Drink Magazine

Highlighting 3 Frequently Overlooked Teas

By Dchew78 @peonyts

Certain teas get all the limelight at least relative to others. However the fame of those teas often comes at a cost to varieties that are closely associated but consequentially overshadowed by them. Here we would like to highlight 3 varieties that tend to be overlooked by tea lovers which are worth a closer look.

Xinyang Green Tips (Xinyang Maojian)  信阳毛尖

Delightful lingering ‘huigan’

Highlighting 3 Frequently Overlooked Teas
Perhaps it might even be accurate to lump all green teas excluding Longjing and BiLuoChun into this category since if you ask most casual tea drinkers to name some famous Chinese green teas, you seldom get answers beyond these 2.

Even though Xinyang Maojian appears on numerous renditions of China’s Top 10 Famous Teas, it seldom gets much mention outside of China and tea nerd circles.

That is a shame, at least in my admittedly biased view. This is one of my everyday green teas. It is naturally sweet and refreshing with a lingering cooling aftertaste that I come to expect if not demand from my green teas.

Usually I would reach for this on a hot day. Its cooling sensation coupled with its heat dispelling properties (in Traditional Chinese Medicine nomenclature) makes it an ideal counter to the sweltering Singapore weather.

I particularly like it after a heavy soupy, salty lunch. It helps get rid of the lingering MSG taste in my mouth and quenches my thirst.

Though my favorite green tea is Longjing- like many green tea lovers- the lower price and lighter mouth feel makes Xinyang Maojian a more regular daily drink.

White Peony (Bai Mudan) 白牡丹

The ‘other white tea’

Highlighting 3 Frequently Overlooked Teas
We have described the White Peony as the ‘little sister to the prom queen (Silver Needles)’ and that pretty much sums up the status of the White Peony. I have a special place in my heart for this little variety- though that is not why we named our brand name as such.

In fact, the White Peony is more than just the little sister, it is the middle child. Connoisseurs often go for the older sister- Silver Needles- while bargain hunters go for the little sibling- Shou Mei- leaving the White Peony in a bit of a no man’s land.

When making tea for myself, I often reach for the White Peony, more so than the Silver Needles. Cost is one consideration- the Silver Needles is just under twice the cost of White Peony- another is the thicker mouth feel of the White Peony. Yet it’s still smooth and sweet, without the harshness of the Shou Mei.

All in all, this is another great everyday tea that you can enjoy frequently without busting your pockets.

Golden Cassia (Huang Jin Gui) 黄金桂

A regular everyday oolong that appeals to seasoned tea drinkers and novices alike

Highlighting 3 Frequently Overlooked Teas
If Huang Jin Gui was a band, it would be made up of 4 musicians- 2 guitarist, a bassist and a drummer. They would write their own songs and wouldn’t be afraid to experiment with different genres. They hail from Liverpool, England and they aren’t the Beatles.

What? Then who are they?

That’s the predicament that Huang Jin Gui is often in. Hailing from the same hometown as the renowned Tieguanyin and made in the same style, it gets overshadowed by its more illustrious older sibling.

To accentuate the problem, most of the Tieguanyin that flood the market are low quality varieties that seldom endear themselves to connoisseurs. You can almost expect the reaction “If Tieguanyin is Anxi’s best, I see no reason to try other Anxi teas”.

Except that most Tieguanyin in the market don’t do justice to Anxi. And Huang Jin Gui is a pretty endearing offering in its own right. Though Tieguanyin has a stronger mouth feel, Huang Jin Gui holds its own and has an alluring aroma that somewhat compensates for it.

Like White Peony and Xinyang Maojian, its relative lack of fame lends itself to better value as well, making it an ideal everyday tea. If you follow me on Twitter frequently you will read my outburst on teas that I was drinking at point of tweeting. One of the most commonly referred teas is Huang Jin Gui since oolong teas are my favorite category of teas and this is one of the oolongs with the best value.

Dancong and Yanchas I usually reserve for a special occasion (at least I try to reduce the frequency) since they are pricier. Ditto for some of the High Mountain teas but Huang Jin Gui is my guilt free indulgence.

This Week’s Special

To swing the spotlight towards these 3 teas, we will provide a 15% discount for these teas from now till 4th Jan 2013 Singapore time (Friday).

Just use the coupon 28022012 at checkout.

Don’t sleep on these teas!

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