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12 Tasting Notes

92

The tie-guan-yin toastiness is there, with an extra punch. The ginseng and licorice (or whatever they ground on it) give it an unusual sweetness. I’ve had success both with 1 minute-and-increasing infusions and the 3 minute generic rule of thumb for oolongs. Play around with it to find your sweet spot.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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90

I have mixed feelings about Upton, but this tea delivers. My favourite lapsang souchong so far. I prefer to keep the brewing time around 3 minutes, it comes out brighter and the smokiness isn’t too overwhelming.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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95

Malty and chocolatey with decent body and an earthy character. Very smooth.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Seeyok 2nd Flush by Harney & Sons
12 tasting notes

I have limited experience with Darjeelings (I always found them too astringent), but this one made me happy. Fair amount of body, and a complex, flowery, pleasantly astringent taste. It leaves a crisp, refreshing aftertaste. I usually brewed it 3-4 minutes, but it can take 5 minutes and can be forgiving if you neglect it, if don’t mind the astringency. Recommended.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec

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89

My first keemun, and not a disappointment. A bit smokey, but with a surprising flowery aftertaste, especially on subsequent brews. I prefer maltier brews for breakfast teas though.

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95
drank Paris by Harney & Sons
12 tasting notes

When I first opened the tin, my unsuspecting nostrils were attacked by a strong aroma of — hookah tobacco? I couldn’t (and still can’t) stop making the correlation. I was sort of scared that it would taste over the top, but the brew proved me wrong. It was magnificent, the first flavoured tea (with the exception of Earl Greys) I’ve had that seemed to have its own character. Plus, it won’t get bitter if you oversteep it. This has been the fastest I’ve ever gone through 4 oz of tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Da Hong Pao by Harney & Sons
12 tasting notes

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91
drank Wenshan Baozhong by Harney & Sons
12 tasting notes

Beautiful. The leaves smell almost spicy, and when steeped give off a pale green liquor, with a flowery character and a buttery smoothness. The first oolong that really impressed me.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Kagoshima Sencha by Harney & Sons
12 tasting notes

Very good. The leaves smell like fresh cut grass, and the brew, though tricky, when done right (in my liking) leaves a light jade-green, sweet liquor. Found it best between 1 min and 1:30.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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