Pearls of Jade/Silk Road Teas

This tea is gorgeous. I actually tipped a spoonful into my hand and examined it in the light, over the top of my glasses so I could really enjoy the detail. These are little curls of army green with swirls of white – real, true, pearly white. In appearance it seems more like an oolong than a green tea.

The odd thing is that this does not taste even remotely like the Bi Luo Chun I have had before, which we refer to in my house as “Cheerios Tea.” That’s how much it tastes like oats and specifically just like the cereal! But does anyone expect tea from Silk Road to taste like something you have had before? I look upon Silk Road as an exotic treat.

So if it doesn’t taste like I expected, what DOES it taste like? And furthermore, why does it taste so different?

The answer to the different taste may lie in the fact that this is a pre-Ching Ming tea. This means that the leaves are some of the very first ones picked of the new spring season, usually at the end of March and beginning of April.

After steeping, I run my fingers through the leaves, now unfurled and beautifully green, in the steeping basket. They are unbelievably soft! They are silky and smooth, and so irresistible that I can’t help but eat a couple of them.

The liquor is pale, a soft yellow, and the second steep is paler still.

My perception of the flavors does not match the description of the website. While it is smooth, it also is making a tingle on my tongue with a gentle and light briskness. There is definitely a floral overtone but it is ghostlike, appearing and disappearing. There is also a vegetal flavor that reminds me of rutabaga, but softer. The body is thin. And I detect a bare hint of roasty flavor, or at least a deep tone under the briskness.

What this tea doesn’t taste like is oats, or buttery, or creamy. And for my Bi Luo Chun, I think I may prefer the oat-y ones.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Silk Road Teas

Description

This tea appears to no longer be on the site but click below for their offerings.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Green Tea Masala Chai/Vahdam Teas

I have been seeing Vahdam Tea in the news lately and thought a spicy cup of chai would settle me right in for the night.

This isn’t your traditional black tea boiled with water and milk and heavily sugared. This is a fine darjeeling green with cardamom (YUM!), cinnamon, and clove. When I pour the dry leaves out to investigate them, it LOOKS like black tea, but don’t be fooled. Darjeeling tastes best to me prepared with slightly lower temperature water and a short steep to keep astringency low. If you like very brisk tea, increase your temp and time.

The green darjeeling is a tad brisk. The long boiling time of traditional chai makes the tea strong and bitter or astringent, and that is why milk and sugar are added, and a good dollop of milk, too! I am not adding anything to this, though, and it is enjoyable just as it is. The spices are at a great level for me. I have never been a fan of chai made with tons of black peppercorns, and I really feel that the cardamom and cinnamon lead the spices in this one. The scent of the dry leaves and the steeped tea is scrumptious.

And it is working! The strong flavors of the tea are keeping my cravings at bay and I don’t feel deprived at all.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Vahdam Teas

Description

A superior green tea blend with the finest, aromatic Indian spices for a unique Chai experience!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

2nd Picking 2019 Shi Feng Dragonwell / Verdant

Do you get excited to drink tea?

Though it doesn’t happen everyday, I do get excited for my afternoon steepings. What adventure will we have today?

What flavor will pop out or what will surprise me today?

Our adventure today begins in the Zhejiang Province in China. This huge, one time zone country is known for its tea but it is farmers like Mrs. Li that are keeping the true spirit of tea alive. Sustainable farming practices with no pesticides and years of research into how to make it work properly has helped this family achieve tea that truly takes you to China when you drink it.

The dry leaves smell of grass and hints of veggies. The sweet but astringent grassy flavor carries into the after taste. There is a trifling of minerality but honestly the grass is so strong I can’t quite decipher any mineral specifics. They are definitely there though. The area it is harvested from is known for its rocky, clean soil. Makes one want to visit.

Where does your tea adventure take you?


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Verdant Tea

Description:

Mrs. Li’s fresh 2019 Shi Feng Dragonwell is here! Mrs. Li is one of the few farmers fortunate enough to have several plots of land on the famous mountainside of Shi Feng, where her original cultivar (Longjing Qunti) Dragonwell is fed by sweet mountain spring water, picked by hand, and crafted one leaf at a time by her husband. She cultivates her world-famous tea using entirely organic farming techniques.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Shire Green / Geek and Tea

The moment I set eyes on the title of the tea (before even reading the name of the company) I knew they were referring to The Lord of the Rings.

This Canadian based company is owned by a lady who is a botanist and a geek who loves tea. Pairing the geek with the tea is a win in my book.  If you are a geek you have to give their website a gander.

Now all that being said I’m disappointed in the packaging. One should never package in plastic. Especially clear plastic. Tea can be highly influenced by other aromas around it. And if not sealed tightly will quickly lose its freshness. I can tell just by smelling the dry leaf that it has been sitting a bit too long. It still brews up fairly well.

A bit astringent and a bit lax on the grassy flavors but I intend to save this company and order from them to give them a nice fresh taste.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: green
Where to Buy: Geek and Tea
Description:

Delicate with a surprisingly fresh and grassy quality, this organic green Ceylon tea will transport you to a in time in The Shire where friendly Hobbits roamed the country side covered with cotton-grass, moss and bracken.

Fresh, grassy and earthy aromas will delight the senses of this light amber green tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Gunpowder / Bare Leaves

Your zest is but that of a fresh summer rain. The astringent label, given to you by sailors, is to be ‘savored’ only in the after taste. Liquid clear and cunning with golden hues so vibrant you would think they dipped the tea in gold.

Your fresh dry leaves, tightly rolled balls of love and affection, show the care your makers had in your processing. Wet leaves dance in the water and open up with beautiful hues of green. With a few over oxidized here and there that make them appear black. Aroma of wet leaves; a bitter scent with hints of earth.

If your nostalgia for summer has peaked to a depressive state, grab a cup of this tea and savor the thoughts of a sunny day with light rain showers.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Bare Leaves
Description:

Organic green tea from China. The leaves of this famous Chinese green tea are hand-rolled into pellets that resemble gunpowder. It produces a bolder flavor than most green teas.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!