Canton Tea Co
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is an old Canton Tea Club sample that I’ve tried before but forgot to review. Luckily I have just enough left to write some quick notes with. Usually my husband would be joining me but tonight he’s riding the Jack Daniels train and I can’t drink on my medication.
The leaves are very dark brown almost black with a few golden tips present. They are long and thin for the most part, guessing an average of 8mm long. They have a smoky, damp wooden scent with a dry leather like presence.
Steeping in my gaiwan using 6g of leaves and roughly 160ml of water.
First Steep – 20 seconds
Light yet sweet and fruity with malt tones. I’m tasting honey also. Fruit wise all I can think of is apricot which is unusual for a black tea.
Second Steep – 40 seconds
Light but still flavourful. Floral wise I say it reminds me of orchid, but also still getting the malt and apricot tones too. Also a little dry in the after taste.
Third Steep – 60 seconds
Carrying on in flavour nicely though it’s starting to become more subtle. I’m really starting to like the orchid and apricot combo, unusual but refreshing.
Fourth Steep – 80 seconds
Definitely the end of tonight’s steeps, it’s now very delicate and a little sour. All that remains is the apricot and honey.
For the most part this tea remained consistent in flavour throughout steeps. It never became astringent and though it became a little dry towards the end it was more than acceptable. While I am not overly keen on light black teas I found this particular one to be full of flavour and very enjoyable. Sad to see this one go.
The dry tea leaves smell like sorghum and are pretty tiny and twisted with a few golden colored ones among the mix.
This smells sweeter than it tastes. It does have notes of malt, chocolate, and a touch of orange pith because it has a tiny bitter note but not an unpleasant bitter.
This was a nice afternoon pick-me-up tea!!
Tried this again Western style this morning. Can’t seem to brew this without bringing out bitterness. This is a hand made Orange Pekoe from Amba Estate in Sri Lanka and so pretty to look at. I’m trying it again at a lower temp even though they suggest 203F.
Tried it one more time at 190F and still got strong bitter notes. :( Luckily I didn’t get a lot of this tea and it is gone. I feel badly that I was not able to bring out the notes that Canton brought out bc someone made this tea by hand and worked hard on it.
Flavors: Bitter, Honey, Orange Zest
Just finished off my stash of this. This really has to be my favorite white tea ever. It is floral, nutty, and slightly fruity- apricots? It never brews bitter, but you have to drink it quickly or it oxidizes in your pot. Oddly enough, it reminds me of Butiki’s pistachio ice cream today…Probably because I just ate a piece of vegan toffee from http://www.allisonsgourmet.com.
ETA: The best thing about this tea is the aftertaste. I love teas with a good/long lasting finish, and this tea just perfumes your mouth such that you can still taste the tea long after it is gone.
Fresh tea leaves with their distinctive speckled colors. Very delicious Oriental Beauty. This one is from Taiwan and I feel it is zippier and livelier than the couple of others I have tried. It is zingy and fresh. Besides the citrus zing, it has flavor notes of apricot, honey, a tad of maybe a woodiness? It is tea umami,,,Oriental Beauty is so hard to describe!
I keep using the word fresh with Canton teas because I feel I am getting the best representation of the teas from them,,,,, fresh teas that have just been packaged. I have been very impressed, I wish they were in my country :( :( :( :( :( but I am glad I tried them. Though I do wish I had ordered more tea because of that but I didn’t know how good it would all be to me!!
Also, I feel like their directions have a tad lower temperature for their teas which is good. At first I thought, am I not converting Celsius to Fahrenheit properly? But they are just very careful and have the perfect temperature and brew times to bring out the best of the teas.
Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Lemon Zest
The tea I have gotten from Canton is extremely fresh. These tea leaves smell like dark, unsweetened cocoa.
The liquor is definitely roasted flavor with dark, unsweetened cocoa notes. There are no sweet notes to this Da Hong Pao, it is very dominant in its roasted notes.
Has a great cream note and mouthfeel in the finish as well. Very delicious, this one is like dark coffee with cream and no sugar.
Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Espresso
OH Wow! This is really wonderful!!!!! This tea has been roasted along with a bit of red cane sugar in the firing process. Red Cane is like a Muscovado, according to the Canton website. This black tea is sweet but not sickie sweet, it’s naturally sweet. There is no bitterness to the black tea. It smells like molasses but tastes like the top of a crème brülee which every time I find this in tea it just is the best!!!!
I never add anything to my teas so I love the sweetness of the sugar actually involved in the firing process. This is definitely a treat and special tea. Definitely worth getting more of this,,,this is a necessity in life!!!!
Oh and I also found on their website that the black tea used is Zheng shan xiao zhong (the same varietal used for Lapsang Souchong).
Second Steeping—Still delicious flavors and a touch less sweet (which they said it would be) but still a sweet and not bitter at all black tea. So good!!!
Third Steeping—Starting to lose its yum factor but still o.k…..I’d say that two sessions is what you can get from these particular leaves but maybe I could have left the leaves in the water a little longer (I only steeped for 3 minutes each time to keep leaves from turning bitter). Still such a delicious tea, I rarely get to a third steeping but that’s how good this is!!!!
5/14/14 — Oh Sugarcane Black,,,why are you so good?? I have to pay international shipping to get you :( Drinking some more today yum yum :)
I had a cup left because I had had another tea before that,,,so I put it in the fridge for iced tea later. When I had this chilled on ice,,,it was like the yummiest Southern sweet tea only with quality tea and not as sicky sweet as sweet teas can be. So delicious!!!!
Flavors: Caramel, Vanilla
Very fresh tea with spring green colored leaves, scents of mineral and spinach. Very light spring green color liquor that is very light and delicate as it is brewed at a lower temperature.
It is very cleansing and has a touch of astringency. It almost has a hint of jasmine but this is not a jasmine tea. It is supposed to have an “oily” liquor but I didn’t find that at all. I found it very clean.
LIght, fresh, and springy green tea.
This tea also has Se Wei (which is a term I just read about) which I have found in some younger white teas. It is a feeling of having a rough tongue, as astringency deploys, the taste buds contract and it can feel a bit itchy. It is very itchy in the back of the throat.
Flavors: Mineral, Peas, Plants
The tea leaves are very clean, beautiful, fresh, and green as if they just picked and dried them and they haven’t been stored,,just straight to your cup so that was very nice.
This is brewed at a low temp so it is very delicate and subtle in its flavors. This is a lovely, cleansing white tea.
Dry leaves are silver needles mixed with sage green colored very young leaves. Gorgeous and delicate tea. Scents of spices and apricot.
Only had a tiny bit of sample leaf left so I brewed in a Pyrex cup at 170F for 3 minutes. Had about 1 tsp left so I used 1/2 cup water.
Liquor has a vanilla scent with subtle spice and apricot. It has a white pearl color.
Wet Leaf is so pretty. Baby leaves that have gone from the sage green to a lovely sea vegetable green color.
Flavor is very subtle. Light, refreshing, light light strawberry note. Not bitter at all.
- So second steeping, I tried 5 minutes to see if I could make the flavor a little deeper but I had a fear of bitterness. This low temp kept the bitterness at bay. 5 minutes didn’t pull any more flavor forward so next time, I am going to use lots more leaf. Unfortunately, I am out of this tea and will have to order some more or another like it.
Flavors: Berries, Honey, Vanilla
My usual supply of Jasmine Pearls are coming from Jing, but because i had a rather huge discount with canton tea i ordered them with them. The basics are the same authentic jasmine pearls without artificial flavors.
These Pearls are a little bit bigger then those from jing but they smell the same, intense floral and fresh. I’m using only a small teaspoon of pearls in my 270ml teapot and steep them for 2m30 sec (my new standard time for greens).
The first cup is lighter green then the one from jing, smells intense like jasmine (as expected) and is light and clean in taste. The green tea is less robust then i’m used to but the jasmine is sweet, i like my first cup but finding it a bit week.
The second cup is steeped for 3m and because the pearls are more unfurled and opened the color is a bit darker green and way more intense and robust in taste. This is by far a better cup of jasmine for my taste.
The third cup is holding on the same as the second, so this tea is very good but i’m not sure if i can choose between jing or canton, they are different but well… overall almost the same!
This white tea has been sitting in my cupboard for way to long now. Time to start drinking from the rare Big White Bud tea. Actually its like silver needles, but bigger! When i say big i mean big, there almost double in size then the other Silver Needles i drank before from other company’s.
I start with one big teaspoon of these tips (big spoon because its a very difficult tea to get the amount right) in 80°c water and i steep it for 2m30sec. The liquor i get from this is a very pale yellowish tea. Actually you can compare this to a good white wine!
Taste wise its comparable to other silver needles but the taste is deeper and stays way longer in the mouth. I find it to be sweeter and more special.
Made a total of 3 brews from the same leafs and each infusion is slightly different, but the quality is very high.
a side note, the picture above is a cake but the leafs where loose in my package could’t find a better picture to show this tea.
I am drinking all of my best and favorite teas. My birthday is coming up, so why not treat myself? Also, I have so much tea in my house that is just okay, why would I drink that and let my good tea go stale? So, I am hoping to sip this one down today. I have made one large pot of this one this morning, and I have just enough left for another pot or for a gong fu session.
This is the second lemongrass I’m trying from the box. This one is a herbal, and as such (I never drink herbals! I have no idea why. It might be the lack of actual tea. Is that elitist? Eli-tea-st? Are we even doing puns this month? I’m so out of touch.) I had no idea how to brew it, so I used Scheherezade’s steeping parametres – 4 minutes at boiling.
In the bag, this didn’t smell like anything specific, just a vaguely citrusy whole, but fairly subtle. Brewed, though, it’s half Fox lemon toffee and half lemongrass, which is somewhat confusing, seeing as that’s about as broad a representation on the artificial —> natural scale as is even possible. After I let the cup sit for a few minutes, the scent slid all the way into lemongrass territory, however – again, confusing, seeing as lemongrass equals food to me, rather than beverage. I’m expecting this to be a savoury broth, but it’s not.
The confusion prevails as I sip my way through this – my brain thinks it’s having a plain broth to cleanse the palate between courses, and it refuses to accept that we’re actually drinking tea. It’s looking forward to a scented towelette in the near future. It’s anxiously anticipating the green mango salad and also, if possible, something cashewy, please. Is this a fusion place? Are there fancy cocktails to be had? Are we on a date? If so, do we get to make out later? And when is that salad coming?
It’s good; I’m glad I got to try some. It’s just not teaful enough to suit me.
Thanks to KittyLovesTea for sharing!
[Sample from the second round of the EU Travelling Box, spring 2014.]
I’m having this one again and this time I added a bit more leaf. It certainly brews up a lovely, dark cup once again. This cup has a bit more of a molasses kind of sweetness. It’s thick and has edges that resemble burnt sugar. It’s not really a milk caramel flavor, but one that is a little smokey, woody and wrapped up with that molasses. There are still earthy and bready flavors that pop out towards the end of the sip — mostly hay and sourdough bread, for me. The sweetness lingers on the tongue long after the cup is empty. Delicious!
Just before Christmas I received a surprise letter from Canton tea which included a coupon for money off my next order and a 5g sample of their new Chocolate Tea. It was a very nice gesture and the tea was certainly appreciated so it has been lovingly stored for any day I want chocolate. That day is today.
Opening the packet released a pure chocolate scent, one of the most natural chocolate teas I have sniffed so far. I did note seeing chocolate chips amongst the blend too. It also had a vague vanilla after tone.
Steeped this via the recommended instructions.
First few sips reveal a malty and rather smoky black tea, smooth and silky in texture with a hint of sweetness. Not as chocolatey as it’s raw scent, in fact it’s more like cocoa nib, sour and strong with minimal sweetness. Not quite what I had in mind for Cantons so called luxurious Chocolate Tea.
I am liking the black tea base though, but I think it would be nicer without the sour chocolate. Maybe it’s just me but compared to someone like Della Terra’s chocolate teas this one is very subtle. I really was expecting more. If I was to do a blind taste test I would never have said chocolate, I would think it was just a nice black tea.
So while I really do like this black base tea (as my score will reflect) I don’t think it’s a nice chocolate tea due to the lack of actual chocolate flavour. Oh and I’m sure the vanilla will keep it smooth and creamy but in terms of flavour unfortunately the smoke element masks over it.
The dry leaf doesn’t smell of much, but when the hot water hits, it releases the citrusy aromas promised. The liquor is sweet, fruity, and smooth with a lovely, lightly floral aftertaste. There’s absolutely nothing bad I can say about this tea (except for a somewhat unpleasant tingle at the bottom of the throat, but it’s barely worth mentioning). Granted this is the first example of an Oriental Beauty I’ve tried, but I’m very impressed.
ETA: Second steep had an interesting lemony tartness, which was overtaken by woodiness in subsequent steepings.
Flavors: Apricot, Fruit Tree Flowers, Lemon Zest
The dry leaf is so pretty! Thin black and gold strands – just lovely! It makes a beautifully dark, red-tinted cup. Sipping… I taste hay, sourdough bread and a tiny bit of dark chocolate. Not a whole lot of caramel here, but it’s smooth and sweet. I wish that I could taste more of that caramel as it would add another tasty dimension to the cup, but it is still very delicious.
I only ordered 20g of this from Canton, as it was so obscenely expensive. But I was curious to try it. It brews a light silvery gold, and tastes distinctly like white rice, bread or wheat. It is naturally sweet, and looses flavor considerably when it cools, which only means that you shouldn’t linger over it. It is like Norbu’s Ya Bao, but even smoother and more delicate, and without any hint of pines. It tastes nothing like Bai Mu Dan or Silver Needle, it is indeed a class of its own in terms of white tea. If you don’t like white tea, then you’ll probably not enjoy this tea – it is very delicate, and shy in terms of flavor. If you, like me, enjoy white teas, then indulge in a small pouch of this. It is an interesting and very tasty tea.
Brewed western style, at 70C. Canton tea recommends brewing it at 75C, and after a taste at 70C I agree. The tea loses flavor considerably when it cools down. Zero astringency, don’t add sweeteners (it’s naturally sweet), or milk. Silky smooth but light body.
The leaves were dark greenish and silvery white, medium length, and twisted.
Points taken off for the exorbitant price.
A sample from KittyLovesTea! I’m a lemongrass fan, on the whole. It’s fresh-tasting, citrussy, caffeine free…what’s not to love? My most recent favourite has been Teapigs Lemongrass, but this is equally as good. The pieces of lemongrass here are much finer and more green than I’ve seen before, and they seem to make a more potent brew. It’s still a relatively delicate flavour, in the grand scheme of things, but I can taste lemon clearly rather than the just sweet, hay-like, vaguely citrus notes I’ve experiences with some lemongrass teas. I’ve enough of this left to make a few more cups, and it’s a very pleasant herbal for either morning or evening. Thanks to KittyLovesTea for making me reevaluate my lemongrass tendencies!
What a magical experience! It was my first time tasting a Longjing tea so I can’t really compare it to others but I loved it! It gave me a sensation of home, possibly because it had an aroma of a sweet corn & milk beverage I used to drink in my childhood. The tea is buttery, slightly vegetal & sweet (hits the spot), fresh and nutty. It’s the type of tea that I can drink at any hour of the day. I steeped it for 2.5 min at 70C and for the 2nd infusion, I steeped it for 5 min at 75C. The second infusion felt milder than the first but it was still great!