2397 Tasting Notes

80

I was definitely not sure what to expect from this one because descriptions I have heard of Lao Cha Tou just sound so weird… since these nuggets are formed at the bottom of the pu-erh fermentation pile (while making shu puerh).

I did decide to follow the recommended instructions and I rinsed the nuggets three times. After that I infused my first batch in the gaiwan for about 60 seconds. I have to admit this does smell a little bit like a barnyard but I’m not one of those squeamish types. I got a very dark red liquor that is clear in color, slightly sweet and very earthy.

My second steep was only for around 30 seconds because the color already started getting so dark. I’m picking some some mushroom-y type flavors as well as the sweeter ones mentioned above.

Third steep seems like it starting to mellow out a bit and get slightly more grounded. Imagine shiitake mushrooms cooked with a handful of twigs and a touch of merlot and that’s starting to get close… lol. This is some pretty interesting stuff I must admit. I’m not sure if I would buy anymore but it’s pretty fun to try.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
CHAroma

Mushrooms, twigs, and merlot! Yum! Hahahahaha!! You’re hilarious!

TeaBrat

I forgot to mention the eye of newt. :)

ScottTeaMan

Hahaha….I was just thinking of an eye of newt Gingrich in your tea! hahaha. :))

ScottTeaMan

Also, I read the title quickly and thought it read OLD TED NUGGENT! What’s wrong with me today?!

TeaBrat

@Scott – lol

Garret

HI Amy! Thanks for writing this up! This particular vintage of old tea nugget has been our bestselling one to date. I usually start out at around a 30-40 second steeping and just keep doing that over and over. We have many customers who report 25-30 infusions before they call it quits! I must admit, it’s one of my favorites and I like the sweetness that comes through. I can’t tell you how many customers quit coffee on the spot when they have tasted this brewed up nice and strong :) Have a tea-riffic day, everyone!!!

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90
drank Morning Sun by Mandala Tea
2397 tasting notes

Still raining in San Francisco so I had to make some of my own Morning sun!

I liked the shape of these rolled leaves and have had good luck in the past with these spiral sort of shapes from China. The aroma of the wet leaves is very robust and almost smoke like and it’s amazing to watch them unfurl!

I decided to steep mine for 3 minutes basket style although this tea will need to have some gong fu experiments from me soon. :)

I am definitely getting the sweet flavor, kind of honey like with a bit of roasted sweet potato or carrot like starchy/thickness… it is reminiscent of a golden monkey to me, except bolder and more assertive. I’m getting a touch of smokiness, tobacco flavor here in the flavor as well. I tried this plain but then I ended up liking it with soymilk because the creaminess blends nicely with the other flavors. I liked this although a bit on the assertive and bold side for me so I think a shorter steeping time will be worth pursuing. I just gave my sweetie a sip and he says it smells very smoky and tastes like miso… I like miso actually. :)

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

I’m all over miso. :))

ScottTeaMan

China blacks are awesome!

Garret

Thanks, Amy! We have a local coffeehouse that we source this tea for. We restock them every week on this one as they go through so much of it. They are doing 1.5 minute steepings. @Scott – You’re right! China blacks are awesome!!

TeaBrat

I like China black but most of my favorite black tea is still from India & Nepal (aside from puerh, of course).

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91
drank Alishan Oolong by Ten Ren
2397 tasting notes

I recently received this as a gift from my boyfriend who had a co-worker pick it up for him in Taiwan. I wonder if I got different tea than Charles did because mine does not seem roasted at all.

This is a very light brew with the small of gardenias and a touch of freshly shucked corn. It has one of the sweetest finishes I’ve ever experienced in an Alishan. I am preparing this gong fu style and I accidentally spilled my first infusion but the second is very nice.

After the third infusion the tea started to open up a bit more and give forth some slightly buttery flavors, but this is very light and delicate. The flavor is so subtle it is a bit like a white tea. Definitely going on my list of things to cold brew!

I found this to be a very soothing and relaxing afternoon tea.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Charles Thomas Draper

I have to revisit this one to comment further.

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80

The afternoon cuppa. We are getting rained on all weekend and I wanted something warm without caffeine.

I am not thrilled with this blend but since I have almost an entire can, well… you know how it goes! I did add a sugar cube to it, that turned out to be a mistake, too sweet, bluh. I will try cold brewing this one if/when the weather gets warmer

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90

I discovered I still have a bit of this left, it is such a yummy green tea. It does remind me a little of a dragonwell. It has such a nice, delicate and clean sweetness for a green tea. I was happy to find it!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Gyokuro Matcha by Teavana
2397 tasting notes

I thought this would be nice for a boost this morning, I am not thrilled with it. I also think perhaps when you steep a tea at 140 F it’s difficult for me to drink it because it’s like lukewarm water. :)

Anyway this is ok, mildly sweet but it seems to be lacking a bit in flavor. Would not purchase again (see previous notes). Second steep at 160 F for 90 seconds is slightly better.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Hate getting tea disappointment, especially when you’re looking for a morning boost!

TeaBrat

It was quite a hardship… :)

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90

Initally this was one of the least favorite of my RTR whites, but I keep drinking it and drinking it. It is really growing on me! Time to up the score (again)

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78

My apologies for uploading this low res picture but I cannot seem to grab anything better from their website. If anyone figures out how to do this and wants to update the photo please, feel free!

So I thought this was a delicious herbal blend. The lighter green rooibos makes a delicious accompaniment to the fruit infused flavors here, peaches, strawberries and citrus. I tend to like fruity things and it is quite a bit on the peach side but I can still taste a bit of strawberry and orange. You could easily add a touch of sugar to this if you wanted it to be a bit sweeter. I thought it was great plain and this would also make a nice caffeine free iced tea. Delicious and refreshing and thankfully, NO HIBISCUS! Yay! I’m a Happy Camper. :)

If you liked Green and Fruity from David’s Tea I would recommend this as well…

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

Pic updated. ;-))

TeaBrat

How did you do it? Now I need to know! The drag and drop method did not work.

ScottTeaMan

I have a Windows snipping tool. Initially, I couldn’t save it, but the tool allows me to save any picture on the web. I used Nero Phtosnap to crop the pic, saved it…….and TADAAAHHH!! :))

ScottTeaMan

If you have Windows you might have this tool. It is under PROGRAMS, then ACCESSORIES.

TeaBrat

I’m on a Mac! But thank you for the effort… :)

ScottTeaMan

Don’t they ahve a tool similar to that?

ScottTeaMan

Not a problem…….you’re welcome. :))

TeaBrat

Perhaps it does but I’m not exactly a power user… ;-)

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65
drank Red Chai Masala by Organic India
2397 tasting notes

I keep trying to find a tulsi tea that I really love so I keep buying up stuff from Organic India. They have a few blends with hibiscus but I think I can skip those…

I used two tea bags for a rather jumbo mug of tea. I’ve had a few rooibos chais I liked but this is a bit weak on flavor, imo plus the herby-minty flavor of the tulsi is coming right through. I was hoping the spices would disguise it a bit. I guess I don’t really love the taste of tulsi. I am not sure what this needs, perhaps some sweetener would help? I will also try using a smaller cup with two teabags.

Definitely did not love the flavor of this but tulsi always makes me feel good. :)

Perhaps I need to skip the tulsi tea and go straight for some herbal supplements…

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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94

I got my shoe inserts today from the podiatrist so I am hoping my foot pain is a thing of the past…

Wanted to treat myself to something nice so I stopped into the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and got a cup of this. I don’t normally go for minty things but I wanted to try this anyway.

This stuff is awesome – you definitely pick up the nutty, slightly smoky flavor of the gunpowder and the mint is not meek either. It is a very delicious blend which I think would also be really good iced. Loved it! I went back to the store to buy a tin of this (loose leaf tea bags), it was a bit pricey but I am worth it. :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 15 sec
Azzrian

Yes, yes you are!!

TeaBrat

I agree! ha!

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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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