It’s been a while… like over a year. But if you’re reading this I profess that I am still alive and breathing! Why haven’t I been posting any blogs? Well… Idk, I guess I lost the will to do it. The novelty wore off and tea blogging started to feel like a chore and a bit pointless. But it’s a beautiful fall day, I have three cool new teas to review, and (at least for now) doing a blog post sounds like fun. And I have to show off my new little buddy, a honeybee teapet that I made myself!
Tea Side, a company specializing in teas from Thailand and Myanmar, recently posted on Steepster offering free samples in exchange for reviews, and of course I jumped on for the opportunity. I’d actually been wanting to try Tea Side for a while, as their teas look interesting and nice, and I’ve never knowingly tried a tea from Thailand or Myanmar. I thought it would be interesting to see how they compare to Yunnan teas.
Tea Side sent me three samples: a 2018 Dian Hong Ancient Tree black tea, 2006 Hong Tai Chang 0802 raw puerh, and a 2018 Ancient Tree “Raspberry Black Pine” shou.
I decided to go for the Ancient Tree black first. The dry leaf smells woody and musky with a honeyed sweetness. The taste is of rich dark wood and berries. It’s thick, musky, and honeyed with a slight tartness. It fills the mouth with rich, woodsy flavors. Really good stuff! Very similar to what I’d expect from a high quality Yunnan black.
2006 Hong Tai Chang 0802 sheng: The leaf has been carefully broken apart from the cake, it smells briny and sort of oceanic. It brews a nice gold-orange color. Like the aroma, the taste is briny, but also yeasty sweet with notes of fruit and pine. Not wet stored, but “funky” in a different way, sort of like Belgian ales. Not your average aged sheng. I drink several steepings and want to like it… but honestly it’s not quite for me. It’s not at all a bad tea, but definitely different.
2018 Ancient Tree “Raspberry Black Pine” shou. Quite an interesting name, I’m interested to see how this one is. The dry leaves are small and dark without much of an aroma, good or bad. I use all twelve grams in my 140mL pot and it brews a very very dark brown. The taste however is surprisingly mellow and light. It has a medicinal pine-y flavor, and a sightly odd combination of sweet and savory. It’s quite different than any ripe tea I’ve had before. There’s even a bit of a floral quality too it, like dried flowers. It’s nice and very different. Not a shou I’d want to drink regularly, but something unique and different.
My favorite of the three was definitely the 2018 Dian Hong, but all were interesting and I’m glad I tried them!
We don’t really have any fall leaf piles in Florida, so bee buddy decided to play in the shou. Ta ta for now!