Octavia TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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
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.
Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
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
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
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.
#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
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.
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
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…
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
I picked up 1 oz. of this tea last summer during my Oregon Coast/Portland vacation, from a lovely chocolate shop called Cannon Beach Chocolate Cafe. I thought I should finally get around to writing up my tea drinking from that trip/the PDX Tea Fes… part of me was thinking, “It happened last July, who cares now?” but if eastkyteaguy can catch up on backlogged reviews, why can’t I? Since I had the dry leaf of this one I decided to make up a cup to enjoy while working on my write-ups.
I’ll admit, when I saw this chocolate shop had a (small) selection of Octavia teas (and you could purchase by the ounce!) I had to have a cuppa. I was most interested in this one since tea-sipper loves it so much.
The tea has a strong vanilla aroma, and I pick up hints of caramel/molasses in the aroma as well. The tea is medium bodied, so not as strong as most breakfast teas, and the base tea (a blend of Dian Hong and Ancient Yunnan Broken Pekoe) has notes of malt, honey, and orange rind, with a subtle smokiness. The vanilla flavor is smooth and brings out a somewhat caramel note from the sweetness with the base tea for me. When I tried this initially at the shop, I didn’t pick up any florality from the cup, but today I am tasting a very subtle rose sweetness near the end of the sip. It is not a strong, defined rose flavor, more of a whisper. The tea is quite smooth, with a very light astringency toward the back of my tongue/mouth after the sip.
It is a very satisfying tea and I’m glad I picked up a small amount so I could revisit it!
Flavors: Caramel, Floral, Honey, Malt, Orange Zest, Rose, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
Another sample from Octavia Tea! Thanks so much! Mango teas are some of my favorites, so I had to try this one. Summer is waning so I have to revisit the mango and melon teas in my collection! This is a lovely looking white tea with itty bitty pieces of mango. Mango and melon have always paired well with white teas and this is no exception. Somehow to me, this tastes more like melon, or it’s switching between the two flavors. Possibly the white tea naturally tastes like melon. But then the hairs on the white tea give the tea a starchy quality like mango occasionally has in the fruit itself. It’s refreshing, light, and definitely fruity. I bet this is even better when you use around three teaspoons for a mug but I didn’t want to do that to my sample. I do give the tea points for actually including mango in the blend and not just flavoring.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 26 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 16 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Thanks again for the samples, Octavia Tea! I usually wouldn’t choose an English Breakfast myself, but this particular one couldn’t be better. The leaves are smaller, almost like a CTC leaf, but I think that is what an English Breakfast tea should be. No weak breakfast teas for me, please. I certainly would love to drink this during breakfast! I steeped up a teaspoon and a quarter and the brew was mighty dark — not too dark to be astringent though. The flavor is a great example of what to expect from this type: malty and sweet, yet bold but not bitter. The first cup tasted like tomato soup, which led me to believe that it was an assam, so I wasn’t surprised to see the origin for this tea on Octavia’s website as being Assam, India. I believe an English Breakfast shouldn’t only be from Assam (a typical blend is also from Kenya and Ceylon, according to Wikipedia) but this is such a great tea, I won’t complain much. A kick in the morning and very tasty!
Steep #1 // 1 1/4 teaspoons for a full mug // 16 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
additional notes: As a ripe pu-erh, this is enjoyable, but if it is Octavia’s only ripe pu-erh, it might be the only ripe pu-erh that some tea drinkers will be introduced to. I was iffy about using the remainder of my sample pouch, almost two teaspoons, but don’t regret it now, as it made for a richer sipdown. Nothing offensive to this pu-erh but the first steep was a little thin for my tastes. Though reading my first note now, I did notice that two teaspoons is essential, so maybe this steep session wasn’t QUITE two teaspoons….
2022 sipdowns: 136
Holiday Tea 2022 # 39: Bird & Blend – Moondrop Dreams (advent)
Holiday Tea 2022 # 40: Angry Tea Room – Gingerbread Cookie
Thanks so much for the samples, Octavia Tea! To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much in a pu-erh from a tea shop that doesn’t specialize in pu-erh, or at least carry more than a handful of them… but I WAS WRONG. This ripe pu-erh is amazing. None of those unlikable pu-erh characteristics in scent or flavor. It’s delicious the entire steep session. Just the pu-erh I was craving yesterday. Two teaspoons is the essential amount for a mug. The scent of the dry leaves is like a bread baked with hay. The flavor is much the same, but with sweetness, starchiness, and even at times a bit of a creamy taste and mouthfeel. I think I could have steeped more than three delicious steeps with these leaves. It’s very smooth but at the same time very dark and everything I always want in a great ripe pu-erh. I don’t bother with the highest quality pu-erh, but I’ve had enough pu-erh to know that this one is good enough for me to be a favorite.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug // rinse // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 7 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 5 minute steep