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13 Tasting Notes

76
drank Ruby Black by American Tea Room
13 tasting notes

Naturally sweet, slightly malty with the lingering freshness of mint without a strong mint taste.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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94

The leaves of my sample are a gorgeous dark green which wonderfully sets of the fair amount of golden tips. Mainly consisting of whole leaves which are thin, wiry and gently curled, there are a few broken leaves with a bit of dust in the bottom of the sample. The aroma reminds me of stone fruits with a slight malty overtone.

I set up my tea-maker using sixteen grams of leaves and a brew temp of 200 degrees. (The recommended temp was 194 but I didn’t have that option.) I used a steep time of three and a half minutes.

The resulting liquor is a warm golden brown with an aroma that almost perfect matches the scent given off by the dry leaves. This is a rather light Assam with just a touch of dryness that teases the edges of your tongue. There is a natural sweetness to it and a taste that reminds me of stone fruit. One sip and I swear that I am reminded of peaches and the next sip is one of plums.

Most Assams are too heavy for me to enjoy without a good dose of rock sugar and half-n-half to smooth out the sharpness. This one however is just perfect for sipping with just a dab of sweetening. I think that I am in love.

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51

Opening up my sample I am greeted by leaves that are dark green in color with several lighter green tips. The leaves are all tightly curled and in good condition with no broken pieces. The aroma is grassy. It reminds me of fresh cut alfalfa, very sharp and fresh.

I set up my tea-maker to brew using a rounded tablespoon, 190 degree water and a steep time of four minutes. The resulting liquor is golden in coloring similar to what I expect from an oolong. The aroma now is hard to describe, almost buttery.

This tea is sharp to the tongue with a dryness that adds a real kick. The mouthfeel is creamy with that slight oiliness that one usually only finds with a good oolong. The taste itself is slightly vegetal with a buttery overtone.

I can’t say that this is a tea what I would purchase for myself as the astringency is rather distracting for me. It was hard to put it aside to be able to concentrate the taste.

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68

I am rather new to Darjeeling teas and this is the 1st Flush that I have tried. However I have always thought of Darjeeling teas as a black tea. This tea surprised me in how green it looked. The tea leaves range in color from light spring green to a darker evergreen in color. Looking at the shape of the leaves though reminded me more of a black tea in that they are thin and wiry.

There wasn’t much aroma to the dry leaves, just a slight tinge of a vegetal aroma. Once brewed the liquor is a pale gold in color that is just a bit darker then a white tea. Again I am having my preconceptions thrown out the window. The aroma now has a slight muskiness that reminds me of the leaves on the ground in an old growth forest.

This is a simple easy drinking tea. I kept looking for nuances in the flavor that just wasn’t there. It has a slight sweetness that offset the muskiness that plays along the edges of your tongue. I can easily see myself drinking this tea when I am busy with other things as it doesn’t demand any concentration.

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90

When I ordered from the American Tea Room, they were kind enough to include a couple samples that I have been dying to try. Since I am really craving an oolong tea today I decided to try the Bao Zhong Royale Oolong. According to their website, this is a lightly fermented oolong which normally means there is a vegetal taste. Now this is great for folks who like green tea but personally I prefer to get my vegetables in other forms.

This is a unique looking oolong in that the leaves look like they have been carefully folded lengthwise. Apparently during processing, the leaves are wrapped into paper to protect them. It has a delightful aroma of jasmine, lilac and amber.

I set up my teamaker using a temperature setting of 200 degrees. According to the instructions on the package, the steep time should be seven minutes but I have never steeped an oolong over 3 minutes for a first steep so I did cut that back. Especially as I tend to resteep oolongs at least a couple times.

This tea brews up a very pale clear gold and the aroma is to die for. When I close my eyes and just take in the scents, I feel as though I am in a garden with jasmine, orchids, and lilacs. I have to admit that it has always amazed me the aromas that a pure tea can give off and I am sure that my husband thinks that I am really loosing it as I am wandering around the house sniffing my tea rather than drinking it.

But I really have to actually taste the tea to give it a fair rating and I have to say that the taste does not disappoint. It has a creamy texture with that slight oiliness on the tongue that you get from the best oolongs. The taste is naturally sweet and you can taste the flowers. I am also able to pick up hints of plums and fresh coconut. There is a slight dryness at the end of each sip that has you reaching for more along with a lingering aftertaste of jasmine.

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

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88

The aroma when I opened my sample about knocked me over. With the scents of almond and cinnamon wafting up, I was taken back to the time I spent in Paris wandering thru the little bakeries picking up pastries for breakfast. The blurb that American Tea Room has up about this tea is right on the mark. Visually this is also a very pleasing tea with the black tea leaves being mixed with almond slices and the scarlet of safflower blossoms.

I set up my first cup to brew in my Zarafina Tea-maker set on a medium black setting using 1 teaspoon of leaves. Once brewed the aroma of the almonds and cinnamon persist though they are lighter. I tried my first cup with just a touch of rock sugar and I have to admit that I was disappointed. The tea itself was very smooth but the cinnamon left a bitter aftertaste. Just not my cup of tea.

I am really glad that American Tea Room sends large enough samples that I could play around. For my second cup I used the same settings for brewing but once brewed I added a touch of creamer to go with the rock sugar. Oh my goodness, what a difference. My Brioche tea turned into the perfect desert tea. It was just like eating a cinnamon roll without all the calories. I also tried it with vanilla soy milk and I have to say that I am hooked. This tea is going on my list of order from American Tea Room.

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75

This is a rich, smooth golden monkey with dark chocolate overtone. Utterly delicious and is an incredibly low price

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

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93
drank Dong Ding by American Tea Room
13 tasting notes

A delightfully fragrant oolong that defines smoothness. The taste is slightly grassy with a natural sweetness reminiscent of burnt sugar. It has a creamy aftertaste with a buttery mouthfeel that one only finds in the best oolongs.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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76

The leaves of my sample are a gorgeous dark green which wonderfully sets of the fair amount of golden tips. Mainly consisting of whole leaves which are thin, wiry and gently curled, there are a few broken leaves with a bit of dust in the bottom of the sample. The aroma reminds me of stone fruits with a slight malty overtone.

I set up my tea-maker using sixteen grams of leaves and a brew temp of 200 degrees. (The recommended temp was 194 but I didn’t have that option.) I used a steep time of three and a half minutes.

The resulting liquor is a warm golden brown with an aroma that almost perfect matches the scent given off by the dry leaves. This is a rather light Assam with just a touch of dryness that teases the edges of your tongue. There is a natural sweetness to it and a taste that reminds me of stone fruit. One sip and I swear that I am reminded of peaches and the next sip is one of plums.

Most Assams are too heavy for me to enjoy without a good dose of rock sugar and half-n-half to smooth out the sharpness. This one however is just perfect for sipping with just a dab of sweetening. I think that I am in love.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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80

This is the first time I have tried an oolong that has been roasted traditionally over charcoal but I have to admit I am hooked.

The taste is a delight. This oolong rolls over your tongue and leaves behind the tastes of pear and hazelnut. The aftertaste is lingering and is both drying and sweet. And it leaves you craving for more. My first cup disappeared too quickly to really analyze the flavors as I couldn’t drink it quickly enough. The second went the same way. I was finally able to slow down and savor the flavor on my third mug.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Bio

I was introduced to tea when I was 4 and was as casual drinker for years. Now reviewing for TeaViews, my eyes have been opened about the different varieties of teas. And I am loving the journey

Location

Tacoma WA

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