560 Tasting Notes

84
drank Fu Shou Shan by Butiki Teas
560 tasting notes

The first steep was very vegetal, with a touch of floral and buttery notes. This steep reminded me more of a green tea, than an oolong- I was trying to figure out what steamed veggie this reminded me of (asparagus, maybe)!

That steep, at 4 minutes in 180F, was a little too long for me with the amount of leaves I used, so I cut the second steep down to just under 3 minutes. Now it’s smoother, with my ideal butter to veggie ratio.

So far the third steep is just like the last steep- rich butter and heady florals, with a touch lightly boiled asparagus, and a sweet melon finish.

Flavors: Asparagus, Butter, Floral, Melon

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C

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90

I need a banana oolong in my life. I realize that now.

…and there goes my short lived pouch of tea.

Flavors: Banana, Butterscotch, Cream, Walnut

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Plunkybug

Awww, did you end up drinking the whole pouch?

CrowKettle

I think I have one more session left (for tomorrow). I’m in an oolong kick right now, and no use in hoarding it :)

OMGsrsly

I feel that way after having Lupicia’s Banane Chocolate. A fresh banana oolong would be so good!

Plunkybug

Enjoy it!

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82
drank Cape Jasmine Oolong by Tea Ave
560 tasting notes

I made up the rest of the sample, without destroying it this time (2 min. at boiling for first steep), and the balance of jasmine and milky oolong is now perfect. I’m not big on jasmine, but I can’t deny how smooth it is here: the cream, fruit, sweet, and floral notes work well together. Huge improvement from last night’s session (which was still pretty satisfying).

Flavors: Cream, Fruity, Jasmine

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Dong Ding Oolong by Tea Ave
560 tasting notes

On the first steep, This oolong has light roasted notes of nuts and barely, with a vegetal taste which is kind of minty, and almost like it’s lightly spiced with sweet cinnamon. The aroma is on the smooth side, hinting at fruit and nut flavours.

Third steep is my favourite so far. All the flavours mentioned about have been smoothed out to a sweet, nutty silk.

For me these notes are filling- I can almost forget I haven’t eaten anything yet. It’s a satisfying cup and quite the contrast to my two other Tea Ave samples, which are both flavoured/fragranced and use the Alishan Jin Xuan as a base.

On a side note, I love that Tea Ave includes the altitude, as well as the roasting and oxidation levels with scales, on the packets. It’s incredibly helpful and informative to an oolong newbie like me!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Mint, Nuts, Roasted Barley, Stonefruits

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Teaave

Hey CrowKettle, thanks for trying our oolongs :) We would like to invite you to rate our tea on our website when you get a minute, it will help us a great deal!! Cheers.

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82
drank Cape Jasmine Oolong by Tea Ave
560 tasting notes

I forgot I had this steeping in the kitchen. It probably sat for 10 minutes while I was eating sour keys and staring into The Void. That’s exactly the last thing I wanted to happen with a jasmine tea (I find less is better with this flavouring). Luckily this tea appears to be a particularly light and forgiving one!

The jasmine scent and flavour is now akin to a Body Shop jasmine frangipani candle (extreme flower and slight cream). There is also a hint of floral/veggie bitterness, but it’s still drinkable.. and enjoyable.

I’m looking forward to the subsequent steeps, and a second session, so I can get a better feel for this tea. Right now it’s promising!

Addition— getting to my unconventional fourth steep now, and there is a substantial amount of pepper spice to the finish.

Flavors: Cream, Jasmine, Pepper, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C

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85
drank Ginger Lily Oolong by Tea Ave
560 tasting notes

Tea Ave went above and beyond with their sample packages and labeling. I wish I was more gifted with words- I’d offer something besides a huge THANK YOU! I’m grateful there are people like Roswell Strange to make up for my lack.

‘Ginger’ made me decide to try this one first. It was a good choice. I re-steeped this about six time last evening (at a time I shouldn’t have been drinking tea), plus once more this afternoon, and it’s probably one of the best and most soothing tea sessions I’ve had since last spring.

The ginger is a vibrant, sweet finish to this silky Jin Xuan. I second the person who says they now want to try this base oolong unflavoured. It’s been so long since I’ve had a milk oolong.. my roommate doesn’t understand right now (she’s giving me a weird look as I go pacing about the apartment with my tea mug). It’s an exciting thing.

Flavors: Cream, Floral, Ginger, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Sil

ooooh this actually makes me want to try this heh

CrowKettle

It’s a good one! I’m not sure it’s Sil-worthy (I can send you some), but it’s worth a try if you like the sweet side of ginger and don’t mind milk oolong. :)

Plunkybug

I like the base oolong a lot. I was curious about this ginger one, actually, but nervous about the lily part.

CrowKettle

I think the lily part actually comes from the meaning of jin xuan (wiki translates it as “Golden Daylily”).

I’ve always wondered what lily flavoured tea would taste like.

Plunkybug

Did you find it overly floral scented?

CrowKettle

Not at all! The raw ginger is the most prevalent scent, especially in its dry state.

Plunkybug

Ooooh! I do want to try this one then! Maybe I’ll get it when I order.

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79

This is goodbye, Lemon French Macaron. I didn’t always get it right with you, but you never failed to be that warm, “in front of the fireplace with no deadlines” comfort tea. You came from an awesome joint order with OMGsrsly- forever associated with randomly buying quince, and kangaroo burger patties. Good times, old Macaron.

Please don’t leave yet.

Flavors: Almond, Cake, Lemon Zest, Meringue

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C
Cavocorax

Awww. :P
(Kangaroo burger patties? :O)

gmathis

Life with no deadlines. Heavenly!

CrowKettle

Yes, gmathis, this was actually a goodbye to two things. :(

Kangaroo slider patties= good but gamey.

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68

I kind of like this one. I find the flavouring to be slightly boozy and absent of actual tea base, but at the end of the day it delivers on the chocolate macaroon front. It’s a decent dessert substitute/craving cutter. The aroma is nice, and it went well with milk too.

My new, tea-drinking roommate picked this up and insisted on making it today (this is a novelty). The only downside is now we no longer have a steeper/pot that hasn’t marinated in a dessert black tea; I’m going to have to find a new home for my fruity-green, white, and oolong teas again!

Flavors: Alcohol, Chocolate, Coconut, Vanilla

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A friend brought this pretty little box back from India for me- a touching gesture, considering that she’s not generally a gift-giver and has often described tea as “dirty, funny tasting water.” I will treasure this elephant box always, tea skeptical friend.

This is labelled as a Nilgiri variety, the implications of which go completely over my head.

I don’t know how this stacks against other Nilgiri teas, but it does make me want to give the wide variety of Indian black teas another thorough chance. (Golden Tips Tea has a crazy all-encompassing sampler on their website).

The medium length leaves are mostly black with some golden-white, and red speckled throughout (could be a blend?). They steep up ruddy brown and green.

The tea has a fruity aroma and flavour, coupled with a smoky woodsy note that may very well come from the box- the things you realize after you’ve dumped the tea into a flaky-painted wooden box.

Flavors: Fruity, Nutty, Pepper, Smoke, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
gmathis

My son still calls it “water with aftertaste.”

Fjellrev

Beautiful box!

ashmanra

My daughter used to say it tasted like “hot leaf pee.” She loves tea now. There is hope.

CrowKettle

Ha, those are both good! I don’t think there’s much hope for my friend, although she doesn’t always mind chai? In this particular case, I think she was almost entirely motivated by the elephant. :)

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drank Two Friends by Custom (Butiki)
560 tasting notes

I’m glad I got the chance to try Sil’s adaption at the end; it was on my bucket list for a while! The flavouring is no mystery (hello, chocolate orange), yet is subtler than I thought it would be.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Orange

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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.

Ratings:

95-100: A Personal Favourite; I’m never without this tea.

90-94: Great! I’ll try to keep a small amount around.

80-89: Enjoyable; I may buy more at some point.

70-79: Nice, but not something I’d drink often. I may have a few problems with it.

50-69: Something about this tea falls flat for me. Still drinkable.

30-49: This isn’t a particularly pleasant cup.

1-29: …

Location

BC, Canada

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