Over the past few years I've found my tea preferences have shifted greatly. Once upon a time I preferred heavily flavored blends, but these days my tastes lean more towards unflavored green or oolong teas. If I want something a little different then I find myself reaching for some of the scented teas in my cupboard.
So what's the difference between a flavored tea and a scented tea?
Scented teas have flowers, herbs, or even fruit added during the drying or baking process that naturally infuse the tea with flavor, while flavored teas are generally achieved by adding some sort of additive—often an extract, chemical, or "natural" flavor. If you're looking to avoid additives of any type, then scented teas are a great choice and there are quite a few different varieties to choose from. Jasmine is one of the more popular choices, but I'm a huge fan of osmanthus oolong because of its subtle, sweet flavor and mild floral notes. It makes a wonderful iced tea that doesn't need extra sweetener (which is great for a sugar addict like me.)
Because I've come to enjoy scented teas so much I find myself seeking out unique and unfamiliar pairings, which is how I originally stumbled across the Ginger Lily Oolong that I'll be sharing with you today. What is interesting about this tea is that it doesn't actually contain ginger, but is instead scented with Ginger Lily, a type of tropical flower. Even more interesting is that it gives the tea a faint spicy flavor that isn't far off from real ginger. It pairs well with the more earthy high mountain oolong used as a base, but the overall flavor of the tea is very mild. This makes it a good choice for those of you who want to steer clear of the more floral oolongs and it's an excellent choice to serve along with a meal when you don't want the flavor of your tea to overpower the food.
Would I order this again? Yes. The flavor of this tea may be mild, but I love the light, refreshing hint of spice.
Where to Purchase
Suggested Brewing Tips
Serving Size: 8 grams per 4.4oz serving
Water Temp: 212°F
Steep Time: 1 minute plus 30 seconds for each additional infusion, up to 4