Canton Tea Co
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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!!!!
Had a cup of this in the afternoon. Such a pretty leaf with beautiful pink roses,,the pretty appearance is enough to like and then to have it taste so lovely is just nice. You must be in the mood for floral flavored tea to drink this. Especially rose, it is not strong rose but it does smell and taste like rose. I find that adding milk brings out the tea’s flavor and balances the blend perfectly. It is a British type tea so this is meant to have milk added.
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.
Drinking the last of this today. So interesting,,,so like sheng. Love how large and fuzzy the leaves are. Will have to order more of this next time if they offer some more from the next year.
Flavors: Cream, Fruity, Red Fruits, Sugar
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 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.
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
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
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!!!!
Having a cup Western style today. Sooooo good!!!! I usually don’t resteep this one now because the sugar effect gets washed away with the first but it is still a light smoky black tea with no sweetness if you do resteep.
Flavors: Caramel, Sugarcane, 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