114 Tasting Notes

99
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
114 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
114 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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80
drank Maple Pecan Oolong by Butiki Teas
114 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
114 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
114 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
114 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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78
drank Jin Xuan Oolong Tea by Yezi Tea
114 tasting notes

Another sample from Yezi Tea— thanks!

Thought I’d follow up the last tea (an oolong) with another oolong, so I can hopefully more easily detect the differences.

Quick notes:
Mellow, sweet, creamy. Very lightly floral, with a soft vegetal note.

Will update as I continue steeping.

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81
drank Li Shan Oolong Tea by Yezi Tea
114 tasting notes

Thanks to Yezi Tea for the sample!

While I really enjoy oolongs, I admittedly don’t have very much experience with them, especially the greener ones. I’ve basically only had a few milk oolongs, a couple tieguanyins, and several roasted oolongs mostly from the Wuyi region. Yezi Tea is currently doing a promotion where you can get three free samples of their teas and only pay a few dollars in shipping. I got two oolongs and a black tea, in the hopes of being able to learn to differentiate the oolongs. They also add an additional sample to orders (mine was another oolong which I believe I’ve already reviewed in brief).

Anyway, on to the tea. I’ve steeped this 5g sample four times so far and have enjoyed each steep. I wasn’t able to take notes for each specific steep, unfortunately, so I’ll just write my overall impression.

Very floral (orchid, specifically), but not overpoweringly so. Sweet, honeylike taste. Lightly grassy aftertaste. No astringency or bitterness. Smooth. Makes me think of spring meadows with wildflowers everywhere (minus the allergies!). It does taste different from the last oolong I had (Dong Ding Winter Peak), but I can’t quite place it. I believe the texture is slightly different but I’m not sure. Still working on figuring out how to taste oolongs!

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Bio

Update: Have been occupied as of late with graduate program applications. I’ll still be on Steepster, but will mostly be in lurk-mode with the occasional review.

Brewing method is usually Western style for black teas (2-3 minutes at near-boiling), “grandpa style” for shu pu’ers and longjing, and pseudo-gongfu (no yixing) short steeps for sheng pu’ers (two 5-second rinses, then 5, 10, 15-second steeps with a gradual increase in steep times to taste).

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.

My rating methods have changed over time and as a result, they’re very inconsistent. I plan to give my rating system an overhaul and will eventually get around to rescaling older ratings.

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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