1014 Tasting Notes

80
drank Razzle Dazzle by Jayida Ché
1014 tasting notes

I have a lovely cough and cold symptoms right now so I’m gravitating to my “clean” teas in a sad box of isolation. It’s probably (hopefully) just the cold but got to get tested Friday just in case. Numbers are up in our area. Hurrah…

This tea is a bright beacon of positive energy. Very grapefruit. Very goji. good without milk. Definitely a re-order for my goji and sour grapefruit-loving heart.

Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Goji, Grapefruit, Malt, Nutty

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
ashmanra

Oh, I do hope it is just a common cold! Keep us updated and I hope you feel better soon!

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82

Fall 2017 Harvest

I seem to be on a roll with eating a food and tasting the food in the tea. Pear meet pear note in tea!

My first steep was probably too short (1min30s) so I’m attributing the initially light flavour to that. A lot of typical red oolong flavours are coming through though: baked bread, stewed fruits, the aforementioned pear, blueberries (also pretty distinct), vanilla, brown sugar, nuts, and a hint of sweet spice… Despite thinking this a weak and watery cup to start, the typical mi xiang sweetness really smacks me one near the end. Sugar crush!

The second steep (3min30s) cooled down quite a bit before I payed attention to it. It tastes strongly of cherries, and is complimented by vanilla, brown sugar, and bread notes. There’s a bit of tree resin too. I initially thought it was citrus-like, but it’s woodier (pine, cedar, or even eucalyptus). The sweet, cherry-like aftertaste is strong.

Third steep (over 4min) is a smoother version of the second steep. It tastes of cherries, resin, vanilla, and sugar, verging on floral honey. It’s still extremely sweet, with a hint of cinnamon to finish. Maybe even a slight return of the blueberry and pear.

Steep Count: 4, Western Style. This tea also deserves a gongfu session at a later time.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Cherry, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Honeysuckle, Nutmeg, Nuts, Pear, Pine, Plums, Resin, Stewed Fruits, Stonefruits, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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87

Spring 2020 Harvest supposedly.

For breakfast I had a slice of toast, with butter and pineapple coconut jam. Now, I only bring this up because if I didn’t know better I would think that some of that butter and jam slipped into my cup while I wasn’t looking!

This oolong is relatively buttery, floral, extremely tropical (tangy pineapple, coconut), with a pleasant jam-like sweetness. Like my pineapple coconut jam, which contains a hint of rum, this also has a faint, subtle “bitter-sugar,” flowery undercurrent that adds depth to this first steep. It reminds me of sarsaparilla (vanilla, licorice, green note, etc.) or just straight up bitter vanilla. This vanilla quality softens to a silky fineness in my third steep; the tropical, butter, and floral notes are well balanced here. It’s my favourite cup so far.

This oolong is almost perfect for me, although I do prefer more butter, and less tangy flowers. Still, it tastes like Hawaii in a cup – or maybe it’s fairer to say it’s Taiwan in a cup (there’s a lot of subtropical and tropical goodness in Taiwan too)!

Steep Count: 5 @1 minute each, western style.

Next time I will try it gongfu or grandpa style. My gaiwan hasn’t seen use in years but this tea makes me think it’s time!

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Floral, Jam, Melon, Pineapple, Sarsaparilla, Tropical, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Leafhopper

Nice! When their Shibi oolong is good, it’s really good!

CrowKettle

I think this is my first time trying a Shibi oolong in general; is it normally so tropical? Oolong harvests are fickle but this sample guarantees I’ll keep TTC and this tea in particular on my radar. :)

Leafhopper

Some Shibi harvests are really tropical, while others are just nice and floral. There’s no rhyme or reason as to which is which. I’ve found TTC’s other Shan Lin Xi oolongs to be decent but not as good as the Shibi.

teaqueen

That flavor profile sounds absolutely delicious! I bet this one would be delicious as an iced tea too.

LuckyMe

@CrowKettle Shibi is my favorite TTC high mountain tea. And yes it generally has a floral-tropical flavor. I would recommend gongfu brewing it as the western steeping might intensify certain flavors.

CrowKettle

Thanks for the advice, LuckyMe! I can see why this is a favourite. Besides this, I didn’t order green oolong samples from TTC this time around. From what you and Leafhopper wrote, it looks like I went with the right one though! :)

@teaqueen, that’s an interesting idea too. If there isn’t enough left over for that I’ll just have to order more…

CrowKettle

That Longfengxia High Mountain Winter Oolong Tea looks amazing too..I may need to order again. For the oolong.

tea-sipper

Pineapple coconut jam what what what?

Leafhopper

Yep, that Shibi oolong is really good. :) I’d definitely pick up some samples of TTC’s green oolongs, though I think the Shibi is the best one. I’ve also heard good things about their Yuchi black tea, though the Assam I had from them a while ago was just okay.

CrowKettle

@tea-sipper, this is my painfully sweet spread, which I bought at a T&T Supermarket (a YVR/Canadian thing). I don’t see this particular brand from the Philippines available online anywhere, but there are probably others:

https://www.facebook.com/CorinthianDistributors/photos/pineapple-coco-rhum-ice-cream-sundaes-yes-please-this-recipe-serves-4ingredients/665665004276669/

CrowKettle

@Leafhopper the main bulk of my TTC was Assam and random High Mountain black teas. So far they are decent, but do not grab my attention as much as the Shibi!

Leafhopper

That’s good to know. I was thinking about buying some more black teas from them when we Canadians can finally get things from Taiwan again (whenever that is). What’s a good vendor for Taiwanese black tea?

Sil

@leafhopper – you can order from TTC; a few of us made some orders and received them last week

Leafhopper

Sil, is TTC letting you use the $60 free shipping, or is it still DHL only?

Sil

it was 60$ free shipping but they sent it via dhl, no additional fees for any of us when it came

CrowKettle

Yep, I second Sil. No extra costs! Shipping experience with TTC was good.

Leafhopper

Wow! I now regret not taking advantage of the sale. This is good information for the future. Were you charged customs fees?

CrowKettle

Nope! No custom fees :)

Leafhopper

That’s encouraging. :)

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86

I wasn’t initially super impressed with this one when I first tried it straight up. It was essentially everything I don’t love about David’s Tea dessert teas: a drowned out (green oolong) base, smothered by sugar and flavouring.

As a latte, however, it’s something else. The lush offerings of salted caramel candies fill the void that generally only the decadent fall dessert beverages of Starbucks fill. It’s still very sweet, but oh-so perfect.

This (as a latte) gets bonus points for pleasing a wide array of family members as well. My mom and sister both tried to drink from their empty cups, and wanted refills. That must count for something.

Flavors: Butter, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cream, Molasses, Salt

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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88

Last night I had a killer migraine from nowhere that made me want abdicate my head, neck and shoulders and go live in my stomach or something. It’s still kind of lingering on the left side but it’s not even a quarter as bad as last night. It did leave me a delightful red spot on my forehead between the eyes (this has happened before, but still fml). So, I’m a little grumpy and out of sorts today.

I decided to dive into this tea because I’ve been hoarding it for too long, holding out hope that WP would get more of this or Premium Assam in stock and not sell out in 10 minutes (never happens). It’s starting to age and today it was more tart jam than powdered sugar and baked bread (still some of that though).

This is still one of my favourite teas, along with Premium Taiwanese Assam, so I thought I’d give Taiwan Tea Crafts Yuchi Wild Mountain Black Tea a try to see if it’s comparable (what do the “lots” mean? So confused), as well as some from What-Cha that look similar. Here’s hoping (otherwise, it’s good to try new things!).

Steep Count 2

Flavors: Apple, Baked Bread, Dates, Malt, Plums, Powdered sugar, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

The one reason I haven’t bothered to re order from WP again. Never in stock of more than like 2 tea I want and with shipping being terrible, yeah no.

CrowKettle

Yeah, I’ve given up on WP for the time being. I received an email notifying “Assam” was back in stock and two hours later it was gone. Plus, vanilla is super inaccessible right now so the chances of WP carrying more than one tea I want that is exclusive or near-exclusive to them in the next while is slim. :|

Courtney

I am a huge fan of Yuchi Wild Mountain from TTC (for reference, I’ve now ordered three different lots and they’re quite similar, they may just be from different harvests — though I currently have two different lots in my cupboard and had planned to do a side by side comparison). I hope you enjoy it if you do go that path!

Leafhopper

I haven’t had any teas from Whispering Pines, but What-Cha’s Taiwanese Assam is amazing.

CrowKettle

Thanks Courtney and Leafhopper. This is nice to hear, especially since I already went ahead and bought tea from them the night before. lol

Sil

TTC is my go to for fruity, honeyed teas like this one. They were my replacement when butiki went poof. just hadn’t had a chance to order from them until this last week so here’s hoping they’re as tasty as they used to be. Should be here today!

Courtney

Yay for TTC arriving Sil — also, I wasn’t charged any extra duties, so fingers crossed all will go smoothly for you too! Can’t wait to see what you ordered!

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80

June 2020 Tea

My staple oat bran breakfast porridge usually consists of cinnamon and bananas. This tea tastes a little like that as well as a fun take on a rice pudding. Not bad at all!

Flavors: Banana, Cinnamon, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Courtney

Sounds tasty!

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78

First off, this tea smells amazing. It has cracked the code for tart berry, meringue cream aroma. Steeping up a cup is the best room diffuser ever. It smells like lush sweet summer: picnics in the park, fairs and carnivals, grandma’s berry pie in the garden, cream soda on a porch kind of good vibes.

The flavour is pretty on par with the aroma, but regardless of whether or not I cold steeped or had a hot cuppa I was never left fully satisfied. This tea is pretty thin and veers on tart over cream (still good cream though); I just want it to be thicker and maybe sweeter!

So tonight for my last cup I decided to have it hot, then changed my mind and poured that hot steeped cup over ice, and… then came the Eureka moment! I can’t add milk because the hibiscus will curdle it, but whip cream sits on top of the liquid so minimal curdle. This turned out to be a wonderful idea and made the abstract meringue a physical reality. Now I’m sad this is gone so I can’t do this again. And again. Forever.

Also, I’ve never had Eton Mess or heard of it before so every time I see that I unfortunately think of Elon Musk. Thank you, brain. (Edit: Turns out Eton Mess is essentially strawberries, meringue and whipped cream? Nailed it).

Flavors: Berry, Cream, Hibiscus, Meringue, Rosehips, Strawberry

Preparation
Iced 6 min, 0 sec
tea-sipper

Yes to all of this, including the Elon Musk name.

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82

Five Year Anniversary Tea || June 2020 VIT (at least, I think it was June)

Sipdown!

I may have been a little apprehensive about this one. Cinnamon has really dropped to the bottom of my preferred ingredients as of late.

Thankfully, the pearls themselves, and possibly the additional flavours, prevent this one from becoming a one note tea! The Yunnan Pearls have delicious honey and malt notes, which gives this tea both a thick “bready” and vibrant sugar liquid quality. There’s something buttery happening too which means.. pancakes. Yep, this tastes like pancakes, or its french toast namesake. Syrupy breakfast “bread stuffs” that are so soggy with butter and sugar that they’re nearing a liquid state.

I had a cup today without milk and another with milk after I accidentally let it steep for +10 minutes ( it didn’t get bitter and stayed super smooth, like the good Yunnan Black tea that it is). Both cups were great, although the latte was extra rich!

Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Honey, Malt, Pancake Syrup

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
52Teas

Yep, it was June! :)

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69

Sipdown!

I think the coconut and the honey are my biggest issues with this tea. When these two ingredients are at their strongest they dominate the blend. The latter in particular accentuates the rooibos in a way I do not enjoy and that makes me think of honey cough drops (also, why not just use the less medicinal, sweeter honeybush instead of rooibos + honey?). Bee pollen, which I generally like, also adds a sweet floral quality that exacerbates the medicinal quality for me today.

There are moments when this blend works. The aftertaste is creamy, with hints of vanilla, and the cup smells pleasantly buttery. It’s not a terrible latte or cold brew either! I’m just not terribly into coconut as a sub/filler ingredient at this point, and I’ve never been fond of rooibos/black tea blends (I don’t get it), or teas with added sweeteners. This blend has brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey and it’s quite sweet but also thinner than I’d like a “toffee” tea.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Coconut, Cream, Honey, Maple Syrup, Medicinal, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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87

July 2020 Blend

This did not last long enough.

52Teas does delicious “Danish” flavoured teas, as well as lovely lemon flavours. Combined, the flavouring is sublime (best of both worlds)! The cream cheese is pretty vivid here too and it’s just wonderful. Yeah… this is hands down one of my favourite flavoured honeybush teas; it hits all of my sweet spots.

Flavors: Cheesecake, Cream, Lemon, Lemongrass, Pastries

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Courtney

This sounds delicious! And who doesn’t love a Danish? :)

ashmanra

Ooooooo, that sounds awesome!

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Profile

Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Favourite Flavours/Ingredients:

-Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan
-All Citrus: Lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Orange, Yuzu
-Anise, but not licorice
-Ginger or Clove-forward chai
-Rosemary
-Grass/Marine/Vegetal/Nutty Green teas
-Florals: Rose, Lavender, Jasmine…
-Musky and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Eucalyptus
-Berries: Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Blueberry, Elderberry
-Bananas, and most fruits actually.

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:

-Stevia and most sweetners
-Cinnamon-forward chai/blends
-Apple & Cranberries
-Mango pieces (love mango outside of tea though)
-Coconut pieces (as a sub/filler ingredient)
-Metallic or overly artificial teas
-Cocoa Nibs, 95% of the time.

Subjective Rating System 3.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. I’ll impulsively buy in large quantities and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. I’ll try to keep this one around when it’s practical.

76-84: A good tea, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Alright, but I may have a few problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Average to mediocre cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, the unholy abomination that is a chimera. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Canada

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