1235 Tasting Notes
I have been trying lately not to duplicate my Steepster posts with what’s on my blog. This tea is so wonderful I am going to break my rule -
This is the third of the Vicony Teas Company samples I have received for review. This Yunnan Silver Needle White Tea is a sheng puerh. It is listed as Art. No: BYP12 on Vicony’s website. The leaf on this looks like a normal loose leaf silver needle white tea. Very white and very fresh. It has only the mildest scent.
I used my wooden spoon to measure out a healthy scoop of the leaf. I used 12oz of near boiling water and my press. The first steep was 2 minutes. The leaf danced in the press, hanging from the surface of the water. The brew is very clear with nothing floating in it. The color is a dull green. So far there is not a lot that even hints this is puerh other than the slightly darker brew color. There are no scents I normally associate with sheng or raw puerh. In fact it has little scent. Just a hint of fresh hay.
I lift the cup and sip. Ahhh, there it is. At first you catch notes of melon and cucumber but as subdued glimpses really. This gives way to the wonderful leather taste I usually reserve for shu puerh. Actually, I am not sure I have ever tasted it in a sheng puerh. As the cup cools the melon really comes alive and blends with the leather. The result is pure joy. Now it is developing a natural sweetness. I feel a nice coolness on my breath. This is really seriously good.
Cup two was also steeped for 2 minutes. It differs from the first in some respect. The leather is less pronounced but still obvious. This has become even sweeter and slightly more like white tea in taste. The melon / cucumber notes are more prevalent. The more the cup cools the more it takes on a grainy flavor – something like wheat.
Cup three continues with the grainy taste. The leather has disappeared.
On cup four the grainy taste has turned to pure malt. Each cup has grown darker. This one is golden in the press and caramel in the cup.
This white puerh is not the flavor blast that puerh fans often expect. On the other hand this is one of the most complex puerhs I have ever tried. It has zero bitterness. It is a lighter more delicate cup that white tea fans will greatly appreciate. After only one session with this I am hooked. This should be in your tea cupboard!
As others said about this type tea – the leaves are huge. I did a long review here: http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/2012/08/vicony-teas-company-premium-taiping.html
Short review – My experience was different than others describe this. The orchid flavor tastes mineral and mushroom to me. It has a lingering aftertaste but I did not find it naturally sweet. It went great with a ham and turkey sandwich. I like it but not love it.
Last night I had some really good white peony leaves that had already been steeped several times. I added some home grown tulsi. I loved this combination. The melon and fruity of the white tea melded perfectly with the highly floral and clove like tulsi. The result had no clove flavor instead it was fruity and floral, almost like a mild rose. it was dripping with honey type flavor. This was a really good idea!
See how white the leaf looks in the picture? Well, it really is that white. This leaf is gorgeous. It tastes just as good as it looks. Cucumber and melon, with a lingering sweet aftertaste. Superfine is not just the grade of leaf with this one.
For those interested Vicony asked me to mention they supply samples to reviewers. You will have to meet a few conditions and they do ask for a phone number. The few hoops were worth it to try this one.
This came from ashmanra. THANKS I can’t find this on pure puerh’s website. I thought I would grab a picture – apparently not. This is interesting. Beyond the horse and saddle leather it has a pepper / ginger bite to it. Underneath that is some interesting floral notes. Another thing I noticed is that several minutes after sipping this I could still taste it and feel its cooling affect on my breath. Very nice!
Ok, the Zenjala Creamy Earl Grey was a sophisticated cup. The vanilla was very mild and served to tame the uncivilized bergamot. Empire Tea Services calls their version luxurious. My take on this is it is more of a frat house version. The vanilla comes screaming out of the pouch, chased by the bergamot beast in a toga. The Ceylon base is like the bass player in the band, you may not notice him untless he stops, then you realize he was responsible for the groove. There are also hints of chocolate and something like burnt caramel or sugar. This is a party in a cup and I don’t think it is intended for meditative moments. Party on.