Organic Sticky Rice Oolong from Driftwood Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Driftwood Tea

Tea Description:

As with all of our scented teas, Organic Sticky Rice Oolong is naturally flavoured. It gains its unique scented from a herb native to the Yunnan Province of China – where many of the Chinese/Thai population of Mae Salong descend from – called Nuo Mi Xiang Nen Ye.

The leaves of this small aromatic plant are layered with freshly picked Thai Oolong 17 and allowed to slowly impart their beautifully sweet, sticky rice aroma.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I first opened the pouch of this tea, I was shocked by the scent.  It really smells like rice.  This smells like the Jasmine Rice that I prepare for my family on a regular basis (the rice that I keep on hand and my preferred starch for the family meals).  The aroma becomes even more obvious as it brews … it really smells like I’m cooking rice!  If my husband were home, he’d be asking me for a bowl of rice!

The flavor is very much like rice too.  It tastes like the rice that sort of sticks at the bottom of the rice cooker, that becomes slightly caramelized.  This is my favorite part – because it tastes sweet, has a wonderful, chewy texture and has a delicious caramel-y flavor to it (and it’s even better if I top it with a drizzle of melted butter).  This rice treat tastes a lot like a cross between kettle corn and caramel corn … and that’s why I love it so much.

And this tea tastes so much like that!  But I taste the Oolong too.  It has hints of vegetal and floral notes, with the floral notes revealing more of themselves as I continue to sip.

With subsequent infusions, the rice fragrance in the brewed tea diminishes quite a bit, but the flavor is still there.  It is softer, but it is still there.  It still tastes like popcorn, but, some of the buttery quality is gone now, it’s not quite as creamy now as it was in the first cup.  The floral tones begin to emerge – this is a different cup, definitely, than the first.  Still very enjoyable, but I find myself wanting a little more of the creamy caramel notes that were so delectable in the first cup.

A really delightful tea – I don’t know if it is quite as good as an Ali Shan Oolong (my favorite!) but, it is definitely good for a change of pace.  This could easily become a staple in my cupboard because I can see this tea becoming something I CRAVE!  I love it.

Sticky Buns Black Tea from Jacqueline’s Tea Room

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Jacqueline’s Tea Room

Tea Description:

Black tea with honey, caramel and vanilla. Sinister!

Learn more about Jacqueline’s Tea Room here.

Taster’s Review:

I purchased this as part of a sampler offered by iHeartTeas a while back, but I’m just now getting around to tasting it.  Just as well, though, because, this tea is very autumnal and goes well with this time of year!  And as I’ve said before – it’s my favorite time of year, and I just love it when I grab a tea from my stash of samples and find one that fits in perfectly with the season.

Of course, I wouldn’t turn down a sticky bun any time of year.  But, really, this doesn’t taste all that much like a sticky bun, at least not to me.  It’s lacking that bake-y, cake-y kind of taste to it.  That’s not to say it’s not delicious – it IS!  The flavors of honey and caramel meld together beautifully to create a very luscious sticky bun topping, even if the bun is not there!  The vanilla weaves its way in and out throughout the sip, tantalizing the taste buds.  YUM!

The black tea base is pleasant, but, there is part of me that thinks that this combination of flavors might benefit from a slightly stronger base.  Something that has that natural freshly baked bread kind of taste in it.  Something a little bit malty, a little more powerful.  As it is, it is delicious, but not really very strong, which makes this a better afternoon cuppa than a breakfast one, in this taster’s opinion.

So, this one is a little bit disappointing because I think it could be so much more than it is.  A stronger, maltier base with a natural “baked goods” kind of taste to it, perhaps, or even some nutty tones might make the idea of “Sticky Buns” come across more in the flavor.  But I am enjoying it for the way it is, and I certainly would not refuse a cup if it were offered.  Yummy, but capable of so much more, I think!