Those of you who are familiar with oolong teas would know how precious Wuyi oolongs are. There are four famous Wuyi oolong teas: 1) Big Red Robe, 2) Iron Arahant, 3) Golden Water Tortoise and 4) White Cockscomb. I have been great fan of Big Red Robe so far, and always kept a box of it available at my cupboard all the time. Yet unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to try other three oolongs so far. This month Global Tea Hut have sent its subscribers a box of White Cockscomb Oolong Tea alongside with its magazine. So finally I’ve had the pleasure to sip this rare cliff tea from Wuyi.
White Cockscomb (aka Bai Ji Guan) is one of the Wuyi Shan strip style oolong teas. It consists of highly oxidized dark brown/black colored tea leaves. They are not roasted as much as Da Hong Pao. Dry tea leaves are comprised of long and intact leaves which is a good omen of a well produced oolong tea. They smell fruity and citrusy, more like lychee.
I brewed it gongfu style using one of my yixing teapots. Before making my first steep I rinsed tea leaves for a few seconds in order to get them ready for the first infusion. The liquor was dark orange in the first infusion. It’s definitely very complex tea, hard to get all the details. Taste is rounded in the mouth alongside with chocolate-like sweetness. It has a mild finish with sweet aftertaste. In total I’ve made five infusions starting with a minute and adding 15 seconds for each following infusion. If you like you can go for another one or two infusions easily.
Dry Tea Leaves: Blend of short green tea leaves and brown rice
Liquor: Light green
Price: $6.80 for 50gr
Genmaicha literally means brown-rice tea and produces very strong toasty aroma. It is a very unique Japanese green tea which is produced by combining either bancha or sencha tea leaves with roasted brown rice. I personally prefer the ones that are produced using sencha tea leaves. Previously I’ve reviewed a great genmaicha green tea from Obubu Tea Farm which is made with sencha tea leaves.
This week’s tea is from Yunomi Tea. It’s an organic tea and produced by blending tea leaves from Kyoto and Kagoshima. I brewed it as it’s instructed at Yunomi steeping guide. I used 5 grams of tea leaves, 180ml water and infused it at about 85 Celcius degrees. I did three steppings in total. I went for exactly 30 seconds for the first infusion which produced light green liquor. Aroma of roasted rice was the first thing that hit me even before I took my first sip. Although I brewed it at about 85 Celsius degrees there was no astringency at all. It’s relatively sweet alongside with the toastiness of brown rice in the background. Normally I’m not a fan of rice tea since most of the time rice dominates tea and all you get is the aroma and flavor of rice. Yet not in this one! This Genmaicha by Yunomi Tea is perfectly balanced. For the second infusion I went for just ten seconds. I think this was a mistake on my side because it produced a watery cup. I should have gone for a longer infusion which would have resulted in a stronger cup. I brewed it 30 seconds again for the third and last infusion. Even though it was not as strong as the first one it’s definitely suited my taste more than second infusion.
Of all three infusions I like the first one most. It was well balanced between roasted brown rice and tea leaves. It’s richer and more complex brew compared to first two infusions. Yet you can easily go for fourth even fifth infusion if you don’t mind more watery taste. Overall this Genmaicha from Yunomi Tea is one of the great examples of this unique Japanese green tea.
Dry Tea Leaves: flat, long mostly light green tea leaves
Liquor: Pale Yellow
Brewing: Gongfu style using a small glass teapot
There are times you take things granted in your life! Things that are part of your daily routine but you’re blind enough to overlook and not cherish them enough! And some day when you do not have it anymore it hits you that something huge is missing in your mind and heart. If you’re lucky enough it’s not that late and you can get back whatever is missing in your life.
Same way there are teas you drink almost every day and they become part of your daily routine; as a result you don’t appreciate them enough. Today I’ll review one of these teas: Dragon Well (aka LongJing). It’s a classic, it might be the most popular green tea in China.
This week’s tea is from Teavivre as well. Last week I reviewed another great green tea, Bi Luo Chun, from Teavivre. It was one of the best teas of this year I’ve tried so far.
Dry tea leaves of this week’s tea smell seaweed and grass with floral notes. They are flat as you expect from any Dragon Well green tea, they are wok-roasted I guess.
I brew it Gongfu style using a glass teapot in order to enjoy the leaves as they reveal themselves. The liquor is pale yellow and crystal clear. The aroma is grassy and floral as well. I went for just a minute for first infusion which produced delicately sweet and light flavor with a hint of grassiness in the background. The mouthfeel is velvety and the aftertaste was sweet yet left a drying sensation. The second infusion took about one and a half minute and it’s stronger than first infusion both flavor and aroma-wise. It’s also produced somewhat bitterness but a welcomed one. In total I’ve made four infusions. In the third infusion, which took about two minutes, flavor started to fade away yet still good. In the fourth infusion tea leaves revealed themselves fully which reminded me it’s time to go no further.
This Dragon Well green tea from Teavivre is one of the best examples of this classic tea I’ve ever tried so far. From now on I’d be more careful not to pass many days without drinking it!
Dry tea leaves: Small, wiry tea buds with white tips
Liquor: Bright green
Brewing: Gongfu style using a small tea pot
Last month I ordered some black and green tea samples from Teavivre. Green teas I ordered have been produced this year so I’ve decided to review two of their green teas. Not that I did not like their black teas, to the contrary they are great. Yet nothing like fresh tea, right? In this post I review one of the famous Chinese green teas which is originally grown in the Dongding Mountain in Jiangsu: Bi Luo Chun (aka Green Snail Spring).
Dry tea leaves are light green with silvery buds. They are curled similar to a snail as its name suggests. You can get lots of floral tones alongside with a hint of grassiness.
I brewed it Gongfu style using a small glass tea pot starting with a little over a minute for the first infusion which resulted with a little bit of bitterness. The liquor is dominated by grassy flavor with floral notes in the background. In order to get rid of bitterness in the first infusion I went exactly for a minute for the second infusion. Tea revealed its full potential at this infusion. There still is some bitterness alongside with its sweetness but not at a level that bothers me. Mostly I get is a very smooth and sweet tea alongside with grassy notes in the background. For the third infusion I increased brewing duration to one and a half minute to keep up with the taste of second infusion. There it’s again! Although grassiness started to fade away at this infusion; it’s now sweeter and smoother. I’ve made five infusions in total though it’s considerably lost its flavor and aroma in the fourth infusion.
In a nutshell it’s a fresh and refreshing tea with fruity, floral and grassy notes. Recommended to anyone who’s looking for some best teas of 2015!
For those who are new to Houjicha tea, it is a very special Japanese roasted green tea that is generally made out of bancha tea leaves. To be honest I’m not a fan of this tea yet I try to keep drinking more of it in order to develop my tea experience. And When I come across really good one I’d like to share it with you.
This week I’ll introduce you one of these teas: Houjicha Gold from Obubu Tea Farm. This is first houjicha I really like of all houjichas I’ve drunk so far. It’s complex, refreshing tea. The reason for that might be the fact that houjicha is normally made of bancha tea leaves (which is considered as the lowest grade of all Japanese teas) whereas in this one Sencha tea leaves were used.
I brew it Gongfu style using 5 grams of tea for about 200 mm water at about 90 degrees Celsius. First brew took 25 seconds, adding another 10-15 seconds for following brews. When it’s brewed it’s produced a liquor reminiscent of Dancong oolongs. The liquor is crystal clear as well.
First thing that hits you even before you take your first sip is the dominance of roasted and nutty aroma in this tea. It’s very well balanced, it does not bother you as in some other houjichas. Similar to aroma taste is dominated by roasted and nutty flavors too. It’s refreshingly sweet, with no sign of astringency. The mouthfeel is delicately sweet.
In a nutshell, this houjicha from Obubu Tea Farm is by far the best houjicha I’ve tried so far and it’s suggested to anyone who want to try this tea first time or looking for a great example of this tea.
Previously I reviewed Satemwa Antlers white tea from What-Cha Tea which is an extraordinary tea. In this post I’ll review another great white tea, Zomba Pearls, from Satemwa Tea Estate. Simliar to Satemwa Antlers this one is also very unique tea and it’s a must-try for tea lovers.
First thing you will like about this tea is its pearl-shaped tea leaves. Particularly those who like Chinese Jasmine pearls will fall in love with this one. It’s not as tightly rolled as Jasmine pearls yet it takes more than a few infusions to get tea leaves unfurl. For this reason I suggest you to use a glass teapot in order to enjoy the dance of tea leaves as they unfurl. You are gonna love it!
I brewed it as it’s instructed at What-Cha website by steeping 3 grams of tea at 80°C in a small teapot for 3-4 minutes. I did four brews until tea leaves unfurl almost fully. You can easily get more than four infusions although both flavor and aroma started to fade away in third and fourth infusions.
It tastes sweet as you expect from any good quality white tea. What distinguishes this tea from other white teas it’s tangy cucumber taste which is not something I’ve come across in other white teas I’ve tried so far. It’s very sweet tea with no astringency. The lingering after taste is smooth and delicate as well.
This is not first time I’m reviewing milky oolong (aka Jing Shuan) tea. I’ve tried one from Eco Cha Teas earlier and I’ve loved it. Generally I’m great fan of Taiwanese oolong teas and milky oolongs are among my favorites. Last month’s tea by Global Tea Hut is another great example of milky oolongs. It’s organically grown and unlike some milky oolongs it’s inherently milky, not artificially scented with steamed milk. It was produced by Mr. Xie Yuan Zhai who is a third generation farmer in Ming Jian, Nantou.
Jing Shuan oolong is a hybrid varietal (Tai Cha No. 12) that’s mainly grown at Mt. Zhu in central Taiwan. This cultivar is also referred as Golden Lily which is relatively new varietal developed in the 1980s. The leaves of this varietal are naturally sweet and milky which makes this tea stand out among other oolong teas.
Dry tea leaves are both light and dark green. They are semiball-rolled with attached stems. The aroma is very rich, mainly buttery and milky. The flavor is so sweet and milky as well, you’ll get enough of it. I used five grams of tea and it’s brewed more than five times easily.
To recap, it’s another great tea from Global Tea Hut particularly for those who really like lowly oxidized, greener and light oolong teas. It’s a very delicate tea with no astringency at all.