2816 Tasting Notes

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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88

This is a very interesting tea! I got a 10g sample of it from Norbu. The tea uses jin xuan (milk oolong) source materials but is processed like a green tea. I wonder if this is how that other tea from the Bird Pick is processed too? Anyway, the leaves here are a bit longer and wiry and not rolled. There are some stems in the tea but that’s the way the Taiwanese drink it, I have heard.

I steeped this for about 3 minutes at 180F. This tea has a very creamy and fresh green flavor. I am also picking up on a bit of a floral quality here. It’s nice and gentle and pretty delicious! Breakfast this morning is a bowl of bananas and raspberries and this is a nice accompaniment. It’s not as buttery as the Bird Pick tea but I am finding it very pleasant. I think this would be a very popular tea if more people tried it – give it a shot! The samples from Norbu are a bargain.

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

It’s been a long time since I have had any Norbu Teas in my stash! Reading all of your tasting notes makes me ponder an order :)

TeaBrat

I am enjoying my teas from them, a lot!

TeaEqualsBliss

I especially used to like their oolongs and some pu-erhs – they really shine in those teas!

TeaBrat

Do you remember which pu-erhs you liked? I have the ye sheng wild tea log but haven’t tried it yet.

TeaEqualsBliss

I can’t remember them all but I do recall the Lao Mansa Sheng Pu Erh – it was when I was first getting into pu erhs and it was mellower one to handle at the time. I think my Norbu Pu Erh experiences were about 2 years ago :)

Missy

ohhh a mellow pu erh. I shall have to look that up for my journey into pu erh. :D

ScottTeaMan

I will try Norbu…….eventually! I’m trying to reduce my current stash a little.

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94

Monday morning? Is that you? How did you get here so soon?

I chose this to drink this morning, was somehow in the mood for it and not exactly sure why. Today I added a smidge of raw cane sugar. I like this tea! (see previous notes). Today it seems softer and even fruitier than I remember — I might have steeped it for longer before. See previous notes if interested.

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

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80
drank HOUJI-CHA Tea Bags by Maeda-en
2816 tasting notes

I have some loose leaf houijcha at work but I wanted some today at home, so I picked up this little package of 10 teabags in Japantown. This is a mesh teabag which is a little bit better than the paper ones. This houijcha is made from roasted sencha.

The instructions on the package say to steep for 30 – 60 seconds, but that seemed a bit light so I ended up going for 90 seconds in the end. The aroma is delightful and flavor is pretty good. It has a very caramel, burnt sugar flavor but I’m detecting a tiny bit of vegetal bitterness in the finish. The other houjicha I have is a loose leaf from Den’s Tea that’s made out of roasted bancha. I have to say I prefer the Den’s version because it is sweeter and more aromatic (and it’s loose leaf, which makes a difference as well). But this is still a nice everyday tea, and good for the evening because there’s less caffeine. I need to try cold brewing it sometime! Yummy!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Alphakitty

I really love Den’s Houjicha! And as a flavor it seems to be getting pretty popular, my local Japanese mart actually has houjicha flavored soft-serve.

ScottTeaMan

HOORAY HOUJICHA!! :))

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92
drank Wen Shan Bao Zhong by Naivetea
2816 tasting notes

I haven’t had this tea in eons and I have no idea why – it’s wonderful!

I’ve been gong fu’ing oolongs mostly, but I have my copyediting homework to do soon, so I thought I’d just sit down and brew myself a small pot. This tea is very smooth, flowery, sweet and a hint of creaminess like coconut milk is present. I was worried this might be getting stale/old but it still tastes wonderful to me.

I re-steeped this also Western style for 4 minutes and it still has a lot of flavor.

Lately I’ve been wondering when Naivetea is getting their formosa oolong back in stock, it’s been ages from what I recall. Naivetea does some lovely oolongs…

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

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
2816 tasting notes

Now that I have a proper freezer that I can actually use for making ice, I am sure more herbal tisane experiments are coming!

This ended up being delicious: mix equal parts plain organic tulsi, spearmint and lemon verbena. Brew hot and pour over ice or refrigerate. It’s delicious… :)

ScottTeaMan

Amy, do you think you’ make actual iced tea or stick to cold brew. It’s interesting how I used to ice hot tea, but since I’ve been cold brewing lately, I like it better. I prefer cold brewing in the fridge, because it just tastes better to me-not watered down like iced tea can sometimes be. It just takes sssoooo long and I can be impatient at times! ;-))

ScottTeaMan

what happened to my LL’s? you’ll

TeaBrat

Cold brewing is great but today I didn’t have enough time, I wanted instant gratification!

ScottTeaMan

I know whaat you mean…hehe!

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78

This is a 10g sample I recently got from Norbu Tea. I more or less picked it at random but now after looking at it closer, I see that it’s a Pre-Qingming tea. I think this just means it was picked very early in the spring.

I decided to steep this Western style so I used the glass teapot for 3 minutes with water that was 180F.

The tea liquor is very mild and light yellow in color. It reminds me a bit of the pre-chingming Snow Dragon I was graciously gifted by ScottTeaMan. This is a very mild and gentle green tea, the tea liquor is very soft with some light vegetal notes of artichoke and perhaps a bit of cucumber.

It is nice but I generally prefer something more robust and flavorful. It isn’t bad, it’s just not my “thing”. I think I will try gong fu’ing the rest of this sample at a later date to see what difference that makes.

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

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87

The first cup of the day. This tea is proving to be quite a versatile mixer for experiments, today I mixed it with some ceylon from the Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants. Drinking it with soymilk and sugar for the full-on eye opening experience.

By the way I have a bit of news, I got a new refrigerator/freezer from my Landlord. The old one must have been over 30 years old and still requires a manual defrost. The new one is beautiful, compared to what I am used to. I feel like such a modern woman. ;-)

Missy

yay for new fridge/freezer!

CHAroma

Awesome, congrats!

TeaBrat

Matcha popsicles!

ashmanra

Woohoo! You go, girl!

TeaBrat

I feel like such a part of the 20th century! :-D

ScottTeaMan

The newer ones don’t last 30 yrs though…….but enjoy the marvel of 20th century tech! :))

Bonnie

Whoopie! I love a new appliance!

Bonnie

somehow that sounded wierd ;/

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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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