Before I begin this post, allow me to first express my sincerest apologies to my readers and the tea companies that are in Que for review here at Insani-Tea. I am behind schedule here, and the dates I have given for reviews have come and gone. I have been frantic for the last couple of weeks, as I am also a student at a university, and the last part of the semester and finals week were taking their toll. Now, however, finals week has ended, so I have some extra time with which to manage the blog.
On that note, I'll move right into the content of today's review.
Some weeks ago, I was contacted by a representative of Aroma Tea Company in California. He offered to send me a sample of a couple of his most popular products, and of course, being a tea lover, and a lover of trying new things, I accepted the offer.
Aroma is apparently a popular tea shop in San Francisco that offers free tea tastings, and free tea learning with their Tea Master. This, I thought, was a fantastic idea. Unfortunately, finding myself some distance from California, I am unable to visit with Mr. Daluz (although the time may come, as I may go to graduate school in San Diego), however thanks to his samples, I did have a lovely opportunity to taste his teas, and I was quite impressed.
The thing that initially drew me in with his offer is that the two samples he offered to send were both ones that I had never heard of before. This made it more interesting, and ultimately a lot more fun and enjoyable for me. And trust me, there was nothing run-of-the-mill about these teas.
First, I will identify and explain each of the samples that Mr. Daluz sent, and then explain which one I prefer overall and why.
The first sample was of an interesting Oolong called Blue People. It's called Blue People because the loose tea looks like small blueish pebbles. When I first opened up the sample pack, I thought it looked remarkably like fish tank pebbles. The scent of the loose tea, however, was delightful. Very green and earthy smell. My first brew of the Blue People oolong was impressing also. It has an extremely unique and enjoyable taste, and has moved it's way to the top of my list of all-time favorite teas. Blue People is fermented with a mixture of liquorice root and mint, and while you can taste only a little of the mint flavour, the liquorice root comes through significantly more.
There's something inexplicably nice about the combination of premium oolong and liquorice flavour. This oolong is probably one of the finest specialty teas I have tasted. The tea is also naturally sweet, having a very pleasant flavour with nothing added. Quality is absolutely important to Aroma, and it's apparent in this product. Another nice thing about this particular tea (which is true of many oolongs) is that it can be brewed at least 3 or 4 times without
The second sample was another oolong, called Milk Aroma Oolong. This is another one of their very popular teas, and another that I hadn't heard about until I was offered a sample. The Milk Aroma Oolong is also very delicious. It seems slightly sweeter and smoother than the blue people, and almost seems a small bit thicker. It could almost be described as "creamy." It gives of the aroma of sweet steamed milk, which is part of how it got it's name.
The tea originated in Taiwan, where the leaves steamed with milk, and then oxidized under open sunlight. This gives it a smooth texture and a unique, slightly sweet and creamy taste.
This is another tea that requires no sweetening unless you have a sweet tooth. It has enough natural sweetness that I might even go so far as to classify it as a dessert tea (perhaps the Blue People also.)
Both of these teas are very high quality, unique, and delicious on their own. My personal favorite, however, was the Blue People Oolong, because of it's earthy taste with the liquorice note, and because of it's unique character, and also because of that weird look people give
you on the bus when you explain to them that you are drinking blue people. :)
Overall, Mr. Daluz' teas come highly recommended, and of you are ever in the San Francisco area, I'd encourage you to stop by his tea shop and have a look around.
You can visit the website and place orders at: http://www.aromateashop.com
Also, in celebration of their 2-year anniversary, Aroma is currently offering 20% off all teas and tea products!
Thanks for reading, and thanks to Aroma Tea Shop for the ability to review their teas,
Over and out,
Relznuk Zero Relznuk