Most exciting or delicious loose leaf tea you've tried in the past year?
Hey folks. I’ve been away from Steepster quite a bit this past year due to moving into a house, getting my paws full with a food garden and the many chores of home and garden upkeep. I’ve also been a shameless foodie and learning a lot of recipes lately, and cooking distracts me from gongfu tea time (currently on quite the spree with Just One Cookbook, Japanese recipes).
Me right now, coming back to Steepster after so long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDxoj-tDDIU
I haven’t been able to afford much tea in the past year, so I’ve decided to just drink off most of my collection aside from things that I’m aging until I can afford new things. I’d like to try some new things this year, and as spring harvest is right around the corner, I’m getting excited.
My question is, what is the most exciting or delicious tea you’ve had in the last year? I’m only interested in loose leaf and matcha, and primarily not flavored teas (other than traditional scented types that use flowers), but if you’re just bonkers for one you’re totally welcome to share it. Bonus points if you can point me to some good green teas or matcha, as I’m out of both right now.
I’m hoping to learn some new teas to give a try to soon!
I will say that my favorite in the past year hasn’t changed from the year before. I am still really enamored with Kenyan Silver Needle tea (What-cha sells it). It’s really sweet, clean, delicate, and reminds me of sweet corn. I never get tired of drinking it.
I’m really into Milk Oolong (flavoured oolong) by Special Teas Inc., it is the best milk oolong I’ve ever smelled/consumed and it does best gongfu. It strongly reminds me of mango and coconut, but that is the natural flavour of the tea. Also, my old favourites Golden Dragon (unflavoured yellow) (toasty, very flavourful, not vegetal) from Teavana and Darjeeling Avongrove from Zen Tea (fruity, sweet, muscetal, smooth).
a few of the biggest hits for me in the last month or so:
Verdant tea – Fenghuang wuyi black, Crimson lotus – Cloudy Days Shu, Treasure Green – Bai Rui Xiang Cliff oolong, Bitterleaf – Top Shelf ‘Nectar’ Mi Lan Xiang
Some of my favorites from the past year:
- Verdant Spring Reserve Laoshan Bi lo chun
- BTTC Winter Competition Bao Zhong
- Yunnan Sourcing Golden Monkey
- Verdant Spring Laoshan Black
One of the more interesting teas I’ve had recently was Malawi Satemwa Antlers White Tea – from whatcha. Aromatic and interesting flavour.
One of my favourites was Old warrior from crimson lotus (ripe pu erh).
One of the most exciting was 2016 Last Thoughts from White2tea, purely as an eye opener on the physical effects high-end raw pu erh can achieve.
Oh man, I really loved that Satemwa Antlers White tea when I had it a couple years ago. Sadly, I felt like over time my batch sort of lost flavor and complexity. I had kept it in the original packaging too, so… maybe a fluke or maybe just something best to use within a couple years.
Thanks for the recommendations. Those both sound fun.
In the last little bit, I have been impressed by Tealyra’s Huo Shan Huang Ya Yellow, Harney & Sons’ Earl Grey Imperial, What-cha’s Zhejiang Wild-Growing Dragonwell, and Floating Leaves’ Spring 2016 Dong Ding Traditional.
Yunnan Sourcing’s “Golden Guan Yin Da Hong Pao Spring 2015” was really good. Its complexity was outstanding – fruit, sweet, nutty, mineral, malty. It was my favorite tea of the 2016-2017 season’s purchase (although I still have a Tie Luo Han to be opened up this month that I have high hopes for!)
Also, YS’s Simao Spring Tips as well as their Golden Monkey black teas are dynamic, with a great range of flavors in every cup. Those were high quality too.
Wow that Da Hong Pao sounds awesome. DHP is one of my favorite teas and I haven’t bought one in over a year. I might try that! I am long overdue to make an order with YS. I don’t think I ever have but they are so highly recommended to me all the time. Let me know how the Tie Luo Han goes. I’ve only had it once before and I really enjoyed the one I had. It had a really unexpected raspberry note in the first infusion, but it got more mineral after that.
Thanks for the recommendations!
Forgot to mention that I really like O-Cha’s Sae Midori Organic Kabusecha as well. Partially shade-grown, it has a little more sweetness and fruit flavors than regular sencha.
Anyway, thanks for the post! Lots of great ideas on here.
Some decent Wuyi Yancha and Dan Cong were some of the better teas in a conventional sense, and some from Nepal were interesting, but I found some Indonesian teas to be really unique, from Toba Wangi. They weren’t as refined as some Chinese teas, so they gave up a little in some character range, but I really liked them, especially the white and oolong versions, described more here:
What a great question! This will help me out too when placing my 2017 orders.
The most notable green to me for last year was Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha by Grand Tea. It’s on the mild side of greens but so delicious.Yunnan Sourcing always has some gems in their teas: Laoshan Green, Imperial Xinyang Mao Jian, Laoshan Black , & Imperial Golden needle. When ordering the Mao Jian you must be sure you order the Imperial Xinyang. I just placed an order recently to take advantage of their 2016 sale teas and I ordered this tea but it didn’t have Imperial in the name. Not quite the same tea.
Taiwan Tea Crafts had some amazing greens from their Fragrant Jade collection but the most outstanding was a white tea called Fragrant Jade Jin Xuan Organic White. I am hoarding my last little bit of this tea.
Lastly I just got an order from Mandala with 2016 teas and I think I’ve sampled their oolong in the past but that was nothing like this one (maybe I just had an old sample). This one is definitely milky coconut. Very delicious.
Also want to add Yukka-Cha’s Organic Miyazaki Kamairicha Okumifori was very good too. It’s not a sencha , just a green. Kind of like a Laoshan green.
Cool i just got the Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha by Grand Tea in the mail along some other teas.
can’t wait to try it
I am just starting my tea adventure so I think what I am finding interesting or delicious may be the everyday ho hum to some, but I was really surprised when I drank Whispering pines Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black. In fact, my mouth is watering just thinking about this brew.
I have learned so much from Steepster just in the last couple of months and look forward to trying some of the favorites listed on this thread.