Huang Guan Yin/Harney and Sons – Ashmanra –

Huang Guan Yin goes by several names. The tea plant is a hybrid/cross of a Tie Guan Yin cultivar and a Huang Jin Gui cultivar. The name literally translates as “Yellow Goddess of Mercy.” It is sometimes also called No. 105 or simply Yellow Goddess. It is a fairly new cultivar.

This particular one from Harney and Sons is very light. There is none of the roasty toasty or smokey flavor found in many TGY or Wuyi oolongs. No Tung Ting nuttiness. I think some companies do sell this processed a little more roasty if their descriptions are accurate.

The scent cup revealed floral aroma reminiscent of baby powder – that light magnolia or osmanthus scent, and a baked sugary treat smell that made me think of cream filled dougnuts. Then a herbaceous savory note rises.

It was prepared gongfu style. The liquor is yellow. There is quite a mix of flavor here. The floral scents are still there, but there is a savory note overlaid on all the sweetness. Sipping the tea, I taste the floral aspects first and then the savory nips in at the aftertaste like vegetable liquor from leafy greens, like tender greens (popular in the South where I live) or perhaps bok choy, perhaps more well known.

The leaves held up for steep after steep, delivering a lot of flavor. It was a very interesting tea to try. I wouldn’t want to waste this one by drinking it with a meal. I prefer to enjoy it on it own to tease out all the flavors.


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Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Harney & Sons 

Description

This is a light Oolong from the Wuyishan area of northern Fujian Province. We have been buying from Mr. Chao for many years. This Spring we stopped by and saw him and his wife. This is one of the 3 teas that we bought from them. This is a cross blend between Ti Quan Yin and Huang Jin Gui, so you have nice floral notes and a bit of sweetness.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

**this tea was purchased and not gifted in exchange for a review**

Jin Jun Mei/Tealyra -CuppaGeek-

I’ve recently found that I’m getting more and more into straight teas.  I’ve tried a few flavored teas to recently but I just felt that pull to pull out my gaiwan and experiment.  I’ve found myself eager to sit down and spend the time to enjoy the tea sip by sip in smaller quantities and this tea is a beautiful example of why.

Not too long ago, I brewed this tea up in the traditional western fashion- teapot, few scoops of tea with water prepped at a bit below boiling, steeped for a few minutes, poured into my tea cup and enjoyed. While the tea was tasty with soft chocolate notes , I wanted to see how the flavor would change if brewed with gong fu style.

Now when I do gong fu, I do a modified version that works with not only my crazy busy job but my house in a whole. I don’t get too deep into measuring and making sure everything is on point. I 100% should because I’ve over leafed and under leafed on more occasions than I would like to admit, but in the same- I have a very go go go 8-5 and after work so I have just decided to pour and go.  Eventually I’ll get to the point where I measure out the night before so I’m all prepared for the next day. Please forgive me that I don’t have all of the measurements to how exactly I steeped up this ditty.

Using my gaiwan, I popped in some leaf and water at 200F.  Gave the leaves a quick rinse and quickly added in more water to go about my first infusion.

-First infusion:  Delicious toffee notes with a small hint of chocolate and no astringency and a hint of malt.   At this point, we are talking dessert tea here.  Really lovely and nice.  Can not get enough and the brew was gone in no time.

-Second infusion: Still those same delicious toffee notes but the chocolate touches are becoming a bit stronger.

-Third Infusion:  Toffee notes are pretty distant now and the chocolate notes have also subsided a bit with the malt touches and a new astringency coming in.

-Fourth Infusion:  The astringency is really the power player at this point and I’m thinking about taking the leaves to make a cold brew.  Not a huge fan of super astringent teas and the brew is taking a turn in that direction.

Now, I was working the whole time I enjoyed this tea so probably if I would have timed the steeps, etc- the tea would have probably lasted for more infusions to my liking.   All in all, love the adventure this tea took me on.  I’m a big fan of this black tea anyway so I was excited to try a more intimidate way to enjoy the tea.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tealyra

Description

Jin Jun Mei (Beautiful Golden Eyebrow in Mandarin) is a famous Chinese tea known for its deep auburn golden hue and delicate slender leaves, like a beautiful women’s eyebrow. It is one of the most beloved Chinese teas, grown and produced in Fujian province.

In the springtime, the two small leaves are plucked from the stem and allowed to fully oxidize; this full oxidation gives Jin Jun Mei its deep and malty aromatic profile. Jin Jun Mei is made of slim black and gold tips, covered in a delicate golden fuzz. Once steeped, it has a smooth body and well rounded mouth-feel; its taste is sweet, honey-like, malty, velvety smooth and has hints of vanilla.

Jin Jun Mei is best enjoyed straight, and try multiple steeping it multiple times!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Roselle x Ginger aka Morning Booster/Immerse Tea -Skysamurai-

Do not give this bag of herbals a big smell. A small one, at an appropriate distance maybe but do not put it straight to your nose.

If you do tiny little ginger ninjas will assault your nostrils. You will go back in again for a second whiff because you know that scent but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Luckily the Roselle is there to a assist with sweetening the smell.

Tiny little ginger ninjas dancing with fan blades and pouches of hibiscus. Oh but that isn’t all. Wait till you drink it. Any ginger loving human knows the potency of this herbaceous perennial.

It creates a good kick.

Pretty sure if I had a cold I no longer do now.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Herbal

Where to Buy:  Immerse Tea

Description

Roselle and Ginger Tea – Roselle will wake your nerve, while ginger will boosts up your energy, activate your brain and metabolism without a touch of caffeine

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

**teas were provided in exchange for a review**

Black Gold Biluochun/Tea Runners -Skysamurai-

What a gorgeous tea!

Tight balls of dark chocolate brown woven along with a soft brown that reminds me of a tortillas or bread in a bread basket. Looking closer I realize they aren’t tightly rolled balls but instead each is a unique shape.

Tiny ‘balls’ of twine one would almost think with the way the fuzzy leaves look. The first cup was the best. The steepings have become progressively more tannic with the earthy flavors fading into astringency.

Though the bag says you will enjoy multiple steepings. What started off as a great matly and woodsy cup has turned into dried hay.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Tea Runners

Description

This tea is no longer available but click below for what is available.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Whisky Tea/Whittard of Chelsea -VariaTEA-

I have never been a fan of whisky. My step-dad likes it and so when a young me meandered up to the side of of my mom’s bed and looked at the glass of whisky on the night stand and then at my mom and then back at the glass and back at my mom, my mom had no qualms about giving me the okay to taste it. Why? Because I reacted in the very way she expected…I took the tiniest sip and then spat it out and yelled “EWWWWWW!!!” I did not like it then. I still do not like it now. So when a tea friend sent me a whole bunch of this Whisky tea by Whittard of Chelsea, I had no idea what I was going to do with it.

That is until the other day when my family made pulled pork, which required 2L bottles of coke. My mom bought the off-brand coke figuring it was going in the food and wouldn’t really matter thus no sense spending the extra money on actual Coca Cola. So when there was a bit leftover, we were unsure of what to do with it. I felt inspired and decided to use it in a teapop. That left me with the question of which tea to use and it was this one that came to mind.

I brewed up both a plain hot cup of the tea and a teapop. Both were steeped for 3 minutes in 200F water.

The hot cup is malty. Malty but brisk. The underlying flavor is dry, like alcohol. It is like a breakfast tea but with alcohol. Definitely not the tea for me. I like softer and more dessert-like flavors. Astringency and briskness with a touch of alcohol is just not for me. However, for those that like breakfast teas and whisky, this could be right up your alley.

As for the teapop, it’s more of the same but with the off-brand coke, it has a pretty strong medicinal quality. It latches on to the dryness and gives this a bit of a cough syrup element. Like cherry cough syrup but without the cherry.

This tea smelled good in the bag but ended up being quite the bust. I think that is more due to my personal tastes than a reflection on the tea. Plus, it was not helped by the off-brand coke flavor since I am a Coca Cola girl through and through. So while this was not good for me, I do see that it has potential for those that enjoy these flavors.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Whittard of Chelsea

Description

Specially for those who love a tipple, we’ve concocted a rich black tea laced with flavours of fine Scotch whisky, adding a highland fling of heather petals in true Scottish spirit. With its warm, rounded flavours and malty sweetness, this tea is as good as any hot-toddy – so you won’t be needing that hip flask after all…

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!