483 Tasting Notes

95

I’ve had two tieguanyin teas before, both of the very green variety. I didn’t know that iron goddess was traditionally a roasted oolong until now.

The flavors of this one are quite different from other roasted oolongs that I have had. I am quite fond of super dark charcoal roasted oolongs and haven’t yet decided where this fits in with my personal preferences.

To better explain the character of this tea, I will relate to you my family members’ responses:

My husband hasn’t yet liked any roasted oolong that I have served him. He can’t stand the smell of them and says that the flavors are only slightly better. I gave him a sample of this Iron Goddess tea, not at all expecting a positive response, but was surprised when he told me that he gives it a rating of “90.” Really, I don’t get it. I mean, it’s different, but not that different, from the other teas that he has tried. . .

My mother, who has a liking for most roasted oolongs, said that she can detect some floral notes through the roasted flavors and that it was a very nice change of pace from what she is used to.

My father and I are about the same in our preference for a heartier roast, but we both enjoyed this tea. I am going to brew the rest in my gaiwan tomorrow and get to know it better before deciding if it will be a repurchase.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
Mantra Tea Taiwan

Shelley thank you for the thoughtful review :)

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I was trying to decide which of my Mantra Tea samples to brew first, and this is the one I picked. I’m taking the Iron Goddess to share with my family later this evening.

Onto the tea:
This is an exceptional black tea. I’ve had a ruby black before, but it was not like this one. I don’t at all have the tea vocabulary and trained palate to describe it properly, but I can say for sure that you all have to try this! It’s not bitter and astringent, but I certainly wouldn’t call it a delicate black either. It’s so smooth! I can definitely detect the woody flavor noted in the description as well as a a sweetness that I don’t recognize as orchid, but it could be. I’m also not picking up specifically on notes of peppermint and cinnamon, but I can definitely see how this tea would be a good match for an afternoon tea cake that includes these flavors. This tea is definitely going on my re-order list :)

Fuzzy_Peachkin

This sounds fantastic!

Shelley_Lorraine

Mantra tea is offering a 3-tea sampler on their new Etsy site for $18 and free shipping (this was advertised in the discussion threads recently). Totally worth it!

Fuzzy_Peachkin

That’s a pretty good deal! I’ll have to look into it!

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95

Another excellent roasted oolong. This one seems a lot more bold than others I’ve had. It packs a lot of flavor in each sip.

It’s been a while since I brewed the 1991 aged oolong from Butiki, so my memory could be wrong, but that one seemed a bit sweeter than this one. I love both of them, though!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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100

Black tea and mint is a favorite blend of mine, but I haven’t tried one with an assam base before. I have some mint leaves that I add to my own teas sometimes, but I’ve always thought assam wouldn’t be a good match. Apparently it is! This is my favorite mint and black blend yet.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Whispering Pines Tea Company

100? A perfect tea, you say? :) Glad you’re enjoying it!

Shelley_Lorraine

Well, it must be perfect since both of my parents loved it too! My father isn’t too keen on mint teas. Not that he dislikes them, but they don’t usually get him too excited. I told him I brought a mint tea this evening and he just said “oh.” But then, there he was asking for seconds and then acting real distraught when his cup was empty again. :) Assam and mint is a perfect pairing and you found just the right ratio of both.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Yay! Glad to hear it :) Have you tried this iced?

Shelley_Lorraine

Oh, nope, I don’t like iced beverages (tea, coffee, soda. . well, I just plain don’t like soda, and I don’t much like iced water either :p) Hibiscus is the only exception.

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75

This tea isn’t half bad. Thanks for sharing it with me CK!

What appeals to me is what many others here considered a flaw of sorts. It’s not an in-your-face dessert tea. The black base is bold and the white chocolate only adds a slight change of texture and a touch of sweetness.
Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85

I tried this one again today with a longer steep time (8min30sec). This resulted in a much bolder flavor, but I didn’t notice anything particularly different aside from this. I didn’t get any of the coconut-like aftertaste this time around, but I am nearly certain that was caused by the cookies I had last time rather than by the tea.

I shared this brew with my family. My father said it went well with dinner and my sister said it tasted like burnt coffee (she hates coffee and I’m having a heck of a time finding any tea she likes either, so I wouldn’t take her opinion too seriously. LOL)

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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95

It’s a keeper! A really good green tea: smooth ,vegetal, only the slightest bit of astringency. Not much else to say :)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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95

I got this tea mostly so that my mother could try it. Of course, I had to sample it myself, but didn’t expect to like it since I don’t like Jasmine. It turns out that it wasn’t as bad as I expected, though I still won’t be purchasing this for myself in the future. The jasmine is subtle, hence why I could enjoy my cup at all. It tastes much like a delicate floral oolong with a creamy vegetal base. I’ve been advised that a second steeping will bring out the pine needle, but I only took a first steeping in a thermos to my parents house (one of the last few times I will be doing this because they are moving this week).

My mother liked it (she loves jasmine), so that is what matters :) She said it is a very calming/relaxing tea.

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65

I had no idea who the double rainbow guy was until I received a sample of this tea from DianeInOz and felt compelled to look up the reference. All I can say is, OMG, there is some weird stuff going on out there, beyond my happy place.

The tea itself isn’t as over-the-top as it professes to be. The peach and apricot don’t come through as strong as they often do in other teas with which they are blended, but they are there and add to the sweetness of the tea. Nevertheless, I have had sweeter honeybush/rooibos blends, so this tea may fall short of double rainbow guy’s expectations.

I wish I could pick up some of the vanilla or caramel notes, but I’m not getting them. It’s rooibos and honeybush with a mild fruity backdrop.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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75

I don’t know what’s going on here, but this one tastes identical to the non-apple version. See my tasting note for “Supreme Blue People Oolong.”

I wonder if maybe they put the wrong tea in the package and it really is the same as the other. . .

TeaBrat

ooh, I need to go back there soon. :)

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Profile

Bio

Name: Shelley Lorraine Limegrover
Location: Wyoming
Occupation: Student and Evil Genius
Ward: 3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, 1 Cocker spaniel, 1 super cranky but lovable siamese cat, one bipolar black turkish angora, and my husband’s black and white cat.

Hobbies: Learning, reading books, math, physics (have a degree in it), literature (have a degree in it too), anthropology, traveling, piano, and making TEA, of course (^o^)

Future plans: World domination >-)
Graduate school for Comparative literature (in German, Latin, and Greek) – Update: I’m going to the University of Colorado in Fall 2014!! yay me!

Favorite teas: Kukicha, Green teas in general, aged oolongs, charcoal roasted oolong, taiwanese oolongs, Assam . . .

Don’t like: Genmaicha, Earl Grey, Darjeelings, ginger, coconut, smokey teas (even mild ones), nut flavors, overwhelmingly strong floral flavor (esp. Jasmine), most della derra and adagio teas. . .

My Rating System

100 My happiness absolutely depends on it

95 Will definitely repurchase

85: Might repurchase (teas that depend on my mood)

75 Won’t repurchase (but I would drink it again if offered).

65: meh

45: I reluctantly finished a cup.

15: Couldn’t finish a cup.

I simplified my ratings to single numbers rather than ranges because I can’t precisely compare so many teas with a system more detailed than this.

An unrated tea is most often one that I recognize as having significant notable quality, but that does not suit me personally. Sometimes, I leave teas unrated for other reasons, such as I am undecided or I brewed it wrong, etc.

Note: Boiling temp. barely reaches 200 where I am (and a few times it sticks at 195, I assume due to unexplainable shifts in altitude or the position of the moon. . .aliens?. . .).

Location

Wyoming

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