I’m digging deeper into the world of tea and keep finding new vendors that I want to explore. There’s so many out there that it’s hard to choose sometimes, so I just usually browse around and don’t order anything. Since my mini-obsession with White2Tea, nothing has really jumped out at me and screams “order me!” However, that all changed when I stumbled across Bitter Leaf Teas. Bitter Leaf Teas is a tea company based out of China that started in fall of 2015. They’re a small operation that tries to focus on quality, and the owners spend lots of personal time getting to know each tea one-on-one.
One thing about Bitter Leaf Teas that gave me a WOW factor was the design. The design and layout of this tea companies website and tea productions was enough to make me thirst — for tea of course. After browsing around for a while I added something to my cart that looked interesting; I ordered the 2015 Honey Comb. After having multiple sessions of it, I think it’s time to finally give it a review.
Wow. This teas presentation is phenomenal. It arrived in its own air-tight metal tin stuffed with hay. The presentation of opening this tea was visually pleasing, as it made it unboxing Honeycomb its own experience. I unwrapped two laters of paper and was greeted with a beautiful bing. I pried out 6.5g of tea for my session in a vessel that has a volume of 105ml.
I must compliment this tea on its compression. This bing isn’t too tight nor too lose. Overall It’s one of the most workable 100g cakes I’ve ever stumbled across.
I gave this bing a quick rinse before my session. After waiting ten minutes I gave it my first go! My first initial thought about this tea was that it had a gentle honeydew melon note with a light cooling sensation that trailed right behind it. This could be easily misinterpreted as a light flora note, but its sweetness made it taste a little fruity. As I made my way to the fourth steep, this tea became more and more mouth watering. Around the fourth steep it left a malty warmness that brushed against the tastebuds, thus making me drool for more.
I want to note that according to Bitter Leaf Tea’s site, they recommend to use boiling water to use for this particular tea. I experimented different water temperatures with this tea before this review and I noticed that boiling water made this tea taste bitter. I found that it was best to use around 180ºf for brewing Honeycomb.
Around the fifth steep the sheng started to become more pronounced in its thickness. Although it still left cooling that coated my mouth, it was more noticeable on how thick it was in the back of my throat. The combination of cooling and sweet warm thickness reminded me of honey itself. However, this feeling didn’t last because on the sixth steeping of this tea it started to progressively get more and more bitter. The notes were light, but it progressively got stronger. The bitter took away the warm and cooling notes that I previously tasted, and started to leave a thick-floral taste that lingered in my mouth.
To explain further I must ask, have you ever eaten a jasmine flower by its-self before? If do, do you remember how pungent and strong it was, but also left a nice sweetness as it dissipated? Well that’s exactly what this tea was reminding me of.
The floral notes became more and more pronounced as the brews continued. Honeycomb was standing on its last leg as it’s final form was making itself known. The bitterness started to fade out, and unfortunately so did the floral notes. By the twelfth steep this tea was completely gone and became an echo of what it once was. Honeycomb moved on without ever looking back. My life was different now.
Honeycomb is a very complex bing, and is the best 100g bing that i’ve yet to come across. This Bing Dao was beautifully crafted, and the evidence was the wide array of tasting notes that this bing brushed against. This tea, composed of ancient tree leafs, is one that I wouldn’t recommend for beginners. I mainly say this because Honeycomb needs to be heavily focused to be completely appreciated. Due to the hight level of delicateness, it would be easy to overlook some of the greater aspects of it’s body and background notes.
One thing that adds more points to the high-scoring tea is its potential to age. The way it’s bitterness presented itself through out my session only pointed to excellent future development. I cant wait to see what Honeycomb holds for the future, and I cant wait to keep exploring Bitter Leaf Teas.
Tea Drunk -
This tea’s energy made me calm —Too calm. There’s gotta be something wrong with a tea that made me wake up in a good mood the next morning.