Paru Tea BarEdit Company
Popular Teas from Paru Tea BarSee All 29 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
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
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
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.
Y’know I was on the fence about ordering this one since I don’t love Earl Grey – although Earl Grey gin, if you’ve never had the chance to try one before, is pretty solid. Then the tea arrived and it didn’t really smell that impressive as dry leaf – barely boozy (especially when compared to the rum hojicha) and pretty strong bergamot note. However, steeped it was really interesting and unique. Definitely an Earl Grey but it had the botanical and almost pine-y juniper note of gin as well and it was actually much more apparent in taste than I’d guessed it would be. Also had a somewhat fruity note as well – one while felt a bit out of place for both a gin and an Earl Grey.
I’m not sure I’m fully on board, but I think I’m more on board than I expected to be. So that’s not nothing!
Short tasting note – I’ll write a fuller one with a future tasting I’m sure. This pandan chai is super unique; the blend of warming spices is perfectly balanced with the silky and creamy flavour of the pandan! Pandan often reminds me of coconut or sticky rice, so a total match made in heaven for this style of Chai.
Toasty golden and smooth but also pretty distinctly rum flavoured in the best kind of round, sweet and boozy sort of way. It reminds me a little bit of the chocolate rumballs that my mom used to make around the holidays, but also makes me feel a little bit like a pirate!? A pirate in the best way though.
Pirates are fucking cool.
This was what we steeped up on the first evening at the hotel! My mom hates fish so one of the places she was really interested in eating at during her trip was a vegan sushi restaurant, so we had hojicha with vegan sushi. There were some really nice options, actually – my favourite ended up being one of green apple, asian pear, cucumber, and asparagus. It was very fresh and crisp! She liked… some of them.
Hojicha, even boozy tasting hojicha like this, paired great though!
I’ve seen a lot of barrel aged teas but rum barrel aged hojicha is totally new for me so I could not in any way resist trying this one out. The dry leaf is stem heavy to the point where this almost looks more like a kukicha, but I see some leaf throughout so we’re not totally over the line. The tea smells heavily of rum. Like, to the point where I was not comfortable steeping this one in my office when I first got the sample. However, there’s a sweetness to the thick aroma of booze and a toasty familiar hojicha nuttiness.
The tea tastes great! It’s all the cozy familiarity of a nuttier and well roasted hojicha with those big sweeping roasted barley and other grain-type of notes that are a hug of comfort and toasty deliciousness. However, it’s also mighty boozy. Not anywhere close to the intensity of that dry leaf smell, but there’s no second guessing the reality that this tea has come in contact with rum. It’s an excellent addition and compliments so nicely. But more than that, there’s just a small part of me that kind of feels a bit like a pirate when I drink it and nothing will take away that glorious feeling from me.
Cold Brew Sipdown (1407)!
This was a free sample from my order with Paru – I wasn’t expecting any free samples, let alone the two they included, so I was appreciative of both.
I thought this was pretty nice but I have to admit that, of everything I’ve tried from Paru so far, I found this the least interesting. I guess that makes sense; for a tea company to have mass appeal you definitely need some “safer” and more commercial blends and this felt like it fell in that range – a nice, non-complex and solidly executed mix of cooling and herbaceous mint with fresh, light citrus. It was very, very refreshing as a cold brew and easily brewed up without fuss. I knew what to expect, and it met those expectations well. I just personally have been more interested in exploring the more unique and innovative blends from Paru.
There’s a customer for this though, totally!
This is the first straight/traditional tea I’m trying from Paru – I was intrigued because the only other compressed oolong in this style I’ve seen was from White2Tea, so I wanted to see how this would compare. It’s not as tasty as Milan Maocha, but I like it better than both the Fireflake and Snowflake coins.
I don’t drink much dancong (and I actually prefer it brewed Western) but this has some nice minerality and roasted notes up front – but then moves into more of those sweet honeyed and fragrant heady florals from which is gets its name. Orchid, magnolia, geranium. It’s also fruity! I get plummy undertones and fresh lychee top notes through the session – the lychee is the best part, in my opinion. Pretty smooth – only a little astringency/roughness around the edges.
Admittedly, I find more magic and interest in the unique tea blends from Paru versus this straight tea – just it was still really enjoyable!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXhU6DWv8RY
I was craving this tea for most of the morning so I decided to steep some up this afternoon. It always catches me off guard how unsweet this tea is considering how much of the black sugar is in the blend. Like, intellectually I know that it’s not actually a very sweet sugar but it’s just this brain disconnect seeing the big lumps. Tasted lovely though in all the ways it usually is. Thick and very malty with a distinct biscuit kind of taste to it as well.
Made sure to consciously get more of the Okinawa Sugar in this cup because I wanted to see how much it would impact the flavour. My cup was very thick and malty with both a biscuit like and molasses type of flavour. Despite having a lot of “sugar” in it, it’s not really sweet/cloying. In fact, it almost has a bitterness to those darker dense sweet notes. In a way that adds complexity though, not in an off putting way.
Absolutely could not resist picking up a bag of this in my recent order – I was maybe a little worried it would be too sweet, but turns out I need not have been because this is just right in terms of sweetness! Like all the other blends I’ve tried so far, I’m impressed with the complexity of the ingredients and balance of flavour. The rich, malty black tea base and slightly nutty/roasted notes of the oolong come through in a smooth and full bodied way and Paru’s description of the Okinawa sugar in the blend have a malty biscuit-like taste is really spot on! It’s a little molasses-y, a bit creamy/milky, and has a slight undertone of red fruit. Really just delicious and spot on.
I have dreamed about this tea on multiple occasions now, for whatever that is worth.
The bag of it is without eyeshot from my work desk and sometimes I feel like it just calls to me. It’s this perfect medley of sweet lemon, lush floral juicy lychee, honey and caramelized yam notes, malty cocoa, and just… the tears of angels. Sometimes when I drink it I tear up a little at how well balanced and dynamic all the flavours are. I hope, someday, to craft something as delicious. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it as I write it, and I want to make myself a mug of it right now.
Fuck me, this is good. I still don’t get a ton of lemon but the lychee is blowing my mind with how juicy, succulent and floral it is – like fresh and sticky lychee juices mixed with this honeyed black tea that’s also very sweet and rich, but with body and weight to it. It’s so refreshing and layered and summery. Hello instant summer favourite!
I was sold that I needed to try this tea as soon as I saw lychee – it’s a weak spot for me and it sounded heavenly paired with lemon! The smell of the dry leaf is pretty intoxicating: fruit forward dewy lychee with a fragrant floral undertone and sweet honeyed black tea. So, so, so fresh!!
The steeped cup is simultaneously straight forward and complex in its flavour delivery; I felt, as I sipped, like I was opening up a Russian nesting doll with these layers of delicious flavours. First and foremost, and to my own delight, the most prominant flavour, which I would call the outer layer of this nesting doll, is the lychee. The whole tea feels saturated in sticky, sweet lychee juices with their sweet perfumed floral undertones and coating sweeping juiciness across the palate. What a lychee flavour!
The next layer is probably actually the wild Yunnan black tea base – despite the richness of the lychee it manages to have a still strong presence in the cup. The full bodied and almost starchy mouthfeel actually gives another layer of richness to the tea that feels differentiated from the rich fruity flavours, and the notes of honey and malt with golden toasty and carmelized yam undertones are so interesting and in contrast to the fruit notes that they just make each other so much more dynamic.
The final layer is the lemon, and this for me is the lightest of the three key elements by far. It’s more an undertone and lingering flavour after the sip, and it has a little sweetness but mostly is reminiscent of the classic “unsweet” lemon black tea profile you see across the South – more static and just a little pithy. I like that, because if it was overly acidic I think it would taint the black tea’s beauty and if it was sweet then combined with the lychee I think that would be cloying.
With each tea I try from this company I get more and more excited for the next one – they seem to have such a strong understanding of how to pair these incredible flavours with their tea bases in a way that makes the flavours of the featured ingredients and the natural notes of the tea really stand out and pop. It’s a solid understanding of flavour composition and looking at and tasting each blend I feel like I can see the artistry and craftmanship that’s gone into each one. These teas were created with love and passion and it makes me SO excited!!
Not gonna be a long tasting note because I found this cup super consistent to the first one I had a few months ago, and I wrote a pretty long/thorough tasting note back then. Just emphasizing how beautiful the tea leaf is and that I really appreciate the subtle/light yuzu peppery and pithy citrus taste a lot. It’s just very delicate and authentic. Plus, eating the strips of candied yuzu post steep!? Oh hell yes! Great tea snack.
Recently stumbled upon this company and was so fascinated by the uniqueness of their blends, both in visual and composition, that I just had to order! The shipping turn around was really fast, but word to the wise (and of course not the company’s fault) but ordering here to Montreal I got REALLY dinged on import fees – over $100 for my $200 order, which I think is the most I’ve ever been charged…
That said, I’ve been really impressed with the few teas from my order I’ve tried so far! This is definitely one of the most visually stunning and unique looking teas I’ve seen in quite a while – the long strips of candied yuzu are really something else and it’s insanely hard to not pull them out of the blend to snack on. Okay, full disclosure, I may have done this to one of them – it was so tasty.
Steeped, this is a pretty peppery tasting chai – but that’s not surprising. In addition to the spice mix itself, I find yuzu is already sort of naturally peppery. In fact, that’s part of why I think the concept for this tea is so brilliant in the first place – it’s a fun juxtaposition of flavour that’s grounded in some subtle shared flavour notes. The taste is pleasantly warming with clear notes of ginger and clove, with the sweetness of the fennel without having a licorice-y taste. The yuzu is subtle and presents as a nice pithy citrus undertone. Very nuanced, complex and tasty!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nyh47sThvs&ab_channel=IZZYCAMINAIZZYCAMINA
Sipdown! (21 | 298)
My friend Heather from Instagram sent me a sample of this out of the blue, just because she thought I would enjoy it. Wasn’t that so sweet of her? :3
It’s a mix of wakoucha, “Formosa oolong”, and Okinawan black sugar. There’s quite a lot of sugar too, so I was a bit nervous about trying it since I don’t generally sweeten my teas. And it was a bit sweet, but luckily not over-the-top. The combination of tea was quite mellow and smooth, with hay, bread, autumn leaf, and honey notes. The sugar itself had a lovely molasses flavor, of course.
It’s not something I would drink often as it is sweeter than I would prefer. I bet it would make a lovely iced milk tea though! And it would be fun to have on-hand just to have a cup every once in a while, especially in the fall.
P.S. – I tried to Google what the actual name is for the type of oolong I often see called “Formosa oolong”, but didn’t have much luck. Does anyone know if there’s an original/Taiwanese name for it? It’s a generic oxidized unrolled oolong. I don’t think it’s roasted?
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Brown Sugar, Grain, Hay, Maple, Molasses, Smooth, Sugar, Sweet, Wood