SororiTea Sisters

A Sorority of Sisters Who Love Tea

Wen Shan Pouchong Oolong Tea from Yezi Tea

October3

PouchongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong

Where to Buy:  Yezi Tea

Tea Description:

This delicate oolong is so light in flavor that it frequently causes many a Chinese tea connoisseur to compare it to a green tea. Baozhong has been grown on the mountain slopes of the rural Pinglin District of Taipei since the eighteenth century. Yezi’s Baozhong is brought to you by local tea farmer Gao Xiu Chen. Needless to say, after over two hundred years of cultivating and harvesting it, the tea farmers of Pinglin do an excellent job with their Baozhong.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh, this Wen Shan Pouchong Oolong Tea from Yezi Tea is so deliciously light and delicate in flavor.  But, even in it’s delicateness, it’s so full of flavor.  It almost seems a contradiction to say that, but if you were to taste this tea, you might better understand what I mean.

With each sip, the palate is covered with a soft, silky, creamy texture that fills the taste buds with a subtle vegetative quality and a beautiful sweetness.  The vegetative notes do not last long, they soon make way for the emergence of an exotic floral taste.  Orchid.  Lovely!

The description on the Yezi website suggests notes of lemon … and with the first few sips up until mid-cup, I wouldn’t have agreed with that.  But, after taking a few moments in between sips, I notice a bright lemon-y note in the aftertaste.  Not a sour, pucker-y lemon, more like a sweet, creamy, lemon curd type of lemon note.  This note emerges more as I continue to sip now, and appears close to the finish.

This pouchong can be enjoyed through several infusions.  The flavor is very soft and gentle for through the first three infusions, and then by the fourth infusion, I notice the flavors become a little stronger.  By the sixth infusion, the flavors begin to subside a little bit … but it’s only a minor shift in flavor and there are still a few more infusions to be enjoyed.  My personal favorite infusions were the second and the fourth … so it is definitely worth taking this tea through it’s paces to get as much out of each measurement of leaves that you can!

Yet another wonderful tea from Yezi Tea!

posted under Oolong, Pouchong | Comments Off

Fu Man Chu Tea Blend from SerendipiTea

June16

Fu-Man-ChuTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong & Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Amoda Tea

Tea Description:

Here is a contradictory and complex tea to expand your horizons. Jasmine scented pouchong gives us a beautiful sweet, fresh and floral flavour and pu-erh offers up its earthiness. Pouchong and pu-erh are such opposites, but somehow blend so nicely together in this cup.

This is our Father’s Day Tea. One of the Amoda dads texted that he wanted something “not too fancy, just some jazzman tea”. So, we set out on a jasmine journey and kept coming back to this tea that was so unique, but not too “fancy” for dad.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn how to subscribe to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

Before brewing it, I had my doubts about this Fu Man Chu tea blend from SerendipiTea.  I wasn’t sure how I would like it – I mean, I love jasmine so I had every confidence that I’d enjoy a Jasmine Pouchong … but – I thought to myself – why did they have to add Pu-erh to it?  I’m not always a fan of Pu-erh, and I worried that by adding the Pu-erh to this blend, SerendipiTea may have very well ruined a perfectly good Jasmine Pouchong.

I’m happy to say that I was wrong!  This is really quite good.

The aroma of the dry leaf is more jasmine and Pouchong than it is Pu-erh.  I can  detect only faint earthy notes in the fragrance of the dry leaf, but the lovely notes of jasmine are abundant and absolutely delightful to the nose.

And the flavor … is very much the way the scent suggests!  The Jasmine Pouchong notes are the strongest flavors, with mere hints of of the earthy flavor of Pu-erh.  As I continue to sip, the notes of Pu-erh develop somewhat, but they are always more to the background, allowing the sultry beauty of the Jasmine to shine through along with the soft, silky taste of the Pouchong.

This is an extremely well-crafted blend by SerendipiTea.  I’m very impressed, and very glad I got to try it.  I love it when I get a tea like this from Amoda Tea – something that I probably would not have purchased on my own because I honestly would not have found myself interested or curious about a blend of Jasmine Pouchong and Pu-erh … but now that I have tried it … I’m really happy with the cup I have before me!  This is great!

Vanilla Oolong Tea from David’s Tea

March16

VanillaOolong

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong & Green Tea

Where to Buy:  David’s Tea

Tea Description:

Discover the power of vanilla and oolong, with a little hint of orange. It’s temptingly rich. We’ve used Pouchong tea leaves, the least oxidized of oolongs, which gives it a lighter, fresher taste. Delicious and totally addictive on its own, we also love blending this with fruit flavoured teas for a touch of creamy sweetness.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love vanilla flavored tea.  I usually get all hyped up over a chocolate tea or a caramel tea, but when it comes right down to it, I find myself just as enamored by a vanilla tea as I am one of my “favorite” flavors.  That creamy, smooth, sweet taste of vanilla just works so well with the warmth and soothing quality of the tea … it becomes such a comforting drink.

And I’m absolutely LOVING this Vanilla Oolong tea from David’s Tea.  Usually, I find myself preferring a black tea base for the sweet, creamy, exotic flavor of Vanilla, but, the blend of Pouchong and green tea leaves just WORKS so well here.

The Pouchong offers a lightly sweet, creamy base that melds beautifully with the creamy tones of the vanilla.  To be honest, I’m not tasting a whole lot of flavor contribution from the “green tea leaves” here, but the ingredient list says they’re there, and I can’t say that this blend would taste the same without the green tea.  I do taste a slight vegetative note to this cup, but that could be from the Pouchong too.

The vanilla is the star of this show.  It is creamy, sweet and just DECADENT.  Accenting the vanilla notes are hints of citrus from lemon myrtle and orange flavoring.  These notes are subtle and do not interfere with the other flavors, but they definitely brighten the overall cup and keep the flavors interesting and inviting … and keep them from becoming cloying or overly sweet.

This tea could easily be a substitute for a dessert … I think I’d just as soon have this as a bowl of vanilla ice cream!  It is really just a heavenly vanilla treat – this tea.  If you’re a fan of vanilla – you’ve got to try this!

Jasmine Coconut Green Tea from Whispering Pines Tea Co.

January2

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong & Rooibos

Where to Buy:  Whispering Pines Tea Co.

Tea Description:

Jasmine Coconut Green Tea combines the warm fragrant smell of jasmine scented green tea and red rooibos with freshly toasted organic coconut flakes for a smooth tropical tea. Deliciously perfect for any time of the day! Best enjoyed hot.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

OK … whoa!  I did NOT expect to like this as much as I do!  Wow!

I don’t know exactly what I was thinking when I started to brew this blend, I guess I thought:  “jasmine and coconut seem like a pretty odd combination,” and even as I sip this, my mind still seems to think that the two components would not make a compatible pair, but, my taste buds think differently!  My mind can’t quite wrap itself around the thought of a Jasmine Coconut Green Tea.

But, it tastes amazing!

I think that the reason this works so well is that the jasmine is a lighter taste – it doesn’t smack you over the head with its heady floral essence – and so it mingles very well with the creamy, luscious taste of the coconut, and neither taste overwhelms the sweet notes of the Pouchong tea.

There is a well-achieved balance with this tea … at least when it comes to the tea leaves, coconut and jasmine.  I don’t taste a lot of the rooibos, and that’s just fine with me.  I suspect that the rooibos may lend a certain lightness to the overall cup, and perhaps a nutty earthiness as well, but, these are very faint characteristics to the tea, so much so that I hardly notice them at all.

But when it comes to the Pouchong tea, the coconut and the jasmine, I taste each note, but they all seem to work in harmony with one another.  It’s one of those teas that tastes so good that you’ll want to keep drinking it long after you’ve finished the cup … so I recommend making a pot of the tea so you can fill ‘er up once you’ve emptied your cup.  You’ll be really glad you did!

posted under Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, Pouchong, Rooibos | Comments Off

Mandarin Silk from The Persimmon Tree

November13

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  The Persimmon Tree

Tea Description:

The smooth Mandarin Silk Oolong Tea introduces organic pouchong loose-leaf tea blended with lemon myrtle, marigolds, and natural essence of vanilla. Awakening the senses with hints of cream and a stimulating citrus finish, the Silk Mandarin Tea is a rich and fragrant choice for your tea experience.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is lovely!  The vanilla and the pouchong together deliver such a creamy smooth texture and taste … so sweet and indeed silky!  It’s such a pleasure to sip.

The pouchong is a base that I don’t encounter very often in tea blends, it seems, and I wish that it was utilized more.  It is so wonderfully soft and easy to sip, and it has such a lovely taste that melds well with other flavors.  It tastes sweet and slightly vegetative on its own, but with these flavors of vanilla and lemon-y citrus, the palate seems to want to explore some of the pouchong’s fruity and floral tones, allowing for some of the flavors to come forward that I might otherwise overlook.

The citrus tones are subtle, and don’t seem to hit the palate right up front.  At first, it’s really all about the vanilla and the tea, but then by about the third or fourth sip, the citrus tones arrive on the palate, just in time to give the palate something new to explore.  The citrus notes start off gentle and sweet, and eventually become this very pleasantly tangy taste to offer some contrast to the creamy, sweet vanilla.

What I’m liking best about this tea is that it is a very gentle tea.  It doesn’t go overboard with any of the flavors at any time.  It has a very easy kind of flavor, something that you could easily curl up with while reading a good book or while relaxing in a bubble bath.  It’s one of those teas that can serve as a pleasant, contemplative cup, as well as one to sip when you need something to help you clear your head after a long, stressful day.

I like this tea!

posted under Oolong, Pouchong | 1 Comment »

Taiwan Wenshan Pouchong from Nuvola Tea

September21

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong, Oolong

Where to Buy:  Nuvola Tea

Tea Description:

Wenshan Pouchong Tea has a radiant golden yellow colour and the pleasing fragrance of orchid. Its velvety body creates an exquisitely mellow mouth-feel and a sweet aftertaste which pampers the palate. This lingering flavour coupled with the subtle floral note ensures you an absolutely satisfying and delectable cup of tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

 

Nuvola Tea brings us a very light delicate golden hued pouchong from Taiwan. The broth of this tea is thick and when I pull my steeping basket from my cup it looks like a thin light honey dripping elegantly downward back into my cup. It is quite pretty.

The aroma of the tea is beautifully floral mixed with the aroma of sugar cane.

My first steep was quite light, and I could detect the delicate floral notes, sugar notes, and the pouchong leaf itself which is delicious! However, the first steep is in fact quite light in color and taste. I could have poured this steep and considered it a rinse but it was too good to pour even though I prefer a heavier flavor in my tea. I continued to enjoy it appreciating the tea for its subtle but sweet nuances.

My second steep was more to my liking and more “robust” although this is far from a robust tea. Now admittedly I am one who likes robust flavors in my tea, and truth be told this tea has more than enough flavor and is really profound in what it offers so I do not want to minimize the depth of flavor this tea offers!

The mouth feel is heavy, creamy, broth-y, and full. There is a buttery and noticeable vegetal note dancing on my taste buds! The after taste is lingering mostly of the floral notes.

I realize that the description says “Orchid” however having little experience with orchid here in Kansas, where I live, I am detecting what I would identify or at least have a connection to, as honeysuckle. Which makes me wonder if the two flowers are somewhat similar perhaps. Regardless, I love the floral note in this tea.

I have to make a confession, when I saw how light this tea steeped up I was skeptical. I now find that I am falling in love with this tea. Between the sugary, honey dew, floral, green, and even fresh lively taste in this cup, I am imagining this being the type of tea you could enjoy in a tender romantic moment. Yet, at the same time this tea is also fitting for a luncheon with your grandmother, sister, or a group of friends. It makes me think of those quite contemplative moments as well. Perhaps another tea to add to my “meditative” tea list! I find this tea very grounding and centering. Yes, I am falling for this tea.

There is a drying sensation at the back of the throat between sips if you wait too long. That is alright, although not a favorite aspect in tea in my opinion. Although as long as I have another sip in my cup, there is nothing to worry about! As soon as I typed that however I realized its just about time for steep three. Which I am sure I will enjoy as the leaves still appear as they have much more to give, more imagery for me to contemplate.

Yes, Nuvola, you do offer a fine tea here. I look forward to trying more of your offerings!

posted under Oolong, Pouchong | Comments Off

Taiwan Pou Chong from Fong Mong Tea

June24

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong

Where to Buy:  Fong Mong Tea on eBay

Tea Description:

Lightly fermented and also lightly baked, Pou Chong Oolong Tea preserves the most freshness than any other Oolong teas. Fresh tea leaves contain a large number of beneficial elements to human body. Pou Chong Oolong Tea is produced under the most original tea-making procedure, reserving the maximum and most natural fresh nutritions, without any additives, which you can absorb the most essence of the nature, and is also the finest companion to leisure life and health.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve had a Pouchong, and it is one of those teas that … every time I do have it … I find myself wondering why it has been so long for me to revisit it.  It is so delightful, similar and yet unlike other Oolong teas.  And this Pou Chong from Fong Mong Tea is absolutely amazing.

There are those who might argue with my choice to distinguish Pouchong tea in its own category, separate from other Oolong, but there is a reason that I do so.  I find Pouchong to be somewhere between green tea and other green Oolong teas.  It is not quite an Oolong … but not quite a green tea.  It is … a Pouchong.  It’s lighter than a typical Oolong, but still replete in sweet, creamy goodness.  It has lovely green tones that fall somewhere between sweet grass and mild steamed vegetables, lightly seasoned with melted butter.

With the first two infusions, I found myself enchanted by the sweet, creamy taste while the greenery seemed to peek through, hinting at a more vegetative taste to come in future infusions.  The second cup (infusions three and four) delivered the promised vegetative tones without coming off as a bitter grassy taste, instead, it was more like a sweet steamed vegetable complete with a soupy broth.  I also noticed a floral tone starting to emerge – is that orchid?  or perhaps honeysuckle?

With the third cup, the flavor became slightly more savory, with much of the creaminess having tapered off by this point.  It is still remarkably smooth, but in a slightly different way than the first cup.  Whereas the first cup was smooth because of the sweet creamy notes, the smoothness now comes from the uniting of flavors – the floral tones are less sharp, the vegetal tones are softer, this cup is more relaxed and soothing.

Overall, I found this to be a really enjoyable Pouchong.  One that is really worth exploring – and Fong Mong Tea has prices that makes the exploration affordable!

posted under Pouchong | 1 Comment »

Coconut Pouchong from Golden Moon Tea

March13

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong

Where to Buy:  Golden Moon Tea

Tea Description:

This South Pacific delicacy is composed of long, green leaves of rare elegance that produce a serene, light Cocount Pouchong tea. The subtle nectar of young coconut instills a tropical sweetness in this exquisite bouquet. Because of its simple sweetness, you will enjoy this delicious loose leaf Coconut Pouchong tea hot or iced.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

As I have already tasted and reviewed this tea previously, you might think that I was less than enthused to have received it as part of this month’s Steepster Select box.  But, truth be told, I was actually quite happy to have more of this tea!  It’s one of my favorites from Golden Moon Tea and I’m very pleased to be able to revisit it.

The theme for this month’s Steepster Select is “Perfect Pairs.”  On the theme card, Steepster wrote this about the theme:

Some things just go better together.  Like wine, the complexity and range of flavors in tea make it a perfect complement to many meals.  Pairing these not only accentuate the taste of both but helps train your palate to identify and relate flavors.

I was very happy with this theme, mostly because tea pairings is something that interests me as well.  With most of the food reviews on my foodie blog, I try to include a tea suggestion on each post, and while I do not consider myself an expert on what flavor profiles go best with what types of foods, I know what tastes good to me.  I thought it would be interesting to explore the idea of “Perfect Pairs” with Steepster’s recommendations.  Here is what they recommended with this tea:

Pair with:  Chocolate.  The sweet nuttiness of coconut is a classic dessert pairing that blends smoothly with a hearty chocolate flavor.  The light flowery oolong notes soften the richness of chocolate for an ideal balance.  We have Marcus from Golden Moon Tea to thank for our Coconut Pouchong.  A childhood visit to Hong Kong and a quick stop at a parisian tea house after culinary school cemented his love for unique flavors which carries through to his many offerings today.

So, I rummaged through my stash to find an appropriate piece of chocolate… unfortunately (well, not unfortunately for me, but unfortunate for the purposes of this review) most of the chocolate that I have on hand at the moment are confection type of chocolates … however, I did come across a bit of raw dark chocolate from Stirs the SOUL that I happened to have on hand.

Raw chocolate lacks the richness that the roasting process imparts on the chocolate … and I really noticed that with this pairing.  However, I also noticed how the flavors of the Coconut Pouchong really came into focus with this simple pairing.  The Coconut Pouchong really brought out some of the fruitier aspects of the chocolate, which really appealed to me.  While the chocolate is not quite as rich with the roasted flavor, the pairing brought out the deeper flavors of the raw chocolate that I did not notice before, and I love how the fresh coconut really POPS when chocolate becomes part of the tasting.

I can’t wait to try this coconut Pouchong with the Hot Chocolate On A Stick that I have coming later this month!

posted under Pouchong | Comments Off

Flowery Jasmine Before the Rain from Grace Tea Company

September29

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong

Where to Buy:  Grace Tea Company

Product Description:

Each year we carefully select our Jasmine base tea from the finest pouchong teas available from China. These leaves have been picked at their flavor peak in the spring, traditionally before the rain and the period of fastest growth. Our selection is then held with the utmost of care until summer, when the most remarkable Jasmine flowers are available for blending. It is indeed a tea of teas’ fine, delicate and aromatic. We suggest our Flowery Jasmine Before the Rain be served in the afternoon and at special occasions, when its particular virtues can be appreciated.

Taster’s Review:

When I infused this tea, I did so thinking that this was a green tea.  The size of the leaves did not indicate to me that this was a Pouchong.  It looked like a green tea to me.  Fortunately, my green tea brewing parameters did not affect this tea.  It’s delicious.  However, a slightly longer steep time might have intensified the flavor somewhat.  As it is, though, I’m enjoying the cup of tea that sits before me.

Jasminum Sambac - photo from Wikipedia

The dry leaf is very aromatic, just as I would expect from a jasmine tea.  It has a beautiful, flowery fragrance.  The aroma of the brewed liquor is equally as enjoyable.  That is one of the things I love most about jasmine teas – the amazing fragrance.

But it is not all about the scent of the tea, of course.  The flavor is wonderful.  It has a soft, velvety mouthfeel.  It feels thicker than a typical jasmine green tea would.  The jasmine is delicate and pleasantly sweet.  It doesn’t have that artificial perfume-y taste of some jasmine teas.  It is light and floral.  There is very little astringency to this tea and no bitterness.  The aftertaste is sweet.

This is an absolute delight to sip.

posted under Jasmine Tea, Pouchong | Comments Off

Lady Luck from WhiteAugust Tea Company

August19

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong

Where to Buy:  WhiteAugust Tea Company

Product Description:

Purely seductive. Pouchong oolong, lemon myrtle, marigolds and just a touch of vanilla, give rise to this smooth slightly creamy liquor.

Taster’s Review:

While brewing this tea, I couldn’t help but notice the aroma.  The vanilla scent is really quite powerful.  It smells so sweet and delicious.

But, I am glad that the vanilla doesn’t present as strong a flavor as it does a fragrance in this blend.  Don’t get me wrong, the vanilla flavor IS there, but, it doesn’t overwhelm the cup.  It is delicate enough to allow the nuances of the Pouchong to express themselves.

The vanilla tones are sweet and creamy, and they seem to unite seamlessly with the soft, velvet-y flavor of the Pouchong.  There is just a hint of citrus-y flavor from the lemon myrtle – much less than I was expecting.  That’s not to say it should be stronger … it is what it is … but, I guess when I read the description I was expecting a more prominent citrus tone.  As it is, though, I think that the subtle hints of citrus in this cup are very pleasant, providing a nice contrast to the sweetness of the vanilla and Pouchong.

Overall, I find this to be a very smooth-tasting tea.  There is very little astringency and no bitterness to it.  It is a delicate tea; it is not too heavy or overbearing.  It is a nice choice for later in the day, but it’s also sweet enough to be a dessert-type tea as well.

posted under Oolong, Pouchong | Comments Off
« Older Entries

Our mutual love for tea and writing about it inspired us to start this blog so that we could better share this love with others.

One thing I (Anne) learned very early on in my career as a tea artist is that everyone has different preferences, and every single tea tastes differently on every single palate.  So just because one of us doesn’t happen to like a tea, doesn’t mean that YOU (the reader) will not.

We try to be as impartial as we can.  We do have our favorites.  We are human.  But we do our very best to be as fair and as honest about a tea as we can be.

You might not agree with my assessment – or with Jennifer’s assessment – of a tea.  But that’s OK… if we all liked the same exact tea – we’d only need ONE kind of tea and … wow… that sounds really boring, indeed!

What a beautiful world it is that we have so many teas to suit so many tea enthusiasts!