Your Favorite Teas? (Recommendations Wanted Please)
Hi everyone. I have some tea goals I’d like to fulfill next year. For starters, I’ve decided to try to focus my tea-buying on quality over quantity in 2016. In the last few years I’ve been around the tea block, have tried several teas from each major type, and having gotten a good idea of what each type is like, now I’m really looking to hone in and find “the good stuff” to add to my collection.
I’m looking for loose leaf teas, and there are a few particular categories I am especially looking to target, but I figured while I’m on this thread, I might as well just put out a handful of categories and let you fill in which ones you wish, or add others. That way others can use this thread as a reference to see what other people’s favorite teas are and see what ones they might want to check out. When it comes to oolong teas, I’m looking specifically to try more Wuyi and Dancong teas, so I added separate categories for those. You are welcome to just name the teas, but if you can give a sentence blurb about the tasting notes or why you like it, even better. You can list more than one for a type if you can’t narrow it down to one favorite, of course. Also, don’t feel you have to fill in every category, as I’m mostly looking to see what teas are really excellent to people, and unless you’ve found teas of every single type here that were truly awesome to you, then no need to supply them all.
2. Green (fired, Chinese style, etc.)
3. Green (steamed, Japanese style, etc.)
6. Oolong – Wuyi Rock
7. Oolong – Phoenix Dancong
9. Ripe/Cooked Puer, Heicha, etc.
10. Raw Puer, Maocha, etc.
11. Scented or Flavored Tea
12. Other types. Blends. Misc.
I would ESPECIALLY enjoy some recommendations for white, green (fired/Chinese style), yellow, red/black, and Wuyi oolong teas. Those are the ones I am mostly going after at the moment.
Thanks in advance!
I can start the thread here if anyone is interested in some recommendations from my end.
1. Kenyan Silver Needles (What-Cha) – tastes like sweet corn on the cob, my favorite tea.
1. Moonlight White from Jingmai (Bana) – Really aromatic… reminds me of champagne
2. Special Reserve Green (Shang Tea) – unique flavor, most years’ harvests very buttery and vegetal brothy taste
6. Shui Xian Da Hong Pao (Yezi Tea) – fruity floral, very fragrant medium roast tea
8. Golden Dragon High Mountain Competition Black (Taiwan Tea Crafts) – no joke tastes like candied violets, among other things
10. Mangnuo Cane Tea (WYMM Tea) – just clean good flavor, kind of orange blossom like and vegetal, unique story behind this tea, for what it’s worth
11. Magnolia Oolong (Tea Ave) – almost butterscotch-like creamy floral flavor and hints of pepper
I’m being vague but all of Teavivre’s green teas I have tried are amazing. And since you are looking for Chinese greens, that is definitely the place to look. I usually prefer a black tea over green tea but I actually might prefer most of the green teas at Teavivre more than black teas.
For red/black I’m going to recommend Red Lily by Tea From Vietnam (Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Pepper, Plums, Spicy), and Gold Thread Reserve by Red Blossom Tea Company (Flavors: Brown Sugar, Malt, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes). These are my two favorites at the moment.
1. Kenyan Premium White by What-Cha It is more like a chimera of Kenyan silver needle, a Yunnan red and a flowery Oolong. Amazing stuff. Also Moonlight White from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company because it is a beautifully crisp sweet and clean Moonlight (it tastes like moonlight) and Ailaoshan Mountain Jade from Yunnan Sourcing it is between a green and a white, brew it hot and you get sweet sugar cane and peony flowers, brew it cool and you get savory veggie broth
2. Hangzhou Tian Mu Qing Ding from Teavivire, very vegetal and clean tasting, reminds me of rain during spring time. Anji Bai Cha from Teasenz sweet, nutty, to me the ideal of Chinese Green Teas. Fish Hook Green from Tea From Vietnam a powerhouse of vegetal bliss, I like to call it liquid spring time. Korea Yejeon Sejak Jakseol from What-Cha it tastes like rice crackers and vegetal yummy
3. Kyobancha by Obubu/Yunomi it tastes like an autumn leaf pile on a cold day, very comforting. Goishicha by Yunomi, tastes like yuzu and soy sauce, funky yet delicious. Tsujiri Fukamushi from Daily Matcha deliciously umami and sweet sencha
4. Darjeeling Jungpana Yellow from What-Cha, it tastes like nasturtiums and scuppernongs. MeiMei Fine Teas Meng Ding Yellow Buds, great if you want a Yellow tea that is more like a green peppery and nutty with a definite vegetal oomph. Nannuoshan Jun Shan Yin Zhen it is really hard to describe, delicious and unlike anything else
5. Gui Fei Oolong from Tea From Vietnam incredibly sweet concubine, has killer grapefruit blossom notes and plums. Hong Shui from Tea Side strong fruity notes, fantastic grandpa style. Dong Fang Mei Ren from Tea Side best OB I have had yet. Da Yu Ling Eco-Cha a buttery explosion of happiness. Scarlet Honey Oolong by Dachi it is like the super seductive, rich and sweet version of Gui Fei, in a word, godlike. (I could probably list about 10 others, I really drink a lot of oolongs)
6. Clover Patch by White2Tea it tastes like fairy wine (its a long story) Bei Dou by Tao Tea Leaf is very mineral and puts the rock in rock oolong while being sweet. Qilan Trees by White2Tea just the right amount of sweet and smoke with mineral.
7. Ya Shi Xiang ‘Duck shit aroma’ by Yunnan Sourcing, it tastes like incense and fruit. Xing Ren Xiang ‘Almond Aroma’ Nannuoshan it tastes like flowers and almonds, specifically marzipan. Da Wu Ye from What-Cha it tastes like walnut shells, black walnuts, and flowers
8. Yunnan Imperial Golden Needles from Yunnan Sourcing fuzzy golden needles of happiness, a more malty dian hong. Ailaoshan Black from Yunnan Sourcing this is my all time favorite Yunnan, I have a heck of a time describing it because it is that good, I go into a tea trance. Golden Needle King from Shang Tea, you know this one ;) Red Jade from What-Cha it tastes like sassafras and chocolate
9. Both of Whispering Pines Shous, one is super sweet and chocolatey and the other is earthy and leathery, excellent examples of both of those taste profiles. Global Tea Hut Laos Cloud Hidden Shou light and loamy, a shou for when I am not in the mood to fall face first into a forest floor and more just want a walk in the woods
10. White Whale by White2Tea it taste like a smoky cedar trunk. Mengku Snow Mountain by Tanlong Tea it tastes like dill, and that is far more fun than it has any right to be. 2004 Nan Jian Jia Ji Tuo by Yunnan Sourcing again another smoky one and super cooling. 2005 Changtai Top of the Clouds from Crimson Lotus a wonderful example of humid storage.
11. Tangerine Blossom Red from Shang’s again you know this one :P and Lotus scented green from Vietnam by What-cha tastes like anise and sassafras
12. Oksusucha I get mine from International 888, it tastes like corn and soothes my belly when it is full of hate. Honey Roasted Licorice Root from M&K’s Tea honey roasted licorice tastes like honey roasted licorice, pretty spot on to its name.
How do you brew the gui fei oolong? It tastes really bland to me. I have been using 5-6g per 6oz, 10-15 seconds, at around 200 degrees.
I don’t measure, so I am no help there, but I brew it 30 seconds, adding 15 each steep after at 195.
Jae Jeong Yeun huangcha from Wha-Cha, sort of classified as a yellow tea, but it is Korean high mountain. This tea is a very good one to offer people who are not into tea, very lovely. I keep it on hand for guests who won’t like puerh.
My current favourite Yellow tea at the moment is The Settlement from August Uncommon; it’s got such a brilliant and distinct nutty flavour! I also like Camellia Sinensis’ Meng Ding Huang Ya.
If you haven’t tried it already Thailand Sticky Rice “Khao Hom” from What-Cha is currently my favourite scented oolong and definitely in my all time top five oolongs! As far as other flavoured tea goes, one that really stands out that I’ve recently had is Quarter to Tea’s Smoky Sweet Potato Pie. However, reviews on it have been quite mixed so far.
Also I have to point out a tisane from Camellia Sinensis called Labrador Tea. It was REALLY unique and quite tasty.
Dang… 2015 was a sampling year for me and while I’d like to go into 2016 only drinking what I would run into the house to save if a fire occurred (not really, but you know), I’m torn as to what to do. Anyways, after drinking an absurd amount this year, here’s my suggestions:
http://beautifultaiwantea.com/collections/green-teas-taiwan/products/taiwanese-dragonwell , never came across such a beautiful dragonwell that has multiple shades, fur, and even flower buds on a few.
https://www.jteainternational.com/tea/ruby-dong-ding-2011 , this is something I have yet to review because finding the words have been hard. If you’ve had What Cha’s Red Buffalo, this is the tiny step up… which is crazy because the Red Buffalo is a home run with every sip.
http://yunnansourcing.com/en/whitetea/3665-snow-dragon-hand-rolled-yunnan-white-tea-autumn-2015.html, for anyone who likes white tea: I cannot fathom why this wouldn’t be a yearly must buy. While I did buy this for the aesthetics of the leaf, I quickly learned that this was a reliable and cheap white tea that can be resteeped six times without making me switch to something else.
Also when the first flush green teas begin to pop up from Japan, try your best to purchase tea from Okinawa. When I was in Tokyo I found out that Lupicia does quite well with keeping it only in the Japanese stores, but I’ve seen a few places acquire and sell some. My experience with first flush Okinawa tea has ruined about 80% of all the others that I have had.
Yours all link for me, except for the one I had to joke about the ‘T’ aka ‘tea’ :)
Sometimes when you are posting the links don’t always show up as clickable right away, but they are.
These Jing Tea Shop dan congs (im a massive dan cong fan) are totally lovely, lovely, lovely:
Lao Cong Ya Shi – that weird aromatic floral fragrance I have no idea what it is but its gorgeous..
Mi Lan AAA – Lychees. really aromatic and fruity and lovey.
My favourite dong fang mei ren is unfortunately sold out!
this Moonlight white tea cake from Yunnan Sourcing is amazing:
And this is the nicest assamica I have ever tasted, super fruity:
Some great suggestions in this thread, Im a quality over quantity guy as well, once you find that certain tea that floors you, its a special moment
Drinking some now – being english im used to the taste of assam & ceylon, and this has that taste im used to but much better quality with sweet notes of gorgeous. Its the sort of tea I give to people who are used to ‘normal’ english tea, but I want to change their view. (no tea bags in my cupboard)
Lao Cong Ya Shi… I had a cup of Ya Shi Dan Cong in Guangzhou last summer and the owner explained to me, in his own words, “Ya Shi means duck poop”. Very interesting naming convention. We sat there and chatted for hours. That tea was on the 26th brew by the time I got up and it still tasted heavenly. The aroma got milder but the cup did not lose taste at all
My favorite ripe puerh has to be the 2008 Song of Chi Tse from Berylleb King Tea on EBay.