720 Tasting Notes

drank Dian Yin Zhen by Nannuoshan
720 tasting notes

I enjoyed the rest of my sample of this tea today in my new gaiwan and cup from Nannuoshan! I love the buttery grilled taste of this tea and it was so beautiful to enjoy in my new teaware, which is also amazing! I think I did pretty well not burning my fingers with a true gaiwan! Yay! All my previous gaiwans were “easy” gaiwans. I was waiting until one “spoke” to me and this one did! Here are some pics:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/97273956@N03/16812263281/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/97273956@N03/16625805978/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/97273956@N03/16812262832/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/97273956@N03/16191014604/

Shae

How pretty! I love the lined rim. What is the design on the front?

Tealizzy

The gaiwan has a bird on a branch and the cup is a grasshopper with some grass! Are you on Instagram? I have some close-up pics from the day it came in the mail. :)

Ubacat

Ah, the bird gaiwan and insect cup. They are beautiful.

Tealizzy

Thanks, Ubacat! :)

Shae

I am! Must have just missed those. Found the pics and they are lovely!

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drank Tie Kwan Yin Oolong by Tea Ave
720 tasting notes

This was one of the free samples I received with my order. I’ve had unroasted TKYs before, probably before I could really appreciate them, and I’ve also had the one at Peet’s, which I think is roasted, but it didn’t really taste like much to me. That was likely due to me burning my tongue on their ridiculously hot water!

The instructions to gongfu brew this tea said to steep it for 3 minutes for the first infusion! I was totally second-guessing that, because it seemed way to long, but it worked! The tea smells and tastes roasty right off the bat. It also tasted a bit like honey on toast, with a sweet fruity honey-like texture underneath the roastiness.

I used the aroma cup and the aroma was like a fruit pie or pastry! Like a brown sugar crust with jam! Yum! I also found the jam note to linger long after sipping.

I spilled my second infusion all over the place! Yes, sometimes I’m a klutz. The real tragedy of that was that I didn’t get to taste the sure-to-be delicious second steep! :(

Anyway, after cleaning up, I resumed steeping it and enjoyed a few more infusions. The spent leaves are humongous!

I really like this roasty oolong. So good! I wish I had ordered this. If anyone orders this and decides they don’t like it, let me know! I’d be thrilled to take it off your hands! ;)

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The dry leaf of this tea is absolutely gorgeous….so many colors! The first time I tried it, I didn’t use enough leaf. The flavors weren’t what I expected and I thought it might have to do with the amount of leaf, and it turns out I was right. I used 6g this time, and it was way better!

The flavors in this tea are honey, hay, dried red fruit like cherry, and it’s also a bit boozy. The texture includes a nice honey silky-ness. It also turns a beautiful red color after a couple of infusions. I don’t think it’s really one I’d crave, but I can tell it’s good quality, and those who like this flavor combo would definitely enjoy it. Just remember to use enough leaf! ;)

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drank DongDing Oolong by Tea Ave
720 tasting notes

I think I’ve only had one other dong ding oolong, I think from Verdant, and I liked it. I remember it having sweet corn notes for some reason. Thus, I don’t really know what they are supposed to taste like. This one is absolutely fantastic!

With the first infusion, I tasted buttery vegetal notes with brown sugar and toast, but with the second and subsequent infusions, this beautiful peach and dried apricot nectar came to the forefront! It reminded me of those thick nectar juices we used to sometimes enjoy as kids. I forget the brand name. So juicy sweet! This tea has earned its place in my cupboard! Mmmm!

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drank Boomstick by Butiki Teas
720 tasting notes

Goodbye, Boomstick. You were delicious, with your lovely citrus flavors, even for someone who doesn’t normally go for citrus-flavored things. You will be remembered!

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drank Osmanthus Oolong by Tea Ave
720 tasting notes

Ever since Tea Ave sent their amazing samples for review, I was eagerly awaiting their online store opening. That day, I placed a good-sized order with them, including 6 oolongs, 4 of which I hadn’t tried yet, and two tins. My order came in 2 days! Warp speed oolong! In addition, Tea Ave added some free goodies, including a couple extra tins. Awesome, right?! I knew I wanted to put the Wenshan Boachong and Ginger Lily oolongs in my tins, but I thought I’d wait until I tried the other oolongs to see whether they deserved the tin treatment. ;)

This one may have earned a tin. Seriously.

I’ve never had an osmanthus flavored tea before….I didn’t even know what osmanthus was! Apparently it’s a flower and its scent is likened to an apricot or peach. I used a small amount of leaf, about 3g, which is smaller than Tea Ave recommends for gong fu brewing, but it resulted in deliciousness with their samples, so I’m gonna stick with it!

Omg, it smells like peaches and brown sugar! It tastes like peaches and brown sugar! Like a peach crisp! I might be in heaven right now! Slightly juicy in texture. Not in your face flavor, but subtle and delicate. The sweet juiciness sneaks up on you, playing with your tongue between the middle and the end of the sip. It’s a little vegetal and a little floral. The peach flavor lingers in your mouth after you’re done sipping. Delicious! Another winner, but I’m not surprised. :)

Ubacat

I ordered that one too and yet haven’t tried it. It’s getting such good reviews, I just had to get it. Can’t wait for my order!

ashmanra

I haven’t ordered yet, but I want the Jasmine Oolong and another aroma cup set and the Al Fresco tray!

Tealizzy

Ubacat – I can’t wait to hear how you like it!

ashmanra – lol! They sent me the jasmine oolong as a free sample! You should totally go for it! My order felt like a splurge, but the quality is worth it!

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I’ve been craving this tea ever since I had it the first time and I finally got around to enjoying another session with it. It has to be one of my favorite shengs. It has a delicious grilled taste with a buttery feel, and after many infusions, a nice sweet peach note pops out. Amazing! I was actually enjoying it with my lunch, and the flavor still popped. I like it so much I looked on Jalam’s website to see if I could get more, but alas, they are sold out. Bummer! I will have to savor the rest of what I have because it is really delicious!!!

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I had a nice session with this tea today while working. I used 6g and 194 degree water. The initial steeps were very nice with a smooth, slightly sweet tobacco flavor. It’s funny how much I like that smokiness in sheng. Would have never thought I’d like that! Anyway, as I steeped it out, I got some slight bitterness, which always reminds me of that artichoke vegetal bitterness, and then it mellowed out. It didn’t get as sweet as I like in later steepings, but the first few steeps were good enough for me to want to drink it again. This is a super young sheng, so maybe the sweetness will develop with time.

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I was looking through my cupboard this morning for a black tea to gong fu-brew and I found that I still had some of this sample! Woo! Again, this is amazingly fruity! Plum delicious! See what I did there?! Ha! Seriously though, it’s probably the best fruity black tea I’ve had and I definitely want to pick up more at some point!

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I really like this. With a little honey, it’s the perfect nighttime tea. Really can’t taste the rooibos at all, which is a good thing, and the mint is not too strong. Really nice blend. :)

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Bio

Another profile facelift! My tastes have changed a lot from when I first discovered loose leaf tea.

I can trace my tea journey back to October 2012, when I discovered DavidsTea. Before that, I had the occasional cup and enjoyed high tea at An Afternoon to Remember, which has since closed.

I went through a period of wanting to try all the teas, and was really into flavored teas, especially dessert blacks, but my tastes have substantially changed over time.

I still enjoy the occasional flavored black or rooibos, but I’m more into unflavored black teas right now and recently, puerh. Chinese black teas are amazing…with their notes of chocolate or sweet potato, who needs a flavored tea? I had a much steeper learning curve when it came to puerh. I used to dump out cups of puerh for tasting like leather. Now, I am really enjoying them. I think it took finding good quality puerh and steeping them gong fu style to really enjoy them.

I also, on occasion, enjoy a good oolong, white, or green tea.

Favorite tea companies right now include: Mandala, Teavivre, Butiki, Golden Moon, Lupicia, and DavidsTea (for teaware mostly).

Just a note: I don’t rate my teas numerically because my iPad doesn’t like the scroll bar. Maybe someday that will change…hint hint, steepster! ;)

P.S. My profile picture is of one of my 2 cats, Holly, who is a little princess but very photogenic, and she loves boxes, including those that bring me tea! :)

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San Francisco Bay Area

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