Vietnamese Oolong Tea from Spire Tea

spireteaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Tea Description:

This pure, unique Vietnamese oolong produces a jade-green liquor with a freshly sweet floral aroma. 

This tea was previously known as Jade Dragon.

Learn more about Spire Tea on their website.

Taster’s Review:

From the name of this tea (Jade Dragon) and the above description, I had expected a green liquor but what I brewed from this tea was more of an amber colored liquid.

Well, the color might not be “right” … but the flavor is superb!  I brewed this the same way I’d go about brewing most Oolong teas – in my gaiwan.  I started out with a quick rinse to reawaken the leaves (15 seconds in hot water, and then I strained off the liquid and discarded it).  Then I brewed the first infusion for 45 seconds, and added 15 seconds to each subsequent infusion.  I combine the results of two infusions to make each cup, so my first cup was infusions 1 and 2, my second cup was infusions 3 and 4 … and so on!  Unfortunately, there was a mishap with my second cup – and it ended up all over the kitchen counter.  I chose not to slurp it off of the counter, although I have to admit that I was tempted.

My first cup was amazing.  It was buttery and sweet, with a lovely texture that was creamy and soft.  The flavor was delicately floral, and I picked up subtle honey notes and hints of a fruit-like flavor.

As I said, the second cup was not consumed, but my kitchen counter seemed to enjoy it, or perhaps what it enjoyed was the sponge bath that followed.  It’s not talking, so I don’t know.  But the third cup was slightly more focused a flavor than the first cup.  I found the first cup to be a softer sort of flavor, while the third cup had more of a distinguished flavor, especially the floral notes.  There is not so much of that creamy, buttery flavor in this cup though.  Still delightfully honeyed, with fruit notes in the distance.

My fourth and final cup (with a third cup so flavorful, I decided these leaves had more to offer!) was similar to the third cup, although I found that the flavors were softening at this point.  There was less astringency with this cup, and the floral notes seemed to meld with the honey notes to offer a sharp yet sweet taste.

Of the three cups that I enjoyed, I think my favorite was the first.  I really loved the buttery taste and texture of that cup, although I really enjoyed the flavor of the cups that followed.  It’s definitely worthwhile to take the time to resteep this one.

A really lovely Oolong!

Island Coconut Green Tea Blend from Spire Tea

islandcoconutTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Amoda Tea

Tea Description:

The tropical taste of coconut and the ocean-like flavour of sencha meet in this tea. The body is enhanced by the coconut, which makes it deliciously creamy. It has a balanced acidity that makes your mouth water. The chinese sencha brings hints of seaweed and mineral notes. With such a lengthy coconut finish, you can really savour this one.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn how to subscribe to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

YES!  Now that’s the way a coconut tea should taste!

This Island Coconut Green Tea Blend from Spire Tea – part of my Amoda tea tasting box for the month of May – ROCKS!  It has all the qualities that I want from a coconut tea:  delicious coconut flavor that stands out?  Check!  Rich, authentic coconut flavor?  Check!  The flavor is strong, but the tea is not overwhelmed?  Check!

The green tea base is a Chinese Sencha tea – and it is sweet and buttery, and this accentuates the coconut’s natural creamy notes.  There are lovely, lush “green” notes to the tea that are vegetative.  The above description calls them “seaweed notes” and I’d agree with that assessment – especially if I slurp the sip to aerate it.  I also pick up on some subtle grassy tones.  It is sweet, but there is a hint of savoriness to the tea as well, and this offers a palate-pleasing contrast for the sweet coconut notes.

The coconut is the real star of this tea though.  It is so sweet and creamy and yes … decadent!  It tastes like real coconut to me, not an artificial or overtly, sugary sweet coconut, but when combined with the naturally sweet Chinese Sencha, the flavor becomes sweeter. The coconut is very smooth and luscious!

I’ve become quite a fan of the consumer shift towards things that are coconut, and I love the great number of products that are now easily accessible for the consumer like coconut oil, coconut chips, and coconut water.  Coconut water is something that I really like, but I find the cost to be rather prohibitive, and really, I think I’d be just as happy with a cup of this Island Coconut green tea from Spire Tea as I would with a glass of chilled coconut water.  This has fantastic coconut flavor.

I’ve tried a few teas from Spire Tea – and I’m usually quite pleased with what I try from them.  This tea might just be one of the best I’ve tried from them though – it is a coconut tea for those who truly love coconut!

Sweet Chai Black Tea Blend from Spire Tea


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Tea Description:

A sweet-spiced black chai tea blend with traditional spices and citrus notes. We dare you to try it with a bit of sugar and no milk!

Learn more about Spire Tea on their website.

Taster’s Review:

Also known as Soho Chai, this Sweet Chai Black Tea Blend from Spire Tea is a delightfully spicy-sweet chai that evokes thoughts of the holidays with its notes of spicy-hot cinnamon, warm cloves and sweet orange.

And what I like best about this particular cinnamon-orange type of chai is that while it has those familiar sweet-spiced notes of the red-hot candies, it isn’t as over-the-top or in-your-face as some of those teas can be.  This has a little mellower, a little milder … and this makes a big difference.  I can taste the rich black tea in this … this tea is not all about the cinnamon and orange!

But the cinnamon and orange play big roles in this tea.  This is a very energetic, warm tasting tea that will invigorate you on those cold days when served hot, but it also tastes GREAT iced!  It’s a very refreshing, deliciously different tea when served iced.  The spice becomes slightly more subdued with the chill, and this makes the tea very thirst quenching and easy to drink.

This is one of those middle of the road spicy-hot yet sweet cinnamon teas that is not quite as in your face as some of the teas out there … but it’s bold enough to take your taste buds on a wild ride.  I like it.

Spiced Rooibos Blend from Spire Tea


Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos

Tisane Description:

A warm holiday spice blend of rooibos, coconut, nuts and warm spices. This dessert in a cup is one of our favourites.

Learn more about Spire Tea on their website.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t usually get excited to try a rooibos blend, but, I’ve got to tell you that when I opened the pouch of this Spiced Rooibos Blend from Spire Tea (also known as Mowbray Ridge Rooibos Blend), I got a little excited about it.  It smells so good – so deliciously warm and nutty, spicy with just a hint of coconut goodness in there too.  My mouth started watering when I smelled the dry leaf!  That’s how good it smells!

The brewed tisane smells really delicious too.  It smells like warm spices and toasted nuts … it smells like the holidays!

My first sip, my initial reaction is:  this tastes like something called a Sin Dawg.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have a bread company called Dave’s Killer Bread Company.  Imagine the love child of a cinnamon roll and a delicious, whole grain bread that is loaded with seeds and nuts.  That’s a Sin Dawg.  They are so good that there simply are not words adequate enough to explain how unbelievably delicious they are.  It takes a great deal of willpower not to buy one every time I’m at the grocery store!

And that’s what I tasted with my first sip of this tea.  I tasted the sweet, nutty flavor, the cinnamon, and … the coconut … isn’t really screaming out “coconut” … it’s more like a sweet, creamy flavor that goes together so well with the rest of the Sin Dawg … err… tisane.  At least, the coconut wasn’t screaming out coconut in those first two or three sips.  Now that I’m about one third of the way through the cup, I’m noticing more coconut flavor.  It’s still not a strong, dominate flavor of the cup, but, it’s more distinguished than it was at the start.

The rooibos is also distinguishable here, usually that’s something I consider a bad thing as I usually prefer the flavors to overwhelm the rooibos taste … but the nutty, sweet flavor of the rooibos really works well with these flavors.  It just ties in really well.

This is just a really well conceived cup of rooibos!  I really like this one a lot!

Jeju Summer Harvest Korean Green Tea from Spire Tea

spireteaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Tea Description:

A delicious Korean green tea with a light, fresh herbaceous taste and a vibrant green liquor colour.

Learn more about Spire Tea on their website.

Taster’s Review:

I can’t recall the last time I’ve tried a Korean tea … I know that I’ve certainly tried them, but, they are not as easy to come by and so my experience with them has been limited.  So I was very excited to try this Jeju Summer Harvest Korean Green Tea from Spire Tea.

And this is delightful.  It has much of what I’d expect from a green tea. It has that light, “green” taste that falls somewhere between the flavor of sweet grass and mild steamed vegetables.  There is a very faint buttery undertone to this cup as well which adds a nice emphasis on the steamed veggie taste.

It is a pleasantly sweet and mellow cup, but there is a certain invigorative quality to it as well.  It has a fresh, crisp, clean kind of taste that perks up the taste buds.  There is some tangy astringency toward the tail, and the aftertaste is sweet.

Overall, I find this cup to be very rewarding and soothing, especially nice after a long day.  I did find that the flavor waned slightly as it cooled, so this is one that I’d recommend drinking while its hot.  But, that’s just fine with me, because it seems so relaxing to sip as a hot beverage.  Very nice.