564 Tasting Notes

1.25 tsp for 300mL water @90C, steeped 5 minutes 15 seconds.

I know, I know: what’s with that criminally long steep time?

I got distracted.

Much longer, and the tea liquor might bite back with a soapiness. It does bite back a little, clinging to the tongue. But that’s okay, because it’s also offering florals and spices and fruit and some faint incense and …

Wow.

A thickness, too, almost creamy. Ginseng notes.

A rewarding tea. I really like this one.

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1.25 tsp in 250mL water @95C, steeped four minutes.

I’ve been really slack with my tea notes. The past spring and summer got wicked busy, and I had a few health issues. Throughout the summer, however, I’ve been thrilled with the Verdant Tea of the Month boxes. The different oolongs are an especial treat for me, and I’ve learned a TON about strip style versus rolled style … and I’m developing a new appreciation for toasty oolongs. I still prefer the lighter, floral ones, but hey, please Verdant, educate me.

That said, I’m reviewing the Wuyi Gongfu Black because it’s the one I drank most recently. I did not expect to enjoy such strong mineral notes with a cocoa-bike back tea, but I did. The mineral notes are almost sweet. I’ve enjoyed this tea while working; its not so arresting that I just sit and think only of the tea. My loss, I expect. Still, a delightful Chinese black tea, gentle yet nuanced.

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75

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @95C, steeped 5 minutes.

Not bad at all.

Dry leaf smells of ginger and peaches and … uh … dust. Something has gone to a fine powder in there and might make you sneeze.

Liquor is cloudy pale gold that clears a it as the cloudiness settles.

Good ginger flavour with some heat (not dominant, though) and a nice peach flavour, not terribly artificial. Balanced. And best of all, a blend tisane with NO HIBISCUS. They’re hard to find.

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Made for me in a DavidsTea shop. I am guessing 1.25 tsp to 300mL water @96C. I steeped it five to six minutes, as I was in a mall and making my way to the parking lot.

The scent is very malty, reminding me of as Assam. The taste, however, has none of the heavy astringency of Assam, more the lighter and smoother body of a China black tea. Chasing the scent of malt is honey. Interestingly this tea does not develop a heavy body at all. Smooth and soothing and invigorating. I loved it.

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2tsp for a 300mL pot at 85C. Steeped 3 minutes 30 seconds.

Don’t oversteep this beautiful tea — it will get bitter. I can taste a faint bitterness in the finish. Shorter steep next time.

Dry leave is very pretty: long pai mu tan leaves with blossoms. Strong but not cloying scent of peaches and papaya.

Liquor is dark for a white tea, verging towards bronze.

Juicy pai mu tan with peaches and papaya dominating, with some mango notes. Delicious.

Kristal

For me, I like my greens (on average) steeped about 2min at 175 degrees F. Of course, every tea and person is different though :)

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1.5 tsp for 300mL water @95C, steeped 5 minutes.

The longer steep brings out a bitterness and a faint hint of copper but no astringency. Notes of malt, grains, an honey remain and intensify with the longer steep. I’ll go back to a 4-minute steep for this lovely tea. Soft mouthfeel.

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98

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @95C, steeped 5 minutes.

An old favourite.

My belly is angry today. and mint tisanes can be very helpful with that. This blend of wintergreen, a vanilla tone from the sarsaparilla, a kiss of citrus, and loads of sparkling spearmint and peppermint, is soothing and a little different.

Dry leaf: wintergreen, spearmint, peppermint, some vanilla (sarsaparilla).

Wet leaf: the same.

Liquor is golden and clear. A gorgeous blend.

Shae

Hope you feel better!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Thank you. I am feeling better now. Iron supplements are doing a number on my gut — AND interfering with when I drink tea, Hmph.

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1.5 tdp for 300mL water @95C, steeped 4 minutes.

Dry leaf is very pretty with long twisty leaves and lots of gold tips. I’m not seeing any twigs.

Wet leaf smells of malt and honey and that faint tang of copper that many Ceylons have. I’m not catching any of the astringency in the scent. A slight scent of toasted grains (like Grape-Nuts cereal).

Liquor is steeping to an attractive dark copper.

Mmmm, this is lovely. No astringency or pucker. No strong coppery tang. Lots of dark honey and toasted grains. I expect this would get pucker if steeped much longer, so if you like that, go for a longer steep. Me, I’ll just sip this now and smile.

Michelle Butler Hallett

The liquor didn’t look downy at all, but it does offer a very soft mouthfeel, soft even for a Ceylon black tea.

Lots of nuance in the flavours as the tea cools and you get further down the cup, too.

TeaExplorer

This sounds like a tasty Ceylon. I’ve only had a few and they tended to have that copper tang. I’ll have to give this one a try. Thanks!

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Writer and tea fiend. Author of THIS MARLOWE, DELUDED YOUR SAILORS, SKY WAVES, DOUBLE-BLIND, and THE SHADOW SIDE OF GRACE.

I prefer straight teas but will try almost anything … so long as it’s not tainted with hibiscus. I loathe hibiscus.

Floral oolong and complex black teas are my favourites.

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St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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