Silk Road Teas

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95

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

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75
drank Assam by Silk Road Teas
1 tasting notes

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80

I have discovered my favorite green tea to drink with milk, this jasmine! I love the scent of this tea much more than regular green varieties, and its slight sweetness is perfect for blending with unsweetened almond milk. I like to steep for 3 minutes maximum, to keep its bitterness lowered.

Flavors: Bitter, Flowers, Fruity, Jasmine

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75

Had an urge for something lighter this afternoon, and got a bit of a surprise with this sheng pu-erh. After wrestling it from the tightly packed bamboo shoot, I gave it a quick rinse, then steeped it for 2-minutes at about 205-degrees.

We weren’t sure what to expect from a “bamboo scented” tea, so it didn’t exceed or come up short in any way. The liquor is a beautiful hue of golden amber with a somewhat vegetal aroma. The flavor, however, is very smoky. Unlike other sheng we’ve sampled, there was no hunting for the flavor to hit or reveal itself. Campfire, smoke, wood. Pleasant, but distinct.

If you like Lapsang Souchong, you’ll probably love this tea.

Flavors: Campfire, Dark Wood, Smoke, Smoked, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
ashmanra

I am a coward with sheng. I start them off at low temps, maybe 175F, until I am sure they won’t try to murder me.

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90

After waking earlier than usual to a stressful day that ended much later than usual, I was inclined toward something that provided a sub-coffee jolt to get me through the morning after.

I pulled this tea from the cupboard and measured out 4 grams as I heated some fresh water. I didn’t have the time or energy for any clean up, so I opted for a reusable tea bag straight into the cup.

What a treat! The resulting cup was a beautiful chestnut brown with a very refreshing mouth feel. I detected a note of caramel along with a gentle blend of spices. The taste lingered well, and served to invite me to a second cup.

The next time around I ditched the thermometer and went just a tad hotter with the water – as the strands of pearls begin to stream toward the surface just off a boil. There was a slight hint of bitterness in the first cup, so I reduced the steep time to 3-minutes and added 2 drops of liquid Stevia (which is far less than a suggested serving portion).

The combination of changes delivered everything needed for a rich, flavorful cup. Formerly a heavy coffee drinker, a fuller-bodied cup really appeals to me. This tea has it.

I roast my own coffee, because too many commercial roasters think flavor somehow develops by baking the oil onto the bean at the end of the roast. I disagree. They do what they feel they must to have a consistent and significant heaviness to their coffee, and then encourage consumers to dump countless pumps, squirts and frothing matter into the cup to make it palatable. I like coffee. Like tea, every single batch from every single grower has a distinct flavor, and in the roasting, there is a “sweet spot” that brings out the best notes.

But back to the tea. Yunnan Black – High Grade from Silk Road Teas? Affordable, delicious, and absolutely worth a try.

Flavors: Caramel, Spices

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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So for someone that doesn’t love blerg, I seem to keep finding it in tasty snacks. Most recently I came across this tea infused into soft and delicious London Fog Caramels by Tout de Sweet Confections. The citrus of the bergamot just contributes some amazing flavor notes that highlight the sweet caramel deliciousness. Check out my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/04/07/london-fog-caramels-from-tout-de-sweet-confections/

As an added bonus, a few months back I came across a London Fog donut at Glory Hole Donuts. That too was quite nice and far better than any of the london fogs I have tried to make personally. http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/12/11/donut-alert-london-fog-donut-from-glory-hole-donuts/

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96

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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97

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A new experience for tea…
I went into this pretty strong, 7g in 100ml.

The first taste hit me and I wasn’t ready for it. The powerful aroma and taste threw me back into memories of being a child and visiting my dads extended family; many of which that MF cancer has taken from us. I cannot explain it with words, but the memories so strong of being in the old unused farm land of VA and PA were 100% real from the taste again.

Not sure how I feel about being completely reminded of the past without wanting to as it is unexpected, but dang this taste like straight up sweet foggy grass on the hills of those areas from where my family is from.

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67
drank Congou Black by Silk Road Teas
2360 tasting notes

Thanks to Nicole for this one… from a while ago! Not much I have to say about this one other than ‘I drank this’. It looks more like a Golden Monkey to me. Equal parts black and golden leaves. The flavor is a very light version of what I expect a Fujian tea to be (like Laoshan black… just even lighter and with a tangier quality to it.) Since my complaint of Verdant’s Laoshan is usually that it’s too light, this one is even less to my tastes. But that is just my tastes! It’s like a light tangy caramel molasses.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons // 10 min after boiling // 2-3 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
I’ve also been drinking many sipdowns lately. Sipping one now that I think is also from Nicole from AGES ago… DeRen’s Jasmine oolong that still has a ton of flavor!

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83

I got this tea from TheLastDodo’s stash sale a while back . I’ve never been much of a sheng person (I wonder what would have happened to me if I had tried pu-erh before shu was invented? lol) but I was enticed by the color and the aroma. Also by the fact that the reason I’d wanted samples of sheng in the first place was so that I could try them out often enough to accustom my palate to their unique notes and decide which of the notes I like and which I can do without.

So anyway, it’s from 2012 I think, but I’m not sure if that makes it a youngish sheng or a middle-aged sheng. (Hopefully it’s old enough not to disagree with my stomach even though I haven’t had anything to eat today.) I just used about half of my sample instead of measuring the leaves because I couldn’t find any guidelines on steeping this anywhere on the internet, so I just used boiling water and steeped it for about a minute to begin with. (I wonder if I should have rinsed it first? Or is that just shu?)

It’s a medium amber color, which I think is darker than other shengs I’ve tried, although I’m not positive because I don’t have a photographic memory. Anyway, it looks nice. And it smells tantalizing. When sipped, it has that unique tang that only sheng provides, as well as a minor-to-moderate astringency and some rather robust savory undertones. The overall effect is pleasant, although it tastes nothing like any of the teas I normally drink so my taste buds are a little wary of it.

Overall, I surmise that this is a good sheng, despite my lack of authority in the matter, lol. If I have significant updates after the second and third steeps I shall be sure to add them then.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
CWarren

Some folks consider anything under ten years young but I consider anything under five years young.

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83

Thanks for sharing, TheLastDodo!!
I think this is the first sheng I’ve actually liked (at least I think it’s a sheng, although it doesn’t seem to actually say in the info. It certainly doesn’t taste or behave like a shu). I tried a couple from the TTB but my opinion on those was mostly that they were interesting but didn’t strike me as all that pleasant to drink, lol. This one not only has beautiful leaves and a lovely golden amber color when steeped but also a flavor that seems friendly rather than aggressive and includes some pleasant notes. I’m going to try experimenting with different steeping lengths as suggested on the company website. :)

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87
drank Congou Black by Silk Road Teas
117 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping Traveling Tea Box

Malty, bready goodness. I steeped this cup all day (about 5 steeps.) Another lovely black that I am happy to have tried. :)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt

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96

Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #5
These “red pearls” are some of the twistiest and shiniest leaves I’ve seen yet. They seem more like snails rather than pearls though. They actually remind me of the new version of Zen’s Phoenix Pearls. Silky rather than fuzzy. The flavor is phenomenal. This brew that looks like a cup of coffee has smokey notes and the flavor profile of a keemun. Two great steeps of bittersweet chocolate here! I barely got any sleep last night, so this was a teabox winner.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// few minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep

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drank Lichee Congou by Silk Road Teas
25 tasting notes

Dry leaf aroma: Lychee, dusky grape, slight floral undertone.
Dry leaf appearance: https://www.instagram.com/p/_RgfGBlcMe/

Wet leaf aroma: Slightly musty with suggestions of Lychee.
Wet leaf appearance: https://www.instagram.com/p/_Rgo7eFcMt/

Preparation: Brewed western style in a ceramic infuser mug.

First steeping: 3 minutes at 212 degrees. 
The hot infusion smells wonderfully of lychee with a delicate undertone of grapes and roses. White hot, the liquor has a dominate essence of lychee and a suggestion of sugary rose. As the cup cools, notes of hibiscus mingle with the lychee and the floral undertone is less pronounced. This tea lingers pleasantly on the palate and I think it would be wonderful chilled.

Flavors: Grapes, Lychee, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Beorhthraefn included a sample of this in the Secret Pumpkin package. Thank you! Brewed in an infuser mug. Steeping times 1 minute, 2, 4, 8.

Steeping this Western style doesn’t yield anything complex, unfortunately. Full body, clear liquor. Sweet and vegetal. In the aromas and liquor, I discerned notes of sauteed dark green vegetables with red onion. This was a new experience, purple maocha. I wasn’t really taken with it, but at the bare minimum it is drinkable. Also, I do love eating kale with red onion or broccoli rabe.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Beorhthraefn included a sample of this in the Secret Pumpkin package. Thank you!

Brewed in an infuser mug. Steeping times 2 minutes, 4, 8.

This is a Tie Guan Yin. The light green liquor has a creamy texture and medium body, and is powerfully floral with a juicy peach aftertaste. In spite of the previous comment, it has a light, sunny feel. I feel so-so about lightly oxidized Chinese oolongs, but this one was enjoyable.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73

Another one from Nicole, thanks! I’m not sure if this is the correct tea to post this under. The package says Yunnan Gold but that doesn’t seem to fit any of these Silk Road Teas on Steepster correctly. These leaves are gorgeous, a nice amber gold. The cup is darker than I would expect from such light leaves (the color of the brew actually looks like coffee rather than an amber color), but sadly not as distinct as I would like in flavor. It’s just a solid black tea… not really any flavor notes that stand out. Nothing I dislike, just not unique enough when I’d like to drink a black tea.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 15 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep

Nicole/Tea-Historic

That’s what I entered it under as well. There are several Silk Road Teas that don’t match up with exact names on website/packaging/Steepster.

tea-sipper

yeah, silk road gets confusing!

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83

Here’s Hoping TTB R5 #1

The Here’s Hoping TTB arrived on my door step a couple of days ago and I must admit I am completely intimidated by it, it’s GINORMOUS!!! I’ve never seen a 9 pound travelling tea box before, I mean that’s the size of a healthy new born baby not a tea box!!! Thankfully someone, I suspect flyawaybirdie, has sorted out and bagged the tea by type which makes tacking this GARGANTUAN box a little more user friendly… Thank you!!! You have no idea how much I appreciate it!!

I decided to start with the straight blacks, because, well hello, straight blacks!! Sniffing a couple of the packets this one immediately stood out to me, it smells insanely delicious, super malty with a touch of tobacco. Brewing it up, it definitely delivers, its slightly smoky but not overwhemingly, a little malty, and has a touch of sweetness at the end of the sip that makes it very enjoyable.

I may have to have another cup of this before it goes back into this BEHEMOTH TTB for the next person to enjoy.

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80

Finally got around to trying this tea that LP gave me with an actual kettle and stove on hand. What I got: smokey, leathery, thick, and sweet. It almost stuck to the roof of my mouth. This is my first Black Gunpowder tea and I prefer this one way more than green versions of it, but I slightly prefer oolong versions. I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. A good breakfast or afternoon tea during the winter. I tasted very little astringency and brewed this over and over. Would recommend generally, not highly. Honestly best for black tea lovers, and for those who like more masculine profiles.

Flavors: Leather, Malt, Mineral, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Toast

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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70
drank Garden of Eden by Silk Road Teas
638 tasting notes

This is a pretty good herbal blend to have for the evening. It’s minty but I also can pick up the lemongrass along with it. I can also detect nettle. It blends nicely with the peppermint and lemongrass and if I wasn’t familiar with nettle I wouldn’t know it was there. It seems like it’s the nettle keeping the peppermint from being too sharp. I think the lemongrass should be just a tad stronger though. It seems to fade a bit in some sips.

Overall, a pleasant tea but I have everthing in my cupboard to make this tea myself.

Flavors: Lemongrass, Peppermint

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