Bruu Tea’s 2020 July Tea Club Box | Tea Review

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Tea Box provided for review

BruuTea_July_Box_spoons

Over the years, I’ve had the chance to try a range of subscription boxes. I was pretty excited when Bruu Tea reached out and offered to send me one to try!

Each Bruu tea box comes with 3 teas (approximately 30 cups), a ‘Discover’ tea from the featured tea region of the month, tasting cards for each tea, Discovery featured tea region information card, and a surprise item. There is a quiz when you first sign up for a box, but I did not complete the quiz, as I was sent a box for review.

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(Source: Bruu Tea)

My July monthly box came with 2 green teas, 1 black, a fruit tea, and a chocolate bar! This is my first time having a chocolate bar in a subscription box, so I was pretty excited! More specifically, my box arrived with:

BruuTea_Items

  • Genmicha (Japan, green tea);
  • Mao Jian (China, green tea);
  • Diamond Black (black tea);
  • Grandma’s Garden (fruit tea); and,
  • White Rabbit Chocolatiers’ 38% Milk Chocolate Yorkshire Honeycomb; and
  • Discover Japan informational card.

With some basic information out of the way, let’s go!

 

Genmaicha

BruuTea_Genmaicha_spoon

Description: “The Japanese word ‘Genmaicha’ literally translating as ‘brown rice and tea,’ while the roasted rice imparts a very beautiful and distinctive flavour to the brewed tea.”

Instructions: 1 tsp| 80°C | 2 mins  

BruuTea_Japan

Review: Genmaicha is a tea blend that I generally enjoy because I like the roasted flavour! The dry blend was very vegetal and there was a faint roasted smell. The pale green and forest green tea was needle shaped, intermixed with the roasted rice. After infusing for 2 minutes, the leaves had unfurled into small olive green pieces with the rice puffed up because of the water.  The wet leaves had a very strong roasted smell.

BruuTea_Genmaicha_wet_leaves

The liquor also had a roasted rice smell and was a pale yellow green. Having tried the tea a few times, I found that I needed a heaping teaspoon to be able to bring out more flavours as the roasted rice took up a lot of space. The tea had a nice roasted brown rice flavour, with some sweetness and a vegetal taste. When cool, the roasted flavour mellowed out and melded with the vegetal taste. There was no astringency or bitterness which was nice!

The packet only had enough for 3 teaspoons, or 3 cups of tea. Overall, I liked that each month there is a different featured county with some background information about the tea region the tea came from (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origin: Shizuoka, Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Organic sencha green tea and roasted rice
  • Company: Bruu Tea

 

Mao Jian

BruuTea_Mao_Jian_spoon

Description: “Small producers based in the Bai Yun mountains, in the East of China, have clubbed together to make this amazing Mao Jian green tea!”

Instructions: 1 tsp | 80°C | 1-3 mins   

Review: During the spring time, it is always nice to have a green tea! The spring picked dark emerald green dry leaves are twisted and needle-like. It has a very nice deep floral and roasted smell. Once infused, the leaves are small broken olive coloured leaves with a roasted, fresh cut grass smell.

BruuTea_Mao_Jian_wet_leaves

The liquor was clear tan-ish yellow with a few specs of tea leaves at the bottom of the cup with a grassy smell. I tried the tea brewed at 2 and 3 minutes. I preferred it better at 3 as it was a bit too delicate at 2 minutes.

After 3 minutes infusion, the liquor had a nice roasted flavour from the pan-roasting process with some sweet, nutty and mineral notes. There was a hint of dryness at the back of the throat. This tea reminded me of the tea processing experiment I apart of at World Tea Expo, but much better quality, of course (4/5 rating)!

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origin: Bai Yun mountains, Hunan, Xinyang, China
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Mao Jian green tea
  • Company: Bruu Tea

 

Diamond Black

BruuTea_Diamond_Black_spoon

Description: “A luxurious black tea kissed with flowers. Perfect for a special occasion.”

Instructions: 1 tsp| 100°C | 3-5 mins   

Review: Earl Grey teas are always a classic. The black tea had a scattering of mallow blossoms and an intense bergamont smell. After being steeped, the leaves unfurled into small broken pieces with a faint bergamont and earthy smell.

BruuTea_Diamond_Black_wet_leaves

The liquor was a deep red-brown colour and smelled of bergamont and earth. I tried it at 3 and 4 minutes, and preferred it better at 4, since 3 was faint in flavour. Immediately after brewing, it was hard to taste any flavours. Letting the liquor cool slightly brought out a stronger malty and bergamont flavour that lingered in the mouth. When completely cooled, the flavours mellowed out and earthy notes from the black tea was the most predominant flavour. This would make a nice tea in the morning or a pick-me-up  (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Black tea
  • Origin: Unknown
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Black tea, mallow blossoms, natural bergamot flavour with other natural flavouring
  • Company: Bruu Tea

 

Grandma’s Garden

BruuTea_Grandmads_Garden_spoon

Description: “Aromatic treasures of sweet, tangy and delicious fruits and berries on a colourful and appetising fruit tea blend.”

Instructions: 1 tsp| 100°C | 10-12 mins

Review: This one lived up to its name! The second I opened the package, my roomed filled with a sweet, berry, and fruity smell! The fruit tea was made of berries, flowers, and fruit pieces and smelled exactly like it.

BruuTea_Grandmads_Garden_wet_leaves

After steeping, the liquor was a ruby red wine colour and smelled sweet, fruity and of berries. I tried the steeping at 10 and 11 minutes. I preferred it better at 10 minutes as it wasn’t as tart. I was originally a bit worried as hibiscus can have an overpowering taste and make blends rather tart but this was nice and pleasant. I could taste the berries such as the strawberries and raspberries, with some tartness at the end of the sip.

When I was drinking this tisane, I found I liked letting it cool down completely because it cut down on the tartness and was really refreshing! This would make a really nice iced tea (3.5/5 rating)!

  • Type: Fruit tea
  • Origin: 
  • Caffeine: 
  • Ingredients: Elderberries, hibiscus blossoms, apple pieces, blackcurrants, freeze-dried blackberries, freeze-dried strawberry, raspberry pieces & wild strawberry leaves
  • Company: Bruu Tea

 

White Rabbit Chocolatiers’ 38% Milk Chocolate Yorkshire Honeycomb

WhiteRabbitChcolatiers_Yorkshire_Honeycomb_chocolate

Description: “A slab of our delicious milk chocolate peppered with golden lumps of our own crunchy honeycomb made with local honey.”

Review: When I visited UK many years ago, I recall stopping at a random street cart that had ice cream and bought a vanilla and honey comb ice cream. To date, it is still one of my favourite ice creams. So, when I saw the honeycomb, I was happy! The chocolate bar was a thin slab of chocolate, embedded with honeycomb and a drizzle of milk chocolate on the top.

On its own, the chocolate is sweet, milky, and velvety with some crunch from the honeycomb. It was even nice to leave a piece and let the chocolate melt and eat the honeycomb. I liked that the chocolate wasn’t coyly sweet, which is what I find in some chocolates.

I ended up pairing each tea from the box with the chocolate by eating the chocolate first then sipping the tea. The tea would melt away the chocolate and the crunchy honeycomb was left.

  • Genmaicha: The Genmaicha paired nicely with the chocolate as it the milk chocolate and honeycomb paired well with the roasted notes of the tea.
  • Mao Jian: The tea mostly was vegetal and the chocolate added hints of sweetness that coated the mouth.
  • Diamond Black: The milk chocolate melded with the bergamont and there was a toasted note.
  • Grandma’s Garden: The sweet chocolate cut down the tartness and brought out the fruity berry notes from the tisane.

I enjoyed this chocolate with and without the tea. The best combination for me was the Genmaicha (4/5 rating)!

  • Ingredients: Extra fine milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, natural vanilla flavouring, emulsifier (soya lecithin). cocoa solids 38% min., milk solids 21% min.), yorkshire honeycomb (sugar, glucose syrup, golden syrup, East Yorkshire honey, bicarbonate soda).
  • Other: Great Taste Two Gold Star Award Winner 2009
  • Company: White Rabbit Chocolatiers

 

Final Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed the box! I liked that there was a mix of traditional teas as well as some blends. The chocolate was a nice touch! I would be interested in seeing what surprises are in future boxes! I also liked that the box was compact.

The question of the post: Do you like pairing chocolate and tea? When I was in New York, I attended a chocolate and tea pairing event!

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