Happy Wednesday! I am happy to bring you a review and that the tea I am reviewing is all the way from Taiwan! The company Moon Bloom Tea sent me 7 different teas to review and included a beautiful silver Lily Pad Saucer. They specialize in Taiwanese tea and make sure to source tea that is produced with the utmost care and with no additives. They also shared with me that they use PLA tea bags to ensure that there are no microplastics in their tea when brewing. It is a bit of a long review, let’s get started!
Analyzation of the Tea:
Honey Black: This tea was quite smooth and easy to drink. The honey more provided a texture instead of taste, which was interesting. It is possible that I could taste a tiny, tiny bit of honey at the end of a sip, but I was not quite sure. The black tea was quite smooth and mild tasting, with no astringency apparent in the first steeping. It was a nice cup of tea to start my morning with, as it was mild and really just calming. I am sad that I only had two sachets of it, so I really am going to savor this cup! And the next steeping! …sadness. I was unable to get a second steeping as there was too much time in between the first and potential second steeping.
Charcoal Roasted Oolong: I was quite excited about this oolong tea, I was expecting a warm and toasty tea that has just enough herbaceous feeling to it. I was not disappointed, the first brew was mild and slightly grassy tasting. It was a very comforting cup. The leaves were in a teabag and I could see how much expansion happened in the first brewing. The color of the tea was super pale gold, almost no actual color to it. The second brewing was not as good as the first one, but it was a different experience. The second steeping was quite more herbaceous and grassier, with a tiny bit more of a bite to it. I ended up opening the tea sachet and evaluating the leaves. It is amazing how the small number of leaves created such beautiful leaves, but they definitely had more to give. I had to then leave for my classes, but I yearned to come back and try another steeping. Well, I tried for another steeping, only to find that my leaves had been thrown out!!! I was absolutely devastated. But I will say that I am loving these Oolong teas, all of them I have absolutely adored.
Matcha: Right away, this was probably my least favorite of all the teas I was given. The color of the matcha powder was a bit more yellow than green which was my first sign that this tea would be different than other matchas I have tried. I whisked this tea for a minute or two until it was nice and frothy. I did notice that the color looked to be a bit off, but (after taking a few pictures and another quick stir) I decided to ignore that and took my first sip. The first initial taste of matcha is always a bit abrasive to me, but this one seemed a bit more than usual. I felt a lot of astringency in my jaw (I think I just have a very sensitive jaw) and earthy, bitter notes with a somewhat grainy texture. I am usually more optimistic and open-minded about teas, but this one was a no-go for me. The matcha also seemed to not be able to stay mixed, as it separated the moment I left it unattended (as shown in the picture to the right). I was unable to finish the tea and when pouring it out, I noticed that a lot of matcha had settled to the bottom and formed a silt-like product. I wish I had liked this tea, as I really enjoyed many of the other ones provided by this company, but it was not doing it for me. I am hoping it was just a packaging error or possible premature expiration.
Iron Goddess: Based on the name, I was unsure of what I was getting myself into. From the looks of the leaves, I guessed an oolong tea, which excited me as I am getting really into oolongs right now. The leaves expanded beautifully and almost expanded past the sachet. There was a vegetal aroma around the tea. The tea itself was quite mild and smooth with no astringency. The taste was a bit hayish but mostly a clean and crisp vegetal taste. The second steeping was also quite nice, with a slightly harsher vegetal taste and a tiny bit more astringency apparent in the tea. As I never let tea go to waste, I slurped that tea until there were only slight tea particles left.
Champagne Oolong: Favorite tea from the bunch. Hands down. I was not sure how this tea would taste, as the leaves looked more ground up than the other oolong teas from this company. But the first sip actually shocked me (and this is not me trying to be dramatic). There were some lovely floral notes in the tea but also a delicate balance of citrus. There were also slight hints of sweetness that caressed my tongue as I took a sip. My mom ended up having my second steeping (sorry mom, you always get my used leaves) and I had a few sips of that one as well. It was not as fruity and mellow as the first steep but had a tiny bit more astringency to it. It very much reminded me of a normal oolong second or third steeping. The color of the tea was a golden amber, which was different than the golden coloring of the other teas.
Four Seasons Green: This green was quite a subtle and lovely tea to drink. There was not a lot of vegetal flavor or astringency. This tea was quite straightforward, not with a lot of complexity, which would honestly be my only complaint. I would have liked to see more notes and undertones since there was a light body to the tea (albeit a very nice cup of tea to drink!). I think this would be a great tea to study with while drinking. The slight caffeine (l-theanine!!) would help me be focused and alert, while the simple nature would help me not be too distracted when drinking the tea.
Jasmine Green: Like the other green tea, this was a delicate and light-bodied tea. There was a small twinge of astringency when drinking it, more than other jasmine teas I have had. But, there was a nice balance of jasmine to green tea tastes throughout each sip. Again, there was not a lot of complexity in this tea, but I do find that most jasmine green teas lack complexity and really allow you to relax. If tea is overly complicated then I find it is hard to relax while drinking it as my mind will go into hyperdrive trying to figure out each note and what I am tasting.
Analyzation of the Price:
I was given The Full Bloom (which has two of each of their teas) to review. This product is $18, which averages to about $1.29 per tea. Most of the time, getting a product in a small quantity is more expensive because it can be harder for a company to produce. So, I think that it is a fair price for the variety of teas you get to try! Most full-size versions of the evaluated teas range from $18-$30 for 20 individual bags of tea. Also, the Lily Pad Saucer (which you can see on top of the tea box in the main picture) was priced at $7.00.
Analyzation of the Packaging:
I really enjoyed the branding of the teas, for whatever reason, my mind associated the larger sachet and tea bag containers to better quality. It is not the typical size of individual sachets, so it must be something different in quality and price. I might also be crazy and sleep-deprived, but that is my opinion. The box that the tea came in was a lovely color and blended in well with the other boxes that each tea comes in. All in all, great packaging and design. If anything, I would maybe re-evaluate the matcha packets. I wonder if insufficient packaging (specifically for matcha) could be related to the negative experience that I had.
I hope this review brightens up your day a bit. It is always so interesting when I receive tea from different countries and seeing different packaging and companies. Thank you so much for reading this one, I will see you in the next post! Happy Brewing!