Leaf Type: Flower
Where to Buy: Teasenz
A flowery tea that tastes clean and perfumy with a natural rosy aroma: Made from 100 percent genuine organic rosebuds and naturally dried to retain all the health benefits. A delicious and soothing cup to enjoy on a quiet afternoon or after a yoga session.
Learn more about this tea here.
It’s been a LONG while since I’ve had a pure rose tea like this one … so long that I can’t even remember when the last time was!
And I love the flavor of steeped rosebuds!
What makes this particular Rose Flower Tea from Teasenz so special is that it’s organic. The rosebuds are whole, gorgeous rosebuds. They aren’t crushed nor are they just petals. These are the whole, young rosebuds, clipped before they’ve had a chance to open up and bloom.
I steeped these beautiful, fragrant rosebuds in 190°F for six minutes. And the result is a golden amber cup of sweet, floral deliciousness that smells as wonderful as it tastes.
The flavor is sweet and floral. It tastes distinctly of rose without tasting like a cup of perfume. It’s light and refreshing and aromatic, and there’s something so soothing and relaxing when I sip it. And I like it hot or chilled – the flavor is superb!
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Tea Source
This rare white tea from Yunnan is a winter-pluck tea with huge downy buds and leaves from wild growing tea trees and produces a liquor that is mellow, sweet, slightly fruity (ripe plums?), and lingers with a soft floral finish. Can also be aged, as a puer.
Learn more about this tea here.
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I was happy to find this Silver Bud Ya Bao White Tea from Tea Source in this month’s Steepster Select box, if for no other reason than I enjoy Ya Bao teas and even though I do enjoy them, they are not often a tea that I put in my “cart” when I’m shopping for tea. It was a nice surprise to find this among this month’s tea selections.
I took this tea for a few steeps, because Ya Bao teas are one of those types of teas that the flavor develops over the course of several steeps – it’s definitely worth the effort to brew this one more than once!
The early infusions were very light in flavor. Very delicate. Sweet with hints of vegetation (on the grassy side) and notes that are reminiscent of honeydew melon. I taste a hint of nutmeg – a warm, gentle spice – with maybe a hint of white pepper. I love the subtle flavors here … although I do find myself wishing that they were a little more pronounced.
That wish was granted with the later infusions. The flavors began to develop with the second infusion, offering notes of peach and sweet, creamy notes. I am tasting less of the aforementioned spice notes now, and the vegetal notes have become more hay-like to me. This cup is sweeter and the flavors are more defined.
With the third infusion, I noticed the flavors beginning to wane and became less distinctive, which tells me that a fourth infusion may be futile. However, the three infusions that I did get from this tea, I really enjoyed them.
A really lovely Ya Bao! Thank you, Steepster, for selecting this tea for this month’s box! If you’re interested in the Steepster Select subscription program, click here to learn more.
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: Teajo Teas
Our most delicate and subtle tea contains very little caffeine and delivers a light, smooth and nutty flavor. Harvested before the leaves fully open, this tea is one of the rarest in the world.
I couldn’t find this White Leaf and Bud Single Estate White Tea on Teajo Teas’ website, so I don’t know if it’s still available (or perhaps, it’s just temporarily sold out) but I did want to review it because this is the first tea that I’ve tried from this company and I’m absolutely in love with the quality and flavor of this tea!
The leaves are soft and tender and whole. Lots of tea buds in this too. And each leaf and bud is covered with fuzzy, fluffy down. The color of each leaf variegates from a silvery white color to a pale green, to twinges of tan. The leaves infuse a pale golden hued liquid.
The flavor stunning! It is sweet and gentle and yet amazingly full-flavored with notes of hay and a sweet nutty flavor. It’s a slightly toasted nut flavor … as though perhaps someone had slivered some raw almonds and then put them in a warm pan to toast for a minute. Not a strong roasty flavor, but just a hint of sweet, toasty flavor. There is a freshness to this … not really “vegetative” exactly … but more like the taste of the fresh air in spring.
I’m really liking this white tea a great deal … I think what I am liking so much about it is that it is SO different from the typical Bai Mu Dan or Silver Needle. Not that I dislike those – you know I love ’em! But, sometimes, it’s nice to taste something that’s just a little different.
And what makes this tea different is that these leaves aren’t Chinese tea leaves, but Indian (from Assam!) This is a difference that is immediately noticeable in the taste from the very first sip. This has a fuller flavor than a typical Silver Needle, and even a Bai Mu Dan. The flavor is less delicate than those teas, but it still has a certain lovely delicateness to it.
A really delightful white tea … I hope that Teajo will be restocking this one!
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Fusion Teas
Taiwanese oolong blended to perfection. With floral notes and hints of lemon and ginger it isn’t just pretty to look at. Instead of picking up that bouquet for your better half try surprising with this one of a kind blend.
Learn more about this blend here.
The dry leaf is absolutely gorgeous! The leaves look like a fine quality, green Tie Kuan Yin – although the description is vague about the type of leaf that it is, stating only that it is a Taiwanese Oolong, the leaves are forest-y green and tightly wound into pellets, similar to most Tie Kuan Yin Oolong teas that I’ve encountered – and there are lots of tiny, red, perfectly formed rose buds tossed amongst the tea leaves as well as bits of lemon grass. It’s so beautiful, I was almost reluctant to brew it, because I just wanted to look at it! But, the key word in that sentence is almost! I wasn’t going to let the beauty of the leaf keep me from brewing it.
The aroma is also quite lovely. The dry tea smells very intriguing, evoking thoughts of exotic pastry that is made with rose water. The fragrance of the rose is very distinctive, with bright notes of lemon, a fresh, vegetative note and a touch of ginger. But there is also a bread-y, pastry-like scent to this too, something that is difficult to place because of the ingredients … that is to say, I don’t know why I am smelling a pastry-like scent, but I am! And it smells mouth-wateringly delicious! Once brewed, the fragrance is different, smelling primarily of rose and Oolong.
And I’m very happy to report that the flavor does not disappoint. Sometimes, it happens where a beautiful looking and smelling tea does not carry through with the flavor, but that didn’t happen here. The flavor is definitely rose: sweet and floral. It has a taste that is very much like the rose water I mentioned previously.
The Oolong tastes sweet and slightly creamy … almost buttery. There is a vegetative note to it that marries with the rose notes in a lovely way. The lemon notes are very faint here, almost overwhelmed by the rose, but, I’m liking the way its an accent flavor … sort of like squeezing a drop or two of fresh lemon juice into the teacup. The ginger is also faint, and for this I am glad, as ginger does have a way of becoming a rather overpowering flavor … here, the flavor is very subtle, adding just a hint of spice to the cup. The ginger is most distinct in the aftertaste, where I notice a developing warmth in the back of my mouth. Not strong, nor is it developing in a powerful sort of way, but in the aftertaste … long into the aftertaste, I notice ginger. It’s quite nice.
I’d recommend this tea to those who generally love rose flavored teas – it is a deliciously different approach to a rose tea! I’d also recommend it to those that love Oolong, because it is a really unique Oolong blend, quite unlike anything I’ve tasted before.
Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: PekoeTea
Silver Needle White Tea with a white downy appearance comes from the province of Fujian. The Silvery Needle, highest quality white tea, is picked during the spring before the buds open to preserve its tenderness. Exquisite and delicate, Silvery Needle has a fresh, sweet fragrance and produces a pale yellow brew.
Learn more about this tea here.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m very happy with this month’s selections in the Steepster Select box. The theme is “Best Buds” and features some of the finest teas that I’ve tasted. Like this amazing Silver Needle Tea from PekoeTea.
I steeped these needles in my gaiwan, and the flavor is so intense! I am surprised at just how much flavor I’m getting from this tea. The flavor is sweet and floral, with some intriguing savory qualities as well. I taste notes of cucumber and even the slightest hint of very young asparagus that’s been steamed and lightly buttered. I also detect some hay-like notes in the distance.
There are some delectable fruit notes to this tea too. I tasted what I thought might be an apple-y pear kind of taste which has since developed into more of a melon (honeydew) taste.
As I continue to sip, I notice a mineral-y note. This is one of the more complex Silver Needle teas I’ve encountered. It seems that with every sip, I discover something new.
If you’ve been meaning to try a Silver Needle Tea (or add one to your tea stash!), I suggest trying this one from PekoeTea. It’s quite lovely!