusing into the asparagus as it becomes tender from the heat. I can even taste a hint of butter in there.  YUM! 

The mouthfeel is light and silky soft, and there is just a hint of astringency at the tail that cleans the palate, and imparts a tangy note that further emphasizes the aforementioned lemon-y notes.

Overall, this tea tastes incredibly fresh and light.  It’s an invigorating kind of tea, one that is an absolute pleasure to sip.  Very rich in flavor and texture, but at the same time, it has such a crisp, uplifting kind of feeling to it.

This is an absolutely wonderful green tea – highly recommended!