This is the first time I’ve had an opportunity to review teas from a Belgium-based company. Valley of Tea is an online teashop that carries a variety of black, green, white, oolong and puerh teas. European and US orders over 50€ will receive free delivery.
Today I’m reviewing four teas stocked by Valley of Tea. Three of the teas were picked in spring 2015. They are extremely fresh and packed with flavour. And one tea – a white peony – was harvested in 2014 and has been aged to refine its flavours.
Bi Luo Chun
Bi Luo Chun was harvested in April 2015. It cups out a light green liquor that has a thick, creamy mouthfeel. The flavours in the liquor range from floral to smoky to slightly sweet. It is a medium-bodied tea that has a mild amount of tannins and a lingering smoky aftertaste. Infuse this tea two to three times with 80C water
Retail price: 15 gram for 4.25€ / 50 grams for 12.50€ / 100 grams for 21.75€
Goomtee Darjeeling Oolong
Goomtee Darjeeling Oolong was harvested in March 2015. It cups out a yellow liquor that has a floral aroma with sweet undertones. The liquor has layers of flavours, including floral notes, a subtle muscatel kick and some orange blossom-like sweetness. Goomtee Darjeeling Oolong is slightly dry and crisp, but the astringency is very mild. Infuse this tea two to three times with 85 to 90C water.
Retail price: 15 gram for 4.50€ / 50 grams for 13.28€ / 100 grams for 23.10€
Avongrove Darjeeling was harvested in March 2015. It cups out a dark golden liquor that has layers of flavours. With the first infusion, it has a berry-like sweetness and some subtle muscatel and floral notes. The first infusion has almost no astringency. The second infusion cups out a slightly crisper liquor that has some lemony flavour and a bit more astringency. Infuse this tea two to three times with 85 to 90C water.
Retail price: 15 gram for 4.20€ / 50 grams for 12.33€ / 100 grams for 21.44€
White Peony (Bai Mu Dan)
White Peony (Bai Mudan) cups out a golden liquor that has a sweet aroma with some grassy undertones. It has classic sweet, melon-like flavours that make white peony teas special. The flavour in this tea is bold, but it has no astringency. Infuse this tea two to three times with 85 to 90C water.
Retail price: 15 gram for 3.67€ / 50 grams for 10.79€ / 100 grams for 18.79€
While it was a pleasure to have all of these teas in my cup, my two favourite are White Peony and Avongrove Darjeeling. White Peony is loaded with flavour – it is not one of those really delicate white teas that you struggle to pull body out of. Moreover, it tastes high quality, as the flavour are refined and there is no astringency. Avongrove Darjeeling is a great tea because it changes character so much between the first and second infusion. I found the first infusion to be unique for a first flush, with its berry-like flavours; the second infusion offers classic first flush flavours and astringency/dryness. First flush drinkers will really love the complexity in this tea.