Shang TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I swear I added a note to this one. Whatever.
Sipdown, and a huge thank you to Nicole! The other notes pretty much describe what’s going on with this tea: it is a combo between a white tea’s grainy-melon dryness and an Oriental Beauty’s starchy-honey sweetness. Dry oats, flowers, honey, and malt are what I get in every cup but in slight varieties. The first two steeps were the thickest, and the last few were the faintest and the most floral. Butter best describes the general texture.
I am glad to have tried this very unique tea, but I would not buy it again. Though the quality is bona fide, the dry profile is not something I would want to pay money for again and again. I would not say no if I were offered it again, however. This is a tea belongs to a crowd intentionally expanding its palette for sure, and while I think it is easy to drink for someone newly getting in to tea, the starchy floral dryness might detract them unless they have a very dry palette. This tea would be more comparable to say a sweeter Chardonnay or a medium White Zin….if that remotely makes sense. Please correct me if I am wrong. In the end, I recommend a sample of this tea before you decide to add this to your collection, or if you are a white tea lover, this oolong might suit your tastes just fine for novelty.
Nice and crisp, oddly refreshing and breath freshening. The cinnamon burns a little bit at the back of my tongue which is really nice. Drinking it, the color was close to a dark brown and the taste profile was obviously between a white and black tea. Had the malty fruitiness of the Golden Needle but the dry florals of a white. The combo impressed me overall with the cinnamon-I can see the squash comparison that they made on the website. $30 per serving is a bit much though, and like I said before, or again and again-some of Shang’s Tea’s are just up there. Otherwise, I am so thankful to Nicole for at least allowing me to try it in a trade. It is definitely a great quality tea and I cannot wait to try the oolong offerings that Shang has.
If you, the reader, decide to buy this, know what you are getting because if this is what you seek, it will satisfy you. I will however say that you might be able to find some similar teas else-where, but just not the exact same as this unique one.
Thank you Nicole! I preferred this white to the White Peony King. Honeydew melon notes and creaminess with a thick texture and a savory aftertaste were what I got overall, with maybe a few buttery shifts here and there. Some florals that I normally associate with this tea were definite, though it was not nearly as herby as the peony despite possessing a minimum of a stemmy quality. Overall, it was typical of a Silver Needle Gong Fu with the Shang crisp quality I’ve officially associated myself with.Again, I’m glad to have a sample thanks to the kind Nicole, but the dry quality deters me just a little-never mind it does not deter me in the Pao Blossom. I bet the Jasmine teas are pretty great quality after trying this and the white peony. If you get the chance to try this tea, it is definitely worth trying though I will say that this is more of a snobs white tea and the other notes might give you a better idea what this is like.
This was the last white tea I had at my campus dorm three days before I moved out, three days before graduation. It turned out so much better than the first time having a great balance of malt, herbs, peony florals, and sweet melon in the taste. I got some apricot as some had described and some definite creamy oat qualities along the way. I just had to write that out, and again, thank you so much Nicole for this offering! I hope the teas I sent you are treating you well!
Thank you so much Nicole! This is a high quality white, but I am glad to have sampled is rather than buying. I’ve felt that way with a lot of Shang’s Teas never mind their exceptional quality. Dry leaf had an odd hay and almost cocoa-y smell that really pleased me. Brewing it up, peony, cucumber, and dry herbs were what hit the tongue. It bordered on malt here in there since it was gong Fu, but the grammage should have been light for the 1.6 grams for the five ounces I brewed. Some honeydew melon notes snuck in, but it was more like cucumber overall amidst its thick texture.
The only thing I did not like about this tea was the herb dry quality on the tongue and the bordering malty astringency that occasionally cropped up. Maybe I could use more water, but again, the dryness deterred me despite the contrasting cucumber freshness. Looking at the price for this tea and thinking of what I just described, this is a tea for white tea snobs and though I like my whites, there are others that I prefer that I can find for cheaper. It is at least worth a try for anyone exploring whites.
Holy crap, thank you Nicole. This one definitely appeals to my tastes. It’s a shame they don’t sell it on their website.
I got multiple brews Gong Fu and Western. As I figured, this tea was a cross between white silver needle and a Dan Cong in taste. Juicy overall with a bit of a honey aftertaste and a lighter floral character. This was sweeter honeydew menlon more than flower though which made me think of a white, but the honey scent with the wet leaf and the honey aftertaste remind me of the Mi Lan Dan Cong. It did not change too much and on average yielded me five cups.
Here’s to oolong, and here’s to opportunity on Steepster.
Thank you so much Nicole!
I need to brew this again because I did not like it as much as I thought I would. This tea was thick, buttery and savory throughout with a grassy edge that I did not like. The first steep was like buttered corn followed by a rise of florals from the honeysuckle, but the honeysuckle did not have so much honey. Second steep tasted like popcorn butter. I got three more cups that were much the same fluxes of butter and florals. Maybe I’ll be better next time.
Edit: Some friends and I had a session with this tea more recently and I absolutely loved it. It had a very strong apricot note that time. Read on for the original review.
This tea isn’t usually on the shelves at Shang Tea, as far as I know, but they have a selection of hidden and unpromoted teas that Shang or friends of Shang have made, if you ask them about it.
From what I was told, this tea is processed like a sheng Puerh tea but made from white tea varietal plants.
I’ve been absent from Steepster for a long time now mostly due to not having much money for new teas in the past year and deciding to drink off most of my collection before trying to buy more soon.
But I did get this tea last year, and even though my palate seems off and I’m a bit out of practice from not generally getting to enjoy much gongfu tea at all last year (I moved to a house and started a food garden and it stole my life), I’ll try.
The first infusion of this tea was rather salty and savory. It had an aftertaste that was maybe like a bitter citrus fruit, grapefruit perhaps. If I smack my tongue a bit it’s almost “cough syrup” like in the aftertaste. I know that’s weird, but as a frame of reference, it seems similar to that.
The second infusion has opened the tea up to more flavors, this time some mineral, muscatel, a little hint of cinnamon (or maybe camphor), lots of straw and prairie grass notes. The finish is a bit tart, astringent, and bitter, but I find these to be in a refreshing way, not an offensive one.
By the third infusion the leaves smell generously of green grapes and golden raisins. The scent of the liquid is definitely camphor now. The flavor is an interesting mix of sweet, umami, and camphor. I almost feel like I’m drinking a delicious dashi broth seasoned with some spices. There are notes of soy milk.
The fourth infusion is even sweeter and a bit-honey like. I think this shift from salty/umami to more sweet is actually due to me using too much leaf in my gaiwan. I’ve been doing very quick steeps and I think the first one or two may have been a bit overbrewed due to just having too many leaves (by my usual tastes anyway). As I pull more infusions without lengthening the time though, it becomes more subtle, and more sweet. There are some orange blossom notes now, and still some notes of salt and bitterness in the finish.
I’ll stop there before I lose your attention. I like this tea a lot in terms of teas from Shang Tea because its flavors are quite different than any of their others. I’ve had their aged white teas and brick aged white teas, and while those have some interesting similarities to Puerh simply due to aging, this tea definitely is closer to Puerh by the flavor profile. I don’t think I could have told you this was made with white tea varietal leaves if someone just gave me a cup and told me to drink it.
I have to ponder the complexity of this tea for having all 5 taste groups involved in such a noticeable way… sweet, tart (sour), umami, salty, and bitter. Pretty cool little trip down taste bud lane.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Camphor, Grapefruit, Grass, Hay, Honey, Muscatel, Orange Blossom, Raisins, Salty, Sweet, Tart, Umami
Sip down. I needed something thick like a black tea, and nuanced like a white, so this was the best option I had to finish. Cocoa and bready goodness is present dry, and enhanced brewed. First few steeps had light amber, malt, and honey in the profile. Caramel came up in steep two, and the grain notes typical of a Shang Tea popped up. I got the lychee in the third steep, but the rose quality was not really there, but there was an aftertaste that reminded of rose water texture. The tea was always viscous, and as everyone else has said, this hong cha is a refined lighter one.
Again, I think that this tea is something that everyone on here should try especially if you are looking to see what Black can offer. My only hesitation is the price, but then again, you would not want to drink this tea all the time. I personally can only drink it if I am in the mood for it.
This is one of the better hong cha’s I’ve had, but it’s not the best in my opinion. I agree with the consensus on this one and will rate it an 88.
Thank you so much Nicole!
This tea was lovely, emphasis on the grain, rose, and lychee qualities in the aroma and aftertaste. The body was clean and sweet considering the dark amber of the brew. I can dig it. I gong fu’d it the first three steeps starting at 15, 20, 35, then two minutes and three minutes later. I could have maybe pushed it further with longer minutes, but I was getting the same thing. The first two steeps left the greatest impression and made it stand out from a Dianhong, which this tea matches the most for me.
I actually preferred the Bai Lin because it was more unique personally, but this is still an EXCELLENT hong cha that I am so happy to savor. And like the Bai Lin, everyone should try this tea at least once.
I’ve had this tea a while via Phoenix Tea as the vendor and I was thoroughly impressed. It was one of the sweetest black teas that I’ve had, possessing a woodsy maple quality throughout each brew kung fu. I’ve used increments of 15 seconds mostly, though I’ve began with 30 seconds and worked my way up to longer minutes. I still have yet to try this western, but I prefer short steeps anyway.
This tea was on the lighter to darker end that I like and its white tea origins were fairly apparent in the body. I did get a little bit of the specific earth and autumn leave quality I associate with some whites in conjunction with the overall maple character. Dark wood, grains, sweet cocoa, and molasses pop up overall. The cocoa is sweet enough for me to count as the elusive chocolate note. I still think it’s more maply and molassesy personally.
I like this tea better with less leaves at around a 3 gram to 6 or 8 oz ratio because its surprising strength for smaller leaves. If I brew it stronger or for longer, the maple wood quality dominates making it a little bit dry. The shorter steeps or minimal leaves prevents that.
If the price were ever slightly cheaper, this could rank as my favorite hong cha because it has all the qualities I like, and it was less bitter than some of my Dianhongs. At the same time, I could get it cheaper in bulk from Phoenix Herb Co. I recommend that everyone should try this at least once because it is a great quality tea.
I’m not sure if I should do another note for Phoenix Herb Co. ‘cause that’s where I bought this, but the source is the same.
This is by far one of the best scented white teas I’ve had. It works wonders when shortly steeped and gives of a sweet, light and fragrant flavor. It is so naturally sweet it reminds me of valentines day sweet hearts. The only other things I can compare the taste to are oranges on cucumbers and flowers. This was true western or gong fu, but a very LIGHT brew overall. I would keep the grammage to 3 grams and not exceed a minute western or 30 sec gong fu.
My only complaint is the high price because I would drink this often. The fact that you do not want to use too many leaves for a cuppa staves off some cost along with re-usability, but it personally sucks that quality kicks quantities ass so hard.
For me, it is perfect because it is sweet, floral, creamy, and candy like, but other people might be overwhelmed with how strong this tea is. It might remind them of potpourri, or the citrus florals might be excessive. It was powerful enough for me to only have it on occasion, not every day. Let’s say three times a week if money were no object. The white tea though has enough nuance to not make snobs bored, however.
Know that I am resisting the urge to buy quantities more of this tea. Curse you expenses!
This is officially one of my favorite black teas. It’s like I do not need an Earl Grey again. I got some from Phoenix Herb Co. which is an awesome spice and herb seller, and they had this as an option. Got two ounces, and a part of me thinks I should have bought more of this than the Lapsang.
So I show it off to my hot beverage enthusiast teaching mentor, and I add to many leaves. I’d hope this tea would help his sickness as it did with mine, but the black tea gave off a really strong coffee note. Who knew that a Bai Lin could do that? The citrus florals were still phenomenal, but the black tea was a complex shift of too strong. I added significantly more water for my mentor hoping it would be better for him.
I admit this was a fail, but I also feel like I fail him. He’s been very patient with me and letting me take over class, but I’ve been having a hard time with classroom management as of lately. My posture has been closed off and it’s been a little difficult getting the kids attention. The real struggle is managing them with warm up games which my mentor can do with professional ease, whereas it gets awkward for me. There are a few students in my class that would prefer to read a book or do their assignments, and unfortunately, I was one of those students in middle school. I gotta fight that unconscious urge, and I gotta get used to doing new things like those new games. Anyway, I am so glad that my mentor does those games for mental and physical warm ups for his class, and I hope he enjoyed the rest of the tea that I brewed for him. If it doesn’t over-steep.
I’m slowly enjoying this as a I am slowly sipping this down. I want more of it. If it weren’t for the price, I’d totally get more with some Bailin Gongfu from Joseph Wesley and some Lapsang Souchong. More than likely, I could do something on my own if I find some tangerine blossoms for my black teas.
This is a sad goodbye, but I am so happy to have tried it.
I’ve stared at this tea on Steepster for a while and I’ve yet again been iffy about it because of price. Here’s to trading, sampling, and hawkband1! This was very similar to a jasmine black but obviously more citrusy with the tangerine peel. The tangerine blossom was nice and the hong cha was very smooth. The tea only had a hint of astringency. It was fairly similar in each cup gong fu after short steeps, but they were the same variations that I associate with a black tea. A little bit of the snobby “caramel” note in there, but the tangerine and its blossom dominate.
I am glad that there is some citrus with the florals in the black tea. I’m iffy about jasmine blacks since they can be a little bit strong for me personally. They are good with cream and sugar however. And to totally contradict that same statement, my mom used to put orange blossoms in her tea to scent it/flavor individual cups of green and black tea. Hence why I liked this tea though I do not think I would purchase my own amount of it. I’m glad to sample it and it is really good.
Backlog. Pretty sure this also came from the Midwest Tea Fest.
I was a little unsure about it, but I do really like citrus.
Dry leaf smells vaguely citrus.
Steeped westren for 1.5 min at 195F.
Slightly sweet, citrus. I liked it more than I thought I would. Especially as the last citrus scented tea I had from Shang I hated – unrelentingly bitter.
Flavors: Citrus, Sweet
This one is from Nicole a while back. Thanks so much, Nicole! I’ve been drinking it a couple times, but just now writing a tasting note. It’s an “aged” white tea so I’m sure it will only get better with time. :D The leaves are certainly different than any white tea I’ve seen.,, so many different colors, including some that look like flower petals are thrown in, but no, it’s only the white tea leaves. There is quite the wispiness of flavor changes in this one. The flavors are constantly changing from one sip to the next, so I’ll just list them: first is something like champagne or white wine, hints of the lightest grape, then a starchiness along with some honey. As it cools, it’s the freshest, fruitiest and most floral white tea I think I’ve had. The second steep gets even smoother, probably because most of any white tea leaf fuzzies were in the first cup. Still a sweet cup while having more of that traditional white tea flavor. This time I could swear it’s a little minty and there is no way there was flavor contamination from the infuser. The color of the brew is a deep gold. One of the best white teas I’ve ever had!
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 18 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 3 minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep
This is an old sample I found in my cupboard. I’m not 100% sure who I got it from…*tea-sipper*, I think. Anyway since it’s of unknown but definitely old age, I opted for a longer brew time than I would normally do for a first steep with a white tea.
The aroma of the brewed tea is nice. Typical for a white tea, hay mainly. I haven’t had tea in so long. We moved recently and most of my stash is still in boxes. So when I say I found this in my cupboard, what I really mean is, I found this in a box. :) All my tea is probably going to go bad before I can enjoy it. It’s my fault for buying so much at once.
The flavor is nice too. It’s much sweeter than expected. Sweet hay. This is very enjoyable, especially because it’s been too long since I last had a nice cuppa. Thanks to whoever passed it my way!
Well, I don’t know the full story behind this one, but if I’m not mistaken it’s from the tea farm of Shang’s friend, which is no longer an active tea farm, but the trees there are let to grow on their own now, so they go over to harvest the wild tea from them sometimes. And I think that’s where this oriental beauty is from, if I remember right. I’m brewing this gongfu style.
The aroma of the leaves after the first infusion is really floral and lovely. It’s a light kind of floral like roses and lychee. The first infusion is sweet and has some of the same quality in its flavor, in addition to honey notes.
The second infusion has more of the honey and floral notes, and also tastes like really sweet squash, like delicatta squash or kabocha. There are dried autumn leaf notes as well.
The third infusion is more honey like and rich in flavor. It has a bit more woody and fallen leaf notes in the flavor now.
I really enjoy this tea. In fact, it might be the best Oriental Beauty tea I’ve had. I haven’t particularly cared for the type in general in the past, but this one has the notes I love.
A friend of mine tells me this tea is a bit sensitive to heat and will become bitter if brewed too hot. I am brewing it at 85C/185F and there’s no bitterness here, so that seems like the right temperature. :3
Edit: I came back to this for another infusion and brewed it more strongly and it gave me more unexpected flavors. It had a really strong presence of nutmeg, clove, and other autumn spices. Totally unexpected! I had some food in between. It may have effected how it tasted to me.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butternut Squash, Honey, Lychee, Rose, Wood