Shan Valley’s Valley Green Tea 2014

Origin: Mynamar

I thought I had a sample of the 2013 harvest of this tea, but sadly I do not so I can’t do a proper comparison between years, but I am assuming this is made from either the Summer, Autumn or Winter harvest of the First Flush plants, but I could be wrong. Anyways, let's get on to the Shan Valley Valley Green tea.

Dry Leaves: The leaves are slightly twisted, but they still are quite flat otherwise they are similar to the Shan Valley First Flush 2014 harvest, I don’t see as many stems, but it has a fruity aroma, although not the same aroma as the First Flush closer to stone fruits and has some tangy smoky notes. The 2014 First Flush reminded me of barbeque sauce, this one not so much although I could distinguish a little cooked artichoke in it.

First Steeping
Temperature:  175oF
Brewing Time: One Minute
Aroma: Fruity
Flavor: Metallic, Cherry, Grass and Seaweed
Tasting Notes: It’s quite interesting how similar this tea is to the 2014 First Flush, yet how different. It tastes like a darker version of the first flush although the individual flavors are quite different. Most notably this lacks the honey notes of the First Flush, but it has a rather sweet cherry taste. Unlike the first flush the metallic taste is not as sharp.

Compared to my first infusion of the 2014 First Flush, this comes up a little short. This teas is a little darker and has more astringency, a little too dark for my tastes.

Second Steeping
Temperature: 180oF
Brewing Time:  One and a half Minutes
Aroma: Fruity                     
Flavor: Ocean, Metallic, Stone Fruit and Seaweed
Tasting Notes: It is developing a strong unami taste that I don’t remember in any of the other Shan Valley teas I had so far. I was sad to see the cherry notes become less distinct, but this infusion was much more pleasant than the previous. 

It is a little reminiscent of Japanese greens, but is nowhere as subtle. I think that is the fatal flaw with this tea it has too many strong contrasting flavors.

Third Steeping
Temperature: 185oF
Brewing Time: Two Minutes
Aroma: Fruity and Floral
Flavor: Ocean, Metallic, Fruity, and Nutty
Tasting Notes: This was very different from the previous infusions, but it was the best. It still struggles with balancing one strong flavor with another. Definitely my favorite of the three infusions, most of the astringency has gone by now.

My problem with this tea is it has too many strong overwhelming flavors fighting for attention. I prefer the First Flush over this, but Shan Valley is selling this for $1 an ounce (or 6 ounces for $5 at the time of writing this). I was a little curious as I was writing this and searched Steepster and a couple tea review blogs and was a little surprised at how poorly received this tea is, while it certainly is the ugly sister of Shan Valley’s teas (that I tried) I’ve had much worse. As you can see by my photos I have quite a lot of this tea, I plan on roasting some of this and aging the rest, some of Shan Valley’s other greens I’ve compared to puerh in previous posts and I am curious if this has any potential to improve with age.


Just a guy who likes tea.