Anxi Monkey King (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea from Teavivre

Anxi Monkey KingTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

TeaVivre brings you the fresh Monkey King Monkey King Tie Guan Yin which has no heavy roasting flavor. It is from the origin place of Tie Guan Yin, Anxi in Fujian Province. The twisted dry leaves are tight and strong in dragonfly-like shape. Dry tea has the light refreshing fragrance of vegetables and fruits. After brewed, the characteristic fresh scent of Tie Guan Yin comes. The tea liquid tastes sweet and its fragrance lasts long.

Tie Guan Yin has two different kinds of making method, Zheng Chao (正炒,) and Tuo Suan (拖酸), which was introduced in the description of Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin. This Anxi Monkey King (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin belongs to zheng chao Tie Guan Yin tea, has comfortable brisk and smooth flavor without the sour taste on your tongue, just like the Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a lovely Tie Guan Yin – it’s a little different than the ‘typical’ Tie Guan Yin, at least, those that I’m used to.  The leaves above look greener than the leaves that I found when I opened the sample pouch, these appear to be a chocolate brown color with notes of a deep forest-y green.  They look as though they might have been lightly roasted or at the very least they appear as though they were oxidized a little longer than the typical green Tie Guan Yin.

To brew this tea, I grabbed my gaiwan and measured a bamboo scoop of leaf into the bowl of the gaiwan.  I rinsed the leaves for 15 seconds in 180°F.  Then I discarded the liquid and resteeped the leaves for 45 seconds in 180°F water and strained the liquid into my teacup.  Then I repeated the process, adding 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusion.  I combined the first 2 infusions to create my first cup, infusions 3 and 4 combined made my second cup, and so on…

And after tasting the tea, I think I’m correct with the ‘roasted’ guess because I taste a nice roasty-toasty flavor to this.  It’s sweet and nutty and very pleasantly smooth.  There is very little astringency to this first cup.  It’s creamy and this creaminess develops as the cup cools.  I found the first few sips to be crisper, brisker than the sips that followed as the cup cooled somewhat.  As the tea cooled, the brisk flavor became more subdued and the creaminess came forward.  While I liked that brisk note, I am liking the creaminess even more.  I like the way it melds with the nutty flavors.

The second cup was not quite as creamy as the first but I found it to be even smoother.  The roasty-toasty notes remind me of notes of charred wood and freshly roasted, still warm chestnuts.  The toasty flavors lend an autumnal taste to the cup, evoking thoughts of a walk on an afternoon when the weather is crisp and the fallen leaves are crackling beneath your feet.  You can smell hints of smoke in the air from a nearby chimney.  It’s a very cozy and comforting flavor.

The third cup almost seemed like a different tea entirely!  It’s still smooth, but this tastes brisker and cleaner.  I’m not getting as much a nutty tone as I’m getting a fruit-like flavor.  Hints of peach with the charred wood notes that I experienced in the second cup.

This third cup is a very refreshing tea – my palate feels clean after sipping it but don’t mistake that for a ‘cleansing astringency’ because I’m not experiencing that.  What I’m experiencing is a crisp, clean flavor that isn’t inundated with a heaviness.  It is gentle and soft on the palate and doesn’t weigh it down with flavors.  It’s an invigorating taste.  As the cup cools slightly, some of the nutty flavors start to emerge and these meld beautifully with the peachy flavors.

A really lovely Tie Guan Yin.  If you are familiar with the greener Tie Guan Yin, I strongly recommend trying this one for something a little different!  This is yet another example of why I love Oolong teas so much – the word “Oolong” can mean a vast number of different tastes and just when you think you’re familiar with one type of Oolong, something comes along like this Monkey King and offers something a little different and makes you fall in love with Tie Guan Yin all over again!

King Cake Cuppa Black Tea from Cuppa Crew Tea Company


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Cuppa Crew Tea Company

Tea Description:

To celebrate Mardi Gras this year, we’ve developed a blend reminiscent of a gorgeous King Cake. Hints of vanilla cream and cinnamon make for a truly delectable cup that’ll take you away to beautiful N’awlins.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

Tasty!  I don’t know that I’m necessarily tasting “cake” from this King Cake Cuppa Black Tea from Cuppa Crew Tea Company, but, it’s still darned tasty!

The cinnamon note is what comes through strongest here, although, I wouldn’t say that it’s a STRONG cinnamon-y tea.  The cinnamon is a well-defined flavor without tasting of cinnamon candy (no red-hots here).  This is more like the cinnamon taste you might get if you were to bite into a snicker-doodle cookie.  Warm, sweet, true cinnamon taste.  (Or, if you really want to get technical about it – true cassia taste.)

The vanilla offers a smooth creamy taste that compliments the cinnamon very well.  The two together work very harmoniously … the vanilla softens the cinnamon, and the cinnamon keeps the vanilla cream from tasting too sweet or cloying.

The black tea base is not particularly strong here, but it does offer a pleasantly brisk background of flavor for the notes of cinnamon and vanilla cream.  I think that if the black tea were perhaps a blend with Assam and possibly a Fujian black tea … this might taste a lot more like cake … or at the very least, like the aforementioned snicker-doodle cookie!

Regardless, this is a very tasty blend … one that I wouldn’t mind drinking again.

Jasmine Monkey King from Tea Licious

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Tea Licious

Product Description:

Green tea with jasmine petals.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a delightful jasmine tea – the flavor is so light and sweet. The jasmine essence here is one of the more delicate jasmines I’ve encountered.  It doesn’t have a heavy flavor nor does it taste perfume-y or soapy.  It is sweet and gentle.

In fact, gentle is the word I would use to describe this tea overall.  The green tea does not possess a strong, grassy profile.  It is fresh and soft with no bitterness and very little astringency – in fact, I only notice the astringency when I am actually focusing on finding it.  Otherwise, the delivery is smooth from start to finish, with a light sweetness in the aftertaste.

This tea has a very light, crisp demeanor.  There are vague hints of vegetation, but like the astringency that I mentioned previously, it is really only noticeable when I am focusing to find that vegetal taste.

This is a lovely tea, ideal for someone who has had jasmine teas in the past that were too overbearing or perfume-ish.  This tea can offer a taste of the softer side of jasmine.

White Peony King from Shang Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Shang Tea

Product Description:

Ingredients: 100% Organic White Tea leaves -Antioxidant Within
Smooth and mellow White Peony King is honored for its soothing health giving properties; this delicate white tea offers a silky texture and savory undertones.

A delicate and fragrant white tea with fruit undertones, grown on our award winning tea farm on Tai Mu Mountain. Won the 2007 Gold Prize in Fujian Province’s White Tea Contest, making it the #1 White Peony in the region.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve tasted quite a few White Peony teas over the years.  And before I had developed a liking and an appreciative palate for White teas, I had falsely assumed that all White Peony teas are the same.  But, they aren’t!

This is one of the best White Peony teas that I’ve ever encountered.  The flavor is amazing!  While most white teas tend to be on the delicate side, I am finding this white tea to be amazingly flavorful!  While this is quite a bit more delicate than say, a black tea, it is extraordinarily flavorful when taking into consideration that this is a White Peony.

This tea is sweet and even has a creamy quality to it that is rather delightful.   The mouthfeel is really soft and smooth.  This texture reminds me of the sensation that a green Oolong might impart onto the palate, although it doesn’t linger quite as long as an Oolong.  There is a fresh, crisp taste to the tea that is vaguely reminiscent of a crunchy green apple.

Truly among the finest White Peony Teas available anywhere, this is one that I highly recommend to any tea afficionado!  Even for those tea lovers who think they do not care for white teas – I do believe that this one just might change your mind!  It is a MUST TRY!