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Shang Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

I guess Shang could tell by my jasmine-heavy order that I’m not afraid of a flower, so they sent this sample along. You know how they say scents are connected with memories? I had entirely forgotten about a vacation to Florida when I was very little where I wore orange blossom perfume. Even moving to Florida more than 30 years later was apparently not enough to remind me of that. But this tea did it. And it makes a much better tea than a perfume! There is also a savory deliciousness to it that I suspect is simply the quality white base tea. Today is Shang Tea day though, so I suspect that will become clear as I taste my way through the ridiculous white tea stash that arrived yesterday.

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95
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
46 tasting notes

Oh my, what a lovely treat this morning! This tea is beautiful, fragrant, sweet, floral (but not too much) with a teensy slight tang to it. I totally agree with what others have said: that it’s delicate but at the same time absolutely bursting with flavor, complex, and oh so delicious! It is simply so pure, natural, and refreshing. Truly it is a sample of spring, of flowers and citrus, mingling together wonderfully. I think it is befitting a Shakespearean sonnet—pure poetry for the tastebuds. Drinking this has awakened my senses and put me in a very good mood. Bring on the day, for it will be beautiful! :-)

Thank you ever so much, TeaTiff, for sharing this with me!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Charissa

Also, it makes me happy that this is organic! No pesticides to taint this cup of wonderfulness—yay!

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drank Silver Needle King by Shang Tea
608 tasting notes

Oh my gosh, I am so impressed with Shang and happy I finally tried them out. I placed an order Thursday and it got here Saturday! With a free sample of this! Egads. And, most important of all, this tea is incredible. I’m no white tea expert (though nor do I dismiss/avoid them, particularly in spring…I don’t drink them as regularly as other tea types but I enjoy them when I remember to have them, if that makes sense) so maybe take this with a grain of salt, but this is the most incredible smelling straight white tea I’ve ever had, pretty sure. It’s potently fragrant, and the body is surprisingly full. I’ve been struggling to figure out just what mouthwatering fruit or herb it’s reminding me vividly of—the closest I can get is a fragrant, musky melon crossed with an extremely tangy light grape (or similar, like starfruit), and there’s an element of incredibly sweet, tangy, fresh cut grass. I LOVE it. My eyes kept rolling back every time I put my face to the cup, and it was the kind of situation where you shamelessly start sniffing hard to the point you know you’ll tire out your senses but can’t stop because the smell is just so attractive. Unbelievably wonderful. The flavor is good too, but nothing compares to the aroma. Huge fan. And what a perfect season for it too—this has been the first gorgeous springy weekend we’ve had really, and I was busy through all of it roaming around out socializing and having a great time. Happy happy.

This also resteeped like a charm. I took a break around steep 4, but I’m sure I could resume and the next cup would probably still be delightful. The first few steeps were under 30 seconds (the first one was only 10 seconds and yet the cup was amazing in aroma, flavor, and texture), then I started stretching them out, a minute, then more, and so on.

ETA: Just looked at the other notes hoping I’d find my missing fragrance note—hay and clover, yes for sure. I think it may well be fresh clover that’s what I’m most grasping at. Reminds me of hot hazy summer afternoons in the big yard at daycare when we’d make chain necklaces with clover and grass. So vivid, yet strangely so unnameable/hard to pin down…

And something like cucumber, yes for sure, but sweeter and tangier, like the fruit version of cucumber. G’ah. Why can’t I identify it.

ETA2: I figured it out!! :D It’s banana blossom. If you aren’t familiar with it, think like the inner peel of a very very unripe green banana, with a little more floral/musky tone floating above. Yes! That’s it!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Courtney

Fast shipping!

K S

You have completely captured the beauty of a great Silver Needle!

__Morgana__

Sounds awesome. I need to try short steeps and resteeps with silver needle. I haven’t had much luck getting flavor out of them.

Anna

This sounds so lovely.

Flowery

Well, I had never heard of Shang before this review. Now pretty much their entire stock is going on my wish list!

Shang Tea

Thanks for the review :)

Flowery

So much for the wish list. I just found the discount code…now they’re in the cupboard. :)

Anna

Hehehe, good job, Flowery.

Shang Tea

Thanks for the order Flowery, enjoy!

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87
drank Golden Needle King by Shang Tea
381 tasting notes

Resteep. This time around it’s like honey on bread. Most of the darker flavors are gone but all the middling ones are still there so the cup doesn’t feel too thin. There’s a surprisingly syrupy mouthfeel this time around that I’m liking; it matches the honey flavor well.

TeaTiff

I had a sample of this a few months ago and liked the resteeps much better than the initial steep.

TeaTiff

I had a sample of this a few months ago and liked the resteeps much better than the initial steep.

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88
drank Bai Lin Kung Fu by Shang Tea
165 tasting notes

TTB #20

I had this tea yesterday and I didn’t make any notes at the time, so this review is more “as I remember it” reflections rather than anything.

It was smooth, malty, slightly astringent and totally enjoyable. I remember loving every sip of it. It was slightly bitterer and darker than how I know the Chinese dark teas to be but then Shang Tea teas are a different thing altogether, the way they are processed. And the bitterness of it was somehow… different. Very savory, not just bitter-bitter.

I must place an order with Shang Tea! They have this sale going on until the end of February and that’s just awesome because my next paycheck comes on 27th, so just in time :P And don’t ask me what happened to the money I just got a few days ago err… * cough* American Tea Room * cough, cough* Eco-Cha… :P

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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87
drank Golden Needle King by Shang Tea
381 tasting notes

I got this from TeaTiff in our swap: thank you so much! I was very impressed by what I tried from Shang in the recent TTB and am so excited to try more.

This one is a surprisingly savory one. There are a lot of grain and bread notes, with a slight undertone of dark chocolate. This is another really solid tea! I’ll be resteeping it to see how it goes, because the package says it can be resteeped up to four times.

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96
drank Jasmine Snow Dragon by Shang Tea
426 tasting notes

When I went to Shang today to pick up some samples to send along I asked Nick which of their 3 jasmines he would recommend. He said this had the strongest jasmine of the 3 and wow, this is indeed a strong jasmine! I’m not entirely sure I’d had this one before he kindly steeped a sample for me. I may have had the regular jasmine instead.

Be careful on the steeping. The longer you go the stronger the jasmine gets! I let it go a little long, even at 160, and it is pretty powerful. It still went very well with dinner but steeped this strong it overshadows the tea too much.

If you lurve jasmine, this is a tea for you. If you are lukewarm on jasmine, this is probably going to be way too jasminey for you. As for me, this is the jasmine I’ve been hankering for for months now!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Shang Tea

It was great to see you today Nicole! Thank you for you passion for tea and your kindness in sharing our tea with the members of Steepster. It is deeply appreciated!

Sil

blech :) on another random note… need to teach you to play in fields haha

Nicole

Yeah, Sil, this is so not gonna be your thing. :) And I feel like I’ve been paying half the attention I should to our game. That and I am not very good at it to begin with. :)

Sil

no way! who cares! i’ve just missed playing with someone

Nicole

At least now I can lose to a real person instead of a computer! :)

Sil

haha yeah…those computer players are the suck

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85
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
940 tasting notes

This is a white?! Two teas in two days that have shocked me in the same way. White that looks like a black, tastes like a black, and is even named a black (Tangerine Blossom Red Tea – red tea is what we consider to be black here). This is a thick, malty and slightly sweet tea with subtle floral notes – again so surprising considering the one minute steep time! I’d love to grab more of this to try it properly… if I love it this much severely underleafed, what will I think of it done right?

Thanks (I think?) to TeaTiff for sharing this in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap!

2 tsp in 16oz. – which according to the instructions is severely underleafed… I should have used 1/2-2 TB per 8 oz.

Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers, Malt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Dinosara

I think it’s a white cultivar processed as a black tea… It’s pretty cool!

MissB

Oh… that makes sense now. I really enjoyed the cup, even more so earlier today after I’d forgotten about it and left it on the counter to cool.

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95

I had the best day, not only did I get to fill my day with Minecraft, I was able to spend the day playing Minecraft with my mom! It was awesome, first we toured my work in progress castle and then we started a new survival world and chaos ensued. Creepers exploded, zombies chewed on us, villages were looted. Good times all around geeking out with my mom.

Today’s tea is White Peony King from Shang Tea, a local company that I am lucky enough to visit when I run out of their tea. They conveniently also sell their tea online and at a few local shops, so I have options if I don’t want to go downtown! The aroma of this tea is quite mild mixing notes of fresh vegetation, a delicate hint of floral, and a finish of paper. It is a very mild tea evocative of very early spring and all the subtleties you would expect of that season.

The brewed leaves have a vaguely mineral aroma that reminds me of spring water, there are also notes of fresh vegetation and sage. The liquid is incredibly mild and subtle with notes of sage. The aroma is clean, smelling it makes me feel refreshed and cleansed.

The taste is mild (I have used that word a lot with this tea!) and a bit citrusy. There are hints of sage and minerals with just a tiny wisp of copper at the midtaste. There is a subtle underlying sweetness like a splash of honey that rests just underneath all the other flavors. The tea leaves my mouth feeling clean and refreshed, it is quite lovely. I fell like with each sip you can taste the clean soil and water used to grow the tea plants. This is not the most spectacular white tea I have ever had, but it does have a wonderfully clean feeling that most other White Peony (or Bai Mu Dan) teas do not seem to have.

For photos and blog: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/02/shang-tea-white-peony-king-tea-review.html

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Haha! Awesome that you played with your mom!

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100
drank Loose Aged White Tea by Shang Tea
426 tasting notes

Wow. This is a seriously good white tea. Of course I say that about all of Shang’s whites. I sometimes feel like I’m being a cheerleader for Shang’s teas, but they are seriously so good!

Clover and a bit of honey, sweetness but heftier body than the White Peony King. I don’t notice any peony scent either, but this is a white tea with body and I lurve it. I’m not brave enough yet to try this in the brick form – I’m pretty sure I am not good enough at tea to take that on successfully. :)

And it’s super hard to measure since the leaves are sooooo huge! So 2 teaspoons is a total guesstimate.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
boychik

White teas are usually tasteless to me. You are giving me a hope;)

Nicole

Shang’s whites were the first and still some of the few whites that had taste for me.

Sil

hmmm i’ll have to check them out sometime

Kat_Maria

Wow, I was THIS close today to ordering the sample pack. But I resisted! Perhaps after I can manage several sipdowns of what I actually have, I will order it.

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94
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
165 tasting notes

TTB #5

The beautiful deep-red color of Chinese black teas never fails to amaze me. And such was the case with this one as well. Smells like some gorgeous orange candy, perhaps orange/tangerine marmalade. The sweetness and bitterness of the flavors are well balanced. It tastes really creamy. I also definitely get the blossom part – it actually reminds me of thepuriTea’s Jasmine Golden Yunnan, although the flowery impact is not as strong here. At first it is uncertain if the blossom is really a tangerine one, until it cools – then the citrusy notes definitely start to appear.

I really like it! I don’t think I’ve ever even been to Shang Tea website, but I am definitely gonna do so now to see what else they have.

EDIT: Woah, guys, help me. The description here is so confusing claiming this is a fermented white tea (???). It sure says “red tea” on the original Shang Tea package I have! :D

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Nicole

Yes, all of Shang’s reds start life as whites. :) They should have a good explanation on the Shang website. :) Grab their sampler pack. Totally worth it. I have not really had a tea from here that I think is not high quality. It may not always be my “thing” but it is always good tea.

Nicole

Or if you just want to try a couple or some that aren’t in the sampler, I could probably be persuaded to swing by Shang’s and pick up individual samples (though the sampler pack is more economical price-wise) and send them to you. I need to go by and check out their new location and their new in-shop tea bar anyway… :)

Oh, and if you sign up for their monthly email newsletter there has always been a coupon good for online purchases – 10% or 15%, I can’t remember since it doesn’t apply in the storefront.

Kat_Maria

I just checked it out, it seems like the sampler is really cheap! I will definitely sign up for their newsletter and will consider ordering at least the sampler :) Thank you for your offer, though, it’s so nice of you :)

Shang Tea

Hi Kat_Maria! The varietal of tea plant that we use to produce our white tea is the traditional da bai/da hao varietal of camellia sinesis. This varietal has a lot more of the downy white hairs than other varietals. So when we say fermented white tea, we pick leaves from this varietal, roll them, and then place them into a humid room to ferment for a day or two until the leaves have a nice amber color to them.

Let me know if that makes sense. I’ll also try to post a special steepster discount code in the next week or two, so I’ll try to post back on here when that happens.

Thanks!

Kat_Maria

Wow, that’s amazing! That is probably why the tea tastes so unique… Thank you for the explanation :)

And with the discount code, I will be definitely tempted to make a purchase :D

Shang Tea

Hi again Kat_Maria! From now until the end of February, use the coupon code “steepster10” to receive 10% off your entire order.

Thanks!

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69

This tea has a rich broth-like smell that reminds me of Miso soup. It also has a slight toasted flavor but a very creamy body.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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94
drank Bai Lin Kung Fu by Shang Tea
381 tasting notes

T&C Box 14/18

The smell of this reminds me a little of Yunnan, but it’s darker. Smoky and woody. I really love the smell of these smoky teas and I’m starting to think I’ll have to keep at least one around at all times for when I want a more savory/bolder cup.

As it brews the woody notes come out even more. There’s a definite fruitiness to it, too, almost like cherries or dark grapes. The taste is so interesting! There’s a tang to it and the flavors are assertive, but I’m not finding it overwhelming at all. This is definitely a darker, bolder tea than I’m used to. There’s a malty flavor up front that’s soon followed by wood and fruit notes and ends with a honey flavor. A very good cup.

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100
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
381 tasting notes

T&C Box 11/18

This smells like straight black tea in the bag. Really good black tea, admittedly, but I don’t notice much else. While it’s brewing, though, wow! So citrusy and sweet. It almost reminds me of honeysuckle mixed with oranges.

This brews up a gorgeous orange-gold color and tastes just as gorgeous. The citrus note is strong in the flavor, but there’s still a floral edge to it reminiscent of jasmine. It’s juicy and sweet and smooth, I can’t get enough of it. It’s also lighter than most black teas, which means it feels really refreshing. I will absolutely have to buy some of this.

TeaTiff

I am so glad Nicole added this to the box. This is such a gem from Kansas City!

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67
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
50 tasting notes

TeaTiff was so lovely to include this in with her #2 day of tea package. I have had one of the most unique experiences thus far in trying many different teas, with this tea. The Smell of this tea was magnificent. It permeated the bag and called to me to drink it-honestly I felt it did, LOL. After I brewed and tasted, I was still in awe. The part that really stuck with me, was that the tea tasted exactly as it smelled. I know that might sound weird, and yes I will agree it does, but I have no other way to describe it. Very unique. The title states red tea, but the ingredients state white tea with tangerine flowers. Thought that was interesting as well. I have really enjoyed all the thought this tea has ensued upon me! Thanks so much again TeaTiff.

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93

This is from TeaTiff, I believe. It smells super… pretty, for lack of a better word. Hah. Elegantly floral and citrusy. The taste is just as delicate which is nice, since I usually don’t go for floral teas.

The smell and taste of it combined make for a really nice treat. Which really just enhances the tea even more. For me, I’m having a Goldilocks moment, and drinking this tea is becoming a rather nice experience.

This tea is fantastic.

TeaTiff

I am glad you enjoyed this! I am also not much of a floral tea person and this one surprised me.

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This was a sample I picked up when I went into Shang’s store last. I wrote a note at one point and then it must have gotten deleted before saving. I remember liking this enough to want to buy more. It was a sweet green oolong flavor. I will have to add another note if I get my hands on another sample.

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drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
1195 tasting notes

Apparently this is on my shopping list, so I must have seen it mentioned before and wanted to try it. Huh. I had no idea so that makes it even better to have now!

Definitely an interesting tea, it does not have the delicate flavor of a white tea at all, but still has some of the floral notes, thanks to the blossoms. I really liked it even better when it cooled off entirely, which of course doesn’t take long today.

The sweet citrus flavor is really nice without being strongly fruity, it’s pretty amazing. I’m glad I finally got to try this even if I had no idea I really wanted to!

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With one round of snow and ice just now beginning to recede and another barreling toward us at full speed, something with a little “spring” to it is needed. Tonight, this smells fresh and tastes mildly floral—-bringing to mind the scent of potting soil and greenhouses.

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90

Urghhhhhh! Tre’s out right now, but I’m really fighting the urge to tear into him when he gets home. I went into the freezer to grab some orange matcha, and noticed that all of my matcha had been moved around from where I was storing it. It took me a second to notice, but apparently Tre decided to make himself something using the Eggnog Matcha that I have.

How do I know? Well, I cut a very small corner of the sample package the first time I used it and then tightly rolled it up and put the sample package inside a second air tight bag. However, upon checking the matcha sample pouch is now widely torn open inside the second bag which has been carelessly sealed and has tons of air in it. The matcha itself is also all over the bag and it looks like about half of what I had left in it is now gone. That’s about a tablespoon. HE USED A FUCKING TABLESPOON OF MATCHA FOR A CUP OF TEA.

Like, I wouldn’t have minded if he’d made himself some – I typically welcome him to drink whatever he wants in the house (Lord knows there’s too much for just me), but clearly he was careless in doing so. I don’t even know if he gets how to make matcha. Clearly he doesn’t know the measurements. And what really bugs me is that he doesn’t even LIKE eggnog. I bought a whole jug of the real stuff for Christmas and he wouldn’t touch it.

Anyway, this is the second tea sample that TeaTiff included with Day #2 of the 12 Days of Christmas exchange. It’s from a shop local to her, and dry it just smells amazing. It’s juicy and clearly smells like tangerine, and there’s a lovely floral quality to the smell too. I just love trying things that are local to people, and lately I’ve tried to include things from my local shops in swaps. Anyone can place an order online, but it’s really neat get something that would be very hard to acquire outside of in person at the store. Does that make sense?

For preparation, I used the whole sample (Teatiff’s brewing guide said between 1/2 to 1 tbsp. so I went with the large amount for a large cup size) for a 10 oz mug, steeped with boiling water for 1 minute. It’s quite odd looking at the tea because visually it looks like a black tea, but really it’s made with fermented white tea leaves. That’s really interesting to me, and I think the first time I’ve tried anything like that. In so far as the smell, it’s it’s juicy, floral oranges. Yum!

Taste wise, I was expecting to taste tangerine first, but was actually hit with notes of nut and a sweetness; honey perhaps? Natural, unrefined honey that is. Don’t worry though, I got the tangerine right after that! It’s very natural, and the floral quality translates beautifully into the taste without tasting chemical or perfumey or anything negative like that. It’s truly lovely, and very relaxing which is a feat considering how pissed I am at Tre and the present moment.

I’m so, so sad this is a sipdown! That’s the downside to trying hard to acquire local things I suppose – if you fall in love it’s hard to get them back. Seriously, this tea is stunning and manages to flood your whole mouth with an array of flavours that are delicate but full! Thanks so much TeaTiff! The two teas you sent were stunning!

Shang Tea

Hi Roswell Strang, we are so glad you enjoyed the tea! We work hard to produce the highest quality tea, so we are always happy when it is enjoyed. While we are a local Kansas City shop, we do have a website to ship to our tea to out of town customers, so if you enjoy the tea, check out our website: www.shangtea.com.

Thanks!

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94
drank Tangerine Blossom by Shang Tea
598 tasting notes

This is so, so, so exactly what I needed today. I’m pretty sure I’m coming around with my bi-yearly bout of bronchitis and needed an amazing cup as a pick me up. This filled that spot perfectly.

Shang got put on my radar by the last tea box, with the sample of Jasmine White Classic that was in there, but this really cements my need to make a purchase once my cupboard is under better control.

I’m stunned by how flavorful this is while still feeling dainty and delicate. The tangerine blossom adds a sweet floral quality, and leaves ghosts of juicy tangerines dancing on your tongue. The floral quailty is immersive and fragrant, but not overwhelming soapy or perfumey. Like I’ve seen in a couple other reviews, this one very much seems scented (dried with the blossoms, like some jasmine tea), but whatever it is, it absolutely works. The base also has it’s own natural sugar sweetness, and is smooth.

What a luxurious, stunning cup.

Thank you very, very much TeaTiff!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 45 sec
TeaBrat

I just had bronchitis too – good luck recovering!

moraiwe

Thank you! It’s unfortunately become a tradition in this house.

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81

Tea #27 from the Here’s Hoping TTB

I wish there had been more of this in the box because I really enjoyed it. Even with a short 1m steep the jasmine flavor was strong, but not overpowering, as jasmine blends can sometimes be. Beyond the jasmine there is a subtle sweetness that I am picking up that really adds to the flavor. It is the sweetness in this tea that makes it stand out a little bit more than other similar blends that I have tried.

Before this TTB I wasn’t familiar with Shang Tea, but I do know that I will be checking them out at some point now that I’ve tried this tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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84

Tea #21 from HHTTB2

This is a quite dark leaf for a white tea; it’s a gradient of light to dark greens.

The flavor is dominantly jasmine, but it’s not an overpowering perfume, more of a delicate refreshing floral. There’s also a very subtle salty/sweet note. The base is slightly creamy and doesn’t have any dissonant hay or straw notes. A shorter steep definitely helps keep the jasmine under control.

I’m glad I had a chance to try this, as I hadn’t heard of the company previously. The price point is fair and there is a definite resteepability to the leaves. This would be a pretty fair day-to-day jasmine.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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I do not like floral teas. Shang’s Tangerine blossom surprised me so I thought maybe I would enjoy this one, but not today. This was way to strong and overpowering for me.

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