The tea leaves are long, twisty, intact, and dark green. I used the entire sample packet and steeped it for 3 minutes at 175 degrees in about 6 ounces of water.
This tea starts to smell quite buttery and floral while steeping. The water’s not turning color much, but it smells very nice. (When I saw the leaves and smelled the sweet and buttery flavor I kind of forgot this was a green tea rather than an oolong tea, so I was expecting the water to get darker than it did.)
After steeping, the tea liquid is a light whitish yellow; there’s not really much green in it at all. It tastes astringent, floral, and a bit sweet (honey-like?). It has fruity and orchardy notes and maybe a hint of umami. It really tastes much more like an oolong to me than a green tea, with its orchid-fruity taste and lack of the usual green tea flavors like jasmine/grass/seaweed/etc. Although there’s a bit of umami, there’s not a lot of vegetal flavor. The leaves looked oolongy too–super long and twisty.
As I continued drinking this tea, I found it to be a very complex, fulfilling cup. It has more than enough flavor notes to stand on its own without sugar or milk, and is interesting enough that I didn’t get tired of the flavor and found myself wishing for more when I’d finished. I normally consider myself more of a dark-tea person (and don’t drink oolongs or greens much) so that’s quite impressive.
The tea company has a focus on natural tea production and harvesting tea leaves in their natural state (grown pesticide/fertilizer free and plantation free in the forest), which means their processing tends to be a bit different than conventional processing. This may account for the super-high quality of the leaves and the fact that it has elements of oolong as well as of green tea (at least in my opinion). I’m kind of in love with this tea now so I might just have to go and buy some more from their website now. And if you enjoy complex oolong-y flavors and high-quality tea leaves in your cup, you might want to do the same. 🙂
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Love Some Tea
Green Tea natural and wild, the way nature intended. Our green tea is wild picked from the mountains of Northern Thailand.
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Conundrum Tea
This double-roasted black tea has almost no astringency or dryness to it but it contains some very complex, full flavors. It tastes of molasses, raisin, and sweet potato with more subtle hints of grape and caramelized sugar. It has an incredibly sweet aftertaste for a black tea. The orange color of the brewed tea reminds us of a fire and the leaves have a strong, sweet fragrance along with a root vegetable smell which is common for the high-altitude teas of Nepal.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’ve only had a few Conundrum Teas in the past but what I have tried has been amazing! Right from the start I knew this tea was going to be different and a nice change of pace. The dry leaf had such a lovely robust feel to it.
Brewed this up like a black tea -212F prepped water with about a 4 minute steeping time. Never having this tea before, I wanted to error on the side of caution. I didn’t want to oversteep.
Took my first sip and the description of this tea fits this tea perfectly. Sweet with hints of a sweet potato like finish. Almost and I hate to say it, dirt like? But take that as a good thing. This tea is delicious. The sweetness really mixes well with this malty note that is going on. I didn’t so much get the grape flavor but all the rest I did. Such a cool tea. So many different notes and flavors going on. Each sip I take I sit here and try to figure out exactly what I’m picking up.
This is why I started to drink tea. It is just such an adventure. . .especially when you are drinking a delight like this one. So good with so many different attributes. I think I need another cuppa!
Where To Buy:
Green Terrace Teas
Our founder’s favorite tea – this is a rare and unique cultivar available only in Taiwan. Grown at elevations of over 2,000 meters, our spring harvest is both exquisite and complex in character. Non-astringent and mildly sweet, this black tea has floral and fruity undertones with notes of plum and honey. Its aroma of sweet, ripe fruit is strong and noticeable instantly after the leaves come in contact with hot water. If you’ve never had a quality black tea before, this variety is a must try. Best brewed with multiple, short infusions.
YUM! I would agree that this tea is rare and unique and that first and foremost is why I give this two thumbs up! From first sniff of the tea liquid – post-infusion, of course – I could smell something sweet – much like honey or mead – and a berry of some sort – fruit – almost like currants or wild berries…maybe even elderberries! The color of the tea in the cup is that of a weaker or more see-thru lighter brown. Just because it’s lighter in color does NOT mean it lacks in flavor! The flavor of this Li Shan Black Tea is truly scrumptious! Floral and Fruity – YES – but zoning in more on the plum, berry, and honey flavors. It’s sweet and floral but makes your mouth water. This is tremendously good hot or cold! It’s good for multiple infusions starting off with the shorter infusions and moving up the scale to longer infusions. This is a MUST TRY indeed!