Grand Tea’s Yixing Black Tea

Yixing Black Tea by Grand Tea
Black Tea / Straight
$28.00HKD for 25g

20171011-grandteayixing

Grand Tea has provided me with Yixing Black Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Black teas are one of my favourite teas to have in the morning before I head off to work or just to start off my day. They just tend to put a bit more pep into my step whenever I need a bit more motivation or energy to go and do things. Luckily, Grand Tea sent me a sample of Yixing Black Tea (Yixing Souchong Black Tea on their website).

20171011-grandteayixing1

This straight black tea comes from the Jiangsu Province of China. The dry leaf has a subtle aroma to it that reminds me of dried apricots.

20171011-grandteayixing2

Preparation

There were no steeping instructions for Yixing Black Tea on the Grand Tea website, so I followed my usual steeping time for a black tea: Steep in 100°C (212°F) water for 4 minutes.

First Taste

Yixing Black Tea steeps to a golden orange colour, it’s quite beautiful. The tea itself has a soft aroma to it, there’s a mild honey smell and a subtle fragrance that reminds me of roasted cashews. There’s a slight nutty flavour to this straight black tea. The mild honey smell lends itself well to this tea because there’s just a touch of a sweetness to the tea that makes it quite palatable.

20171011-grandteayixing3

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Yixing Black Tea three additional times, and added 30 seconds per subsequent steep. I found that the cashew flavour got a bit stronger as the honeyed sweetness faded into the background. By the third resteep, I found the tea to be a bit watery so I would suggest a maximum of two resteeps for this tea before the flavours get too weak.

20171011-grandteayixing4

My Overall Impression

3cups-2

I liked Grand Tea’s Yixing Black Tea. I enjoyed the different flavours in this tea – the roasted cashews/nutty flavour with the honey sweetness. I do wish that the sweetness held on better with each resteep though, as that was one of the nicest parts of the flavour profile for me. It performs well when being resteeped, which is nice if you want to have this tea again and again during the day. Due to the sweetness in the initial steep, I think this tea would do well paired with either dessert or breakfast.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

2017 Autumn Tea Round Up

20171006-autumntea2

It’s been remarkably warm around here earlier this week, but I’m ready for autumn full on with the crisp leaves underfoot and it being the perfect weather for hot cups of tea and hand knits. Last year around this time, I shared of my favourite teas for the autumn and while I still love all of those, I thought I’d share five different teas that I’m heavily relying on this autumn as the weather gets cooler and I’m more in the mood for snuggling up under a quilt than going for a stroll along the water.

Out of DavidsTea’s Chai collection for the early autumn, I’m crushing on their S’mores Chai and love it at a latte over plain. A lot of stores have sold out of this one, so if you’re wanting to get your hands on some S’mores Chai, I’d recommend visiting your local shop earlier rather than later.

Grand Tea’s Premium Pearl Jasmine makes the list because I love jasmine green teas and this is one that I’ve found myself reaching for repeatedly the last few weeks. It makes such a great cup of tea and when I (accidentally!) leave it a bit too long, it’s still great cold.

For a more ‘normal’ Chai, I’ve been drinking Chai from The Virginia Tea Company and loving every moment of it. It makes for a nice cozy cup of tea with the lovely warming properties of cinnamon and ginger – delicious!

I caved and bought a tin of DavidsTea’s Cardamom French Toast lately and have been greatly enjoying it as a latte. When I take it to work, I’ve been steeping it at home and then adding milk later at work. It helps cool it down (since my travel mug keeps tea way too hot!) and I can instantly enjoy it.

For the days that I’ve actually been at home, I’ve been enjoying Oollo Tea’s Cuiruan High Mountain Oolong. A delight for my taste buds, for sure! It makes for a great at-home tea because of how many times I can manage to resteep this tea and still enjoy it. It’s been a joy to have when I’m at home and just to have throughout the day.

What has been some of your favourite teas to have so far this autumn? (And if you’re in the southern hemisphere, what are you having during your spring?) Share with me below in the comments!

Grand Tea’s White Down Silver Needle – Zheng He

White Down Silver Needle – Zheng He by Grand Tea
White Tea / Straight
$52.00HKD for 25g

20171004-grandteasilverneedle

Grand Tea has provided me with White Down Silver Needle – Zheng He for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Another silver needle white tea from Grand Tea to try and review and I couldn’t be more please. Similarly from an earlier review (White Down Silver Needle – Fuding), White Down Silver Needle – Zheng He is from the Fujian Province of China and is an expensive form of tea due to the fact that it’s young buds harvested early in the growing season.

20171004-grandteasilverneedle1

White Down Silver Needle – Zheng He is a very soft tea! There’s a lot of tiny feathery hairs on these leaves and it’s kitten-soft to the touch. The dry leaf has a subtle aroma to it that reminds me a bit of dragonfruit – just a hint of light fruity sweetness.

20171004-grandteasilverneedle2

Preparation

Grand Tea recommends steeping White Down Silver Needle – Zheng He in 70-80°C (158-176°F) for 2-3 minutes and no longer than 5 minutes. My initial steep of this silver needle was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

White Down Silver Needle – Zheng He steeps to a very pale yellow. The aroma that comes up from this tea still reminds me of dragon fruit, but then there’s some additional aromas as well. I get a bit of cantaloupe and cucumber from this tea, and just a light honey sweetness from the fragrance of this steeped tea.

20171004-grandteasilverneedle3

Luckily, this silver needle does not disappoint on flavour. I taste a mix of dragon fruit with the freshness of cucumber flavour, along with just a bit of sweetness that reminds me of honey. This tea is much like the other silver needle I reviewed recently from Grand Tea in that it has a thickened texture, despite being thin. It winds up being a nice full mouthfeel to this tea when I drink it with zero bitterness or astringency.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped White Down Silver Needle – Zheng He a total of five times (six steeps total), increasing the steep time by about 45 seconds per additional steep. I found that the first resteep was the deepest in colour – it became a bright golden yellow. The flavours of this tea intensified as I steeped it, and reached a peak in flavour by the second and third resteeps. I found that the cantaloupe flavour was at its strongest, and balanced well with the freshness of the cucumber flavours and the light honeyed sweetness in the background.

20171004-grandteasilverneedle4

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved Grand Tea’s White Down Silver Needle – Zheng He. I might even say that it was more enjoyable than the other recent silver needle review I did for Grand Tea because I love the added freshness that the cucumber flavours add to this tea. The flavours of this straight white tea are wonderfully complex and a delight for the taste buds. I love how the subtle changes led to a different balance of aromas and flavours in this silver needle and I really enjoyed steeping it again and again to see how each steep would differ. I had this tea while having lunch and it paired quite nicely with both my savoury meal and the fruit that I had afterwards, so it would be a good option to pair with dessert as well.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.