Thank you for the sample, NM Tea co. I’ve never had a tea that attempts to mimic wine before and was very excited to try this. I’m so grateful that there a couple of mugs-worth in the packet because it’s going to take me a few tries before I figure out how I feel about this one. On first impression I like it a lot.

This is a nice floral tea. I wasn’t expecting that and thought it would be more on the sweet and fruity side from the name and the smell of the dry leaf. There’s a hint of roses, with a sweetness that drifts up from the liquor’s aroma. The base is also giving me those crisp and fresh cucumber-melon notes, which contribute to a sense of sweetness.

The same profile that reminds me vaguely of roses also lends itself to a flavour that I can only describe as grapey- I get this more near the finish and when I inhale and sip (I probably look funny). The aftertaste, in particular, is fruity sweet. It does make me think of a sweet wine.

Second steep accidentally went over six minutes and tastes a lot like the first steep. It’s silky with a mildly fruity astringent finish.

I have yet to try a Riesling, and the one icewine I’ve had the pleasure to sample was of the red variety, so I can’t fairly say how this tea holds up to what it’s trying to imitate. My obsession with Silver Needle has also made me neglect getting familiar with White Peony, the base of this tea. I’ll have to amend some of these things.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

White teas, roasted/fired green teas, and the not so roasted green oolong varieties are my favourites. I enjoy the odd shu puerh too.

Currently looking for the most buttery and sweet green oolong I can find.

Ingredients/flavours I enjoy (in moderation): anise, butter, caramel, cedar, cream, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lilac, lime, maple, marshmallow leaves, melon, mint, orchid, pine, rice, rose, vanilla.

Ingredients/flavours I tend to dislike: apple, cocoa nibs, licorice, marine, peach, stevia

Subjective Rating System 2.0:

91-100: My absolute favourite tea. Will impulsively buy and hoard like a dragon.

86-90: A favourite tea. May have quality flaws that I choose to ignore.

76-85: A lovely tea, maybe of high quality or masterful blending, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Enjoyable, but I may have few minor problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Quality, consistency, blending, or personal preference problems are apparent, but I wouldn’t pass up a cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab teas I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This is last year’s low-grade bancha mixed with rancid coconut, stale cocoa nibs, over-enthusiastic hibiscus, and stevia sweetener. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Lower Mainland

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