Hua Xiang Rougui Oolong Tea from Nan Nuo Shan

HuaXiangTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Nan Nuo Shan

Tea Description:

Mineral, slightly roasted, with clear floral hints. Hua Xiang Rougui is a well-balanced tea with a brisk, full and clean flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mmm … this Hua Xiang Rougui Oolong Tea from Nan Nuo Shan is so nice!  It’s one of those Oolong teas that I just want to curl up to and enjoy.  It’s one of those types of teas that make you feel all warm and fuzzy and cozy when you drink it.

I brewed this the way I’d brew most Oolongs:  in my gaiwan.  I heat the kettle to 180°F and let the tea steep for 15 seconds.  Then I strained the liquid and discarded it – this is called the rinse.  Need to awaken those leaves!  I resteeped the leaves, this time for 45 seconds and strained the liquid into my teacup.  For each subsequent infusion, I added 15 seconds.  My first cup is the combination of infusions 1 and 2, while my second cup is infusions 3 and 4 … you get the idea, right?

This first cup is warm and wonderful.  I taste notes of mineral and a sweet, roasted fruit note, reminiscent of what a roasted peach might taste like.  Notes of flower weave their way throughout the sip.  I taste a very subtle note of what I want to call cinnamon, although it’s not as warm/spicy as a cinnamon note would be.  This is a subdued cinnamon flavor that i’m tasting.

The second cup was even nicer than the first – with intense, sweet fruit notes that taste like the aforementioned roasted peach along with the sweetness of dried fruit.  Like the sweetness of a dried apricot and raisins.  The spice notes are still there – still warm yet subdued.  The mineral notes have softened somewhat.  This cup seems more intently focused on the delectable sweetness of the fruit.  The flavors were more intense but the overall cup was smoother.

With my third cup, I noticed the flavors starting to wane a little bit so I decided that I’d make this my last cup.  I’m tasting the mineral notes again, almost to the same level that I tasted them in the first cup.  It was kind of odd to me that I barely noticed them at all with the second cup but now they seem to be as pronounced as they were in the first cup.  Still sweet, still fruity, but with a little less of the dried fruit notes.  This time, I’m picking up on more floral flavors, notes of what I want to describe as gardenia with hints of orchid.  I’m even picking up on notes of honey!

A truly remarkable tea – this is one that you definitely want to take through the different infusions – because there are so many layers of flavor to be discovered.

Snow Chrysanthemum Flower Tea (Xue Ju Hua Cha) from Teasenz

snow_chrysanthemum_teaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Flower

Where to Buy:  Teasenz

Tea Description:

A ‘heavenly’ rare flower tea that is grown only in the Kunlun mountains, where slow flower growth results in a delicious flower taste with notes of caramel and dark red tea liquor. Snow Chrysanthemum flower tea contains high amounts of amino acids and proteins, which are beneficial to your health by lowering blood sugar, reducing high cholesterol, and preventing heart diseases. A Teasenz favorite.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have tried a few chrysanthemum teas in the past, but I have never tried a chrysanthemum tea like this Snow Chrysanthemum tea from Teasenz.  The flowers are dark red – burgundy! – the chrysanthemum teas I’ve had in the past have been white, and the petals are yellow.  The aroma of the dry flowers is (not surprisingly!) floral and sweet.

The tea brews up dark.  After reading more of the information provided about this tea on the website, I may have oversteeped these flowers, since it says that you should stop steeping when the liquid turns slightly red.  This liquid has a deep burgundy hue similar to the color of the centers of the flowers.  (For point of reference, I steeped these for five minutes.)

But the flavor is delightful, so I’m not complaining!  I’m not upset … this doesn’t taste like over-steeped tea to me!

It has a wonderful, honey-caramel flavor.  And even though the color would indicate that it’s “over-steeped” as I said, the flavor offers no such indication.  It’s not bitter, and the flavor is remarkably mild and beautifully sweet with pleasing notes of flower.  It’s very smooth from start to finish.  The aftertaste is lightly sweet, reminiscent of the aftertaste I might experience if I were to have eaten some wildflower honey.

According to the Teasenz website, this is not only a tasty beverage, but a healthy one too:

Due to 18 kinds amino acids, researchers claim that it can prevent high blood pressurehigh cholesterolhigh blood sugar, coronary heart diseases, inflammation, colds, and insomnia when consumed in form of tea. Wild Kunlun snow daisy has been passed down from generation to generation as a Uighur medicinal herbal flower tea.

Now, I don’t usually drink something just because it’s healthy.  There has to be a flavor payoff for me too.  I have to like the way it tastes.  What can I say?  Life’s too short to drink something that tastes bad.  But this doesn’t taste bad!  It’s actually quite a tasty tisane!

It’s a very relaxing, soothing drink.  I found it most enjoyable while the tea was hot.  As it cooled, the flavors diminished somewhat, but it was still quite tasty.  That is to say, it’s better when it’s hot, but it’s still good when it’s cold.

Jasmine Pearls Mo Li Hua Green Tea from Yezi Tea

jasmine-dragon-pearlsTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Yezi Tea

Tea Description:

This exquisite organic green tea is harvested in the city of Fuzhou in the famed Fujian province of China. Mo Li Hua is sold as a mix of carefully oxidized green-tea leaves and fragrant jasmine flowers.

Jasmine is the municipal flower of Fuzhou—and for good reason. The citizens of Fuzhou know that there are fewer sensations more rejuvenating than the fragrance of jasmine flowers wafting through their windows on evenings ideal for quiet contemplation. Now you, too, can enjoy this carefully handcrafted loose-leaf green tea. Be sure to note how, as soon as the Mo Li Hua leaves come into contact with water, they expand into exquisite floral patterns, further accentuating the goodness of the brew.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love jasmine pearls!  And these Jasmine Pearls Mo Li Hua Green Tea from Yezi Tea are some of the finest I’ve tried.  The aroma is captivating, and the flavor … amazing.  And drinking jasmine teas is always a treat for me … not just because I love jasmine, but it also means that I get to get out my Yixing mug.  It’s Jasmine time!

The leaves have been carefully wound into small pellets, and these “pearls” slowly unfurl to release their flavor.  It’s fun to watch them do their elegant dance in the hot water, so if you have a glass gaiwan … you should use it to brew this tea!

This is a lovely jasmine tea.  The jasmine is not nearly as strong in flavor as the fragrance suggests.  It is a highly aromatic tea:  both the dry leaf and the brewed tea emit an outstanding bouquet.  But the flavor of the jasmine is soft and smooth … not at all perfume-y.  It is beautifully exotic and feminine without tasting like a bar of soap from one of those luxury bath stores in the mall.

The green tea is sweet and it has a delicate taste that is a perfect complement to the subtle taste of the jasmine flower.  There is no sharpness and very little astringency here.  It’s just a pleasure to sip, from start to finish.

Yet another amazing tea from Yezi Tea … I’m really impressed with this company thus far!