Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review of trYeh & trYeh Heritage Blend

When I attended World Tea East, I picked up numerous samples. Many of these I have reviewed and continue to review on RateTea, but since RateTea is only for ratings and reviews of teas sold to the general public, there were quite a few samples I picked up from companies that only sell wholesale. TrYeh was one of these companies. Since I know many tea company owners and employees read this blog, I wanted to write some reviews and posts about companies that are only in the wholesale or supplier business.

Here is a sample of loose-leaf tea from this company, that I review below:

Before we proceed to the review, I want to write about this company as a whole, and my impression of it.

TrYeh: About the Company

TrYeh is based in Berkeley, Ca, and is primarily a wholesale supplier of teaware, but also supplies a small amount of loose-leaf tea. The company had a stand in the middle of the exhibition hall at World Tea East, and their stand featured some beautiful pottery, including Yixing teapots in many different styles, simple and ornate, traditional and modern. I was struck by the affordable prices of these items, relative to their quality and appearance. The company keeps their prices private, so I won't share details, but I will say that the prices were set low enough that they could be sold with a reasonable markup, but still at a fair price offering good value. I did not brew tea with any of these pots, and I can't truly testify to their quality without having done this, but I will say that the company got my attention, and might be worth looking at if you are looking for a supplier of this sort of teaware.

According to their website, TrYeh designs all their pottery, and outsources production to China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. Their target audience is small retailers, which includes both tea shops as well as other sorts of small businesses. TrYeh also sells a few teas, which leads into my review.

Review of TrYeh Heritage Blend:

This tea was marked as TrYeh Heritage blend, Oolong tea, grade AAAA. According to their website, this tea has about a 30% oxidation level, and a mild roast, and is a blend of teas harvested in spring and winter.

The dry leaf is intensely and pleasingly aromatic. The aroma of the dry leaf is very middle-of-the-road among greener oolongs, with a moderate amount of roast but also floral and herbaceous tones.

I brewed this tea western-style, and have not yet attempted gong fu style brewing. Brewed with the typical teaspoon of leaf, for a few minutes, it produces a beautiful light greenish golden infusion. The aroma of the tea is very strong and much more pleasing than the already enjoyable aroma of the dry leaf: airy, light, floral, fruity, like a garden in spring. The floral aroma is boldly present, but gentle and less intense than in most greener oolong. The flavor is mild and sweet, almost no bitterness or astringency. It lasted through four infusions, with western style brewing, making each infusion progressively longer, which is impressive.

This tea definitely got my attention. It's a very balanced tea that I think would be likely to please connoisseurs and yet probably be accessible to those with less developed palates as well.

What do you think?

Have you ever had any experience with TrYeh? And did you find this sort of post useful or relevant, or would you prefer for me to focus on reviews that are more accessible and oriented to the general public?

1 comment:

  1. I tried this exact same tea from Tryeh and I thought it was quite good! The fact that it was a blend turned me off at first, although it grew on me and I have come to enjoy it. It is not overly complex when brewed gongfu, so it makes for a good sipping tea, in my opinion!