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106 Tasting Notes

97
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
106 tasting notes

Backlog from this morning.

Bumping up the rating because I was having a dark chocolate craving and this really hit the spot. It may become a cupboard staple.

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85

Found this in my sample box, thought I’d brew it up (at almost 4 AM… my sleep schedule is a bit broken right now).

Really wish I had more than just a sample, this is quite wonderful and has an interesting cooling/sparkling taste that I’m enjoying. Will have to give this some extra appreciation as I sip!

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97
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
106 tasting notes

Mmm, definitely quite reminiscent of an unsweetened, rich, dark chocolate.

Not sure if it’s just my mind making things up after reading the description of this tea being made in cotton bags, but I did suddenly think of linens or cloths in the aftertaste. Not in a bad way, of course. More of a comforting, freshly air-dried in sunlight cloth way.

Of course, it’s finals week for me and it could just be the stress getting to me. Man, I can’t wait for this week to be over. One quiz down, two presentations (I will add here that I’m an incredibly shy person with a fair amount of social anxiety so I’m really not looking forward to that), another quiz, an exam, and a paper to go! And then another paper later next week, but I’ll deal with that one later.

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81
drank Cider Guayusa by Butiki Teas
106 tasting notes

I ordered some of this in my Butiki order yesterday, since the description and reviews made it sound very tasty (especially at this time of year). Went to dig through my box of samples for something new to try, and lo and behold, I apparently got a sample of this at some point and had completely forgotten about it! I steeped it up, and mmmm, I am so glad I have more on the way!

I have no idea what unflavoured guayusa tastes like, but whatever it is, it melds beautifully with the apple and spices. Yum.

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89
drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
106 tasting notes

Backlog and sample sipdown, except not really, since I ordered some more of this yesterday since I really enjoyed it.

Sweet, mapley, and nutty. I’ll have to remember to try this with a hint of sugar, too, but it’s still amazing on its own.

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99
drank Premium Taiwanese Assam by Butiki Teas
106 tasting notes

I’m still steeping the leaves I used last night… I think I’m on steep 3 or so. I’m trying to resist going off and purchasing a whole 4 oz of this, especially considering that I just placed a (small) Butiki order late last week that the USPS tracker is telling me has just gone “Out for Delivery”.

I had a cup of this right before I ran out the door for class. For a moment, in my rushed absentmindedness, I was wondering where the heck I got a delicious pastry for breakfast (considering that there aren’t any good bakeries nearby and I often tend to skip breakfast or just have some oatmeal and a yogurt if I have time for eating). It took me a moment, as I was putting my socks on, that it was the sweet, malty, bread-y finish/aftertaste of this tea!

… Now I wish I had a real, proper croissant. I had a really great almond croissant recently at Petrossian’s in NYC. Lightly crispy on the outside, buttery and flaky inside, with a thin but satisfying layer of marzipan that doesn’t overwhelm the natural sweet and savory deliciousness of the croissant.

This tea is a worthy pastry substitute, though. I’m off to make another pot.

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99
drank Premium Taiwanese Assam by Butiki Teas
106 tasting notes

First sip and I may have to make this a cupboard staple!

Om nom nom. Chocolaty, malty, smooth. Some fruitiness and honey, too.

I’m just going to shut up and enjoy this tea now.

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87

Backlog from last night. Or was it two nights ago? I don’t remember.

Anyway, I got this as a sample from TeaVivre ages ago and have finally gotten around to trying it out. Thanks, Angel and Teavivre!

This is going to be a short note since I didn’t write anything down whichever night I had this.

Smoky, but less so than some other lapsang souchongs I’ve had. Most of the smokiness seems to be in the smell. Smooth, malty, with a bit of sweetness that becomes more pronounced as it cools. Very enjoyable with the fall weather!

Thanks again, Angel and Teavivre!

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99

Had a sample of this from a while ago, finally got around to trying it out. Magical. Simply magical. I’m going to have to save the coherency for another time… this is simply stunning.

Bonnie

I still have several oz left. It’s magical all right! No way to explain this tea…You just have to experience it for yourself. Time for me to drink a little…it’s been awhile.

Terri HarpLady

I love it. I’ve been hoarding it for a year, lol. I’ll be hoarding it for longer, having an occasional session to remind myself of it’s awesomeness.

Bonnie

It’s available again on Verdant under the reserve tab at $19.95 an ounce (well worth it) and going fast. You can get up to 30 steeps from one session (not to mention the physical/ethereal effects). Certainly, as David Duckler told me once, this is a mystical tea…one to share with friends.

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81
drank Qing Pin by Yezi Tea
106 tasting notes

Took a short break from the oolongs and thought I might as well try out the last Yezi Tea sample I have.

First off, I want to say that the dry leaf aroma is just enchanting. Like toasted chocolate. Kind of reminds me of Laoshan Black, the last time I had it (which was a while ago).

While the description says smoky, I don’t detect any of that in here. Just sweet, chocolatey, toasted goodness. The sweetness is sort of fruity, but I can’t quite place what fruit it is. It leaves a ‘clean’, yet ‘empty’ feeling in my mouth, if that makes any sense. No particularly strong aftertaste or complex finish, no dryness or bitterness, either. It just feels… blank. Like a sentence missing the period at the end. Hm. I’ll keep steeping this (gongfu style) for a little while and see what comes of it.

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Profile

Bio

College student. Anthropology and evolutionary biology major with various interests ranging from theatre to medicine to programming.

I enjoy black teas, green teas, pu’er, and oolongs (uaually aged or roasted/dark), depending on my mood. I’ve had limited experiences with white, mate, honeybush, matcha, and rooibos teas/tisanes. I’m not much of a fan of jasmine teas.

I’m still trying to figure out a rating system to go along with my developing tea tasting skills, so pardon any inconsistencies in my numerical ratings. At the moment, my rating system is as follows:

96-100: This tea is a must-have (or at least, a must-try).
90-95: This tea is amazing. I love it!
80-89: I really like this tea, and I may be inclined to get more of it once I run out.
60-79: While I like this tea, I don’t plan on having it in constant supply in my tea stash.
50-59: I dislike this tea. It’s tolerable enough for me to finish the cup, but I don’t think I’ll be trying it again any time soon.
Below 50: I don’t like it at all. (Ranging from “I avoid it” to “You couldn’t get me to drink it if you paid me”)

Current favourites:
Irish Breakfast (Butiki, Adagio, or Golden Moon)
Grandpa’s Anytime Tea (Butiki)
Premium Taiwanese Assam (Butiki)
Special Dark (Mandala)
Xingyang 1998 Golden Leaf (Verdant)
Golden Fleece (Verdant)
Silver Buds Yabao (Verdant)
Milk Oolong (Mandala)
Hu-Kwa (Mark T. Wendell)
Paris (Harney & Sons)
Manistee Moonrise (Whispering Pines)
Coconut Pouchong/Oolong (Golden Moon or Zen Tea Life)

Location

Ohio

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