Popular Teas from What-ChaSee All 133 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I love to try other-than-black Assam teas. And this is a lovely Green Assam. It has an amazing dry leaf scent, notes of mango! Yes, mango! Once the tea is brewed, this fragrance softens but it’s still there. Nice.
The tea starts out rather delicate but the flavors develop as I continue to sip. Vegetal notes and notes of fruit. Tangy citrus. It’s a very refreshing and rewarding cuppa. I felt it soothing and calming me as I sipped.
Good for a resteep, the flavors intensify with the second infusion.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/10/09/assam-2nd-flush-2014-green-tea-from-what-cha-tea/
LOVE! I taste notes of honey, caramel, cacao, malt, flower and fruit. A lovely, delicious, decadent tea with luscious layers of flavor.
A thick, pleasant mouthfeel. It’s been my experience that many Nepalese teas tend to have Darjeeling-esque characteristics but I didn’t really experience that so much with this tea. This reminds me more of a Fujian tea. This one resteeps well too.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/10/03/nepal-2nd-flush-2014-golden-tips-black-tea-from-what-cha-tea/
I have a lot of favorite tea companies. This year, I added at least one more “new” tea company to my list of favorites: What-Cha. I love the varieties of white teas that they offer (they offer a stunning array of other varieties as well).
This Darjeeling White from What-Cha may be one of the very finest White Darjeeling teas I’ve come across in my years as a tea reviewer. It’s just so good.
Sweet, delicious, delicate, lovely spice notes … with a wonderfully silky texture. Very refreshing.
It starts with notes of grass followed by gentle spice notes. Mid-sip, I pick up on fruit notes (melon, apple, and grape.) Notes of flower toward the finish, with a slightly dry tail and a clean, sweet aftertaste.
Here’s my full-length article: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/28/darjeeling-1st-flush-2014-jogmaya-white-tea-from-what-cha-tea/
This is another pleasant green tea. Very drinkable and I think it would be easy for someone who doesn’t drink a lot of tea to enjoy it. I didn’t taste the fruit notes that What-Cha noted – I taste much more smoky notes. It kind of tastes like Fall.
Flavors: Green, Smoke
So, you may or may not know that I dabble with Influentster, recently they had an ebay related campaign involving creating guides and collections. I finished the collection campaign a week ago and just finished the guides section, meaning I got $10 ebay gift card and have another one on the way. This babbling is inevitably leading up to the thing I bought, Dark Swords Elven Princess, a sculpt inspired by Larry Elmore’s (think most Dragonlance covers) art that I am much enamored with. If my plans go…as planned, then I will be doing a little green stuff alteration to make her more like one of my RPG characters.
Excitement about painting aside, I am not feeling too hot today so onto the tea! Specifically What-Cha’s Darjeeling 1st Flush 2014 Gopaldhara SFTGFOP1 Black Tea, an exceptionally high grade (special finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe…that means it is really good) first flush Darjeeling from Gopaldhara Tea Estate. For some reason my brain just cannot register the name of this estate, no many how many times I read it or type it, I will always want to pronounce it Goldaphara…really brain, do try to keep things from getting too jumbled. I think this is why my reviews will always be in text, no one will have to hear my letter jumbling. So, the aroma of this tea is so light and so sweet, it just kinda lays on my nose like a silken scarf. It is a blend of muscatel (specifically very fresh scuppernongs and muscadines) honey, wildflowers, and a tiny touch of pepper at the finish. It reminds me of nasturtiums and growing things and the more milder aspects of summer.
In order to let the leaves dance around and have fun while taking their bath, I decided to steep them in my alchemy equipment (as I have taken to calling my glass double boiler thingy) as they unfurl, the colors of the leaves is quite beautiful, a mixture of greens, browns, and golds. It reminds me of sunlight streaming through leaves. The aroma of the leaves is so fresh, like muscadines straight off the vine, sweet sun warmed honey right off the comb, wildflowers blooming, and peppery nasturtiums. It is such a soothing aroma, and a very happy one at that, at least for me, it reminds me of summers from my younger days. The liquid is delicate and sweet, like honey and nasturtiums with a touch of muscadines. Ah, this is heavenly!
Oh man, I love that nasturtium note! I do not run into that one very often in tea, it is awesome! If you have never had the pleasure of eating nasturtium flowers, they are peppery, a bit sweet, and have a very clean and green heat to them. Similar to a very mild horseradish and flowers. Now this tea is not all spicy flowers, in fact the first bit of taste is the clean nasturtium and then it vanishes, quickly replaces with juicy muscadines and honey. It is just like biting into a sun warmed muscadine picked off the vine, an experience I seriously advise everyone to do at least once! The finish is mild and sweet, a wildflower honey taste that lingers.
I did a second steep for this tea and it was very similar to the first, the notes of honey were stronger and the peppery notes were almost diminished, it reminded me a little of daikon without the root taste. I was in one of those great tea bliss moments and as my notes finish for this tea, my usually barely legible handwriting just becomes a sideways mess. This was (le gasp) my first ever first flush Darjeeling, and I can see why so many people are hooked on it! I need more, lots more, if the taste is that intoxicating!
For photos and blog (my tea frogs got a little crazy this time): http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/12/what-cha-darjeeling-1st-flush-2014.html
It’s 6 AM. I’ve already had my morning green tea powder. Started to grab a black tea when I remembered this was still in the press from yesterday. This is the third western mug and the pearls have loosened up a lot. I suspect being left for several hours allowed them time to unfurl. One review I read elsewhere said it took 7 steeps to get the leaf to relax. The liquor is golden this morning. The scent is different today. It reminds me of a high mountain oolong from Taiwan. The aroma is fruity and floral. The taste is different too. The butter is gone. This now has a tangy bite at the beginning that fades quickly into a flavor I don’t quite know how to describe. It is kind of earth, slightly mushroom, and nutty. Combined with the aroma it makes for a great cup.
I finally convinced the government I do exist even if my old email address does not. Whatever you do, if you change email accounts, inform them long before you lose access to the old one.
Today, I am celebrating with some Zomba Pearls. These look so cool. It reminds me of Cicada right after they crawl out of their shell. That’s awesome. After the first steep they look like cocoons (tent caterpillar – hate the real thing) which again I think is so cool.
The first mug I am expecting cucumber as the label says. I got something totally different. The scent is kind of green tea like. The taste is is butter, and corn, and hay. Very smooth. No bitterness. Only he slightest dryness. I love it.
The pearls are still very tightly wound and What-Cha says it takes six or so steeps to get them to completely relax. I hope to find out. Maybe the cucumber comes in later but even if it doesn’t this is a delicious cup of white tea.
Feel like I have heard so much about this company…so I was pretty excited to finally try one of their teas. This one tasted strongly of hay. Not really sweet even, just of hay…
If I were to drink a silver needle, it would definitely not be this one…would probably go for a sweeter one, because that adds a lot for me.
Oh well. Glad I tried. Thanks for the sample, LiberTEAS!
Pretty strong on the wood and earth tastes, but in a good way and not overpowering on any one thing. I usually brew my shu’s very dark, and brewing this in the same manner packs quite a punch. For most, this tea might be better suited with a lighter brew, especially for the first tasting. If you are new to shu puer or dark/fermented tea in general, you might want to try something a bit more standard like a good Menghai cake; but if you are an experienced shu drinker and want to try something similar to, yet delightfully different from the shu’s you are used to, this is an excellent choice. Personally, I enjoyed this introduction to Vietnamese dark tea look forward to seeing what else is available now that I’ve been introduced to it.
Flavors: Ash, Earth, Smooth, Spicy, Wet Wood
I get to be the first to review this. If I have ever had a green Assam before, I don’t recall it. In fact, I have had very, very, few Assams that were made of entire unbroken leaves. So I’m impressed from the start. The dry leaf smells of malt and oat cereal (otherwise known as Cheerios). The wet leaf is vegetal with an ocean breeze freshness and a hint of citrus. Now describing the taste is harder because it reminds me of a memory from when I was 12. Simplified – it reminds me of a fountain that tasted like a fresh mountain stream. Pretty sure it will not evoke the same for you – sorry. It has a touch of astringency and a light amount of bitterness that add to the experience. I also get lemony citrus notes. The aftertaste really lingers with grassy notes. The second mug had even stronger flavors. Especially while hot this had cave notes or sort of mild mushroom. It became more green tea tasting as it cooled. I am pretty certain this would go at least another mug. A neat everyday green.
I was so happy to try this Darjeeling Oolong tea. They’re a little less common than other Oolong teas and I’ve enjoyed every Darjeeling Oolong that I’ve tried thus far and I was certain I’d feel the same for this one.
And, what can I say? This is an awesome tea!
Delicious, sweet, fruity. I taste the promised notes of orange and spice. Notes of juicy grape. Smooth and very pleasant to sip. Earthy, woodsy, and warm.
The fruit notes really developed in the later infusions. I started picking up on notes of apple and a brown sugar sweetness in my later cups.
Here’s my full-length article: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/21/2014-darjeeling-2nd-flush-goomtee-oolong-tea-from-what-cha-tea/
I have returned to being myself! Ok, I know that sounds weird, but several years ago I took my lip piercing and nose piercing out, for some reason, I honestly don’t remember why. I have missed it terribly and said a big YOLO and re-pierced them, nose a while ago and lip today. Something about having blue hair and piercings just makes me happy, but I have always loved that style, blame growing up in the 80s and 90s and wanting to be a glam rock princess from day one. Now the real debate, do I want any more piercings, there are several I want and can’t get (scar tissue on my belly, so no belly ring) and several that I think I would look really derpy with (like my septum and dimple piercings) but I think an extra eyebrow ring could look really cool. Also need to redo my ears for like the fifth time.
It is Wednesday, meaning it is time for the What-Cha Wednesday traditional review, what can I say, I love tradition, plus What-Cha keeps introducing me to fascinating teas and terroirs. Today’s tea Darjeeling 2nd Flush 2014 Jungpana AV2 Yellow Tea definitely fits into the fascinating category, it is from Jungpana Estate in Darjeeling, and is a 2nd Flush, but it is a little different. This is no black, oolong, or green Darjeeling, this is a yellow! It is hard enough to get a yellow tea from China, but having one from India, well, that is just like finding a treasure. Sadly my searching to find out more tasty info on this unusual tea was not the most fruitful, I did find out that it won an award for its 2013 harvest, so congrats to you tea. This tea’s aroma is pleasantly transportive, not that I can really figure out where it takes my mind, but I can say it is somewhere deep in my memories and very comforting, it makes me wistful. Emotional impact aside, the notes are peppery, distant blooming flowers, sweet muscadines, and a tiny touch of sweet, warm hay. It smells light and pretty, yes, it is a pretty smelling tea, mellow and delicate while being distinct.
The brewed leaves are surprisingly complex, presenting notes that I honestly was not expecting. There are notes of sweet hay, pepper…ok those are not surprising since they were present in the dry leaves. Orange blossoms is a pleasant surprise, since it just smelled like generic distant flowers before…but whoa, sea air and wet slate, that unexpected by quite fascinating. These last notes are at the finish and very faint, they add some interesting depth to the delicate tea, and oddly enough the smell of the wet leaves reminds me of the way Charleston smells, which is pretty awesome. The liquid without its leafy friends is delicate and sweet, like orange blossoms, orange blossom honey, and a touch of freshly mown hay.
Well, my mind is blown now. Seriously, there are too many things with this tea, just wow. Ok, to put it out in the simplest terms, it starts with fresh vegetation, lettuce, and pepper, this pretty immediately transitions to sweetness. There is a blend of orange blossoms, honey, and fresh hay. The finish is grapefruit, and then the most amazing thing happens. A few, I don’t really think it is seconds, at the most two seconds pass after you swallow the tea a floral explosion happened in my mouth. So, a little side story, at the Kauffman Gardens in Kansas City, there is an observatory filled with orchids and various citrus plants (along with ferns and palms, but they are not relevant to this story) when I was there in spring all the orchids and citrus trees were in flower, it was amazing. That is what is happening in my mouth, with an added nectar sweetness, it is mind blowing.
For blog and photos (including my fancy face :P ): http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/12/what-cha-darjeeling-2nd-flush-2014.html
Check it out. I am drinking a tea grown in Russia! I find that really cool. Had I even known in my youth that tea was grown in Russia, it would have been unimaginable that I would one day get to try it. But here I sit with tea grown in one of the most northern plantations in the world. I expected a very brash tannin laced cup but this is a smooth and mellow tea with no bitterness. Amazing considering the 4 minute steep. The scent is sweet (honey) and malt with a bit of grain. The taste at first makes me think Dian Hong without the sweet potato or caramel. It is lightly malt. Then for a moment I entertain a connection to Nepal as this has a slight woodsy/raisin flavor, but the total mellowness of the cup stops the reference in its tracks. With the second mug I lose all reference to other teas. This is still very smooth but the raisin is greatly enhanced. Along with it are notes of mushroom, earth, and mineral. This is a unique tea and a unique experience that few in the west will ever have the pleasure of trying. I realized as I was writing my blog review how tea makes the world somehow smaller and more connected than I had imagined. To paraphrase Kermit, why can’t we be more tea?
As I mentioned in my full-length review of this tea: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/14/darjeeling-1st-flush-2014-gopaldhara-silver-needle-white-tea-from-what-cha-tea/ the dry leaf aroma reminds me a bit of the smell of the air outside in the spring on Saturday afternoons: when everyone is out mowing the lawn and the smell of freshly cut grass permeates the air. There is also a bit of an herbaceous smell to it. Freshly cut grass and herbs.
It tastes delightful. Sweet and fruity. Notes of grape, subtle hints of apple and apricot. As the sip continues, I pick up on gentle spice notes. I like the contrast between the sweet, soft fruit notes and the warmth of the spice. There is some dry astringency toward the tail.
The later infusions allowed for more intense flavors. The grape notes began to emerge and I started picking up on notes of melon. Some nutty flavors also began to reveal themselves.
An excellent white Darjeeling. Highly recommended.
This is my cup of the evening, while I catalogue all my black friday teas.
I brewed this according to the package directions, 96C for 2 minutes, but I think for my next cup I’ll lower the temperature. There are lovely fruity, grape notes along with some malt, but also an ashy character that I’m not loving. Though as it cools, the ashyness mellows out and becomes much less noticeable.
This is turning out to be quite a lovely cup. I think I may have a love affair with Darjeelings, which is probably a good plan, as I have an absurd number of Darjeelings in my collection now.
Flavors: Ash, Fruity, Grapes, Malt
Beautiful pearls of black tea with an aroma of earth, leather, honey and cacao.
The pearls brew a delicious cup of tea. Rich and flavorful with plenty of gusto. Robust, lots of cacao notes, an undertone of caramel, notes of earth and leather. It’s a pleasant combination of flavors. As my palate continued to explore this tea, I started to pick up on fruity tones – notes of plum with hints of peach – and a faint note of flower. I was surprised by the complexity here because it was a very rugged, robust cup. I expected that hefty quality to weigh the tea down but I found myself able to explore the depths of the tea.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/09/06/yunnan-dragon-pearl-black-tea-from-what-cha-tea/
mmmmm sample from cookies so that i could try a few what-cha teas before i make a purchase. This one IS quite lovely as others have said. It’s malty and almost sweet but not quite. I didn’t get overly cocoa notes from this one, but there is a sense of that coming through in the background. Overall, i really nice cup of tea! thanks cookies!
I have the house to myself this evening, everyone is out seeing a bloody musical. I mean that literally, they are out seeing Evil Dead: The Musical, and since they are right up front they had to wear old clothes in expectation of blood spattering. Oddly, this is not one of my moments of being terribly uncultured, the tickets were bought way before me coming out to visit was a definite, and have sold out. Not sure I would want to go anyway since I am rather uncultured and get very bored with most stage performances unless it is opera. Clearly we need to have Evil Dead: The Opera, I would be all over that, extra points for singing in German.
So, what does What-Cha Wednesday have in store for us today? If you read the title of the blog you already know, it is Yancha time! My addiction to the various Wuyi Rock Oolongs is making my yixing pot so happy, the smell and sheen it has developed is awesome. So of course I used it to brew Fujian Wuyi Big Red Robe ‘Da Hong Pao’ Oolong Tea, though I can say that brewing a Yancha in a gaiwan or even a basket Western style is awesome, so, how does this one compare to the others I have tasted? First off I can say that the dry leaves have a very rich aroma, a blend of char and sweet fruit, it reminds me of peaches and plums cooked over a grill and allowed to get that really yummy char and caramelized sugar aroma. There is also a distant aroma of orchids and a touch of tobacco, the finish has a slightly yeasty bread quality. Heh, maybe that is why I have recently taken a great love of DHP, it smells like baking bread, all glutinous and sweet.
Brewing the leaves really brings out the tobacco notes, I love when tea has tobacco notes, it reminds me of my dad’s ritual of smoking his pipe, especially during the cooler months, I would assist him by cleaning his pipe, the rich sweet and a touch fruity smell of tobacco that greeted my nose was always a pleasure. Enough nostalgic reminiscing, there are also notes of char and grilled plum. The liquid freed from its leafy companion is pretty creamy sweet, like molasses, spicebush flowers, cooked stonefruit, and a tiny hint of loam at the finish.
Ooh, this IS a rich DHP! The mouthfeel is creamy, it reminds me of the way warm honey coats your mouth, super smooth and heavy, it is almost hypnotic…or maybe that is just me being a bit tea drunk. The taste is rather sweet with notes of honey and stewed plums, this transitions to a mild char and grilled plums, a tiny touch of cherry is present as well. The finish is honey and tobacco, a rich finish to a definitely rich cup of tea.
The aroma of the second steep is a sweet blend of stewed fruit and a touch floral, like an orchid flower that is about to drop of the stem because it has reached the end of its life. They tend to get an intense sweetness with just a hint of a fermented honey aroma. Surprisingly there is no char in the aroma of this steep. The mouthfeel is not as creamy, it has an edge of dryness similar to eating a very dark chocolate bar (my personal favorite.) In fact the dark chocolate comparison is not far off since there are notes of char and cocoa, much like a marshmallow and graham cracker-less smore. The finish is a touch of tobacco and a nice touch of sweet cooked plum. This steep was not as sweet as the first, but still rich…or dare I say, robust?
Third dance with this tea, third and final. As you have probably noticed I only go up to three steeps with the teas as of late. Several can go longer, but I have been told that my ramblings are usually best stopped at three, that most people do not have the attention span for a ton of steeps, and I can totally respect that! Short attention spans unite…now what was I talking about…ah yes, tea! The aroma is sweet and fruity, again no char aroma is present in this steep. This steep is much like the previous one but much milder, it lacks the robust quality and presents the same flavor notes in a delicate fashion. A very apropos finish, it is always nice when the tea winds down gently instead of just up and dying.
Flavors: Char, Cocoa, Plums, Stewed Fruits, Tobacco
Enjoying this tea now. I didn’t find this tea on the website so I suspect it’s sold out for this year. Hopefully they’ll get more of it with next year’s harvests.
Because this is FANTASTIC! I’ve had quite a few different Fujian black teas – I love them because of their chocolaty notes. This might just be the most chocolaty of all! I’ve had infusions of cacao shells and this tastes a lot like I infused cacao shells with the tea – I kid you not!
So, so, so good – I’ve had the opportunity to try quite a few different teas from What-Cha and this one might just be my favorite. This one is ahhh-mazing!
I really enjoyed this tea. It has a lot going for it. Problem is, again today, my time with it was continuously met with interruptions. I am going to set the rest of this sample back and wait until I have the house to myself. It seems to attract crowds. That would be fine if they would taste the tea with me. It is amusing and annoying at the same time. What do you mean I sound grumpy? sigh. Going to my happy place… oh wait, its fully occupied…. Arrrrrggghhh! ;)
I really tried to do a serious review of this one today. I already was frustrated and had a headache from dealing with govt bureaucracy. Safety tip – don’t ever lose access to the email address you login with because you become trapped in an alternate reality without it. There is no option to change your email without your email – what? Exactly.
So then I prepare this tea, needing its healing superpowers. Unfortunately (and happily), my grown son pops in and starts going through my stash. I offer him some but he takes a sip and says not bad for green tea and then returns to asking, ’What’s this?’ to everything he picks up. During his constant chatter, my wife pops in and starts her own chatter about the mail, or a sewing project, or maybe how I don’t listen. I’m not really sure, as there were too many words in the room. Yeah, the headache is not going away :)
I’ll try again tomorrow. What I can say is I think this is the same basic type Vietnam tea that I love scented with lotus blossoms. Side by side they looked identical. Of course this one is an unscented tea. The flavor is very mellow, lightly vegetal, slightly sweet, with a hint of smoke. Pretty sure I really like it. Tune in tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel.