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110 Tasting Notes

80

Ya know, it’s just not that special. To me, it’s not worth the premium price it commands. I’m starting to realize that for my regular daily drinking, I’m going to have to find 2 or 3 pretty basic teas (like a basic Keemun, a basic Yunnan golden tip, and a basic Taiwanese oolong), and then have a few over-the-top spectacular ones that I treat myself to once in a while. (See Butiki.) This tea would not fit into any of those categories, so I don’t think I will purchase it again.

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

It’s tough but I have to watch it too.

Rachel J

Things are going down the way they did when I first got into tea in 2006. (Took a break from 2010-now.) Basically, I went crazy trying 4 million different teas for a couple of months, and then I settled into just a few.

Bonnie

I have quite a bit of tea, but I have favorites and a limited amount to spend on tea. I keep an eye open for free samples (the last tea I reviewed freom teajo was one of those). Value to me is also in the quality. It’s a waste if I don’t like the tea or can’t resteep it. A few good friends to swap with are valued assets, especially when you find ones that have similar taste in tea or who have interests that you’d like to try. When I cup out artificially flavored tea, my enjoyment increased.

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85
drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
110 tasting notes

Just as yummy as last time. 2tsp in 16oz.

Now that I am more used to the leafhopper taste since I drank Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black and Mi Xian black, this tea seems lighter to me and less surprising tasting. I’m also picking up a somewhat floral note this time that I’m not sure I love. Glad I am getting more of the black tea this week since it seems that’s where my preference lies!

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

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85
drank Matcha Matsu by DAVIDsTEA
110 tasting notes

Just had this as a latte with cinnamon! YUM! Felt like getting a quick caffeine jolt and was in the mood for something creamy and comforting.

I just completely winged this… 8oz plain unsweetened almond milk heated to 140F, 1/2tsp matcha, 1/8tsp cinnamon, 2tsp sugar. Whisk whisk whisk. Drink drink drink.

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65
drank Tung Ting Vietnam by DAVIDsTEA
110 tasting notes

1 tbsp for about 16 ounces

Very green oolong with a floral taste to it. Not bad, but I really don’t like flower scented teas, and though this one isn’t flower scented, the floral note kept bugging me a little.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Wild Black Yunnan by DAVIDsTEA
110 tasting notes

1 scant tbsp for 18oz water

Nice basic Yunnan. Not a lot of the classic Yunnan flavor probably because no golden tips. A little astringent for my taste, so it required a little sugar. After that addition, I quite enjoyed it.

My personal feeling is that if I find a tea needs sugar and/or milk, I’d rather not make it part of my usual rotation. If I feel like a tea with sweetener and milk, I’ll just have PG Tips or Typhoo. I’ll save my money for those special teas I find that are an amazing experience to drink and savor. (See Butiki Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black!)

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

tbsp or tsp?

looseTman

I completely agree with your personal feelings about teas that require sugar and/or milk.

Angrboda

I agree about additives as well. If a tea requires additives to be drinkable it’s Not Good Enough.

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I think I severely underleafed this. Tea Trekker states the sample I purchased was 14g, so I thought half the package (7g) would be perfect for 18oz of water. But, on the other hand their steeping instructions call for 2 tbsp for 6oz, and half the package turned out to be not much more than 2 tbsp. So, something is really off…

As I steeped it, it had very little flavor. Liquor was just a cream color.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Rachel J

Also… Though I have really enjoyed reading their books, I can’t say I’m having much luck with Tea Trekker teas. Could just be coincidence, but I don’t know…

Bonnie

Yep,sounds way underleafed for the amount of water. Some oolongs take a steeping or two to unfurl and release flavor. Having a gaiwan is easier for oolong tea in my opinion (smaller steeps with less leaf) since it’s also more expensive.

Rachel J

Thanks, Bonnie! Yes, I am starting to realize the error of my ways. When trying samples, I really have to brew much smaller amounts in order to have some room for trial and error!

Bonnie

Since there’s no picture of the tea it’s harder to comment on what type of oolong it is. Reading more on either Teavivre, Mandala or Verdant websites and watching their videos has been helpful to me.

Rachel J

Hi Bonnie, here’s a pic: https://www.teatrekker.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/product_full/ool-nepal_hh_jade-lg.jpg

I tried to add it to the tea description but can’t modify teas until I’ve been a member for a month.

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70

Now this tasted smoother than the Yunnan tea from Tea Trekker that I had this morning. Hmmmm….

Very decent basic black tea blend. Missing something for me, though.

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

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70

1tbsp for 18oz

Yeah… It’s still a good Yunnan, but there’s that touch of astringency that I’m not loving. Especially since I now know that astringency is not inevitable (see Butiki Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black). If brewing under 3 minutes at 180 is still coming out too astringent for me, I’ll have to pass on ordering this again.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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70

1 tbsp for 18 oz

Amazing to me how some teas can be astringent when sipped at certain temperatures but not others. This tea has a lovely, smooth, classic Yunnan flavor, but only when it was warm — not too hot, and not too cooled down. Such a beautiful red color in the cup. Since I got my double-walled clear tea glasses the other day, I’m really noticing the color of the liquor more.

Perhaps a little shorter steeping next time, and it will be perfect.

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

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100

2 scant tbsp for 18oz

Soooooo smooth and delicious. Loved it even more than the first time. That special leaf hopper sweetness and absolutely no astringency whether hot, warm, or cold. Really hits the spot.

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

Geez, hours later I am still thinking about how much I enjoyed every drop of the 18 ounces of this I brewed. No additions, no snacking, just straight, pure, deliciously unique tea!

Bonnie

I actually bought 2oz then went back for 1oz more it’s so remarkably good.

Rachel J

Yeah, I only got a sample size, so it’s done! Going to have to order more TODAY. When I tried the Mi Xian black, I thought I like it better than this, but after trying this one again, I think I’m hooked!

James R

Taiwanese blacks are so good!

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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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