Hello Tea Friends!
I was contacted recently by a company called Umi Tea Sets asking if I would be interested in doing a review for them. As timing was good I agreed under the knowledge I would be sent two items to review: A teapot and some tea. Needless to say waiting for this package to arrive was incredibly exciting. What wonders would arrive? Would the teapot be glass? An gaiwan? Would it be black tea? Puer perhaps?
And then not long after we first spoke a large box arrived and the mystery would come to an end. I have to say, the packaging was very secure and one of the best packaged items I have ever received.
Among the box, the packing tape and the polystyrene were two boxes. So I opened this one first…
It’s a teapot! Let’s get a better look.
After some studying I found the teapot I received to be Yixing Purple Clay Flat Teapot
Dimension: Length 13.5 cm (5.32 inches), Height 6 cm (2.36 inches).
Capacity: 125 ml (4.27 oz).
Made in: Yixing, JiangSu, China.
It’s a beautiful and simple Yixing teapot with a short spout and easy grip lid handle. The side handle is large enough for a finger and should be easy enough to use. The very flat underside should also be practical for use, I find some round pots can tip over rather easily.
Unfortunately I’m not sure what the text on the side says, perhaps someone could enlighten me?
So what’s in the second box?
What a wonderful surprise! Phoenix Dancong Tea
The caddy is made from a thick cardboard and kept very sturdy with a thick, wooden lid. It does look pretty, it would make a great gift.
I opened the tin…
These leaves look amazing! Mostly whole leaf of beautiful green shades with some hints of reddish/brown. Scent wise it’s very subtle, I need to air it out from the lid as the scent of wood is strong. But I can detect soft flowers.
Usually I would gaiwan these leaves but I want to review the teapot too so I will use that.
Steeping Parameters: 7g Leaf. Boiling Water. 100ml vessel.
The teapot was rinsed and cleansed before use.
First Steep: 1 minute
Light yellow tea soup with a sweet yet grassy, floral scent. Much better than the raw form.
Flavour is delicate with floral, sweet grass and buttery tones. It gets creamier with each sip and the floralness increases in the after taste, with some dryness.
Second Steep: 2 minutes
A little stronger though still soft. The grass is mineral tasting and sweet, reminds me of buttery cabbage with a perfumed, floral, dry after taste. Which is pleasant considering it tastes pure and soft.
Third Steep: 3 minutes
Similar to the first steep, this is perhaps even more delicate. Buttery, sweet grass and flowers remain but only for a few seconds in the after taste.
The size was perfect for one cup and considering I didn’t use a strainer I’m impressed with the filter, I expected more tea remnants to make it through. Very suited to larger leaf, were it smaller like Puer I would have needed the strainer. Still it’s handy to know. It was easy to use and handle. The only issue I had with it was using larger leaf I had to keep swishing and moving the teapot to get the tea out of the spout due to the leaves blocking the holes. It wasn’t really an issue and I have that trouble with similar designs.
Remained consistently soft in strength with delicate, floral notes with some sweetness and dryness. It was a nice contrast against the heavily wooden raw scent from the caddy lid. I would recommend replacing it into an airtight caddy after a day or two to breathe. Taste wise it was pleasant enough, though I would also stick to gaiwan steeping methods for more infusions next time.
There’s no way in denying that this mystery teapot and tea duo was a great surprise and introduction to Umi Tea Sets. Their packaging was top notch considering it came directly from China and the shipping speed was also impressive.
I think out of the two I preferred the teapot as it’s practical and easy to use. The tea was pleasant but what let it down as the wooden lid which made the loose leaf smell strongly wooden, not ideal for a delicate tea. Though as mentioned above it should be easy to save with some fresh air and a storage tin.
Thank you Umi Tea Sets.