Holy crap, my first tea blog review in nearly a month!
The label says this tea contains oolong, pluots, ginger chunks, crystallized ginger, and edible sparkles.
A “pluot” is actually a kind of plum/apricot hybrid (hence the name). The dried pluots in this blend look like dried apricots, except for being a bit stickier/gummier. The oolong leaves are a brownish green, but not rolled up. Looking closely at them, I wasn’t really able to determine what variety (eg: tie guan yin, da hong pao) served as the base.
Smelling the leaf didn’t help either, as the most noticeable scent was the ginger — spicy, somewhat sweet and pungent.
I took about 2 teaspoons of leaf and steeped it in 80°C water for 4 minutes, which is slightly longer than what’s recommended on the package, because I’m a really big rebel.
Taste-wise, the most prominent note was the ginger. Beneath that, there’s a gentle powdery sweetness. This tea made me think of a similar tea I reviewed last year: Tea Leaf Co.’s Soul Good oolong tea. The notes here are very similar – the ginger, the powder, the sweetness. Also like Soul Good, I was expecting this Sparkle Pony Oolong to have a stronger fruit note.
After I steeped the tea, I took the dried pluot, now reconstituted due to the hot water, and popped it in my mouth. The taste was tangy, with the tartness of plums mixing with the chewy texture of apricot. Oddly enough, I’d say that the pieces of pluot, just by themselves, are my favourite part of this tea.
Oh, and there weren’t any visible sparkles that I could see. Maybe they’re all glommed together at the bottom of the bag.
Anyways, this was a fun tea to try, and it introduced me to a new fruit I’d like to encounter again in my cup some day.
Full review here: http://booksandtea.ca/2016/08/sparkle-pony-oolong-tea-52teas/