Blog Tasting Notes

Teas of 2023

This post shares the wonderful teas of 2023 that my monthly newsletter, Tea Infusiast News, featured in its “What’s Steeping” section.

I paid full price for each of these teas (except one given to me by a friend). In other words, no one is sponsoring this post.*

Each of the teas featured in the “What’s Steeping” section of the newsletter were either new to me in 2023, or I learned a new way to prepare them in 2023. They all delighted me! Let’s see if we have any tea loves in common…

March Tea of 2023

In February, I visited T-Shop in New York City for the first time and had my first experience with (Old Bush) Man Tang Xiang Dan Cong. So, this tea was on my mind as I wrote the March 2023 newsletter.

Inside T-Shop: pouring amber-colored Man Tang Xiang tea from a fairness pitcher to a teacup sitting on a tea tray next to an ivory teapot.

The name of this tea can be translated as “room filled with fragrance” according to T-Shop. And–wow–does it ever live up to its name! The aroma of this tea really does travel and fill a room in a way that’s distinctive. I fell in love with the fragrance and the way the tea clung to my palate.

Man Tan Xiang is a warming tea with calming energy. The fragrance and flavor were remarkable, too, with notes of peach, lychee, spice, and more.

You can read my review of T-Shop here.

New-To-Me July Tea of 2023

Several teas called out to be featured in the July “What’s Steeping.” One tea was new to me.

I could not get enough of the 2023 First Kiss Old Tree Black Tea from Vietnam carried by The Steeping Room. Think dark chocolate, maple, peach, and more. I loved it gongfu style. This tea didn’t last long at my house because I couldn’t resist it! So good!

New Ways to Enjoy Established Favorites

I also found new ways to enjoy two other teas featured in the July 2023 newsletter.

Rice oolong tea prepared sparking, pouring from a cobalt blue bottle through a tea strainer into a tall glass with blue and purple stripes

Another tea that came back on my radar and delighted me was Rice Oolong. This tea is processed with a Thai herb that tastes like sticky rice. I first bought it directly from Teawala and found it comforting and delicious served hot. Then, it showed up in the June Tea Tasting Box from Being Tea. When Sooz of Being Tea mentioned how good Rice Oolong was cold brewed, I knew I had to try. I steeped it as sparkling iced tea and fell in love with Rice Oolong all over again. It was still comforting, but also refreshing for the warmer weather!

I have loved Sejak–a Korean green tea–since the first time that I ordered it from Soocha Tea. Its aroma and flavors feature toasted peanut skins, cream, and light garden greens. I already knew that I loved it hot and cold brewed. Then, I tried it using Soo’s recipe for Ginger Pear Sejak Iced Tea. Incredibly delicious and refreshing. I made it this way throughout the summer–learning that I loved it most when I used a light hand with the ginger and the Korean pear was good and ripe.

Ginger Pear Sejak Iced Tea in a tall cocktail glass surrounded by magenta and pink orchids

August Teas of 2023

The August edition of Tea Infusiast News highlighted two teas. Interestingly, the two very different teas each have a tantalizing lemon-zest note.

The first tea featured in August 2023 is Rudkhan Castle, a first flush Black tea from Iran carried by Kiani Tea. It is rich, rounded, and floral. It also has notes of caramel and lemon zest. Yum!

Wild Silver Tips tea leaves and begonia petals

The second tea featured in August 2023 is Wild Silver Tips, a Vietnamese white tea carried by Anna Ye Tea. It’s silky with layers of flavors. I detected notes of sweet corn, meadow, and lemon zest. Absolutely lovely.

See the photo that shows the steeped and unsteeped Wild Silver Tips leaves, separated by begonia blossoms from my summer garden.

December Teas

As I was preparing the December 2023 edition of Tea Infusiast News, I was regularly sipping Huiming Hong Cha, a Chinese black tea carried by Camellia Sinensis. I didn’t buy this one–a dear friend sent it to me.

The deep brown and bright caramel colors of the leaves are beautiful! The aroma and flavor remind me of an exquisite combination of two other teas that I love–Balhyocha (a Korean black tea) and “Oriental Beauty” / Bai Hao (a Taiwanese oolong). The Huiming tea has the deep chocolate notes of Balhyocha, as well as the peanut oil fragrance which that tea sometimes has.

Huiming Hong Cha tea leaves in a small white tea cup. The steeped tea is in the background.

And, the Huiming also has the brighter, fruity florals and honeyed notes of a great Bai Hao. Yum!

Your Teas of 2023?

What teas of 2023 did *you* meet and fall in love with? Or, did you find new ways to prepare any old favorites? Please let me know in the comments!

I drink tea because I love the flavor, of course. But, there is much more to it than that. Check out my post on tea soundscapes for another angle.

*Full disclosure: After years of drinking tea from Soocha Tea, we have collaborated on some giveaways in 2023; however, I paid full price for the teas I order for myself.

2 replies on “Teas of 2023”

What a great idea for a blog post! I enjoyed taking a look back through some of your steeps this year. One of my favorites this year was an oolong. I tried a Japanese green tea the Koridashi way this summer and it was quiet refreshing.

Thanks so much, La’Shell! Ohhh. I still haven’t tried koridashi (though I love mizudashi). I’m definitely going to have to try that this summer! Thanks for the inspiration.

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