Silk Road Teas

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drank Private Estate by Silk Road Teas
861 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75

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.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Having the last cup of this sample. Very buttery and smooth. Rich sensation at the end of the sip with a sweetness left in my mouth. If I was in the mood for an oolong, this would be a really nice one to turn to.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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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.

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92

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…

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92

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.

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25

Tasting notes on point. Definite raw asparagus, with bitterness from mid to end, ramping up and lasting through the finish. Light notes of citrus.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 50 ML

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80

Eh, not really feeling this tea today. I think I’m not in the mood for its smokiness. It’s a little too assertive for me right now. I think I’ll try some lighter black tea this afternoon.

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80

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!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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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
2427 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
qingshuini

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

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