Acai Berry White Tea from Octavia Tea

acai_berryTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy: Octavia Tea

Tea Description:

The sweet, fruity essence of Brazilian superfruit, açai berry, blends perfectly with blueberries, currants, hibiscus and antioxidant-rich white tea. Harvested only a few days each year, white tea contains a rare amino acid believed to naturally lift mood and ease stress.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love joining swap boxes because you never know what you will end up when the traveling box hits your doorstep.  I recently had a very large box arrive with amazing teas for me to try and check out.  This sample was the first one I grabbed and had to try out right away.  I’ve heard good things about Octavia Teas but never had the chance to check them out.

White teas and I have been really good friends as of late.  There is just something soul soothing about the sweet floral notes they can produce.  With the wedding plans and the big day only a couple weeks away, I needed a bit of a cozy soothing tea.  So I turned to this beauty.

Acai Berry White is described as being a sweet and fruity tea.  That is exactly how it smells.  Brewed this up as a white tea with my Breville One Touch and sat down to enjoy.

First sip in and I am greeted with this simple yet lovely berry floral taste that made me happy.  This white tea really hit the spot and made me want to snuggle into a blanket and find a fun book to read.  What a lovely tea!

The berry notes are very prominent with a backboard of floral hitting you as well, but a softer more gentler feel.  This tea would be fantastic for a tea party with all of the fun flavors.  Seriously lovely. But do be warned, I did allow this tea to steep to long and before I knew it the tea reminded me of a tutti frutti gum or a kids’ toothpaste.  This one isn’t as forgiving when it comes to oversteeping.  Just pay attention to it and you’ll have some delicious tea on your hands!

Tropical Green Tea from Octavia Tea

Tropical-GreenTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Tea Description:

This tea is so much more than what “tropical” might conjure in your mind. There’s sweet tropical flavours for sure, but there’s also an amazing floral character that envelopes the entire tea, a fun citrus finish that blends well with the vegetal notes of the green tea. So hard to describe, you should probably just try it.

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It seems to me that most tea companies out there that offer flavored tea selections offer a ‘tropical’ flavored tea.  Some might offer a tropical flavored black tea, some might offer a tropical flavored white tea, and some might offer a tropical flavored green tea.  But it seems to be a very popular flavor profile.

And these tropical flavored teas may be a little different from one another.  They might have any flavor combination of coconut, pineapple, mango, papaya, banana or passion fruit – or other ‘tropical’ fruit.  The name ‘tropical’ leaves the door open very wide for interpretation.

But even though the base might be different and the fruit combination different, it seems to me that most of the tropical flavored teas that I’ve tried in the past (and I’ve sampled quite a few in my years as a tea reviewer!) … well, most of them blend together into a very abstract sort of painting that represents the many different tropical fruit flavored teas that I’ve tasted.  Not many of them really stand out as a memorable tropical fruit flavored tea, not many of them really step forward in my memory as one that is uniquely different from the crowd.

Until now.

This.  This Tropical Green tea from Octavia is deliciously different.  Uniquely different.  Memorably different!

It’s the grapefruit!  The grapefruit adds a really lovely note to this tea that is quite unlike any other tropical fruit flavored tea that I can remember.

The passion fruit and mango are two sweet fruit flavors and they are beautifully contrasted by the tart and slightly bitter notes of grapefruit.  The grapefruit adds a bright element to the cup that really perks up the flavors and keeps the tea from tasting like your average, every day tropical tea offering that you’ll find from other tea companies.

Not to say that those tropical teas are not tasty – I enjoyed most of what I tried.  But this one is on another level.  And the grapefruit has made all the difference.

I don’t taste much of a floral note from the rose, but that’s alright.  The rose can be there just to beautify the blend and make it visually interesting.  I’m alright with that.  Because the grapefruit makes this tea a delightful tasting tea that it doesn’t need anything else.  There is a tantalizing sweetness from the passion fruit and mango and there is appealing contrast from the grapefruit.  Perfection!

I’ve enjoyed the other teas that I’ve tried from January’s box from Amoda, but this tea elevated the box from really good to GREAT!  Have you subscribed to Amoda yet?  If not, why not?  What are you waiting for?

Berry Mocha Truffle Black Tea from Octavia Tea

Berry_Mocha_TruffleTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Tea Information:

Let’s keep this simple. This blend smells and tastes exactly like dark chocolate covered fruit. It’s seriously good. You get the mocha & dark chocolate first, a fruit blast in the middle and a slight bitter chocolate and floral finish. To make it more indulgent, stir in some milk and sugar.

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

It’s also part of Amoda Tea’s Holiday Box!

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

As I’m sitting here with the aroma of this tea wafting through the air, I find myself in total agreement with Amoda Tea’s description above:  Yep, it smells exactly like dark chocolate covered fruit.  My mouth is watering right now.  It smells SO GOOD.

It’s the cocoa husks!  (Aka cacao shells!)  I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating:  tea companies should use cacao shells if they want a strong, true flavor for their chocolate teas.

As for the taste:  Yum!  I get the mocha notes up front, and as the sip continues, I pick up on a strong berry note that lingers into the aftertaste.

This has a really pleasing chocolate note.  I love the dark chocolate flavor of this tea.  Bittersweet!  It’s a really nice contrast to the sweet-tart flavors of berry.

My one criticism of this tea is that the black tea seems just a wee bit lost in these strong flavors.  Yes, I taste the black tea, but I don’t think it’s quite robust enough to be with all this chocolate mocha and berry flavors.

I don’t know what type of black tea is used as a base for this blend, but I think that an Assam or a Nilgiri would have been a good choice for it because I think that those malty notes that Assam and Nilgiri teas are known for would taste amazing with these chocolate mocha notes.  My taste buds are “mmm-ing” just at the thought of a malty, rich Assam tea with the mocha flavors.

But as it is, this is really a nice tea.  I can taste the tea – and I find that the tea flavors come through a little stronger as I make my way down the cup (and a slurp now and then doesn’t hurt!)   But this really tastes more like a mocha than it does a tea.

The berry notes brighten the cup in a really nice way.  The sip starts out with the strong mocha-esque flavors and then all the sudden, a bit of bright, berry flavor hits the palate.  Nice!

This is the tea I’d recommend to someone who is a former coffee drinker and decided to turn to tea because the caffeine of coffee is harsh on them (it was on me!) but they still miss that mocha flavor from their favorite coffee shop!  This tea will help them miss their mocha less – or perhaps not at all – because I’d rather drink this than a $5 mocha any day!

Caramel Toffee Flavored Oolong Tea from Octavia Tea

Caramel-ToffeeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Octavia Tea

Tea Description:

This is sweet and creamy with decadent caramel. It’s certainly rich with flavour, but balanced out enough by the profile of the dark oolong that you can enjoy every last sip without getting overwhelmed. The oolong lends an amazing roasted character that blends perfectly with the hazelnut.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh … yum!  This Caramel Toffee Flavored Oolong Tea from Octavia Tea is so good, and as I’m sipping on this tea and writing this review, this song came on my Pandora Radio – a perfect tune for this tea experience!

I had high expectations going in to this tea experience.  With a tea called “Caramel Toffee Oolong,” well, it better be good, right?  And it is.

The caramel/toffee notes are very well-defined and they meld so beautifully with the dark Oolong.  The Oolong has a slightly smoky character that complements the toffee.  It’s a sweet, smooth and silky Oolong.  I typically find that darker Oolong teas have more of a fruity character than a floral one, and that is true of this tea base.

The caramel and toffee bring a sweet flavor and a hint of bitter burnt sugar taste to the cup.  The natural nutty tones of the Oolong are enhanced with the notes of hazelnut flavoring, creating a very delicious, dessert-y sort of flavor that would make a great next-to-no calorie substitution for something fattening.  It tastes like it should be naughty but it isn’t.

A truly decadent and delicious tea treat – I’m glad that this one was in my Amoda Tea Tasting Box for this month!

Silver Mountain Water Oolong Tea from Octavia Tea

Silver-Mountain-WaterTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Octavia Tea

Tea Description:

This is a characteristic green oolong that is calmingly sweet and fresh. The first steep is light and hints at what’s to come in successive infusions. Give it a second steep and you’ll discover more depth – with floral & fruit notes, vegetal flavours and a stronger minerality that works perfectly.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

The dry leaf aroma of this Silver Mountain Water Oolong Tea from Octavia Tea is vegetative with very soft notes of flower.  The tea leaves have been tightly wound into tiny pellets and the color is a deep, forest green.

My first cup of this tea (a combination of infusions 1 & 2 following a quick 15 second rinse) was a very pale greenish-yellow liquid with very little fragrance.  I take note of the texture – it is soft and silky – like a wispy cloud that floats over the palate.  The flavor is as soft as the color and almost as subtle as the fragrance (but not quite!)  But even with the delicate flavor, I notice complexity.  I taste notes of vegetative tones and a distant note of flower that beckons me to taste more of it by infusing these leaves yet again.  So I shall!

The second cup (infusions 3 & 4) is when I notice more flavors starting to emerge.  There is more color to the cup as well … the tea is a deeper color of greenish-yellow, still a light shade but not as pale as the first.  I taste a hint of fruit that evokes thoughts of a crisp apple.  The floral tones are more obvious now.  The vegetative notes are also more apparent, but they aren’t as dominate as the flowery notes.

The third cup (infusions 5 & 6) is where I begin to appreciate the sweetness of this tea.  The description from Octavia Tea suggests a fig-like flavor with a raisin-y sweetness, but I am not tasting that so much.  This is more like a honey-like taste to me.  Somewhere between the sweetness of pollen and the honey that is produced from it.  The floral notes are still present, but, I’ve noticed that the vegetative tones are beginning to wane somewhat.

The third cup was also noticeably creamier than the first two cups.  This cup is very Milk Oolong-ish!  Sweet and creamy and luscious!  And because I loved this third cup so much, I decided to go for one more cup (infusions 7 & 8).

Cup four was not quite as sweet and creamy as the third.  The third was absolutely my favorite of the four cups that I had of this tea.  The fourth cup was still quite tasty though … sweet and of the four cups, this one offered the most floral notes and more fruit notes than the first three cups too.  I taste very little vegetal flavor now, and the astringency has definitely begun to subside. The second cup was the most astringent, but even then, it was what I’d call a mild astringency.

A very enjoyable Oolong experience, I’m really that my Amoda Tea Box offered me this opportunity to try this tea!