2005 Shu Tuo-Phoenix Old Tea Tree Tea from ESGreen

ShuTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh Tea

Where to Buy: ES Green

Tea Description:

This cooked(ripe) loose-leaf pu-erh tea has been produced in 2005. Slim tea buds are covered with gold fuzz. Neat and clean.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

2005 Shu Tuo-Phoenix Old Tea Tree Tea from ESGreen is a ripe, cooked loose-leaf pu-erh tea from 2005.   For these tea leaves you will see slim tea buds that are covered with gold fuzz.  The leaves from the 2005 Shu Tuo-Phoenix Old Tea Tree Tea from ESGreen are neat and clean as is the flavor of the offering.

Even though this 2005 Shu Tuo-Phoenix Old Tea Tree Tea from ESGreen smells a bit like wet wood and old cigars once infused it was quite pleasant to the palate!  This infused very dark but also held up to multiple infusions, too.  After a few moments at room temperature the flavor seems to peak at it’s flavor rush to the taste buds.

Pu-erh teas – it seems – I either love them – or hate them.  This one is the first one I put in the middle category because I do like it quite a bit but also can’t say I LOVE it and have it have it every day.  It is an offering to linger on – to take your time with – to appreciate and enjoy the time and artisan-ship that went into it.  It may not be for everyone but if it is for you then by all means…celebrate it!  I, for one, will have another cup!

Phoenix Oolong Tea from Boutique Teas

boutiqueteasTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Boutique Teas

Tea Description:

A single trunk oolong tea, over 100 years old, this oolong has floral,peach and apricot notes.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I am loving this Phoenix Oolong Tea from Boutique Teas!

My first sip, I was greeted with a pleasing, sharp floral note that is slightly softened with a honey-esque sweetness, and delightful background notes of stone fruit.  As I continue to sip, I notice that the fruit notes get a little stronger, particularly a peach-y like taste that I’m finding almost irresistible.   It’s so sweet and luscious!

I brewed this the way I would usually brew an Oolong, in my gaiwan, using hot water – but not boiling, I usually brew darker Oolong teas such as this at about 180°F.  I do a quick, 15 second rinse, and then I start the infusion time at 45 seconds, and increase the infusion time by 15 seconds for each subsequent infusion.  I usually combine two infusions in one cup.  This is the way I’ve found that works for my personal taste buds, the tea is the strength that I like it, and I am able to manage at least six infusions from each measurement of leaves … quite often more.

Subsequent infusions proved to be smoother, with the floral tones evening out and becoming less sharp and distinct … they seem to meld with the honey and fruit notes.  My favorite cup of the three cups (a total of six infusions) was the second, which was very smooth, with a rich, brothy mouthfeel and a delicious fruit and flower taste with a sweet honey undertone.

I could not find this tea offered individually on the Boutique Teas website at the time of writing this review, but, I did find it as part of this Oolong Tribute Set from Boutique Teas … which looks like a fine assortment of three delightful Oolong teas, including the previously reviewed Big Red Robe!  That’s an awesome collection of teas!

Phoenix Pearl Black Tea from Zen Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Zen Tea

Tea Description:

Hailing from the Yunnan province, this Phoenix Pearl is naturally sweet and smooth with a touch of earthiness. Comprised of only the highest quality leaves and buds, expertly rolled into a pearl-like shape. Subtle cocoa notes whisper gently as each pearl unfurls delivering a superior tea experience not to be missed. Recomended to steep 2-3 times for different nuances of flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Oh, my!  I am loving this tea!  It is so rich and creamy and incredibly decadent!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The leaves were a little surprising for me, because generally, when I think of “Pearl” black teas, I think of leaves that are very dark (black!) that have been rolled up into near perfect pearl shapes.  These leaves are a bit lighter in color, more like a chocolate-y brown rather than a black color, and some of the leaves are tipped in gold.  And they aren’t rolled into careful little pearls.  They look a little more like disheveled knots rather than pearls.  Nothing wrong with that, of course, just my observations based upon what I’ve experienced in the past with teas called “black pearl” teas and this Phoenix Pearl Black Tea from Zen Tea.

The little knots, when dry, possess very little discernible fragrance, I do note some earthiness to the scent but not much else.  Once brewed, the aroma of the liquid has a slightly earthy, rich, almost chocolate-y note.

The flavor is superb!  Rich and chocolate-y, these are the most profound flavors of the cup – from the very first sip to the last.  I note caramel-y tones in the undercurrent, earthiness in the background, flavors that remind me of leather and even a touch of woodsy flavor.  This is one of those teas that once you start drinking, you don’t want to stop, and you want more the minute you finish the cup!  It has a very pleasing texture to it, it feels full and smooth on the palate, and there is some, but not a lot, of astringency to the sip.  The aftertaste is sweet, reminding me of raw sugar.

I REALLY like this tea a lot.  It’s one of those MUST TRY teas for those who truly love tea.