Well, dear readers. the the idea to write a post on some of my favorite teas came to mind. As for which categories of tea I prefer, oolong takes first place, then black tea, followed by white tea, and green tea the last place. I just prefer the flowery and yellow fruit flavors which one tends to find in oolong. It’s particularly relaxing after a hard or stressful day. Oolong’s caffeine level stands midway between black and green teas, so it won’t keep one awake all night. Black tea is practically a sine qua non for me in the morning: the morning doesn’t start until that first sip of Assam or whatever strong tea fills my cup passes my lips. Occasionally, I do have coffee, but I often find myself making a pot of tea afterwards anyway. Then, green tea goes well during the afternoon or dinner. Even though I prefer white tea to green tea, sometimes there is difficulty in finding the right occasion for it: having a cup or two of white tea used to be my favorite way of sobering up from a drinking party; so, it’s often the last tea of the day. Now, I shall name which specific strains of tea within each of these four categories are my favorite.
My favorite Oolong has always been Phoenix Mountain Oolong. It’s flavors of honeysuckle and apricot are particularly endearing. At the moment, I’m trying an oolong from the same region sourced by Adagio Teas, named Dancong Aria. It’s also quite wonderful, but the flavors seem a little less intense than what I remember in the Peet’s oolong.
Among black teas, I used to consider Assam my favorite, either this one offered by Coffee Bean Direct (which offers some great value) or Peet’s Assam Golden Tip. It boasts a very rich, malty flavor. Once someone who tasted this tea remarked to me how wonderful the “coffee” was! But, now that I’m using less sugar in my tea, Darjeeling Extra Fancy Kalimpong stands as the favorite. However, it’s odd in that I would never consider it as a proper morning tea: it has an intriguing winey character to it, which makes it pair very well with Italian food and various beef dishes. And if I have to mention a favorite blend, Peet’s Pride of the Port, which is rather close to Assam in flavor, is the best I’ve enjoyed.
I’d have to go to Peet’s again for my favorite white tea, but they seem to have discontinued it. However, this offering from Upton Teas seems most similar, so it was likely harvested from the same region. At the time I brought the Peet’s version, cash stood in short supply, so I asked my roommate, who frequently benefited from my hobby, to chip in for half. At first, he turned me down saying that $22 was far too much for just 2 oz. of tea. While in my room lamenting that other people might snatch up this tea before enough funds were available, my roommate walked into the room, read the description of the tea (which was on my computer screen), and instantly told me to buy it! Neither of us regretted that purchase in the least.
As for my favorite green tea, gunpowder green tea comes close, but I slightly prefer jasmine green tea. These teas are at opposite ends of the green tea spectrum: the gunpowder one has a very deep earthiness to its flavor, while the jasmine is flowery–of course–and very refreshing.
I’ve been using links from various tea companies. If this article has aroused your curiosity enough to buy any of these, I recommend Coffee Bean Direct for those who want value; Peet’s for those who are willing to spend more for higher grades of tea; Adagio Teas for those who also want a higher grade of tea, but a little more variety; and Upton Tea Imports for an experienced tea buyer who can find the best teas among their 420 offerings! For those of you who have no intention of ever delving into the world of tea, I hope that you at least found the article interesting: that there’s more to tea than what you see on the shelves in your average grocery store.