321 Tasting Notes

80

Backlog. I tried to post a tasting note on this last night, but #$&%@*! Steepster was having One Of Its Episodes.

I… don’t think I have an opinion on Tie Guan Yin. I’ve had two of them now, and they’ve both been about the same; brightly vegetal, a little bright-fruity, a bit on the roasty side. I don’t like it, I don’t dislike it. It’s enjoyable, but not something I would crave or reorder. It’s the kind of tea I have to be in the right mood to drink; unfortunately, usually when I’m in a “tea” mood I’m picturing black tea, so I’m seldom in the right mood for this kind of flavor, unless I’m doing a late-at-night cleansing tea or something.

Rosehips

One Of Its Episodes. Ha! Thats exactly it, isnt it?

Holly Faye

It seems to have a lot of them… it was really bad last night. It stalled every time I tried to go to another page, then I tried to put this tea in my cupboard, and then it wouldn’t show it in the cupboard. errgh

ashmanra

Be very cautious. When I first started drinking tea, I wondered what all the big deal was about TGY teas. Then they got their hooks in me….now I crave them and slurp down a cup like a person dying of thirst in a desert!

greenteafairy

I REALLY have to be in the mood for Tie Guan Yin as well – there are times when I’ve had it and thought it was the greatest tea in the world and times when I’ve just found it kind of blah (same vendor and batch and everything).

Holly Faye

Kinda nice knowing I’m not alone! :P

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83

Wanted a comfort tea after a busy day at work, and somehow I just didn’t feel like anything green, white, or oolong. So I’m drinking a black tea at 11 PM against my better judgment.

This is quite decent. The blend of lavender and bergamot is smoother than expected. I had one other EG lav by Adagio, and that one just tasted like soap, so I was glad to find that this one doesn’t, at least not as much. Still don’t think I like this one quite as much as the EG cream, though. I like Mahamosa’s EG’s; they’re kinda smooth, at least compared to what others I’ve had.

Thanks to Nicole for the sample!

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96

A rare second day off in a row, so I’m considering this a do-over from yesterday. Woke up pretty sleepy, and exactly in the mood for some kind of earl grey. This was the first one I grabbed and I thought, “Eh, why not?”

This is my first earl grey cream. I really didn’t know what to expect, and to be honest I wasn’t expecting to like the combination of cream with bergamot. But I took one sniff of this tea and went, “Whoa!” Turns out I really, really like the combination of sweet with citrus. The tea tastes a little milder than it smells, but it’s still really enjoyable. It’s reminding me of something I’ve smelled or tasted years and years ago, some pleasant association… I can’t put my finger on it. Kind of perfume-y (which I actually like in my teas.) Is this the best earl grey cream out there, I don’t know. But this is one flavor that’s definitely going to become a fixture in my cupboard!

Thanks Nicole for the sample!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Tea Sipper

Yeah! A new earl grey cream fan!

Holly Faye

OMG yes! This is the first tea I’ve had since the black dragon pearls (which is now my golden standard) that I started craving again RIGHT after I finished the cup! It’s a little brisk, yet comforting.

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88

Day off wound up being a little bit of an off day. Nothing went quite as intended, and I’m just left feeling kind of frustrated and slobbish rather than relaxed.

Finishing off with this tea, one from the oolong sampler. I’ll have to give it another try on a day I haven’t left the water to cool so long. So far, I’m getting a light, pleasantly floral/vegetal oolong with a bit of… not maltiness, not roastiness, but a somewhat savory effect. Refreshing and relaxing.

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82

Still feeling sluggish at almost 4 in the afternoon on a Sunday off, so sipping this while putting away laundry and watching Slayers.

Once again, I get the feeling I accidentally underleafed this. I keep pouring 2 cups of water into the kettle, then taking out one cup’s worth of tea. Oh well. Item descrip says combination of Assam, Ceylon, and some other types of tea. I’m definitely getting a combination of mushroom malty and bright floral-y vegetal-y, although it’s hard to pin down flavors since I think I underleafed. A little on the astringent side, but enjoyable.

Thank you to Nicole for the sample!

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85

Another one of my Teavivre samples, did it with the gaiwan. I’m feeling a little lazy, so I’m not going to log the individual steeps.

I know this flavor but I can’t put my finger on what it is. It’s not quite chocolatey. It’s like a combination of slightly earthy and some dark fruit thing, with a bit of smoky thrown in for good measure. The aroma of the wet tea leaves is really smoky. It’s very smooth.

I think it’s gonna be a little too much on the smoky side for a restock, but it’s definitely worth a try.

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88
drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
320 tasting notes

This was a sample sent to me by the wonderful Nicole! Works out, because this was a tea I’d already been wanting to try based on some of the reviews I’ve read. So I sipped some of this tonight as I tried out my neato little bass guitar that I bought from a coworker. I feel kind of bad because I got it at most half of what its new value is, but I couldn’t pass up an offer this good on a bass so different from the one I have right now. Plus the guy who was selling it is a total sweetheart, and I have to admit part of my motivation was just helping him out…

We were busy at work today and I talked a lot all day, and this feels really good on a dry, clenched throat. I get a bit of the maltiness, but I get more of that dark fruity/sweet potato flavor. Okay, honey. Very sweet and smooth, no astringency whatsoever. Creamy mouthfeel. I think I underleafed a bit (I did 1-1.5 tsp instead of the recommended 2), but I wanted to make the sample last as long as possible. Yep, this will most likely be a restock.

Terri HarpLady

Yay for getting great deals on musical instruments. They best part of being a grown up is that the toys just keep getting better!

Holly Faye

So true!!! Although they do start getting more expensive, too…

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90

Made this the first go-round in the teapot.

Cup 1: This is like an overture of Chinese black teas. The first time it hit my tastebuds, it was earthy, like Bailin gongfu, and a little smoky, a hint of good lapsang. But the longer it stays on the tongue, the maltier it gets. On my first taste, there was a hint of sweet that went with the malty. A bitty bitty hint of black dragon pearl.

Cup 2: Forgot to take the infuser ball out of the teapot and left it steep for 45 min to 1 hour – whoops! But it’s still very drinkable. Very, very malty and good. It’s getting astringent from steeping so long, but not enough to make me stop drinking it. I’m only getting a phantom hint of cocoa, and that mostly in the aroma.

Good, good tea! Can’t wait to try in the gaiwan!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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85

MY TEAVIVRE ORDER CAME TODAY!!! MY TEAVIVRE ORDER CAME TODAY!!! And I have a day off! And I have my gaiwan! Happy happy happy!

This was the first tea I’ve been wanting to try. I did this in the gaiwan. Dry leaf is dark and twisting, somewhat fine. Earthy scent.

Steep 1: 1 tsp, slightly under boiling, 10s. Wet leaf smells dark and mossy. Tea tastes very similar. Very smooth, little to no astringency, bassy flavor.

Steep 2: 12 s. Not getting a ton of difference in the flavor, but the mossiness is more pronounced. There’s something atmospheric and evocative about teas that taste like this.

Steep 3: 14 s. The mossiness has mellowed. There is the littlest bit of malty in the background.

Again, I had what barely qualifies as an excuse for breakfast, so I’m reluctant to do too many steepings on a relatively empty stomach. I prefer malty over earthy when it comes to black teas, and this was definitely the latter. Nonetheless, a well-made and enjoyable tea.

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75

So after my bizarre Laoshan green affair, I decided to try this, since it’s another reason I’ve been waiting for my gaiwan. I do have to admit, while this tea’s not quite my thing, I am much more in favor of it!

Steep 1: 10 s. Verdant says to do this with boiling water. I let the water cool a lot below boiling, so this is probably underdone. Flavor in the cup is softer and more subtle than what I’m used to with this tea. If I concentrate, I get a bit of the caramel center in the item notes. But the most surprising part of all was when I smelled the wet leaves in the cup. Is it just me, or did I pick up some pine scent?!? Not that I’m complaining…

Steep 2: 12 s. Barley aroma a bit more pronounced in the wet leaves this time. Same with the taste. There’s some floral-fruity note that I can’t pin down. I keep staring at “honeydew melon sweet orchid” and trying to figure out if that’s it. I still don’t think it is.

Maaaaaan. I’d wanted to do at least a third steep, if not a fourth and a fifth, but I haven’t eaten in a while and my stomach is starting to get a little peeved with me putting all this greeny liquid in it without any food. (siiiiiiiiiiiigh) Welp. ’Til next time, gaiwan!

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Bio

The name’s Holly, and I’ve been a tea drinker since spring of 2013. Tea is my happy place – it picks me up, it calms me down, it helps me focus, it helps me loosen my grip, it’s a little bit of positivity in each day. I do not drink alcohol, so tea is my recreational beverage. I love learning everything there is to know about it and sharing my experiences.

When I’m not drinking or writing about tea, I’m working at a music store and pursuing a Master’s degree in professional writing. You may also find me reading, writing, trying to learn French, cycling on the weekends, being a klutz, or making horrible puns and Star Trek references. Likely all at the same time.

My Tea Blog: http://steepinclined.wordpress.com/

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https://twitter.com/steepinclined

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