Review: Mark T. Wendell Tea Company Yin Hao Jasmine

Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, Mark T. Wendell, Oolong Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"While this tea does present a decent floral profile, it's obscured by the roughness of the tea base. There is too little reward in return for such a finicky leaf to recommend it to others."
Sophie’s Teaview: 5.7/10
Other Teaviews: Katie gave it 7.1/10, Shaiha gave it 6.2/10
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This particular blend combines pouchong tea leaves with the fragrance of jasmine flowers. Pouchong teas are very lightly oxidized, at the crossroads between green and oolong teas. They are known for their smooth floral and fruity qualities. Sounds like a winning combination right? Looking at my sample, downy silver buds pepper the tan and coffee coloured leaves. They are relatively slender and lightly twisted. Their scent is heavily floral, sweet and pungent.

I unfortunately discovered this to be a rather finicky tea. I first loosely followed MTW's recommendations, steeping a heaping teaspoonful in 8 ounces of water heated to 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 minutes, but found the cup to be over-brewed. I started over using a level teaspoonful, infused for the leaves for 2 minutes instead. Still the tea tasted bitter and astringent. I finally found some success bringing down the brewing temperature to 160 degrees. Even so, the tea has a rather acerbic edge to it, in a grassy kinda way. The blooms soften it somewhat but I'm still not entirely satisfied. This type of profile is not at all what I associate with the normally forgiving and smooth pouchongs.

On the upside, these leaves are incredibly hardy and can be reused a number of times. They always present a relatively rough, grassy profile. Fortunately it gets toned down over time, taking on a more grainy and fruity quality. In fact, my favourite infusion of this tea was my fourth, after a 6 minute-long steep. There is just a hint of jasmine left at this point but the leaves have somehow taken on a honey-peach flavour that is quite delicious.

While this tea does present a decent floral profile, it's obscured by the roughness of the tea base. While it is drinkable, I wouldn't buy this for myself and hesitate to recommend it to others, especially because of the little reward in return for such a high maintenance leaf. If I were to buy a jasmine tea from this retailer, I would reach for their excellent jasmine pearls instead.

Visit Mark T. Wendell Teas for more information on this tea and many more from their extensive product catalogue.

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