10 Memorable Teas from 2019

As the year wraps up I cannot help but extend gratitude to everyone that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, sharing tea with, and engaging in discussion within this community. I’ve learned so much not only about tea, but also in regards to myself within the world of the leaf. Whether it’s a profound tea-drunk experience or a tea gifted by a dear friend, we can all agree that there are teas that leave a mark on us throughout the year. I invite you to join me as I sit down with some Hojicha Hanamitsu from Hojicha Co. and reflect on this past year in my tea journey. The teas below are in no way ranked and though I could recall many more experiences than these ten, I’d feel selfish if I rambled on and on! Let me get the kettle set to 90 C, vessels warmed and tea dished out for this trip down memory lane!

JS 4

I enjoyed Jade Star 4 after a long and tiring day, and inspired by album release from A Winged Victory For The Sullen. The album, The Undivided Five, accompanied a soon tea-drunk experience as the aged white tea transported me through introspection, sorrow, and elation.

My reflection can be found HERE
The tea can be found HERE

2017 VECTOR RAW PUER

A delicious tea I had the pleasure of tasting thanks to Nazanin of Tea Thoughts, this tea uses a blend of Spring and Autumn pickings to create something robust, sweet, and astringent in all the right places. It has allowed me to recall the super fun virtual tea session we had shared a week or so earlier.

The tea can be found HERE

WUYI STYLE HEAVY ROAST OOLONG

This was one of the many teas shared on the afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting both Jeff of UNYtea and Winston! This Taiwanese Oolong was processed in similar conditions as Wuyi roasted Oolongs in China and it’s the dynamic characters of the Nantou terrior and Chinese processing that makes this complex and a wonderful tea to explore. Months later and we went live in a comparison with a Dong Ding, furthering the exploration and highlighting just how unique it is as a tea. This tea is a treat for these many-faceted reasons!

The tea can be found HERE

AMBER GABA

With smooth notes of caramel, scotch, dates, and petrichor, it’s a wonderful tea that grows in depth well into infusion 5 and the experience of my first time tasting this wonderful GABA tea still lingers in my mind on frigid mornings.

The tea can be found HERE

HUO SHAN HUANG YA

Buttered asparagus, warm chestnut, and baked zucchini drove this summertime experience as I felt relaxed and warm with comfort. The liquor was clean with a pale gold a tinge of blue brilliance. Won as a part of a giveaway, I was pleased at the sight of such a lovely yellow tea and the taste did not disappoint! I can easily recall the golden hour evening I spent enjoying this tea.

The tea can be found HERE

BENIFUKI WHITE

Specially produced, this Japanese tea is a lovely departure from the traditional black tea processing common of this cultivar. It yields a pine and pepper spice, sweet syrupy finish, and provides many infusions! I highly recommend also conducting side by side comparative tastings with other white teas or with the usual Benifuki black.

The tea can be found HERE

HOJICHA HANAMITSU

Hojicha Hanamitsu is a celebration of autumnal memories and flavors with bold yet balanced notes of caramelized sugars, rice cake toast and grilled vegetation. This culminates into an invigorating smoky experience different than the common Lapsang Souchong and unique when compared to other Hojichas out there.

My reflection can be found HERE
The tea can be found HERE

ANJI BAI CHA

Spring in a cup! There’s a minerality that quenches the soul and exudes warm pumpkin seeds, sweet corn, a Baby’s Breath. It is fresh and full of vitality

The tea can be found HERE

GREEN HEART BAOZHONG

I chose this Green Heart BaoZhong for my first session with the then newly acquired Gong Fu Story. Sweet with deep floral notes and crisp clarity made the pairing of Lake Michigan on a warm April day absolutely perfect!

The tea can be found HERE

LONG JING

I’ve had such a blast with Long Jing this year. From using it as the subject of our first STEAP’D With Friends Tasting Session, to exploring multiple cultivars in horizontal sessions, this tea has been a treat to revisit throughout the year! No matter how common this tea is, it’s an exercise in tasting and discerning quality through research and practice.

My reflection can be found HERE

I hope you enjoyed some of the teas that have stuck with me over the course of 2019. I’m looking forward to many more and I would love to hear which teas have stood out to you!

Steep well!

Marco

6 Comments

    1. Eric, please do! I’m very interested to see what teas stood out to others! It’s also a nice way to reflect instead of making a “top 10” or “best teas” list, as these celebrate without hierarchy! I look forward to seeing yours!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, with so many teas it’s difficult to condense – I definitely couldn’t do a top ten list because of that! Feel free to share any number of memorable teas, as they don’t even need to have been good to be memorable! ☺️

      Like

  1. Great diverse list of teas there! A tea that really stood out to me in 2019 was rum barrel shou puerh from Crimson Lotus Tea. Every time they release that tea it sells out quick! I got my first Jianshui mini clay barrel of some back in the summer and just finished drinking the last of it now on the last day of January. Luckily I have a refill pack they released in the fall!

    Like

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