Sourced Directly from China | Tasting Teas from ChaoCha

Sourced Directly from China | Tasting Teas from ChaoCha

ChaoCha is a tea company that encourages consumers in the knowledge, culture, and quality of teas that they consume. By sourcing directly from China, they are able to rely on the relationships they have built and provide their customers total sourcing transparency. They reached out to me to try and share their Honey Orchid Dancong, Ancient Raw Tree Pu’erh, Sticky Rice Pu’erh, and their Moonlight White. Here are my thoughts:

Honey Orchid Dancong: I brewed 6 grams of the tea, gongfu style to really explore this tea. The dry leaf appeared dark and twisted with large leaves and some small bits of sticks attached to the leaves. The aroma of the dry leaves was quite fruit-forward, perhaps kumquat. There were additional sourish notes that added to the dark, heavy, and sweet aroma. As I brewed the tea, I noticed a few changes in the aroma. It held a slight sweet char with faint hints of grapes and floral notes. At times it reminded me of fermented honey. The infusion color was a nice golden color, with some orange-like coloring on the edges. It had a clear liquor. The flavor of this tea was quite subtle honey with a few floral notes (which is consistent with the aroma). I sensed melon notes as well as some honey dew-like notes. The feeling of the tea was very similar to that of a scented one, reminding me a bit of Jasmine. The sweetness reminded me of pine sap. The tea was medium-bodied with a fairly thick mouthfeel to it. There was a slight drying feeling after a few infusions. The aftertaste was more floral and slightly nutty like almonds, lingering for quite some time. All in all, an extremely wonderful tea to consume.

Type: Oolong Tea
Kind: Honey Orchid Dancong
Origin: Guangdong, China
Elevation: 900+ meters
Harvest time: 2021

Curator: SJ – A proud family tea business inheritor who is passionate about tea and has a photo of him plucking tea leaves on a tree as his social media profile picture.

Ancient Tree Raw Pu’erh: I sneakily introduced my fiancé to his first raw pu’erh with this tea. It was the perfect setting of sitting outside on the back porch on a lovely day. The dry aroma was reminiscent of cocoa notes, both a little sweet and sour. After making a few brews, I noticed that the aroma turns more fresh and sweet. Jacob thought it was similar to dead grass with slight nuttiness. The brewed tea had a golden hue with orange shadows and was quite clear. The taste was quite interesting, with a combination of slight minerality and almond-like notes. The feeling of it was quite crisp with a tart feeling on the top of my mouth. I noticed that after a few steepings, a slight bitterness comes in. Jacob stated that he noticed almost more of a grainy texture on the tongue with undertones of sweetness. Further looking into the tea, I noticed some vary degrees of earthiness but more floral notes, reminding me a bit of the bitterness when you bite into a leafy flower. This tea developed strong notes by the last few steeps, almost punching my taste buds.

Type: Pu’er
Kind: 300 to 400-year-old Ancient Tree (Gu Shu) Raw Pu’er
Origin: Yunnan, China
Elevation: 1500 meters
Harvest Time: 2015

Curator: Mrs. Liu – A loving mother with cute dimples who occasionally gives her baby tea baths.

Stick Rice Pu’erh: This tea was extremely aromatic from the get go. The aroma reminds me a bit of sake and the rice element is quite apparent in the aroma. I’m not super familiar with how sticky rice puerh is made, but it almost has some brown sugar notes as well. I noticed that the aroma turned a bit sweeter once brewed and there were not a lot of ripe pu’erh notes super evident except for the sparing one that wafted up to my nose. The first steeping brewed a nice and light tea. I had to check a few times but it almost tasted as if some sugar had gotten into the tea. It was quite lovely. 

The tea came out of its shape by the second steeping which prompted me to do a shorter brew time. But even 10 seconds made a very dark brew. Crazy how quickly it turned. Even though it was darker, the taste was still quite lighter than expected. This tea lasts steep after steep with the earthiness aspects of the ripe puerh pair extremely well with the sticky rice aspects. Overall, I described this tea to be subtle sweet with earthy undertones. I could not get over how crazy it was that the aroma just fills the room, it was a heavenly scent. 

Type: Compressed Ripe Pu’er
Kind: Sticky Rice Pu’er
Origin: Yunnan, China
Harvest Time: Aged from 2015-2020, compressed in 2021

Curator: The Yan Family is Dai ethnic minority. Sticky rice Pu’er has been family drink for centuries.

Moonlight White: The appearance of the dry leaves where whole leaves with some buds and stems still fairly intact. There was fur on the leaves and I definitely indulged in crunching on one of the leaves. The taste was very sweet and lovely. I looked up a bit more on this tea and Moonlight White is named this due to the specific style of “white & dark” leaves. The aroma of the dry leaves and I noticed some sweet, fresh, and slightly floral notes. It was extremely pleasant to smell. As I examined the wet leaves, I still noticed the super light and lovely floral sweet notes. I really enjoyed just all aspects of this tea. The color was a golden pale yellow, and I noticed a few hairs floating around the brew as typical of a white tea. The taste was fresh and sweet (a common theme), and had a slightly creamy, silky texture in the mouth. There was a possible fruity note that I noticed, perhaps….canteloupe? I was not too sure, but that was as close as I could get. As I steeped the tea more, I noticed the consistency of the tea was more syrupy and was very naturally sweet.

Type: White Tea
Kind: Silver Needle
Origin: Yunan, China
Elevation: 1000 meters
Harvest time: 2019

Curator: Mrs. Liu – A loving mother with cute dimples who occasionally gives her baby tea baths.

Pricing: I have said it before, and I will say it again: I love samples! I think it is an excellent way of making a buyers decision before a huge purchase is made.

  • The Ancient Raw Tree Pu’erh is $3.49 for 6 grams, $15.99 for 30 grams ( 6 pao), $22.88 for 50 grams, $29.99 for 60 grams, and $39.99 for 100 grams (10 pao). They give a lot of options, and I love how they give options for mass single serve options as well (they would make great gifts).
  • The Stick Rice Pu’erh is $1.19 for 6 grams, $4.99 for 30 grams (5 pao), $7.99 for 60 grams (10 pao), $12.88 for 120 grams, and $21.99 for 240 grams.
  • The Honey Orchid Dancong is $2.79 for 6 grams, $11.99 for 30 grams (5 pao), $17.99 for 50 grams, $22.99 for 60 grams (10 pao), $29.88 for 100 grams.
  • The Moonlight White is $1.99 for 6 grams, $8.99 for 30 grams (5 pao), $12.99 for 50 grams, $17.88 for 60 grams (10 pao), and $22.99 for 100 grams.

Packaging: I mostly had samples, but the full sized Honey Orchid Oolong nice packaging. I always look at whether the aroma escapes and how the zipper close functions, both seemed to be fine. I liked whatever material they used, (this is such an odd statement) but it was a nice texture and felt good to hold.

Sourcing: Chaocha is incredibly great at sourcing information, going really into detail about origin, elevation, harvest time, and the curator.

This was my first time having sticky rice pu’erh, and I can see what the hype is about (maybe there is not too much hype around it, but I always heard great things). Have you tried it before? Let me know in the comments. Happy Brewing!


One thought on “Sourced Directly from China | Tasting Teas from ChaoCha

  1. You did such an amazing job tasting the teas! I can see you’ve putted so much heart into it! And you’ve captured some notes that I haven’t even noticed!

    I’m glad to see whenever someone cherishes our teas. Thank you Danielle!

    Sending you hearts from China!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *