109 Tasting Notes
For whatever reason, this wants to take over the spot in my green tea collection reserved for Bi Luo. I just don’t need both, and I think I like this better than any Bi Luo I’ve had. It’s sweet and precious and delicate and borders on very light oolonginess (the highest praise, in my book). This is love.
I love it when free samples expand my horizons. I would not have tried this – I don’t love smoky teas and don’t keep many blacks around at all. I happen to have just reviewed yesterday Shang Tea’s Tangerine Blossom though, so this is perfect timing for a comparison. The base tea here really only has a slight smoke, despite the description, and it’s at a level that makes the tea more interesting for me but doesn’t overwhelm. And I have to agree with another reviewer that the citrus notes are more like dried orange than fresh – with just a slight spice to it. Where the tangerine blossom is more delicate bright citrus floral, this has a slight smoky, spicy, fruity flavor. This one is actually quite a bit closer to the Constant Comment profile, though with subtler flavors. I actually really like both this and the Tangerine Blossom, I suppose depending on whether you’re having a winter night by the fire (Romanoff) or breakfast on the balcony (Tangerine Blossom).
Love at first sip. I think if you could make dessert out of vegetables, it would taste like this. I agree with other reviewers about the bean and asparagus flavor, and there’s a creamy sweetness to it. [Disclaimer: I’m apparently overly sensitive to sweet tastes – I usually hate them where they’re intentional and only love them where others may not find them at all. Like here.]
Well, I’m stumped. This is a more delicate jasmine than the Jasmine Snow Dragon, and I can’t decide which I like better. This one shares the same warm sweetness, but the slight perfumey note of the snow dragon gives way to a light creaminess (vanilla?) here. This is definitely a better place for curious jasmine-haters to start and maybe finish too. I’ll just have to alternate between them until I find myself hoping one or the other is up next.
It turns out I’m simply not sensitive enough to discern the difference between tangerine blossoms and pao blossoms (whatever those are), and they both remind me of orange blossom perfume in the best possible way. I prefer the pao blossom, only because I prefer the white tea base (because I prefer white tea – that’s not a comment on the tea base here). If you ever liked the orangeyness of Constant Comment but find it overwhelming or harsh, this is a really lovely, delicate, deeply delicious citrus black.
After a disclaimer that I do love a strong jasmine, this is a winner for me. I’ve certainly found other stronger versions, but I like that I can still taste the tea here as well, and that this jasmine has a warm, sweet quality to balance the perfumey aspects. Will have to compare it with their Jasmine Silver Needle later today.