595 Tasting Notes

79

My package said “Anxi Monkey Picked” instead of “Anxi Monkey King.” But from my messages with Angel, I believe this particular sample is the latter. There’s a dark quality to the dry leaf aroma that intensified once it was brewed. I’m not sure about this one…it’s definitely not the Tie Guan Yin I’m used to.

I can definitely taste the darkness that I detect in the aroma. I’m afraid darkness isn’t a very good term because it has a negative connotation. What I’m tasting here isn’t necessarily negative. It is different. It doesn’t have the fresh, clean, vegetal, buttery flavor that I’ve grown accustomed to tasting in green oolongs. Instead, it has this heavier, oaky, almost roasted kind of thing going on, which I’m calling “darkness” for lack of a better term.

The aftertaste is cooling and refreshing in a unique way. This is certainly interesting. I can understand the appeal to many tea drinkers. I don’t quite think it’s a flavor I would regularly seek out though. I prefer the fresher, greener, creamier oolongs. Still, this is definitely a high quality tea. My rating is only a reflection of my personal enjoyment of it. Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for providing yet another free sample!

Flavors: Oak wood

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 45 sec
Ysaurella

this kind should be for me

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48

Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for the free sample! This is an all right oolong. It’s vegetal and buttery. I’m not getting anything floral. There’s maybe a hint of minerals, but that’s about it. The aftertaste fades quickly. I think I should have gone for a longer infusion because the flavor doesn’t taste entirely developed yet.

Second infusion for 2.5 minutes is surprisingly not very flavorful either. The aftertaste is weird and mineral-y and just not good. I’m confused. This tea seems like a dud and Teavivre isn’t known for producing duds. I tried a third infusion for 5 minutes before giving up on this one. The initial flavor was slightly better but the aftertaste is still mineral-y and unpleasant. I can’t say I recommend this one, though their other oolongs have been much more enjoyable.

Flavors: Butter, Mineral, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

wasn’t my fav neither

CHAroma

My husband thought it tasted fine but I was pretty underwhelmed.

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96

To go out shopping on Black Friday or not. That is the question. It’s going to be so hard to not spend a lot of money today. My inbox is full of 20% off coupons valid through this weekend only. And of course, all my favorite tea companies are having sales. But seeing as how I just spent over $140 stocking up on my favorite Butiki teas, I really can’t justify buying more tea at the moment.

It took me a while to decide on which tea to drink first. Normally I hoard my favorites but I’m going to enjoy these teas thoroughly. I decided to start with a new one. The leaves were big and dry and hard to measure, so I had to kind of guess at what looked like 2 tsp. The flavor is delicate and lovely. The white tea shines through and leaves me wondering if this is flavored or unflavored because it blends so brilliantly. It’s buttery and creamy most of all.

I love it just the way it is. But I am curious to know how sweetener would change the flavor. Right now I’m not getting much in the way of cookies. So I added a little bit of Truvia and now it’s more reminiscent of sugar cookies. I think this is my third favorite white tea of all time. I love this! It’s so beautiful. Cantaloupe and Cream is only a tiny bit better but it’s also so different that I may like this one more depending on my mood.

Why does Stacy have to close the business? Why?! :( The tea world is going to be a much less tasty place with her gone. I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to enjoy as many of her teas as I have, but it’s still impossible not to be sad devastated that one day soon there will be no more restocking. This was probably my last Butiki order because so many of my favorites are already sold out. I feel like crying, especially because my cup is now empty. :(

Flavors: Butter, Cookie, Creamy

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

I was shocked at the amount of Black Friday emails in my inbox this morning. I’m sure it’s dangerous out there!

CHAroma

Luckily for my wallet, I’m too lazy to shower and get dressed. So I think I’ll be skipping all the sales.

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85

I am 32 weeks pregnant. Only 8 weeks left! I can’t believe it. We still have so much to do. I need a nice relaxing cup of tea before I tackle bolting the bookcases to the wall in the nursery. Thanks to Angel from Teavivre for this free sample!

The dry leaf aroma is fresh green oolong and a scent that I love. The brewed tea aroma is even fresher and greener. It’s such a comforting aroma. The tightly rolled leaves have fully unfurled into giant whole leaves with a vibrant green hue. They look like they’ve just been picked off the branch. The liquor is a light golden color.

The flavor is exquisite. It’s vegetal, a tad both floral and nutty, and buttery most of all. As the cup cools, it loses its floral quality somewhat. The second infusion was for 2.5 minutes. It’s similar but not quite as flavorful and a tad astringent. The third infusion was for 4 minutes. It was good but definitely the last cup for me. Overall, this tea is delicious and I can confidently recommend it to others.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Nutty, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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74

I have to say, this tea + agave = DIVINE!

Raising the rating from 70 to 74. Also for some reason I can’t record 1.5 tsp as the amount of tea leaves used. That’s what I did here. This is yummy! There’s only enough left for one more brewing session. Sad. :(

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Kittenna

I typically use 1.5tsp of leaves and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t sticking. Once I did, I was irritated, and just don’t fill that out now, unless it’s a different amount (then I mention it in the note).

CHAroma

Yeah, it’s weird. I’m guessing they didn’t program the function to allow for decimal points.

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74

The dry leaf aroma is apples and cinnamon and smells delicious! Mmm! The leaves are finely minced and there are huge chunks of freeze-dried apples. The flavor is mostly fresh-cut juicy apple. I can barely taste the cinnamon, which isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing. The tea base is light and airy and a tiny bit hay-like. The oolong does give a certain quality that’s reminiscent of oatmeal. The flavor hints at a grainy component without being a direct correlation.

This is also definitely not a sweet tea. You’d have to add sweetener to get that. I enjoyed a second infusion at 180 degrees for 6 minutes. Overall, this is a good tea. Not something that will sock you in the mouth with flavor but it’s not too light either. The aroma is definitely the best part for me. It smells exactly like hot cinnamon apples from a pie.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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59

I’ve had a really crappy day. I decided I needed some tea. I made this one. It’s very underwhelming. The dry leaf aroma is weird. Strong and weird.

The brewed tea aroma is reminiscent of butterscotch but just barely. The flavor is white tea. Umm, where’s the flavoring? There’s maybe a tiny hint of something like a cross between butterscotch and buttercream frosting. But it’s very light and there’s no toffee to speak of. This is probably 95% white tea and 5% flavoring. Boo.

Maybe my sour mood is making me overly negative about this tea or maybe I’m describing it perfectly. I can enjoy it as a white tea, but nothing more than that. Add this to the laundry list of bad things going on for me right now. *Sigh. As a white tea, I’d rate it about 78. As a flavored white tea, I’d rate it about 40. So average the two and that’s how I got to this rating.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
LiberTEAS

I just brewed this today and I used the same temperature as you but steeped it 2 minutes longer. I have a really good flavor with mine. I’m sorry that you had a poor experience with yours. :(

Kittenna

Hmm. I’ll have to try brewing mine a bit longer. I also didn’t get much flavour. Sigh.

CHAroma

Hmm, I tried it again today with a 4 minute infusion. It still mostly tastes like white tea to me. The flavoring is definitely stronger now but it also doesn’t taste like buttercream icing or toffee (IMO). It tastes vaguely sweet and otherwise unidentifiable.

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93
drank Caramel Apple Oolong by 52teas
595 tasting notes

Caramel Apple Oolong, how have I not tried you yet?? After forgetting about this tea in my cupboard for 7 months, it’s calling my name today. The dry leaf aroma was at first bittersweet chocolate, but that dissipated and now all I smell is caramel. Odd. Maybe it was my imagination (or maybe it’s because I stored it next to a chocolate tea) because the brewed tea aroma is just apples and caramel.

First sip! Well, I am not disappointed. This does indeed taste like a caramel apple, or as close to it as tea can get. The oolong base is very nice here. It adds a butteriness that makes the caramel richer. The apple is equally present and lends a certain acidity to the tea that confirms “this is apple” without being overwhelming. Mmmm, this is sooo good! I guess age hasn’t harmed this one since it was still sealed.

I love this tea. I love how teas like this exist. The world became such a more magical place since I’ve discovered the broad range of teas out there. I think my blood must be English because I do enjoy my tea time thoroughly. Teas are also a lot like books. They can transport you somewhere else. They can be comforting, enticing, stimulating, or calming. Tea is an adventure! I love tea!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Fjellrev

Yay for tea!

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60

I got a sample sachet of this from my apartment complex. It was fully exposed to the air for about two weeks. Whoops. Well from the aroma of the dry leaf, it doesn’t seem to have affected it. I infused this for three minutes, which was probably longer than I should have. The liquor is very dark red. The brewed tea aroma is recognizably pumpkin spice and red rooibos.

Now I don’t really like red rooibos. So take my opinion on this tea with a grain of salt. This is ok. The aftertaste is strongly medicinal. The spice comes across well as does the pumpkin flavor. I think most people would probably enjoy this a lot. It definitely strikes me as a well-blended pumpkin spice tea. I just can’t get past the rooibos base to want more of this.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Tealizzy

This one does best with a 2-minute steep with some brown sugar and a splash of milk! I haven’t picked up any this year yet, but if I make it over to TJ’s, I will. :)

CHAroma

I still found it drinkable, which is saying a lot for me and rooibos. And I’m surprised that it held up so well despite being exposed to air for so long.

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89

The dry leaf aroma is scrumptious! I’ve let this one sit in my cupboard for a long time. It’s way past due that I try it. The verdict? Mmm, this is really delicious! It’s a soft green tea with light blueberry and cream flavors. If I try really hard, I can imagine a baked pastry flavor too. But mostly that’s my imagination as this is a soft, creamy, blueberry tea at best.

It goes along with my snack of roasted squash seeds very nicely too. This tea is honestly exactly what I wanted right now: something creamy with a green base. I can’t believe how tasty this is. The blueberry adds a subtle sweetness, which made me wonder. So I added a tiny amount of Truvia out of curiosity. I think it’s probably better without, at least for the first infusion.

I am definitely enjoying the green version of this more than the black. Frank was on to something when he made this. The flavors play off each other nicely. This is a time when I’m really glad that I have two ounces. I’ve already given away a few samples of this in swaps, and I think I’ll greedily keep the rest for myself. ;)

Flavors: Blueberry, Creamy

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Bio

Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!


My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.


I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).

Location

Maryland, USA

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