Leaf Type: Yellow
Where to Buy: Teavana
We are proud to offer one of the rarest teas in the world; our limited edition yellow tea direct from China. The name ‘yellow’ tea refers not only to the unique processing and the lovely, bright golden infusion color, but due to its rarity it is also associated with the imperial yellow worn exclusively by emperors for centuries. Unlike any tea you have tasted before, at first sip it evokes the exquisite pleasure of everyday luxuries. Captivating high floral notes mingle with a smooth honeyed body and a subtle creamy, buttery finish. A perfectly balanced tea curated just for you.
Learn more about this tea here.
First a brief disclaimer of sorts;
I am NOT a fan of Teavana. I have never purchased a blend from them and likely never will. However, this has absolutely nothing to do with the blends they sell themselves.While the store serves it’s purpose of acting as an introductory loose leaf tea shop, for which I am grateful (as I’m sure they’ve turned many people on to drinking loose leaf tea) I cannot personally support their business model nor will I give money to a company with such consistently reported poor customer service.
Any of their teas that I’ve ever tried has been received as a sample, and not purchased out of my own pockets. That said, I’ve never let my personal views of the company’s business model affect the way I perceive their teas. This has meant occasionally finding a great blend but not pursuing a revisit, which can be disappointing, but is something I can live with. As for this tea, I’m going to review it as if I didn’t know the company from which it was sourced and give my opinion PURELY about the tea itself.
And so carrying on…
Visually, the dry leaf of this blend looked like somewhat tarnished, lightly browned Yin Zhen (Silver Needle tea) but a little more twisty. Steeped up, the liquor is a very flat, dull golden yellow. It’s very beautiful, even if it’s not a more lively looking liquor. Personally, I’ve only had three or four other plain yellow teas and they’ve been prepared in blue teaware, so I can’t really use my personal experiences to say whether this colour is normal for steeped up yellow tea though. The aroma is interesting; it’s soft with a bit of a buttery vegetal smell and some malt and sweeter notes as well.
Drinking this, it was really apparent to me that the nuances of flavor take after traditional Yin Zhen and Green Tea pretty equally; of course that makes sense given that yellow tea is halfway between white and green tea. I could actually tell it was produced in China without reading the description though; China’s green teas tend to have a more distinct smokey and nutty flavor to them while Japanese greens lean more heavily on the marine side of this (seaweed) and the flavors here weren’t an exception to that. On the greener end of the spectrum, I noticed very gentle smokey notes, buttery vegetal notes, a bit of a peppery flavor leaning towards lemon pepper more so than black pepper (or the actual vegetable; bell pepper, etc.), and some less distinct herbaceous notes as well. That lovely peppery quality definitely falls in line with other yellow teas I’ve been lucky enough to sample.
On the whiter side of things; there was a lovely supple sweetness that reminded me of honey or, combined with the weaker floral tones present, honeysuckle. A more vague hay-like flavour was present, and a flavor that kind of crossed over between malt and cream with a soft fruity edge; very similar to some of the Kenyan white teas I’ve gotten to try. I like to describe that flavor as kind of tasting like a Hot Cross Bun/Easter bun, in a way.
This was a super interesting tea, and I loved all the flavors present that bounced off one another; I’ve only gotten to try a few different yellow teas, and this isn’t my least favourite but it’s not my favourite either: so far Camellia Sinensis’ Meng Ding Huang Ya is my favourite. Both this tea and CS’s heavy big price tags; but with the quality difference I’d go with CS’s yellow tea. However, I think this is definitely worth trying if you get the chance because it WAS lovely.
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: The Mountain Tea Company
It’s no wonder this tea is also called Champagne Oolong. This Oriental Beauty in compressed cake form tastes of apricots, thick with honeyed spice. Simply break off a piece and enjoy. 3.8 oz
Other names: Champagne Oolong, Formosa Fancy Oolong, Braggart’s Tea – Peng Feng Cha – 椪風茶, White Tip Oolong – Bai Hao Oolong – 白毫乌龙, Dong Fang Mei Ren – 东方美人
Learn more about this tea here.
Oriental Beauty Cake from The Mountain Tea Company is one of the prettiest teas I have ever seen, let alone the pretties cake I have ever seen! There is also a lovely story about this tea’s creation and discovery here.
Well to begin this is an organic tea so points for that! Furthermore it is a pressed oolong yet has a distinctive pu’er flavor profile. Perhaps the pressing of this tea into a cake is only for presentation and novelty but I swear that in doing so it has manifested itself into a more earthy tea like a pu’er. Whatever the case may be – my imagination or reality, this is such a wonderful cup.
I will confess, I am getting a bit of a tea high while sipping on it. Either that or I just need a nap but I am feeling quite laid back and cozy in this sipping moment.
The aroma is a sensory explosion! Sweetly floral, and fruity, peppery notes, and the aroma of a wooded place. The aftertaste is so very familiar – what IS that flavor? Savory, vegetal, something buttered perhaps, GAH what is it? … Squash, Zucchini perhaps. I will come back to that another time it may drive me batty. It is delicious regardless!
I am surprised at just how bold this cup is. There is only a slight touch of astringency to it, but I like it as it has this slight bite then changes into that mystery flavor I was trying to pin point above.
I do also pick out notes of fruits, honey, and spices. It is in a way reminiscent of spending a day at the farmers market or maybe something a little more extravagant like a Moroccan market perhaps.
Ah the second infusion really brings forth the fruit notes! Now I get that raisin note that another reviewer had mentioned on Steepster!
I had got distracted while doing this review and came back to a very cold cup of tea and you know what. Its really good!
This really is not what I generally gravitate toward in an oolong but when I don’t think of it as an oolong I love it. Okay I love it even when trying to see it as an oolong. I think the point I am trying to make is, is that if someone handed me a cup of this I would think it either a black tea with some excellent layers in the flavor notes or perhaps a pu’er. I would be very confused.
I am also pretty sure this is the type of oolong served at a couple of the local Asian buffets here local to me. Now granted I do not think they are near this level of quality of an Oriental Beauty Oolong but hey at least its not Liptons!
So in closing I must say I am excited, surprised, confused, intoxicated, and wooed by this tea. I look forward to many many more steepings and sessions to come with this beautiful cake!
Kudos to The Mountain Tea Company for always having some of the best teas!
Oh and if you order from The Mountain Tea Company be sure to look for the button on their item pages that says “Tweet for Discount” if you have a twitter account you can get a code for 5% off your purchase.
Where To Buy:
A malty, savory black tea with the crisp sweetness of Jin Jun Mei and the buttery thickness of Dian Hong…
This wild-picked budset tea provides a uniquely rich and savory cup. In early steepings, the malty profiles of barley and wheat are in the foreground, with the sweet creaminess of butter. These savory flavors feel somewhat like fresh-baked whole-grain toast with a touch of sweet cream butter melted on top. Yet the aftertaste betrays the fine budset quality of the tea through a smooth sweetness, as though a touch of honey was spread on the buttered toast.
In later steepings, the savory grain flavors are more subdued, replaced by an unexpected crisp flavor, and slight sparkling peppery texture. It may be a bit too metaphorical, but this tea almost tastes sunny in later steepings. There is a bright warmth, coupled with the brilliant red-orange of the tea in the cup that suggests morning sunlight.
Sure! I LOVE any and all types of Teas but there is a soft spot in my heart for Black Teas, first and foremost. I start each day with at least one (many times – many more – than just one) type of Black Tea. On top of that – I do LOVE a Good Yunnan Black Tea! So when I saw this one from Verdant – I knew it was going to be something special!
I have to admit – when I tried this at first – I then sampled it each day until it was gone! It didn’t last in my stash for long!
This has a hint of pepper but is a bit smooth and creamy – especially at the end of the sip. The toast-like flavors are great! It’s savory. It has hints of wheat and/or barley, sweet corn, and woodsy notes and I think they are great! The 2nd and 3rd infusions are sweeter.
This makes a great cup…or in my case…CUPS!
Where To Buy: Rishi
This certified organic black tea is harvested from Yunnan’s ancient tea trees. Its deeply flavored infusion has notes of peppery spice, chocolate, sweet raisin, and a malty finish. Golden Yunnan has expertly fermented, even graded leaves and big, golden buds. Its wonderfully full-flavored and rich body is a treat for black tea lovers.
This is a great cup to start your day with whether it be the work day or a weekend wake-up! It’s Robust and malty yet sweet and almost caramelly. I can pick out the raisin comparison they mentioned in the description but not-so-much the chocolate they speak of but that’s ok because I like the taste I am tasting! The spicy-peppery notes really work here! The primary flavor is a strong black tea and I LOVE that!
Where To Buy: Shanti Tea
One of the purest teas available on the world market.
Organic Wuyi Rock Oolong is one of the purest teas available on the world market. This rare oolong hails from Mount Wuyi in Nanping Prefecture, Fujian, up along the border of Jiangxi Province. In 1999, UNESCO listed the mountain as a World Heritage Site in part owing to its outstanding biodiversity. According to the UN, Mount Wuyi is one of the world’s finest, intact, subtropical forests. Further complimenting the region’s reputation, Mount Wuyi is registered with the Chinese government as a biodiversity conservation zone. The climate of the region is relatively humid due to the fact that the mountain prevents cool air from entering the valley, and the presence of the 9 Bend River meandering through its valleys. Living with this subtropical paradise is an almost unaccountable number of species of flora and fauna. Many of the plan species living on the mountain are considered relics of a bygone age, no longer found anywhere else on the planet. In amongst this jewel of biodiversity grows the world famous organic rock tea. The tea bushes, like many other plant species, are ancient, having grown amongst the mountain’s rocky outcroppings for generations. Cultivation of the plants is almost impossible given the topography, so exceptional care is taken when handling and plucking the fresh tea shoots. The harvesters typically wear light cotton gloves when handling the leaves, which are harvested in small quantities so as not to tire the bushes. The fresh leaf is then allowed to naturally semi-ferment. The resulting flavor is at once rich, delicate, and laden with floral nuance.
Right out of the envelop this smells nutty to me…much like almond, actually! As if infuses it starts smelling more woodsy almost like a damp twig.
As for the taste…this is a hearty brew! It’s quite masculine, woodsy, slightly peppery, and a little like roasted or toasted nuts! It has a gentle-semi-sweet after taste to it too!
This is interesting, different, and pretty good! Certainly a conversation piece – no matter which way you look at it. As for me…I look at it with a smiling face! This Oolong is very nice!