So the boyfriend opted for the black currant bai mu dan from 52teas, but I wanted something I hadn’t tried before. I took his lead on the white though, and started looking at what I had. This is one of those samples that I don’t recall who sent to me.
Two things gives me high expectations.
1. As has been previously established, it is in my opinion nearly impossible for Shang Tea to do anything wrong. Ever. I have loved everything I’ve tried from them, even things I did not expect to love.
2. Honeysuckle. I don’t actually know anything about this or what it tastes like, but it’s got such a very attractive name.
I smelled the dry leaf before brewing and was struck by a very rough, earthy, almost grainy note which I can’t imagine could be anything other than the honeysuckle. That’s not really the sort of aroma I would expect from that name, I have to say. It reminded me a bit of sour dough. That’s not really something I find very nice I have to say, so my expectations are taken down a notch. Maybe Shang Tea can make something that doesn’t appeal to me after all.
After steeping, however, the sour dough notes are gone, and the aroma is very sweet and very honeyed. That attractive name there is beginning to show its colours. It’s also quite floral, but not super-perfumed like many flower scented teas are to me, and I can easily pick out the actual tea underneath.
It doesn’t taste like honey. It’s definitely flower-y and it’s got this sort of dusty dry flavour to it. I often get that from flower scented teas, and that’s why I’m not particularly a fan of them. Here’s it’s sort of looming in the background. Not really making itself known, but impossible to overlook. It’s the elephant in the room. Everybody knows it’s there but it’s just not talked about. Maybe it’s even slightly menacing and brooding. (I can’t tell if it’s synesthesia (mine is very mild and spotty) coming in to play here or if I’m just exhibiting a lively imagination)
Apart from that it’s quite sweet indeed, and I suppose that is the bit that has given honeysuckle its name. Although I still don’t think it really tastes of honey. It’s just sweet, but it’s not honey.If the aforementioned is the dark and brooding gentleman in the corner, glaring at the rest of the company, this note would be the lovely ladies having high tea with dainty cups, scones, clotted cream, biscuits, the lot.
There’s something quite Regency-y over this tea, actually.
It’s harder to pick out the actual tea base in the flavour than it was in the aroma. I can’t really say anything about it other than it’s there. Slightly nutty but not really making much of a spectacle of itself.
While this isn’t one I would buy for myself, I will have to see that Shang Tea has still not managed to disappoint me.