Octavia Tea

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70

Sipdown

It’s cold-ish and raining here in NE Ohio. The sun teased us yesterday morning, but that only lasted a fraction of a moment. Alas, today is much more dreary. I decided it was best to brew something to give me motivation and energy enough to clean the house.

This was a really lovely session. It was malty enough, but not too much so. It had a slight cocoa sweetness on the initial sip, which is immediately overtaken by the malt.

Flavors: Cocoa, Malt

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68

Advent Backlog/Sipdown

I finally brewed this up today…I was feeling yancha after a stroll in the park. It was cold enough for my face to freeze a tad bit, so I wanted a warming tea. This was ok. Honestly, I love Wuyi/rock oolongs, but this was perhaps too light in flavor. There was a good bit of the roast playing the part in the flavor, but the tea was mild and wasn’t as elevated as some yanchas are…

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Adventageddon Day 10 – Tea 1/4

Gongfu!

I thought this tea was super rich and fudgey! In addition to being a bit of a malt bomb, the intense dark cocoa and warm freshly baked bread notes (with walnut undertones) were so dense and packed in. I’ve really been craving black tea all weekend, so this was a really perfectly timed out session!

Today’s Advent Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/C0sEWVnuQOF/?img_index=1

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpQv5NXFCAg

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drank Ancient Yunnan by Octavia Tea
1159 tasting notes

Day 10 of the Tea Thoughts Winter Countdown box. Still pretty weak, so I don’t have the strength to gong fu day 9’s tea; will have to circle back to it. I just brewed this one up Western style. It’s a little drying, but I didn’t find it bitter or acidic. I feel like I’ve had Chinese black teas with more heft and a thicker mouthfeel. This one’s landing as medium-thin. I’m getting notes of malt and cinnamon in the sip, and pepper and clove in the finish. I am really starting to worry that my sense of taste hasn’t fully recovered since the last time I had covid, though, because I’m not picking up any of the cocoa notes that are supposed to be here. I probably should see a doctor about it at some point. I’m just not sure what I’d even say that wouldn’t sound ridiculous – “before I got sick, I had a very sensitive palate and sense of smell, and now it’s merely average?”

derk

Sorry to hear. I had hoped the decreased sensitivity in my palate might be from terrible seasonal allergies since moving to a town surrounded by ryegrass. But as that season has come and gone this past year, I realize the lack of ability to finely differentiate aromas and tastes is probably due to last Christmas’s covid. I didn’t have to retrain my senses but drinking tea is different now – less pleasurable – and so are cooking and eating. Perhaps that will change with more time.

Kaylee

Ugh. While it’s comforting to know I’m not alone, I’m so sorry this happened to you too! I have read that some people do recover their senses more fully over time, so you’re right, there may still be hope for us :-)

Martin Bednář

My co-worker daughter lost her sense of spicy food completely. She was doing garlic spread and used a whole bulb before she noticed any garlic taste. Her boyfriend said it is toxic.

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85
drank Amber Dragon Oolong by Octavia Tea
1159 tasting notes

Day 8 of the Tea Thoughts Winter Countdown box. So many rock teas in this box! It’s definitely forcing me to expand my palate for a terroir I’ve mostly avoided. This particular tea might be my favorite Wuyi I’ve ever had, but that’s quite simply because the mineral note is not so strong. It’s definitely still present, but the front of the sip is floral and sweet, with the mineral coming in mid-sip and not as intensely as in some others. Sort of like a mix between a bai hao and a rock oolong.

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84

Gosh darn it… I was taking my notes in the review box and absentmindedly clicked away…

I’m up to steep 13 or 14 on this, and frankly I’m just getting ready to move on, but this tea is extremely long-lasting and just keeps giving.

I really wish I had all my steep notes, but I’ll simplify them as I can remember them.

First steep, and all steeps, poured a deep caramel brown. I am just now starting to see a decrease in color, which is astounding to me.

First steep was SO SMOOTH, with brown sugar, brown bread, and cooked fruit, like fruitcake in a cup. Later steeps produced some spices — nutmeg was the first one I noticed, then the following steep brought cinnamon and clove. A steep later I found some ginger. Plum.

There was a steep where I got green grapes and the brown fruitcake turned more to a yellow coffee cake.

Some astringency in later steeps, but nothing offensive or terribly drying. Right after the pour, wet leaves and toast reign; as the liquor cools, the spices and malt absolutely stick around.

The dry pearls of this oolong are tiny; as the leaves open up, they have the look of a nice black tea. I assume this oolong is on the more-oxidized end of the spectrum.

I have had quite a few cups of this western-style; while I enjoyed it quite a bit, this gong fu session really brought out some fantastic stuff. It’s not necessarily my absolute favorite flavors and scents, but wowza, it’s good fun.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cake, Caramel, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg, Plum, Red Fruits, Toast, White Grapes

ashmanra

Sounds like an amazing tea!

beerandbeancurd

It’s worth picking up, for sure!

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72
drank French Breakfast by Octavia Tea
4031 tasting notes

Strange VariaTEA TTB – Tea #10

Good morning! Back to the TTB.

I’m glad I looked at the ingredients on this one, as I expected a French breakfast tea to have lavender, but this is just a vanilla black tea with rose petals. It’s always interesting how companies interpret “French”, like T2’s French Earl Grey is super fruity which is never what I would expect ha ha.

Anyway! This is a tasty enough tea. I would think it had vanilla pieces in it because it has that somewhat woody vanilla note, but it’s actually flavoring. The base is very smooth with some malty, woody, and earthy notes going on. Overall the flavoring is quite mild, actually I think I would like a bit more vanilla here.

Enjoyable but not amazing. There is one more serving left, I think I’ll leave it for someone else to try.

Result: Tried

Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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75
drank French Breakfast by Octavia Tea
446 tasting notes

TTB 2022
An interesting combination of vanilla and rose with the vanilla more dominant. I’ll throw in my favorite vanilla tea so the next folks can compare if they want. I prefer the SFherb vanilla blend, but then I brew it up nice and strong. There is one scoop left in this french breakfast pack. The rose here is subtle but you can tell its there. Overall a very enjoyable cup.

Flavors: Rose, Vanilla

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100

Absolutely delicious. Sweeter than expected, should not have added sugar as it didn’t need it. Tasted like floral nectar, but not in the way that honeysuckle does, a little more fresh tasting.

Flavors: Nectar, Osmanthus, Pear, Spring Water, Sugar

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML
Cameron B.

Ooh, I love osmanthus! ❤

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88
drank Brandy Oolong by Octavia Tea
1809 tasting notes

Sipdown 1-2022

Would get this again! Really tasty.

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88
drank Brandy Oolong by Octavia Tea
1809 tasting notes

Received this in the Tea Thoughts holiday advent. I had been putting off trying it, as I thought it was going to be a charcoal roasted oolong, which I am just sick of. Luckily, I gave it a chance and was very pleasantly mistaken.

This is super complex, and tastes like a cup of dried fruits stewed in honey. Super smooth and sweet.

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drank Ginger Peach by Octavia Tea
261 tasting notes

#tiffanys2021sipdown Tea #222 overall / Tea #2 for June
Wednesday 6/2 — Amoda sub box Ginger Peach (by Octavia Tea.) Used the sample packet as a cold-brew LOVE IT. Would totally purchase more of this one, the white tea + ginger + peach.. I can’t remember more details as I finished this a week ago (writing this note 6/8) but if opportunity presents itself, I’d grab a 75g packet ($17.25 CAD on Amoda site) for 5 more pitchers of yummy! (:
#tiffanydrinkstea #tiffanys2021 #tiffanysfaves #tiffanyinthe614 #tiffanysteasipdown

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69
drank Peach Nectar by Octavia Tea
2329 tasting notes

Thanks to tea-sipper for this sample! I don’t think I’ve tried Octavia before, but I’ve wanted to. I didn’t love the flavor at first since the oolong seemed a little too minerally for my tastes, and I felt like the peach couldn’t really shine. I left it in the fridge for the next day, and found myself enjoying it much more. It doesn’t have that same peach flavor that every peach tea has. Instead, it’s more of a light flowery hint of peach with some of the base tea peeking through as well. I still don’t love it, but I appreciate it for what it’s trying to do.

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93

Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge – August Tea #5 – A tea chosen at random

A “random” tea means asking google for two random numbers:  A Steepster cupboard page number and another number 1-18 for the specific tea.  I gave myself three chances and the third landed on this tea.  So time for a sipdown.  I do enjoy this light tea.  It’s a bit like Taiwanese Assam, though not as nuanced.  The old Butiki tea has more nuance than this fresher tea.  Therefore, I’m happy it’s a sipdown.
2022 sipdowns: 94

ashmanra

That is a neat way to choose random! I was just going to close my eyes and grab, or ask Ashley to grab which would probably cause him to panic…

Cameron B.

Since mine are all in a spreadsheet, I can just use one random number to select a row, woo-hoo!

Mastress Alita

I have a “select a random number” function built into my spreadsheet, hahaha.

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93

The last to review from the samples from Octavia.  THANKS SO MUCH! No steepster ratings yet for this one.   A hint of scarlet to these big black leaves from Jun Chiyabari.  The aroma of the dry leaves is rich, malty, sweet, roasted.  The flavor is more for cold weather to my tastes, rather than this scorcher of a day.  But it’s still very tasty.  I feel I’ve had this sort of flavor profile before with only a couple teas (probably a tea or two from Teavivre?) , though it’s tough to describe it’s very distinct in my memory for this type of tea.  The flavor becomes even more lip smackingly thicker in the second cup.  It’s perfect brewed this way on the second steep.  It’s malty, sweet, possibly like roasted squash, very roasted flavor anyway, and I’m not sure the leaf is roasted at all.  Like caramel corn or something.   It’s a very satisfying cup – thick and syrupy mouthfeel with lingering starchiness.  I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for any roasty sweet black teas.
Steep #1  // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 21 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 2 minutes after boiling //  3 minute steep

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88

Thanks for the samples, Octavia tea!  I’m trying to get to the last couple!  This is an oolong that I would guess without knowing the name is a very long leafed black tea, mainly because I’m not usually drinking this type of oolong, so it would be at the back of my mind.  But Octavia sent it along and I’m happy to try it!  The dry leaf has an aroma of very tangy peach and after a rinse, that is exactly what it tastes like.  Very tangy peach.  The second steep is much less peach and more of a roasty earthy mineral flavor with an aftertaste of peach.  The third steep is almost a combination of the tangy peach first steep and the roasty second steep.  The first steep was my favorite.  I’m glad I used two teaspoons.  If I had to compare this to another tea, it would be Teavivre’s Nonpareil Yunnan Dian Hong Ancient Wild Tree Black which is one of my favorite teas, so that is saying something for this tea, though this oolong might not be on the same level as the other.  But this is very good if you’re craving this kind of tea!
Steep #1  // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 19 minutes after boiling  // rinse // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 15 minutes after boiling //  2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled  // 2 min

Flavors: Peach, Roasted, Tangy

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70
drank Citrus Breakfast by Octavia Tea
4191 tasting notes

Thanks for the samples a while ago, Octavia tea!  I’m trying to get to the remaining couple of teas before they get any older.   This is a small leafed black tea that should have citrus peels in it, but I’m not really seeing any in my sample.  I’m trying and trying to find any citrus flavor here at all, and I’m just not tasting any of it.  As a black tea, it’s delicious enough.  Robust, malty, brassy with a very dark brew.  It isn’t QUITE a CTC base, but the leaves are finely chopped.  I like this as a black tea, but if it claims to be citrus, I really am searching for that citrus. 
Steep #1  // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 4 minutes after boiling //  3-4 min steep

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81
drank Ceylon Estate by Octavia Tea
4191 tasting notes

I still have a handful of Octavia samples to write up.  Thanks, Octavia!  They are having a 25% off over $45 sale for a few days with code ‘WELLNESS’ however their free shipping code doesn’t work along with it.  The leaves don’t really look like the photo – mine are much shorter and no gold…  I’m not one for Ceylon, but his one is robust and full of flavor (what I don’t usually expect from Ceylon).  It’s almost like an Assam in flavor profile.  Strong, brassy, malty.  The second steep is brisk.  I’m glad I only used one teaspoon.  Flavors of bread turn into thick rye bread when cooled, maybe a bit of red wine with a hint of dried hay.  Definitely a Ceylon black I really like! 
Steep #1  // 1 heaping teaspoon for full mug // 15 minutes after boiling  // 2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 3 minutes after boiling //  3 1/2 min

Flavors: Hay, Malt, Red Wine, Rye

tea-sipper

Still really want to stock up on their French Breakfast, but I must not..do..it.

gmathis

Sounds good!

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80
drank Turmeric Ginger by Octavia Tea
2329 tasting notes

I don’t love turmeric in teas, but there were few enough non-caffeinated teas in the tea box that I figured I might as well try them all. It’s not too bad, but as usual, it would be more pleasant if it were just ginger. Instead it’s slightly dirty ginger. It’s warming with just a touch of spiciness. The more I drank it, the more I did start to enjoy it, strangely. I guess what I’m saying is I wouldn’t not drink this again.

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89
drank Dark Rose Hearts by Octavia Tea
4191 tasting notes

An Ode to Tea challenge – D

I didn’t really want to let this tea go, but I didn’t have too many other teas to finish for ‘D’.   It’s definitely rosey!  I still have some Teavivre Rose Puerh that can fill this spot in the cupboard though.
2021 sipdowns:  64

Mastress Alita

I used to have these from TeaSource, but I have also already sipped it down. It’s now sitting on a “order again when I start ordering tea again” list.

tea-sipper

haha yes. At least it’s a puerh you like!

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89
drank Dark Rose Hearts by Octavia Tea
4191 tasting notes

Thanks so much for the samples, Octavia Tea!  Another I had on Valentine’s Day.  I didn’t intentionally wait to try this on Valentine’s Day but it seems a goodaday as any.  The cutest tiny heart shaped ripe pu-erh that unravels into small pieces of pu-erh and plenty of tiny rose petal pieces as well.  The rose flavor is certainly there in the cup.  The pu-erh is definitely dark yet none of the negative pu-erh qualities at all.  The third steep I really let loose for a very long time (15 minutes), and surprisingly for a pu-erh it did have a touch of bitterness.  User error.  But this might be the longest I’ve ever let a pu-erh steep.  Dark enough, smooth enough, and rose enough.  There is nothing to dislike in this unique offering. Back to the regularly scheduled teabox teas….
Steep #1  // 1 piece for full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // rinse // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2  // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 1/2 min steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 15 min steep

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84

An Ode to Tea challenge #2– R

additional notes: Finished this sample, a little bit bland and flavorless to be honest, and I don’t consider this older. The leaves aren’t that golden to me, which I know wouldn’t have aged as well, so I’m not sure what happened. I know I used enough leaves. Anyway, one less tea around…
2021 sipdowns: 101

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84

Thanks again for the samples, Octavia Tea!  I was craving a sweet yet robust assam today, and this was perfect for that craving.  The medium sized leaves aren’t as golden in color as the name would suggest.  An occasional leaf has the occasional bit of gold.  This is everything I could ever wish an assam to be — it hits all those assam flavor notes.  It’s a perfect flavor profile for assam.  Robust yet bright, deep but with fruity and bready characteristics.  The mouthfeel is thirst quenching, if that makes sense.  Great with breakfast (first steep) or dinner (second steep).
Steep #1 // 1 1/3 heaping teaspoons for a full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled  // 3 minute steep

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85

I don’t have any French teas (I tried samples of several for the first time last year, courtesy of Dustin and Cameron! But, in a surprising turn of events, I actually finished them off in a timely manner and didn’t horde them.) So I’m using this for the sipdown prompt “Drink a French tea” since it has “French” in the title.

This is such a lovely vanilla rose black tea. It reminds me a lot of Tea Chai Te’s “Vanilla Rose Chai” or 52Teas’ “Breakfast in Bed” but sans any spices. The base is sweet with just a hint of smokiness from the Chinese black, which comes out with a sort of honey/caramel note mixed with the vanilla. The rose is sweet but it is not strongly floral (since I love rose I could’ve done with even more, but this gentler touch is still very pleasant).

Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Honey, Malt, Rose, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML
Leafhopper

I don’t have any French teas either. The closest I can get are teas from Camellia Sinensis, which is in Quebec.

tea-sipper

I was thinking of using this one for the prompt too! I’m not anywhere close to finishing any of my French teas…

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