Popular Teas from Fujian TeaSee All 6 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Today I ventured back to the First Oriental Market, as I’m low on plain black teas and I wanted to try something new. This was very well in my price range, and my past experiences with black teas from the Fujian Province of China have been good. Also, I admit, I love pioneering teas that are new to Steepster.
The packaging is mostly in Chinese, so a lot of the details are lost on me. But it comes bagged, and it smells like it’s going to be a strong, no-nonsense black. I can’t detect any distinct notes just from the scent of the bag. The leaves themselves are black and crushed up like most cheap bagged teas.
It brewed up dark in four minutes, reddish amber with a malty, honeylike aroma. The flavor is surprisingly smooth and very malty. Almost creamy in its aftertaste. It’s milder than I expected, but enjoyable. Like many Fujians I’ve tried, it has a hint of cocoa in it as well. I’m happy that I have a whole box to go through, and I look forward to having this in a tall iced glass.
This one fell pretty short night the night before last. It was very heavy on the jasmine and quite bitter. I brewed all of them at 176 for 1 minute. That was the instructions on the Teavivre package. None of the other packages had clear instructions. So one ring to rule them all. I think in the future I may have to try a lower temperature and see if I can get rid of that bitterness.
We went kicking around a local asian supermarket today in search of a gaiwan (no luck) and any other random gems we could find. So we picked out a couple of things to try.
I have to say, the price of this jasmine green is really the only reason I picked it up. 150g for sub-$3, in a neat little blue tin. The tin probably isn’t airtight, and I don’t exactly have the faculties (or patience, really) to test that… but the seal is pretty darn impressive.
This tea is exactly what I expect from a Chinese restaurant, which, well, is because this is probably the exact tea I get from a Chinese restaurant. A light floral flavor, the green tea barely coming in at the end of the flavor, a mild but noticeable astringency. Compared to the Jasmine Pearls I have from Mad Hat, the flavor of this tea (particularly the Jasmine flavor) is much more subdued.
They had four different Jasmine teas by Fujian tea, one in a yellow square tin as pictured, one in a red square tin, the blue cylindrical tin that I bought, and then a green cylindrical tin. No differentiation other than a serial number up top that might mean something (mine is 2063). Well, and all of the writing that I don’t understand may mean something too, but I just assume it says Jasmine Tea in Chinese :).
I might keep this around. The quality definitely isn’t that of the pearls from Mad Hat (and I’m eventually going to want to try the pearls from Teavivre), but man… at this price… SO CHEAP. IT IS SO INSANELY CHEAP. Sorry, had to get that out.
Doggone it, I am having a hard time justifying ordering Jasmine by Harney and Sons when this one is so darned drinkable, and only $2.50 or so at our local Asian market. While this is no Teavivre Jasmine Dragon Pearls, it is an easy to drink jasmine tea that doesn’t curl your toes. I have had a whole pot of this, sipped throughout the day. I am really grateful to K S for writing the review that pushed me over the edge to go get this one. It says it is a green base, but tastes very much like pouchong to me. Yum.
Oh, this tea. Like most of the other Steepsterites, I found this at an Asian market — that is, the new Asian market in Moscow, ID, that has good turmeric, frozen lemongrass, some really nice peanut/sesame/adzuki mochi and Rotiland frozen rotis. One look at this place and it was instant love.
The only bad thing about this place is that there’s a $5 purchasing minimum. I can’t just pop in and get some Fruitery jellies or hot mango chutney — I have to buy multiple small things together. I guess that’s the reason I got this (they had mango Fruitery, and it was only $1.59). The tin of this jasmine tea was $1.99, and I’ve always seen it in the other Asian markets, so I decided to splurge. I was pretty glad that I did.
The smell from the tin is very floral, and the taste of the tea is, too. It’s incredibly sweet and aromatic, and really great for blah days. I’ve had pretty unhappy run-ins with jasmine teas before, so I was a bit wary of the strength of this tea. However, it’s not too bitter or too strong (unless you leave the leaves in for 30 minutes while drinking, which I did the first time). In fact, I brewed this tea, left it for approximately ten minutes, then remembered it. I thought it’d be horrible overdone, but it was perfect. It seems that the taste doesn’t change much from about 5 minutes to 10 minutes of steeping. Lucky me, since I’m the tea-forgetting queen of the world.
Overall, I’ve had good experiences with this tea. It may not be too special for someone who loves jasmine and drinks it regularly, but it’s good enough for me to keep it as a regular in my tea stash. Oh, and the tin is adorable.