2743 Tasting Notes

88
drank Li Shan by Harney & Sons
2743 tasting notes

Thanks to Russel at Harney & Sons for sending me this freebie sample to try!

I got it today in the mail and immediately wanted to try it. It’s just what I was in the mood for today.

I was not able to gong fu this, so am trying with regular infuser mug method for 2 minutes. I got a very light greenish infusion and the wet leaves smell very fresh and yummy.

I do like these types of taiwanese high mountain oolongs in the afternoon, they seem relaxing and refreshing. I’m getting a light butteriness in my cup, along with a delicate floral – perhaps orchid? The description on their website says honey and cream, I’m not getting much honey but it is a bit creamy. A mild sweetness lingers in the back of your throat. Very nice!

Second steep: I used a little less water this time and got different results. Tea is a bit darker in color and less buttery but more floral.

Third steep: it is amazing how much these leaves have opened up! Sticking my nose near the cup, I’m reminded of a meadow with flowers. The flavor has more subtlety than some other Li Shans I’ve had, but it’s still very nice.

Green oolongs are my favorite thing to cold brew so I already decided I’m going to make a cold brew batch of this for tomorrow – I can hardly wait!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 15 sec
ScottTeaMan

Amy, you said this Li Shan was more subtle. What is your most memorable Li Shans?? Do you cold brew steeped leaves or add the rest of the sample to them??

TeaBrat

the one that sticks out in my mind is Naivetea’s version, but this is still pretty good. I normally cold steep with dry leaves and occasionally with leftover tea leaves.

Charles Thomas Draper

If I only get 2 or 3 steeps the leaves are going in the mix.

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89

This is one of the strongest and most assertive gunpowder teas I have ever had. I tried cold brewing it with some loose leaf spearmint from Upton Teas (about 18 hours).

The result is potent! The smokiness is definitely present with an assertive wallop. The spearmint is hovering in the background but doesn’t really stand a chance against the gunpowder here. I ended up adding some sugar to make it slightly more palatable. I’m not totally in love with this creation, however.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
ScottTeaMan

Peppermint has more strength and would probably be better with this assertive gunpowder. I know your stomach might revolt though. :-//

ashmanra

I don’t taste any smoke in the one I get from Tin Roof Teas, but it says it is gunpowder green with spearmint and Egyptian. I just taste green tea and spearmint. Maybe their gunpowder base is just very different? I don’t know if I would like it very smokey…I am planning to plant lots of spear mint as soon as I can get a section of garden ready! :)

TeaBrat

@ashmanra – some seem a lot less smoky than others, this tea is TOUGH! lol… Good luck with the spearmint, I’m jealous.

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77

This was a free sample kindly provided by jing tea shop in my latest order.

hmmm, I am pretty biased, Chinese green teas do not generally thrill me unless they’re bold like gunpowder or chun mee, I’m more of a Japanese green tea person so keep that in mind as you’re reading this review.

I steeped this tea for around 2.5 minutes at 180F. I must say the leaves smell wonderfully fresh. I got a very light tea liquor. The flavor is slightly vegetal with a bit of nuttiness, similar to a dragonwell. It has a really nice mouth-feel with a tiny bit of astringency at the end. Other people noticed smokiness – where? I am not finding it!

I wish I could think of something more exciting to say about this. I definitely did not hate it, but it also doesn’t make much of an impression on me. I think I will take the rest of my sample home (about 3.5 grams) and see what happens when I gong fu it.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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82
drank Keemun Hao Ya by jing tea shop
2743 tasting notes

Tea: 4/4 of the red tea sampler set
I’m really not such a huge fan of keemun, but this isn’t bad at all.

I broke my glass teapot last night, what a bummer. As much as I love glass teaware I have to admit it isn’t very practical. I guess I have an excuse to get one of those “For Life” teapots I’ve been eyeing.

After two minutes, this steeps up to be a nice reddish-brown. It isn’t smoky at all. I’m getting some nice chocolate notes with a gentle sort of pungency that reminds me slightly of red wine. This is quite a bit softer and milder than other keemuns I have tried, and tastes very clean to me.

I’m pretty impressed with jing tea shop so far, everything I’ve tried has been delightful. I would probably rate this higher if I were a true keemun lover.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Pissed off! Hate breaking things! Usually I break my toes while carrying a tea tray and kick the coffee table…broke all the toes on both feet so far! Poor you…we love our pots!

TeaBrat

Thanks. I am tempted to get another glass teapot, still I only had that one for 2 months before I broke it.

Scott B

Sorry to hear about that-Teavana strikes again!
If you like to look at your tea, you could just have glass tea cups and not worry about a glass teapot. I have a couple nice cups, but my main glass cup is a simple glass coffee cup from BB&B that only costs about $3.

TeaBrat

@ScottB – I did buy some glass irish coffee mugs that are pretty durable. I do love looking at the tea while it’s brewing.

CHAroma

Aww, poo! :(

ScottTeaMan

OHHH!! as that the 24 oz glass one from Teavana?? My glass press is smaller than this but the design looks the same:

http://www.bonjourproducts.com/53336.html

While it is not my “dream” glass tea vessel-it was/is a gift, and the metal edge has saved the carafe from breaking many times knocking on pre fab wooden desk!

TeaBrat

Scott, no not the Teavana thing, this was an actual glass teapot I bought in Chinatown.

ScottTeaMan

You did just buy that…….I think you blogged about it.

Missy

D’oh! I haven’t broke a teapot yet, but someone broke a cute little glass cup I had. Sadface.

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87
drank Apple Pear Tulsi by Fusion Teas
2743 tasting notes

I really liked this blend and I’m finishing off the rest of my sample today. I think it could have used a bit more tulsi, of course I could always add some in. I wish more tea companies would offer free shipping promotions sometimes. I know Fusion Teas shipping cost is $5.95 for me and the costs of shipping do add up over time…. of course I know that it is expensive for the company.

Anyhoo, this is a nice blend to check out!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
Scott B

Free shipping really does make a difference. I don’t think anything of ordering a tea or two with free shipping, but when shipping reaches $6, I usually wait or not order at all.

TeaBrat

Me too. Once shipping goes over $5 I am much less likely to order anything; every time Harney and Sons does one of their free shipping with $25 sales I always buy stuff!

CHAroma

I’m definitely more inclined to impulse buy if there’s a free shipping promotion. But I usually care more about the value of the tea than the value of the shipping. If 2 oz. of tea costs $10 and there’s free shipping, and 2 oz. of a similar tea costs $4 and shipping is $6, I’m more likely to buy the cheaper tea. Promotions end, but the cost of the tea hardly ever goes down. I don’t like to fall in love with expensive teas I can’t afford to keep around. :(

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94

My feet are feeling a bit better since I had my shoe inserts adjusted, which is good! I’m hoping for the best.

Today is a beautiful day in San Francisco, the sun is out and shining. I had cold brewed this overnight and am having it after lunch today. Mmm, there is nothing quite like an iced Moroccan mint tea to perk me up.

This is my last bag of this and the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf that’s near my apt. has just closed! I am going to try making my own with the gunpowder I have from Red Blossom and loose leaf spearmint. We’ll see. I might look for this blend again someday, it’s mighty tasty.

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more
Missy

Glad your feet are feeling better! Boo to closing of tea shops.

Mélissa

(omg, the Lama as your profile pic made me SQUEEEEEE)

Indigobloom

good luck with the inserts! and the tea blending :)

TeaBrat

Thank you, IB! I have noticed a decrease in my symptoms which is a definite plus!

TeaBrat

Melissa- I love llamas, they’re so silly and cute.

Dylan Oxford

Moroccan Mint really does make the best iced tea ever. We tossed a few leaves of some fresh mint we picked up at a local produce stand in our last batch. SO MINTY.

Bonnie

I just ordered some from Stacy at Butiki after trying a sample but I could make some from my mint too.

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87
drank Gyokuro Matcha by Teavana
2743 tasting notes

Here we go with the last of the Teavana gift set…

I brought this to work with me today and managed not to spill it – yay! It’s very smooth, green and slightly sweet. Definitely a bit spinach-y, but I like that. I want to drink more of my Japanese greens so I can justify buying something from Mellow Monk when their new teas come out. See how crazy I am… always thinking ahead to the next purchase. :-D

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 0 sec
noordelijk

I need this tea set in my life. I’m such a green tea nerd.

Also, I’m confused by the picture… is this a loose leaf tea or a powder (matcha) ? The picture makes it look like its just a leaf, so, Gyokuro leaf with matcha mixed in? I know they make they ceremonial matcha with Gyokuro so it could be anything haha.

TeaBrat

It’s a gyokuro leaf with matcha mixed in

noordelijk

I wish they sold that separately from this gift set!

ScottTeaMan

I’m always thinking ahead too Amy. :)) Noordelijk, I got a Teavana sample of this from Amy I wish they sold seperately:

http://steepster.com/teas/teavana/23904-tama-ryokucha

That was such a good tea! :))

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34

Normally I like most things that come out of Upton Tea, so it pains me to say that I thought this was a truly yucky cup of tea.

The tea leaves are extremely broken up, like fannings. I followed the instructions which said to steep for 3 minutes at boiling. The tea liquor is very brisk, bitter and tannic. In short, everything I do not want in a tea! Might try steeping it again at a lower temp., but I truly could not finish the cup.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Sad. Happens, but sad.

TeaBrat

At least I didn’t spend a lot of money on it.

CHAroma

There’s the silver lining!

ScottTeaMan

I’ve never tried the BOP version, but I did try Lover’s Leap years ago from another vendor, and didn’t like it.

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95

This is such a good pu-erh! I’m doing short steeps of 30 seconds this afternoon with the remainder of my sample. The tea liquor is dark and silky, I am getting all kinds of interesting flavors like chocolate, camphor, & cinnamon. Smooth and gentle, with no funky aromas. Mandala did a great job with this cake they commissioned. I will need to pick one up soon. :)

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

I love the name! Phatty Cake! Gordita…so cute!

TeaBrat

You would probably like this tea Bonnie.

Bonnie

Sounds like I would!

Garret

Amy! I was drinking this tea today, too! I am so happy that you enjoy it. It’s one of my favorites and I’m so glad I got so many cakes pressed.

Sunday, I got together with David (Verdant Tea) and we sipped teas for 4 hours. It was great. He and I try to get together every couple of months for a “tea summit”.

I was thinking of you because I had brought along some of the “wild tree” mao cha that I am having pressed into sheng pu’er. It is one that I think you will love. David thought it was spectacular and we worked it quite a while. I think you’re gonna like this one.

While I have 66 lbs being pressed, I have 1 kg loose mao cha here and 20 more pounds on the way. It’s your kinda tea :)

Happy day,
Garret

TeaBrat

Hi Garret – I am looking forward to trying it soon!

CHAroma

What’s camphor?

ScottTeaMan

This is on my list.

TeaBrat

@CHAroma – it’s a tree, it has a minty sort of flavor

CHAroma

Cool, thanks!

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94

Decupboarding – the hard way!

I took this to work to finish it off, unfortunately when I was on the bus the can spilled out all over the bottom of my bag and created a huge mess. There’s no use crying over spilled tea, I guess!

SimplyJenW

Argh! Look at the bright side….now you have room for more tea!

TeaBrat

Well, it also came in a really nice washi tin that I can reuse for something else. :)

Scott B

I’ve done something similar. I’m sure it’s all Teavana’s fault somehow.

TeaBrat

@ScottB – lmao!

Bonnie

Sorry! They charge alot too! The guy in Teavana said it was one of their only good tea’s! (Kept making apologies for their low quality tea)

TeaBrat

Bonnie – it was a gift so I didn’t have to pay for it, but I agree it’s one of their better teas. :))

CHAroma

Aww, I’m sorry! That’s sucks. :(

Missy

D’oh! That sounds like some thing that would happen to me.

Indigobloom

eeep! that’s terrible! atleast it wasn’t a hot beverage that you burned yourself on (like I’ve done!)

ScottTeaMan

Amy….‘No use crying…’. That depends on the tera and the amount. I’m getting teary eyed just thinking about it! :*((

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Profile

Bio

My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

Location

San Frandisco

Website

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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