2774 Tasting Notes

I am drinking this Western style in an infuser basket this morning, which I know is not optimal. Approximately 2g for a 10 oz. mug of tea.

Steep #1: about 3 minutes due to the leaf/water ratio. The tea has a very nice roasted smell and the tea liquor is a medium yellow kind of color. It’s a bit peachy and flowery, with a nice sweet aftertaste.

Steep #2: I tried for another 3 minutes but with less water this time (6 ounces?) The tea does seem more golden (as in yellow) than some other teas I’ve had from this region. Second steep is a bit weaker in flavor than the first, coming up slightly nutty.

I feel like I can’t really rate this properly until I try using the gong fu method at least once, although the sample size was only 4 grams to begin with. Right now I will have to say it is pleasant but I’m not too blown away by it.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Formosa Oolong by Harney & Sons
2774 tasting notes

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80

This is a sample I picked up from Upton with my latest order. I like Ceylons and I had high hopes for this one, especially after seeing the leaves which were dark and slender.

This was steeped in an infuser mug this morning for around 3 minutes. My tea liquor got to be a dark reddish-brown and at first sip it reminds me a bit of some of the Chinese teas I’ve been drinking, it has a definite malty & sweet potato sort of quality up front, but the finish is quite bright and brisk. It reminds me a lot of their East Frisian tea. Anyway I needed soymilk in this, I am finding it to be quite strong. I prefer their Kenilworth Ceylon, which has more gentle dark chocolate notes. I might try steeping this for a little less time, although they do recommend 4-5 minutes. At least it will help wake me up!!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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89
drank Keemun Queen's Hope by Lupicia
2774 tasting notes

San Francisco weather: the end of June, it will be 60 degrees and foggy all day. Ick.

O.K., it’s a sipdown. Finishing off this tea from Lupicia, which is a very mild blend of Keemun black teas. I’m not really a Keemun person at all, but this is pretty good for a murky day like today, better with some soymilk. See previous notes if interested.

Scott B

I’ll trade you 95 and sunny for 60 and foggy anytime.

Bonnie

97 and smoky trumps sunny and foggy (let’s see who comes through the saloon door next)

TeaBrat

I’m not complaining too much, I just find it difficult to get out of bed. :-/

gmathis

The sort of weather I’m craving is the direct opposite of the weather we’re having.

Bonnie, be careful or you’ll be the proud owner of 136 varieties of Lapsang Souchong ;)

ScottTeaMan

Sunday, I watched the US Open at the Olympic in SF…….it was neat watching all the fog [but I don’t have to deal with it on a regular basis].

CHAroma

Uh oh, this tea was not a winner for my palate. Glad you enjoyed it though!

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67
drank Yunnan White Jasmine by Verdant Tea
2774 tasting notes

Decupboarding. I gave this away to a friend of mine who will appreciate it much more than I do. Jasmine tea and I are not happy together, I have to be honest. I seem to like some green jasmine pearls now and again, but that’s about it.

JC

Jasmine is a hit or miss with people, you either love it or hate it. At least someone will enjoy it! :)

ScottTeaMan

Thite Jasmine pearls can be good too, and I know you like a more mellow Jasmine scent

TeaBrat

I’d rather just pass on the jasmine, really…

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89
drank Genmaicha Extra Green by Den's Tea
2774 tasting notes

Yum. Genmaicha has been one of my favorite teas since my macrobiotic diet days. I also drank a lot of twig tea by Choice Organic; I need to get that again someday.

Anyway it’s been a busy weekend, I’m studying for a copywriting class I’ve been taking so I’ve had a little less free time than usual. I felt like I needed a little bit of ooomph to get me through the rest of the evening, but not too much. Thanks to Incendiare, I have genmaicha on the brain!

This is quite a tasty tea from Den’s. It’s very green due to the matcha element, which also adds a bit of sweetness to the mix. You definitely get that savory sort of nuttiness that just seems very soothing and gentle. I like this one and will definitely be wanting more when my bag runs out… see previous notes for more info.

I hope all my Steepster friends are having a good Sunday night!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Fjellrev

Funny, I was planning on writing a tasting note for this tomorrow! Best of luck on your copywriting class.

ScottTeaMan

Keep us posted on your copywriting class Amy. :))

TeaBrat

Soon I’ll be editing all of you! j/k

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87

I went out to lunch and for tea with a friend today (blog post coming soon).

The tea I choose was a raw pu-erh and it was fairly bitter for me. When I got home, I just felt like having something sweet and mellow. I steeped this with some dried pink rosebuds and it’s light and elegant, really what I wanted and needed for the afternoon. Of course this tea is also quite nice by itself.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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94

I decided to try out this sample tea this morning. I am a fan of Tie Lou Hans, I’ve had a few and they usually do not disappoint.

I did a quick rinse of the leaves in my yixing and used around 180F water.

Steep #1: The tea liquor is an amber color and leaves smell very roasted after steeping. I found this cup to contain notes of plum, caramel and mineral with a sweet aftertaste. yummy! I gave this cup to the BF, who wanted one.

Steep #2 – Tea liquor has a delightful aroma of stone fruit. Second cup is similar to the first but I am getting a slight charcoal flavor in the mix. It is very pleasant with a lingering sweetness. Tastes very clean and soft, somehow.

Steep #3 – Similar to #2, sweetness is retreating a slight and mineral is coming forward more. Still quite delicious and going strong. I am noticing a toasted bread quality as well as a few raisin notes. Unlike the other tie lou han I have, this seems to be quite good in terms of resteep ability (note: I ended up steeping it 7 times).

Interesting for those of interested in Buddhism:
“Tie Luo Han (铁罗汉) translates as “Iron Arhat” in English. Luohan/Arhat is a term used in the many schools of Buddhism to denote a saint or a “sage” who has achieved enlightenment and is ready to escape the cycle of Samsara and enter the state of Nirvana. “Tie Luohan” is sometimes translated as “Iron Warrior Monk,” which most likely refers to the monk/spiritual practitioner doing battle with his/her desires to overcome his/her worldly attachments to attain enlightenment, rather than as an actual “war” warrior monk".

Anyway, this is a great example of a wuyi tea. If I was to have one everyday wuyi around, I don’t know if it would be this or a Shui Xian but maybe I can have them all. :-P

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec
teaddict

The nice thing about Wuyi teas is that they are quite durable. You don’t have to worry about finishing them all off before the next season.

Azzrian

As long as tea is viewed as a worldly attachment I don’t think I will be reaching Iron Warrior phase!

TeaBrat

@teaddict, yes that is very true. I have one on the way that has a shelf life of 5 years!
@Azzrain – me either!

ScottTeaMan

Thanks for the info on Buddhism. I am always interested in leaning about different religions, spirituality, history and cultures. I love a good resteeper too, so I’ll have to keep this one in mind.

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93

We went to see the film “Moonrise Kingdom” this afternoon, which was wonderful. Then had Japanese curry and veggie gyoza at this weird little restaurant called “On the Bridge”. By the time I got home I needed something to settle my stomach and decided to treat myself to this delicious pu-erh. I got 2 oz. of it a few months ago, and am trying to make it last. :-D

I made it quite dark and luscious, even a bit creamy, and I am so happy with the effects! I’m not sure if I should resteep the leaves too often since I might be awake all night, but will certainly relish the yummy tea I have at the moment. This tea is now 16 years old and it smooth and superb. See previous notes for more info.

ashmanra

EEEE! I want to see that movie! I just had the kids watch the trailer last week and I can’t wait!

TeaBrat

It was really good!!

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90
drank Happy Kombucha by DAVIDsTEA
2774 tasting notes

Thanks to my tea pal Indigobloom for this sample!

Is this tea perfect for San Francisco? Hippy-dippy and kinda fruity? I’m about to find out. Speaking of fruity, I have a fruit fly infestation right now which is such a drag — I’ll have to take these leaves out to the compost immediately after I’m done! After doing a quick read of the package, I used my small Finium teacup and filter and went with 180F for 5 minutes.

My cup ended up being a medium orange and smells very fruity! The flavor is incredibly peachy and pineapple-y. It’s kind of hard to taste the oolong underneath here but it makes a good foil for the fruit. I actually like those fizzy kombucha drinks even though they are expensive. This has the slight aftertaste of one of those, it’s a fermented almost beer like quality. I didn’t know you could even get powdered kombucha, so that was interesting to discover.

When you buy a fresh kombucha drink it’s $4 a pop, so I was thinking you could mix this tea with some fizzy water and have a reasonable substitute for a lot less money. I wonder if it still has the same health benefits as the fresh tea? This would be good iced, too.

I’ve never been the biggest David’s Tea fan, but this had me scanning their website for the price. I might need some of this in the future, but then again I have a ton of flavored tea I still need to get through. Are they ever going to open up a David’s Tea in California?

It’s a nice fun, fruity flavored kinda deal. I think I’m going to try cold brewing the rest of it overnight. Me likey. Thanks IB!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

hehe SO glad you liked this one. It was a choice between this and Long Life Oolong. They’re very similar but oh soooo good :)

TeaBrat

I liked it! Sadly there’s no hippies in Haight-Ashbury anymore, just chain stores and houses that cost 1 mil!

Bonnie

Yep! Good stuff! You can still find hippies in Berkeley and Santa Cruz and then there’s the mountain towns …shhhhh scary places!

Kittenna

I hate fruit flies!!! The only good thing is that their lives are so short, if you are really diligent about removing any possible food sources, they go away reasonably quickly. Last year we had problems with both fruit flies (downstairs, kitchen area) and fungus gnats (upstairs, apparently breeding in the sink drain). It was gross. Still see the odd one, but I think they’re from outside now.

Also, I bet they will open up a DT in California :P Looks like they’re expanding reasonably quickly!

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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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