365 Tasting Notes

80
drank Orchid Temple by Golden Moon Tea
365 tasting notes

I’ve decided that I’m a floral freak and I’m letting my floral freak flag fly (say that ten times fast)! Oolongs are still new to me, so I’m guessing that someday in the future I will think this one’s ho-hum. But for now I’m loving this. I’m on the third infusion and plan to keep goin’ as many times as possible – I just had to get my first 3 steeps down before I forgot (and will edit to add more info if I feel it is warrented).

Steep 1 (180ish for 3 minutes): I always think that I’m going to hate oolongs on the first infusion. The dry leaf smell doesn’t do anything for me and then the first taste is always so very veggie and I’m not a huge veg fan. Still nice, but very veg and no floral (but the leaves hadn’t fully opened). Oh – and I had done a short rinse on them.

Steep 2 (180ish for 3 minutes): Less strong veg and just the tiniest little whisper of floral. Mmm…

Steep 3 (180ish for 4 minutes): Where the hell did this sweet floral side come from?!?! It’s like a completely new tea! It has a great floral taste and then it’s the most interesting sweet lingering sensation on my tongue. I’ve never experienced that lingering sensation before. If someone handed me this tea on its third steep and had me try it, then I think that I’d be utterly confused and not know what it was. A floral white perhaps? Again – remember I have a noob palate. ;) Off for the fourth steep I go! TG

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

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50
drank Peach Black by Stash Tea Company
365 tasting notes

Apparently I’m a wimp when it comes to black teas. I enjoyed this a lot more than any of the loose leaf varieties with which I’ve been experimenting. This definitely hit the “spot-o-yumminess.” Right at first the peach seemed a bit fake and too strong, but then it mellowed nicely as the cup cooled.

I’m thinking that for me black teas will take time for me to grow into. It took me working as a barista for 7 years to finally embrace coffee and espresso, so I’d speculate that my black tea journey will take some time (hopefully not as long as the coffee one did!). But now I know to be patient with myself. :) NE

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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49

As inspired by Morgana’s “Tale of Three Vanillas” I chose this one out of my sampler for my morning tea. This is the first vanilla tea that I’ve ever had and it was nice. The dry leaf smell reminded me of Vanilla Silk (which is neither good nor bad – I just only have it with cereal and not as a straight drink). The steeped tea smelled like a gentler Vanilla Silk.

That being said – this is the first loose leaf black tea that was actually “smooth” to me. Maybe a little too smooth because it sort of bored me, but it did give me hope that someday I’ll like black teas more than I do at present. Ultimately it’s like this tea was going out of its way to be overly polite. M

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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60
drank Spearmint by Adagio Teas
365 tasting notes

I’d never had a plain mint tea before, and so when trying to find more caffeinie-free options I saw spearmint (which I tend to reach for when buying gum) and decided to get a sample. I don’t have a lot to say about it other than it’s pretty much what I expected, only maybe a bit more crisp. I think that this shall be my mint tea of choice to keep a small amount on hand. NE

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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66
drank Jasmine #12 by Adagio Teas
365 tasting notes

Such pretty little pearls! And the tin smelled great! Then post-steep I had a moment of panic when I smelled a bit of that “tootsie roll pop” sweetness. I think that I successfully reset myself and my expectations before taking my first sip.

This one falls right between Adagio’s Jasmine #9 and Golden Moon’s Jasmine Pearls as far as sweetness goes. I’m not a huge fan of that sweetness (as discovered with the Pearls). There was a hint of that candy-o-doom in the first cup, but then the second and third steeps were less sweet, more floral/tea, and for me that made it much better. I’ll be happy to finish off this sample tin, but then I’ll even more happily reorder #9 again and again. NE

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

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1

Oh gunpowder: you evil love-child of green and black tea! Okay, maybe not, but it sure tasted like it. I shall keep my mind open to future gunpowders, but am I ever happy that this was a small sample.

So, the scent of the packet (I forgot to smell the leaves before steeping them) was a really light and pleasant smell that I couldn’t put my finger on – just a hint of smokiness. I sniffed the tea after steepage and it reminded me of the food I gave my pet Hammy the Hamster back in my elementary school years. ::shudders:: And once that scent-association happened it was all an uphill battle for this tea to become likable for me.

I thought that I had oversteeped the first cup – I tossed it out halfway through and tried again. Steep two – I made it four sips and tossed it. My face actually resembled the “yucky face” on the rating scale on my final sip. I mean, I didn’t even toss out any of my lowest rated teas until I’d had at least one cup. Therefore, even though there are probably some very redeemable qualities to this tea, it’s recieving my first 1 (because I made that EXACT face). GA

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec
~lauren.

Rabs, a 1 !!!! I’ve not seen many 1 ’s but when I do encounter one, something contrary in me kicks in and I want to try it. Strange but true. A 1 – it must be awful! LOL!

~lauren.

and that EXACT face on the ratings scale? TOO FUNNY!

Rabs

LOL – I’m the same way about being tempted to try the “ick” teas! And yes – my eyes squinted whilst my tongue stuck out. Granted, my tongue might have been a bit more askew – but that was it. I bet that you could find more redeeming qualities and I almost gave it a 7. However, that facial spasm of disguist made me think: well, when would be a better time to give a tea the proverbial bird?

__Morgana__

Hamster food. Hahaha. I hope this is in the sampler, I really want to smell it now.

Rabs

I got mine in the 31 tea sampler – I’ll be dying to hear what you have to say. And please y’all, I’m a very open-to-learning tea noob, so if any of you would like to edjucate me on how better to appreciate a gunpowder, then I’d love to know. But I just can’t imagine purchasing this specific one ever again.

__Morgana__

I haven’t done gunpowder yet except in bags, but you might try lower water temp and less steeping time. Start with 175 for a minute to a minute and a half and see if that makes it any better, if not try 45 seconds. Gunpowders seem a little stronger and more pungent than a lot of other greens to start with so less might be more.

Rabs

Pungent is the perfect word! I’ll definitely take your advice on the next Gunpowder that I try – I can imagine how much that might improve the taste. So most likely it’s not this poor tea’s fault for my low rating of it, but more of a user error. After I’ve tried another Gunpowder with the altered prep, and it proves to be more positive, then I might adjust this here rating.

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89

::bangs head against a stone pillar:: What is wrong with me?!?! I’m struggling to enjoy black teas, and I really would like a healthy relationship with them. This is probably an excellent Irish Blend (I do like it more than Stash’s bagged version), but for me it’s a black tea that reminds me how frustrated I am with my taste buds. And of all the flavors this tea claims to have I think the only one I picked up on was prunes.

I’ll be going to a green tea tasting class this Sunday to get a better handle on that type of tea – I must remember to ask them if they plan on having a black tea class in the near future. Until then I think it’s time for me to start experimenting with additives (like a sweetner) to see if that will bring me around to the dark side. M

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
~lauren.

sweetie – (I just saw bones last night on TV and that’s what Angela always calls everybody) – banging your head on a stone pillar does not a healthy relationship make! Take a step back, breathe, think calming zen-like thoughts …. breathe!

Rabs

Aw, thank you – I needed that! I think that I was being a bit overdramatic, just a bit, but I really am frustrated that the black teas haven’t been as rewarding as the others so far. ::big zen breath:: I’ve also been meaning to get around to watching Bones (but I need to catch up on Angel first and before that I need to finish Firefly – tee-hee!).

~lauren.

BUSY busy! I know what you mean though – my son bought 7 seasons worth of the TV show ‘24’ on dvd and I am on like the 4th season or so and I am now a zombie from dvd-ing …! We did the same thing on ‘Bones’ though we rented those dvds (all the seasons released) from the public library!

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47
drank Honeybush Apricot by Adagio Teas
365 tasting notes

Now that’s what I call a cup of “meh.” The smell of the dry leaves was divinely apricot – I might just keep a sample tin for that smell. Tearomatherapy?

There was a ton of “dust” in my cup unlike the Honeybush Mango. There wasn’t much of a fragrance to the tea itself. The taste was not apricot. It really didn’t have much of a taste. I’m really wondering if I used enough tea chippies? I used more than I usually do for the Honeybush Mango, but I’ll try even more next time. So my rating may change, but for now it’s a big ’ole M.

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91
drank Ali Shan by Adagio Teas
365 tasting notes

Helloooo oooolong!!!!!

I had my first non-flavored unscented oolong right before work and was devestated to only get two steeps in before I began my commute. Plus the whole “getting ready” lessened my chance to fully appreciate the cups. I shoulda skipped the makeup today. That second steep made it into a travel mug and actually made the trip more enjoyable (that and a good audio book).

I’m not a big fan of the straight-up smell of neither the dry leaf nor the tea. But what can I say? I became a temporary vegetarian for two years JUST to try to gain a love for that which is veggie. The love never did happen, but I now don’t hate vegetables. But the smell of…asparagus?…well, it didn’t excite me.

I remembered to do the little flushie-flush of the cute little pearly-pearled leaves and was very impressed with the size of the post-steeped leaves. They’re the biggest ones that I’ve seen from Adagio thus far.

First cup was pretty veggie and I was concerned that me and oolong weren’t meant to be. And then the second steep: a buttery-veggie cup of yum. I can’t even quite describe it as of yet. It was just…nomaliscious. And yes, I’m on a kick of adding “liscious” to words. I’m dying to spend a day in appreciation of oolongs and steep my brains out. TG

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

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76
drank Rose Tea by Golden Moon Tea
365 tasting notes

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Profile

Bio

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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