145 Tasting Notes

77
drank China Keemun by Zen Tea
145 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a straight Keemun before (it may have been in some blends I’ve tried), but if this is what Keemuns usually taste like, I think I can safely say that I quite like them. Chocolatey and smooth. Tasty afternoon tea. Thanks to Zen Tea for the sample!

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82

Backlog from this afternoon/evening.
I’m still not very experienced with pu’er, but I really enjoy this shu. It’s earthy and musty, but very pleasant and comforting, like the smell of the earth in the woods after the rain. There’s a bit of sweetness to it, too. And it lasts for a number of short (

Bonnie

Did you western brew or use a Gaiwan? (I like the 30 second steep method with poking the nuggets)

Ag

Western brew (mug and a large filter basket, steeped for ~20 seconds. I haven’t tried poking the nuggets— I should do that. Thanks! :) ). I’ve been meaning to get a gaiwan at some point, but haven’t had much time to do any research on them, sadly. Maybe during winter break…

Bonnie

Gaiwan doesn’t matter as long as you have a brew basket and mug and saucer to put on top or something. You need to control how much water and such. I like to poke the nuggets a little and I read that David Duckler’s Pu-er person in China does this. Try 30 second steeps.

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84
drank Chocolate Phoenix Chai by Verdant Tea
145 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday evening. Delicious! I really wish I’d picked up more of this when it was around.

Bonnie

It’s still there. David made MORE!

Ag

Oooh, he did? I hadn’t noticed! I’ll have to get more of this and the Yabao tea at some point in the very near future.

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59
drank Chocolate Orange by DAVIDsTEA
145 tasting notes

I feel like I’ve been in an endless reading/research/writing cycle over the past few weeks, and I was feeling something similar with my tea drinking (I’ve been avoiding making any new purchases until I clear out some of my stash). I remembered that I still had several samples Azzrian sent me, so I decided to break my usual tea cycle and try out a new flavour.

I’ve never had a flavoured pu-erh before, so I’m excited to try this.

The dry leaf smells quite citrusy, but I can’t really smell anything chocolatey. When steeped, the tea smells like an earthy citrus, with a hint of chocolate. It tastes like that, too. The pu-erh base isn’t very prominent, but it’s there to provide the earthy background, while the citrus flavour takes the spotlight and the chocolate comes out in the aftertaste. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate orange flavoured things, but this was surprisingly pleasant to drink.

All in all, an interesting and refreshing tea. Thanks for the sample, Azzrian!

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83

Gah, I haven’t posted here in such a long time. Midterms and essays, followed by a visit from a good friend whom I hadn’t seen in about a year and a half, followed by getting a cold have been keeping me away from this site. :(

Anyway, I brewed up a cup of this… kind of an odd tea to brew when you’re sick, but I just had a craving for a toasty Oolong. :P

… and I’m going to head back to bed, watch sitcoms, and write. Last day of break, hopefully the worst of this cold will have passed by tomorrow!

Azzrian

You have been missed. Hope your feeling better!

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59
drank Ginger Peach Tea by Teajo Teas
145 tasting notes

Thanks to Teajo Teas for a sample of this tea!

Yikes, it’s been a while since I was last on Steepster! Midterm exams and papers have been pretty intense over the past few weeks.

Anyway, this is a very nice tea with a definite peach-y flavour. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be tasting very much ginger, but that likely could have been because I had just finished making some ginger ale and was expecting a strong ginger taste. No astringency, slight maltiness.

Overall, this is a very nice tea that makes me want to curl up with a book and think of summer.

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77
drank Wanja Purple Tea by Wanja Tea of Kenya
145 tasting notes

I’ve never had a purple tea before, but this served as a pleasant introduction to them. Like other reviewers have noted, there is a bit of an earthiness to it, along with a slightly bitter aftertaste which doesn’t seem to resemble other bitter aftertastes I’ve experienced with other teas.

I’m pretty groggy at the moment, since I only recently got off a 12 hour night shift for the campus EMS program, so I’ll probably add more to this note later when I try this when I’m more awake.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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79
drank Boysenberry Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
145 tasting notes

Thanks Azzrian for this sample! :D

So, I have no idea what on earth boysenberries are, but now I want some if they’re similar in taste to this matcha. This tastes great!

I’m drinking it straight right now, and I’m loving the juicy, fruity, berry flavours I’m getting out of this. I may try this as a latte at some point and see how it tastes, but I’m not in a latte mood for now. I imagine it’ll taste great, though! Probably like a berry smoothie or something of the sort.

Yum!

Azzrian

You are very welcome! :)

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77
drank Butterscotch Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
145 tasting notes

Thank you so much, Azzrian, for your generous samples!

I’ve never had a matcha until now, so I’m super excited to try this!
Since just about the only thing I knew regarding preparing matcha was that it needed to be put through a strainer to make it less clumpy, I went off to Google to look it up. Some site mentioned that preparing it in a travel mug and then shaking it could be used in place of a matcha whisk and bowl (both of which I lack at the moment), so I’m opting for that method instead of whisking the tea in a bowl with a fork or egg beater (I’m feeling a bit lazy at the moment).

Now that the whisking part was taken care of, I tried to find out what the equivalent of a matcha scoop was in teaspoons. I wasn’t able to find clear answers, so I’m just going to use the smallest spoon I can find and then eyeball it with matcha amount and water. How I’m going to eyeball something I’ve never done before, I’m not too certain, but my mother is fantastic at doing it when cooking, so I’m hoping that I picked up that trait from her somehow!
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Well, I’ve just had my first sip of matcha! It tastes AMAZING. The powder did smell quite like butterscotch when I was putting it through the strainer, but I was expecting for it to taste a bit less like butterscotch when it was finally prepared. It’s basically like a less sweet version of butterscotch, which is great, because I love butterscotch candies but dislike how sweet they are. I think I can taste a bit of the matcha base, but I’m not sure. I also don’t know if that’s supposed to happen or not, but I’ll make a mental note to put in more water or less powder the next time I make matcha (hopefully tomorrow morning!). For now, I’ll try adding some milk to see how it tastes.

Oh, wow, the milk brings out more of the butterscotch! Yum! This will definitely make my (many many) homework readings for tonight much more enjoyable. If many of Red Leaf Tea’s matchas are this great, I’m really looking forward to making a purchase from them when I’m able to!

Thanks again, Azzrian, for sending me this sample!

Azzrian

My pleasure so glad you liked it! :)

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79

Cookies, anyone?

That’s basically what this tea smells and tastes like when brewed. Sugar cookies, if I had to be specific about cookie types. (Note that I didn’t have this with sugar or milk, so it was more like an unsweetened cookie, but still cookie-like all the same).

At first, I was worried that the Earl Grey would overpower the hazelnut and caramel, but they all mesh together into a wonderful, soothing tea that is perfect to drink when comfort is needed. The Earl Grey is the easiest flavour to pick out, but the caramel and hazelnut seem to subtly balance out the bergamot.

If drinking tea is like a conversation, this tea would basically be a very big hug!

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Profile

Bio

I have far too many interests. Tea is one of them.

Background in bioethics, medical anthropology, and evolutionary biology with aspirations of eventually going into a medical field. I also have strong interests in theater, computer science, and food (which shouldn’t be particularly surprising).

Brewing
Brewing method is usually Western style for black teas (2-3 minutes at near-boiling), “grandpa style” for shu pu’ers and longjing, and gongfu (with a gaiwan) short steeps for sheng and shu pu’ers (two 5-second rinses, then 5, 10, 15-second steeps with a gradual increase in steep times to taste). The gaiwan is also used for oolongs though I sometimes use a brew basket if the gaiwan is occupied and I’m taking a break from pu’er.

Preferences
I enjoy black teas, pu’er, and oolongs (leaning towards aged, cliff/Wuyi, or roasted/dark), depending on my mood. I don’t usually drink green tea but do enjoy a cup every so often.

Ratings
My rating methods have changed over time and as a result, they’re very inconsistent. For the most part, as of 11 November 2014, unless a tea is exceptional in some way (either good or bad), I will refrain from leaving a numerical rating.

The final iteration of my rating system before I stopped (note: I never did get around to re-calibrating most of my older notes):
99 & 100: I will go to almost any lengths to keep this stocked in my cupboard.
90-98: I’m willing to or already do frequently repurchase this when my stock runs low.
80-89: I enjoy this tea, and I may be inclined to get more of it once I run out.
70-79: While this is a good tea, I don’t plan on having it in constant supply in my tea stash.
50-69: This might still be a good tea, but I wouldn’t get it myself.
40-49: Just tolerable enough for me to finish the cup, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.
Below 40: Noping the heck out of this cup/pot.

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