Organic Sencha Green Tea from Shi Zen

Organic_Sencha_tea_infusedTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Shi Zen

Tea Description:

Our organic green tea are from the family farms of foothills of Mount Fuji. This organic green tea will be the teas that are harvested in summer, perfect for green tea to be used daily. We recommend this tea as an entry level that has a very well balanced taste of sweetness and bitter taste.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

After trying Shi Zen’s Organic Superior Sencha, I wondered how this tea experience would differ from my experience with the Organic Superior Sencha.  And while they are definitely two different teas, I have to say that I’m finding both to be quite enjoyable.  It would be difficult to choose which I prefer!

I like the balance of flavors in this cup.  There are some soft bitter notes to this that balance the sweet flavors.  This is a little lighter in texture than I remember the Superior Sencha being – it seemed much more “brothy” than this one, whereas I find the mouthfeel to be softer … not quite as thick.  It’s still really pleasant though.Organic_Sencha_Loose_Leaf

This tea is a little less sweet than the Superior Sencha.  The vegetal note is reminiscent of a lightly buttered, steamed vegetable.  Almost like very young and tender lima beans.  The light bitter tone offers a slightly savory contrast to the sweeter notes that are introduced at the start of the sip.

I like this Sencha quite a bit.  I find it to be an ideal beverage to serve with a meal because it has a pleasing flavor that doesn’t intrude upon the flavors of the food.  It tastes great served hot and I also like this one served iced too.  It’s really refreshing and it’s perfect for these hot summer days.

Rare Orchid Oolong Tea from Tea Source

Rare OrchidTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Tea Source

Tea Description:

This rare regional oolong from Wuyi Mountain, Fujian yields a light liquor, but with great aroma, taste, and texture. You’ll experience: sweet, nutty, fruity, honey, and silky over many steepings. These long, large, twisted, bronze/brown leaves are produced at more than 1000′ elevation from the Qi Lan cultivar.

Learn more about this tea here.

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Taster’s Review:

This is a really nice Oolong!  This Rare Orchid Oolong Tea from Tea Source is an example of why I really love the Steepster Select boxes – I get the opportunity to try teas that maybe I wouldn’t have tried if not for the Steepster Select program.

I’m loving the malty notes to this Oolong.  It’s not a flavor that I usually associate with an Oolong, and I love it when I discover an Oolong that offers me something a little different that I haven’t really tasted in an Oolong before.

Over on Steepster, some of the other tasting notes on this tea mention an Asparagus-like flavor, and I’m not tasting that yet.  I’m hoping that in later infusions, I’ll pick up on that flavor.  But for now, in this first cup (infusions 1 and 2 following a 15 second rinse), I’m happily enjoying the flavors of malt, a sweet honey flavor, and a sweet, creamy vanilla note.  There are some lovely floral notes to this cup too.

With my second cup (infusions 3 and 4), I noticed more vanilla notes … this second cup is so creamy!  More honey notes, less malt than in the first cup, and the floral tones seem somewhat subdued compared to the first cup – not quite as sharp, or perhaps the vanilla has softened the floral tones just a little bit.  Either way, I really like the way the vanilla flavors seem to really envelop the palate.  And if I focus, I taste hints of the asparagus note that I was searching for in that first cup, and I’m also picking up on a distant fruit note.

My final cup (infusions 5 and 6) was a mellower tasting cup.  I still tasted the vanilla, but this was less creamy than the second.  I could taste the fruit notes a little more than I did in the second cup, but, I’m tasting less honey and malt this time around.  Still a really flavorful cup, though, and definitely worth the effort!

This was a really lovely Oolong, I’m glad that I was able to try it – thanks to my Steepster Select subscription!  Interested in subscribing to the Steepster Select program?  Click here.

Fujian Pear White Tea Blend from Shanti Tea

fujian-pearTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Shanti Tea

Tea Description:

Delicate white tea with a light pear fragrance.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Fujian Pear White Tea Blend from Shanti Tea is easily one of the best tasting pear teas I’ve had the opportunity to sample.  It’s sweet, juicy and very much like a ripe, delicious pear.

The white tea base is subtle and is a delightful “pear” for the delicate notes of the fruit.  (Please excuse the “pun” … I couldn’t resist!)  The white tea allows the softer nuances of the pear to come through and be tasted.  The tea is gentle tasting, smooth and earthy.

And the pear has a very authentic, true-to-the-fruit flavor.  Based on my experience as a tea reviewer as well as my experience as a tea artist, I know that the true flavor of pear is a difficult flavor to capture.  It doesn’t always end up tasting “just right.”  It usually ends up tasting either so sweet that it’s cloying and confectionery, or it’s so subtle that when combined with the tea, the pear notes just don’t come through in a way that it is undoubtedly pear.

But Shanti has managed to bring out the flavor of pear without sacrificing the flavor of the tea!  It’s a well-crafted balance.  I like this served hot best, I find that as the tea cooled, the tea notes softened somewhat and that aforementioned balance is thrown off just a bit.  It’s still quite good cold, but, much tastier hot!

An exceptional pear flavored tea!

Organic White Monkey Green Tea from Kally Tea

WHITEMONKEYTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Kally Tea

Tea Description:

Organic green tea with white downy tips.  Chinese green tea grown on the slopes of the Taimu mountains in the Fuijian province of China.

A light cup with a slightly natural sweetness from the green tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I opened the pouch of this Organic White Monkey Green Tea from Kally Tea, I could smell the vegetative notes immediately, along with a sweet note, and a hint of floral notes in the background.  It smelled really lovely, like a sunny spring morning.

The flavor I first noticed with my first sip was a sweet, nutty note.  Having tried a few White Monkey teas in the past, I found myself trying to recall if I normally experienced a nutty flavor.  The aroma of the dry leaf suggests a somewhat leafy or grassy taste, but, it’s not there.  I don’t get a strong “vegetal” note here.  In fact, I think that this would be an excellent tea for those who are new to green tea and just a little bit intimidated by the grassy taste of some other green teas out there.

The floral notes are also not as pronounced as I expected them to be.  Instead, I’m tasting a sweet, buttery and nutty flavor at the start of the sip.  When I slurp the sip, I even pick up on some hints of cacao!  Lovely!

Overall, this is a pleasant, delicate tasting tea.  Toward the finish, I notice a slight fruity note – it is sweet and complements the nutty tones well.  A nice complexity, and I like that I’m not picking up on any bitterness or astringency to this.  It’s just a mild, relaxing cuppa!

Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hao Yinzhen) from Enjoying Tea


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Enjoying Tea

Tea Description:

This white tea with a white downy appearance comes from the province of Zhejiang. The Silver Needle, highest quality white tea, is picked during the spring before the buds open to preserve its tenderness. Exquisite and delicate, Silver Needle has a fresh, sweet fragrance and produces a pale yellow brew. Brewing with a Yixing teapot can best show the aroma of Silver Needle. This tea has high concentrations of polyphenols (antioxidants that help fight against cancer-causing radicals and heart disease)

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a LOVELY Silver Needle White Tea – also known as Bai Hao Yinzhen – from Enjoying Tea.  It is so deliciously sweet and beautifully delicate.

The aroma is sweet and reminiscent of hay.  I’ve compared the fragrance of other Silver Needle teas that I’ve tried to the scent of the air that would surround a field of hay after a cutting, and that is true of this Bai Hao Yinzhen as well.  It smells fresh.

The flavor is also fresh tasting.  Sweet, mellow vegetative tones.  It is certainly delicate, and I have heard that some people tend to avoid white teas because of their delicate quality.  I would say don’t let this detract you!  It took me a while to allow my palate to adapt to the lighter characteristics of a white tea … but once my palate became accustomed to the softer flavor, it was so rewarding!  I love white tea!

This Silver Needle from Enjoying Tea is an absolute delight!