Blue Lady from Zest Tea

With a name like Blue Lady I thought this would be like Lady Grey, a type of earl grey. But I was mistaken! Not an earl grey, but a flowery orange pekoe.

Beyond the black tea, there is hibiscus and passion fruit, fragrant even in the dry leaf. Brewed, the black tea is bright and crisp, which pairs well with the juicy hibiscus. The sour red fruit taste of the hibiscus adds a jammy, berry flavor beneath the citrus tones of the orange pekoe.

This is not too sweet or sour, still very suitable for a breakfast cup of tea. With just enough tropical flair this blend is summery and satisfying, hot or iced.

And since this blend is from Zest Tea, there is added tea extract so you know each cup packs a punch of caffeine without the coffee jitters. When you want a juicier take on classic orange pekoe, brew up a mug of Blue Lady.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Zest Tea

Our Blue Lady Black blends a sultry South Indian black tea base with an aromatic mix of orange, lemon, passion fruit, and hibiscus. A peppering of vivid blue cornflower petals and bits of orange peel make for a visual spectacle. Blue lady will excite all of your senses. No wonder this is a favorite among hot and chilled tea drinkers.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Earl Blue Iced Black Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SBT-Earl-BlueTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Southern Boy Teas

Tea Description:

Our awesome organic Iyerpadi black tea blended with organic bergamot and blueberry flavors. This is sure to wow your guests.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

I know that I’ve mentioned on this blog at least once before in a review of one of Zoomdweebie’s Earl Grey/Bergamot teas that I’m not particularly crazy about the bergamot flavoring that Zoomdweebies uses.  Maybe I’m a bit of a bergamot snob or something but Earl Grey tea is something I take very seriously and it should be right.  So, when this Earl Blue Iced Black Tea from Southern Boy Teas was announced as a recent tea of the week for SBT, I wasn’t all that excited about it.

But this isn’t too bad.  It’s actually pretty tasty.  As an Earl Grey tea or more accurately as a ‘twist’ to the classic Earl Grey -well, it doesn’t really cut it as an Earl Grey, I’m afraid.  But, as a flavored iced tea, it’s really pleasant.  The blueberry is strong and yummy.  The bergamot – well, it doesn’t taste as bergamot-y as I’d like it to.  But when I just drink it and I don’t think “bergamot” and instead, I think “citrus” it works for me.

It has a really enjoyable, sweet-tart fruity flavor to it. And the black tea base is smooth and brisk.  No bitterness, no astringency – just really tasty black tea and fruity flavors.

This is something that I could see myself putting in my shopping cart again the next time I’m shopping at Zoomdweebies dot com.  It’s very refreshing and it’ll be really nice to have it chilling in the fridge on those warm summer days that lie ahead.

Earl Blue Darjeeling Tea from 52Teas

Earl-Blue-DarjeelingTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Summery and delicious, this is a blend of premium first flush FTGFOP-1 Darjeelings, freeze-dried blueberries, marigold petals and organic flavors. You are not going to miss out on this one. Trust me. 

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

OK … so I love a good Earl Grey.  Bergamot – as long as it’s done correctly – I love it.  And I like blueberry flavored tea and I enjoy a good Darjeeling.  So everything about this blend says that this should be a winner, right?

Not so much.

When the tea is hot, it ends up tasting a bit like a mouthful of blueberry flavored perfume.  Not really my favorite thing to drink.  So, I pushed the cup aside and hoped that some cool time would allow the flavors to develop in a pleasant sort of way.  I kept my fingers crossed and decided to play a game of Mahjong while I waited.

The game is over now and I lost.  I’m hoping that the tea isn’t as big a fail as the game was.

Now that the tea is a little cooler (not cold, it’s still quite warm but it’s not fresh from the teapot hot now) it doesn’t taste quite as bad as it did with my first two sips.  The bergamot has become less perfume-y tasting and now tastes more like the Italian citrus fruit than Uncle Harvey’s aftershave.  And the blueberry comes through nicely.  I find myself … hmm … I’m not quite comfortable using the word “enjoying” given how much I really was put off by the first couple of sips, so I guess I’ll say I don’t hate the way the citrus notes and the blueberry play together in this cup.

The Darjeeling is pleasant.  At this cooler temperature, the tea tastes a little fuller in body than some of the Darjeeling teas that I had been tasting earlier this year with the first flush, like perhaps this might be a blend rather than a single estate.  It makes a pleasing base.

Overall, once the tea has cooled, this is not terrible.  It’s drinkable.  It doesn’t taste so much like perfume anymore.

But it certainly doesn’t qualify as a favorite from 52Teas.  As much as I am a fan of 52Teas – and I am, they’re one of my favorite companies for unique flavored teas! – I really think they should steer clear of Earl Grey/bergamot teas (and jasmine teas as well, unless they source teas that have already been scented with jasmine essence – but don’t use that wretched jasmine flavoring oil!) because these are two flavors that 52Teas seems to have difficulty capturing in a proper way.  They just come out tasting very chemical and perfume-ish and just … well, icky.

You know I adore you, Frank, but, please stop with the Earl Grey blends.  You’ve made some pretty decent ones that I’ve liked, but most that I’ve tried have turned out to be rather disappointing.

Then again, maybe I’m just an Earl Grey snob.  My husband would tell you that is what the issue is.  It isn’t that Frank doesn’t make good Earl Grey, it’s that I’ve raised the bar too high for Earl Grey because I’m a tea snob.  Yep.  That’s what he’d say.

Then again … what does my husband know about it?  He doesn’t even drink tea!   He might know trivial things like … math (math is evil) and stuff like that, but when it comes to things that REALLY matter (like tea) … he’d be lost without me.

Blue Spring Oolong Tea from Imperial Tea Garden

Blue_Spring_OolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Imperial Tea Garden

Tea Description:

In rural China, Blue Spring Oolong is commonly referred to as the compassionate oolong tea.  The name stems from ancient folklore of Guan Yin the Iron Goddess of Mercy, of which this now famous Ti Kuan Yin style tea was named.  Legend has it that drought stricken villagers offered a passing stranger some water.  With the compassionate offering, Guan Yin revealed her true identity and spilled the water into the dry earth and a blue spring appeared miraculously.  In honor of their benevolent Bodhisattva, the Fujian villagers began adding blue mallow flowers to represent the crystal blue spring water.

Blue Spring Oolong’s smooth and mellow character will enhance any tea party. The compassionate nature of this tea make it suitable for gathering with old friends and making new ones.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a lovely little Oolong blend.  The dry leaf is BEAUTIFUL with the purple blossoms that are tossed along with the Oolong tea leaves.

Even though I don’t always infuse my Oolong blends in my gaiwan, I decided to go with a gaiwan brewing for this particular blend because the blend looked more like an Oolong tea than flowers to me.  I don’t know if that’s a suitable reason for my choice, but that’s the excuse I’m going with.  That and I like using my gaiwan.  I like to watch the tightly wound pellets of Oolong tea dance around in the hot water as they unfurl and release their flavor.

My first cup was the combination of infusions one and two following a 15 second rinse.  This cup was delicate with a flavor that was predominately floral with lingering honey-esque notes.  In the distance, I could taste some hints of roasted nuts, but, it was a very distant flavor in this cup.  I suspected that I’d become more acquainted with these flavors in later infusions.

Indeed!  The second cup had stronger notes of that sweet, nutty flavor, but even stronger than the nutty flavors were the intensified floral notes.  The honey-like notes were showing signs of softening.  This cup was really all about the flower!  Slightly sharp, but not unpleasant at all, it had a very beautiful character to it, something that evoked thoughts of springtime in Southern California, when the jacaranda trees are in full bloom.

The second cup was where I started noticing the creaminess emerge, and I like the way the creamy notes melded with the nutty flavors to offer a sweet, creamy taste that was slightly nutty and slightly toasted.  The floral notes seemed to give this dimension an almost vanilla-like flavor.

By the third cup (infusions 5 and 6), I noticed the unification of the nutty flavors with the honey and floral tones.  It became a very fluid, seamless type of flavor, very silky and luxurious to drink.

This tea offered a very enjoyable Oolong experience – it’s one I’d be more than happy to experience again … and again!

Black n Blue Flavored Iced Tea from Southern Boy Teas

BlacknBlueicedteaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Learn more about Southern Boy Teas here.

You can also learn more about Southern Boy Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

I was so happy to see that this tea – originally released as a 52Teas’ tea of the week – brought back for one of the SBT iced tea blends.  It was one of those ‘memorable’ blends, and I knew that it would make a killer iced tea!

Now that I have my new Breville One-Touch (I really, really missed this appliance for the two weeks I was without it.  I can’t begin to express how much I missed it.) I hot brewed this large tea bag, steeping it for 2 minutes for the first quart, and then steeping it for 2 1/2 minutes for the second quart to make a half gallon of iced tea.  Chilled it overnight, and now I have a pitcher full of deliciousness.

And it is delicious!  When I first opened the pouch, I could smell the blueberry and blackberry.  It’s a strong, distinctive aroma that I can smell now that I have a chilled glass of iced tea in front of me.  It’s not quite as fragrant as a hot cup of tea would be, but I can still smell notes of sweet, juicy berries.

This is really good.  I believe it’s as good as I remember the original tasting, which is quite a thing because usually the original teas from 52Teas are at least a little better – sometimes, it’s the reverse, but more often than not, the original 52Teas release is better – but this tastes every bit as good as I remember the original tasting.  The blueberry and blackberry flavors are strong and they taste like sweet, fresh, ripe berries with just a hint of that berry tart that tingles on the tongue in the aftertaste.

The black tea is also discernable – it’s a brisk and refreshing black tea.  It’s strong without overpowering the flavors, and this is one particular blend where I don’t want the flavors to be overpowered because there really is a very pleasing balance between blackberry and blueberry.

As I said before, the original version was one of those memorable black tea blends from 52Teas – it was one that I sort of hoarded for a while so that I could steep it for iced tea because it was such an incredibly good iced tea!  I generally am very happy to share any of my teas with people because I have a lot of tea.

No, seriously, I have a lot of tea.  Go into your nearest Teavana and see their tea wall … I have more tea than that.  Not joking.

So, it’s a rare moment when I find a tea that I’m reluctant to share with others.  But the original of this blend was one that I sort of kept to myself so that I could get as much iced tea out of it as I could.  That’s how yummy this is.  I’m so happy that 52Teas ‘accidentally’ recreated this for the Southern Boy Teas line!