Peony Tea S.
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Recent Tasting Notes
Yum. A tasty green, again despite its age. I’m sure that something has been lost in the… unmentionable amount of time I’ve had this tea, but it’s still pretty tasty, with a lovely brown sugary sweet aftertaste. Similar to Laoshan Green, but not quite so green beany. I did overstep a bit, but thankfully not too, too much.
Whoops. I got this one quite a while ago and tried it and thought I reviewed it. Obviously not, as I discovered when I came here to see what my thoughts were back then. I have tried a few more puerh in the interim and find myself enjoying shu more than sheng, for now at least. I want to love puerh as it seems like the next logical step for a black tea lover like myself but sometimes I strain to find the flavours that others get – I seem stuck at wet wood and barn. Enjoyable, but hardly full of nuance.
Today I steeped this up with the beau after failing to see Thor (they sold out while we were in line!) and a delicious supper of ginger chicken. I ate too much and am hoping that pu will work it’s magic and keep my tummy happy.
I steeped this in a pot for convenience rather than gongfu style, but it still came out fairly well. I was afraid of accidentally making it too potent so I went a bit lighter on the leaf (one heaping “perfect” teaspoon at 2.5 minutes). This made just enough for each of us to have one cup and it was pretty darn good. The aroma at first was much like the dry leaf, with the wet wood, hay and leather aromas I associate with puerh. The taste had a bit of that at the start but in the aftertaste there was a lingering sweetness and it was very clean with no bitterness. I probably could have pushed it a little more on time or leaf, but this was a really easy drinking cup and it stood up to the western style brewing very well. I look forward to trying it in different ways.
I have only reviewed this once? That doesn’t seen right….
I read a review I had written a year ago on another tea I had again a few days ago. What I was getting now was no where near as complex as then. I know it was a year ago but they were not even close. In fact almost none of my reviews in the last 6 months compare to a year ago. The big difference is the water source. A year ago I was using municipal water at work in town. Now I am using county water at home. Two different filtration plants, though they both source the water within a 1/4 mile of each other. So today I grabbed a bottle of drinking water and used it. It would be kind of expensive to do this all the time but it really seemed to help.
The leaf on this one is the most beautiful Bai Mu Dan I have encountered thus far in my journey. Once steeped the wet leaf has a warm spicy scent. The liquor is a sparkling clear yellow. The taste is gentle, woodsy, with some bite at the edge of the tongue. The aftertaste is lingering and sweet. A very nice cup for year old leaf.
Pretty sure its the water. Expensive filters are out of the question. So, what works besides getting a job in town :D I have a Brita filter somewhere that years ago when I bought it I could not tell any difference. Should I give it another try? What about adding a pinch of salt to counter the extra hard water? What do you chunky water people do to get a good cup?
I woke this morning craving a good China green. While this was steeping I tried to fix my wife’s computer and toast a bagel. Pretty sure the steep time was ok. However, this marvelous tea does not go with bagel/cream cheese/blackberry preserves. Not even a little. It was like sucking on a dandelion stem. I made faces. So I shoved the bagel in my face and slowly tried cleansing my palate. I was halfway through the mug before it became the sweet buttery veggies with a cleansing bite cup I remembered. This is an excellent tea and I am lousy at pairings.
I have been going full speed since Tuesday. I spent this morning in the library watching video lessons for my college course. The instructor did send out an email saying he knew the first class session was like drinking from a fire hose. Pretty much sums it up. He gave us an extra day to complete our first assignments. I have just completed the background prep work so I can try to start on homework this afternoon.
Definitely a nice smelling tea but tastes good too. There’s no way to do multiple short steeping before work in the morning unfortunately so I have yet to try that way. Still this is a warm, toasty tasting tea. Even if I forgot it steeping while I was getting my lunch packed for the day it came out without bitterness. It’s tasty all by itself.
Thank you CK for this lovely tea.
It is very different than any other green than I have had. Before I looked it up here on Steepster, I thought maybe it was a white tea, though it tastes different than the whites I have had too. There is something sweet that lingers in the background, but I can’t say what it is. It is delicate, yet full of flavor at the same time (sometimes less is more :) )
I will definitely be re-steeping this one as soon as I finish my cup. ｡◕‿◕｡
Don’t you love unexpected surprises? Especially nice is when you are digging through your stash and find a tea you don’t remember having. Even better is when you find said tea to be extraordinary! The leaf scent is slightly sweet, slightly sour, and altogether aromatic. This brews almost clear with a clear yellow tint. The leaf aroma is buttery vegetables. The taste is sweet, creamy, and nutty. I seem to love this way more than the other reviewers but I think the same was true of the Teavivre version. Oh well. This is my idea of green tea.
Yum, Yum, Yum! Backlogging, again! LOVE a good Yunnan Black! This does the trick!
I also tried this iced with this for dinner
Thank you LiberTeas for sharing this one with me!
A very nice naturally sweet green!
Full review will post Feb 4th on SororiTea Sisters but here are my snippits:
As I lifted the cup I picked up a lovely buttery aroma, almost like butterscotch candy due to the sweet aroma being also quite strong. Such an inviting sensation!
There is a wonderful silkiness to the mouthfeel which is brothy and thick.
The color of the steeped leaf is the palest hue of gold.
Dry leaf: Dark, toasty. Slight greenness like a tgy. Slight burnt smell. Very tightly rolled.
Wet Leaf: A lot of the toasty smells disappear and the aroma turns into a darker tgy smell
Taste: This tea is much like a tgy. It may be slightly darker and the flavor is stronger. There are also less floral notes. Overall a nice oolong, with stronger flavor than some other low fired greens.
This is wonderful. I am sort of in love with it which is a surprise because so far I had not really loved white teas.
The leaf itself is beautiful and slightly strange – so silvery, so long, the strangeness that is the blossom. It smells wonderfully, an essence of tea smell with notes which remind me of raisins and yes, vague flowers (I have no idea what peonies smell like!).
I could not control temperature too well, so keep in mind the desired 80C are probably just an approximation. But regarding the liquor, brewing this at the advised amount with bottled water, at close to the advised temperature, and at 2 minutes per steep:
1st steep – very pale, very light golden with no hints of red (yet). Surprisingly full of body and tastes fruity and slightly floral at the same time, a taste which reminds me a bit of grapes – tiny grapes with a lot of skin but sweet table grapes just the same (comparing anything to wine grapes would not be a compliment!).
weirdly I do not like at all the smell during the steep, it smells very grassy and almost minty, I worry if I am using too hot water. But it does not translate to the taste of the steep
2nd steep – no worries after all. A deeper color, and flavour much richer, with perhaps even more body. No bitterness or astringency. Absolutely wonderful.
3rd steep – ah, now it has decided to remind that yes indeed this is related to black tea. The color now really has reddish tones. Just as sweet if not even more, with even more body, and the taste has now moved fully to raisins. I try to decide if this or the 2nd steep is my favorite, I decide the 2nd probably but it is close.
Brewing the 4th steep I am wary, I think the leaves are probably gone.
4th steep – but no, still alive and kicking. Slightly less rich than the 3rd steep, but still great and full of body. Lovely. I am going to go for a 5th steep but decided to stop the review right here since Peony Tea S only advises 4 steeps, not fair to take it further and risk finding fault on it when it´s me taking it past its limits.
I received this tea from Peony Tea S a few months ago, when they were asking for volunteers to test their shipping services, thank you so very much for your generosity! They selected the teas and I took my time getting to them. This was a weird psychological thing: a mix of weather, me being slightly intimidated by the tea´s obvious quality and wanting to try them for the first time when I could give them their due attention. I left this for last because well, silly me, thinking I was not fond of white tea. I was wrong, of this I am very very fond indeed.
Ah, a note, as advised by Derek, I kept this (and the green tea) in the fridge, sealed and double sealed from the rest of the fridge. I think it is more than worth that small effort!
Beautiful emerald green, twisted leaves with a strong vegetal aroma. This tea is naturally very sweet, highly vegetal with hints of creaminess. There’s nothing spectacular about this tea, nothing fancy about this one. I find it is a good everyday green tea, especially if you like the strong vegetal notes.
A couple months ago, the Peony Tea S. very kindly sent me three teas of theirs, in exchange for answering a few of their questions regarding shipping times and conditions. All teas arrived promptly and in excellent condition and were all of such obvious quality I have been reserving first sip of them for occasions I could give brewing this their due attention! And reviewing them is slightly intimidating as well, my vocabulary feels stretched.
A warning first: I think I used not enough tea on this first brew. I went by teaspoon count and should have gotten out the digital scales, I think going by what I have left I did not use the 2 grams per 100 ml recommended, I was too careful of not breaking the tea and spoons counted were not filled enough. So my judgement of this today is not optimal. But I am sure I will forget this advice if I don´t write it down so here goes, the first preliminary tasting. Don´t skimp on the recommended weight. I used my favorite mineral water, it´s light on minerals.
The dry tea is absolutely beautiful, long vivid green little pods of leaves curled upon other little leave buds. The scent is absolutely fantastic, a wonderful green tea (duh. duh. I said I was challenged by trying to review this) scent which reminded me of spring in some cliffs right by the Atlantic in Portugal (Arrábida mountains, if you really want to know) – a scent very clean and free, maybe with hints of thyme or this type of rosemary or cypress.
1st steep – brewed up, while the scent notes change a lot and the thyme-rosemary notes go away, I get a sea note. It was slightly astringent and slightly sweet and very lovely. It brewed up very pale gold. Ethereal, the adjective used by the seller´s description, is a totally perfect description of this. This was my favorite steep (is this a sign I screwed up the next steeps?
2st steep – this brewed up quite a bit richer. Color deeper, with a slightly green tinge, and at the same time more astringent and sweeter and the sea note even more pronounced. Theoretically it should have been superior in everything to the 1st steep, but I still loved the best the first steep without being quite able to explain why (I warned you writing these taste notes was challenging!). That is something I will try to analyze next time I make this tea.
3rd steep – By this time I had figured out I had used too little tea, so only half a cup. Very very pale, very very delicate, astringency seems to have gone and amazingly even sweeter.
Drinking tea this pure and fresh is a fascinating lesson, so much easier to understand the reaction of tea to time and temperature, to see clearly in the size and shape of leaves the tea bush annual cycle. It might also be addictive. A lovely tea.
Thanks to Derek at Peony Tea S. for a free sample of this tea during their shipping times test!
Although the instructions indicated 4g of tea for 100mL of water, I went with 5g of tea for ~200mL water (though I kind of regret it now, so will probably try the recommended infusion method later). I also left the tea in for twice the recommended infusion time, as after 45 seconds, I didn’t think the tea would have much flavour. And sipped it, and burnt my tongue :( Anyways…
The aroma from the tea is of a light sweet oolong, but I have to note that I also took a sniff of the wet leaves, and got this crazy sweet seaweed aroma! Absolutely delicious! Kind of like those sweet, seaweed-wrapped crunchy snacks. Delish. I wish the tea smelled/tasted like that, but I suspect it won’t.
Sure enough, the tea doesn’t taste quite like that, but there is an absolutely delicious, mouth-enveloping sweetness. I want to call it rock sugar, but it’s much more complex than that. It’s a familiar flavour; I assume I’ve tasted it before with other oolongs. It’s one I could sip for days, though (until it got to be too sweet). The sip finishes with a nice oolong aftertaste, which is absolutely divine. There’s a bit of a vegetal flavour interspersed in here, but it’s not prominent, as the sweetness really takes over. I suspect subsequent infusions to become more vegetal and less sweet, however.
This tea is definitely a winner! I think I was quite pleased with all the selections I was sent as part of this testing process, so hopefully I will have the funds to make a purchase from Peony Tea S. sometime in the near future!
ETA: Second infusion (2 min/90C) still smells rather sweet and delicious. The cup’s a bit stronger this time, perhaps a touch oversteeped (it’s a little metallic), but other than that, is still quite sweet and pleasant, and not as vegetal as I was expecting.
Oh! This tea is lovely! So very lovely!
The astringency is quite unlike any other I’ve experienced. It affects the mouthfeel in a way that I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced before. At the very start of the sip, I notice a silky softness, and almost immediately afterward, I start to notice the slight twinge of astringency touch the tongue, reaching out toward the inner cheeks and toward the back of the throat. As the astringency dissipates, I notice sweetness. A beautiful, delicious sweetness that is oh so delicate, reminiscent of the delicate taste of spun sugar.
While the aroma of the dry leaf is really quite vegetative, the flavor is not quite as vegetative as this aroma would lead one to believe. There are notes … subtle notes … there, sort of like sweet, buttered lima beans. Very mild.
A really incredible tea, One of the most memorable that I’ve tried from Peony Tea S. yet.
PS: Quite tasty when enjoyed with a Honeycrisp apple.