235 Tasting Notes

100
drank Yunnan Beauty by Mandala Tea
235 tasting notes

The liquor has a juicy scent and deep auburn jewel color.
This is a very lovely Oolong. I really LOVE this and am sort of left with the word indescribable. It is close to sweetened rhubarb but not tangy. So it is like stewed rhubarb with cream and sugar.
It is like the sweet version of umami,,,I really cannot place the lovely euphoric flavor because it is changing and bringing back memories. Flavor trip that I don’t want to come home from.
Smelling the empty cup, it has a dark raw honey scent.
This tea is VERY GOOD!!!!!!! I tried a few samples today and this is the one I will be drinking all day and tried to purchase but it is sold out. I definitely see why it is sold out :(

Thank u to Terri Harplady for this life-changing sample. I have obviously only begun to touch the world of tea and this is a new direction in my favorites!!!!!!


Second and Third steepings : This tea is fun. I must emphasize that if you go longer than 30 seconds you will ruin the mesmerizing effect and lose it. In fact, once the leaves open up, you need less than 30 seconds to get that sweet spot again. It’s more like 25 seconds for the second and third steepings. Yummm, I’m loving this tea.

Flavors: Honey, Stewed Fruits

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Garret

I am so very happy that you are enjoying this tea!! Thank you for taking the time to write up your thoughts on it. We just got more of this tea in and can get you your own stash so you don’t deplete Terri’s :) I’ll make sure we get it up on site for you! Terri rocks!

Namaste’,
Garret

Lee

Oh yay!!!! Thank u so much!!! I will look for it!!!!

Lee

Terri does rock!!!!!!!!

Lee

Namaste’ !

Terri HarpLady

Glad you love this one, & thanks to you & Garret both! :)

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93
drank Purple Sunset Oolong by Butiki Teas
235 tasting notes

Sweet warming scent. Wow,,,this is a completely different Oolong.
It is very berry-tasting. Like a warm berry medley dessert with apples. It is very smooth with a note of cream.
I like this tea and the other Kenyan tea I have tried so far!!! They are really putting a different spin on tea and it’s fun!!! Very unique and delicious!!

Thank u to Terri Harplady for this sample!!

Flavors: Berries, Cream

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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98
drank Four Seasons Spring by Rishi Tea
235 tasting notes

The dry leaves smell like someone sent me a bouquet of assorted flowers. Little round tightly rolled pellets of moss green.

Brewed; this tea is flowers, flowers, flowers!!!! Very Very very low roast ,,,love it!!!
It says on the package that this is Si Ji Chun style.

Not only do I taste and smell flowers, I taste tropical fruits such as Lychee fruit and melon.

I drank this with a lunch of avocado, Roma tomato, and sunflower sprouts on whole wheat bread and it paired very nicely. Then with fruit, it was amazing. Very great tea to pair with dessert.

Very amazing the differences in style and the many flavors that can be brought out of tea!!!!

This tea comes from central Taiwan.

Flavors: Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Gardenias, Honeydew, Lychee

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

The dry leaves smell so good like cream and sitting by the rocks on the ocean shore. They are blackish-brown, medium size and all uniform semi-twisted.

Brewed, this tea also smells amazing like toasted granola with vanilla almond milk. There is a scent of sugary caramel as well.

The flavor has just the right amount of roast for me. It is definitely roasted but not as much as some of the rock wulongs are and I like that. It is well balanced with roast, cream, and a subtle amount of sweet. I would really love a bit more sweet in there for a perfect balance but that is very hard to find.

A second steeping brought me even more creamy notes on the nose and still a nice roasted but not much sweet flavor.

Flavors: Cream, Espresso, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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70
drank Bai Mu Dan White Tea by Verdant Tea
235 tasting notes

Thank u to Terri Harplady for this sample!!!!!! :) :) :)

Pretty leaves, dark green on one side and a fuzzy cream white on the other. They smell creamy too. I love white teas, I can’t wait to taste.

The instructions say to brew at 175 for 2’’. Other whites I’ve had say to go at 185 and for a touch longer.

This white has very subtle creamy and almond notes.

The next steeping, I upped to 185 and added a pinch more leaves that I had left in my sample then steeped a bit longer. I learned in my tea experiments that the notes aren’t gonna change but a stronger version of them will come thru hopefully.

This white is still very delicate and subtle to me. Other whites I’ve had have a sweet nectar note along with a few other surprises in with the cream note but this one does not for me.

Flavors: Cream, Nuts

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Thank u to Terri Harplady for this sample!!!

The dry leaves are little tiny twists of gray-green and look like links in a necklace. So tiny!! Brewed, they unfurl to look like chopped herbs.

The liquor has a very strong butter bean scent!! Its essence is stronger than the flavor; the flavor is light and fresh. It has subtle notes of cream and the butter bean and gives a great creamy mouthfeel which I have never experienced with a green tea.

Lovely drinking this right before lunch, it excites the palette!!

Then, I happen to be having a spicier soup for lunch and sipping this tea is cooling to the palette!

Very interesting and lovely green tea!!

Flavors: Cream, Lima Beans

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Terri HarpLady

Yay! So happy to like it!

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80
drank Da Hong Pao by Seven Cups
235 tasting notes

The dry leaves are black, twisted, and fairly long. They have a vanilla, toasty aroma.

Brewed, the liquor smells of sweet cream and a caramel dessert. The color is a beautiful auburn jewel shade.

The flavor is a roasted dark toast when drinking in and then subtle sweetness comes when breathing out.

I tried three different steep times (and one temperature lowering) for this Da Hong Pao, each with fresh dry leaves, to learn from.

The first steep time that I tried is noted in the taste note settings here and is what the package suggests, 212 F for at least 2 minutes. (The taste notes above)

My next try was 212 F for a quicker 1 1/2 minutes. I was trying to see if more sweetness comes thru with less steeping but I found that by doing this, you just get a weaker version of the same dominant flavors.
I tried one more experiment with dry fresh leaves (I had lots of tea to share today), I lowered the temperature to 200 degrees for 2 minutes. As this version cooled, I liked it the best but it still had the same flavor notes.

By doing all of this, I wanted to see if the roasting process they perform on the tea causes the dominant flavor or if it can be manipulated by your temps and steep times.
I found that it was the same flavors no matter what I did so the flavor mainly has to do with the roasting or how they process the tea as long as you don’t over-steep. Still learning,,lol!!

So over all, I found that this tea has a very dark roasted flavor with very subtle sweet notes as you breathe out and I enjoyed learning from it too!!!!

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Espresso, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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96

Thank u to Terri Harplady for this beautiful sample!!

The tiny twisted leaves look like beautiful Spanish moss and they unfurl to be so much larger individual light green leaves.
The liquor is a pretty Spanish moss color as well and I don’t detect any dominant essences.

I like this green tea,,it is mild-tasting. I like that it was sun-dried, maybe this is why it is so mild. It does have notes of sweet pea and oat as Verdant suggests in its description.
There is a tiny bit of tannin to it that cleanses your palette. This tea is great with food as it will not fight with your flavors.
Gonna steep again later to see what comes out now that the leaves are unfurled because the Verdant description includes rose water, celery, and sweet grass along with the oat and sweet pea that I detected in the first steeping!

Earthy, light, and very nice green tea!

  • OK, second steeping really brings out the rose water!!!! That is wonderful!!! I have a recipe for a rose water sugar cookie that this tea would pair beautifully with!!! I do detect the sweet grass essence. I am still not detecting any celery,,,,maybe in a third steeping ?? Very cool notes.

Tried a third steeping on this and did catch celery but with a third steeping it was very one note with only celery so I’d stick with two next time :)

Flavors: Baked Bread, Earth, Fruit Tree Flowers, Peas

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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96
drank White Rhino by Butiki Teas
235 tasting notes

I got this gorgeous sample from Terri Harplady, here on Steepster, who is so sweet and is helping me learn more about tea!!!!!!!!!

The leaves are twisted, tan, and a pretty clay mud color; like a rhino’s hide!!! So cute and aptly named!!!

The scent of the brewed tea was very intriguing. To me, it was very much like the scent of dried mulberries which I love and get at the health food store every once in a while. It also has a strong essence of honey.
The liquor of this white is a deep, very auburn color so it is definitely a different style of white!!

The flavor is very good. It has flavors of orange which is a neat surprise because I didn’t detect it in the scent. There are notes of cream and a touch of persimmon fruit.

This is a very delicious and unique white tea!!!!!


Tried a second steeping and it is just as delicious with notes of honey and caramelized sweet potato or sweet potato with marshmallows at Thanksgiving.

Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Honey, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82
drank Obukucha by Steepster
235 tasting notes

I love the name of this tea!! I found online that it means ‘Great Fortune Tea’ and it is tradition in Japan to drink for the New Year to bring good luck.
The dry leaves look like a gyokuro,,,,, very moist, grass -clipping-like, thin, and dark green. But it is a Sencha. Smells good, like salt and red lettuce.
Brewed, the liquor is a lovely bright spring green color with scents of mineral and cooked mixed veggies.
The flavor is a deep green, grassy, salty mineral taste with notes of fava bean and the sorrel (which I haven’t had in a while but it has tangy notes).
As it cools, the tea is getting hints of pine and a zing of eucalyptus which is actually not my favorite aspect. Overall, a very nice green tea.

From the Steepster Select Box, January 2014

Flavors: Mineral

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

Tea is Life. I love Tea!

Morning:
Bai Mu Dan
Bai Hao Yin Zhen
White Bud Puerh
Feng Qing Yunnan
Marangi Estate Assam

Lunch:
Kabuse
Long Jing
Tai Ping Hou Kui
Anji Bai Cha

Afternoon:
Matcha
Ya Bao
Sheng
Arya Estate Darjeeling First Flush

Night:
Elderflower Nectar
Pure Chamomile
Pure Tea Flowers
Dried Citrus
Fresh Turmeric w/ Honey & Lemon

I like Ayurveda, Yoga,
walking, stand-up comedy clubs.

Love chefs and foodies. Love veggies!!!!
I avoid artificial and processed foods such as diet sodas because I think those things affect your palate for tasting teas, foods, wine.
I always use filtered Culligan water for tea, no tap or bottled so I don’t find many teas I dislike bc I start with super delicious water.

Also enjoy bonsai, xeriscape gardening, my doggie, & all nature.

Preferred brewing method: Gaiwan

Favorite Varietals:
Ye Sheng (wild)
Yunnan Da Ye (large leaf)

I have stopped rating teas with a numerical value here on Steepster because I realized on May 13, 2014 (a tea enlightenment lol) that once you start to learn what teas you like, get practiced and good at gong fu, and which companies are selling quality tea,,,they are all 100’s to me because I purchase and drink what I like and the best I can find.
I respect all the work that goes into the tea that I am drinking and I like thinking about the different terroirs they come from.

Namaste!

Location

Sonoran Desert

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