Honeysuckle White Tea from Phoenix Herb Company

Honeysuckle White Tea from Phoenix Herb Company
Honeysuckle White Tea from Phoenix Herb Company

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: White

Where to Buy: Phoenix Herb Company

Tea Description:

In China, there are over 100 species of wild Honeysuckle. highly prized for its medicinal vale, Honeysuckle is used in China and Europe to cool the body, alleviate headaches, sooth sore throats and contains anti-inflammatory properties. This tea is lovingly made with “White Peony King” White tea and combined with wild honeysuckle blossoms for an enchanting cup of tea.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Honeysuckle White Tea from Phoenix Herb Company is sweet perfection.  Sourced from Shang Tea, one of my favorite tea companies, Honeysuckle White is sweet, relaxing, lovely, scented, and buttery. There is almost this milky mouthfeel to it. Its an enchanting tea. The color is gorgeous! A very light vegetal flavor comes out in the after taste. It is also slightly nutty but each steep brings forth different notes. The vegetal flavor mixed with the buttery milky flavor remind me of buttered green beans. Yes I put butter on my green beans, don’t you? Honeysuckle White is pure ecstasy. That is if your idea of ecstasy is a creamy mouthfeel, sweet florals, buttery light vegetal flavors, and an undertone of nuttiness.

When I was a kid there were a lot of honeysuckle bushes around my neighborhood. You could pick the blooms of the honeysuckle bush and pull out the middle section, the stamen I believe, and there would be this shiny wet dew on the stem of the stamen. This was honeysuckle sap. It was sweet and delicious just like this tea but a natural sweetness of course, no where near as sweet or sappy as honey. This tea evokes those memories for me. A time very early in my youth that followed me into my own children’s youth as they too would learn the secret of the honeysuckle bush! I love a tea that can evoke a memory.

This tea is soothing, calming, almost meditative. The color is so beautiful – a bright sunny golden amber. The aroma makes the eyes open brightly with the lovely smell of honeysuckle blossoms, then the eyes shut with a soothing Ahhhhhh feeling of release. Since this tea is made with the White Peony King tea base you will pick up subtle nuisances of fruity undertones in later steepings.

This tea is a forgiving tea in the sense that you can play around with brew times if you wish to have your tea a bit stronger or a bit lighter. I steep mine for a good 3 to 4 minutes on the first steep and 5 or more on the following steeps, yet you can go as little as 1 to 2 minutes and still get a lovely flavor. Note the directions to bring water to a boil, then let rest one minute before immersing leaves to steep. You will find this tea can easily be steeped 3 to 4 times and still give a high quality enjoyable flavor palate for your palate!

This playful tea has the quality to be snobbish yet lets everyone enjoy its bounty, at 8.15 USD per ounce which I consider a fair price for such a lovely tea. Every time I enjoy this tea I will think of the years past, running around my neighborhood, picking honeysuckle and lapping up the sweet nectar of life and remembering times doing the same with my own little saplings!

Taiwanese Dong Ding Oolong from Verdant Tea

Taiwanese Dong Ding Oolong from Verdant Tea
Taiwanese Dong Ding Oolong from Verdant Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Tea Description:

This Dong Ding exemplifies the union of sweet and savory flavors that are a hallmark of Taiwanese oolong craftsmanship.

Taiwanese oolong is an incredible and worthwhile counterpoint to the Tieguanyin growing cross the straights in Anxi. While mainland oolongs tend to be more floral, Taiwanese oolongs edge towards savory. In love with the unique taste, we are pleased to have found this standout example despite difficult growing conditions in Taiwan this past year.

The wet leaf aroma is like being in a small bakery with rising whole wheat walnut currant bread in the oven and redwood bark’s warm smell wafting though an open window. The first steepings start with a bright raspberry tartness followed by a darker note of flax and spicy green peppercorn. These initial flavors swell and then diminish leaving a sweet whipped cream pound cake aftertaste.

Later steepings expand upon the spicy flavor with the sweetness of red bell peppers and the savory satisfying taste of fried cactus paddle. The aftertaste moves towards sweet corn bread and lingers long after the tea is gone.

NOTES: pound cake, raspberry, peppercorn, corn bread, flax, cactus

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A tea like Taiwanese Dong Ding Oolong from Verdant Tea must be experienced over several steeps, otherwise you will miss out on so much flavor and complexity. I won’t say that this is my all time favorite tea from Verdant Tea, but it is very nice and should be experienced.

I will start by saying I am a little disappointed that I never got those pound cake notes, corn bread notes, or even really any raspberry notes, but what I did get was flavorful, and delicious.

Early steeps give off a nice light flavor, white floral notes, a dash of a pepper note, but only very slight, and a wonderful earthy note like well nourished soil, not to be confused with dirt. This Taiwanese Dong Ding by Verdant has a perfectly sweet flavor, not too sweet, but just right. To me this resonates most as a floral milk oolong.

It is slightly vegetal, with some nutty goodness, and in later steeps becomes even more milky and creamy with a full mouth feel. It is weighty, buttery, slightly astringent, and really quite good. I still am looking for some of those dessert notes, but sadly not finding them.

Toward steep four and five I am still getting a wonderfully flavorful cup which becomes even more creamy, maybe this is where the cake note comes in – through all the creaminess, but for me I wish it had a little more because while it is creamy, it never quite develops into a full on cream like flavor, rather teases and hints at it. Perhaps if I were finding that raspberry note I would enjoy it more. This is not to imply I am unhappy with the cup, but I would have been more happy had I not seen those yummy notes that I am missing out on.

This is a really nice flavorful cup with key notes on my palate being floral, creamy, milky, and vegetal. Its not nearly as strong as other Dong Ding I have had, and I do love Dong Ding Oolong. Of course this is a lighter roast but even still it is lacking many of the qualities I am used to in Dong Ding. Again that is not to say I don’t like it. I like it a lot, but I am confused a little by this tea. I plan to work with it more to see if I can uncover more of what it has to offer.

Organic Silver Needle from Art of Tea

Organic Silver Needle from Art of Tea
Organic Silver Needle from Art of Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: White

Where to Buy: Art of Tea

Tea Description:

Organic Silver needle is the most sought after white tea and is only harvested for a few days each year in the northern district of Fujian, China. This magnificent tea has a light golden flush with a unique savory aroma and a woodsy body. The finish is pleasant with a lingering, yet balanced sweetness.

Water Temperature: 175-185 F degrees
Caffeine Content: Medium
Steep Time: 1-3 minutes
Suggested Serving Size: 1 Tbsp/8oz
Ingredients: Organic, Fair Trade Chinese White Tea
Origin: Fujian, China

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Organic Silver Needle from Art of Tea surprised me! I am not a huge fan of white teas. Well I suppose a more accurate statement would be that there are few white teas I have found that really wow me. I have found a few though! This white tea sort of wow’d me, it more so surprised me, confused me a little, and has made me want to drink a lot more of it to really understand it. Why all the confusion you may ask? Well to begin with the dry leaf is stunning, white, downey, soft, cuddly, lol yes, cuddly. It makes me wish I could buy enough to just pour all over my bed and lay upon it at night. Its so dreamy! But that is not what got me. What “got” me, is that the initial aroma of this tea is of cucumber! And that is exactly what it tastes like to me as well. Fresh, watery, cucumber! Yet, wait for it, its not watery at all! Its rather quite creamy! Creamy, fresh, mouthwatering cucumber!

It is also quite sweet on the palate. A warm natural sweetness that does not so much coat the mouth with a cloying sappy sugar but one that is sweet and creamy like a condensed milk. So what we have here, is a sweet, creamy, cucumber, tea. Strange I think. Usually I get a totally different flavor profile from Silver Needle!

I had this before bedtime, and I could not stop thinking about it as I fell asleep. I woke up this morning to my spent leaves, as I had several steepings, and just wanted to wake up enough to make another cup, have another session with this perplexing tea. I am not sure quite yet how I feel about it exactly. I need to overcome my pre-conceived notions of what this was “supposed” to taste like and just enjoy it for its unusual and wonderful nature unto itself. On the other hand I am craving it like crazy! A huge thank you to my Steepster friend for sending me this tea! My views may be changing on white teas, I may need to explore them with more abandon!

I am not going to say this is my all time favorite white tea, as it is so unusual, but it is one that I would like to have in my stash! I can’t wait to try this cold brewed although I don’t know if I would appreciate a milky, creamy, cucumber tea, cold. Yet I have plenty to play with so I will give it a try. Cucumber to me says summer, yet creamy and milky are more reserved for cooler months. Maybe I am just too narrow minded. Its just such an unusual flavor profile to me.

Time to make that other cup I was talking about … discovery ongoing….

Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea Flavored from Teavivre

Teavivre Oolong Jin Xuan
Teavivre Taiwan Jin Xuan Oolong Flavored

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Teavivre

Tea Description:

Different from our Unflavored Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea, this Flavored Jin Xuan Oolong Tea is produced by adding edible flavoring to accentuate the milk flavor.  So the milk aroma of this Flavored Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong is stronger.  It is better for people who like strong milk fragrance.

This Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea we selected is imported directly from Taiwan to Fujian, China. This tea meets the most strictly European low pesticide residues standard for agricultural products.
View Quality Safety Analyzing Report

The flavor used for this Flavored Jin Xuan Milk Tea is from Mane (Shanghai), the branch company of the famous Flavours and Fragrances company “Mane”, which is founded in 1871 in the Grasse area, France.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea Flavored from Teavivre is creamy, soothing, and delicious, just what I want in a milk oolong! I really quite enjoy this tea for its creamy goodness. While I love Teavivre’s unflavored version this version provides a bit more sweetness, almost a caramel note.

I typically enjoy a darker roasted oolong as a rule however now and then I prefer something on the green side of oolongs. This is a nice departure with more vegetal notes, and buttery goodness!

Some have said this reminds them of a cream cheese frosting more than milk and I tend to agree with that assessment. There is something so intriguing about this tea flavor that it is really difficult to describe and has to be experience for yourself. Now with that said, its not too sweet, its not sappy or cloying, so don’t be afraid to give it a go if you are not one who appreciates sweeter teas. Its not even the kind of sweetness one would get from tea with honey or maple notes. The sour cream frosting flavor really isn’t all that sweet, but there is some sort of bite to the milkiness, or just a hint at a sour note that keeps me trying to dissect it. You see the more I attempt to describe this tea the worse I feel I make it sound. Its not sour like sour milk where one’s mind may naturally go to considering it is a milk flavored tea right? But its not like that either. There is nothing off putting about this tea whatsoever. Its very soothing, very mellow, very relaxing, sedating almost.

For me it brings back childhood memories of my great great grandmother’s milk toast she used to feed me when I was little especially when I had tummy aches. I still love milk toast and I love this tea.

Coconut Milky Oolong from The Tea Spot

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  The Tea Spot

Tea Description:

A decadent dessert tea, to be sipped & savored. Our Taiwanese Milky Oolong has a smooth yet fruity and creamy taste. It’s blended with shaved coconut to create a delicate and calming experience in aroma and flavor. If you love coconut milk sweets and sophisticated oolongs, this is your tea. Discover this guiltless dessert – simply extraordinary!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Have you ever taken a sip of a tea and find that it is so good that it just totally exceeded your expectations – and your expectations were high to begin with?  I mean, something that was so good that you exclaim:  OH YUM!  without even thinking about it?

That’s what happened to me when I took a sip of this tea.  My expectations were already high … because, well, I love Milky Oolong tea, I adore coconut, and I cannot recall ever having been disappointed by a tea from The Tea Spot.  But as good as I thought this tea would be, I was still not prepared for it to taste THIS good!

This is sweet and creamy and decadent … and yeah, I expected that from a Milk Oolong and a Coconut tea.  And I also expected the flavors of the Milk Oolong and the coconut to meld really well together.  But … oh wow!  This is so creamy.  Sweet and coconut-y, but not in a way where the coconut oppresses the palate and prevents it from tasting the sweet, creamy taste of the Milk Oolong.

The Milk Oolong has faint floral notes, and of course, that decadent creamy note over which those of us that love Milk Oolong swoon and vegetative notes that marry well with the other flavors of the cup.  This tea offers such a pleasing balance of the creamy, sweet taste of coconut and of Milk Oolong, it tastes a bit like the creamy custard of a coconut cream pie!  YUM!

I highly recommend this one to those of you who like Milk Oolong … and love coconut!

Special, Limited-Time Offer:  Now through November 9, you can save 15% on your purchase of Coconut Milky Oolong from the Tea Spot!  Just put the tea in your shopping cart, and use the coupon code cocooolong at checkout, and enjoy your savings … and the tea!