Review: Golden Tips Tea Temi FTGFOP 1 Clonal First Flush 2012

Black Tea, Golden Tips Tea No Comments »
MaryAnn’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"As I continued to sip this tea, it tasted more and more like a nice smooth second flush, although Golden Tips described it as an April harvest first flush. "
MaryAnn’s Teaview: 7.6/10
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Having just reviewed a similar Temi first flush (SFTGFOP 1), I wondered how the teas would compare. My first sip of this tea was a bit disappointing. It brewed to a strong, Darjeeling-like tea (technically this is a Sikkim, from a nearby Indian state) but without the subtlety of the previous Temi tea sample. Perhaps the extra “S” for Superfine makes for a big difference?

As I continued to sip this tea, it tasted more and more like a nice smooth second flush, although Golden Tips described it as an April harvest first flush. I decided to drop my expectation of subtle first flush complexity, even drop the urge to compare with my previous Temi experience.

Given this tea brews quite strong, I was interested to see what the second infusion would do. It held up well to brewing, still strong, but with no particular new qualities emerging. Overall, this tea didn’t do much to grab my attention.

Dry leaves are small and fairly greenish, with a mix of browns. The tea brews to medium coppery liquor that’s fairly bright, with mild plant aroma.

Golden Tips is a family owned tea trade business established in 1933. They are located in Darjeeling and direct source their teas from a wide range of plantations across India.

— To purchase Golden Tips Tea Temi FTGFOP 1 Clonal First Flush 2012, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: MaryAnn MaryAnn
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Review: T-oolongtea.com Lishan Tian Fu Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea, T-OolongTea.com No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Bright and perky, this cup displays a lovely balance between grass, flower and milk notes. Highly recommended."
Sophie’s Teaview: 9.1/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 7.8/10, Dave gave it 6.5/10, CJ gave it 10/10, Katie gave it 7.7/10, Katie gave it 7.4/10
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This offering was harvested in June 2012 at an altitude of 2200 meters above sea level on the slopes of Li Mountain in Taiwan. This semi-oxidized oolong promises intense floral notes. The leaves are tightly rolled into raisin-sized nuggets. Their scent is primarily creamy, grassy and floral.

I brewed this tea using a heaping teaspoonful of nuggets in 8 ounces of water heated to 95 degrees for 3 minutes. The pale gold cup is fragrant with a sweet, milky smell. The flavour profile is very “green”, with a zippy, planty taste present throughout each sip. It’s also very creamy and lush, leaving an oily feel in the mouth. Floral notes emerge in the long-lasting finish. Bright and perky, this cup displays a lovely balance between grass, flower and milk notes.

After a 4 minute steep, my second brew is less planty and thus more conventional in taste than the first. The smooth, fruity cup develops a delicious lily of the valley and honey finish. It also gets creamier and fuller-flavoured (and so more satisfying) as it cools.

I managed to pull two more decent infusions from the leaves following a 5 and a half and a seven minute-long steep. These weren’t terribly complex, mostly just sweet fruit and grass notes. The last had a definite mineral tinge to it, but no other obvious drawbacks. Sometimes simplicity is just what the doctor ordered!

This tea is currently out of stock at the time of writing. I can see why it’s so popular besides its reasonable price: bright sap and grass notes, lush floral tones and a rich creamy feel. It’s perfectly suited to those who like their oolongs on the greener side. It also should please fans of milky teas – it’s creamier than some actual milk oolongs I’ve tried before. Yet another winner from T-oolongtea.com! Highly recommended.

— To purchase T-oolongtea.com Lishan Tian Fu Oolong Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Sophie Sophie
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Review: Lochan Tea Temi SFTGFOP 1 First flush 2012, Sikkim

Black Tea, Lochan Tea No Comments »
MaryAnn’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"That creamy undertone provides a calm base for the spicy and citrus notes, which provide an interesting and distinctive zip. "
MaryAnn’s Teaview: 8/10
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Sikkim lies in northeast India and is the least populated state. Temi, its sole tea estate, is a highly fertile tea garden in a rich biodiverse environment. The last king of Sikkim initiated tea growing in Sikkim to provide employment for Tibetan refugees. The garden is government owned and run according to the Institute of Marketing guidelines for producing organic tea.

The dry leaves are a pleasant mix of olive, brown, silver and near black. Their aroma is dominantly muscatel, plus woodsy/spicy.

The tea brewed to a fine orangey-tan liquor. The first sip was sweet, floral, yet also spicy. Full bodied yet smooth, with muscatel notes, creamy undertone and mild astringency. Perhaps there’s a hint of pineapple, in any case there’s a smoothing of the citrus notes.

I liked this tea very much. To my taste it resembles a high quality first flush Darjeeling, although technically it should be termed a Sikkim tea. That creamy undertone provides a calm base for the spicy and citrus notes, which provide an interesting and distinctive zip.

Lochan Tea provided my sample and serves as a merchant for this tea, although it is not currently listed on the Lochan web page. Contact Vivek Lochan through the company web site if you’re interested in this tea.

— To purchase Lochan Tea Temi SFTGFOP 1 First flush 2012, Sikkim, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: MaryAnn MaryAnn
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Review: Verdant Tea Yunnan White Jasmine

Jasmine Tea, Verdant Tea, White Tea, Yunnan Tea 1 Comment »
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The tea presents an absolutely perfect balance of delicate white flavor with luscious jasmine aroma. This is a white tea that I can see myself getting excited about. "
Vanessa’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 9.3/10, Samantha gave it 9/10
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Some people will do anything for a good cup of white tea. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. For whatever reason, I have never really embraced white tea, and I tend to favor the darker colored green and black counterparts. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy white tea, it’s just that I never really got excited about it. That is, until today’s sampling of Verdant Tea’s Yunnan White Jasmine, which is Silver Needle white tea scented with jasmine flowers. To start, the tea leaves appear to be as high quality as you can get. They are large and fluffy, with the downiness you expect from this type of leaf. The jasmine aroma is unmistakable; just one whiff of the dry leaves gives you a heady floral aroma. I deviated slightly from the Verdant recommended brewing parameters and chose to infuse one heaping teaspoon of leaves in one cup of 180-degree water for two and a half minutes. The tea presents an absolutely perfect balance of delicate white flavor with luscious jasmine aroma. This is a white tea that I can see myself getting excited about. The white tea has a sweet melon-like flavor that strikes the tongue first; this is then followed by the jasmine’s flowery essence. I sometimes steer clear of floral teas because I don’t like the sensation of drinking perfume, but with this tea, this concern is unwarranted. The jasmine is just strong enough to make its presence known, but does not get too pungent to resemble perfume. Taken warm, this tea is soothing and relaxing. I was pleasantly surprised to see that also drinks well as an iced tea. This tea allows for multiple infusions, allowing you to not only get the most out of your money (since this tea, which sells for $10 for one ounce, could be considered a little expensive), but also allowing you to experience slightly different flavor nuances with each infusion. I highly recommend this tea to anyone looking for a fresh white tea.

— To purchase Verdant Tea Yunnan White Jasmine, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Vanessa Vanessa
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Review: Tea Adventure Prayer to The Immortals

Oolong Tea, Tea Adventure 1 Comment »
Samantha’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"This tea is a happy medium between a lapsang souchong and earl gray with a woody roasted taste with hints of cinnamon and bergamot. "
Samantha’s Teaview: 8.5/10
Other Teaviews: Sophie gave it 6.1/10, Emma gave it 7/10
Your Reviews: 9/10
4 reader reviews | Add your review »

Prayer to the Immortals (LaoZong Shui Xian), the name reminds me of Mortal Combat or something. This tea comes from an amazing place, so beautiful I had to try (I would encourage you to go to the site and enjoy the pictures). These leafs are grown in a protected area where zero tourists are allowed. A place so majestic, I’m sure that’s how it got it’s name. Beautiful mountains and waterfalls, tea leafs are fed with mineral water that drips from the rocks in the protected area of Wuyishan.

Upon opening the sample packet I was amazed at how large the leaves were. I don’t drink a whole lot of oolong, but I had never seen a tea leaf so large and sprawled out like this.

I brewed for 3 minutes and a nice orangish black liquor was birthed. This tea, for me at least, was a happy medium between a lapsang souchong and earl gray with a woody roasted taste with hints of cinnamon and bergamot.

Tea Adventure’s Prayer to The Immortals is definitely a high grade tea, no dust, no broken particles, just pure large leafs.

— To purchase Tea Adventure Prayer to The Immortals, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Samantha Samantha
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Review: T-oolongtea.com Alishan Charcoal Fire Heavy Roast Oolong

Oolong Tea, T-OolongTea.com No Comments »
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The flavour profile combines all sorts of toasted, smoky, and roasted notes, from grains, to tobacco to marijuana. This tea is well worth it for fans of robust, smoky teas."
Sophie’s Teaview: 7.5/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8/10, CJ gave it 10/10
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This is a new offering available at T-oolongtea.com, in addition to a medium roast. Harvested in the spring of 2012, this semi-oxidized, high altitude oolong is roasted using only Taiwanese Longan or Acacia wood rather than electric roasters. This traditional roasting process imparts a unique smokey flavour to the leaves. My sample comes vacuum-packed in a foil pouch to ensure maximum freshness. The dark olive green leaf nuggets are raisin-like in appearance. Their aroma is predictably smoky and slightly grassy.

I steeped a heaping teaspoonful of leaf nuggets in 8 ounces of water heated to 95 degrees Celsius for 3 minutes. The resulting burnt orange-coloured cup has a smoky roasted grain and toasted bread aroma. Taking a sip, the first word that occurs to me is ‘robust’. The flavour profile combines all sorts of toasted, smoky, and roasted notes, from grains, to tobacco to marijuana. There is a touch of sweetness present, edged with a woody bitterness, somewhat like very dark chocolate. The overall presentation is complex, very filling and intense.

After 4 minutes my second steep is almost identical to previous. The only difference I found was the body being thinner. Otherwise it’s still very smoky, with a dark cocoa bite to the finish.

I got two more decent, albeit much milder steeps out of the leaves. The smokiness has almost disapeared, leaving grilled vegetable and grass notes to dominate the cup. The flavour profile remains well balanced until the end, no unpleasant effects coming forward.

This tea is completely different from the sweet, flowery flavours typical of Taiwanese oolongs. It has prominent smoke, wood, tobacco and dark chocolate notes. This offering is relatively reasonably priced, considering the complex, time consuming and costly process necessary to make this tea. This is perhaps not the most environmentally-friendly product, what with all the wood burning involved, but it’s an interesting foray into the world of roasted oolongs. Personally I like my oolongs a bit less smoky so I wouldn’t pick this up for myself but I can confirm that this is a high quality leaf. It’s well worth it for fans of robust, smoky teas.

— To purchase T-oolongtea.com Alishan Charcoal Fire Heavy Roast Oolong, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Sophie Sophie
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