Tuesday, August 7, 2018

AprTea Mall: White and Yellow, A Pair of Needle Teas, A Review

Lately I have been in a creative slump, not even really wanting to journal because of this stupid headache that never seems to end (I swear it is like this every summer, I thought moving away from the heat would help...so clearly it is the sunlight...whatever) so to keep myself occupied I have been indulging in gaming. Specifically a game on my Kindle called Townsmen, a city building simulator (like SimCity 2000, one of my favorite games from my youth) but set in feudal Europe and (which is very refreshing for a tablet game) it isn't pay to play. It is a fun little strategy game that while it isn't soul-crushingly hard can be quite a challenge at times, especially while playing scenarios that have crazy time limits. I love games where I can build things, makes me feel productive and creative when I am otherwise unable to be. I have also been drinking a lot of tea, my stomach is better so I can go back to drinking whatever I want again, and to celebrate I have been chugging the stuff!

So, today is a day of fuzzy needles, a pair of Yinzhen teas, one yellow and one white, both from AprTea Mall a shop in Anxi, China specializing in Chinese teas. I thought it would be fun to directly compare these teas, since they are equal parts similar and different.

Yellow Tea Junshan Yinzhen Ching Ming before Tender Buds Grade one

I love Yellow Teas, I think it might be one of my favorite kinds of teas, but they are a real pain to get in any volume since they just might be the rarest form of tea. This one is on the greener side, having its distinct yellow qualities but with a lot of similarities to classic green teas. The aroma is sweet, with notes of edamame, snap peas, zucchini and a hint of honeysuckles and sugarcane. Steeping the tea up brings out stronger green notes, with bell peppers and broccoli with a bit of hay at the finish. The taste is that great middle point between green and yellow, with notes of snap peas, sweet hay, bell peppers, honeysuckles, and a finish of lingering sweet marshmallows that I really liked. The mouthfeel was light and very gentle, and you can get a lot of steeps out of this tea but for the most part there is not a lot of change between the steeps.

Fuding WhiteTea Baihao Yinzhen Special Grade

Onward to some classic Silver Needle White Tea, another long time favorite that I especially love to drink during the summer where its cooling nature keeps me from igniting. The aroma of the long and fuzzy tea needles is super crisp and fresh, I feel like they came straight from the tea fields. Notes of honeydew melon, sweet hay, wildflowers, and cucumber blend together for a refreshing combination. Brewing the tea brings out subtle peony notes that add a level of sweetness to the mostly crisp aroma. The taste is wonderfully crisp and cooling, with notes of cucumber and hay with a finish of wildflowers and peony flowers. This tea also goes for many steeps, it does alter a bit with later steeps, bringing in more flowery sweetness and losing the crisp cucumber notes while still being refreshing and cooling. I had a nice evening with this tea and was sad when I finally squeezed all the flavor out of the leaves.

Tea sent for review

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