Canton Tea Co
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Recent Tasting Notes
When opening the package of tea, I was surprised to find that there was just a hint of greenness in the scent of the dry leaves, along with a nice maltiness. Steeped for a brief 2 minutes, this cup or Rwandan tea gave a lovely balance of baked grain with a touch of malt as bottom notes. There is also a caramel midnote and somewhere in the cup is also a vegetal taste….almost like asparagus and similar to Butiki’s Crimson Horizon tea. This morning I’m just getting a touch of astringency from this tea, which for me is good, as I shy away from very astringent teas. With this Rukeri, Canton Tea Co has found a nice smooth cup of breakfast tea that offers breakfast blend drinkers a bright tasting alternative to start their day. Definitely worthy of a try!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Green, Malt
This tea is a hard one to nail down. The description states " A sophisticated blend of high grade black teas from prestigious estates in Assam, Ceylon, Rwanda and Yunnan." Intriguing? Very much so. Throw the words ENGLISH BREAKFAST in there and I’m all over it. But is a blend of too many teas too much of a good thing? After the first sip, this thought is gone from my mind.
Steeping this was a math test. Because it’s from the UK, all instructions were in different measurements that I was used to, but it boiled down to 2 teaspoons of tea at 203f steeped for 3 minutes. There were a few more “bits” (or what I call residue-due) in the bottom of my finum than there normally is, which made me think perhaps this wouldn’t be as quality as I was hoping…. but quality, schmality, let’s get to the cup!
I can easily identify 2 of the teas mentioned: the Yunnan, which gives this breakfast blend a nice solid base note of earth, topped with honey. The Assam states is presence with the malty/grainy midnote. Perhaps the Ceylon is the brightness that holds the honey as a top note. so what is the Rwandan tea doing? Probably the happy dance, because it’s included in this unique and pleasurable breakfast tea! (my guess is actually the Rwanda adds the biscuit note, but I’m just guessing) This is a tea that all breakfast blend lovers should try. It is a hearty and smooth alternative to traditional breakfast teas, that tastes like no other. If you think you want this tea, you WANT this tea.
Flavors: Earth, Grain, Honey, Malt
This is just a tasting note. I steeped this tea 8 times tonight and it took until steeping four or five for the true flavor of this tea to come in and stabilize. For me the astringency and kuwei are backwards. For this tea, the astringency is at the front and the kuwei plays a backing role. It is still a really good tea, I just wish the kuwei played the leading role.
The weather is boiling here and I have had trouble coping with it, as soon as the sun comes own I start sweating and get very red faced. I’m sure some of you will understand. Despite the hot weather I’ve managed to get some things sorted today and after being accepted for a mortgage we will be viewing our first house on Saturday.
Busy life aside it’s tea time and I chose this Ali Shan as an after dinner tea to pair with my vegetarian prawn Thai green curry. The Oolong has a beautiful sweet and creamy, floral scent.
The flavour is mild and I waited for it to cool so I can gulp it down. Dry after taste but as a whole it’s satisfying. Subtle flavour with milk and flowers being the two dominant tones. Also perfumed and sweet like brown sugar.
I want to love it but it’s not as fresh as it could be, it did make a nice, average, every day type Oolong though. May try another Oolong next.
The scent is very earthy, sweet and reminds me of baked bread. It’s been a while since I’ve had this tea, so I’m excited to see if anything’s changed with my tastebuds.
Sipping… It’s mostly earthy, a bit floral and a tiny bit astringent for me. I also detect some bread, honey and tree bark. It’s not as tasty as I remember it. I think I might be picking up on more of the earthy dirt notes instead of the honey. I wish it had a little bit more body or richness. Not sure if I would purchase more of this one, but happy to have tried it again!
Origin: Arya Estate; Darjeeling, India. April, 2013
Dry Leaf: Scents of dried peach and apple, nutmeg. Twisted threads with multi-colors; moss greens, cream, dark brown, light brown.
Method: Western – 22oz ceramic classic shaped teapot – 1 tsp tea per 8 oz water – 200F – brewed 2 cups in the pot – steeped 3 minutes.
Wet Leaf: Delicate, young brown/green colored leaves—small to medium size. Scents of hay, spices, vanilla, and dried apple peel. Somewhat chopped.
Liquor: Golden/light orange color with scents of honey, vanilla, hay, spice.
Flavor: Very multi-flavored!! Notes of nutmeg, vanilla, dried apple, honey, maybe a tiny touch of dried pineapple as well. There is also a champagne-like brightness, making this the ultimate Darjeeling lol!
I haven’t tried too many Darjeelings but this is definitely the best one I have tried. Very delicious, many layers of flavor, nicely balanced, no astringency (maybe because this is a 2013 and it has mellowed out). Would love to try a new first flush from this year to compare. Will have to taste some more to gain knowledge of this lovely tea!
Later in the day, I resteeped these leaves at 180F for 4 minutes. Delicious and still carried lots of the tasting notes, especially pineapple!!! I would not resteep them a third time bc they have given their best now :)
Having a pot of this with an Indian dish today! Today, I brewed Western at 190F for 3 minutes.
The wet leaf has the scent of pineapple rind bc it’s not quite as sweet-smelling as the fruit but has that scent.
Liquor is golden color also with scents of pineapple rind.
Flavor also has the pineapple rind with cashews, a tiny tiny touch of saffron and turmeric. It’s funny how the spices of India are really coming thru in this Darjeeling. I AM eating Indian food, however. I tried the tea before my food and I cleanse my palate with water when tasting the tea in between bites but it could be influencing my tasting today. It certainly pairs perfectly with the foods of its origin!!!!
After my Indian dish, I kept drinking the tea as I ate a Black Mission fig fresh from my garden and a vanilla cookie. This tea sang with the fig, another food from his homeland!!
Oh and also, my tea is now gone. I see people using the term “Sipdown” and I do not use that term bc it seems to imply that they are happy the tea is all gone and with this tea,,,I am certainly not happy that it is all gone :( More like “Saddown” to me.
Flavors: Apple, Champagne, Dried Fruit, Fig, Hay, Honey, Nutmeg, Pineapple, Saffron, Vanilla
Origin: Yingde, Guangdong Province, China; Summer 2012
Varietal: No 9 (big leaf variety cultivated in Yingde area in the late 1950s from Yunnan tea seeds)
Dry Leaf: Black (not dark brown) and gold little twisty threads. Looks like a Yunnan type tea that has the typical malty scent but it doesn’t have that scent. It has a smoked BBQ scent leaning toward Lapsang Souchong. It looks like the black twists have been smoked a bit longer.
Method: Western- 22 oz ceramic classic- shaped oval pot – 194F 1 tsp tea per 8 oz H2O – Brewed 2 cups in the pot for 3 minutes.
Wet Leaf: Young leaves, very tiny and all individual, turned milk chocolate brown now with scents of light smoke. They used the young leaves of this big-leaf varietal!
Liquor: Clear deep amber. Smells sweet. This tea is very intriguing bc it likes to change it’s spots everywhere.
Flavor: Smooth, nice balance of light smoke, sweet malt, dark honey but not too sweet. No bitter or astringency.
Wow! A really delicious flavor-filled tea. This is cupboard-worthy to me. Love this. Wish I had more—only got a sample pack :( and Canton is in London :( :( :(
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Smoke, Smooth
Okay, be forewarned, this is another Sheng Yiwu Snob alert. This tea is another of the Canton Tea Company Single Mountain Puerh Collection. The color of the soup is a beautiful golden color. The taste is excellent, it is neither too strong or weak but right on the money. It has a very nice earthy/grassy/vegetal flavor with very nice kuwei and a hint of astringency. I really liked the fact that the taste lingers for quite a while after you are done drinking it. An excellent Sheng and at $16.80 for 100g, it is a very nice bargain.
This is a frustrating Sheng for me to review. Is it an excellent tea, in my opinion no. Is it a really good tea, yes. Am I glad I bought it, yes. The soup is a beautiful golden color. The problem for me is the taste, way too muted yet at the same time it is very pleasing to drink. There is a very muted earthy/smokey flavor to it with a hint of astringency at the end and as far as I can tell no kuwei at all. I really like this tea, I just wish the flavors were a bolder since that is how I like my Shengs.
Origin: Spices from India, Egypt, and Spain; Then Hand-blended in Bristol, UK.
Dry Leaf: Such a pretty colored herbal with light greens and pinks!! Spice-a-Rama!! There are pretty rose petals and pieces, whole green cardamom pods, green fennel seeds, small dried ginger pieces and it is all so pretty and smells exhilarating!!
Method: 2 tsp. herbs – Large infuser in an 8oz Pyrex cup – 200F for 3 minutes
Wet Leaf: Spicy and pretty rose and green spice mixture that smells like a spice blend with a good balance of vanilla.
Liquor: Golden daffodil color. Scents of fresh spices and vanilla. Smells warm and comforting.
Flavor: This is a lovely Ayurvedic blend because all of the spices are in harmony. There is licorice but it is not overpowering which is very important. There is a warmth from the ginger pieces. There is a creamy and sweetness from the vanilla and rose petals. There is a peppery kick from the fennel and cardamom pods. This is so visually appealing and a very tasty nighttime comfort herbal. I really enjoyed this blend.
Flavors: Cardamon, Ginger, Licorice, Rose, Vanilla
This one has changed names a few times but this is the description of Black Pearls by Canton Tea and they have also been called Yunnan Gold Pearls.
Origin: Feng Qing Mountains; Lincang, China.
Dry Leaf: These pearls are large,,,the size of small gum balls. The pearls are black-brown and gold threads woven together to look like a little ball of yarn. Very cool looking. Smell like malty sweet black tea.
Method: Have played with these pearls a few times and definitely Gong Fu is the way to go over Western or any other method. Used a 3.38 oz porcelain ceramic pot with 2 pearls at 200F. I have tried this tea using 1 pearl and it was weak.
Double rinse 10"/10" (Pearls are very tightly rolled)
Wet Leaf: Medium size leaves that have been twisted like a rope then rolled into the pearl shape. Woody scent.
Liquor: Golden and clear.
Flavor: Sort of starts out roasty and as it cools some vanilla comes out but it is not sweet. Further steepings bring out a cooked woody flavor. It is reminding me of the couple of Shou puerhs that I have tried and this is why I enjoy Sheng puerhs much better.
They worked so hard on rolling this tea that I respect it and it is beautiful to look at but it is really one note and hard to brew for me. It is very woody :(
Flavors: Wet Wood, Wood
Origin: (tea) Yunnan Province, China ; (rose buds) Egypt.
Dry leaf: Beautiful, orchid pink baby roses mixed in with Yunnan tea leaves that are dark brown, twisty threads with a bit of light gold showing thru. The scent is light rose and vanilla malt. This is a lovely dry leaf worthy of showing off before brewing at a tea party.
Method: Western, Glass teapot, 2 tsp tea , 2 cups H2o (500ml) , 200F for 1 min.
Wet Leaf: The roses turn light tutu pink and impart their orchid color to the liquor. Tea leaves are young leaves that have been twisted and some buds are in there. They have turned chocolate brown and look pretty with the roses.
Liquor: Light plum amber color. Light rose scent with vanilla and malt.
Flavor: Sweet, malt, tiny hint of the rose on the nose so it’s not floral tasting, only sweet from the rose. Vanilla, malt. Very consistent with the scent of the dry leaf :) Very nice!
Can also take milk but it’s not dark and heavy (which I tend not to like—that’s why I like Yunnan black tea) so it’s perfect for a tea party. There is no need for sugar, it is naturally sweet.
This is an elegant, beautiful tea. Absolutely perfect for a tea party. Would definitely serve this to a mom, little daughter or niece. Just charming and delicious!!!!
Flavors: Malt, Rose, Vanilla
Origin: Satemwa Estate; Thyolo, Malawi; Southeast Africa
Dry Leaf: This is the most unique tea I’ve ever seen. The leaves are moss green color and have been hand-wrapped first stretching in a horizontal line with half the leaf or another leaf (must examine these further to see) and then wrapped vertically with the rest of the leaf or another leaf. They are in the shapes of little footballs. Scent of cream and subtle notes of nutmeg.
Method: 16 oz Glass teapot – 8 grams tea -2 cups h2o – 175F for 1 minute
Wet Leaf: Still in football shapes, didn’t unfurl too much with first steeping. Scent of fresh cooked greens.
Liquor: champagne color
with very light honey scent
Flavor: Tastes like subtle cream and honey like a White Peony but with a subtle spice note and I taste a tiny bit of lime which is unique and very very subtle. Lightly creamy mouthfeel. The presentation of this tea was simply fantastic!!!!
Before I did a second steeping of these cuties,,,I took one of the wet little footballs and tried to unroll it. They are super tightly rolled. They appear to be all one leaf and have been rolled like that and left to dry in that shape because the middles are lots greener leaf.
I have a feeling this next steeping is going to taste a lot more green with those type notes.
Second Steeping definitely created more color to the liquor which is now a bright golden color with a subtle scent of ginger ale.
Leaves are still rolled tightly but have begun to unfurl and you can see that the little footballs are a combination of a two leaf on a stem rolled to make the horizontal part then a few individual young leaves inside to wrap those connected two leaves around the little stem with the loose leaves inside. (if this makes sense—better to unwrap and see !!)
Flavor is more full this second brew but still subtle. Notes of honey and cream but not any green notes like I thought. There is a bit of Se Wei – scratchy to your throat – bc the leaves inside the little footballs have not been as exposed to air so they are green.
This is a very fun and delicious white tea.
Flavors: Cream, Ginger, Honey, Lime
Origin: Grown wild in the mountains west of Mang Shi, Dehong; Yunnan, China.
Varietal-Wild Tree Purple Varietal (a primitive camelia sinensis varietal from which camelia sinensis var. assamica originated) (from Canton tea)
Dry Leaf: Scents of dried fruits, dried cherries. Flattened then slightly twisted ribbons of dark brownish purple.
Method: 4 oz gaiwan
2 tsp tea 200F
Wet Leaf: Flattened, brown ribbons with scents of wood and prune. The leaves are medium to large size purple. All single leaves that appear to have been folded, flattened, then twisted before drying.
Liquor: Deep, clear, amber jewel. Scent of malt, dried prune.
Flavor: Wood, prune, tobacco, malt,,,,later steepings, honey.
Gets sweeter with each steeping,,,the other flavors step back though. The flavors end with honey.
Boy is this good. Having a cup that I brewed easily in a Pyrex cup at 200F for 3 minute steep. Liquor is so beautiful, deep golden orange and clear. Very rich and complex. This is one that I will keep in my cupboard. Subtle smoke, sweet prune, honey, touch of tobacco, touch of malt. So mesmerizing. Love this.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Honey, Malt, Tobacco, Wood
Origin: Bai Lin, Tai Mu Mountain; Fu Ding County; Fujian Province, China. 500 – 800 meters above sea level. Spring 2013
Dry Leaf: Tiny, twisted threads of dark brown and gold with scents of caramel and some dried apple.
(The Canton site said that its nickname was Ju Hong (Clementine Red) because the little young buds are covered in delicate bright orange-yellow hairs) I love the names and nicknames they give for the teas!)
Leaf Varietal: Fu Ding Da Bai Cha
Method: 4 ounce ceramic Gong Fu pot
Wet Leaf: All uniform, now clay- brown colored young leaves with scents of hot cocoa
Liquor: Deep amber, it has the Clementine orange hue to the liquor, very pretty
Flavor: First steeping 2 minutes – Rich mouthfeel, cocoa, with a sweet honey in the aftertaste.
2nd Steep 2 minutes- Cocoa, sweetness has faded a bit but still cocoa.
Third Steep 3 minutes- Leaves are giving less now, but still light cocoa and honey notes.
Very beautiful and delicious tea!!!
Flavors: Cocoa, Honey
Picked from old trees in Yunnan, much larger buds than other white teas.
Da Bai Hao, or ‘Big White Bud’, is a very famous tea varietal. It gets its name from the very long soft buds, covered in fine white hairs. It is cultivated extensively in Fujian province to produce White Teas such as Silver Needle, but old trees grow semi-wild in Yunnan. The buds are dried and baked to make a tea similar to Silver needle Pekoe, but much larger and with a more pronounced aroma – the result of picking from old trees, not cultivars. (from the Canton site)
2013 from Jinggu, Yunnan, China
Dry leaf – Huge long silver needles!!! Scent is a little more complex though,,,a note like a tomato with sugar on it (if anyone eats that). The leaves are so soft, like velvet, and large enough that I could pick up and feel on my cheek and lip how fuzzy soft they were.
Brewed this Western style at 185F
6 grams tea (filled the whole basket up) and 500 ml water/2 cups
Wet leaf- the most huge silver needle buds I have ever seen,,,,but more complex smelling than silver needle. Smell like Ya Bao with notes of subtle persimmon thrown in with the creamy white tea notes. The buds could still open up a bit more too so this one will be good for re-steeping.
Liquor- a light pearl, pale gold color with scents of light persimmon.
Flavor- Sugar, tomato, persimmon, cream.
VERY complex and VERY delicious!!!!!!
Resteeped and still had lots of flavor and the same notes,, none of the notes had faded. Very good.
Tasting some more of this today and it definitely tastes wild. It has that complexity and wild bud flavor to it. It tastes like Sheng that I’ve had.
Flavors: Cream, Fruity, Red Fruits, Sugar
Making it in a teapot this time around. The resultant experience is still superb but quite different from the gaiwan. This time it is thick and fruity, reminding me of bread and butter pudding with a slight note of custard on the side. I really like this tea.
I received this in a swap a while back. Thanks to the sender as it is a unique tea. I brought this one out to brew in a ceramic infuser cup. I gave it a 10 second soak to loosen it up a bit.
I has a nice aroma of hay and pine to it when I opened the lid up. It gave a decent color to the brew. It has light hints of smoke albeit somewhat subdued and hints of fresh hay on the palate.
It seems to be a pretty nice tea not strong and overpowering but enough of the hay, pine and touch of smoke with nice color that made it an enjoyable experience. I may just have to pick some of this up to add to the ever growing puerh stock I have.
If I can sneak it in the door……
I thought I would try this one for Mother’s Day weekend!!!
What a beautiful herbal!! It gets 100 for presentation!!!
The salted pink flowers smell like salty plumb-scented candy. They are so pretty!!! Shimmery, light pink flowers.
I included the instructions in the tea notes. You pre-soak the flowers in 140F water for 5 minutes to remove the salt. Then you drain that (and keep that liquid to flavor with) then infuse the flowers in a teacup with boiling water for 3 minutes.
The flowers in the water look like little pink fairy dresses,,,tutus,,,so beautiful how they wisp thru the water. The scent is a sweet plumb liquor.
After the flowers have soaked in the boiling water a while, they open like new and turn themselves and the water a light pale pink.
I added a teaspoon of the salted liquid to the flower water and that was perfect for me. It tasted like slightly sweet, but mostly salted plumb candy.
While drinking, the petals sort of melt in your mouth. They are so delicately thin.
This was such a fun experience!!!!!! I am honored to get to try this lovely drink from Japan.
Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Plums
OK,,instantly addicted to Puerh now!!!! This is my first cake and I love this little one!! I am aging this cake but decided to brew the loose leaves and chisel off a few more for one gong fu session. I got a puerh pick so I could keep the leaves whole and intact.
The cake is from Jing Gu county of Simao, Yang Ta village, China.
The dry leaves are dark brownish-forest green with whitish creamy colored ones mixed in.
Not gonna rate this tea because I am still learning about puerh and will be coming back to this one from time to time and drinking a bit more as it ages. But it tastes interesting and good so that’s all I need to know!!!!
I used 200F water and 3 tsp leaves in my little 4 ounce pot.
1. 20 seconds – rinse
2. 20 seconds- subtle smoke, smooth; liquor is champagne pearl color
3. 20 seconds- wet leaves smell like slightly sweet tobacco as does the liquor. There is a blue poppy seed flavor with smoke and a touch of cream.
4. 20 seconds- the leaves are really open and expanded now. They are very large leaves and then there are buds like silver needle in with them. This cake is made from the varietal Camellia Taliensis and the leaves are white tippy and very large. This is my favorite steeping,, it has subtle smoke with white tea cream qualities, the blue poppy seed, a hint of tobacco.
5. 25 seconds- smoky white tea cream flavor with a tiny tiny bit of astringency coming out now and a tiny tiny bit of bitter.
I live in the desert so I have been reading about storage for puerh a lot. I definitely have low humidity covered but I hope my cake has enough humidity for the organisms to live. There is humidity in the desert, just not tons,,so I think I should be fine.
I will check back here from time to time and date my entries so I can see the tea’s progression :)
Had some more of this today. 200F 15" rinse then 3 more 15" steeps,,,(last two were at about 180F). Caught a bit of vanilla today, a tangy note like a white raspberry, mulberry, and the sweet tobacco is still coming thru. Lots of layered flavor. Once the leaves open up after about 5 steepings, there is a bit of astringency to cleanse your palette.
Broke off a bit more today to try. I need to leave this alone to age bc it keeps getting better but I keep drinking it lol.
195F 4 oz gong fu porcelain pot
Flavors are smoky cream with a touch of honey and a touch of tamarind bitter.
There are lots of buds and young leaves in this cake. Giving off a touch of Se Wei but it is mellowing out each time I try it.
Flavors: Berries, Tobacco, Vanilla
Making myself take time out from my revision schedule to spend quality time with my beloved, I decided it would also be a good opportunity to sample this tea, which a good friend sent me. The leaves are thick, fuzzy and curly, ranging from almost white, through green to a brownish olive green colour. The dry leaf has a sweet earthy aroma with caramel overtones. It already does not feel like a normal white tea.
I brewed the tea in a gaiwan because my teapot had not been washed from my Lapsang binge this afternoon and I am rather glad I did. The experience was much enhanced by this. The steeped liquor is amber in colour with a strong floral aroma and a definite citrus edge to it. It tastes silky sweet and floral, with a hint of caramel and that citrus edge comes through to cut the other flavours and produce a very different experience for a white tea. The aftertaste is phenomenal. It is sweet and citrussy but goes on forever. The sweetness leaves after a while but the taste of fresh, sweet tangerines remains even almost an hour after finishing the cup. Better yet, this is a whole body tea infused with a sense of well-being and relaxation. As I drank the tea I could feel this week’s crap melting away. I really needed something like this and am so glad I picked the right tea.
This is a truly superb tea that deserves a quiet contemplative moment if you are to enjoy it to the full. Don’t worry if you don’t have the time because the tea will grab you and massage you into submission. This is no shrinking violet. It is a firm yet compassionate nanny that will take proper care of you. It is not cloying like some white teas can be and it has so much more depth than many teas. It rewards care and the attention you pay to it. I so need more of this.
Flavors: Caramel, Orange Zest
Smooth, buttery, spinachy, and slurpable, just the way I like my greens. A bit like the mao feng and jade cloud/cloud and mist specimens I’ve tasted, but there’s something about this one that I like even better. (This is the first mao jian I’ve tried, I believe, so my comparison may be lacking.) It’s a solid, unfussy tea that has lifted my spirits without having to pay very close attention to it. The fact that it tastes great even though it’s not super-fresh and I used hard unfiltered tap water makes me like it even more. At only £5 for 50 grams, I predict I’ll be buying more of this in the not too distant future.
Flavors: Butter, Kale