Canton Tea Co
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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m giving this one another try. I want to like it and I kind of do like it when it is hot. As it cools, not so much. When hot, the tea is very fresh and vibrant. There is a huge buttery flavor that surprisingly goes well with the floral aspects of this tea. The scent is not very strong and luckily doesn’t seem to linger after the cup is finished. There is a certain grassy note to the taste as well, but not overly so.
So I’m trying to drink this before it cools too much. I wish I could base my rating entirely on my enjoyment of this as a very hot tea, but since I have trouble seeing past the lack of enjoyment when just warm the rating will mainly stay in the lower realms. If I find it easier to drink while cooling or if the second infusion is better than the first, I may bump the ratings again. As it is, I am bumping the ratings a bit because it is nice hot.
I wish I enjoyed green oolongs more since I enjoy the dark ones, but I guess it just isn’t meant to be.
When I opened the package on this tea, I noticed that the smell was wonderful. It was light and sweet in harmony with a flowery oolong smell.
The tightly rolled leaves ranged in colour from mid-green to dark greenish brown. I steeped two cups of this tea first, and as it steeped, this tea smelled just as sweet, if not sweeter, than when the leaves were yet dry. In my small teapot, they began to quickly open and expand. The aroma became a bit deeper as it steeped longer, and after a few minutes, I poured the first cup.
The liquor was a lot lighter green than most oolongs I have had recently, which surprised me. Also, there was something now unique about the aroma. It smelled a bit like green tea mochi ice cream to me. The taste of the first cup was full, not very heavy, and definitely still carried those sweet tones with it. There was a playful deliciousness to this tea that made it somehow fun to drink and very enjoyable.
The second pot was just as delicious as the first, and the flavours began to mellow out the longer I drank this tea.
I would rate this tea an 80/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
Okay, I have to admit I’m a bit worried about this one. I love oolongs (dark ones) and I love green tea….but the last and only green oolong I had was vile. So vile and stinky in fact that I could seriously smell it for days (after I had gotten rid of it all!!) The scent was seriously stuck in my sinuses and it was horrible. I’ve read somewhat encouraging reviews about this one…so here we go…
The dry leaves are nice, long, and various shades of green. They are quite beautiful much like Dawn….but even better because green is my favorite color. The scent is not overpowering, but smells very green almost like seaweed. Thankfully, the aroma did not intensify while steeping so I think I can do this.
The scent has turned very floral and almost reminds me of roses. The tea itself is very smooth and almost buttery – but not as buttery as a Sencha. Wow, unless this starts to turn on me as it cools I think I like this. I will be updating later and perhaps adjusting the rating up or down as I see fit.
Okay, this turned on me. Big time. Not as bad as my previous experience but I just don’t like green oolongs. BIG ratings drop as I couldn’t even finish my cup.
My husband accused me of huffing this tea. I don’t know I’d go that far, but oh my goodness, the olfactory treat when I opened the package! This tea smells amazing. Hints of apricots smothered in cream in a sea of oolong-y goodness. I couldn’t wait to get it steeping.
The flavor of this tea is a little more delicate than the scent would suggest. It has a bright, clean taste. The product description said it would be floral – I didn’t getting flowers, but rather almost a spicy afterglow that lingered on my tongue, post swallow. It also has a very silky, smooth texture to the liquid, making it a joy to sip.
And this tea doesn’t disappoint in the visual aspect either. It’s a lovely pale light green. During my first steeping, it was a joy to watch the leaves dance around in the water, unfurling and transforming the water into something special.
Like almost all oolongs, this tea is good for multiple infusions. Perfect for sitting at your desk at work, or relaxing on a lazy afternoon. I also, in deference to the season, tried something which may horrify some purists – I tried this iced. It’s very cooling, and tasty but doesn’t take the ice as well as other oolongs. But all in all – this is a pretty darn good oolong.
First impressions of this tea upon opening the package: It smells old, and it smells like lemon. Not a bad old, but just…aged. There was also a bit of honey in the smell.
When I poured the water over the leaves, there was a really strong smell of flowers, but not an overwhelming smell.
Steeped according to the directions on the website: 1 tbs of leaves per cup of water for about two minutes.
After a couple minutes, I started to notice a deeper oolong smell to the steeping tea. Deep and rich, it smelled wonderful.
My first of this tea was delightful. I felt like my mouth was filled with flowers but not in a bad way at all. Delicious and smooth, I enjoyed how light it felt on my tongue. Then I swallowed the tea and encountered a whole different side. The aftertaste was completely oolong, no more flowers. The oolong flavour was rich and deep, and perhaps even a tad rough (something I am sure that will smooth out after a few steepings).
I had to force myself to drink the first steeping slowly. It was so tasty that I wanted to keep on drinking it.
The second steeping tasted much like the first, but sooo much smoother. There was a definite developed sweetness to the tea as well.
This is a great tea for people who want to start drinking oolongs, but are used to the light sweetness of floral green and white teas. I was a little disappointed that this tea did not live up to much of the hype I have heard surrounding Dan Cong oolongs. Regardless of this, I really enjoyed the experience of drinking this tea and give it a 85/100 on my personal enjoyment scale.
On a shopping trip the other day I saw a box labeled Chinese Red tea. Chinese red tea? I’ve never heard of that, I’ve heard of white, green, black, herbal, oolong, honeybush and rooibos teas, but not Chinese Red. I’ve heard rooibos called red, but don’t think Rooibos grows in China. So what is this red tea? Then, a package arrived in the mail with a packet of Bai Lin Gong Fu in it, and it said Red Tea on it! YAY! I get to try this thing!
Then, I found out that Chinese red tea is the local Chinese name for black tea. Oh. Phooey. I was hoping for a whole new experience. But upon further thought, I don’t know how many non-blended Chinese black teas I’ve had – most have been Indian, Sri Lankan, blends, or flavored. So this is still something new. Excellent. Time to open the packet.
This leaf is absolutely gorgeous. Light brown fuzzy leaves make up about 50% of the sample. And the aroma is luscious. Malty, with hints of cocoa and sweetness. Once brewed up, this is a lovely light orange. And the flavor? Mellow, smooth and sweet smelling. If it wasn’t for the caffeine content, this would be the tea equivalent of wrapping up in a blanket in front of the fire for a nap. I tend to sweeten my black teas, and I am just fine drinking this without any additives.
As an introduction to Chinese red teas, this is a great start. I look forward to trying others, especially if they’re at all like this one.
Review by Spencer E: “To brew this tea, I used about a tablespoon of leaves and four cups of boiling water. Steeped in a glass teapot, it was easy to see the leaves as they released a burnt orange liquor. Upon initially steeping this tea, the first thing I noticed was the incredibly light mouthfeel…”
Read the full review at: http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/640/tea-review-canton-tea-co-big-red-robe-oolong-tea/
Review by Jamie: “My favorite type of tea (thus far) is white tea, more specifically, silver needle, so I was crazy excited to try this one. The only thing that made me hesitate was the fact that it was jasmine flavored. I like the smell of Jasmine but I don’t like teas that taste like perfume…”
Read the full review at: http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/701/tea-review-canton-tea-company-jasmine-pearls/
Review by Mike D: “This Taiwanese tea is actually an Oolong, not a green, though I can understand the purveyor classifying it as green. Oolongs are fermented between 20%-80% of their total sugars. The ones on the low end of the scale are very flowery in nose, very delicate in taste…”
Read the full review at: http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/688/tea-review-canton-tea-company-pouchong/
Review by Jamie: “I like green tea but it’s never the first tea I reach for. I generally oversteep it and then fight to get past the bitter taste of my own forgetfulness. A friend of mine swears by the bitterness of green, says that you don’t get the full benefit without oversteeping it…. erm I don’t know…”
Read the full review at: http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/694/tea-review-canton-tea-co-pouchong/
Review by Leslie: “I’m sure I’ve had a silver needle before, but I don’t have any recollection of it. I brewed it for 2 min’s at 175 degrees. After the allotted time brewing the coloring as surprisingly fair. The lightest hint of gold, it was almost barely there. Holding it up to the light, there was a warm glow, but I had to double check that I had prepared…”
Read the full review at http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/678/tea-review-canton-tea-silver-needle-bai-hao-yin-zhen/
To brew this tea, I used about a tablespoon of leaves and four cups of boiling water. Steeped in a glass teapot, it was easy to see the leaves as they released a burnt orange liquor. Upon initially steeping this tea, the first thing I noticed was the incredibly light mouthfeel. After the first cup, the flavour continued to linger in my mouth. This oolong has a much lighter taste than other oolongs I have tried. It’s a delicate taste, and very good.
The taste itself…in the first few sips of a cup, one can really taste the leaf, but the flavour seems to fade as one finishes a cup. Perhaps the initial flavour, light as it is, coats the taste buds in one’s mouth so that subsequent sips merely slide through the mouth.
Overall, I very much enjoyed this tea. The flavour was a bit too light for me, but it was still enjoyable to drink. This was very reminiscent of the oolong served in Chinese restaurants with Dim Sum.
I’ve decided that I will give teas that I review an approximate rating, on a scale of 0-100, based on my personal enjoyment of this tea (not it’s comparison in specific areas to other teas). Canton Tea Co’s Big Red Robe oolong receives a 92/100 for its exceptionally delicate taste, light mouthfeel, and lasting flavour.
EDIT: I later tried resteeping these same leaves. This was a major disappointment, as I got barely half of the original body and flavour. This lack of “stamina” in the leaves significantly decreased my rating of this tea (now an 85/100).