181 Tasting Notes

88

I don’t live a cup-half-empty life. My cup is always full (of tea!!!)

Method: I was in a rush b/c of problems with my dogs this AM, so this was something like 1/2 tbsp per 8 oz, 1 and 2.5 minute steeps. 200 degrees. French press.

And this is soothing my nerves in the most lovely way. It’s a little fruity and quite refreshing. I’m glad made a giant thermos for work! It has a nice astringency on the finish that is pleasant along with a mild sweetness. Yum!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

You’re a poo poo head! …just kidding, love you. ;)

Sarsonator

HahHhAAaa!!!!! OMG I’m dying over here, Cambot! Too funny. :)

Cheri

The cup is always full of something.

Sarsonator

My cup is always full of tea, Cheri. And I’ve edited my post to reflect that. :)

mj

I still say Steepster is the nicest, friendliest internet community I’ve ever seen

Sarsonator

This is the best place for tea on the Internet!

mj

Which means the best place on the interent, period? ;)

Sarsonator

Oooh. I see what you did there. Touché :p

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

I got this cake from Nomad.sk because I was ordering a teapot, and for the shipping cost, it made sense to add some more items. I used google translate to get the site into English. Confession: I bought this one because of the pretty wrapper. I lucked out though, because it’s very good!

Method: 6g, 6 oz, 200 degrees, rinse-rest-10-15-20-etc, sheng yixing and Goldie

Aroma: VERY lightly smoked fruit

Flavor: Springy, fruity, and very lightly floral. This tea is quite smooth with only a tiny kick of astringency and bitterness at the end. But really not much. I think that my gamble paid off! I’m on the 5th steep at 30 seconds and it’s only getting better.

Pics –
http://instagram.com/p/r5PlrVPkVt/
http://instagram.com/p/r5PootPkVz/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
Stephanie

Gorgeous wrapper. So you chose this to be the gold cup’s maiden voyage? :D

Sarsonator

LOL last night I christened Goldie with the Jade Dew cake that I got from Mandala. I wanted our first date to be a tea that I know I like!

This is our second date, so I decided to try something totally new. :)

Cwyn

Nice!

Sarsonator

Feeling a nice tea drunkeness and a little scratch at the back of my throat now.

TheTeaFairy

Yay! Beautiful cake, beautiful pics :-)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

92

I bought mine from Mandala, and it’s deeeelish!

Smells like flowers and fruits in the summertime. It’s been a long day, and I’m not feeling very poetic, but this is great. Went and bought a whole cake. Yum.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
MzPriss

I need one of those pneumatic tubes running from Mandala & Whispering Pines to my house. Would save so much time and provide so much instant gratification

Sarsonator

Ha! Awesome idea!!!!

Cwyn

I almost have one, am one postal center away, just La Crosse and then my doorstep.

TheTeaFairy

Yum yum, sarsy :-)

(I envy you Cwyn)

AllanK

I think I am actually glad they are out of stock, it prevents me from buying it.

Sarsonator

Yay Cwyn! I hope you like it!

Oh wow, Allan. I didn’t realize I got one of the last ones.

mj

Cwyn, I’m super close too :) Although I’ve never ordered from Mandala and it’s only about an hour away from me.

MzPriss

mj – you NEED Mandala.

Sarsonator

If I lived only an hour away from Mandala, poor G-Dawg would never get me out of his shop.

MzPriss

Right? I would be all up in there all the time

Sarsonator

Yep, I would probably be asked to leave. But then I would say no. And then there might be harsh language and everything. It’s probably good that I live quite a distance.

Sarsonator

But maybe we should plan a tea tour, Missy, someday. I’d love to find a way to hit all our fave places!

MzPriss

We can do that

MzPriss

It would be fun!

Sarsonator

Traveling tea party! Woo!

MzPriss

We have wee tea kettles and travel and a shitload of sheng samples

Sarsonator

Traveling sheng party! Wooo! :p

mj

LOL you two! Well, you are welcome at my place if your traveling tea party brings you to Minneapolis! (there’s Mandala close by and Verdant about 15 min from my apartment)

Sarsonator

Oh super. I’m so jelly… you live near two of my faves!!!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

Method: The first time, I made this exactly as the instructions stated. The tea had an amazing aroma, but the flavor was just too subtle for me. So today –
3/4 tbsp, 8 oz, 190 degrees, 3 minutes, brew in mug strainer, constellation cup

Aroma: This smells like some kind of sweet dessert. It has a very familiar aroma, but I can’t quite place it, which is driving me nuts!

Flavor: Sweet and fruity, again like a dessert. I want more. MORE!!!!! It’s lovely, but I definitely think I will do 1 full TBSP next time, and see how that tastes. I may increase the time also. I think this is lovely, but I could personally use a stronger flavor. In. Yo. Face.

http://instagram.com/p/ruS2mCPkd8/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Stephanie

Pretty cup :)

Cameron B.

Cutest cup everrrrr! :D

Cheri

I agree about the cup! This tea sounds so delicious to me from Brenden’s description. And now this makes it sound even better.

Sarsonator

Thanks, all! I do adore this cup. It is called a Four Seasons cup and it has constellations representing each season. I had to have it!

I am going to go add a bit more leaf and try a re-steep on this one. :)

Cwyn

This was the one tea that intrigued me aside from the ones I actually bought already.

Sarsonator

It’s deeeelish!!!

MzPriss

I LOVE this tea. LOVE

Sarsonator

No, I love it :p

MzPriss

no I love it schoompie! Also, I’ll be needing your cup

Sarsonator

Everyone is like totally mackin’ on my cup. Here you go, my dearest. They have other designs, too. Mine is the four seasons.

http://yunomi.us/shelf/suppliers/suppliers-tea-ware/oiso-kobo/

MzPriss

Thank you darling. I’m on the site now. That will have to be my Rivendell/Sleeping Bear cup

Sarsonator

Make sure you give them your email to get 5% off

And it shipped pretty fast, considering the distance

MzPriss

I will – I think I’m going for the Autumn Sky

Sarsonator

Awesome! I hope you love it!!!

MzPriss

I might sleep with it

Lariel

I feel this should have a companion tea called Elrond.

mj

Everyone is mackin’ on your cup, including me! And I loved Rivendell first :-P

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

99

Holy cow. I’m so damn happy!!!

Method: 6 g, 6 oz, 200 degrees, rinse-15-15, sheng yixing

Aroma: This smells like a beautiful spring day on a tea farm. There is a stream, and amazing trees. The farm has happy animals, and no one eats them. You can smell their hay in the barn! Everything smells fresh and clean and there’s a sweetness in the air.

Flavor: Nom nom nom. I’m really excited about this one. It’s amazeballs!

http://instagram.com/p/rp485evkWI/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
TheTeaFairy

Oh, a farm where no one eats the animals makes me happy :-) and I’m glad you liked this one, I thought my sample was amazeballs too!!!

cookies

Oh, a happy animal farm sounds like absolute heaven!

Sarsonator

You guys can come visit my farm utopia! And in the meantime you can drink this and picture it!! :)

MzPriss

Happy animal farm! Of Happiness! I’m HOME where ALL he good tea is and I got a Mandala box and a Whispering Pines box and my day just got a whole lot better. There is a big fat cake of 2009 Mengku Jade Dew Raw 400g in there too – so WOOT!

I missed my other two teaplets. If I can scrounge up ANY energy at all – I’m gonna sheng.

Sarsonator

If I ever begin a tea farm with animals, I will be calling it the Happy Animal and Tea Farm. Of Happiness!

So glad you made it home and that you had some lovely surprises waiting! Missed you!!!!

MzPriss

How much do you love this Jade Dew?? I s home!

MzPriss

Why does Steepster hate me? It keeps eating my syllables.

Sarsonator

I knew what ya meant. And I love this so very much. It’s deeeelish! And I was all happy sniffing and drinking it!

Cwyn

Yah me too, got 2 cakes of this, insane I know but Mandala did an awesome job aging this.

mj

LOL, Sarsonator, you’re going to have a total sheng over from all the shenging you did today

Sarsonator

Never!!!! I may be tea drunk, but I can never have too much sheng, or a sheng over :p

MzPriss

I love the way Mandala cares for these babies too Cwyn. It is a bigass cake too. Will make me happy for a long time

Sarsonator

I’m buying more to keep for later :)

MzPriss

Best hurry – my not from Garret says there isn’t much left.

Sarsonator

Well poo.

MzPriss

I think 4 cakes. I bought some more Wild Mountain Green too but I love that one so very much. And some kinds I haven’t tried before. You will be getting some of those too in your box.

MzPriss

And that’s “pu.”

mrmopar

I have one of these I need to get out again soon.

Sarsonator

Good idea, mrm. It has the Chairman Meow seal of approval!

AllanK

Where did you buy this tea?

AllanK

Saw in earlier chat you got it from Mandala. I ordered one.

mrmopar

Chairman Meow wasn’t born when I got this one.

Cwyn

Cracks me up every time I read that kitty name.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

Method: 6 g, 6 oz, 200 degrees, rinse-15-15, sheng yixing

Aroma: Smells like a grapey cave!

Flavor: lightly grape and also savory. It starts to get really good around the 3rd steep. This has a bit of astringency to pucker the mouth, but it’s nice!!!

Thanks to Angel for the sample! It’s lovely!!!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
Veronica

Love your description of the aroma!

Cameron B.

I want to live in a grapey cave… :D

Sarsonator

Lol… Mmmmm grape caves!!!!

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

yummmmm grapey cave sound awesome

Sarsonator

You’re all invited!

Lariel

I want to visit a grape cave.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

Method: 6g, 6oz, 195 degrees, rinse-10-15, sheng yixing

Aroma: I wish I could smell the chocolate others described. This smelled like very lightly smoked apricots.

Flavor: I like to give my shengs a 10 second rinse, then let the leaves rest for a minute or 2 before brewing. The leaves seem more open this way, and I get stronger flavors sooner, usually. This tea was different. The first 2 steeps tasted good, but the flavor was weak. This tea has less sweetness and tastes more brothy, so I wanted to really taste those flavors

I did a 3rd and 4th steep at 15 and 20 seconds. These were better! There’s a light bitterness. Not much. It’s enough to give a little kick at the end of the sip! Thanks to Angel at TeaVivre for the sample!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
TheTeaFairy

Sheng machine, you.

Sarsonator

I am, indeed!!!! Yay!!!!

Cheri

Color me jealous. I thought about doing a sheng day today, but my stomach has been a little upset, so I figured it was best to leave sheng alone.

Sarsonator

Aaaw sorry Cheri! I hope your stomach feels better. I’m not done shenging yet. My Mandala order just arrived! LOL

MzPriss

My Mandala order is here too Sarsy!!! Life is good! I got a Tea Hobbit order as well. Exhausted happy teaplet me.

Sarsonator

If you do not have energy to sheng tonight, then we shall sheng tomorrow!!!!

MzPriss

I know I can for sure do a cup of SB, but shenging might be beyond me tonight – but dude – we have a SHITLOAD of new sheng.

Sarsonator

I know, right???? So much sheng, so little time!!!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

If you are someone other than MzPriss, TTF, or ost and I promised you tea samples, holla back. I am prepping samples now!

Method: 6 g, 6 0z, 195 degrees, rinse-10-10, sheng yixing

Aroma: smoked apricots

Flavor: This started to calm down at the 3-4 steeps. I didn’t finish the first two because they were pretty bitter, even at only 10 seconds. Now I am onto the 5-6 steeps, each were 15 seconds. The tea is a bit more brothy now. It still has a little kick at the end, but nothing drastic. I like this tea. It’s quite good. But I didn’t fall in love with this one like some of the other White2’s.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
Sarsonator

I’m going to try this at a lower temp next time, like a little fairy suggested to me!!!

AllanK

Lowering the temperature can salvage many a tea!

TheTeaFairy

Hmmm….wonder who this fairy might be :-|

TheTeaFairy

Allan I agree, but to lower astringency, this is what works best usually for me.

Sarsonator

Maybe I will try 185 next time? Or do you guys think lower?

Cwyn

I tried the website on the cake www.taochaju.com and the domain name is for sale, nothing there.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

This is not going to be my best review ever b/c I am not quite awake yet.

Method: The usual. 10 and 15 sec steeps

Aroma: Gooooooooood

Flavor: I’m feeling very relaxed. The tea tastes nice. It’s scratching the itch at the back of my throat fo sho. Either pu’erh is kind of magic, or people are putting magic things into pu’erh. I think it’s the former. I’m spacy again. Ground Control to Major Sars.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
Cwyn

This one is on my list to drink today, but it is too early yet….zzzz

Sarsonator

O really? Just for this sheng or for all shengs?

Cwyn

All sheng…need a good meal in me first. For all the tea I drink in a day, I am still a coffee and milk gal in the morning. Need the milk in my tummy!

Sarsonator

That’s interesting to me. I have heard people say that sheng is a bit much for them on an empty stomach. I wonder what they are experiencing though. Does it really give an upset stomach?

I have a stomach of steel, so I sheng all day and all night. I’m just curious about the effects on other people.

Cwyn

Yes, some people have ruined their stomachs on sheng and other too-green tea (meaning not roasted), but it is the young sheng that is the issue, not aged sheng. The tea blogger Hster is somebody whose stomach is now wrecked even though she adores sheng and continues to collect. If you read her blog, even a thimbleful of sheng will give her pain. She apparently can still drink some heavily roasted oolong. More recently, her blog posts are about the tea room her husband is building for her. I do hope she gets her stomach health back, she seems to have quite a decent stash.

I don’t have stomach issues but I do take various medications so I’m just trying to take a cautious approach. Prevention. Keep in mind I am also probably a quarter century older. Young sheng can upset the stomach qi, so I balance a session by taking shou afterward, and the following day or two after a young sheng I focus on enjoying my roasted tea collection, blacks, and oolongs. One symptom for me is cold feet following a tea, then I know not enough roasting or age is present in the tea. A bit of shou and the warmth flows back into my body. But I don’t get the problem from a single cup of sheng, I steep them out, 10+ cups, that is a lot.

TheTeaFairy

Is Major Sars back yet?

Sarsonator

I am back!

That’s really crazy, Cwyn. So I wonder what causes that, really? I will have to try to learn more. I mean, I won’t slow down on the sheng, but I do think it’s good to know the possible unpleasant effects.

That way I can go: “oooh, consequences.” And then do it anyway. And I’m not poking fun. It’s just my personality type. I’m often amazed I’ve made it as far as I have.

But in seriousness, you are taking the smart route with the moderation. So you do a young sheng, then follow with a shou, then hit your roasted teas? Dammit, I wish I could like shous more! I will practice with drinking a sheng, then a shou. It’s just so hard because once I had a few good shengs, it was all over for me. I do enjoy some other teas, but actually I wake up some days thinking about sheng.

Oh, and what do you consider to be “young”? Less than 5 years? 10 years?

Cwyn

Depends on storage, a very dry storage will not age the tea much even if years have passed. At this point I really prefer more aged tea, 10 years and beyond. Doesn’t mean I don’t drink young tea at all, to the contrary. Most of my tasting is on young tea and samples, but for drinking I buy aged. Reading tea blogs, most bloggers will talk about puerh headache or sour stomach once in awhile. Here is an article about the too-green trend with tea in general. http://themandarinstea.blogspot.com/2013/02/asyou-may-know-i-started-this-blog-as.html

Sarsonator

Thanks so much, Cwyn! I appreciate all the info you share! I am drinking a 2011 right now :)

Sarsonator

Oh and you know what does upset my stomach every time… coffee. I have never had an adverse reaction to tea, but coffee makes me queasy. Weird maybe?

Cwyn

I’d have the same reaction but for the copious amounts of milk ;)

AllanK

I think that anyone who is having pain that seems to come from Sheng should check the other parts of their diet for Fodmaps, they cause stomach pain and it can be extreme.

Cwyn

A good point! My main struggle with diet and beverages has to do with an overly yang system. But green sheng can be tough on everyone. For me, greens are for tasting cup sizes, and more aged or roasted I can drink up at will, confident that I am doing something good for my body :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91

I’m thinking about selling everything I own and starting a tea forest.

Method: 6g, 6 oz, 205 degrees, rinse-10-20, sheng yixing

Aroma: I was a little nervous because this smelled a bit menthol. That’s probably not even exactly right, but it’s close.

Flavor: Oh hello, mild gorgeous thing.

Zoned out.

And I’m back. I keep sipping this and staring off into the distance, picturing myself in a forest of wild tea trees, napping by a stream.

Am I looking dewy? Is this the sheng sweat that mrmopar was talking about?

I have no idea, but I am having a very pleasant reaction to this tea. My heart feels all fluttery and I think my ears may be ringing, ever so slightly.

This one is a winner! It’s going to the top of my White2Tea full cake wishlist.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 6 OZ / 177 ML
Marzipan

You are so funny.

Sarsonator

Oh thank you! :)

I’m drunk on sheng and watching Ghost Shark now. This tea is yummmz!!!!

Cameron B.

Ghost…Shark…?

>>

Sarsonator

You can blame ost for telling me about it. :p

MzPriss

Can we add this to my list Sarsy?

Sarsonator

Absolutely, pumpkin pie!

MzPriss

m doing it Rong?

MzPriss

WHY Steepster? WHY? Why do you eat entire sentences?

MzPriss

I was telling you I just had some Teavivre’s gold bud-thingie out of my newky seasoned purple pot and it’s so so good.

MzPriss

sigh. Newly. But at the beginning of the pour it is not good – maybe I’m doing it wrong?

Sarsonator

You mean the pour is not good?

Marzipan

Too much c.

MzPriss

It is once its going but at first it goes everywhere

MzPriss

I have one other one that does that. the other don’t. It’s probably me. Marz – c?

Cameron B.

LOL MARZIPAN! Too good.

Sarsonator

I tilt the cup to meet the teapot a little. Usually works. If it’s still being funky, maybe post on the forum? Someone may have a suggestion.

MzPriss

It does it even when it’s not full >.<

MzPriss

And I still haven’t eaten dinner

Sarsonator

I had a veggie burger. Yumz

MzPriss

Oh I have some of those. And some corn and cheese tamales in the freezer

MzPriss

But right now I’m eating chocolate

Cheri

This tea sounds great, and you guys are silly and making me laugh. I love it.

Cwyn

You got yourself the tea qi.

Sarsonator

Oh it was nice, too!!!!

Cwyn

Yah Ima-addict. :P

mj

LOL @ this thread. Want to live in Sarasonator’s tea forest a la Swiss Family Robinson: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_gSvAoHjnktM/TKxjXlna9OI/AAAAAAAABW8/FF0q0qnaLTk/s1600/Tobago+Swiss+Tree+1960.jpg
Cuz I don’t rough it

TheTeaFairy

Lol, mj, that’s totally our fashengista in her tea forest, you are too funny!!!

Sarsonator

:p Cwyn

OMG mj!!!! That’s perfect!!!!

I am already shenging this AM, Foxy. We will see where I end up today :)

mrmopar

That will be it.

Sarsonator

I’m a bonafide space cadet!

mrmopar

The Chairman ha sent his approval of your tasting notes. He was read this since he can’t personally read and sent a 2 meow response.

Cwyn

When are we getting a pic of the Chairman Meow-er?

Sarsonator

Here’s my Chairman. Mrmopar has his own Chairman :)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/124304184@N02/14742665251/

Sarsonator

Oh and mrmopar… I tried to get my Chairman Meow to pick my tea the other day. He gave me a stare that said, “whatever human. Bow down to your kitty overlord and get me some treats”

So it didn’t work out well…

Cwyn

That is a corporate executive cat! He definitely has some personality, had to laugh at the lion pose he has got there.

Sarsonator

I call that his “Most Interesting Cat in the World” pose :p

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I live in PA and I enjoy tea. I also make and drink both wine and beer. Someday I want to be completely self-sufficient.

I’m also a practical vegan. This means that I never eat meat, and do my very best to avoid products with animal ingredients, but I’m human and I not only make mistakes, but in some very occasional situations, I intentionally may consume something containing said ingredients. I make the best choice I can, when presented with all my options.

I like: Dr. Who, shengs, dark beer, dark teas, my three dogs, oolongs, springtime, barbecues, sunshine, industrial music, happy things, men with beards, science, and learning new things.

I dislike: politics, politicians, inequality, the Vegan Police, teas that are flavored with mint or melon, heavily cinnaBLARGH teas, and anti-intellectualism.

Rating Scale (Stolen from Cam B), effective 7/25/14:

90-100: Spectacular, a staple
80-89: Delicious, might buy again
70-79: Pretty good, won’t repurchase
60-69: Just “okay”
00-59: Undrinkable!

Location

Harrisburg, PA

Following These People