421 Tasting Notes

I have a tiny jar of tea on my desk at work, and the label on it has somehow fallen off, leaving me with a case of “unidentified tea”. I’m pretty sure that it’s a roasted oolong, likely something from Whittards, and probably even Formosa Oolong from them, but I’m not 100% sure, so into Random Steepings it goes. It is clearly a roasted oolong in taste – much more delicate than a black, and it has the same fruity taste that Whittards’s Formosa has. In any case a nice afternoon sip.

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95

Had this last night before having to go to work in the evening. A great caffeine kick that also comforts. Like a grandma sternly telling you to take a coat and a scarf when you go outside.

gmathis

Love it! Stern grandma tea. Just what one needs when one doesn’t want to leave the house!

JustJames

love this review =0)

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100
drank Keemun by Fortnum & Mason
421 tasting notes

Had a cup of this yesterday at work, and today again. This is hands down my favorite Keemun, and one of my favorite teas. The smokiness vs. maltiness ratio in this tea is just perfect for me.

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100
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
421 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday. Morning brew of this – what a great way to start the day!

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95

I only ordered 20g of this from Canton, as it was so obscenely expensive. But I was curious to try it. It brews a light silvery gold, and tastes distinctly like white rice, bread or wheat. It is naturally sweet, and looses flavor considerably when it cools, which only means that you shouldn’t linger over it. It is like Norbu’s Ya Bao, but even smoother and more delicate, and without any hint of pines. It tastes nothing like Bai Mu Dan or Silver Needle, it is indeed a class of its own in terms of white tea. If you don’t like white tea, then you’ll probably not enjoy this tea – it is very delicate, and shy in terms of flavor. If you, like me, enjoy white teas, then indulge in a small pouch of this. It is an interesting and very tasty tea.
Brewed western style, at 70C. Canton tea recommends brewing it at 75C, and after a taste at 70C I agree. The tea loses flavor considerably when it cools down. Zero astringency, don’t add sweeteners (it’s naturally sweet), or milk. Silky smooth but light body.
The leaves were dark greenish and silvery white, medium length, and twisted.
Points taken off for the exorbitant price.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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95

Have a wonderful cup of this with milk. I have no explanation why this tea tastes to so good to me. It really has no business being this good – it’s a CTC tea, from a no-name no-flush combination of Assams. But I like it, with milk and sugar, and that’s that.

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92

Late night treat last night after a super tiring and frustrating day at work. Beautiful

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drank Golden Monkey by Teavana
421 tasting notes

Sipdown. I love Golden Monkey. This is an OK Golden Monkey. If you can’t get Golden Monkey elsewhere, by all means buy it here. But otherwise, get Golden Monkey elsewhere. Thank you Terri!

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drank Golden Monkey by Teavana
421 tasting notes

Almost a sip down, as I want to rebrew this tea. I love Golden Monkey, and this one from Terri is pretty good – tasty, sweet, smooth – but not good enough for me to sit up and take notice, or place in my “favorite Golden Monkey teas” just yet. I need more time with it before I decide, but it does seem like a decent and good black tea.

Terri HarpLady

If you’d never had any other Golden Monkeys, it would probably taste amazing, right? But it is Teavana…

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92

Ok, so now for a proper tasting note, because this tea is worth it. This is from my latest order from Norbu Tea, part of what I bought during their 25% off Chinese New Year sale (on until the 31st of January. Go buy some great tea now! I’ll wait patiently until you are done).
One of the reasons that I love Norbu is that they have all these unique and interesting teas that you can’t find anywhere else, and this is one of them. This is an aged oolong that is practically my age, and yet doesn’t have any funky, fishy, musty smell or taste. It is very dark, and has a roasted note to the first steepings, but from the third steep on it takes on a Tie Guan Yin taste, with flowery, slightly perfume-y notes, and some fruitiness that remains with this tea from the start. I used very short steepings, as this tea came out bold during the quick wash, so I was afraid of over brewing it. The leaves unfurl, and they nearly filled my little Yixing teapot (Yunnan Sourcing Green Dragon Egg – wonderful teapot!) by the fifth and sixth steepings. This tea can go on for ages, and you are likely to tire of it before it runs out of juice. There are some cocoa notes to the tea, particularly in the first steepings, and there’s a nice sweetness to it, yet also a complexity beyond what you normally get even from a very good oolong. A tea to remember, and to slowly and methodically savor.
P.S. I’m not a fan of flowery oolongs, so I’m knocking off a few points due to my personal preferences. If you are at all a Tie Guan Yin person or an oolong person in general, you need to try this tea.

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

Sounds wonderful. I love Norbu, too. I’m intrigued by your teapot as well. I don’t have a Yixing yet but I’d like to get one.

NofarS

Please don’t make the mistake that I did and buy lots of cheap, poor quality Yixing from eBay. Invest in good Yixing teapots, they will last you for years if you treat them properly. I have two from Yunnan sourcing and they are all excellent, excellent, and decently priced. One for Sheng, and one for Oolong. I also have one for Shu that I bought at an outrageous price from Le Palais de The, but at least it’s a good quality one. Finally the one I have for black teas is exquisite, and was a gift from a friend who toured in China and asked a local to help her buy “a good quality Yixing for a friend who likes tea” :)

NofarS

And Norbu are practically my favorite tea company :)

Terri HarpLady

I’m trying to stay away from Norbu’s page…

Sil

Terri…stay away! i have samples to send you!

Terri HarpLady

Oh good! Saved! :)

NofarS

I am struggling not to place another order there. There’sa Sheng, a white tea and a few black teas that are tempting me. Must hang in there

__Morgana__

See, that’s the thing. I know you’re supposed to have a different Yixing for each type of tea (and even subtypes) and I worry that I’ll get carried away if I start down that slippery slope. ;-)

Terri HarpLady

Morgana, I have 3 yixings designated for: Sheng, Wuyi Oolongs, & Shu. Then I have an adorable white porcelain teapot with blue lotuses on it, which is the same size as the yixings. Because it’s porcelain, it’s interchangable, but I pretty much use it for black teas. I haven’t got a black tea yixing yet, because some of the full leaf black teas I drink have very different flavor profiles from each other. My mind is telling me that I’d want separate little pots for yunnan, wuyi, taiwan, etc., so porcelain it is. I have gaiwans for the oolongs, etc. It is a slippery slope! Fun, but yeah!

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Profile

Bio

An Israeli computer programmer with a passion for tea (mostly bought in yearly shopping sprees in the UK), particularly black, oolong and white. I don’t generally enjoy flavoured teas or herbal infusions, but if a tea sounds interesting and smells nice I’ll most definitely try it. I drink several cups of tea a day, usually one or two in the morning, another one after lunch and one or two in the evening. My favourite tea so far is Lao Cong Zi Ya from Norbu Tea, but I’m constantly trying new teas. Only in the past year have I branched into Pu’erh and non-roasted oolongs. Finding good tea in Israel is difficult, so I import most of my teas from yearly visits to London, or from online retailers. If you see something in my cupboard that sparks your interest and you would like to swap with me, then please message me. I’m almost always up for a swap.

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

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