Halfway There Coffee

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Recent Tasting Notes


Well, I really spoiled myself before the beginning of the school year. I earned it after working summer school and at a NEH seminar, so screw it, I’ll splurge a little bit.

Instagram is dangerous for me because it’s gotten better at marketing. This company was on my feed a few times, and they are a smaller store in Philadelphia specializing in coffee, cocoa with chocolate in it, and Taiwanese teas. Their selection is well rounded for Taiwanese tea lovers, but they actually push for both loose leaf and higher quality bags for the same loose leaf. I bought a bunch of a samples, consisting of: Greenwood, this one, Warm Winter, Golden Sparkle, Osmallure, and Honeybrook.

Warm Winter is likely an Alishan or a Dong Ding, Osmallure is Baozhong with osmanthus, Golden Sparkle is Baozhong, which I haven’t tried yet, and Honeybrook is a Jin Xuan black-likely bug bitten. I was considering on writing a note for each of them, but I’m being selfish with my time in describing them in because it won’t take an Anne Rice or Tolkien-esque style prose to do so.

Before I go into writing about them, the bag gives the leaves ample space and they look beautiful. Their scent is a bit muted, but I can tell it’s decent quality leaf. I tried Honeybrook first. It’s a little bit too on the bitter/breakfast style black tea side for me, but there was enough floral and fruity honey notes to add more dimension than a regular black tea. The tea was still a bit muted despite following the instruction, and could be a good boba base or a breakfast style tea for most. Osmallure looked pretty, but was the weakest tea out of all of them. I only got whisps of osmanthus in a generally green body. Warm Winter was shy too and pretty similar, but a lot creamier. After sitting a while, it had some stonefruit, but was mostly floral and creamy and faint in flavor, full in texture.

Greenwood, however, was the most full tea. Their description says this one is fruitier, and it is, but it’s got the profile I love in a Shanlinxi, leaning into a coconut oil like body with macademia and plumeria notes. There are definite hints of peach and some green wood qualities typical of a shanlinxi, but they mesh well in the longer steeps the company recommends and stands out as the most flavorful of the bagged teas so far. If I weren’t stocked on other oolongs, I’d consider getting a few bags of this one or more leaves.

I’m not surprised I liked this one the most-Shanlinxi’s are among my favorite after all. I think this company is worth checking out because of it’s unique approach to selling a western audience Taiwanese tea.

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Cream, Floral, Green Wood, Macadamia, Oily, Plumeria, Spinach, Stonefruit, Sweet

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