Tea of the Week – White Peony

Name: White Peony

Type:  White

Region:  Fujian province, China

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $2 for a five cup sample

First Impressions:  Large leaves, some covered in white but not all

Review:

The second white tea from my sampler, I thought this would be very similar to snowbud.  In some ways it was – light tones sweet smelling before brewed.  What surprised me is it isn’t sweet like snowbud.  Instead it has a not-quite-smoky flavor that reminded me more of green tea.  It definitely had a noticeable flavor to it, as opposed to some white teas that are so light they only hint at a flavor.  It is good, and the smokiness was a nice change up from the other white teas I have tried.

My Rating:
3 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – Snowbud

Name: Snowbud

Type:  White

Region:  Fujian province, China

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $2 for a five cup sample

First Impressions:  Large leaves, with interesting white “hair” on them

Review:

The first of four white teas that I am trying, snowbud was a good start.  It has very subtle flavors, really weak compared to a green or even a oolong tea.  Drinking it I feel the smoothness of it more than anything else.  Even though it doesn’t have a strong flavor per say, it is a really enjoyable drink.  It leaves a smooth warm feeling for quite  a while after you have finished it.  I enjoyed it, I think I will be able to judge it a little better after I have tried some of the other white teas.

My Rating:
3 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – Darjeeling #22

Name: Darjeeling #22

Type:  Black

Region:  Darjeeling, India

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $3 for a ten cup sample

First Impressions:  Sweet smelling, like fresh straw

Review:

Well, last week I finished up my samples from adagio, so now it is back to some tea I was going to review earlier.  I have a white tea sampler that I will be starting next week, but this week I thought I would slip in a black tea I like: Darjeeling #22.  Interesting note: I found out that a lot of tea marketed as “Darjeeling” actually doesn’t come from that region, they just use the name because it is so popular.  The tea was mellow for a black tea, with a roasted scent and flavor.  There really was no hint of bitterness in the aftertaste, something I find myself appreciating more and more.  Overall, a good cup, but nothing amazing.

My Rating:
3  / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

Tea of the Week – Fujian Jasmine Pearl

Name: Fujian Jasmine Pearl

Type:  Oolong

Region:  Taiwan

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $29 for maestro sampler set (4 teas)

First Impressions:  “Pearl” shaped leaves, floral smell

Review:

Another first for me, I’ve never had a Jasmine tea before.  The first thing that was surprising to me was just how strong the jasmine scent is, both from the leaves and the tea when made.  It smelled like I had just picked a bunch of fresh flowers!  The tea has a unique, light, flowery flavor.  It was very light, similar to last weeks Formosa Pochong, but definitely has a sweeter aftertaste.  While I can’t say I’ve ever eater a flower, I definitely think this is what it would taste like.  The smell was actually a little overpowering to me, but I would imagine this would be great for a Jasmine tea lover.

My Rating:
3  / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

*Disclosure (AND Thanks!): This was part of a free sampler I got from Adagio to preview.

Tea of the Week – Formosa Pochong

Name: Formosa Pochong

Type:  Oolong

Region:  Taiwan

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $29 for maestro sampler set (4 teas)

First Impressions:  Sweeter smelling, grassy

Review:

A very light oolong tea, Formosa Pochong reminds me more of a white tea than a green.  With absolutely no smokiness or bitterness, it was very smooth and pleasant.  It hints at different flavors more than anything, making them a little hard to describe.  One distinct characteristic I noticed is a very sweet aftertaste that lingers for quite a while.  I think this is probably my favorite oolong so far, and maybe my favorite from the maestro collection.

My Rating:
4  / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

*Disclosure (AND Thanks!): This was part of a free sampler I got from Adagio to preview.

Tea of the Week – Fujian Ti Kuan Yin

Name: Fujian Ti Kuan Yin

Type:  Oolong

Region:  Taiwan

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $29 for maestro sampler set (4 teas)

First Impressions:  Looks similar to Fujian Ali Shan, but has a slightly sweeter smell

Review:

Another Oolong this week – Fujian Ti Kuan Yin.   Similar in shape to Fujian Ali Shan, expected it to be pretty similar, but wasn’t sure.  After tasting I discovered it has a very delicate flavor and doesn’t have the sweet notes the leaves smell hinted at.  Also missing (happily) is the foul aftertaste that I found accompanied Fujian Ali Shan.  Nicely mellow with a slightly roasted finish, this was a pleasant tea to drink, but doesn’t immediately jump to the top of my list.

My Rating:
3.5 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

*Disclosure (AND Thanks!): This was part of a free sampler I got from Adagio to preview.

Tea of the Week – Fujian Ali Shan

Name: Fujian Ali Shan

Type:  Oolong

Region:  Taiwan

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $29 for maestro sampler set (4 teas)

First Impressions:  Pellet-Like Leaves, Slightly Sweet Grassy Aroma

Review:

First off, wow do these leaves “grow” in the water.  They go in as tightly packed little balls, and they unfurl to fill the whole container – interesting to see (well maybe “interesting” isn’t the right word, but it was neat).  Anyways, on to the tea.  My first tea from the lighter Adagio Maestro Sampler, Fujian Ali Shan, was really good.  Warm and mellow, it wasn’t really either sweet or bitter.  This tea goes down really smooth, it hints at a greener grassy taste, but stops short of it.  One thing I didn’t like was a slightly foul aftertaste, although not strong enough to make me dislike the tea, it was there.  Overall, another good oolong – I think oolong is slowly passing black as my second favorite tea.

My Rating:
3.0 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

*Disclosure (AND Thanks!): This was part of a free sampler I got from Adagio to preview.

Tea of the Week – Wuyi Da Hong Pao

Name: Wuyi Da Hong Pao

Type:  Oolong

Region:  China

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $29 for maestro sampler set (4 teas)

First Impressions:  Dark Leaves, roasted smell

Review:

The last in my maestro set #2 from adagio, Wuyi Da Hong Pao is the first oolong tea I have tried.  Somewhere between black and green tea, oolong should be interesting.  Wuyi Da Hong Pao smells a lot like most greens, but with a little bit darker, almost roasted touch.  The taste was mellow and warm.  It definitely fits right between green and black teas, with a strong taste but a nice smooth finish.  The flavors are woody and roasted; the aftertaste is long lasting, but not unpleasant.  A good tea, I wish I had more experience with oolong teas so that I had something to compare it to, but I guess that will come with time.

My Rating:
3.5 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

*Disclosure (AND Thanks!): This was part of a free sampler I got from Adagio to preview.

Tea of the Week – Yunnan Golden Pu Erh

Name: Yunnan Golden Pu Erh

Type:  Black

Region:  Yunnan, China

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $29 for maestro sampler set (4 teas)

First Impressions:  Unpleasant smell!

Review:

This is an interesting tea.  While it’s listed by adagio as a black tea, it’s technically a “Pu Erh” or fermented tea.  I wasn’t even really aware of this type of tea and found a lot of interesting information about it on the Wikipedia article.  Apparently this type of tea is better aged, and you can still find some from as far back as the Qing Dynasty.  As far as the tea itself goes, while interesting, I didn’t find it overly enjoyable.  I just couldn’t get past the rather pungent smell it puts off, although it does mellow some with brewing.  The flavor itself was pleasant enough.  It was slightly different than most black teas.  It wasn’t bitter, more of a clear slightly nutty taste.  Overall I would say definitely try it for the experience, but don’t get a large amount.  It’s different enough to be interesting the first few drinks, but not good enough to want after that.

My Rating:
2.5 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

*Disclosure (AND Thanks!): This was part of a free sampler I got from Adagio to preview.

Tea of the Week – Anhui Keemun

Name: Anhui Keemun

Type:  Black

Region:  China

Bought At:  Adagio.com

Price:  $29 for maestro sampler set (4 teas)

First Impressions:  Tiny Leaves, very slight grassy smell

Review:

My second tea from the Maestro Collection, Anhui Keeman is another hit.  The tea leaves were very tiny and didn’t give off a very strong smell, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  This tea has a nice smooth smoky taste that really goes down well.  There is a slight woody taste that complements the smokiness very nicely.  I find that with most black teas I prefer them with a bit of sugar to sweeten them up and take the bitter edge off, but this one was great plain.

My Rating:
3.5 / 5

brent
(Teageek.org Founder)

*Disclosure (AND Thanks!): This was part of a free sampler I got from Adagio to preview.