Imperial Jinggu Yue Gang Bai White Tea from Yunnan Sourcing

ImperialJingguTea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Description:

This is a special tea made from Jinggu Yang Ta Village Large Leaf varietal tea (Camellia Taliensis). The tea is picked in the late autumn, wilted slightly and then dried with warm wind tunneled through the tea until it is dry.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Jinggu Imperial Yue Guang Bai White Tea from Yunnan Sourcing is one of those teas shrouded in mystery. Moonlight white teas are not well understood in the west. Sometimes mistaken for puerh in the way that it is processed, often air dried the same way as maocha. The name frequently describing Yue Guang Bai, Moonlight White tea alludes to the air dry process. The common lore goes that this tea is only air dried at night, under a full moon. Knowing all this, my only question is: “Am I drinking werewolf tea?”

Regardless of what mythical creature this tea really is trying to be, I am really enjoying it thoroughly. The leaves look like a mix of Bai Mu Dan and Bai Hao Yin Zhen. There are smooth, fuzzy silver noodles of buds, as well as larger, flat leaves with a black backside and a silvery down covering a light golden top leaf. The smell of this dry leaf is like roaming through a wild prairie field; I smell stronger notes of hay, as well as light wildflower hints. I typically use 5 grams when I go gongfu, but 5 grams of this leaf filled up almost all of my 150ml glass gaiwan. This is some big fluffy leaf!

You can extract different flavor profiles from the leaf just by changing the temperature. I started with cool water, about 65C, the result was a sweet and floral brew. The light colored liquor had notes of melon, lilies and wildflowers. Which was nice, but I wanted to punch up the flavor a bit, so I began steeping at 90C, which produced wildly different results. What I got was a much darker brew, a rich amber. Tasting the brew I discovered a strong bread malt note as well as hay. The floral was still there, but much more subdued. It was much different than the cool water method I had used. It was like I was drinking a different tea!

I can highly recommend this white tea for anyone who loves white already, or someone who wants to start treading water of the white tea train. It’s a solid tea worth trying!

Thurbo Moonlight Second Flush Darjeeling Black Tea from Golden Tips

thurbo-moonlightTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Golden Tips

Tea Description:

Every season the Thurbo Moonlight has been a favorite among our connoisseur friends from across the world. This Moonlight summer black tea is at part the best and is characteristic of fluffy brown-black leaves with extravagant silver tips. The aroma is sweet and flowery with a bright golden liquoring cup. The flavor is extremely fruity and flushes your mouth with its presence, without any sort of astringency. 
An outstanding second flush Darjeeling. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I have enjoyed many different Darjeeling teas during my years as a tea reviewer.  If asked whether I prefer a first or second flush, my answer will always be second flush because I love that muscatel flavor and second flush tends to be the flush to drink if you want muscatel.  (Although I have found several first flush teas that surprised me with their muscatel notes!)  And while I’ve enjoyed many first flush Darjeelings – loved them even! – second flush is still my favorite flush when it comes to Darjeeling.

And this Second Flush Thurbo Moonlight is an example of why I love the second flush so much!

To brew this tea, I decided to use my Breville.  I measured 2 bamboo scoops of tea into the basket and poured 500ml of water into the kettle.  I set the timer for 2 1/2 minutes and I adjusted the temperature to 195°F.  With Darjeeling teas, I find that a slightly lower than boiling temperature brings out the best flavor in the tea.  When a higher temperature is used, the tea becomes somewhat bitter and a bit more astringent than I want.  The lower temperature does much to keep both of these to a minimum without sacrificing flavor.

The tea brewed to a beautiful, aromatic golden amber.  I can smell the grape-like notes – lovely!

The sip starts out sweet with lovely grape-y notes.  As the sip progresses, I taste mellow earthy/woodsy tones.  These are a nice contrast to the sweetness of the grape.  The sip finishes sweet with almost a sugared grape note – this muscatel has a very strong sweetness to it.  The sip is very smooth from start to finish and there is no bitterness and very little astringency.

This is one of the nicest Darjeeling teas I’ve tasted in a long time – and I’ve tasted quite a few recently and have enjoyed many of them.  This one sets itself apart as exceptional from those that I’ve tried in the past few weeks!  If you’re a fan of Darjeeling, you should try this.  If you’re someone who is less familiar with Darjeeling but looking for a few good ones to become more familiar with Darjeeling – add this one to the list!

Moonlight White Tea from Life in Teacup


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  Life in Teacup

Tea Description:

Production Season:  Autumn
Production Region:  Yunnan, Jing Mai

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review: 

Oh wow!  I’m amazed at just how flavorful this Moonlight White Tea from Life in Teacup is.  More often than not, when I brew a white tea, I find the taste to be delicate.  I don’t mind the flavor to be delicate, mind you, but, Life in Teacup recommends to use boiling water on white tea rather than a lower temperature which is what I always use when it comes to white tea – and this will result in a stronger (that is, not delicate!) flavor.

I did not follow the recommendations of Life in Teacup, mostly because I am a creature of habit and when I get a white tea, I think automatically 160°F.  So, that’s the temperature that I used.  But I’m still getting a WHOLE LOT of flavor from this white tea!

It is sweet, earthy and possesses hints of vegetative notes.  I find that the vegetative notes for white teas tend to be a bit more like “hay” than grass or steamed vegetables, and that is true in the case of this tea as well.  But I’m finding this tea to be just a bit more on the earthy side than on the vegetative side.  I’m also noticing a slight “spiced” quality to the tea as I continue to sip.  Not “spicy” … but more like a hint of warmth to the cup that keeps the palate intrigued!

There is also a nice nutty flavor to this, and the nutty flavor accentuates the sweetness in a pleasing way.  It’s a soft “textured” tea – it doesn’t feel or taste harsh.  It has no bitterness to it.  There is some astringency that I notice toward the tail … it sort of has that “tangy” pucker at the tail that is slightly acidic, and it is a really nice contrast to the sweet, soft feel and taste of the tea at the start.

A really enjoyable cuppa!