110 Tasting Notes

85
drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
110 tasting notes

Wow what an interesting tea! This is the first tea I am trying from the orders I received today from Butiki Teas and Tea Trekker.

This is the first time I have tried a tea that really does not taste at all like what I’ve always known as tea. (And I have had lots of blacks, greens, and oolongs before.) It was such an unusual flavor that I was really surprised. If I had to pinpoint it, I’d say it was much closer to the flavor of a sweet white wine than tea.

I did 2 infusions of 1 1/2 tsp in 12oz water. Followed Butiki’s steeping suggestions. 2nd infusion had more flavor than the first.

I am now even more excited to try all the other teas I got. If tea of this caliber can be so unique, then I am in for quite a variety.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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85

This was on March 1st (day before the previous entry on this tea)

Tried this with a lower temp and shorter steeping than usual and got a smoother flavor out of it with less astringency though still a bit too much for my taste.

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

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80
drank Pyramid Teabags by PG Tips
110 tasting notes

OK, so I’m rating this higher than what are obviously better teas, but it’s just cause I feel like this tea really is a good representation of basic English tea. I only steeped one minute at 185 to ward off bitterness since I knew I was starting out with tiny leaf particles and not the best quality tea. BUT, there is something satisfying about having a regular old cup of tea now and then. I had one sip straight out of curiosity, but the rest I drank with soymilk and sugar. It will do on a hurried morning when I have to wake up fast. Luckily I don’t have many of those. ;)

Kind of curious to try Typhoo when I run out of this. Haven’t seen it around here, though, and hate to pay shipping on cheap tea!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Josie Jade

I love this too! And Red Rose :) Sometimes it’s nice to have a simple cup of tea!

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35
drank Vanilla Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
110 tasting notes

Hmm… maybe I’m just not into flavored teas… This really barely tasted like tea to me! The vanilla flavoring tasted pretty artificial. It was more like a drink you might get from Starbucks than fine tea to me.

Rachel J

I feel badly about writing that scathing review, but I’m not trying to say it was awful, just not my taste. The flavoring was just not for me. I forgot to mention that there was also kind of a sour, acidic taste I got the more of it I drank.

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35
drank Vanilla Orchid by DAVIDsTEA
110 tasting notes

Tried this to-go at a David’s today. It was quite smooth but I have to say I’m not usually a fan of flower scented teas, so it was a bit too perfumey (not a word) for my taste. I bought some Vanilla Oolong to make at home tomorrow. If it’s similar just without the flowery aroma, I may just love it!

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85

Brewed this using 1 tbsp leaves for a 12 ounce pot and a lower steeping temp and shorter time than Upton suggests. I found it yummy and smooth with only a slightly astringent aftertaste after several sips. When I brewed it 5 degrees hotter yesterday, it wasn’t nearly as good.

I really like the flavor of Yunnan golden teas in general, and now I’m pretty happy with this one!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec
yappychappy

Glad you found something you enjoy.

Rachel J

Thanks! I had tried this tea before, but brewing this way really enhanced my enjoyment of it. Very excited for my shipment of samples coming from Butiki and Tea Trekker.

yappychappy

Decided against verdant. I haven’t had Tea Trekker. hmm

Rachel J

I’ll let you know. I still want to try Verdant. But the Tea Trekker people wrote the book I just read about tea, so I wanted to try some of their recommendations.

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65

4 tsps in 12 oz.

Even brewing 3 min at 190, this tea was a bit too astringent for me to appreciate its flavor. But the flavor is similar to other Yunnans I’ve tasted. This tea does not have as much gold in the dry leaf as most others I’ve tried.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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80

AHA!!!! Instead of following Upton’s brewing directions, I increased the leaf quantity by 50% (used 1 tablespoon for a 12 oz pot), lowered the temp by 10 degrees, and infused for 30 seconds less than the lower part of their range, and LO AND BEHOLD, tea with flavor and little to no astringency! YAY! Now I will feel better about trying some more expensive teas… More hopeful that I can get good results.

The tea itself tasted very nice, but it is closer to a green tea than a black tea. I think I would prefer a darker oolong. I thought this one might be darker because the leaves were more brown than green, but it still tasted more like a green. But it was certainly a pleasant flavor without too much astringency.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
El Monstro

Their zo80 tie-guan-yin and golden wuyi are both really good too.

Rachel J

Thanks, El Monstro!

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65

Followed the advice of my new friends here on Steepster and brewed at a lower temp and for less time than the brewing instructions suggested. I’d been finding it too astringent. 1st infusion 2.5 minutes at 185, 2nd infusion 3 minutes at 185. Both infusions were not astringent at all, so I guess I’m on the right track to solving my problem. Now, though, I found it pretty flavorless. Probably because it’s pretty cheap tea!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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65

First infusion a bit too astringent for me and second infusion was much better. I am on a quest for a more oxidized oolong (50-70%) with little to no astringency. If you are reading this and know of any, let me know!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I happily reside in Park Slope, Brooklyn with my husband, our baby son, and our dog. I teach over 40 piano students per week at my home studio and created “Fundamental Keys”, a classical piano method book and video series.

My husband and I are vegan and have been for about 8 years. We are enjoying bringing up our little one in the vegan tradition!

I went through a major tea phase some years ago (2006-2009) and had quite a collection and tasted hundreds of varieties. Then I went off caffeine when I decided to have a baby, and after he was born I got into a nasty coffee habit. Now I’ve come back to tea, thank goodness. I’m finding my tastes have changed quite a bit since my first go at tea fanaticism. Really enjoying some of the amazing and deliciously complex teas I’ve learned about through Steepster!

Location

Brooklyn

Website

http://about.me/rachelj

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