Saturday, October 29, 2011

Butiki's Pumpkin Creme Brulee Review

Type: Black
Origin: Ceylon
Price: Free sample (regular price – $8.50 for 2oz)
Vendor: Butiki Tea
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 teaspoon of leaves, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 210°F, steeped for 2.5 minutes
Overall Score: 4.6 out of 5

Pumpkin Creme Brulee is a Ceylon black tea base with pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and natural flavors (which I am assuming is where they get the cream flavor); all of which are organic ingredients. I noticed that the black tea leaves are in huge, twisted pieces - always a good thing. The overall blend is dark with the black leaves and dark orange pumpkin flakes. After failing to find a good pumpkin spice type of tea, I am excited to try this one in hopes of finding a great fall treat.

When I opened the package I felt like I just released autumn. The cinnamon and nutmeg aromas are prominent with the pumpkin aroma not too far behind. One thing I am happy about is that there are no cloves in this blend; not one single annoyingly spicy clove sticking its ugly little head out from amidst the black tea leaves. Anyone who adds cloves to a tea blend thinking that will "spice things up a bit" needs to be kicked in the shin. Hard.

The aroma of the steeped blend is spicy, but not too spicy. The pumpkin aroma is brought out more when hot water is added. The liquor is a nice deep orange color.

The taste is... just what I was looking for in a spiced up pumpkin tea... well, it is pretty darn close. The spices are at the perfect amount. You can taste the flavors and feel the heat without it being too overwhelming. Because of that, this tea is actually refreshing, like tea should be, instead of hot and dry like some other spiced up teas. The only thing I would ask for is a little more pumpkin flavor.

I am not getting much of a cream flavor, but I bet adding a touch of cream - just a touch - would send this tea over the top. Even without cream, I am most enjoying the "no clove" detail about this blend. Happy face.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

White August's The Girl Next Door Review

Type: Green
Origin: Not Stated
Price: Free sample (regular price – 7.95 for 50g)
Vendor: White August Tea Company
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 teaspoon of leaves, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 180°F, steeped for 1-3 minutes
Overall Score: 3.0 out of 5

The description of this tea on White August's web site starts out with "Our hidden love,..." in which they definitely have the word "hidden" correct because they do not describe anything that is in this tea other than a "passion fruit aroma." Thus, with nothing to go on, this is going to be interesting.

Passion fruit it is. Immediately after opening the bag, I am assaulted with the fruity aroma. I don't know why but I always think of the aroma of passion fruits as the aroma of grapes combined with that of lemon. It is citrusy yet earthy at the same time. So, passion fruit, passion fruit, and passion fruit... that is all that I get. The delicate green tea leaves are reeking with it.

The aroma of the freshly steeped batch of leaves is of, but of course, passion fruit. The aroma coming from the liquor, which is a nice greenish-yellow color, is more subtle than that of the dry blend, but it still screams with sweet, fruitiness.

The taste is tart at first then it settles with a sweet flavor that lasts for quite a while. I think this blend might make a nice iced tea because it pretty much tastes like drinking fruit juice. There is nothing from the green tea leaves themselves. I guess that is not a bad thing if you really like passion fruit. After a few sips the sweet flavor builds more and more. If, at this point, you wanted to add sugar... I would have to call you crazy.

Just like with the previous reviews of White August’s teas, I would really appreciate more information. What little is given is nowhere near enough for me. If passion fruit is all that flavors this tea then that is fine; there is nothing wrong with saying so. An origin of the green tea would be great, as well.