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: 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.
Last month I’ve done something different and I’ve ordered some tea samples that were produced at Satemwa Tea Estate in Malawi. To be honest up until a year ago I was not even aware of the existence of such a country. Now I’ve had the pleasure to drink some of their exquisite teas. Malawi is a small country in southeast Africa with an estimated population of almost 16 million people. It’s the second largest tea producer in Africa following Kenya. In this post and following post I’ll review two white teas produced at Satemwa Tea Estate: Satemwa Antlers white tea and Zomba Pearls white tea. They were both ordered from What-Cha Teas.
First I start with Satemwa Antlers white tea which is a very unique, one of a kind tea. It’s nothing like other white teas I’ve tried so far. There are teas you like, teas you really like, teas you fall in love with and teas that vow you. The Antlers is the perfect example of the last category. What makes this tea stand out among other white teas is the fact that it’s hundred percent composed of stems which is generally looked down by tea lovers.
I brewed it as it’s instructed at What-Cha website by steeping 3-4 grams of tea at 80°C in a small teapot for 3-4 minutes. I did only two steeps since it’s fully composed of stems. Yet if you’re okay with fading flavor and aroma you can go for more infusions.
As soon as you take your first sip it hits you with its honey-like sweetness and lychee notes. It’s got no astringency or bitterness at all. It’s a soft and smooth tea which makes it very ideal for afternoons and evenings.
The lesson I learnt from drinking this tea is that I should never underestimate the value of stems. So far I kinda believe that it’s not possible to get a good quality of tea out of too much stems. With the Antlers I’ve been wronged.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for new and exciting teas, this tea is just for you. In the upcoming post, I’ll review Satemwa Tea Estate’s Zomba Pearls white tea which is even more exciting than the Antlers. Stay tuned!
This week I’ve got a very special tea to review: First white tea ever produced by Çaykur. Its astronomical price already has eclipsed other features of this tea. If you’re willing to get a hold of it you have to pay 1500 USD per kilo which is way above other great silver needle white teas I’ve tried so far from China. Please correct me if I’m wrong but it’s most likely the most expensive silver needle white tea so far. Packaging is kind of extravagant as well, it’s delivered in a glass jar and wooden box which probably crafted for debut of this tea.
Çaykur bought 1531 kg of raw tea buds from tea farmers last year and produced 370 kg silver needle white tea out of it. This is first time Çaykur have produced any white tea; as you know well Çaykur mostly produce black teas as per high demand on black tea in Turkey.
Dry tea leaves are comprised of uniform and fresh tea buds. They’re short and thin compared to other silver needles I’ve tried so far. As usual they have the appearance of needles and covered with downy hairs.
To be honest I was not expecting this tea to be that good when I took my first sip out of cup. The aroma is very floral; the flavor is very smooth and sweet with beautiful lingering aftertaste.
In a nutshell Çaykur have done a great job by producing this tea, it’s long overdue. Furhermore I believe this is the first tea produced by Çaykur that can have a place at high-end tea market quality-wise.