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10 Tasting Notes

90

Amazing tea – this is a Green tea that can be prepared with boiling water with NO BITTERNESS. Here’s how the taste pans out across steepings:

1st infusion – Sweet flavor reminiscent of caramel popcorn – I guess it’s the combination of sweet and toasted flavors that creates this.

2nd infusion – Slightly less sweet, which allows more of the toasted flavor to come through.

3rd infusion – Much less sweet, allowing toasted flavor to become prominent.

I enjoyed each infusion for the unique flavors they yielded. I bought some of this tea from Taka after visiting his tea farm on the big island of Hawaii last week. He said that his special methods of preparation allow for the tea to be infused with boiling water without any bitterness (but he wouldn’t elaborate on his trade secrets). I highly recommend this tea and also recommend a visit to Mauna Kea tea if you’re ever on Hawaii!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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24

Just like the store’s description says, the taste of this tea is closer to a black than a white…. My first steeping was for 1 minute – it was a pretty dark amber and pretty bitter… I dumped it out right away.

The second steeping I put it in for less than 30 seconds and it actually wasn’t terrible. Still, steeping it for such a short time meant that it was pretty mild and not really complex.

Overall I don’t really like this tea… It’s not really complex or what I’m looking for in a white tea. Also, the pieces are so small that it’s almost a powder – this makes steeping a bit more difficult, and almost impossible if you don’t have an infusor basket.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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47

I feel like I should enjoy this tea more, but I’m not even really excited about steeping it again. The taste isn’t exactly bad, but it’s not what I like in a white tea.

The taste is smokey with a little bitterness at the end. The appearance of the dry tea is actually really interesting rolled into little columns, but I thought the taste was a bit disappointing. If you really like smokey teas, this might be a good choice for you, though.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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22

Ok, so I’m pretty sure that this tea is incorrectly advertised as a white tea, because it doesn’t taste like a white at all. Let me preface this rating by saying that I DON’T like fruity teas as a general rule, but I wouldn’t normally decrease my rating unless the fruit flavor was overpowering.

Bottom line:
This tasted like a cheap black tea with some mango chunks thrown in…. The mango flavor wasn’t overpowering, but the tea flavor was horrible. It was just bitterness mixed with mango, despite the fact that I steeped it at a low temperature in order to avoid that bitterness… it didn’t work. I gave this tea away to one of my friends who seemed to actually like it – so apparently others don’t find it as bad as I do.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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26

This is yet another tea I received in a sample pack from the English Tea Store. This one is pretty disappointing – I don’t have a HUGE amount of experience with white teas (probably only a total of 6 or 7), but this one is the worst by far. It has very little sweetness and even a bitter aftertaste. Even the fact that I brewed it pretty light didn’t reduce the bitterness. English Tea Store’s Pai Mu Tan (白牡丹) while not incredibly impressive, is still much better than this.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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64

This is the third tea that I’ve tasted from English Tea Store… I haven’t been incredibly impressed so far, but this tea actually wasn’t that bad. I would buy it again simply because it’s pretty cheap and good enough to drink on a daily basis, but not really good enough to impress anyone.

Additional notes:
I just tried this tea again so that I could get a better grasp of the taste, but I’m having trouble figuring it out. Overall, it’s very smooth and mild with just a touch of sweetness. It lacks strong floral aromas/flavors that usually turn me off, so that’s a plus. Ultimately, it has that normal “white tea” flavor, but nothing really special. My overall rating is based on the combination of the average flavor and the very low price. At approximately $4 for 2 oz or $12 for 8 oz, this tea can be useful simply to add a little volume to the average tea collection. Also, I noticed that my 1oz sample seems like it’s enough to make at least 5 small pots (5 steeps each), so that’s really cost-efficient.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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76

First of all… I think this tea is mis-named. On the package it says “Dong ding ming xiang” but then the Chinese characters are “Dong Ding Mi Xiang” (i.e. 冻顶蜜香 = Frozen summit honey fragrance). I don’t know what this “Ming” is… I’m assuming it’s just a typo.

Anyways, I might change my rating a bit later, but for right now I’m comparing this mostly with the Wu Ling (also by Teas from Taiwan) that I tried just a couple days ago. This one is a bit smokier and less sweet. Around the 3rd or 4th steeping I tasted hints of the same butterscotch-ish flavor, but it wasn’t nearly as pronounced. I liked this tea, but I think it was different from Dong Ding Wulong that I’ve had in the past.

Overall, a nice relatively mild but satisfying balanced tea. It rates below the Wuling, but it is still good!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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84

I hate an overpowering Wulong more than anything, so the first few seeps were only 30 seconds. The tea came out a nice light yellow color and tastes great. Very subtle toasty flavor but overall very mild and delicious. The flavor of butterscotch came out more strongly throughout the steepings, and I’m now at number 5 or 6. At first I couldn’t place the flavor, but eventually figured it out (I think). I also drank a different Wulong with a friend later, and that only made the sweet butterscotch flavor of this one more obvious!

I bought the sampler, so once I finish all of these wulongs, I’ll adjust my ratings a bit and decide on a favorite

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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85

Tea Prep:
1) Broke apart the tea cake
2) Rinsed tea in boiling water
3) First infusion was a bit too long (about 1-1.5 min) and was a little bitter
4) Second infusion (normally the best anyways) was for 30 seconds with slightly cooler than boiling water

The second infusion was awesome! This Puer is very rich, smooth, and sweet. As I noted above, I steeped for too long the first time which may have added to the slight bitterness, but even this was not totally unpleasant as it added a slight smokey flavor to the tea.

The fourth steeping (at 30 seconds) began to get a bit lighter, but it was still enjoyable. When I get back home I’m going to infuse it another 3 or 4 times to see what kind of result I get. I tend to allow long periods of time between steepings sometimes (1-6 hours), but I’m not sure how this effects the flavor – it normally works out well, though!

Note:
5th infusion I left it for about 2 minutes in order to get it a bit darker. No bitterness at all, but a little bit weaker than the previous infusions. Still great, though.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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84

Initially I steeped this tea WITHOUT the orange peel, but then added in a bit of the peel to see if it added any significant flavor. Overall I liked it more with a bit of orange peel added in. It’s definitely not the best Puer that I’ve ever tried, but I thought it was pretty decent. The unique presentation made it a tea that I absolutely had to buy. Also, the price is reasonable.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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Bio

I have liked tea for many years, but never really discovered the world of tea until about 2 years ago. Now I’m on a mission to build a decent collection of good teas. My favorites are Green, White, and sheng(raw) Puer – without the addition of fruity, flowery, or artificial flavorings.

Location

Arizona

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