Popular Teas from Shan ValleySee All 4 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
As I mentioned in previous tasting notes, this tea as a hot tea didn’t impress me much. However, as a cold brew, it was pretty refreshing, so I cold brewed it again. This time, I didn’t leave it in the fridge for more than maybe 8 hours or so, which prevented the bitterness I tasted last time. It’s a refreshing, though a bit generic-tasting, iced green tea.
A very unique and pleasant green – it has smokey notes, and ocean-y flavors, and citrus. I love how it isn’t astringent at all, because it helps these strong flavors from being overwhelming. I am not the biggest smokey tea fan, but I did enjoy this.
Shan First Flush Green Tea is a flavorful and aromatic tea. I noticed today that the dried leaves bear a resemblance to some kinds of dried mushrooms—both in shape and in scent. The brewed liquor was pale yellow veering brown and the taste was slightly earthy. Perhaps that was caused in part by expectations, after having sniffed the dried leaves…
In other news, I am now suffering from sleep deprivation. Moving hell continues…
Cold brewed this for a bit too long (probably over 12 hours?). I got a nice, grassy taste that ended with a sweet note. I think that oversteeping did add some bitterness, but it was easily forgivable. Since I wasn’t too big of a fan of this tea hot, I will probably use up the rest in my cold brewing frenzy.
So from the 3 teas I bought samples from Shan Valley Tea, this one is not so bad. Kind of faint praise, but I guess their teas are just not to my taste. This one had a very slight roasted taste so it wasn’t so green and seaweed like as the other green sample but that totally came out more when I had let it sit and cool. I really wanted to like these teas but oh well, I guess. And I can’t be too unhappy, it was cheap to try them.
Slowly, slowly getting there. Sil … I’m going to get there. Just you wait and see!
A really delicious green tea. I love the roasted notes to this, it’s kind of unexpected, even though the name of the tea is “Mountain Roasted Green Tea” … the roasted notes are still something I don’t usually prepare myself for when I drink a green tea. This reminds me of a Roasted Oolong.
Sweet, velvety, smooth, roasty-toasty, with a nice nutty flavor. Yum!
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/02/24/mountain-roasted-green-tea-shan-valley/
This is totally different from the green teas I’ve had recently (dragonwell, flavored Lupicia greens, senchas) so my taste buds were fairly displeased at first. Because this tea doesn’t mess around, it hits you with the toasted notes throughout your sip, and afterwards, too.
Very woodsy. In a way there is seemingly little of “green tea” element in this tea. It’s all woodsy and earthy notes, but they are pretty yummy. It smells like cigarettes on your clothes would smell if it were actually ever a nice, not nasty, smell – does it make at least an ounce of sense? It actually makes me want to smoke.
And then, as it sits longer, it actually starts smelling kind of syrupy sweet.
The more I drink it, the more I like it. I am not sure if I am going to buy it any time in the near future, but I would never say no to it when offered.
Thank you, Jennkay, for letting me try this :)
The folks at Shan Valley graced me with an incredibly magnanimous sample package, including a large envelope of this tea, Shan Valley First Flush Green, which has a very intriguing dried leaf form. The leaves are large and dark and hardened almost to the point of looking petrified. The scent of the dried leaves is quite assertive and almost spinachy—but more smoky than sencha—so I had no idea what to expect! In fact, I’d say that the scent of the dried tea is like a cross between sencha and Lapsang Souchong, believe it or not!
In fact, the taste reminds me a bit of the Teavivre Mao Feng (though I actually prefer this Shan Valley First Flush Green). There is definitely a darker cooked vegetable taste in the background but with some real complexity and depth and a lighter side as well. The liquor is yellowish brown—not green—and perhaps that should be expected from the dark color of the leaves. In fact, the leaves are so dark that without reading the label, I’d have guessed it was black! Only upon infusion of this tea does it become obvious that this is not a black but a green variety. I kept the steep time short and used cooler water to ensure the best possible result.
This is a solid offering from Shan Valley, and I’m looking forward to the second infusion later today, in addition to trying the other intriguing teas from this producer.
Many thanks for your generosity!!!!!
second infusion: this round was better than the first. It’s more smoky, but with lots of undulating waves of clarity and smoothness. This might be a good green tea choice for Lapsang aficionados…
third infusion: quite decent
I am going to try to give a fair and balanced review of this tea. I enjoyed my cup, but I think my brewing technique could be improved. The leaves are very small, and do not lend themselves to a normal filter basket or tea ball. I really need to put them in a tea bag due to the amount of dust present. I think this is due to the processing technique. Once I let this dust settle to the bottom of my cup, I got a better taste.
Initial impressions: Strong, bitter, a little acrid, and very brisk! It definitely had the classic, dark breakfast tea taste. I think the acrid taste came from the little bits of leaves finding their way out of my filter. I didn’t enjoy it plain, but with just a little soy milk it was smooth and creamy and flavorful. The milk really brought out all of the good tastes in this tea and I could taste caramel and malt and all sorts of other good, full flavors. In summary, this is definitely strong, brisk and a good kick of caffeine. I’ll use a disposable paper filter next time to reduce the tea dust and maybe it will even be good plain. But with milk it was exactly what I look for in a strong breakfast tea. Well done, Shan Valley, and you cannot beat your prices!
Steep 2 – Just as strong as the first, and unfortunately, just as much dust making it bitter. It was a little less bitter the second time around, but still tasty with milk. You can definitely taste the tea through the milk for this one. I’ll bet it makes divine iced tea – probably perfect for Arnold Palmers since it is so strong.
I inherited a very interesting trait from the women in my family, the desire to redecorate and reorganize our living space every few weeks. I placed my new shelves in their home and moved the items that were going on said shelves onto said shelves, and then promptly decided that my entire Tea Lair and most of my bedroom need reorganizing. Maybe that is the real reason I love Minecraft so much, I can reshape my surroundings as often as I want without having to do all the work.
Time for a break from reorganzing for a bit of tea and writing! Today’s tea is the last of the samples from Shan Valley, Shan First Flush Green Tea, this tea is from the first harvest (usually in April, according to the description) and is considered a reserve tea, fancy. The aroma is very fresh and very vegetal, mixing the notes of vegetation, fresh lettuce, spinach, and a bit of kelp. It reminds me of a salad, specifically a salad being eaten al fresco in a lush garden. These leaves smell like nature and food.
The steeped leaves retain their vegetal tones but also gain a sharpness that reminds me of fresh kale, there is a spritz of citrus and slight hint of kelp. The more I sniff the wet leaves the more I am picking out, a bit of lettuce and a hint of smokiness, and a finish of teaberry. The teaberry finish gave me a surprise, I have not smelled that plant (and by extension ice cream flavor) in years, so serious points on the nostalgia chart. The liquid without the leaves is a blend of lettuce and kelp with a finish of copper.
The taste is sharp and vegetal, mixing the taste of lettuce and kelp with a bit of bitter green, like kale. There is a bit of a citrus taste as well and an aftertaste of smokiness. Out of curiosity I decided to brew some in my gaiwan, uncovered for one minute, just to see how much of a difference there is. The taste of the gaiwan brewed leaves is very similar, less of the kale taste and more kelp, there is a finish of smokiness and it leaves a slightly sage like herbal taste in the mouth. This is a tea for someone who loves the strong vegetal greens with a hint of ocean flavors, I like this one. I was not wowed or blown away by it, but I did certainly enjoy it.
Flavors: Kale, Seaweed
As I am typing this Midwestern weather is showing its chaotic flair! This early afternoon it was almost 80 degrees, sunny, and wonderfully pleasant. It was so nice I decided to go out wearing a short-sleeved dress, BIG mistake, pretty much as soon as I went out the sky clouded over and the wind started whipping. An hour or so later the temperature has dropped to 45 degrees and it is storming wildly. If the weather prediction is correct it will get below freezing and I will wake up to three inches of snow! The weather here is maddening but seldom ever dull.
Today’s tea comes from a more tropical location, Myanmar! Valley Green Tea by Shan Valley is a premium green tea harvested year round, according to the description. The aroma of these fairly large leaves is extremely kelpy, in fact I had to do a double take ‘am I really just smelling my nori by accident?’ are these leaves really just dried kelp? I can practically smell the sea air, maybe if I am lucky it will transport me to the seaside. Further nose investigation led me to find the aroma of cooked spinach under the strong ocean aroma.
As per the previous teas from Shan Valley, there were no steeping instruction, I steeped at 175 degrees for about two minutes. I found the aroma of the wet leaves were still very kelpy, but now I am picking up stronger notes of spinach and sweet fruitiness similar to cherries. I have to admit this aroma struck me as an odd combo. The liquid sans leaves smells strongly of seaweed and brackish water, it reminded me of being on the coast when the tide is leaving. I know a lot of people are not a huge fan of that smell, but it is one of my favorite.
I love the ocean, the smells, tastes, everything about it! I tend to go into this kinda of trance when I am at the ocean that usually involves me running off into the water (a problem when I was a child) and staying there until I am dragged out. It has made me wonder if I am part mermaid or something along those lines most my life! Having a tea that smells so strongly of the sea is extremely exciting, sadly the taste was not entirely to my liking. First is the initial kelp taste with a hint of slightly fishy, metallic note. It quickly fades to cooked spinach, which goes nicely with the ocean greens theme, but the finish is a mix of sweet cherries and seaweed. I think the sweetness at the end kinda ruined the experience for me, if it had been all kelp and vegetal I would have loved this tea immensely, but the cherry sweetness added too much of a clashing taste. I still say give it a taste if you are able, I mean how often can you say you are sipping a tea from Myanmar that tastes like the ocean and fruit?
Flavors: Metallic, Ocean Breeze, Seaweed, Stonefruits
This tea is tasty, but probably not for everyone. I did short steeps, and did about 4-5 of them. I did 30 seconds to start, and added 30 seconds subsequent times. This led to a very mild flavor, more muted than I normally prefer, but it did good things for this tea. The flavors here are very mineraly and metallic almost, which taste more like ocean breeze when the tea isn’t very strong. I imagine if brewed for a full few minutes right off the bat, this would taste more like licking a pole.
Flavors: Metallic, Mineral, Ocean Breeze
I’m having a cup of this tea right now. I really love the toasty notes of this tea. It has a coffee-like flavor to it. It is one of those robust, wake-you-up sort of teas and I needed it this afternoon.
A lot of complexity too: sweet, caramel, smoke, nut, and earth. A really pleasant cuppa.
I do love roasty teas, but this one wasn’t too exciting. While steeping, Mountain Roasted green had a great roasty smell. Flavor wise, sweet vegetal yet savory, kinda like yams and squash with a mellow body. The roastyness is a little stronger than a light houjicha, but not as sharp – with the roastyness not as full bodied an interesting like a light roasted oxidized oolong.
Valley green tastes similar to Shan Valley’s First Flush green, but without the pizzaz. Also more astringent. Dry leaf is a vegetal artichoke scent, but steeped up is pretty mellow and flat, ending with a sharp vegetal astringency with a mix of nuttyness, floral and fruit (similar to First Flush). IMO, get the First Flush from Shan Valley.
Total miss for me – maybe I need to play with the steep times, temperature and water amount?
I found this CTC black to be really bold, robustly strong and woodsy. The woodsy vibe is sharp, like red rooibos, but a heavier dark wood rather than that red woodchip taste of rooibos. End of sip is a moderate amount of astringency with a bit of smoke. Reminds me of coffee, but the elements of coffee I don’t like and the woodyness.
I had some high hopes for this one as the other reviews have been good, but this was a total pour out for me. I’ll give this one another shot at a later time and adjust the rating.
A very nice, affordable first flush green! Hands down favorite out of the Shan Valley tea lineup! I found Shan First Flush to also have a unique earthy, forest floor, vegetal without being grassy flavor, with a good lingering aftertaste of nuts, floral and fruit. There is a light hint of astringency, just to keep the aftertaste going. Actually, I found this tea to be similar to a mid to late steeping of a green raw pu’er.
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/shan-first-flush-green-tea-shan-valley-oolong-owl-tea-review/