Chamomile from Ocean of Tea

chamomileTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Ocean of Tea

Tisane Description:

Hailing from the beautiful country of Egypt, chamomile tea is derived from the tiniest and prettiest chamomile flower. Delicate in nature, bright with yellow color and innocent as can be, these chamomile flowers make for a calming cup of tea. These blossoms are harvested and dried to make this delicious tea that comes to you complete with whole dried chamomile flowers. Golden in color and light in taste, this is a gentle tea for those looking for a caffeine free treat. Slightly sweet with apple undertones and floral scents, this could be the tea for someone looking for a light tea with a hint of honey. Forget the store-bought, pre-sealed packets that cannot possibly deliver the depth of flavor that this chamomile tea can. Try it for the first time, and it will be the only chamomile tea you will be hooked on. This is a caffeine free tea.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

Yeah, I’ve said it before.  I’ll probably say it again many times in the future, just as I’m saying it now:  I’m not a big fan of chamomile.  But I don’t hate it.  It’s just not my favorite of the different herbs used in herbal teas, even though it’s probably one of the most popular.

That said, I’m finding that I enjoy it the more that I drink it.  Especially when I encounter whole blossoms in loose leaf form like this Egyptian Chamomile from Ocean of Tea.  The dried chamomile flowers are large and whole, not crumbled into a powdery dust.  I find that with the whole flowers like this, the flavor is much better than the dust that you find in the tea bags on the local grocery store shelf.

This is light and sweet, with notes of crisp apple.  It’s soothing and very relaxing to sip.  And one thing I do like about chamomile is that after I’ve had a cup of chamomile tea, I feel very calm and relaxed.  I’m ready to start catching the Zzz after a warm cuppa chamomile and the best way to get that cuppa is in loose leaf like this!

To brew a cup of this Chamomile, I measured out a scoop and a half (using my bamboo scoop) into a basket infuser (like this one, also from Ocean of Tea).  I heat the water to 195°F and let the tea steep for 8 minutes.

For chamomile, I like a basket infuser like this because it fits right into my 12 ounce mug, and allows the water to filter through as if it were steeping loose, and then when it’s finished steeping, I just lift the basket out of my mug and the tea is ready to drink.  I don’t usually want a pot of tea this late in the evening because a) I probably won’t drink that much tea; and b) I’ve already cleaned the kitchen and I want to keep things as simple and I want minimal clean up for whatever it is that I’m making late at night.

This is a pretty decent cup of chamomile!  It’s simple, but when I’m looking for a bedtime drink, simple is often the best choice.

Earl Grey Premium Black Tea from Ocean of Tea

earl_greyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Ocean of Tea

Tea Description:

Perhaps the most famous blend of black tea in the western world, Earl Grey Tea remains a cherished favorite. This is our favorite of the Earl Greys. Made from the finest black tea blended with just the right amount of oil of bergamot, this show-stopper will renew your love of Earl Grey and have you craving a second cup. 

Wonderfully smooth, slightly tangy and extremely well balanced. The aroma is amazing and you will love the smell of a freshly opened bag! 

This team is passionately named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey and Prime Minister of Great Britain. Legend says that the recipe for this tea is said to have been given to Grey by a grateful Chinese man whose son had just been rescued by one of the Earl’s men.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Earl Grey!  Yay!

And this Earl Grey Premium from Ocean of Tea is one mighty fine Earl Grey! First, I must address the aroma, right?  Because that’s always the first excitement that I get when I open a package of Earl Grey is that delightful fragrance of bergamot!

Well, actually, the first real excitement I get is seeing the words “Earl Grey” on a package.  I love Earl Grey and the prospect of sipping on a cup of this tea often elicits a squeal of joy from me!

The scent of bergamot is strong and pleasant, and the brewed tea doesn’t lose the potency.  That distinctive bergamot fragrance remains strong!  This can be a good … or a bad thing … depending upon the quality of the bergamot used to flavor the tea.  Sometimes too much bergamot proves to be a curse and ends up leaving the tea tasting more like a cup of warm perfume rather than a cup of delicious tea.  Fortunately, that’s not the case here.  The bergamot IS strong but it is a high-quality bergamot.  What I taste is not perfume-ish or soapy, I taste the bright, uplifting flavor of the tangy-sweet Italian citrus fruit.

This is a remarkably smooth and well-rounded tea.  The black tea base is a flavorful, satisfying tea.  It’s full-flavored and robust, and it is the perfect base for the bergamot.  The base stands strong alongside the powerful flavor of bergamot, which is tangy and a little sweet.  This bergamot is juicy, tasting very much like the Italian orange, and there is not quite so much of the floral aspect of the bergamot here.  Hints of flower peek though here and there but it is a very subtle note.  This bergamot is all about the fruit!

Not too long ago, one of my favorite Earl Grey teas had been discontinued by the company selling it, and this Earl Grey Premium from Ocean of Tea might just be the right tea to replace it.  This is one of the very best Earl Grey teas I’ve yet to taste.  It belongs in my top five … and probably my top three!  Yes, it’s that good!

Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea from Ocean of Tea

ti-kuan-yinTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Ocean of Tea

Tea Description:

Ti Kuan Yin is the most famous Chinese Oolong tea with a great orchid aroma and finish. This tea is nice, light and has a hint of dried apricot. 

Our tea is hand-harvested from the Wu-Yi tea bush and made by using traditional crafting techniques developed in China’s Fujian province. The leaves are tightly rolled and you can get 3-4 good infusions out of the same leaves. Affordably priced, this is a great tea to drink with company.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was very excited to receive my package from Ocean of Tea which included this Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea.  A new to me tea company!  Yay!  I’m always eager to try teas from a company whose teas I’ve not yet sampled.

This Ti Kuan Yin is very much like what I’d expect from a high quality Oolong of this type.  The leaves are tightly wound and smell lightly vegetal and floral.  The liquid produced is a pale yellow-green.  And it tastes so good!

I brewed this Oolong the way I’d normally approach an Oolong:  using my gaiwan, I steep using short steeps, starting with 45 seconds following a 15 second rinse.  Each subsequent infusion had an additional 15 seconds added on to the steep time.  I combine the results of the first two infusions to create my first cup, and my second cup is infusions 3 and 4 … and so on!

The first cup usually offers the softest flavor, but, given the flavors in this cup, I find myself greatly anticipating the cups that will follow.  There is a lot of flavor to what should be a “delicate” tasting cup of tea.  This is delightfully floral with subtle notes of stone fruit.  The description above suggests hints of apricot, and that’s what I’m tasting.  I’m surprised to taste it this soon into the tea experience, though, usually the fruit notes of a Ti Kuan Yin are slow to emerge.  This one is ready to greet you with all it’s complex flavors!

My second cup of this tea was the most flavorful of the three cups I enjoyed of this tea.  It was creamy and I could taste notes of orchid and vanilla.  It had a really pleasant smoothness to it.  The floral tones were not sharp, they were soft and silky.  The aforementioned apricot notes are sweet and add a really nice dimension to this Ti Kuan Yin.

With my third and final cup of this tea, I noticed the flavors beginning to wane slightly.  The flavors have become unified and smooth.  The vanilla notes are there but they aren’t as creamy and the floral tones are somewhat subdued.  This is a very enjoyable cup and I’m enjoying the seamless flavors.

A really good Ti Kuan Yin and a very happy tea experience with this new-to-me tea company!  I’m glad I got to try this!

Irish Breakfast Blend from Ocean of Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Ocean of Tea

Product Description:

Need an eye-opener? Blended from Assam and Ceylon teas, this classic Irish breakfast is full bodied and can be enjoyed throughout the day. It goes well with milk in the traditional Irish manner, but does equally well with a touch of lemon, or plain.

Irish breakfast black tea has an obscure history. Assam teas are popular in Ireland, and Irish breakfast blends are considered normal tea in that country. Popularized elsewhere as a breakfast tea, it is often served as an alternative to coffee.

Taster’s Review:

If you’re looking for a breakfast blend with the gusto to get you going in the morning, you need look no further than this Irish Breakfast Blend from Ocean of Tea.

This is a very strong, rich tea!  Robust!  One thing that I notice right away with this blend is that the Assam in the blend makes its presence known in a very profound way.  It is malty and has a very pleasing depth of flavor.  If this tea doesn’t get you going in the morning, nothing will!

The tea has a toothsome quality to it and reminds me of a freshly baked loaf of bread.  Yummy!  The malty tone intensifies this quality.  The Ceylon helps to give this blend a very well-rounded appeal.

While this tea is excellent with the additions of milk and honey (that’s sort of a tradition when it comes to breakfast blends, isn’t it?) I am finding it quite nice with just a drizzle of agave nectar to help take off some of the edge of the Assam (if you like that edge, omit the sweetener completely!) while enhancing the undertone of caramel-y sweetness.

This cuppa is warm and inviting, not to mention absolutely delicious.  I love it!