Silk Road Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

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

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

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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!

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

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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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drank Assam by Silk Road Teas
1 tasting notes

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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

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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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

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

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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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

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:

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.

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

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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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drank Congou Black by Silk Road Teas
2401 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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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.

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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

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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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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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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:

Wet leaf aroma: Slightly musty with suggestions of Lychee.
Wet leaf appearance:

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

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.

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.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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