Spirit Tea

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drank Earthchild Eighteen by Spirit Tea
81 tasting notes

Today I told myself that I really need to drink the tea that I already own, instead of buying more? it’s because it’s hot and terrible and I just stay in the house reading about cat food and somehow end up buying tea? ugh. it needs to stop.

Spirit Tea currently has a Ruby 18 on their site that is just called Ruby 18, I made the Earthchild Eighteen page because as a person who catalogues books at a library, the name difference bothered me enough to make sure that there were different pages for the different names. the box this tea came in also lacks the cool region/producer/harvest info that is on the website (well, it does have the harvest date).

anyway, I love this Ruby 18, even though it’s just been hanging out for the past year…forgotten.

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drank Red Chai by Spirit Tea
1 tasting notes

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drank Shan Lin Xi by Spirit Tea
4 tasting notes

A really nice high quality Shan Lin Xi. I drank this brewed in a gaiwan in it’s entirety(multiple infusions mixed together) in a coffee shop, but I’m sure that brewing gong fu cha the intensity of flavor and sweetness will be more pronounced.

Huge silky body. Lots of buttery florality going on, but still crisp and green.

Notes of cucumber and jasmine. I’m most impressed by the way this tea finishes. It’s satisfying, smooth, mouth watering, and I can’t help but take another drink.

It’s not the most complex Taiwanese oolong that I have had, and a little flat at that, but for that silky body it’s worth my recommendation.

205 °F / 96 °C

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I swear I added this one. Anyway.

This was my first Mei Shan. It is a good oolong tea and it delivers on some of the company’s promises, but not all of them. Spirit Tea pitches notes of butterscotch, orchid, and cream on their website, and lemon zest, clarified butter and plum on the bag. The thick floral and buttery border on spaghetti butter. The fruity lemon zest is there by default as the jade oolongs green aftertaste while plum is something I partially recognize. The tea has a plum’s tartness, but not so much in terms of sweetness. Orchid was the only floral I could have picked out on my own while the rest of it was plain sour, creamy, and buttery. Butterscotch-not really there.

Though this works gong fu, the texture was not as well developed as it was western. Gong fu produced more light florals and sour butteriness, whereas Western was creamier and slightly fruitier against my expectation for opposite. Even with care gong fu, less leaves was a better way to go to get more nuance as the leaves opened at a steady rate in the first three minutes.

I liked this tea, but I was not infatuated. It was stronger than What-Cha’s Mei Shan, but What-Cha’s Mei Shan was lighter balancing out the teas creamier and grassier tendencies more. I’m surprised I did not like this one more since it was a Qing Xin, but it could be just because of the season. Several Shan Lin Xi’s and Ali Shan’s of the same varietal have had an overwhelmingly buttery sour taste in general while lacking some the florals and fruity notes I like-and over and over again there have been mentions about 2015 and 2016 not being a good year for a lot of high mountain varieties. People who actually work with these teas, correct me if I am wrong.

I recommend a try of it or for someone looking for subtle nuances, but I do not recommend it to a newbie because of its grassy butter spaghetti taste or for the price of $19 for 1.5 ounces. I personally recommend Spirit Tea’s blacks and whites over the oolongs so far anyway. That might change in another season, or with another one of their oolongs.

I think the tea deserves an 80 or above for quality, but I could have bought another tea of the same terroir for cheaper. I’m not confident how fair that assessment is because I do like this company and did brew about thirteen sessions so far, but I could have bought a Li Shan or four ounces of a Coconut Flavored Baozhong for the same price. I’ll hold off on the rating though I’m leaning towards a 70.

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I’m drastically lowering the rating after having another Baozhong that I swear is the exact same as this one for much cheaper. Exact same nuances, texture, lilac florals, and strength for just over $6 for 50 grams instead of $9 for 42 grams.

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1 1/2 ounces is a decent amount for a tea. I got this to try some of Spirit Tea’s oolongs and figured this would be a decent green oolong while I wait for my several other green oolongs to arrive. Lilac, lilies, and bock choy pretty much describe this tea Gong Fu or Western. The florals a little more pronounced Gong Fu, but so were the grassier qualities. I actually preferred the tea western overall at 3-4 grams in 6 oz for 2-3 minutes, only raising the later steeps by 30 seconds, 45 seconds, and 50 seconds more yielding anywhere from 4-6 cups. The texture was noticeably creamier western, and it was more refreshing oddly enough.

The tea definitely had some nuance, but the florals did not expand too much beyond lilac, lily, or honeysuckle. The bock choy was a hit or miss quality, but the creaminess was much welcomed. It was not as complex or sweet as other Bao Zhongs that I’ve had, but this would fall into a quality just above standard and the florals and body were the tea’s highlight. I swear the tea got more floral as I got to the bottom of the bag. $9 is not a horrible price for the amount of tea I had or the quality, but I could get the same amount for slightly cheaper.

I would recommend this tea, but it is not a tea that blew my socks off. There are a few other teas I would refer instead for trying a Bao Zhong for the first time though this one would be in the top 10 at least. It’s also good if you are looking for a smoother version of a green tea.

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Thank you Spirit Tea! I’ve been enjoying Gui Fei’s a lot more lately. It’s probably because I’m not over leafing and thus overloading on the tannin. As for the teas from this company, I’ve been fairly pleased with most of the offerings. Most prices seem pretty fair, some a little more expensive though the quality is solid anyway. The brewing times and ratios for most of their oolongs thus far have been pretty similar to Beautiful Taiwan’s ratios with very little leaf and long minutes western, or controlled moderate length steeps limited to 30 seconds gong fu.

The notes are pretty close on the website though they differ from the package. I got the website notes of passionfruit, rose and marble rye Gong Fu and the package notes of rye toast, honey, and peach western. I think the latter description was more accurate overall. The Gong Fu was in the 150 ml Manual Tea Maker Gaiwan using close to four grams, starting off with 30, and then increasing the increments by thirty until I got into three minutes. It only held up 5 times with the rosy description and peach being stronger in the middle, the honey going through a bell curve, and then ending softly with the persistent rye roast character. Western was also in the Tea Maker using less than 3 grams, starting with 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, then 7 minutes. The texture was noticeably thicker and creamier making the brew a little sweeter and maltier. Some tannin was here and there, but it was far from astringent. The honey notes also lingered a little longer which surprised me.

Simply put, this was a fruity, honeyed great example of a Gui Fei. I preferred western style for this tea personally because of the texture, but this tea was still fairly flexible. It’s sweet enough for a newbie to try and well rounded enough for someone who is more experienced. Price is the only thing that bothered me overall because it would have been $19 for an ounce and a half, never mind I could get it for the same quality or better for $10-15 bucks for three ounces. Then again I am pickier with roasted oolongs.

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This is a wonderfully floral tea with really sweet high notes. Truly a lovely TGY

Flavors: Cucumber, Fig, Floral, Honeysuckle

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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drank Saigon by Spirit Tea
1247 tasting notes


Drank this as a pour over at Bloom Coffee Roasters.

This seems like a simple blend: Saigon cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorn, and lemongrass. I also happen to go nuts over those ingredients, and I am glad this was a simple herbal. The spices were all very fresh and the cinnamon was mouth-coating and warming. The peppercorn added a much needed kick in the aftertaste, and the lemongrass smoothed the rest out with a slight sweetness. Is it weird that I think lemongrass is smooth?

It’s frickin’ obvious that this is a foodie’s herbal, but I personally enjoyed it. I would probably rate it around an 85 or higher, but I have the bad tendencies to do one night stands with herbal teas. I have a great experience with them when I’m in the mood, sloppy seconds if they suck, and then I forget them altogether. If only my actual love life were as promiscuous.

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Major Backlog: From Bloom Roasters Coffee Shop in Lansing.

Hell, there are so many notes to write. I had to make a review of this one, however.

The coffee shops that I’ve been typically stick to the some form of basic chai, green, earl grey, jasmine, chamomile, and what have you, but Bloom did something different. Written in the crisp white calligraphy on a chalk-board menu appeared the words “Silver Needle” with its notes saying “Vanilla frosting, hay, and cinnamon.” I immediately looked up the company named spirit tea. They had every solid basic that a snob would want-with a special emphasis on seasonal Baozhongs and roasted Tie Guan Yins on their website. I knew this was the real deal, as I knew this coffee shop took its fanciful audience’s taste seriously.

The way the brewed the tea was interesting: it was via pour over method like they do with their coffee: this was a coffee shop in the art district of a capital after all. I only got one cup of the tea, but it was satisfied me. The color was a light amber gold that you could only get from a white tea. The texture was thick and soft at the same time with no tannin and bare astringency, followed by a whispy character with a surprisingly strong cinnamon note. I’ve only had a few white teas do that, and this impressed me.

I would definitely try this tea again, and I at least had to share. This company seems to be right up the alley of people on here.

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