Paru Tea BarEdit Company
Popular Teas from Paru Tea BarSee All 32 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Since I knew I’d be brewing this up in between working, I knew I was going to need something smooth that could really withstand long, careless brew times. This tea is just so perfect for that style of steeping because the longer you let those leaves soak the more rich, golden and honey-like the liquor gets!
Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Crl93keIrSt/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zvfj1XJeis
Decided to do a little gongfu session (which hasn’t happened in forever) as I write my capstone paper. Only 2 more months until I’m done with my master’s and I am very ready to be done.
These hong cha coins are absolutely delicious. Sugary sweet, with notes of brown sugar and super ripe stone fruits. Some baked brown bread too.
Just super delicious overall. I was sad to see that they’re sold out, but hopefully they get restocked at some point, because I’ll definitely need to purchase more.
These were displayed on the checkout counter at Paru, and I couldn’t help sniffing the sample as I checked out. Immediately had to purchase, based solely on the smell. These little coins smell like caramel- so delicious!
I steeped one up today, and the flavor does not disappoint. Tastes like caramel!
Flavors: Caramel, Caramelized Sugar
I recently drove down to San Diego for a concert, and had to finally make a stop at Paru! Decided on their La Jolla location, as they carry house-milled matcha. Decided to try out a cup to go vs. buying some to take home.
Went with iced/no sweetener. It was lovely! definitely fresh tasting, with some notes of cacao. Overall a delicious matcha, and it was so fun to be able to watch the mill working behind the counter.
The best part of the experience was how incredibly nice everyone at Paru was. So, so nice and welcoming. Highly recommend visiting if you’re ever in the San Diego area.
Spring Tea Swap with Vallhallow. There is so much to choose from but I decided my first should match the book I am currently reading: Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes. There has only been one mention of tea thus far and apparently, it was awkward. Pg209. And just a quick bit of history for you. Ho Chi Minh was originally called Saigon until it fell in the 1970s. https://www.britannica.com/event/Vietnam-War/The-fall-of-South-Vietnam
Now on to the tea. This was quite a bit different than I was expecting. Maybe that’s just because I’ve been drinking very astringent tea for the last week. Dry Aroma: Sweet and woody. Wet Leaf Aroma: Musty. Mild spicy. It is difficult to explain the spicy because it has a bit of tangy on the nose but it is not like jalapeno it reminds me more of a black and white pepper mix. Without the sneezes. Liquor Aroma: Reminds me of Sticky rice, cream of wheat, or tapioca. Flavor: Also reminds me of sticky rice. Creamy notes. Fresh whole milk. Woodsy notes are somewhat musty. Damp woods. Soft mouthfeel. No astringency. Though as you steep it longer the finish becomes slightly more gritty with just a bare touch of astringency. Leaves you feeling like you ate cream of wheat.
Thank you for the sample!
I impulsively bought a pound of their milk oolong with a discount, and put this sample in the order. It only lasted two steeps, but was immensely smooth and good. Smoke, toffee, chocolate, roast, charcoal, honey, wood, autumn, earth, ash, and a little bit of grassiness or moss in an incredible first steep after 45 seconds. 50 seconds for the second one, and it was faded. Delicious, but faded.
I would definitely consider picking some of this up in another order. Makes me mourn the opportunity for their rum one. Either way, I was deeply satisfied with this Hojicha. The only downside is that it didn’t last.
Flavors: Charcoal, Chocolate, Earth, Honey, Roasty, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Toasty, Wet Moss, Wet Wood, Wood
Sipdown! (2 | 43)
A sweet Insta friend was nice enough to send me a sample of this (very expensive) tea. I’ve tried one other tea from Paru before, it was a black tea with Okinawan black sugar. It was good but too sweet for me, and not worth the high price IMHO. But I love lychee so I’m excited for this one.
It’s very tasty! The base is a nice blend of earthy, malty, a touch of honeyed sweetness. Very deep and dark and satisfying. And the lychee is present but it’s not over-the-top, quite authentic tasting with a sweet and juicy, slightly floral note. I will say I’m not sure I get much in the way of lemon, a little bit maybe? I would like a bit more I think. Chrysanthemum adds a slightly musty, somewhat floral herbaceous note. It throws me off a bit, I’m not sure I like the combination with the lighter, sweeter fruit notes.
Anyway, I do like it. The base is nice and the lychee tastes fresh and juicy. I don’t think I would pay the high price for it, but I’m thankful I had a chance to try it. :)
Flavors: Caramelized Sugar, Caraway, Chrysanthemum, Earth, Floral, Herbaceous, Honey, Juicy, Lychee, Malt, Musty, Nectar, Rye, Sweet, Wood
Thank you for the sample!
This one is supremely malty. Like boba milk sickeningly thick malty. It’s a breakfast style tea for sure with smaller tea leaves, but fortunately it’s not astringent. It’s got some light bitterness and definitely has some energy. It’s got some chocolate notes, but more of what you’d get in a Ceylon or Assam, maybe some more robust Keemums. They were not as heavy as the malt.
I only did it western and still see this more as a cream and sugar kind of tea, or even a boba tea, but I’m still open to see what it does gong fu before I rate it. I’m pretty happy with it, though it’s not my preferred style of black tea. It’s more for a classic palette anyway with some flexible bonuses.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt, Tea, Thick, Wood
Thank you for the Sample Paru Tea Bar!
I honestly wanted to try this one and the Yuzu Chai, but held off to spend my money on the other blends that are still pricey. This one surprised because:
1. I was not bored by this coconut chai blend and
2. it’s a rooibos blend that recommends to steep it ONLY FOR ONE MINUTE.
That is rare for a non gongfu, and usually, rooibos are steeped between 3-5 minutes, with 5 minutes being the more common recommendation.
What I got was a spicy chai that balanced its spices nicely. Pepper was the most prominent spice, followed by the cardamom as it cooled down. The coconut smoothened out the profile, but somehow, the rooibos pepper and clove combo struck my palette as woodsy and citrusy. Like really heavy citrus wood orange glow in hints. Weird. I rebrewed it again, 2 min, then 3, and it was still good. I got more coconut in the later steeps.
I was surprised how much I liked this tea straight. I think it would be better with raw sugar and condensed milk or coconut milk, but minimal sugar because this is not a heavy tea. The only heavy thing is the spice and cardamom, but I like heavy cardamom anyway. Definitely recommend this one is not a typical coconut chai.
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Clove, Coconut, Creamy, Dark Wood, Pepper, Rooibos, Spicy
Coldbrew is soooooooo the way to go with this herbal tea. I wish I had a decent coldbrew bottle for it, and am tempted to use my amazon gift money on a Hario Filter. They always look so pretty. I really shouldn’t because two of my tumblers do have cold brew filter capabilities, and one of the ones I am getting will, but they are a pain in the butt to clean. Anyone have any experience with the Hario Filter bottles? Easy cleaning is the big draw in for me, and if having one means I go through my loose leaf like this faster because I’m cold brewing, all the better.
I will try it again hot, but it’s so much creamier and sweeter cold. Instead of overripe near rotting fruit for me, it’s fresher cold and I really like it. Now to see how the Pandan waffle does.
Flavors: Coconut, Cream, Dried Fruit, Savory, Sticky Rice, Sugarcane, Sweet
I expected to really like this one, but I had a hard time drinking it on its own without honey or sugar hot western. I actually liked the Pandan Waffle a little more because the toasty rice offset whatever ripe fruit quality is coming from the ingredients. Again, my brother and mother really like this tea and were enjoying it as a desert, but for me, it reminded me of my own vomit after a long session of eating too many coconut based things. I think it’s psychological, and again, this is probably a really good tea that I’m having a hard time drinking because of repressed experiences, which is annoying given how quickly I can chug any other coconut based white, green, rooibos, or oolong tea.
I’ll be coming back to this one. I don’t know if it’s the pandan, sticky rice leaves, coconut, or jujube dates that are giving me a weird feeling, but I’ve got to figure it out. It’s a gorgeous tea to look at and expensive, but I don’t know why it’s so off putting for me.
Maybe coldbrew is the way to go with it?
Flavors: Coconut, Herbaceous, Overripe Cherries, Rice, Rice Pudding
I got this with the Sticky Rice Pandan in tandem with each other. I originally was going to order the herbal version-it sold out-then I got this tea. I hesitated because of the savory element from the toasted sticky rice, but I was still excited because this is a Genmaicha style blend that’s really unusual.
Trying it out, it wasn’t as creamy as I expected. It was loaded with sticky rice , toast, vanilla, and coconut flavor in a sweet and savory combo, but I had a really hard time drinking it without any additives. There was a funky overripe fruit or seaweed quality that I was having a hard time getting down that made my stomach uncomfortable. I’m used to a more savory kind of tea from Vietnamese style desserts anyway, but there was something about it that made my stomach churn. I added raw sugar, and that significantly enhanced the flavor, but there was still something off for me.
It could be psychological since I have vomited coconut pineapple rice before, and maybe the heat reminds me of my own bile, but I had a really hard time getting this tea down even though I love coconut and rice. My brother and my mother really liked this tea and loved the herbal version, and I do think this is a great tea; however, I got to figure out how to brew it in a way I like. Paru does have a catalogue of gong fu, western, or cold brew style teas, and this one might be better as a cold brew than a hot tea. Or maybe, this tea was intended to be enhanced by sweetener.
I’m not done writing about this tea though, and that’s for sure.
Flavors: Astringent, Coconut, Dates, Malt, Rice, Rice Pudding, Savory, Sweet, Toast, Vegetable Broth
I’m still enjoying the sheer amount I bought of this one. Every once in a while it’s a little too vegetal, but I find going light on the leaves western or the steep time gong fu is the best way to go. I still love this one, and was surprised to find this one was replaced by a Vietnamize one instead on their website. I wonder why they no longer bought the Taiwanese one.
Paru’s got some really interesting offers I wanted to try, like their Silk Oolong which is Qin Xin, as well as a jasmine infused version. Their Vietnamize Milk Oolong that replaced the tea I’m drinking now is infused with corn and soy scenting, supposedly giving it a sweeter savory dessert quality. I really want to try them out, but they only sell them in 2 oz servings for 23 bucks each, and only offer free shipping over 75 bucks… The dread of California shipping.As a tea snob who knows the Vietnamize tea industry is gaining a lot of traction, I still think it is kinda crummy that I can get higher end Taiwanese oolong for cheaper than that price. I am that idiot who pays those high prices for tea for 2 oz servings (looking at you Spirit Tea), but over 60 bucks is hell of a commitment for tea I haven’t tried yet. They aren’t the only ones aiming for that 2 oz serving, and I know inflation is playing a huge role, but sheesh.
Even Hugo Tea’s bags went from being $36 to 42, and then now to 56 for a bulk bag of 100 sachets. I have other companies to go with still, and I am trying to save up on tea, but I had to complain. If anyone gets access to the three I listed, I’d be happy to trade my many blacks I’ve collected.
Leafhopper, I’m going to try to figure out how to relabel a bag and send you some this. I’m also waiting on a What-Cha order and a Spirit Tea that I’m excited about. Long Feng from What-Cha, and a Lishan and Taiwanese Shuixian Oolongs from Spirit.
Upping the rating considering I got a pound of this. Probably one of the best milk oolongs I’ve had-it’s versatile cold brew, gong fu, and western. The unique lychee notes is what I liked the most about it in the third and fourth steeps. Of course it’s milky and I am not sure if it’s flavored, but the balance of the spinachy greenness of the tea, the sweet cream dessert quality, and the painted flecks of fruit from the tea is incredible. It’s a shame Paru doesn’t carry it all the time-hence the impulse by.
This is one of the first milk oolongs that was not overly vegetal in my tumbler. Butter? Yes. Coconut like? Yes. Milky? Yes. Green like spirulina and a grassy protein shake for a cow? Yes, but smooth and well rounded by the other flavor profiles being close to a greener dessert.
I’m contemplating on making this a staple…but it’s $42 for 4 oz….eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee we’ll see. I do really like it. 93 rating minimum that will likely go up-price is the main thing holding this one back because I’ve very rarely had Alishan Jin Xuans that actually have a fruity note, and this one has a very prominent lychee flavor as it cools down in third steeps.
I’ve had a total of six of Paru’s selection, and this was actually my favorite of the purchases-which I did not expect. I’ve had a lot of milk oolongs before, and usually come up as a buttery combo of cream, florals, and vegetative spinach in flavor whether or not there’s some scenting going on. This one struck me as a surprise because I didn’t think buttercream and sweet fruit were going to be accurate, and then were. I’m fairly certain this one is scented or flavored somehow, but it’s very good.
I brewed up a semi gong fu session alternating between long and short steeps. 15 sec rinse, 2 minute first steep, then 40 sec, 45, 50, 60, 120, and finally three minutes again. There were some spinach in the voluptuous texture, and reminded me of Mandala’s Milk Oolong in its candy corn savory and sweet combo. The fruit surprised me because it was a more sugary fruit, and outside of the usual pineapple or coconut vibe most jin xuans give off. It reminded me of japanse milk candy, almost bordering on peach or lychee-which I didn’t really expect.
I’m still holding off on rating this one, but I’m impressed. The price is a little on the high side being close between $10.50-12.00 an oz depending if you get 2 or 4 oz for it, but it’s not a weak quality tea base by any means. I remember the earlier reviews of Alishan Jin Xuans in general were fruity nearly ten years ago, and since then, I’ve wanted to try one that really captures the creamy fruity combo a lot of earlier reviews raved about. Most of the Alishan Jin Xuans I’ve had are grassy, creamy, floral ,and only a hint fruity. This one, however, had fruit stealing the show under layers of sweet condensed creamy flavor.
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Coconut, Cream, Fruity, Lychee, Milk, Peach, Spinach, Sweet, Thick
Roswell’s notes and the unique blends triggered me to splurge on Paru twice. This one looked up my alley, and I got it with their milk oolong and both pandan blends. All of their teas were high quality and original, and while I think some of them are a little bit too expensive, the company more than does its best to get you quality service.
Roswell’s hundred rating sold me hard, and I expected an intensely fruity tea with a chocolatey wild black tea base. I got what I expected, but under layers of flowers and chrysanthemum. The chrysanthemum to tea ratio almost struck me as being more of an herbal blended tea than a flavored tea, when I looked at the loose leaf, but there was enough oomph from the tea and fruit to make me taste otherwise.
There is still some dryness and herbiness for me, but the flavor and aroma are great in a hot western style after three minutes. It’s clearly designed to be an iced tea in its malty fruity lemon essence. I look forward to playing with it.
It was really dreary, cold and clammy outside yesterday so I thought it could be an interesting day to do one of those “teas I drink in a day” roundups. Just to see which teas I naturally gravitated towards with the gross weather…
Though a lot of people start their day with an Earl Grey, I actually ended up ending my day with this one. Well, my work day anyway. I had a few evening teas that I didn’t end up posting about on instagram. I’ve grown to really, really like this blend for how the pithy botanical flavour of the gin seems to really draw out the sweetness of the black tea itself. It’s quite bright and refreshing, but still grounded/anchored by the heady bergamot flowers.
I think it was that kind of “classic comfort” that made me think of this tea, but I wanted some sort of twist to a run of the mill EG and I think this one delivers on that in a such an elevated way.
Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CuiALRCOC3G/ (First Photo)
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJfPsw1fYwA
I feel like I’ve just been inundated with Dry January marketing all month which, like, makes sense – and isn’t really a complaint. Just, as someone who barely drinks at all, most months are essentially Dry January for me. What all the marketing campaigns from various companies have been successful in doing, though, is making me crave more of my “alcohol themed” LLTs for my massive stash – this one included.
I feel like the more I drink this tea the more I like it. The bergamot and gin flavours just go so well together. It’s crisp and clean and the citrus just feels… more lively!? Plus I love the botanical notes that get folded into the mix.