1498 Tasting Notes

93
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
1498 tasting notes

Additional notes: A revisit to the lovely Golden Fleece… though the leaves are some of the most interesting, and though this tea is still interesting flavorwise, I think I’ve had a couple more that have tasted better. Like Yunnan Sourcing’s Imperial Mojiang or Teavivre’s sweet potato teas. Golden Fleece is like the muted version of something like that… or these leaves are simply older… or they were never really sweet potato to begin with but HONEY. Lowering the rating from 97, just because this one doesn’t have enough flavor, though I know it is supposed to be a very light one.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // few min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min

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91
drank Bai Lin Kung Fu by Shang Tea
1498 tasting notes

Thank you TeaTiff for the sample. The black with hints of golden leaves are very similar to Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu. It’s an odd flavor, hard to describe. I’d say it’s like a mild keemun: hints of smoke, chewiness, breadiness, a bit of tobacco, a little like something alcohol.. not sure which one as I don’t have enough knowledge in that department! Haha. Very intriguing flavors though! I used a teaspoon and a half but I think this one would have been fine with two teaspoons. It certainly was tasty as it is though! The second steep was almost identical to the first cup – the brew being a very light brown color.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsps. // 10 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min

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80

Thank you Momo for the sale! Always like to try any keemuns since they seem to be never be the same. This one is certainly smokier than the keemuns I’ve been drinking. Not so smoky that it compares to a lapsang souchong, but it’s almost the only flavor I’m noticing. Keemuns usually have their own odd flavor that is tough to describe and whatever that is, this particular keemun doesn’t really have that. I don’t know what the “keemun flavor” is but I love it. It’s a tasty, tough black tea, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s a lapsang souchong. I’ll be trying to puzzle this one out again at some point.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few min after boiling // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min

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92

This one is from the unflavored tea box MzPriss started. I almost forgot where I placed this one. I don’t want to start forgetting where the teas are! There was a teaspoon and a half left. Always up for trying a Whispering Pines tea.

Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 10 min after boiling // rinse // 1 1/2 min steep
I didn’t want to wait so long to steep this one, but I was deciding which tea to have/trying to find it. It seems steeped well enough anyway! The color of the brew is a mellow yellow. The flavor is just a tiguanyin should be: bright, fresh, sweet, buttery, a little vegetal.

Steep #2 // 5 min after boiling // 2 1/2
This steep was pure pineapple and less butter. I love the changes this one makes, as I love both butter oolongs and pineapple oolongs. A very fruity juicy sweet cup.

Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 1/2-4 min
This cup wasn’t oversteeped really (teally I just typed), but it isn’t as lovely as the first two steeps. There was more nuance in the first two steeps. I shouldn’t have steeped this cup so long. A great oolong overall, but I’ve had some good ones lately! Oolong spoiled!

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81

Boychik sent samples with the Yunnan Sourcing tea I ordered and this was one — thank you! I split it in half so I could have the other half of the sample. So I steeped up about a teaspoon and a half but didn’t fill the mug all of the way. These nuggets are something different – I haven’t seen anything like them before. The rinse definitely had the “pu-erh pond” scent going, but that seemed to disappear with the first steep. A standard pu-erh here – the color of the cup never goes a deep black – it remains a bright burgundy… but I believe that is because the leaves are fairly bigger. Just like a black tea, the smaller the leaves the deeper color of the brew. The flavor is smooth, sweet, a little like slightly smoky leather. I was reminded of marshmallows with one sip. This is a great pu-erh but it does lack a tiny nudge of something special to make it stand out from the pu-erh pack.
1 1/2 tsp (mug not filled all the way) // just boiled // rinse // 2 min // 3 min // 4 min

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73

I snagged this one from the massive Lewis & Clark tea box! There are a few of those around. Dark little oolong bundles here! There was only a teaspoon of the sample left, so I was planning on not filling the mug all the way (should be 1 1/2 teaspoons for 8 ounces). It’s a little tough for my palatte to tell all of these roasted oolongs apart. Maybe I’m not there yet, maybe I never will be. The main flavor from these types of oolong is charcoal, making it not my favorite. With this one, I’m also getting autumn leaves, roasted marshmallow, the lightest sweet potato. It reminds me a bit of Formosa oolong, though I’m not sure how different the two oolongs are. It’s a lighter flavor, focusing on charcoal, but of course this is Butiki so there are some other elements there. It is interesting that my favorite green oolongs can be boiled, but roasted oolongs should be at 180 degrees. The second and third steeps were very similar to the first, but the second steep seemed to have stronger flavors. This one doesn’t change much between steeps. I’m happy I tried this tea but I think I’d like every other Butiki tea more than this one…if I don’t love the roasted oolong that Butiki carries, I think it’s enough to tell me they aren’t my thing. I’m planning a Butiki order soon!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 30 min after boiling // 4 min steep
Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 4 min
Steep #3 // 10 min after boiling // 4 min

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60
drank Sakurambo by Lupicia
1498 tasting notes

Thank you for the sale a while back, Maria! I thought I’d try this one… though I wasn’t sure about the cherry. The black tea base, peppercorns, and rosemary keep it interesting. The peppercorn looks like tiny cherries! I thought the rosemary was actually pine needles. It does smell a little like cough drops to me and it isn’t really my thing. There isn’t a lack of cherry here! I’ve had worse cherry teas though. The peppercorn should make it sweeter but the cherry seems to drown everything else. I can’t taste the rosemary. Not terrible but nothing I would reach for… also not the best from Lupicia.
Steep #1 // few min after boiling // 3-4 min steep

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85

Thank you for the samples, Teavivre! I was waiting for a rainy day to try this one. I’ve never seen a white tea cake before! It actually looks like compressed white tea, made into a cake like pu-erh. I wonder why other types of tea aren’t made into cakes?

Steep #1 // 15 min after boiling // rinse // 2 min steep
Teavivre suggested using boiling water because this is fermented and also seven grams for a 12 ounce mug, so I used most of my ten gram sample pouch. I didn’t want to use boiling water, especially for the first steep, so I waited 15 minutes after boiling. The scent of the steeped tea reminds me of maple syrup and it’s in the flavor too. A very sweet smooth white tea. It does taste differently than most white teas I’ve tried, except for a Kenyan white tea… I wonder if that one was fermented as well? It also has a mild autumn leaf flavor. This doesn’t look like one of the fuzzy leaved white teas, more like the “rainbow of autumn leaves” white teas.

Steep #2 // 12 min after boiling // 3 1/2 min
I’m noticing that like the maple syrup flavor, the color of the brew also looks like maple syrup! Very interesting. The maple in the flavor is still here, but there is also a tangy flavor (not astringent or oversteeped) that I wasn’t getting before. It could almost remind me of a mild, less sweet apple juice, but that sounds to me like a raw pu-erh and it definitely doesn’t taste like that.

Steep #3 // 8 min after boiling // 4 min steep
Another nice cup.. loses some of the tangy but also loses some of the flavor. I can’t believe how full my infuser basket is! I’ve never seen so many leaves. I really like this one for its seemingly “all the senses” theme: the appearance of autumn leaves in the dry leaf (and the flavor) as well as the scent and flavor of maple syrup while also looking like actual maple syrup in the cup.

Flavors: Maple Syrup

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89
drank African Chai by Justea
1498 tasting notes

Additional notes: This one worked much better this time, maybe even just because I used a teaspoon and a half rather than one teaspoon before. So spicy and such unique spices in this blend. The black tea tasted like raisins! Hits the chai craving, for sure. I haven’t sipped enough chai yet this autumn.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Mmm chai, I have not had any this autumn…I need to change that!

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98
drank Jin Pin by Yezi Tea
1498 tasting notes

I was thinking of having a Yezi tea this morning.. or should I say I was thinking specifically of the flavor of a Chinese black (or red) tea? No, I knew Yezi wouldn’t fail me. I’ve been holding onto this one from the Butiki traveling teabox so I thought I’d try this one. The Yezi black teas I’ve tried seem to be variations on a theme when it comes to flavor… especially if you happen to be able to steep them with exactly the same parameters. Yezi suggests a teaspoon for each three ounces of water, so I steeped the entire sample: three not-entirely-full teaspoons. The black and golden leaves have exactly the flavor I was looking for: not quite chocolate, not quite sweet potato (it’s a nice middle ground that only Yunnan seems to have), with something in the flavor that reminds me of wine. There is something about teas like this one that it seems like I’m actually chewing food – very rich and satisfying. Three amazing steeps with this one. Perfect every time. It’s hard to tell which Yezi red/black tea is the best, but I’d sure love to try them all to find out.
Steep #1 // 3 tsps for 12 ounce mug // 10 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // 5 min after boiling // 3 1/2 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I just recently tried all of them (not at the same time, that would be epic) and I think Jin Jun Mei might be my favorite? I have enjoyed all of them immensely.

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Bio

Hi! I love tea and trying new ones – it adds a bit of variety to my day! Books, music, TV & movies are my thing… and tea, of course.

Some of my favorite teas:
teavivre.com
zentealife.com
butikiteas.com
fusionteas.com
theteamerchant.net
steepcityteas.com
bluebirdteaco.com
justea.com
singleoriginteas.com
joysteaspoon.com
dellaterrateas.com
teasenz.com
adagio.com
52 Teas – zoomdweebies.com
tealux.ca
goldenmoontea.com
tealiciousllc.com
whisperingpinestea.com
verdanttea.com
steapshoppe.com
thenecessiteas.com
Specialteas

Most of the teas listed in my cupboard are actually sample sizes. I don’t really have 2,000 ounces of tea around here! I was bored one day and found out that most of them have only one teaspoon left… maybe two. But I like keeping them in my cupboard list for reference to what I could be sipping. Usually, I write tasting notes once for each tea. I’m still drinking them, just not writing tasting notes each time!

My dislikes: hibiscus, ginger (unless in chai), charcoal type flavors

My ratings:
95-100 – Super awesome deliciousness favorites
80-95 – Also pretty delicious
65-80 – Pretty good
40-65 – Okay
1-40 – Probably won’t want to sip it again

I’m planning on being a Steepsterer as long as there IS a Steepster, so if you’re not hearing from me, that means something happened to my health… if you know what I mean. :D

Happy sipping!

Location

USA

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