100

Happy May Day/Beltane to all! This has been a beyond marvelous day for me: I tried this tea with my new gaiwan and am loving it, and most importantly Doulton’s Shakespeare box came!!!!! I’m just so overwhelmed with tea joy at the moment. But I do need to review this tea before I move onto the amazing box-o-Shakespeare (and it truly is amazing).

Speaking of amazing: this tea is beyond amazing. I’m so glad that I purchased my new kettle and first gaiwan just for this tea. It’s worth it. I’m on infusion #8 and it’s still going strong. I wait until there’s only about 1/4 of liquid left in the cup and then add more water, stir with the lid, and then commence sipping.

Steep 1-3 were all consistent and good. I didn’t feel “FLOWERS!” like other notes I’ve seen, but more like “Spring Meadow” right before the flowers get boisterous. Each subsequent infusion started to do the wonderful “oolong morph” that I highly prize, and on steep #7 it turned into the best sweet floral oolong that I’ve ever had. I’ve mentioned how some oolongs will feel like their sweet yumminess infuses into my tongue? Not only is this tea doing that, but I can feel it all the way to my stomach and that’s a new and unique sensation that I’m loving. So far this is my favorite oolong hands down. I thought that I’d never give a 100 to any tea, but here it is. I will lose my mind if I ever run out of this tea. TG

ETA: It finally started to fade on steep #10.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C
__Morgana__

So glad you liked it, it really is a very special tea.

Rabs

Oh, I LOVE this tea. I’m introducing a coworker to loose leaf teas (I let her borrow my first kettle, teapot, and then made her a bunch of samples), and she really loved the few oolongs that she’s had so far. I must have her try some of this. And I think I’m in love with drinking from a gaiwan. :D

__Morgana__

I want to get a gaiwan but I keep being worried about lead in glazes from China. Maybe I’m being overly paranoid. I noticed someone has a glass one, can’t remember where I saw it now.

Rabs

I hadn’t thought about lead in the glazes. Hmmm…and that’s very worth thinking about. I googled “glass gaiwan” and saw quite a few from tea companies I recognize (from Republic of Tea to Teaspring). You’ll have to let me know if you go for it! :)

teaddict

Maybe I’m a fool for trusting the signs, but my teashop posts a very straightforward sign noting that many of the yixing pots and gaiwans and other ceramic teawares have lead-containing glazes used for exterior decoration.

I don’t worry about the exterior glazes, because liquids have to be in contact with the lead glaze for a good while to leach out significant amounts. I stick to simple interiors, and enjoy my teas.

The one glass gaiwan I tried was awkward because it had a little rim inside the body of the cup for the lid to rest on, which at first seemed like a great idea, but in practice made it very difficult to tilt the lid just a little to serve as a strainer when pouring tea. So I went back and bought several more of the porcelain gaiwans to have a matched set for tastings.

No worries.

Rabs

Thank you so very much for the info teaddict! I really think that most of my tea accessory budget will be going toward gaiwans for awhile :)

teaddict

Gaiwans should not take a large chunk of your budget, depending on how fancy and finished you want them to be.

This was $2.99 or $3.99 at my chinatown tea shop.

Of course, shopping online, not many merchants carry such basic inexpensive items. But still, if you don’t need frills for your starter set, you can do well for little $$.

S

Yay, I’m so glad to see more love for this tea! It is AMAZING, right? When I try to compare this to a, uhm, less enjoyed but more expensive TGY I recently had, my soul weeps.

Rabs

And what tea would that be Shanti? ;) Tee-hee! Seriously, I think I now know what you mean about your soul weeping and I haven’t had that more expensive tea, and now I don’t think I will.

Rabs

And teaddict: thanks for the info! I don’t think that I have any local options for finding gaiwans. I do all my tea-related shopping online, so it can get expensive – and I’m looking for gaiwan’s that are very aesthetically pleasing to me (and so far those haven’t been cheap). And currently almost all of my tea budget’s going toward tea :)

__Morgana__

Rabs, I’d encourage you not to give up on the Samovar Four Seasons. Just get a sample size so it’s not a huge investment and judge for yourself. (I’m not personally invested in it whether others like what I like so please don’t worry about offending me if you don’t. My skin is v. thick. ;-)) I thought it was very like the An Xi TGY in terms of flavors — lots of flowers, very buttery and creamy - except more robust, like the tea had grown up. I think you may like it and if not, there’s always this lovely little gem that you’ve already fallen in love with. :)

__Morgana__

Ugh. Why oh why does that line through thing happen. Never mind, I know why but I seriously thought I’d typed two hyphens there. Geez.

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__Morgana__

So glad you liked it, it really is a very special tea.

Rabs

Oh, I LOVE this tea. I’m introducing a coworker to loose leaf teas (I let her borrow my first kettle, teapot, and then made her a bunch of samples), and she really loved the few oolongs that she’s had so far. I must have her try some of this. And I think I’m in love with drinking from a gaiwan. :D

__Morgana__

I want to get a gaiwan but I keep being worried about lead in glazes from China. Maybe I’m being overly paranoid. I noticed someone has a glass one, can’t remember where I saw it now.

Rabs

I hadn’t thought about lead in the glazes. Hmmm…and that’s very worth thinking about. I googled “glass gaiwan” and saw quite a few from tea companies I recognize (from Republic of Tea to Teaspring). You’ll have to let me know if you go for it! :)

teaddict

Maybe I’m a fool for trusting the signs, but my teashop posts a very straightforward sign noting that many of the yixing pots and gaiwans and other ceramic teawares have lead-containing glazes used for exterior decoration.

I don’t worry about the exterior glazes, because liquids have to be in contact with the lead glaze for a good while to leach out significant amounts. I stick to simple interiors, and enjoy my teas.

The one glass gaiwan I tried was awkward because it had a little rim inside the body of the cup for the lid to rest on, which at first seemed like a great idea, but in practice made it very difficult to tilt the lid just a little to serve as a strainer when pouring tea. So I went back and bought several more of the porcelain gaiwans to have a matched set for tastings.

No worries.

Rabs

Thank you so very much for the info teaddict! I really think that most of my tea accessory budget will be going toward gaiwans for awhile :)

teaddict

Gaiwans should not take a large chunk of your budget, depending on how fancy and finished you want them to be.

This was $2.99 or $3.99 at my chinatown tea shop.

Of course, shopping online, not many merchants carry such basic inexpensive items. But still, if you don’t need frills for your starter set, you can do well for little $$.

S

Yay, I’m so glad to see more love for this tea! It is AMAZING, right? When I try to compare this to a, uhm, less enjoyed but more expensive TGY I recently had, my soul weeps.

Rabs

And what tea would that be Shanti? ;) Tee-hee! Seriously, I think I now know what you mean about your soul weeping and I haven’t had that more expensive tea, and now I don’t think I will.

Rabs

And teaddict: thanks for the info! I don’t think that I have any local options for finding gaiwans. I do all my tea-related shopping online, so it can get expensive – and I’m looking for gaiwan’s that are very aesthetically pleasing to me (and so far those haven’t been cheap). And currently almost all of my tea budget’s going toward tea :)

__Morgana__

Rabs, I’d encourage you not to give up on the Samovar Four Seasons. Just get a sample size so it’s not a huge investment and judge for yourself. (I’m not personally invested in it whether others like what I like so please don’t worry about offending me if you don’t. My skin is v. thick. ;-)) I thought it was very like the An Xi TGY in terms of flavors — lots of flowers, very buttery and creamy - except more robust, like the tea had grown up. I think you may like it and if not, there’s always this lovely little gem that you’ve already fallen in love with. :)

__Morgana__

Ugh. Why oh why does that line through thing happen. Never mind, I know why but I seriously thought I’d typed two hyphens there. Geez.

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Proud all-around nerd, crafter, and brand-new Assistant Library Director. Give me an engrossing book and a wonderful cup of tea and I’m in heaven.

After being a barista for almost a decade it wasn’t until 2010 that I discovered loose leaf tea. Now I’m hooked.

How I use Steepster has been evolving since I joined. Yes, I use it for my personal “to buy or not to buy” info, but I’m enough of a goofball that I hope it can amuse others more often than not.

I’ve also started to become anal about my tea (times and temps). That’s surprised me. I finally realized that I should respect the leaves like I used to respect the beans. I also take my tea plain unless otherwise noted.

There’s really nothing remarkable or noteworthy of how I rate teas. I do take it a tiny further step to help clarify the muddled middle grounds for myself. TG is a definite repurchase. Anything below that is less and less likely.

TG=Teagasm
NE=Nice Enough
M=Meh
GA=Gods-Awful

Location

Midwest, USA

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