Shang Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

91

Now this is a unique white tea. Similar to a White Peony, this wild tea has big broad green-brown leaves that look like little dragon wings.

The flavor of this white tea is somewhat difficult to describe in terms of other things it smells or tastes like. The brewed leaves smell of honey, floral and musk. The taste of tea has a honeyed sweetness and a rich umami, like mushroom or zucchini, yet it remains just as light and smooth as any other high quality white tea I’ve had. The finish is smooth, no astringency and there’s a lingering umami on the tongue. There are tiny hints of clove, cinnamon, and rolled oats in the finish.

This white tea has a generous rich mouthfeel and reminds me of a leggy white wine in that regard. The thing that really sets this wild white tea apart from other white teas of its type is in how rich and umami it is. I am used to more grassy, floral, and even citrus notes in white teas, but this one is really savory. Let it become almost tepid for a really interesting change in flavor. It brings out both the sweetness and the spicy end notes.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Honey, Mushrooms, Oats

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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83
drank White Peony King by Shang Tea
213 tasting notes

Backlog!

Shang Tea don’t have any mediocre tea to offer, not to mention a bad one. It’s pretty apparent. I still haven’t tried the entire sampler that I got from them but I don’t think there was yet a tea from them I’ve had that I was at least remotely disappointed with.

I don’t have straight white teas very often. Not sure why because I definitely enjoy them. I know that to some white teas don’t taste like much of anything, but I have always enjoyed their delicate and sweet notes. Anyway, the cup of this tasted unmistakably of honey, smelled gorgeous and I loved it. I am not sure if I would get more of it as I would probably go with their honeysuckle white instead, but I definitely recommend it to all the white tea aficionados!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Nicole

I just picked up more of the honeysuckle white yesterday!

Kat_Maria

You are so lucky to be able to visit their store :)

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96
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
334 tasting notes

This is a sample from TeaTiff – thank you
Today i made it western
1tsp 8oz 200F
30/30/45/45/45sec
i combined it into one Timolino and went to Kickboxing class with my son. i used to be a soccer mom, now I’m kickass mom
i really like this way because tangerine blossoms are so gentle and not overpowering. i have a problem with floral/jasmine teas. They are too perfume for me. this time its just right. Base is chocolatey bready, soo good. My son gulped 1/3 of Timolino and liked it as well (and he is very picky with food or drinks)
I started watching “Orange is The New Black” on Netflix. its hilarious. i love it. Never thought I would be interested.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec
TheTeaFairy

haha! I much prefer kick ass mom :-)

Tea Pet

Tangerine Blossom and Orange is the New Black… I see a theme here… :p (ps. That show is amazing!)

Stephanie

Tea sounds wonderful! I like that show too but Piper is my least favorite character, lol

boychik

Agree. My fav are Ms Claudette and Red. I also like Crazy Eyes.

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99

It’s about time I got around to reviewing more Shang Teas, as they are an incredible company, based locally for me, and my main source of tea since my fascination with Gongfu Cha and high quality loose teas began.

Let me start by saying this, I have never tasted a better White Peony tea than this one. This tea truly stands above the rest. It may be a little hard for me to be objective, as the current year I have from them is 2008 and that year is sentimentally-speaking the greatest of my life so far. Knowing this tea was harvested that year, I feel I transcend time when I drink it and the nostalgia of my memories of a half-year stay in South Africa flood back in.

This tea is incredibly smooth. On the first infusion of this pale-yellow green brew I am tasting very evident notes of cucumber, subtle notes of walnut and wild grass. This white tea is smooth, very smooth, almost creamy even. There’s a delicate lingering sweetness and a velvety feeling on the tongue for a while after a drink. There is no astringency or dryness whatsoever. This tea is as clean-tasting as it gets. The brewed leaves smell of parsley

Second steeping, the flavor is even more round, and be assured this tea is very round, we’re talking 360 degrees round. It doesn’t have the brighter “green” qualities of some younger white teas but showcases a maturity that is smooth and full. In terms of flavor, the second infusion offers a more nutty quality than the first. The light cucumber notes have backed away. There’s a slightly herbaceous taste. The lingering mild sweetness reminds me of the lingering flavor of a fresh baked pastry or donut, albeit much, much subtler.

With repeated infusions, the flavor is consistently light and delicately sweet. This tea is pleasant and easily approachable all-around. The dewy cucumber notes came back around a few steepings in. How lovely.

I’ve noticed other users here have given this tea a perfect 100 score, and it is definitely deserving. This is one of the finest white teas in the world. My only reason for the 99 rating is that I reserve the perfect score for my holiest most absolute personal favorites. As my palate for delicate white teas is still learning and developing (those subtle nuances can be really hard to detect for an American whose palate is used to strong-flavored food and drink), I haven’t quite been wowed to the point of absolute dedication to a particular white tea yet.

Flavors: Cucumber, Herbaceous, Pastries, Sweet, warm grass, Walnut

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
boychik

i want to move to Kansas and live next to Shang tea ;)

Lion Repshire

Oh, it is a joy, especially to go into the store and sit and have tea with them. Everyone who works there is so nice and interesting to talk to!

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40
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
119 tasting notes

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85

Thanks so much to Amanda Wilson for a sample of this tea!

Maybe my first Shang tea? This is quite charming. Creamy hay like white tea and gentle sweet floral honeysuckle. Very nice!

I have such a love/hate relationship with honeysuckle. I LOVE the scent, and I used to sip the nectar from the blossoms as a kid. (SO GOOD!) As an adult however, I’ve got honeysuckle taking over my flower bed and it is SUPER ANNOYING! shakes fist at it :)

Shang Tea

Thanks for the review Stephanie!

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88
I chased down the fed ex truck today. For some reason on Saturdays they do not leave packages at our door and do not bother coming inside the condo to check to see if folks are home. He was carrying the much need diapers and my first gaiwan. Today was also a Shang Tea run. I restocked on Tangerine Blossom and grabbed a few samples. This was one of the samples. This was one was recommended to try in the new gaiwan.

I am loving just the concept of the tiny amount of tea at a time let alone the range of flavors I am getting out of one sample of tea. This is a really good. It started out nutty and almost like a roasty toasty oolong and now has turned into a very sweet delicate, almost green oolong. I was too busy pouring and sipping to keep track of all the “notes” that I tasted but this was yummy!

Marzipan

I will be having my first gaiwan experience soon. What did you use for proportions, tea/water?

TeaTiff

Shang’s samples come in 3.5 grams so I put the entire sample in the 140ml gaiwan and did a little hoping that it worked out. I have since been searching the internet in hopes there was a magical chart somewhere. Most info just seems to say 1/4-1/3 full vessel of tea to water.

Marzipan

Then how much water in each infusion?

TeaTiff

I have just been filling the qaiwan so I am unsure of how much water that would be. ~140ml – the value of the tea. I have watched a few of Verdants videos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YsXwuQPdmE

boychik

With this method short steeps recommended 5/10/15 sec. Some tea require immediate pour

Shang Tea

Thanks for the review Teatiff! We love brewing tea in a gaiwan and think that it is a little more art than science. What we love about gaiwans is that you can really get a good sense of the color of the tea by dipping the lid into the tea as it is brewing, and you can get a good sense of smell/taste by sniffing the bottom of the lid (which captures most of the flavor). Happy experimenting and enjoy your gaiwan!

TeaTiff

Shang, Thank you for the suggestions on how to experiment with the gaiwan a bit more!

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75
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
1877 tasting notes

Sipdown!! (143)

Thank you Kat_Maria for sending this my way. EvaGrimm described this as candied fruit and though I certainly feel like that is an apt description, I would just like to add that this is also quite floral. It almost reminds me of a Jasmin tea (as those tend to taste like candied flowers) or Dammann Frere’s Violette. Not a bad cup but also not necessarily for me. I am grateful for the opportunity to have tried it though :).

Courtney

I found it just a touch too floral for me, which was too bad since it would’ve been awesome with just a bit less floral-ness.

VariaTEA

Yeah, it was much more floral than I anticipated. To be fair though, I was half expecting it to be too citrusy so the floral was a welcome surprise. With that said, it was still enough tha I wouldn’t want to have this tea again.

Jennkay

I agree both about it reminding me of jasmine and also that it was too floral. Definitely different from what I imagined.

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80
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
72 tasting notes

T&C TTB

I love it when a tea tastes like it smells and this is one of those teas! It’s very fragrant and tastes tart yet sweet like a piece of candied fruit.

Thank you for adding this to the tea box TeaTiff!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

I received this as a surprise sample in my swap with TeaTiff. Thank you for including this.

When I was adding my samples to my cupboard when I received this a couple months ago, I didn’t notice how highly rated this was. It’s been sitting in my cupboard generally unnoticed. But I’ve gone through most of my black tea samples in the last couple days and am down to the last ones. This one smelled slightly of grape to me. The taste of this is very VERY similar to jasmine. I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if I didn’t know that it’s tangerine blossoms. There is a little bit of a citrus tanginess to it. This is really good, but I really love jasmine and have never been disappointed with a jasmine tea. I find a lot of flavours are hard to get right (banana, peach, lychee), but I find jasmine is hard to get wrong, or so it seems. This is like a good jasmine tea with a little something extra.

TeaTiff

I am glad you enjoyed this. It is interesting that you compare this to Jasmine. I have a jasmine tea to try. I will have to brew a cup of the jasmine and this back to back to take a note of the similarity.

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drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
678 tasting notes

I am wholly confused that this tea says “black tea” as the tea type, yet in the ingredients it says “organic white tea leaves”, and in the description it mentions “red tea base” (which, as far as I know, is a type of black tea?)

Regardless of that, this is decent. It’s definitely a nice quality tea, but the flowery aspect isn’t really doing it for me. It isn’t repulsive, as I find most floral teas, but it just doesn’t tickle my fancy either. I’ll have to pay more attention to see if I can get any citrus, but it certainly isn’t jumping out at me.

Thanks for sharing MirandaGou!

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87

Yet another tea from Shang Tea that is great!

It must have been one of the best white teas that I have tried so far – smooth and sweet, fragrant and delicate in a way that only white teas can be… I have no idea how honeysuckle tastes / smells in isolation but it blends wonderfully with the base tea and enhances some of its natural sweetness and charm. I still have a little bit of my sample left, but I will be definitely ordering more of it some day.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80
drank High Mountain Green by Shang Tea
616 tasting notes

Definitely not a grassy, but a fuller vegetal type flavor that’s more akin to spinach or another dark green veggie. It has the same brothy, smooth heft that is most common in Dragonwell, though it lacks any nutty notes, and it more quenching and bright.

This has kind of an understated elegance to it. It doesn’t seem complicated and is really easy and comforting to drink, and would work well when the focus on something else, but if you take the time and really focus on the cup, other green and buttery levels seems to emerge.

Thanks a lot for this one Eva!

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

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83
drank White Tea Wu-long by Shang Tea
213 tasting notes

I just made a little pot of this for my husband and me and I will probably keep re-steeping it late into the night (well, not TOO late). My hub, who generally drinks whatever tea I happen to be drinking at the moment without any fuss, and who never says much about any of them except for labeling any and every fruit flavored tea as smelling like fruit loops, today expressed the following about this tea: “It’s very creamy, it reminds me of an oatmeal stout”.

While I, a huge stout fan, didn’t really see that much connection with an oatmeal one, or any other one, for that matter, I can totally get the creamy part, and I understand what he was trying to say. Because this tea, that starts off as grey-green and beige beautiful wiry leaves and ends up as hay yellow liquor, is gorgeusly creamy and is a real joy to drink.

The only thing I seem to be disappointed about is that there’s not that much oolong element to it. It just tastes like a delicious white tea (which is not a bad thing!). I think I detect some green-styled oolong qualities in the aftertaste but they are VERY subtle. However, they might come out to the front more with subsequent steepings.

EDIT: OOOH, yeah! It is definitely an oolong. The second steeping of a copper color revealed lovely and slightly TGY-like notes. But the refreshing sweetness of white tea still shines through, which makes this tea truly unique. I am definitely going for the third steeping of this after my shower! (+ I’m upping the rating a bit).

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cheri

Sounds interesting. (Especially since I am drinking a creamy stout at the moment.) I think I’ll add it to the wishlist.

Kat_Maria

Ooh! What is the creamy stout you’re having?

Cheri

Bell’s Java Stout tonight. It’s $3 pint night.

Kat_Maria

Sounds good! I haven’t had this one yet.

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94
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
213 tasting notes

Here I am starting the day with a big bang that is this tea. I feel kind of like an idiot for not having ordered more of it (what I have is just a sample from the Shang Tea sampler), but then I got an ounce of their other black (or, as they prefer to put it, red) tea, so it’s all good. Next time I am totally getting a bunch of this.

BECAUSE it is sooo good and it reminds me of jasmine black tea but without the weird bitterness that can creep in sometimes with jasmine, plus there’s some orange-citrus-sweet lingering note in there. That of course is the tangerine part. Good stuff.

I’m bumping the rating up a bit because 89 from before didn’t do this any justice.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Terri HarpLady

This sounds lovely! I just peeked at their website, & I love the beautiful photos there.

Kat_Maria

Yeah, their teas are really wonderful… I still have a LOT of them to try and I’m looking forward to it :)

Terri HarpLady

I’m thinking I’ll have to give their sampler a try :)

Kat_Maria

It’s a pretty cool sampler! I believe there’s 10 sachets in there and each one has 2 servings in it (If you consider a teaspoon of dry leaf per 8 oz. of water a serving). Their teas are very good quality, so you can resteep them at least 3 times. At least I can say that about their red teas, as I haven’t tried the others yet.

Terri HarpLady

Cool! Now insult eyed some spending money, lol

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drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
450 tasting notes

Sipdown! (127). First off, let me tell you the amazing story of how this tea came (back) to me. It was in the Tea & Cards TTB that I had participated in. I set it aside as one of the teas I wanted to try, but I only tend to drink 2 (maaaybe 3) teas in a day, so I didn’t get to try all the teas that I wanted to while the TTB was in my possession. So I sent the box off to Pyroxy, who then wrote a tasting note about this very tea that made me regret not trying it or pulling some from the box. I commented about this regret on her tasting note and then she messaged me that she was sending me the last of the tea! So thanks so much Pyroxy for taking the time to do that!

On to the tea itself, haha. As soon as I opened up the tea, I was hit with a perfume-y scent that I couldn’t place on my own, but I assume that it’s tangerine blossom because of the name. This tea actually reminds me a lot of jasmine teas because of the perfume-y, almost soapy, quality (in a good way). It’s definitely more citrus-y than jasmine teas, though, which I guess distinguishes it as a tangerine blossom for me. I can also taste that malty black tea base at the very end of the sip that is also pretty distinguishing. Overall, I’m really enjoying this pot of tea, but it may be a tad too perfume-y for regular consumption for me.

Nicole

I tend to have it on occasions when I’d normally have jasmine green or white but want something with just a touch more body. Goes great with Thai food.

Jennkay

Ooh, I can see it going well with Thai. Too bad I saw this comment after I already made dinner cause now I’m craving pad see ew!

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drank Silver Needle King by Shang Tea
142 tasting notes

I guess I’m reviewing me more than the tea. But after tasting this tea (and many others), I think I can finally make the sweeping statement that I like my white teas scented, blended, or cold brewed (which, at least the way I do it, seems to make them taste like black teas anyway). I certainly don’t hate this tea, but I wouldn’t pick it out of the collection voluntarily either. It turns out I don’t love that hay flavor. If you do like white tea though – you should really check out the other tasting notes on this. It gets raves.

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82

Everything I’ve had previous from Shang Tea has been wonderful, so I had admittedly high expectations for this even though it was a bonus sample (yay!) and not something I had chosen myself.

I’ve never had honeysuckle blossom in a tea before, so I wasn’t completely certain on what to expect.

The cup is sweet, buttery, vegeta, sweet and slightly nutty. It’s not a honey sweetness, and not really sugary either, but more of a floral-like sweet.

It’s hard to pick out the base because it all kind of blends together to create a really lovely, relaxing cup.

And for fun, this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG2FgFWGPCE

is my earliest memory of honeysuckle.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

Sounds amazing! I love honeysuckle :)

darby

Ha! Loved the video.

gmathis

Aw…I’m going to be singing “I’m just a little black rain cloud…hovering over the honey tree” all evening now!

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Today is another Shang tea just because I want to place an order and finally decide whats my faves. I got this sample from Nicole – thank you!
3.5g gaiwan 150ml
1steep 175F 5sec produced pale yellow green tea. Sweet and floral. i find it very similar to jasmine.
2steep 185F 5 sec the color is more intense yellow green. more floral, pleasant, even though i"m not jasmine tea drinker. the cup is bolder in taste and smell
i decided to stop because i read it lowers your blood pressure. I’m afraid to drink more because my blood pressure extremely low.
if you like floral teas, especially Jasmine, I highly recommend this tea.
Thank you Nicole for your generous offer.

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100
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
517 tasting notes

I think a rating of 100 says it all and nothing has changed for me – this is still just a heavenly, lightly floral, stunningly smooth tea. I did use less leaf than normal this time and shortened up the steep time just a tad to see what would happen. It is still a marvelous tea but the shorter steep time makes the floral not quite as in your face. I like it both ways!

I mainly just wanted to add that it is a very good swap for jasmine tea with Chinese food. :)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
boychik

I like this more than jasmine tea

Sil

Blech…you and your jasmine lol

Kat_Maria

Ooh, I got my Shang Tea order today. Apart from the awesome sampler, I ordered an ounce of a black (red) that is not included in the sampler. I am sure it’s going to be as delicious as the rest of them :)

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drank Loose Aged White Tea by Shang Tea
142 tasting notes

How charming this tea is. Start with a warm and toasty (not roasty) bi luo flavor, subtract any greenness, add a very slight sheng pu-erness, a touch of smooth Chinese black astringency, and a thick mouthfeel.

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96
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
334 tasting notes

Thank you Nicole for your generous sample.
This tea is like nothing I tried before. Its awesome. Sweet, tree floral,citrus,malt and delicate at the same time.
150ml gaiwan 190F about 4 g
10/15/30/45
I have to mention that all Shang tea I tried resteep exceptionally well. i have multiple gaiwans on my counter and i expect to continue tomorrow

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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92
drank Golden Needle King by Shang Tea
334 tasting notes

Thank you Nicole for your generous sample.
its only Shang Tea today. i want to sample everything to place an order (they have sale till March 8th). I’ve been very impressed with Shang. This tea is great quality. Prepared in 150ml gaiwan 3.5 g 185F
1st steep 10sec produced malty cocoa tea with some light tree floral notes
then i decided to increase temp and time
2nd steep 200F 1min whoa this tea is strong and bold. dark chocolate and very pronounced roasted flavors.
I think this tea is great gongfu style. I didnt really like those roasted flavors. steeping short you can notice sweetness progressing each time you brew

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Nicole

Yay! I’m glad you are liking them. :)

boychik

I love them. Amazing, complex. Thank you

Tea Pet

Hmm… you are definitely tempting me to place an order… >:(

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100
drank Bai Lin Kung Fu by Shang Tea
334 tasting notes

Thank you Nicole for your generous sample.
Only after tasting this tea i went back to read that its from white tea plant.
I enjoyed this tea a lot. it has complex flavor which changes with each steep.
150ml gaiwan 3.5 g sample, boil 1min cool( suggested by Shang Tea)
10/30/45/1min
each time it became sweeter, with dark chocolate flavors
i’m going to buy this tea even though I have Bailin Gongfu Black Tea by Teavivre (which is great). I find them different and great in their own way

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 5 OZ / 150 ML

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