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494 Tasting Notes

96

1 pyramid bag for 250mL water @82C. Drunk bare.

Oh. My. God.

My local teashop, Britannia Teas and Gifts, is a little low on jasmine right now, but they did have these little pyramid bags. (The owner had maybe 2tsp of my beloved Dragon Tears left and gave me those — yesss!) I needed jasmine. I really needed jasmine. I probably would have tried to eat dried petals our of a bride’s bouquet. Dunno what it is with me and jasmine tea, but when I want it, I want it bad.

I was a little dubious about the pyramid bags, because I’m a snob. But the leaves are long and twisty, and the aroma is strong. It’s a China green base, and a fairly grassy one — no broth or brine here. The balance of jasmine is freakin heavenly. I did oversteep the first infusion at 3 minutes — 2 would have been better — and got some soapiness from the flowers, but it was so good I didn’t care, just drinking it down til I could add some water. Second infusion at 3 minutes, 3rd at 3 min 30 seconds. Golden green liquor and a great jasmine hit each time. I think Dragon Tears are slightly better, but this Golden Dragon is very, very good. If you placed a cup of each in front of me, I’d have trouble telling which was which.

Good jasmine tea makes me feel relaxed and a bit goofy. I also find — and this is just my own observation, not in any way medical advice — it takes some edge off my arthritis pain. Maybe there’s something mysterious about the jasmine flower that medicine should look into. There’s a lot of bad jasmine tea out there; this is one of the good ones, I promise.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

It’s the white tea I’ll bet that’s helping you and the l-thianine. I’m not a doctor but the Organic White Jasmine Silver Needle that I got from Teao2 took away my psoriasis on my hands that I had for 15 years. It hasn’t come back for 10 years. I made poltices and I drank the tea. My skin changed in less than 2 weeks. So I think there are benefits.

ashmanra

Amazing, both of you!

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80

Made for me at a DavidsTea store. Steeped 3 minutes. Drunk bare.’

You’ve got to seriously like floral teas, and especially, like the scent of roses, to enjoy this tea.

Luckily, I was right in the mood.

A good balance of rose and a mild China green. By the end of the cup, I got more roses than tea.

I expect a 3-minute steep is as much as this tea can tolerate. There was a slight soapiness to the rose by the end.

It tastes of green tea and roses. A bit perfumey. Might be better enjoyed 125mL at a time, versus 250mL or more.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75

1.5 tsp for 250mL water @ 90C, steeped 5 minutes, drunk bare.

Yes, water at 90C. I’d set the Breville for oolong but changed my mind. I didn;t then change the setting because I thought water on the rolling boil would scald the sweet stuff in here.

It smells and tastes like red velvet cake. This is exactly what they intended. I catch the faintest touch of black tea on the back of my tongue.

I’m generally not a fan of flavoured teas, but I keep trying them. The DavidsTea Buttered Rum really appealed to me earlier in the week, so I took the chance on Red Velvet Cake. I’ll keep it on hand for when I want to eat something sweet and see if taking this tea instead saves me a few calories.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec
noordelijk

When it comes to flavoured teas DavidsTea has so many good flavoured black teas. I used to only drink straight for awhile but now I’m addicted to all of davidsteas like this one.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I left the spent leaves in my study last night. This morning, the place smells like cake. I can live with that.

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100

1.5 tsp for 250mL water @90C, variable steep times, 3 infusions.

I am drinking a LOT of Quangzhou lately. I am getting ready to submit a new book to a publisher, and my nerves are shot. That’s my excuse.

I find the Quangzhou from my local indie shop to be better, so I figured my tide-me-over packet from DavidsTea wouldn’t be as blissful. Even so, I’m a bit disappointed. I think this batch is stale — like air got at it. The scent is faint, and it’s only good for one infusion. Quangzhou milk oolong is hard to find, so I really don’t want to take it back; besides, I’ll only get a replacement from the same batch, and someone’s got to drink it. ;) Still, I wish it was a little more potent, rather than this shady memory of itself. My rating goes down, but only because this batch is stale: 85. A good rating, but a shameful drop for Quangzhou milk oolong.

To be clear: the staff at my local DavidsTea location wouldn’t hesistate to offer a replacement. They’re really good over there.

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92

1.25 tsp for 250mL water @90C, steeped four minutes.

Tie Kwan Yin, or, Iron Goddess of Mercy, is the tea with the best name, hands down. It’s also the first oolong I ever tried, and I fell hard for it.

This one has some notes similar to Quangzhou milk, as though someone a ferw desks down had just made some Quangzhou. This is not a creamy oolong, of course, instead floral and slightly mineral. Good body, lovely mouthfeel, lots of nuance. If I can’t have Quangzhou, I turn to supplicate the Iron Goddess.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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81

1.25 tsp for 250 mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.

I’m not a fan of flavoured teasm but I keep trying them. My local DavidsTea has a little rack at the cash of 25 g packets, 2 for $5.00, so I picked up 25g of Buttered Rum.

I can actually taste some tea in this one. The coconut is an inspiration, lending the liquor a creamy mouthfeel. Not too sweet, not too heavy, definitely a bit different. It smells like a Buttered Rum Lifesaver but tastes way better. I can see drinking this one a fair bit, to my pleasant surprise.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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65

Made for me at a DavidsTea store.

I sniffed this one last week and found it dusty; I blamed the cinnamon. I also didn’t like th elook of it; dark oolong generally doesn’t appeal to me. And the former name, Dr CHocolate, irked me because the blend contains no chocolate. See? mbh, the tea bitch.

It’s got a pleasant ginger bite which balances well with the cinnamon and carob. Inoffensive. But I detected no oolong at all. I’d drink this medicainlly, but I doubt I’ll drink it for pleasure.

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100

1.25 for 250mL water @90C, steeped 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes.

Fresh batch!

The first infusion gave up so much cream I thought I would swoon. I got three excellent infusions from the one little scoop, and could probably have gotten a fourth, more orchid than cream by then. I needed this tea so badly this weekend that I shook out my bag for every loose coin — I’ve just gotten my kids ready for school and really have no business buying tea right now — but oh, oh yes, it’s worth whatever ya gotta do to get some. As I’ve noted before, I don’t know where my local indie tea shop, Britannia Teas and Gifts, gets their Quangzhou milk, but it is better than what DavidsTea carries. Delicious, fragrant, nuanced, and creamy — perfection.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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1.25 tsp for 250 mL water @ 82C, steeped 3 minutes.

Buttered scallops.

Not for me.

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75

1 TB in 2/3 cup gourd, water @ 90C.

Smells sooo good, lots of cinnamon, but not air-freshener or bad candle cinnamon. The roasted mate itself can get bitter, but a lower temp on the water helps. Pleasant milk chocolate notes. Gives a decent mate buzz, though Jumpy Monkey is better for that.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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Profile

Bio

Writer and tea fiend. Author of 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.

Oolongs and blacks are my favourites.

Location

St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

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