Silk Road TeasEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Sipdown no. 68 of 2018 (no. 424 total).
Tried the last of this this morning at a lower temperature (185F) and a shorter steep time (4 minutes).
Prepared this way, it’s a completely different tea. Virtually colorless liquor, very little aroma, and I can’t taste much other than hot water and the chocolate muffin I had for breakfast.
I don’t know why this comes as a surprise to me (but it does). It’s typical of my experience with white teas. Unless I steep them like herbals, I get a big fat nada.
Continuing with the breaking open of white teas that I’ve had for a while but never before opened or tasted, given that I’ve at least tasted most of my unflavored black teas to the point where it’s hard to dig out the last few untasted ones.
I skipped right to the steeping method I used with the Silver Needles from Tea Trekker — boiling at 7 minutes. I noticed that everyone else who has written notes on this tea has steeped at a lower temperature and mostly for less time. I have a lot of this so I’ll be able to try different methods.
The dry leaves smell earthy and a bit odd, and plastic-y which I suspect has nothing to do with the tea and everything to do with the container it was in.
After steeping, there’s still some earthiness but none of the weird drowned plant smell that I sometimes get from plain white peony. Instead there’s a kind of a sweet, honeydew note. The color is light gold and clear. As a side note, steeping at low temps often results in colorless or near colorless white tea for me, and I feel comforted by the fact that higher temperatures bring out some color in the liquor. It’s probably just psychological, but it makes me feel like the tea is going to have more flavor.
The flavor is a bit plantier than the aroma and there’s a quality to the flavor that reminds me of trees. More leaves than wood, but there wasn’t a leaves flavor option.
I’ll experiment with it more, but I have the usual white tea problem with this one. I’m not sure I am tasting it as it was intended to be made. In the past, I’ve not considered plain white peony particularly tasty or interesting though I’ve had some nice blends with it as a base. That’s true here, too. I preferred the silver needle, once I was able to get any sort of flavor out of it.
Flavors: Honeydew, Wet Earth, Wood
I’m running out of straight black (or unflavored black blends) to try! This is somewhat disturbing, because I thought that the majority of my tea collection was black unflavored tea and I can’t figure out whether the majority is oolong at this point or flavored black tea. I’m not motivated to count the teas in my cupboard. Too much to do today.
This one is really hitting the spot today. The smell coming out of the bag after cracking it open is chocolatey and tree-like. Chocolate covered tree?
The steeped tea has a baked goods, bready aroma that turns into a dark fruity one. I’m smelling blackberries here. The smokiness that keemuns often have here smells to me like toastiness instead. There’s a depth to the aroma that is pleasing, though it’s not what I’d call malty. The tea is clear, and lighter in color than I expected — a sort of amber, or light honey color.
The smoke comes out in the flavor, though it’s not overpowering and certainly not enough to be lapsang-like. It’s a smooth tea, medium-light bodied, and with a sweetness to the sip that is honey-like. It doesn’t taste winey to me; more like toasty bread with a hint of berry.
Very nice indeed. I’m glad to support a (sort of local) company like Silk Road.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Blackberry, Chocolate, Honey, Toast
Bought this in the bulk section at Whole Foods and can’t find much info about it online. Not on the SR website, although there is a note that they have many “private estate” teas of varying types not on their site. It is sold for $99 a pound at Whole Foods and I mistakenly poured myself a much larger than a 1-2 cup worth bag that came out to $5, which isn’t the end of the world, but definately wasn’t what I was intending. I must have gotten it mixed up with the more economical breakfast tea.
This looked to be a black tea, but the taste is much lighter than that. It is almost oolong like with it’s floral scent and light color. It has a sweetness to it on the sip and finish with hints of honey passing through. There might be some apricot mingling in the sip. The honey is so light and perfect on the finish. It makes me think that this is what TWG was clumsily going for with their overly artificial honey tea. It looses a little bit of it’s magic as it cools, but it is still good. I’m slowly realizing why the price tag was so high. This has got to be an oolong, no way is it a black tea. I’ll have to try lower temp next time with oolong in mind.
A Good Earl Grey. This has a good base and isn’t over-flavored; a little malty.
The packaging isn’t individually sealed sachets but rather one foil bag for all the sachets – I think its been a month or two since I opened it so the last sachets aren’t as fresh as the first ones; the tea is still good just not as fresh as the first one. I’ll have to review this one again once I get a new box.
Went to Whole Foods today and found a small bulk tea selection. I’m not a super big oolong fan, but was curious as to why this tea was almost $100 a pound so I came home with two servings worth. I’m on my second steeping. It was a little grassy tasting at first, but the more I sip, the more that fades. A little hay in the front of the sip. It is well rounded and has a slightly sweet feel, but not quite sweet taste. There is one part of the sip that has a hint of flatness that I attribute to oolongs, but it passes quickly. The aftertaste has a hint of caramel. This is probably the most I have enjoyed a non flavored oolong, but I’m still not wowed by it. I imagine others who have the palate for oolongs would find it much more interesting. If this was an Irish whiskey, I’d probably be really into the flavors. Oolong soaked Irish whiskey? Hmmmm…. that is something to ponder.
Very murky/weird and sort of gross tasting final cup of this; I think it was just a whole lot of ginger and cocoa powder that were left in the bottom of the tin. Really not a whole lot in the way of pear. Final feelings about this tea are kind of “meh”. Like, I don’t regret buying it but would I repeat the experience? Probably not.
This was a very good cold brew, but also a weird one because it almost didn’t have any sort of familiarity to the different times I’ve tried this tea hot. I mean, it tasted SO ROBUSTLY of succulent, juicy/dewy Anjou pears and had very, very little ginger/chocolate at all. However, I’m a sucker for pear and I actually like that it was such a simple, pure pear flavour. A little vanilla creaminess, sure, but mostly just pear.
Now I’m tired though; so gonna sip on the last little bits of this brew and then have a nap.
Hot cup, with some hazelnut creamer.
I’ve been experimenting a little bit with this creamer, but to be honest I really don’t like it. It’s got a very strong, sweet flavour and no matter how little I seem to use it always masks the flavor of the teas that make me like the tea less than I would drinking it straight or even just with milk. In the case of this tea, it masks any and all vanilla and ginger notes and what I’m left with is a chocolate hazelnut profile with tiny, wee little hints of pear in the finish.
I think I liked this about as much as I did last time I had it, and I definitely stand by my first impression that all the ingredients in the blend compliment one another so damn well. However, I found myself a little put off by the mouthfeel of the tea this time around; the liquor was very muddy/cloudy from the cocoa powder and I felt like some of that powdery quality was coming through in texture too. Probably just the fine little bits that the strainer didn’t catch. Not a deal breaker; but just broke the illusion of a smooth profile for me. Other things are that the ginger was maybe a little stronger this time? I like the chocolate and ginger pairing, but I found the more I taste the ginger the less I taste the pear and I really, really want to be getting the pear from this one.
I don’t know; not a bad cup but some trade offs from my first experience for sure.
I wish I’d taken better notes on this one ‘cause it was actually pretty interesting, and I think the combination of things in this blend is really unique/intriguing. Like, they’re all ingredients that work together but also you can split them up in any combination and they all work as flavour pairings too:
Vanilla pear? Check. Ginger pear? Check. Chocolate pear? Check.
Vanilla ginger? Check. Vanilla chocolate? Check.
Ginger chocolate? Check.
I just remember thinking that it was impressive how all four main flavours were so clearly represented/present, and how this is definitely more of a rooibos blend than a black even though there’ black tea in it. I don’t know; I’ll take better notes next time.
Finishing this one off is a little bit sad; it’s a nice tea and something I really enjoyed having around but it’s also not wildly unique and not something I’ve been craving as strongly as of late. I just have to remind myself that I can always reorder it in the future.
This last cup was great; sweetness of tangerine in the top of the sip but the body and finishing notes were more focused around the white tea itself; lots of that cucumber skin crispness and cooling refreshing finish. Hints of straw as well, but definitely more on that very light bodied, refreshing vegetal side of things.
Had a day of all white teas last week, and this one was one of ’em.
It wasn’t bad; but I found it a little more disappointing than the first time I had tried it. I think my big issue was that the clementine/orange essence seemed much lighted and flatter tasting in this cup than when I first made it and honestly I’m not really sure what the reasoning for the difference is? I mean, it still tasted quite nice but it was a lot more weighted towards the hay and vegetal, crisp/cooling cucumber pulp notes of the white tea with only a subtle hint of orange essence in the finish.
I still have another cup of this left though; so I’ll try that before I completely make my mind up on this one. I’m looking for consistency; ideally something consistently good. So we’ll see what that last cup brings…
So, I REALLY enjoyed this one.
There’s something that’s really familiar about it in terms of taste but I still can’t put my finger on exactly which tea it’s reminding me of. Regardless, it’s got a very lovely medium bodied profile with SUPER aromatic and fresh clementine/mandarin orange notes. It tastes exactly the way the air and your fingers smell right after you’ve peeled a really juicy, ripe mandarin orange. Like, that very natural and sweet orange oil/essence kind of quality. The white tea itself is also really smooth and floral, with notes of cucumber skins, and fresh hay as well as some really light lemon undertones. It’s quite enchanting.
Because of the mandarin orange quality, this is something I feel especially into around the winter season (Christmas oranges!) but it’s an amazing flavour that I’m sure would be equally as impressive year round. This may, in fact, be my favourite tea from Silk Road to date.
It was just SOOOO good.
My feelings about teas sometimes shift, and I think that happened here. There was a time when this one was a little assertive for my taste, but now it’s becoming one of my primary breakfast teas. Lately, I like the smokiness, and slight astringency.
I’ve also been really into putting milk in my tea, for my first cup of the morning, and this tea lends itself beautifully to that.
This is a great, general black tea. It’s got a little smokiness, and a touch of astringency that can get bitter if I let it steep too long. The site’s description says there’s sweetness, but I don’t get much of that with this tea. This tea for me is kind of savory and brisk. It’s mellower than a breakfast blend, but has more of a bite than many other teas I own. It’s the perfect tea for today, since I was up absurdly late and need a bit of bracing tea to get me going this morning. Solid, comforting fuel for the morning!
Decided to finally sign up and start reviewing some teas!
I can’t believe no one has reviewed this tea! I remember having this tea a few years ago from David Lee Hoffman, I assume it is the same tea.
It was my favorite tea I ordered from his collection, just amazing flavors.
I remember it being savory, and buttery, yet sweet. I think I may order some now!!
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Sweet, warm grass