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honeydew

Darjeeling 1st Flush Colonal Casleton DJ-13 Oolong from Camellia Sinensis

DarjeelingOolongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Camellia Sinensis (However it’s no longer listed)

Tea Description:

Here is an wulong composed of leaves varying in hue from light green to orange by way of delicate shades of silver which adorn its numerous buds. The light rolling typical of this type of clonal offers lovely large leaves which, once infused, release rich floral and herbaceous fragrances. The liquor, soft and of a substantial texture, is supported by fruity and spicy notes. Its long tangy finish evokes the lightness of spring.

Learn more about this tea on Steepster!

Taster’s Review:

This is definitely an interesting looking tea, one I probably wouldn’t have chosen for myself had Camellia Sinensis not included it as a bonus sample in one of several orders I’ve placed with them this year. Personally, I don’t have much experience with Darjeeling teas, and I’m almost certain that this is the first Darjeeling Oolong that I’ll have tried.

The dry leaf of this blend it fascinating to me; it definitely doesn’t look like a lot of oolong I’ve encountered. I know it’s definitely on the lower scale of oxidation, for sure – but it doesn’t even look like they even attempted to roll it which is definitely something I’m accustomed to with greener oolong. More so, it just kind of reminds me of Bai Mu Dan, but a little twisted up.

I brewed this one in one of my Gaiwans because it felt more right to be brewing it that way instead of in an infuser mug, though I did brew it Western style instead of Gong Fu. Normally I’m not one to resteep things, but I got three resteeps of this blend before I decided that was enough for the day.

The first infusion was very soft and delicate with such a lovely silky mouthfeel (which was definitely a consistent trait between all three infusions). The flavours were kind of in line with green teas and greener oolong; crisp and sweet sugar snap peas, lighter fruit notes like slightly under ripe honeydew, some floral notes, and a slight creaminess. However, the overwhelming gentleness of the brew reminds me a lot of white tea as well. I was looking forward to experiencing the “tang” like described by Camellia Sinensis, but I definitely didn’t taste anything close to that. Nor did I taste anything “spicy”.

The second infusion definitely brought about a change in flavour though; while the liquor was still very smooth and delicate and I still got some lovely snap pea notes there was also a touch of a herbaceous quality and the more floral notes were traded in for something quite a bit fruitier. More like over ripe honeydew than under ripe, and with an almost white wine like quality. I also experienced the “tangy finish” like described. I was definitely a little taken aback; the body dramatically and quickly shifted into this long, drawn out pleasantly sour finish that I wasn’t expecting. This was easily my favourite infusion of the three I did; it had a great balance between the flavours of the first and third infusions.

The third infusion was still delicate but that tangy note was even more vivid and instead of just being present in the finish it started to creep up into the body of the sip as well. In this infusion I definitely thought it was much more distinctly like white wine. In fact, I almost immediately was reminded of the few Reisling wines I’ve had (I’m not a huge wine person). It was super interesting, and still quite enjoyable but quite different from that first infusion. I can only imagine how much more interesting this would be Gong Fu brewed.

It’s a shame I can no longer find this on the Camellia Sinensis site; I want to learn more about this tea as it was very different from other oolongs I’ve tried, and quite memorable. I 100% recommend trying it, even if oolong isn’t your jam.

Honey, I Dew White from DAVIDsTEA

Honey I dewTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  DAVIDsTEA

Tea Description:

In Vietnam, melons are a sign of good luck. In Chinese medicine, they’re said to help cool the body down. Around here, we think they’re just about the tastiest fruit around – especially when you pair them with fresh, delicate white tea. With fruity hints of pineapple and mango, this melon-packed blend is refreshing, juicy and naturally sweet. The best part? This tea was named by our customers! Is there anything they can’t dew?

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s very refreshing to see another permanent white tea blend on the DAVIDsTEA walls; I’ve been complaining for months about the dwindling amount of permanent white teas – I’ve even suffered some losses that were more emotional than I’d care to admit (Coconut Grove, Sweet Strawberry, and Big Apple…). At least a lot of seasonal blends for Spring featured a white base, and one of the Mother’s Day blends as well.

And not going to lie, the fact this was named by DT’s customers (and has such a cute name) is really appealing as well; I find I’m definitely more drawn in to wanting to try a tea when it has a unique name, even if the ingredients/flavor pairings aren’t that unusual. Let us put an end to the “Earl Grey Creams” and “Jasmine Greens” that every company seems to have a version of; give yours a neat name, and make it stand out!

I’m doing this one iced; yes, iced and not cold brewed. I don’t often have the means to do iced tea because I don’t actually have ice at my place. We don’t own an ice tray, and I don’t have the freezer space in my little apartment for larger bags of ice. I know it could be easily remedied by buying an ice cube tray but I always forget; so iced tea is a special treat for me provided by being in the right place (err, chef’s kitchen) at the right time.

My initial thought when I tried this was of Trident’s Watermelon Twist gum – the sugary, candy sweet watermelon top notes were pretty identical. I was expecting something both more mellow and, based on the name, more in the line of Honeydew so I was a little taken aback but once I got accustomed to the taste I found it really enjoyable. Contrasting that, the tail of the sip was a lot more natural tasting once the sweetness has subsided, and definitely a lot more honey dew than watermelon. I like the layers of melon that this one has. Almost like Trident Layers? That’s a bad pun, sorry.

The body of the sip is interesting too; somewhere in between where the watermelon eases up and the honeydew takes over there are a lot of very strong apple notes and some very vague mango and pineapple notes. I’d say they mostly create a tropical fruit vibe rather than make an impact as unique, stand-alone flavors though.

This was really enjoyable, and I think quite different from any other white blend that DT is currently offering, let alone any of their current blends. I really, really like the way they do Honeydew flavors; I’m thinking in particular of Honeydew Mate and Cool Cucumber (two seasonal blends). I loved both quite a bit (I still have some Cool Cucumber), and they definitely honed in on that awesome honeydew flavor. While DT’s watermelon can get too sweet or artificial, honeydew is a flavor they have successfully nailed. If you’re a fan of either of those two blends I absolutely 100% recommend giving this one a shot.

Golden Honeydew from Lupicia

goldenhoneydewTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Where to Buy: Lupicia USA

Tea Description:

Caffeine-free green rooibos tea is scented with Californian honeydew melon.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Yes, this is a rooibos. Now, I have never been a big fan of rooibos. Quite the opposite. I am such a grump about anything with even a little rooibos in it that I avoid it like the plague. While it is a green rooibos, and therefore lighter and grassier in character, I was still skeptical. But a tea friend of mine just had to have me try it. So try it I did. The dry leaf alone sent my nose and I spinning down memory lane. Funny things, noses.

This tea reminds me so much of my favorite flavor of boba, it’s unsettling. For anyone not in the know, boba, or bubble tea, is an incredible liquid substance that comes in a plastic cup. Originating from Taiwan in the early 80s, it’s not so much a tea as it is a delicious, typically creamy beverage that can be made of tea, fruits, or a powdered mix better known as milk tea. Milk tea comes in a crazy variety of flavors, one of the most popular in the world being Honeydew. It’s sickly sweet, and creamy to the core. What makes this into boba is the large, round, gummy-like tapioca pearls. Oh, and the fat straw you sip the pearls through. It’s something that I almost always sneak into a movie. I highly recommend it!

I don’t know, just something about sipping down a creamy honeydew flavored slushie followed by chewing on those yummy gummy tapioca pearls makes me feel all fuzzy inside. Cures any sadness and cools down a sweaty brow.

Everyone close to me at least knows what rooibos is, thanks to my audible distain of the stuff. Now even my man huffs at the mere mention of it. Until this one. I liked it so much, that I almost didn’t tell him what is was when he asked for a little sip. Everything about this tea is delicious, juicy honeydew. The smell of the light green rods of the green rooibos, is exactly like the ripest honeydew you could ever imagine. As I brew this cup, I can just imagine biting into a fresh slice of pale green honeydew melon. I think the realism of the flavoring is what makes this blend. I don’t get that harsh artificial flavor I could have been assaulted with. Even while sipping on a pot of this tea is bringing to mind the velvety smooth fruit and the sweet juice. It’s so uncanny how spot on this tea is! It’s rich, broad, and smooth, I can imagine how great this would be iced.

I’d wager it’s better than the boba version.

White Persian Melon from Golden Moon Tea

White Persian Melon from Golden Moon Tea
White Persian Melon from Golden Moon Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: White

Where to Buy: Golden Moon Tea 

Tea Description:

First in the world to find flavored white tea, Golden Moon Tea presents rare white tea enlivened with the nectar of succulent melon. This luxurious delicacy is light, refreshing and exotic.

Ingredients: White Bai Mudan Tea Scented with Sweet Melon Nectar

WHY IT’S SPECIAL:

** Persian Melon has a flavor that is a mix between a cantaloupe and a honeydew

** Uses the flavor of the Persian Melon, which is a popular flavor in the Middle East

** Emits a sweet and refreshing aroma of freshly cut melons

** The subtly of the White Tea base allows the Persian Melon to shine

** Fantastic iced

WHAT TO BE CAREFUL OF:

** This tea is only for those who love cantaloupe and/or honeydew

** The Middle Eastern Persian Melon is rarely found in the U.S.

** The melon flavor is assertive, yet balanced

** White Persian Melon has low amounts of caffeine

** Recommended for up to 3 steeps

 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

White Persian Melon from Golden Moon Tea is one of my top five favorites from this company.

There is just such a light and lively flavor to this delicate Bai Mudan. The aroma is sweet and juicy fresh and reminds me of why I am longing for summer.

This tea is so excellent iced but also wonderful hot.

I love cantaloupe but unfortunately eating it gives me a headache every time, but this tea I can drink endless amounts of with no nagging headache. Perhaps this is due to it being Persian melon and not cantaloupe but the flavor profile is very similar and I can get my cantaloupe fix this way. It is a little lighter than cantaloupe though and I see where the description of a mix between cantaloupe and honeydew comes in because honeydew to me was always a bit more watery in flavor.

White Persian Melon also has a tad bit of a wine like flavor to me, almost bordering on a brandy like essence which I really enjoy.

As the tea cools even slightly the sweetness peeks out more. I would not personally add sweeteners to this tea although I could really see the flavors explode with it, especially a sweetened iced tea. I just usually try not to add sugar to my tea and I really do not feel this one needs it. I can see how adding sugar could take it from this light refreshing state to a decedent dessert tea.

Unfortunately I only have a sample of this one, thanks to a Steepster.com friend, but this is one I plan to order for summer time sipping!

Ginger Sweet Peach Herbal Tisane from Tiesta Tea

ginger-peach

Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Fruit & Herbal Tisane

Where to Buy:  Tiesta Tea

Tisane Description:

Take a break from the day and let yourself relax in the golden world of this delicious fruit blend. Smooth ginger and spicy peppercorns unite with soft peaches and mouth-watering honeydew to form a sweet and spicy flavor that just don’t stop.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

As I poured this Ginger Sweet Peach Herbal Tisane from Tiesta Tea into my teacup, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the aroma – it smells like fresh, juicy peaches!  It reminds me of summer at my gramma’s house when I was young and the peach tree would yield its delicious fruit … the kitchen would smell so delicious as my gramma would slice up the peaches for peach pie (and of course, my favorite, warm peach sauce for Sunday morning waffles!)

I didn’t smell much of the ginger or the pepper as I poured the tisane … just peaches.  But now that I sip it, I do taste the ginger and pepper … although the flavor is not an overwhelming presence in the cup.  The ginger is gentle and relaxing, as the label on the pouch from Tiesta Tea promises.  Tiesta Tea offers five different “types” of teas and tisanes:  Energizer, Relaxer, Eternity, Immunity, and Slenderizer.  This tisane is part of the Relaxer category … and it is gentle in flavor, and it is very relaxing to sip.  It is also rather soothing, making it a nice choice for after meals.

I steeped this tisane for 7 minutes in almost boiling water (195°F), and this yielded a cup that started off rather muted, but, after sip number two, I began to pick up on the flavors.  The peach is very nicely defined at this point, and I taste subtle hints of the melon.

I taste floral tones as well.  I am surprised – but happily so – that I taste very little hibiscus here.  Maybe a hint of tartness comes through here and there.  And the hibiscus is noted in the texture of the tisane … it has a nice, smooth character.  I think that if I had steeped this tisane longer, the texture might have gone from smooth to syrupy.  By mid-cup, I start to notice the pleasant warming sensation from the ginger and the pepper.  It is a mild warmth.

This tastes a lot like a thin warmed, peach nectar that has been infused with ginger and pepper, with just a splash of honeydew melon juice.  It’s quite yummy!   A really nice tisane from Tiesta Tea!