Silk Road Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

84

Rather special. Bold and full-bodied but not sharp.

Flavors: Jasmine

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85
drank Assam by Silk Road Teas
807 tasting notes

I had a cup of this at a new local coffee shop. The shop knew how to brew tea properly, and brought it to my table after steeping! It was an unusually good cup, and will become a regular for future visits.

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Hm. Thought I had not only put this in the cupboard back in October, but also thought I had reviewed it. Ah well. :)

I have this in sachet form. I packed up a couple to take along with me for being a tea snob at restaurants. :) I used one this morning at breakfast. It steeped up decently, despite a water temperature that was too low by far.

I’ll review based on both previous experience and this morning. This is an okay tea. It’s more of a blunt instrument than other Yunnans that I have become addicted to over the last year. Earthy, some malt, some dust. A few of the rough edges are knocked off when steeped in a lower temperature water. It’s better than the normal bagged offerings in restaurants but nothing I’ll restock when I have others that I enjoy far more.

Water temperature at home: 205F-ish; at the restaurant best guess is 160F.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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89

oh man. Nicole sent this tea my way…from Silk Road tea, not to be confused with Silk Road in Canada which i find infinately confusing, as i think there are a lot of teas from the US company i need to try…

So the upside, is that Nicole is awesome and always manages to fine me interesting teas from places i haven’t tried many teas from. The downside is that it tends to add yet another tea to my wishlist and with the dollar being the suck, it may be a while before i get around to placing orders at those places.

this tea is fabulous. I’ve resteeped it a couple times this morning trying to eek out as much as i can from this sample. it’s sweet…with a bit of almost maltiness but not…there’s a rich flavour from this one that is unique..it’s not fruity like a taiwan tea…just sweet and delicious lol on to the wishlist.

Anlina

The exchange rate is killing me. The only upside is that it’s helping me resist buying more tea, but I know my will power will only hold out for so long.

Sil

i’m using it as an excuse to focus on trying canadian companies as much as possible this year

Nicole

Glad you liked this one. :)

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95

A truly classic tea with great energy – the taste is subtle yet satisfying. It’s also beautiful to brew, and you can see the tiny fibers from the leaves.

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83
drank Black Cloud by Silk Road Teas
20 tasting notes

My recent, themed overly pretentious posts seem to have not resonated with the Steepster community. Therefore, back to the basics I go.

Black Cloud – what a smooth, only slightly sweet black tea! It is really pleasant. I brewed this particular Steepster Select tea with one of the included tea filters in a standard 8oz mug at 212F for 3 minutes. All standard as indicated by Steepster’s included instructions. The only pain I encounter is when I try to find a place to put my tea bag down in between steeps. Right now I’ve just placed in on top of a napkin-covered leather coaster, and its messy and damp all over.

The first steep offered only glancing insights into the core of the tea. Light chocolatey notes could be heard around the tea, but with a sip, nothing more than a generic sweetness arose. The second steep did little to help unravel the Black Cloud, but the sweetness began to fade. There is little exotic or exciting about Black Cloud from Silk Road Teas, but it is a basic black tea with a tinge of chocolate and a blanket of gentle sweetness.

News! I just got a nice faucet mount filter from Culligan, and it works like a charm. No more ewy, chewy tap water from this 100 year old factory that I live in. And it honestly has improved the quality of my tea-making.

Flavors: Anise, Kettle Corn, White Chocolate

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

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85

A strong vegetal taste. The flavor lingered but not in an unpleasant way. I enjoyed this tea a lot more than I imagined I would.

Flavors: Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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93

This tea has many subtle aroma and flavors. Like walking in the garden each cup and steep has different flavors. Subtle floral in the first cup and as you walk down the path more honey nectar flavors develop. Very enjoyable tea worth the cost.

Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Honey, Nectar

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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93

This was one of two samples given out by Silk Road at their fantastic tasting session at the Northwest Tea Festival. This and a Dragonwell sample. I let Mom have the Dragonwell since that is one of her favorite greens and chances are good that with my black balanced palate these days it would just be wasted on me. :)

Hay, malt, dust, scent like smoke in the bag but cocoa once steeped. Lightly sweet. Not as over the top malty as some GM I’ve had. This is a more subtle cup with just a tail end hint of dryness – which could well be due to my Western style steeping. It is priced in the same range as Harney’s GM and even just a tad cheaper. I’m not sure it would replace Harney’s or Teavivre’s but if I were dedicated to getting the free shipping at Silk Road I’d certainly put this on the order!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Ysaurella

sounds lovely but your Mom is right too because dragonwell is kind of green heaven even if i am a “black palate” like you.

Nicole

Well, she has more from another source so I’ll have to be sure to try it. :)

boychik

Hope you enjoyed the Festival.

Nicole

It was very enjoyable, packed to the rafters and very instructive, thanks, boychik. Now I need to get to one in NY someday… :)

boychik

Next year, please. Oh it was so much fun. I think I will get VIP ticket to get earlier. The line was like all around the block and I came 1hr before reg ppl could get in. Was it crowded too?

Nicole

The line was out the door and while we waited only about 15 minutes right at the opening, the organizers said some people were waiting up to 1.5 hours. They really exceeded all their expectations this year, getting their anticipated entire weekend attendance on Saturday alone. I haven’t heard back about what the attendance actually was but when visiting one of the exhibitor’s shops on Sunday evening she said they gave out 1400 samples of cake!

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80

This one came from my $5 September Steepster Select box. The leaves are thin and wiry and twisty, and their color is a myriad of greens and silvers. Dry scent is a mild and sweet combination of vegetal, grass, and hay scents. I steeped a heaping teaspoon for 2 minutes at 175 degrees.

Once steeped, the liquid smells sweet, creamy, and mildly vegetal. The taste is mild and vegetal, but there’s also a lot of grassiness here as well. It’s almost a bit sharp, which is nice my favorite, however there’s no astringency here. I could do with a little more sweetness. I do enjoy the touch of roasted nut flavor that comes out strongly at the end.

Flavors: Asparagus, Grass, Roasted nuts, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I was REALLY hesitant about this tea when I read ‘smokiness’ as a tasting note (I don’t like Lapsang Souchongs, and that’s what came to mind).

But I worried for nothing. The smokiness and the chocolate notes are just that- notes. The tea isn’t overpowered by either, and they play nicely together, fading (but still present) with successive steeps. There’s also an incredibly satisfying earthiness that reminds me of pu-erh.

From the September 2014 select box.

Flavors: Cacao, Earth

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

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84

Really surprised to find this tea in the Steepster select pack but curiously decided to try it on a busy Thursday afternoon. Firstly the tea has a real chocolate aroma but it smells like they had cacao nearby when they dried it not like artificial flavorings (i hope). Also since it was later in the day and I didn’t want a burst of caffeine I decided to rinse the tea twice and let it open up (hopefully washing some caffeine away). First off there is a mellow chocolate aroma and some notable earthiness. Later as it steeped the chocolate gave way to some astringency and finally to a stronger black tea flavoring. I liked the evolution as it brewed and will try another steep slowly sipping some chocolate along the way.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88

I was intrigued by the Wu Yi Black Oolong, I really like many Oolongs so I wanted to give it a try. I normally like a little milk and honey in a black tea however this tea stands on its own and needed no adulteration. It has a nice cinnamon and sweet tobacco taste with no discernible astringency. I had a couple of pots in the afternoon and was very happy with the quality.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Sweet, Tobacco

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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85

For an herbal blend, I enjoyed this. Will consider repurchasing. It was very mild, so probably could be steeped for longer.

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70
drank Black Cloud by Silk Road Teas
22 tasting notes

This was good for a Chinese black tea. Not too deep and dark.

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90

I was surprised how much I liked this tea. It wasn’t super astringent for a Chinese green.

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75

This sample came from Blodeuyn. Yay, another Keemun! :D This is one of those tea categories that I am trying to explore more, as I feel I have neglected it in favor of Yunnan and Fujian teas. This tea has what I would consider to be typical Keemun leaves – they’re thin and small and very dark in color. Whoa, the dry scent hit me over the head when I opened the pouch. This tea smells so mineral and it’s extremely strong, almost to the point of being chemical. There’s a touch of musty hay scent there as well. I must admit, I was scared, so I steeped it for 2.5 minutes instead of 3 and I was very careful to level my teaspoon of leaf…

After steeping, the liquor also smells quite mineral but it’s less extreme. I can also smell bread and malt aromas. Luckily for me, drinking this tea is only a bit like licking a rock. The mineral is definitely the strongest note, but there’s also malt and bread, along with a creamy grain note reminiscent of oats. I get a light peppery taste, especially toward the end. Overall, not my favorite flavor profile, but not bad.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Creamy, Malt, Mineral, Oats, Pepper, Smoke

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

With the Breville automatic tea maker I can walk into my kitchen first thing in the morning and have it filled with the great smell of Jasmine! Jasmine Silver needle might cost more but it is a good value. Skip the cheap chemical fake flavored jasmine tea and taste the real thing, you will not want to go back.

Flavors: Jasmine

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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78

I got this tea in my first Steepster box! The first steep is very much chocolate, with hints of mineral and wheat. I was actually impressed at the level of chocolate flavor without any added chocolate. Successive steeps are lighter on chocolate, but it’s still present. There are more pronounced notes of wheat/bread and mineral in later steeps.

Flavors: Chocolate, Mineral, Wheat

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Michelle

What does mineral taste like? What would you compare it to?

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60

Definite grassy flavor, not as much body as I was expecting.

Flavors: Grass

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70

So I already feel like I’m going to like this tea primarily because peppermint. I may or may not have a 2 pound bag of peppermint tea sitting next to me…

I swear I don’t have a problem.

Moving on, the smell of the unsteeped leaves mostly comes off as peppermint with a bit extra at the end that I can’t quite put my finger on but will most likely round out the tea well. The steeped liquid has that unrecognizable smell much more pronounced that creates a nice warmth of flavor but is cut by the sharp peppermint after…smell? Is after smell a word? It should be.

The taste is very heavily peppermint but more in a refreshing than sharp way and I believe that’s because it has other things than just peppermint that mellow it out. Overall, I like it for its mellow mintyness especially if I don’t want straight peppermint tea which can be overwhelming at times. But definitely not the best tea I’ve had.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 15 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

Something Different! When you need something different try this one. Very fragrant, makes a great afternoon tea to wake up the senses. I would not drink it as an everyday tea but as something to change up the pace it is great.

Flavors: Berry, Fruity

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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100

Golden Jade Oolong (Huang Guan Yin) is a surprise, I am on the third steep and it is still delivering an amazing honey flavor with a brightness I can’t pick a good word to describe. I love teas that do not require any adulteration and this one is good right out of the pot. One note it does lose the brightness once it cools, I often will use the last cup of a pot over ice in the afternoon, it loses something in translation to cold.

Flavors: Honey, Honeydew

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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