Hey there Teacups! I’m back today with another Let’s Talk Tea post and this time around I’m going to be reviewing Retro Leaf Teas – Applevania blend. As you all know I’m a huge lover of oolong whether it been greener oolongs or oxidised, darker oolongs, I love them all. So I’m always happy to see different companies use them as a base for their blends as it doesn’t happen very often. As you all know from my first review featuring Retro Leaf Tea, they very kindly let me pick a few blends to try and the reason I picked this one is because I don’t think I’ve ever had an oolong based blend completely devoted to apple and I honestly never would have thought of paring them together.
Most companies use apple as a filler to add natural sweetness and in my opinion its a very overlooked ingredient so It was great to see that Retro Leaf had chosen to show just how good apple can be in tea when not used as a filler.
Here’s what Retro Leaf Tea have to say about this blend over on their website; ”Whip your way through flavours of tart green apple and the full-bodied taste of Tie Guan Yin for a light and refreshing cup. Darkness doesn’t stand a chance! Smooth and mellow oolong tea with mildly sweet floral undertones and hints of apple.”
Ingredients: Tie Guan Yin Oolong, Dried Apple Bits and Natural Apple Flavouring.
Tea Tasting Notes
Upon opening the sample packet of this tea that I was sent I was instantly hit with a delicious sweet apple note and a sweet subtle floral note, but the aroma of this blend reminded me of something very specific, it reminded me of Appletiser. For those of you who don’t know what Appletiser is, it’s a sparkling fruit juice created by blending fruit juice with carbonated water. It was created in 1966 in Elgin Valley, Western Cape, South Africa. It’s one of my favourite things to drink in summer and one of the only carbonated drinks that doesn’t trigger a migraine for me. I’m not sure what it is in this that provides that almost carbonated aroma but I’m not complain about it at all.
For this tasting session I tried this blend two ways: hot (on its own) & iced (on its own) and I’m so glad that I did both because it was delicious both ways. When prepared hot it shows the oolong as definitely the star with the apple coming in much more in the aftertaste and providing a nice natural sweetness that meant that there was no need to add any kind of sweetener to it. The Tie Guan Yin Oolong base is a greener oolong than I would normally reach for but for this particular blend it was definitely the best choice. It provides a balanced, slightly floral note with a subtle sweetness, long-lasting finish and velvety texture making this blend an absolute pleasure to drink. The only thing I wish had been a little stronger in the hot cup I had was the apple, it was present and noticeable but I just would have liked a little more strength from it, however I could always just add in dried apple pieces myself, if I were to have this hot again. As much as I enjoyed this hot my preferred way to have this is definitely cold brewed / iced. Both the oolong and the apple get to shine thorough and the apple note was much stronger cold brewed which made me so happy. Remember when I said this smelt exactly like Appletiser when it was in its dry form? Well cold brewed it tasted just like it as well, only without the carbonation.
The oolong still provides a floral note and subtle sweetness when cold brewed and the apple adds not only a mouth-wateringly juicy apple flavour almost like apple hard candy but it provided such a nice sweetness as well. I think I’ll definitely use what I have left of this blend in the sample bag to experiment with because something tells me that If I added apple flavoured sparkling water to this blend when cold brewed I’d be able to make homemade Appletiser which will be such a refreshing treat on a warmer day. All in all this is really well balanced an even though its simple in terms of ingredients it still amazing. I’ve noticed recently that I’ve been loving blends that are simple in terms of ingredients because they are always the best. I’ll definitely repurchase this and a lot of other Retro Leaf Tea blends in the future.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5
If you want find out more about Retro Leaf Tea and purchase this blend for yourself, you can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter / Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*The tea featured in this post was gifted to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for*