2009 Shou Mei from Life in Teacup

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Life in Teacup

Product Description:

Production Year – 2009

Production Season – Spring

Production Region – Fujian

Taster’s Review:

I have not tried many Shou Mei teas, because when it comes to white teas, Shou Mei just isn’t as popular as Bai Mu Dan or Silver Needle varieties.  And while it tends to be considered a “lower grade” of white tea, I appreciate that it has a stronger flavor than those of a higher grade, while still maintaining many of the flavor characteristics that I enjoy about white tea.

Of those few that I’ve had the opportunity to try, this Shou Mei from Life in Teacup is one of the best.  The leaves are large and fuzzy, and range in color from silvery (the color of the fuzz), to green to light brown.

The flavor of the liquor is very pleasing.  It starts out sweet, maintaining that sweet profile throughout the sip, and it lingers long into the aftertaste.  Notes of fruit and flower weave their way in and out throughout the sip.  Fruit wise, I notice hints of apple and peach.

The mouthfeel is soft and smooth and thicker than one might expect from a white tea.  It has a mild brothy kind of quality to it, but it’s a sweet rather than savory brothy.  There is very little astringency to this cup.  The finish is sweet and dry.  More than any other white tea, I would liken a good Shou Mei to a fine dry white wine.

I like to sip on white teas later in the day, because even though the evidence is inconclusive on whether or not white tea is lower in caffeine than other types of Camellia Sinensis, they seem lighter to me and seem to soothe me and help me relax more than a green or black tea can.  And this tea is certainly calming my spirits this evening!


2009 First Grade Honey Orchid Phoenix Dancong Oolong from JK Tea Shop

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  JK Tea Shop

About JK Tea Shop:

JK tea shop is established by a group of tea lovers and experts in Guangzhou, China, who are out of love for Chinese fine loose leaves tea, wish to promote Chinese fine tea and tea wares, and share the fun of drinking tea and healthy life styles with all the tea lovers in the world.

JK tea members have been travelling all over tea-producing areas in China for many years, and have become good friends with the tea farmers or tea factories. We guarantee almost our teas are directly from the tea farmers, family workshops or factories, that is why our price is so competitive. Our tea knowledge and expertise grant us the privilege to guarantee the quality before handing the teas to the clients. Besides, located in Guangzhou, where there is the world’s biggest tea & tea wares market-Fangcun tea market, we are able to get into touch with the latest tea information and events at the first line, and share all those events and information with all tea lovers.

Taster’s Review:

I bought this tea some time ago, and it had been inadvertently stashed away with some other teas before I had a chance to try it.  I guess I can look at this as a shame that in my carelessness I’ve not tried this earlier, but, I prefer to look at it as I found a hidden treasure!

And what a treasure it is!  The thick texture of this tea reminds me of a delicious Chinese Hot and Sour soup.  And while this tea does not possess “hot-spicy” notes like that soup would, it does have a savory sour note that arrives at mid-sip.  Delicious!

The aroma is mesmerizing!  It smells deeply floral with beautiful sweet and savory tones to it.  So amazing.

This tea is aptly named.  It is sweet like honey, with a beautiful orchid-like overtone.  It has a lovely complexity to it.  A fruit-like flavor that is both sweet and sour.  This is a delight to sip, and the leaves render many delicious infusions.

This is a fantastic Oolong tea.  While this tea is no longer available on JK Tea Shop’s website, I urge you to visit the website for 2010’s Honey Orchid Oolong, and be sure to visit often to watch for this year’s Honey Orchid Oolong offerings.  You’ll be glad you did!

2009 Yunnan Pure Small Bud from JAS eTea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  JAS eTea

Company Description:

This Yunnan varietal of Black tea is created from highest grade small bud Feng Qing spring season tea. Early spring tea is picked when the buds are still young, the tea is then rolled, briedly fermented and then wok-dried by hand. The flavor is the smoothest of any Black tea I have ever tasted. Since this tea is nearly one year old is in its prime stage for drinking. Yunnan Black tea is best when it is 12 months to 24 months in age.

Taster’s Review:

I’m finding myself a little lost for words right now – which is rather unusual for me! (Yeah, I have been known to be a bit long-winded sometimes.)  But, WOW!  This tea is so amazing that I’m a little speechless!

The dry leaves are beautiful – gold in color, wispy thin, long and curly.  They don’t give off much of a fragrance when they’re dry.  When brewed, these lovely leaves create an enchanting golden brown liquor that is mildly fragrant, smelling a little spicy, a little flowery and fruity, and even a little bit earthy.

The flavor is smooth – perhaps the smoothest Yunnan I’ve yet to encounter.  There is a light peppery kick to it though, which is something I love about Yunnan teas and have come to expect – and feel a little disappointed when I don’t get that pepper note.  Fortunately, with this tea it’s there.

There is a nice complexity to this tea.  There is a nice fruity note to it, almost plum-like, but also a bit of apricot… and it almost tastes like a fermented version of these fruits.  It is sweet with a pleasant astringency and no bitterness.

Allow this tea to cool just slightly after it’s been brewed (not too much – just to a drinkable temperature) and then, enjoy it as it’s warm.  I find that the flavors enhance greatly as I continue to sip it when it’s warm, but, as it gets cold, some of that exquisite flavor is lost.  Because of this, I recommend brewing it in small batches (use your gaiwan for this one!) and enjoy it when it’s at its full flavor.  It has sweetness to the liquor so you needn’t add anything to it… enjoy it in it’s plain and perfected state!