TEA REVIEWS: Three new Chinese black teas at What-Cha

What-Cha

Website: What-Cha
Twitter: @What_Cha_Tea
Facebook: What-Cha
Instagram: what_cha_tea
Company location: London, UK

Always on the hunt for new and interesting teas, What-Cha has recently acquired three new black Chinese teas. One is a pearl, another is a loose leaf and the final one is a cake.

Read on for more information about these teas.

China Fujian Zhangping Shui Xian Pearl Black Tea
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China Fujian Zhangping Shui Xian Pearl was harvested in spring 2015 near Nanyang village, Zhangping, Fujian, China. The cultivar is Shui Xian.

The leaves cup out a medium-dark golden liquor that has a honey-like aroma. The liquor is smooth and slightly thick, and it has layers of aroma and flavours, including malty, sweet, chocolatey, honey and raisin/dried fruits. It provides a coating, lingering aftertaste that settles in the throat and has sweet and malty notes.

Water temperature: 90 to 95C / 194 to 203F
Water quantity: 140ml / 4.7oz (USA)
Tea quantity: 3g / .11oz
Infusion times: 30s, 45s, 1m, 1m 15s, 1m 30s
Infusions possible: 4 to 6
Teaware used: Yixing teapot (gong fu style)

Retail price: 1 pearl (9 grams) for £1.60 / 5 pearls (45 grams) for £6.40 / 10 pearls (90 grams) for £11.52

 

China Shandong Laoshan Black Tea
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China Shandong Laoshan was harvested in early June 2015 on the Dong Tao farm in Laoshan, Shandong Province, China. The cultivar is Longjing No.43. Dong Tao has been growing tea the last two decades. One growing technique that gives this Laoshan a special flavour is that Dong Tao exposes the tea plants to the elements year-round.

This tea cups out a copper-coloured liquor that a sweet, slightly malty aroma. The liquor is medium-bodied, provides a thick mouthfeel and is sweet. I detect chocolatey and honey-like flavours. The liquor gives off a lingering chocolate aftertaste.

Water temperature: 90C / 194F
Water quantity: 140ml / 4.7oz (USA)
Tea quantity: 3g / .11oz
Infusion times: 30s, 45s, 1m, 1m 15s, 1m 30s
Infusions possible: 5 to 6
Teaware used: Yixing teapot (gong fu style). A glass teapot would also work well.

Retail price: 1 pearl (9 grams) for £1.60 / 5 pearls (45 grams) for £6.40 / 10 pearls (90 grams) for £11.52

 

China Fujian Zhangping Shui Xian Cake Black Tea
IMG_0030

China Fujian Zhangping Shui Xian Cake was harvested in spring 2015 near Nanyang village, Zhangping, Fujian, China. The cultivar is Shui Xian.

This tea cups out a golden-coloured liquor with sweet and floral notes. The liquor is medium-bodied, refreshing, smooth, and has honey, chocolate and subtle floral flavours. The tea finishes with a punch of sweetness, but it doesn’t has a lingering aftertaste. Rather, it feels clean and refreshing on the palate.

Water temperature: 90 to 95C / 194 to 203F
Water quantity: 140ml / 4.7oz (USA)
Tea quantity: 3g / .11oz
Infusion times: 30s, 45s, 1m, 1m 15s, 1m 30s
Infusions possible: 4 to 6
Teaware used: Yixing teapot (gong fu style). This tea is also good for bowl brewing.

Retail price: 1 pearl (9 grams) for £1.60 / 5 pearls (45 grams) for £6.40 / 10 pearls (90 grams) for £11.52

 

Conclusions

Over the past six months I have developed a great fondness for Chinese black teas, so getting to try these three teas was an early Christmas gift. I would highly recommend trying all three of these teas, but the Zhangping Shui Xian Cake is my favourite. Whilst it is similar to the Fujian Zhangping Shui Xian Pearl, I feel that it has a subtle layer of floralness that gives it more complexity and really perked my interest. But they are both incredibly smooth and tasty teas, and I like the experience of breaking apart the cake or pearl to prepare it. The Shandong Laoshan also has distinct sweet notes, but it offers a very different drinking experience. It has a richer, thicker liquor that has chocolatey and honey-like notes. People who are interested in Taiwanese black teas should give it a try. The tea oozes quality from the appearance of the dry leaf to its refined aroma and flavour.

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About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at teaxplorer@gmail.com if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
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