97 Tasting Notes
This is my first silver needle, and it’s a standout among teas… maybe simply because it’s silver needle or maybe just this particular silver needle is this good, don’t know yet… but now that I’m in the door, I’m going to solve this mini-mystery. It is light, refreshing and sweet in the most natural, unassuming way. It tastes like a more sophisticated version of Juicy Fruit gum. Fragrance is a heavenly soft floral.
Refreshing, nicely composed marriage of puerh, orange and ginger. The dry tea smells more of ginger but it is really more of a complement to the others once brewed… a mild little kick at the end. The puerh is lighter-bodied than the typical dark, earthy varieties I’ve explored, and the orange further contributes to this lighter palate. No trace of the sea-flavors that some dislike.
Still getting used to this, my first WuYi. Smokey and dry. I inquired with Wegman’s HQ and they confirmed that this is Rishi. Wegman’s doesn’t identify the producer on its bulk tea labels, but most of their teas are Ito En, also Rishi and Republic of Tea.
This is light for a pu-erh, though still flavorful. Smooth and pleasantly complex… apricot and smoke, with just a touch of astringency on the finish. It has a faint undertone of the typical earthiness, but even with that and the smokiness, it’s not at all dark. Because of its natural sweetness, this is also nice chilled.
Pu-erh on wheels. Delicious, juicy, multi-note bittersweet orange marmalade tempered by the perfect touch of ginger are riding shotgun. This tea has great complementarity of flavors and is a fun changeup from the more serious straight-forward pu-erhs that I love. Might be a good intro to pu-erh, especially for folks who like flavored teas; I didn’t pick up much of the usual fishy/seaweed but it still had decent depth. The hint of ginger leaves a bit of a tingle on the tongue.
Nice full-bodied coffee/mocha analogue. The hazelnut is most prominent in the fragrance and in the aftertaste. Added almond milk. I imagine it’d be great extracted a bit stronger and with fresh whipped cream. For those looking for comparisons with similar mate’s, this is more coffee/mocha-like than Teavana’s Morning Mate or Matevana, but less so than Guayaki’s Vanilla Nut Mate and Mocha Macha. To me, those Teavana blends don’t have as satisfying or well-rounded a flavor profile.
This is a nice ti kuan yin, a gentle embrace of a tea. Fragrant and… best way I can think of describing it is it leaves your palate feeling fresh. Of course, it’s not minty fresh, it’s spring flower fresh. I’ve been spoiled by Chicago Tea Garden’s version, which has both more flavor and more subtle, dancey notes.
At the first sip I was taken aback by the upfront deep smokiness of this tea. Kind of a sharp snap-to for the morning senses. But as I grew more awake I started to enjoy its smooth, full bodied, earthy depth. Rich like a pu-erh but a lot more smokey. With the first cup, each post-sip exhale gave the sensation of exhaling pipe smoke. Second cup seemed to be a touch sweeter and less smokey. I found the lychee to be a little subtle, but it’s there and complements the smokiness perfectly. I would come back to this tea in the same frame of mind in which I’d seek out the kind of friend with whom you have deep, serious conversations. An enjoyable contemplation tea…
This tea has good personality with an unambiguous smokey roasted aroma and taste. I got more of a roasted walnut experience mingling with charred peppers. The flavor lingers in the mouth longer than most teas I’ve tried, evoking an amusing sensation of exhaling roasty smoke out of the nose. I enjoyed this sample but the astringent aftertaste went on too long for me to put this in my regular rotation. If you like a strong roasted flavor you would enjoy trying this tea.