So today I have a bit of a break for makeup, and I'm going to be reviewing a tea company for you guys! You may or may not already know, but I love tea, so this was a pretty fun review to work on! The brand I'm reviewing is called Tea Ave, and they sell exclusively oolong teas. I really like oolong tea, personally, so I was excited to get these samples and trying a bunch of types was cool. I was sent these samples for free, as well, but this post isn't sponsored and is completely honest.
Also, Tea Ave is a Canadian company, and they actually ship from Vancouver, which is really cool. Too bad they don't have a physical store! Anyways, here's a quick look at what I was sent:
They sent me six different tea samples, three of their plain teas, and three flavoured/scented teas, which is a pretty nice selection of what they offer. They also gave me a menu that describes all the teas they offer:
So first, let's talk about the plain teas I was sent.
The first one I tried was the Dong Ding, because it describes itself as "newbies." Each package had lots of information about the tea, where it comes from, and how to best prepare it, which is great. Also, the plain teas they sent me came in these fancy little pyramid shaped tea bags, which were nice because it makes the teas very portable and still have lots of room for the whole-leaf teas inside to expand. And you can buy at least some of Tea Ave's teas in tea bags if that is your preference!
Above: Unused tea bag. Below: Used tea bag with expanded tea leaves.
This particular tea is very delicate, possibly because of the greener leaves you can see inside the teabag above. It also produces a fairly light tea, as you can see below:
This tea is a soft gold, and kinda looks like green tea. It has a beautiful, smooth, earthy flavour. Basic and delicious.
I also tried re-steeping the leaves for a couple of the teas I was sent, since the packages do tell you how to go about that, and I do find that it works pretty well, at least for a second steeping. This produces a les strong flavour, but you can steep longer for a fuller flavour. I also don't find that oolong teas seem to get that dry/tannin-y feeling that both black and green teas are so bad for!
Tie Kwan Yin:
This tea describes itself as having a rich, deep flavour and mellow fruity notes. Which sounds lovely, but usually that doesn't mean much. So I was surprised to find that this tea has a distinctive fruity, almost peachy flavour, and a surprising natural sweetness! Obviously it isn't sweet like sugar or anything, but it is just a very tasty, flavourful, rich, and delicious tea! It would make a great summer tea, in my opinion!
It makes a much darker, almost copper-coloured tea, and is very smooth, not at all bitter, even when steeped for a long time (I like my teas strong, okay!), and I would certainly say this was one of my favourites of the selection I was sent!
I really really liked this tea as well. It claims to have honeyed notes, and I suppose it did have a natural sweetness to it, and it certainly looks a bit like honey in the cup!
Again a darker tea, however, it has a very delicate flavour. It smells and tastes slightly floral, even though it is just a plain tea. However, I did find it had less of that earthy flavour that seems distinctly oolong to me. Still, it is delicious!
Of the teas I was sent, this one I was most hesitant to try, because I was sure it was going to taste like perfume, with those rose petals in the mix! However, while the hot steeped leaves smell rose-y, the tea itself just smells and tastes like a delicate oolong to me.
That said, I like to steep my oolong teas a bit longer than suggested, which worked great with all of the oolongs that Tea Ave sent me... except for this one. The longer you steep this particular tea, the more that rose flavour really comes out, which I did not like. However, if you like rose things, maybe this is great for you! As you can see above, this tea is another lighter tea, with an almost green tinge, and a delicate floral flavour.
These last two I forgot to take pictures of the prepared tea, but honestly, a cup of tea starts to look pretty similar if you look at too many!
The tea leaves for this one had a scent that reminded me somewhat of jasmine tea, but not quite as fragrant. The steeped tea was again pale, and the flavour was mellow with little to no floral taste, but it did seeme to be sweetened somewhat by the magnolia. Again, it didn't seem to have the same earthiness that I love in most oolong teas, but it was still quite nice.
I would say this is another good starter tea, as even when I oversteeped the leaves, the flavour never got very strong, like some of the others would. It also doesn't have any type of flavouring that I think most people could find offensive. It tastes like a nice delicate tea!
Ginger Lily Oolong:
I found that this tea had less of the smoothness that the others did, but that might be because of the slight ginger-y tang! It also tasted quite fresh, again, because of the ginger. I'm not usually a fan of a ginger-y tea, but this one was invigorating and tasty! It was unique, and probably the best of the three scented oolongs I was provided! I also think this one be a great one to brew cold, or serve over ice!
So that's a quick look at a few of the teas that Tea Ave. offers! Prices range from ~$2.50 for 25g for most of their plain loose leaf teas, or ~13.75 per 25g for their scented teas. You can also buy boxes of bagged teas for $39.99 (for 20 bags), as well as cute drinkware on their site!
If you're interested in trying any of the teas I mentioned, or any of the others that Tea Ave. offer, you can find them at TeaAve.com. Shipping is free for orders over $40 to Canada and the US, and orders under $40 ship for a flat fee of $8. They also provide three free samples with every order, so that's fun! They also have a rewards program where your purchases can be turned into coupons when you collect enough!
They're a fun brand, a Canadian company, and their products taste great, so I'd recommend giving them a go if you're interested! Also, I'm putting this up a day earlier than planned because I want you to be able to take advantage of the 20% off code if you're interested! Until tomorrow (April 24, 2016), use code FAMILYFRIENDS16 for 20% off your entire order.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you've tried this brand before, and also what your favourite tea or tea company is in the comments! =)