Han Xiang Ecological Tea

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Flavors: Apricot, Fig, Fruity, Mineral

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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84

Last one from the Lewis and Clark TTB and of the Jin Jun Mei’s Cameron B included for me.

Prepared in a test tube steeper. Steeping times: 30, 15, 30, 60, 120.

The dry aroma consists of only chocolate. Meanwhile, the wet aroma changes as the leaves after being steeped the first time – cool: malt —> fudge —> grains. Thereafter, the aroma smells of just chocolate.

The liquor is golden brown, honey-like in color; and there are so many fuzzies that it looks cloudy from a foot away. Fuzzies in every infusion, holy cow! Full-bodied. Thin texture.

I think I overestimated, hence botched, the first infusion. It is incredibly malty and a little bitter. But it’s definitely roasty, reminding me of roasted nuts and toasted rice. This teaches me that not all Jin Jun Mei should be prepared the same way. (Others I’ve had to steep longer in the first infusion because the leaf needs time to wake up.) The latter infusions are considerably less malty, allowing the cocoa notes to stand out. The roasted quality is muted, too, but eventually returns in the last infusion.

This is an interesting Jin Jun Mei. Even with my mistake I still think it’s enjoyable.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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68

From the Lewis and Clark TTB and Cameron B!

Brewed with test tube steeper. Steeping times: 30 sec, 15, 30, 60, 120.

The dry leaf is very pretty: most little curled dark leaves and few golden leaves. The dry aroma is flowery and sweet (not sure if this is the orchid – never smelled orchid) and cake-like. The wet aroma is malty and chocolate, and smells delightfully of fudge after the second infusion.

The liquor takes on a rusty color. Fuzzies float around. Medium-bodied, clear. Creamy in the fourth and fifth infusions. This doesn’t taste like a typical Jin Jun Mei, although the chocolate sometimes appears in the aftertaste. Instead, in the first couple infusions, there are malty and floral notes, and later there is only smoke. To me, this kind of smoke is unappealing – different from Lapsang Souchong, which I do like.

This Jin Jun Mei is not for me. While I did enjoy the appearance of the leaf and wet leaf aroma, I didn’t like the taste very much. But it’s not so unpleasant that I absolutely can’t bear and have to throw out. Still, it was something else to try and compare to other Jin Jun Mei’s.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Cameron B.

Smoked meats fragrance! :D

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90

My very last tea to try from Han Xiang Ecological Tea via AliExpress. This one was actually a freebie sample that they included with my order, thanks! Visually, the leaves are thin and wiry, and curled into little loops. The color is a medium green/yellow with some grey. Dry scent is deliciously creamy and nutty with mild spinach scent. I find that this tea looks and smells like Laoshan Green to me, which is a good thing! I steeped about 1.5 tsp of leaf for 1 minute at 175 degrees.

Brewed aroma is luscious creamy, sweet spinach with so much nutty scent. Yum! I love how this tea is so nutty, it’s almost a genmaicha! There’s a nice bite from the vegetal side, and it’s balanced wonderfully by the creamy and nutty aspects of the tea. It almost tastes as if soy milk has been added. Delicious, and quite similar to Laoshan Green! :D

Flavors: Butternut Squash, Creamy, Nutty, Spinach, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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93

This is the last black tea for me to try from my Han Xiang Ecological Tea samples (I still have one green that they added as a freebie). Honestly, I wasn’t too excited for this one because I haven’t been impressed with similar teas that I’ve had from other companies in the past. But I still ordered a sample of it because YUNNAN. The leaves are long and thin and quite straight, they remind me of black pine needles or twigs. The dry scent is just kind of vaguely sweet and somewhat malty. I steeped about 2 teaspoons (eyeballed, these are impossible to measure) for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

Strangely, I had a really hard time getting any aroma out of this one. As I was telling the people in Steepster chat, I just kind of hovered over it with my nose in the cup for 5 minutes, looking like a moron. I did get some fruitiness with honey and a bit of malt. Wow, the flavor of this one shocked me! It’s very different from the other versions of this tea that I’ve had. It’s extremely fruity in taste, in a rich dried fruit sense. The main ones I can pick out are dried figs and raisins, yum… There’s also a large dollop of honey flavor that is especially apparent near the end. And lastly, there’s a mild bready note along with some malt.

I really love this one! It’s fruity like an Ai Lao black but without the floral notes! :)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Malt, Raisins

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

From the Lewis and Clark TTB.

This is one of the four Jin Jun Mei’s Cameron B included in the box for me, and one of the three from this dealer. Brewed in a glass test tube steeper. Steeping times: 15 sec, 30, 45, 60, 120.

Every time I stuck my nose into the steeper after each infusion, I was greeted with a malty, chocolately, caramel-y nose. The amber liquor is medium-bodied, smooth, and clear, even with the little fuzzies floating around. The first infusion is weak – 15 seconds is too short, I realized too late – and I barely taste anything. The second infusion is much stronger. And strange. Not only does it have notes of malt and fresh organic honey (what one would think a Jin Jun Mei would have), but I could also make out brown and wild rice. The typical sweetness and chocolate make their appearance in the 3rd infusion, this tea’s peak, I believe. The 4th infusion is similar, but lighter in taste and totally without the malt. I originally planned to include a 90 second steeping but opted instead to skip right 120; I felt that if I didn’t, these last two infusions would be weak and wanted to finish with a nice, strong cup. And I was right. This fifth infusion retains similar strength and taste as the fourth, though it definitely feels as if it’s time to finish up.

The weather decided to comply. It’s cool, cloudy, and breezy today. Jin Jun Mei day. Yiss.

Preparation
Boiling 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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83

Slowly but surely making my way through tasting each of these Han Xiang Ecological Tea teas that I ordered a couple weeks ago. I think I only have two more left untried after this one! The Yunnan pure bud style is definitely one of my favorite varieties of black tea, so this one was a no-brainer when choosing my samples. This tea looks somewhat similar to some other companies’ versions of the same tea – it’s all buds, mostly gold in color and super fuzzy! Some of the leaves are slightly curled, while some are straight. Dry scent is malt with lots of honey and apricots. I steeped roughly 2 teaspoons of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

Once brewed, the tea smells sweet and malty with a little bit of a smoky aroma? Interesting. As for the taste, it has a lovely strong and thick crusty bread flavor that I just adore. There’s also a bit of sweet potato with lots of honey and a little bit of dried fruitiness (but a light dried fruit, like golden raisin). I can taste just a little bit of savory smoked flavor, and I really like it! :)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Honey, Smoke, Sweet Potatoes, Thick

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

The adorable CameronB sent me this along with a couple of other Jin Jun Meis and I thank her very much. I really like this one. In fact, it might be my favorite JJM thus far. Maybe it’s the heavy roast, but this is really deep and complex.

It has an almost burned sugar caramel flavor but is also deeply fruity. Like dried fruit, maybe prunes? But the good taste of prunes. It’s deep and dark but has an interesting floral thing wafting through it. Either floral or cilantro. It’s early and I’m recovering from Wild Child sheng, so don’t mind me.

I like this very much and I like CameronB very much too and not just for sending me this.

TheTeaFairy

Mmm, sounds yummy!

Cameron B.

You’re adorable! :D

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88

Hah, I automatically went to type “Lewis & Clarke TTB” at the top of my post. Whoops! I did keep five more teas to try, but none of them are black teas, and I need my black tea in the morning! :) This one came from Han Xiang Ecological Tea on AliExpress. The leaves are gorgeous, as you can no doubt see from the image. They’re straight with pointed ends, definitely reminiscent of pine needles, and of course they’re golden and fuzzy and lovely! Dry scent is very sweet and honeyed with that lovely stonefruit smell that these teas tend to have.

Once brewed, this tea smells sweet and bready with sweet potato notes. I’m also getting a little bit of cocoa. The taste is all the things I love about Yunnan teas – smooth, sweet, bready, sweet potato-y, and with just a bit of fruitiness. It’s making me a bit happier this morning, when I’m grumpy because I didn’t sleep well last night. :P

Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sarsonator

Sorry you didn’t sleep well, Cam bot! But I’m sure glad the tea is helping!!! :)

Cameron B.

Thanks dear! It’s just one of those days when I feel meh.

Cheri

I almost typed in L&CTTB for my first tea post tea box as well.

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83

First, thanks to the precious CameronB for sending this and several other Jinjunmeis my way. The only other JJM I’ve had was from Yezi and I"m glad to be able to compare them. The dry leaves are really pretty. Lots of golden little eyebrows mixed with darker brown.

I steeped a couple of teaspoons in 12 oz of 200 degree water for my usual 4 minutes. Frequently I start out on a new tea at 3 like “they” usually want you to, but I always end up at my personal default 4 anyway and I woke up late this morning so I just skipped ahead.

The brewed tea has a sweet honey note and the first sip confirms that. The sweetness is very present, much like a concentrated fruit (like a fruit roll-up maybe?) with the tiniest and I mean TINY bit of creosote in the background, which is not unpleasant at all and gives the tea some bottom.

This is an earthy, thickly sweet tea and I’m enjoying it very much. I’m actually enjoying it even more as it cools a little. Quite nice. Thanks again Cameron

Cameron B.

You’re welcome, babe! :P

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85

This was one of the free samples included in my Han Xiang Ecological Tea order on AliExpress. I’m not the hugest fan of floral teas, but jasmine can be an exception to that rule. These pearls look and smell like others I’ve had – the scent is strongly sweet and jasminey. I set the timer for 3 minutes but I didn’t hear it go off because the TV was too loud… So I’m not sure how long it steeped. It came out lovely though, so I guess it’s hard to oversteep this tea.

Now, it may have just been a while since I’ve had a jasmine tea, but I’m enjoying this one immensely! The jasmine is pronounced but still very lovely and sweet. There seems to be a fruity note that’s similar to apricot, not sure I’ve experienced that in a jasmine pearl before. I can only taste the green tea slightly, it’s quite mild and sweet and melds nicely with the jasmine. Overall, very tasty and appreciated! :)

Flavors: Apricot, Jasmine, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

This was one of the free samples included with my order from Han Xiang Ecological Tea via AliExpress. I was unsure of what to expect from this one, not knowing whether it’s a smoked lapsang or not. Turns out, it doesn’t seem to be smoked. The leaves are rather small and very dark, almost black. The dry scent is somewhat musty with raw grain and hay aromas. I did my usual 3 minute steep.

Once brewed, the tea has a very roasty aroma combined with grain and molasses, and a hint of dill. The taste is much the same. It’s a very robust tea with a strong dill presence that I’ve found in several Fujian teas so far. It’s quite roasty and reminiscent of coffee because of that. I am reminded of a strongly flavored rye or pumpernickel bread because of the combination of grain and dill notes. Interestingly enough, the aftertaste is distinctly raw peanut, like the Spanish kind with the red skins.

Overall, very flavorful and what I would call “manly” tea. :P

Flavors: Coffee, Dill, Grain, Molasses, Peanut, Roasted, Rye

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

Another of my samples from Han Xiang Ecological Tea this morning! I must say, these leaves are very beautiful. They’re long and thin and quite stiff, they almost remind me of pine needles or slender twigs. The color is about half golden and half black. Dry scent is a bit sweet but not much else, which I’m finding a lot with black teas. I did a 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.

Ooh, the brewed aroma is an interesting combination of sweet honey and dried fruit with savory, almost smoky meat scents. And I find that the taste follows along those lines as well! The beginning of the sip has a lot of dark, syrupy dried fruit flavor, maybe raisins and figs? Then in the middle, the smoked meat savory flavor comes to the forefront, and it stays there for the rest and into the aftertaste. Intermingling between the two are notes of honey and rich molasses which unexpectedly help to bring everything together. Yums. :D

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Fig, Honey, Malt, Meat, Molasses, Raisins, Smoke

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Sipdown!

I find that I really do like this tea, even though it’s an odd one for me. And the name is totally inappropriate! In my opinion, it should be called “Jinjunmei Smoked Meats Fragrance”. Lovely light smoky, savory tea. Yums! :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
mj

LOL I don’t think they’d sell much if it was called “smoked meats fragrance”

Cameron B.

Well the orchid is a lie! :P

boychik

I’d take smoke meat over orchid

Terri HarpLady

Me too, LOL :D

Lariel of Lórien

I’d rather have orchids.

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90

I wanted a nice straight black tea after trying so many Fauchon offerings in the past two days, and this was the jinjunmei from Han Xiang that I hadn’t tried yet. The leaves are thin and twisty, and mostly dark with some golden strands. I must say, the name doesn’t seem accurate at all – this smells nothing like any kind of flower. Dry, I smell smoked meat and beef jerky. I’m not sure it could be further away from orchid, lol! I brewed a generous teaspoon for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.

The brewed aroma is also quite smoky and savory. Sipping this tea, I am absolutely reminded of smoked beef jerky. Obviously the salt element isn’t there, but there is an obvious smoked note here and a savory quality that makes me think of smoked meats. There is also some malt and a touch of richness reminiscent of molasses. Overall, this is quite delicious, but the name is definitely misleading! And there’s no way I’m mistaken about which tea this is since it’s one that comes in a colored presealed packet… Odd!

Flavors: Malt, Meat, Molasses, Smoked

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

yummmers

Cameron B.

Total yummers! :)

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85

Another tea from Han Xiang this morning! I find that it has kind of become a habit for me to try a new-to-me black tea (assuming I have one) for my first cup of the day. And that’s the case today! This is the second of three different jin jun mei teas that I ordered samples of, and the leaves are so teeny compared to the first one! They’re almost like miniature versions of the same leaves. They’re quite thin and slightly twisty, and about half golden and half dark. Dry scent is mildly sweet with a hint of herbaceousness that I often find in Fujian black teas.

Brewed, this tea smells very rich with dark fruit notes and a definite scent of molasses, along with that herby smell. Yum, this tea is dark and rich with a very strong flavor. It has a very potent herbaceous note that I find similar to dill? But not quite exactly there. This note always frustrates me, as I can never identify it! :P Otherwise, this tea has a strong fruity presence, in a dark, syrupy dried fruit kind of way. Specifically, I would identify it as a mixture of raisin, prune, and dried dark cherry. Alongside this fruitiness is a lovely rich molasses flavor that goes perfectly with the dark fruits. I catch the slightest suggestion of floral in the aftertaste, which does nothing to deter me.

So I’m wondering if that herby dill-like note is the result of the roasting? I don’t think I’ve ever noticed whether other Fujian black teas I’ve tried were roasted or not, so I guess I should keep that in mind from now on!

Flavors: Cherry, Dill, Dried Fruit, Floral, Molasses, Raisins, Roasted

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
MzPriss

This sounds really good

Cameron B.

I can send you some if you’d like. Their samples were very generous. :D

MzPriss

Oh! That would be nice. I’ll PM :)

sherapop

Dill and cherry? Hmmm… unique!

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88

Sipdown! (109)

I wasn’t planning on writing a sipdown note for this tea since I only had two servings and I just wrote about the first a day or two ago. However, I discovered a note that I didn’t notice before that I thought was interesting. In the extended aftertaste, after the lovely stonefruit and such, I get the taste of sage, and it lingers on my tongue for some time.

I might have to order some of this tea just because it’s very unique and interesting. :)

Flavors: Sage

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

This was one of the free samples included in my (very generous) order from Han Xiang Ecological Tea via AliExpress. I must say, so far I am quite impressed with this seller – their tea seems to be of high quality, especially for the price I paid. The samples were two bucks for two small baggies of tea, and I was actually sent three baggies in some cases, along with four bonus samples and a little tea strainer. Huzzah! Thanks to yyz for the awesome recommendation!

So, this tea itself. The leaves are quite beautiful, they’re a lovely combination of white/silver and dark grey/green colors. The contrast of the two colors makes them very striking. I don’t really get much of a dry scent from the leaf, there’s a bit of jasmine but that’s definitely just contamination from the jasmine pearls that they also sent. I was unsure how long to steep this tea, so I started at 1 minute and then kept going until 2 minutes after tasting it.

The brewed aroma is surprisingly smoky and mineral? There’s a bit of the expected vegetal quality hiding in the background too. At first taste, this tea is definitely different from what I expected! At the forefront are fairly sturdy savory smoke and mineral flavors combined with a bit of a seaweed note. The smokiness almost reminds me of smoked meat, ha ha. Somewhere near the middle, that vegetal tone starts to come out and assure me that this is, after all, a green tea. At the end of the sip is a nice mild floral taste that suggests honeysuckle to me, and a light dried apricot flavor, and these continue into the aftertaste. I am left with a fresh and sweet taste in my mouth that lingers long after I’ve finished drinking.

Overall, this tea was unexpected and very enjoyable for me! I’m very happy that the seller chose to include this sample in my order. :)

Flavors: Apricot, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Seaweed, Smoke, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Trying another tea from Han Xiang Ecological Tea via AliExpress this morning! I’m very happy to have new and exciting Yunnan teas in the house! Some of these may end up going in the cupboard, but I have to try them all first to determine whether or not they’re keepers. I must say, these are very generous samples for only two bucks, especially since I got three baggies of some of them when I was only supposed to get two! Plus free samples! Anyway, this tea. It looks similar to the other biluochun black tea I’ve had (the Whispering Pines version). The little curls are almost all golden, with some little black stripes mixed in. Dry scent is mild and honey-sweet with stonefruit notes.

Brewed, this tea smells strongly of sweet potatoes. Yum! There are also bread and nice sweet honey scents. This tea is lovely and malty with a rich sweet potatoey taste that fills the mouth. Underneath the sweet potato is a nice bready quality that reminds me of light, crisp, crusty toast with honey spread over the top. Near the end of the sip and in the aftertaste, I taste faint stonefruit notes and something that seems a bit floral. Overall, very tasty!

I need to do a 3-way tasteoff between this tea and the Whispering Pines and Yunnan Sourcing versions (as soon as I order the YS one, teehee).

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Floral, Honey, Malt, Stonefruits, Sweet Potatoes, Toast

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

This was the first tea to try from my sample order from Han Xiang Ecological Tea on AliExpress. There’s no particular reason that I chose this one, I just pulled it out of the pile and went with it. The leaves are slender and curly, and it’s about half golden tips and half dark brownish grey leaves. Dry scent is vaguely honey sweet with some fruit and malt notes. I did my general “black tea” 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.

Mm, this smells delicious! Brewed, the aroma is rich and sweet, reminding me of molasses with dark, syrupy dried fruits. There’s also a bit of a mineral edge to it. Yum this is a great start to my Han Xiang experience. It’s definitely a somewhat earthy tea, with a little bit of mineral quality to it. But there’s a lovely rich molasses sweetness that really helps to moderate that earthiness, along with a nice dark dried fruit note similar to raisin, prune, or cherry. There’s also a bit of a grain element that pokes its head out occasionally. Interestingly enough, I also get a flavor that somewhat reminds me of slow-cooked green beans? It sounds very odd, but it’s actually very nice in combination with the other flavors. It’s worth noting that this tea didn’t get bitter even as it cooled, and still remained very tasty at room temperature. :D

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Earth, Grain, Green Beans, Malt, Mineral, Molasses

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
AllanK

Sounds good. I am interested in how his teas are.

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I think this is the correct tea. I received this as a sample from the seller. The little snails are very furry and reasonably tightly curled. They are mostly all bud but some have a single leaf wrapped in the snail as well. Once brewed most of the leaves look like lobster claws with two buds present or a very immature furry leaf and one bud.

I’ve had the sample for a little while, but it is still very nice.

I took i1 TSP through 6 steeps ( 45*2, 50,65,90s and 4.5 min) in 150 ml of around 85°C water.

The tea brews up a pale yellow and smells sweet, fruity and spicy, with peach, a hint of smoke, and a slightly sweet savoury spice mix with cinnamon a hint of oregano and time.

Flavour wise the first steeps are a mix of honeyed fruit and sweet cooked vegetables, with cream a bit of zest and faint floral spice. In later steeps the nature of the vegetable notes change first to a fresher green pea and then to artichoke and the floral spice notes become stronger.

Flavour notes I noted include: honeyed plum, peach, sweet but indistinct vegetable notes, fresh green peas, artichoke, cream, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, orange zest with orange juice at times, and a spicy but bright floral note.

A nice medium bodied, creamy and resilient green!

http://instagram.com/p/ru-dx-mK2x/

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90

mmmmm another tea from YYZ Now while i stand fast in that green teas generally aren’t my favourite tea, i DO admit there are a fwe out there that i love. This falls in to that category as this is a deliciously great green tea. it’s got a sweet green bean taste to it and there’s none of that after taste that sometimes hangs around with some green teas. This is just a really solid tea. Again, probably not going to stock it since i never drink greens with any speed but this would fall to the top of my list if i were going to :) thanks a bunch YYZ!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec
yyz

I adore this one too..so much that I am willing to brave taobao to restock it. Green teas are the main part of tea production whereas as black teas are still seen to be experimental. A lot of companies have not yet produced black teas this year. Whether this was because of lower yields due to drought or just the level of demand for the green tea I don’t know.

I’m really glad you liked this one!

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