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448 Tasting Notes

drank Smaug Tea by 52teas
448 tasting notes

1/12 teas of Christmas, 2013.

This was a neat surprise! I’ve wanted to try this one for some time but have convinced myself out of it each time an opportunity has arisen to pick some up. I’m glad that I lucked out anyways with the the twelve day box.

Buttery cinnamon hearts with some vegetal, smoky peppers- that sums it up. :)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
LiberTEAS

I really liked this one. One of the best of the year … it certainly deserves a spot in this year’s Christmas box.

CrowKettle

Yes, this one was surprisingly good- a true spicy tea! That this is mainly a dragon well base wins me over too. Mm, dragon well.

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This has a sweetness, like cinnamon, gooey sugar, and ripe canteloupe, that sticks to the back of the throat after taking a big gulp. It’s such a vivid and shocking note after gliding along the grassy, cedar aroma.

Edit: The cantaloupe sweetness receded in the third steep, becoming more like apple juice, while the cedar note took it up a notch. Something reminds me of juniper berries.

I guess it was the right decision to dump the whole sample bag in my tiny glass gongfu. I did two rinses, and hope to get as many short steeps out of this one as I can tonight while I study for my last final. Almost done!

Preparation
Boiling
Terri HarpLady

It’s been awhile since I drank this, although I do have some. :)

OMGsrsly

You can do it! One more final and then FREEDOM. :)

CrowKettle

Yes, I can’t wait! I just have some tea parcels to mail out and this exam to right and then my obligations are over for a little while! :)

Amariel

I had some of this…it was definitely interesting. I’m saving the rest of mine for some cold steeping at some point. Right now I’m mostly into hot and warm drinks rather than cold ones.

CrowKettle

Yeah, I can’t do cold steeps right now either, which is why opted to use it all up in a hot brew. I’ll have to pick a little more of this in the spring though, because I’ve heard good things.

Amariel

I don’t have a lot left, so I’m gonna hold onto it until then, and then reorder if I want more, but I have enough teas to drink right now hot…for sure.

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drank Matcha by Silk Road
448 tasting notes

The roommate and I mixed this into our vanilla ice cream tonight. So good. This batch is grassy-sweet, and almost buttery.

Shmiracles

omg so decadent! i have to figure out a way to try this!

CrowKettle

It’s super easy, and this way you can use your favourite/preferred ice cream base. I wonder how this would taste with almond milk ice cream. :)

Tea Sipper

ah, I’ll have to try mixing matcha with ice cream!

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66
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
448 tasting notes

Vanilla pudding custard tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Your description makes it sound so… perfect. But it’s too artificial for me, unfortunately.

CrowKettle

I’m finding it to be a bit too flavoured this time around too. I wish the natural oolong notes were more pronounced, and that there was less of this (the kind of pudding I’m thinking of): http://i.walmartimages.com/i/p/00/04/30/00/04/0004300004421_500X500.jpg

Fjellrev

Oh yeah, I remember it tasting similar to that kind of pudding, but even more chemically. I just wish it was a natural vanilla bean.

OMGsrsly

Haha. Yeah. I have some that I’m trying to persuade myself to drink. Any mixing ideas? What could tone down the vanilla? Maybe a latte?

Fjellrev

I definitely found it more tolerable as a latte. Or maybe mix it with an unflavoured oolong that’s been sitting around?

OMGsrsly

Hmm. I think I’ll try it as a latte. That way I don’t have Even More vanilla tea to drink up!

CrowKettle

Warm milk and flavoured oolong.. hmm. Another thing to try soon.

OMGsrsly

It’s good with coconut oolong!

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86
drank Coconut Oolong by Zen Tea
448 tasting notes

This is another one from the limited selection of teas that I’ll drink a pot of. Floral notes, and coconut flakes are touching upon milky today. This is why this tea gets “permanent” status in my stash. It goes along perfectly with the lengthy “A Beautiful Mind” and some episodes of Downton Abbey (thanks, Cavo).

You know what’s a really big fish? The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Cavocorax

Glad you’re enjoying it!

OMGsrsly

I forgot this one was on my desk tonight, and I had the one from Soko. I’m putting that one on your list, CrowKettle. You should try it too.

Amariel

I had some last night, but I was in such a funk from the Wild Purple Buds Pu Erh, that it just tainted the whole taste of this one.

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93
drank With Open Eyes by Butiki Teas
448 tasting notes

Another poorly written paper and another pot of this. It’s almost customary now. I can’t believe how much this tea calms me down. Thanks for the fantastic blend, Stacy; it’s becoming a favourite.

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec
Amariel

It’s rapidly becoming a favourite of mine. If you want to go in on an order, and get a gigantic amount of this, I wouldn’t say no. ;p

Fjellrev

Crowkettle, have more confidence in yourself! And you know what? I saw screw it. Let’s just get this term out of the way already. And never look back. :)

JustJames

if i can help, let me know. i paid for university the first time round as an editor. =0)

but OMGsrsly said something true awhile back: the people that say they’re doing badly usually do the best because they keep the pressure on. maybe not healthy (i do it too) but effective.

OMGsrsly

Haha. Keep the pressure on, but don’t overdo it folks, OK? You all need to be in one piece for tea-sharing after exams! Or maybe Boxing Week, since I have 9 days off work. O.o

Amariel

Might you have time to come over during your 9 days off?

OMGsrsly

I was thinking! :)

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I don’t remember how I ended up with a bag of this as opposed to a small sample (maybe from my one time tea of the month trail?), but I’m glad for the larger amount. I usually don’t go for the browner looking oolong types, and it took me by surprise how much I like this one.

There are notes of cream and orchids, which remind me of my greener oolongs, but there’s also a sharper note of sweet orange in the finish and aftertaste that add an extra dimension to this. My empty cup after the first steep has an aroma like orange chocolate liqueur with a dab of honey, chocolate cherries, or something dark like that. This tea is smooth and easy, but not an everyday thing.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C
Cavocorax

I think this was one from Verdant’s 5 for $5 promo. I finished mine yesterday, and OMGsrsly drank hers then too do it caught my eye. That’s probably why you bought it.

CrowKettle

I haven’t ordered from Verdant in the last seven months but maybe? I think this came with two other oolongs- a tieguanyin and a phoenix mountain dancong. I should start writing dates on my teas.

CrowKettle

I’m totally drinking it today because I saw you/OMGsrsly drink it the other day, however. I honestly forgot I had it.

Cavocorax

I think the promo was 8 months ago? I realized I’d had it sitting there for ever so I wanted to try it. And Oolong Saturday seemed appropriate. :P

I started adding all my teas into a spreadsheet so I could track when I bought them and who gave me the samples. It’s been handy but I’m always updating data. Tea logs. Spreadsheets. Good reads updates. Fan fic pins. Pinboard pins. I spend so much time cataloging my life – I can’t forget to live it. :P

Terri HarpLady

I love this one. Sadly, I think it’s gone for good…but who knows what might pop up to replace it, right?

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I wasn’t aware that oolong Saturday was a thing, but I’ve spent the last +10 hours drinking up this sample, so I sort of participated unknowingly?

This oolong isn’t bad- it’s characteristically floral, with a good dose of sweetness and a peppery aftertaste. The first empty cup had a distinct brown sugar aroma. There’s something kind of malty about it too, with some notes you’d find in a barely or wheat tea. Eating oat bran while drinking this magnified that note. The second steep tasted like oil had been mixed in. Bouts of creaminess come through in some of the steeps.

The third and forth steeps were enjoyed (I use that term loosely)cold in a juice-flavored travel mug my mom insisted I take with me to the movies today. She even poured the the tea using the glass gongfu herself- the first time she’s ever used it. She was extremely excited to do it too, which was sweet. That’s one good memory I’ll have with this tea.

Edit: I’m still drinking this and every once in a while I get banana peel. Is that strange? I guess it’s the tea’s way of telling me I should stop drinking it.

Second Edit: Things are starting to get interesting. The floral and wheat notes have receded somewhat, allowing for more sweetness. It’s mainly brown sugar but there’s something fruity too.

Terri HarpLady

Oolong saturday? Is that a thing?

CrowKettle

I was unaware too and was wondering why OMGsrsly decided to drink five oolong teas today. Then I saw this thread: http://steepster.com/discuss/6437-oolong-saturday-anyone

OMGsrsly

Because I’m ridiculous? :D

CrowKettle

I’d say you’re special and determined. I like oolong quite a lot but I don’t think I could do what you did today :)

Cavocorax

You resteeped this one 5 times, didn’t you? That’s determined too. I will resteep once or twice but that’s usually all I will commit too. And if it’s from Davids or something like that, I’ll toss it after.

OMGsrsly

Yeah, I’m a little tea-drunk. If I stay home to do laundry tomorrow, I’ll drink even more of them. If I go to my friends house, she only has a microwave as her stove is broken. Haha. No tea there.

CrowKettle

I’ve actually technically resteeped this 10 times now, with two separate batches in different temperatures today, but I’m trying not to count and gave up writing about it in my note..

OMGsrsly

That is seriously amazing.

CrowKettle

I probably fixate on oolongs in an unhealthy way. I want to know when they’ll stop tasting like “things” but I usually end up with a headache before I get close to that point.

TheTeaFairy

I though the post was so funny, start an Oolong Saturday to follow up Black Friday! Should we start a Green Sunday ???? Oh, why not!

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drank Alpina by Jasmin
448 tasting notes

My sister brought me back this herbal from Slovenia. I had a lot of fun trying to translate the ingredients with the help of Google (shudder). Roughly, this herbal blend consists of a bunch of berries, berry leaves, and tiny pink flowers. The easiest flavours for me to pick out are the blackcurrants, and the pomegranate. It’s a very juicy tea with a subdued floral note. I think this would make a nice iced tea.

My sister brought me back some strange, but fun, stuff from her travels this time, including some chocolate with tea leaves on top. It gives me a good case of wanderlust. I want to go places too!

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Fjellrev

Awesome that your sister was in Slovenia! Hope she enjoyed her trip.

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92

Backlog: after making some of this without really having time for it the other day, I opted to pour it in my timolino travel mug and hope for the best.

Turns out this fairs amazingly well in the timolino (at least, it was a lot better than I expected it to be). The plastic didn’t drown out any of the subtleties- The rose is the dominant note, with some amaranth and cream. This made a comical archaeology lab awesome. Looking forward to having many more amazing timolino adventures with this tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec
OMGsrsly

Don’t you know that archaeology is srs bsnss? :D (How to freak your classmates out: If your tongue sticks to dry “wood”, it’s bone. I swear this is legit, although it sounds absolutely preposterous.)

OMGsrsly

I actually tasted rocks in the rock lab too. My prof just shook his head at me. I guess that’s what happens when you take mineralogy BEFORE point identification.

Amariel

I wish I could also “like” OMGsrsly’s comments too. :P

CrowKettle

I agree with Heather (I’ll have to find the right time to test that), although I’d probably abuse the ability to an annoying degree.

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Profile

Bio

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

My tea preferences have changed a lot since joining here. I swore I’d never love black teas, and now they make up some of my favourites, both flavoured and unflavoured. I prefer my green and oolong teas buttery and roasted.

A good Silver Needle is my desert island tea.

Ratings:

90-100: A Personal Favourite
80-89: Great, buy 25g
70-79: Enjoyable, may buy more
60-69: OK, with some problems
50-59: Flat, but drinkable
30-49: Possibly better in cooking
1-29: This cup found sink

Location

BC, Canada

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