Popular Teas from Goldfish TeaSee All 23 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I actually really like this tea. It’s very earthy, I enjoy that in black teas. I don’t exactly know how to describe this tea, but it’s nice. It has kind of a wood flavor, which I enjoy. However, it isn’t very strong and therefore I had to use a lot of leaves. I’m not sure it was worth the price, $14 for less than 2 oz.
My husband was in Royal Oak and discovered Goldfish Tea. He went in and bought the Cloud and Mist Green Tea, he’s so nice! I acutally really like this tea. It’s strong, which took me by surprise, but that’s exactly how I like my green tea. It’s vegetal, with some nutty undertones. My only complaint is that there are no descriptions or steeping instructions on the bag. I had no idea what temperature to brew this at, or for how long. I just guessed and went with 170 for 2 minutes. I think I’ll try bringing down the temperature next time, it was a tad bitter.
This was the final tea that I tasted while at the Goldfish Tea shop. I have been drinking a lot of the “Precious Eyebrows” Chun Mee from Enjoyingtea.com recently, so the association piqued my interest. However, the teas could not be more different.
First off, this is a black tea. And there is no mistaking that fact when you take your first sip! It is robust with a full flavor that sparkles its way up into your nose and back down your windpipe. Yet for a black tea, there is definitely a delicate side to it and after a few sips, the flavor really mellows out. There is a complex sweetness to it that combines just a hint of floral nectar with some broad dessert flavors.
Tasting Notes: Leather, earthy carob, hazelnut, chocolate cake, caramel, lilac, celery.
Milk ooooooooolong! Yeah, I am a total sucker for almost any milk oolong and this was no exception.
I ordered this cup early in the morning at the cafe and it was so enlivening to encounter the smell of fresh cut hay, which was then followed by that sweetened condensed milk flavor. It reminded me of when I first moved to Colorado, shaking off sleep with a cup of hot coffee in the back of a pickup truck on the way to the farm. There was always that moment when your sense of smell would come to and you could appreciate the fragrant traces of dried grass in the air before it became overwhelming.
There was also a hint of spiciness in this that reminded me of a Thai Iced Tea. Other tasting notes: Cinnamon, anise, lychee, orange blossom water.
I recently took a trip up to Detroit and randomly came across this truly amazing tea shop in the suburb of Royal Oak. The setting was both relaxing and sumptuous, with every inch covered in gorgeous teaware, asian scrolls and statuettes, hand carved and beautifully stained wooden furniture, silk upholstery, and of course – tea! The space is a great size, with many seating arrangements: cafe tables, raised decks with low tables for sitting cross-legged on pillows, and even big comfy chairs divided by bamboo beads for privacy. Like any coffee shop worth it’s salt there was a small library of books and board games and several framed posters showcasing maps and images of Chinese tea history. The staff was very knowledgable about their teas and also friendly! Finally, when you order the tea, it comes out on wooden or bamboo trays in either beautifully decorated china for black tea or clay tea cups for oolong (maybe glass for green and flowering teas?). You also get a digital timer for your extra steeps, which you can refill at the water bar that has multiple faucets, each gauged to a different temperature specific to what kind of tea you are drinking! They really thought of everything here! A very fun and unique experience…But now on to the teas!
The first tea I tried was the Tie Guan Yin “A” (A and B designated high-grade and mid-grade quality for certain teas). I was very impressed by this one. There was an enormous range of subtle flavors, the most prominent being a light floral taste like the smell of hyacinth and rose. There were some exotic peppercorn notes, as well as other spices like lemon myrtle, eucalyptus and cinnamon floating about in the savor. All of it was all tied together fascinatingly by a sweet umami quality that had individual characteristics like rock sugar, fish oil and tar. I’m sure the latter two sound really strange, but they were not in any way unpleasant – more like a delicate pungency that helped to bond the other disparate flavors, the same way that anchovies work in a Caesar salad. Definitely a new candidate for a sparkling flavor experience.
I tried two other teas while I was there and even brought home a few, so I will have some other reviews for Goldfish Teas coming soon. They have an online store if you are interested in trying and I’m sure with a phone call you could negotiate some of the newer products they have in stock for shipping – such as their Crab Leg Tea, which is not even a tea but actually a parasitic orchid that grows on ancient tea trees!
Wow is this one floral! I’m not usually a floral girl but I was intrigued by this one, and it is really lovely. I only did two infusions since a little floral goes a long way in my cup, but I definitely enjoyed them. It brews a lovely mellow yellow, the colour of the underside of a daffodil. I can see myself looking for spring as I drink this.
Last sample from Goldfish Tea was this Yellow Mountain Mao Feng. Been brewing it this morning gongfu style. The first cup was okay, but then it quickly grew on me with the second and third cups. I’m still drinking it as I write, and have probably reached the six short steeping now. I’m new to Mao Feng tea; this may be the first time I’ve tried one. Very light and mellow for a green tea, with no sharp edges whatsoever. Aroma, taste and mouth-feel of this one are all reliably pleasant and calming. What can I liken the taste to? . . . Hay comes to mind, but I’ve never really tasted hay and I imagine it’s probably not nearly as good as this. I think if the smell of hay could be translated into a flavor, it would be close. Sorry for putting some synesthesia in the description, but I’m otherwise at a bit of a loss. It’s not grassy or vegetal in the ways that other green teas are. In any case, I quite like it.
For me, it is in the aftertaste that this tea really shines. It goes into a lovely cooling slow-fade, which lasts for >5 minutes, and which I can more precisely associate with the flavor of good fresh-sliced cucumber. This is my favorite part of the tea; everything preceding is a bonus. Feels like the damp cool dew of an early spring morning is condensing on a grassy plain inside me. Quite nice!
I might rate it higher, but I’ve yet to gain perspective on whether there are finer representatives of Mao Feng out there. I suspect that indeed there are, and I’ll be curious to try them when the opportunity arises.
Getting through the other samples from Goldfish Tea. This morning I tried the Dragon Well they sent me. It’s pretty good. Not what I would call exceptional Dragon Well. I have to admit that my taste for Dragon Well tea was spoiled by one of my tea friends, who kindly prepared for me a sample of way-too-expensive-to-import Dragon Well that one of his contacts in China had sent him. That was purportedly “ideal” Dragon Well. This one is decent, but doesn’t even hold a candle to that Dragon Well. So maybe the comparison isn’t completely fair.
Don’t get me wrong, this one is not bad at all. It’s actually been pleasant and tasty enough for me to steep 5 or 6 times. Apparently, Goldfish Tea has two different grades of Dragon Well (choice and premium). The sample package they sent me does not list which grade this one is, so unfortunately I can’t provide any insight on their grade offerings. Ah well… in summary, it was worth drinking, and made for a pleasant morning. But nothing particularly interesting or exceptional about it.
Got this and three other sample packs from Goldfish Tea this afternoon, which came with a new Gongfu tea tray that I ordered from them. Decided to throw this Honey Phoenix Oolong into my gaiwan and start putting the new tray to work.
First, something about the tray… I like this tray well enough, despite some flaws I noticed in the workmanship, and the fact that the Chinese characters carved into the face of it were different than advertised. At any rate, I needed a new tray urgently, as my previous bamboo one had been used to the point of developing an irreparable rot in the wood (bad smells do not make for pleasant tea drinking). The new tray is made from pearwood, which my research indicated is pretty strong and resists cracking and warping with water and heat exposure; excellent qualities for the purpose. Time will tell how well it handles the daily dousing of boiling water.
This tray is the kind with the plastic reservoir underneath that I can slide out to empty the unused water. I thought this would be more practical for long-term daily use, as I can sometimes forget to empty the reservoir, and wood is just not a friend of standing water. I had looked around for other trays all over the internet, but found very few options. I liked some of the trays and boards I found on ebay, but was dismayed by the $40-$60 shipping fees and 3-4 week lead time. As I said, I needed a tray asap, and this seemed like a reasonable option. I guess I would consider this one my intermediate stage before taking the plunge on buying a nice solid wood tea board at some point (when I have the $300+ to spend on one).
Anyway, back to this Honey Phoenix Oolong tea. I have to say I find it quite enjoyable. This is apparently one of the customer favorites at Goldfish Tea’s teahouse in Royal Oak, Michigan. It is also one of their premium teas (listed at about $12/oz). I can understand why it’s popular with their customers. I’m drinking my fifth infusion of it right now, and it remains simply delicious. How to characterize? I draws a little something from the fruit notes of an aged Teigunyin that I’ve tried… Fresh, ripe apricot perhaps?
Their description mentions a honey scent and flavor note. Yes, it is there, but in no way cloying or distracting. I’ve had a honey scented white tea that practically kicked you in the face with the honey element, and badly. This oolong is in another landscape, far more serene, elegant and tasteful in its treatment. The front of the taste, immediately as it hits the tongue, starts at the high sweet regions then pleasantly rolls like rain down a mountain to the mentioned fruit notes growing deeper in the valley. I’m quite fond of the aftertaste, which settles on the tongue like a cooling breeze and makes me feel like I’m idling around in an apricot orchard. The flavor profile is pretty simple and straightforward, I’m getting the same experience just described with repeated steepings (I’m on the sixth now). It doesn’t appear to be going anywhere new, but not that I object in the slightest to this tea staying where it is. I like it here, and can be content to journey with more adventurous teas another time.
This one surprised me, as I wasn’t expecting to get samples with my order, and in any case, was not expecting one of them to be this good. I’ll definitely keep this oolong in my gaiwan until I’ve completely exhausted it. I might even be persuaded to order some of it in the future.
I like this tea! It’s a mistake to let previous bad experiences with a tea type damper you sense of tea tasting adventure, but oolongs have been hit or miss for me so I wasn’t expecting much from this one. Sometimes, I love being wrong.
This oolong has a very delicate floral scent like jasmine on a summer breeze, and that same delicate floral essence comes through perfectly in the brew. At fist sip a get a slightly nutty taste that moves into a nice creamy flavor. And then the beautifully delicate floral flavor comes flowing through for a truly lovely finish.
I have the kind and generous QuiltGuppy to thank for sending me this sample that has effectively turned my troubled relationships with oolongs around. Yay!
I had the most amazing tea experience today!!
I must have brewed everything in precisely the right quanity/temp etc because this came out perfectly toasty, milky, floral… just how I love my oolongs. and then, for the first time EVER I made it to SIX steeps!! and each one was just as strong as the previous one! well, except maybe the first, which in my experience is never the best.
Anyhow, on the last steep I got distracted by something and oversteeped it(it was still amazing of course), so couldn’t really try for a seventh cup, not to mention I had already stayed behind at work (20 min) to indulge in my sixth! am I sad or what…
Well, I have maybe one more spoonful of this delightful tea left, and then maybe if I am lucky, a small one after that.
I am in such a good mood… but also still really tired from a long week!
Thankyou again QuiltGuppy!! you are a tea goddess to behold :)
I’m having alot of “mood tea” moments lately but have found that I don’t always have the right one handy to fill the role.
So… sadly, this tea was forced into filling the void, and well, as expected it didn’t quite do the job.
The tea itself was great. Sweet, oolongy, floral. but not what I was wanting: a solid, malty black tea with milk!
Tomorrow, I am getting that black tea come hell or tepid water!
(sorry, bad attempt at a tea joke there)
This is loads better than the Osmanthus Oolong I bought from TR!!! wow, I had no idea it could be this amazing. I could swear it tastes kindof milky, with an added moment of spicy floral tea in the swallow. This was had at work, in the office, so not much time was allowed for noticing the details but I will, next time!!
thankyou so much QuiltGuppy!! this tea really made up for my terrible tea choice this am :)
This is an interesting tea. Dry leaf smelled grassy, meadowy. It’s beautiful to look at, green and long and flat. The liquor is very, very light yellow, but not much of a fragrance, well, other than a little asparagus.
At first, I didn’t like it at all. The first steep produced a very vegetal, savory tea, with just a super faint hint at sweetness. (So faint that I thought I imagined it.) It didn’t have anything really interesting, but it wasn’t horrific, so I decided to steep a second time, honestly, simply because I was thirsty and I had some hot water ready to go.
The second steep was amazing! Sweet, slightly floral, mysterious and extremely pleasant. It was like a different tea. I haven’t had this happen to me before and it’s showing me that maybe I need to give some of these teas I dislike a second steep to see if there’s a glorious cup awaiting the next infusion…