Pyin Green Tea from Shan Valley

Pyin_GreenTea Information:

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Shan Valley

Tea Description:

 This tea hails from Pyin Long within Northern Shan, Myanmar. This is also a first flush tea and is an everyday drinking tea. This tea is a reddish color. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Although I drink a lot more green tea than I used to, I still consider myself a learner when it comes to my familiarity with different types. This green tea looks like none I’ve seen before. For a start, the leaves are pretty much a uniform dark brown, almost black. They’re also wider than I’m used to seeing, kind of rounded or bowl shaped at the tip, tapering in to a narrow, short stalk. Intriguing! I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 170 degrees.

Wet, the leaves do show some hints of green after all, although there are large brown patches on almost all of them. The scent is interesting – almost olive-like. It really reminds me of a very green extra virgin olive oil! The liquor is a pale yellow-gold.
To taste, this one is pure smooth, buttery amazingness. The flavour is mild and sweet, reminiscent of freshly buttered peas. It’s hard to say it’s “oily” because it’s really not, but it has an oil-like mouthfeel, really bringing to life the olive oil scent I noticed initially in the wet leaf. It’s not an over strong or pungent flavour, which is the kind of green tea I get along with best. There’s absolutely no bitterness or astringency at all, which is another firm point in its favour in my book. As it cools, I can detect a sharper, greener, almost chlorophyll-like note creeping in just a little. It’s an interesting contrast to the earlier flavours, and works particularly well with the rich, olive oil like flavour this possesses.
Pyin Green is making for a very enjoyable mid-afternoon cup. I think it’s a pretty perfect green tea, certainly in terms of flavour, level of intensity and smoothness. I feel like I could drink this one any time and be happy with the result.


English Olive Leaf Tea from Rare Tea Co.

oliveTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Rare Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Olives have been cultivated around the world for 5,000 years, but never commercially in the UK until now. The olive grove at Southdown Trees in Sussex is the first and only of its type in the UK.

The leaves are handpicked from the tree, carefully washed, quickly air-dried, then left to cure with the absence of sunlight.

Reaserch suggests that drinking Olive Leaf Tea can help to lower both colesterol and blood pressure and maintain a healthy immune system.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I haven’t consumed a lot of olive leaf tea.  But the few that I’ve had, I’ve enjoyed, and I’m really liking this English Olive Leaf Tea from Rare Tea Co.

And this is different from other olive leaf teas that I’ve had.  The first noticeable difference:  this is whole leaf.  It isn’t a bagged tea.  It doesn’t come in a sachet.  It’s whole leaf, and the leaves look … well, they look like the photo above.  Whole and large like that.  Not crumbled or broken or chopped.

The flavor is sweet and very similar to the taste of a light green tea.  It tastes a little lighter and a little sweeter than most green teas.  There is even a slight buttery taste and texture that is similar to what you might experience with, say, a Chinese Sencha.  It’s a little lighter than that in both flavor and texture, so it’s more like a light Chinese Sencha.

There is also a pleasing savory tone to this.  On the Rare Tea Co. website, it is stated that this is enjoyed with “Pan con Tomate” which is fresh tomatoes with oil and garlic on toast.  I can see how this tisane would make a delightful complement to this dish, and it has me wondering what type of flavors the tomatoes and garlic bring out in this beverage.  I may have to try it myself!

Since this is so similar in taste to a green tea, I think that this would make a really nice substitute for those who must limit their caffeine intake but miss their green tea.  It would also be a nice drink for later in the evening when you want the flavor of green tea but not the stimulation of the caffeine.

Organic Corsican Olive Leaf Tea from Wise Owl Tea

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2013-09-27 13:49:14Z | | http://codecarvings.comTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit/Herbal Tea

Where to Buy:  Wise Owl Tea

Tea Description:

Organic Olive leaf is a natural antibiotic and antioxidant.  Olive leaf can rejuvenate your energy and enhance your immune system, supports your cardio vascular system and promote general health and well-being.

Olive leaves give a wonderful golden amber colour and a mild sweetness.  This blend includes the delightful hint of apple.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this Organic Corsican Olive Leaf Tea from Wise Owl Tea.  I can’t recall ever having tried an olive leaf tea (but that doesn’t mean that I’ve not tried it … just that I don’t remember).  And when I opened the very cool tube canister (seriously, I love the canisters!) I was a little bewildered by the amount of tea that is in each silky pyramid sachet.  There is less than a teaspoon of tea in each little sachet – could this be enough to make a satisfactory cup of tea?

I contemplated using more than one sachet, but, instead, I went with just one sachet so that I could give as accurate a review of what one sachet of tea is capable of.  I poured eight ounces of near boiling water (I never use boiling water in herbal/fruit tisanes like this one), and steeped the cup for five minutes as per the instructions on the package.

And yes!  There’s flavor to this cup!  The texture is thin but silky, and I taste notes of apple and a tangy pineapple note in the background.  I also taste a sweet flavor that is neither apple or pineapple, and this is what I’m thinking must be the olive leaf.  It has a soft vegetal flavor that reminds me a bit of green tea – but not exactly like that.

It is as though I can taste the olive there, and I’m not sure that isn’t just my mind telling me that I’m drinking olive leaf tea and I should be tasting olive … or if that’s what I’m actually tasting.

It’s a different taste … but not an unpleasant one.  On the contrary, I’m quite enjoying this olive leaf tea from Wise Owl.  It’s a mellow tasting tea.  I have heard that olive leaf tea can taste bitter if it’s steeped too long, so I was careful only to steep this for five minutes and I’m very pleased with the results, so I’d recommend not going over the five minutes to avoid the bitter flavor … unless you like that sort of thing.

Olive Leaf Tea is known for its health benefits, and if it tastes this good, I’m not opposed to drinking something that’s good for me.  That’s why I drink tea – not for it’s health benefits – but that it tastes good.  The health benefits are an added bonus.  Just like with this Olive Leaf Tea!  The health benefits are just a bonus to the tasty flavor.

Master Han’s Wild Picked Yunnan Black from Verdant Tea

Master Hans Wild Picked Yunnan Black from Verdant Tea
Master Hans Wild Picked Yunnan Black from Verdant Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

Master Han is a remarkably talented crafter of wild picked pu’ers and black teas whose workshop and ancient plot of tea forest is an hour’s walk to the nearest gravel road in a national forest preserve. We were lucky enough to meet him at his first tea conference. Tucked away in a hidden corner behind slick modern displays with uniformed reps from Xiaguan and Menghai, Master Han and his young apprentice seemed apprehensive about the operation. We were on our way to a panel on gongfu brewing when the sheer beauty of a bag of his wild-picked black tea caught us in our tracks.

NOTES: grape, olive oil, linen, scotch, honeycrisp, coconut

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Master Han’s Wild Picked Yunnan Black from Verdant Tea is a rather light cup, not that it lacks any flavor whatsoever, its just not as in your face with robustness as some teas. Robustness? Well spell check passed it so it must be a word. Regardless, this cup is lightly sweet with a sourgum like flavor, there is also a wild grape flavor coming to the top of the notes. The tea is clear to the bottom of the cup. The color is dark, like black tea should be but it is transparent. There is a slight drying sensation on the tongue while sipping, perhaps this is the linen note mentioned?

The flavor of black olive comes out as the tea cools just slightly and that is the note that lingers most on my palate. It is a lovely savory note to mingle with the sweetness of the tea, balancing it nicely. A lovely yam flavor develops more so as the tea becomes a bit cooler, and I am sure that further steepings will bring about that scotch, and coconut flavor I am looking for. Also I notice as the tea cools more the black olive note becomes more of an olive oil flavor which is interesting.

Verdant once again delivers one of the most unique tea offerings and I am so happy to have sampled some! Learn more about Master Han here.

Yunnan Golden Strand Spring 2011 from Stone Leaf Teahouse

Yunnan Golden Strand from Stone Leaf Teahouse
Yunnan Golden Strand from Stone Leaf Teahouse

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Black

Where to Buy: Stone Leaf Teahouse 

Tea Description:

Jinggu, Spring 2011
Smooth, velvety, nutty

The most delicate combined with the robust; a skilled harvest of just the tips of the tea plant, exposed to the outside world for one day, then processed as black tea. Features characteristic earthy tones of Dian Hong, yet yields an incredibly soft, sweet cup. Notes of grape, slight pepper, and olive.

Learn more about this tea here.


Taster’s Review:

This Yunnan Golden Strand Spring 2011 from Stone Leaf Teahouse has the sweetest bready flavor. It reminds me of raisin bread, or fig cake. There is even a yeasty quality to the sip that makes it even more like a true gourmet baked good.

While it is sweet, very sweet, there is something interesting about this tea that brings it toward a savory note as well. I do get the olive note that is mentioned in the description, and just a light taste of black pepper, which is very nice, but I also taste bulgar wheat, and milo.

The mouthfeel of this tea is heavy but not thick. It fills the mouth and has a near creamy feel, but with all the sweetness it finds a way not to become syrupy. It has a clear finish.

The leaf itself is beautiful, one of the lightest colored Golden Strand teas I have encountered.

Other notes worthy of mention are caramel, cocoa, fruit, hay, cane sugar, indeed it is a strange brew, but quite delicious.

Stone Leaf Teahouse never fails to provide tea of the highest quality.