Shang Tea

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76
drank Pao Blossom White Tea by Shang Tea
275 tasting notes

Pao blossom, if you hadn’t read the story from Shang Tea, is a flower that was once used more commonly to scent teas, but in recent memory is almost unheard of, at least here in the West. The flower is a relative of grapefruit and supposedly only grown on 3-5 square miles in the world now.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the aroma of the tea leaves does remind of grapefruit. There’s a hint of toasted creme brulee in the aroma of the wet leaves, as well as some juicy white grape, and a hint of anise. If you’ve tried Shang’s Tangerine Blossom Red Tea, the aroma has some similarities. It also reminds me somewhat of the aroma of orange blossoms. Alas, all the citruses are related.

Where this floral scented tea parts from most others I’ve tried is that it isn’t particularly sweet. In fact it has a lingering mild bitterness that fans of grapefruit might enjoy. The taste is creamy with hints of anise. Some will say this tea is similar to jasmine, and while that connection could be made, I’d have to grumble at any claim that this is more extraordinary or delectable than jasmine. Pao has a more “down-to-earth” presence than jasmine, not as heady and floral, though just as aromatic. The bitter tones and lack of sweetness ground the flavor in a way that jasmine isn’t grounded, and in the opinion of this reviewer, there isn’t the complexity achievable with using jasmine to scent tea. I would wager that this is a major consideration for why jasmine tea is now ubiquitous and pao blossom is not. This is nothing bad on Shang Tea, of course, as they produce both types.

This tea needs to be brewed rather light or the taste may become a bit bitter, drying, almost soapy. Of course, this is a matter of preference, but among my circle this is the preference.

As for tasting notes, there are hints of cucumber in the background from the white tea, but the predominant flavor is that of the pao blossoms, which is creamy, reminding me of a combination of coconut milk and hints of anise. If you’ve ever eaten lotus or had lotus tea, it is reminding me a lot of that.

This tea’s nature is rustic to me. It’s not a bright, spring-like, vibrant tea, but an earthy, calm, grounding one.

Flavors: Anise, Citrus, Creamy, Cucumber, Fruit Tree Flowers

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C
Ubacat

This one sounds intriguing. I think I might order their sample pack.

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95

The flavor of this tea varies greatly depending on how you prepare it. If you follow the package directions it’s strongly floral with hints of an almost orange-like citrus. I actually found it to be a little overpowering this way, even though I love floral teas. Instead I prefer to cut the amount of dry leaf I use in half, which produces a lightly floral cup with strong hints of citrus and a slightly sweet undertone. This is one of those teas that gives you a lot of wiggle room in terms of preparation, so it can be prepared to fit a variety of tastes, but brewing it at a higher temperature tends to bring out a somewhat astringent note. If you’re a fan of floral oolongs or even jasmine scented teas this will be right up your alley.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2016/4/5/tuesday-tea-tangerine-blossom-red-shang-tea

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

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Here I am sitting on my Quetzal waiting for a new Anklyo to tame, she is a level 72 (not as high as I would like but the level 96 I was going to tame was accidentally killed by a fellow tribe, oops) I have three of the beasties, but they are all pretty low level, so she will be part of my current project of making everything super efficient. Taming is a very good time to have lots of tea and to write/paint, especially if I get lucky and I am taming a creature with slow dropping torpor, I can keep an eye on things while also doing other things.

Today I am looking at Shang Tea, a local tea shop that I do not spend enough time at, I am hoping to go back and visit before the Midwest Tea Fest in May (everyone should go) but I am saving my money to spend there. If I am able to go stock up I will definitely be getting their Autumn Red, the tea I am covering today! Unlike the other red teas from Shang that I have tried, this one is super fancy, harvested in autumn of 2011, so not only is it a harvest from a time not usually used, it is also aged a bit. This tea first showed up in the Special Reserve Club, so I was very stingy with my stash, but recently I found out it is in the shop as well, so yours truly binged on the last of it and now needs more! The aroma of the small curly leaves is something else, notes of sweet potatoes and roasted peanuts blend with molasses, sweet stewed tomatoes, bamboo, molasses, autumn leaves, and a finish of dried fruit. It blends sweet and savory, rich and light all in one aroma profile, I admit it took me a while trying to put to words what all was going on in this tea…the stewed sweet tomatoes being the hardest to pin down.

Into my celadon gaiwan the leaves go, red tea in celadon is a guilty pleasure of mine, the colors are so pretty! The aroma of the leaves is still malty and sweet, though not nearly as much so, it takes on more richness. Notes of starchy yams and bamboo blend with molasses and just a touch of peanuts and honey. The liquid is intense sweetness, stewed plums and dried peaches mix with malt and yams with a definite molasses and earthy roasted peanuts and autumn leaves. I am a little amazed at the sweetness and fruitiness, it smells so good!

The first steep has a light earthy almost mineral start to it, mixing with a smooth almost slippery mouthfeel it reminds me strongly of rain water. There is a lot more to this tea than just rainwater, there are strong notes of yams and peanuts with a hint of cooked plums and a touch of molasses. The finish is honey sweet with a lingering aftertaste of honey and starch.

For the second steep the aroma somehow manages to be richer, still just as sweet but with an addition of cocoa like richness that blends well with the fruit and yams. The taste does not really deviate much in notes from the first steep, in changes in intensity and mouthfeel though! No more the slippery rainwater feel, it is all smooth and with a slight thickness. Another quite enjoyable thing about this tea is the aftertaste, strong yams and honey that lasts for quite a while.

The aroma of the third steep is strong in the malt and yam, but light on the fruit and peanut notes, though it certainly stays strong on sweetness and richness. This steep is still quite smooth, but not quite as thick, the taste is stronger in earthy peanut and autumn leaf notes with a strong malt in the middle and finish of sweet fruit. This tea was quite the treat, really quite delicious with an excellent personality (teas totally have those, I swear) that captured the essence of autumn!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/03/shang-tea-autumn-red-tea-review.html

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90

Fuzzy leaves, strongly scented with jasmine. Taste – jasmine, soft taste of whit tea with buttery mouthfeel. Relatively thick taste. Well scented – not too much, not overpowering like some jasmines can be. It never tastes overdone or over-jasmined. Scent hold through the second infusion. Taste fainter, still buttery, more of whit tea present in taste. I really like this tea. Very well done jasmine tea.

Flavors: Butter, Jasmine

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Wild White Tea by Shang Tea
139 tasting notes

I love the look of these leaves. The amount of tea added to my gravity steeper is eyeballed because this tea does not measure well with a teaspoon.
Smells sweet and floral. Tastes silky smooth, buttery, and floral. Rating 90

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
15 OZ / 443 ML

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84
drank High Mountain Green by Shang Tea
636 tasting notes

This is one of the first teas I ever bought from Shang. I love it. It is a soft gentle green tea that I can’t screw up. It very rarely turns bitter, yet offers the yummy sweet vegital flavors. A calming elegant tea.

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89
drank Bai Lin Kung Fu by Shang Tea
139 tasting notes

3Jan – malty goodness, bready. So good. I need to repurchase this tea.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt

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89
drank Bai Lin Kung Fu by Shang Tea
139 tasting notes

really smooth, little sweet, little bit earthy
tastes good
Nice go-to red tea.

I need to re-stock. I only have a little bit left and I really like this tea.

Flavors: Earth, Smooth

Preparation
2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML
Nicole

One of my favorites from Shang.

hawkband1

I need to go back to his store. I had such a good time talking tea with him several years ago.

Nicole

It’s a great tea place. Fantastic people and excellent tea.

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31

I haven’t liked this tea previously. Trying to steep it shorter and with hotter water just left me with an upset stomach. I poured out the rest of my mug. I don’t get any orange flavour at all. And I love citrus teas.
Unfortunately when I last ordered, I bought more….oops. I have a sealed 1oz/29g package I’d be willing to trade. I’d like someone to like it.

Flavors: Bitter

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19

I keep getting a burnt nut taste, almost like burnt coffee. I was sure it was the heat of my water so I lowered the heat, then I tried lowering more and lessening the steep time, but it’s still there.

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100
drank Green Peony by Shang Tea
275 tasting notes

I have to give myself a little credit for being one of the handful of people to convince Shang to market and sell this tea. I was at the shop in spring of last year asking about the recent harvest just a few weeks prior when he happened to have a sample of it, and he brewed some of the freshly harvested white tea for us. We loved the flavor so much we sort of begged Shang to offer it in the store. Green Peony may not be what you think it is by the name. It’s not a green tea at all. Rather, it is actually a white tea. His White Peony King tea normally gets aged for two years before he puts the tea on the store shelves. In these two years, the tea leaves take on a much browner hue and develop a more mellow and complex flavor that white peony tea is known for. Green Peony is what the company is calling their White Peony that is freshly harvested and has not undergone this aging. It also has been air dried rather than sun dried.

Green Peony is a limited tea from Shang Tea that he decided to sell around the winter holidays last year alongside a limited Holiday Red tea. It’s from the 2014 harvest of White Peony, and without the usual aging the leaves are a vibrant green. The aroma of the wet leaves is bright, dewy, and lush in comparison. It reminds me a lot of green grapes with hints of melon and cucumber.

The brew tastes very sweet and light, more grassy and fresh than the usual white peony, with a champagne-like green grape flavor and an unmistakable finish of peach. It’s also quite sweet, especially in later infusions brewed in a Gongfu style. It gets very peachy and unexpectedly sweet by about the 6th infusion or later, when you’d expect the flavor to be dying out rather than strengthening.

This tea is a beautiful one to look at and just as wonderful to drink. I’m not certain of its availability at this moment, as it is not currently on the website (they may have some at the store if you’re local), but I really hope Shang Tea will be selling a 2015 batch of this around the winter holidays like they did with last year’s harvest. Only time will tell. I think this tea is a wonderful addition to the Shang Tea repertoire, especially for those with a taste for green teas. It has a bit of the vegetal vibrance of a freshly harvested green tea, but the lightness and exceptionally clean taste of a white tea.

Flavors: Champagne, Cucumber, Grapes, Grass, Peach, Sweet

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML
Single Origin Teas

You’ll have to send me some! ;)

Ubacat

Interesting. I bought a Lu Mu Dan Green Peony from Tealux a few weeks ago. It is listed as a white tea but I was thinking it was green.

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Nicole sneaked some Shang Tea samples in with my TeaLeaves order… I’ll pay her back soon enough though :)
To me, which is probably going to be different from others, the taste of this tea is like a strong white tea had a child with some Oriental Beauty and this is the child. The taste is brisk and reminds you of what you are drinking with a slap across your taste buds, but that slap is packed with flavor so it is welcomed.
The best part about this tea, for me at least, is watching the color come to life as you steep this tea. I steeped my sample size three times and then half steeped another to see if the dark liquid still came about. Almost a solid brown color unlike Shang Tea’s website, however preparations could be different as I used 190’ish. Yes, this is good; however, I am not a fan of Oriental beauty (which this is not) so the notes of ‘spice’ that come through the brisk flavor of this tea don’t appeal so much to me. The word rich does describe this tea :)

Nicole

Haha! Figured I’d share since you mentioned somewhere that white teas are not appealing to you and Shang’s are pretty much the only whites that appeal to me. And you’ve already paid me back. That last package was stuffed full. :)

Liquid Proust

Though oolong is my favorite, white seem to be more interesting in regards to finding a solid one. Needles are generally a good bet, but I am looking for that secret tea that noone knows about yet. I look forward to the wild white :)

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93
drank Holiday Red by Shang Tea
2015 tasting notes

Thanks for this one, Nicole! No tasting notes for this one and it doesn’t exist on Shang’s site, so this is uncharted territory. I went with a teaspoon and a half. The leaves look most like a Bailin Gongfu to me. On the small side, completely black in color. What little description there is on the page mentions High Mountain and the High Mountain tea I had recently was very plum. The flavor is a little bit of plum but mostly it’s like an ancient tree/ wild tea to me, with that tangy flavor I love. It also might have some of the characteristics of the Bailin Gongfu I mentioned it looks like. The brew is light but the flavor is fantastic. It’s another one similar to Teavivre’s Nonpareil Ancient Wild Tree – tangy plums though the leaf is very different. The second steep held that flavor pretty well. I’d steep it this way again. I’ll certainly enjoy the serving I have that remains! I wish I had more to report on this one, as it looks like not many others will ever write about it. I wonder why this is considered ‘Holiday’ though?
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // few min a.b. // 3 min

Nicole

It was a limited edition. I hadn’t ever entered a note for it I guess. :) Sharing characteristics with a bai lin is probably to be expected – his bai lin kung fu is very similar. To me, this one is better, though I love the bai lin. I think it’s holiday because it came out around Christmas. :) I was given some as a gift and when I went in in early Feb, they still had a package so I snagged it.

tea-sipper

Ah, thanks for the info. :D

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100

This is an exciting moment for me. I’m finally getting to sit down and try this June’s harvest of Special Reserve Green tea from Shang Tea, the tea that held the title for my hands-down favorite tea for quite a long time until I discovered Silver Needle tea from Kenya (which is basically a tie for best at this point).

Every year, I have the pleasure of drinking this wild-harvested tea from Shang, and every year the nuances are slightly different. Last year’s had an unexpected lotus or star anise note, an interesting twist, but far from my favorite harvest, as prior years had a much more buttery, savory, creamy umami richness with more subtle notes. This year, upon opening the bag, I didn’t get the lotus hints, but warm scents of chestnut, forest wood, cherry, and almond. I’m already loving it. After the leaves have sat in a warm gaiwan, a bit of green pea note is coaxed out.

After the first infusion, the leaves have a really unexpected scent, really bright and sweet this year with a berry note, generous aromas of pastry cream and an almost cheesecake scent. Of course behind this is the familiar bed of leafy green and vegetal flavors.

The texture of the brewed tea is incredibly buttery and smooth. The taste is generous and creamy, nutty, a bit vegetal, and having a long-lasting umami that is slightly tart. There’s a hint of malt flavor. This tea is on the sweeter side than previous years and certainly has caught me by surprise. The vegetal notes might be akin to peas and asparagus this time around, and grass as with most green teas.

Upon cooling, I’m getting really bright berry and tropical fruit aromas from the leaves in the gaiwan. It reminds me of a sweet white wine or a blush wine.

The second infusion is a little more tangy and bright, more vegetal throughout the sip, but again the tanginess that registers in the end of the taste kind of gives me the impression of the tanginess you get after taking a bite of cheesecake. There’s a sugary sweetness that lingers there too.

Third infusion is really, really sweet, sugar snap peas, and I’m getting a tiny hint of roast flavor, but it is sort of an overtone or afterthought. There’s a hint of spice that I had also caught in the scent when opening the bag, either nutmeg or cinnamon.

The taste, sweetness, and clean feeling in the mouth that lingers after drinking this is superb. There’s a cooling hui gan sensation.

By the fourth infusion, the flavor is backing down a bit and becoming a touch drying/astringent, which is common for green tea in my experience. I find they perform best in the first three infusions and beyond that it’s just not as complex or full as most other tea types. Still, the taste is good, much more vegetal now, less sweet. The way it lingers in the mouth is not quite as enjoyable as before. Just a bit drying.

Fifth infusion tastes a little more fruity and tangy again, but has just a hint of the drying quality as well. I’ll end the review here and update if anything surprising occurs in the last few infusions I pull out of it.

Overall, this was a really unique change for this tea. Since it is wild grown, changes in weather and terroir probably affect the tea more than it would on a controlled tea farm, so each year I have noticed some pretty distinct changes, but the last couple years it has really surprised me with its qualities. I would say this is the second best crop I’ve had the joy of trying (from the four they’ve produced 2012-2015). Nothing beats the incredible richness of that 2012 batch, but this fruity and sweet twist is definitely a change, and a great one. It’s the most complex batch. I love it. Perfect rating for this tea, as usual.

Flavors: Berry, Creamy, Nuts, Sweet, Vegetal, White Wine

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Ubacat

Wow! That’s going on my wish list. Sounds amazing!

Lion

In moments like these I wonder if my notes will translate to others, everyone’s palates registering things so differently, but these are the closest descriptors I could think of. Even if it doesn’t turn out to be cheesecake, it’s still one of the best teas I’ve had and worth a try. :P

Ubacat

Well, I probably won’t get all those notes. Sometimes I taste something and can’t find the description for it. However, I have had a lot of green teas and know which ones I like. I’ll have to try out this tea sometime.

mrmopar

Your notes are great. Always a pleasure to read. You and looseTman have awesome details.

Lion

Thank you! I’m glad you enjoy them. Some teas just really suck me in!

looseTman

Lion, Agreed, your notes are excellent and a pleasure to read! Kudos!

mrmopar (aka mrpuerh), Thanks for your kind words! Your notes have educated numerous people about the unique characteristics and benefits of Pu’erh tea. Kudos!

Lion

Thanks! You both share really great insights as well. :D

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Ooh I have not had this year’s harvest! I shall have to get me some next time I am in!

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drank Loose Aged White Tea by Shang Tea
978 tasting notes

I received this sample from Boychik. Thank you so much.

This isn’t a moonlight, but I’m having a hard time not comparing it to the many that I’ve been drinking lately. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. It’s good. There is no doubt that it’s a high quality tea. The first couple of steeps, it seemed more like a medium oxidized rock oolong. A little mineraly, a little grassy, sweet, just a hint bitter. It was a beautiful golden orange. The colour really didn’t change from steep to steep. The later steeps mellowed out, it became more subtle more what I expect from a white tea. Steeps 5 and 6 were pretty fresh and bright. Steeps 7 and 8 were sweeter almost fruity and juicy.
I don’t think this is my favourite aged white, but it was really interesting with lots going on and it changed quite a bit from steep to steep. Really happy that I got to try it. :))

https://instagram.com/p/4kwuwjOExe/?taken-by=dex3657

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90

No D&D for me tonight, my DM’s wife has a sickness and with my immune system being the way it is, I screamed PESTILENCE and ran the other direction, declaring his house now the residence of Papa Nurgle. He assures me that Nurgle will have to fight Cthulhu and an especially large Draco Lich for dominance, so that means she should be better in no time. I do still have Seafall playtesting today, and of course my sleep schedule being what it is, and Ben’s need for the computer being what it is, oh the work load waiting for me when I get home. Honestly the visit from Nurgle might turn out to be a sanity saver for me, who would have guessed?

Since the Midwest Tea Fest is in a couple days (the hype is real, yo!) I decided to review one of my favorite vendors (yes, favoritism, but we all know that I love Shang Tea, I mean I have a yixing teapot dedicated to Tangerine Blossom Red for Pete’s sake!) and since this is Thursday, that means it is also a #TBT review, this tea I bought when I visited their Grand Opening event over a year ago, logged in my notebook more or less a day later than the event since I wanted to try the new tea samples I purchased immediately! Presenting Shang Tea’s Wild White! This tea is harvested from the Tai Mu Mountains in China, the plants left to grow wild before being plucked, cultivated tea fields are beautiful, but there is something that cries out to the nature lover in me who loves frolicking in the forest, foraging for wild edibles, my soul gets soothed by the knowledge of wild growing tea plants. The aroma of the rather fluffy leaves with their blend of fuzzy tips and large unfurled leaves, is delicate, no overpowering notes, just a dance of fresh vegetation, honeydew melon, a touch of thyme, and a finish of cucumber. If you stick your nose in the leaves long enough you pick up a hint of honey and loam as well, but it is super faint and at the end, more like the dream of a scent than a defined note.

Into ye old fish gaiwan the tea went. Ah this gaiwn, adorably tiny and perfect for travel, well except the drippy cha hai, but oh well. The aroma really wakes up once the tea gets its soaking, sweet notes of fruit and fresh vegetation drift out of the gaiwan. There are notes of delicate melon and fresh grapes (like white table grapes specifically) a touch of lettuce and cucumber, broken leaves, and a finish of lettuce. The liquid is honey sweetness and flower nectar, honeysuckles and a touch of muscatel at the end, a tiny bit of tartness as well.

Well that turned out to be a fun adventure, Seafall was canceled last minute so Ben, Fish, and myself wandered around 888 International store for like three hours. I procured ingredients for the pre-Tea Fest party the night before, by party I mean I am making Hot & Sour Soup, my new specialty! Also I finally tried Tea Eggs and have fallen utterly in love, but back to the tea at hand! The mouthfeel starts out slightly fuzzy (hello trichomes) and moves into smoothness pretty quickly. The taste is sweet, surprisingly muscatel, almost like a Darjeeling, but much, much lighter. There are also more familiar White tea notes of cucumber, lettuce, and a slightly herbaceous peppery finish.

I hear the sound of distant rumbling, and if the radar is to believe, we are about to be slammed with storms! Exciting! The aroma of the second steep is very sweet, blending honey and grapes with a delicate finish of lettuce, giving a level of crispness to a heavy sweetness. No fuzzies this time, just all smoothness, with a start of raw honey and grapes, and just a hint of spicebush. This moves on to lettuce and fresh vegetation, with a finish of hay. This tea tastes very fresh, in a way it reminds me of laying under a tree and watching dappled light through the leaves, very much so a tea that evokes memories in its taste!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/06/shang-tea-wild-white-midwestteafest-tbt.html

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98

I do get orchid notes from this tea, in both scent and taste. It reminds me of a qi lan oolong. I think it has been fermented and roasted more lightly than most dark oolongs, yet it develops a nutty aroma and even a touch of smoke. It is light-bodied and a clear amber hue. Because it is less roasted, it will not have a dark color unless oversteeped or use extra leaf. Easy, very enjoyable drinking. I rank the smell even better than the flavor. I drink tea as much for the aroma as anything else, and I love floral teas, so this one scores high for me.

Flavors: Caramel, Malt, Orchid, Roasted nuts

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100

My favorite thing, hands down, about the weather having warmed up is being able to have my windows open. I love sitting at my desk feeling the fresh air, hearing the birds sing…and hearing my weirdo cats chirp at things like they are aliens. Tao only occasionally chips, Espeon sounds like a crazy noise machine, but she is just a much noisier cat. We frequently have conversations and pretend we have some idea what we are saying to each other.

Well, it is official, today marks the start of ticket sales for the Midwest Tea Fest, and to celebrate I am going to take a look at a tea I really should have reviewed ages ago, Shang Tea’s Tangerine Blossom Red. I say that I should have reviewed it ages ago because (spoilers) it is one of my favorite teas, belonging to the surprisingly short (for me anyway) list of teas that I HAVE to have on hand. It is also a tea I have been afraid to review because I was afraid of not doing it justice. Of course the really sad thing is as I review this, this is the end of my supply, so I guess we know what I will be buying very soon. The aroma of the leaves is nothing short of decadent, it blends rich cocoa, roasted peanut, and a tiny dried cherry note with intense heady tangerine blossoms. Me being me, I have spent a lot of time sniffing citrus flowers, tangerine flowers are one of my favorite because they are so heady, blending citrus notes with honeysuckle and gardenia, those combined into one slightly sharp heady flower makes me swoon. Honestly I have a hard time describing it because my brain goes all happy fuzzy while experiencing this tea.

The brewed leaves are so delightfully heady, the tangerine blossom is definitely the dominant note, It reminds me of a pile of plucked flowers on a hot day, if you have ever gardened and had a pile of flowers to deal with, you will notice there is a massive heady note that drifts out from the pile of flowers, now mix that with cocoa, dried cherries, and sweet tangerines. The liquid is a blend of tangerine blossoms, citrus fruit, and a rich cocoa and roasted peanut note. It smells delicious, this is almost a tea I have to sniff and sip solo, because it is a little too sensual.

First steep, oh man, it is so good! A perfect balance of sweetness, richness, and heady floral. Pardon me while I let out a contented sigh, because this tea is intense and lovely. It starts out with a cocoa and dried cherry sweetness and then moves to a heady rich tangerine blossom. It blends the taste of citrus with flower nectar sweetness reminiscent of honeysuckle. The finish is rich cocoa and roasted peanuts with a floral note that seems to linger on my tongue for an eternity.

And now I decide to have a second steep, which is no surprise, the aroma of this steep really ramps up on the sweetness front, the floral notes are intense and the cocoa notes mouth watering. And not just because my doctor said no chocolate and I am having some hard core cravings! The taste starts off intense and it stays intense till the end, and most of that intensity is floral, though it is not like perfume or soapy like some floral teas can be, it is like nectar and sipping a slightly earthy, cocoa, and dried cherry note red tea while sitting next to a bouquet of tangerine blossoms.

Third time and last time, usually I can get four steeps, but the fourth steep is fairly weak, and I let it steep for a while. If anyone is curious, yes I have steeped this tea Western style and it is pretty good, though it does seem to lose some of its more subtle nuances, and even my staunchly western tea drinking boyfriend thinks it is better gongfu style. The aroma of the third steep still has a very strong floral presence, along with cocoa and dried cherry, but it also has a creamy note as well. The taste is a bit milder than the previous one, but there is still a strong tangerine blossom flavor, the nectar like notes are so delicious, though this steep the tea itself really shines. The notes of roasted peanuts, cocoa, sweet dried cherry, and a bit of malt at the finish. I have such a weakness for floral teas, especially citrus flowers of any variety, and I really love that this is a red tea rather than a green or white like I usually run into, Tangerine Blossom Red is one of a kind and delicious, also I love I can go to the shop and talk to its creator when I visit, the personal aspect makes me enjoy it even more.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/03/shang-tea-tangerine-blossom-red-tea.html

TheLastDodo

Ooh! I hope they have this at the fest!

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100
drank Clear Jade Orchid by Shang Tea
275 tasting notes

This tea is unlike any other tea I’ve had… and it surpasses most in quality and just the sheer depth of the experience one has in drinking this tea.

It is a very hard tea to describe. On appearance, it looks like a Chinese strip-style oolong, similar to Wuyi Yancha. The scent is incredibly fragrant, very fruity, floral, honeyed, sweet. This is the most robust and fragrant fruity-smelling tea I’ve had.

The flavor is quite complex and very sweet. The best I can describe it is that it taste like a really, really, really good Yunnan red tea with its lofty floral and fruit notes underscored by darker tones… mix that with a fruity/floral softly sweet wuyi oolong (with all its delicious roasted flavors) and a buttery high mountain oolong with its creamy, fruity, green and floral qualities. There’s a very sweet floral smell about this tea, and I believe orchids may be a flower that smell similar. Maybe something like magnolias even? I’m not a flower scent expert, but this is more sweet than perfumy as far as that goes.

I had the honor of enjoying this tea with a friend the other day, and I hear the process for creating it was quite an elaborate one. Sadly, Shang Tea does not produce this tea currently, but with this many high reviews, I wish they would consider re-creating it! I believe that a tea like this could be sold as a premium tea for much higher prices than Shang Tea had originally charged, to make up for the high cost of producing it.

I will skip brewing parameters, since I wasn’t the one brewing it, but it was brewed Gongfu Style in a gaiwan, basically quick infusions like a Wuyi oolong.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Sweet

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94

I love this tea very buttery and a bit sweet with no bitterness to speak of a new favorite.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 2 g 20 OZ / 591 ML

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Rummaging through my tea cupboard, I found a single teaspoon of this left that I must’ve hoarded away! Ifjuly sent this to me in one of her lovely packages (she’s one of my favourite people on the planet). I can not believe that I have this to drink today!!!!! EEEEEEEK!!!
This has to be my favourite white tea I have ever tried… It’s buttery and nutty and so very wonderful!
I get pistachio notes along with cream…and the mouthfeel.. Oh, the mouthfeel! It’s fabulous.
So, after finding this tea, I don’t care that the snow is now higher than my neck outside my window (my nice neighbor came through with his snow blower and did my walkway… I think he does this more for the postal worker than for actual neighborly kindness, but it’s still very much appreciated—-so that the postal worker can walk a straight path for a row of houses and not have to keep walking up and down driveways and sidewalks… for clarification. lol).
Anyway, this tea is one of my favourites, and I’m over the moon that I’m sipping it right now!

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Hay, Nuts

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95
drank Golden Needle King by Shang Tea
2015 tasting notes

Thank you TeaTiff for this one a while back! The sample pouch had a not-at-all full two teaspoons so I went with that. I thought this was supposed to be one of those golden teas because of the name, but it almost looks like Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu. The leaves are dark with only hints of gold occasionally and smell very grassy. The flavor seems to be the Bailin mixed with a high quality keemun. There is a lovely almost floral like fragrance even before taking a sip from this rusty colored cup. Keemun is always tough for me to describe. But the flavor is delicious — a medium bodied taste, but no smoke like a keemun. It’s like flowers, wine, biscuits, hay. Really it reminds be of Teavivre’s highest quality keemun mixed with their Bailin. The second steep seemed a little too much at those parameters. I thought it was a mistake on the packaging that is called a white tea and a red tea but it’s actually made from a white tea plant? But I thought all tea comes from the same plant anyway? It was good and then it was gone.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 12 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min

Shang Tea

Hi Tea Sipper, thanks for the review! To clarify your question about white tea on the packaging, yes all tea does come from the same plant, but like any plant there are hundreds of different cultivars of the tea plant. In China these different cultivars are considered to be almost completely unique tea plants. When we say it comes from the white tea plant, we mean that it comes from the Da Bai/Da Hao cultivar which is the traditional cultivar for white tea production in China.

tea-sipper

That helps to explain things, but I have a lot to learn about tea! Thanks for reading my tasting note!

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80

I received a sample of this tea from Nicole. I’ve been meaning to try honeysuckle tea, but this is the first chance I’ve had to sample it. It has a lovely floral scent, and the taste itself is sweet like flowers with a hint of a grassiness. I haven’t had many white teas, but as it stands, I think this could be my favorite. I’ll have to consider buying this tea next time I buy more tea.

It reminds me of toasted green beans.

ThainofBuckland

I steeped the same tea leaves five times.

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