Shang TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
The mail lady was putting my box from Shang on my porch when I got home today. I had to try this straight away, and I’m impressed :-)
The whites I’ve tried lately are so boring. This one has nice flavor, and the liquid is more like black tea. I brewed it for 2 minutes in my new lucky baby kungfu cup.
I can’t really describe the taste, but I love it!
This year’s Special Reserve Green Tea from Shang Tea is unlike any I’ve tried before it. While the common basic tastes and aromas that inhabited this tea in earlier years are present, creating a buttery, brothy, sweet and vegetal brew, the nuances have changed quite a bit. This year, rather than more the dark roasted seaweed tones I’ve gotten from other incarnations, there’s an incredible floral tone in the scent that reminds me of lotus. It reminded a friend of mine of anise/licorice, which I’d say is in the same aroma family, but I’d say it’s a little lighter and more floral than that, hence the lotus. The brew itself is as buttery, rich and umami as any other year, but there’s a note that reminds me quite a bit of broccoli and the subtle lotus tones also inhabit the flavor.
I absolutely love this tea. Special Reserve Green from Shang Tea has been my #1 favorite tea for a while. Man, I can’t get enough of this.
Flavors: Broccoli, Flowers, Umami, Vegetal
This really is a lovely tea. A very nice combination of white and black tea elements, with a nice chewy grain element. This cup is on the cusp of being bitter, I think maybe it was a little overleafed but I just used the whole sample packet. I would consider stocking this one on a permanent basis, but I think I like the Bai Lin just a little bit better, and they’re a bit too similar to have both. :P
Nicole recommended that I go visit Shang Tea while I’m in Kansas City, so we drove there this morning to see what they had to offer. There was a very nice man working there who brewed us up some samples to try and seemed very knowledgeable about their teas. I noticed later that there was a photo on the wall of him in the tea fields. Apparently he goes there about 2 or 3 months out of the year, he told us. I’m not sure whether he was the owner or not, but he was very nice and I wish I had asked him his name. I ended up buying samples of several different teas and a box of some interesting-looking instant mix.
So I ended up steeping this tea three times throughout the day, the first at 3 minutes, then 4 and 5 for the other two. I think this may be the first tea I’ve had that I’ve enjoyed the second and third steeping more than the first. Honestly, I don’t remember that much about the first, as it was in the afternoon. I would describe it as a mixture of black and white teas. The second and (especially) the third steepings were fantastic, with an amazing creamy grain note that reminds me of something, but I can’t quite place it. I would call it similar to rice or cereal grains, and there’s a bit of a hay note as well. The texture is creamy and light. Yum! I may have to try for a fourth steep in the morning…
Flavors: Baked Bread, Grain, Hay, Honey, Molasses
Another of my samples from TeaTiff. I wasn’t really sure what region this tea was from, so I looked it up on their website. Turns out it’s actually fermented from white tea buds which seems unusual. And it’s from the Fujian province. The leaves are quite small and thin, and very dark with a few golden spots. I can’t really tell you much about the smell because everything from this package smells like milk oolong! Heh. I brewed mine for 2 minutes.
The aroma reminds me of a Yunnan tea. There’s a definite bread scent with honey and malt, and something else… Maybe a touch of creaminess? But wow, this doesn’t taste like any other black tea I’ve tried. I can definitely tell that it’s made from white tea. It has that lovely smooth hay flavor, but mixed with some malt and a little bit of a bread. There’s a deep flavor in the background that reminds me of molasses, but without being sweet.
While I did enjoy it, I found the flavor a bit light. I have enough for one more cup, so I think I’ll hold off on a rating until I try this at a 3 minute steep! :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Hay, Malt, Molasses
I received this in a swap from TeaTiff. Thanks so much for introducing me to Shang! This is a really interesting tea. According to Shang this is made from a white tea bush, which likely explains the “difference” I taste in this. It’s a bit hard for me to describe that difference, but it is so very good. It brews up a reddish amber cup with with a bready, sugary aroma. The first sip is sweet. Brown sugar sweet with a pleasant malty note that becomes a bit more prominent as it cools. This is pretty tea. It tastes pretty and it is starting my stupidly early morning in a lovely way – letting me coast into full consciousness on a sweet note. Thanks so much TeaTiff. This goes on the shopping list.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Malt
Backlog. I need to be quick with these backlog notes because my time is severely limited. I am supposed to prepare for work in… 2 minutes ago :P And tomorrow I’ll be gone (away from the Internet at least, for almost 2 weeks). Anyway, here’s my quick thoughts about this tea that I jotted down on a piece of paper when I was having it:
- creamy, buttery, sweet
- has everything I love about Chinese green teas (at least the buttery type)
- it’s more on the honey-like greens than vegetal-greens
- smells divine!
- the dry leaf looks beautiful, wiry and downy, kind of like white tea except greener (duh!)
- I will definitely consider buying 2 oz. of this when I am ordering the Tangerine Blossom Red and Honeysuckle White!
Shang Tea, hell yeah! Great job.
This was the first tea Nicole served at the tea party this weekend! Thank you!
I haven’t had a Shang tea that I haven’t liked. This was a nice light tea. I do not remember too much about the actual taste of the tea, but it was a very nice cup. I remember thinking this would be a good calming cup for bed time.
I had the opportunity to taste this in the store on Thursday. We went through about 4 steeps I think and while I preferred the 1st steep, the subsequent ones were also excellent.
It was buttery, smooth, and woodsy. Another excellent offering from Shang Tea. We also tried the White Tea Wu-Long Premium which, IIRC, has been aged longer than this. Both were great but both my mother & I preferred this one. The longer aged one had a somewhat sharper quality. Not putting this in my cupboard since I wasn’t the one who actually bought it, but I can snag some from Mom anytime so it is still available for swap. :)
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
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!
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
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 :)
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 :).
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.
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!
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.
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!
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).