Summit Tea Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Assuming this is the tea I got from Indigobloom via MarkB, even though it doesn’t quite match up…
Anyhow, it was a pretty decent green oolong. Some creaminess, a bit of floral (but not overpowering), and oolong flavour. What more can you want?! Drinking the second (possibly third…) infusion now, and it’s still quite enjoyable.
I received this as a sample from Summit Tea Co. with something else I ordered. Visually, it is absolutely gorgeous. This may not be an entirely fair review as I am not a fruity tea fan. Not even a little bit of a fruity tea fan. In reading the description, I realized I might not like it, but decided to try it with an open mind, thinking that maybe it was nicely balanced and possibly not entirely fruity. OMG, the smell almost knocked me over before I could take a sip. OVERPOWERING fruit. Fruit on steriods. The first sip was worse than the the aroma. This is a boldly fruity tea. If you really like fruity teas, you may well enjoy this. Very very very strawberry. I tried letting it cool down some, but it was still undrinkable for me. YMMV, but this goes into the “boyfriend box” – he will drink all kinds of things I don’t care for. I will come back and add to this review after he tries it to balanace out my anti-fruit bias.
We ordered a sampler from Summit Tea Company through amazon.com because their website said they had Dammann Freres teas. While some of their teas seem to have the same name or the same name but translated into English, the taste isn’t even close to the quality of the Dammann Freres tea I had in a tea swap, though it was a different flavor.
I assumed by the name that this tea was not a Dammann Freres tea but rather their own version of Earl Grey. Since I adore Harney and Sons Earl Grey Supreme I hoped to like this one. Sadly, it is a bust! Twinings Earl Grey from my local grocer tastes better than this. There is almost no bergamot flavor at all. What is going on with Summit Tea? Are they selling ancient stock on amazon to get rid of it because it has no flavor left? The Poet’s Tea that was supposed to be Dammann Freres was so awful that I poured it out! Of the three in the sampler I have tried, only one is drinkable so far.
Sipdown! 792. Thanks to Mark B via Indigobloom for a sample of this tea.
I definitely agree that this tastes like a milk oolong. The flavour isn’t super intense, but it’s certainly there, and therefore I’m quite enjoying this tea. It doesn’t taste flavoured (whether or not it is, I have yet to quite understand that whole thing), which is a positive thing for me. I think I brewed it a touch too strong – it would probably be slightly more enjoyable if it was diluted a bit, but it’s still quite a tasty cup! It isn’t significantly better than any other milk oolongs I’ve tried, however, so no need for me to acquire more of this specific tea.
ETA: Mmm. As predicted, deeeeelicious second infusion. I truly don’t think I can ever live without milk oolongs again.
Oh no, that was weird. I used a brita filter for water. Or maybe it was the fact that I intended a 60 sec steep and got distracted… ending up with a 2min 20 second steep. Either way it was far too floral for me. Adding sugar helped, masking the floral.
I’ll leave the rating as is, because I am sure it’s my fault this time!
Thanks for the sample Mark B!
Oh my goodness, I have never enjoyed a floral tea more! Usually that scent means that I’ll end up tossing the cuppa but nope, this is deeeeelicious. Thank you SO much to Mark B for the very generous sample!
It’s more of a floral scent that then translates into taste, the kind you can’t really taste at all if you have a cold. Behind that there is a light vegetal note. Rapini! I’m getting rapini. Yummmm!
Then there is a very mild nutty aftertaste that I quite like, mixed in with the floral tone. I can still smell the floral long after I’ve swallowed.
Thanks again Mark B!!
Edit: On the third steep it finally started to taste more jasmine like so I stopped it there. I’ll bet it would go much longer in a gaiwan/gongfu!
The “Lion’s Peak Xi Hu Dragon Well” is pretty good and the main inspiration for my contacting Summit Tea. It was a big part of the sampler pack they put together and can be found both on their site and on Amazon (where it is listed as “Superior”).
This tea is not what I would consider “Superior” (at least as described in Wikipedia for Longjing tea) but a decent everyday tea. It offers in taste most of what I’ve come to expect from a reasonable Longjing (somewhat toasty, hint of chestnut), though not quite as pronounced and complex or with the umami mouth feel that I’ve sometimes experienced. No remarkable sweet tones. The liquid color was yellowish with a hint of green. I had to increase the amount of tea to really get the nose and flavors that I prefer.
I brewed it using the tall glass (12oz) method, hotter than recommended at over 180F for 3 minutes, left a root and was able to get 3 infusions out of it before I no longer enjoyed the taste and it became too vegetal. I used aprox 3 rounded teaspoons.
Appearance of the leaves is such an important part of the tall glass method, and part of the joy I find is watching well formed leaves “dance” and drop in the morning sunlight. The leaves for this batch were broken more than I expected and had a few stems intermixed throughout. The dry appearance is reminiscent of what’s shown on the Summit website, but nowhere even remotely near the high quality displayed on their Amazon listing.
From a caffeine standpoint, I found this tea to be a nice balance of alert and lifted, without jacking me up. Unlike some Longjings I’ve tried, this one didn’t act as strongly as a diuretic. Aftertaste was fairly forgetful, though left my palate clean.
At Summit prices, I’ll pass on this and go with some of the values I find at my local retailers.
Last month, again as part of my Summit sampler, and not a huge black tea drinker, I tried the Yunnan Gold Buds. What a treat!
I don’t recall the specific impressions, but remember clearly the lovely reddish-yellow color glowing in my double walled bodum glass mug. I hate to make this comparison, but not very experienced with black chinese tea, recognized the flavors I’ve known to be served in chinese restaurants, but lightyears apart in complexity. I know that really betrays what a novice I am with black tea, but it is what it is.
I brewed per the instructions on the package (boiling water, 4-6 mins??) and found this tea to be quite enjoyable. It packed a mighty caffeine kick as well. Drinking it after dinner just before heading to a Cirque performance, I found myself quite chatty on the ride to the theater. Probably a good one for serving with a meal, either lunch or dinner.
This is a very special tea. Showing how remarkably different teas can be, I think I would love to introduce this as part of a sitting, paired with their Tie Luo Han.
Another part of a very affordable sample pack put together for me by Summit, I enjoyed the Green Pine Needle tea a few times. At the time of this posting (and when I was received it), this tea was not listed on the Summit Tea web site and had to be requested. Their standard Green Pine Needle, where some of the description on the product page is borrowed, is however.
It’s been a while since I tried this tea, before I joined Steepster, but here’s the notes I kept:
Both times I’ve brewed it in a similar fashion to Longjing, but at a lower temperature, per the instructions on the package. I found it a light, wonderfully present tea, with smokey qualities, a bit of grassiness, and a generously tingling and lingering mouth feel that remained on the tongue for quite some time. It was subtle, like some of the white teas I’ve enjoyed.
I had to be careful to not overbrew the tea. The first time I brewed it I left no root, the 2nd time I left a root. I prefer no root, otherwise it lended itself to, what I assume is, tannin astringency.
Caffeine wise it was balanced and enjoyable. Not very noticeable. My wife tried it too and enjoyed the “smokey” taste. I recall the color was clean and attractive, lending more towards yellow than green.
Overall I’ve found the visual appeal of most Summit Teas, to be pronounced and quite attractive. They yield surprisingly vibrant colors that are a joy to behold.
I’m drinking the Fujain Wuyi Shan Tie Luo Han. It’s a bit of a gamble at 930PM, as I don’t know how the caffeine will hit me, but I am absolutely floored by the dry, unbrewed smell of this tea. I followed the brewing instructions, using double walled glass and one heaping teaspoon to about 8oz of water. I allowed the water to settle from boiling and then poured a few ozs for a quick wash and then did a 4 min steep. The nose remained just as tantalizing after steeping; somewhere between buttery popped corn, with hints of fruit, like dried pineapple. The color is exquisite, a luminous melted butter, lemon gold. The taste is lightly thick and coats the tongue, with floral notes that are hinted at in its bouquet, but more pronounced in tasting, with a mild astringent finish. I got no grassiness, or hay type qualities.
In writing this I feel an alertness coming on that I may regret… We’ll see how long it lasts, but it does appear not to have the caffeine “up” that are often balanced out so well in greens. I’d probably be well served to save this tea for afternoons after a meal. I’m enjoying this so much tonight though, I have to see what subsequent steepings yield.
The aftertaste and lingering flavors leave a memory on the palate that is long lasting. There’s a brightness to the edges of my tongue, not quite tingly, but alive. The second infusion yielded a slightly lighter color, leaning more toward lemon than gold and lays off the buttery nose a hair. The mouth feel thinned, but the complexity remained, if not more even in its tones. Where the first steeping just knocked me out and left me reeling, this second infusion was much more civilized and the flavors extended themselves more as the tea cooled. It truly creates an elixer and one I hope to share with other tea drinkers.
The third infusion continues to be enjoyable, transforming in a subtle and most enjoyable way. I imagine if prepared in a Gaiwan, it would be spectacular and yield many small cups, but I neither own nor really know how to use one. This tea just gets more and more interesting and subtle with each steeping. 4 steepings and it is still quite drinkable. I am going back for a 5th!
A small packet of this Matcha came as part of sampler put together for me by Summit. Not for nothing, but I’d never seen Matcha listed as “Ceremonial Grade,” so I set it aside, assuming it was something special.
Every now and then I make myself a little guilty pleasure; a late night almond milk matcha green tea latte. Now mind you, I’ve got some Bird Pick matcha that I use for this, it’s not particularly good and almost always bitter, but mixing it into a latte works. While I was prepping it I got to thinking about this “Ceremonial Grade” Matcha sample I had. On a whim I thought I’d make up a nice little pure cup and see what it was all about.
About 6-8 ozs of 150F H2O and a half teaspoon of tea (sifted through a fine mesh) whisked up to a nice froth. Such a lovely emerald color & fresh, bright, lively clean taste. No bitterness, just pure green goodness. I don’t pretend to be a Matcha connoisseur or anything, but that cup knocked me out.
I must have been way out of the loop, or don’t know any better, but I will be comparing all other Matcha to this from here on out.