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289 Tasting Notes

81

Backlog from yesterday. This is one of the three new black teas I ordered to try, since I’d heard a lot about this one and figured I wouldn’t be a good tea addict unless I tried it. Damn good thing I picked this one, because what was supposed to be a 7.5 hour day at work turned into a 12 hour day! Complete with unexpectedly having to train one of our new part-timers, AND forgetting my phone on the way home and having to turn back around and get it!

The first time I tasted it, it gave me the impression that I’d oversteeped it. Not a pleasant taste at all. But the more I drank it, the more it just reminded me of a stronger, mushroomier version of English Breakfast. Then again, I was drinking it on the fly in a cup that tasted like dishwasher detergent. I’ll have to give this one another go before I rate it.

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91

I don’t know what I did, but this one’s on the vegetal side this morning. O.o Perhaps I understeeped it?

… Put the strainer in for another minute. There’s the smoke.

I can’t say enough times how well-made and tastefully done (HA, pun) this tea is. Just perfect.

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80

Backlog from last night because I deleted the wrong tasting note, dammit!

Drank this for the second time while watching Les Miserables. Had it once before and forgot what I thought of it. I had written a tasting note under the wrong item, so here’s the copy and paste from the first note:

“This is my first tie guan yin, so clearly I have no idea what to expect or what to look for. I like the leaves; they’re a really pretty dark green and rolled, very easy to handle. There’s a deep, slightly spicy aroma if I remember correctly. Which I don’t think I do. Ah well. The liquour itself has a green aroma with a sliver of a subtle, dark sweetness. Like honeysuckle or bai mu dan.

“The first thing that hits the tongue is fresh grass. It’s that bright green flavor that I have to be in the right mood for (read: wanting something “clean” or a tummy that feels a little stale.) I’m not tasting the “creamy” that’s in the item description. Or the mango. Fresh parsley maybe. Right before I swallow, though, there is that little note of sweet, kind of honey-ish but more like honeysuckle.

“Tea tasting is the only time in my life I regret not being a foodie. If I were a foodie, or at least ate a semi-diverse range of foods like normal people do, I would be able to pick out a bunch of little flavors and tell you about them. As it is, all I can say is that, on the first go-round, this reminds me a lot of Arbor Teas’s bai mu dan, except much heavier on the grassy side than the sweet side. The next time I make this, I’m going to have to take the temp and steep time down a notch; I detect a hint of overdone. Not enough to make it unpalatable, just enough that I want to try it differently next time.”

Got mostly the same effect the second time around, except this time I had a vague idea of what I was getting into. I forgot I’d oversteeped it that first time; I didn’t have that problem this time, so I can diagnose that as operator error and not a problem with the quality of the tea. Everybody seems to really like this tea; I can certainly vouch for the quality, but I think I’m falling out of love with green teas a bit. I prefer ones with a little bit more sweet and a little bit less vegetal. Still, certainly a good “relax and freshen up” tea.

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90
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
288 tasting notes

Crap. I think I’m starting to crave this stuff.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

This tea is HIGHLY addicting! lol

JustJames

lolololololol.

TeaKlutz

It’s so funny, because when I first tried it, I kinda went, “Really? This is what the fuss was all about?” And now it’s starting to turn into one of my go-to black teas. Weird how just becoming accustomed to something can completely change your taste.

Terri HarpLady

The first time I tasted cheesecake I hated it.

Cavocorax

That’s so funny! But it’s true – sometimes I need a few cups before I really “get” a tea. And it’s hard with something like Laoshan Black because the entire steepster community is all like OMG GUYS THIS IS AMAZEBALLS, and then that’s a lot to live up to. But a few cups is enough to get past the hype and accept it for what it is, and realise that yeah, it’s great.

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90
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
288 tasting notes

I’m finding that with tea I haven’t had before, knowing what to expect is half the battle. Now that I remember the peculiar flavor I got last time, I’m not as off-put by it today.

I’ve been slacking on the tea a little bit as of recent history. I’m not sure why. I haven’t been on Steepster as much because… well, I was in a weird mood all of last week, and once I fall out of a habit, it takes me a little bit to get back into it.

I’ve finally sipped down some more of my teas! I still feel guilty getting more, but…

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79
drank English Breakfast by Adagio Teas
288 tasting notes

Sipdown!

… Is there any feeling more liberating than the feeling of being at the start of vacation? Waking up in bed going, “Hey, I don’t have to hate this Monday – because I don’t have to go to work in two hours!” YEAH!

This was a good tea, but I’m debating on whether or not I’ll restock it.

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90

Backlog from yesterday. This was a sipdown.

Only gone for a little while. Better believe I’ll be restocking this one!

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90
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
288 tasting notes

This is one of the most highly rated teas I think I’ve seen on Steepster! I was looking forward to this one the most out of my sampler pack because 1) it’s a black tea, and I, like many, looooove black teas, and 2) certain reviews had mentioned a chocolatey note in the flavor, and every time I see that, I get excited.

It is certainly a high-quality tea. The way I’m going to describe the aroma and taste is going to sound very unflattering, but it works in the context of tea: it’s like fake chocolate flavoring. Deep, sweet, off-fruity, goes right to the head a little. There is little to no astringency; it’s a very smooth tea with undertones of something I can’t quite put my finger on, that takes me back to farms and fields I visited on sunny mornings when I was little. The word “barley” pops up in the item description; there’s something wheat or straw or something in there that’s not unpleasant. Both the chocolate and the “barley” (or whatever that is) linger in the aftertaste. This tea is flavorful if nothing else.

Is it my cup of tea? To be honest, I’m not sure. I really, really want to love this tea, but the “fake chocolate flavoring” taste is keeping me from doing so. I’m curious to see how infusion 2 goes, since I don’t think I over- or under-prepared this tea. It’s going to take a few tries to see whether this is a keeper or a sampler.

Edit: A few hours later

I’m currently doing infusion #2. The “fake chocolate flavoring” has given way to the barley or whatever the hell was so subtly present in the first infusion. GAAAH WHAT IS IT?!?!? It’s quite good in the strangest way. We’ll see whether this ends up being one of those I unexpectedly find myself craving. I doubt it, but you never know!

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70

Tomorrow it’ll go away, tomorrow is the sipdown day

TOMORROW WE’LL DISCOVER HOW MUCH ROOM MY CUPBOARD HAS LEFT FOR STOOOOOOORE

ONE MORE TAAAAAAAAAAAAASTE

ONE MORE STEEEEEEEEEEEEP

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE

(flies flags while standing atop a barricade of tea tins)

Not even sorry. Les Miz haters to the left to the left to the left.

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Bio

Tea is my happy place. I drink tea when I’m at home, when I’m at work, when I’m waking up in the morning or winding down for the night or when I need a little boost in the afternoon. Tea is my official side hobby, and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve discovered such a vast world of flavors, aromas, varieties, and traditions – encapsulated by a beverage that I used to shrug at.

My taste in tea always seems to be changing!

Black teas are far and away my favorite. Great Chinese black teas are one of my weaknesses. I also like a lot of the Earl Grey relatives and I have an affinity for floral teas, especially rose-flavored ones.

I don’t drink green teas as often, but there are a few I quite enjoy.

Same with white teas.

I have some experience with oolongs, but not much. Most of the ones I’ve had taste the same to me, and I’m not huge on the roasty-green flavor. I kinda like the juicy-green ones, though.

I’m exploring pu erhs. I haven’t had many, but the ones I’ve tried have been really intriguing when done right, and it seems like the pu erh universe is a rich and complex one once you get past “IT TASTES LIKE FISH!”

I like rooibos, but I have to be in the mood for it. And it HAS to be in a sachet or a bag. Loose rooibos is more of a pain than it’s worth.

I go through different phases when I’m trying teas. Sometimes, I really want flavored stuff; sometimes I just want to try pu-erhs; sometimes I’m on a rose tea kick, etc. I enjoy building up my base of tea knowledge and even more the experience of finding a new and unexpected thing I love.

I have a tendency to ramble in my tasting notes. Sometimes it’s on topic. Much of the time it’s not. You have been warned.

As for me, I’m a semi-former trumpet player, current bass guitar learner, music store employee, program note writer, lyricist wannabe, casual makeup enthusiast, even more casual bicyclist, writing major in a past life, eternal designated driver, deadly punster, nerdy dork, incurable escapist, and lifelong introvert. Steepster is absolutely the most positive, kind, and intelligent online community I’ve ever found, and I love meeting fellow tea enthusiasts through here. I look forward to meeting you!

P.S. Any rare soul who recognizes the profile pic gets bonus points forever.

Location

One foot’s on the Holodeck. The other’s in Lancaster, Ohio.

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