Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Upton Tea Imports
This fully oxidized Shan tea (or Mountain Tea) is produced from ancient tea trees from the Northern Highlands of Vietnam. The dark leaves are decorated with a modest amount of tips. The liquor is a rich amber color with a smooth, clean taste and a lightly sweet finish.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’m sure it’s pretty obvious by now that I enjoy trying new teas … and I especially enjoy trying teas from other parts of the world. I mean, Japan, China and India are pretty well known for their tea production, but, when I’m presented with an opportunity to try teas from other countries – like this Vietnam Shan Tuyet Black Tea from Upton Tea Imports – I jump at the chance. Not just because the tea is “new to me” but also because even though I’ve been drinking tea for a long time now, I am still quite amazed at how different one tea can taste so different from another, based upon little else other than the location where they are grown. It’s really very interesting.
I’ve tried a few Vietnamese teas by now, but, they still feel fairly new to me … they feel different to me. They definitely taste different than teas from other parts of the world. There are certain similarities, of course … and I’m liking this tea not only for its similarities but its differences.
It is a smooth, rich tea with an interesting finish that reminds me vaguely of a coffee taste. You know that deep roasted taste that hits the palate when you take a sip of coffee, that warm, delicious, roasted tone that sits upon the palate at the finish? That’s what I’m tasting here. And since I don’t drink coffee – I used to enjoy the taste of coffee but I didn’t enjoy the sickly feeling it would give me a few hours later – it’s quite pleasurable to find teas that have a coffee-like taste to them.
The sip starts with a sweet, earthy tone that transcends into the aforementioned coffee-like taste. The finish is slightly dry and astringent, and the aftertaste is clean. My palate feels like it’s ready for another sip … this tea keeps me drinking, and it’s a tasty tea until the very last sip.