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110 Tasting Notes

72

Downing some of this before sleepy time tonight. I feel the tension melting away as I drink it. Could be placebo effect, but whatever… It is a nice soothing, pre-sleep tea. I just leave the bag in until I’m done. No harm in it.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 8 min or more

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95
drank Mi Xian Black by Butiki Teas
110 tasting notes

2 tsp in 8 oz

I hit the sweet spot for this today. No astringency but plenty of flavor. Still “drier” than Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black, but in my book, this runs a close second. Yum!

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

Just noticed that 8 of my 10 top rated teas are from Butiki. How did that happen? I only placed my first order from them like 7 weeks ago!

Butiki Teas

Awesome! :)

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70
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
110 tasting notes

1 heaping tsp in 8 oz

OK, I think I’ve figured out how I feel about this tea. I can enjoy its qualities as long as it’s not brewed too strong. This 1 heaping tsp per cup for 3 minutes seems to be the best way for me.

What this tea has is a really roasted flavor — a quality I found in a couple of aged oolongs I tried a while ago and didn’t love. It’s not a smoked quality, but a dark roast quality. I think that when that characteristic is enhanced by strong brewing, it is just too much for me.

This brewing I found quite enjoyable, though it’s something I’d have to be in a specific mood for. Not an everyday thing for me. But I know some people just love these roasty teas, and if you do, then I imagine you would really go for this. I seem to prefer teas with a cleaner flavor profile, smooth and flavorful, but not this intense and “dark” if that makes sense.

Interestingly, the last time I brewed it, I cold-steeped the used leaves, and I liked that steeping over ice quite a lot.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
El Monstro

“I seem to prefer teas with a cleaner flavor profile, smooth and flavorful, but not this intense and “dark” if that makes sense.”

You’d probably like Master Han’s Wild Picked Yunnan from Verdant, it totally fits that description (in my opinion).

Rachel J

Thanks for the tip!

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65
drank Yunnan Gold by Adagio Teas
110 tasting notes

1 tbsp in 8oz (then added ice to bring to 16oz)

This was yummy as iced tea. Made it strong, added ice which melted, then added more ice. A bit of honey too. Yum.

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

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85
drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
110 tasting notes

1 tsp in 8 oz

This was a very nice, smooth tea with some Dian Hong characteristics to the flavor, though not as intense. Non-astringent and earthy. I liked it a lot but maybe not enough to stock it in my cupboard. I’d rather have a classic Dian Hong when I am wanting a cup of this type of tea.

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

I had the same reaction to this tea: solid, but not something I feel I need to reorder.

Rachel J

Interesting, Doug!

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85

1 rounded tsp for 8 oz

Really liking this today. 3 minutes better than 2. It is smooth and rich. I wouldn’t say it is a complex flavor… kind of “generic” black tea, but the smoothness is what makes it special. Good stuff.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Doug F

This is another one of those “all star” teas I have yet to try.

Rachel J

It’s not that special, but I like how smooth and non-astringent it is. The only tea I’ve had that has made me really freak out is the Butiki Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black.

Doug F

I’ll hope to be freaked when they get some more in this summer.

Sil

….if I don’t buy it all before anyone can get to it! Bwahahahaha

Rachel J

Haha… We will all be falling all over ourselves. Hope Stacy can get enough to satisfy us. ;)

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70
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
110 tasting notes

1 tbsp in 12 oz

I know their brewing guidelines suggest even more leaf than this, but I think I liked this better when I brewed it with less leaf last time. This time it has more of a bite to it and more smokiness which are not quite to my taste.

I do still believe this tea is of incredible quality and has an incredibly special, unique flavor, but that flavor might not be quite my thing. I will go back to less leaf next time and hopefully enjoy it more.

I’m probably just all wishy washy about this today because I splurged and drank 16 ounces of my favorite tea yesterday (Butiki, Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black). Really nothing compares.

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

This is why you’re not getting my address. If my tea goes missing, I’ll know it was you!!!

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100

1 heaping tbsp in 16 oz

On days like today, I’m glad for this tea. I lived in Boston for 6 years just blocks away from today’s carnage. I met my husband there, and the city holds a special place in my heart forever. I even stood many times right where the bombs went off to watch the runners coming in.

There was a time when today’s news would have induced me to pour myself a scotch, but today I made this, and it was more comforting than I could have imagined. I must sound crazy, but this tea’s unique flavor is really transcendent. Never had anything like it.

I wonder how on earth Stacy came across it and whether we can expect to have access to it every year for many years to come…

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

she’s getting more in July/August. Supposedly heh

Rachel J

Yeah, I know, but I’d love to know more about where it comes from!

Sil

Ask her! Haha she might be willing to share her story with ya. :)

Doug F

I guess I have to try this tea, judging from the reviews. Yes, it’s been a tough day up here. I live an hour north of Boston and had many, many friends who were either running or watching. So wrenching.

Rachel J

Yes, try it, Doug when it comes in in late summer. I guess it might not be for everyone, but I have been really astonished by its wonderful flavor.

I hope you heard from all your friends. So awful…

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85

1 heaping tbsp for 16 oz

Possibly overleafed and water too hot. It was astringent for my taste this time. When I watered it down and added a little touch of sugar, it was better. Definitely has a characteristic Yunnan dian hong flavor. I just have to be careful of of my brewing parameters.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Doug F

Keep experimenting!

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65

2 heaping tsp for 16 oz

A very smooth tea, but doesn’t have the characteristic Yunnan flavor I’ve come to expect from a tippy Yunnan black. The Teavivre I have is a much better example.

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

I agree…I also think that Yunnan ‘golden’ blacks have been lacking in much of the signature dynamic flavors they have been known for, for a couple years…the best of which I have gotten direct from Yunnan Tea Sourcing and oddly enough…from Republic of Tea

Rachel J

Kashyap, I am about to place an order at Yunnan for 2 dian hongs recommended by user Doug. Care to give me your recommendation for a favorite so I can add it?

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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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