Monday, June 27, 2016

Taiwan Treat: Rose Oolong & Lavender Pouchong, A Cold Steeping Adventure!

I am perilously close to smashing my computer with a hammer, if it was not for the blog and tea work I need to keep up with, bits of this machine would go flying as I vent my rage against it. It has always been a pretty garbage computer, with a barely functioning mouse, horrid speakers, no memory, and of course a constant phobia of connecting to the internet...but now it seems to be a struggle to get it to function at all. So if I stop writing for a bit either this thing died for good or I finally snapped and bludgeoned it.

Today I am looking at two teas from Taiwan Treat, a company that sends out monthly boxes of Taiwanese yummies, but also has a small selection of tea. Rose Oolong and Lavender Pouchong, a pair of teas from Taiwan with flowery flavorings and in a convenient tea bag. I know, usually I run screaming from teabags, but they do have one really good use...super quick cold steeping on a hot day. Usually cold steeping takes several hours, but with a bag (especially a bag with tea dust and fannings) it can take half an hour to an hour...and when it is sweltering, late at night, and you just want a mug of cold tea without the unpleasantness of making iced tea, this is the way to go. Now, being Southern, I probably just betrayed my heritage, but I really dislike iced tea, because you either water down normal tea by icing it, or making a super strong concentrate which never really tastes good unless you add a bucket of sugar, so cold steeping is my method of choice for a cold cup.

The first one I tasted was the Rose Oolong (which on the bag inside the box said rose black, so who knows) what I smell from this bag is a rose-splosion. Very sweet notes of roses, specifically like the rose syrup concentrate I used to make my beloved Persian Rose Milk. No real sign of the tea, but I certainly smell lots and lots of rose!

Cold steeping this bag led to a pretty amber colored cup of roses, still not really getting much of the tea other than a gentle malty sweetness. What I am getting is a metric ton of roses, it very much so reminds me of the rose milk I used to drink mine the milk, just straight up very sweet rose. I was pretty amazed at how sweet this one was, it tasted very summery to me, and I could see myself drinking more of this when I am feeling super lazy on a hot night.

The next one was Lavender Pouchong (which said Lavender white on the bag, I am so confused) and it is also super strong flowery. Lots of lavender, it smells a bit perfume like, something that rose flavoring can get away with a lot easier than lavender, if it is really strong it just smells like soap to me. I do get a tiny bit of a green tea like undertone, but really all I smell is lavender.

This one did not work quite as well for me, it had a bit of a bitter soapy quality that can sometimes occur when using lots of lavender. While it was sweet and refreshing at the front, the finish and aftertaste was a bit much for me. I did really enjoy the rose though, so not a total loss!

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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