As 2018 draws to a close, I like to look back and review the year of tea at Mei Leaf and pick some standout brews to award in our annual TEAS OF THE YEAR prizegiving. Let's find out your winners by looking at the reviews on our website.
Apart from the bright appearance of Jade Star 3 which stole everyone's heart and was gone almost immediately, Fuding Silver Needle and Moonlight White are top of the pile in your reviews (separated by a single percent in our community score). Given the extra number of reviews, I am handing the win to Fuding Silver Needle - a two year aged White that blew us away when we first sampled it. This is the pinnacle of Silver Needles and we salute your decision.
This year we finally released a Junshan Yinzhen Yellow after years of tasting. Diamond Peak is a rare and beautiful tea which clearly captured your heart and comes out on top in the Yellow tea category.
Our Uji Hikari Matcha continues to wow the Teahead community with a whopping 97% in our community ratings. In the leaf tea category, Jade Sword (Anji Bai Cha) manages to see off all other Greens for the third year in a row!
So many Oolongs have graced our shelves this year and the battle for the winner was hard fought with a few percentage points between the top 5 teas. As always, Amber Gaba continues to be loved after winning many accolades in 2016 and 2017. This year, however, a stunning batch of bug-bitten Eastern Beauty stunned everyone and just about toppled the Amber Gaba crown.
The village of Tong Mu dominated the Black tea competition with Little Tong Mu and Souchong Liquor gaining top score at over 93%. We are giving the win to Souchong Liquor on the basis of a few extra reviews.
PuErh love and controversy seem to follow our Sheng releases and none more so than our Bing Dao Gushu - Night Forest Muse. Some say that it is not possible for us to source Bing Dao Gushu tea material at this price but that's what we did and you all clearly love the experience. Night Forest Muse is the highest rated Raw PuErh this year followed closely by the easy drinking Nuzzle Diver and Yiwu Nectar Raider.
Our latest addition, and probably the wackiest tea of the year hit the top spot in the ripe tea category. Gem Juice Outlaw is a Purple tea PuErh with a uniquely citrus taste and quenching finish. I love the fact that a more unusual tea makes its debut as a winner.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to these reviews. Keep them coming to make sure that your favourite tea gets the attention that it deserves.