Review: The Tea Shelf Billimalai Long Ding

Green Tea, The Tea Shelf Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The scent is surprisingly bold, all lilac and artichoke."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.6/10
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I have had a couple teas from The Tea Shelf, and so far, they've been consistently quality leaves. Green teas are often a true test of a company, because they can be very expensive while simultaneously being very mediocre. This long ding is reasonably priced, which usually either means it's a good deal or a not particularly good leaf that isn't even worth the lower price tag.

The leaves are a somewhat dull colour in my opinion, but they are a beautiful shape: Long, flat spears. I brew a heaping teaspoon per cup at 160° for one minute. The scent is surprisingly bold, all lilac and artichoke. The taste is more delicate than the scent, but it has a buttery texture with hints of floral and vegetal notes. There's a mild underlying smokiness and a subtle mineral hint that balances the largely vegetal finish.

I steep two more times, two minutes for the second infusion and three minutes for the third. It holds up well for all three cups, picking up some more subtle smokiness. None of the steeps have bitterness or acidity.

Overall, it's more aromatic than flavourful, which can be either good or bad, depending on what you're looking for. It's complex but not over complicated, making it easy to drink and simple enough to brew. It's very affordable, but tastes like a high quality green tea, so it is definitely a good deal. I would definitely buy it and keep it around for when I want an easy brew that has some character and class.

— To purchase The Tea Shelf Billimalai Long Ding, 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.

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