613 Tasting Notes

95

This was probably my favourite guayusa blend; it definitely got me through some rough deadline crunches. I used the last of it this week, and it helped me me slay one final essay (but not the related terrible rhymes).

Mourning the loss of this blend is more than marking the passage of a delicious staple- The Killer’s Vanilla was also a smooth and efficient tool. Guayusa to stay conscious, vanilla to make palatable, lavender for curbing stress, mint to make fresh the rotting husk which is my soul on a deadline.

It’s going to be fun looking into replacements.. if only I didn’t associate the raw taste and smell of guayusa with the nausea of sleep deprivation!

Flavors: Earth, Lavender, Spearmint, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec
Fjellrev

Aww, I too drank this a lot while I was writing my thesis. It’s so comforting yet keeps a person motivated.

OMGsrsly

Your poor soul.

Fjellrev

Too bad about the bad association. :( The same thing happened to me with green mate but luckily that’s no loss.

Cavocorax

Oh man…. I love the description for this, while I mourn for the rotting husk of your soul.

CrowKettle

If I’m somewhat melodramatic and morbid it’s all because of my history of death class (taking no responsibility, nope).

While I’ll miss loads of Stacy’s blends I think the guayusas are one the most unique losses (also, white teas)- no one seems to be doing what she was doing with them, at least on that scale :(

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74

This floral, buttery-sweet oolong makes for a particularly floral and buttery jam and nut butter. At the best of times it’s a cup full of scone goodness, but something about the flavouring doesn’t quite do it for me. It’s still an enjoyable tea, albeit one I won’t miss too much.

This is more me saying goodbye to Stacy’s Organic Sparrow Tongue (I will find you again!).

Cue my Beatles-inspired Organic Sparrow Tongue theme song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgd15XcAzys

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Nuts, Raspberry

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

I wouldn’t put it past John that he sang about tea at the breakfast table.

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87

I’ve had this a few times now, but I don’t remember the powder sugar being so pronounced.. or there at all. I think it was mostly plum before- now it’s all in with the cashew cake and tangy-sweet syrup. Magic. The kind that’s probably connected to cooler drinking temperature, shorter steep time, etc. Also, paying attention to what I’m drinking.. I don’t know.

This is going to help me not eat the last of the cheesecake in the fridge. Yes it is. The last of the cheesecake was the perfect accompaniment for this tea.

Flavors: Cake, Nuts, Plums, Powdered sugar

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 15 sec
Stephanie

Sounds amazing!

CrowKettle

Today it certainly is! Now I wish I had more left. XD

Courtney

Love the cheesecake comment haha!

carol who

Amazing how that cheesecake can sneak up on you! :)

ashmanra

Hahaha!

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84
drank Fu Shou Shan by Butiki Teas
613 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
613 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
613 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
613 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
613 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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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.

White teas, roasted/fired green teas, and green oolong varieties are my favourites.

Ingredients/flavours I enjoy (in moderation): anise, caramel, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, maple, marshmallow leaves, melon, mint, rose, vanilla.

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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